Thursday, June 13, 2019

Trump's China Tariffs Helping Pakistani Garments Exports to America

Pakistan's garments exports to the United States have jumped 12% in first quarter of 2019 from the same period a year ago, according to USITC Dataweb.  This double digit exports growth is being partly attributed to US President Donald's Trump ongoing trade war with China with the US government imposing 10% to 25% tariffs on certain Chinese goods. Pakistani rupee devaluation has also contributed to the nation's overall competitiveness.

Textile Exports to United States. Source: Bloomberg

American buyers are diversifying their supplier base away from China, the No. 1 exporter of these goods to the U.S. Already, Bangladesh is close to snatching the trousers-to-towel crown, according to Bloomberg News. Pakistan, at No. 6 last year, has grown its own shipments to the U.S. by almost 12% this year. It may overtake India, which has seen virtually no improvement.

Pakistan's Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER). Source:  Bloomberg

Pakistani apparel exports are becoming more competitive in international markets because Pakistani rupee has declined by almost 25% recently. This has wiped out the currency’s overvaluation adjusted for inflation differences with trading partners, as estimated by the IMF.

Textiles industry is just one the export industries seeing exodus of manufactures and buyers from China.  Electronics industry is seeing similar moves. Engadget is reporting that Google is moving production of its US-bound Nest thermostats and motherboards to Taiwan. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Nintendo is shifting at least some production of its Switch console to Southeast Asia.

Last November, Nomura Securities strategists had said they expected Malaysia, Japan and Pakistan  to be the top 3 beneficiaries of import substitution triggered by US-China trade war escalation. Nomura's analysis is based on detailed study of 7,705 items which will be subject to tariffs and counter tariffs by US and China if the stand-off continues. Nomura developed two indices as part of its research on the subject: NISI (Nomura Import Substitution Index) and NPRI (Nomura Production Relocation Index).

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Can Pakistan Avoid Recurring Balance of Payment Crisis?

Pakistan Economy Hobbled By Underinvestment

Pakistan's IT Exports Surging

Can Indian Economy Survive Without Western Capital Inflows?

Pakistan-China-Russia Vs India-Japan-US

Chinese Yuan to Replace US $ as Reserve Currency?

Remittances From Overseas Pakistanis

Can Imran Khan Lead Pakistan to the Next Level?

China to Expand Manufacturing in Special Economic Zones

Monday, June 10, 2019

Improved Security and New Infrastructure Boost Pakistan Tourism Industry

Large numbers of Pakistanis headed north for respite from summer heat during Eid ul Fitr holidays last week. Tens of thousands went to Swat using the newly built Swat Expressway while others chose even cooler temperatures in the heights of the Karakoram mountain via the improved Karakoram Highway. Some of the preferred tourist destinations included Hunza, Astore, Fairy Meadows, Neelum Valley, Swat and Kumrat. In addition to using tents in camping areas, many tourists found accommodations in public rest houses ordered opened by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Fairy Meadows near Nanga Parbat in Gilgit Baltistan

Swat Expressway:

Over 60,000 vehicles used the expressway to enter Swat Valley over Eid holidays, according to local officials as reported by Pakistani media. It's a far cry from early 2009 when the Taliban appeared to be in control of Pakistan's Swat valley, and the US politicians and international media were deeply concerned about the insurgents closing in on Islamabad.

Then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned in 2009 that Pakistan was “abdicating to the Taliban”. Various western commentators and pundits went further by predicting Pakistan's "imminent collapse", and the usual foreign policy rags chimed in with their shrill talk of Pakistan as a "failed state".  By 2011, Pakistan Army cleared Swat of the militants, brought refugees back home and began to restore tourism.

