Monday, January 22, 2018

WEF Reports More Pakistanis Sharing Fruits of Economic Growth

More and more Pakistanis are sharing in their nation's development, according to World Economic Forum (WEF). Pakistan ranks 47 among 74 emerging economies ranked for inclusive development by WEF released recently at Davos, Switzerland. Inclusive development in the South Asian country has increased 7.56% over the last 5 years. World Economic Forum assesses inclusive development  based on "living standards, environmental sustainability and protection of future generations from further indebtedness."

WEF Inclusive Development Report 2018:

The WEF inclusive development index ranks Pakistan at 47, below Bangladesh at 34 but above India at 62. The 7.56% rate of increase in inclusive development in Pakistan is higher than 4.55% in Bangladesh and 2.29% in India. China ranks 26 and its inclusion is rising at a rate 2.94%.

WEF IDI Rankings. Source: WEF

Pakistan has improved its ranking from 52 last year to 47 this year, while India's rank worsened to 62 this year from 60 last year.  China's ranking also worsened from 15 last year to 26 this year.

Another WEF report compiled by Oxfam said the richest 1% of Indians took 73% of the wealth generated last year.

Income Share Change in Asia's Poorest Quintile: 

The share of national income of Pakistan's poorest 20% of households has increased from 8.1% to 9.6% since 1990 , according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (NESCAP) Statistical Yearbook for 2015.  It's the highest share of income for the bottom income quintile in the region.

The countries where people in the poorest income quintile have increased their share of total income include Kyrgyzstan (from 2.5 per cent to 7.7), the Russian Federation (4.4 per cent to 6.5), Kazakhstan (7.5 per cent to 9.5) and Pakistan (8.1 per cent to 9.6).  India's bottom income quintile has seen its share of income drop from 9% to 7.8%.

Bottom Quintile Income Share Change. Source: UNESCAP Statistical Yearbook

Although more people in China have lifted themselves out of poverty than any other country in the world, the poorest quintile in that country now accounts for a lower percentage of total income (4.7 per cent) than in the early 1990s (8.0 per cent). The same unfortunate trend is observed for a number of other countries, including in Indonesia (from 9.4 per cent to 7.6) and in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (from 9.3 per cent to 7.6).

CPEC Transforming Least Developed Regions:

Development of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is transforming Pakistan.  Among the parts of the contry being transformed the most by CPEC are some of the least developed regions in Balochistan and Sindh, specifically Gwadar and Thar Desert. Here is more on these regions:

Gwadar Port City:

Gwadar is booming. It's being called the next Shenzhen by some and the next Hong Kong by others as an emerging new port city in the region to rival Dubai. Land prices in Gwadar are skyrocketing, according to media reports. Gwadar Airport air traffic growth of 73% was the fastest of all airports in Pakistan where overall air traffic grew by 23% last year, according to Anna Aero publication.  A new international airport is now being built in Gwadar to handle soaring passenger and cargo traffic.




In addition to building a major seaport that will eventually handle 300-400 million tons of cargo in a year, China has built a school, sent doctors and pledged about $500 million in grants for an airport, hospital, college and badly-needed water supply infrastructure for Gwadar, according to Reuters.

The Chinese grants include $230 million for a new international airport in Gwadar, one of the largest such disbursements China has made abroad, according to researchers and Pakistani officials.

New development work in Gwadar is expected to create as many as 20,000 jobs for the local population.

Thar Desert:

Thar, one of the least developed regions of Pakistan, is seeing unprecedented development activity in energy and infrastructure projects.  New roads, airports and buildings are being built along with coal mines and power plants as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). There are construction workers and machinery visible everywhere in the desert. Among the key beneficiaries of this boom are Thari Hindu women who are being employed by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) as part of the plan to employ locals. Highlighted in recent news reports are two Hindu women in particular: Kiran Sadhwani, an engineer and Gulaban, a truck driver.

Kiran Sadhwani, a Thari Hindu Woman Engineer. Source: Express Tribune

Thar Population:

The region has a population of 1.6 million. Most of the residents are cattle herders. Majority of them are Hindus.  The area is home to 7 million cows, goats, sheep and camel. It provides more than half of the milk, meat and leather requirement of the province. Many residents live in poverty. They are vulnerable to recurring droughts.  About a quarter of them live where the coal mines are being developed, according to a report in The Wire.

Hindu Woman Truck Driver in Thar, Pakistan. Source: Reuters

Some of them are now being employed in development projects.  A recent report talked of an underground coal gasification pilot project near the town of Islamkot where "workers sourced from local communities rested their heads after long-hour shifts".

