Monday, November 28, 2011

Pak Lady Health Workers "Best in the World"!

“It’s one of the best community-based health systems in the world,” said Dr. Donald Thea, a Boston University researcher, talking about Pakistan's Lady Health Workers Program. Thea is one of the authors of a recent Lancet study on child pneumonia treatment in Pakistan. He talked with the New York Times about the study.

Published in British medical journal "The Lancet" this month, the study followed 1,857 children who were treated at home with oral amoxicillin for five days and 1,354 children in a control group who were given standard care: one dose of oral cotrimoxazole and instructions to go to the nearest hospital or clinic. The home-treated group had only a 9 percent treatment-failure rate, while the control group children failed to improve 18 percent of the time.

Launched in 1994 by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's government, Pakistan’s Lady Health Workers’ program has trained over 100,000 women to provide community health services in rural areas. The program website introduces it as follows: "This country wide initiative with community participation constitutes the main thrust of the extension of outreach health services to the rural population and urban slum communities through deployment of over 100,000 Lady Health Workers (LHWs) and covers more than 65% of the target population. The Programme contributes directly to MDG goals number 1, 4, 5 & 6 and indirectly to goal number 3 & 7. The National Programme for Family Planning and Primary Health Care is funded by the Government of Pakistan. International partners offer support in selected domains in the form of technical assistance, trainings or emergency relief."

A recent comprehensive review of the program found that as compared to communities not served by the LHWs, the served households were 11% more likely to use modern family planning methods, 13% were more likely to have had a tetanus toxoid vaccination, 15% more were likely to have received a medical check-up within 24 hours of a birth, and 15% more were likely to have immunized children below three years. The improvements in health indicators among the populations covered by the LHWs were not entirely attributable to the program alone; researchers noted that other positive changes such as economic growth, increased provision of health services and better education services helped to enhance the impact. While the program had managed to sustain its impact despite its large expansion, evaluators found that serious weaknesses in the provision of supplies, and equipment and referral services need to be urgently addressed.

The program is now a major employer of women in the non-agricultural formal sector in rural areas, and is being more than doubled in size if budget allocations can be sustained. If universal coverage is achieved, every community in the country will have at least one lady health worker, one working woman and potential leader, who could serve as a catalyst for positive change for women in her community. The health officials say that unlike the mid-1990s when it was difficult to recruit women because of the minimum 8th grade education requirement, now there are large numbers of women who meet the requirement lining up for interviews in spite of low stipend of just Rs. 7000 per month.

Private sector is also helping the LHW program. Mobile communications service provider Mobilink has recently partnered up with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Pakistan's Ministry of Health (MoH) and GSMA Development Fund in an innovative pilot project which offers low cost mobile handsets and shared access to voice (PCOs) to LHWs in remote parts of the country. Mobilink hopes to bridge the communication gap between the LHW and their ability to access emergency health care and to help the worker earn extra income through the Mobilink PCO (Public Call Office).

Due to economic downturn and security challenges in several conflict areas since 2008, Pakistan's chances of achieving its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 appear to be slim. However, significant timely expansion in the LHW program and making it more effective can still help Pakistan get close to its MDGs on important health indicators like the infant mortality rate (IMR) and the maternal mortality rate (MMR).

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Government to Hire 300,000 Lady Health Workers

South Asia Lags in Millennium Development Goals

Disease Burdens in Pakistan

MDGs in Pakistani Village

Explore the

UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2010

India Poorer Than Africa

India and Pakistan Off-Track, Off-Target

India is Home to the World's Largest Population of Poor, Hungry and Illiterate People

Can Global Pakistanis Invest $10 billion in Reconstruction?

US Military Undermining Interests in "AfPak"

The recent killings of 24 Pakistani soldiers by US forces have confirmed yet again that the US military tactics continue to undermine the overall strategy that leaders of both countries share. Professor Vali Nasr, former advisor to US State Dept, put it best when he told the New York Times, “It’s a case of the tail wagging the dog. U.S. commanders on the ground are deciding U.S.-Pakistan policy.”

The public reaction in Pakistan has been predictably swift and strong, forcing the nation's pro-American leadership to close critical land supply routes through Pakistan to 150,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan. The next step will likely be a cut-off of the air-link over Pakistan airspace to US forces. On the diplomatic front, there could be tremendous damage to US efforts if the Pakistani government follows through on its threat to boycott the December 5 international conference on Afghanistan, at which 1,000 delegates from fifty countries are scheduled to convene in Germany to discuss plans to wind down the war.

In spite of the critical importance of relations with Pakistan, President Obama has been conspicuously silent, and the US politicians, including Senators John Kyl and Dick Durbin who spoke today, continue to treat this relationship carelessly by demanding "get tough" approach in the wake of the latest tragedy.

The US-Pakistan relations have been in a downward spiral since the passing of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, a seasoned diplomat who helped build and implement a unified policy among various US departments and agencies dealing with Pakistan. His replacement Mark Grossman lacks Holbrooke's heft and behaves more as a subservient bureaucrat than a powerful diplomat. Grossman has been totally ineffective. President Obama's lack of interest combined with Grossman's lack of initiative are jeopardizing the entire US agenda in the region.

This is not the time to talk about "getting tough" with Pakistan. It's time for US to show contrition and apologize to the Pakistanis to assuage their anger. Once the anger has subsided, it'll be necessary for US to re-assess and re-engage with Pakistan with a more effective common and clear policy to wind down the war in Afghanistan.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Is US-Pakistan Military Confrontation Inevitable?

Seeing Bin Laden's Death in Wider Perspective

Who Are the Haqqanis?

Military Mutiny in Pakistan?

Can US Aid Remake Pakistan?

Friday, November 25, 2011

BlackBerry Transcripts Sealed Haqqani's Fate in Memogate

Ambassador Husain Haqqani has recently been forced to quit his post in Washington amidst allegations that he sought US help to rein in Pakistani military. This was done amidst fears of a coup against his boss in Islamabad last May in the aftermath of Osama Bin Laden's assassination in Abbotabad by US Navy Seals that was highly embarrassing for Pakistan's military brass.

The totality of evidence and data so far available in the public domain suggests that Haqqani did indeed invite American intervention in Pakistan's internal affairs. And given how close Haqqani and his wife have been to President Asif Ali Zardari, it is highly likely that this was done with Zardari's personal blessing. The revelations in Ijaz Mansoor's BlackBerry transcripts also make explicit reference to "the circumstances that led to May 1 (US raid in Abbottabad) and your (Haqqani's) role in all that".

Plausible Deniability:

Ambassador Haqqani has denied that he asked anyone to deliver the alleged letter on his or President Zardari's behalf. He has argued that if he, or President Zardari, wanted to deliver such a message to Admiral Mullen or anyone else in US government, it could have been done in person because of their close contacts in Washington.

I think Ambassador Haqqani is being disingenuous. It is inconceivable that a diplomat of his stature and posting has not heard of the use of back channels for "plausible deniability". According to a Wikipedia entry, "the term (plausible deniability) most often refers to the denial of blame in (formal or informal) chains of command, where upper rungs quarantine the blame to the lower rungs, and the lower rungs are often inaccessible, meaning confirming responsibility for the action is nearly impossible. In the case that illegal or otherwise disreputable and unpopular activities become public, high-ranking officials may deny any awareness of such act or any connection to the agents used to carry out such acts".

