Saturday, March 31, 2018

India-Pakistan Nuclear Arms Race

Why has Pakistan developed and successfully tested nuclear-capable MIRV (Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicles) and SLCM (Submarine Launched Cruise Missile)? How do these additions to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal enhance its nuclear deterrence against India? Was Pakistan forced into these technologies by India's development of anti-ballistic missiles and nuclear triad? How will India respond to these developments? Does India have multiple warhead missiles under development?

Indian Children's Book Cover. Source: New York Times
Why has Pakistan developed tactical nuclear weapons like short-range Nasr missile? Can't Pakistan use its conventional armed forces to effectively deter India's plans under its Cold Start Doctrine (CSD)? What is Pakistan's New Concept of War Fighting (NCWF) Doctrine? Would Pakistan be able to mobilize its conventional forces rapidly? Would Pakistan army, air force and navy be able to coordinate their response under NCWF Doctrine?

Why is India waging a proxy terror war in Pakistan? Why does western government officials' and western media's public narrative completely ignore the reality that has been privately unofficially acknowledged by some American and Indian insiders?

What are the chances of India and Pakistan talking peace? Has Pakistan been an obstacle to peace with India? Can Kashmir issue be set aside for India and Pakistan to have better ties?  Are Pakistanis ready for a peace deal with India?

Why do analysts like Christine Fair see similarities between India's BJP party and America's Ku Klux Klan (KKK)? Why is Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as being like a KKK Grand Wizard? Why is Nazi leader Adolf Hitler promoted as an "inspirational leader" in an Indian children's book? Why do Hindu Nationalists include Hitler among world leaders who have “devoted their lives for the betterment of their country and people.”

Does India under Nazi-loving Hindu Nationalist Modi pose a serious threat to peace in South Asia and the rest of the world? Could Hindutva fanaticism spark an India-Pakistan nuclear war?  Are India's ruling Hindu Nationalists overconfident and reckless enough to start a war against Pakistan? What do independent and Indian analysts think about the conventional strengths of the two militaries?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/3BT2rgFbkZA




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

India-Pakistan Ties: Who's at Fault?

700,000 Indian Soldiers vs 10 Million Kashmiris

Why is India Sponsoring Terror in Pakistan?

Ex RAW Agents Blame Kulbhushan Jadhav For Getting Caught

Pakistan's Conventional Deterrence Against India

Pakistan's Nuclear Triad

Islamophobia Going Mainstream

Christine Fair Compares India's BJP with America's KKK

Hindutva-Nazi Alliance

Hindutva Going Global

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

Viewpoint From Overseas Channel 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Boom in Pakistan's $152 Billion Retail Market

Surging demand for fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) in Pakistan is attracting hundreds of millions of dollars of new investments. Expanding middle class, particularly millennials with rising disposable incomes, is demanding branded and packaged consumer goods ranging from personal and baby care items to food and beverage products.  Rapid growth in sales of consumer products and services is driving other sectors, including retail, e-commerce, paper and packaging, advertising, media, sports and entertainment. Planet Retail estimates Pakistan's current retail market size at $152 billion. It is forecast to expand 8.2% a year through 2016-2021 as average disposable income has doubled since 2010, according to research group Euromonitor International as reported by Bloomberg News.

New FMCG Investments:

Dutch consumer giant Unilever has announced plans to invest $120 million to expand its operations in Pakistan. Turkish multinational Hayat Kimya has said it will invest $150 million to manufacture consumer products in the country. Earlier in 2016, Dutch dairy giant FrieslandCampina acquired 51 % of Karachi-based Engro Foods Limited for $220 million.

Rapid growth in sales of consumer products and services is driving other sectors, including retail, e-commerce, paper and packaging, advertising, media, sports and entertainment.

Retail Sales:

Rising incomes of Pakistanis are reflected in the retail sales growth which is ranked the fastest in the world.  Planet Retail estimates Pakistan's current retail market size at $152 billion. It is forecast to expand 8.2% a year through 2016-2021 as disposable income has doubled since 2010, according to research group Euromonitor International as reported by Bloomberg News. The size of the middle class is expected to surpass that of the U.K. and Italy in the forecast period, it said.

Retail Sales Growth. Source: Bloomberg


E-Commerce:


Online sales are growing much faster than the brick-and-mortar retail sales. Adam Dawood of Yayvo online portal estimates that e-tail sales are doubling every year. He expects them to pass $1 billion in the current fiscal year (2017-18), two years earlier than the previous forecast. This is being enabled by increasing broadband penetration and new online payment options. Ant Financial, an Alibaba subsidiary, has just announced the purchase of 45% stake in Pakistan-based Telenor Microfinance Bank. Bloomberg is reporting that Alibaba is in serious talks to buy Daraz.pk, an online retailer in Pakistan.

Advertising Revenue:

Growing buying power of rapidly expanding middle class in Pakistan drove the nation's media advertising revenue up 14% to a record Rs. 76.2 billion ($727 million), making the country's media market among the world's fastest growing for FY 2015-16, according to Magna Research.  Half of this ad spending (Rs. 38 billion or $362 million) went to television channels while the rest was divided among print, outdoor, radio and digital media. `

Global Advertising Growth 2016. Source: Magna

Digital media spending rose 27% in 2015-16 over prior year, the fastest of all the media platforms. It was followed by 20% increase in radio, 13% in television, 12% in print and 6% in outdoor advertising, according to data published by Aurora media market research

Mass Media Growth:

Advertising revenue has fueled media boom in Pakistan since early 2000s when Pakistan had just one television channel, according to the UK's Prospect Magazine. Today it has over 100. This boom has transformed the nation. The birth of privately owned commercial media has been enabled by the Musharraf-era deregulation, and funded by the tremendous growth in revenue from advertising targeted at the burgeoning urban middle class consumers.

Sports and Entertainment:

Sports and entertainment sectors are major beneficiaries of increasing advertising budgets. Commercial television channels' shows and serials are supported by advertisers. A quick look at Pakistan Super League 2018 matches reveals that all major consumer brand names are either directly sponsoring or buying advertising from broadcasters.  These ads and sponsorship have turned PSL into a major business producing tens of millions of dollars in revenue to support cricket in Pakistan.  Last year, Pakistan Cricket Board's budget was over $40 million and a big chunk of it came from PSL. This year, the PSL chairman Najam Sethi estimates the PSL franchise valuation is approaching half a billion US dollars with potentially significant revenue upside.

