Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Confident Pak Judiciary Challenges Military's Top Brass

Buoyed by unprecedented success against the top members of the executive branch, the men in robes are now boldly taking on Pakistani military's top brass--both past and present.

Earlier this year, Pakistan Supreme Court removed a democratically elected prime minister who had the support of two-thirds majority in Pakistan's parliament. The top judges then forced the current prime minister to write a letter to Swiss authorities to re-open corruption cases against several members of the ruling party as well as the head of state President sif Ali Zardari himself.

More recently, the Islamabad High Court judges have accepted a petition from a member of the Rawalpindi Bar Association challenging the three year extension granted in 2010 to Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaque Parvez Kayani by former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. In addition, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has ordered the government to act against a former Chief of Army staff (COAS) General Aslam Baig and a former Director of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. General Asad Durrani in what is now known as the Asghar Khan case.

All of these events appear to be part of a huge power play by the top judges to assert themselves in competition with other institutions of government.  In fact, Justice Chaudhry has stated a very ambitious agenda when he said that he sees his court as the “final arbiter and protector of Constitution”, and he seems to be in a hurry to get there. This statement by the Chief Justice was a pointed rejection of General Kayani's earlier statement that said: “No individual or institution has the monopoly to decide what is right or wrong in defining the ultimate national interest.”

Rawalpindi Bar Association has jumped in the middle of this power struggle with a strong resolution attacking General Kayani personally by raising questions about his brother's work as a military contractor. While smaller than Karachi and Lahore Bars, the Rawalpindi Bar is believed to be close to senior judges. It is suspected to have far right connections with radical organizations like Hizb-ut-Tahrir which has been actively seeking to recruit sympathizers and supporters in Pakistani military.

It's not uncommon for various institutions to seek greater power in a transition period before a healthy and workable balance is achieved.  Almost every democracy has seen such an evolution.

The great danger here is that, if any one institution overplays its hand,  there could be uncontrolled chaos and a power vacuum. Such power vacuum could then be exploited by militant groups which would not hesitate to seize power and put an abrupt end to the whole democratic experiment in Pakistan. Such a development will elicit a strong response from the international community including the US and China. And it will almost certainly scuttle any hope of democracy in Pakistan for a very long time.

Let's hope good sense prevails to help maintain gradual but sustainable progress toward a democratic order in which all institutions can learn to co-exist and serve the best interest of the people of Pakistan.  

Here's a video clip of a discussion I recently joined on this subject:





Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Judicial Coup in Islamabad

Pakistan's Familygate and Mediagate Scandals 

Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry in No Angel!

Supreme Court Voids NRO

29 comments:

HopeWins Junior said...

^^Riaz Haq: "The great danger here is that, if any one institution overplays its hand, there could be uncontrolled chaos and a power vacuum. Such power vacuum could then be exploited by militant groups which would not hesitate to seize power and put an abrupt end to the whole democratic experiment in Pakistan"

---

Which "militant group" is capable of "not hesitating to seize power? to put an end to the "whole democratic experiment in Pakistan"?

ANSWER: Only the Army. No one else has the organizational capability to do that.

So the only "institutions" that could "overplay ther hand" are the Judiciary & the Legislature-Executive.

So this is only a democracy by leave of the Army. And the Army could change its mind at any time.

There will no "uncontrolled chaos and power vacuum". The Army will step-in and crack down on everybody well before that happens.

What do you think?

HopeWins Junior said...

Dr. Haq,

We are all agreed that Pakistan needs for Foreign Investments.

However, do you think we are going about the right way in trying to get it?

Here is a typical example:

(A) On one hand, the GOP is trying to get Turkey to finance and build hydroelectric dams that Pakistan so desperately needs.
http://alturl.com/ch9qa

(B) On the other hand, the Supreme Court (SC) is simulataneously confiscation or impounding Turkish Power-plant Ships.
http://alturl.com/smfaw

Is this is just a part of the ongoing SC/GOP/Army "who's in charge" tamasha that you mention in this article?