In this particular instance, the backchannel for "plausible deniability" was established through a Pakistani-American businessman Ijaz Mansoor and former US National Security Advisor James Jones.

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) Transcripts:

It appears from publicly available information that there was a falling out between Haqqani and Mansoor. Incensed by Haqqani's disparaging public remarks about him, Mansoor went public with a Financial Times article that included the details of the memo, and later also released the transcripts of the BlackBerry chats he had with Haqqani as part of the entire process of drafting and delivery of the memo.

Haqqani now claims that the BlackBerry Messenger transcripts have been doctored, a ridiculous claim for any one who knows that BlackBerry's key selling point to governments and corporations is its secure communications feature. Even the highly resourceful governments cannot break the encryption of Blackberry devices, which poses serious national and homeland security issues.

Haqqani is the Fall Guy:

An essential goal of "Plausible Deniability" is that, in the event of public exposure, the lower ranks end up taking the fall to protect the people at the top. In this case, Ambassador Haqqani has taken the fall to protect his boss President Asif Zardari, at least in the short term. Zardari may survive this blow for now, but he will be a significantly weakened leader for the rest of the current term. And it is highly unlikely that he would be able to retain his office beyond his current term which will end in 2013.

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) Transcripts:

Here are the BBS transcripts of Haqqani(HH)-Ijaz(MI) conversations as obtained and published by GeoTV:

05/09/2011 12:31 HH: Are you in London? I am here just for 36 hours. Can we meet for after dinner coffee or s'thing?

05/09/2011 12:32 MI: I'm in Monaco but it's no problem for me to fly up. Takes 90 minutes. What time did you have in mind? Where do you want to meet?

05/09/2011 12:35 HH: Pls call me. I'm at the Park Lane Intercon +442071060900 room 430

05/09/2011 12:35 HH: Waiting for ur call now 05/09/2011 13:37 MI: Could access to the 3 stooges who widow the man be arranged as part of the bigger picture?

05/09/2011 13:39 HH: I am sure that can be arranged upon formal demand

05/09/2011 13:40 MI: That is critical to breaking apart the system outside - and understanding what was going on inside. Would we get candor and truth or some brainwashed jargon?

05/09/2011 13:40 MI: The calls to Isphani's people have been made. Very very receptive reaction so far

05/09/2011 13:44 HH: If my friend and I feel sufficiently empowered in relation to the bad boys, I will ensure we get candor

05/09/2011 13:45 MI: Got it. Let me see if we can't get you a sledge hammer with a golden handle

05/09/2011 13:47 HH: Would be nice

05/09/2011 13:47 MI: I'm sending you a PIN message that others cannot see. Please respond. Thanks

05/09/2011 13:48 HH: Okay. Thx

05/09/2011 13:54 MI: Message by PIN sent

05/09/2011 13:56 HH: Okay

05/09/2011 14:22 MI: Message has been delivered to Isphani. Receptiom positive but I need you to agree to do something. Can I call you?

05/09/2011 15:02 MI: Please PING when you can talk and on what number. Time sensitive

05/09/2011 15:05 HH: Entering No 10. Can speak on cell after an hour

05/09/2011 15:05 MI: Okay. I'll wait for your PING

05/09/2011 16:09 HH: PING!!!

05/09/2011 16:09 HH: PING!!!

05/09/2011 16:09 HH: Pls call on cell now +16179532835

05/09/2011 16:10 HH: PING!!!

05/09/2011 16:19 MI: Sorry. Was stuck on call to DC. Pls ping again when ready

05/09/2011 18:26 HH: PING!!!

05/09/2011 18:27 MI: Tried you. Phone says unavailable

05/09/2011 18:38 MI: The message I sent is what MM will see. It will be given directly to him and no one else

05/09/2011 18:59 MI: My friend in DC simply said too many people have been burned in the past two years on the US side and he wanted to insure that on such a sensitive subject, the data and proposal are clear. This is you to me, me to him. He trusts me enough to know I won't bring it forward unless it has top level approval. He does not need it with any email addresses etc. He will scrub that in any event. If you want names to be mentioned, yours, JK, MD, etc, I will do that in person. So get whatever message you want delivered back to me and I'll insure it gets in MM's hands. Best. M

05/09/2011 19:02 MI: By the way, the interesting thing is that they consider AZ's approval of the message worth more than anyone else in country right now. How do you like that?

05/09/2011 20:43 MI: I have additional information you need to hear. Ping when I can call you please

05/09/2011 21:10 MI: Would it be safe to say that you don't want to run this up your flagpole because you need to work this deal from the middle out? Tell me if that's the case and I'll use a different approach that does not require something in writing. What would then be helpful is if I could simply have a BBM saying my talking points are correct, or not, and then you set your table, I'll set my table and make sure you are an honored guest at my table when the party begins. If you're good with that, I just need your okay on the talking points. No need to run it up the az-pole, if you get my drift. M

05/10/2011 00:29 HH: Msg recvd. Tweaking. Middile of road option sounds good. Will call morning.

05/10/2011 00:29 HH: PING!!!

05/10/2011 00:37 MI: Will you be sending me your tweaks or am I to use my copy as final? If tweaks are short, I can call you to get them

05/10/2011 08:47 MI: You have mail from two of my mailboxes. Please read, respond and then we have one last short discussion before I put everything in motion. Thanks. M

05/10/2011 12:45 MI: I was just informed by senior US intel that GD-SII Mr P asked for, and received permission, from senior Arab leaders a few days ago to sack Z. For what its worth

05/10/2011 13:08 HH: Thanks. Very useful 05/10/2011 13:09 HH: My friend and I agree with middle option. Go ahead

05/10/2011 14:57 MI: Message delivered with caveat that he has to decide how hard to push - we only set the table. He must decide if he wants one course meal or seven course meal. Ball is in play now - make sure you have protected your flanks

05/11/2011 12:33 MI: I've been asked to find out what time your meeting is today. Response so far indicates they are having a hard look, although they find it nearly impossible to believe anyone could deliver such results... to be expected, I suppose. Hope you got home okay. Did you see Mush while in London?

05/11/2011 14:59 MI: PING!!!

05/12/2011 00:36 HH: Call me on my cell

05/12/2011 00:37 HH: Also, M in ur msgs above referred to the Admiral, right?

05/12/2011 00:37 MI: Yes

05/12/2011 00:54 MI: Clarification. M at the end of a message is Mansoor. M or MM in the text of a message is the admiral. Apologies for any confusion. BBM when free. I'll call you. Whether it is shattering news or not is up to you to decide

05/12/2011 01:47 MI: I just received an email from my link to MM independently confirming what you told me by phone. He says MM was appreciative of our intervention and utilized the data to advise and consent

05/12/2011 02:47 HH: Thanx. On way to Isloo. Will touch base on return

05/12/2011 02:54 MI: Good luck. Let me know at any time if you need any help

Details of chat between MI and HH after his Financial article was published until the first week of November, 2011:

HH: you can keep saying you delivered a message and show bbm convos to prove it

HH: Basically you don't get it

HH: You have given hardliners in Pak Mil reason to argue there was an effort to get US to conspire against Pak Mil

HH: You are a US citizen

HH: You are supposed to look after US interests

MI: I wrote one article. Have not said one word on the record since then to anyone. I think your press is working both sides against the middle, trying to force something out of anyone they can. Period. I don't play in that game

HH: In Pak political situation, getting burned as a US stooge undermines one's effectiveness

HH: I will make sure FO shuts up

HH: Let this die down

HH: We are in the right

HH: We will still make things happen

MI: Okay, well I know my IQ is pretty low so you are probably correct in saying I just don't get it.

