Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Alleged "Spy" Gupta's Delhi Arrest Suspicious

Coming just days before the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) summit in Bhutan, the arrest of Indian diplomat Madhuri Gupta on charges of spying for Pakistan is raising many serious questions among analysts and commentators.



On April 22, the 53-year-old Gupta was asked to return to New Delhi ostensibly to help prepare for the SAARC summit in Bhutan, according to a report in Time magazine. After landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport, she was taken away by the Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials for interrogation in an undisclosed location. Twenty-four hours later, she was handed over to Delhi police, charged with treason and accessing confidential documents under India's Official Secrets Act, and passing sensitive information on to ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency. Indian news agency PTI is reporting that the head of India's intelligence agency RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) in Islamabad is also being investigated. Her alleged visit to the Indian side of the LOC in disputed Kashmir region are among her suspicious activities being investigated by Indian authorities.

Some of the probing questions being asked relate to the timing of the arrest just prior to the SAARC summit, the level of access a low-level diplomat like Gupta had to India's classified information, the role and the motivations of India's Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials, and Gupta's possible role as a double agent working simultaneously for both India's RAW and Pakistan's ISI. Other questions include as to why was India's intelligence agency RAW kept out of the loop? Is the Indian IB attempting to delay, or even scuttle the resumption of India-Pakistan composite dialog? Did Gupta run afoul of her Indian handlers that led to her outing and arrest?

S.M. Mushrif, former Police Chief of Maharashtra and the author of "Who Killed Karkare?", believes that the Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB) is up to its neck in conspiring with the extreme Hindutva groups against Indian Muslims and creating trouble between India and Pakistan.

The power establishment that really runs the affairs of India (Mushrif says it is not Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh or Rahul Gandhi) does not want to expose the rabidly anti-Muslim Hindutva terrorists, and by extension, see peace between India and Pakistan.

The Times of India hints at the possibility of Gupta being double agent working for both Indian and Pakistani spy agencies. In a piece titled "Spy Games", the Times argues that there are many questions that need to be answered by the officials in the Gupta espionage case. It says: "For those pressing charges against Gupta, the questions that need to be probed are: When and how was Gupta contacted by Pakistani agents? Was she allowed access to information above her clearance level? How long did it take for her activities to be noticed on the Indian side? And perhaps most importantly, what was her motivation for becoming a double agent? Finding the answers to these questions could go some way towards revealing the lacunae in our security protocols abroad and preventing recurrences of such breaches."

Some of the Indian analysts are probably correct in their assessment that at least a part of the Pakistani "establishment" does not want serious progress in talks with India. But I also believe there is a similar anti-Pakistan establishment in India that wants to thwart any possibility of peace with Pakistan.

I often hear references to India's "shadowy security establishment" and "agencies" by Indian columnists like Siddarth Varadarajan in The Hindu newspaper, and allegations against "some vested interests in militants and agencies" by politicians like Mehbooba Mufti after the Srinagar hotel attack earlier this year.

Espionage cases like this need to be thoroughly investigated. However, I do not think it's likely that the public will ever learn the full truth in this case.

Related Links:

Case For Resuming India-Pakistan Dialog

India's Covert War in Pakistan

Hindutva Terror

Who Killed Karkare?

Bloodbath in Kashmir Valley

Behind India's Bust of a Pakistani Spy

Spy Games

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

She was low caste and not liked by Brahman ruling class. http://thedawn.com.pk/2010/04/27/indians-classify-doube-agent-matahari-as-low-caste/

This is how democracy works in great nation of bharat.

Captain said...

she was just used as a tool to distract pakistan's advancing military and diplomatic strength. feel bad for the poor lady; commit ur whole life for a country and then get framed :smh:

Spectator said...

Any high school student (at least in India) would tell you that Siddarth Varadarajan has used term "shadowy security establishment" as cliché. He goes on to suggest that "My own view is that the boycott was not ordered or engineered by the Government of India or any of its agencies acting on instructions from the top" which author of blog has chosen to ignore.

"Often" in English language means many times; frequently , but Siddarth used it only in context of single article.

As for anonymous's comment, "Gupta" caste is not low by any stretch of imagination. Guptas are usually prosperous merchant class across India.

Pakistanis would find it hard to believe but RAW comes under political control and directly under PM while IB comes under Home Minister. While in Pakistan, Hillary Clinton spends more time with Army Chief than PM Gilani, it is not so In India. In fact the head of RAW and IB are chosen not by Army but a college consisting of PM's cabinet and top bureaucrats. There have been umpteen instances where IB/RAW heads have been changed by new PMs on regime change. Try doing this in Pakistan and the PM would be changed next day. There something called Democracy in work here.

Phew!!

Riaz Haq said...

Spectator: "Pakistanis would find it hard to believe but RAW comes under political control and directly under PM while IB comes under Home Minister."

It's just on paper. The reality is different, according to SM Mushrif, former police chief of Maharashtra, who has a lot more inside info than you or I ever will.

The power establishment that really runs the affairs of this country (Mushrif says it is not Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh or Rahul Gandhi) does not want to expose the Hindutva terrorists. One example is the blasts in Samjhauta Express, which the IB said was carried out by Pakistan’s ISI. Mushrif quotes a report in The Times of India that said, “the Centre had blamed the ISI on the basis of the IB’s findings.” However, during a narco-analysis test under Karkare, Lt. Col. Purohit had admitted having supplied the RDX used in the blast. The IB, which draws its power from its proximity to the Prime Minister (its director briefs the PM every morning for half an hour), did not want Karkare’s investigation that blew the cover off the IB’s shenanigans, to continue.

Harris said...

I almost fell out of my seat when I first read this story, it was hilarious. Particularly from the pseudo-'news' (used in the loosest form possible) website rediff, which I recommend to anyone wanting to read comments by semi-literate Indians.
The crux of the matter is that she was out to seek revenge for the way she was treated. Of course it was pure coincidence that she was nabbed days before the 2 Prime Ministers were due to meet at the SAARC summit.

Spectator said...

SM Mushrif - Is he the man who holds keys to the truth behind India's power center? Let's see what his credentials are to make sweeping statements about India's security setup, except for being a muslim (which probably is good enough for Haq). SM Mushrif is a former inspector-general of police famous for having exposed the infamous scam carried out by Abdul Karim Telgi. He's also brother of Hasan Mushrif who in 2001 was inducted into the cabinet of state chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, with a portfolio of dairy development and animal husbandry. The fact that both brothers being Muslim and no fans of so called "Brahministic system" managed to reach upper echelons of government itself says something about Indian political system, but that's not the point here.

Let's have a look at workforce composition of RAW. R&AW directly recruits graduates from universities and has its own service cadre, the Research and Analysis Service (RAS) to absorb talent. Recruitment is mostly by deputation from the Armed Forces or Civil Service Officers. The Civil and Defense Service Officers permanently resign their cadre and join the Research and Analysis Service (RAS). Officers can return to their parent cadre after serving a specific period in the agency if they wish to.In fact, there has been terrible cat and mouse games between officers of RAS and Indian Police Service (who are on temporary deputation) for supremacy withing organization that has severely dented it's operational capabilities.