Summary:

More and more Pakistanis are sharing the fruits of development in Pakistan as shown by the World Economic Forum report on inclusive growth. WEF ranks Pakistan at 47, below Bangladesh at 34 but above India at 62. The 7.56% rate of increase in inclusive development in Pakistan is higher than 4.55% in Bangladesh and 2.29% in India.   The share of national income of Pakistan's poorest 20% of households has increased from 8.1% to 9.6% since 1990 , according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (NESCAP) Statistical Yearbook for 2015.  It's the highest share of income for the bottom income quintile in the region.  Development of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is transforming Pakistan.  Among the parts of the country being transformed the most by CPEC are some of the least developed regions in Balochistan and Sindh, specifically Gwadar and Thar Desert. 


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Pakistan Rising or Failing? Reality vs Perception

Pakistan has a population of over 200 million people and a booming trillion dollar economy ranked among the top 25 largest economies of the world.
Courtesy:  Ashraf Hameedi, Highforest Capital

Pakistan's 135 million millennials have made it the world's fastest growing retail market. There is surging demand for fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and durables like smartphones, computers, cars, motorcycles and home appliances.

Courtesy: Nikkei Asian Review

Major energy and infrastructure projects, part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), are transforming the country and creating millions of new jobs.

Incidents of terrorism and terror related deaths are in sharp decline since the country's military started nation-wide anti-terror operations in 2013.

Its $20 billion tourism industry is seeing rapid growth.

And yet, many continue to call Pakistan a "failed state". Why is it? Why is perception lagging reality?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Monis Rehman, Pakistani entrepreneur and CEO of Rozee.pk, and regular panelist Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/XDima7JSxKs





Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan is the 3rd Fastest Growing Trillion Dollar Economy

Pakistan Education Budget Surpasses Defense Spending

Information Tech Jobs Moving From India to Pakistan

Pakistan is 5th Largest Motorcycle Market

"Failed State" Pakistan Saw 22% Growth in Per Capita Income in Last 5 Years

CPEC Transforming Pakistan

Pakistan's $20 Billion Tourism Industry Boom

Home Appliance Ownership in Pakistani Households

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Pakistan's $20 Billion Tourism Industry is Booming

Pakistan's tourism industry, currently estimated at $20 billion (6.9% of GDP in 2016), is booming, according to data available from multiple reliable sources. World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts it to grow to over $36 billion within a decade.

Economic Impact of Tourism:

Pakistan tourism industry generates $20 billion in revenue and supports 3.6 million jobs directly and indirectly, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. Foreign visitors generate nearly a billion US$ in exports.

Economic Contribution of Pakistan Tourism. Source: WTTC

Tourism Growth: 

Significantly improved security situation has helped boost annual tourist arrivals in Pakistan by 300% since 2013 to 1.75 million in 2016, while domestic travelers increased 30% to 38.3 million, according to the state-owned Pakistan Tourism Development Corp.  Hotel bookings increased 80 percent in 2016, according to Jovago, Pakistan’s biggest hotel booking website.

Courtesy: Nikkei Asian Review

By contrast, foreign tourist arrivals in the country’s larger neighbor, India, jumped from 6.97 million in 2013 to 8.8 million in 2016, according to Indian government figures. 88% of India's and 92% of Pakistan's tourism revenue is domestic. India's tourism industry is worth $209 billion (9.6% of of GDP in 2016), according to WTTC.

A story in the Financial Times, a British newspaper, quotes British tour operator Jonny Bealby as saying,   “While I am sure this will raise some eyebrows, we are starting to see a marked increase in tourism to Pakistan".  Bealby's company arranged 55% more clients to Pakistan in 2017 compared with 2016, and advance bookings are more than 100 per cent up on this point 12 months ago, according to the Financial Times.

Top Adventure Tourism Destination: 

British Backpackers Society has recently ranked Pakistan as its top destination for adventure tourism.  The Society describes Pakistan “one of the friendliest countries on earth, with mountain scenery that is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination”.

Pakistan Tourism Promotion in Jakarata, Indonesia
Pakistan's northern areas are a top destination for adventure-seekers interested in mountain climbing, white water rafting,  extreme kayaking and helicopter skiing.

Pakistan Brand Promotion on London Buses

Pakistan Tourism Promotion: 

Pakistan government's tourism campaign — including covering buses in several major world cities with beautiful pictures of Pakistan's tourist attraction — have helped raise the country’s profile. Increased investments in roads, airports and other infrastructure have helped ease travel.



