Monday, September 18, 2017

British-Pakistani Actor Riz Ahmed Makes History by Winning Emmy

Emmy award wins this year by British-Pakistani Rizwan Ahmed and Indian-American Aziz Ansari make the duo the first South Asian men to win the prestigious television academy award . It's the equivalent of Oscars given each year by the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA).

Riz Ahmed
Rizwan Ahmed, an actor, rapper and activist also known as Riz MC, won his Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for HBO’s The Night Of.  The show tackles issues of racism and Islamophobia in the United States.

Riz has seen a meteoric rise starting with films like 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist', ‘Four Lions,’ ‘The Road To Guantanamo’ and more recently the Star Wars Anthology film ‘Rogue One’. In April 2017, Ahmed was featured on the cover of Time magazine as one of its 100 most influential people in the world.

Riz was born in London in 1982 to British Pakistani parents who had migrated from Karachi in 1970s. He is a great grandson of Sir Shah Muhammad Sulaiman, the first British Indian to become the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court during the British Raj. He is a graduate of Oxford University with a degree in PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics). He later studied acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

“It’s always strange reaping the rewards of a story that’s based on real world suffering,” Riz said in his acceptance speech at the Emmy's award ceremony. “But if this show has shown a light on some of the prejudice in our society, Islamophobia, some of the injustice in our justice system, then maybe that’s something.”

In addition to Riz Ahmed and Aziz Ansari as award winners, the Emmy Awards show also featured Pakistani-American Kumail Nanjiani, the star of "The Big Sick", on the red carpet.

Although Riz has begun “inching towards the Promised Land,” he still gets stopped and searched before boarding a plane every time he flies to the U.S., he wrote. One person’s win does not fix “a systemic issue of inclusion,” Ahmed told the Washington Post backstage after the Emmys. “I think that’s something that happens slowly over time.”

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

HBO Comedy "Silicon Valley" Stars Pakistani-American

Pakistanis Make Up Largest Foreign-Born Muslim Group in Silicon Valley

Karachi to Hollywood: Triple Oscar Winning Pakistani-American

Burka Avenger: Pakistani Female Superhero 

Dozen British Pakistanis Elected to UK Parliament

Pakistani-American Ashar Aziz's Fireeye Goes Public

Pakistani-American Shahid Khan Richest South Asian in America

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

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision 

Minorities Are Majority in Silicon Valley 

Pakistani-American Population Growth Second Fastest Among Asian-Americans

The Big Sick

Pakistani-American Diaspora Thriving in America

British Pakistani Singer Zayn Malik

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Pakistan Population Boom; Rohingya Ethnic Cleansing

Is Pakistan's growing population a "disaster in the making"? Is it a bigger disaster than the population bust in Europe and East Asia with their aging societies and shrinking labor force? Where will the investment in education, health and job creation come from in Pakistan to meet the growing population? Is there a demographic dividend with Pakistan's labor force growing faster than the overall population? Will growth in labor force help increase domestic savings rate in Pakistan? What is the relationship between GDP growth and job creation? What is Pakistan's employment elasticity relative to other nations in South Asia?

Source: World Bank Report "More and Better Jobs in South Asia"

Who are the Rohingya? Why are they being attacked, raped, killed and driven out of their homes in Rakhine state? Why is the Myanmar government and its allied Buddhist militias, including monks, burning Rohingya villages? Is it a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing" as described by the UN Human Rights chief? Why is Nobel Peace laureate Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi defending these actions instead of using her authority, at least her moral authority, to end this nightmare for the Rohingya? What is the world doing about t? What can and should Pakistan and other Muslim nations do to help their fellow Muslim Rohingya?

Source: Aljazeera

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses these and other questions with panelists Ali H. Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/ucopTLFQdKY



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Can Pakistan Economy Add 2 Million Jobs a Year?

Where's the Real Population "Disaster in the Making"? Pakistan or West?

Pakistan's Population Growth: Blessing or Curse?

Pakistan's Expected Demographic Dividend

World Bank Report on Job Growth in Pakistan

Underinvestment Hurting Pakistan's GDP Growth

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Musharraf Accelerated Growth of Pakistan's Financial and Human Capital

Working Women Seeding a Silent Revolution in Pakistan



Friday, September 15, 2017

Can Pakistan Economy Add 2 Million Jobs a Year?

About 20 million Pakistanis are expected to enter the labor market over the next 10 years. Can Pakistani economy add jobs at a rate of 2 million a year for the next decade to absorb all new entrants to its work force? What is Pakistan's employment elasticity? How fast must it grow to create these jobs? How much investment is needed to achieve the required growth rate?

