Sunday, October 30, 2016

Husain Haqqani Vs Riaz Haq on India-Pakistan Relations

Ex Ambassador of Pakistan Mr. Husain Haqqani was interviewed on October 22, 2016 by Talk4Pak team's host Faraz Darvesh on his views on India-Pakistan relations.



This week,  regular Talk4Pak panelist Riaz Haq has offered his rebuttal to a number of statements made by Ambassador Haqqani during his interview. Here's a brief summary of Mr. Haqqani's views and Riaz Haq's responses.

Husain Haqqani: Pakistan needs to treat all "terrorists" alike and crack down on all of them.

Riaz Haq:  Most nations differentiate between "good" militants and "bad" militants.

For example, Indians see Bhagat Singh as "shaheed" (martyr) and Burhan Wani a "terrorist" even though both were fighting for freedom from foreign rule.

Also, Haqqanis were called freedom fighters (Mujahedeen) against Soviets but now called terrorists by Americans.

US and Israel founding fathers are accepted as freedom fighters, not terrorists.

Like others, Pakistan, too, has to differentiate among militants as a practical matter because, as President Clinton has said,  "you can not kill or jail all the terrorists".

Pakistan security forces are already stretched in their fight against Indian-backed terrorists like the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (See Doval Doctrine), the Baloch militants openly supported by Indian Prime Minister Modi and MQM militants who, according to sworn testimony of Mohammad Anwar and Tariq Mir, receive funding to launch attacks in Karachi.  Opening up additional fronts against more groups in response to Indian and US demands can potentially lead to the defeat of Pakistani security forces followed by a civil war.

HH: Indian economy is 20X Pakistan's

RH: According to World Bank data for 2015, Indian GDP $2,073,543 Pakistan $269,971 Actual Ratio is India's GDP is 7.68X Pakistan's, not 20X

Mr. Haqqani is known for exaggerating India's size, strength and importance while diminishing Pakistan's. Is this intended to demoralize and discourage Pakistanis and tell them they are insignificant relative to India? Is it meant to please Mr. Haqqani's Hindu Nationalist fans in India?

HH: Kashmir Unresolvable

RH: Kashmir is eminently resolvable as demonstrated by Musharraf formula agreed between India and Pakistan in 2007. Formula: LoC becomes soft border with easy movement of goods and people, Total internal autonomy of each region, overseen by a committee with reps from both regions, India and Pakistan, phased withdrawal of all troops. It is absolutely resolvable.

What has Changed since 2007? The players have changed in both India and Pakistan since Musharraf-Manmohan deal....especially in India where PM Modi thinks he can intimidate Pakistan with rhetoric like "chhapan inch ki chhati" (56-in chest) and "boli nahi goli" (bullets, not talks) and use of proxies like TTP, BLA and MQM to terrorize Pakistan and kill Pakistanis

Stephen Cohen has said this about India-Pakistan situation: "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."

I expect PM Modi will soon realize that only workable option is to use the diplomatic route of dialog with Pakistan.

HH: Put aside Kashmir like China put aside Taiwan.

RH: Unlike Indian occupied Kashmir, there are no mass protests, ubiquitous checkpoints and extended curfews in Taiwan. No 700,000 troops there. There's no Burhan Wanis in Taiwan to resist occupation. It's not possible to ignore Indian occupied Kashmir with daily killings and atrocities against innocent people.

HH: There is consensus Pakistan did not win 1965 war.

RH: Both governments claim victory in 1965. Many Indians, including insiders like RD Pradhan and Gen Harbkash Singh believe India did not win the 1965 war. Indian journalists like Shivan Vij say it was at best a stalemate. If India was winning in 1965, it wouldn't be the first to agree to ceasefire as it did.

 HH: His diplomacy as ambassador in Washington was effective.

 RH: Every product has features and benefits but also flaws. Ambassadors are expected to be a pitchmen at least in public. Pitchmen highlight features and benefits, not flaws. Ambassadors do not denigrate the countries they represent as Mr. Haqqani did.

 New York Times said this when Haqqani was forced out. 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". “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.

HH: India's GDP growth rate 2.5X  Pakistan's

RH; Not true. India's GDP growth rate is 7.6% and Pakistan 5%.

So  the ratio is 1.52X not 2.5X

 Growth rates are not permanently sustainable. Pakistan economy grew much faster than India's in 1960s-1980s and India's economy has grown faster since 1990s. CPECis expected to add 2.5-3% growth on top of the current 5%, something India is strongly opposed to and trying to disrupt and sabotage.

HH: India's Literacy Rate 6 points higher in 1947, 22 points higher now.

RH: Not true either.  In 1951 census, the overall literacy rate was 20% in India and 14% in Pakistan, according to UNESCO.

As of 2012, India has achieved 75% literacy rate while Pakistan is at 60%.

Pakistan literacy is up 4X while India's is up 3.5X


HH: 1947-1958 was a good period for Pakistan, then Army messed it up.

RH:   Economists call this period the Flat Fifties when there was very little economic growth. Pakistan economy grew very rapidly in 1960s, much faster than India's "Hindu growth rate" under Nehru's democracy.

Pakistan had major development of agriculture with the Green Revolution that included several large dams and word's largest contiguous irrigation. Without it, Pakistanis would have starved to death.

Bangladesh happened because elected Pakistani politicians, particular Bhutto and Mujib, failed to work out difference after the elections.

Summary:

Pakistan is neither a delusion nor owned by mullahs or military as claimed by Husain Haqqani in his books "Pakistan: Between the Mosque and the Military" and "Magnificent Delusions".

Pakistan is not one or two dimensional...it's much more complex as explained by Christophe Jaffrelot in his book "The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience".

Political, military, religious, ethnic, sectarian, secular,  conservative and liberal forces are constantly pushing and pulling to destabilize it but Pakistan remains resilient with its strong nationalism that has evolved after 1971.

Pakistan continues to defy pessimist pundits like Husain Haqqani and Tarek Fatah.

Bill Clinton once said "Follow the trend-lines, not the headlines".

There are many sensational negative headlines about Pakistan that are misleading.

But look at the trends that are all positive in terms of economy, security, democracy, life expectancy. per capita incomes, education, etc etc.

 If you look at Pakistan's socioeconomic indicators, they are all up over 5,10, 15 years in spite of all the difficulties.

