Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mohanlal Bhaskar: An Indian RAW Agent in Pakistan

Mohanlal Bhaskar was working undercover for Indian intelligence agency RAW when he was arrested in a counter-intelligence operation by Pakistan. He remained in Pakistani jails from 1967 to 1974.  He and dozens of his fellow Indian spies were released as part of a prisoner exchange with India following the signing of the Simla Accord by Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Mohanlal Bhaskar: An Indian Spy in Pakistan

In a 1983 autobiographical book titled "An Indian Spy in Pakistan", Bhaskar says that he took on a false identity as Mohammad Aslam and had himself circumcised to operate as a Pakistani Muslim on behalf of Indian intelligence in Pakistan. The book was originally written in Hindi as "Main Pakistan Mein Bharat Ka Jasoos Tha" and later translated into English by Jai Ratan.
Bhaskar's mission was to gather intelligence on Pakistan's nuclear program when he was betrayed by Amrik Singh, a double agent who worked for both Indian and Pakistani intelligence agencies.

Bhaskar narrates his treatment as a prisoner in several detention and interrogation centers and his trial on charges of espionage. He met some very kind jailers and fellow Pakistani inmates in some places but he also recounts instances of hate and torture he suffered during his detentions at some facilities. From his account, the treatment he was given depended on the individuals he encountered rather than a systemic policy.

Bhaskar claims that he met former Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto during his time as a prisoner at Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail. Bhaskar also says that Sheikh Mujib ur Rehman was in  Mianwali jail while he was held there. He boasts about the Indian Air Force jets bombing Pakistan Air Force base at Mianwali and rendering it inoperable during 1971 war.

Bhaskar's book appears to have been vetted and its contents influenced by the Indian intelligence. It particularly shows through when he reflects Indian government's party line and blames Pakistan for India-Pakistan conflict. He blames Pakistan for the 1971 hijacking of an Indian aircraft "Ganga". It has now been acknowledged by an ex RAW official R.K. Yadav that the hijackers posing as Kashmiri militants were in fact Indian agents.

The author shows his bigotry when he suggests that the actions of the Pakistani criminals he met were representative of the Pakistani society at large. He quotes a fellow Indian prisoner Sohan Lal as claiming that "of all the countries of Asia, homosexuality is most prevalent in Pakistan." At another place in the book, the author talks about General Yahya Khan's mistress "General Rani" and says "woe to the country whose rulers and husbands can be so perverse".

Upon his return to India as part of prisoner exchange after Simla Agreement, Bhaskar talks about how hard it was for him to find a job. He is particularly bitter about how little his government cared for him and his fellow spies who gave the most productive years of their lives in service of their country. Bhaskar is particularly incensed by the response of Prime Minister Morarji Desai whom he asked for help. He recalls Desai telling him: " Why should we suffer for your mistakes committed in Pakistan. Do you mean to say that if Pakistan had kept you in jail for twenty years then our government should compensate you for the same number of years?" It's a chilling message to  all Indian spies undertaking dangerous undercover missions in other countries.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Why is India Sponsoring Terror in Pakistan? 

1971 India-Pakistan War

Pakistan's Nuclear Program

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" 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Diwali in Silicon Valley

Brightly colored festival gift displays at major retail stores and poor air quality in Silicon Valley are reminding Indian-Americans this year of Diwali celebrations at home.

Big box retailers like Costco know their customers. Merchandizers working for them are stocking up their local Silicon Valley stores with products most in demand before Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, to cater to a sizable population of Indian-Americans in the Valley.  A variety of Indian mithais (sweets) and spicy snacks are on display at major mainstream retail stores that are competing with the traditional Indian supermarkets for business. Stores like Costco are now also carrying raw or prepared daals, rice, vegetables, flour, naans and chapatis.

Diwali Gift Display at a Silicon Valley Costco

Adding to the ambiance is the particulate matter from multiple major forest fires in the San Francisco Bay Area that are still not under control after several days of fire fighting.  Tragically, the fires have so far claimed 40 precious lives and many are still missing. The air quality in the Bay Area has also suffered. The Bay Area air with PM2.5 of 155 micrograms per cubic meter is now being compared to what Indians in Delhi (153 micrograms per cubic meter) have to breathe in normal times and it gets a lot worse during Diwali fireworks.

