Friday, October 16, 2009

Persistent Hunger on World Food Day in South Asia


Marking World Food Day today, October 16, 2009, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) called on the world to remember the more than one billion urgently hungry people, nearly half of them in India, with inadequate access to food.

“World Food Day is actually "No Food Day" for almost one out of every six people around the world this year,” WFP executive director Josette Sheeran said in Rome. “Our challenge is to turn ‘No Food Day’ back into ‘World Food Day’ for the hundreds of millions without food on their table tonight.”

Babu Matthew, country director for ActionAid India, said: "The dark side of India's economic growth has been that the excluded social groups have been further marginalized, compounding their hunger, malnutrition and even leading to starvation deaths."

Among the developing countries ranked by Action Aid for Hunger, Brazil wins the top spot with B grade (no country gets an A on a scale from A to E), with the aid agency praising President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's support for land reform and community kitchens for the poor.

ActionAid said Brazil's success shows "what can be achieved when the state has both resources and political will to tackle hunger".

China (B grade) is also gets high marks for cutting the number of hungry by 58 million in 10 years through strong state support for smallholder farmers.

But the report is critical of resurgent India, which receives the lowest possible E (essentially an F) grade for hunger. It says 30 million Indians have been added to the ranks of the hungry since the mid-1990s and 46% of children are underweight. Pakistan, with grade D, is also ranked low, with 31% of its children underweight. Bangladesh, receiving C grade, is praised for reducing the number of chronically food-insecure people from 40 million to 27 million in the past 10 years and for improving childhood nutrition in the past two decades. But the report says Bangladesh has a long way to go to reduce overall malnutrition and build a sustainable agricultural system.

A recent British government report has described India as nutritional weakling. There is widespread hunger and malnutrition in all parts of India. India ranks 66th on the 2008 Global Hunger Index of 88 countries while Pakistan is slightly better at 61 and Bangladesh slightly worse at 70. The first India State Hunger Index (Ishi) report in 2008 found that Madhya Pradesh had the most severe level of hunger in India, comparable to Chad and Ethiopia. Four states — Punjab, Kerala, Haryana and Assam — fell in the 'serious' category. "Affluent" Gujarat, 13th on the Indian list is below Haiti, ranked 69. The authors said India's poor performance was primarily due to its relatively high levels of child malnutrition and under-nourishment resulting from calorie deficient diets.

According to Economic Survey 2008-09, presented by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, Pakistan's economy grew by a mere 2.0 percent, barely keeping pace with population growth. The growth fell significantly short of the 4.5 percent target for the year, which was already very modest compared with an average of 7% economic growth witnessed from 2001-2008. As a result of the nation's economic troubles, there have been massive job losses and significant anecdotal evidence of increase in poverty and hunger. The lines for free food paid for by charities have been growing, with a sense of desperation not seen before, brought in sharp focus by the shameful deaths of several destitute women in Karachi scrambling to grab free wheat bags.

The ActionAid hunger score card is a sobering reminder for both India and Pakistan of how the nuclear armed neighbors lag most of the nations of the world in meeting the basic nutritional requirements of their people. Particularly disturbing are the high rates of underweight children at 44% in India and 31% in Pakistan. This egregious neglect of children by South Asians amounts to condemning their future generations to permanent brain damage.

Related Links:

India Tops World Hunger Chart

Food, Clothing and Shelter in India and Pakistan

Mixed Messages in Hunger Report

ActionAid's World Hunger Score Card

World Food Program in India

World Food Program Pakistan

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

riaz, even as an indian I am happy that you have so much concern for south asia. Why not post some good news also. Like India leading in asia in knowledge based industry. Like India rapidly moving up in manufacturing industry with exports of cars to Europe. You can share your priceless wisdom as to why Pakistan's industry is still in karachi halwa/beedi stage or why the world does not consider Pakistanis to be good enough for knowledge sector outsourcing to Pakistan. I mean news like "ORACLE OPENS PAK CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE WITH 1000 PAKISTANIS EMPLOYED" can only be in dreams, right?

regards

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Why not post some good news also. Like India leading in asia in knowledge based industry. Like India rapidly moving up in manufacturing industry with exports of cars to Europe."

I have written several posts about India's successes in economy and industry. For example, I have written about Indian companies shopping spree to buy brand name companies like Jaguar, Ambani's deals with Hollywood media companies, and India's IITs and industrialization. Please read the posts.

Anon: "You can share your priceless wisdom as to why Pakistan's industry is still in karachi halwa/beedi stage or why the world does not consider Pakistanis to be good enough for knowledge sector outsourcing to Pakistan."

It's obvious you are not well informed. Pakistan does have an industrial sector that produces every thing from airplanes and autos to all kinds of home appliances. The knowledge economy is small but growing in terms of UAV design/production in private sector (Integrated Dynamics, for example), software industry and business process and engineering outsourcing. oDesk named Pakistan among the top two fastest growing destinations for outsourcing recently. Read those posts here on my blog.

To get an idea of the knowledge economy, you can check out a sampling of the job listings on rozee.pk

http://www.rozee.pk/search_jobs.php?q=q-engineer/fc-Karachi

Anonymous said...

"It's obvious you are not well informed. Pakistan does have an industrial sector that produces every thing from airplanes and autos to all kinds of home appliances. The knowledge economy is small but growing in terms of UAV design/production in private sector (Integrated Dynamics, for example), software industry and business process and engineering outsourcing. oDesk named Pakistan among the top two fastest growing destinations for outsourcing recently. Read those posts here on my blog."

Great. Now please mention their names, sales and their global presence. Without those data, how can we uninformed get the information.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Great. Now please mention their names, sales and their global presence. Without those data, how can we uninformed get the information."

I know your only interest is to prove that India is ahead. Well, this post is about hunger. And India certainly tops the hunger charts with 44% of its children underweight, earning the lowest possible E grade, essentially an F.

As to Pakistan's knowledge economy, I told you it's small and growing, and gave you the link to a site where you get an idea of what kind of jobs are being created. And your response tells me that you are only interested in "global presence" and "Oracle", not really in "knowledge economy".

Some of the best and most innovative companies in the world are small. I live in Silicon Valley, where the smartest people prefer to work for start-ups, not the big companies who mostly employ cheap code coolies.