Swedish Professor Hans Rosling compiles these for all of the countries. His website is gapminder.org. Go take a look at it, especially health and wealth of nations. Pakistan has lower levels of income poverty than India. It also lower levels of multi-dimensional poverty as measured by MPI index that looks at not just income but also other dimensions like education, healthcare, hygiene, etc.

Here's a video of the rebuttal:

https://youtu.be/Yjsh7eSAZGs





Related Links:

Haq's Musings

History of Literacy in Pakistan

Brief History of Pakistan's Economy

Depth of Deprivation in India

Tarek Fatah vs Riaz Haq on India, Pakistan and Muslims

Indian Sponsored Terror in Pakistan

700,000 Indian Soldiers Vs 10 Million Kashmiris

Indian Insider Account of 1965 War

Musharraf's Kashmir Formula

Who Are the Haqqanis? 

Debunking Mr. Haqqani's Op Ed "Pakistan's Elusive Quest for Parity"

Doval Doctrine

31 comments:

Rashid A. said...

Riaz Sahib,

Great rebuttal. Bravo.

Nothing beats the actual data. HH seems to live in a world of delusions where he makes stuff up as needed.

Ahmad F. said...

I did not realize Pakistan was doing SO well, not just doing better than India. I must be reading the wrong books and newspapers and going to the wrong conferences.

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmad: "I did not realize Pakistan was doing SO well, not just doing better than India. I must be reading the wrong books and newspapers and going to the wrong conferences."


You are not alone. There are many well-educated and well-read people who are " reading the wrong books and newspapers and going to the wrong conferences." They follow the headlines, not the trend lines.

That's the rationale for Hans Rosling's "Ignorance Project" that he talked to Fareed Zakaria about on CNN.

First, as I suggested in the video, please go to gapminder.org and run the health-wealth visualization of data for Pakistan and other countries to see how basic socioeconomic indicators have dramatically improved over the years.

http://www.gapminder.org/world/#$majorMode=chart$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

Then check out Rosling's CNN interview.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/07/opinions/rosling-global-knowledge/

Ahmad F. said...

So HH may be over the top and a sell out. Fine (even though I disagree with that characterization).

How about all the other scholars, authors and journalists?

Can you name a scholarly positive book about Pakistan?

The margin of "bad" books to good books about Pakistan must be 10:1, if not 20:1.

If all the headlines are negative, there has to be a reason for that.

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmad: "So HH may be over the top and a sell out. Fine (even though I disagree with that characterization). How about all the other scholars, authors and journalists?"

Apparently you haven't read my blog post nor watched the video.

Nor do you seem to seek data and information from primary sources such as from UN agencies as compiled by Rosling; instead you 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.

http://www.gapminder.org/world/#$majorMode=chart$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."

https://books.google.com/books?id=gQDzCQAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=jaffrelot+pakistan+paradox&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwib_Jr32YHQAhUrxFQKHT6IDIYQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=resilience&f=true

Riaz Haq said...

BRIEF-S&P raises #Pakistan sovereign credit rating to B from B- http://reut.rs/2f9mxGt via @Reuters

Oct 31 S&P Global Ratings:

* S&P raises Pakistan sovereign credit rating to B from B-

* S&P on Pakistan - Improved macroeconomic stability has raised pakistan's growth prospects and bolstered its fiscal and external buffers

* S&P on Pakistan - Estimate Pakistan's GDP per capita to be US$1,500 in 2016

* S&P on Pakistan - Revised upward forecasts of average annual GDP growth to 5% over 2016-2019 from earlier estimate of 4.7%

* S&P on Pak- Rating reflects improved construction, services sector activity, low-cost oil,finance, high investment associated with China-Pak economic corridor

* S&P - Forecast Pakistan's gross general government debt to fall below 60% of GDP by 2018 Source text: (bit.ly/2e4Q4Ac)

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #PTI Chief Imran Khan backs off from threat to shut down capital after SC #panamaleaks probe http://reut.rs/2fzyYj9 via @Reuters

Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan backed down from a threat to paralyze the capital on Wednesday, a move likely to ease tension that has spilled over into violence in the run-up to the planned protests.

Khan's vow to "shut down" Islamabad to press a demand for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign or face a corruption inquiry had sparked a citywide ban on gatherings and the arrests of hundreds of opposition activists accused of defying the ban.

Instead of the protest, Khan on Tuesday said he would hold a "celebratory" rally, following a decision by the Supreme Court to pursue a case linked to Sharif.

"We will hold a massive gathering in Islamabad tomorrow at the parade ground to celebrate this victory," Khan told media outside his plush home on the edge of the capital.

In a bid to resolve the crisis, the Supreme Court said it would form a judicial commission to probe allegations stemming from the "Panama Papers" leaks about the Sharif family's offshore wealth.

Khan had previously rejected the city High Court's order to hold his protests on Islamabad's parade ground, vowing to paralyze the capital with a turnout of a million protesters.

The tension unleashed fears Pakistan's economic recovery could be jeopardized if there were a prolonged crisis that could even draw in the powerful military, which has a history of meddling in politics and overthrowing civilian governments.

There have been daily clashes between police and supporters of the cricketer-turned-politician in the lead-up to Wednesday, while the government has cracked down on workers of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.

Authorities have arrested scores of party supporters and shut a major motorway leading from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Khan's political heartland. After the Supreme Court decision, officials said the highway barriers would be cleared.

Authorities said they wanted to prevent a repeat of Khan's protests in 2014 that paralyzed the city's government quarter after he rejected Sharif's election win a year earlier.

Party officials said two supporters died after clashing with police blocking their route to Islamabad.

Pakistan's soaring stock market, which took a hit in recent days on the prospect of the protests, bounced sharply after Khan's decision to call them off.

JUDICIARY ROUTE

Khan had accused the police, judiciary and other government bodies of conspiring against him, besides claiming to have been under virtual house arrest.

But ruling party officials painted Khan as a desperate politician seeking to revive his flagging popularity by setting up a violent confrontation in the capital.

Khan's retreat has left him politically weaker despite his effort to portray the Supreme Court decision as a political victory, said Michael Kugelman, a South Asia specialist at Washington think-tank the Woodrow Wilson Center.

--------

"We have to save the country from unrest and crises," said Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, according to the English-language newspaper Dawn.

Holding offshore companies is not illegal in Pakistan, but Khan has implied the money was gained by corruption. Khan admitted in May that he himself used an offshore company to legally avoid paying British tax on a London property sale.



Anonymous said...