As is evident, SM Mushrif belongs to Maharashtra Cadre of Indian Police Service. Police in India is a state subject and IG of a state reports into Chief Minister unlike RAW or IB officers who report into Cabinet Secretariat and Home Ministry respectively. It looks highly unlikely that Mr Mushrif knows the inner workings of RAW or IB when the fact remains that he's never been part of intelligence setup. Except that collecting local intelligence that might have been under his purview as IG police, he's neither a career intelligence officer nor a central government mandarin. So what might give him special insight into who does or does not control RAW or IB is anybody's guess, and I'll give you two.At best these comments are based on innuendos, office chit chat (that south Asians are good at), hearsay and desire to sell copies of his book (in his book Mushrif provides no references, papers, research work of any sort) to earn an easy retirement and at worst to gain few Muslim sympathy votes for either his brother or himself if he might decide to join the fray. Failed and disgruntled politicians have often used this ploy, AR Antulay is an example that comes to mind.

Civil services in India are bound by reservation policies as under 27% for OBCs ; 15% for SCs ; 7.5 % for STs ; the rest is for general category (not just brahmins). If the reserved seats are not filled due to any reason, they remain vacant and are used for next year .Considering this, what mathematical calculations proves that brahmins and upper class have monoply in government services remains to be seen.

Karkare himself served seven years in Austria in the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and was more likely to have contacts at R&AW.

To base your facts on non reliable sources could be embarrassing. I'd suggest you read literature from seasoned Indian intelligence men to get better insight into Indian Intelligence ecosystem. Trust me, all of it is not chest thumping so you won't repent spending your money.However, this would save you the fairy tales of media and conspiracy theory websites.

1. Open Secrets

2. The kaoboys of R&AW

Riaz Haq said...

Spectator,

It's obvious from your comments that you do not agree with Mushrif because it conflicts with your own preconceived notions about IB and RAW. The fact is that there are many Indian writers who have researched and written about close nexus between Hindutva terror outfits and Indian security establishment who have exploited the "war on terror" to persecute Indian Muslims and blame Pakistan for many Hindutva acts of terror.

In a recent article titled "Procrastinating on Hindutva Terror", Subash Gatade describes a number of bomb blasts carried out by Hindutva groups in India, and talks about how the investigators have been dragging their feet on such incidents where the perpetrators attempted to frame innocent Muslims. Among others, the author describes Goa and Malegaon blasts which were blamed on Muslim youths. Here is what it says:

In a writeup in Indian Express (8 Nov, 2009)"Goa Bombers Tried To Leave Muslim Imprint" the reporter even quotes another police officer on the condition of anonymity " The material was enough to spark communal trouble in Margao and extremist elements from outside would have found it easy to aggravate it." A close look at the plan to 'leave Muslim imprint' had echoes of earlier attempts by Hindutva terrorists of different hues to spark communal tension. The Malegaon bomb blast in 2008 which saw the exposure of the wide Hindutva terrorist network - thanks to the efforts of a committed officer like Hemant Karkare - had also seen similar actions by the fanatics. In fact the members of Abhinav Bharat had parked their explosive laden motorcycle below the defunct office of the SIMI in Bhikhu Chowk, Malegaon. The Nanded bomb blast in 2006 had also seen fake beards and dresses normally worn by Muslims at the house of the terrorists who had died in the bomb blasts.

Another Indian writer, Yoginder Sikand, has been following the story of Muslims framed by India's police and intelligence agencies in various incidents of violence. Here is what he wrote:

For several months now, almost no week passes without the media reporting about 'dreaded Muslim fundamentalists' being picked up by the police and allegedly confessing to being involved in bomb blasts or plots to engineer violence across India. It is not my argument that all of these reports are cooked-up and dished-out propaganda. Some of these stories must be true, and those behind such acts must be caught and punished. But, the fact remains, many of these stories circulating in the media are wholly fabricated, and these are being manufactured and highlighted for a particular motive: to fuel anti-Muslim passions and, thereby, justify various forms of discrimination and oppression—even murder—of hapless Muslim citizens who, far from having anything to do with terrorism, are victims of terror—of agencies of the state, especially the police and Hindutva terror outfits.

Even the Indian home minister has acknowledged the problem of "Hindu terrorism" in India.

Riaz Haq said...

Madhuri Gupta has told a Delhi court on Saturday that she was being framed, police sources said according to media reports.

Gupta was sent to 14 days judicial custody by Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja. The police were told to present Gupta before the court on May 15.

According to a police official, Gupta, 53, said she was not a senior officer and could not have passed on sensitive information to her contacts in Pakistan where she was posted in the Indian High Commission.

But she said she had revealed the identities of Indian undercover agents in Pakistan.

Her counsel Jagmohan Dahiya said police wanted to extend her custody for two more days, which the court rejected. Earlier she was in police custody for five days.

According to court sources, the police wanted to extend her remand as they claimed she was changing her statements time and again in order to mislead them.

She has been booked under the Official Secrets Act.

Gupta, a second secretary at the Indian mission in Islamabad, was arrested here April 27 on charges of passing on information to the Pakistanis.

According to officials, she came under suspicion months ago and was called to Delhi on the pretext of helping to prepare for the SAARC summit that ended in Bhutan this week.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent article in Dawn on India-Pak water issues:

Another take on the issue comes from John Briscoe, a South African expert who has spent three decades in South Asia, and has served as a senior advisor on water issues to the World Bank. In an article titled War or Peace on the Indus?, Briscoe places the matter in a political context:

“Living in Delhi and working in both India and Pakistan, I was struck by a paradox. One country was a vigorous democracy, the other a military regime. But whereas important parts of the Pakistani press regularly reported India’s views on the water issue in an objective way, the Indian press never did the same. I never saw a report which gave Indian readers a factual description of the enormous vulnerability of Pakistan, of the way India had socked it to Pakistan when filling Baglihar….

“Equally depressing is my repeated experience — most recently at a major international meeting of strategic security institutions in Delhi — that even the most liberal and enlightened of Indian analysts … seem constitutionally incapable of seeing the great vulnerability and legitimate concern of Pakistan (which is obvious and objective to an outsider)…. This is a very uneven playing field. The regional hegemon is the upper riparian and has all the cards in its hands.”

Briscoe makes the point that even though India was cleared of any technical violation of the treaty in building Baglihar dam by an international panel of experts its timing of the diversion of the river to fill the dam caused great hardship to farmers in Pakistan. He goes on to argue that as the upper riparian, India can and should do much more to reassure Pakistan that it has no intention of violating the letter or spirit of the treaty. Above all, Briscoe puts the onus on Indian opinion makers to do much more to explain the issues fairly to the Indian public.


Media coverage and analysts are very significant in India Pakistan relations. There's a lot of hope hanging on journalists and analysts exchanges as part of Aman Ki Asha.

A hopeful sign I saw recently was Indian anchor Burkha Dutt, known for her extremely hawkish views after Mumbai, visiting and joining Pak journalists and expressing herself in a much more conciliatory tone. This happened as part of Aman Ki Asha programs being aired in both South Asian countries.

anoop said...

Riaz,

Spectator said there is no way Mushriff could have access to such info inside IB as he is under the state apparatus. I dont see you contradicting his arguments. It sounds like you want Mushriff to be true rather than face up to the truth.

And, no Indian goes up and blows himself or tries to kill people in other countries(like Faisal Shamshed from Pakistan has done recently).

End of Pakistani immigration to the US? I think so.. Cant blame them,can you..

Zen, Munich, Germany said...

@Riaz

Off topic, but relevant to your blog as a whole..

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/fear-grips-pakistaniamericans-550

Quote:

“The Pakistanis enjoy the benefits of living in America. Love earning dollars. Love the prosperity that the dollar brings. They love showing off their dollars when they go to Pakistan. Yet, they never tire of criticising America. They think Pakistan is a paradise but all are afraid of returning home.”

Riaz Haq said...

Zen: "Yet, they never tire of criticising America."

