Friday, December 30, 2016

Pakistan Stock Market is the World's Best Performer Over 1 Year & 5 Years

Pakistan's KSE100 (Karachi Stock Exchange 100) index closed the year 2016 as the world's best performing stock market index over one-year and five-year periods, according to data available from Bloomberg. It has not only outperformed India's Sensex index but also the Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets index.

Source: Bloomberg

Pakistan's key index KSE-100 has rocketed up nearly 46% in 2016, far outpacing India's Sensex's 2.57% rise and MSCI emerging market's 8.42% increase. Similarly, over 5 year period, KSE-100 has soared 321% vs India's Sensex rise of 72% and Morgan Stanley emerging market index decline of 7.72%.

Source: Bloomberg

Pakistani stock market gains are driven by multiple factors. Dramatically improved security has brought investors and accelerated the nation's GDP growth. Adding to that is the optimism accompanying Morgan Stanley's decision to bring Pakistan back into its emerging market index that has spurred more buying by foreign index fund managers.

Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal
Other major indicators such as rising cement and energy consumption as well as growing sales of motorcycle and automobiles. A big driver of these improvements is the Chinese commitment of more than $50 billion to finance China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is expected to add over 2 million direct and indirect jobs to Pakistan's economy and boost the country's GDP growth rate to 7.5%.  If all goes well and on schedule, of the 21 agreements on energy– including gas, coal and solar energy– 14 will be able to provide up to 10,400 megawatts (MW) of energy by March 2018. According to China Daily, these projects would provide up to 16,400 MW of energy altogether. In addition, there will be roads, rail tracks and oil and gas pipelines stretching thousands kilometers to connect Pakistan's Arabian sea ports to landlocked Western China.

After years of underinvestment and slow growth, Pakistan is finally seeing a lot of investment and development activity.  Pakistan's economic recovery is in full swing with double digit growth in multiple industries, including auto, pharma, chemicals, cement, fertilizers, minerals, etc.  It is expected to pick up steam over the next several years with new investments on the back of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor related projects. The challenges to sustain this growth ranging are many, among the biggest are continuous improvement in security, maintaining political stability and timely execution of projects.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Investors Undeterred By Modi's Threats to Isolate Pakistan

ADB Raises Pakistan GDP Forecast

Growing Middle Class in Pakistan

Rising Energy Consumption

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Pakistan's Thar Desert Sees Development Boom

Gwadar vs Chabahar Ports

Obama's Parting Shot Against Pakistan

The outgoing administration of lame-duck President Barack Obama has ordered sanctions against seven Pakistani entities for "acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States".

This parting shot by Obama confirms his legacy as an American chief executive most hostile toward the United States' cold war ally Pakistan.

The United States Federal Register has listed the following Pakistani entities on its sanctions list: National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM); three NESCOM subsidiaries: Air Weapons Complex (AWC), Maritime Technology Complex (MTC) and New Auto Engineering (NAE); and Universal Tooling Services. The sanctioned entities are involved in developing missiles and related systems for Pakistani military.

Salala Incident:

Prior to the latest Obama sanctions announcement, the Obama years have seen US-Pakistan relations sink to an all-time low in 2011 when the United States refused to apologize after the US troops killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in an attack on two border posts on Pak-Afghan border. Pakistan responded by cutting off supply routes to NATO troops in Afghanistan. These supply routes were reopened only after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apologized to Pakistan in July 2012.

Pivot to Asia:

As part of the US "pivot to Asia" policy to counter China's rise, President Obama also courted India at the expense of America's cold war ally Pakistan. Mr. Obama visited India twice and never once visited Pakistan during his two terms. The US signed multiple agreements with India, including a nuclear deal and a military logistics deal. At the same time, the United States has pushed for India's inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group while keeping Pakistan out.

Pakistan-China Ties:

With growing distance from the United States, Pakistan has forged closer ties with China culminating in a massive $55 billion Chinese investment in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). If all goes well and on schedule, of the 21 CPEC-related agreements on energy– including gas, coal and solar energy– 14 will be able to provide up to 10,400 megawatts (MW) of energy by March 2018. According to China Daily, these projects would provide up to 16,400 MW of energy altogether. In addition, there will be a network of roads, rail-links and pipeline stretching several thousand kilometers from Pakistani ports on the Arabian Sea to landlocked Western China.

China-Pakistan defense cooperation is also growing with continuing collaboration on development of JF-17 Thunder fighter jets and Pakistan Navy modernization with the addition of nuclear-capable custom AIP submarines.

Pakistan-Russia Ties:

Pakistan ties with its cold war foe Russia have also warmed up. Russia has agreed to invest in building a gas pipeline in Pakistan. Russia has also lifted its arms embargo and agreed to sell attack helicopters to Pakistani military.  The two countries had first-ever joint military exercises in 2016. Recently, Pakistan, China and Russia held a trilateral meeting in Moscow on Afghanistan.

US-Pakistan Ties Under Trump:

Going by President-elect Donald Trump's initial friendly call with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in December 2016, it seems that the US-Pakistan ties are likely to be better, not worse what we have seen in the last 8 years with Washington-Islamabad relations sinking to a new low.


President Obama's two terms in office have seen the cooling of US-Pakistan ties.  In the same period, Pakistan has further cemented its close relations with China and warmed up ties with its cold war foe Russia. Will US-Pakistan ties warm up again under President Trump? Only time will tell.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan-China-Russia vs India-Japan-US

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Is Modi Isolating Pakistan?