India oppressing Muslims--
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/over-55-per-cent-of-undertrials-muslim-dalit-or-tribal-ncrb-3731633/

Riaz Haq said...

S Khilnani Book: #India was "fragmented into kingdoms, savaged by #caste divisions, mired in poverty" http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/india-in-pieces … via @newyorker

Last year, a professor at the Indian Science Congress, in Mumbai, claimed that India possessed airplanes seven thousand years ago. He isn’t alone in such beliefs. When a certain swathe of India’s population considers the country’s ancient past, it doesn’t see a country fragmented into kingdoms, savaged by caste divisions, and mired in poverty; rather, what’s envisioned is a vast, unified Hindu empire stretching from Kashmir to the Indian tip at Kanyakumari. This imagined entity brims with characters from Indian epics and spits out grand inventions that would put scientists in the twenty-first century to shame—not only airplanes but cars, plastic surgery, and stem-cell research. What these Indians see, in other words, is an India that was once greater than any other nation on earth, and which has since fallen into a cruddy, postcolonial despair. Muslim and British invaders, they insist, have sapped the subcontinent’s energies over the past millennium.

This is a major strand of the nativist philosophy espoused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the flotilla of parties and social organizations that escorted him to power, in 2014. It is, in the rippling and echoing way of world events, in step with archaic right-wing movements everywhere—Make India Great Again would be a suitable slogan—and it is untroubled by facts. In the past year, right-wing mobs have lynched and beaten Muslims and Dalits (the former untouchables, who have often refused to be co-opted by upper-class-dominated Hindu nationalism) in Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand for allegedly eating beef, a crime that these nationalists cannot condone after a millennium of their religion’s supposed persecution. (Hinduism has always been the majority religion on the subcontinent.) Dormant laws in Indian states banning cow-slaughter and beef consumption are now being enforced. In January, a Dalit Ph.D. student at Hyderabad University hanged himself from the ceiling fan in his room after right-wing groups bore down on him for his activism. Elsewhere, emboldened nationalist groups have intimidated fiction writers, scholars, and publishers into silence for wounding religious sentiments. Student protests are branded “anti-national” and slapped with sedition charges.

In India, right now, the past is violently alive, and it is being bandied about like a blunt instrument, striking down those who try to speak sense to the present or who try to point out that this past is itself a fiction.

One of the intellectuals involved in calling the right’s bluff is the Indian scholar Sunil Khilnani, who has just published an incisive work of popular history, “Incarnations: India in Fifty Lives.” Where the opposition is clamorous, the book is calm; where the opposition flexes its Vedic muscles, the book is undercutting, irreverent, and impish. It attempts to show, through prodigious but lightly worn scholarship, how complex and heterodox the Indian past was, and how it has been, and continues to be, constructed.

Khilnani begins with the Buddha, who lived around 500 B.C.E., and is thus, Khilnani writes, the “first individual personality we can recognize in the subcontinent’s history,” as well as an apostle of neutrality and nonviolence. The Buddha’s religion has receded in India, except as a balm to the Dalits, who escaped into it, and as a self-help tool for a sliver of the upper classes, who have embraced it the way that some people in the West do. Buddha prefigures many of the themes in the book. A sheltered man, he is moved by his first encounter with suffering, and leaves behind his wealthy family to wander India in the thrall of slowly budding new ideas. He is serene and centered amid violence. He is open-minded and against sects in a Brahmin-dominated society. He calls for a total reinvention of Hinduism—one that becomes its own religion.....

Rizwan said...

Normally I enjoy your program, but this time I didn't even bother listening to his much repeated tripe. Mr. Haqqani is a sick, self-serving man who has prostituted himself to the powers that want to tear down Pakistan, whether ideologically, or on the ground. He is a traitor tp Pakistan. That's my opinion as a US citizen of Pakistani origin, with no ties to the army or government.

Riaz Haq said...

A Troubling Culture War Between #India and #Pakistan as #Hindu Nationalists threaten #Bollywood http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-india-pakistan-film-wars … via @newyorker

is past weekend, the Bollywood production company Fox Star Studios released a long-awaited film, “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil,” by Karan Johar, one of India’s leading directors. Johar has made some of Bollywood’s highest-grossing blockbusters, but less than two weeks ago he was pleading with people to watch his new movie. “Over three hundred people in my crew have put their blood, sweat, and tears into my film,” he said in a video statement, clad in black against a black backdrop. Then Johar promised not to work with talent from India’s neighbor, Pakistan, anymore. “I salute the Indian Army,” he reassured his audience.

The moment was astonishing and chilling, the direct result of criticism from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (M.N.S.), a right-wing Hindu political party. The party and its supporters were angry that Johar had cast the Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in his film. Cinemas in several states said they would not screen the movie. Even more astonishing was that Khan was already well-known in Indian movies. He made his Bollywood d├ębut a couple of years ago, become a heartthrob in India, co-hosted a film-awards show, and, earlier this spring, starred in another Johar film—one of the most popular of the year. What series of events led to Johar vowing not to engage with Pakistani artists?

In the past several years, the cultural collaboration between Pakistan and India has strengthened, with Bollywood stars appearing in commercials aired on Pakistani TV; musicians from both countries collaborating on Coke Studio, a television series featuring live music performances; and Pakistani soap operas gaining a loyal fan base across the border. In 2014, an Indian television channel was launched to air these soap operas. The fandom was large enough that Bollywood started casting Pakistani television stars in movies. Meanwhile, another trend was taking shape in India, a version of nationalism that threatened political dissent. In February, students at Jawaharlal Nehru University, in Delhi, held protests against India’s treatment of Kashmiris, and were met with retaliation by a Hindu-nationalist student group. As the issue widened, police arrested several pro-Kashmir student protesters, even charging one of the leaders with sedition. Government officials of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P.), which is pro-Hindu-nationalist, backed the move, and one leader in particular called for “stringent action” against anyone raising “anti-national slogans,” fuelling the charge against the student protesters. “The B.J.P. discovered for the first time the potency of hypernationalism as a political weapon,” Siddharth Varadarajan, a founding editor of The Wire, an online English publication in India, told me.