Well, I have lived here in the US for over thirty year, and I know from personal experience that the characterization in the above quote is just one person's wrong-headed opinion.

Pakistani-Americans, like other Americans in this democratic society, do frequently exercise their right to criticize US policies such as the Iraq war and bank bailouts, but it is not the same thing as criticizing America itself.

As to international terrorism, sane Americans and American officials know that Pakistanis are themselves victims of frequent terror attacks, and the nation of Pakistan is making tremendous sacrifices in its fight against the terrorists.

Riaz Haq said...

Since the aborted terror incident allegedly involving a Pakistani-American at Times Square last weekend in New York, I am continuing to receive a large number of hateful comments from the usual suspects representing the worst kind of naked bigotry against all Pakistanis.

I believe the best way for the US to deal with such terror is to work in a friendly manner with Pakistanis who are themselves victims of bombers and terrorists like the alleged perpetrator Faisal Shahzad.

Punishing or maligning all Pakistanis for the acts of a few is neither fair nor wise for America.

I'm glad to see Pakistani government's quick response to and close cooperation with US after this latest attempted act of terror in New York.

However, whatever Pakistan government or Pakistanis or Pakistani-Americans do to fight terror inside and outside Pakistan, such incidents will still be shamelessly exploited by some of the worst bigots in cyberspace and elsewhere to spew hatred and venom against Pakistan.

Zen, Munich, Germany said...

"As to international terrorism, sane Americans and American officials know that Pakistanis are themselves victims of frequent terror attacks, and the nation of Pakistan is making tremendous sacrifices in its fight against the terrorists."

This is a lame argument. How can you call yourself a victim when victim is also the perpetrator and "victim country" has a huge population sympathizing with terrorists?

"I'm glad to see Pakistani government's quick response to and close cooperation with US after this latest attempted act of terror in New York."

After all, if paymaster says so, Pak. has to do so. Will Pakistan show the same zealousness to arrest 26/11 perpetrators? No. That says something about (lack of)honesty in fight against terrorism.

I have no opinion that Americans are fighting a just war in Afghan or anywhere else because in modern times, when there is immense imbalance of power, justness is just lost. So contrary to what many Americans would like to believe, drone attacks in civilian areas are not any less cowardly act than terrorism by Pakistanis in NewYork.
Nevertheless, the failings of Pakistani society is all too evident in endless riots, bombings among their own people and also indiscriminate acts of terrorism by Pakistanis like that happened in Mumbai(which is an act of cowardice).

"However, whatever Pakistan government or Pakistanis or Pakistani-Americans do to fight terror inside and outside Pakistan, such incidents will still be shamelessly exploited by some of the worst bigots in cyberspace and elsewhere to spew hatred and venom against Pakistan."

Well, bigotry is bad, but terrorism even worse. What you see in editorials or blogs or hate mails are the anger of democratic societies which are incapable or unwilling to commit violence. What I often say to Muslims in Kerala when they (rightly)complaint about the negative media portrayal is that they should be happy that in Kerala(and to some extend in wider India) it never result in physical violence against them as it can happen in places like Pakistan or Nigeria. If they were more honest among them in condemning terrorism, may be there would have been less hate mails to begin with. If these terrorists were Russians, they would also be criticized.
Also in USA, despite the fear of harassment and media backlash, no one expect any riots or bombings against Pakistanis.

anoop said...

Riaz,

"I'm glad to see Pakistani government's quick response to and close cooperation with US after this latest attempted act of terror in New York."


If a person ,even unsuccessfully, tries to kill people in the US,the lone superpower in this world, then Pakistani establishment jumps into action and arrests the alleged terrorrist’s relatives and friends.

If 10 people run around killing people in a metropolis like Mumbai, Pakistani establishment hides the lone survivor’s parents and warns the village heads not to speak to the media. It quickly questions India’s claim that those 10 terrorists are Pakistanis in the 1st place! It asks for “evidence” from India.

I cant wait for India’s GDP to surpass that of the US’s….

Riaz Haq said...

Zen: "How can you call yourself a victim when victim is also the perpetrator and "victim country" has a huge population sympathizing with terrorists?"

Polls after polls in Pakistan indicate that vast majority of Pakistanis are strongly supporting Pak govt and army's campaigns against the Taliban in NWFP and FATA. Opposing wrong-headed US policies does not equate with support for terrorists.

While Pakistanis clearly share responsibility for the current Taliban terrorism and its consequences, let's not forget that the Taliban and Al Qaeda monsters were created by the joint efforts of US and Pakistan in the 1980s as part of the cold war offensive against the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

In the 1980s, President Reagan welcomed some of the founders of the current Taliban movement in the White House and said, "these gentleman are the moral equivalents of America's founding fathers.

Post-911, the US has been guilty of massive and indiscriminate use of force that caused mass civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq that has strengthened th hands of the radical elements in the Islamic world. Its continuing support of brutal Israeli occupation has also served as an effective recruiting tool by the extremists and terrorists in Pakistan and elsewhere.

Even the Obama admin and Gen Petraeus are now beginning to see the link between US policy in Israel and its effects elsewhere. Here's a quote from a recent NY Times piece: "Mr. Obama said conflicts like the one in the Middle East ended up “costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure” — drawing an explicit link between the Israeli-Palestinian strife and the safety of American soldiers as they battle Islamic extremism and terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere."

The number of terrorist incidents and casualties of Pakistani civilians and soldiers in their struggle against terrorism absolutely put Pakistanis among the biggest victims of terror....far surpassing the numbers in the US or Europe or India.

Zen: "Will Pakistan show the same zealousness to arrest 26/11 perpetrators? No. That says something about (lack of)honesty in fight against terrorism."

This is a false argument. Pakistan has already cracked down on LeT and several of its members accused of participating in Mumbai terror attacks are under arrest and being prosecuted. The wheels of justice move slowly in Pakistan, as they do in India. About a quarter of Indian MPs accused of serious crimes continue to be elected as their cases remain pending in courts for as long as 20-30 years.

Riaz Haq said...

Zen: "Well, bigotry is bad, but terrorism even worse. What you see in editorials or blogs or hate mails are the anger of democratic societies which are incapable or unwilling to commit violence."

Bigotry and discrimination exists in different forms in all societies, and people react differently. In US, there has been widespread harassment of Muslims and Pakistanis post-911, forcing many to leave the country. There have been several high-profile bombings and murders of Muslims and Pakistanis, and those who are mistaken as such. Even some of Indian Sikhs have been targeted and killed. Mosques have been set on fire.

Using the war on terror as convenient cover, the right-wing Hindu extremists in India have organized anti-Muslim pogroms such as Gujarat 2002, and a large number of Muslims across India have been incarcerated and tortured in India's own Guantanamos and Abu Ghraibs on trumped-up charges.

Riaz Haq said...

anoop: "It quickly questions India’s claim that those 10 terrorists are Pakistanis in the 1st place! It asks for “evidence” from India."

It's because India routinely blames Pakistan for everything. A recent example is the bombing of Samjhota Express that Indian IB initially blamed on ISI and then it turned out to be the work of Col. Purohit of the Indian Army.

As a Time story put it a few years ago:

"India and Pakistan blame each other's spies for just about everything that goes wrong. If there's an outbreak of plague or a riot, it's the work of the sinister "foreign hand." Indians are certain, for instance, that Pakistan's secret service, the Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, masterminded the December attack on the Indian Parliament in New Delhi. Do they have any concrete evidence? "Zilch," concedes an Indian official. "Quite honestly, we only know they are involved by implication." Equally, the Pakistanis are convinced that agents of India's secret service, the Research and Analysis Wing, or RAW, are behind random bombings that plague Pakistani cities."

anoop: "I cant wait for India’s GDP to surpass that of the US’s…."

