Saturday, May 19, 2018

British Government Lists Pakistan Among Top 3 Money Laundering Sources

British National Crime Agency (NCA) has identified Pakistan, Nigeria and Russia as the top source countries for money laundering in the United Kingdom, according to British media reports. The NCA report says the UK is a prime destination for foreign corrupt and politically exposed people (politicians and their families) to launder money.

NCA Report Highlights:

In its annual assessment of serious and organized crime, the NCA says: “Investment in UK property, particularly in London, continues to be an attractive mechanism to launder funds....As the UK moves towards exiting the EU in March 2019, UK-based businesses may look to increase the amount of trade they have with non-EU countries....We judge this will increase the likelihood that UK businesses will come into contact with corrupt markets, particularly in the developing world, raising the risk they will be drawn into corrupt practices.”

Here are some of the key excerpts of the UK NCA report titled "National Strategic Assessment of Serious and Organized Crime 2018":

1. "The UK is a prime destination for foreign corrupt PEPs (politically exposed persons, a euphemism for politicians and their family member) to launder the proceeds of corruption. Investment in UK property, particularly in London, continues to be an attractive mechanism to launder funds. The true scale of PEPs investment in the UK is not known, however the source countries that are most commonly seen are Russia, Nigeria and Pakistan".

2. "The overseas jurisdictions that have the most enduring impact on the UK across the majority of the different money laundering threats are: Russia, China, Hong Kong, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Some of these jurisdictions have large financial sectors which also make them attractive as destinations or transit points for the proceeds of crime."

Politicians Dominate Panama Papers


Panama Papers Leak:

The NCA report says there are "professional enablers from the banking, accounting and legal world" who  facilitate the legitimization of criminal finances and are perpetuate the problem by refinancing further criminality.

In fact, there is an entire industry made up of lawyers and accountants that offers its services to help hide illicit wealth. Mossack Fonseca, the law firm that made headlines with "Panama Leaks", is just one example of companies in this industry.

Mossack Fonseca's 11.5 million leaked internal files contained information on more than 214,000 offshore entities tied to 12 current or former heads of state, 140 politicians, including Pakistan's now ex Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's family.  Icelandic Prime Minister resigned voluntarily and Pakistani Prime Minister was forced out by the country's Supreme Court.

The Panama list included showbiz and sports celebrities, lawyers, entrepreneurs,  businessmen, journalists and other occupations but it was heavily dominated by politicians.

Trade Based Money Laundering (TBML):

The report singles out trade as one of the key mechanisms used in money laundering.  It says: "Trade based money laundering (TBML) is a complex global issue and a key method of money laundering impacting on the UK".

It is not just greedy politicians, unscrupulous businessmen and corrupt officials in developing countries who rely on fraudulent manipulation of trade invoices; all kinds of drug traders, terrorists and criminals also use TBML (trade-based money laundering).

John A. Cassara, former US intelligence official with expertise in money laundering, submitted written testimony for a US Congressional hearing on “Trading with the Enemy: Trade-Based Money Laundering is the Growth Industry in Terror Finance” to the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing Of the House Financial Services Committee February 3, 2016. Here's an except from it:

"Not long after the September 11 attacks, I had a conversation with a Pakistani entrepreneur. This businessman could charitably be described as being involved in international grey markets and illicit finance. We discussed many of the subjects addressed in this hearing including trade-based money laundering, terror finance, value transfer, hawala, fictitious invoicing, and counter-valuation. At the end of the discussion, he looked at me and said, “Mr. John, don’t you know that your adversaries are transferring money and value right under your noses? But the West doesn’t see it. Your enemies are laughing at you.”"

Trade Misinvoicing:

Washington-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI) defines trade misinvoicing as "fraudulently manipulating the price, quantity, or quality of a good or service on an invoice submitted to customs" to quickly move substantial sums of money across international borders.



How does trade miscinvoicing work? Here's an example:

Let's say an exporter in Pakistan exports goods worth $1 million to a foreign country and invoices it at $500,000 through an offshore middleman.  The middleman invoices and collects $1 million from the end customer, sends $500,000 to Pakistan and deposits $500,000 in an offshore account. The result: Pakistan is deprived of the $500,000 in foreign exchange.

Similarly, imports of goods worth $1 million to Pakistan are overinvoiced at $1.5 million through an offshore middleman and the difference is kept in an overseas account. The result: Pakistan loses another $500,000 in foreign exchange. Meanwhile, the Pakistani traders and the officials facilitating misinvoicing together pocket $1 million or 50% on the two trades.  Pakistan's trade and current account deficits grow and the foreign exchange reserves are depleted, forcing Pakistan to go back to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for yet another bailout with tough conditions.