A few months later, that hypernationalism was amplified by renewed tensions with Pakistan. During the summer, protests in Kashmir against Indian security forces and Pakistan’s decision to get involved started a crescendo of hostile measures, including an attack on an Indian Army base in Kashmir and a surgical strike by India on Pakistan. The Indian government’s position was firm. “Pakistan is a terrorist state and it should be identified and isolated as such,” India’s home minister, Rajnath Singh, tweeted shortly afterward.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan accuses 8 #Indian diplomats, including RAW station chief in #Islamabad, of spying, #terrorism http://reut.rs/2fH1Fen via @Reuters

Pakistan on Thursday named eight Indian diplomats it accuses of espionage and terrorism, as tension mounted between the nuclear-armed rivals following days of artillery duels and skirmishes on the border dividing the disputed Kashmir region.

The foreign ministry said six Indian embassy staff worked for New Delhi's Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency, while two were operatives for the Intelligence Bureau agency. Their names were leaked to Pakistani media overnight.

In response, India said it "completely rejected the baseless and unsubstantiated allegations" leveled by Pakistan against officials at its high commission in Islamabad.

Rajesh Kumar Agnihotri, a commercial counselor, was named by the Pakistan foreign ministry as RAW's station chief in Islamabad.

The foreign ministry statement gave an eight-point list of the diplomats' espionage activities.

It accused them of fuelling instability in Pakistan's Sindh and Baluchistan provinces, as well as sabotaging its most vital economic project, the $46-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), involving transport and energy infrastructure projects to link China with Pakistan's coast on the Arabian Sea.

They were also accused of liaising with factions of the Pakistani Taliban and of working to damage Pakistan's relations with western neighbor Afghanistan.

It was not immediately clear if the diplomats would be expelled by Pakistan or withdrawn by India, which condemned the publication of their names and images and called on Pakistan to ensure their safety.

Last week, India and Pakistan both expelled one diplomat from each other's embassies, accusing them of spying.

The foreign ministry also said Pakistan had withdrawn six diplomats from its mission in India after Indian media reported they had been involved in spying.

Vikas Swarup, spokesman of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, told a news briefing that Islamabad had withdrawn its diplomats after some were named by the Pakistani embassy worker that it had expelled last week.

The allegations against the Indian diplomats in Islamabad were "an afterthought and a crude attempt to target these officials for no fault of their own", said Swarup, adding that Pakistan's actions added to security risks in the region.

India summoned the Pakistani deputy high commissioner on Wednesday to express its "grave concern and strong protest" over the denouncement of its diplomats in Islamabad.

On the same day, the press wing of Pakistan's military said India had violated a 2003 ceasefire in Kashmir 178 times this year, killing 19 civilians.

Moid A. said...

Just a reminder, Haqqanis were not killing Americans in 80s, they were killing afghans and Russians

The idea that the US govt will look the other way while bunch of favorite jihadis killed thousands of Americans, is ridiculous. The president would be impeached, and army generals court marshaled

Riaz Haq said...

Moid: "The idea that the US govt will look the other way while bunch of favorite jihadis killed thousands of Americans, is ridiculous. The president would be impeached, and army generals court marshaled "

I don't expect Pak Army to tolerate the massacre of Pakistanis by Afghan and Indian proxies while Uncle Sam looks the other way.


As to your fear of what the US will or won;t do, let me just remind you of what Pakistan's favorite liberal Pervez Hoodbhoy said: "Pakistanis can outstare the West:. And ex US Ambassador Ann Patterson said: " The Pakistani establishment, as we saw in 1998 with the nuclear test, does not view assistance -- even sizable assistance to their own entities -- as a trade-off for national security vis-a-vis India".

http://www.riazhaq.com/2016/10/how-will-pakistan-respond-to-terrorist.html

Riaz Haq said...

Shahid Javed Burki Op Ed in Express Tribune


.... Large workers’ migration to the Middle East began in the mid-seventies. This was the time when construction booms began in the countries that had windfall gains in their incomes as a result of the several-fold increase in the price of exported oil. Since that time, I estimate that half a trillion dollars of remittances were sent by the workers to their families who stayed back in Pakistan. The Middle Eastern countries did not allow the workers to bring in their families. They were brought in on limited-time contracts and new recruits replaced those returning. Most of those who came were poor but the money they sent back made it possible for their families to graduate to the middle class status. My guess is that this social transformation involved at least 5 million households or 20 to 25 million people.

Pakistani sociologists need to study this new middle class,in particular their location, aspirations, and demands. K-P province and northern districts of Punjab have a large number of such people. A significant number of them are from the country’s major cities. They form a voter-block unlike any Pakistan has seen in its political history. They don’t have fixed political affiliations. They don’t constitute a reliable vote-bank. Their expectation from the government is that of the satisfactory fulfilment of their basic needs – food, shelter, education, health and transport. Those who meet their aspirations will get their support.

A quick study of the results of the 2013 elections suggests that some 15 million moved away from the People’s Party and were equally divided between the Nawaz League and Tehrik-e-Insaf. However, the beneficiaries must not assume that this was a permanent move. If this social group is unhappy with the substance of governance, it will move on to other places. This is one reason why we are likely to see considerable volatility in the structure of politics in the country.

The rise of the new middle class also has significance for the productive sectors of the economy. With sufficient disposal incomes these people would like to spend on high value agricultural products such as vegetables, fruits, milk products and meat. However, the heavily subsidised agricultural sector under the influence of the old political class is still engaged in producing food grains. This means that in terms of adding value to the economy, agriculture is performing well below its considerable potential. This must change for political as well as economic reasons.

Demographic change is another area of analysis for those who would like to understand Pakistan’s political development. Pakistan has the youngest population among the world’s most populous countries. Since we have not held a census for 18 years, the country’s demographic profile can only be guessed at. I assume that the median age of the population is 23 years which means that some 100 million people are below that age. Youth moves more than those who are older. A large number of them have left their homes and are living in large cities such as Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi-Islamabad. Three-fourths of the populations of these cites is below the age of 25 years. They want good education and training, essential to find well-paying jobs. The Pakistani state has failed in this area which was why for-profit educational institutions in the country have proliferated.

Pakistan is changing fast, a fact that the old political class has not fully understood. It will pay a price for not watching what is happening around it. By the time this comprehension occurs, the country would have moved beyond its grasp.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1222708/understanding-pakistans-new-politics/

Riaz Haq said...

#China's billions are luring other foreign investors to #Pakistan. #CPEC #MergersAndAcquisitions #FDI http://bloom.bg/2fSiinf via @business

Bloomberg

After years of flat direct foreign investment, it has taken China’s pledges of billions to get overseas companies to start looking beyond Pakistan’s negative headlines on security challenges and power outages.

