Saturday, February 7, 2015

Debunking Haqqani's Op Ed: "Pakistan's Elusive Quest For Parity"

"The alphabet agencies—ISI, RAW, and so forth—are often the chosen instrument of state policy when there is a conventional (and now a nuclear) balance of power, and the diplomatic route seems barren."  Stephen Cohen

"Pakistan is India’s rival in real terms only as much as Belgium could rival France or Germany and Vietnam could hope to be on a par with China. India’s population is six times larger than Pakistan’s while its economy is 10 times the size of the Pakistani economy. Notwithstanding internal problems, India’s $2 trillion economy has managed consistent growth whereas Pakistan’s $245 billion economy has grown sporadically."  Husain Haqqani

Contrast the words of Husain Haqqani, the disgraced former Pakistan Ambassador to Washington, with the statement of Stephen Cohen,  a seasoned US expert on South Asia, with regards to  India-Pakistan "balance" or "parity". Also note the lack of Haqqani's basic arithmetic skill in his India-Pakistan GDP comparison. The ratio of $2 trillion (exaggerated as of now) to $245 billion is closer to 8, not 10.

Haqqani's latest Op Ed in The Hindu is part of his continuing campaign to please his western and Indian patrons by launching periodic attacks on Pakistan. It makes sense for him. His main target are the book buyers in the United States and India which represent two of the three biggest markets for books in English.

Anyone who has read Haqqani's "Magnificent Delusions" is struck by the fact that almost all of his research is based on  the work of press reporters like Time-Life's photographer Margaret Bourke-White and her fellow American journalists.  Haqqani finds them more credible and insightful than Jinnah, Liaquat, Truman, Eisenhower, Dulles and other top leaders and policy-makers. If one really analyses Haqqani's narrative, one has to conclude that Pakistanis are extraordinarily clever in deceiving the United States and its highly sophisticated policymakers who have been taken for a ride by Pakistanis for over 6 decades.

Haqqani's latest salvo "Pakistan's Elusive Quest For Parity" published in Indian newspaper "The Hindu" begs the following questions:

1.  Why would any country, including Pakistan, wish to seek parity with India which is only slightly better than Afghanistan  in South Asia region in terms of multi-dimensional poverty assessed by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OHDI)?

2. Why would any country, including Pakistan, wish for parity with India where a farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes?

3. Why would any country, including Pakistan, strive for parity with India where nearly two-thirds of the population still defecates in the open?

4. Why would Pakistan want parity with India which suffers some of the heaviest disease burdens in the world?

5. Why would any country, including Pakistan, seek parity with India which leads the world in child marriages?

6. Why would Pakistan seek parity with India which has among the highest levels of poverty in the world?

Finally, it's important to note that Haqqani's Op Ed plays right into the Indian obsession with Pakistan as manifested in the continuing India-Pakistan de-hyphenation debate.

For the last several years, Indian elites have been quite obsessed about de-hyphenating their country from Pakistan and fusing it with China by inventing such words as "Chindia". However, it's also clear from the Indian media reactions to Kerry's words that India's rivalry with Pakistan inflames far more passion in India than does India's self-proclaimed competition with China.

Robert Kaplan of Stratfor questions the Indian policy elite's obsession with hyphenation with China in a recent piece as follows:

Indian elites can be obsessed with China, even as Chinese elites think much less about India. This is normal. In an unequal rivalry, it is the lesser power that always demonstrates the greater degree of obsession. For instance, Greeks have always been more worried about Turks than Turks have been about Greeks. China's inherent strength in relation to India is more than just a matter of its greater economic capacity, or its more efficient governmental authority.

Kaplan goes on to say the following about India-Pakistan hyphenation:

The best way to gauge the relatively restrained atmosphere of the India-China rivalry is to compare it to the rivalry between India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan abut one another. India's highly populated Ganges River Valley is within 480 kilometers (300 miles) of Pakistan's highly populated Indus River Valley. There is an intimacy to India-Pakistan tensions that simply does not apply to those between India and China. That intimacy is inflamed by a religious element: Pakistan is the modern incarnation of all of the Muslim invasions that have assaulted Hindu northern India throughout history. And then there is the tangled story of the partition of the Asian subcontinent itself to consider -- India and Pakistan were both born in blood together.

It's a rarely acknowledged  fact in India that most Indians are far more obsessed with Pakistan than any other country. But the ruling dynasty's Rahul Gandhi, the man widely expected to be India's future prime minister, did confirm it, according to a news report by America's NPR Radio. "I actually feel we give too much time in our minds to Pakistan," said Rahul Gandhi at a leadership meeting of  the Indian National Congress in 2009.

The rise of the new media and  the emergence of the "Internet Hindus", a term coined by Indian journalist Sagarika Ghose, has removed all doubts about many Indians' Pakistan obsession. She says the “Internet Hindus are like swarms of bees". "They come swarming after you"  pouncing on any mention of Pakistan or Muslims.

Here's a video demolishing the Chindia myth:

No Indian miracle by faizanmaqsood1010

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

India-Pakistan Economic Comparison 2014

An Indian Farmer Commits Suicide Every 30 Minutes

Challenging Gall-Haqqani-Paul Narrative of Pakistan

MPI Shows Depth of Deprivation in India

India Leads the World in Open Defecation

India Leads the World in Child Marriages

India's Share of World's Poor Jumps to 33%

India-Pakistan De-Hyphenation Debate


Mike Z. said...

comments on Haqani are right on the money!

Akber S. said...

Dear Riaz Sahib
While I would like to acknowledge and express appreciation of every one of your "musings", let me do it once to cover all. Excellent, informative and relevant are the words I choose. Thank you for all the hard work it must take to produce this quality consistently.

Riaz Haq said...

From Wall Street Journal: India Economists’ Embarrassing Confession: They Don’t Know What GDP Is

India’s radically revised gross domestic product data have apparently left economists dazed and confused because they are uncharacteristically silent about what growth was last quarter.

India is scheduled to announce GDP figures for the quarter ended Dec. 31 on Monday but instead of the regular rush of forecasts, economists seem to have created a cartel of silence, choosing not to make predictions using India’s new methodology.

Last week India surprised all the experts by recalculating GDP growth for the fiscal year ended March. Using a new calculation method, India’s economy expanded 6.9% that year, well above the 4.7% growth the country had announced earlier.

“The revision was massive,” said Siddhartha Sanyal, India economist at Barclays. “We don’t know what the GDP was in the previous quarter, so how do we estimate what is going to happen?”

The change happened because the government brought forward the base year used in GDP calculations by seven years to fiscal 2012. It also switched from using production costs to market prices.

While the headline growth figure shot up with the new calculations, the absolute GDP figure was basically the same as it was before, making it hard for economists to figure out exactly where the new-found growth came from. Meanwhile, the government didn’t give the revised quarterly data or new calculations for this year.

“We are completely blind at the moment,” said Saugata Bhattacharya, chief economist at Axis Bank.

While the new numbers suggest that last year the economy was rebounding strongly, some economists are still skeptical. Most other indicators that year suggested growth was sputtering, they said.

“I am not convinced that there is (such) good news,” said Glenn Levine, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. “If it’s true that the economy is growing close to 7%, then that suggests there isn’t much slack in the economy.”

That’s something economists are finding hard to digest given other indicators such as industrial production have pointed to weakness.

With a lot of questions about the new data still remaining unanswered, economists are only estimating growth for last quarter based on the old method even though the government won’t be announcing those numbers anymore.

Forecasts of eight economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal using the now-outdated method range between 5.0% and 5.5%, compared with the 5.3% expansion in the September quarter.

While few will venture a guess on what numbers will be announced Monday, “the broader picture is that the economy is improving,” said Axis Bank’s Mr. Bhattacharya.

zorro said...

Riaz sahib, when in america, have you ever touch shoulders with haqqani and what are the thoughts of pak expats on haqqani?...

Riaz Haq said...

zorro: "have you ever touch shoulders with haqqani and what are the thoughts of pak expats on haqqani?...'

Yes, I have met the man a few times before and during his brief ambassadorship. Needless to say he's not popular among Pakistani expats in the US.

He was known as the "most undiplomatic diplomat" who was least concerned about representing Pakistan's position in Washington. But he is some liberals' darling in Pakistan these days.

Here are a couple of posts I wrote about him:

Riaz Haq said...

All very nice, but perhaps it’s not the upward revision to the growth rate we should concentrate on.

For one, despite expectations of an increase in absolute GDP by up to 10 per cent, we got a verdict of “no change”. Colour those, like Mishra, who saw room for a serious upgrade, surprised. More on that below from Capital Economics but, for comparison, the past three series changes have coincided with upward revisions to the GDP, led mostly by services.

This time the services component of GDP was cut even as industry was boosted. As Mishra said on Monday, the change “does make GDP less lop-sided: industry is now 31% (from 25%), services 51% (57%)”, but:

All three industry components: mining, manufacturing and construction were raised. We expected this, and resulted from a larger data set (500,000 enterprises vs. 2500 earlier). For what it’s worth, in our view agriculture is still under- reported: as an example, in the new livestock census (that fed into this GDP), we had noticed the poultry population didn’t reflect the growth in chicken meat consumption and exports. Buffalo population was also incongruent with rising beef exports.

The biggest surprise though is on the cut to services GDP: the largest cut coming from trade and transport. This is a bit counter-intuitive as millions of new stores have sprouted up all over the country.

And here’s Capital Economics’ Shilan Shah with more of the confusing aspects of the revision:

1) What’s happened to nominal GDP? On the market price measure of GDP (which the Statistics Office has said it will now use instead of the factor price series) nominal GDP in FY13/14 was almost identical to what it was under the old methodology, while estimates for FY11/12 were revised lower. (See Chart 1.) We find this puzzling, as downward GDP revisions following rebasing exercises are unusual in emerging economies. Normally, rebasing uncovers new or under-measured sources of activity. It also seems an improbably coincidence that overall nominal GDP for the last fiscal year was the same even as weights of different components have shifted. (See Chart 2.) This would imply that the effect of giving more weight of faster growing sectors almost exactly offset the effect of giving less weight to slower growing ones.