Pakistan Labor Market:

Pakistan's work force is about 68 million, according to the World Bank. Its labor force expansion is the 3rd biggest in the world after India's and Nigeria's, according to UN World Population Prospects 2017.  Pakistan's working age population in 15-64 years age bracket is expected to increase by 27.5 million people to 147.1 million in 10 years, according to Bloomberg News' analysis of data reported in UN World Population Prospects 2017.  Pakistan's increase of 27.5 million is the third largest after India's 115.9 million and Nigeria's 34.2 million increase in working age population of 15-64 years old. China's working age population in 15-64 years age group will decline by 21 million in the next 10 years.
Employment Elasticity:

Employment elasticity is a measure of the percentage of new jobs added in the economy for  each percentage point increase in GDP. Employment elasticity of 0.5 means that there is 0.5% growth in jobs for each 1% growth in GDP.

Analysis of the World Bank jobs data shows Pakistan's employment elasticity was about 0.70 in the period from 2000-2010. A little over 5% annual GDP growth enabled the economy to add jobs at a rate of 3.6% a year for the new entrants in the labor market. Since then, Pakistan's GDP growth rate has declined along with a decrease in employment elasticity to about 0.50, according to Asian Development Bank.  The ADB reports says: "With an employment elasticity of GDP growth estimated to be around 0.5, economic growth of at least 7% is required to provide sufficient jobs".

Source: World Bank Report "More and Better Jobs in South Asia"

Savings and Investments:

Rising working age population and growing workforce participation of both men and women in developing nations like Pakistan will boost domestic savings and investments, according to Global Development Horizons (GDH) report. Escaping the low savings low investment trap will help accelerate the lagging GDP growth rate in Pakistan, as will increased foreign investment such as the Chinese investment in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Increased savings and investments will not only enlarge the nation's tax base but also help create more jobs for the expected new entrants into the work force as it did in 2000-2010, according to a World Report titled "More and Better Jobs in South Asia".

Economic Growth Rate:

Historic data suggests that it takes investment of 4% of GDP to achieve 1% GDP growth, a capital to output ratio (COR) of 4, according to Pakistani economist Mohsin Chandna.  This COR ratio will require an investment of 28% of GDP to reach 7% economic growth necessary to create over 2 million jobs a year over the next decade.

Pakistan's current savings rate of around 13% will clearly not be sufficient to get to the goals of 28%. This gap will need to be filled by a combination of increased savings rate and substantial increase in foreign direct investment (FDI).

Rising working age population and growing workforce participation of both men and women in developing nations like Pakistan will significantly boost domestic savings and investment. Increased foreign direct investment such as Chinese investment in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor over the next several decades will help fill the gap between the national savings rate and investments required to reach 7% annual GDP growth to create over 2 million jobs a year.

Summary:

Pakistan needs to create over 2 million jobs over the next decade to absorb new workers entering the labor market. With an employment elasticity of 0.5, it will require 7% annual GDP growth. A combination of increased domestic savings and higher foreign investment flows will be needed for investment of 28% of GDP to achieve the required economic growth for sufficient job creation in the country over the next 10 years.

Here's a discussion on this and other subjects:

https://youtu.be/ucopTLFQdKY



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan's Labor Force Expansion on Saving, Investments and GDP Growth

Pakistan's Population Growth: Blessing or Curse?

Pakistan's Expected Demographic Dividend

World Bank Report on Job Growth in Pakistan

Underinvestment Hurting Pakistan's GDP Growth

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Musharraf Accelerated Growth of Pakistan's Financial and Human Capital

Working Women Seeding a Silent Revolution in Pakistan


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Apple iOS 11 Supports Nastaliq as Default Font for Urdu

Apple today announced iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and a $1000 iPhone X today, the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone launch, at its new Spaceship-shaped headquarter in Silicon Valley.  iOS 11operating system is also being launched along with the new hardware to support many advanced new features for face identification, wireless charging and augmented reality (AR).  In addition, the OS 11 will include nastaleeq font that is popular with Urdu publishers in Pakistan, according to Silicon Valley based Urdu lover and Nastaliq campaigner Mudassir Azeemi.

History of Nastaliq on Apple:

Apple did include nastaliq font in iOS 9 Beta 1 after a persistent campaign by Mudassir Azeemi. Unfortunately, it was later dropped in the released version of iOS X.  But Mudassir continued his efforts which appear to have born fruit with iOS 11 being released this month. Apple will now drop naskh and support only nastaliq in native mode for rendering Arabic, Persian and Urdu languages.


Naskh vs Nastaliq:

Apple today supports naskh font which are used for Arabic, Persian and Urdu. Most Urdu lovers, however, prefer the beauty of nastaliq font. Here's how South Asian writer Ali Eteraz describes the two fonts:

"Looking at the (rendering of the two fonts), the discerning eye may immediately realize why naskh trumps nastaliq on digital devices. With its straightness and angularity, naskh is simply easier to code, because unlike nastaliq, it doesn’t move vertically and doesn’t have dots adhering to a strict pattern. And we all know how techies opt for functionality. Utility being the mother of expansion, naskh is quickly phasing out nastaliq on the web. BBC-Urdu and Urdu Voice of America both use naskh; so does Alarabiya Urdu. And if you want to write an SMS in nastaliq, you must use naskh as well. Same holds true for social media: Facebook, naskh; Twitter, naskh; blogs, naskh."