While investment into Pakistan has been little changed in the three years since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was elected, companies including Turkey home appliances maker Arcelik AS and Dutch dairy giant Royal FrieslandCampina NV are making acquisitions in Pakistan.

Along with a military crackdown against militants following a 2014 school massacre and the government’s plans to end power shortages by 2018, it is China’s vote of confidence in the country that has boosted investor confidence. It pledged $46 billion in soft loans and investments in a so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, announced last year.
“Pakistan has turned the tide,” said Mattias Martinsson, the Stockholm-based chief investment officer at Tundra Fonder AB, which holds about $160 million in Pakistani stocks. “The CPEC agreement was probably the trigger for many investors to actively start looking. We all know China does not take short term decisions.”


New power plant projects fueled by Chinese investment are expected to help with Pakistan’s chronic outages and pave the way for investment in other industries. Consumer companies are taking the lead to cater to the world’s sixth largest nation by population.
“If you look at demographic and population, it’s just a great place to be,” said Naz Khan, Chief Financial Officer at Engro Corporation Ltd. whose food subsidiary is being bought by Dutch dairy company FrieslandCampina, which is looking to take a 51 percent stake in a deal valued at about $545 million at the Nov. 4 closing.


Consumer Spending
Consumer spending in Pakistan has increased 83.4 percent in the past five years compared with 48.7 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, according to data by Euromonitor International, a consumer research firm. Its forecasts show Pakistan’s disposable income has more than doubled in six years.
“Its young population, increasingly growing economy, makes it an enticing prospect as a market in the region,” Polat Sen, chief financial officer at Arcelik, said by e-mail. “Pakistan is on the verge of an investment-led growth cycle.”
Arcelik is scheduled to complete its purchase of Pakistan’s home appliance maker Dawlance for $243.2 million this month. It plans to focus on the local market and closely evaluate opportunities in the current export markets of Dawlance, according to Sen.
Pakistan’s government expects the economy to grow at the fastest pace in a decade after completing an International Monetary Fund loan program that averted a balance of payment crisis and boosted foreign exchange reserves to a record level. The economy is expected to grow around five percent annually for the next three years and Arcelik plans to keep its sales growth above that, according to Sen.

----

Pakistan’s automobile sector has also attracted interest with Renault entering exclusive negotiations with Ghandhara and Al Futtaim to develop a brand in Pakistan, a spokeswoman said by phone on Nov. 3. Meanwhile, investments are expected to jump to $5 billion in the year starting July from $1.28 billion in the last fiscal year as power plants come on line, Miftah Ismail, chairman of the nation’s Board of Investment, said in an August interview.
“I think you will also see Pakistan moving more toward merchant markets, you know people coming in and start taking risks," Khan said. “ I think this is just the beginning."

Riaz Haq said...

India’s crackdown in Kashmir: is this the world’s first mass blinding?
A bloody summer of protest in Kashmir has been met with a ruthless response from Indian security forces, who fired hundreds of thousands of metal pellets into crowds of civilians, leaving hundreds blinded. .... Since July, when the killing of a young militant leader sparked a furious civilian uprising across the Kashmir valley, the Indian state has responded with singular ruthlessness, killing more than 90 people. Most shocking of all has been the breaking up of demonstrations with “non-lethal” pellet ammunition, which has blinded hundreds of Kashmiri civilians.....In four months, 17,000 adults and children have been injured, nearly five thousand have been arrested, and an entire population spent the summer under the longest curfew in the history of curfews in Kashmir.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/08/india-crackdown-in-kashmir-is-this-worlds-first-mass-blinding?CMP=share_btn_tw

Anonymous said...

http://www.dawn.com/news/1295150

India withdraws/demonetizes 500 1000 rupee notes to curb black money.

Read the comments.

A leader like Modi backed by Trump and Putin.

Things not looking good for PAkistan!

Riaz Haq said...

World Bank projects 5.4% growth for #Pakistan in Fiscal 2017/18 July 2017-June 2018 #CPEC http://dailym.ai/2g0Yoql via @MailOnline

Pakistan's economy is set to grow by a robust 5.4 percent by 2018 as Chinese investment from a multi-billion dollar infrastructure project flows into the country, the World Bank predicted in a new report Thursday.

The cash-strapped country, for years plagued by a bloody homegrown Taliban insurgency, has been battling to get its shaky economy back on track and solve a chronic energy crisis that cripples its industry.

But now confidence in South Asia's second-biggest economy is growing, with security improving and the International Monetary Fund claiming in October that it has emerged from economic crisis after completing a bailout programme, though it still faces major challenges.

Pakistan recorded a 4.7 percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) for the fiscal year ended June 2016, the highest rate in eight years, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has set an ambitious target of 5.7 percent for the current year.

He is banking on structural reforms, the improved energy sector, taxation -- and China's ambitious $46 billion infrastructure project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), linking its western province of Xinjiang to the Arabian Sea via Pakistan.

The World Bank report appeared optimistic about his plans, predicting even further growth in 2018.

"The pace of Pakistan's economic growth will accelerate to 5.4 percent in fiscal 2018," the Bank report said, observing that a moderate increase in investment mainly related to CPEC projects is expected to contribute to an acceleration of growth.

The Bank also noted Pakistan's efforts to address grinding poverty, including with revised ways to measure it.

"Based on the revised poverty line..., the percentage of people living below the poverty line decreased from 64.3 percent in 2002 to 29.5 percent in 2014," the report said.

Illango Patchamutu, World Bank country director for Pakistan, said the country needs to push forward with deeper structural reforms, and that the World Bank stood ready to support such an agenda.

Riaz Haq said...

#IMF: #Pakistan's Glass Half Full http://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2016/11/10/NA111016-Pakistan-Glass-Half-Full#.WCU4S_84y7U.twitter …

Pakistan: Glass Half Full?
November 10, 2016

Successful program completion points to moment of opportunity
Significant challenges remain ahead
Close partnership to continue through policy dialogue and capacity building
Pakistan’s economy has stabilized from near-crisis circumstances and economic growth has gradually increased under the recently completed three-year economic reform program supported by a $6.15 billion arrangement under the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility.

In an interview, Harald Finger, IMF mission chief for Pakistan, talks about the state of the economy, the challenges ahead, and the next steps for Pakistan.

IMF News : On her recent visit, IMF chief Christine Lagarde spoke about a moment of opportunity for Pakistan. What has Pakistan accomplished over the course of the just completed program, and in what sense is there now such a window of opportunity?