Pakistan government has announced its decision to provide 30 day tourist visa on arrival for visitors from 24 countries on three continents.

Summary:

Tourism industry in Pakistan is booming with 300% increase in foreign tourist arrivals since 2013. It contributed $20 billion (6.9% of GDP in 2016) and supported 3.6 million jobs in 2016. World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts it to grow to over $36 billion within a decade.

Here's a video about Pakistan narrated by an American Journalist Cynthia Ritchie:

https://youtu.be/G8bzv3G9vjY




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Travel and Tourism Boom

Extreme Kayak Adventures in Pakistan

Helicopter Skiing in Karakorams

Climbing K2: The Ultimate Challenge

Indian Visitors Share "Eye-Opening" Stories of Pakistan

American Tourist Picks Pakistan Among Top 10 Best Countries to Visit

Pakistani American to Pakistani Diaspora: Go Back and Visit Pakistan

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Pakistan is the World's 5th Largest Motorcycles Market

Pakistan is the 5th largest motorcycle market in the world after China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. With 7,500 new motorcycles being sold everyday, Pakistan is also the among the world's fastest growing two-wheeler markets. Passenger car and motorcycle sales in Pakistan are both soaring at rates of over 20% a year.



Auto Demand Soaring:

Nearly 2.3 million motorcycles have rolled off the factories in Pakistan in the last 10 months. The production of motorcycles jumped 22.34 percent in the first four months of fiscal year 2017-18 (FY18), over the corresponding period of in FY17, according to the latest data from Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) as reported by the media.

Pakistan automobile market is also expanding along with the motorcycle market. Sales of passenger cars soared 20.4% to 103,432 units in the first half of the current fiscal year of 2017/18, recently released official data shows. Car sales were 85,901 in the same period of last fiscal year, according to Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA).

Durable Goods Ownership:

Ownership of consumer durables like computers, home appliances and vehicles is often seen as an important indicator of the size and health of the middle classes in emerging economies. Examples of periodic household surveys used by researchers to measure such data include NSS (National Sampling Survey) in India and PSLM (Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement) in Pakistan.

Durables Ownership in India and Pakistan. Source: KSBL
Pakistan's Trillion Dollar Economy:

Pakistan is now the world's third fastest growing economy among the world's top 25 economies with PPP GDP of over one trillion US dollars, according to  the International Monetary Fund (IMF). IMF has recently raised the country's 2018 growth forecast to 5.6%.
Courtesy:  Ashraf Hameedi, Highforest Capital
Pakistan 3rd Fastest Among Top 25: 

Spectator Index has ranked India first with 7.3% growth, followed by China (6.5%), Pakistan (5.6%), Indonesia (5.3%) and Turkey (3.7%) among the world's 25 largest economies in terms of PPP GDP.

Earlier in October 2017, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast Pakistan's economy to grow at 6.3% CAGR over 2017-2022.

India-Pakistan Comparison:

Dr. Jawaid Abdul Ghani, a professor at Karachi School of Business Leadership, has recently analyzed household surveys in India and Pakistan to discover the following:

1.  As of 2015, car ownership in both India and Pakistan is about the same at 6% of households owning a car. However, 41% of Pakistani household own motorcycles, several points higher than India's 32%.

2. 12% of Pakistani households own a computer, slightly higher than 11% in India.

3. Higher percentage of Pakistani households own appliances such as refrigerators (Pakistan 47%, India 33%), washing machines (Pakistan 48%, India 15%) and fans (Pakistan 91%, India 83%).

4. 71% of Indian households own televisions versus 62% in Pakistan.

Durables Ownership Growth in Pakistan. Source: KSBL
Growth over Time:

Dr. Abdul Ghani has also analyzed household data to show that the percentage of Pakistani households owning washing machines has doubled while car and refrigerator ownership has tripled and motorcycle ownership jumped 6-fold from 2001 to 2014.

Income/Consumption Growth in Pakistan. Source: KSBL

Rapid Income Growth:

Rising ownership of durables in Pakistan has been driven by significant reduction in poverty and growth of household incomes, according to Dr. Abdul Ghani's research. Percentage of households with per capita income of under $2 per day per person has plummeted from 57% in 2001 to 7% in 2014. At the same time, the percentage of households earning $2 to $10 per day per person has soared from 42% of households in 2001 to 87% of households in 2014.  The percentage of those earning over $10 per day per person has jumped 7-fold from 1% of households in 2001 to 7% of households in 2014.