It has nothing to do with GDP, and everything to do with the kind of relationship the two nations have.

Besides, India today produces only about 2.5% of the world GDP while the US contributes 25%. I don't expect India's GDP to surpass US GDP in my lifetime or yours. And India's GDP is not likely to ever catch up with the Chinese GDP.

Data Cruncher said...

"It's because India routinely blames Pakistan for everything"

and if Kasab was killed Pak would have said the same about Mumbai attack too. Fact is, this time they got caught and pak was forced to admit.

Pls do not pretend that Pak has nothing to do with some of the earlier attacks in India.

anoop said...

Riaz,

"Besides, India today produces only about 2.5% of the world GDP while the US contributes 25%. I don't expect India's GDP to surpass US GDP in my lifetime or yours. And India's GDP is not likely to ever catch up with the Chinese GDP. "

--> According to Minhas Merchant who recently wrote of TOI, "US GDP is $14.70 trillion.Indias GDP (by purchasing power parity) is nearly $4 trillion..Assuming an average annual growth rate of 7.25 per cent between 2010 and 2040 (a reasonable trendline-based extrapolation),Indias GDP will increase eightfold to $32 trillion within 30 years.Assuming,further,an average annual growth rate of 2.40 per cent (an equally reasonable trendline extrapolation given a low American savings rate of 4 per cent and a high budget deficit of over $1 trillion),US GDP will double to $29 trillion during the same period.Thus in 30 years,Indias economy using a mathematical model that factors in several economic and demographic variables will be larger than Americas."

He assumes India growth to be 7.25% and there is every chance that it will be more than that figure. US has reached its levels and cant grow at the rates India and China can grow.

And, yes,India's GDP will surpass that of the US in my lifetime ,indeed. 1990-2010 was China's time. The next 20 years will be India's. The kind of transformation that took place in China during that time will happen in India.

Economics is cold,hard reality. Wishful thinking will not driving its effects away.

Source: http://lite.epaper.timesofindia.com/mobile.aspx?article=yes&pageid=18&edlabel=CAP&mydateHid=01-05-2010&pubname=&edname=&articleid=Ar01800&format=&publabel=TOI

Riaz, when India's power grows large it can really hurt Pakistan economically. Just by giving subsidies to textile exports it can destroy Pakistani Textile exports. Millions in Pakistan will lose their means of living. This is just one simple method,played fair and square. I advice Pakistan to dump its anti-India feelings and start getting on the good side of India. It has to realize Kashmir is a elusive dream never to be fulfilled.

Riaz Haq said...

anoop: "Economics is cold,hard reality. Wishful thinking will not driving its effects away."

It's a lot of wishful thinking on your part to assume India's 7.5% growth sustained over a 30 year period. And even if that were to happen, I don't see how India can hurt Pakistan without grievously hurting itself. Remember, both are armed with nukes and live next to each other. Any problems in one country can and will spill into the entire neighborhood. Europeans have been smart enough to recognize thus reality after fighting many big wars, including WW1 and WW2.

Goldman Sachs invented "BRIC" and is bullish on India. But GS also warns of risks to Indian growth being much greater than the rest of BRICs, and most of the other countries of the world.

Goldman Sachs's Jim O'Neill, who started the whole BRIC business, has said that when he ranked countries by the potential risks to their growth — everything from inflation to corruption — India ranked 97th in the world, behind Brazil and the Philippines. London-based Maplecroft terror risk index based on 2009 data ranks Iraq first, Afghanistan second, with Pakistan and Somalia third and fourth respectively. They are rated at extreme risk along with Lebanon 5, India 6, Algeria 7, Colombia 8 and Thailand 9, according to Reuters.

anoop said...

"I don't see how India can hurt Pakistan without grievously hurting itself. Remember, both are armed with nukes and live next to each other."

Riaz,I never said India should war against Pakistan. People get killed in wars,that includes Indians too. So, that is out of the option.
I am talking about Economic prices that we should impose on Pakistan if it continues to export terror. Indian economy can easily take the subsidy burden,on say Textiles. But, Pakistan cannot do that as it is heavily in debt and its economy is in shambles. It cannot afford to match Indias subsidy to its Textiles. Textiles being the biggest export for Pakistan it'll really hurt. I dont want that to happen but certain economic price should be attached to Paksitan's export of Terror to India.

Another way is ofcourse, IWT. I dont like India to violate IWT but it can certainly follow it to the word forgetting the spirit of the treaty.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010/04/21/story_21-4-2010_pg3_2

Read John Briscoe's article in the news to find out which Munir has mentioned in the article. Be sure to read it completely.

I want India to fight where it can win. Nuclear wars have no winners. Pakistan cannot compete with India. Sooner it realizes the better.

Riaz Haq said...

anoop: "I am talking about Economic prices that we should impose on Pakistan if it continues to export terror. Indian economy can easily take the subsidy burden,on say Textiles. But, Pakistan cannot do that as it is heavily in debt and its economy is in shambles. It cannot afford to match Indias subsidy to its Textiles. Textiles being the biggest export for Pakistan it'll really hurt. I dont want that to happen but certain economic price should be attached to Paksitan's export of Terror to India."

Your entire premise is wrong. Pakistan does not export terror. To the contrary, Pakistan is a much bigger victim of terror than those who make false allegations against Pakistani state.

It's far fetched to think that India, with the largest population of poor, hungry and illiterate people in the world, would spend billions on textile subsidies to hurt many other countries, not just Pakistan, in violation of WTO. It'll be like India starting economic warfare against dozens of nations who will respond with their own sanctions against India.

You also continue to extrapolate the present indefinitely into the future to make forecasts of the future 30 years from now. Things never move in a straight line. Many a marketing forecasts made in this way have proved wrong in the past.

By the time India develops the capacity to do such a thing, the world will have changed and Pakistan will no longer be dependent on export of textiles, and its economy will have significantly improved, just as it did in the last decade.

On IWT, India dare not engage in water wars. It will be correctly seen as a direct national threat to Pakistan and an act of war.

I can easily foresee that any attempt by India to deliberately cut off water to Pakistan will be met with unrestrained use of force. Indian security establishment knows this very well.

anoop said...

"Your entire premise is wrong. Pakistan does not export terror. To the contrary, Pakistan is a much bigger victim of terror than those who make false allegations against Pakistani state."

Riaz, it does not matter to me if Pakistan is a victim of terror or not. But, Pakistan sponsored terror is targetting India for the past 20-25 years. Hafiz Saeed,the head of LeT,a group believed,now confirmed, to be behind Mumbai attacks ,and many other attacks in India,is roaming free. I know the usual comeback from Pakistanis about Samjhota Blasts. But,the man behind those blasts is in jail and we didnt ask Pakistan for any evidence and didnt wait for Pakistan to provide dossiers. The funny thing is even Paksitan thought some crazy Islamist organization must be behind it and didnt think about it twice. India could have got away but it chose the correct path.

Pakistan economy will be in the doldrums for the next decade and by then Indian economy would have doubled. Pakistan will have no choice but to play second fiddle to India.

China grew by 10% for 2 decades. It'll still be growing at that amount for the next decade. Considering this example India,with its 1 Billion Population base can do the same. 7.25% for the next 3 decades is not far fetched as you would like to believe. In all probability it'll be much more than that. This decade India will take the crown of 'Fastest growing Economy' from China.

anoop said...