Swat Expressway

Built by Pakistani military's Frontier Works Organization (FWO) under contract for Khyber Pukhtunkhwa privincial government, the Swat Expressway is a state-of-the-art 81 kilometers (50 miles)  long 4-lane controlled access motorway that is opening up the hidden treasures of Swat, Chitral, Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Kohistan, Shangla, Buner, Mohmand and Bajaur districts to the world. It's been funded by a $50 million grant by the Saudi government. Its southernmost point is Karnal Sher interchange in Swabi District on Peshawar-Islamabad M1 Motorway and goes north to Chakdara Dir Lower district after passing through 21 bridges and 1300 meters twin tunnels on National Highway N-45.

Karakoram Highway (KKH)


Karakoram Highway:

Karakoram Highway (KKH), the highest paved road in the world, is a 1,300 kilometer (810 miles) Pakistani national highway that extends from Hasan Abdal in the Punjab province via Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (KP) prvince to the Khunjerab Pass in Gilgit-Baltistan, where it crosses into China.  KKH upgrade is a $1.3 billion project expected to be completed as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by 2020. After the upgrade, widths of its various sections will be in the range of  12.5 meters to 30 meters. Minimum widths of lanes will generally be between 2.5 to 3.25 meters.

KKH has opened up a world of unmatched natural beauty and splendor of places like Hunza, Astore and Fairy Meadows for domestic and foreign tourists. It has connected many cities and towns including Haripur, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Battagram, Besham, Pattan, Dasu, Chilas, Gilgit, Aliabad, Gulmit, Sust, Tashkurgan, Upal And Kashgar.

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:

Improved security and new infrastructure are boosting Pakistan's domestic and international tourism. The industry in Pakistan is booming with 300% increase in foreign tourist arrivals since 2013.  Tens of thousands of domestic tourists went to Swat using the newly built Swat Expressway while others chose even cooler temperatures in the heights of the Karakoram mountain via the improved Karakoram Highway. Some of the preferred tourist destinations included Hunza, Astore, Fairy Meadows, Neelum Valley, Swat and Kumrat. In addition to using tents in camping areas, many tourists found accommodations in public rest houses ordered opened by Prime Minister Imran Khan. Tourism industry contributed $20 billion (6.9% of GDP in 2016) and supported 3.6 million jobs in Pakistan in 2016.  World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts it to grow to over $36 billion within a decade.


Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

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, June 4, 2019

How Grim is the State of Pakistan's Social Sector?

If you read Pakistan media headlines and donation-seeking NGOs and activists' reports these days, you'd conclude that the social sector situation is entirely hopeless. However, if you look at children's education and health trend lines based on data from credible international sources, you would feel a sense of optimism. This exercise gives new meaning to what former US President Bill Clinton has said: Follow the trend lines, not the headlines. Unlike the alarming headlines, the trend lines in Pakistan show rising school enrollment rates and declining infant mortality rates.

Key Social Indicators:

The quickest way to assess Pakistan's social sector progress is to look at two key indicators:  School enrollment rates and infant mortality. These basic social indicators capture the state of schooling, nutrition and health care. Pakistan is continuing to make slow but steady progress on both of these indicators. Anything that can be done to accelerate the pace will help Pakistan move up to higher levels as proposed by Dr. Hans Rosling and adopted by the United Nations. 

Rising Primary Enrollment:

Gross enrollment in Pakistani primary schools exceeded 97% in 2016, up from 92% ten years ago. Gross enrollment rate (GER) is different from net enrollment rate (NER). The former refers to primary enrollment of all students of all ages while the latter counts enrolled students as percentage of students in the official primary age bracket. The primary NER in Pakistan is significantly lower but the higher GER indicates many of these kids eventually enroll in primary schools albeit at older ages. 

Source: World Bank Education Statistics


Declining Infant Mortality Rate: 

The infant mortality rate (IMR), defined as the number of deaths in children under 1 year of age per 1000 live births in the same year, is universally regarded as a highly sensitive (proxy) measure of population health.  A declining rate is an indication of improving health. IMR in Pakistan has declined from 86 in 1990-91 to 74 in 2012-13 and 62 in the latest survey in 2017-18.