What effect will this have if we keep sending these conflicting messages? Will the world still continue to consider us a reliable investment decision?

Are we doing the right thing in the right way? Or will this tug-of-war between the SC and the GOP destroy all investor confidence in Pakistan as a destination?

What are your views?

Thank you.

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "What are your views?"

Justice Inftikhar Chaudhry is an activist judge who has little restraint when it come economic policy or any other policies of the govt.

It started back in 2006 when the Supreme Court led by him stopped Musharraf's attempt to privatize Pakistan Steel Mill (PSM) which was profitable and operating to capacity at the time.

Since Musharraf's departure in 2008, PSM has been bleeding red ink and required over a billion US $ in subsidies.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/436231/economic-liberalism-iba-dean-delivers-strong-defence-of-privatisation/

More recently, the court has been fixing sugar and CNG prices and voiding contracts with foreign companies.

HopeWins Junior said...

^^^RH: "Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is an activist judge who has... xx ....has been fixing sugar and CNG prices and voiding contracts with foreign companies"

---

This is common knowledge.

But what do you think of the consequences?

When a country is perceived as politically "risky" as our, foreign investors (like Kawasaki for example) usually ask the government to guarantee a part of their long-term potential investment.

Now if the SC keeps voiding GOP agreements all the time, what value will any GOP guarantee have?

Will major foreign investors who are looking to make large, long-term investments (heavy industry, resource exploration, large HE dam construction etc) start to view our country as "unstable, unreliable, unpredictable" and so cancel their investment plans?

Iftikhar Chaudhry may mean well when he expresses concerns about corruption, profiteering and the irregular selling of "national assests" and so on. But what long-term consequences do you think his activism will have?

Will Iftikhar Chaudhry wind up destroying Pakistan in his zeal to save it?

Should the Army remove him from the post of CJ at the SC?

What are your thoughts?

Thank you.

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "Will Iftikhar Chaudhry wind up destroying Pakistan in his zeal to save it?"

His is not a life-time appointment. His term ends in 2014. Meanwhile, I hope he and other judges will learn from his mistakes.

HopeWins Junior said...

^^^RH: "His is not a life-time appointment. His term ends in 2014. Meanwhile, I hope he and other judges will learn from his mistakes."

---

Dr. Haq,

There is a blogger who refuses to acknowledge the clear and present danger of falling savings & invesment rates in Pakistan.

Instead, he keeps cheering the reckless rise in consumption rates that we are now seeing in our country.

The blogger may mean well when he expresses irrational exuberance over the rapidly rising consumption rates, but what long-term consequences do you think his theories will have on future growth in the face of falling investment rates?

Will this blogger wind up destroying Pakistan's economy in his zeal to boost it?

Do you think his blogging is a life-time appointment or do you think it will end in the near future? Do you believe he and other blog-boosters like him will ever learn from his mistakes?

Please comment.

Thank you.

Here is a link--http://alturl.com/tvmd5

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "There is a blogger who refuses to acknowledge the clear and present danger of falling savings & invesment rates in Pakistan. "

There is a self-righteous know-it-all reader who continues to insist that Pakistan economy is about to collapse...an assertion the blogger vehemently rejects.

The reader does not understand that Pakistan's is a largely undocumented cash-based low-consumer-debt economy where rates of savings and investments are significantly understated in official reports.

It's the kind of economy in which consumption as shown in PSLM survey data is a better barometer of underlying health than other official figures.

The foreign analysts and investors are now beginning to understand the above reality and starting to bring in money to reap rewards.

Anonymous said...

From Economist:

PAKISTAN'S chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry (pictured above), is riding high. At a time when most of the country's political leaders are despised as venal, lazy or inept, its senior jurist is held in esteem. People tell pollsters they trust him more than anyone. They cheer his efforts to take on the corrupt and hapless president, Asif Ali Zardari. Yet Mr Chaudhry may be crossing a line from activist judge to political usurper.