I gave you the name of Integrated Dynamics, a small co that designs and builds UAVs, and counts US homeland security and border patrol among its customers. But I guess that's not enough to impress you, because thus company is "Not Oracle", one of the biggest employers of cheap code coolies in the world with "global presence".

I don't think you understand what Silicon Valley stands for and what "knowledge Economy" means. You wouldn't know small innovative companies like PixSense and Wichorus looking for talent in Pakistan. In your narrow mind, these companies don't count, because they are small, not enough sales, not enough code coolies etc. You need to get a real education, not repeat the propaganda about India's "knowledge economy".

Anonymous said...

"I know your only interest is to prove that India is ahead. "

No I am interesting in knowing what Pakistanis are really capable of. I am sick and tired of reading only about India India India in WSJ, Businessweek etc. Morningstar.com even has an indian presence.

I am sick of tired of books like the "The world is flat" which praises Indians and Chinese as the smartest folks and all others, specially muslims, as dumb. Remember how in TWIF Thomas Friedman mentions muslims as the bottom rankers.

You seem to be very knowledgeable. Please guide less informed lime me.

Anonymous said...

"because they are small, not enough sales, not enough code coolies etc."

Don't you think it is better to be code coolies rather than Taliban coolies.
Code coolies changed the impression towards India and Indians. The world has a new respect towards India in intellectual work. Taliban coolies did some thing far worse. They not only changed the impression of world towards Pakistan, but towards Islam also.

Anonymous said...

here is what taliban coolies are doing for the service of Pakistan and Islam.

http://www.aina.org/news/20091016174755.htm

I anyday prefer to have my fellow youth countrymen from pakistan be a code coolie than a taliban coolie.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "I am sick and tired of reading only about India India India in WSJ, Businessweek etc. Morningstar.com even has an indian presence."

These media outlets and the Tom Friedman types only talk about how great capitalism is without telling you things like rising hunger and poverty and growing rich-poor gap, leaving a large number of people behind in India and other places which have bought into the some of the failed ideas while ignoring the god things like the social safety net, better income redistribution through heavier and progressive taxation, etc. These are kinds of ideas that have saved capitalism from itself in Western Europe and in US through Keynesian economics, better regulation, FDR's New Deal, Social democracy, etc .

You need to be a better, more active consumer of the media. I recommend you watch Michael Moore's latest film "Capitalism: A love Story" to get a sense of how the positive propaganda about capitalism obscures some of the real costs, and how the media controlled by big corporations and the politicians convince 99% of the people to believe and act against their own best interest in support of an unjust system.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Don't you think it is better to be code coolies rather than Taliban coolies."

It's a false choice. People don't have to be anybody's coolies.

Anonymous said...

"Some of the best and most innovative companies in the world are small. I live in Silicon Valley, where the smartest people prefer to work for start-ups, not the big companies who mostly employ cheap code coolies."

Profound logic. Are you saying that Google employed smarter people when they were small, than they are today????

It didn't occur to you that successful small companies do not remain small at all times. They become big. MS, Google are two best examples. If a small company remains small for ever, then it is a failure. Plain and Simple. Even their founders would want to make it big one day. That's why they slogged it out.

Much as you would like to convince others, unless and until at least Pak few IT companies makes it big, the world will see Pakistan as intellectually inferior to Indians. This not only applies to IT companies, but general industries as such.

Regarding your other points about india in poverty is 100% true. No dispute.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Are you saying that Google employed smarter people when they were small, than they are today????"

I am sure there are smart people working for Google and MS, but as companies grow, the number of smart people as percent of the total goes down rather rapidly, with the incentives to make it big.

It's no secret that start-ups remain a much stronger magnet for the best and the brightest in Silicon Valley because of the much bigger potential upside.

Anon: "unless and until at least Pak few IT companies makes it big, the world will see Pakistan as intellectually inferior to Indians. This not only applies to IT companies, but general industries as such."

I agree, but not entirely. There are many nations with very high stds of living that don't have big IT companies with global presence. IT companies are not a litmus test for a nation's progress or prosperity. The litmus test is how well the vast majority of its people live in terms of food, shelter, clothing, sanitation, health care and education, and opportunities to do well for themselves.

Anonymous said...

"I agree, but not entirely. There are many nations with very high stds of living that don't have big IT companies with global presence. IT companies are not a litmus test for a nation's progress or prosperity. The litmus test is how well the vast majority of its people live in terms of food, shelter, clothing, sanitation, health care and education, and opportunities to do well for themselves."

Who is saying IT companies are a litmus test?

While we are at it, using a nation's standard of living is also a bogus concept. A rich IT millionaire in India working for Wipro is leading a 100 times superior life than a working class American working in the check out counter of Walmart and probably earning $20-25K per annum. It is a little consolation for him that he is living in USA while the Indian IT gentleman is living in a 3rd world country.

You lived in USA for so long yet you did not get the fundamental concept of American life. It is what you achieved that matters not what the country. No American I know is obsessed with "America is #1" ego trip. Only stupid Indians and Pakistanis seem to be in this trip.
An undeniable fact is that the number of indians who are successful is far more than number of Pakistanis. We are talking about order of 75 to 100 times more.

"I recommend you watch Michael Moore's latest film "Capitalism: A love Story" to "

LOL. Which Moore, The guy who has amassed a fortune of 5.6 million (per IRS figures) by making movies which are anti capitalism.

Zen, Munich, Germany said...

@Riaz

"oDesk named Pakistan among the top two fastest growing destinations for outsourcing recently. Read those posts here on my blog"

I don't want to be in denial if this is true - there is enough space for everyone in capitalistic free societies - if Pakistan has smart cos. as you wrote, then we will hear about it, not just from Riaz's blog, but also in WSJ.

@Anon

"Remember how in TWIF Thomas Friedman mentions muslims as the bottom rankers."

I don't think Tom Friedman is the ultimate intellectual to make such a judgement - not only that he showed poor judgement by supporting Iraq war(which he thought would unleash democracy in middle east even though it kills people), he represents everything that is bad about Jewish Neocon McDonald Capitalists. One of his theory "Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention" is an intellectually poor argument that had been proven false in practice. Also he would conveniently ignore the "cost of doing capitalism", ie, environment degradation, destruction of traditions etc. and thinks that it is OK to kill people in the name of capitalism and democracy.(after all America was founded that way only, isn't it?)