Salala Incident Soured US-Pakistan Ties

China-Pakistan Defense Collaboration Irks West

Are Russia and Iran Supporting Afghan Taliban?

Pakistan 2nd Strike Capability

Pakistan Navy Modernization

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Pakistan is the 3rd Largest Source of Foreign Doctors in America

Pakistan is the third biggest source of foreign doctors who make up a third of all practicing physicians in the United States, according to OECD. Vast majority of Muslim doctors in America are of Pakistani origin.

Foreign Doctors in America:

About 30% of the 800,000 doctors, or about 240,000 doctors, currently practicing in America are of foreign origin, according to Catholic Health Association of the United States. Predictions vary, but according to the American Association of Medical Colleges, by 2025 the U.S. will be short about 160,000 physicians. This gap will most likely be filled by more foreign doctors.

Foreign Doctors in US, UK. Source: OECD

Pakistani Doctors in United States:

As of 2013, there are over 12,000 Pakistani doctors, or about 5% of all foreign physicians and surgeons, in practice in the United States.  Pakistan is the third largest source of foreign-trained doctors. India tops with 22%, or 52,800 doctors. It is followed by the Philippines with 6%, or 14,400 foreign-trained doctors. India and Pakistan also rank as the top two sources of foreign doctors in the United Kingdom.

Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan

Dow Medical University of Health Sciences:

There are 3,100 graduates of Karachi's Dow University of Health Sciences, contributing the largest pool of doctors among the 12,000 Pakistani doctors in the United States. About 1,900 are from Lahore's King Edward Medical College and the rest from Karachi's Agha Khan University, Lahore's Allama Iqbal Medical College and other medical colleges in Pakistan, according to Dr. Humayun Chaudhry, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of State Medical Boards in the United States.

Doctor Shortages:

India has six doctors for 10,000 people and Pakistan has eight. The comparable figure for the United States is 25 doctors per 10,000. And yet, the United States continues to import thousands of doctors from these two South Asian nations. Predictions vary, but according to the American Association of Medical Colleges, by 2025 the U.S. will be short about 160,000 physicians. This shortfall will most likely be filled by foreign doctors from countries like India and Pakistan.


Pakistani doctors make up the third largest source of practicing physicians and surgeons in the United States. And more are coming to make up the continuing shortages in spite of the fact that Pakistan has only eight doctors per 10,000 people, only a third of the 25 doctors per 10,000 in the United States. Will this change after President-elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20, 2017? Only time will tell.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Van Jones on "Geniuses from Pakistan"

Obama Honors Pakistani-American Doctor With Top Technology Medal

Hindus and Muslim Well-educated in America But Least Educated Worldwide

What's Driving Islamophobia in America?

Pakistani-Americans Largest Foreign-Born Muslim Group in Silicon Valley

The Trump Phenomenon

Islamophobia in America

Silicon Valley Pakistani-Americans

Pakistani-American Leads Silicon Valley's Top Incubator

Silicon Valley Pakistanis Enabling 2nd Machine Revolution

Karachi-born Triple Oscar Winning Graphics Artist

Pakistani-American Ashar Aziz's Fire-eye Goes Public

Two Pakistani-American Silicon Valley Techs Among Top 5 VC Deals

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Van Jones on Muslims: "Model American Community", "Geniuses from Pakistan"

Here's CNN analyst Van Jones talking about the ill-effects of Islamophobia in America:

"Honestly, if a Muslim family moved next door to you, you would be the happiest person in the world. First of all, the chances of your kids getting into trouble just went way down. OK, went way down.

Because (American) Muslim community has the lowest crime rate, the highest entrepreneurship, the highest educational attainment for women in the country (US). They are the model American community.

And so, when you have people who are now afraid to come here--that's starting to happen--you have geniuses from Pakistan, who are from Indonesia, who now (think to themselves) "I'm not safe here".

That becomes an economic problem for America long term. So that we're starting to do stuff here that doesn't make good sense for what has made us great so far."

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Hindus and Muslim Well-educated in America But Least Educated Worldwide

What's Driving Islamophobia in America?

Pakistani-Americans Largest Foreign-Born Muslim Group in Silicon Valley

The Trump Phenomenon

Islamophobia in America

Silicon Valley Pakistani-Americans

Pakistani-American Leads Silicon Valley's Top Incubator

Silicon Valley Pakistanis Enabling 2nd Machine Revolution

Karachi-born Triple Oscar Winning Graphics Artist

Pakistani-American Ashar Aziz's Fire-eye Goes Public

Two Pakistani-American Silicon Valley Techs Among Top 5 VC Deals

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision 

Minorities Are Majority in Silicon Valley 

Friday, December 23, 2016

India's Demonetization Disaster: Modi Likens Critics to Pakistan

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accused his critics of his demonetization decision of “brazenly standing in support of the corrupt and the dishonest” and equated their criticism with the “firing at the borders by Pakistan in a bid to provide cover to infiltrators”,  according to the Indian media reports.