HH: The Pak press be damned

HH: I stand by you as a man of integrity werving his country

HH: You don't let ppl back home argue I play for your team, not ours

MI: But from my point of view, if there was a real threat, as you stated at the time, it is clear you were trying to save a democratic structure from those hawks

HH: You get to write the book on how you changed US-Pak dynamic and won the war in A'tan (w/ some help from a Paki nerd) :D

MI: I was happy to get the message in the back door because it served American interests to preserve the democratic civilian setup and the offers made, if achieved, were very much congruent with American objectives in the region

HH: True that, friend. But you know premature revelation ain't good

MI: As far as I can see, we did right. Unless there is something I don't see here. But then I'm sorta dumb from down on the farm where them hillbillies live

HH: Hey! Don't run down hillbillies

HH: Even the smartest can miss a piece of the puzzle

HH: You are assuming there are no powerful men in Pak willing to break w/ US. Premature revelation gives those ppl reason to claim 'conspiracy', 'treason'

HH: That is all you missed. Period.

HH: And no one else might tell you this, you're becoming irritable and losing your sense of humor as you grow old

HH: Let this one go. There is much to do. MUCH. And then, there's the beach where I've been waiting to be invited, the slum boy visiting the millionaire

MI: I'm not a millionaire. But I do know a nice piece of beach!

HH: I'm not a slum boy either but I know how to make friends with smart people with a sense of history :P

MI: Jesus, then what the -- are you doing hanging around with me? =D

HH: We'll make things happen and if we can't, we'll write a book about it

HH: Who said I was hanging around with you. A minute ago I thought you were about to hang me :D

MI: :O MI: Really?

HH: Look, Isloo is a mess. Journos gone wild. Politicos scared of mil. Mil scared of Yanks.

MI: Tell me one important thing. Who likes you and who hates you in the US establishment? Who wants you to stay and who wants to -- you up?

HH: The debate abt your oped has caused my detractors to put pressure on my boss

HH: In US estab, I can count on Leon and Petraeus

MI: I thought YOU were the boss!

MI: Who is against you?

HH: Folks at State don't like me

MI: Why?

MI: Too close to AZ?

HH: They think I am too mixed up w/ DoD and others and do not help them cut deals w/ Pak mil

HH: Close to AZ bit too

HH: They are wrong re DoD and others.

HH: It is just that becoz of A'tan, they are more imp than State

MI: I always thought HRC was one of your fans. She even has a lady from our parts working with her

HH: It is folks at State who got pissed off by your mission

HH: She may be but I was Holbrooke's buddy so everyone who hates him hates me

HH: I have no time for just pushing paper around

HH: State likes process

MI: Which mission? Sudan, Kashmir, there were so many they got pissed off about. I showed them how to do real American diplomacy and that was like a big pile of shit on their desk they couldn't swallow

HH: Conferences, statements-with nothing changing

HH: The latest one

MI: Yeah, I got it. You're right!

MI: Anyway, State will always hate me because I don't accept their muddling way of doing things

HH: I don't know for a fact but I won't be surprised if the FO statement was prompted by someone here

HH: Robin Raphel is back as Grossman's deputy

HH: You stepped on her toes w/ Kashmir mission

MI: That would be typical. But Grossman knows me and he knows how serious I am. Raphael still hates me for the Kashmir intervention where she did everything she could to fuck me up

HH: And now they hate me more when folks back home who hate me tell them you and I might have been together on s'thing (whether we were or not is irrelevant to them)

HH: Grossman is good but he doesn't like anyone playing a larger than life role. Old school

HH: That's why I have been requesting you to let this one go

MI: Yeah I know. Found that out when he was our lobbyist. But he's a good guy

HH: That takes attention off me

MI: Hmmmmmmmmm....... Not sure anything could take attention off you

HH: I try and make peace with State and focus on battles at home

HH: HaHa :D MI: Diplomacy at its finest!!! HH: Yeah, right! But at least I shd not be painted as playing for your team

MI: Why not? You were a good quarterback for those three days!!

HH: I want to solve -***ing problems not fight a rearguard action all the time

HH: :x

HH: Let us wait and see if Hillary's latest foray changes things in any direction

MI: Did we really solve a true problem or was this all smoke and mirrors?

MI: I mean on those days of stress...

HH: View here is that everyone in Isloo sucks!

MI: That's pretty much true!!!!

HH: Too early to say re solution

MI: But if they all suck, then what did we save - a sinking ship that was going to sink anyway???

HH: And there is a genetic problem at that end, predisposed to going round and round in circles

MI: Yup!! That's for damn sure

HH: I think we save the situation from an extremely violent outcome

MI: How can you solve the problems you understand so well from here if all the people in charge over there are wrong? It's only one year til we have a change in the US. Then you really won't like who we have here!

HH: I mean, Iran might have done better if the Shah had been saved AND some true reform introduced

HH: Actually, I think the new ppl here might be better to deal with

HH: They won't take lies easily

MI: Don't bet on it. We have a lot of extremists cropping up and seeping into the system

MI: They don't trust anything Pakistani

MI: Don't matter what it is

HH: Well, in that case find me a cheap piece of beach :)

MI: Cain, Romney (who hates Muslims), Perry - its all the same crap

MI: Hmmmmm, yes, I can arrange that

MI: Why is Z such an idiot?

HH: But don't go off writing opeds abt arranging piece of beach w'out consulting first :P

HH: HaHa! Tough question

HH: I have a speech in 20 mins so let's keep that for later

HH: Bye for now

MI: Okay. Good luck.

HH: Thank you!

MI: Hi buddy, I understand you/ your foreign office hacks are commissioning hatchet pieces against me. Unfortunate.... very unfortunate

HH: I will enquire and stop them. There's no need for any of this.

HH: You haven't helped by engaging so much w/ Pak media.

HH: What happened to the 'silent soldier'?

MI: I issued a statement that was designed to put an end to all of this after Imran Khan's rally nonsense. But be that as it may, I'm not going to tolerate character assassination in any of this

HH: I agree

HH: Will do my best to prevent it

MI: Roger that

HH: Focus on your policy message instead of who did what and we can turn this around

MI: Please remind your boss that his beloved wife, who later became a good friend of mine, tried the same bullshit tactics in 1996 when Maleeha was envoy - result: her government was dismissed in Nov 1996.

MI: I'm not someone he can mess around with. He better get that message from me and really understand it

HH: My response to Imran was very simple and true: I did not write a treasonous letter and if Imran has a copy, he should present it

HH: I don't think your threatening helps

MI: That's true from my point of view as well. But politicians are politicians

MI: I don't make threats. I state facts. Your boss needs reminding of the facts

HH: Are you sure your side won't deny?

MI: No, maybe they will. But that would also be a mistake. Too much proof on that side as well.

HH: But does "proving" help anything?

HH: Is it not the nature of a private mission that officials deny it?