Regarding the IWT. I have said in the last post that I dont want India to violate the IWT in anyway. We should take what is right as mentioned in the treaty. India has stopped flows into Pakistan to fill up one of its Projects in the past and that season's wheat and rice crop was ruined in Pakistan. What happened? Nothing. You see the Feudal lords,who rule Pakistan, dont care what happens to the poor farmers. Even though it hurt the Pakistani farmers badly it didnt generate the required media coverage because the Elites were not affected.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=232342

In the above link,John Briscoe,a neutral observer,says,"The qualification is that this use of hydropower is not to affect either the quantity of water reaching Pakistan or to interfere with the natural timing of those flows. Since hydropower does not consume water, the only issue is timing. And timing is a very big issue, because agriculture in the Pakistani plains depends not only on how much water comes, but that it comes in critical periods during the planting season."

And,"This vulnerability was driven home when India chose to fill Baglihar exactly at the time when it would impose maximum harm on farmers in downstream Pakistan.

If Baglihar was the only dam being built by India on the Chenab and Jhelum, this would be a limited problem. But following Baglihar is a veritable caravan of Indian projects – Kishanganga, Sawalkot, Pakuldul, Bursar, Dal Huste, Gyspa… The cumulative live storage will be large, giving India an unquestioned capacity to have major impact on the timing of flows into Pakistan. (Using Baglihar as a reference, simple back-of-the-envelope calculations, suggest that once it has constructed all of the planned hydropower plants on the Chenab, India will have an ability to effect major damage on Pakistan. First, there is the one-time effect of filling the new dams. If done during the wet season this would have little effect on Pakistan. But if done during the critical low-flow period, there would be a large one-time effect (as was the case when India filled Baglihar). Second, there is the permanent threat which would be a consequence of substantial cumulative live storage which could store about one month's worth of low-season flow on the Chenab. If, God forbid, India so chose, it could use this cumulative live storage to impose major reductions on water availability in Pakistan during the critical planting season."

You see,Riaz,India has done it in the past and can do it again and nobody that matters in Pakistan will care. Pakistan will not have any case. What can it do? The last time India chose to fill up the Project Pakistan had to keep quite because India was on the right side of the law. Next time too it'll be the same.

The only solution for this is for Pakistan to get on the right side of India. Dismantle all the Terror training camps and stop Army-ISI patronage to Terror groups.

Many of these groups have come back to hurt Pakistan more than they have ever hurt India. But, that argument doesn't matter much to me,as its not my country citizens that are being killed or our Citizens going and killing innocent Pakistanis. Pakistan created those monsters to hurt India so you can understand my contempt for what is happening in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

anoop: "Hafiz Saeed,the head of LeT,a group believed,now confirmed, to be behind Mumbai attacks ,and many other attacks in India,is roaming free. "

India's claims are not necessarily evidence admissible in a court of law. Hafiz Saeed was arrested, and brought before a Lahore judge who released him because of lack of evidence. Pakistani government has then restricted his movement by putting him under house arrest.

anoop: "Pakistan economy will be in the doldrums for the next decade and by then Indian economy would have doubled. Pakistan will have no choice but to play second fiddle to India."

It's been and continues to be the wish of most Indians. It hasn't come true, nor is it likely to.

anoop: "China grew by 10% for 2 decades. It'll still be growing at that amount for the next decade. "

China is not India by any stretch of the imagination, or vice versa.

China has been growing faster than India and the gap continues to grow, as admitted by former Indian finance minister Chidambaram.

China runs huge twin surpluses, India runs big twin deficits of trade and budget.

China is far ahead of India in terms of basic social indicators.

India's basic social indicators, such as access to food and basic hygiene, are comparable to or worse than sub-Saharan Africa...a much worse than Pakistan's.

Talk of Chindia is just hype.

India's problems are far bigger than Pakistan's in terms of meeting the very basic needs of the vat majority of its people.

A new report by Center of Global Dev suggests that India's middle class is just a myth.

Riaz Haq said...

anoop: "You see,Riaz,India has done it in the past and can do it again and nobody that matters in Pakistan will care. Pakistan will not have any case. What can it do? The last time India chose to fill up the Project Pakistan had to keep quite because India was on the right side of the law. Next time too it'll be the same."

I know Indians mistakenly think they can do anything and get away with it. That's why the chances of peace in South Asia appear remote at least for now.

Irfan Hussain of Dawn recently wrote a piece quoting from Brisco's article.

Brisco said, “Living in Delhi and working in both India and Pakistan, I was struck by a paradox. One country was a vigorous democracy, the other a military regime. But whereas important parts of the Pakistani press regularly reported India’s views on the water issue in an objective way, the Indian press never did the same. I never saw a report which gave Indian readers a factual description of the enormous vulnerability of Pakistan, of the way India had socked it to Pakistan when filling Baglihar….

“Equally depressing is my repeated experience — most recently at a major international meeting of strategic security institutions in Delhi — that even the most liberal and enlightened of Indian analysts … seem constitutionally incapable of seeing the great vulnerability and legitimate concern of Pakistan (which is obvious and objective to an outsider)…. This is a very uneven playing field. The regional hegemon is the upper riparian and has all the cards in its hands.”

Briscoe makes the point that even though India was cleared of any technical violation of the treaty in building Baglihar dam by an international panel of experts its timing of the diversion of the river to fill the dam caused great hardship to farmers in Pakistan. He goes on to argue that as the upper riparian, India can and should do much more to reassure Pakistan that it has no intention of violating the letter or spirit of the treaty. Above all, Briscoe puts the onus on Indian opinion makers to do much more to explain the issues fairly to the Indian public."

anoop said...

Riaz,

"It's been and continues to be the wish of most Indians. It hasn't come true, nor is it likely to."

News Flash: Pakistani economy is in doldrums. Its economic policy is being dictated by the IMF. Only an year ago Pakistani PM and President brought the begging bowl in a forum called Friends of Pakistan and the Begging bowl comes out in every Foreign trip. In the recent report UN bracketed Pakistan with Afghanistan. To put salt on the wounds it said South Asia's growth will be led by India. There is no Friends of India group,FYI.

"China is not India by any stretch of the imagination, or vice versa."

China doesn't have a magic wand,Riaz. The reason for its success is that its far more organized than India. Being a authoritarian regime has its advantages. India being a democracy is finding it hard. But, what is stopping India from pulling its socks up? You talk as if China is growing at 20% and India at 2 or 3%. The difference this year was 1.5%. This decade we have gradually,but surely,closed the growth % gap. This trend is likely to continue. In 5 years India's growth is going to be more than that of China. As the Economy expands China will find it more difficult to sustain its high levels of growth,so will India at one point in the future. But, that point is a long way away.

As people in China get wealthier their appetite for freedom will also increase. That is the biggest challenge for China.India has no such problems.

"Briscoe makes the point that even though India was cleared of any technical violation of the treaty in building Baglihar dam by an international panel of experts its timing of the diversion of the river to fill the dam caused great hardship to farmers in Pakistan."

Thats exactly my point. Without violating any law India can give hardships to Pakistan. It would be ill advised on Pakistan's part to support Terror groups in India. Another Mumbai like event will force India to adopt this regrettable measure. It makes strategic sense to do so.A price has to be imposed on Pakistan for supporting to terror. It matters little to me if Pakistan is the victim of the Frankenstein it created. That Frankenstein should not attack India.

Riaz Haq said...

anoop: "Pakistani economy is in doldrums. Its economic policy is being dictated by the IMF."

It's clear that you derive immense pleasure from Pakistan's current economic woes. But you forget that a year or two do not make a trend, and Pakistan's situation is by no means permanent.