2) What do the revised data mean for key macro indicators? Much of the comment has focussed on the fact that the revised data would imply a smaller current account deficit, and a healthier fiscal position. But given that nominal GDP has remained almost exactly the same, this isn’t the case.

3) What do the revisions tell us about growth in the current fiscal year? In short, not a lot. The revisions have yet to be applied to quarterly data from this fiscal year, meaning that the latest GDP numbers are redundant for now. We suspect that the most recent quarters will be revised on 9th February, when data for Q3 of FY14/15 are due.

4) Are the new GDP data consistent with other indicators? The revisions are difficult to square with other indicators pointing to continued slack in the economy. Even if we discard the industrial production data (which presumably now also need rebasing), soft survey data show that capacity utilisation is low. There is plenty of evidence in the hard data too. For example, vehicle sales contracted by nearly 7% in the last fiscal year. The revisions also jar with movements in the current account deficit, which narrowed sharply in FY13/14. Admittedly, this was in part due to the imposition of gold import restrictions as policymakers aimed to fend off a currency crisis. But imports more generally also fell sharply in this period, suggesting a cooling-off in domestic demand. It is extremely rare for an economy to record such as sharp pick-up in growth even as domestic demand slowed so dramatically.

Sadiq said...

Congratulation for such a nice patriotic and logical analysis of Haqqani propaganda and disinformation. Haqqani (jissay izzat ras na aai) is on a mission following her leader Benazir to dig the roots of Pakistan.

Please keep it up.

Riaz Haq said...

India’s “new and improved” GDP statistics are asking investors to suspend their disbelief. Revised data suggests that growth zoomed in the year to last March, just as the country tightened fiscal and monetary policies to tame inflation, narrow the current account deficit and prevent a currency crisis. Such a thing has not happened in any major economy in at least three decades.

The new calculations, released on Jan. 30, have moved the measurement of national income closer to international norms. But in doing so, India’s official statisticians have produced a puzzling new version of history: the old numbers put the expansion in output in fiscal 2014 at a pedestrian 4.7 percent. Under the new method, growth that year accelerated to 6.9 percent.

The original number was more realistic, and not just because a second year of sub-5 percent growth played a role in helping opposition leader Narendra Modi become prime minister with a landslide election victory.

In the first quarter of that fiscal year the U.S. Federal Reserve hinted at tapering its quantitative easing programme. The rupee collapsed as investors baulked at financing large external deficits in emerging markets. India had to raise interest rates, restrict gold imports and curb budgetary excesses. Though a cheaper currency helped boost exports somewhat, oil prices were still high. The massive fall in imports couldn’t have taken place without domestic demand taking a hit.

By the end of the fiscal year, India’s dependence on foreign capital inflows had dropped by 3 percentage points of GDP. The amended statistics show the same picture. But this lesson in self-reliance now appears to have been puzzlingly painless. The new calculations show growth accelerating by 1.8 percentage points, from a revised 5.1 percent in fiscal 2013.

That conclusion stretches credulity. No large economy has pulled off such a big improvement in its external balance at the same time as such a handsome pickup in output, according to a Breakingviews analysis of 189 nations over 33 years.

Indian officials will most likely have to revise their conclusions. For now, though, investors will miss the old data. For all its faults, it was a more reliable compass. India’s posh new GDP statistics look too good to be true.

Majumdar said...

Prof sb,

How about fixing Pakiland's population numbers, which IIRC havent been updated since 1998, before updating India's GDP?


zorro said...

Riaz sahib, What is your opinion on face to face meetings with haqqani?..

Riaz Haq said...

zorro: "Riaz sahib, What is your opinion on face to face meetings with haqqani?.. "

It seems Husain Haqqani has a chip on his shoulder and a basic sense of insecurity which manifests itself in disdain for his origins, for all things Pakistan. He tries to cover it up by reciting lines from old Urdu poetry on every subject and every occasion.

Riaz Haq said...

A Fascist Model of Development
The Myth of India as a Superpower

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to attend one of my childhood friend’s marriage ceremony in the Northern part of Bengal’s splendidly dense forest. There, I met one of my former school teachers who suggested, for “my own benefit,” that I join the Nazi-inspired Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He explained that, apart from the fact that I have all relevant degrees, I also have a Muslim name. This led me to withdraw into some deep labyrinthine cave inside me for a while, despite the hustle bustle of the wedding. The conversation provided crucial clues into the minds of India’s superbly corrupt middle class, who have been hypnotized into believing that India could be powerful only through arms, displays of aggression, masochism and a poisonous breed of nationalism. Nitasha Kaul in her essay, Kashmir: A Place of Blood and Memory (In Until My Freedom Has Come: The New Intifada in Kashmir, Edited by Sanjay Kak, Haymarket Books, 2013) has this to say: “The large swathes of Indian middle classes are stuffed with intolerance, unthinking mass entertainment, and over consumption – fed by a corporatised media that ‘manufactures consent’ in a textbook Chomsky way. The mix of ignorance and blustery self-confidence that one encounters in middle-class Indians rivals Americans (they share this ‘superpower’ trait!).”

Average middle class Indians barely read, and when they do, to show how culturally advanced they are, they do not wander beyond the fictions of Chetan Bhagat or Sidney Sheldon. In cinema, they are die-hard fans of the horrible actor-cum-criminal Salman Khan, and in politics they have recently found out that if there is god on earth, then it is Modi. Their detergents have worked hard to wash off the bloodstains from this man’s clothes. The clamor of middle-class Indians for a life of super abundance is so deeply rooted that, as things stand, more and more they display the unmistakable characteristics of their former colonial masters. The middle class and the rich have become India’s new colonizers. Since colonization of economic resources is impossible without a simultaneous colonization of history and memory, India’s scholars, composed largely of liberal Brahmans, have embarked on an ambitious project to rewrite the history of the poor and dispossessed. In this history of hunter and hunted, the hunters are always glorified: they become the unquestioned mediators of the universe. Their violence is normalized through the cultural apparatus, and any deviation from it is taken as a sign of unmanliness or even disloyalty. Today’s middle class has absorbed all the barbaric elements of the neoliberal world view, according to which, the huts of the poor must be cleared to make way for the shopping malls of the rich. The middle class never tires of repeating the word “development” as it refuses to ponder its meaning and implications.

Indians like my teacher champion a fascist model of development that exerts a disturbing influence on the inner self. The neoliberal world view builds up misery and guilt in those who theorize it or support it. It alienates the individual, firstly from his inner self and secondly from his fellow beings. These theories conveniently forget that there is a limit on natural resources. Forlorn and wasted, where else will such men seek their redemption if not in their own death. Fascism and its first cousin neoliberalism are harbingers of death and destruction. If Indians do not heed history, India could end up meeting the same fate as Japan, which learned a lesson on humanity and sobriety after a barbaric nuclear war. In 1998, when India blasted its first successful nuclear bombs, the men in uniform ironically used the code phrase “Buddha is smiling” to indicate to their masters that the tests were successful. The way our internal crisis is brewing, the way India is conducting its business with Pakistan, soon Buddha might be laughing at us.

Riaz Haq said...

#India’s bubble. Pervasive Poverty, Banning #IndiaDaughter, #BeefBan in #Maharashtra #Mumbai. Secular Democracy?

Yasser Latif Hamdani: "Things changed drastically on the fifth day when I started reporting on the abject poverty I experienced in South Delhi and old Delhi; one uncle, whom I have known for a decade and a half and who is a renowned food journalist in India, even threatened to get me deported for “misusing my visa”. It is about marketing boss and no one can be allowed. Shining India sans marketing is a third world country with huge disparities and social inequities. This is an unforgiveable criticism even from someone like me who has principally refused to look at India as the enemy.This is a strange kind of psychosis. Now, if India were a person, it would be an extremely insecure, egoistic and overly prickly individual, ready to draw daggers at anyone who dares criticise it. Much of this was confirmed in the way India reacted to the film India’s Daughter. Many reasons are given for this opposition. One argument was that the airing of the film amounts to contempt of court. This is a flimsy excuse. Another one is that there was no “informed consent”. Without getting into the merits of these arguments, suffice it to say that these arguments would have made sense if India had attempted only to block the airing of the video in its territorial jurisdiction. The Indian government’s notice to the BBC clearly indicates that its aim was to block the airing of the video globally. Not only were YouTube and Google too eager to please the Indian government, even the BBC was threatened and cowered into withdrawing the video from YouTube, citing “copyright infringement”. Basically, theBBC has admitted that it cannot take on the government of India. For people like me — I was the counsel in the YouTube case before the Lahore High Court (LHC) –this complicates things further. On the one hand, the world’s largest democracy, which talks of democracy and secularism with a forked tongue, has effectively censored criticism of misogyny in its society and, on the other hand, the champions of free speech — Google and theBBC — have bent over backwards to accommodate India’s humongous ego. All the moral arguments one had about freedom of speech and open society have gone out the window. ..Amazingly, the ban on India’s Daughter came the same week the state of Maharashtra, where the great cosmopolitan city of Mumbaiwith its huge Muslim population is located, decided to criminalise slaughter and possession of beef. Any person possessing or eating beef in the great state of Maharashtra can now be imprisoned for a period of up to five years and fined Indian Rs 10,000. Consider the fact that Pakistan, which is officially an Islamic state, does not criminalise possessing or eating of pork. This makes this ban even more unconscionable for a country that is so self-righteously pompous about its secular democratic credentials.Of course, this has been a longstanding project of Indian nationalists pre-dating even partition. Gandhi had justified his support for the reactionary Khilafat Movement in the 1920s by saying that he wanted the cows to be spared the Muslim knife. The reasons had nothing to do with vegetarianism or love for animals (lamb slaughter or chicken slaughter has never had any political appeal) but the fact that the cow is a holy animal for the Hindus. Hindu cultural life thus was the bedrock upon which Indian nationalism was sediment. The project has reached fruition in 2015"

Riaz Haq said...

A reader has cited India's higher per capita income and HDI to challenge my contention that average Pakistanis are better off than their Indian counterparts.