Bay Area Air Quality on October 14, 2017 During California Fires

Delhi is not alone; Other cities in India claim 13 spots among the top 20 dirties cities in the world. Not far behind  Delhi's 153 micrograms is another Indian city, Patna with 149 micrograms. Other Indian cities among the world's dirtiest are: Agra (88 ug/m3), Allahabad (88 ug/m3), Ahmedabad (100 ug/m3), Amritsar (92 ug/m3), Firozabad (96 ug/m3), Gwalior (144 ug/m3), Khanna (88 ug/m3), Kanpur (93 ug/m3), Lucknow (96 ug/m3), Ludhiana (91 ug/m3) and Raipur (134 ug/m3).  Pakistani cities of Karachi (117 ug/m3), Peshawar (111 ug/m3) and Rawalpindi (107 ug/m3) also count among the world's most polluted.

India's pollution problems are not entirely due to poorly controlled industry and transport. The early winter problems are significantly exacerbated by the burning of the fields by farmers after harvest.

With a score of just 3.73 out of 100, India ranks as the worst country for the ill effects of toxic air pollution on human health among 132 nations, according to a report presented at the World Economic Forum 2012. India's neighbors also score poorly for toxic air pollution, but still significantly better than India. For example China scores 19.7, followed by Pakistan (18.76), Nepal (18.01) and Bangladesh (13.66).


In the overall rankings based on 22 policy indicators, India finds itself ranked at 125 among the bottom ten environmental laggards such as Yemen, South Africa, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Iraq while Pakistan ranks slightly better at 120. The indicators used for this ranking are in ten major policy categories including air and water pollution, climate change, boidiversity, and forest management.

These rankings are part of a joint Yale-Columbia study to index the nations of the world in terms of their overall environmental performance. The Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and Columbia's Center for International Earth Science Information Network have brought out the Environment Performance Index rankings every two years since 2006.

The Yale-Columbia study confirms that environmental problems in South Asia are growing rapidly. The increasing consumption by rapidly growing population is depleting natural resources, and straining the environment and the infrastructure like never before. Soil erosion, deforestation, rapid industrialization, urbanization, and land and water degradation are all contributing to it.

It's important to remember that Bhopal still remains the worst recorded industrial accident in the history of mankind. As India, Pakistan and other developing nations vie for foreign direct investments by multi-national companies seeking to set up industries to lower their production costs and increase their profits, the lessons of Bhopal must not be forgotten.

It is the responsibility of the governments of the developing countries to legislate carefully and enforce strict environmental and safety standards to protect their people by reversing the rapidly unfolding environmental degradation. Public interest groups, NGOs and environmental and labor activists must press the politicians and the bureaucrats for policies to protect the people against the growing environmental hazards stemming from growing consumption and increasing global footprint of large industrial conglomerates.

There will be severe health consequences for all Indians unless the Modi government acts to legislate and regulate various sources of pollution in the country. Pakistan government, too, needs to act to prevent severe harm to public health by rising pollution.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Diwali in Delhi

Minorities Are Majority in Silicon Valley

Eid Celebration in Silicon Valley

India's Air Most Toxic

Pak Entrepreneur Recycles Trash into Energy and Fertilizer

Bhopal Disaster

Environmental Pollution in India

Rising Population, Depleting Resources

India Leads the World in Open Defecation

Heavy Disease Burdens in South Asia

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pakistan Meat Industry Experiencing Strong Growth

Pakistan per capita meat consumption has nearly tripled from 11.7 kg in 2000 to 32 kg in 2016. It is projected to rise to 47 kg by 2020.

Rising Incomes and Meat Consumption:

Pakistan's per capita meat consumption has nearly tripled from 11.7 kg in 2000 to 32 kg in 2016. It is projected to rise to 47 kg by 2020, according to a paper published by the United States National Library of Medicines at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Organization for Economic Development (OECD) explains that meat demand increases with higher incomes and a shift - often due to growing urbanization - to food preferences that favor increased proteins from animal sources in diets.


Meat Production in Pakistan. Source: FAO

The NIH paper authors Mohammad Shoaib and Faraz Jamil point out that Pakistan's meat consumption of 32 Kg per person is only a third of the meat capita meat consumption in rich countries like Australia and the United States.