MI: Don't know. Don't care. My point is simple - I've said what I was going to. Attacks on my person will not be tolerated. And my statement stands. Stop telling lies about me and I might just stip telling the truth about you

HH: If you were to listen to my advice, you would let this blow over and prove yourself afterwards. You are the one who will outlast the flying shit :)

HH: That is usually my strategy: be there when the others have self-destructed or blown over

MI: I've kept to my word - if everyone wants to call it a fabrication and make me the fall guy, then gloves come off and it's not going to be fun or pretty for anyone

MI: You did something you thought was right outside channels because you felt it would be the most effective way to get the job done. I helped you execute. I haven't thrown you under the bus. But be damn sure I won't let anyone do that to me

HH: I'll do what I can to keep it pretty

HH: I haven't. I won't.

MI: By the way, I know a lot more than you give me credit for about the circumstances that led to May 1 and your role in all that. Just FYI

HH: Honorable ppl stick with one another. Take care.

MI: ;)

HH: I am maintaining silence so pls check with me before reacting if some Pak journo attributes anything to me

MI: It's interesting (and heartening) to see that many of the proposals made in the memo are now being implemented in the bilateral relationship. Very good

Sent from my BlackBerry(r) wireless device

The secret memorandum to Mike Mullen Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff by Pakistan’s envoy to the United States Hussain Haqqani allegedly on behalf of President Asif Ali Zardari


Briefing for Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

During the past 72 hours since a meeting was held between the president, the prime minister and the chief of army staff, there has seen a significant deterioration in Pakistan’s political atmosphere. Increasingly desperate efforts by the various agencies and factions within the government to find a home – ISI and/or Army, or the civilian government – for assigning blame over the UBL [Osaama bin Laden] raid now dominate the tug of war between military and civilian sectors. Subsequent tit-for-tat reactions, including outing of the CIA station chief’s name in Islamabad by ISI officials, demonstrates a dangerous devolution of the ground situation in Islamabad where no central control appears to be in place.

Civilians cannot withstand much more of the hard pressure being delivered from the Army to succumb to wholesale changes. If civilians are forced from power, Pakistan becomes a sanctuary for UBL’s legacy and potentially the platform for far more rapid spread of al Qaeda’s brand of fanaticism and terror. A unique window of opportunity exists for the civilians to gain the upper hand over army and intelligence directorates due to their complicity in the UBL matter.

Request your direct intervention in conveying a strong, urgent and direct message to Gen Kayani that delivers Washington’s demand for him and Gen Pasha to end their brinkmanship aimed at bringing down the civilian apparatus – that this is a 1971 moment in Pakistan’s history. Should you be willing to do so, Washington’s political/military backing would result in a revamp of the civilian government that, while weak at the top echelon in terms of strategic direction and implementation (even though mandated by domestic political forces), in a wholesale manner replaces the national security adviser and other national security officials with trusted advisers that include ex-military and civilian leaders favorably viewed by Washington, each of whom have long and historical ties to the US military, political and intelligence communities. Names will be provided to you in a face-to-face meeting with the person delivering this message.

In the event Washington’s direct intervention behind the scenes can be secured through your personal communication with Kayani (he will likely listen only to you at this moment) to stand down the Pakistani military-intelligence establishment, the new national security team is prepared, with full backing of the civilian apparatus, to do the following:

1.President of Pakistan will order an independent inquiry into the allegations that Pakistan harbored and offered assistance to UBL and other senior Qaeda operatives. The White House can suggest names of independent investigators to populate the panel, along the lines of the bipartisan 9-11 Commission, for example.

2.The inquiry will be accountable and independent, and result in findings of tangible value to the US government and the American people that identify with exacting detail those elements responsible for harboring and aiding UBL inside and close to the inner ring of influence in Pakistan’s Government (civilian, intelligence directorates and military). It is certain that the UBL Commission will result in immediate termination of active service officers in the appropriate government offices and agencies found responsible for complicity in assisting UBL.

3.The new national security team will implement a policy of either handing over those left in the leadership of Al Qaeda or other affiliated terrorist groups who are still on Pakistani soil, including Ayman Al Zawahiri, Mullah Omar and Sirajuddin Haqqani, or giving US military forces a “green light” to conduct the necessary operations to capture or kill them on Pakistani soil. This “carte blanche” guarantee is not without political risks, but should demonstrate the new group’s commitment to rooting out bad elements on our soil. This commitment has the backing of the top echelon on the civilian side of our house, and we will insure necessary collateral support.

4.One of the great fears of the military-intelligence establishment is that with your stealth capabilities to enter and exit Pakistani airspace at will, Pakistan’s nuclear assets are now legitimate targets. The new national security team is prepared, with full backing of the Pakistani government – initially civilian but eventually all three power centers – to develop an acceptable framework of discipline for the nuclear program. This effort was begun under the previous military regime, with acceptable results. We are prepared to reactivate those ideas and build on them in a way that brings Pakistan’s nuclear assets under a more verifiable, transparent regime.

5.The new national security team will eliminate Section S of the ISI charged with maintaining relations to the Taliban, Haqqani network, etc. This will dramatically improve relations with Afghanistan.

6.We are prepared to cooperate fully under the new national security team’s guidance with the Indian government on bringing all perpetrators of Pakistani origin to account for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, whether outside government or inside any part of the government, including its intelligence agencies. This includes handing over those against whom sufficient evidence exists of guilt to the Indian security services.

Pakistan faces a decision point of unprecedented importance. We, who believe in democratic governance and building a much better structural relationship in the region with India AND Afghanistan, seek US assistance to help us pigeon-hole the forces lined up against your interests and ours, including containment of certain elements inside our country that require appropriate re-sets and re-tasking in terms of direction and extent of responsibility after the UBL affair.

We submit this memorandum for your consideration collectively as the members of the new national security team who will be inducted by the President of Pakistan with your support in this undertaking.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Bin Laden's Death in Broader Perspective

Mutiny in Pakistani Military?

US-Pakistan Military Confrontation Inevitable?

Twitter Revolution in Pakistan

ISI Rogues: Real or Imagined?

Pakistan's Tax Evasion Fosters Foreign Aid Dependence

Daily Carnage Amidst Intelligence Failures in Pakistan

Can US Aid Remake Pakistan?

ISI Rogues-Real or Imagined?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Arabs View Pakistan as Potential Superpower

Pakistan figured as the only Muslim majority country as a potential superpower in 2011 Arab Public Opinion Poll survey conducted by Professor Shibli Telhami, senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings Institution. The poll surveyed 3,000 people in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates in October 2011.

Asked if there could be only one superpower in the world, which country they would prefer it to be, China was favored by 23% of the respondents (up from 14% in 2009) followed by Germany 15% (down from 25%), Russia 12% (up from 7%), France 10% (down from 23%), Pakistan 7% (up from 3%), US 7% (down from 8%) and Britain 5% (down from 7%). In answer to another question about the preferred country they would like to live in, France topped the list with 28% (down from 36% in 2009), followed by Germany 22% (down from 25%), Britain 15% (up from 10%), China 11% (up from 9%), US 10% (up from 5%), Russia 4% (flat) and Pakistan just 2% (up from 1% in 2009).

Among the key poll findings are:

1. Turkey is the biggest winner of the Arab Spring. In the five countries polled, Turkey is seen to have played the "most constructive" role in the Arab events.