Foreign Residency(Iqama):

Assets held by people in offshore tax havens are tracked by their country of residence, not by their citizenship, under OECD sponsored Agreement On Exchange of Information on Tax Matters. Pakistan is a signatory of this international agreement.  When Pakistan seeks information from another country under this agreement,  the nation's FBR gets only the information on asset holders who have declared Pakistan as their country of residence. Information on those Pakistanis who claim residency (iqama) in another country is not shared with Pakistani government. This loophole allows many Pakistani asset holders with iqamas in other countries to hide their assets. Many of Pakistan's top politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen hold residency visas in the Middle East, Europe and North America.

Loss of Tax Revenue:

Customs duties in developing countries often make up a huge part of the tax revenue collected by the governments. Trade Misinvoicing not only increases current account deficits but also worsen budget deficits by cutting tax receipts. Raymond Baker, author of Capitalism's Achilles Heel, has written about it as follows:

"The Pakistan government's largest source of revenues is customs duties, and therefore evasion of duties is a national pastime. Isn't there a way to tap into this major income stream, pretending to fight customs corruption and getting rich at he same time? Of course; we can hire a reputable (or disreputable, as the case maybe) inspection company, have the government pay the company about one percent fee to do price checking on imports, and get multi-million dollar bribes paid to us upon award of the contracts. Societe de Generale de Surveillance (SGS), headquartered in Switzerland, and its then subsidiary Cotecna, the biggest group in the inspection business, readily agree to this subterfuge. Letters in 1994 promised "consultancy fees", meaning kickbacks, of 6 percent and 3 percent to British Virgin Island (BVI) companies, Bomer Finance Inc. and Nassam Overseas Inc., controlled by (Benazir) Bhutto and (Asif) Zardari. Payments of $12 million were made to Swiss bank accounts of the BVI companies."

Aid in Reverse:

Some have called London the "Money Laundering Capital of the World" where corrupt leaders from developing nations use wealth looted from their people to buy expensive real estate and other assets. Private individuals and businesses from poor nations also park money in the west and other off-shore tax havens to hide their incomes and assets from the tax authorities in their countries of residence.

The multi-trillion dollar massive net outflow of money from the poor to the rich countries has been documented by the US-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI). This flow of capital has been described as "aid in reverse". It has made big headlines in Pakistan and elsewhere since the release of the Panama Papers and the Paradise Leaks which revealed true owners of offshore assets held by anonymous shell companies. Bloomberg has reported that Pakistanis alone own as much as $150 billion worth of undeclared assets offshore.

Impact on Economic Growth:

There's a direct relationship between investment and GDP. Flight of capital reduces domestic investment and depresses economic growth in poor countries. Lower tax revenues also impact spending on education, health care and infrastructure, resulting in poor socioeconomic indicators.

In Pakistan, for example, it takes investment of about 4% of GDP to grow the economy by 1%. Lower levels of investments in the country has kept its GDP growth below par relative to the rest of South Asia.  Any reduction in the outflow of capital to offshore tax havens will help boost economic growth in Pakistan to close the gap with its neighbors, particularly Bangladesh and India whose economies are both growing 1-2% faster than Pakistan's.

Summary:

UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) has listed Pakistan among the top three sources of money laundering in the United Kingdom. The report has identified trade misinvoicing as a key mechanism for money laundering. It singles out politicians as the main culprits. Pakistan's exports have declined significantly since former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's PMLN party assumed power in 2013. They are down from about $25 billion in 2013-14 to about $20 billion in 2016-17. Overvaluation of the Pakistani currency is often cited as a reason for it. The other, probably more important reason, may be increasing underinvoicing of exports facilitated by the people in power. Trade misinvoicing is the largest component of illicit financial outflows from developing countries as measured by New York- based Global Financial Integrity (GFI) which tracks such flows.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Did Musharraf Steal Pakistani People's Money?

Pakistan Economy Hobbled By Underinvestment

Raymond Baker on Corruption in Pakistan

Nawaz Sharif Disqualified

Culture of Corruption in Pakistan

US Investigating Microsoft Bribery in Pakistan

Zardari's Corruption Probe in Switzerland

Politics of Patronage in Pakistan

Why is PIA Losing Money Amid Pakistan Aviation Boom?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Free Speech: Myth vs Reality

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) recently acknowledged the practice of hiring journalists vetted by MI5, the UK intelligence agency, to keep out the "subversives".

The CIA is believed to have driven American investigative reporter Gary Webb to suicide after he exposed the agency's use of drug deals to fund Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

American researcher Joseph Overton has described a spectrum from "more free" to "less free", known as the Overton Window, with regard to the US government intervention in the media.

Here's how American philosopher Noam Chomsky has explained the US establishment's media management strategy:  “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum."

It seems that "free speech" in the West is really not so free.


Courtesy David Icke
MI5 Vetting of BBC Staff:

The BBC recently acknowledged its long relationship with the British security establishment that started in 1933. When questions were asked about it, the BBC policy was to "keep head down and stonewall all questions".