Pakistani Middle Class:

Only 5% of Pakistanis in $2-$4 per day per person income group have college degrees. But 20% of those in $4-$10 have college degrees, according to the survey results.

Pakistan Middle Class Profile. Source: KSBL

Credit Suisse Income and Wealth Data:

Average Pakistani adult is 20% richer than an average Indian adult and the median wealth of a Pakistani adult is 120% higher than that of his or her Indian counterpart, according to Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2016. Average household wealth in Pakistan has grown 2.1% while it has declined 0.8% in India since the end of last year.

Median wealth data indicates that 50% of Pakistanis own more than $1,180 per adult which is 120% more than the $608 per adult owned by 50% of Indians.

GDP Estimates Using Household Survey Data:

Pakistan's GDP calculated from consumption data in PSLM is significantly higher than the government estimates based on production data. The reverse is true of Indian GDP.

M. Ali Kemal and Ahmed Waqar Qasim, economists at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE),  explored several published different approaches for sizing Pakistan's underground economy and settled on a combination of  PSLM (Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement) consumption data  and mis-invoicing of exports and imports to conclude that the country's "informal economy was 91% of the formal economy in 2007-08". 

Prominent Indian economists Abhijit V Banerjee, Pranab Bardhan, Rohini Somanathan and TN Srinivasan teaching at MIT, UC Berkeley, Yale University and Delhi School of Economics believe that India's GDP estimate based on household survey (National Sampling Service or NSS) data is about half of what the Indian government officially reports as India's GDP. 

Here's a quote from French economist Thomas Piketty's book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" explaining his skepticism of production-based official GDP figures of India and China:

"Note, too, that the very high official growth figures for developing countries (especially India and China) over the past few decades are based almost exclusively on production statistics. If one tries to measure income growth by using household survey data, it is often quite difficult to identify the reported rates of macroeconomic growth: Indian and Chinese incomes are certainly increasing rapidly, but not as rapidly as one would infer from official growth statistics. This paradox-sometimes referred to as the "black hole" of growth-is obviously problematic. It may be due to the overestimation of the growth of output (there are many bureaucratic incentives for doing so), or perhaps the underestimation of income growth (household have their own flaws)), or most likely both. In particular, the missing income may be explained by the possibility that a disproportionate share of the growth in output has gone to the most highly remunerated individuals, whose incomes are not always captured in the tax data." 

Who is Dr. Jawaid Abdul Ghani?

The PSLM household data cited in this blog post is taken from a recent presentation made by Dr. Jawaid Abdul Ghani at the Karachi School of Business and Leadership (KSBL) where he teaches. KSBL has been established in collaboration with  Cambridge University's Judge Business School. Prior to his current faculty position, Dr. Abdul Ghani taught at MIT's Sloane School of Management and Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). He has a computer science degree from MIT and an MBA from Wharton Business School.

Summary:

Pakistan is the 5th largest motorcycle market in the world after China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. With 7,500 new motorcycles being sold everyday, Pakistan is also the among the world's fastest growing two-wheeler markets.  Passenger car and motorcycles sales in Pakistan are both soaring at rates of over 20% a year.  Pakistan has managed to significantly reduce poverty and rapidly grow its middle class since 2001. The country now boasts the world's third fastest growing economy among the world's top 25 economies with PPP GDP of over one trillion US dollars, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). IMF has recently raised the country's 2018 growth forecast to 5.6%. spite of major political, security and economic challenges. The foundation for the rise of the middle class was laid on President Musharraf's watch by his government's decisions to invest in education and infrastructure projects that led to the expansion of both human and financial capital. My hope is that the continued improvement in security situation and implementation of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related projects will bring in higher long-term investments and accelerate Pakistan's progress toward prosperity for all of its citizens.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2016

Pakistan's Trillion Dollar Economy Among World's Fastest Growing

Pakistan: A Majority Middle Class Country

Karachi School of Business and Leadership

State Bank: Pakistan's Actual GDP Higher Than Officially Reported

College Enrollment in Pakistan

Musharraf Accelerated Development of Pakistan's Human and Financial Capital

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Pakistan Economy is the World's Third Fastest Growing Among Top 25 Economies

Pakistan is now the world's third fastest growing economy among the world's top 25 economies with PPP GDP of over one trillion US dollars, according to  the International Monetary Fund (IMF). IMF has recently raised the country's 2018 growth forecast to 5.6%.
Courtesy:  Ashraf Hameedi, Highforest Capital

Pakistan 3rd Fastest Among Top 25: 


Spectator Index has ranked India first with 7.3% growth, followed by China (6.5%), Pakistan (5.6%), Indonesia (5.3%) and Turkey (3.7%) among the world's 25 largest economies in terms of PPP GDP.