2. Overall, Arabs polled strongly take the sides of the rebels against the government in Yemen (89%), Syria (86%) and Bahrain (64%). But there are regional differences. Those polle din the UAE mostly favor the government of Bahrain. The Lebanese are divided on Syria; the Jordanians are divided on Bahrain; and the Egyptians' support for the rebels in Bahrain is weaker than their support for the rebels in Yemen and Syria.

3. While a majority of Arabs polled continue to express unfavorable views of the United States (59%) the number of those who have favorable views has increased from 10% in 2010 to 26% in 2011. This improvement could be related to the perception of the American handling of the Arab Spring.

4. A majority of Arabs polled (52%) remain discouraged by the Obama administration's policy in the the Middle East, though this is down from 65% in 2010 and up from only 15% in 2009.

Coming back to the idea of Pakistan as a potential superpower, it is not as far-fetched as it may be appear to some who currently see it as a nation beset by multiple serious crises. Pakistan is a very large country. In fact, Pakistan is one of the largest countries in the world. With population exceeding 170 million, it is one of only eight nations armed with nuclear weapons. The nation ranks as sixth largest in population, seventh largest in its army size, 7th largest diaspora, 8th in number of mobile phone users, 9th largest workforce, 10th in educated English speaking population, 17th largest in number of Internet users, 27th in economy and 34th in land area.

Today, Pakistan's economy is the 27th largest in the world. As Part of "the Next 11" group of nations, it is one of the top 15 emerging economies (BRICs+Next11) picked by Goldman Sachs. Goldman forecasts Pakistan to be among the top 20 biggest economies in the world by 2025. With rapidly declining fertility and aging populations in the industrialized world, Pakistan's growing talent pool is likely to play a much bigger role to satisfy global demand for workers in the 21st century and contribute to the economic well-being of Pakistan as well as other parts of the world.

Pakistan continues to face major problems as it deals with the violent Taliban insurgency and multiple crises of stagnant economy, scarcity of energy and the lack of political stability and sense of security. The unfolding Memogate scandal is yet another reminder of the daunting challenges the nation must deal with. The bumbling political leadership of Pakistan is incompetent and corrupt. However, what the prophets of doom and gloom often discount are key factors that keep the nation going, including the resilience of Pakistan's people, the extraordinary capabilities of its large and growing urban middle class, and the stabilizing influence of its powerful military. Pakistan is just too big to fail. I fully expect Pakistan to survive the current crises, and then begin to thrive again in the near future.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Too Big to Fail

Pakistani Diaspora Among World's Largest

Pakistan's Demographic Dividend

Resilient Pakistanis Defies Doomsayers

Pakistani Defense Industry

India-Pakistan Military Balance

Pakistan's Story After 64 Years of Independence

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

US Firms Add Jobs in India & China, Cut at Home

American corporations created 453,000 jobs in India, a whopping 642% increase in a decade that saw the same corporations cut 846,000 jobs at home.

Overall, US multinational corporations added 1.5 million workers to their payrolls in Asia and the Pacific region from 1999 to 2009, and 477,500 workers in Latin America, according to US Commerce Dept data as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

From 1999 to 2009, the multinational companies also reduced capital-investment spending in the U.S. at an annual rate of 0.2% and increased it at a 4.0% annual rate abroad. This occurred in spite of huge Bush era tax cuts for the rich.

Bulk of the increase in overseas investment and hiring by U.S. multinationals has been in the service sector where most of the American middle class jobs have been lost. Among U.S. multinational firms in manufacturing, about 60% of employment is still in the U.S. But the manufacturers cut their U.S. payrolls by 2.1 million in the 2000s and added 230,000 workers overseas.

While the U.S. multinational manufacturers employ 6.9 million workers in the U.S. and 4.6 million abroad as of 2009, the trend clearly indicates the balance shifting in favor of overseas jobs at the expense of jobs in America.

The irony of it is that the vast majority of average citizens of nations like India where jobs have been created by American corporations have not benefited either. After the decade of job creation by US multi-nationals, India still remains home to the world's largest population of poor, hungry and illiterates. Bulk of the benefits of globalization have gone to a few dozen powerful Indian oligarchs in "the world's largest democracy".

Looking at this jobs data, it's clear to me that the foolish and short-sighted actions of the American MNCs are undermining the very system that has nurtured and enriched them by creating middle class American consumers and voters whose jobs they are killing.

It's the middle class America that has supported the system of American democracy and free markets; destroying middle class America by taking their jobs overseas will only lead to rising instability that will threaten the very foundations of this system....the growing "Occupy" movement across major American cities and university campuses is only the tip of the iceberg of rising discontent.

It's time to save democracy and capitalism from the American capitalists!

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Will American Capitalism Survive?

Imran Khan Inspired by Iqbal

Occupy Wall Street Anti-Semitic?

India-World's Biggest Oligarchy

Comparing Oligarchies in India and Pakistan

Pakistan Tops South Asia Job Growth in 2000-2010

India is Home to World's Largest Population of Poor, Hungry & Illiterates

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Resilient Pakistan Triumph Over Sri Lanka

Still reeling from a cheating scandal in the cricket world and overshadowed by a freshly brewing Memogate political crisis at home, Pakistan's national cricket team bounced back strongly with ODI and Test series wins against Sri Lanka in UAE.

In the One Day series decider today, Pakistan succeeded in defending a modest total of only 200 runs. Pakistan's star player Shahid Afridi proved not only his own resilience as a match-winner, but also helped restore his teammates' confidence in the international cricket arena. His allround performance with the bat and the ball was awe-inspiring. After scoring 75 runs with support from tailenders, Afridi went on to dismantle Sri Lankla's batting by claiming 5 wickets while conceding only 35 runs.

In a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal prior to the ODI series win, commentator Richard Lyons paid tribute to Pakistani cricketers by calling the team "freakishly talented" and "the most resilient entity in the world". Here's a brief excerpt from the WSJ piece:

"The Pakistan cricket team must be the most resilient entity in the world. Exiled from playing at home, repeatedly riven by internecine bickering and factionalism, and with three of their top players, including their two best bowlers, recently imprisoned for spot-fixing – and still last week they completed a Test series victory against Sri Lanka......the endless production line of freakishly talented Pakistani players continues to draw the sting of everything that happens to the team. That production line is driven by the deep love for the game in the country – a love that appears as resistant to the repeated abuse it receives as the team does. Against the backdrop of the London trial, their win in the UAE, against a side ranked above them, represented a heartening refusal to be steamrollered by events beyond their control. It's a quality every Pakistani cricketer needs in abundance."

Pakistanis are no strangers to the oft-repeated apocalyptic forecasts of imminent collapse of their nation that have been regularly dished out by many western leaders, leading analysts and mainstream media over the years. The 2009 Swat valley insurgency and 2010 and 2011 floods sent these pessimist pundits in overdrive yet again as the images of the victims of these crises were widely distributed and discussed at length.

Pakistan continues to face major problems as it deals with the violent Taliban insurgency and multiple crises of stagnant economy, scarcity of energy and the lack of political stability and sense of security. The unfolding Memogate scandal is yet another reminder of the daunting challenges the nation must deal with. The bumbling political leadership of Pakistan is incompetent and corrupt. However, what the prophets of doom and gloom often discount are key factors that keep the nation going, including the resilience of Pakistan's people, the extraordinary capabilities of its large and growing urban middle class, and the stabilizing influence of its powerful military. Pakistan is just too big to fail. I fully expect Pakistan to survive the current crises, and then begin to thrive again in the near future.