Downsides of Consumer Boom:

There are a couple of downsides of the consumer boom. First,  a dramatic increase in solid waste. Second, rising consumption could further depress Pakistan's already low private savings rate.

FMCG products come with a significant amount of plastic and paper packaging that contribute to larger volume of trash. This will necessitate a more modern approach to solid waste disposal and recycling in Pakistani towns and cities. An absence of these systems will make the garbage situation much worse. It will pose increased environmental hazards.

Pakistan's savings rate is already in teens, making it among the lowest in the world. Further decline could hurt investments necessary for faster economic growth.

Summary: 

Pakistan's $152 billion retail market is the fastest growing in the world, according to Euromonitor.  Expanding middle class, particularly millennials with rising disposable incomes, is demanding branded and packaged consumer goods ranging from personal and baby care items to food and beverage products. Strong demand for fast moving consumer goods is drawing large new investments of hundreds of millions of dollars.  Rapid growth in sales of consumer products and services is driving other sectors, including retail, e-commerce, paper and packaging, advertising, media, sports and entertainment. Potential downsides of soaring consumption include increased amount of  solid waste and decline in domestic savings and investment rates.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Retail Sales Growth

Advertising Revenue in Pakistan

Pakistan FMCG Market

The Other 99% of Pakistan Story

PSL Cricket League Revenue

E-Commerce in Pakistan

Fintech Revolution in Pakistan

Mobile Broadband Speed in Pakistan

Sunday, March 25, 2018

New US NSC Impact on South Asia; US-China Trade War; Afghan Talks Offer

Why were Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Advisor General HR McMaster fired? Why is there so much turnover is US National Security Council and White House staff? How will the selection of Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State and John Bolton as National Security Advisor impact policies vis-a-vis Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea? Will pressure on Pakistan ease? Is US military action against Iran more likely? Will the situation in Middle East further deteriorate?



Why has President Trump imposed heavy tariffs on Chinese imports? Will China retaliate with its own tariffs on US products? Will there be a trade war? Will it hurt global financial markets? How will it impact US, Chinese and other major economies? Could it spark a global recession?

Why has Afghan President Ashraf Ghani invited the Taliban for talks? Does Pakistan have any influence on the Taliban? Will the Taliban accept the invitation?

 Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/8KFHrS_EQqY





Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Policy Impact of Trump's Key Appointments

Will Pakistan Yield to Trump's Pressure?

China Pakistan Educational, Scientific, Cultural and Economic Ties

Afghan-Pakistan Ties

Iran-Pakistan Ties

Talk4Pak Youtube Channel

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Bumper Crops And Soaring Credit Drive Pakistan's Tractor Sales Boom

First seven months of the current fiscal year have seen tractor sales soar 45% to 38,173 units, according to data of the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association. It is driven by a combination of soaring credit availability and bumper harvests of Pakistan's top three crops by area: wheat, cotton and rice.

Tractor Sales:

First seven months of the current fiscal year have seen tractor sales soar 45% to 38,173 units, according to data of the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association. This is good news for Pakistan's tractor industry that has been in slump for several years as the agriculture output was stagnant.

Pakistani farmers use tractors for a variety of usual tasks ranging from tilling and planting to harvest and transport. Tractor owners recover their costs from more efficiently working their farms and renting out equipment when they are not in their own use.

Agriculture Credit Growth:

Pakistani banks provided Rs 500 billion (nearly $5 billion) worth of agricultural credit during the first seven months, July-January period, of current fiscal year.  It represents a 45% jump from the same period last year, according to media reports.

According to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), commercial banks, specialized banks, Islamic banks, domestic private banks, microfinance banks and other microfinance institutions have together disbursed Rs 499.645 billion during the period under review, up Rs. 351.358 billion in the same period of last fiscal year.

Top Three Crops:

Wheat output is expected to be near all time high of 26 million tons. Cotton production is forecast to exceed 11.5 million bales, up from 10.6 million bales last year.

Source: FAO via Kleffmann Group

Pakistan rice exports have reached 2.59 million tons worth US$ 1.224 billion in the first 7 months, up from 2.27 million tons worth US$.961 Million last year,  recording growth of 27% in value and 14% quantity.

Pakistan ranks among the world's biggest producers of a variety of crops including wheat, cotton, rice, corn, sugarcane, onions, chickpeas and fruits, according to Food and Agriculture Organization Stats (FAOSTAT).

Crops vs Livestock:

Livestock farming contributes 53% while crops make up about 42% of Pakistan's agriculture output. The rest comes from fishing and forestry.



Pakistani livestock sector has growing much faster than the crop sector and more recent estimates show its contribution has increased to 56.3% of the value of agriculture and nearly 11% to the agricultural gross domestic product (AGDP). It's driven by growing domestic demand for meat and dairy products.

Crop Yields:

Pakistan's crop yields are comparable to India, among the lowest in the world, according to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) data.

Source: FAO via Kleffmann Group

World's highest crop yields are seen in Europe while the lowest are in Africa.

Maize, Potato, Rice and Wheat Yields in Hectograms/Hectare. Source: FAOSTAT

Value Added Agriculture: 

Livestock revolution enabled Pakistan to significantly raise agriculture productivity and rural incomes in 1980s. Economic activity in dairy, meat and poultry sectors now accounts for just over 50% of the nation's total agricultural output. The result is that per capita value added to agriculture in Pakistan is almost twice as much as that in Bangladesh and India.

Although Pakistan's value added to agriculture is high for its region, it has been essentially flat since mid-1990s. It also lags significantly behind developing countries in other parts of the world. For example, per capita worker productivity in North Africa and the Middle East is more than twice that of Pakistan while in Latin America it is more than three times higher.

CPEC Long Term Plan:

Beyond the current phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) focus on energy and infrastructure projects, there is a long term plan that deals with modernizing Pakistan's agriculture. CPEC LTP outlines a more comprehensive effort involving the entire supply chain from agriculture inputs like  seeds, fertilizer, credit and pesticides to logistics such as storage and transportation systems.