Earlier in October 2017, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast Pakistan's economy to grow at 6.3% CAGR over 2017-2022.

World Bank: 

The World Bank sees Pakistan's GDP to grow 5.5% in current fiscal year 2017-18 ending in June 2018, a full percentage point faster than the 4.5% average GDP growth for Emerging and Developing Economies (EMDEs) that include Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Nigeria and Russia among others. However, Pakistan economic growth continues to lag growth forecast for regional economies of India and Bangladesh. The report also highlights the issue to growing trade deficit and current account gap that could lead to yet another balance of payments crisis for Pakistan requiring another IMF bailout.

Source: World Bank Group
Pakistan GDP Growth: 

Here's an excerpt of the January 2018 World Bank report titled "Global Economic Prospects" as it relates to Pakistan:

"In Pakistan, growth continued to accelerate in FY2016/17 (July-June) to 5.3 percent, somewhat below the government’s target of 5.7 percent as industrial sector growth was slower than expected. Activity was strong in construction and services, and there was a recovery in agricultural production with a return of normal monsoon rains. In the first half of FY2017/18, activity has continued to expand, driven by robust domestic demand supported by strong credit growth and investment projects related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Meanwhile, the current account deficit widened to 4.1 percent of GDP compared to 1.7 percent last year, amid weak exports and buoyant imports."

Growing External Account Imbalance: 

The report correctly points out the problem of growing current account deficit that could turn into a balance of payments crisis unless the trade deficits are brought under control. Recent trends in the last three months do offer some hope with December 2017 exports up 15% while imports increased 10%. Exports in November increased 12.3%.

Along with double digit increase in exports in the last two months, Pakistan received remittances amounting to $1.724 billion in December 2017, 8.72% higher compared with $1.585 billion the country received in the same month of the previous year, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), as reported by Express Tribune.

Summary:

Pakistan is the third fastest growing economy among the top 25 economies in terms of purchasing power parity.  Pakistan's economic growth is continuing to accelerate amid rising rising investments led by China-Pakistan Economic Corridor related infrastructure and energy related projects.  The IMF sees Pakistan economy growing at 5.6% while the World Bank forecasts it to grow by 5.5% in current fiscal year 2017-18 ending in June 2018, a full percentage point faster than the 4.5% average GDP growth for Emerging and Developing Economies (EMDEs) that include Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Nigeria and Russia among others. However, Pakistan economic growth continues to lag growth forecast for regional economies of India and Bangladesh. The report also calls attention to the expanding current account gap as a matter of concern that must be taken seriously by the government to avoid yet another return to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

CPEC is Transforming Least Developed Parts of Pakistan

Per Capita Income in "Failed State" of  Pakistan Rose 22% in 5 Years

Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2017

Pakistan Translates GDP Growth to Citizens' Well-being

Rising Motorcycle Sales in Pakistan

Depth of Deprivation in India

Chicken vs Daal in Pakistan

China Pakistan Economic Corridor

Thursday, January 11, 2018

World Bank: Pakistan Outperforming Emerging Economies Average

The World Bank sees Pakistan's GDP to grow 5.5% in current fiscal year 2017-18 ending in June 2018, a full percentage point faster than the 4.5% average GDP growth for Emerging and Developing Economies (EMDEs) that include Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Nigeria and Russia among others. However, Pakistan economic growth continues to lag growth forecast for regional economies of India and Bangladesh. The report also highlights the issue to growing trade deficit and current account gap that could lead to yet another balance of payments crisis for Pakistan requiring another IMF bailout.

Source: World Bank Group
Pakistan GDP Growth: 

Here's an excerpt of the January 2018 World Bank report titled "Global Economic Prospects" as it relates to Pakistan:

"In Pakistan, growth continued to accelerate in FY2016/17 (July-June) to 5.3 percent, somewhat below the government’s target of 5.7 percent as industrial sector growth was slower than expected. Activity was strong in construction and services, and there was a recovery in agricultural production with a return of normal monsoon rains. In the first half of FY2017/18, activity has continued to expand, driven by robust domestic demand supported by strong credit growth and investment projects related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Meanwhile, the current account deficit widened to 4.1 percent of GDP compared to 1.7 percent last year, amid weak exports and buoyant imports."