Here's a World Bank Video on Pakistanis' resilience:

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Resilient Pakistan Defies Doomsayers

India-Pakistan Cricket Diplomacy

What Pakistan Did Right

Branchless Banking Responds to Pakistan Floods

Pakistan's Rural Economy Recovering

Pakistan's Growing Middle Class

Pakistan is Too Big to Fail

Obama on Cricket

Case For Resuming India-Pakistan Peace Talks

Pakistan Punish Aussie 2-0 in T20 Series

Afridi's Leadership

Pakistan In, India Out of T20 Semis

Pakistan Beat India in South Africa

Kiwis Dash Pakistan's ICC Championship Hopes

Pakistan Crowned World T20 Champs

Pakistan's Aisamul Haq Beats Tennis Great Roger Federer

Friday, November 18, 2011

India & Pakistan Off-Track, Off-Target on Toilets

India will not reach its Millennium Development Goal on sanitation before 2047, while Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal will not achieve the target before 2028, according to a United Nations report released on the eve of World Toilet Day 2011.

The WaterAid report titled "Off-track, off-target: Why investment in water, sanitation and hygiene is not reaching those who need it most" says that 818 million Indians and 98 million Pakistanis lack access to toilets. It also reports that 148 million Indians and 18 million Pakistanis do not have adequate access to safe drinking water.

The five countries with the largest absolute numbers of people without sanitation – India, China, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan – are all middle income and account for over 1.7 billion people without sanitation.

The report points out that the budgets allocated for water and sanitation improvements in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa have been extremely low. Public spending on water and sanitation accounts for 0.45% of gdp in India and only 0.20% of gdp in Pakistan. Some of the shortfall has been made up by official development assistance, particularly for India which has been among the top aid recipients every year since 2000. However, a recent report from the Comptroller and Auditor General in India identified US$2 billion of unspent aid money in 2010. Although detail has not been available beyond a reference to weak planning, the India case study confirms that financial absorption is a problem that has affected the Total Sanitation Campaign in certain states. In Uttar Pradesh, only 63% of the funds released were used in 2005-06, although that improved to 83% in 2006-07. Findings from Chhattisgarh highlight the slow release and use of centrally available funding, with over half of the 16 districts experiencing delays in opting for the second installment. The research shows that the reasons for the low utilization include: states unable to match central government grants, deficiencies in the process of decentralized planning, shortages or short tenure of key staff, delay in the flow of funds, as well as multiple reporting requirements.

Earlier in October this year, India's rural development minister Jairam Ramesh said his nation's rivers have been turned into open sewers by 638 million Indians without access to toilets. He was reacting a UNICEF report that said Indians make up 58% of the world population which still practices open defection, and the sense of public hygiene in India is the worst in South Asia and the world.

WaterAid calls the current hygiene situation a "global crisis" and cites the following statistics:

I. 884 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly one in eight of the world's population. (WHO/UNICEF)

II. 2.6 billion people in the world do not have access to adequate sanitation, this is almost two fifths of the world's population. (WHO/UNICEF)

III. 1.4 million children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unclean water and poor sanitation - 4,000 child deaths a day or one child every 20 seconds. This equates to 160 infant school classrooms lost every single day to an entirely preventable public health crisis. (WHO/WaterAid)

Solving this serious problem in developing nations is not going to be easy. It can not be done by simply replicating the western toilet for the vast majority of the poor in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. It will require creative thinking.

One example of creative thinking is Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak of Sulabh International in India. He has developed a simple, low-cost toilet which costs approximately Rs. 700 and could be installed anywhere, including villages without any plumbing. This toilet uses only 1.5 liters of water for flushing as against 10 liters by a conventional toilet. The toilet “system” consists of two pits: when the first one fills up, it is closed and the other one is used. The closed toilet dries up in two years when it is ready to be used as fertilizer and for conversion into biogas for heating, cooking, and generating electricity.

Another example is Dr. M. Sohail Khan, a professor from Pakistan currently working at UK's Loughborough University, who has received a grant from Gates Foundation. He and his research team are developing a toilet that produces biological charcoal,minerals, and clean water to transform feces into a highly energetic combustible through a process combining hydrothermal carbonization of fecal sludge followed by combustion. The process will be powered by the heat generated during the combustion phase and will recover water and salt from feces and urine.

Gates Foundation is funding research grants under "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge" program to develop a low-cost, no-flush toilet for the masses. In an interview on Public Radio, Dr. Frank Rijsberman of Gates Foundation explained it as follows: "We are asking people to come up with a toilet that does not flush, you know, clean water down an expensive set of pipes to get into a waste water treatment plant where we're spending even more energy and money to get that waste out again. We'd love for people to have what we sometimes call the cell phone of sanitation, an aspirational product that actually recovers resources from waste. There's a lot of energy in human waste. There is nutrients there, and we'd love to find a way to reuse those directly without relying on flushing your waste down the drain with clean drinking water."

I believe that the key to eventually solving the sanitation crisis in the developing world lies in the success of research and development efforts sponsored by organizations like Gates Foundation and Sulabh International.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

India Leads the World in Open Defecation

Fixing Sanitation Crisis in India

Food, Clothing and Shelter in India and Pakistan

Heavy Disease Burdens in South Asia

Peepli Live Destroys Indian Myths

India After 63 Years of Independence

Poverty Across India 2011

India and Pakistan Contrasted

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Imran Khan Claims Inspiration From Allama Iqbal

Rooh-e-Sultani Rahe Baqi To Phir Kya Iztarab
Hai Magar Kya Uss Yahoodi Ki Shararat Ka Jawab?

(No cause of anxiety then, if the spirit of imperialism be preserved
But what’s the answer to the mischief of that wise Jew)

Woh Kaleem Be-Tajalli, Woh Maseeh Be-Saleeb
Neest Peghambar Wa Lekin Dar Baghal Darad Kitab

(That Moses without light, that cross-less Jesus
Not a prophet, but with a book under his arm)

Iss Se Barh Kar Aur Kya Ho Ga Tabiat Ka Fasad
Torh Di Bandon Ne Aaqaon Ke Khaimon Ki Tanab!

(For what could be more dangerous than this
That the serfs uproot the tents of their masters)

Muhammad Iqbal (Urdu: محمد اقبال) (November 9, 1877 – April 21, 1938)

Speaking at the recent launch of his book “Pakistan: A Personal History”, Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan referred to Allama Iqbal as the ideological father of the nation, and added that “Iqbal’s teachings have inspired me to a great extent”. In the book, Imran calls Islam a “comprehensive blueprint for how Muslims should live in accordance with the highest ideals and best practices of Islam.”

Analyzing Imran Khan's comments, Indian author and journalist Pankaj Mishra says that Iqbal felt "democracy and capitalism had empowered a privileged elite in the name of the people". It seems to me that "Occupy Wall Street" protesters also appear to be inspired by Iqbal's thoughts about the extraordinary power of the elite in democracy and capitalism as practiced in the West.

In a recent Businessweek piece titled "Islam Offers a Third Way in Pakistan and Tunisia", Mishra compares Imran Khan with the "democratic Islamist" Tunisian leader Rashid Ghannouchi.