The fact is that India has much bigger problems in terms of multi-dimensional poverty which includes income poverty, inequality, disease burdens and basic hygiene. India also has a huge problem of inequality relative to Pakistan. All these affect quality of life more than just average composite indicators you quote.

One data point to note here is that median per capita income in India ($60 per month) is significantly lower than that in Pakistan ($73 per month) in 2005 PPP $. Income poverty rate (those below $1.25 per capita per day) in India is 33% vs 13% in Pakistan

Another point to note is that agriculture value added per capita in Pakistan is about twice that in India. Agriculture employs the largest number of people in India and Pakistan.

India leads the world in open defecation. Disease burdens in India are much higher than in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Hussain Haqqani, in the same category as sellouts like Gordon Chang, Minxin Pei, Karim Sadjadpour, Fawad Ajami, etc, has a problem with China-Pakistan alliance. Here's his Op Ed in Wall Street Journal:

China’s President Xi Jinping arrived in Islamabad this week with promises of $46 billion in investment for Pakistani infrastructure. If all envisaged projects materialize, Pakistan would get a network of roads, railways and energy pipelines linking Pakistan’s port of Gwadar to China’s westernmost Xinjiang region. China would also build Pakistan’s half of a long-delayed natural-gas pipeline from Iran. This would be a shot in the arm for Pakistan’s faltering economy and consolidate a decades-old strategic partnership.

The Obama administration would also like China to induce Pakistan to abandon its role as a terrorist safe haven. China has been concerned by Pakistan-based jihadists operating in Xinjiang and U.S. officials hope Beijing can be successful in persuading Pakistan to clamp down on the various Islamist groups operating from its soil. But China’s economic reassurances could also reinforce Islamabad’s miscalculations about its regional clout and dangerous ambitions of keeping India strategically off-balance through subconventional means, including terrorism.

Just as Pakistan turned to the U.S. soon after independence in 1947 to seek weapons and economic assistance against India, Pakistan’s leaders today see China as a supporter in their bid to be India’s regional rival. The U.S. disappointed Islamabad by refusing to back its military confrontations with India even while selling Pakistan U.S. weapons (intended for other purposes). Now it might be China’s turn to be the object of unrealistic Pakistani expectations.

Unlike the U.S., China has refrained from lecturing Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders, creating an impression of consistency lacking in U.S.-Pakistan ties. China has been a major supplier of military equipment to Pakistan and was particularly helpful in Pakistan’s development of nuclear weapons.

By supporting Pakistan militarily, China has ensured that a large part of India’s military remains tied down in South Asia and is unable to challenge China in the rest of Asia. But India remains the larger market and China’s willingness to use Pakistan as a secondary deterrent against India hasn’t meant abandoning ties with New Delhi. Chinese trade with India in 2013 was $65 billion, six times its trade with Pakistan. In Pakistan’s 1965 and 1971 wars with India, China disappointed Pakistan by not opening a second front against India.


China’s investment in Pakistan, and indeed investment from other sources, would materialize more easily if Pakistan put its house in order. Instead of exhausting itself in competing with an Indian neighbor six times its size, Pakistan needs to confront religious extremism, eliminate terrorism and pursue economic reforms that they talk about but do not implement. Pakistan’s elite needs to start paying taxes to overcome one of the worst tax-to-GDP ratios in the world. Defense spending needs to be rationalized and critical investments made in education to overcome a paucity of skilled manpower.

More likely, the promise of Chinese money will lead Pakistan’s leaders to think China will become their economic and military patron. Mr. Xi would do well not to let that happen, and instead to emphasize reform. He shouldn’t forget that money does not always buy Pakistan’s favor or encourage change in Pakistan’s policies. China may actually lose popularity in Pakistan once its companies arrive and demand primacy of economic considerations. Then China might find itself where Pakistan’s previous benefactor, the U.S., is today. After having provided $40 billion in aid to Pakistan since 1950, the U.S. is now viewed favorably by only 14% of Pakistanis.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan improving sanitation way faster than #India: Study - The Economic Times

NEW YORK: Pakistan has left India far behind in terms of improving water and sanitation access for their citizens, reveals a new performance index released on Friday.

While Pakistan was ranked five in the new index developed by The Water Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Gillings School of Global Public Health in the US, India occupied an unenviable 92nd position.

High performers also included China, El Salvador, Niger, Egypt, and Maldives. Russia, the Philippines and Brazil on the other hand, were low performers.

The index compares countries regardless of size and income level. By use this method the report deduced that a country’s gross domestic product does not determine performance in improving water and sanitation access for its citizens.

“This means that even countries with limited resources can make great strides if they have the right programmes in place,” said co-author of the report Jamie Bartram, director of The Water Institute at UNC.

“National governments, NGOs, and aid agencies can direct their resources toward building systems and capacity for action in countries that are lagging, and toward implementation where those capacities are in place and performing,” Bartram noted.

Read more at:

Riaz Haq said...

John G. Gill's review of books on Pakistan by TV Paul, Christine Fair and Aqil Shah:

As for the individual books, it would have been interesting to see
Fair and Paul examine how the Pakistan Army defines concepts such as
“friends” and “interests” in the international context. Fair approaches this
in her review of the army’s hagiographic treatment of China as compared
with the generally vitriolic rhetoric reserved for the United States, and
Paul touches on this issue when he depicts Pakistan as viewing the world
through a Hobbesian prism. But it would have been enlightening if they
had carried this line of thinking a few steps further. Shah, on the other
hand, may be too critical of the army in some of its recent interactions with
the civilian elements of the state. The former chief of staff of the Pakistan
army, General Ashfaq Kayani, for one, allegedly tried but failed to elicit
strategic guidance from the civilian leadership. Having cleared and held
zones of militancy such as Swat, the army may also legitimately complain
that civilian authorities are conspicuous by their absence when the time
comes for the military to withdraw. Furthermore, the army is the object of

urgent importunities by groups across the political spectrum whenever a
domestic crisis arises. For example, Shah might have explicitly addressed
the thorny issues associated with the army’s role—if any—when elected
officials undermine the political system through corruption, ineptitude, or
megalomaniac behavior. Breaking out of this destructive cycle requires civil
as well as military vision and steadfastness.
These lacunae and desiderata notwithstanding, all three works are
excellent additions to the growing scholarship on Pakistan and its army.
Policy-relevant and academically rigorous, thoughtful and readable, they
can be recommended highly for decision-makers, staffers, and analysts in
the policy, security, and intelligence communities. They will be especially
valuable for diplomats and military officers assigned to serve in Pakistan or
with Pakistani armed forces.

Riaz Haq said...

From Express Tribune:

Whatever Mr Haqqani’s critics say, he’s not trying for the Padma Bhushan. Turning chameleon again, the gentleman switched from Krishna Menon to John Bolton last April: “[…] American weapons will end up being used to fight or menace India and perceived domestic enemies,” Mr Haqqani wrote for the WSJ, “instead of being deployed against jihadists.” The op-ed was titled, “Why Are We Sending This Attack Helicopter to Pakistan?”

To which Pakistan may have asked, who’s ‘we’? Of late, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US has become the US’s ambassador to Pakistan — if that ambassador were a nagging neocon with an axe to grind.

But to understand Brand HH and why he’s giving the republic a kicking, we need to go back. From day one, Mr Haqqani has been Team Charhta Suraj: a hired hand for the biggest boys on the playground. At KU, those were quite literally the Jamiat.

Outside campus “I also developed a personal bond with [General Zia],” wrote Mr Haqqani. “General Zia was staunchly pro-Western, but had an Islamic vision of sorts that could be captivating. He saw himself as God’s instrument in getting rid of the communists in Afghanistan, which (he correctly foresaw) would mark the disintegration of the Soviet Union.” This paper’s Aakar Patel even suspected HH ghostwrote Mr Sharif’s tribute to General Zia in Shaheed-ul-Islam. Having lent himself to both general and Jamiat, it only followed that Mr Haqqani would fall in love with Nawaz Sharif and the IJI.

But that’s when the mud starts piling up. As the late, great Cowasjee sahib put it, “During Nawaz-I and Benazir-II the most prominent weaver [of lies] and damage-doer was Husain Haqqani.”

As to why belief in democracy was contrary to mocking Asif Ali Zardari, the chairman didn’t say. Nor did his predecessor: Shaheed Mohtarma took Mr Haqqani back in, a liberal reborn.

Enter Squealer 4.0: like a football forward constantly trading up teams, Mr Haqqani hit the jackpot —Ambassadorship in 2008, courtesy President Zardari’s sense of humour. Embraced by America’s red-meat right, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg saluted the ambassador with a straight face: “A one-time Islamist turned pro-democracy Americaphile.”

Yet it was too good to last. Like a fortune teller, Cowasjee had diagnosed the delusion in ’99: “[Haqqani] considers himself capable, with the necessary help, of climbing up the greasy pole and leading the 140 millions to glory.”

After the Osama raid, the ambassador overshot; he may have thought the ‘necessary help’ would be American intervention, that it would fix the civ-mil imbalance (if with a new imbalance in favour of American civilians). Reads the memo to Mike Mullen, “Should you be willing to do so, Washington’s political/military backing would result in a revamp of the civilian government that … replaces … national security officials with trusted advisers … favourably viewed by Washington.”

His Excellency denies involvement.

Mr Haqqani now occupies that rarest of spaces in American public life: an exile with an agenda. Other worthies include Iraq’s Chalabi and Iran’s Pahlavi Junior — gents the Department of Defence blows hot and cold on, given the season.

But like all spin gurus, the man’s solutions aren’t solid: they range from the West putting Islamabad in its place, to Pakistan preferably castrating itself first. A recent book, Magnificent Delusions, is a study in our ingratitude (even the front cover is a Stars-and-Stripes bonfire).

The trouble is, Husain Haqqani isn’t representative of Pakistan; he’s not even representative of Husain Haqqani five years ago. Pakistan too has moved on: the war has been taken to the militants, at tremendous risk. Confidence is up and terror is low, but it’s a long road ahead. It’s time HH move on as well, if in the direction of the next rising sun (the Chinese Communist Party, perhaps?).