His judges pass up no chance to swipe at the government. Mr Chaudhry spent months trying to get Swiss officials to reopen a corruption case that could have toppled Mr Zardari (in Pakistan, criminal proceedings against a sitting president are prohibited). After that failed, the courts took up a thin-looking case in which the president is accused of unconstitutionally holding an office for profit. That looks vindictive: the office in question is his post as head of the ruling Pakistan People's Party.

The courts quickly adopt populist causes, especially those that squeeze Mr Zardari. After an American diplomat shot dead two men in the street in Lahore last month, the mother of one victim appealed for justice on television, saying that she would trust only Mr Chaudhry to help. The High Court in Lahore promptly ordered that the diplomat, who had been arrested, must not be allowed out of the country—even if the government were to rule that he had immunity. In this case, as in many others, the judges have shown themselves to be able self-publicists. Their stance has won approving coverage.
-----------
On one interpretation, all this may add up to nothing too sinister. A degree of judicial activism is needed if Mr Zardari's government is not to enjoy an easy ride. The opposition pulls its punches, despite the government's wretched failure in coping with huge floods last year, and its lack of progress in tackling widespread graft, reviving the economy or putting down extremist violence. Nawaz Sharif, the main opposition leader, seems not to want to bring down a civilian government before elections are due. Perhaps he does not want to rule yet, given Pakistan's mess. Or perhaps he fears giving the army an excuse to meddle openly in politics yet again.

Another, and more troubling, interpretation is also plausible. Maybe, some observers say, the judges are getting too big for their wigs precisely because they have army support. Mr Chaudhry, witting or not, may be helping to create the conditions in which the men in uniform step in again one day. The example Pakistanis cite in private is Bangladesh's stealthy coup in January 2007. At that time the army, fronted by technocrats, pushed aside corrupt party politicians and scrapped elections, with the tacit support of donors.

Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani author, notes “extraordinary co-operation” between the judges and the army in recent years in Pakistan. He points out how rarely judges pursue cases of human-rights violations by soldiers, whereas cases that hurt the government fly into the courts. The army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, a more introverted figure than his predecessor, does not seem to want to take power right now. But a further collapse of order in Pakistan, which is increasingly described as a failing state, might encourage the soldiers to act. Mr Chaudhry should take care that he does not become their fall guy.


http://www.economist.com/node/18114729

HopeWins Junior said...

Dr. Haq,

The economist is carrying two articles that seem to be saying two completely contradictory things:

A) On one hand, the SC is claiming that the Government or the Army (or both) are conspiring against Chief Justice Chaudhry in order to eliminate his challenge to their power monopoly.

http://alturl.com/22ek9

B)On the other hand, the PPP is saying that the Army is conspiring with the SC to bring down the GOP in order to create the political chaos that will give them the excuse they need to take-over via a new coup.

http://alturl.com/mzdeu

Which of these two theories do you personally think is more factual?

Do you believe that the Army is conspiring with the SC to bring-down the PPP government?

OR

Do you believe that the Army is conspiring with the PPP government to bring-down CJ Chaudhry and his supporters at the SC?

OR (new option)

Do you now believe that the SC is conspiring with the PPP-GOP to bring the Army under civilian control permanently?

Who are the allies in this in-fighting? Is it a 2-1 conflict of with one of the above-mentioned combinations? Or is it a 1-1-1 conflict?

What are your considered thoughts?

Thank you.

HopeWins Junior said...

Dr. Haq,

Here is an interesting article in one of our leading newspapers:
http://alturl.com/agigp

It shows a list of items which could be considered positive for our country right now. I also thought we should have a counter-point for each point so as to have intellectual-balance, so I have added them to the list:

1) CP Inflation while high is showing signs of becoming range bound.

Yes, but IMF has warned that recent dip in inflation was caused by temporary relief in the rate of increase of gas and food prices.
It said that Pakistan faces a return to double-digit inflation shortly as the government prints even more money to finance its massive fiscal deficit.