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Nature magazine reports that Pakistanis are among the most carnivorous people in the world.  After studying the eating habits of 176 countries, the authors found that average human being is at 2.21 trophic level. It put Pakistanis at 2.4, the same trophic level as Europeans and Americans. China and India are at 2.1 and 2.2 respectively.

Increasing Meat Exports: 

Pakistan's meat exports are growing about 30% a year, up from $29 million in 2005 to $243.5 million in 2015, according to report in Globalmeatnews.com.

Pakistan Meat Exports. Source: Express Tribune

Rapid growth in meat production and exports is supported by an ongoing livestock revolution in the country.  The Pakistani livestock sector now contributes about 56.3% of the value of agriculture and nearly 11% to the overall gross domestic product. Milk is the single most important commodity in this sector.

Future Growth:

“In the next three to five years, livestock sector should grow 4-5% per annum and its contribution to GDP looks set to remain in double digits”, says a senior official of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research according to Dawn newspaper. In FY16, livestock growth was 3.6% and its 11.6% contribution to GDP value-addition.

Downside:

While the global meat industry provides food and a livelihood for billions of people, it also has significant environmental and health consequences for the planet. The key is moderation in meat consumption to maintain good health and protect the environment.

Summary:

Pakistan's per capita meat consumption has nearly tripled since 2000. It has grown with higher per capita incomes and increasing urbanization.  Meat exports are also accelerating at a rate of 30% a year. Meat consumption and exports are supported by an ongoing livestock revolution in the country.  The Pakistani livestock sector now contributes about 56.3% of the value of agriculture and nearly 11% to the country's overall gross domestic product. Milk is the single most important commodity in this sector.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Meat and Dairy Revolution in Pakistan

Pakistanis Are Among the Most Carnivorous

Eid ul Azha: Multi-Billion Dollar Urban-to-Rural Transfer

Pakistan's Rural Economy

Pakistan Leads South Asia in Agriculture Value Addition

Median Incomes in India and Pakistan

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pakistani Hindu Women Ride High On Thar Development Wave

As the world celebrates the International Day of the Girl today, the Thar development boom is empowering Pakistani Hindu women with jobs in nontraditional occupations ranging from engineering to truck driving, according to multiple media reports. These pioneering women will hopefully be a source of inspiration for young girls.

Thar Development:

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.

Hindu Women Employment:

Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), the largest contractor working in Thar desert coal project, has committed itself to hiring locals wherever possible.

When SECMC launched its Female Dump Truck Driver Program near the town of Islamkot in Thar,  Kiran Sadhwani, a female engineer, visited several villages to motivate women to apply for the job and empower themselves, according to Express Tribune newspaper. “Not all women who are working as dumper drivers are poor or in dire need of money. It is just that they want to work and earn a living for themselves and improve the lives of their families,” she told the paper.

SEMC is hiring 30 women truck drivers for its Thar projects, according to Dawn newspaper.

Summary:

As the world celebrates the International Day of the Girl today, it's good to see the Thar development boom empowering Pakistani Hindu women with jobs in nontraditional occupations ranging from engineering to truck driving. These pioneering women will inspire and empower young girls to pursue their dreams in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Working Women Seeding a Silent Revolution in Pakistan

Thar Development Boom in Pakistan

Abundant, Cheap Coal Power for Pakistan

Fact-Checking Farahnaz Ispahani's Claims on Pakistani Minorities

Pakistani Hindu Population Fastest Growing in the World

Recurring Droughts in Pakistan

Thar Drought: Pre-cursor to Dust Bowl in Pakistan?

Campaign of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt About CPEC

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Khawaja Asif in US; China in Doklam; LV Mass Shooting; Pak Civil-Military Ties

What was the objective of Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif's visit to Washington? How was he received there? How did his meetings with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster go? What is the crux of the case he presented to the United States Institute of Peace?

Is Nawaz Sharif's corruption prosecution in National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court inspired by the Pakistani military? Is it really civil-military tensions or just a distraction tactic used by PMLN to discredit serious corruption charges against their leaders? Is PMLN using street power and legislation to try to intimidate the judges and the generals to rehabilitate Nawaz Sharif after his disqualification by the Supreme Court? Why does Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif oppose PMLN's confrontational stance against the judiciary and the military?