Riaz Haq said...

The Power of Social Media: Emboldened Right-Wing Trolls Who are Attempting an Internet purge -

Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in a “town hall” meeting at the headquarters of Facebook in Menlo Park, California. At the event, Modi answered pre-screened queries from the audience and Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive officer of Facebook. During this conversation, the prime minister heralded the power of social media as a vehicle for democracy and good governence, before adding that it “allows for accountability instantly.” Modi declared, “I ask all world leaders not to avoid social media and to connect to it.” However, in his eulogy to the power of the internet, the prime minister appeared to have forgotten about an aspect of social media that doesn’t lend itself to either a functional democracy or accountability. It is a spectre that has been haunting journalists in India: that of internet trolls.

The internet is no stranger to trolls—users who post inflammatory, threatening or disruptive messages—with Twitter itself having admitted to not having proper policies in place to protect its users from harassment. The Indian Twitter troll, however, is an oddly specific creature. This troll belongs to a motley digital mob comprised of Hindutva converts, misogynists, minorities, Congress baiters and “sickular”—a pejorative portmanteau coined for those percieved as having a secular point of view—haters, all united by their atavistic chest-thumping bhakti—devotion—for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The use of social networking platforms by the BJP demonstrates their agility in using technology for the cause of “Hindu Rashtra.” Behind the apparently toxic rants of the Hindutva troll, there is a method and design. It is interesting to note that Modi hosted the 150 social networkers at his official residence on the occasion of the launch of the Digital India Campaign in Delhi. The prime minister could have easily taken up a digitally-enabled education or health project to kick-start his campaign; instead, he chose to meet people who have become a byword in online terror, hate and misogyny—a symbolism ignored by most, the press and the victims included. With Modi pushing for deepening of digitisation, the size and virtual power of his abusive online army will only increase in the days ahead in its political-ideological battle for a “Congress-mukt” Bharat, cold comfort for the likes of Ravish Kumar, Sagarika Ghose and the rest. -

Riaz Haq said...

India's obsession: India defining itself as "Not Pakistan"

Why #Indian identity would collapse without the existence of #Pakistan. #India #BJP #Modi #Hindutva … via @scroll_in

... the very definition of a failed state is an artificial category. Pakistan has failed as a state on many fronts – to curb terrorism, to provide shelter and food to its most vulnerable and to protect the rights of minorities, but then in other categories it was as much a functioning state as any other. Despite the horrible law and order situation, the private sector still survived, schools, hospitals and universities functioned, and people continued to live their lives in an ordinary manner. One could make a similar argument for India if one were to focus on certain aspects of the failures of the state. The Gujarat riots of 2002, farmer suicides, and the law and order situation in the North East and Kashmir are features that could identify India as a failed state. But that does not fit the broader framework of Shining India, of a secular and democratic India, as opposed to a battle-ridden, military-run Pakistan. Terror attacks and bomb attacks in India are perceived as an anomaly in the framework of shining India whereas similar attacks in Pakistan are perceived as fitting a larger narrative of Pakistan failing.

Something similar happened to me when I visited Delhi a year later for a conference. Shashi Tharoor was to make the first speech for this peace conference. It was an immaculate speech which lay the entire blame of India-Pakistan conflict on Pakistan. There was one line that stayed with me. He said, “Pakistan is a thorn on India’s back,” essentially implying that India wants to move on and progress whereas Pakistan is an irritant. I noticed a similar sentiment at the Bangalore Literature Festival that I recently visited. One of the most popular sessions at the festival was by the eminent historian Ramachandra Guha. The historian talked about how there has been a rise of Hindu fundamentalism in India similar to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan. One of the members of the audience asked the question that given that India is surrounded by the “fundamentalist” Pakistan and Bangladesh, isn’t it inevitable that India would become fundamentalist.

Surprisingly, Ramachandra Guha's session also tapped this concept of depicting Pakistan as the “barbarian” other to depict India as “civilised”. I am not asserting that Ramachandra Guha said these words and, perhaps, neither was this his intention, but it felt as if he was unconsciously operating under the same framework in which India tends to look at Pakistan and defines itself as a secular liberal democracy. He was talking about the freedom of speech in India and explaining how that space was diminishing. Then, casually, he mentioned that India, despite the worsening situation, is still much better than Pakistan in terms of freedom of speech.

My intention is not to defend Pakistan or assert that Pakistan has freedom of speech. Pakistan is one of the most dangerous places for journalists in the world, where dissenting opinions are often shot down or shut up in other ways. However, there are still various nuances which I feel a lot of intellectuals in India tend to overlook. There is an entire tradition of challenging the state and the establishment in Pakistan that is usually ignored when such statements are made. One needs to visit the work of people like Najam Sethi, Khalid Ahmed, Hamid Mir and Ayesha Siddiqa to understand that there is a space in Pakistan, and has always been, to challenge the establishment. There is no doubt that the situation, like in India, is changing rapidly. But the point that I am trying to make is that Pakistan is not the “barbaric” other that it is usually understood as, compared to India the “tolerant” one. The truth is both countries have more in common than they would like to admit, yet they continue to view the other as its exact opposite.

Riaz Haq said...

Mosque and military have shaped the idea of Pakistan: Husain Haqqani

New Delhi: Pakistan's former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani said the country should not live by the slogan 'Pakistan in Danger' and it should focus on friendly relationship with India.
Haqqani's speech on Thursday was played as a recorded video message at the ongoing Penguin Spring Fever Literary festival as he could not make it to the event.

Clarifying his absence, Haqqani said that he could not avail the visa as he applied late and it takes very long for a Pakistani to get an Indian visa.
"In 1948, Bengali leader Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy said that Pakistan will not prosper if the leaders try to run it on the basis of fear, just as the country was formed on the creation of the fear that Islam is in danger," Haqqani, who has written the book 'Pakistan - Between Mosque and Military', said.
He also said that Pakistan has to overcome the baggage of partition, that is manifested in the forms of militancy and militarism .
"The debate on partition has been going on for long and it was debilitating for the country. It divided the country and led to the formation of Bangladesh. Pakistan can become plural and modern society if we shed the baggage of partition," said Haqqani.
The author also argued that Pakistan's militarism is a result of the difficult relationship between India and Pakistan.
"In my book, I have argued that how mosque and military have shaped the idea of Pakistan," he said.
Stressing on the need for friendly ties with India, he said that the country has to accept criticism in the right earnest.
"People of Pakistan need to understand that the criticism of the policy are not questioning the right of the people of Pakistan to live in peace. It is important to come to terms for Pakistan that progress is important and that modus operandi with India is important," he noted.

"The country is young, 100 million are below the age of 22 and are talented people whose potential is yet to unleash. It is up to the world to see Pakistan as that of poets, of artists, of small and battled liberals, of landed aristocracy or that of an establishment," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Much has already been said about former Pakistani ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani’s return to the public sphere after being accused of requesting an American intervention in Pakistani politics. The crux of Haqqani’s argument—to be developed in a forthcoming book on U.S.-Pakistan relations, Magnificent Delusions—is that the United States and Pakistan willfully mislead themselves about what their alliance means, leading to cycles of engagement and disenchantment. These cycles have had serious consequences, including feelings of distrust and betrayal, uncooperative behavior, and acts of violence. Haqqani called for a looser relationship—in his terms, a friendship, not a marriage—to break the cycle and enable the two states to cooperate more effectively in areas of common interest.

In some respects, this is not a revolutionary opinion. Pakistani distaste for America’s involvement is well-known, from the neatly-painted signs at Jamaat-e-Islami protests to the widespread nationalist grievance that followed the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Polls suggest that about three quarters of Pakistanis see America as an enemy. American distaste for Pakistan is just as deep. For many Americans, for instance, the mention of Pakistan conjures of images of a flag-burning mob, while among the foreign policy elite it is not rare to hear that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are a more serious danger to America than any that Iran might acquire. The cover of The Atlantic branded Islamabad “The Ally From Hell;” nobody in Haqqani’s audience at the Center for the National Interest last month moved when he asked for a show of hands from those who thought the U.S. should have told the ISI before going after bin Laden.

What is revolutionary is that the call for 'divorce' is now coming from a man who spent three and a half years trying to keep the marriage together, for in spite of all the criticism of Washington and Islamabad’s dysfunctional relationship, few are willing to live with the risks of separation. Many American security officials have grave concerns about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. A close relationship with Pakistan, they reason, allows the U.S. to press for stronger safeguards and, in the event of a radical coup or other crisis, gives Washington more ways to keep the bombs out of the most dangerous hands. The United States has reportedly provided guidance on securing nuclear facilities and creating stringent launch procedures, even though Pakistan has understandably kept Americans away from the physical facilities. American efforts to deepen this cooperation have been rebuffed, but officials have expressed satisfaction with the general safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, and Islamabad is believed to keep its weapons systems partially disassembled, a lower state of readiness than America’s own. However, worries abound that in a nuclear crisis with India, Pakistan’s nuclear forces would disperse from their secured bases to ensure some would survive an Indian strike, and, according to some reports, Pakistan moves some warheads in unmarked vans even in peacetime. Enterprising extremists could seize some of these wandering weapons.

Haqqani argued that America’s worries about Pakistan’s bombs are not realistic and thus do not justify the alliance. After all, he noted, America did not provide assistance in securing the nuclear weapons of its rivals during the tensions of the Cold War, yet the weapons were not accidentally launched or seized by terrorists. Haqqani has a valid point. With or without American involvement, Pakistan’s government has a vital interest in the security of its nuclear weapons. Nuclear irresponsibility could have grave consequences for Pakistan’s international relations, and would increase the risk of accidental war. Pakistan’s leaders would be insane not to take steps to secure their bombs and clarify the chain of command.

Riaz Haq said...

Let’s have quick look of Mr Hussain Haqqani’s [Nowadays an American Scholar who lecture on Democracy] dirty and filthy past while he was part and parcel of Army-Jamat-e-Islami Axis which is riddled witch scandals and corruption. A detailed CV of Husaain Haqqani is at the end to corroborate the comment.