2) Foreign Remittances continue to rise.

Yes, but the trade deficit is rising even faster because the import of goods & services is rising faster than the exports of the same. The rising remittances have not contributed to Forex Reserves, because they are used to cover the rising trade deficit, the rising interest payments on the rising external debt and the rising returns that foreign investors are increasingly repatriating.

3) We have finally started to debate/define our role in the devastating ‘War on Terror” and the end game of Afghan conflict has started to be played out.

Yes, but even though the exit of US troops may cool down the terrorist-backlash against drone-strikes, it will also devastate Pakistan's trucking industry and create severe BOP problems as the 3 billion$ annual service-payments coming into the country will come stop when US troops leave.

4) Pakistan’s banking system remains insulated from the Western banking meltdown.

Yes, but that is only because Pakistan's Banking System is so rudimentary that it cannot be integrated with the Western Banking System. The benefit from its insulation from the Western meltdown is cancelled by its complete lack of depth and range, as shown by the fact that only 12% of Pakistan's population is banked.

5) Booming Agrarian economy, with corporate sector moving into dairy, live-stock and value added processing.

Yes, but this is accompanied by a complete collapse in investments and production in core heavy industrial areas. The consequences of this will be rising imports and falling exports in the next few years. The resulting widening of the trade deficit will, consequently, lead to repeated BOP crises and recurring IMF life-support bailouts.

6) While most of the rest of the world is ageing our population is getting younger.

Yes, our population is getting younger and younger and younger. Very soon our population will become unborn. However, this rapid rise in the population with a large youth-demographic, when accompanied by slow economic growth and a moribund economy with falling investments, is a recipe for demographic disaster.

7) Democracy is still holding on!

Yes, but the SC is attacking the GOP and the Army; the GOP is attacking the SC and the Army; and the Army is quietly sharpening its knives... waiting for the next coup. Then we will be back to Square One.

What do you think? Do the points and counter-points make sense to you? What are your views?

Thank you.

Asif said...

"Confident Pak Judiciary" or more to settle the score with the Military.
The Military has been and still is a state within a state and the Judiciary wants to bypass the weak ineffective and highly corrupt government.
The judiciary doesn't want to become ineffective even though it knows the increased Military influence in politics.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a WSJ piece on Pak judiciary's excesses:

Pakistan’s judicial system has won plaudits for taking on military dictatorships. But it’s increasingly receiving flack for overstepping its powers.

Earlier this year, the International Commission of Jurists, a Geneva-based nongovernmental organization of judges and lawyers, criticized the Supreme Court for launching too many of its own investigations rather than responding to plaintiffs’ cases.

The courts’ activism risked destabilizing the balance of power between the judiciary and government, the commission said in a report.

Now, Human Rights Watch, the U.S.-based rights advocacy, has criticized Pakistan’s courts for using their powers to muzzle media reports that are negative about the judicial system.

Human Rights Watch cited a number of recent examples of cases in which Pakistani judges have ordered Pakistan media regulators to stop television stations from airing criticism of the judiciary.

Last month, the organization said, the Islamabad High Court ordered regulators not to air material that defamed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry or other judges. This month, the court issued a contempt of court notice to the chief executive of ARY, a private television channel, for broadcasting a show that criticized Mr. Chaudhry, Human Rights Watch said.

“No branch of government, including the courts, should be immune from public opinion in a democratic society,” said Brad Adams, Asia director for Human Rights Watch. “Pakistan’s judges have demonstrated the independence to hold the government accountable. But their credibility will be lost so long as they fight against scrutiny and accountability of the judiciary itself.”

Mr. Chaudhry could not be reached. A spokesman for the Supreme Court declined to comment.

Pakistan’s judiciary led protests that toppled an unelected military president and brought democracy back to the country in 2008, winning it praise. Since then, it’s been locked in a struggle with the democratically-elected government of President Asif Ali Zardari.