Over the past three years, Pakistan has greatly strengthened the resilience of the economy and began making inroads towards addressing long-standing structural economic challenges. Not everything worked out fully as envisaged, of course, but it is important for us to recognize the program’s achievements. For instance, foreign exchange reserves have tripled, supported by foreign exchange purchases and external borrowing.

The fiscal deficit declined by 2½ percent of GDP (not counting a large payment to clear energy sector arrears just before the program started). This was made possible by removing untargeted energy subsidies that disproportionately benefited the affluent, significantly raising tax revenue through removing exemptions and concessions, and taking a more systematic approach to bringing various economic groups into the tax net.

These measures allowed for an increase in investment spending and social protection. Enrollment in the Benazir Income Support Program has increased by 1½ million families, and stipends were raised by more than 50 percent.

In the energy sector, power outages have gradually decreased and financial performance is strengthening. As a result, accumulation of arrears in the sector has also declined significantly, thereby relieving pressures on the budget. Increased independence of the State Bank of Pakistan has improved the monetary policy framework. A new comprehensive strategy to improve the business climate has been adopted and started to be implemented.

While there have been important achievements, the outlook for economic growth has also turned broadly favorable. Exports and agricultural output have been declining amid a more challenging external environment and appreciating real exchange rate. These are important causes for concern. But private credit growth has been recovering, and strong machinery imports, cement consumption, and gradually rising core inflation also point to firm domestic demand. Moreover, large-scale investment under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is beginning to be implemented.

With the authorities’ accomplishments in strengthening the economy’s resilience and a broadly favorable outlook for growth, the IMF's Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, spoke of a moment of opportunity for Pakistan during her recent visit to Islamabad. She emphasized that now is the time for the country to continue its transition toward becoming a full-fledged emerging market by addressing the remaining challenges and implementing policies for higher and more inclusive growth.

Riaz Haq said...

#India Occupied #Kashmir Is Paralyzed by an ‘Adored’ Band of Just 200 "Militants" fighting for freedom #FreeKashmir

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/world/asia/kashmir-india-pakistan-militants.html?_r=0

Relatively few in number, about 200, roughly half of them from local villages, Hizbul Mujahedeen is the larger of two militant organizations and has widespread support from a populace that has lost faith in dialogue to resolve differences with the Indian government.

“They are adored,” said Sridhar Patil, the head of the regional police in Kulgam district, where crowds have burned a courthouse and a police station. “The younger generation of Kashmir is searching for a good leader, a good role model,” he said, and it has settled, for better or worse, on these young men.

Daily life in Kashmir has come close to a standstill since July, when Indian security forces killed the 22-year-old leader of the local militancy, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, who had attracted a broad following through videos he posted on Facebook and WhatsApp. He started the trend of young, charismatic militants, dressed in military fatigues and carrying assault weapons, revealing their names and faces on social media in efforts to spread their message to a wide audience.

The killing of Mr. Wani touched off four months of violence, including bombings, shootouts and attacks by stone-pelting youths, as well as protests by tens of thousands of people.

In a lengthy interview, the young man’s father, Mohammad Muzafar Wani, said he had tried hard to influence the path of his son, a handsome youth who gelled his hair and changed his outfits twice a day, preferring Western-style T-shirts to traditional kurtas.

But in 2010, three weeks after Burhan and his older brother were beaten up by security forces, the brainy boy who got top grades at school dropped the original plan to train as a doctor and instead joined Hizbul Mujahedeen.

“He was not a small child; I couldn’t have confined him to home,” his father said. “I could have stopped him for a day or two, but not all days.”

The Kashmir police have counted 2,400 clashes since July. Schools remain closed, more than 30 of them burned, and public transportation is almost entirely shut down. The state’s education minister was holed up in his home for days after receiving a threat.

Seventy-six people have been killed in the violence, the police in Kashmir say, while local activists put the toll at closer to 100. At least a thousand protesters have been struck in the eyes by pellets fired by police officers, and some have been blinded.

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpts of World Bank Report "Making Growth Matter" released November, 2016:

http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/935241478612633044/pdf/109961-WP-PUBLIC-disclosed-11-9-16-5-pm-Pakistan-Development-Update-Fall-2016-with-compressed-pics.pdf

The government recently set a new national poverty line that identifies 29.5 percent
of Pakistanis as poor (using the latest available data from FY14). By back casting
this line, the poverty rate in FY02 would have been about 64.3 percent. This means
that poverty has more than halved between FY02 and FY14, even according to this
new and higher metric. The new poverty line was introduced in April 2016 precisely
because of Pakistan's success in reducing poverty over the last decade and a half.
Using the old national poverty line, 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. Other sources of data corroborate this decline—ownership of assets and
dietary diversity also increased over this period. For example, in the bottom income
quintile, motorcycle ownership increased from 2 to 18 percent between FY02 and
FY14. See Section C1.

When poverty declines, it usually coincides with other gains in household welfare.
Throughout the period under review, Pakistan saw substantial gains in welfare,
including the ownership of assets, the quality of housing and an increase in school
enrollment, particularly for girls. First, the ownership of relatively more expensive
assets increased even among the poorest. In the bottom quintile, the ownership of
motorcycles increased from 2 to 18 percent, televisions from 20 to 36 percent and
refrigerators from 5 to 14 percent (see Figure 29). In contrast, there was a decline
in the ownership of cheaper assets like bicycles and radios. Housing quality in the
bottom quintile also showed an improvement. The number of homes constructed
with bricks or blocks increased while mud (katcha) homes decreased. Homes with a
flushing toilet almost doubled in the bottom quintile, from about 24 percent in
FY02 to 49 percent in FY14 (see Figure 30).

Changes in consumption patterns over time were also consistent with the poverty
decline. It is well-known that increases in income are strongly associated with
households spending less of their budget on food, and more on non-food items
(Engel’s law). In Pakistan, the 25 percentage point decline in poverty between FY02
and FY14 was associated with a 10 percentage point reduction in the share of
expenditure devoted to food (see Figure 31).