Diverting Attention:

Modi's attempt to use Pakistan to divert his people's attention from India's internal problems is not new. In fact, it's part of a pattern that seems to work in India. But why is it? What makes so many Indians so gullible? To answer this question, let us look at the following quote from Indian writer Yoginder Sikand's book "Beyond the Border":

"When I was only four years old and we were living in Calcutta (in 1971) was clear that "Pakistan" was something that I was meant to hate and fear, though I had not the faintest idea where and what that dreaded monster (Pakistan) was. What I heard and read about the two countries (India and Pakistan)--at school, on television and over radio, in the newspapers and from relatives and friends--only served to reinforce negative images of Pakistan, a country inhabited by people I necessarily had dread and even to define myself against. Pakistan and Muslim were equated as one while India and the Hindus were treated as synonymous. The two countries, as well as the two communities were said to be absolutely irreconcilable. To be Indian necessarily meant, it seemed to be uncompromisingly anti-Pakistani. To question this assumption, to entertain any thought other than the standard line about Pakistan and its people, was tantamount to treason."

Having been brought up with the misguided notion that Pakistan is evil incarnate, it seems that a large plurality of Indians viscerally hate Pakistan, and also hate anything that is likened to their western neighbor.

Such tactics may serve the politicians well but they do not solve India's long-standing problems that have put Indians among the most deprived people with the world's largest population of poor, hungry and illiterates.

Modi's hasty demonetization decision is also indicative of the rash decision-making by India's Hindu Nationalist leader. It's dangerous for stability in South Asia.

Demonetization Debacle:

Mr. Modi's blunder in hasty demonetization of large Indian currency notes has brought untold suffering to the people of India. The instant removal of 85% of cash from circulation in a cash-based economy has been harshly criticized almost universally by experts around the world.

Morgan Stanley’s Ruchir Sharma has said it's Mr. Modi’s “clumsy exercise of state power” and it won’t achieve its ostensible aim—cracking down on so-called “black money” salted away by tax dodgers, according to Sadanad Dhume's op ed in Wall Street Journal.

Kaushik Basu, a former chief economic advisor to the government of India and former chief economist at the World Bank, has called it “poorly designed, with scant attention paid to the laws of the market.”

Forbes magazine's Steve Forbes has called Modi's demonetization decision "sickening and immoral". Wall Street Journal's editorial page has described it as "India's bizarre war on cash".

Here's an excerpt of how the Economist magazine describes the effects of Modi's "botched" demonetization decision on life and economy of the nation:

"Cash is used for 98% by volume of all consumer transactions in India. With factories idle, small shops struggling and a shortage of cash to pay farmers for their produce, the economy is stuttering. There are reports that sales of farm staples have fallen by half and those of consumer durables by 70%. Guesses at the effect on national output vary wildly, but the rupee withdrawal could shave two percentage points off annual GDP growth (running at 7.1% in the three months to September)".


Prime Minister Narendra Modi's hasty demonetization decision has exposed his rash decision-making style. It has already caused untold suffering for ordinary Indians. Mr. Modi's decision processes have also raised serious questions about the formulation of Hindu Nationalists' Pakistan policy.  Fears of miscalculation by Mr. Modi's inner circle about Pakistan's response to any major provocation could result in serious consequences for the entire region.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Hinduization of India Under Modi

Modi Fudging Indian GDP Figures

Is India Succeeding in Isolating Pakistan?

India's Covert War Against Pakistan

BJP Superpower Delusions and Policy Blunders

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

MPI Reveals Depth of Deprivation in India

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Hindus and Muslims Well Educated in US But Least Educated Worldwide

Are immigrants in the United States or United Kingdom or any other host country truly representative samples of the populations in their places of origin? Are American Hindu or Muslim demographics comparable to those of the countries they left? A recent report done by Pew Research answers these questions with substantial amount of data on educational attainment.

Global Hindus and Muslims:

Hindus are the best educated religious group in the United States. They are followed by Jews in the second place and Muslims at number 3, according to Pew Research. However, both Hindus and Muslims are at the bottom in terms of educational attainment measured across the globe. 41% of Hindus and 36% of Muslims have had no formal schooling. Hindus have the widest gender gap in education among all religions in the world with Hindu women trailing Hindu men by 2.7 years.

US Educational Attainment By Religion:

American Hindus are the most highly educated with 96% of them having college degrees, according to Pew Research.  75% of Jews and 54% of American Muslims have college degrees versus the US national average of 39% for all Americans.  American Christians trail all other groups with just 36% of them having college degrees.  96% of Hindus and 80% of Muslims in the U.S. are either immigrants or the children of immigrants.

US Educational Attainment By Religion Source: Pew Research

Jews are the second-best educated in America with 59% of them having college degrees.  Then come Buddhists (47%), Muslims (39%) and Christians (25%).

Worldwide Educational Achievement By Religion Source: Pew Research Center
Worldwide Educational Attainment By Religion:

Jews with average of 13.4 years of schooling are the most highly educated of all major religious groups in the world, while Muslims and Hindus, with average of just 5.6 years of schooling, are the least educated, according to a Pew Research Center global demographic study.  The global average schooling for the world is 7.7 years.

The number of Hindus with no formal schooling is 41%, the highest of all religions. It's followed by 36% of Muslims with no schooling.

Gender Gap By Religion:

Hindu women trail Hindu men in schooling by 2.7 years, the widest gender gap among all religions. The gender gap between Muslim men and women is 1.5 years while Jews have no gender gap.