Pakistan Child Mortality Rates. Source: PDHS 2017-18

During the 5 years immediately preceding the survey, the infant mortality rate (IMR) was 62 deaths per 1,000 live births. The child mortality rate was 13 deaths per 1,000 children surviving to age 12 months, while the overall under-5 mortality rate was 74 deaths per 1,000 live births. Eighty-four percent of all deaths among children under age 5 in Pakistan take place before a child’s first birthday, with 57% occurring during the first month of life (42 deaths per 1,000 live births).

Human Development Ranking:

It appears that improvements in education and health care indicators in Pakistan are slower than other countries in South Asia region. Pakistan's human development ranking plunged to 150 in 2018, down from 149 in 2017. It is worse than Bangladesh at 136, India at 130 and Nepal at 149. The decade of democracy under Pakistan People's Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) has produced the slowest annual human development growth rate in the last 30 years. The fastest growth in Pakistan human development was seen in 2000-2010, a decade dominated by President Musharraf's rule, according to the latest Human Development Report 2018.

UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI) represents human progress in one indicator that combines information on people’s health, education and income.

Pakistan's Human Development Growth Rate By Decades. Source: HDR 2018

Pakistan saw average annual HDI (Human Development Index) growth rate of 1.08% in 1990-2000, 1.57% in 2000-2010 and 0.95% in 2010-2017, according to Human Development Indices and Indicators 2018 Statistical Update.  The fastest growth in Pakistan human development was seen in 2000-2010, a decade dominated by President Musharraf's rule, according to the latest Human Development Report 2018.

Pakistan@100: Shaping the Future:

Pakistani leaders should heed the recommendations of a recent report by the World Bank titled "Pakistan@100: Shaping the Future" regarding investments in the people. Here's a key excerpt of the World Bank report:

"Pakistan’s greatest asset is its people – a young population of 208 million. This large population can transform into a demographic dividend that drives economic growth. To achieve that, Pakistan must act fast and strategically to: i) manage population growth and improve maternal health, ii) improve early childhood development, focusing on nutrition and health, and iii) boost spending on education and skills for all, according to the report".

Summary: 

The state of Pakistan's social sector is not as dire as the headlines suggest. There's reason for optimism. Key indicators show that education and health care in Pakistan are improving but such improvements are slower than in other countries in South Asia region. Pakistan's human development ranking plunged to 150 in 2018, down from 149 in 2017. It is worse than Bangladesh at 136, India at 130 and Nepal at 149. The decade of democracy under Pakistan People's Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) has produced the slowest annual human development growth rate in the last 30 years. The fastest growth in Pakistan human development was seen in 2000-2010, a decade dominated by President Musharraf's rule, according to the latest Human Development Report 2018. One of the biggest challenges facing the PTI government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan is to significantly accelerate human development rates in Pakistan.

Related Links:

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Drip Irrigation: Can Pakistan Make its Deserts Bloom?

Large tracts of desert in Cholistan, Kharan and Thar land lay barren in Pakistan today. Can some parts of these deserts be made to bloom given the worsening water crisis in the country with per capita water availability approaching 900 cubic meters? How does Pakistan improve long term food security for its growing population? The answer to both lies in efficient water management through effective drip irrigation.

Drip Irrigation 

What is Drip Irrigation:

Drip irrigation is a micro-irrigation system using tubing that saves water and nutrients by allowing water to drip slowly into the roots of plants, either from above the soil surface or buried below the surface. It puts water directly into the roots and minimizes evaporation.

Water mixed with fertilizer is carried out through tubes which release a small amounts of water per minute directly to the roots of each plant. Precision watering cuts evaporation, run off, and waste.

More Crop Per Drop:

Agriculture uses over 90% of all available fresh water in Pakistan. "More crop per drop" program focuses on improving water use efficiency by promoting drip and sprinkler irrigation in agriculture in Pakistan.

The Punjab government started this effort with the World Bank with $250 million investment.  The World Bank is now providing additional $130 million financing for the Punjab Irrigated Agriculture Productivity Improvement Program Phase-I.