Growing External Account Imbalance: 

The report correctly points out the problem of growing current account deficit that could turn into a balance of payments crisis unless the trade deficits are brought under control. Recent trends in the last three months do offer some hope with December 2017 exports up 15% while imports increased 10%. Exports in November increased 12.3%.

Along with double digit increase in exports in the last two months, Pakistan received remittances amounting to $1.724 billion in December 2017, 8.72% higher compared with $1.585 billion the country received in the same month of the previous year, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), as reported by Express Tribune.

Summary:

Pakistan's economic growth is continuing to accelerate amid rising rising investments led by China-Pakistan Economic Corridor related infrastructure and energy related projects.  The World Bank sees Pakistan's GDP to grow 5.5% in current fiscal year 2017-18 ending in June 2018, a full percentage point faster than the 4.5% average GDP growth for Emerging and Developing Economies (EMDEs) that include Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Nigeria and Russia among others. However, Pakistan economic growth continues to lag growth forecast for regional economies of India and Bangladesh. The report also calls attention to the expanding current account gap as a matter of concern that must be taken seriously by the government to avoid yet another return to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

CPEC is Transforming Least Developed Parts of Pakistan

Per Capita Income in "Failed State" of  Pakistan Rose 22% in 5 Years

Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2017

Pakistan Translates GDP Growth to Citizens' Well-being

Rising Motorcycle Sales in Pakistan

Depth of Deprivation in India

Chicken vs Daal in Pakistan

China Pakistan Economic Corridor


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

CPEC is Transforming The Least Developed Parts of Pakistan

In a New York Times Op Ed titled "How Not to Engage With Pakistan",  ex US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard G. Olson says "Its (CPEC's) magnitude and its transformation of parts of Pakistan dwarf anything the United States has ever undertaken".  Olson goes on to warn the Trump Administration that "Without Pakistani cooperation, our (US) army in Afghanistan risks becoming a beached whale".

Among the parts of Pakistan being transformed by China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are some of the least developed regions in Balochistan and Sindh, specifically Gwadar and Thar Desert. Here is more on these regions:

Gwadar Port City:

Gwadar is booming. It's being called the next Shenzhen by some and the next Hong Kong by others as an emerging new port city in the region to rival Dubai. Land prices in Gwadar are skyrocketing, according to media reports. Gwadar Airport air traffic growth of 73% was the fastest of all airports in Pakistan where overall air traffic grew by 23% last year, according to Anna Aero publication.  A new international airport is now being built in Gwadar to handle soaring passenger and cargo traffic.




In addition to building a major seaport that will eventually handle 300-400 million tons of cargo in a year, China has built a school, sent doctors and pledged about $500 million in grants for an airport, hospital, college and badly-needed water supply infrastructure for Gwadar, according to Reuters.

The Chinese grants include $230 million for a new international airport in Gwadar, one of the largest such disbursements China has made abroad, according to researchers and Pakistani officials.

New development work in Gwadar is expected to create as many as 20,000 jobs for the local population.

Thar Desert:

Thar, one of the least developed regions of Pakistan, is seeing unprecedented development activity in energy and infrastructure projects.  New roads, airports and buildings are being built along with coal mines and power plants as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). There are construction workers and machinery visible everywhere in the desert. Among the key beneficiaries of this boom are Thari Hindu women who are being employed by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) as part of the plan to employ locals. Highlighted in recent news reports are two Hindu women in particular: Kiran Sadhwani, an engineer and Gulaban, a truck driver.

Kiran Sadhwani, a Thari Hindu Woman Engineer. Source: Express Tribune

Thar Population:

The region has a population of 1.6 million. Most of the residents are cattle herders. Majority of them are Hindus.  The area is home to 7 million cows, goats, sheep and camel. It provides more than half of the milk, meat and leather requirement of the province. Many residents live in poverty. They are vulnerable to recurring droughts.  About a quarter of them live where the coal mines are being developed, according to a report in The Wire.

Hindu Woman Truck Driver in Thar, Pakistan. Source: Reuters

Some of them are now being employed in development projects.  A recent report talked of an underground coal gasification pilot project near the town of Islamkot where "workers sourced from local communities rested their heads after long-hour shifts".

Hindu Woman Truck Driver in Thar, Pakistan. Source: Reuters 

In the first phase, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) is relocating 5 villages that are located in block II.  SECMC is paying villagers for their homes and agricultural land.