Is there a way to prevent recurrence of frequent mass shootings after recent history's worst ever mass shooting incident in Las Vegas, Nevada? Will the United States Congress and state legislatures act to put limits on the kind of guns available for sale? Will there be any new gun control measures like the ones Australia implemented after its last mass shooting in 1996?

Has China resumed road building with deployment of more troops in Doklam? Is it not embarrassing for India's Modi government after they claimed China had blinked in the Doklam standoff in Bhutan? What will happen next?

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

https://youtu.be/gbpTHHK93uY




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Khwaja Asif Defends Pakistan's Policy at the US Institute of Peace

Nawaz Sharif's Rallies Against Judiciary and Military

US Gun Violence, Islamophobia and Terrorism

China-India Standoff at Doklam, Bhutan

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

Talk4Pak Think Tank

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Khwaja Asif Defends Pakistan Policy at USIP in Washington D.C.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khwaja Mohammad Asif was a featured speaker at an event organized by Washington-based think tank USIP (United States Institute of Peace) where he was interviewed by Dr. Moeed Yusuf. The topics of discussion ranged from US-Pakistani relations and President Donald Trump's new Afghan policy to Pakistan's ties with Afghanistan and India.

Foreign Minister Asif with Dr. Moeed Yusuf at USIP in Washington

Here are some of the key Points made by Mr. Asif at this event held in Washington D.C. on Oct 5, 2017:

1. US funded, armed and trained militants to fight the Soviets in 1980s as part of the Cold War, then walked away without helping to rehabilitate them and left it to Pakistan to deal with them.

2. Pakistan does want to deal with these militants who are a liability for the country. Pakistan is working on finding the best way to do it.

3. US domestic politics prevents action on gun violence but Washington expects Pakistan to demolish all militant groups overnight.

4. India has 66 banned armed groups engaged in insurgency all over India. Only 4 linked to Pakistan.

5. Indian government's data shows over 36,000 infiltration attempts in India occupied Kashmir in 2001 and only 30 this year.

6. Ex US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said that "India has always used Afghanistan as a second front against Pakistan. India has over the years been financing problems in Pakistan".

7. Gen Petraeus said at a RUSI presentation in 2016 that while he served as Centcom commander and then CIA chief, he saw no convincing evidence of Pakistan's support for Haqqanis.

8. Pakistan rejects US Defense Secretary Mattis' statement about working with Pakistan "one more time". Such talk is offensive to Pakistan and not conducive to cooperation with US.

9. The US has already lost the war in Afghanistan and now trying to salvage what it can from it. Further mistakes by US could force the Taliban and ISIS to get together and create a much bigger threat for Pakistan, the region and the West.

10. Indian Air Force Chief has threatened to carry out "surgical strikes" against Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. If that were to happen, don't expect any restraint from Pakistan.

Here's a video of the US Institute of Peace event featuring Khwaja Asif:

https://youtu.be/OsGy4NDEXMg




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Trump's Afghan Strategy

Who are the Haqqanis?

US Gun Violence, Islamophobia and Terrorism

700,000 Indian Troops vs 10 Millon Kashmiris

Secretary Hagel on India Using Afghanistan Against Pakistan

Gen Petraeus Says No Evidence of Pakistani Support For Haqqanis

Why is India Sponsoring Terror in Pakistan?

Are Russia and Iran Supporting the Afghan Taliban? 

What if Modi Attacks Pakistan?

Kautilya's Doctrine Dominates India's Pakistan Policy

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Saran on India-Pakistan Ties; Gen Mattis in India; Tourism in Pakistan

What does former Indian foreign secretary Shyam Saran say about ties with Pakistan in his recent book "How India Sees the World: Kautilya to the 21st Century"? Why have "low-hanging fruit" issues between India and Pakistan like Siachin and Sir Creek not been resolved? Whose fault is it? Who in India torpedoed solutions agreed with Pakistan at the last minute? Why does ancient Indian thinker Kautilya, regarded as the Indian Machiavelli, dominate foreign policy thinking in India with regard to Pakistan and Afghanistan?

Why did US Defense Secretary General James Mattis go to India? What was his agenda relative to India's role in Afghanistan and cementing US-India defense ties? Why does Indian security analyst Prof Bharat Karnad say that India "severing relations with TTP will mean India surrendering an active card in Pakistan and a role in Afghanistan as TTP additionally provides access to certain Afghan Taliban factions"? Did Mattis ask India to stop supporting the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorist activities against Pakistan as Karnad anticipated?