Pew research data clearly shows that Hindu and Muslim immigrants in the United States represent crème de la crème of the nations they have come from.  They are much better educated and far more accomplished. They are in no way representative samples of the demographics of their home countries.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistani-Americans in Silicon Valley

Upwardly Mobile Pakistan

Muslims in San Francisco Bay Area

Pakistani Diaspora is World's 6th Largest

What Drives Islamophobia in America?

Karachi-born Triple Oscar Winning Graphics Artist

Pakistani-American Ashar Aziz's Fire-eye Goes Public

Two Pakistani-American Silicon Valley Techs Among Top 5 VC Deals

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision 

Friday, December 16, 2016

International Migrants Day: India Tops Labor Export, Pakistan Ranks 6th

India is the world's largest exporter of labor with 15.8 million Indians working in other countries. Bangladesh ranks 5th with 7.2 million Bangladeshis working overseas while Pakistan ranks 6th with 5.9 million Pakistanis working overseas, according to Pew Research report released ahead of International Migrants Day observance on Sunday, December 18, 2016.

International Migration: 

Countries of Origin of Migrants to the United States Source: Pew Research

Pew Research reports that nearly 3.5 million Indians lived in the UAE, the world’s second-largest migration corridor in 2015. While most of the migration is from low and middle income countries to high-income countries, the top 20 list of migrants' origins also includes rich countries like the United States (ranked 20), United Kingdom (11), Germany (14), Italy (21) and South Korea (25).

Top 25 Sources of Migrants:

Here is the list of top 20 countries of origin for international migrants:

1. India 15.9 million

2. Mexico 12.3 million

3. Russia 10.6 million

4. China 9.5 million

5. Bangladesh 7.2 million

6. Pakistan 5.9 million

7. Ukraine 5.83 million

8.  Philippines 5.32 million

9.  Syria 5.01 million

10. Afghanistan 4.84 million

11. United Kingdom 4.92 million

12. Poland 4.45 million

13. Kazakstan 4.08 million

14. Germany 4.0 million

15. Indonesia 3.88 million

16. Palestine 3.55 million

17. Romania 3.41 million

18. Egypt 3.27 million

19. Turkey 3.11 million

20. United States 3.02 million

21. Italy 2.9 million

22. Burma (Myanmar) 2.88 million

23. Colombia 2.64 million

24. Vietnam 2.56 million

25. South Korea 2.35 million

Declining Labor Pool in Developed Economies: 

The world population is aging with slowing labor force growth. It is particularly true of the more developed nations with aging populations and declining birth rates.  In an recent report titled "Asian Economic Integration Report", the Asian Development argued that migration within Asia can help deal with regional labor imbalances. It said as follows:

"In Asia and the Pacific, many economies could expand their role as the source or host economy for migrant workers.

Labor supply is still growing in developing economies—such as Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, and the Philippines—and they could export labor across the region. In contrast, developed but aging economies such as Hong Kong, China; the Republic of Korea; Japan; and Singapore are unable to meet labor demand with their dwindling workforce.

Hence, these economies would benefit from immigrant labor. Kang and Magoncia (2016) further discuss the potential for migration to reallocate labor from surplus to deficit economies and offer a glimpse of how the demographic shift will frame Asia’s future population structure, particularly the future working age population. Among the issues explored is the magnitude of labor force surpluses and deficits within different economies in Asia."

Pakistan's Growing Labor Force:

Pakistan has the world’s sixth largest population, sixth largest diaspora and the ninth largest labor force with growing human capital. With rapidly declining fertility and aging populations in the industrialized world, Pakistan's growing talent pool is likely to play a much bigger role to satisfy global demand for workers in the 21st century and contribute to the well-being of Pakistan as well as other parts of the world.

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

Pakistan's work force is over 60 million strong, according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics. With increasing female participation, the country's labor pool is rising at a rate of 3.5% a year, according to International Labor Organization.

With rising urban middle class, there is substantial and growing demand in Pakistan from students, parents and employers for private quality higher education along with a willingness and capacity to pay relatively high tuition and fees, according to the findings of Austrade, an Australian government agency promoting trade. Private institutions are seeking affiliations with universities abroad to ensure they offer information and training that is of international standards.

Trans-national education (TNE) is a growing market in Pakistan and recent data shows evidence of over 40 such programs running successfully in affiliation with British universities at undergraduate and graduate level, according to The British Council. Overall, the UK takes about 65 per cent of the TNE market in Pakistan.

It is extremely important for Pakistan's public policy makers and the nation's private sector to fully appreciate the expected demographic dividend as a great opportunity. The best way for them to demonstrate it is to push a pro-youth agenda of education, skills developmenthealth and fitness to take full advantage of this tremendous opportunity. Failure to do so would be a missed opportunity that could be extremely costly for Pakistan and the rest of the world.

Growth Forecast 2014-2050. Source: EIU

In the high fertility countries of Africa and Asia family sizes are continuing to decline. And in low fertility countries family sizes will continue to remain below replacement levels. Why? Because the same juggernaut forces are operating: increasing urbanization, smaller and costly housing, expanding higher education and career opportunities for women, high financial costs and time pressures for childrearing and changing attitudes and life styles.

Source: BBC

Countries With Declining Populations:

115 countries, including China (1.55), Hong Kong (1.17),  Taiwan (1.11) and Singapore (0.8) are well below the replacement level of 2.1 TFR.  Their populations will sharply decline in later part of the 21st century.