Summary:

Pakistan ranks among the world's top producers of a number of major crops including wheat, cotton and rice. Soaring tractor sales are being driven by a combination of  rising credit availability and bumper harvests of major crops in the country this year. But the farm productivity and yields are still among the lowest in the world. CPEC LTP (long term plan) offers hope of significant improvements in agriculture sector to reach its full potential.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Value Added Agriculture in Pakistan

Agribusiness Drawing Investors to Pakistan

China Pakistan Economic Corridor

An Indian Farmer Commits Suicide Every 30 Minutes

Pakistan's Rural Economy

Pakistan World's 5th Largest Motorcycle Market

The Other 99% of the Pakistan Story

Monday, March 19, 2018

In Memory of UC Berkeley's Pakistani-American Professor Saba Mahmood (1962-2018)

Dr. Saba Mahmood, professor of anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, passed away on March 10, 2018.  She was only 56 years old when her life was cut short by pancreatic cancer.  She is survived by her husband Professor Charles Hirschkind and son Nameer Hirschkind. Born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1962, she came to the United States in 1981. She received her PhD in anthropology from Stanford University in 1998 and taught at the University of Chicago before coming to the University of California at Berkeley in 2004.

Professor Saba Mahmood. Photo Credit: Annette Hornischer
She lived only a few miles from where I live in Silicon Valley. But I was not lucky enough to get to know her personally. However, I developed immense respect for her based on her work, particularly her scholarship on secularism, feminism and Islamophobia in the post-911 world. Mahmood was the lone author of Religious Difference in a Secular Age: A Minority Report (2015) and Politics of Piety: the Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject (2005), which won the Victoria Schuck Award from the American Political Science Association. She co-authored Is Critique Secular? (2011) and co-edited Politics of Religious Freedom (2015). She wrote several papers and articles related to her field of study. Examples include “Feminist Theory, Agency, and the Liberatory Subject: Some Reflections on the Islamic Revival in Egypt” and  “Cultural Studies and Ethnic Absolutism: Comments on Stuart Hall’s ‘Culture, Community, Nation’".

Mahmood was a student of Dr. Talal Asad, Pakistani-American professor of anthropology at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center. Talal is the son of Austrian-born Muhammad Asad (born Leopold Weiss) who served as Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations in 1952.

In discussing her book “Is Critique Secular? Blasphemy, Injury, and Free Speech” published  in 2009 when the Danish cartoons controversy was raging, Mahmood said that “struggles over religious difference cannot simply be settled by the heavy hand of the law.”  Adding that she was “puzzled by the fact that the kind of injury expressed by ordinary pious Muslims did not find any voice in the polemical debates in either the Islamic or the European press”.  She asked if it was because the “religiosity expressed by most Muslims in response to the Danish cartoons was incommensurable with the language of rights, litigation, and boycotts that came to dominate the debate.”

Mahmood saw many contradictions in modern secular governance. In spite of its claim to religious neutrality, the secular state does not hesitate to regulate and manage religious life in a way that is historically unprecedented.

Mahmood wrote that “the rights of minorities are actually framed by the norms of the larger community; it’s against those norms that minoritarian claims are judged and contested, and that is where the idea of religious liberty and freedom of expression as an individual right remains inadequate to grasping the situation.”  She saw the French ban on Muslim veil  being upheld in courts on a very similar reasoning that there is a freedom of religion but the public expression in the form of wearing the veil contradicts the national secular norm.

In a 1999 paper titled "Feminism, the Taliban and the Politics of Counterinsurgency" she co-wrote with her husband Charles Hirschkind, the couple criticized American feminists for focusing on Taliban's excesses while ignoring the US complicity in creating the miserable conditions for Afghan women. Here's an excerpt from it:

"The Feminist Majority's narrow focus on Taliban rule, and its silence regarding the channeling of US aid to the most brutal and violent Afghan groups (of which the Taliban were only one), seemed to cast an ominous shadow on the integrity of its campaign. At the very least it raised the question why conditions of war, militarization, and starvation were considered to be less injurious to women than lack of education, employment, and, most notably, Western clothes. The Feminist Majority's silence on these issues was coupled with a highly selective and limited representation of Afghan life under Taliban rule, one that filtered out all information that might contribute to a more nuanced understanding of Afghan women's situation."

As a Muslim woman born and raised in Pakistan, Dr.  Saba Mahmood's research and scholarship brought her unique perspective to the academic discourse on secularism, minority relations and the study of religion in the West. Her voice will be badly missed! May her soul rest in eternal peace!! Amen!!!

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistani-American Astrophysicist Dr. Nergis Mavalvala in Silicon Valley

Pakistani Woman Leads World Economic Forum's Gender Parity Program

Yet Another For Malala

Hindu Dalit Woman Elected to Pakistan Senate

Pakistani-Americans Make Up Silicon Valley's Largest Foreign-Born Muslim Group

Out-of-the-Box Thinking of Muslim Students at Berkeley

2017: The Year Islamophobia Went Mainstream

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Pakistan Day: The Other 99% of the Pakistan Story

As Pakistanis celebrate the 78th anniversary of the Lahore Resolution of 1940 on March 23 this year, it's time to ask the following questions: How is Pakistan doing? What is the reality? How is it perceived?

The worst 1% of the Pakistan story gets 99% of the media coverage, says Lahore-based Pakistani entrepreneur Monis Rahman. In the same vein, former US President Bill Clinton has said this about the media coverage of the continent of Africa: "Follow the trend lines, not the headlines".

So what is the other 99% of the Pakistan story that gets little or no media attention? What are the trend lines that are missed by those just relying on the headlines? Let's try and enumerate these:

1. Pakistan's economy has crossed the trillion dollar mark in terms of purchasing power, according to the IMF. It is among the world's top 25 largest economies. It is also the world's third fastest growing among the trillion dollar plus economies.

2. Pakistanis have consistently ranked higher than their neighbors on the United Nations World Happiness Index since it began producing annual reports in 2011.  Pakistan rose from 80th place in 2017 to 75th place this year while all of its neighbors slid from last year's happiness rankings.   Bangladesh dropped 5 spots to 115 while India slid 11 places to 133 among 156 nations ranked.  China (86), Bhutan (97), Iran (106), Bangladesh (115), and Sri Lanka (116), India (133) and Afghanistan (145) all fared worse than Pakistan (75).