SECMC’s chief executive officer, Shamsuddin Ahmed Shaikh, says his company "will construct model towns with all basic facilities including schools, healthcare, drinking water and filter plants and also allocate land for livestock grazing,” according to thethirdpole.net He says that the company is paying villagers above market prices for their land – Rs. 185,000 ($ 1,900) per acre.

Summary:

Ex US Ambassador Richard Olson is absolutely right in his assessment that "(CPEC's) magnitude and its transformation of parts of Pakistan dwarf anything the United States has ever undertaken".  Olson goes on to warn the Trump Administration that "Without Pakistani cooperation, our (US) army in Afghanistan risks becoming a beached whale". The "magnitude" of CPEC and its "transformation" that Olson refers to is clearly visible in some of the least developed regions of Pakistan in Balochistan and Sindh provinces.  Gwadar port city and Thar desert are humming with unprecedented development activity fueled by billions of dollars of funds allocated by China and Pakistan.  

Related Links:










Sunday, January 7, 2018

Husain Haqqani's Influence in Trump White House

Do you know that Pakistan's ex Ambassador Husain Haqqani co-authored a paper in 2016 with current US National Security staffer Lisa Curtis calling for tough US policy against Pakistan?


Is it true that Trump's highly insulting and threatening New Year tweet against Pakistan reflects Husain Haqqani's old narrative in his 2013 book "Magnificent Delusions"?

Does Haqqani not argue in essence that Pakistanis are extraordinarily clever in deceiving the United States and its highly sophisticated policymakers who have been taken for a ride by Pakistanis for over 6 decades?

Why is Haqqani so determined to get a superpower to hurt the country where he was born, raised and educated? Is he not a modern day Benedict Arnold? Mir Jaffar? Mir Sadiq? Where's his loyalty? Where's his gratitude?

Azad Labon Ke Sath (ALKS) host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/lJuIlcHC6MI




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Is Trump Taking Advice From Husain Haqqani?

Pakistan, China "Experts": Husain Haqqani, Minxin Pei and Gordon Chang

Profit Motives of Authors Bashing Pakistan

Tarek Fatah vs Riaz Haq on India, Pakistan and Muslims

Indian Sponsored Terror in Pakistan

700,000 Indian Soldiers Vs 10 Million Kashmiris

Gen Petraeus Debunks Allegations of Duplicity Against Pakistan

Blackberry Transcripts Sealed Haqqani's Fate in Memogate

Debunking Gall-Haqqani-Paul Narrative About Pakistan

Debunking Mr. Haqqani's Op Ed "Pakistan's Elusive Quest for Parity"

Doval Doctrine

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Trump's Troubles; Trump's Pakistan Tweet; 2018 Predictions

What are Pakistan's options after Trump's insulting tweet and US aid freeze? How much leverage does either side have over the other? How far will Trump go? How will Pakistan respond? Will Pakistan withhold all cooperation and cut off the crucial US Forces supply lines to Afghanistan through Pakistan? What do some of the analysts like Christine Fair, Ryan Crocker and Madiha Afzal are saying about it?

Courtesy Times of India

What does Michael Wolff say about Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and the Trump family in his book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House"? Are Jared Kushner and Donald Trump involved in "money laundering"? Was Don Jr's Tump Tower meeting with Russians "treasonous"? Is Ivanka Trump "dumb as a brick"? Will this lead to Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicting the Trump family on multiple charges relating to obstruction of justice and money laundering? Will President Trump be named as un-indicted co-conspirator in these indictments?

Chinese vs American Arms to Pakistan. Source: WSJ

What will happen in 2018? Will President Trump be named as an un-indicted co-conspirator by Robert Mueller in his obstruction of justice indictments of his close aides? Will Trump become even more erratic? Will Democrats take both houses of US legislature in 2018 elections? Will Trump be impeached? Will there be elections and new government in Pakistan? Who will be the winners and losers? Will there be a hung parliament and coalition government? Will India-Pakistan relations improve?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/djN-B4rw8Mk




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Gen Petraeus Debunks Trump's Charge of "Lies and Deceit" Against Pakistan

Sec Robert Gates on Pakistan's "lies and deceit"

Is Trump Getting Advice on Pakistan Policy From Husain Haqqani?