@Riaz

"I recommend you watch Michael Moore's latest film "Capitalism: A love Story" to get a sense of how the positive propaganda about capitalism obscures some of the real costs, and how the media controlled by big corporations and the politicians convince 99% of the people to believe and act against their own best interest in support of an unjust system"

Then what is a better system? The system in Pakistan? In fact, most of Muslim countries, despite being authoritarian, are hopelessly dependend upon Capitalism and Uncle Sam(this include Pakistan as well). Only when countries like India adopt Capitalism, they seem to have a problem. Otherwise, they are happy to be a part of capitalistic society, while not adopting many of the positives of a good capitalistic systems. Can you name a Muslim country that is truly Meritocratic?

Anonymous said...

Riaz is right about start ups doing great work. In Bangalore alone there are 50+ US start ups which has India doing the entire product development work, including design. The US office is just sales office. A close friend of mine works in one of the biometrics based start up company.
Their company uses only open source products.
Not to mention countless starts from India which are catering to new market. The concept of VC funding has picked on in India.

Riaz Haq said...

Zen: "Then what is a better system? The system in Pakistan? In fact..."

Laissez faire capitalism, the purest form defined by Adam Smith, failed badly in the 1930s. If it hadn't been for FDR's New Deal and Keynesian economics, as well as the safety net created by Johnson's Great Society, capitalism would be dead by now.

As the advocates of capitalism often argue, it is sink or swim for all. But the fact is that the biggest capitalists who oppose welfare and safety net for ordinary people, demanded to be rescued by the federal government with $ 700 billion dole to the financial services industry last year. At the same time, there was little or no help to folks to lost their homes, retirement savings and jobs in large numbers.

So there is a lot of anger in the US against what happened and it is affecting large numbers of people. Unless there is something done to better regulate Wall Street and curb speculation an unregulated derivatives, there will likely be a powerful backlash against capitalism.

Anonymous said...

Riaz, you been very much occupied with code coolie terminologu which you prefer to choose every now and then on your blog.

Let me tell you something, there is nothing wrong to be a code coolie, infact most of the places, including Pakistan is not even good enough for a code coolie.

You praise the success of China a lot in your posts, as all should, but, they also started there progress with very low end work in manufacturing. Still they mostly do the cheap manufacturing work and this is how they build there economy. In your terminology - they are just coolies.

India started way after China and is already knowledge backoffice of the world. World is capitalist. The whole idea of trade free wolrd is a sub set of capitalism. Tomorrow if snybody start giving them cheap services with acceptable quality, the world will move to that destination. But this is more difficult than calling people "code coolies".

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "there is nothing wrong to be a code coolie"

I agree, but then you can't confuse with creation of intellectual property and knowledge economy. It's just a form of cheap labor, like call centers or mundane factory work.

Anon: "infact most of the places, including Pakistan is not even good enough for a code coolie."

This is nonsense. Pakistanis are just as capable as Indians in code writing, and it is borne out by the oDesk data:

According to oDesk, Pakistan experienced 328% growth in its outsourcing business in 2007-8, second only to the Philippines (789%) on a list of seven top locations that include US (260%), Canada (121%), India (113%), the Ukraine (77%) and Russia (43%).

"Pakistan ranks number one in value for money for developers and data entry and number two overall behind the Philippines where the cost of answering calls is about half of the cost in Pakistan. Pakistan is well ahead of India and just behind the number 1 ranked United States in customer satisfaction."

Anonymous said...

I think Pakistan is better than US, UK, Australia as a egalitarian society.
http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/107980/countries-with-the-biggest-gaps-between-rich-and-poor

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "I think Pakistan is better than US, UK, Australia as a egalitarian society."

In terms of rich-poor gap as measured by Gini index, Pakistan is more egalitarian than most of the nations of the world.

However, it is a feudal society, not an industrialized nation. It lacks resources to provide adequate education, healthcare, and a basic safety net for its people. And this results in poor social indicators and low levels of human development, and slow economic growth.

dcruncher4 said...

"However, it is a feudal society, not an industrialized nation. It lacks resources to provide adequate education, healthcare, and a basic safety net for its people. And this results in poor social indicators and low levels of human development, and slow economic growth."

This is one of your more honest statements about the capability of so called talent of Pakistanis. No wonder India is far ahead of us in education and service based industry. No I am not talking about IT alone.
E.g., today Wasim Akram's wife was taken by a private plane to Lahore to Singapore for some medical treatment. On the way she developed critical complications and they had to make an emergency landing in Chennai where she is admitted to Apollo hospital and is currently in critical condition. I hope nothing happens to her.
Did you note that a rich person like Akram chose to get treatment out of Pakistan. What achievement has Pakistan done in 62 yrs if it can't even develop healthcare facility which is modern and state of art. India seem to be far ahead of us in this dept too.

Riaz Haq said...

dcruncher: "today Wasim Akram's wife was taken by a private plane to Lahore to Singapore for some medical treatment. On the way she developed critical complications and they had to make an emergency landing in Chennai where she is admitted to Apollo hospital and is currently in critical condition...."

It is not unusual for rich Indians or Pakistanis to travel abroad for medical treatment, even when comparable treatment is available within their own country. Indian VIPs and celebrities routinely go to Europe or Singapore for treatment. But this post or my comment is not about treating a few rich people; it's about basic healthcare access for the masses.

While Pakistan needs to lot more to ensure, it is already ahead of India in this respect. A basic indicator of healthcare is access to physicians. There are 80 doctors per 100,000 population in Pakistan versus 60 in India, according to the World Health Organization. For comparison with the developed world, the US and Europe have over 250 physicians per 100,000 people. UNDP recently reported that life expectancy at birth in Pakistan is 66.2 years versus India's 63.4 years.

dcruncher4 said...