Use of Image Files:

Nastaliq lovers like Pakistan's Jang Media Group and others have not given up on their preferred script. Instead of using naskh, they have resorted to using uploaded image files for publishing content on their websites.

Other Platforms:

Unfortunately, none of the other operating systems support nastaliq in native mode yet. They all support naskh which is becoming the dominant font for Urdu along with Arabic and Persian. However, Mudassir Azeemi believes that Apple's decision to only support nastaliq in native mode will influence all operating system vendors and social media apps like twitter and Facebook to start using nastaliq as default for Urdu.

Summary:

Apple's decision to drop naskh and include nastaliq as the default font for Urdu, Arabic and Persian is likely to have a major impact on all operating systems and social media platforms. It's welcome news for Urdu lovers like Ali Eteraz and Mudassir Azeemi who have been deeply unhappy with what they describe as "the death of the Urdu script".

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Saving Urdu in its Birthplace

Pakistani-American Foundation Releases Khan Academy's Videos in Urdu

Cemendtaur's Book Launch at Urdu Academy in Silicon Valley

US Mining Urdu Content on Facebook, Twitter

Sesame Street Adapted For Pakistan in Urdu

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Where's the Real Population "Disaster in the Making"? Pakistan or the West?

Multiple western newspaper headlines are screaming of a "disaster in the making" in Pakistan after the latest population census in the country. These headlines beg the following questions:  Is Pakistan's total fertility rate of 2.62 children per woman a bigger disaster than the sub-replacement level of less than 2 children per woman in the West? Are the rapidly aging western societies and declining working population less of a disaster than Pakistan with its younger population and a growing percentage of it in the work force?  To answer these questions, let's consider the following quote:

“So where will the children of the future come from? Increasingly they will come from people who are at odds with the modern world. Such a trend, if sustained, could drive human culture off its current market-driven, individualistic, modernist course, gradually creating an anti-market culture dominated by fundamentalism - a new dark ages.” ― Philip Longman, The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity and What to Do About It

Fear of Population Bomb:

The above quote captures the true essence of the West's racist fears about what some of them call the "population bomb": East will dominate the West economically and politically for centuries if the growing colored populations of developing Asia and Africa turn the West's former colonies into younger and more dynamic nations with rising education and better living standards.

Much of the developed world has already fallen below the "replacement" fertility rate of 2.1.  Fertility rates impact economic dynamism, cultural stability and political and military power in the long run.

Pakistan Population Pyramid by Age/Gender. Source: Theodora via CIA

Pakistan Population Growth:

Pakistani women's fertility rates have declined significantly from about 4.6 in 2000 to 2.62 babies per woman in 2017, a drop of 43% in 17 years.  It is being driven drown by the same forces that have worked in the developed world in the last century: increasing urbanization, growing incomes, greater participation in the workforce and rising education.  Pakistan now ranks 65 among 108 countries with TFR of 2.1 (replacement rate) or higher.

The latest Census 2017 results show that Pakistan's population growth rate has declined to 2.34% between 1998 and 2017, down from 2.61% (from 1981 to 1998) and 3.4% (from 1961-81). Life expectancy has increased from about 62 years in 1998 to 66.5 years now. The total fertility rate has declined from 4.6 children per woman in 1998 to to 2.62 children per woman in 2017.  At the same time, Pakistan's labor force is growing at a rate of 3.6% a year, faster than the 2.34% overall population growth. Given Pakistan's human capital growth in recent years, it is a welcome situation that is expected to produce significant demographic dividend for the country.

Labor Force Expansion:


Pakistan's labor force expansion is the 3rd biggest in the world after India and Nigeria, according to UN World Population Prospects 2017. Rising working age population and growing workforce participation of both men and women in developing nations like Pakistan will boost domestic savings and investments, according to Global Development Horizons (GDH) report. Escaping the low savings low investment trap will help accelerate the lagging GDP growth rate in Pakistan, as will increased foreign investment such as the Chinese investment in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Increased savings and investments will not only enlarge the nation's tax base but also help create more jobs for the expected new entrants into the work force as it did in 2000-2010, according to a World Report titled "More and Better Jobs in South Asia".

Pakistan's Total Fertility Rate 2.62 Children Per Woman. Source: Washington Post 


Source: World Bank Report "More and Better Jobs in South Asia"

Pakistan's working age population in 15-64 years age bracket is expected to increase by 27.5 million people to 147.1 million in 10 years, according to Bloomberg News' analysis of data reported in UN World Population Prospects 2017.  Pakistan's increase of 27.5 million is the third largest after India's 115.9 million and Nigeria's 34.2 million increase in working age population of 15-64 years old. China's working age population in 15-64 years age group will decline by 21 million in the next 10 years.