3. The share of national income of Pakistan's poorest 20% of households has increased from 8.1% to 9.6% since 1990 , according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (NESCAP) Statistical Yearbook for 2015.  It's the highest share of income for the bottom income quintile in the region.

4. Pakistan is the world's fastest growing steel producer. Steel production in Pakistan jumped 39.3% to 5 million tons last year, according to World Steel Association. Earlier, Pakistan steel industry ramped up its output from 2.9 million tons in 2015 to 3.6 million tons in 2016. Steel demand in Pakistan is currently about 10 million tons a year and growing at 25-30% a year. Half of it was met by local production while the rest was imported in 2017. Pakistani production capacity is growing at 40%, faster than 25-30% growth in demand.

5. Pakistan's public spending on education has more than doubled since 2010 to reach $8.6 billion a year in 2017, rivaling defense spending of $8.7 billion. Private spending on education by parents is even higher than the public spending with the total adding up to nearly 6% of GDP. Pakistan has 1.7 million teachers, nearly three times the number of soldiers currently serving in the country's armed forces.

6. There are over 3 million students enrolled in grades 13 through 16 in Pakistan's 1,086 degree colleges and 161 universities, according to Pakistan Higher Education Commission report for 2013-14.  The 3 million enrollment is 15% of the 20 million Pakistanis in the eligible age group of 18-24 years.  In addition, there are over 255,000 Pakistanis enrolled in vocational training schools, according to Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA).

7. Pakistan has emerged as the country with the highest percentage of Highly Cited Papers compared with the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) in the last 10 years, according to Thomson Reuters. Pakistan has done so despite the fact that its "R&D environment faced substantial economic challenges". 

8. In 2014, Pakistan became the first Asian country and only the third in the world after Turkey and Serbia to be honored with CERN's associate membership. The status of associate member is a step before full membership. As an associate member, Pakistan  is entitled to attend open and restricted sessions of the organization.

9. Rising numbers of working women are bringing about a silent social revolution in Pakistan. World Economic Forum's gender parity program is led by Saadia Zahidi from Pakistan.  In her book "50 Million Rising", Saadia talks about her father being the first in his family to go to university. He believed in girls' education and career opportunities. She recalls him suggesting that "my sister could become a pilot because the Pakistan Air Force had just starting to train women. Another time he speculated that I could become a news anchor because Pakistan Television, the state-owned television network, had started recruiting more women".  

10. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related projects are transforming the least developed regions of Pakistan. Energy and infrastructure projects are changing the face of vast regions of Balochistan, rural Sindh, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Gigit-Baltistan (GB) and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (KPK).

11. 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.

12. Rising incomes of Pakistanis are reflected in the retail sales growth which is ranked the fastest in the world.  The market is forecast to expand 8.2% a year through 2016-2021 as disposable income has doubled since 2010, according to research group Euromonitor International as reported by Bloomberg News. The size of the middle class is estimated to surpass that of the U.K. and Italy in the forecast period, it said.

13. Pakistan is the 5th largest motorcycle market in the world after China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. With 7,500 new motorcycles being sold everyday, Pakistan is also the among the world's fastest growing two-wheeler markets. Passenger car and motorcycle sales in Pakistan are both soaring at rates of over 20% a year.

14. There are over 50 million broadband subscribers in Pakistan. Over a million new subscribers are being added every month, putting Pakistan among the biggest and fastest growing mobile broadband markets in the world. 

15. Pakistan's tourism industry, currently estimated at $20 billion (6.9% of GDP in 2016), is booming, according to data available from multiple reliable sources. World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts it to grow to over $36 billion within a decade.   Significantly improved security situation has helped boost annual tourist arrivals in Pakistan by 300% since 2013 to 1.75 million in 2016, while domestic travelers increased 30% to 38.3 million, according to the state-owned Pakistan Tourism Development Corp.  Hotel bookings increased 80 percent in 2016, according to Jovago, Pakistan’s biggest hotel booking website.

Summary:

As Pakistanis celebrate 78th anniversary of the Lahore Resolution passed on March 23, 1940, the key trend lines for their country continue to be very positive.  Resilient people of Pakistan are overcoming multiple challenges stemming from the continuing war in Afghanistan and India's abiding hostility. Pakistanis are defying all the prophecies of doom and gloom and thriving against all odds. Pakistan's trillion dollar economy is among the top 25 largest in the world. Rising disposable incomes are reflected in Pakistan being the world's fastest growing retail market. The increasing share of income of the bottom 20% of households puts Pakistan among the less unequal countries in the world. Pakistan is indeed rising. 

Here's a video titled "Pakistan Rising or Falling? Myth vs Reality"

https://youtu.be/XDima7JSxKs




Related Links:







Wednesday, March 14, 2018

World Happiness Report 2018: Pakistan Jumps 5 Places to 75 Among 156 Nations

Pakistanis are happier than all of their neighbors, according to the World Happiness Report 2018. Pakistan rose from 80th place in 2017 to 75th place this year while all of its neighbors slid from last year's happiness rankings.

Comparison With Neighbors:

Bangladesh dropped 5 spots to 115 while India slid 11 places to 133 among 156 nations ranked.  China (86), Bhutan (97), Iran (106), Bangladesh (115), and Sri Lanka (116), India (133) and Afghanistan (145) all fared worse than Pakistan (75).

The United Nations' Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s (SDSN) 2018 World Happiness Report has ranked 156 countries based on criteria including per capita income, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.

The top of the happiness list is dominated by Western Europeans and North Americans while the bottom-ranked nations are mainly from sub-Saharan Africa.

Foreign-Born Residents:

The report ranks nations by happiness of immigrants in over 100 countries. Of the 12 countries with populations exceeding 100 million, only three have foreign-born population shares exceeding 1% – Japan at 1.7%, Pakistan at 1.9% and the United States at 15%.  United States ranks 15th, Japan 25th, Pakistan 75th and India 91st among 117 nations on this list.