 United States is currently at 2.01 TFR, slightly below the replacement rate.  "We don't take a stance one way or the other on whether it's good or bad," said Mark Mather, demographer with the Population Reference Bureau. Small year-to-year changes like those experienced by the United States don't make much difference, he noted. But a sharp or sustained drop over a decade or more "will certainly have long-term consequences for society," he told Utah-based Desert News National.

Japan (1.4 TFR) and Russia (1.6 TFR) are experiencing among the sharpest population declines in the world. One manifestation in Japan is the data on diaper sales: Unicharm Corp., a major diaper maker, has seen sales of adult diapers outpace infant diapers since 2013, according to New York Times.

Median Age Map: Africa in teens, Pakistan in 20s, China, South America and US in 30s, Europe, Canada and Japan in 40s.

The Russian population grew from about 100 million in 1950 to almost149 million by the early 1990s. Since then, the Russian population has declined, and official reports put it at around 144 million, according to Yale Global Online.

Reversing Trends:

Countries, most recently China, are finding that it is far more difficult to raise low fertility than it is reduce high fertility. The countries in the European Union are offering a variety of incentives, including birth starter kits to assist new parents in Finland, cheap childcare centers and liberal parental leave in France and a year of paid maternity leave in Germany, according to Desert News. But the fertility rates in these countries remain below replacement levels.


Overzealous Pakistani birth control advocates need to understand what countries with sub-replacement fertility rates are now seeing: Low birth rates lead to diminished economic growth. "Fewer kids mean fewer tax-paying workers to support public pension programs. An "older society", noted the late Nobel laureate economist Gary Becker, is "less dynamic, creative and entrepreneurial." Growing labor force n Pakistan can not only contribute to Pakistan's prosperity but also help alleviate the effects of aging populations and declining labor pools in more developed economies. I believe that Pakistan's growing population and young demographics should be seen as a blessing, not a curse.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan's Expected Demographic Dividend

Pakistan's Growing Human Capital

Upwardly Mobile Pakistan

Pakistan Most Urbanized in South Asia

Hindu Population Growth Rate in Pakistan

Do South Asian Slums Offer Hope?

How "Illiterate" Are Pakistan's "Illiterate" Cell Phone Users?

Monday, December 12, 2016

India's War Budget to Be World's 3rd Biggest Despite High Poverty

In 2016, India surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia to claim the 4th spot among the top five defense spenders globally for the first time, according to Jane's Defense.  India, a country with 33% of the world's poor, is projected to surpass the United Kingdom to rise to the 3rd spot for defense spending by 2018.

Sources: FT/IHS Jane's (Defense Budgets) and World Bank (Poverty)

India's military spending has grown rapidly from $38.17 billion in 2010 to $50.7 billion in 2016. It is projected to rise further to $56.5 billion in 2018 and $64.07 billion in 2020, according to Jane's.  For comparison, India's south Asian neighbor Pakistan's defense budget for 2016 is only $8 billion.

India's rapid rise to the list of world's top defense spenders stands in sharp contrast to the reality that it remains home to the world's largest population of poor, hungry and illiterate citizens. India also leads the world for lack of hygiene, disease burdens and open defecation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rule has seen dramatic growth of wealth inequality in India. Top 1% of Indians now own 58.4% of India's wealth, up from 49% in 2014 when Mr. Modi was elected Prime Minister, according to Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2016.

Median wealth data compiled by Credit Suisse for 2016 shows that 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.

CS Wealth Report 2016 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.

Share of World's Poor Population By Countries  Source: Our World in Data

Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI)'s MPI, multi-dimensional poverty index, brings together 10 indicators, with equal weighting for education, health and living standards. In South Asia region, Afghanistan has the highest level of destitution at 38%, according to OPHI's MPI index. This is followed by India at 28.5%. Bangladesh (17.2%) and Pakistan (20.7%) have much lower levels.

Rapid growth in India's defense expenditures conveys Prime Minister Modi's priorities. It seems that he believes the way for India to achieve great power status is through building a massive military regardless of the deep deprivations of the Indian people.

Mr. Modi's massive military buildup poses a serious threat to India's neighbors, particularly Pakistan, a much smaller country which was invaded and split in two by the Indian military in 1971.  The Indian invasion resulted in the creation of Bangladesh.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2016

India Massive Military Buildup

Modi's Israel Envy

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

India Leads the World in Open Defecation

MPI Captures Depth of Deprivation in India

Sunday, December 11, 2016

What is Junaid Jamshed's Legacy? Did India Isolate Pakistan at HoA?

What legacy did Junaid Jamshed leave for Pakistan with his untimely and tragic death in PIA PK661 Air Crash in Havelian, KP?  What did Junaid Jamshed's life as a celebrity signify for his fans?  How did his life parallel Pakistan's shift to the right from 1980s to 2000s? What contribution did Junaid Jamshed make to Pakistani music scene? Will Pakistan remember him for his contribution to Pakistani pop music? Or for his transformation into a preacher? Or for his success as an entrepreneur? Or all of the above?