Source: Bloomberg

Pakistan's labor force growth will continue by adding 80 million workers n 30 years' time, third only to India's 234 million and Nigeria's 130 million additional workers in 15-64 years age group. China's work force will decline by 171 million workers in this time period.

Source: Bloomberg

Savings, Investment and GDP Growth:

Currently, about a third of Pakistan's population is below the age of 15, dependent on working age adults. This high ratio of dependent population results in low savings, low investment and consequent slower economic growth and sub-par socio-economic development.

Pakistan's national savings was about 10% of GDP in 1960s. It increased to above 15% in 2000s in Musharraf years, but declined afterwards. It is well below the savings rates in South Asia region with India's 30%, Bangladesh's 28%, and Sri Lanka's 24.5%.

Higher levels of inequality in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka account at least partially for their higher savings rates than Pakistan's because people in higher income groups tend to save more of what they earn. But the other probably more important reason for Pakistan's lower savings rate is the larger percentage of children under the age of 15 who do  not work and depend on their parents' incomes.

Rising working age population and growing workforce participation of both men and women in Pakistan will boost domestic savings and investments, just as it has in other South Asian nations.

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 along with the economic growth rates.

 United States is currently at 1.87 TFR, below the replacement rate but still better than China and other developed nations mainly due to immigration.  "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.

Summary:

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." Pakistan's labor force growth is forecast to be the 3rd biggest in the world after India's and Nigeria's, according to UN World Population Prospects 2017. Rising working age population and growing workforce participation of both men and women in developing nations like Pakistan will boost domestic savings and investment, according to Global Development Horizons (GDH) report. Escaping the low savings low investment trap will help accelerate the lagging GDP growth rate in Pakistan as will increased foreign investment such as Chinese investment in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor over the next several decades.

Here's a discussion on this and other subjects:

https://youtu.be/ucopTLFQdKY




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan's Labor Force Expansion on Saving, Investments and GDP Growth

Pakistan's Population Growth: Blessing or Curse?

Pakistan's Expected Demographic Dividend

World Bank Report on Job Growth in Pakistan

Underinvestment Hurting Pakistan's GDP Growth

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Musharraf Accelerated Growth of Pakistan's Financial and Human Capital

Working Women Seeding a Silent Revolution in Pakistan

Friday, September 8, 2017

Journalists Murders in India; BRICs Xiamen Declaration; DACA Repeal

Why was Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh murdered? Who killed her? Why are Modi's Hindu Nationalists supporters targeting public intellectuals and journalists critical of Indian government policies? Why has India joined the reporters without borders' list of the world's most dangerous countries for journalists? Why has Muslim become a "derogatory term" in the words of Indian journalist Anoo Bhuyan? How are anti-Muslim Hindutva trolls using the social media to spew hate and issue threats?

Murdered Indian Intellectuals Since 2014: Narendra Dabholkar, M.M. Kalburgi, Gauri Lankesh and Govind Pansare.
Photos: The Hindu, PTI  
Why did China allow BRICs Xiamen Summit declaration to mention some of the "terrorist" groups targeting India over Kashmir issue? Was this a mistake as claimed by some Chinese think tank analysts like Hu Shisheng of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations? How will this impact China-Pakistan ties? Is this a success of Modi's campaign to slander and isolate Pakistan?

What is DACA and why did President Trump repeal it? Is it a wise decision from moral and economic viewpoint? Who will be most affected by it? Are there any Indians and Pakistanis among the DACA recipients? Will Congress act before DACA expiration to legalize the status of DACA beneficiaries?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses these questions with analysts Ali H. Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFIhMCdguD4




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Is Modi Succeeding in Isolating Pakistan?

Impact of Trump's DACA Repeal on Pakistanis

Trump's Afghan Strategy: Will Pakistan Yield to US Pressure?

Why is India Sponsoring Terror in Pakistan?

Karan Thapar Debunks Indian Narrative of Kulbhushan Yadav

Modi's Trolls: BJP's Vicious Attack Machine

Gen Petraeus Debunks Charges of Pakistani Duplicity

Husain Haqqani vs Riaz Haq on India vs Pakistan

700,000 Indian Soldiers vs 10 Million Kashmiris

HIndu Nationalism Going Global

Gall-Haqqani-Paul Narrative on Pakistan

Pakistan-China-Russia vs India-US-Japan

Robert Gates' Straight Talk on Pakistan

India-Pakistan Ties: Who's at Fault For Failing to Resolve Disputes?

India's former foreign secretary Shyam Saran is the latest of a series of ex Indian officials to reveal causes of failures to resolve disputes in India-Pakistan talks in the last two decades.  Mr. Saran was part of the process to resolve Siachin and Sir Creek disputes regarded as "low-hanging fruit".


Similar revelations have been made earlier by former Indian RAW chief A.S. Dulat about the last minute interventions by Indian Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani that resulted in the failure of the Agra Summit between former Pakistan President Musharraf and ex Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee.