Is the US Federal Government response to widespread destruction after Hurricane Maria in US territory of Puerto Rico adequate? Why is the mayor of San Juan so angry? Why is she being attacked by President Trump for demanding faster relief operations? Why did it take more than a week for the US to assign a military general to oversee disaster relief in Puerto Rico? Was President Trump too busy attacking the NFL players taking the knee during the playing of the US national anthem?

How is tourism industry doing in Pakistan? How has the improved security situation and better infrastructure positively impacted tourism in Pakistan? What are latest figures released by WTTC, the World Travel and Tourism Council, for Pakistan? How much does the industry contribute to Pakistan's GDP? What is its potential over the next decade? How does it help promote goodwill for Pakistan?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses these questions with Ali H. Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/nzNstymhlnM




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Kautilya Doctrine Dominates India's Pakistan Policy

India-Pakistan Tensions: Who's at Fault? 

Bharat Karnad on Indian Support of TTP Against Pakistan

Pakistan Travel and Tourism Boom

Trump's White House

Talk4Pak Youtube Channel

Friday, September 29, 2017

Pakistan Among Fastest Growing LNG Markets in the World

Pakistan joined the list of LNG importers last year and promptly became one of the world's fastest growing LNG markets, according to Shell 2017 LNG report.  The South Asian nation has suffered a crippling energy shortage as demand has risen sharply to over 6 billion cubic feet per day,  far outstripping the domestic production of about 4 billion cubic feet per day. Recent LNG imports are beginning to make a dent in Pakistan's ongoing energy crisis and helping to boost economic growth. Current global oversupply and low LNG prices are helping customers get better terms on contracts.

Pakistan Gas Market Forecast. Source: Platts

Global LNG Market:

Pakistan, Egypt and Jordan together imported 13.9 million tons of LNG, more than the combined increase of 11.9 million tons by the most populous nations of China and India.

The biggest increase in LNG exports in 2016 came from Australia, where exports increased by 15 MT to a total of 44.3 MT. It was also a significant year for the USA, after 2.9 MT of LNG was delivered from the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana. Qatar remained the world’s largest LNG exporting country, accounting for around 30% of global trade of 258 MT by exporting 77.2 MT, according to International Gas Union report 2017.

LNG Demand in Pakistan:

Pakistan has been a big consumer of natural gas since the discovery of Sui gas fields in Balochistan in 1952. Sui now accounts for just 6% of natural gas domestically produced in Pakistan. The rest of the 94% comes from gas fields in other parts of Pakistan. Among the various provinces, Sindh is now the biggest producer of natural gas. Demand has risen sharply to over 6 billion cubic feet per day,  far outstripping the domestic production of about 4 billion cubic feet per day.

Pakistan is currently importing 2 million MT (96 billion cubic feet) of LNG and negotiating to secure an additional 3 million MT in long-term contracts by the end of 2017 to supply its new LNG floating terminal due to arrive by December, according to M. Adnan Gilani, chief operating officer with Pakistan LNG Ltd, as reported by Platts.

New supply agreements will increase Pakistan's total LNG contracts total to more than 11 million MT per year, as the country aims to resolve a decade-long energy crisis, driven by growing gas consumption and falling domestic production.

In addition to government-to-government contracts, there are also private and public companies negotiating deals to import LNG. For example, Karachi-based power generator K-Electric is seeking supply for its 900-megawatt, $1-billion Port Qasim Power Station which will start-up in two phases, in mid-2018 and the end of 2019, according to Reuters news agency.

In the longer term, Pakistan aims to allocate a quarter of its LNG purchases to the spot and short-term markets, Pakistan LNG Ltd's Adnan Gilani told Platts. "Initially, our goal is to solve our energy crisis. We have long-term downstream commitments, so we do not mind going to mid-to-long term initially," he said. "Over the course of time, we will be able to cater to our variable non-cyclical demand... and allocate about a quarter of our portfolio to spot and short term. PLL is currently purchasing four cargoes per month on a short-term basis as it awaits the start of new term volumes.

By 2022, Pakistan expects to import 30 million MT (1,440 billion cubic feet) of LNG, according to Adnan Gilani of PLL.