In Pakistan, the reduction in poverty led to an increase in dietary diversity for all
income groups. For the poorest, the share of expenditure devoted to milk and milk
products, chicken, eggs and fish rose, as did the share devoted to vegetables and
fruits. In contrast, the share of cereals and pulses, which provide the cheapest

calories, declined steadily between FY02 and FY14. Because foods like chicken,
eggs, vegetables, fruits, and milk and milk products are more expensive than cereals
and pulses, and have lower caloric content, this shift in consumption also increased
the amount that people spent per calorie over time (see Table 12). For the poorest
quintile, expenditure per calorie increased by over 18 percent between FY02 and
FY14.

Overall, this analysis confirms that the decline in poverty exhibited by the 2001
poverty line is quite credible, and that Pakistan has done remarkably well overall in
reducing monetary poverty based on the metric it set some 15 years ago.
------

... there is now a considerable body of
research suggesting that the link between food availability and nutritional status is
weak, and is mediated by the ambient disease environment and the quality of water
and sanitation.

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi's #demonetization : #India's GDP growth rate will crash to just 0.5% in 2nd half of FY17 via @forbes

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/11/19/effects-of-demonetisation-on-indias-gdp-difficult-to-calculate-we-dont-even-know-the-sign/#2d23f7744a1a

Ambit Capital, a respected Mumbai-based equity research firm, has officially estimated that the demonetisation-driven cash crunch will result in GDP growth crashing to 0.5% in the second half of financial year 2016-17. This means the GDP growth for six months, from October 2016 to March 2017, could decelerate to 0.5%, down from 6.4% in the previous six months.

Further, Ambit Capital estimates that during the October to December quarter that we are currently in, the GDP growth may contract, thus showing negative growth. However, Ambit is hopeful that a strong formalisation of the informal economy will ensue through 2017 until 2019 and this disruption could also crimp GDP growth in 2017-18 to 5.8 % from their earlier estimate of 7.3%.

-----------

“The demonetisation-driven cash crunch that is playing out in India will paralyse economic activity in the short term. We expect a strong ‘formalisation effect’ to play out as nearly half of the non-tax paying businesses in the informal sector (40% share in GDP) will become unviable and cede market share to their organised sector counterparts. We expect this dynamic to crimp GDP growth in India in FY18 as well and hence we have cut our FY18 GDP growth estimate to 5.8 per cent YoY (from 7.3 per cent),” Ambit economists Ritika Mankar Mukherjee, Sumit Shekhar and Prashant Mittal said in a note.

Riaz Haq said...

Heated exchange between Haqqani, Ishrat over Pak-US ties

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/165794-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 http://www.riazhaq.com/2016/11/cs-wealth-report-2016-average-pakistani.html …

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

Inequality:

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...

#India doesn’t have power to take territory from #Pakistan: Farooq Abdullah. #Kashmir https://goo.gl/rBzDPk via @NewIndianXpress

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2016/nov/25/india-doesnt-have-power-to-reclaim-territory-from-pakistan-farooq-abdullah-1542587.html


SRINAGAR: Amid heightened Indian-Pakistan border tension, Jammu and Kashmir’s former Chief Minister and opposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah has dared Narendra Modi government to reclaim Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) from Pakistan saying it does not have the power to take it back.

“They say in parliament and there is a resolution that PaK is India’s territory,” Abdullah said while addressing party workers in Kishtwar area of Jammu province.

“Arre Tumhare Baap Ka hai kya. Tumhae pass wo takt nahi hai ki tum wo hissa vapas le sako (You don’t have the power to take the territory back),” he said.

Abdullah, who was three-time Chief Minister of J&K, said PaK is presently under the control of Pakistan.

“It is not the personal property of India so that it could make a claim over it like an inherited property of forefathers,” he said adding, “Pakistan is one of the stakeholders of the Kashmir issue, which even India has accepted”.

Stressing the significance of dialogue between New Delhi and all stakeholders in Kashmir and externally with Pakistan, Abdullah said, “Sooner or later, the central leadership will have to talk to Islamabad for lasting peace in the region”.

He said the solution to Kashmir problem lies in a sustained dialogue process and not in military might or aggression on the LoC and the International Border.

Riaz Haq said...

No evidence of #Pakistan's role in fomenting trouble in #Afghanistan, says Gen Petraeus. #Taliban #terrorism https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/166065-No-Pak-role-in-fomenting-trouble-in-Afghanistan-says-Petraeus …

Former US military commander Gen (R) David Petraeus has said that during his long association with his Pakistani counterparts and interaction with ISI as head of CIA, he could never find a convincing piece of evidence which supported the alleged double game by ISI or its explicit support to elements associated with terrorism.

This statement was given by the general while answering a question during an interactive discussion session that was held at Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in the last month during which the commander talked about wide range of issues and challenges likely to be faced by the next US administration.

During the discussion, an Afghan female student from Buckingham University asked the general about the alleged complicity of Pakistan in fomenting trouble in Afghanistan, double role played by ISI and why US was not using its influence to reign in Pakistan. The general gave an elaborate reply and talked for about 7-8 minutes. He said that during his long association with his Pakistani counterparts and interaction with ISI as head of CIA, he could never find a convincing piece of evidence which supported the allegation of double game by ISI or its explicit support to elements associated with terrorism. He said like any other intelligence agency, ISI might have had some sort of communication channels to engage with them and there may have been some degree of accommodation but the talk about explicit support or double game is more of a journalistic conclusion with no concrete evidence. He said that Pakistan Army’s campaign against the Taliban in Swat in 2009 and its subsequent progress in most of the Tribal belt under General Kayani and his successor, General Raheel Sharif, was impressive.

“Pakistan Army suffered casualties and had limited Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities though the US did try to help and there existed enormous amount of cooperation between the two militaries. However, the unfortunate episodes of Raymond Davis and publications of book by Bob Woodward and WikiLeaks did impact negatively on this cooperation”. Petraeus added that he looked hard to establish any linkage between Pakistan Army, FC and ISI with any of the terrorist elements and did not find any supporting evidence. What Pakistani military has not been able to achieve has more to do with its capacity rather than it being complicit. He again said that the popular narrative about ISI double game etc was a journalistic thing. He said that some people refer to Pakistan as FRENEMY but again exact pinning down the blame on Pakistan for attacks on US soldiers in Afghanistan remains ‘very very difficult’.

As regards the leverage, there is a limit to what US can achieve. US did cut of all aid, stopped F-16s but it did not help and the two countries only came together after 9/11. He said that managing its relationship with Pakistan would be among the top two or three challenges for the next administration”. Considering his background as one of the top US military leaders in Afghanistan and Iraq and former head of CIA, comments of General Petraeus against the popular Afghani, Indian and Western propaganda maligning Pakistan Army/ISI is considered very helpful in setting the record straight especially considering the significant attendance of the event by people from various backgrounds. The session was moderated by Sir Peter Ricketts, Senior Association fellow of RUSI.