Here are selected excerpts from Mishra's article:

"Confronted with extreme inequality and corrupt Westernized elites, many Muslim thinkers had already begun to present Islam as a guarantee of social justice. Setting up the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928, Hassan al-Banna advocated the redistribution of wealth, and a crackdown on venal politicians and businessmen.

Like al-Banna, Iqbal believed that the Prophet had transmitted the blueprint for a just society centuries before Marx -- “the wise Jew” -- worked it out in the British Museum. And he remained confident that after the ruling elites of capitalism and socialism had lost credibility, “the message of the Prophet might appear again.”

Iqbal considered the idea of a classless society, in which the rich were custodians rather than owners of property, to be morally superior to socialism as well as capitalism:

Protector of women’s honor, tester of men A message of death for all sorts of slavery Undivided amongst kings and beggars Cleans the wealth of all its filth Makes the rich the custodians of riches What could be greater than this revolution? Not to kings but to God belongs the land.

I have been thinking of Iqbal’s lines in recent weeks as the Islamist democrats of Rashid Ghannouchi’s Ennahdha party triumphed in Tunisia’s first free elections in years, and the cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan -- declared by Pew Research Center to be the most popular political figure in Pakistan -- staged a huge rally in Lahore, staking his first serious claim to power."

"Like many leaders and thinkers in Islamic countries, both traveled through secular ideologies and lifestyles -- Ghannouchi as a Nasserite socialist, Khan as a denizen of London’s social scene -- before arriving at a worldview grounded in Islam.

More importantly, their respective countries have stumbled through many failed postcolonial experiments with Western political and economic systems, resulting in wayward elected governments and uneven economic development, before arriving at their current rendezvous with political Islam.

It may seem more understandable that a majority of Tunisians, who have suffered from a secular and kleptocratic despotism, want to experiment with a more Islamic polity. But why would Pakistanis, who felt the coercive power of an Islamic state for almost a decade under the military dictatorship of Mohammad Zia Ul-Haq, want to do the same?

Perhaps because -- and this is not sufficiently recognized -- every generation brings to political life its own ideas, hopes and illusions. Too young to remember Zia’s regime, many Pakistanis invest their faith in the born-again Khan out of disgust with the modernizing military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who was president from 2001 to 2008, and interchangeable civilian politicians Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, who all share an appalling record of corruption and ineptitude. (Pakistanis are also thrilled by Khan’s unambiguous denunciations of the Central Intelligence Agency’s drone attacks in their country.)

Whether liberal and secular elites like it or not, there are a large number of socially conservative Muslims who wish to see the ethical principles of Islam play a more active role in public life. The mind-numbing division between “moderates” and “extremists” that often passes for profound understanding of Islamic societies in the West simply fails to account for this invisible majority of Muslims, who are unlikely to plump for secular liberalism either now or in the near future.

For many nationalist and reflexively conservative Pakistanis, Imran Khan’s belief that “if we follow Iqbal’s teaching, we can reverse the growing gap between Westernized rich and traditional poor that helps fuel fundamentalism” is not the empty rhetoric it may sound to a Westernized Pakistani."

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Imran Khan's Social Media Campaign

An Indian's View of Jinnah, Iqbal and Pakistan

Culture of Corruption in Pakistan

Incompetence Worse Than Corruption in Pakistan

Clash of Ideas in Islam

Jinnah's Vision of Pakistan

Imran to Obama: Leave Afghanistan

Occupy Wall Street

Iqbal's Poetry

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Alaska Permanent Fund--A Model For Balochistan's Mineral Wealth Sharing

The US state of Alaska has a small population of only 680,000 people and vast territory measuring 1.5 million square kilometers. The state is endowed with tremendous mineral wealth--particularly oil and gas. Alaska Permanent Fund was set up in 1976 to ensure that ordinary Alaskans get a share of this natural wealth. Currently the fund has assets of over $38 billion and each Alaskan will receive $1,174.00 in cash from it for 2011.

Pakistan's Balochistan province shares some similarities with the US state of Alaska. It is the largest of Pakistan's four provinces in terms of area (347,190 square kilometers) but the smallest in terms of population (6.6 million). With large reserves of copper, gold and natural gas, it is probably the richest of Pakistan's provinces in terms of its natural resources.

Most of the grievances of the people of Balochistan stem from a sense that they have not benefited from the resources under their land. Powerful tribal chieftains in the province have exploited this sense of deprivation to demand and receive significant funds for themselves while ordinary Balochis have remained among the poorest and most backward in Pakistan.

As Pakistan moves forward with vast new mineral discoveries such as Reko Diq in Balochistan, it's essential that there be a mechanism to equitably share with ordinary Balochis the billions of dollars in revenue expected to flow from these resources.

Balochistan Fund can be modeled on Alaska Permanent Fund. It is a constitutionally established and professionally managed fund which is run by a semi-independent corporation. Shortly after the oil from Alaska's North Slope began flowing to market through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, the Permanent Fund was created by an amendment to the constitution of the U.S. state of Alaska to be an investment for at least 25% of proceeds from some minerals [such as oil and gas] sale or royalties.

Similar funds should be established for other provinces as well. For example, energy-rich Sindh has large coal deposits and huge shale gas reserves which are worth at least hundreds of billions of dollars. Revenues from these resources should be shared equitably to benefit ordinary citizen of Sindh province.

Sharing of the wealth with the people in each province will give them a tangible stake in national development. It will help bring and maintain peace and stability necessary to attract badly needed investments for developing Pakistan's vast mineral resources.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan's Vast Shale Gas Reserves

Reko Diq Copper & Gold

Pakistan's Mineral Wealth

Thar Coal Deposits

USGS Minerals Overview For Pakistan

US Dept of Energy Report on Shale Gas

Pakistan's Twin Energy Crises

Pakistan's Electricity Crisis

Pakistan's Gas Pipeline and Distribution Network

Lure of Pakistan's Riches Calls

Israel in Alaska?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

US Proliferated Nukes to India

The story of how India acquired nuclear weapons gets almost no attention in the Western media as they continue to focus on nuclear proliferation by Pakistan's AQ Khan.

The nuclear proliferation narrative in the mainstream American and European media begins with A.Q. Khan's network rather than the actors in North America and Europe as the original proliferators of nuclear weapons equipment, materials and technology to India in 1960s and 1970s. These nuclear exports from US to India continued for several years even after the Indian nuclear test in 1974.

The real story, as recounted by Paul Leventhal of The Nuclear Control Institute, begins with the US and Canada supplying nuclear reactors and fuel to India in 1960s. As the story unfolds, we learn that the spent fuel from Canadian Cirus reactor was reprocessed into bomb-grade plutonium using a reprocessing plant provided by an American-European consortium, and later used to explode India's first atom bomb at Pokhran in 1974. This is the key event in South Asia that led to Pakistan's pursuit of nuclear weapons culminating in nuclear tests by both India and Pakistan in 1998.

Here are some key excerpts from Paul Leventhal's presentation to Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Washington DC on December 19, 2005:

CIRUS (Canadian reactor supplied to India) holds a very special place in nonproliferation history and the development of US nonproliferation policy. This needs to be understood if we are to do the right thing in working out a new nuclear relationship with India.