The project is the Punjab Government's initiative called High-Efficiency Irrigation Systems (HEIS) to more than doubles the efficiency of water use. Under the project, drip irrigation systems have been installed on about 26,000 acres, and 5,000 laser leveling units have been provided. The additional financing will ensure completion of 120,000 acres with ponds in saline areas and for rainwater harvesting, and filtration systems for drinking water where possible, according to the World Bank.

Cost of Drip Irrigation System:

Most crops are not irrigated with the drip method due to higher costs. In the United States and Spain, where the technology is used most, it comprises 6.75 and 2.75 percent of the total irrigated area, respectively, according to the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage. Farmers are offered subsidies to encourage the use of drip irrigation in most countries as a way of conserving precious water.

Subsidies in Punjab, Pakistan:

Punjab provincial government is subsidizing up to 60% of the cost of installing new drip irrigation systems, according to Business Recorder newspaper.  Director General Agriculture (Water Management) Malik Muhammad Akram said that latest irrigation techniques ensure availability of water and fertilizer in time to the plants and it also ensure uniform supply of these two major ingredients to all the plants in a field. It helps attaining more per acre yield with minimum agricultural inputs, he added, according to the paper.

There's at least one example of public-private partnership to promote drip irrigation in Sheikhupura near Lahore. The installation has been carried out by NestlĂ© Pakistan in collaboration with the Government of Punjab, covering 40% and 60% of the farmer’s cost respectively. The Agricultural Efficiency Project was initiated in the year 2017 and has so far covered 109 acres of land in 2018 with an estimated 280 million liters of water saved, according to a Nestle press release.

Using drip irrigation, farmers can save up to 95% of water and reduce fertilizer use, compared to surface irrigation, according to Malik Mohammad Akram. In flood irrigation – the traditional method of agriculture in the region – a farmer uses 412,000 liters per acre, while using drip irrigation the same land can be irrigated with just 232,000 liters of water, he explained to Zofeen Ibrahim of The Third Pole that covers Asia's water crisis.

Success Stories:

Writing for The Third Pole,  Zofeen Ebrahim has cited a couple of success stories of farmers receiving Punjab government's drip irrigation subsidies: The stories of ex IT Engineer Hasan Abdullah and Infiniti Agro and Livestock Farm.

Hasan Abdulla is has planted an orchard on his 40-acre plot in Cholistan Desert. He has orange, lemon olive trees which are now fruiting three years after planting. He is among the first farmers experimenting with drip irrigation.While Abdullah was saving water, the cost of diesel for running water pump was proving astronomical. It would have been difficult for Abdullah to continue farming with drip irrigation had the government not announced an 80% subsidy on solar power plants for farmers in 2018. He promptly took it up.

Asif Riaz Taj, who manages Infiniti Agro and Livestock Farm in Bahawalpur, heard of Abdulla's drip irrigation project and paid him a visit. He like it and decided to follow the example.  Now in their fourth year, the Infiniti orchards have started fruiting over 70 acres. But it will not be before its sixth year, Taj said, that they will “break even”. The drip irrigation and solar plant was installed at a cost of PKR 25 million (USD 174,000), and the monthly running cost of this farm is almost PKR 4 million (USD 28,000).

Summary:

Pakistan faces a severe water crisis that threatens the nation's long term food security.  The country needs to expand area under cultivation while efficiently managing its precious water resources. It needs to make parts of its deserts bloom. The best way to do it efficient water management through effective drip irrigation. Such projects are expensive to implement. The Punjab government is offering up to 60% subsidy to farmers to encourage wider use of drip irrigation.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Pakistan Water Crisis: Facts and Myths 

Groundwater Depletion in Pakistan

Water Scarce Pakistan

Cycles of Drought and Floods in Pakistan

Pakistan to Build Massive Dams

Dust Bowl in Thar Desert Region

Dasht River in Balochistan



Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Pakistan's Latest Health Emergency: HIV/AIDS Outbreak in Sindh

Pakistan is dealing with a new health emergency with the HIV/AIDS outbreak. Nearly 700 people, most of them children, have so far tested HIV positive in Ratodero, Sindh, according to Pakistan's health officials. Authorities allege that this HIV outbreak started when local doctor Muzaffar Ghangharo, who has AIDS, infected patients in early April.