LNG Infrastructure:

There is one LNG terminal currently operational at Port Qasim and 5 more are planned in Pakistan over the next two years to deal with rising volume of LNG imports. New pipelines are planned by South Sui Gas and Northern Sui Gas companies to transmit regasified LNG to various parts of the country to meet demand.

Summary:

Pakistan is among the fastest growing LNG markets, according to Shell 2017 LNG report.  The country has suffered a crippling energy shortage in recent years as demand has risen sharply to over 6 billion cubic feet per day,  far outstripping the domestic production of about 4 billion cubic feet per day. Recent LNG imports are beginning to make a dent in Pakistan's ongoing energy crisis and helping to boost economic growth. Current global oversupply and low LNG prices are helping customers get better terms on contracts.

Related Links:






Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Kautilya's Doctrine Dominates India's Pakistan Policy

“Every neighboring state is an enemy and the neighboring state's neighbor is a friend.”
 ― Kautilya, The Arthashastra

The name of Kautilya, meaning crooked, is invoked by former Indian foreign secretary Shyam Saran's book “How India Sees the World: Kautilya to the 21st Century”.   This invocation of Kautilya in the title of the book makes the above quote about "neighboring state is an enemy" particularly relevant to how Indian policymakers like Shyam Saran see Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Who was Kautilya?

Kautilya (“crooked”) is believed to be the pen name of the ancient Indian minister Chanakya who served Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Mauryan Empire (322 BC-185 BC). German sociologist Max Weber once called Kautilya's Arthashastra “truly radical ‘Machiavellianism’ . . . compared to it, Machiavelli’s The Prince is harmless.”

Arthashastra on Foreign Policy:

Some of Kautilya's Arthashastra’s "wisdom" deals with international relations and foreign policy which is laid out mainly in books 7, 11, and 12.

Kautilya presents a theory of international relations called the “circle of states,” or Rajamandala. It says hostile states are those that border the ruler’s state, forming a circle around it.  In turn, states that surround this set of hostile states form another circle around the circle of hostile states. This second circle of states can be considered the natural allies of the ruler’s state against the hostile states that lie between them. Put more succinctly, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Influence on India's Pakistan Policy:

Kautilya's Rajamdala (Circle of States) can be seen in action today in India’s foreign policy. It sees Afghanistan as a natural ally against Pakistan. Similarly, it sees Japan as a natural ally against China.

To understand how India uses Afghanistan against Pakistan, let's examine what former US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says: "India has always used Afghanistan as a second front against Pakistan. India has over the years been financing problems in Pakistan".

Bharat Karnad, a professor of national security studies at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, recently acknowledged India's use of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorist group against Pakistan in an Op Ed he wrote for Hindustan Times. Karnad believes US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is trying to get Pakistan's cooperation in Afghanistan by asking India to cut its support of  the TTP. Then he added that "Severing relations with TTP will mean India surrendering an active card in Pakistan and a role in Afghanistan as TTP additionally provides access to certain Afghan Taliban factions".

Summary:

The foreign policy doctrine enunciated by Kautilya, the ancient Indian Machiavelli, continues to guide India's foreign policy vis-a-vis its neighbors, particularly Pakistan. Kautilya's Rajamdala (Circle of States) theory can be seen in action today in India's use of Afghanistan against Pakistan. Unfortunately, the Pakistan phobia in India is so deeply ingrained that the Indian policy vis-a-vis Pakistan is not likely to change in the foreseeable future.

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses this subject with Ali H. Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/nzNstymhlnM




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Why is India Sponsoring Terrorism in Pakistan?

Ex-Indian Spy Documents RAW's Successes in Pakistan

Has Modi Stepped Up India's Cover War Against Pakistan?

Ex RAW Chief AS Dulat Blames Advani For Agra Summit Failure

Pakistan ISI: Afghanistan's Bogeyman

India-Pakistan Cricket Diplomacy

Counter-insurgencyOperation ZarbeAzb

India's Abiding Hostility Toward Pakistan 

India's Israel Envy: Will Modi Attack Pakistan?

India's Pakistan Phobia

Monday, September 25, 2017

How Has Bangladesh Left Pakistan Behind in Per Capita Income?

A headline in the Economist magazine's recent issue screams: "Bangladesh's GDP per person is now higher than Pakistan's". Let's examine this development to understand its causes.