With brainwashing on the one hand and erosion of academic freedom on the other, the campuses (once temples of learning and enlightenment) have been turned into centres of rowdyism and repositories of deadly weapon. Students belonging to various schools of religious thought, regional and ethnic groups, particularly the Islami Jamiat-e-Tulba (the student wing of Jamat-e-Islami) , have played havoc with educational institutions. Professors were another target of the victimization carried out in this period. Members of the IJT launched a concerted campaign against professors known for their liberal views. In Punjab University, particularly, many professors were forced to resign, others were sacked.

The situation was no different in the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, which had in the 70s attracted many brilliant Pakistanis who were teaching abroad. As the harassment became unbearable, most of these professors went back. To what extent fundamentalists blocked scientific knowledge can be assessed by one incident at the Karachi University, where a zoology lecturer was stopped from teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Similar incidents occurred frequently in the philosophy and the economics department. The situation has worsened wit the passage of time. During that period, a policy of appeasement towards the IJT made matter worse. Guns boomed at the Karachi University Campus for the first time in 1979 when, according to Imran Shirvanee, Raja Javed, a supporter of IJT, used a sten gun ‘to tackle the opposition.’ When the pen and free expression are throttled, the only means open to tackle opposition is a firearm. At that time, the IJT was the ruling party in Karachi University politics with Hussain Haqqani, Raja Javed was his close aide.

Haqqani is a man of many roles. The former Far Eastern Economic Review correspondent was the media advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Nawaz Sharif when Benazir Bhutto was at the centre {1988-1990}. He switched to serve caretaker Prime Minister Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi in 1990, and then switched back again to serve Sharif when he was elected Prime Minister. In 1992, he was sent to Sri Lanka as Pakistan’s High Commissioner. On the eve of Nawaz Sharif’s dismissal on 18 April 1993, he jumped the sinking ship and joined President Ghulam Ishaq Khan bandwagon. Immediately, he was rewarded by being made a special assistant to the caretaker Prime Minister Mir Balakh Sher Mazari with the rank of Minister of State. Asked by BBC if he now deserved a mention in the Guinness Book of Records for switching loyalties so often, his reply was classic: I was always with the President.’”

Mr Haqqani. Right from this student politics with the Jamaat’s student wing, the dreaded Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba, at Karachi University there is much that Mr Haqqani is answerable for. The violence at the university and the brutal suppression of free speech that the IJT imposed on the campus in those days was done with Mr Haqqani very much an active player. Many still say that he was the architect of the IJT’s policy of using brute force to suppress opposition opinion. We next saw him on PTV – which was a kind of a launching pad for him -during the 1985 partyless elections. It was an election which destroyed Pakistan’s politics in more ways than one and much that we see wrong with Pakistan’s politics today dates back to that election. It was because of the destructive potential of the election that every liberal and progressive party in the country boycotted those elections. Yet there was Mr Haqqani at his most articulate, lauding the farcical exercise as if it was the best thing that had happened to the country since its birth.

Riaz Haq said...

Former envoy (Husain Haqqani) lobbying against #Pakistan in #Washington: Aziz

A former Pakistani ambassador in Washington has been lobbying against his own country and creating problems for the government in Islamabad, says foreign policy wizard. Though Sartaj Aziz didn’t name anyone, it was obvious that he was referring to Hussain Haqqani.

“He is trying to circumvent all our diplomatic efforts aimed at boosting bilateral ties between Pakistan and the United States,” Aziz said. “The Foreign Office has serious reservations about his activities in the US.”

Indian PM’s visit to US: International lobby ‘active against Pakistan’

Aziz made the statement in the lower house of parliament after opposition MPs criticized the government over recent foreign policy fiascos. Aziz downplayed the opposition’s criticism, saying Pakistan had the lowest budget for the Foreign Office — Rs15 billion — while Turkey had a Rs82 billion budget and Iran Rs40 billion. “The Foreign Office budget has been increased by 14% over the last three years,” he said.

Foreign policy

According to Aziz, Pakistan was pursuing a ‘balanced policy’ based on non-interference and protection of national interests and nuclear assets and its sovereignty.

“Indian Prime Minister Narandra Modi’s recent trip to Muslim countries should not be construed as a failure of Pakistan’s foreign policy,” he said. Pakistan enjoys historical relations with the Muslim world based on common religion, Aziz said. “Modi’s visit will not affect our ties.”

Aziz also said that Pakistan was ‘making successful efforts’ against India’s attempt to seek a membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. About the new border management plan with Afghanistan, the de facto foreign minister said: “The war against terror cannot be won without effective border management.”

All is not bad

Aziz said criticism for criticism’s sake would not go down well as the CPEC, Central Asia-South Asia-1000 and besides Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline were the projects for regional connectivity. “Pakistan’s political role will enhance after becoming a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.”

About Afghanistan, the foreign policy wizard said Pakistan was pursuing a ‘no-favourite policy’ and making efforts to restore peace in the war-ravaged country through the Quadrilateral Coordination Group.

Meanwhile, NA approved 19 demands for grants of four ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Food Security and Water and Power. The opposition had moved over 700 cut motions but they were rejected in a voice vote.

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpt of an Indian review of Husain Haqqani's "India vs Pakistan: Why Can't We Just Be Friends":

These trends were certainly evident in the years that followed the partition: an early refusal to forward Pakistan’s share of the division of assets, ungracious sniping over the accession of two major princely states – Hyderabad and Kashmir – along with several minor ones, and a vindictive attempt to cut off water supplies from the Gurdaspur headworks. Additionally, chaotically executed and badly organised partition plans set the scene for bitter animosity between the two governments.

Haqqani argues that such conditions also ensured that a mutually obsessive and compulsive set of hostilities persisted long past the partition decade. Irrational decision-making based on a blind tendency to seek retaliation against India at all costs led Pakistan’s army and security agencies to plan two ill-conceived wars, in 1965 and 1999. Both those wars, Haqqani argues, should have been avoided and, in any event, were fruitless.

Riaz Haq said...

PPP and Zardari now recognize Husain Haqqani is toxic. Unfortunately it's too late. A lot of damage has already been done and continues to done to Pakistan by this Benedict Arnold. I think Iqbal's lines about Mir Jaafar and Mir Sadiq apply to this guy more than anyone else "Jaafar uz Bangal Sadiq uz Dakan/ Nang e Millat Nang e Deen Nange Watan"

Riaz Haq said...

India's ex National Security Advisor and Foreign Secretary J.N. Dixit (1936-2005) :

"The reason Britain partitioned India was to fragment Hindu areas into political entities and ensure Pakistan's emergence as the largest and most cohesive political power in the subcontinent. Pakistan's ultimate aim is to fragment India. Pakistani invasion of Kashmir in 1948 and subsequent wars are part of this continuous exercise. The Kargil war and the proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir are the latest example of this pressure. India has not been decisive and surgical in resisting Pakistani subversion. India has voluntarily given concessions to Pakistan despite defeating it in all major conflicts. Pakistan's long term objective is to ensure that India does not emerge as the most influential power in the South Asian region. The Pakistani power structure has a powerful antagonism toward Hindu-majority civil society in India. Pakistan has sought the support of a large number of Muslim countries and Asian and Western powers (China ad the US) to keep India on the defensive. Pakistan's continued questioning of Indian secularism, democracy and constitutional institutions is a deliberate attempt to generate friction within India. Pakistani support of the secessionist and insurgent forces in Jammu and Kashmir, in Punjab and in the north-eastern states of India confirms this impression."

Riaz Haq said...

Indian PM Nehru's Defense MInister Krishna Menon:

"In Pakistan's view the Partition is only the beginning. Her idea is to get a jumping-off ground to take the whole of was from the Mughals that the British took over (India). Now the British having gone, they (Muslims) must come back (to rule all of India)"

Riaz Haq said...

On Hussain Haqqani by Haider Mehdi.
My considered view is that HH was turned by the Indians in the early 80's, when he was in Hong Kong as a rabid Islamist, writing for the now defunct, Far Eastern Economic Review.
And this is where his journey started, to embed himself as an Indian mole, in Pakistan's governance structures.
And because of his radical Islamist views, he also caught Gen. Zia's fancy, the then Pakistani military dictator, who himself was a dyed in the wool, radical fundamentalist.
I don't have any evidence to substantiate my hypothesis, except Haqqani's subsequent actions, behaviors and career moves.
Incredibly, he's changed more political ideologies than a kid's diapers, to suit his masters, both Indian and Pakistani, and the needs of the times.
From a rabid Islamist Taliban like activist, to a right wing democrat, to a supporter of military intervention, to left wing secularist, he's been to pretty much every base!
Working for the enemy is not uncommon. Personal and political biases, political philosophy, ego, greed, power, privilege, position, money, anger, bitterness, all contribute in creating a Kim Philby, the British MI6 mole embedded by the Russians, or a Gunter Guillaume, the East German spy, working as West German Chancellor Willy Brandt's assistant, or our very own Hussain Haqqani.
Here's why I think HH is or was an Indian mole.
1. He has known anti Pakistan views which he has held for a long time. Believes that partition was a very bad idea, and also holds very uncharitable views about the Quaid.
2. He managed to wrangle himself into both the PMLN and PPP governments. And willing to work in any role which gave him access and proximity, to power centers.
He was Ambassador to Sri Lanka under Nawaz. Secretary Information under BB. Then, Chairman, House Building Finance Corporation (imagine HBFC) again under her.
He desperately tried to join Gen. Musharraf's government. Offered his unconditional services to do "anything". Wanted to become Musharraf's media advisor. I know this from several horses.
And remember, this offer to Gen. Musharraf, from a man, who now presents himself to the world as the great upholder of democracy in Pakistan and virulently against military intervention.
Finally, he becomes the Pakistani Ambassador to the USA, under Asif Zardari, where he probably caused the most damage.
If his Memogate ploy had been successful, he was well on his way to National Security advisor with the ISI under him. God knows what the Army would have done to him. But that's another story. And then it was a short walk to either Interior or Defence Minister, and finally the ultimate prize. PM of Pakistan.
An Indian mole as a Pakistani PM!
He is unbelievably brilliant and masterfully cunning. Smooth as a snake and vicious as a viper. Can mesmerize anyone with his Lukhnawi charm, destroy you with his devastating intellect and make Lucifer look like Gabriel, especially in his writings.
Now that he stands exposed, at least to most Pakistanis, he now presents himself to the West, as their poster boy of democracy and anti militarism.
He has perhaps been one of the biggest factors in arming the anti Pakistan and pro Indian lobbies in the US, with information and evidence acquired through the very sensitive positions he occupied in the "service" of Pakistan.
He now works for the Hudson Institute, in Washington D.C. a known pro Israeli and pro Indian think tank, and makes himself relevant by espousing anti Pakistan narratives, cunningly presented as liberal and anti militarism views.
They liberally fund his research and his books and writings. In addition, he is actively supported and indirectly funded by staunchly anti-Pakistani and pro-Indian lobbies in the USA. And he gets himself invited or is invited to major anti Pakistan forums such as the one pictured below.