"It is not unusual for rich Indians or Pakistanis to travel abroad for medical treatment,"

For rich Indians, does 'abroad' include Pakistan :-). Given the far more worse state of Pak rupee compared to Indian rupee it must be lot cheaper for Indians to get treated in pak. You missed the point. Why would Pakistanis go to India for medical treatment if Pak is far ahead of India. In 2006 a medical delegation from Pak went to Delhi to study the medical process at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. The head of the delegation told this "India is very advanced at medical care and we can definitely learn a lot from them".

Once I was in Calgary, Canada and was listening to cbc radio (sort of NPR radio of Canada). There was a program on how some Canadians go to India for medical treatment for which there is an inordinate delay. Canada's social health care, while ensuring all are covered, induces long wait for certain procedures. Canadians figured out that it is quicker and cheaper to go to India. Take a flight, stay in 5 star hotel, get treated quickly in one of the top and expensive hospitals, recuperate in hotel for few days and that includes a quick travel to Agra for Taj. Fly back. All in around 10-12K (this was in 2006 when I heard that program). Comparitive cost in USA: 40K.

But the big thing we Pakistanis miss is, that these goras feel perfectly confident that it is OK to go for treatment in India. The one Canadian who spoke in that program told that his local doctor spoke highly of that hospital in Delhi and said that he knew few doctors professionally and can vouch for their competence. He also said that when he came out of airport he wasn't sure he took the right decision when he saw the conditions on the road etc. But his later stay in hotel and hospital annulled those fears.

20 years ago, if an Indian told me that Canadians come to India for treatment, I would have laughed it back. I will still laugh if some Pakistani tells me that an American came to Pak for medical treatment this year.

Mr. Haq, you seem to be rate Pakistanis as smart as Indians based on projection, not on achievement.

Riaz Haq said...

dcruncher: "You missed the point. Why would Pakistanis go to India for medical treatment if Pak is far ahead of India."

It's not a misunderstanding of your argument on my part. It's a fundamental difference of opinion between us as to what yardstick to use to measure a nation's progress in delivering healthcare.

If the yardstick, as you suggest, is how many foreign patients can India treat by offering advanced medical procedures and surgery, then I would say India is ahead of Pakistan.

If, however, the yardstick used to measure a nation's success in delivering healthcare is to see how many of its citizens have better sanitation, and greater access to doctors, and their length of life expectancy, then Pakistan is definitely ahead of India.

According to UNICEF, India is significantly behind Pakistan, even Bangladesh and Afghanistan, in providing basic sanitation to its citizens. Even the so-called slums in Pakistan, such as Orangi Town, have better sanitation system than most of India.

There are 80 doctors per 100,000 population in Pakistan versus 60 in India, according to the World Health Organization. For comparison with the developed world, the US and Europe have over 250 physicians per 100,000 people. UNDP recently reported that life expectancy at birth in Pakistan is 66.2 years versus India's 63.4 years.

dcruncher4 said...

The beauty of internet is that one can get any credible site to back your point. You showed your sites to show Pak ahead of India in healthcare. Here is mine:-

http://www.ippfsar.org/Templates/ShortNewsItem.aspx?NRMODE=Published&NRNODEGUID={9A2B7200-F41F-43E5-87AB-8450C6957935}&NRORIGINALURL=%2Fen%2FNews%2FIntl%2Bnews%2FQuacks.htm&NRCACHEHINT=Guest

Per this site number of quacks in Pakistan outnumber qualified doctors 3 to 1. And you are proud of it eh?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy

This quotes CIA World facts book (which you have extensively quotes) and shows India to be ahead of Pakistan in life expectancy by 5 yrs.

The point I am trying to say is that focus on real achievements and on that India is far ahead of India.

Riaz Haq said...

This information is not relevant to the post, but for those of you who are sincerely seeking data on Pakistan's IT industry, here is a snapshot:

The State Bank of Pakistan in its statement for the year According to Pakistan Software Export Board, State Bank of Pakistan for 2007-08 reports the export figures of software and IT-enabled services to be US$169 million which shows a consistent annual growth. State Bank of Pakistan adopted BPM 5 reporting system to report the IT exports revenue, which restricted the export figures to US$169 million only in 2007-08. In India, the Reserve Bank of India follows the BPM 6 (also called MSITS) Reporting System, which raises its exports to billions of US dollars. BPM 6 includes sales to multinationals, earning of overseas offices & salaries of non-immigrant overseas workers to export revenue. Using the MSITS Reporting System, Pakistan IT Industry exports are estimated at US$ 1.4billion while the industry size is estimated at US$ 2.8 billion. It is significant to note that Pakistan IT exports growth in each of the last few years has been more than 40%.


Source: http://www.pseb.org.pk/item/industry_overview

Riaz Haq said...

dcruncher:

I know you are more interested in "winning", rather than seeking the truth. But I'll give it a try anyway:

The most recent life expectancy data that was published by UNDP, which ranks India ahead of Pak in HDI rankings, says Pakistanis life expectancy at birth is 3 year longer than Indians.

On doctors per 100,000 population data, it simply reflects the number of doctors with MBBS degrees, not Hakims or others. As to the quacks, you can find a lot more of them than doctors in India as well as Pakistan.

And data alone can not do justice. Objective foreign visitors who visit both nations have been reporting that "first-time visitors to Pakistan are almost always surprised by the country's visible prosperity. There is far less poverty on show in Pakistan than in India, fewer beggars, and much less desperation. In many ways the infrastructure of Pakistan is much more advanced: there are better roads and airports, and more reliable electricity. Middle-class Pakistani houses are often bigger and better appointed than their equivalents in India" in the words of William Dalrymple who is a frequent visitor to both nations.

dcruncher4 said...

Riaz,

I am curious why should William Dalrymple be considered any more credible than Thomas Friedman, who is a Pulitzer award winner (3 times).

His book The World is Flat is very flattering about India. In fact books by Indian authors like "Imagining India" by CEO of Infosys is quite critical. If I were as smart as you I can keep harping on TF's quotes again and again. Think about it. You disregard views and opinions of others which doesn't suit you, but insist on others respecting your views.

Also isn't it wonderful that you crave for the same respect from a gora what you accuse indians of.

If you read influential media like WSJ, Business Week, Forbes, you will see where India stands and where Pakistan is. In fact Pakistan is non existent in their eyes, except for their help in war on terror.