It wasn't too long ago that India itself was bailed out by IMF. A Balance of Payments crisis in 1991 pushed the country to near bankruptcy. In return for an IMF bailout, gold was transferred to London as collateral, the Rupee devalued and economic reforms were forced upon India.

In the 1970s, the UK needed to be bailed out by IMF. The Asian financial crisis that badly hurt Asian tigers required IMF intervention in late 1990s.

Currently Greece is in need of IMF help.

IMF was set up to deal with crises that can affect any nation, particularly those like India and Pakistan that run huge trade and budget deficits, and are therefore more prone to balance of payment crises.

Economies run on confidence, and confidence is a fragile thing. What is happening to Pakistan and Greece can happen to any country. Who knows? UK may be next in line because of its mounting debt. Any downgrade of its debt can easily precipitate a balance of payment of crisis.

The US financial system almost melted down in 2008, and if it wasn't for the fact that US controls US dollar, the world's biggest trade and reserve currency, the Americans would also need a bailout.

So India is not immune from such shocks and crises. As a matter of fact, India has a lot to worry about because of its increasing poverty, growing rich-poor gap, rising food inflation, and growing twin deficits of trade and budget.

anoop said...

"So India is not immune from such shocks and crises. As a matter of fact, India has a lot to worry about because of its increasing poverty, growing rich-poor gap, rising food inflation, and growing twin deficits of trade and budget."

--> Correction. India's poverty is reducing. I understand that you try your best to convince that India's poverty is increasing but go ask any economist and ask. A 9% growth is HUGE! You have yourself said before that India has brought millions out of poverty.

In the last decade India has brought 10 million people out of poverty. That is only going to accelerate. A double digit growth for a decade will easily triple that amount.

The only difference between India and China is that its a communist regime. India is a thriving democracy. Population wise,Resource wise,Potential wise we are the same. Our way of working is different but the goal is the same. Although India's growth is less threatening to other countries. One of the major reasons everybody is glad to see India grow.

Riaz Haq said...

anoop: "Correction. India's poverty is reducing. I understand that you try your best to convince that India's poverty is increasing but go ask any economist and ask. A 9% growth is HUGE! You have yourself said before that India has brought millions out of poverty."

Part of the problem fueling anger and insurgencies is the growing number of the poor in India. Here's a recent Reuters report:

India now has 100 million more people living below the poverty line than in 2004, according to official estimates released on Sunday.

The poverty rate has risen to 37.2 percent of the population from 27.5 percent in 2004, a change that will require the Congress-ruled government to spend more money on the poor.

The new estimate comes weeks after Sonia Gandhi, head of the Congress party, asked the government to revise a Food Security Bill to include more women, children and destitutes.

"The Planning Commission has accepted the report on poverty figures," Abhijit Sen, a member of the Planning Commission told Reuters, referring to the new poverty estimate report submitted by a government panel last December.

India now has 410 million people living below the U.N. estimated poverty line of $1.25 a day, 100 million more than was estimated earlier, officials said.

India calculates how much of its population is living below the poverty line by checking whether families can afford one square meal a day that meets minimum nutrition needs.

It was not immediately clear how much more the federal government would have to spend on the poor, as that would depend on the Food Security Bill when it is presented to the government after the necessary changes, officials say.

India's Planning Commission will meet the food and expenditure secretaries next week to estimate the cost aspects of the bill, government officials said.

A third of the world's poor are believed to be in India, living on less than $2 per day, worse than in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, experts say.

Anonymous said...

The Times Square terror bomber, while inspired by Pakistani militants, seemed to have acted alone in plotting his botched car bombing last weekend, a top U.S. Army general said Friday.

Faisal Shahzad apparently was "a lone wolf" who never had direct contact with militants in his homeland of Pakistan, Gen. David Petraeus told The Associated Press.

Petraeus, the commander of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, said there was no indication that Shahzad worked with others in concocting the terror attack or the homemade bomb.

Shahzad, after his Monday night arrest aboard a Dubai-bound airplane, claimed he received bomb-making training during a five-month stay in Pakistan. But Petraeus's comments cast doubt on his story.

Despite the general's statement, investigators were still probing how the unemployed Shahzad had enough money to buy a weapon, an SUV, bomb-making materials and a plane ticket home.

Shahzad, who was desperate for money, paid cash for the Nissan Pathfinder SUV and the ticket to Dubai after the failed bombing last Saturday. Probers had told the Daily News they suspected the 30-year-old accused bomber was receiving financial aid from foreign sources.

The AP reported Friday that investigators had the name of a suspected overseas courier who allegedly helped funnel cash to Shahzad.

The investigation into Shahzad's possible ties with terrorist networks includes a review of his finances - everything from real estate records to pay stubs, sources told The News.

Investigators are studying at least four extreme Islamist terror networks concentrated in Waziristan, Pakistan. The networks include the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistani militants behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Shahzad readily admitted to investigators that he met with members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a top U.S. counterterrorism official told the News.

Shahzad has been spilling his guts to interrogators, claiming he met with radical Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who exchanged e-mails with Fort Hood, Tex., shooter Nidal Malik Hasan. And Awlaki may have met Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian who tried to blow up an airliner over the U.S. on Christmas Day.

Shahzad is also insisting he met with Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, who has pledged to strike U.S. cities in revenge for CIA drone attacks - one of which almost killed him.

As investigators follow the money trail, Shahzad's old boss said he called her just three months ago begging for work.

Shahzad, after returning from a five-month trip to Pakistan, made three calls to a Connecticut jewelry store seeking the same menial $10-an-hour job he held in his college days.

In February, a polite Shahzad called Sylvia Lee at Dynasty Jewelry about a job - and then made two follow-up calls. The terror suspect thanked her even after she turned him down.

"It was very strange, but I remembered him," said Lee, owner of the New Haven shop. "I told him we were very slow and didn't have any job opportunities open.

"I was so surprised to hear from him."

Barely two months later, the accused terrorist was looking flush: He paid for the used Nissan Pathfinder he converted into a lethal car bomb with 13 $100 bills.

And he used cash to buy a $700 seat for his Monday night escape attempt from New York.

Shahzad's desperation to get a low-paying retail job was at odds with accounts of his spending on the failed plan to target tourists in the neon-lit slice of midtown.

His landlord in Bridgeport, Conn., said Shahzad was never late with his $1,150 monthly rent, despite no apparent source of income.

lmcshane@nydailynews.com

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/05/07/2010-05-07_times_square_bomb_plotter_faisal_shahzad_was_lone_wolf_with_no_terror_contacts_g.html#ixzz0nJ8UtKVD

Rahul said...

Mr. Riaz

Talk about Pakistan's resurgence and IMF bailout.

The real fact you won't accept. Pakistan does not have a base of modern industry. It does not boast of modern corporate houses, nor modern establishments. Your main export is textiles which is mainly done in traditional textile mills. There is a looming power crisis of deficit of more than 5,000 MW. You must see the recent report of UNO...
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/inadequate-infrastructure-holds-back-growth-potential-750

A growth of 3.2% for the next decade. That is the projection. And main export will be only textiles. This feudal model cannot survive for long...

You constantly cite Pakistan's economy resurgence between 2000-2007. But you fail to cite that exactly 2 years later it had went into a balance of payment crisis. That means it borrowed heavily without any adequate resources to sustain the growth. This has resulted the destruction of Pakistan's economy.

You can say many things about India, but you ignore the fact that there is a good roadmap to solve these problems. You should read Indian newspapers(which you don't do usually), which give detail analysis that what government schemes are making an impact.