Riaz Haq said...

As ambassador, Mr. Husain Haqqani behaved like "One Man Think Tank" who was "eager to share his own views, which often dovetailed American criticisms of Pakistan’s military".

American officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be seen as meddling in Pakistan’s internal affairs, said they hoped Ms. Rehman’s range of contacts within Pakistan’s military and its government and among rights groups could potentially make her a more effective interlocutor than her predecessor, who was very much seen as Mr. Zardari’s man, although he did argue the military’s case when needed.

The American officials were also pleased by Ms. Rehman’s speedy appointment, which assuaged fears of prolonged standoff between the military and civilian authorities over the ambassadorship, arguably Pakistan’s most important diplomatic posting. “The military doesn’t need more excuses to disregard the president and prime minister,” said one American official. “That they all found a way to agree quickly is a positive. They need an ambassador in Washington; we need them to have an ambassador in Washington.”

But experts in Pakistan and the United States cautioned that American officials should not view Ms. Rehman’s social liberalism, which is common among Pakistan’s elite, as a sign that she will fall in line with Washington’s views on what is best for Pakistan.

“Folks in Washington will expect her national security agenda to be as liberal as her domestic agenda,” said Shamila N. Chaudhary, a South Asia analyst at the Eurasia Group who previously served as the director for Pakistan and Afghanistan at the National Security Council.

“She’s coming here to represent the government, and that includes the military,” Ms. Chaudhary said.

Mr. Haqqani, in contrast, at times behaved as “a one-man think tank,” said one American official. The ambassador would often privately voice criticism of the military that he had publicly laid out before taking on his role, the official said.

Mr. Haqqani’s eagerness to share his own views, which often dovetailed American criticisms of Pakistan’s military and its longstanding ties to militant groups, had over the past year led to a diminishing of his influence in Washington, especially in the White House, said a pair of American officials. “There were questions about his influence at home and whether he could be trusted to accurately convey what his principals were thinking,” said one of the American officials.

Riaz Haq said...

Most people who are negative about Pakistan often follow the headlines, not the trend lines.
They do not seem to seek data and information from primary sources such as from UN agencies as compiled by Rosling; instead they seem to rely on 2nd, 3rd, 4th hand interpretations brought you courtesy of authors at Washington think tanks who are known to do their funders/backers bidding.$majorMode=chart$is;shi=t;ly=2003;lb=f;il=t;fs=11;al=30;stl=t;st=t;nsl=t;se=t$wst;tts=C$ts;sp=5.59290322580644;ti=2013$zpv;v=0$inc_x;mmid=XCOORDS;iid=phAwcNAVuyj1jiMAkmq1iMg;by=ind$inc_y;mmid=YCOORDS;iid=phAwcNAVuyj2tPLxKvvnNPA;by=ind$inc_s;uniValue=8.21;iid=phAwcNAVuyj0XOoBL_n5tAQ;by=ind$inc_c;uniValue=255;gid=CATID0;by=grp$map_x;scale=log;dataMin=194;dataMax=96846$map_y;scale=lin;dataMin=23;dataMax=86$map_s;sma=49;smi=2.65$cd;bd=0$inds=;modified=60

I don't expect most books published in US or India to be a true reflection of reality, especially about Pakistan.

What you get from them are caricatures of countries based on Washington's worldview.

I do not rely on such books for honest discussion of any international issues. I take what they see with a huge grain of salt.

I prefer firstly to rely on primary sources of information and secondly on more nuanced views, not caricatures, of a complex country like Pakistan by authors such as Jaffrelot's and Lieven's.

Here's an excerpt of Christophe Jaffrelot's "Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience":

"The three contradictions ("Pakistan=Islam+Urdu", "civil-military establishment", "role of Islam in public sphere")...provide a three-part structure to this book....This thematic framework is intended to enhance our understanding of the Pakistan Paradox. Indeed, so far, none of the consubstantial contradictions of Pakistan mentioned above have had the power to destroy the country. In spite of chronic instability that they have created, Pakistan continues to show remarkable resilience. This can only be understood if one makes the effort to grasp the complexity of a country that is often caricatured. This is the reason why all sides of the three tensions around which this book is organized must be considered together: the centrifugal forces at work in Pakistan and those resisting them on behalf of Pakistan nationalism and provincial autonomy; the culture of authoritarianism and the resources for democracy; the Islamist agenda, and those who are fighting it on behalf of secularism or "Muslimhood" a la JInnah. The final picture may result in a set, not of contradictions but of paradoxes in which virtually antagonistic elements cohabit. But whether that is sufficient to contain instability remains to be seen."

Here's Riaz Haq rebutting Husain Haqqani:

Riaz Haq said...

Heated exchange between Haqqani, Ishrat over Pak-US ties

“CSF was not assistance. It was our money that we spent to support the US logistic operations in Afghanistan during the war on terror and it was reimbursed later. I sat in cabinet meetings where we approved allocation from our own budget to support the US operation. That money was later reimbursed by the US government through the CSF,” Dr Ishrat said while responding to Haqqani’s point that Pakistan did not deliver enough after receiving the US assistance after 9/11.

While praising the Indian progress after independence, Haqqani strongly criticised Pakistan for failing to utilise $43 billion aid it received from the US since 1949 for its development.

Haqqani argued that the US should not provide large-scale assistance to Pakistan. However, the former ambassador of Pakistan was reminded by no one else but an American former official that the US assistance was given to Pakistan to protect US national interests.

“May be you are not serving your national interests by giving money to Pakistan,” Haqqani told the former US official. Haqqani said during his tenure as Pakistan ambassador he received the CSF bills that were objected to by the US authorities. “Once I received a request for $120 million for beef that was used by Pakistani soldiers serving in Swat and $100 million for barbed wire in tribal areas. I was asked by US officials what kind of barbed wire costs that much.”

The moderator of the discussion had to intervene to stop the heated exchange between Ishrat and Haqqani as the former ambassador started interrupting Ishrat. Dr Ishrat said whatever assistance Pakistan received was delivered when the US needed Pakistani support. “Whether it was during the 1960s Cold War or 1980’s Afghan war and the recent war on terror, the assistance was given to promote the US national interests in the region.”

He said Pakistan did not need an aid model that never worked as it could not promote development. He said the US and Pakistan should cooperate in educational exchanges and human resource development as South Asian country’s had huge potential.

“US Fulbright programme is helping Pakistani students but these students need to be sent to the top US universities to learn science, mathematics and related subjects,” Ishrat said adding that currently majority of Pakistani students were placed in less famous universities as it cost less.

To this, Husain Haqqani argued that Pakistani students were not enough talented to get admission to the top Ivy League universities prompting a response from Ishrat. “This is not true I know many Pakistani students in my institute who are brilliant and could get admission anywhere,” Ishrat, who served as dean and director of the prestigious Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in Karachi, said.

Speaking on the occasion Robin Raphel said the US assistance to Pakistan did achieve objectives. “We always know money can’t buy you love but when you build road, you build hospital or school, people do like that,” she said. She listed major development projects that were completed in Pakistan with US assistance provided under the Kerry-Lugar bill.

These projects included the 2,400 megawatt electricity project, 1,100-kilometre road in tribal areas, clean energy project, the largest Fulbright programme and university partnership apart from $1 billion humanitarian assistance.

Praising Vision 2025 programme of PML-N government, she said Pakistan under the current government had better sense of development priorities. She said the current Pakistani administration was not talking much about aid but the focus had now shifted to trade and business opportunities.

Riaz Haq said...

Credit Suisse: Avg adult in #Pakistan 20% richer than avg adult in #India. Pak median wealth 120% higher than India …

Average Pakistani adult is 20% richer than an average Indian adult and the median wealth of a Pakistani adult is 120% higher than that of his or her Indian counterpart, according to Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2016. Average household wealth in Pakistan has grown 2.1% while it has declined 0.8% in India since the end of last year.
Here are the key statistics reported by Credit Suisse:

Total Household Wealth Mid-2016 :

India $3,099 billion Pakistan $524 billion

Wealth per adult:

India Year End 2000 Average $2,036 Median $498.00

Pakistan Year End 2000 Average $2,399 Median $1,025

India Mid-2016 Average $3,835 Median $608

Pakistan Mid-2016 Average $4,595 Median $1,788

Average wealth per adult in Pakistan is $760 more than in India or about 20% higher.

Median wealth per adult in Pakistan is $1,180 more than in India or about 120% higher


Median wealth data indicates that 50% of Pakistanis own more than $1,180 per adult which is 120% more than the $608 per adult owned by 50% of Indians.

The Credit-Suisse report says that the richest 1% of Indians own 58.4% of India's wealth, second only to Russia's at 74.5%. That makes India the 2nd biggest oligarchy in the world.

The CS wealth data, particularly the median wealth figures, clearly show that Pakistan has much lower levels of inequality than India.

World Bank Report:

A November 2016 World Bank report says that Pakistan has successfully translated economic growth into the well-being of its poorest citizens. It says "Pakistan’s recent growth has been accompanied by a staggering fall in poverty".