In the typical country, immigrants are about as happy as people born locally. (The difference is under 0.1 point out of 10). This is shown in Figure 1.2. However the figure also shows that in the happiest countries immigrants are significantly less happy than locals, while the reverse is true in the least happy countries. This is because of the second finding.

Changes in Pakistan: 

What accounts for Pakistan's improved happiness ranking this year over last year? The report doesn't answer this question. However, given the measurement criteria, it is likely a combination of accelerating income growth and significantly improved security.

Karachi, one of world's fastest growing megacities, has seen its crime index ranking improve dramatically from 6 in 2013 to 50 in 2017, according to a survey of 327 world cities conducted by Numbeo.  Karachi was ranked 47 in 2016.  Reduction in violence is helping revive Pakistan's economy, making it the third fastest growing trillion dollar economy among the top 25 world economies by purchasing power parity.

Comparison to Major Cities:

Creek Vista, Karachi, Pakistan
In South Asia region, Karachi, now ranked 50, is safer than Bangladeshi capital Dhaka ranked 18 and the Delhi suburb of Gurgaon ranked 40.  Delhi is ranked 60, Lahore 138, Mumbai 160 and Islamabad 226.

Karachi is also safer than American cities of Detroit, MI (17),  Baltimore, MD (20), New Orleans, LA (21), Albuquerque, NM (27), St. Louis, MO (30) Oakland, CA (33) and Milwaukee, WI (46).

The year 2013 marked the beginning of the deployment of Pakistan Rangers in Karachi to fight rampant extortion, terrorism and violence by armed gangs patronized by some political parties.  Evidence suggests that some of the politicians involved had links to Indian intelligence.

Impact on National Economy: 

Reduction in violence in Karachi is helping revive Pakistan's economy, making it the third fastest growing trillion dollar economy among the top 25 world economies by purchasing power parity.

In a recent article titled "Pakistan Keeps Terrorists on the Run and Economy on a Roll", leading Japanese publication Nikkei Asia Review reported from Karachi that the negative perception of "terrorism, corruption, misrule" are "becoming  outdated, and businesses are taking notice... thanks to sweeping operations by the army and a powerful paramilitary force".  Here's a more extended excerpt of the Nikkei story:

"The Pakistan Rangers, a paramilitary law enforcement organization overseen by the military and the Interior Ministry, set out to tackle the violence head-on. In 2013, the Rangers Sindh -- which operate in Sindh Province, including Karachi -- mobilized 15,000 troops. The provincial legislature granted them broad powers to search homes and make arrests, enabling them to quickly turn the tide. In 2017, there were zero bombings and only five kidnappings, according to Saeed, who serves as director general of the Rangers Sindh. This is no small feat in a city with a swelling population of 17 million -- perhaps even 20 million if migrants from rural areas are factored in. "We destroyed all of the terrorists' pockets," he said, adding that hotel occupancy rates are over 90%."

Summary: 

Pakistanis are happier than all of their neighbors, according to the World Happiness Report 2018. Pakistan rose from 80th place in 2017 to 75th place this year while all of its neighbors slid from last year's happiness rankings.

What accounts for Pakistan's improved happiness ranking this year over last year? The report doesn't answer this question. However, given the measurement criteria, it is likely a combination of accelerating income growth and significantly improved security.

Karachi, one of world's fastest growing megacities, has seen its crime index ranking improve dramatically from 6 in 2013 to 50 in 2017, according to a survey of 327 world cities conducted by Numbeo.  Last year, Karachi was ranked 47. Reduction in violence is helping revive Pakistan's economy, making it the third fastest growing trillion dollar economy among the top 25 world economies by purchasing power parity.  As the country's largest city and its financial capital and economic hub, a safe and healthy Karachi bodes well for Pakistan's future. The Pakistani military has played a crucial role in securing the nation's future by bringing peace to Karachi.

Here's a video of a Karachi mall:

https://youtu.be/KeKmj28m2-c



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistanis Happier Than Neighbors

Karachi Safety Ranking Rising

Gangs of Karachi

Gangster Politicians of Karachi

Karachi is World's Fastest Growing Megacity

Karachi's Human Development Index

Pakistan Rising or Failing: Reality vs Perception

Pakistan's Trillion Dollar Economy Among top 25

CPEC Myths and Facts

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Globalization Index: How Connected is Pakistan?

Pakistan ranks 32nd in breadth and 99th overall among 140 countries in terms of globalization, according to DHL Global Connectedness Index compiled by professors at NYU Stern School of Business and IESE Business School. Pakistan ranks 137 on depth and 32 on breadth among 140 countries as measured in 2015.  Pakistan's neighbor India ranks 133 on depth and 21 on breadth. The report blames relatively higher breadth than depth on poor levels of regional integration, depressed in particular by the animosity between South Asia’s two largest economies, India and Pakistan.

Four Pillars of Globalization: 

The index is based on international flows of trade, capital, information and people. The index measures the parameters on depth and breadth. Depth evaluates the extent to which countries' international flows are distributed globally or more narrowly focused, while breadth compares countries' international flows to the sizes of their domestic economies.

Pakistan Globalization Ranking. Source: DHL/NYU Report 
Pakistan ranks 137 on depth and 32 on breadth among 140 countries as measured in 2015.  Pakistan's neighbor India ranks 133 on depth and 21 on breadth. The lowest ranked countries on the depth dimension are Iran, Bangladesh, Burundi, Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, and Egypt.

South Asia Lags in Globalization:

The DHL report says that South and Central Asia region lags across nearly all aspects of global connectedness. This region ranks last on depth and third from last on breadth. Furthermore, its relatively higher breadth than depth is a reflection of the poor levels of integration within the region, depressed in particular by the animosity between South Asia’s two largest economies, India and Pakistan.

SAARC or CAREC Regional Integration: 

Pakistan sits between two economically very dynamic regions: Central Asia (and Western China) and South Asia. Which region is better suited for its economic connectivity and integration? Should Islamabad focus on CAREC (Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation) rather than SAARC (South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation)?

Ideally, Pakistan should be a major player in both vibrant regions. However, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policy of attempting to isolate Pakistan has essentially forced it to choose.