I went thru own blog extensively. Except for very very few items, I don't see any positive news about Pakistan like starting of a new company, factory. Producing new cars or appliances. FDI. NOTHING. ZIP. NADA.
And yes there is plenty of negative news about india and indians, as if that by itself is a positive news about Pakistan.
How juvenile.

Anonymous said...

"The most recent life expectancy data that was published by UNDP, which ranks India ahead of Pak in HDI rankings, says Pakistanis life expectancy at birth is 3 year longer than Indians. "

Recent??? The link above clearly indicates that the data is for 2007. Where as the CIA World Fact book is for 2009 which shows India ahead by 5 years.

If you take UN's avg figures since 2005, Pak is just ahead at 65.5 with India at 64.7

Why are only Pakistanis and Indians indulging in these childish shouting match.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Recent??? The link above clearly indicates that the data is for 2007. Where as the CIA World Fact book is for 2009 which shows India ahead by 5 years.If you take UN's avg figures since 2005, Pak is just ahead at 65.5 with India at 64.7"

Any "recent" data released in 2009, including CIA which is an aggregrator rather than primary sources, is at least a year or two years old.

It's not possible for any one to know 2009 data until the year is complete and the mortality is reported for the year.

Riaz Haq said...

dcruncher: "I am curious why should William Dalrymple be considered any more credible than Thomas Friedman, who is a Pulitzer award winner (3 times)."

Because Dalrymple wrote his piece after visiting both India and Pakistan on their 60th anniversary and did a direct comparison. Any one who knows the background of both Freidman and Dalrymple would know that Dalrymple knows a lot more about South Asia than Friedman. Besides, Dalrymple has never had eat crow like Friedman, who has been a cheerleader for failed wars by US in Iraq and Afghanistan.

dcruncher: "I went thru own blog extensively. Except for very very few items, I don't see any positive news about Pakistan like starting of a new company, factory. Producing new cars or appliances. FDI. NOTHING. ZIP. NADA."

Well, let me try and help you. Try searching for information on Pakistan's UAV design/production, Pakistan's auto industry, higher education, IT industry, arms industry, financial services sector, textiles etc, you'll find at least one of my blog posts on the subject.

But my focus has been on issues affecting the average people and their basic necessities. And I have been very critical of BOTH India and Pakistan in this respect. Read my posts "resurgent India and grinding poverty", an economically successful India that has left the vast majority of its people behind to fend for themselves with rampant malnutrition, hunger, malnourished children, lack of sanitation, poverty, increasing farmers' suicides, growing Maoists movement, nexus between crime and politics etc.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Haq

You may value the opinion of William highly, but do you rate his opinion higher than that of a Pakistani.

This is what a famous Pakistani told in Geo TV interview

"there was a time when we use to return back from India and feel that we are back to first world from third world. Today India has left us miles behind. They have progressed a lot in economy. They are even being projected as a potential super power".

Do you know who said it? Imran Khan. Check it in youtube. It is an old interview, somewhere early 2005.

Do we indians have permission to quote IK ad nauseum.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Imran Khan....Today India has left us miles behind. They have progressed a lot in economy."

Dalrymple's statement directly talks about hunger, poverty, beggars etc, which is what my post is about.

Imran Khan's statement says nothing relevant to this post.

It is true that India's economic growth has outpaced Pakistan's since the early 1990s, particularly in what is called the lost decade of the 90s under "democracy" led by Bhutto and Sharif when Pakistani economy stagnated. This trend change this decade when Pak economy grew almost as fast as India's till 2007.

The issue my post raises is that the fruits of India's rapid progress have not helped the vast majority of the poor and hungry Indians, as reflected by the most recent Action Aid data and last year's World Hunger Index data, both of which give higher rankings and higher grade to Pakistan.

India has about 42% of the population living below the new international poverty line of $1.25 per day. The number of Indian poor also constitute 33% of the global poor, which is pegged at 1.4 billion people, according to a Times of India news report. More than 6 million of those desperately poor Indians live in Mumbai alone, representing about half the residents of the nation's financial capital. They live in super-sized slums and improvised housing juxtaposed with the shining new skyscrapers that symbolize India's resurgence. According to the World Bank and the UN Development Program (UNDP), 22% of Pakistan's population is classified as poor.

There is widespread hunger and malnutrition in all parts of India. India ranks 66th on the 2008 Global Hunger Index of 88 countries while Pakistan is slightly better at 61 and Bangladesh slightly worse at 70. The first India State Hunger Index (Ishi) report in 2008 found that Madhya Pradesh had the most severe level of hunger in India, comparable to Chad and Ethiopia. Four states — Punjab, Kerala, Haryana and Assam — fell in the 'serious' category. "Affluent" Gujarat, 13th on the Indian list is below Haiti, ranked 69. The authors said India's poor performance was primarily due to its relatively high levels of child malnutrition and under-nourishment resulting from calorie deficient diets.

Indian media's headlines about the newly-minted Indian billionaires need to bring sharper focus on the growing rich-poor gap in India. On its inside pages, The Times of India last year reported Communist Party leader Sitaram Yechury's as saying that "on the one hand, 36 Indian billionaires constituted 25% of India’s GDP while on the other, 70% of Indians had to do with Rs 20 a day". "A farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes. The gap between the two Indias is widening," he said.

Yerchury's assertion about growing rich-poor gap is also supported by Gini Index published by UN. According to the new UN-HABITAT report on the State of the World's Cities 2008/9: Harmonious Cities, China has the highest level of consumption inequality based on Gini Coefficient in the Asia region, higher than Pakistan (0.298), Bangladesh (0.318), India (0.325), and Indonesia (0.343), among others." Gini coefficient is defined as a ratio with values between 0 and 1: A low Gini coefficient indicates more equal income or wealth distribution, while a high Gini coefficient indicates more unequal distribution. 0 corresponds to perfect equality (everyone having exactly the same income) and 1 corresponds to perfect inequality (where one person has all the income, while everyone else has zero income).

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a story about the tale of two India' on the BBC South Asia website:

Bangalore is an Indian city where hi-tech and crippling poverty live side by side.

As the rate of development in Bangalore gathers pace, some fear that the many impoverished communities that also call the city home may be left behind.

Since the liberalization of the Indian economy in the 1990s, the Indian tech sector has expanded rapidly.