Rising incomes of the poorest 20% in Pakistan since 2002 have enabled them to enhance their living standards by improving their diets and acquiring television sets, refrigerators, motorcycles, flush toilets, and better housing.

Another recent report titled "From Wealth to Well Being" by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) also found that Pakistan does better than India and China in translating GDP growth to citizens' well-being.

One particular metric BCG report uses is growth-to-well-being coefficient on which Pakistan scores 0.87, higher than India's 0.77 and China's 0.75.

Big Poverty Decline Since 2002:

Using the old national poverty line of $1.90 (ICP 2011 PPP) , set in 2001, the percentage of people living in poverty fell from 34.7 percent in FY02 to 9.3 percent in FY14—a fall of more than 75 percent. Much of the socioeconomic progress reported by the World Bank since 2000 has occurred during President Musharraf's years in office from 2000-2007. It has dramatically slowed or stagnated since 2010.

Riaz Haq said...

How the #American #CIA Infiltrated the World's #Literature Using Famous Writers as Tools … via @VICE

"The CIA's influence in publishing was on the covert ops side, and it was done as propaganda. It was a control of how intellectuals thought about the US."

The new book, Finks, reveals how great writers such as Baldwin, Márquez, and Hemingway became soldiers in America's cultural Cold War.

When the CIA's connections to the Paris Review and two dozen other magazines were revealed in 1966, the backlash was swift but uneven. Some publications crumbled, taking their editors down with them, while other publishers and writers emerged relatively unscathed, chalking it up to youthful indiscretion or else defending the CIA as a "nonviolent and honorable" force for good. But in an illuminating new book Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World's Best Writers, writer Joel Whitney debunks the myth of a once-moral intelligence agency, revealing an extensive list of writers involved in transforming America's image in countries we destabilized with coups, assassinations, and other all-American interventions.

The CIA developed several guises to throw money at young, burgeoning writers, creating a cultural propaganda strategy with literary outposts around the world, from Lebanon to Uganda, India to Latin America. The same agency that occasionally undermined democracies for the sake of fighting Communism also launched the Congress for Cultural Freedoms (CCF). The CCF built editorial strategies for each of these literary outposts, allowing them to control the conversation in countries where readers might otherwise resist the American perspective. The Paris Review, whose co-founder Peter Matthiessen was a CIA agent, would sell its commissioned interviews to the magazine's counterparts in Germany, Japan, and elsewhere. Mundo Nuevo was created to offer a moderate-left perspective to earn trust among Latin American readers, effectively muting more radical perspectives during the Cuban Revolution. Sometimes the agency would provide editors with funding and content; other times it would work directly with writers to shape the discourse. Through these acts, the CCF weaponized the era's most progressive intellectuals as the American answer to the Soviet spin machine.

While the CIA's involvement in anti-Communist propaganda has been long known, the extent of its influence—particularly in the early careers of the left's most beloved writers—is shocking. Whitney, the co-founder and editor at large of the literary magazine Guernica, spent four years digging through archives, yielding an exhaustive list—James Baldwin, Gabriel García Márquez, Richard Wright, and Ernest Hemingway all served varying levels of utility to Uncle Sam. (Not that the CIA's interest were only in letters: Expressionists Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko were also championed by arms of the agency.)

But don't let that ruin Love in the Time of Cholera. Whitney explains with methodical clarity how each writer became a tool for the CIA. This nuance not only salvages many of the classics from being junked as solely propaganda, but it serves as a cautionary tale for those trying to navigate today's "post-truth" media landscape. In an era where Facebook algorithms dictate the national discourse, even the most well-meaning journalist is prone to stories that distract on behalf of the US government.

"It was often a way to change the subject from the civil rights fight at home," Whitney said of the CIA's content strategy during the Cold War. We can easily draw parallels to today, where the nation's most dire issues are rarely our viral subjects. With Donald Trump's presidency just weeks away, Finks arrives at a crucial time, exposing the political machinery that can affect which stories are shared and which are silenced.

Riaz Haq said...

Goyal Foil: #Pakistan-Obsessed #Indian-#American Reporter at the #Trump #WhiteHouse. #India … When the Trump White House press secretary Sean Spicer found himself being barraged with unpleasant US media questions at his first press briefing today, he called upon Pakistan-obsessed Indian-American Raghubir Goyal to ask a question.
Washington Post's Dana Milbank says Goyal, often described by reporters as the Goyal Foil "almost invariably asks about what sort of terrible thing Pakistan has done in the last 24 hours. So--and because of the obvious sound of his name he became the `Goyal Foil.'" Here's a full excerpt of what Milbank wrote in Washington Post about the "Goyal Foil":

"There's a whole bunch of foils in the White House press corps. There's characters from talk radio and all these specialty publications. Goyal is the most intriguing of them all, I guess you'd say, because he is very dedicated to getting a seat right up front at each and every event, and he almost invariably asks about what sort of terrible thing Pakistan has done in the last 24 hours. So--and because of the obvious sound of his name he became the `Goyal Foil.'"

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Tariq Ali, a Pakistani left-wing intellectual who graduated from Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics, and economics, and was President of the Oxford Union. on Husain Haqqani:

One of Zardari and his late wife’s trusted bagmen in Washington, Husain Haqqani, whose links to the US intelligence agencies since the 1970s made him a useful intermediary and whom Zardari appointed as Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, has been forced to resign. Haqqani, often referred to as the US ambassador to Pakistan, appears to have been caught red-handed: he allegedly asked Mansoor Ijaz, a multi-millionaire close to the US defense establishment, to carry a message to Admiral Mike Mullen pleading for help against the Pakistani military and offering in return to disband the Haqqani network and the ISI and carry out all US instructions.

Mullen denied that he had received any message. A military underling contradicted him. Mullen changed his story and said a message had been received and ignored. When the ISI discovered this ‘act of treachery’, Haqqani, instead of saying that he was acting under orders from Zardari, denied the entire story. Unfortunately for him, the ISI boss, General Pasha, had met up with Ijaz and been given the Blackberry with the messages and instructions. Haqqani had no option but to resign. Demands for his trial and hanging (the two often go together when the military is involved) are proliferating. Zardari is standing by his man. The military wants his head. And now Nato has entered the fray. This story is not yet over.

Riaz Haq said...

India is far ahead of Pakistan in more ways than I can count :-)

Here are some:

1. India leads the world in open absolute numbers and percentages.

2. India leads the world in child absolute numbers and percentages.

3. India has more poor, hungry and illiterate people than any other country in the world. In percentage terms, the poverty rate in India is 2X higher than in Pakistan.

4. More farmers have killed themselves in India than any other country in the world.

5. Top 1% of Indians own 58% of India's wealth, 2nd only to Russia's 70%.

6. India has a mass murderer Modi as its elected leader.

7. India has more slaves than any other country in the world.

8. India has had more anti-minority riots than any other country in the world.

9. India is only one of only two countries where Apartheid is still rampant....the other is Israel.

10. There are more active insurgencies in India than any other country in the world.

And yet, India is a "secular democracy"!!!!!

All of the above are easily verifiable facts from credible sources which track such data.

Riaz Haq said...

Is Notorious Islamophobic Think Tank Inspiring More Far-Right Terrorism?
More worrying is the prestige that the Gatestone Institute seems to be able to flaunt along with its considerable resources.

Blumenthal notes that Gatestone emerged in 2011 as an offshoot of the right wing Hudson Institute. Since then it has become a hub for anti-Muslim ideologues of all hues; neoconservative, ultra-Zionist and so-called ‘counterjihad’. It has acted as a clearing-house, for example, for claims about Muslim ‘no-go zones’ (the likes of which ‘terrorism expert’ Steven Emerson was widely ridiculed for, including by UK Prime Minister David Cameron). Its articles carry fear-mongering titles such as: ‘‘Spain: Soon the Muslims will be kings of the world’, ‘Britain’s Islamic future’, ’The Islamization of France’, ‘The Islamization of Germany’ and ‘The Islamization of Belgium and the Netherlands’.

The theme of so-called ‘Islamisation’ is fundamental to the paranoid political imaginary of the counterjihad movement, combining anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment. It is the notion that animates a network of groups under the banner ‘Stop the Islamisation of Nations’ (SION), and underpins street movements like Germany’s PEGIDA (an acronym of the German for ‘Patriot Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West’) and the English Defence League (EDL) – and their respective copycat movements.

It is a favourite topic of many right-wing populist politicians like the infamous Geert Wilders, anti-Islam leader of the Dutch ‘Party for Freedom’, who, according to Blumenthal, calls Gatestone founder Nina Rosenwald a ‘good friend’ (perhaps why Gatestone recently published an article defending his call for ‘fewer Moroccans’ in the Netherlands, comments for which he is facing hate speech charges). ‘Islamisation’ was also, of course, the major preoccupation of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik. In July 2011 he killed 77 people in an attack he called ‘gruesome but necessary’ and saw as a precursor to the civil war he believed was inevitable - that he hoped would drive Islam and Muslims out of Europe.

Eurabia conspiracy theorists and the Abstraction Fund

Breivik detailed his views – typical of the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant counterjihad movement - on the ‘threat’ posed to Europe by Islam in a 1,518 page ‘manifesto’. Given that virtually every article that Gatestone publishes is suffused with the same assumptions (for instance ‘How Islam Conquers Europe’, ‘UK Islamic takeover plot’) it is no surprise to learn that the institute’s authors include many of the writers cited by Breivik in his notorious tract. Gatestone author Robert Spencer and his Jihad Watch website were mentioned 116 times, while Daniel Pipes and his Middle East Forum (MEF) got 18 citations. Other Gatestone authors mentioned in Breivik's lengthy screed include David Horowitz and the aforementioned Steven Emerson.