Riaz Haq said...

Rahul:

You are off-topic but I'll oblige you with a response anyway.

Let me first say that you are either totally ignorant or spewing deliberately misleading information about Pakistan.

I do acknowledge that currently Pakistan is having serious difficulties on several fronts.

But Pakistan does have significant and diversified industrial and service sectors larger than India's as percent of GDP.

The industries in Pakistan range from heavy manufacturing such as autos and steel to others including electronics, chemicals and textiles.

Pak's service sector includes financial services, telecom, retail, mass media, etc. I have written about each of these.

Pakistan is more urbanized with a larger middle class than India as percent of population. In 2007, Standard Chartered Bank analysts and SBP estimated there 30 to 35 million Pakistanis earning more than $10,000 a year. Of these, about 17 million are in the upper and upper middle class, according to a recent report.

As to India's much hyped middle class, a new report by Nancy Birdsall of Center for Global Development says it is a myth. She has proposed a new definition of the middle class for developing countries in a forthcoming World Bank publication, Equity in a Globalizing World. Birdsall defines the middle class in the developing world to include people with an income above $10 day, but excluding the top 5% of that country. By this definition, India even urban India alone has no middle class; everyone at over $10 a day is in the top 5% of the country.

This is a combination both of the depth of India's poverty and its inequality. China had no middle class in 1990, but by 2005, had a small urban middle class (3% of the population). South Africa (7%), Russia (30%) and Brazil (19%) all had sizable middle classes in 2005.

Balance of payment crises can and do occur in nations with current account deficits which include both India and Pakistan. According to the latest figures published by the Economist magazine, India's current account deficit is 1.6% of GDP, pretty close to Pakistan's deficit of 1.7%.

Rahul said...

"But Pakistan does have significant and diversified industrial and service sectors larger than India's as percent of GDP.

The industries in Pakistan range from heavy manufacturing such as autos and steel to others including electronics, chemicals and textiles.

Pak's service sector includes financial services, telecom, retail, mass media, etc. I have written about each of these."

Mr. Riaz,
every country produces autos, engineering goods, or machinery. That does not mean it has state of art modern industry....

Whats your engineering exports---$0.7 million. The structure of the economy still lies in feudalism. Having financial services, mass media, electronics does not make your industry competent or modern. India had the same before liberalisation. Still no one called it modern.

"Pakistan is more urbanized with a larger middle class than India as percent of population. In 2007, Standard Chartered Bank analysts and SBP estimated there 30 to 35 million Pakistanis earning more than $10,000 a year. Of these, about 17 million are in the upper and upper middle class, according to a recent report."

So you mean to say there are 30 million middle class pakistanis and none in India.. Ha ha ha...this is really hard to digest.

The writer Irfan Hussain does not cite any authentic source in the article. He just says that 30 million people earn more than 10,000 $ annually. Multiply both the terms, and you get a GDP of $300 billion. The last time I checked Pakistan's GDP was $185 billion, not $300 billion.

Riaz Haq said...

Rahul: "The structure of the economy still lies in feudalism."

Again, your characterization has no basis in fact. Feudals do not build autos, nor make steel.

Feudals are not manufacturing and exporting $300 million in defense equipment.

Feudal influence is shrinking with rapid urbanization.

A 2008 report by UN Population Fund says the share of the urban population in Pakistan almost doubled from 17.4 percent in 1951 to 32.5 percent in 1998. The estimated data for 2005 shows the level of urbanization as 35 per cent, and CIA Factbook puts it at 36% in 2008, and it is increasing with 3% of the nation's population migrating to cities every year. With over 5 million rural migrants each year, the population of Pakistani cities in exploding, and Karachi has now becoming the world's largest city, according to Citymayors.com.

India's urban residents in 2008 residents accounts for 29% of its population, and the CIA Fact Book estimates it growing at 2.4% of the total population every year.

In 2007, analysts at Standard Chartered bank estimated that Pakistan has a middle class of 30 million which earns an average of about $10,000 per year. And adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP), Pakistan's per capita GDP is approaching $3,000 per head. An expected positive consequence of the increasing urbanization of society in Pakistan will be the creation of over 100 million strong middle class by 2030. This large urban population will not only create a domestic market for goods and services, but it can create a skilled work force that can be the engine of economic growth and source of innovation.

Rahul: "The last time I checked Pakistan's GDP was $185 billion, not $300 billion."

Pakistan's PPP GDP is over $450 billion.

As to India's figures, it' a combination of deep poverty and tremendous inequity that makes its middle class very small. India's poverty rates are among the highest in the world, and its Gini index of 36 is bigger than Pakistan's 30.

Zen, Munich, Germany said...

may be this is as polite as USA can can get to its "staunch ally" in war on terror

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article7120286.ece

Riaz Haq said...

Zen: "may be this is as polite as USA can can get to its "staunch ally" in war on terror"


I think the US options are fairly limited. Lashing out at Pakistan is not an option. Brute force will solve nothing.

The best course for US is to work in a friendly manner with Pakistanis to deal with the scourge of terror that affects Pakistan far more than US.

The recent post-Times Square words from Pentagon chief Robert Gates are far more significant than Hillary's (and other unnamed officials that NY Times usually quotes) apparent tough talk of "severe consequences" for domestic consumption on CBS 60 Minutes.

Here's what BBC is reporting:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the US was prepared to increase military assistance to Pakistan.

"We're willing to do as much... as they are willing to accept," he told reporters. "We are prepared to do training, and exercise with them. How big that operation becomes is really up to them."

But he played down the chances of an extended crackdown on militants, saying Pakistani forces were already "thinly stretched".


Recently, US leadership also tried to get tough with Karzai but backed off when Karazi reportedly shot back by threatening to "join the Taliban".

Gates and Petraeus are much more aligned with Obama's thinking than the hawkish Clinton or other "unnamed officials"...not just on this issue, but other burning issues as well. Obama has consistently shown that he is much more rational than Clinton and other hawks in the administration.

Riaz Haq said...

It seems that the Hindutva aligned Indian intelligence in Lucknow is stepping up its harassment of Indian Muslims. Here's a forwarded email from Dr. Mustafa Kamal, Chairman of All-India Muslim Forum and former deputy VC of Zanzibar University in Tanazania:

Keeping a proper surveillance and vigil over each of the persons is the prerogative of all the governments, and whithout it, the effective administration cannot be ensured. However, when only one group or community is targetted for this purpose, it definitely depicts some presuppositions and prejudices against it.
The same is exactly true about Indian Muslims. On 3rd this month after sunset two L.I.U.( Local Intelligence Unit) persons came to me, saying that they want to collect my personal details and political activities. When I asked them the reason, they simply said that they have instructions to gather information about all the prominent Muslims of the city who are involved in Muslim politics.Anyhow, they evaded the reply when I asked them ' Is it about non-Muslims also'?. From my residence they proceeded to Mr. Manzoor Ahmed, a Retired IPS officer and former Vice Chancellor of Agra University who stays a little distant away from me for the same purpose.

Riaz Haq said...

This is a response to a wave of comments, both published and unpublished, that I have received in the last few days on Faisal Shahzad, the accused in the failed bombing attempt at NY Times Square.

There is no question that Pakistan has a HUGE problem, and its people are paying for it everyday with their lives. 3,021 Pakistanis were killed by terrorists in 2009 alone, three times as many as in 2006.

But it's important to recognize the difference between Indian and Western-inspired bigoted "Paki" bashing that is so rampant in cyberspace, and constructive criticism aimed at solving the problem. Unfortunately constructive comments are extremely rare.