Per Capita GDP:

The Economist article explains its headline as follows: "Last month revealed a remarkable turnaround. Bangladesh’s GDP per person is now higher than Pakistan’s. Converted into dollars at market exchange rates, it was $1,538 in the past fiscal year (which ended on June 30th). Pakistan’s was about $1,470....Strange as it may sound, Bangladesh jumped ahead because of an advance in Pakistan. On August 25th Pakistan released the results of its census, updating earlier population estimates. They showed that the country has 207.8m people, more than 9m more than previously thought. It may now have the fifth biggest population in the world, surpassing Brazil’s. But the new count also lopped 4-5% off Pakistan’s GDP per person, the arithmetic consequence of revealing so many more people."

Savings Rate in Pakistan Source: State Bank of Pakistan

Pakistan Growth By Decades. Source: National Trade and Transport Facility

Economic Growth Trends:

One can quibble with the Economist on details of its report but the fact remains that Bangladesh's economy has been growing significantly faster than Pakistan's for about a decade. To understand why, it's important to look into savings and investments, population growth trends and security situation in the two countries. Let's examine each in a little more detail.

Investment as Percentage of GDP Source: State Bank of Pakistan

Savings and Investment:


There's a strong relationship between investment levels and gross domestic product. The more a country saves and invests, the higher its economic growth.  A State Bank of Pakistan report explains it as below:

"National savings (in Pakistan) as percent of GDP were around 10 percent during 1960s, which increased to above 15percent in 2000s, but declined afterward. Pakistan’s saving rate also compares unfavorably with that in neighboring countries: last five years average saving rate in India was 31.9 percent, Bangladesh 29.7 percent, and Sri Lanka 24.5 percent..... Similarly, domestic savings (measured as national savings less net factor income from abroad) also declined from about 15 percent of GDP in 2000s, to less than 9 percent in recent years. Domestic savings are imperative for sustainable growth, because inflow of income from abroad (remittances and other factor income) is uncertain due to cyclical movements in world economies, exchange rates, and external shocks".

Net Foreign Direct Investment Source: State Bank of Pakistan

Population Trends:

The total fertility rate (TFR) in Bangladesh has declined faster in Bangladesh than in Pakistan in the last few decades. Currently, Bangladesh is at 2.17 children per woman while Pakistan is at 2.62 children per woman.

As a result of reduced birth rates and more female labor participation rates, a larger percentage of Bangladeshi population is in the work force than Pakistan's. There are now more wage earners and fewer dependents in each Bangladeshi household. This demographic trend has helped boost Bangladesh's per capita income faster than Pakistan's. 

Rising working age population and growing workforce participation of both men and women in Pakistan will significantly boost domestic savings and investment. Increased foreign direct investment such as Chinese investment in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor over the next several decades will help fill the gap between the national savings rate and investments required to reach 7% annual GDP growth to create over 2 million jobs a year.

Security Issues:

Pakistan has paid a heavy price for its proximity to and involvement in "war on terror" in Afghanistan. It has cost Pakistan dearly in terms of loss of thousands of precious lives and lower investments due to investors' security concerns. Recent operations by Pakistan Army have helped turn the tide against terrorists, bringing more hope and greater confidence in Pakistan's future. Rising FDI in CPEC-related projects in the last couple of years are an indication of this confidence.

Future:

Pakistan is now experiencing the demographic dividend that Bangladesh has seen in the last few decades in terms of more of its population earning and fewer dependents. Pakistan's labor force is growing at 3.6% a year, much faster than its population growth rate of 2.34%. This should help boost Pakistan's per capita and its domestic savings rate.

At the same time, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related projects are bringing more foreign direct investment, thereby speeding up the economic growth in the country. Pakistan's GDP growth is accelerating from less than 5% two years ago to 6% forecast for fiscal 2017-18.  In its latest economic growth projections, Kennedy School's Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University expects Pakistan's annual GDP growth to average 5.97% over the next 8 years, ranking it as the world's 6th fastest growing economy. It is within the realm of possibility that economic growth in Pakistan could exceed 7% in the next couple of years.

Summary:

Pakistan has fallen behind Bangladesh and India in per capita income as its growth rates have slipped in recent years mainly due to declining savings and investment rates and security issues.  Demographic trends and improved security situation now favor Pakistan's future growth as its workforce grows and household sizes shrink.