The major players - including Microsoft, Infosys, Cisco and Google - exist in enormous "tech parks" crammed with tall, shiny office buildings.

Meanwhile on the same block, piles of rotting rubbish, beggars and stray dogs surround traffic that is heavy with pollution and often locked in a loud and aggressive jam.

Contrast in this city is not new; the levels of poverty are growing faster than the tech industry as migrant workers from other states join the population to aid the development.

There are concerns that this impoverished population could be left behind in the city of the future, unless big businesses acknowledge that the local infrastructure is under a great deal of pressure.

Ethical business offline

Many foreign businesses have set up outsourcing hubs in Bangalore and beyond - India is a leader in this type of business.

Meanwhile non-governmental organizations and aid workers struggle to support the poorer aspects of society, and many believe that big businesses could have a more influential hand in helping those who are not doing so well out of the tech boom.

Azim Premji is the chairman of Wipro, one of the largest companies in India. He recognized the issues of his local communities and created the Azim Premji foundation.

It is a separate venture to his corporation and privately funded. It addresses methods of education in the hope that supporting youth will mean creating a better society in the long run.

Riaz Haq said...

dcrunchr: "today Wasim Akram's wife was taken by a private plane to Lahore to Singapore for some medical treatment. On the way she developed critical complications and they had to make an emergency landing in Chennai where she is admitted to Apollo hospital and is currently in critical condition. I hope nothing happens to her."

Here's some sad news reported today by AP: 11:14 October 25, 2009

New Delhi: The wife of former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram's died at a hospital in Chennai on Sunday, Press Trust of India reported.

Huma Akram died in a Chennai hospital following multiple organ failure. She was 42.

She was admitted to the hospital on October 20 in an emergency situation, suffering from a fever. The air ambulance carrying her from Lahore to Singapore had stopped in Chennai for refueling when her condition worsened.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is a story by Rahimullah Yusufzai, a respected journalist who recently visited in India and wrote in the News as follows:

"I fear there will be a bloody revolution in India," a retired Indian military officer remarked to this writer and other guests during a recent visit to New Delhi. It was shocking to hear the comment from a soldier, in a country that supposedly had given a voice to its huge population and was believed to be all-inclusive.

It is obvious that India's much-praised democracy hasn't brought any real change in the lives of millions of Indians. That some of the poorest men and women are now up in arms in parts of India is evidence enough that democratically elected governments must do more to provide rights and justice to the rural poor and ensure even-handed development in different parts of the country.

The Naxalite violence in India has caused pain to most thinking Indians. For them it is a matter of anguish that a growing number of Indians are disillusioned with their country's democracy and see no hope of benefiting from India's steady economic progress. They have picked up the gun to fight for their rights.

The Maoist-linked violence is spreading and engulfing new places. The vast region affected by the insurgency include the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal and runs south through Orissa, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. It is usually called the "Red Corridor" because the leadership for the rebels is provided by communist cadres labelled as Maoists. The Communist Party of India (Marxists-Leninists), despite suffering splits, is still the standard-bearer of the rebels.

According to reports in the Indian media, more than 220 districts in 20 or so states are now affected by Maoist-linked violence. Indian intelligence agencies believe the movement has at its disposal 20,000 armed cadres and over 50,000 regular members. Apart from the rural poor, indigenous tribes such as the Girijans in Andhra Pradesh and Santhals in West Bengal have been flocking to the Naxalite movement. The movement has appeal for the dispossessed and the under-privileged. In the words of its present leader, Mupalla Laxman Rao, in hiding somewhere in eastern India and better known as Ganapathi, his party's influence has grown stronger and it was now the only genuine alternative before the people of India.

The Naxalite movement began as a peasants' uprising in May 1969 in the village of Naxalbari in West Bengal. It was initially led by 49-year-old Charu Mazumdar and its aim was to seize power through an agrarian revolution by overthrowing the feudal order. Mazumdar died in police custody 12 days after his arrest in Calcutta in 1972 and became a hero to Maoist cadres that have increased in number and strength over the years despite splits in the movement. The Naxalite insurgency has sprouted after every defeat and is now stronger than ever.

India's share of the world's poorest people has increased to 39 percent from 25 percent in 1980. In comparison, the Below Poverty Line population worldwide has decreased from 1,470 million to 970 million. There are reportedly 301 million Indians below the poverty line, just 19 million less than in 1983. The Human Development Report by the UN has been ranking India among the lowest 60 or 65 countries in the list of 193 nations that are part of the annual study. India's poor performance on this score was in spite of the around nine percent growth rate in its GDP. There are reports in the media about farmers committing suicide or selling their wives to pay mounting debts. Though the recorded figures of such cases aren't high in a big country such as India with 1.17 billion people, it still indicates the desperate state of certain communities.

Riaz Haq said...

BBC website has a pictorial today of charities feeding the poor. One picture shows the big kitchen of one charity alone that feeds 40,000 people every day in Karachi.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8338407.stm

Riaz Haq said...

Last year, Indian Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed acknowledged that India is worse than Bangladesh and Pakistan when it comes to nourishment and is showing little improvement.

Speaking at a conference on "Malnutrition an emergency: what it costs the nation", she said even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during interactions with the Planning Commission has described malnourishment as the "blackest mark".

"I should not compare. But countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are better," she said. The conference was organized last year by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region.

According to India's Family Health Survey, almost 46 percent of children under the age of three are undernourished - an improvement of just one percent in the last seven years. This is only a shade better than Sub-Saharan Africa where about 35 percent of children are malnourished.

India has recently been described as a "nutritional weakling" by a British report.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an LA Times report on the vicious cycle of poverty in rural India:

India has long been plagued by unscrupulous moneylenders who exploit impoverished farmers. But with crops failing more frequently, farmers are left even more desperate and vulnerable.

Reporting from Jhansi, India - She stops for long stretches, lost in thought, trying to make sense of how she's been left half a person.

Sunita, 18, who requested that her family name not be used to preserve her chance of getting married, said her nightmare started in early 2007 after her father took a loan for her sister's wedding. The local moneylender charged 60% annual interest.

When the family was unable to make the exorbitant interest payments, she said, the moneylender forced himself on her, not once or twice but repeatedly over many months.