"Initial investigations reveal that used syringes are being repacked, which may not only grow significantly the number of HIV cases but also other diseases," said Federal Health Minister Zafar Mirza.

A joint 11-member rapid response team of health experts from the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have just arrived in Pakistan to support the emergency response to the nation's “biggest” outbreak of HIV infections in a southern district where more than 700 people, mostly children, have been diagnosed over the past month, according to Voice of America.

Minister Mirza believes that reported cases of HIV/AIDS in Pakistan are only the tip of the iceberg. He says that official estimates put the number of HIV/AIDS carriers in the country at around 163,000. “But only 25,000 of them are registered with our national and provincial HIV/AIDS treatment centers, and out of them, merely 16,000 visit the programs routinely to receive their medicine,” the minister was reported as saying.

 With questionable medical practices in private as well as public hospitals, Pakistan's health system is inadequate for dealing with serious health crises like the HIV/AIDS outbreak. However, the US CDC and WHO have had a lot of experience in fighting HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa where it continues to be the biggest contributor to disease burdens and premature deaths.

Pakistan needs to work with WHO and US CDC and use the opportunity to learn from their experience in terms of prevention and antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS. Such learning could also help improve the overall health care practices and outcomes in the country. Right now, time is of the essence in identifying all current cases for quickly controlling further spread of the disease.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Pakistani Children's Health Indicators

Disease Burdens in Pakistan

Polio in Pakistan

Polio Workers Under Attack in Pakistan

Pakistan's Lady Health Workers Best in the World 

American CIA Sponsored Fake Vaccination Campaign



Monday, May 27, 2019

The History of Punjabi Mexicans in California

It was in early 1980s when I was driving through Yuba City with a couple of friends. It was lunch time and we were looking for a halal restaurant when we spotted Rasul's. At the restaurant we met a man who introduced himself as Mohammad Ali Rasul. He spoke in Mexican accented English but he told us his father came from the Punjab region now in Pakistan and his mother was of Mexican ancestry.  There were 400 such marriages between Punjabi men and Mexican women by 1940, according to Professor Karen Leonard of UC Irvine. Rasul gave us a warm welcome when we told him him we are also originally from Pakistan. He offered us his "Roti Quesadilla" special without charge as a gift. The fusion dish is a variation on Queso Quesadilla made with Indian "nan"(flat bread) topped with traditional rich, melting cheese which originated in Mexico and Texas. I had forgotten all about it until memory was refreshed by a story titled "California’s Lost (and Found) Punjabi-Mexican Cuisine" by Sonia Chopra I read in Eater.com.

Early South Asians:

Currently, there are nearly 5 million people from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and other South Asian nations in the United States. The earliest record of South Asians arriving in California is in the San Francisco Chronicle of April 6, 1899. It carried a story of the arrival of four Sikh men who were allowed to enter the United States in San Francisco, according to UC Davis Digital Archives.

Karen Leonard, a professor of anthropology at the University of California at Irvine and author of "Making Ethnic Choices: California’s Punjabi Mexican Americans", says that there were almost 2,000 Punjabi men living in California in the early 1900s, and approximately one-third of them married (or re-married) after settling in the state. Over 80% of the men were Sikh and most of the rest were Muslim. Almost all of them were from Central Punjab and came to California by ships from the then British Hong Kong via Vancouver in British Columbia in Canada. They had a choice between going to canal colonies of Lyallpur (now Faisalabad, Pakistan) and emigrating to North America. Most moved to canal colonies while the rest chose to go to the United States.