My own personal involvement in this history and policy began with a telephone call I received 31 years ago on a May morning in 1974 when I was a young staffer on the U.S. Senate Government Operations Committee. It was from a Congressional liaison officer of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission who said he was calling to inform me that India had just conducted a nuclear test and to assure me that "the United States had absolutely nothing to do with it."

At that time, I was working on legislation to reorganize the AEC into separate regulatory and promotional agencies. I had begun investigating the weapons potential of nuclear materials being used in the U.S. Atoms for Peace program, both at home and abroad. The official wanted me to know there was no need to consider remedial legislation on nuclear exports because the plutonium used in India's test came not from the safeguarded nuclear power plant at Tarapur, supplied by the United States, but from the unsafeguarded Cirus research reactor near Bombay, supplied by Canada. "This is a Canadian problem, not ours," he said.

It took me two years to discover that the information provided me that day was false. The United States, in fact, had supplied the essential heavy-water component that made the Cirus reactor operable, but decided to cover up the American supplier role and let Canada "take the fall" for the Indian test. Canada promptly cut off nuclear exports to India, but the United States did not.

In 1976, when the Senate committee uncovered the U.S. heavy-water export to India and confronted the State Department on it, the government's response was another falsehood: the heavy water supplied by the U.S., it said, had leaked from the reactor at a rate of 10% a year, and had totally depleted over 10 years by the time India produced the plutonium for its test.

But the committee learned from Canada that the actual heavy-water loss rate at Cirus was less than 1% a year, and we learned from junior-high-school arithmetic that even a 10%- a-year loss rate doesn't equal 100% after 10 years. Actually, more than 90% of the original U.S. heavy water was still in the Cirus reactor after 10 years, even if it took India a decade to produce the test plutonium---itself a highly fanciful notion.

We also learned that the reprocessing plant where India had extracted the plutonium from Cirus spent fuel, described as "indigenous" in official U.S. and Indian documents, in fact had been supplied by an elaborate and secret consortium of U.S. and European companies.

Faced with this blatant example of the Executive Branch taking Congress for the fool, the Senate committee drafted and Congress eventually enacted the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Paul Leventhal's story about India's diversion of civilian nuclear programs to build weapons is corroborated by other sources such as the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and the Wisconsin Project.

Unfortunately, not much has changed in Washington since 1974 as the duplicitous US policy of "non-proliferation" continues to this day. Washington never talks about the Israeli nuclear weapons and the US administration continues to raise objections to the Chinese sale of nuclear power plants to Pakistan which is suffering from crippling energy deficits. Meanwhile, the 2009 US-India nuclear deal legitimizes India as a nuclear weapons state and encourages continuing Indian buildup of its nuclear arsenal even as the US targets Iran for its alleged efforts to build nuclear weapons.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

India's "Indigenous" Copies of Foreign Nukes and Missiles

India's Nuclear Bomb by George Perkovich

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Cyberwars Across India, Pakistan and China

Pakistan's Defense Industry Going High-Tech

Pakistan's Space Capabilities

India-Pakistan Military Balance

Scientist Reveals Indian Nuke Test Fizzled

The Wisconsin Project

The Non-Proliferation Review Fall 1997

India, Pakistan Comparison 2010

Can India "Do a Lebanon" in Pakistan?

Global Firepower Comparison

Only the Paranoid Survive

India Races Ahead in Space

21st Century High-Tech Warfare

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Karachi's High Human Development Index

While Pakistan's HDI of 0.504 (2011) ranks it among UNDP's low human development countries, its largest city Karachi's HDI of 0.7885 (2005) is closer to the group of nations given high human development rankings.

In a regional human development analysis for Pakistan done by Haroon Jamal and Amir Jahan Khan of the Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC), Karachi ranks at the top with HDI of 0.7885, followed by Jhelum district's 0.7698 and Haripur's 0.7339. Lahore has HDI score of 0.6882 and Rawalpindi 0.638.

Majority of the nations ranked as high human development are less populated than Karachi with its 15 million+ inhabitants, and none is experiencing the massive waves of poor rural migrants from some of the least developed areas of Pakistan which Karachi continues to absorb after each disaster in other parts of the country, natural or otherwise.

Karachi often makes news for its recurring episodes of violence which claim many innocent lives. Yet, the city continues to be a big draw for large numbers of rural migrants looking for better economic opportunities. In spite of the many problems they face, it's a fact that even the slums in Karachi offer them better access to education and health care--basic ingredients for human development.

When visitors see a squatter city in India or Pakistan or Bangladesh, they observe overwhelming desperation: rickety shelters, little kids working or begging, absence of sanitation, filthy water and air. However, there are many benefits of rural to urban migration for migrants' lives, including reduction in abject poverty, empowerment of women, increased access to healthcare and education and other services. Historically, cities have been driving forces in economic and social development. As centers of industry and commerce, cities have long been centers of wealth and power. They also account for a disproportionate share of national income. The World Bank estimates that in the developing world, as much as 80 percent of future economic growth will occur in towns and cities. Nor are the benefits of urbanization solely economic. Urbanization is associated with higher incomes, improved health, higher literacy, and improved quality of life. Other benefits of urban life are less tangible but no less real: access to information, diversity, creativity, and innovation.

In a 2009 interview published by Wired Magazine, Stewart Brand, "the pioneering environmentalist, technology thinker", and founder of the Whole Earth Catalog summed up the positive aspects of urban slums, and made a counterintuitive case that the booming slums and squatter cities in and around Mumbai, Nairobi, and Rio de Janeiro are net positives for poor people and the environment. Wired asked him to elaborate. Here are a few excerpts:

Wired: What makes squatter cities so important?

Stewart Brand: That's where vast numbers of humans—slum dwellers—are doing urban stuff in new and amazing ways. And hell's bells, there are a billion of them! People are trying desperately to get out of poverty, so there's a lot of creativity; they collaborate in ways that we've completely forgotten how to do in regular cities. And there's a transition: People come in from the countryside, enter the rickshaw economy, and work for almost nothing. But after a while, they move uptown, into the formal economy. The United Nations did extensive field research and flipped from seeing squatter cities as the world's great problem to realizing these slums are actually the world's great solution to poverty.

Wired: Why are they good for the environment?

Brand: Cities draw people away from subsistence farming, which is ecologically devastating, and they defuse the population bomb. In the villages, women spend their time doing agricultural stuff, for no pay, or having lots and lots of kids. When women move to town, it's better to have fewer kids, bear down, and get them some education, some economic opportunity. Women become important, powerful creatures in the slums. They're often the ones running the community-based organizations, and they're considered the most reliable recipients of microfinance loans.

Wired: How can governments help nurture these positives?

Brand: The suffering is great, and crime is rampant. We made the mistake of romanticizing villages, and we don't need to make that mistake again. But the main thing is not to bulldoze the slums. Treat the people as pioneers. Get them some grid electricity, water, sanitation, crime prevention. All that makes a huge difference.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Karachi Tops Mumbai in Stock Performance

Eleven Days in Karachi

Citymayors website

Karachi Demographic Trends Worry MQM

Pakistan Most Urbanized in South Asia

Karachi: The Urban Frontier

Do Asia's Urban Slums Offer Hope?

Orangi is Not Dharavi

Climate Change Could Flood Karachi Coastline

Karachi Fourth Cheapest For Expats

Karachi City Government

Karachi Dreams Big