The court earlier this year ordered the dismissal of the country’s prime minister over his refusal to reopen graft investigations into Mr. Zardari. The new prime minister this month followed the court’s order to restart the corruption probe.

Mr. Zardari denies wrongdoing and his supporters claim the judiciary has become politicized. The court and its backers say they are only fighting against widespread corruption in government.

Another new report – by the World Justice Project, a U.S.-headquartered nongovernment group – also paints a negative picture of the rule of law in Pakistan.

The report, which will be formally released Wednesday, scores Pakistan among the lowest-ranked countries in the world for eight areas of the rule of law.

Pakistan was ranked 91 out of 97 countries for the quality of its civil justice system and placed 80 for its criminal justice system. The country came 90th on corruption and placed last globally for order and security, largely due to an ongoing Taliban insurgency.

“Pakistan shows weaknesses in most dimensions when compared to its regional and income group peers,” the report says.

“Low levels of government accountability are compounded by the prevalence of corruption, a weak justice system, and a poor security situation, particularly related to terrorism and crime.”


http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2012/11/27/pakistans-media-muzzling-judiciary/

HopeWins Junior said...

Dr. Haq,

You forgot to link the Fox News article on this Army-Judiciary tug-of-war:

http://alturl.com/cmmmv

Excerpted Quotes:

Kayani warned against efforts to undermine the military in a public statement that analysts interpreted as a response to unprecedented pressure from the government, media and judiciary.

"We all agree that strengthening the institutions, ensuring the rule of law and working within the well-defined bounds of the constitution is the right way forward," said Kayani. "Weakening of institutions and trying to assume more than one's due role will set us back."

Thank you.

HopeWins Junior said...

If you feel either that Najam Sethi is wrong or that he has missed some key points, please go to the website and post your commentary to set the record straight...

---

Pakistan Staring Into The Abyss
By Najam Sethi

Here are the top-selling recently-published books on Pakistan:
(1) Pakistan: Beyond the crisis state
(2) Playing with fire: Pakistan at war with itself
(3) The Unraveling: Pakistan in the age of jihad
(4) Pakistan on the brink
(5) Pakistan: Eye of the storm
(6) Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America and the future of global jihad
(7) Fatal Fault Lines: Pakistan, Islam and the West
(8) Pakistan: The most dangerous place in the world
(9) Pakistan Cauldron: Conspiracy, assassination and instability
(9) Pakistan: The scorpion's tail
(11) Pakistan: Terrorism ground zero.
(12) The Future of Pakistan: "Whither" Vs "Whether"

Pakistan is wracked by numerous major crises:
(1) Crisis of Economy - this is characterised by stagflation, dependency, resource scarcity and mass impoverishment.
(2) Crisis of Education - this is characterised by the Madrassah challenge, jihad indoctrination, English- Urdu apartheid.
(3) Crisis of Urbanisation - this is characterised by slum development, criminalisation, ethnic warfare.
(4) Crisis of Demography - this is characterised by a youth bulge, religious conservatism and class volatility.
(5) Crisis of Foreign Policy - this is characterised by conflict, isolation and estrangement.
(6) Crisis of Terrorism and Radicalisation - this is characterised by Islamic extremism, violent sectarianism and ethnic separatism.
(7) Crisis of Civil-Military Relations - this is characterised by military domination and civilian incapacity.
(8) Crisis of Political System and Governance - this is characterised by corruption, incompetence and autocracy.
(9) Crisis of Law and Order - this is characterised by stateorgan failure and constitutional gridlock.
(10) Crisis of Identity - this is characterised by tension between notions of Nation- State vs Pan- Islamism, being primarily Pakistani Vs Muslim, and having South Asian Vs Middle-Eastern roots.

READ MORE AT:
http://alturl.com/5dmsb

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "If you feel either that Najam Sethi is wrong or that he has missed some key points, please go to the website and post your commentary to set the record straight..."

Historically, purveyors of books and magazines predicting doom and gloom have mostly been wrong but sold lots of copies.