"I used to cry a lot and became a living corpse," she said.

Sunita's allegations, which the moneylender denies, cast a harsh light on widespread abuses in rural India, where a highly bureaucratic banking system, corruption and widespread illiteracy allow unethical people with extra income to exploit poor villagers, activists say.

But here in the Bundelkhand region in central India that is among the nation's more impoverished areas, the problem is exacerbated by climate change and environmental mismanagement, they say, suggesting that ecological degradation and global warming are changing human life in more ways than just elevated sea levels and melting glaciers.

"Before, a bad year would lead to a good year," said Bharat Dogra, a fellow at New Delhi's Institute of Social Sciences specializing in the Bundelkhand region. "Now climate change is giving us seven or eight bad years in a row, putting local people deeper and deeper in debt. I expect the situation will only get worse."

An estimated 200,000 Indian farmers have ended their lives since 1997, including many in this area, largely because of debt.

A 2007 study of 13 Bundelkhand villages found that up to 45% of farming families had forfeited their land, and in extreme cases some were forced into indentured servitude. Tractor companies, land mafia and bankers routinely collude, encouraging farmers to take loans they can't afford, a 2008 report by India's Supreme Court found, knowing they'll default and be forced to sell their land.

"While a few people borrow for social status or a desire to buy a new motorcycle, in most cases it's for sheer survival," Dogra said. "When they see their children starving after several years of crop failures, many feel they have no choice."

Recent amendments to a 1976 law in Uttar Pradesh state have increased the maximum punishment for unauthorized money-lending to three years in jail, up from six months, but many loan sharks are well-connected and elude prosecution. The law specifies that lenders must obtain a state license, but the requirements for obtaining it can be vague, a situation that critics say gives bureaucrats significant leeway to enact arbitrary rules and exact questionable fees.

"I take occasional loans when we're desperate," says Jhagdu, 50, a farmer in Barora, 60 miles south of Jhansi, sitting on his haunches with teeth stained red from chewing betel nut. "When there's no rain, like now, you can't repay for a year, so the amounts can double."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a November 2009 AFP report on how the Kiwis' charity brought mobs of beggars in Chennai and sparked a full-scale riot:

Two New Zealand cricketers have admitted to inadvertently sparking what has been described as a full-scale riot in the Indian city of Chennai after handing out money to street people.

The incident happened following an unauthorised drinking session during the New Zealand A tour of India in August.

Neil Broom and Aaron Redmond owned up after the Herald on Sunday newspaper reported that a riot broke out when two players began handing out money in Chennai.

"The intended charity quickly became more popular than the pair had counted on. The crowd grew larger and more unruly and, according to sources, a full-scale riot broke out," the newspaper said.

Although the players were not named in the article, Broom and Redmond later issued a statement admitting liability to remove the spotlight from the rest of the squad.

"Unfortunately when we decided to leave the night spot we were picked up by police following another poor decision to hand out money to people living on the street, whereupon a crowd developed," Redmond, a seven-Test batsman, said.

"The police initially took us back to the station and then arranged for a taxi to take us back to the hotel."

Broom said they accepted it was a serious breach of team protocols.

"We deeply regret the incident and wish to apologise to New Zealand Cricket," he said.

They were charged by New Zealand Cricket with serious misconduct for breaching team protocol but no details of any punishment were released.

"It was a confidential process, and New Zealand Cricket considers the matter closed," New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said.

New Zealand Cricket Players Association executive manager Heath Mills noted the players had not committed a crime and no charges were laid in India.

"The players fully accept that they should not have left the hotel, and also showed poor judgment in heading to a night spot and drinking, given preparations required for upcoming fixtures and the security position the team was in," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent report on high food prices in India which are likely to worsen food access for the poor and the children:

New Delhi, Feb 4 (IANS) India’s annual food inflation based on wholesale prices rose to 17.56 percent for the week ended Jan 23 from 17.4 percent the week before, according to official data released Thursday.
Prices of some essential items remained firm with vegetables dearer by 13.02 percent and fruits by 6.54 percent during the 52-week period. However, prices of onions fell 10.5 percent.

The limited data on the wholesale index released by the commerce and industry ministry further showed that while the index for primary articles fell 14.56 percent, that for fuels rose 5.88 percent.

India’s overall inflation rate, based on the wholesale prices index, had risen sharply to 7.31 percent in December from 4.78 percent the previous month mainly on account of higher food prices.

The price rise of some essential food items over the 52-week period:

- Potatoes: 44.91 percent

- Pulses: 44.43 percent

- Cereals: 13.37 percent

- Rice: 10.96 percent

- Milk: 13.95 percent

- Wheat: 15.96 percent

- Vegetables: 13.02 percent

- Fruits: 6.54 percent

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is slated to discuss the issue of price rise with state chief ministers Feb 6. The meeting was earlier scheduled for Jan 27.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BBC report about Kerala's economy and social indicators:

Kerala defies all stereotypes of a "socially backward" Indian state - swathes of people living in abject poverty, men outnumbering women because of female foeticide, internecine caste politics.

Many of its social indicators are on par with the developed world and it has the highest human development index in India.

It also has the highest literacy rate (more than 90%) and life expectancy in India, lowest infant mortality, lowest school drop-out rate, and a fairly prosperous countryside.

That's not all.

In contrast to India's more prosperous states, like Punjab and Haryana, Kerala can boast a very healthy gender ratio - women outnumber men here.

Life expectancy for women is also higher than for men, as in most developed countries. Thanks to a matrilineal society, women, by and large, are more empowered than in most places in India.

When it comes to low population growth, Kerala competes with Europe and the US. And all but two districts of the state have a lower fertility rate than that needed to maintain current population levels.
----------------
And thanks to pioneering land reforms initiated by a Communist government in the late 1950s, the levels of rural poverty here are the lowest in India. Decent state-funded health care and education even made it the best welfare state in India.

Yet, today, Kerala is a straggler economy almost entirely dependent on tourism and remittances sent back by two million of its people who live and work abroad, mostly in the Gulf.