Did Indian Prime Minster Modi and Afghan President Ghani succeed in isolating Pakistan at the Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar, India? Did diplomats from other nations buy what Indian and Afghan said about Pakistan? Why did the Russian diplomat Mr. Zamir Kabulov reject the Indian attempt to hijack the multilateral conference on Afghanistan to use it to attack Pakistan? What have the American commanders, particularly serving General Nicholson and retired General Petraeus, said about external interference in Afghanistan? Who do they blame for the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan? Do they single out Pakistan?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with panelists Ali H. Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (

Did India Isolate Pakistan at HoA What is Junaid Jamshed's Legacy from Ikolachi on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan's Other Story

Pakistan's War is Cultural, not Military!

Coke Studio: Music Drives Coke Sales in Pakistan

Are Iran and Russia Aiding Afghan Taliban?

Gen Petraeus Debunks Charges of Pakistani Duplicity

Husain Haqqani vs Riaz Haq on India vs Pakistan

Impact of Trump's Top Picks on Pakistan

Husain Haqqani Advising Trump on Pakistan Policy?

Gall-Haqqani-Paul Narrative on Pakistan

Pakistan-China-Russia vs India-US-Japan

Robert Gates' Straight Talk on Pakistan

Pakistan Made Airplanes Lead Nation's Defense Exports

Air forces of about a dozen developing nations are buying and deploying Pakistani made aircrafts. The reasons for their choice of Pakistan manufactured airplanes range from lower cost to ease of acquisition, maintenance and training.

Pakistan's Aircraft Exports:

Pakistan started developing defense hardware for imports substitution to reduce external dependence and to save hard currency. Now the country's defense industry is coming of age to lead the way to high value-added manufactured exports.

Pakistan Super Mushshak Trainer Aircraft
Nigerian Air Force is the latest to announce purchase of Pakistan made Super Mushshak aircraft after the United States' refusal to sell to Nigeria, according to American periodical Newsweek.  Nigerian Air Force chief Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar was quoted by the Nigerian media as saying that "Pakistan has accepted to sell ten trainer airplanes. And that is why the Pakistan Chief of Air Staff is coming for the induction ceremony which is going to take place in Kaduna".

Several other countries are in the process of making decisions to purchase aircraft from Pakistan. A report in Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper says that Turkey has decided to buy 52 Super Mushshak trainer aircraft.  The Tribune also reported that Azerbaijan may buy a couple of dozen JF-17 Thunder fighter jets jointly developed by Pakistan and China.

Along with exporting existing hardware, Pakistan is continuing its efforts to enhance the capabilities with new versions. For example, fighter-jet JF-17’s Block III is expected to open up new opportunities for Pakistani defense exports.

The new JF-17 Block III will be a twin-seat trainer version with advanced Active Electronically-Scanned Array radar and mid-air-refueliling probe. It will use new composite materials to increase its performance, besides addition of other updates in cockpit and weapons’ pods, according to Pakistani media reports.

Pakistan-China Defense Industry Collaboration:

Growing defense collaboration between China and Pakistan irks the West, according to a report in the UK's Financial Times newspaper.  The paper specifically cites joint JF-17 Thunder fighter jet, armed drone Burraq and custom AIP-equipped submarines as examples of close cooperation between the two nations.

Pakistan's JF-17 Jet Fighter
Pakistan's bitter experience with the unreliability of its cold war allies as weapons suppliers has proved to be a blessing in disguise. It has forced Pakistan to move toward self-reliance in production of the weapons it needs to defend itself from foreign and domestic enemies.

It all started back in 1965 when the US and its western allies placed an arms embargo on Pakistan during war with India. The bitterness grew stronger when the US forced France to cancel its contract to supply a breeder reactor to Pakistan in 1974 soon after India conducted its first nuclear test.

Khushab Nuclear Reactor:

Fortunately for Pakistan, the French had already given Pakistanis scientists drawings and specifications before canceling the breeder reactor contract. Work on Khushab reprocessing plant stated in 1974 when Pakistan signed a contract with the French company Saint-Gobain Techniques Nouvelles (SGN). In 1978, under U.S. pressure, France canceled the contract. Pakistan then proceeded to indigenously produce its own nuclear breeder reactors at Khushab. Four such reactors are now operating to produce plutonium for Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. Having done its first nuclear test in 1998, Pakistan now has a large and growing nuclear arsenal it needs to deter any enemy adventurism against it.

Babar Cruise Missile:

Since MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) prevented Pakistan from acquiring delivery vehicles from other countries, the country had to develop its own ballistic and cruise missiles to carry nuclear weapons.

The story of Babar Cruise Missile development is particularly interesting. It is believed that Pakistani engineers learned the technology by dismantling and studying a US Tomahawk cruise missile that fell in Pakistani territory when President Bill Clinton fired these missiles to target Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

JF-17 Thunder Fighter:

The development of JF-17, a modern highly capable and relatively inexpensive fighter jet, is the crowning achievement to-date of the Pakistan-China defense production cooperation. It's being deployed by Pakistan Air Force with Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) on recently rolling out the 16th Block 2 JF-17 aircraft for PAF's 4th squadron. The latest version is capable of launching a variety of nuclear and conventional weapons ranging from smart bombs and air-launched cruise missile Raad to anti-ship missiles.

Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) got its start decades ago by setting up maintenance facilities for advanced fighters like French Mirage and US F-16s and by manufacturing Mushshak and Super Mushshak trainer aircraft. It is now also building JF-17s as well as a variety of drones, including combat UAV Burraq being used in Pakistan's war against militants in Waziristan.