First, Mr. Modi decided to boycott last year's SAARC summit that was scheduled to take place in Islamabad, Pakistan. Then, he unsuccessfully attempted to hijack the BRICS economic summit in India to use it as a political platform to attack and isolate Pakistan.  The signal to Pakistan was unmistakable: Forget about SAARC.

Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC):

CAREC is a growing group of nations that is currently made up of 11 members, including China and a list of STANs.   The current membership includes Afghanistan (joined CAREC in 2005), Azerbaijan (2003), People's Republic of China (1997), Georgia (2016), Kazakhstan (1997), Kyrgyz Republic (1997), Mongolia (2003, Pakistan (2010), Tajikistan (1998), Turkmenistan (2010) and Uzbekistan (1997).



The 2016 ministerial meeting of CAREC nations was held in Islamabad. The conference theme was “Linking connectivity with economic transformation".

Welcoming fellow ministers, Pakistan's then Finance Minister Ishaq Dar talked about the importance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to improve trade flow within the region and with the rest the rest of the world.

Dar said CPEC offered a massive opportunity for connectivity between Central Asia, Middle East and Africa and was bound to play a defining role in economic development of the regions. Dar said improving the transport corridor was not an end in itself but it was an investment in establishing sound infrastructure and complementary frameworks for shared prosperity of the present and future generations in the region, according to a report in Pakistani media.

CAREC Corridors:

CAREC region is building six economic corridors to link Central Asian nations. Six multi-national institutions support the CAREC infrastructure development, including the Asian Development Bank (ADB), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank,  Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction & Development, according to Khaleej Times.

Out of the total $27.7 billion CAREC infrastructure investment so for, $9.9 billion or 36 per cent was financed by ADB, a senior officer of the Manila-based multinational bank told Khaleeej Times.

He said other donors had invested $10.9 billion while $6.9 billion was contributed by CAREC governments. Of these investments, transport got the major share with $8 billion or 78 per cent. Asian Development Bank Vice President Wencai Zhang said: "There are huge financing requirements in Carec for transport and trade facilitation, for which 108 projects have been identified at an investment cost of $38.8 billion for the period 2012-2020. Investment for the priority energy sector projects will be $45 billion in this period."

CPEC North-South Corridor:

China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a major part of the north-south corridor that will allow trade to flow among CAREC member countries, many of which are resource-rich but landlocked nations. The corridor will enable the group to access to the Pakistani seaports in Gwadar and Karachi as part of the new maritime silk route (MSR) as envisioned by China and Pakistan.

Pakistan's Finance Minister Dar says the CPEC would complement the regional connectivity initiatives of CAREC. "Once the six CAREC corridors and mega ports, now under construction, start operating, they will provide access to global markets. They will deliver services that will be important for national and regional competitiveness, productivity, employment, mobility and environmental sustainability. All of us should gear our national policies to achieve these targets."

CPEC consists of transport and communication infrastructure—roads, railways, cable, and oil and gas pipelines—that will stretch 2,700 kilometers from Gwadar on the Arabian Sea to the Khunjerab Pass at the China-Pakistan border in the Karakorams.

China and Pakistan are developing plans for an 1,800 kilometer international rail link from the city of Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in Western China to Pakistan's deep-sea Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea, according to Zhang Chunlin, director of Xinjiang's regional development and reform commission.



 "The 1,800-kilometer China-Pakistan railway is planned to also pass through Pakistan's capital of Islamabad and Karachi," Zhang Chunlin said at the two-day International Seminar on the Silk Road Economic Belt in Urumqi, Xinjiang's capital, according to China Daily.

"Although the cost of constructing the railway is expected to be high due to the hostile environment and complicated geographic conditions, the study of the project has already started," Zhang said. "China and Pakistan will co-fund the railway construction. Building oil and gas pipelines between Gwadar Port and China is also on the agenda," Zhang added.

Afghan Instability:

Pakistan is making a serious effort to stabilize Afghanistan, a member of CAREC. Trilateral conferences of China, Russia and Pakistan support this effort. Afghan instability has prevented Pakistan from connecting with other STANs for commerce and trade. Now the development of CPEC will enable Pakistan to bypass Afghanistan, if necessary, to connect with Central Asia region through Western China.

Summary:

Pakistan ranks 32nd in breadth and 99th overall among 140 countries in terms of globalization, according to DHL Global Connectedness Index compiled by professors at NYU Stern School of Business and IESE Business School. Pakistan ranks 137 on depth and 32 on breadth among 140 countries as measured in 2015.  Pakistan's neighbor India ranks 133 on depth and 21 on breadth. The report blames relatively higher breadth than depth on poor levels of regional integration, depressed in particular by the animosity between South Asia’s two largest economies, India and Pakistan.

History shows that growth of regional and global trade in East Asia, Europe and North America regions has been a major driver of economic opportunity and prosperity.  Unfortunately, SAARC has been a huge disappointment for Pakistanis.  With the development of CPEC and CAREC, Pakistan can now begin to participate in the growth of regional and global trade that will benefit the people of Pakistan.  The path to Pakistan's participation in SAARC will open up if or when India-Pakistan relations improve.

Here's a National Geographic Documentary on CPEC:

https://youtu.be/q2lWYxbIBCs




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

1800 Km Pak-China Rail Link

China Pakistan Economic Corridor

CPEC to Create Over 2 Million Jobs

Modi's Covert War in Pakistan

ADB Raises Pakistan GDP Growth Forecast

Gwadar as Hong Kong West

China-Pakistan Industrial Corridor

Indian Spy Kulbhushan Yadav's Confession

Ex Indian Spy Documents RAW Successes Against Pakistan

Is Pakistan's Global Diplomacy Working?

Friday, March 9, 2018

Pakistani Military's Conventional Deterrence Against India's Cold Start Doctrine

It is widely assumed that India enjoys substantial conventional military superiority over Pakistan. Many speculate that the difference between the conventional military strengths of the two South Asian rivals is so great that Pakistan would be forced to quickly resort to the use of nuclear weapons in the event of an Indian attack. Are these assumptions and speculations accurate? How has the situation evolved since the nations went nuclear in 1998? Are nukes Pakistan's only deterrence against Indian aggression? Let's examine the answers to these questions based on the recent work of several analysts and authors.