Pakistan's Trump Card in Dealing With Trump

Trump's Russia Probe

Talk4Pak Youtube Channel

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

Friday, January 5, 2018

India's Ex Intelligence Officers Blame Kulbhushan Jadhav For Getting Caught in Pakistan

India's former RAW officers, including one ex chief, have blamed Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, arrested by Pakistan in 2016, for getting caught in Pakistan as a "result of unprofessionalism", according to a report in India's "The Quint" owned and operated by a joint venture of Bloomberg News and Quintillion Media. The report that appeared briefly on The Quint website has since been removed, apparently under pressure from the Indian government.

The Quint Story:

Indian Agent Kulbhushan Jadhav
The story quotes a former RAW chief as saying that the “proposal to recruit Jadhav for operations, whatever it’s worth, was ridiculous.”  However, the report said that "(Jadhav's) recruitment was approved by a joint secretary as the supervisory officer.  The RAW has a special unit which also undertakes parallel operations in certain crucial target countries for which it seeks out its own recruits".

Several experienced RAW hands told the Quint that the usual practice is to “have a Baloch or a Pakistani national” do the “intelligence gathering job for us", adding that it was “foolish for to set an Indian the task to obtain intelligence from a country as hostile as Pakistan.”

This is only the second story in the Indian media to acknowledge Jadhav's status as a covert RAW operative in Balochistan.

Karan Thapar's Questions: 

An earlier story by Indian journalist Karan Thapar pointed out several flaws in the Indian narrative claiming that Jadhav was an innocent Indian businessman kidnapped from Chabahar by Pakistani agents.

Writing for the Indian Express, Thapar debunked the entire official story from New Delhi  by raising the following probing questions:

1. Jadhav's Two Passports:

Thapar asks why does Jadhav have two passports, one in his own name and another in the name of Hussein Mubarak Patel?

According to The Indian Express, the second passport was originally issued in 2003 and renewed in 2014. The passport numbers are E6934766 and L9630722. When asked, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson would only say that India needs access to Jadhav before he could answer. But why not check the records attached to the passport numbers? Surely they would tell a story?

Additionally, The Times of India claims that since 2007, Jadhav has rented a Bombay flat owned by his mother, Avanti, in the name of Hussein Mubarak Patel. Why would he use an alias to rent his own mother’s flat? Perhaps Jadhav changed his name after converting to Islam? But then, why did he deliberately retain a valid passport in his old name? Indeed, why did the government let him, unless he deceived them?

2. Abduction From Iran:

If Pakistan did abduct Jadhav, don’t we need to ask why, asks Thapar? Doesn’t that raise the question of what was so special about him that made them do this? After all, there are 4,000 Indians in Chabahar, Iran — and no one else has been abducted.

If Jadhav was indeed abducted from the Iranian soil, then why did India not pursue the matter with Iran, but, as the Indian foreign ministry spokesperson admitted, they don’t seem to have responded or, perhaps, even conducted an investigation yet. India seems to have accepted that. Odd, wouldn’t you say, asks Thapar?

3. Timing of Jadhav's Arrest:

Both The Indian Express and Asian Age suggest that Jadhav has links with the Pakistani drug baron Uzair Baloch who's also accused of terror in Pakistan.  Did Jadhav play dirty with him and get caught in a revenge trap set by the drug mafia? Given that Jadhav was arrested a month after Baloch was taken into custody by Pakistan, this could be part of the explanation?

4. Jadhav's Pursuit of RAW Employment:

The Indian Express has reported that between 2010 and 2012, Jadhav made three separate attempts to join the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). The paper suggests he also tried to join the Technical Services Division. What more do we know about this? Even if the media doesn’t, surely the government does? A. S. Dulat, a distinguished former chief of RAW, has unhesitatingly said Jadhav could be a spy. As he put it, if he (Dulat) was in the government, he would hardly admit it.

Summary: 

The Quint story and Karan Thapar's article dismantle the false narrative that the Indian and western media have been pushing since Kulbhushan Jadhav's arrest in Balochistan in March, 2016.  These reports are beginning to essentially confirm that Jadhav's confession on orchestrating murderous attacks in Pakistan is factual.

Here's Kulbhushan Jadhav's video confession:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVp62OinTeU




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Karan Thapar Dismantles Official Indian Narrative on Kulbhushan Jadhav

Why is India Sponsoring Terror in Pakistan? 

Indian Agent Kubhushan Yadav's Confession

Has Modi Stepped Up India's Covert War in Pakistan?

Ex India Spy Documents Successful RAW Ops in Pakistan

London Police Document Confirms MQM-RAW Connection Testimony

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Ajit Doval Lecture on "How to Tackle Pakistan" 

Chabahar Port