Matt Ridley, the author of "The Rational Optimist", says that the prophets of doom and gloom from Robert Malthus to Paul Ehrlich(both predicted catastrophe of mass starvation) have always found great acceptance as "sages" in their time but proved to be completely wrong because they discount human resilience and ingenuity.

http://books.google.com/books?id=YoVpW0zJIgYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=rational+optimist+sage&hl=en&sa=X&ei=B6a6UKb4BebgigLV84DoAQ&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAA#v=snippet&q=ehrlich&f=false

The reasons for wide acceptance of pessimists have to do with how the human brain has evolved through the millennia.

It's been established that once the amygdala starts hunting for bad news, it'll mostly find bad news.

Peter Diamandis explains this phenomenon well in his book "Abundance-Why Future is Better Than You Think".

Here's a excerpt from Diamandis's book:

"These are turbulent times. A quick glance at the headlines is enough to set anybody on edge-with endless media stream that has lately become our lives-it's hard to get away from those headlines. Worse, evolution shaped human brain to be acutely aware of all potential dangers...this dire combination has a profound impact on human perception: It literally shuts off our ability to take in good news."

http://books.google.com/books?id=lCifxlN8ZIoC&printsec=frontcover&dq=abundance&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Iqe6UNqeM4zmiwKs5YDYAg&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=bad%20news&f=false

In Pakistan's case, the good news continues to be the emergence of a large and growing middle class population and a vibrant mass media and civil society which underpin the country's extraordinary resilience.

HopeWins Junior said...

Dr. Haq,

Your old friend Aakar Patelle is back at the Express Tribune. On Dec01, 2012 he writes:

"Many years ago, this paper’s columnist Khaled Ahmed identified some nations as not having a foreign policy. Export-oriented economies — this was his thesis — chose not to have a clearly defined foreign policy. On issues of controversy, they lay low rather than commit to a side. Ahmed named Singapore and South Korea as his examples. For them, business and their economy trumped any...."

http://tribune.com.pk/story/473761/not-the-indian-way/

Please comment on the ET website to set the record straight.

Thank you.

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ:

After the end of cold war, India has essentially been fully co-opted by the US for all intents and purposes. India has been toeing the US line on most, if not all, international issues in response to the rise of China.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh put it well when he told Bush "the people of India deeply love you". The Prime Minister continued with the theme of affection and gratitude by adding, “In the last four and half years that I have been Prime Minister, I have been the recipient of your generosity, your affection, your friendship. It means a lot to me and to the people of India.”

http://www.riazhaq.com/2008/10/manmohan-professes-indias-deep-love-for.html

HopeWins Junior said...

^^RH: "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh put it well when he told Bush "the people of India deeply love you". The Prime Minister continued with the theme of affection and gratitude by adding, “In the last four and half years that I have been Prime Minister, I have been the recipient of your generosity, your affection, your friendship. It means a lot to me and to the people of India.”
----

Sounds like MMS was really kissing-up to GW.

You have been in large-corporation management (Intel) yourself. So you know how management people get ahead: Sucking up, Obsequious behavior, Flattery et cetera.

So MMS must have wanted something very badly. What could it have been that he was forced to resort to flattery that sounds almost gay?

Oh yes, I remember, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi raised this issue of "discrimination" in November 2012:
http://alturl.com/iueng

So that's what MMS wanted and thats why MMS was sucking up. In any case, now that MMS got what he wanted, what has he given GW or US in return? Any ideas or thoughts?

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "In any case, now that MMS got what he wanted, what has he given GW or US in return? Any ideas or thoughts?"

Iran vote already.

More bills will come due over the course of time.

India needs US more than US needs India to deal with China's rise.

HopeWins Junior said...

^^^^RH: Iran vote already.
-----

Here is the UN vote record of who voted against the US and also the annual US hand-outs that each receives--

Country.....Aid.......Anti-US Votes
Pakistan....$6.721 Bln.......75%
Egypt.......$2.015 Bln.......79%
India.......$0.143 Bln.......81%

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "Here is the UN vote record of who voted against the US and also the annual US hand-outs that each receives--"

Your data is wrong!