Nuclear-Capable AIP Submarines:

Pakistan is expanding and modernizing its underwater fleet with 8 additional AIP-equipped submarines. Four of these subs will be manufactured in Pakistan.  These will reportedly be custom versions of Yuan class diesel-electric subs with additional wider tubes from which cruise missiles can be launched. A key requirement for  these submarines is to be stealthy—and the AIP-equipped Yuan class is indeed very quiet. The trick is in the submarine’s air-independent propulsion fuel cells, which provide power under the surface as the diesel engines—used for running on the surface—rest and recharge. Though relatively limited in range, this system is quieter than the nuclear-powered engines on American and Russian submarines, which must constantly circulate engine coolant.

Arms as Pakistan's Cottage Industry

Pakistan has a long history of arms manufacturing as a cottage industry. The dusty little town of Darra Adam Khel, only a half-hour drive from Peshawar, reminds visitors of America's Wild West. The craftsmen of this town are manufacturers and suppliers of small arms to the tribal residents of the nation's Federally Administered Tribal Areas who carry weapons as part of their ancient culture. The skilled craftsmen of FATA make revolvers, automatic pistols, shotguns and AK-47 rifles. Until five years ago, the list also had items such as anti-personnel mines, sub-machine guns, small cannons and even rocket launchers. Pakistani government has forced the tribesmen to stop making heavy assault weapons to try and prevent the Taliban and Al Qaeda from getting access to such weapons.

Pakistan's arms industry has come a long way from making small arms as a cottage industry in the last few decades. The US and Western arms embargoes imposed on Pakistan at critical moments in its history have proved to be a blessing in disguise. In particular, the problems Pakistan faced in the aftermath of Pressler Amendment in 1992 became an opportunity for the country to rely on indigenous development and production of defense equipment.

Pakistan's Military Industrial Complex

The country now boasts a powerful industrial, technological and research base developing and manufacturing for its armed forces a wide variety of small and large weapons ranging from modern fighter jets, battle tanks, armored vehicles, frigates and submarines to armed and unarmed aerial vehicles and high tech firearms and personal grenade launchers for urban combat. Some of these items were on display at IDEAS 2014, the 5-day biennial arms show held November 2014 in Karachi, Pakistan.


A country can not be truly independent unless it can manufacture the arms it needs to defend itself. Pakistan is just starting to build the weapons it needs but it has a very long way to go.  At the same time, Pakistan is starting to export defense hardware to developing nations.  This goal can only be achieved if Pakistan develops significant human capital and builds a vibrant economy.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan-China Defense Industry Collaboration Irks West

Pakistan Navy Modernization

IDEAS 2014 Arms Show

Pakistan Defense Industry

Silicon Valley Book Launch of "Eating Grass"

Pakistan's Human Capital

Pakistan Economy Nears Trillion Dollars

Pakistan's Sea-Based Second Strike Capability

Friday, December 9, 2016

Christine Fair's Anti-Pakistan Rants: Unfair? Unhinged?

Carol Christine Fair is an associate professor at the Center for Peace and Security Studies (CPASS), part of Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She has only recently wised up to the opportunity to profit from sale of books attacking Pakistan in India, the world's third largest and currently the fastest growing market for books written in the English language.

Fair on India's Secret War in Pakistan:

Before writing and promoting "Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army's Way of War", a virulently anti-Pakistan book, Dr. Fair said this in 2009:

"Having visited the Indian mission in Zahedan, Iran, I can assure you they are not issuing visas as the main activity! Moreover, India has run operations from its mission in Mazar (through which it supported the Northern Alliance) and is likely doing so from the other consulates it has reopened in Jalalabad and Qandahar along the border. Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Baluchistan".

Former US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has essentially confirmed Fair's above statement when he said: "India has always used Afghanistan as a second front against Pakistan. India has over the years been financing problems in Pakistan".

On what basis did Chuck Hagel make the statement about India's use of Afghan territory to attack Pakistan? Was he, too, just another victim of conspiracy theories? Off course not. Secretary Hagel had the benefit of intelligence briefings by the CIA given to him in multiple capacities: first as US Senate Intelligence committee member and then as US Defense Secretary.

Fair is Self-Proclaimed "Rambo B**ch":

In recent years, Christine Fair has become a strong advocate of continuing the disastrous neoconservative policies that found favor in former President George W. Bush's administration after 911 terrorist attacks.

Fair has  called herself a "Rambo B**ch"; she supports US military interventions around the world; she encourages India's hawkish Hindu Nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi to invade Pakistan.

In a Facebook post, Fair called Pakistan “an enemy” and said “We invaded the wrong dog-damned country,” implying the U.S. should have invaded Pakistan, not Afghanistan, according to Salon magazine.

In another Facebook post, Fair insisted that “India needs to woman up and SQUASH Pakistan militarily, diplomatically, politically and economically.” Both India and Pakistan are nuclear states.

Fair Supports US Drone Killings:

Fair strongly supports the US drone killing program that has been questioned even by senior US military commanders who have served in Afghanistan. One such commander is General Michael Flynn who has now been picked by President-elect Donald Trump as his national security advisor.

“When you drop a bomb from a drone… you are going to cause more damage than you are going to cause good,” remarked Michael T. Flynn. The retired Army lieutenant general, who also served as the U.S. Central Command’s director of intelligence, says that “the more bombs we drop, that just… fuels the conflict.”