Siachin and Sir Creek:

In “How India Sees the World: Kautilya to the 21st Century”, the author Saran recalls the crucial meeting of the CCS (Cabinet Committee on Security) on the eve of India-Pakistan Defense Secretary-level talks in May 2006, where the draft agreement, that had been approved by the Army and other stakeholders, was to be discussed. However, he said two key players, the-then National Security Advisor MK Narayanan and then Army Chief General J.J. Singh made last minute interventions to scuttle the proposal, according to a report in The Hindu newspaper.

“When the CCS meeting was held on the eve of the defense secretary–level talks, [Mr.] Narayanan launched into a bitter offensive against the proposal, saying that Pakistan could not be trusted, that there would be political and public opposition to any such initiative and that India’s military position in the northern sector vis- à-vis both Pakistan and China would be compromised. [Gen] J.J. Singh, who had happily gone along with the proposal in its earlier iterations, now decided to join Narayanan in rubbishing it,” Mr. Saran writes.

Agra Summit Failure:

“This is when L. K. Advani surprised Musharraf by asking for Dawood Ibrahim. This took Musharraf back and a shadow was cast thereafter on the Agra summit.” “As Mr. Mishra put it: “Yaar, hote-hote reh gaya … Ho gaya tha, who toh.”  Ex Indian Intelligence Chief A.S. Dulat

The above quote is from A.S. Dulat who has served as Chief of India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and as Special Director of India's Intelligence Bureau. He was speaking with Indian Journalist Karan Thapar of India Today on a variety of subjects including Kashmir and Musharraf-Vajpayee Agra summit.

Dulat has essentially confirmed the fact that Indian hawks like the BJP leader L.K. Advani are responsible for sabotaging the India-Pakistan summit.

Who's to Blame? 

Revelations by Dulat and Saran have debunked the myth promoted by Indian security analysts, Indian politicians and some western think tanks that regularly blame Pakistan for the failure of past bilateral diplomatic efforts by citing what they believe is the adverse role of Pakistani military in framing Pakistan's policy toward India. This rationale does not explain why the diplomatic initiatives undertaken by Pakistani military leaders from General Zia to General Musharraf have not borne fruit.

Wikileaks on Indian Establishment: 

A more rational explanation for the policy failures has surfaced in secret US embassy cables leaked by Wikileaks and published by The Hindu. After a meeting with India's National Security Adviser and former Indian intelligence chief M.K. Narayanan in August 2009, American Ambassador Timothy Roemer concluded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was isolated within his own government in his “great belief” in talks and negotiations with Pakistan.

Ambassador Roemer said that although Narayanan's hawkish stance on Pakistan was well known, his willingness to “distance himself from his boss (Manmohan Singh) in an initial courtesy call would suggest that PM Singh is more isolated than we thought within his own inner circle in his effort to "trust but verify" and pursue talks with Pakistan particularly in the wake of the hammering his government took from opposition for the July Sharm al-Sheikh statement with (Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza) Gilani.”

Summary:

There have now been multiple revelations by former Indian officials like Shyam Saran and AS Dulat as well as leaked US diplomatic cables detailing the causes of failures to resolve disputes in India-Pakistan talks in the last two decades.  These disclosures thoroughly debunk the myth promoted by Indian security analysts, Indian politicians and some western think tanks blaming Pakistan, particularly the Pakistani military, for the continuing failures to resolve bilateral disputes with India.


Related Links:

Haq's Musings

MQM-RAW Connection 

Ex-Indian Spy Documents RAW's Successes in Pakistan

Has Modi Stepped Up India's Cover War Against Pakistan?

Ex RAW Chief AS Dulat Blames Advani For Agra Summit Failure

Taliban or RAW-liban?

India-Pakistan Cricket Diplomacy

Counter-insurgencyOperation ZarbeAzb

India's Abiding Hostility Toward Pakistan 

India's Israel Envy: Will Modi Attack Pakistan?

Who Killed Karkare?


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Trump's DACA Repeal Could Affect Thousands of Pakistanis in America

There are 3,476 Pakistani beneficiaries of DACA, former President Barack Obama's initiative providing relief from deportation to over a million young people brought illegally in to the United States as children. President Trump's decision announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions today to end DACA in 6 months' time has put the future of these young men and women in doubt.

What is DACA?

DACA is the acronym for President Barack Obama's executive order titled "Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals".  It was issued to stop possible deportations of over a million young men and women after the US Congress failed to pass the "Dreamers Act" that would have given them legal status in the United States.

DACA Beneficiaries:

About 1.3 million DACA applications have been approved as of the second quarter of year 2017, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

While the overwhelming majority of DACA recipients are from Mexico,  the beneficiaries include 7,028 Indians (ranked 12) and 3,476 Pakistanis (ranked 23). There are two other Asian countries of origin among DACA beneficiaries: South Korea ranked 6th with 17,625 and Philippines ranked 10th with 10,099 who arrived in the United States illegally as children.

Mexico tops the countries of origin with 1.2 million DACA recipients, followed by 56,633 from El Salvador at number 2 and 39,258 from Guatemala at number 3. Poland is the only European country of origin. The rest are mostly from South and Central American and Caribbean island nations.