Joblessness is rife due to the lack of a robust manufacturing base - more than 15% in urban areas, three times the national average. More than 30 million people live in the densely populated state, a third of which is covered by forests

More people here are taking their lives than anywhere else in India. Alcoholism is a dire social problem - the state has India's highest per capita alcohol consumption. People migrate because there are no jobs at home.
---------------------------------
Clearly, Kerala needs a new contract between the state and its people to move ahead and build upon its enviable gains.

Riaz Haq said...

In rural Pakistan where about 70% of Pakistanis live, people spend 55% of their income on food, according to a World Resources Institute (WRI) report.

The bottom two BOP (Bottom of Income Pyramid) groups alone account for more than 50% of national food spending in Pakistan. Average annual food spending per household in the BOP in Pakistan is $2,643. While BOP3000 households have 6 times as much income on average, they outspend BOP500 households in the food market by a ratio of only 2:1 in Cameroon, 2.3:1 in South Africa and Pakistan, 2.4:1 in Kazakhstan, 1.9:1 in Uzbekistan, and 3:1 in Peru.

Currently, food inflation in Pakistan is running at 15.49 percent, hitting the poor the hardest.

According to a recent Daily Times report, Non-perishable food item prices increased 14.76 percent whereas perishable food items recorded 21.30 percent increase in their prices.

Fuel & lighting index rose 20.19 percent during January this over the last year whereas house rent index posted 13.38 increase this month.

Transport & communication index rose 9.43 percent, education expenses increased 13.68 percent and medical expenses increased 5.88 percent.

The detailed analysis of the SPI prices for Jan-10 reveals that few items, within the food category, were observed to post over 100bps MoM increase in prices. Sugar (1.92 percent weight in the CPI) remained exceptional with 19 percent MoM increase and food prices (40.3 percent weight in the CPI) contributed passively this time around to the CPI in Jan-10 due to being relatively stable.

Riaz Haq said...

Bumper crop enables Pakistan's donation of 500,000 tons to World Food Program, according to Daily Times:

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday welcomed a commitment by the newly created Pakistan Ministry of Food Security and Research (MFSR) to annually donate up to 500,000 metric tonnes of wheat to WFP to combat malnutrition and improve food security in poor countries around the world.

WFP Pakistan Country Director Jean-Luc Siblot highly praised the donation, saying, “This in-kind donation is the largest in recent years by any country where WFP has its operations,” adding, “It shows a strong commitment by the government of Pakistan to address the issues of food security and malnutrition in poor countries and will also encourage the international donor community to step up its support.” The donation, valued at $144 million, was announced in a Letter of Intent signed on Wednesday by the ministry and WFP at the end of a six-day food security workshop attended by government representatives, donors, WFP members, the Food and Agricultural Organisation and NGOs, including Oxfam and the Sustainable Development Policy Institute.


http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\03\22\story_22-3-2012_pg7_28

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a story of Pakistan empowering poor Tanzanian women with sewing machines gift:

Twenty five poor women in Dar es Salaam city and its precincts on Friday felt Pakistan’s heartiest greetings of her 72nd national day after they each received a sewing machine to help them fight poverty.

The machines, each worth 100 US Dollars were issued by the High Commissioner for Pakistan in Tanzania, Tajammul Altaf for Tanzania at a brief ceremony at the High Commissioner’s office in the city…

A sigh of relief engulfed Sophia Mngole from Kinondoni area, one of the recipients of the donation. Sophia,37, has since her childhood been working as a house girl in various areas in the country. This was after her mother died when she was still at a tender age.

Poor Sophia had shown great dedication to her house-girl work which has made her live happily with every family she had been labouring for. She has been keeping her meagre pay she received to pay to a tailoring mart so that she could learn the art.

She is now able to make various designs for both male and female customers. That is why owners of the mart have retained her to assist them in their work. She however receives peanuts at the end of the day although her work mints much money for the owner of the mart.

After the Pakistan offer of the sewing machine she only said, ‘God is great.’ She has began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The future looks bright for her.

‘This machine will liberate me from poverty. The sewing machine will make me raise money to take care of my nine-year old daughter Rispa who is in standard three.

The same feeling was felt by the other 19 recipients of the donation. Smiling, many had even enquired from the Pakistanis at the function how to say ‘Long live Pakistan’ in Urdu which is the national language of Pakistan.

“Pakistan Painda abad,’ meaning Long live Pakistan, they replied to any Pakistanis who greeted them at the function.

A flag hoisting ceremony to mark the 72nd Anniversary of the Pakistan was held at the High Commission for Pakistan in Dar es Salaam.


http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=39890

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Pak Tea House story of Jinnah School for Congolese children:

Congo’s Children With Pakistan’s Founder
Pakistani Blue Helmets In The African Nation

Jinnah Public School is commonly known as the Jinnah School in this central African country. The Congolese students honor Pakistan once every year at the annual function by reciting the Pakistani national anthem. Some 4000 Pakistani civilians and soldiers are helping Congo-Kinshasa stand on its feet.

Congo kids with Quaid's Portrait-1.jpg

MUHAMMAD USMAN | Thursday | 17 February 2011 | Pakistani Blue Helmets In Congo

KINSHASA, Congo—I am serving with the UN mission in Democratic Republic of Congo. The contribution of Pakistani civilians and military in this country under the UN has earned a lot of respect for Pakistan. I have attached a recent photograph of JINNAH PUBLIC SCHOOL here in Bukavu which is the capital city of South Kivu Province. The school is named after the leader of the Pakistan Independence Movement, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

The school was established by Pakistan Army officers and soldiers as a gift to the people of Congo.

Pakistani Blue Helmets in Congo are earning respect and honor for Pakistan through service to humanity.

The effort is acknowledged by the people of this war-torn country in Central Africa.

The school is more commonly known here as the Jinnah School.

The students here sing the Pakistani national anthem every year during their annual function at Jinnah School. When I saw this scene for the first time, I had tears in my eyes.

More than 4000 Pakistani civilians and soldiers are serving in DR Congo under United Nations. One of the main missions of the Pakistani contingent is WHAMS, Winning of the Hearts And Minds through activities like the Jinnah School.

We all are grateful for the nation’s support and that of Pakistanis like you at this forum.

The writer is a Pakistani Blue Helmet in Congo-Kinshasa.


http://pakteahouse.net/2011/02/24/congos-children-with-pakistans-founder/