India votes at UN with the US more often than Pakistan, according to a Heritage Foundation study.

Overall...Important

16.7%..........10.9%......Pakistan

20.9%...........14.4%.....India

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/08/the-us-should-link-foreign-aid-and-un-general-assembly-voting

HopeWins Junior said...

^^RH:
Overall...Important
16.7%.....10.9%......Pakistan
20.9%.....14.4%.....India
-----

Here is the ORIGINAL source:

http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/162418.pdf

It seems that in ONLY Cuba, Iran, Syria & North-Korea voted opposite to the US MORE than India.

Given that Cuba, Iran, North-Korea & Syria are under US sanctions, I think India has been a VERY,VERY BAD BOY. And getting away with it, as usual.

A lot badder than our kiss-up GOP.

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "It seems that in ONLY Cuba, Iran, Syria & North-Korea voted opposite to the US MORE than India."

Your link shows a small sample of just one year. The data from Heritage that I shared with you is for ten years and more representative.

HopeWins Junior said...

^^^RH:" .....ten years and more representative."
----

The link I provided from the State Department is the latest record for 2010.

The 10-year average you cite is highly contaminated because India was very quiet from 2002 to 2008 while their Nuclear Waiver was going through US Congress. So it cannot be called representative.

You could try averaging the ten years 1992-2002. Or you could try averaging the ten years 2008-2018.
But the 2002-2008 data cannot be called "representative". Note that this also included what you called the "Iran vote" in 2005.

HopeWins Junior said...

^^RH: "Historically, purveyors of books and magazines predicting doom and gloom have mostly been wrong but sold lots of copies"
-----

Najan Sethi was very SPECIFIC. He did not speak in terms of loose generalities using terms like "historically" and "statistically".

Can you refute, point-by-point, his specific assertions?

Here they are again:

(1) Crisis of Economy - this is characterised by stagflation, dependency, resource scarcity and mass impoverishment.
(2) Crisis of Education - this is characterised by the Madrassah challenge, jihad indoctrination, English- Urdu apartheid.
(3) Crisis of Urbanisation - this is characterised by slum development, criminalisation, ethnic warfare.
(4) Crisis of Demography - this is characterised by a youth bulge, religious conservatism and class volatility.
(5) Crisis of Foreign Policy - this is characterised by conflict, isolation and estrangement.
(6) Crisis of Terrorism and Radicalisation - this is characterised by Islamic extremism, violent sectarianism and ethnic separatism.
(7) Crisis of Civil-Military Relations - this is characterised by military domination and civilian incapacity.
(8) Crisis of Political System and Governance - this is characterised by corruption, incompetence and autocracy.
(9) Crisis of Law and Order - this is characterised by stateorgan failure and constitutional gridlock.
(10) Crisis of Identity - this is characterised by tension between notions of Nation- State vs Pan- Islamism, being primarily Pakistani Vs Muslim, and having South Asian Vs Middle-Eastern roots.
--

As far as I can see, EVERY ONE of his assertions are very TRUE.

Do you disagree? Do you think he is wrong? How so? Which of the above points he makes do you think is incorrect? And, more importantly, how is it incorrect?

Please elaborate for the educational benefit of your readers.

Thank you.

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "Can you refute, point-by-point, his specific assertions?"

I won't waste my time by responding extensively to Sethi's points.

I believe every one of Sethi's so-called "crises" is in fact an opportunity.

For example, Sethi worries about urbanization by calling it a crisis.

But Sethi ignores 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.

Let’s take a concrete example. Orangi Town in Karachi has a huge population of migrants from KP. Orangi has schools, hospitals, jobs, roads, basic sanitation and many other services that barely exist in places where the migrants came from. Orangi Town has made it possible for many poor migrants and their children to move up into the growing middle class in Pakistan.