Impact of DACA Repeal:

DACA's repeal could make the beneficiaries of the program immediately eligible for deportation. It could also strip them of their work permits and rescind in-state tuition for undocumented college students. The program also allowed its recipients to obtain social security numbers.

A study issued in January by the CATO Institute – a libertarian think tank – estimated that deporting all 800,000 DACA recipients – also known as DREAMERs – would cost the federal government $60 billion, and reduce economic growth by $280 billion over the next 10 years, according to a report published in India West.

Summary:

It's now urgent for US Congress to act before DACA ends in the next six months. While a permanent fix by Congress to legalize the status of young people who were brought undocumented to the United States is the right long term solution, it is still a bad idea to end DACA over the next 6 month, particularly if Congress fails to act in this period. It's bad not only for the young people affected by it, but also bad for the US economy to lose so much talent and energy in a short amount of time.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

India and China Are the Biggest Source of Illegal Immigration to America

Pakistani Diaspora Thriving in America

New York's Little Pakistan

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

Pakistani-American Stars in "Big Sick" Movie

Pakistani-American Population Growth 2nd Fastest Among Asian-Americans

Silicon Valley Pakistani-Americans

A Dozen British Pakistanis in UK Pariament

Trump and Modi

OPEN Silicon Valley Forum 2017: Pakistani Entrepreneurs Conference

Pakistani-American's Tech Unicorn Files For IPO at $1.6 Billion Valuation

Pakistani-American Cofounders Sell Startup to Cisco for $610 million

Pakistani Brothers Spawned $20 Billion Security Software Industry

Pakistani-American Ashar Aziz's Fireeye Goes Public

Pakistani-American Pioneered 3D Technology in Orthodontics

Pakistani-Americans Enabling 2nd Machine Revolution

Pakistani-American Shahid Khan Richest South Asian in America

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

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision 





Sunday, September 3, 2017

Pakistan: Impact of Labor Force Expansion on Savings, Investments and GDP Growth

Pakistan's labor force expansion is the 3rd biggest in the world after India and Nigeria, according to UN World Population Prospects 2017. Rising working age population and growing workforce participation of both men and women in developing nations like Pakistan will boost domestic savings and investment, according to Global Development Horizons (GDH) report. Escaping the low savings low investment trap will help accelerate the lagging GDP growth rate in Pakistan, as will increased foreign investment such as the Chinese investment in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Pakistan's Total Fertility Rate 2.62 Children Per Woman. Source: Washington Post 


Labor Force Expansion:

The latest Census 2017 results show that Pakistan's population growth rate has declined to 2.34% between 1998 and 2017, down from 2.61% (from 1981 to 1998) and 3.4% (from 1961-81). Life expectancy has increased from about 62 years in 1998 to 66.5 years now. The total fertility rate has declined from 4.6 children per woman in 1998 to to 2.62 children per woman in 2017.  At the same time, Pakistan's labor force is growing at a rate of 3.6% a year, faster than the 2.34% overall population growth. Given Pakistan's human capital growth in recent years, it is a welcome situation that is expected to produce significant demographic dividend for the country.

Source: World Bank Report "More and Better Jobs in South Asia"

Pakistan's working age population in 15-64 years age bracket is expected to increase by 27.5 million people to 147.1 million in 10 years, according to Bloomberg News' analysis of data reported in UN World Population Prospects 2017.  Pakistan's increase of 27.5 million is the third largest after India's 115.9 million and Nigeria's 34.2 million increase in working age population of 15-64 years old. China's working age population in 15-64 years age group will decline by 21 million in the next 10 years.

Source: Bloomberg

Pakistan's labor force growth will continue by adding 80 million workers n 30 years' time, third only to India's 234 million and Nigeria's 130 million additional workers in 15-64 years age group. China's work force will decline by 171 million workers in this time period.

Source: Bloomberg

Savings, Investment and GDP Growth:

Currently, about a third of Pakistan's population is below the age of 15, dependent on working age adults. This high ratio of dependent population results in low savings, low investment and consequent slower economic growth and sub-par socio-economic development.

Pakistan's national savings was about 10% of GDP in 1960s. It increased to above 15% in 2000s in Musharraf years, but declined afterwards. It is well below the savings rates in South Asia region with India's 30%, Bangladesh's 28%, and Sri Lanka's 24.5%.

Higher levels of inequality in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka account at least partially for their higher savings rates than Pakistan's because people in higher income groups tend to save more of what they earn. But the other probably more important reason for Pakistan's lower savings rate is the larger percentage of children under the age of 15 who do  not work and depend on their parents' incomes.