Punjabi Farmers:

While some Punjabis worked on building the transcontinental railroad along with Chinese immigrants, the vast majority of them chose farm work. While Punjabi men lived and worked on the farms with their Mexican spouses in several western states including Arizona and Texas, it was California that reminded them of their home in the Punjab, the land of five rivers. One of them described the similarity in the following words as narrated by Professor Karen Leonard:

"In my story of the Land of Five Rivers was Sacramento Valley. The river Sutlej was Feather River. The rest of the four rivers--American, Bear, Yuba, and Sacramento. My Bhaskhra (Dam), the Oroville Dam. Mu Govind Sagar, the Oroville Lake. The city of Anandpur Sahib, the nearby town of Paradise. The Shivaliks, the Sierra Foothills. There was Naina Devi, our Mount Shasta. And yes, the Ja- walamukhi, the Lassen Volcanic Park. Obviously, I was carried away by my imagination. Yet, the reality was not far behind. The water, like the water in the Punjab, had the same urge to run downward. The distant hills had the same charm. The fire in Ja- walamukhi and in the Lassen Volcano has the same way to burn."

Asians in America. Source: National Geographic

United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind:

South Asians, like their fellow Asians among the Chinese and the Japanese, faced widespread discrimination in the United States culminating in the Immigration Act of 1917. It was the second act, also known as the Literacy Act or the Asiatic Barred Zone Act after the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, aimed squarely at restricting immigration. An even stricter version of the US immigration law was passed in 1924 which was praised by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf, according to Daniel Okrent, author of The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians and Other European Immigrants Out of America.

Bhagat Singh Thind, a US Army veteran and a naturalized US citizen, was stripped of his citizenship under the Immigration Act of 1917. He sued to get his status restored. In a landmark case United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind,  Thind argued that as a descendent of Indian Aryans he was racially "white".  The US Supreme Court unanimously rejected Thind's argument and ruled that he was not white "in accordance with the understanding of the common man".

Thind ruling was followed by a tragedy when Vaishno Das Bagai from Peshawar committed suicide in 1928 after being denaturalized as a US citizen in Los Angeles.

Post-1965 Immigration:

The population of South Asians in America remained very low due to severe immigration restrictions from non-European countries until the US Immigration Act of 1965, also known as the Hart-Celler Act. This act opened up immigration from Asia, Africa and Latin America and significantly changed the US demographics in the last half century.

Most of the nearly 5 million South Asians in the United States today owe their presence in this country to the passage of this 1965 law passed by Democrats.  A large number of South Asians are engineers and technologists and many live in Silicon Valley. Over 500,000 Pakistani immigrants and their children live in the United States as of 2013, according to a report compiled by Migration Policy Institute. Of these, 273,000 were born in Pakistan and the remaining 180,000 are US-born. Pakistani-American population has more than doubled in the last decade due to increased immigration, according to US 2010 Census data.  Pakistani-Americans (pop: 450,000) are the seventh largest community among Asian-Americans, behind Chinese (3.8 million),  Filipinos (3.4 million), Indians (3.2 million), Vietnamese (1.74 million),  Koreans (1.7 million) and Japanese (1.3 million), according to Asian-American Center For Advancing Justice . They are still a minuscule fraction of the overall US population.

Trump's Anti-Immigration Policy:

The demographic changes since 1965 have angered many Republican white Americans who support immigration restrictions and voted for President Donald J. Trump in 2016 general election.  Trump has called Mexicans "criminals and rapists", complained about letting in people from "shit-hole" countries and imposed ban on entry of Muslims from several countries. His efforts to further restrict overall immigration have met with significant resistance from Congressional Democrats.

Here's a brief video clip of the documentary Roots in the Sand on Punjabi Mexicans:

https://youtu.be/236AWbnDtBc




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

New York's Little Pakistan

Pakistan is the 3rd Largest Source of Foreign Doctors in America

Pakistani-American Stars in "Big Sick" Movie

Pakistani-American Population Growth 2nd Fastest Among Asian-Americans

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Monday, May 20, 2019

Karachi Family Wins AI Championship in Silicon Valley

The Mayet Family from Karachi, Pakistan has won AI Family Challenge World Championship held in Silicon Valley, California on May 20, 2019.  The family's entry called "Cavity Crusher" uses artificial intelligence algorithm to monitor a child's brush time and determine their oral health habits to notify parents accordingly. It was organized by Iridescent, a global technology education nonprofit organization that empowers underrepresented young people to become self-motivated learners, inventors, and leaders.