The Internet has become a magnet for the lowest forms of life, mainly Hindutva Indian, whose only interest is in attacking Pakistanis and their faith.

The reason for the current headlines is that someone of Pakistani origin tried to kill Americans at Times Square. But there are many dangerous and misguided young men like Shahzad who are killing innocent Pakistanis every day. Just recently, I was reading about Dr. Umar Kundi who was alleged to be involved in Lahore attacks on Pakistan's ISI and Sri Lankan cricket teams in NY Times:

Umar Kundi was his parents’ pride, an ambitious young man from a small town who made it to medical school in the big city. It seemed like a story of working-class success, living proof in this unequal society that a telephone operator’s son could become a doctor.

But things went wrong along the way. On campus Mr. Kundi fell in with a hard-line Islamic group. His degree did not get him a job, and he drifted in the urban crush of young people looking for work. His early radicalization helped channel his ambitions in a grander, more sinister way.

Instead of healing the sick, Mr. Kundi went on to become one of Pakistan’s most accomplished militants. Working under a handler from Al Qaeda, he was part of a network that carried out some of the boldest attacks against the Pakistani state and its people last year, the police here say. Months of hunting him ended on Feb. 19, when he was killed in a shootout with the police at the age of 29.

Mr. Kundi and members of his circle — educated strivers who come from the lower middle class — are part of a new generation that has made militant networks in Pakistan more sophisticated and deadly. Al Qaeda has harnessed their aimless ambition and anger at Pakistan’s alliance with the United States, their generation’s most electrifying enemy.
-----------
Like Mr. Kundi, many came of age in the 1990s, when jihad was state policy — aimed at challenging Indian control in Kashmir — and jihadi groups recruited openly in universities. Under the influence of Al Qaeda, their energies have been redirected and turned inward, against Pakistan’s own government and people.
------------
The issue is urgent. Pakistan is in the midst of a youth bulge, with more than a million people a year pouring into the job market, and the economy — at its current rate — is not growing fast enough to absorb them. Only a tiny fraction choose militancy, but acute joblessness exacerbates the risk.

What this piece from the NY times fails to mention is the crucial role the US played in creating, supporting, training and funding of the Afghan Mujahedeen in the 1980s who later became founding members of al Qaeda ad Taliban.

Pakistan shares a big part of the responsibility for its current state of affairs, but it is shared responsibility with the US because of substantial American role in promoting religious militancy in the region back in the 1980s.

Warning, threatening and bashing Pakistan will not solve the problem. Bombing Pakistan will simply make the problem much worse for all.

The answer lies in joint efforts to reverse the process of radicalization of Pakistani youth that US helped set in motion with Pakistan during the cold war.

Anonymous said...

The answer lies in joint efforts to reverse the process of radicalization of Pakistani youth that US helped set in motion with Pakistan during the cold war.

Much easier said than done.

This basically means the Pakistan state actors will have to dismantle the terror network nurtured for 30 years INCLUDING terror camps directed towards India because there is an invisible line that divides terrorists who hate kafir central i.e India and those who hate secular educated Pakistanis who DO NOT want to run Pakistani institutions according to shariah.

My point is do you seriously think anyone in Pakistan can take such a bold action without being branded a traitor by a largely illiterate population and face potentially fatal opposition from entrenched interests of an increasingly radicalized officers corps???

Talat masood,musharaff &co were the tail end of the pre zia westernized ataturk loving recruitees its the beards/closet beards from now on...

And you can forget about an increasingly hyper nationalistic India helping out post 26/11 with movement on Kashmir etc to facilitate a face saving climb down.

All that and a stagnant economy and I'm afraid a witches brew of problems await the Pakistani state

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "My point is do you seriously think anyone in Pakistan can take such a bold action without being branded a traitor by a largely illiterate population and face potentially fatal opposition from entrenched interests of an increasingly radicalized officers corps???"

Pakistan is already taking bold action, as demonstrated by Swat and South Waziristan operations. The broad public opinion in Pakistan has decisively turned against the Taliban.

Riaz Haq said...

From Ayesha Siddiqa's description of the GeoTV anchor Hamid Mir's leaked conversation with an alleged TTP operative, it appears that Pakistani military. media and politicians are well versed in the art of the leaks to push their respective agendas.

Here are some excerpts from Siddiqa's recent post:

"The conversation should not surprise people as Hamid Mir has old links with the Islamiscts and the intelligence agencies. In the world of the armed forces information is difficult to access. Relatively better access to information comes at a price which Hamid Mir and many other journalists in the world, particularly Pakistan pay happily. There is not a single journalist, especially on the electronic media who comments on national security and is not fed by the military. I remember one very popular journalist who even writes for foreign press. He is considered an authority on military affairs. The poor chap cannot tell the front of a submarine from its back. Planting people in the media and intelligentsia is an old trick. The only matter of concern really is that how and why is the audio recording made available on the net? The real story is the disclosure rather than the conversation."

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"There is something that doesn't make sense in the story. Whats more important to remember are that the jihadis (aka Pakistani Taliban) are well-entrenched in Pakistan's intelligence system and even its establishment. No wonder, Pakistan's courts have been acquitting jihadis like Lashkare Jhangavi's Malik Ishaq. Recently, the courts acquitted those accused of involvement in the Marriott bombing case and the suicide attack against Lt. general Mushtaq Baig. These decisions could have been changed if the agencies were willing to sort out the jihadis. The segment within the agencies which supports jihad and jihadis has now strengthened. The army and its intelligence agencies now have a dependence on these jihadis. The questions which many ask is that why get their men killed. This is nothing new. There was similar friction in the case of the Algerian military and the Islamiscts. The reason that this particular battle in Pakistan is contained to a few people is because of the influence of the Islamiscts on the army."

Riaz Haq said...

The ISI is hated by Pakistan's enemies mainly because it is the best at what it does in terms of protecting Pakistan interests. Some in the CIA, RAW and Mossad show a natural professional jealousy and envy of the ISI....and they try and slander it as often as they can through their friendly media and its blind followers.

Here's a website "smashinglits.com" that ranks as ISI #1 intelligence agency in the world...followed by MOSSAD, MI6, CIA, MSS, BND, FSB, DGSE, RAW and ASIS.

Here's what the website says about ISI:

Formed 1948
Jurisdiction Government of Pakistan
Headquarters Islamabad, Pakistan
Agency executive Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, PA Director General

With the lengthiest track record of success, the best know Intelligence so far on the scale of records is ISI. The Inter-Services Intelligence was created as an independent unit in 1948 in order to strengthen the performance of Pakistan’s Military Intelligence during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. Its success in achieving its goal without leading to a full scale invasion of Pakistan by the Soviets is a feat unmatched by any other through out the intelligence world. KGB, The best of its time, failed to counter ISI and protect Soviet interests in Central Asia. This GOLD MEDAL makes it rank higher than Mossad. It has had 0 double agents or Defectors through out its history, considering that in light of the whole war campaign it carried out from money earned by selling drugs bought from the very people it was bleeding, The Soviets. It has protected its Nuclear Weapons since formed and it has foiled Indian attempts to attain ultimate supremacy in the South-Asian theatres through internal destabilization of India. It is above All laws in its host country Pakistan ‘A State, with in a State’. Its policies are made ‘outside’ of all other institutions with the exception of The Army. Its personnel have never been caught on camera. Its is believed to have the highest number of agents worldwide, close to 10,000. The most striking thing is that its one of the least funded Intelligence agency out of the top 10 and still the strongest.


http://www.smashinglists.com/10-best-intelligence-agencies-in-the-world/