India-Pakistan Standoff 2001-2002:

Soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, there was an incident with several gunmen entering the Indian parliament building and killing 14 people on December 13, 2001. India immediately accused Pakistan of involvement in the attack and vowed to respond militarily. Pakistan categorically denied India's accusations.

What followed was a massive mobilization of Indian troops to the Line of Control in Kashmir and the international border with Pakistan.  It was dubbed "Operation Parakram" by the Indian Army.  Pakistan responded with its own major mobilization of troops on its side of the LoC and the international border. Thus began the longest standoff between the two neighbors.

By October 2002, India began to pull back its troops along her border and later Pakistan did the same, and in November 2003 a cease-fire between the two nations was signed. Why did India back off from its explicit threats to attack Pakistan? A recent book "Defeat is an Orphan" by Myra McDonald answers this question as follows:

"Since partition, the Indian Army--with 1.1 million men compared to 550,000 in the Pakistan Army--had the advantage in terms of numbers. But it was a lumbering beast. India's vast size meant the army was spread more thinly across the country than in Pakistan, acting as a brake on mobilization. Its three armoured strike corps, designed to strike deep into Pakistan territory, were based in central India and took nearly three weeks to maneuver into position because of their sheer size. The slowness of the mobilization gave Pakistan enough time to prepare its defenses....Much of the equipment pressed into frontline service, from Vijayanta tanks of 1970s vintage to even older artillery pieces, was barely suited to fighting a modern war. It was only when the Indian Army began to mobilize that its slowness and shortages ---of road vehicles for deployment, missiles, ammunition, and war stores---became apparent. "The very first few days of Operation Parakram exposed the hollowness of our operational preparedness," said General V.K.Singh, who was then with XI Corps in Punjab. Having lost the advantage of surprise because of its slow mobilization, the Indian Army did not have enough superiority in numbers and equipment to guarantee a decisive victory. Nor could it rely on air power to make up for its weakness on the ground. At independence, India had abolished the role of commander-in-chief of all armed forces, replacing it with three weaker, co-equal, service chiefs who each had a tendency to go their own way. Thus though India's air power was superior to that of Pakistan in 2001-2002, the different branches of its armed forces were not integrated enough to consider a ground assault backed by air strikes and close air support. Had India pressed ahead with an attack on Pakistan that January--and in such situation is with the defender--it risked becoming quickly bogged down. "The slender edge that India had could have led to nothing but a stalemate and...a stalemate between a large and much smaller country amounts to victory for the smaller country, " said Brigadier Kanwal in an analysis of India's military preparedness. Nor did India have the capacity to dig in for a long war where its greater size relative to Pakistan could have eventually triumphed. Thanks to cutbacks, it had run down stocks of ammunition to save money. Even without Pakistan's possession of nuclear weapons to deter an Indian invasion, the balance of power in conventional forces was enough to give pause for thought."

India's Cold Start Doctrine:

The Failure of India's Operation Parakram forced some soul searching and a re-evaluation that gave birth to the Indian Army's Cold Start Doctrine (CSD). It is a limited-war strategy designed to quickly seize Pakistani territory without provoking a a nuclear conflict. Supposedly a secret strategy, Indian Army Chief General Rawat confirmed its existence in 2017. Here's an analysis by Indian analyst Meenakshi Sood of India's CSD and Pakistan's expected response:

"While Pakistan’s nuclear response to CSD (Cold Start Doctrine) has dominated the narrative, it is the conventional response that was devised first. In the last few years of General Musharraf’s presidency, especially between 2004 and 2007, India and Pakistan were engaged in backchannel negotiations and came tantalizingly close to finding a solution to the Kashmir issue. Then the 2007 Lawyers’ Movement forced Musharraf out of power and a new leadership took charge. With General Kayani as the new chief of army staff, the threat from India came back into focus, and so did the perceived risk of CSD. Given India’s military capability and its declared Cold Start Doctrine, Kayani believed that Pakistan could not afford to let its guard down as the country prepared according to “adversaries’ capabilities, not intentions.” He went on to give his assessment of the timeline by which India would be able to operationalize CSD — two years for partial implementation and five years for full — betraying the urgency he attached to a counter-response. Between 2009 and 2013, the Pakistan Army conducted military exercises codenamed Azm-e-Nau to formalize and operationalize a conventional response to CSD. At its conclusion, Pakistan adopted a “new concept of war fighting” (NCWF) that aims to improve mobilization time of troops and enhance inter-services coordination, especially between the Army and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). To this end, Pakistan Air Force’s aerial exercise High Mark was conducted alongside Azm-e-Nau III in 2010, which saw the participation of over 20,000 troops from all services in areas of southern Punjab, Sialkot, and Sindh along Pakistan’s eastern border with India. The 2010 exercises were the largest conducted by the Army since 1989. PAF’s exercise High Mark, conducted every five years, synchronizes the Air Force’s response with Army maneuvers, covering a vast area from Skardu in the north to the Arabian Sea in the south. As per military sources, with the implementation of the NCFW, the Pakistan Army will be able to mobilize even faster than India. This should worry India as CSD’s raison d’etre lies in the short reaction time it requires to launch an offensive. If Pakistan is indeed able to mount a counter-offensive even before India fires the first shot, literally and figuratively, it blunts the effectiveness of the Indian military doctrine."

Source: SIPRI

India's Conventional Superiority:

Professor Walter Ladwig III of the Department of War Studies at London's Kings College  says that India's conventional edge over Pakistan is overblown. In a 2015 paper, Ladwig wrote that Pakistan’s conventional deterrence against India in the near to medium term is "much better than the pessimists allege". Here's an excerpt of Ladwig's paper titled "Indian Military Modernization and Conventional Deterrence in South Asia":

"In recent years, headline grabbing increases in the Indian defense budget have raised concerns that India’s on-going military modernization threatens to upset the delicate conventional military balance vis-à-vis Pakistan. Such an eventuality is taken as justification for Islamabad’s pursuit of tactical nuclear weapons and other actions that have worrisome implications for strategic stability on the subcontinent. This article examines the prospects for Pakistan’s conventional deterrence in the near to medium term, and concludes that it is much better than the pessimists allege. A host of factors, including terrain, the favorable deployment of Pakistani forces, and a lack of strategic surprise in the most likely conflict scenarios, will mitigate whatever advantages India may be gaining through military modernization. Despite a growing technological edge in some areas, Indian policymakers cannot be confident that even a limited resort to military force would achieve a rapid result, which is an essential pre-condition for deterrence failure".