Winners Salman Mayet, Yasir Salman and Fareeha Mapara. Photo courtesy Intel Corp

The AI Family Challenge partners with lifelong learning advocates and leading experts in AI, including those from Google.org, NVIDIA, Intel, and the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation.

The event was hosted at Intel's Santa Clara campus. It was the culmination of Iridescent's AI Family Challenge in which 7,500 people from 13 countries participated in a 15-week program that brings together families, schools, communities and industry mentors to create AI projects that solve local problems.

The family's journey to the AI Championship began in Karachi where Pakistan Science Club, in partnership with Iridescent brought this learning opportunity to Pakistan at two different sites. More than 40 families from Karachi participated in an 18-week long program. Through the AI Family Challenge program, the Mayet family learned about AI as it guided them through the identification of a problem in their community and applied what they learned to develop a solution for it using AI.


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Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Pakistani Students Win First Place in Stanford Design Contest

Pakistan's Research Output Growing Fastest in the World

AI Research at NED University Funded By Silicon Valley NEDians

Pakistan Hi-Tech Exports Exceed A Billion US Dollars in 2018 

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Friday, May 17, 2019

Growing China-Pakistan Collaboration in Science and Technology

With 6,000 Pakistanis working on their PhDs in China, the two countries are enjoying rapid growth in scientific and technological collaboration, according to Journal Nature. Pakistan's scientific output is now growing at the fastest rate in the world. With nearly 3,000 papers jointly authored and published by Chinese and Pakistani researcher, China has now emerged as Pakistan's top partner in scientific collaborations, surpassing Saudi Arabia (about 1,500 papers) and the United States (about 1,200 papers) in 2018, according to an analysis of co-authored papers from Elsevier’s Scopus database. China is co-sponsoring a range of research centers in Pakistan that are studying topics from rice agriculture to artificial intelligence and railway engineering.

Pakistan-China ties are rapidly growing well beyond the economy and the military with tens of thousands of Chinese and Pakistani citizens regularly traveling between the two countries. More Pakistanis than ever are learning the Chinese language.  China with its world class educational institutions is emerging as one of the top destinations for Pakistanis studying abroad. Currently, 6,156 Pakistani students are studying in Ph.D., 3,600 in Masters, 11,100 in Bachelors and 3,000 in Short Term Exchange Programs across China. Pakistan ranks third in the number of international students currently studying in China with 28,023 Pakistani students, according to a statement issued by China’s Ministry of Education. It is becoming a truly multi-dimensional relationship which will help Pakistan rise with China on the world stage.

Pakistan's  Co-authored Research Papers. Source: Nature

Typical of the new Sinophile generation of Pakistani scientists is Dr. Iqbal Choudhary, director of the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Karachi. Choudhary’s center is one of the oldest — it celebrated its 50th birthday just a few years ago — and largest institutes in Asia dedicated to the chemistry and biology of natural products.

China's Top Collaborators in Science and Technology Research. Source: Nature

Among the Belt Road Initiative member nations, Pakistan has emerged as the second strongest Chinese partner for science and technology collaboration in terms of Probabilistic Affinity Index (PAI), according to the Journal Nature. So far, China Academy of Sciences (CAS) has invested more than 1.8 billion yuan (almost US$268 million) in science and technology projects as part of the BRI.

CAS is supporting the Digital Belt and Road (Digital BRI), a platform for participating countries to share the data obtained as part of their collaborative projects with each other and with China. These data include satellite images as well as quantitative data on natural hazards, water resources and cultural heritage sites.

As part of Digital BRI/CPEC, an 820-kilometer long China-Pakistan fiber optic cable has already been laid between the city of Rawalpindi, Pakistan in the south and the Khunjerab Pass, China in the north  and operational since July, 2018.