Then Sethi talks about "youth bulge" as a crisis.

With half the population below 20 years and 60 per cent below 30 years, Pakistan is well-positioned to reap what is often described as "demographic dividend", with its workforce growing at a faster rate than total population. This trend is estimated to accelerate over several decades. Contrary to the oft-repeated talk of doom and gloom, average Pakistanis are now taking education more seriously than ever. Youth literacy is about 70% and growing, and young people are spending more time in schools and colleges to graduate at higher rates than their Indian counterparts in 15+ age group, according to a report on educational achievement by Harvard University researchers Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee. Vocational training is also getting increased focus since 2006 under National Vocational Training Commission (NAVTEC) with help from Germany, Japan, South Korea and the Netherlands.

As to ethnic violence resulting from migration, let me quote Steve Inskeep's "Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi", in which the author draws parallels between the Chicago of 1950s and 1960s and the rapidly growing cities in the developing world like Mumbai (India), Karachi (Pakistan) and Port Harcourt (Nigeria) in the following words:

"Karachi was one of many growing cities made turbulent by ethnic politics. In recent years an ethnic political party has controlled Mumbai, India, imposing a regional language on the government of an aspiring world city. In the growing oil city of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Internet cafes and churches line the commercial streets, while ethnic militias rule the backstreets and set neighborhoods on fire. None of this will surprise people who study the history of American cities. Chicago, for example, grew explosively from the 1830s onward--it was an instant city in its time--newcomers clustered defensively in their various neighborhoods. As late as the 1950s, immigrants and their children drew battle lines along major streets or railroad tracks.."

HopeWins Junior said...

^^HWJ: "(Sethi) did not speak in terms of loose generalities using terms like "historically" and "statistically".

^^^RH:

(1) "But Sethi ignores many benefits of rural to urban migration.....HISTORICALLY..."

(2) "Then Sethi talks about youth bulge as a crisis.... Pakistan is well-positioned to reap what is OFTEN-DESCRIBED as demographic dividend..."

(3)"As to ethnic violence resulting from migration...DRAWS PARALLELs between the Chicago of 1950s and 1960s...and Karachi...
----

Here are the plain counterpoints:

(1)We need a minimum of 6-7% GDP growth-rate to absorb the young people coming into the job-market every year--
http://alturl.com/x65ua
http://alturl.com/suhe9

(2)There is also a concept of Demographic Disaster--
http://alturl.com/uck9s
http://alturl.com/cmwav
http://alturl.com/rrfnw

(3)Chicago in the 50s & 60s may have had ethnic/racial street-fights and riots, but it did not have suicide bombings, mass ethnic-killings of bus-travellers or mutual target-killings between Republicans and Democrats.

Something to reflect upon in more depth.

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "We need a minimum of 6-7% GDP growth-rate to absorb the young people coming into the job-market every year-...Chicago in the 50s & 60s may have had ethnic/racial street-fights and riots, but it did not have suicide bombings"

Informal sector is big and growing faster than the formal economy. Most of the jobs are also in the informal undocumented economy.

Growth is comig from rising workforce and greater skills. Workforce is growing at a faster rate than total population as birth rates are declining and increasing number of women are starting to work outside their homes.

According to the World Bank, the largest share of the employed in Pakistan are the self-employed who create their own jobs rather than depend on govt or big businesses to provide them with jobs.

The bulk of the violence in Karachi is ethnic and gang warfare...not occasional suicide bombings which get more media attention. In fact, suicide bombings in major Pak cities have been very few and declining in number.

HopeWins Junior said...

^^HWJ:
A) Do you believe that the Army is conspiring with the SC to bring-down the PPP government?
OR--
B) Do you believe that the Army is conspiring with the PPP government to bring-down CJ Chaudhry and his supporters at the SC?
OR--
C) Do you now believe that the SC is conspiring with the PPP-GOP to bring the Army under civilian control permanently?
-----

UPDATE:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/15/pakistan-orders-arrest-prime-minister