Summary:

Pakistan's labor force growth is forecast to be the 3rd biggest in the world after India's and Nigeria's, according to UN World Population Prospects 2017. Rising working age population and growing workforce participation of both men and women in developing nations like Pakistan will boost domestic savings and investment, according to Global Development Horizons (GDH) report. Escaping the low savings low investment trap will help accelerate the lagging GDP growth rate in Pakistan as will increased foreign investment such as Chinese investment in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor over the next several decades.
Here's a discussion on this and other subjects:

https://youtu.be/ucopTLFQdKY




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan's Population Growth: Blessing or Curse?

Pakistan's Expected Demographic Dividend

World Bank Report on Job Growth in Pakistan

Underinvestment Hurting Pakistan's GDP Growth

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Musharraf Accelerated Growth of Pakistan's Financial and Human Capital

Working Women Seeding a Silent Revolution in Pakistan

Friday, September 1, 2017

Eid ul Azha Observance in Pakistan Transfers Billions of Dollars From Urban to Rural Population

An often overlooked benefit of buying and sacrificing millions of animals during Eid ul Azha celebration is the massive transfer of wealth from relatively rich urban population to the comparatively poor village population.   In other words, it helps create jobs and redistribute wealth to alleviate poverty in a similar way as zakat, taxes and sadaqa (charity) do.  Here's a blog post I wrote last year (2016) on this subject and I am reproducing it below:

Pakistanis are spending about $3.5 billion on Eid ul Azha this year, according to analysts. This includes $2.8 billion worth of livestock and another $700 million on clothes,  shoes, jewelry and various services. This amount represent a huge transfer of wealth from urban to rural population in the country.

Animal Sacrifice:

Eid al Adha commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his most beloved son Ismail (Ismael) when asked to do so by God. It follows Hajj, the annual pilgrimage of Mecca by Muslims from around the world each year. Muslims believe that God had angels remove Ismael from under the knife of blindfolded Abraham and had him replaced by a lamb.

Economic Activity: 

The commemoration includes sacrifice of cows, goats, lambs and camels on Eid al Azha. This year, the media reports indicate that 4 million goats, 2.7 million cows, 800,000 lambs and 30,000 camels are being slaughtered in Pakistan on the occasion.

Using a conservative average price of $600 per cow, $200 per goat or lamb and $800 per camel, the total cost of animals adds up to $2.8 billion. Various services offered by, transporters, butchers and slaughter houses are in addition to this amount.

Apparel Purchases:

The Eid celebration includes buying and wearing new clothes and shoes as well as women's jewelry and other accessories that add up to another $700 million spent in Pakistan.

Charity:

Animal hides and significant amounts of meat are donated to various charities and the poor on Eid. Charities like Edhi Foundation are big beneficiaries of this largesse.

Rural Economy:

Rural residents who raise animals for sale on Eid bring in billions of dollars into the rural economy. These inflows help provide livelihoods and alleviate rural poverty.

Summary:

Eid al Azha this year represents a $3.5 billion worth of economic activity that is generating jobs and helping the charities and the rural residents of the country.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Among Top Meat Consuming Nations

Livestock Revolution in Pakistan

An Indian Farmer Commits Suicide Every 30 Minutes

Pakistan's Rural Economy

Strong Eid Sales in Pakistan

Happy Eid-ul-Azha: Good Hygiene and Humane Treatment of Animals

Ho Kya Raha Hai - Impact of Eid-Ul-Adha on Our Economy - 12th September 2016


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

India Medical Tourism: Pakistanis Spend the Most Per Patient

As Indian medical visas granted to Pakistani patients regularly make headlines in India, it is hard not to conclude that it's all part of a PR campaign by the Hindu Nationalist Modi government in India.

What is often left out of the media stories is the minor detail that Pakistanis pay more to use services of for-profit Indian hospitals than do people of other nationalities for such "humanitarian gestures".

Pakistan is an important and lucrative source of medical tourism dollars in India.  The kind of facilities Pakistanis pay to use in India are not accessible to poor Indian masses who must rely on India's decrepit public health system.

A 2017 report by Indian ministry of commerce and industry says an average Pakistani spends Rs 187,000 on treatment in India. Those from Bangladesh spend Rs 134,000 on an average, followed by those from Commonwealth countries (Rs 125,000), Russia (Rs 104,000) and Iraq (Rs 98,554).

Times of India quoted Manish Chandra of Vaidam medical travel agency as saying: "This is because Pakistani patients mostly come for organ transplants and heart surgeries for children that are costly." In 2015-16, he said, nearly 166 Pakistanis received treatment in India every month. Top Delhi hospitals, which are frequented by foreign nationals, confirmed this.

Most of the Pakistani patients suffering from liver and heart ailments go to major for-profit hospitals in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and other cities, according to TOI. The number of Pakistani patients, however, has seen a sharp drop since February this year when the Indian government decided to stop granting medical visas to retaliate after Pakistan handed out a death sentence to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.  In other words, humanitarian concerns take a back seat to Modi government's policies to assert India's dominance in the region.

The Times of India sums up the situation as follows: India's imposition of restrictions on the issue of medical visas to Pakistanis has not just affected hundreds of patients from across the border but also dealt a body blow to medical tourism in India.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Is India Safe for Medical Tourism? 