More importantly, Nina Rosenwald’s mega-foundation, the Abstraction Fund, provides funding to many of these organisations: the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism, Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy (CSP), Pipes MEF, and many other Islamophobia industry groups besides. (Abstraction also gives to a host of pro-Israel organisations like CAMERA, MEMRI and the Zionist Organization of America, illustrating the increasingly common funding overlap between many anti-Muslim and some pro-Israel groups, observed in the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network’s recent report ‘The Business of Backlash’.) Interestingly, as well as presiding over the Gatestone Institute, Rosenwald is also financing it with money from the Abstraction Fund, albeit indirectly: as with other groups, the money is being channelled via a third party (MEF).

Riaz Haq said...

Can US President take Hudson Institute report on Pakistan seriously?

by Jamal Hussain

Dismissed for suspected anti-state activities, which he vehemently denies, accusing the Pakistan Army of orchestrating a plot to implicate him in a false case. HH settled in the USA and currently is the Director for South Asia and Central Asia at Hudson Institute. He has authored three books on Pakistan where his animosity towards the Pakistan Army is apparent.

He is known to carry a grudge against the Pakistan Army that a clear majority of Pakistanis consider the only state institution which secures the country from foreign domination. With such a credential of HH, should one expect objectivity if he heads a policy paper advising the US administration on how to deal with Pakistan?

Lisa Curtis, the co-author is a retired CIA employee who has also served as a diplomat in Pakistan and India. With her CIA background where the confrontation of the CIA with the Pakistani intelligence agency the ISI is an open secret, can one expect an impartial approach when dealing with Pakistan where the ISI is known to provide key inputs on the conduct of the nation’s foreign policy?

Among the signatories, Christine Fair, Polly Nayak and Aparna Pande ring alarm bells. Christine Fair, who once was considered the darling of the Pakistan Army, is now known for her anti-Pakistan sentiments. Her earlier work on drones and her pro-drone stance and viewpoints has been denounced as “surprisingly weak” by Brooking Institution and journalist Glenn Greenwald dismissed it as “rank propaganda.”

n 2011 and 2012 she received funding from the US embassy in Islamabad to conduct a survey on public opinion concerning militancy. Her journalistic sources have been questioned for their credibility and she has been accused of having a conflict of interest due to her past work with the US government think tanks, as well as the CIA.

In the Pakistani media, she has been accused of double standards, partisanship towards India and has been criticized for her contacts with dissident leaders from Baluchistan, a link which raises serious questions “if her interest in Pakistan is merely academic.”

Polly Nayak, a South Asian expert and currently an independent consultant retired from CIA in late 2002 as a senior executive. Her views on Pakistan, like those of Lisa Curtis, would not be free from the bias that colors CIA’s opinion about Pakistan and Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency the ISI, which is viewed as an ally only when its help is desperately sought— otherwise a nemesis.

Aparna Pande is a born Indian working for the Hudson Institute and her writings mirror the rabidly anti-Pakistan stance of the Indian government under Narendra Modi.


Avoid viewing and portraying Pakistan as an ally, is the first policy recommendation of the briefing paper. The USA has never considered Pakistan as a true ally and has used this term only when it suited them. It considers Pakistan as a rentier state and hires it for a price to pursue policies to promote their regional and global agenda.

Yes, Pakistan has often willingly accepted the US offer, at a considerable price to its security and well-being. Even though the military aid package of 1954 and the collaboration in the 1980s to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan was on a reciprocal basis where both sides viewed it as a win-win situation, the USA benefitted far more from them while Pakistan, in the long run, paid a very heavy price for the liaisons.

The Mutual Defence Assistance Agreement of 1954 turned Pakistan as the bulwark against any spread of communism that was primarily aimed at containment of the USSR. The defense pact ruled the USSR, the rival superpower, and a neighbor of Pakistan to an extent where they established a strategic partnership with India, the country’s principal security threat and enemy, which had unlawfully and illegally occupied two-thirds of Kashmir.

Riaz Haq said...

Ex #Pakistan Envoy Husain Haqqani: "I had facilitated the presence of large numbers of #CIA operatives" in #Pakistan

"Among the security establishment’s grievances against me was the charge that I had facilitated the presence of large numbers of CIA operatives who helped track down bin Laden without the knowledge of Pakistan’s army — even though I had acted under the authorization of Pakistan’s elected civilian leaders."

In Husain Haqqani's Op Ed titled "Yes, the Russian Ambassador met Trump's team. So? That's what we diplomats do", it seems that Husain Haqqani has tried to achieve the following objectives:

1. Be on President Trump's good side by defending contacts between Trump campaign and Russian officials.

2. Show how he helped the United States by facilitating the entry of large numbers of CIA agents in Pakistan when he was Pakistan's envoy.

3. Cover his own back by saying he had the support of the ruling PPP at the time.

Meanwhile, PPP leader Khurshid Shah has denied the PPP government approved Haqqani's actions and declared Haqqani a traitor.

An ambassador of a country sending foreign intelligence agents into his own..that's what's wrong with the big picture.

The OBL hunt was just an excuse to let in "large numbers of CIA operatives "who most likely have a far wider wider agenda, including tracking Pakistan's nuclear assets and spying that could risk Pak security. As undercover foreign agents unknown to Pakistan's intelligence agencies, there was no way to track what these CIA operatives were doing in Pakistan.

An ambassador of any other country would have been tried for treason in similar circumstances.

Riaz Haq said...

Husain Haqqani Defends #India, Asks #Trump to Get Tough With #Pakistan to Win in #Afghanistan

Islamabad’s response was to argue that Pakistan does, indeed, support insurgents in Afghanistan, but it does so because of security concerns about India, which is seen by generals and many civilian leaders as an existential threat to Pakistan.

But that excuse is based on exaggerations and falsehoods. India has no offensive military presence in Afghanistan and there has never been any evidence that the Afghans are willing to be part of India’s alleged plan for a two-front war with Pakistan.

Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, recently asked India to train Afghan military officers and repair military aircraft after frustration with Pakistan, which failed to fulfill promises of restraining the Taliban and forcing them to the negotiating table.

Pakistan’s leaders question Afghanistan’s acceptance of economic assistance from India even though Pakistan does not have the capacity to provide such aid itself.

It seems that Pakistan wants to keep alive imaginary fears, possibly to maintain military ascendancy in a country that has been ruled by generals for almost half of its existence. For years Pakistani officials falsely asserted that India had set up 24 consulates in Afghanistan, some close to the Pakistani border. In fact, India has only four consulates, the same number Pakistan has, in Afghanistan.

Lying about easily verifiable facts is usually the tactic of governments fabricating a threat rather than ones genuinely facing one. As ambassador, I attended trilateral meetings where my colleagues rejected serious suggestions from Afghans and Americans to mitigate apprehensions about Indian influence in Afghanistan.

While evidence of an Indian threat to Pakistan through Afghanistan remains scant, proof of the presence of Afghan Taliban leaders in Pakistan continues to mount. Mullah Omar, the Taliban’s leader, reportedly died in a Pakistani hospital in 2013 and his successor, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, was killed in an American drone strike in Baluchistan Province in Pakistan last year.

The United States should not let Pakistan link its longstanding support for hard-line Pashtun Islamists in Afghanistan to its disputes with India.

Both India and Pakistan have a lot of blood on their hands in Kashmir and seem in no hurry to resolve their disagreement, which is rooted in the psychosis resulting from the subcontinent’s bitter partition. The two countries have gone through 45 rounds of summit-level talks since 1947 and have failed to reach a permanent settlement.

Linking the outcome in Afghanistan to resolution of India-Pakistan issues would keep the United States embroiled there for a very long time. The recent rise in Islamophobia in India and a more aggressive stance against Pakistan by Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not detract from recognizing the paranoiac nature of Pakistan’s fears.

Riaz Haq said...

Why #India Should Worry More About #China Than #Pakistan But #Modi Obsessed with Pak #Islamophobia #Hindutva #Doklam

Ask most security analysts, political observers, international relations experts or even your average layperson on the street, and they'd say India's biggest security threat is Pakistan. After all we've shared a long and fraught history since Partition, fought four wars with them and endured terror attacks emanating from their soil. Unsurprisingly, much of Indian foreign policy and defence strategy has been oriented vis-à-vis Pakistan.

Unfortunately, India's preoccupation with Pakistan could cost us since it has meant we have neglected other hostile neighbours, particularly China. The result is events such as the ongoing Sino-India border standoff, in which China has been calling for the independence of Sikkim. Another negative fallout is that the India-Pakistan conflict has literally hyphenated the two nations, bringing them on the same level as one another.

Our policymakers have not seen China as India's "peer" (unlike Pakistan). Thus, India hasn't really tried to balance out China even in South Asia.
Now, both these factors have clear disadvantages for India. Firstly, the "internationalisation" of the Indo-Pak conflict has put the two states as "equal players" on many international forums, almost to the extent where analysts of global politics take the names of these two countries in same breath. Despite being a smaller state than India, in almost every aspect, Pakistan has had the audacity to look India eye to eye. Much of this owes to the fact that India has traditionally punched "below its weight" while Pakistan has done the opposite.

The second problem is much bigger. Because India has been so engrossed in dealing with Pakistan, China's growing power goes "unchecked". There is a deeper problem behind this—our policymakers have not seen China as India's "peer" (unlike Pakistan). Thus, India hasn't really tried to balance out China even in South Asia. That is evident in the fact that China has much deeper economic ties with most of India's immediate neighbours than India does.


Indian policymakers need to also understand the fact China and Pakistan are all-weather friends. This complicates matters considerably. Yes, India does have international allies but how much can they be relied on? In 1962, when the Indo-China war happened, the then Soviet Union didn't come in support of India openly against China, despite being India's all-weather friend then.

Surely, the India of today is a much bigger power than the India of 1962. India's capabilities have increased but so have China's. India is a nuclear power state now but again, so is China. It's high time India develops home-grown defence technologies to reduce the fiscal burden of imports.

To sum up, the time has come to re-orient our defence policies. Pak-centric policies won't do much good to India in the longer run. Once India engages to maintain balance of power vis-à-vis China, it would emerge as a much stronger power than it is today. Such a feat will take time and patience but if India succeeds, its influence will grow both in its immediate as well as extended neighbourhood. It will also stymie China's march towards becoming a regional hegemon.