Riaz Haq said...

Gen (R) David H. Petraeus' remarks on security challenges facing the new US administration at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a British security think tank in London:

"There's no question there's communication between the ISI and various militant groups in FATA and Balochistan (Haqqanis, Taliban, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, etc) but some of it you'd do anyway as an intelligence service.....there may be some degree of accommodation that is forced on them (Pakistanis) because of the limits of their (Pakistan's) forces.... I looked very very hard then (as US commander in Afghanistan) and again CIA director at the nature of the relationship between the various (militant) groups in FATA and Baluchistan and the Pakistan Army and the ISI and I was never convinced of what certain journalists have alleged (about ISI support of militant groups in FATA).... I have talked to them (journalists) asked them what their sources are and I have not been able to come to grips with that based on what I know from these different positions".

Some people say Pakistan is a frenemy...it is just very very difficult to pin down (blame on Pakistan) and it's even more difficult to figure out how to exert leverage that in a meaningful way resolves the issue There was a period when we cut off all assistance (to Pakistan) and ties and held up F-16s that we were supposed to deliver for a while and that did not help our influence there (in Pakistan). It's a very very tough situation and it may be among the top two or three challenges for the new administration right up there with Syria".

https://youtu.be/XcqJt6hHXQc

Riaz Haq said...

#India #economy racing before #Modi removed oxygen of cash. #Demonitization #BJP #achedin http://reut.rs/2g6Ge2J via @Reuters India posted on Wednesday the world's fastest growth rate for a large economy in the September quarter, yet that offered cold comfort after misery inflicted by the government's unexpected move to remove high denomination banknotes from circulation.

Gross domestic product (GDP) INGDPQ=ECI clocked an annual 7.3 percent growth between July and September, faster than 7.1 percent in the previous quarter and higher than China's 6.7 percent.

That impressive headline figure, however, failed to mask the underlying weakness in Asia's third-largest economy.

Not only was the overall growth lower than expected, it was primarily driven by consumer and government spending. Contraction in capital investment deepened.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision this month to scrap 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee banknotes as part of a crackdown on tax dodgers and counterfeiters denting consumer spending, which makes up 55 percent of India's economy, the outlook for upcoming quarters is not encouraging.

In a country where most people are paid in cash, and buy what they need with cash, Modi's decision has removed 86 percent of the currency in circulation virtually overnight. His shock therapy has left companies, farmers and households suffering.

"Post-demonetization the situation is really grim whether you look at any sector or talk to people," said Devendra Kumar Pant, chief economist at India Ratings & Research.

KNOCK-ON EFFECTS

Economists agree the economy will take a hit this quarter and for several quarters to follow. But opinions on the scale of damage vary widely.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley expects a minor impact lasting for a quarter or two. Private economists, however, reckon the impact would be felt through 2018.

The most optimistic forecasts suggest that India will finish this fiscal year in March with a respectable, but slightly lower, growth rate of 7.3 percent.

But the most pessimistic forecast, from Mumbai-based brokerage Ambit Capital, is for a precipitous drop to 3.5 percent growth.

Riaz Haq said...

#US defence bill passed by Congress pledges $900 million economic military aid to #Pakistan in 2017 http://toi.in/ebPBVY via @TOIWorld

The US House of Representatives has passed a defence bill that pledges $900 million in economic and other assistance to Pakistan, a significant portion of which is dependent of a Pentagon certification that the country is taking demonstrable steps against the dreaded Haqqani Network.
The US National Defence Authorisation Act for fiscal year 2017 was passed in the House of Representatives yesterday.
The bill limits the overall amount available for reimbursement to $1.1 billion, of which $900 million is available for reimbursement to Pakistan.
It extends Congressional notification and certification requirements regarding reimbursements to Pakistan. The bill specifies that certain reimbursements to Pakistan are ineligible for a national security waiver unless Department of Defense makes specified certifications regarding the activities of Pakistan with respect to the Haqqani Network.
According to Dawn newspaper, the bill conditions $450 million from this assistance to a certification.
This year the amount was $300 million, which was not released after Defence Secretary Ashton Carter refused to certify in Pakistan's favour.

The bill is schedule for a vote in the Senate next week. Since it is a consensus bill, it is unlikely to face any opposition.
The bill notes that "the United States and Pakistan continue to have many critical shared interests, both economic- and security-related, which could be the foundation for a positive and mutually beneficial partnership."

In a conference report, which combines the House and Senate versions of a legislation, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain had underlined the importance of a continued relationship between the United States and Pakistan.
He noted that the bill "refocuses security assistance to Pakistan on activities that directly support US national security interests".

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan can’t be faulted for #Kashmir unrest: Ex CM Omar Abdullah. #India #Modi

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1252801/pakistan-cant-faulted-kashmir-unrest-omar-abdullah/


With tensions simmering between the two rival states, former chief minister for Indian Occupied Kashmir Omar Abdullah on Saturday said that the unrest in Kashmir cannot be blamed on Pakistan but was a result of mistakes made by New Delhi for not engaging with the people.

“Do not be under this false impression that the fire you see in Kashmir has been ignited by Pakistan. It is a result of our mistakes,” Press Trust of India quoted Omar as saying at a National Conference in Baramulla.

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“To blame Pakistan alone for the political situation or the current unrest in the valley is a distortion of the truth,” he said adding that the people of the Indian Occupied Kashmir had sentiments against the Indian government even when there was no external interference,.

These sentiments, he stated, were a result of the ‘historic blunders and broken promises by successive dispensations’ in New Delhi.

“This political sentiment forms the basis of the state’s special status that has since been eroded by extra-constitutional machinations,” Omar said.

The former chief minister stressed that the current situation was because of the incumbent Indian government’s refusal to even acknowledge that a problem existed in Kashmir.

The statement comes at a time when Pakistan’s Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz is in Amritsar for the Heart of Asia Conference.

Iran willing to mediate on Kashmir

Two days before the conference was due to start, Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup categorically ruled out any possibility of talks between Indian officials and Sartaj on the sidelines of the conference.

Earlier, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit on Wednesday had stated that Islamabad was ready for a bilateral dialogue with Delhi at the Heart of Asia summit.