By 2020, the 6,299 kilometers of underwater cables will extend to Djibouti from Gwadar and form the Digital Silk Route between Asia and Africa. At the same time, a space-based Silk Road will provide satellite navigation support to all BRI countries. The first Beidou base station of the Space Silk Road is already operational in Pakistan since 2017.  BeiDou is making rapid progress with 30 BRI countries already linked up.


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Monday, May 13, 2019

Pakistan Among World's Top 3 Countries For New Hydroelectric Power

Pakistan ranked third in the world by adding nearly 2,500 MW of hydropower in 2018, according to Hydropower Status Report 2019.  China added the most capacity with the installation of 8,540 megawatts, followed by Brazil (3,866 MW), Pakistan (2,487 MW), Turkey (1,085 MW), Angola (668 MW), Tajikistan (605 MW), Ecuador (556 MW), India (535 MW), Norway (419 MW) and Canada (401 MW).

New Installed Hydroelectric Power Capacity in 2018. Source: Hydroworld.com

Pakistan's Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) says commissioning of the 108-MW Golen Gol 2, 1,410-MW Tarbela 4th Extension and 969-MW Neelum Jhelum hydropower projects in 2018 boosted its hydroelectric generating capacity of 9,389 MW, an increase of 36% in just one year, according to Hydro Review. Hydropower now makes up about 28% of the total installed capacity of 33,836 MW as of February, 2019.   WAPDA reports contributing 25.63 billion units of hydroelectricity to the national grid during the year, “despite the fact that water flows in 2018 remained historically low.” This contribution “greatly helped the country in meeting electricity needs and lowering the electricity tariff for the consumers.”

Top 20 Countries by Newly Installed Hydropower Capacity. Source: IHA

Pakistan has the potential to generate 59,000 MW of hydropower, according to studies conducted by the nation's Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). Currently, it's generating only 9,389 MW of hydroelectric power, about 16% of the estimated potential. Media reports indicate that China is prepared to finance and build another 40,000MW capacity as part of the development of the Northern Indus Cascade region which begins in Skardu in Gilgit-Baltistan and runs through to Tarbela, the site of Pakistan’s biggest dam, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Pakistan has made only a small contribution to climate change through carbon emissions.  And yet, it counts among the dozen or so nations considered most vulnerable to its damaging effects. These include rising temperatures, recurring cycles of floods and droughts and resulting disruption in food production.

One of the ways Pakistan can help reduce carbon emissions is by realizing its full hydroelectric potential by building more dams. The development of the Northern Indus Cascade region to generate 40,000MW of hydropower is a significant part of this effort.

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Recurring Cycles of Drought and Floods in Pakistan

Pakistan's Response to Climate Change

Massive Oil and Gas Discovery in Pakistan: Hype vs Reality

Renewable Energy for Pakistan

Digital BRI: China and Pakistan Building Fiber, 5G Networks

LNG Imports in Pakistan

Growing Water Scarcity in Pakistan

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Ownership of Appliances and Vehicles in Pakistan

CPEC Transforming Pakistan

Pakistan's $20 Billion Tourism Industry Boom

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

PTI's New Economic Team Line-Up in Pakistan

Who are the members of Pakistan's top new economic leadership team? Who's Reza Baqir? Who's Shabbar Zaidi? Why were the changes necessary? Were the latest changes made to remove previous PMLN government's loyalists considered to be responsible for the current economic crisis? Did their policies and actions contribute to large twin deficits? Did the International Monetary Fund (IMF) force these changes as a condition for the country's bailout?

Pakistan's External Debt. Source: Wall Street Journal

Pakistan Current Account Deficit. Source: State Bank of Pakistan

As Pakistan awaits the news of the discovery of large offshore oil reserves, what lessons should Pakistan learn from the governance failures in Venezuela? Is Venezuela suffering because of its government's hostility toward the United States? Will large oil reserves be a panacea for Pakistan's economic problems?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Sabahat Ashraf (ifaqeer) and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/1UucUo_eU90




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