C. Christine Fair's anti-Pakistan rants show that she is a warmonger masquerading as a serious scholar.  She calls herself a "Rambo B**ch".  She wants both US and India to invade Pakistan knowing that all three countries have nuclear weapons. She strongly supports US drone killings which, in the words of General Michael Flynn, "fuel the conflict".

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Modi's Covert War in Pakistan

India is World's Fastest Growing Book Market

Are Iran and Russia Supporting Taliban in Afghanistan?

Gen Petraeus Debunks Allegations of Duplicity Against Pakistan

Gall-Haqqani-Paul Narrative on Pakistan

Pakistan-China-Russia vs India-US-Japan

Robert Gates' Straight Talk on Pakistan

Monday, December 5, 2016

Are Russia & Iran Supporting the Afghan Taliban to Defeat ISIS?

While Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were ganging up to bash Pakistan at the recent Heart of Asia conference in the Indian city of Amritsar,  General John Nicholson,  the US commander in Afghanistan, was accusing Iran and Russia of supporting the Afghan Taliban. Russian diplomat Zamir Kabulov's recent comments in India appear to give credence to the American charge of Moscow's collaboration with the Taliban.

Russian Reaction at "Heart of Asia":

Reacting to the Indian leader's speech at Heart of Asia conference, Ambassador Zamir Kabulov, the veteran Russian diplomat attending the Amritsar conference, said as follows: “We understand all concerns of India about your western neighbor (Pakistan)…But we cannot combat (terrorism) efficiently and productively and eliminate (it) without the cooperation of Pakistan. We need their cooperation and they should realize their importance and responsibility.”

Russian Policy Shift on Taliban:

Ambassador Kabulov has described the Taliban as a “predominantly a national military-political movement”. “It is local, Afghanistan-based. They believe that they should have, from their perspective, fair share in the government of Afghanistan…They should talk and deal in their local context”. But Daesh (ISIS) “as an international organization is really dangerous”. “If you recall, young Taliban under the influence of Al-Qaeda in 1994, their rhetoric was very similar to today’s Daesh rhetoric”.

Mr. Kabulov's comments reveal the following conclusions that underpin the Russian policy shift in South Asia region:

1. Moscow now believes that the presence of ISIS (Daesh) in Afghanistan is a much bigger threat to  Russia's soft underbelly in the former Soviet republics of  Central Asia.

2.  The Afghan Taliban are an effective force to check the growth and spread of ISIS in Central and South Asian nations.

3.  Pakistan's cooperation is critical to help defeat ISIS in the region.

Russian Warning to India:

Russia believes that blunting ISIS in Afghanistan is a much bigger project than stopping the Taliban. 

Here's what Kabulov said: “Some people may say, and I remember some Indian officials in the recent past were believing that Daesh is something which is not an immediate threat to India as it’s an Afghanistan maybe Central Asia or Orient problem, but not India. But now, your leadership realized that Daesh is bigger than the Afghan branch of Syria-Iraq Daesh, it’s an international network which is not centralized. A centralized ideology but not organization."

Kabulov said that India had to be alert as Daesh is often active where there is a large Muslim population. “They (ISIS) will spread themselves all over. We see first signs of Daesh in Bangladesh. You have very big Muslim community in your country which is maybe target of Daesh. That makes the risk of threat common for all of us. It is better to deal and cope with this issue when it’s small. Don’t wait for it to become big”.

Iran's Support of the Taliban:

Iranian official have not acknowledged their cooperation with the Afghan Taliban. However,  frequent Iran visits of former Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor came to light when he was killed in a US drone strike on May 21, 2016.

According to various media reports, Mansoor's passport indicated that he had been in Iran since April 26, 2016. He had also traveled there for several weeks in February and March of 2016.

Pakistan's Support of the Afghan Taliban:

General David Petraeus, former CIA director and commander of US troops in Afghanistan, has said there is no evidence of Pakistan playing a double game and supporting terrorists in Afghanistan. Petraeus' remarks are now particularly significant given the fact that he is on a short list of President-Elect Donald Trump's nominees for Secretary of State.  He was answering a question posed to him at a presentation at Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a British security think tank based in London.

Here's part of Gen Petraeus' response: "I looked very very hard then (as US commander in Afghanistan) and again as 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 (as US commander and CIA director)".

Gen Petraeus did acknowledge that "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." He added that "there may be some degree of accommodation that is forced on them (Pakistanis) because of the limits of their (Pakistan's) forces."


US has accused Russia and Iran of supporting the Afghan Taliban. Russia has rejected Indian and Afghan criticism of Pakistan at the recent Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar. Ambassador Zamir Kabulov has warned India that the spread of ISIS presents a much bigger threat to Afghanistan and South Asia region than the Afghan Taliban. He has said Pakistan's cooperation is critical in defeating ISIS in the region. 

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Mullah Mansoor Akhtar Killing in US Drone Strike

Gen Petraeus Debunks Charges of Pakistani Duplicity

Husain Haqqani vs Riaz Haq on India vs Pakistan

Impact of Trump's Top Picks on Pakistan

Husain Haqqani Advising Trump on Pakistan Policy?

Gall-Haqqani-Paul Narrative on Pakistan

Pakistan-China-Russia vs India-US-Japan

Robert Gates' Straight Talk on Pakistan