Kulbhushan Jadhav

Indians Carry Heavy Disease Burdens

India Leads the World in Open Defecation

WHO Says India Leads the World in TB Cases

Infectious Diseases Kill Millions in South Asia

Infectious Diseases Cause Low IQ

Malnutrition Challenge in India and Pakistan

Hunger: India's Growth Story

Google Baby Boom in India

WHO Report on Medical Tourism in India

Monday, August 28, 2017

Forced Marriages in South Asia: Myth or Reality?

There are frequent accusations of forced marriages in India and Pakistan which are regularly reported in the mass media. These reports elicit a strong emotional response from the society at large. Many such cases end up in violence with families taking the law in their own hands. A few of these cases end up in courts with the judges deciding the fate of such marriages. Let's examine the reality of "forced marriages" in South Asia.

Interfaith Marriages:

Charges of forced marriages are usually leveled mostly against interfaith or inter-caste marriages, particularly when such unions occur without the agreement of the parents on one or both sides.

Accusations of forced marriages are rare for same-faith and same-caste marriages arranged by the parents on both sides, even when these marriages take place without the consent of the bride and the groom.

Kerala Couple Hadiya and Shafin Separated by Indian Supreme Court
Court Case in India:

A recent Kerala case involved a Muslim man Shafin Jahan and a Hindu woman Akhila Ashokan. The two met as fellow students studying medicine in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, and fell in love, according to a report in The Guardian newspaper.

Akhila Ashokan, who prefers to be known as Hadiya, converted to Islam from Hinduism after meeting Shafin, and they married in December 2016. Upon hearing of the union, her "livid father went to the Kerala high court demanding that Hadiya be returned to his custody", according to The Guardian.  Contrary to Hadiya's express wish to stay in her marriage to Shafin,  the court nullified the wedding and forcibly sent her back to her parents' home in Kottayam. When Shafin challenged it in the Indian Supreme Court, the nation's top court upheld the lower court's decision.

Court Case in Pakistan:

An interfaith marriage between Pakistani Hindu woman Anoshi and a Muslim man Bilawal Ali Bhutto was challenged in Islamabad High Court by the bride's father Anand Lal. Lal's lawyer contended that Anoshi had been kidnapped by Bilawal  who forcibly converted her to Islam and married her, according to the Daily Times newspaper.

Anoshi told the court that she converted to Islam by choice. She took the Muslim name Maria and insisted that no one forced her to change her religion. The court directed 40-minute meeting of Anoshi with her parents and her family took place in the office of the Justice Shaukat Siddiqui where he maintained that her decisions to convert to Islam and marry Bilawal was done of her own free will. The court then allowed Anoshi to go with Bilawal and ordered police protection for the couple.

Earlier in 2012, similar charges of forced marriages were dismissed when Faryal (Rinkle Kumari), Hafsa Bibi (Dr Lata) and Haleema Bibi (Asha Kumari) told Pakistan Supreme Court that they wanted to live with their husbands who they said they chose to marry of their free will.

Summary:

Young men and women in India and Pakistan who dare to defy traditions and go against the wishes of their parents to marry outside their faith, tribe or caste face the ire of their near and dear ones. The most common accusations leveled in such cases are those of "kidnapping" and "forced marriage". Such accusations then become fodder of the mainstream media where they are repeated ad infinitum without verification. Some of these cases end up in courts where the outcome depends on the judges own prejudices without regard to the right to freely choose marriage partners. The Indian Supreme Court's recent judgement forcing the separation of Hadiya and Shafin amply illustrates the injustice in such cases.

Related Links:




Saturday, August 26, 2017

Impact of Trump's Afghan Strategy on Pakistan

What is US President Donald Trump's new Afghan strategy? What are its key elements? More troops? No deadlines? Partnership with India? More pressure on Pakistan? Is it really "new" or just a rehash of earlier Bush and Obama era strategies?

How will Pakistan respond to pressure? Has similar or greater pressure worked in the past? Is it likely to work this time? Does Trump administration have more or less leverage with Pakistan than Bush and Obama administrations?

What are Pakistan's legitimate security interests in Afghanistan? Why does Pakistan believe India is using the Afghan soil to launch attacks in Pakistan? What is the way forward in Afghanistan? Can the US military defeat the Afghan Taliban?

What about the emergence of ISIS in Afghanistan? Do Iran and Russia need to be involved in addition to India and Pakistan to stabilize Afghanistan? What will a regional solution look like?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses these questions with special guest United We Reach Chairperson Sabahat Rafiq and regular panelist Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PAU-88asQU&t=339s



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan ISI: The Bogeyman of Afghanistan and United States

What is the Haqqani Network?

Trump's Afghan Strategy: Will Pakistan Yield to US Pressure?

Why is India Sponsoring Terror in Pakistan?

Karan Thapar Debunks Indian Narrative of Kulbhushan Yadav

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