Summary:

Common assumptions about India's insurmountable conventional superiority over Pakistan are not founded in reality, according to military experts.  Professor Walter Ladwig of the War Studies Department at London's Kings College believes that Pakistan’s conventional deterrence against India in the near to medium term is "much better than the pessimists allege".  Pakistan's  NCWF (New Concept of War Fighting) developed in response to India's CSD (Cold Start Doctrine) is designed to "mount a counter-offensive even before India fires the first shot", according to Indian analyst Meenakshi Sood. Ladwig sums it up well: "Despite a growing technological edge (over Pakistan) in some areas, Indian policymakers cannot be confident that even a limited resort to military force would achieve a rapid result, which is an essential pre-condition for deterrence failure".

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

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Project Azm: Pakistan to Develop 5th Generation Fighter Jet

Pakistan Navy Modernization

Pakistan's Sea-Based Second Strike Capability

Who Won the 1965 War? India or Pakistan?

Pakistani Military's Performance in 1971 War

Monday, March 5, 2018

Is Pakistan's Global Diplomacy Working?

Diplomacy underlies all ties between nations. Diplomatic relations form the basis of travel, trade and investment between countries. The probability of armed conflict increases in the absence of diplomacy. In light of the recent failure to keep Pakistan off the terror financing watch list, the following question is being asked by political commentators and pundits: Is Pakistan's diplomacy working? To begin to answer this question, let's first look at where Pakistan ranks on Lowy Diplomacy Index. The 2017 Lowy Institute's Global Diplomacy Index visualizes the diplomatic networks of 60 G20, OECD and Asian nations, allowing users to view and compare some of the most significant diplomatic networks in the world.

Pakistani Diplomatic Mission Around the World. Source: Lowy Institute
Lowy Institute Data:

Pakistan has 116 diplomatic missions around the world. This figure includes 85 embassies, 29 consulates and 2 permanent missions. Pakistan ranks 27th among 60 countries ranked by Lowy. It ranks 7th in Asia .

Pakistan's arch-rival India has 181 missions, including 124 embassies and 48 consulates. India ranks 12th in the world and 3rd in Asia on Lowy Diplomacy Index. United States is number 1 and China is number 2 on diplomacy index. US has 273 diplomatic missions while China has 268. France ranks 3rd, Russia 4th and Japan 5th in the world.

Foreign Policy Objectives:

Pakistan does have a large network of diplomats and extensive presence of diplomatic missions around the world. But what is it for? The answer to this question requires understanding Pakistan's foreign policy objectives.

Pakistan, like any other nation, needs to ensure its national security in all its dimensions: political, economic and military. The nation has to participate in various international fora. It needs to project its soft power to cultivate friendly cultural and educational ties. Part of it is encouraging people-to-people contacts by promoting travel, trade and tourism.

Pakistani Diplomats Responsibilities:

Pakistan foreign service officers posted around the world have the responsibility to not only project Pakistan and its policies in a positive way but also to be the nation's eyes and ears giving information and feedback to policymakers back home.

Pakistani diplomats need to engage with their host nation's influencers as well as other nations' diplomats in foreign capitals and international institutions to promote friendship and goodwill for advancing Pakistan's foreign policy agenda.

Pakistani Diaspora:

Pakistani missions have the responsibility to provide services to 9-million strong Pakistani diaspora, the world's sixth largest.  This diaspora not only sends home nearly $20 billion a year but can also help in promoting Pakistan's friendly ties with the host nations. Pakistani diaspora represents a huge market opportunity for Pakistani exporters. Highly accomplished overseas Pakistanis can be a source of investment and expertise for their country of origin.

International Geopolitics:

All policies must take into account the shifting geopolitics of the world.  Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger put it best when he said: “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.”

Rapidly unfolding events confirm shifting post-cold-war alliances in South Asia. The Cold War ended in early 1990s when Pakistan was closely allied with the United States. Now China-Pakistan defense collaboration is strengthening. Chinese President Xi Jinping has committed investment of over $45 billion in Pakistan, representing the single largest Chinese investment in a foreign country to date.

Pakistan's Key Relationships:

Pakistan's key relationships are with China, US, India, Russia, Afghanistan, Iran and the European Union. These relationships require the greatest attention by Pakistani foreign and security policy establishment to advance the country's foreign policy agenda.

These relationships need the most care and feeding to achieve the objectives of peace, development, security and prosperity. The best and the brightest of Pakistani diplomats need to  be assigned to manage these crucial ties.

Current Assessment:

It's not fair to judge the entire foreign policy establishment based on the negative outcome of just one meeting at FATF. However, Pakistan needs to learn from it and fashion its policy in a rapidly evolving geopolitical reordering. Long term, Pakistan needs to continue to cultivate close ties with its traditional friends in China and the Middle East.  Pakistan must take seriously what Henry Kissinger said about US friendships: “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.” It must also assume that other leaders in the rest of the world say privately what Kissinger said publicly. 

Summary:

 Diplomacy underlies all ties between nations. Diplomatic relations form the basis of travel, trade and investment between countries. Pakistan ranks 27th in the world and 7th in Asia on Lowy Diplomacy Index. The 2017 Lowy Institute's Global Diplomacy Index visualizes the diplomatic networks of 60 G20, OECD and Asian nations, allowing users to view and compare some of the most significant diplomatic networks in the world.
In light of the recent failure to keep Pakistan off the terror financing list, the following question is being asked by political commentators and pundits: Is Pakistan's diplomacy working?   It's not fair to judge the entire foreign policy establishment based on the negative outcome of just one meeting at FATF. However, Pakistan needs to learn from it and fashion its policy in a rapidly evolving geopolitical reordering. Long term, Pakistan needs to continue to cultivate close ties with its traditional friends in China and the Middle East.  Pakistan must take seriously what Henry Kissinger said about US friendships: “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.” It must also assume that other leaders in the rest of the world say privately what Kissinger said publicly. 

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