Vetting by the MI5 applied to  all new BBC staff except "personnel such as charwomen". Since the start of the policy, journalists were always subject to vetting, but a "review in 1983 resulted in about 2,000 posts being removed from the list - including some junior editorial jobs - bringing the total number down to 3,705".

When asked whether any staff are vetted these days, a BBC spokesperson responded:"We do not comment on security issue".

CIA and Media:

In the course of investigating US CIA's support of Contra rebels in Nicaragua,  American journalist Gary Webb discovered a drug connection. He found that the CIA was trafficking drugs sold in poor African American neighborhoods to fund Contra rebels war against Nicaragua's Sandinista government in 1980s. Webb published his findings in a 3-part report "The Dark Alliance" carried by his employer San Jose Mercury News.

Webb's report provoked outrage among African Americans for the harm it did by promoting drug addiction in their poor neighborhoods. It became a public relations nightmare for the CIA.

The CIA responded to the crisis by using what Nicholas Dujmovic, a CIA Directorate of Intelligence staffer described as “a ground base of already productive relations with journalists.”  The CIA top brass was overjoyed to see the nation's largest newspapers destroy the reputation of Gary Webb that eventually led to his suicide.

Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein, famous for his reporting on Watergate along with Bob Woodward, investigated CIA's use of the American media and wrote a piece describing "How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up". Here's what he said:

"Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were William Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), Henry Luce of Time Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the Louisville Courier‑Journal, and James Copley of the Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), the Associated Press (AP),  United Press International (UPI), Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps‑Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald‑Tribune".

Overton Window:

American researcher Joseph P. Overton said that ideas may range a spectrum from "more free" to "less free" with regard to government intervention.  The mainstream media, particularly commercial media, tend to limit the public discourse within the range they define as permissible at any given time. This is done by designing editorial policies.

The Overton window is not static. It is guided by what is seen as vital national interest by the US national security establishment as we saw during the Cold War and subsequently in the "war on terror".

Social Media:

Social media have created new media management challenges for the western security establishment as we saw with Brexit and Trump victory in 2016. It's created an outrage that is likely to result in new social media regulations unless the likes of Facebook and Twitter agree to self-censorship.

There's so much pressure on major social media platforms that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was forced to acknowledge regulation as "inevitable".

"The internet is growing in importance around the world in people's lives and I think that it is inevitable that there will need to be some regulation," said Zuckerberg to a US Congress committee at a recent hearing.

The western security establishment will now make sure that the new social media platforms are tamed to stay within the "Overton Window" just like the legacy electronic and print media.

Summary:

Recent BBC acknowledgement of its staff vetting by British secret service and revelations of CIA's role in American media management have confirmed what American academic Noam Chomsky has been saying for a while:  “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum."  There are now moves afoot to tame the new social media platform to stay within the "spectrum of acceptable opinion".

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Is Money Free Speech?

Social Media Promote Tribalism

Social Media: Blessing or Curse For Pakistan?

Planted Stories in Media

Indian BJP Troll Farm

Kulbhushan Jadhav Caught in Balochistan

The Story of Pakistan's M8 Motorway

Pakistan-China-Russia vs India-Japan-US

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

PTM: The Lowdown on Manzur Pashteen

Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) has held rallies across Pakistan in support of Pashtun rights. The movement was born in response to the murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud, a young Pashtun falsely accused of being a terrorist by a rogue senior police officer in Karachi.  PTM has received very little coverage in Pakistan's mainstream media but the extensive foreign media reporting on its leader Manzoor Pashteen has been effusive.  Inside Pakistan, the PTM movement has been mainly a social media phenomenon. Foreign media appear to have relied on PTM's social media posts for their coverage. Pashteen's tweets have come under criticism for disseminating misleading images and disinformation about the actions of Pakistani military in FATA.

PTM Leader Manzoor Pashteen
Who is Manzoor Pashteen?

Manzoor Pashteen is from South Waziristan in Pakistan's federally administered tribal areas (FATA). Born in 1992, he saw a lot of violence and suffering in his home as the battle raged between the Taliban, particularly the TTP,  and the Pakistan's security forces in the last decade.

Pashteen has been variously hailed as "Pashtun Che" and "Messiah" by his supporters while those opposing him have been denigrated as "pygmies". Among others, Pahteen's movement has received support from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani who is not on good terms with Pakistan. Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has described the PTM movement as "engineered" without explicitly naming it.

Social Media Disinformation Campaign: 

While pressing for redress of their genuine grievances, the PTM leaders their and supporters have attacked Pakistani soldiers as "terrorists in uniforms".  Manzoor Pashteen has sent out misleading tweets and disinformation about Pakistan Army.

One of Pashteen's tweets had an image of destroyed homes that he falsely claimed was the result of Pakistan Army action in FATA. It was in fact an image from a 2011 Radio Free Europe story titled "Taliban Burn Villages in Northwestern Pakistan".

Pashteen tweeted out an old 1960s picture from Woodstock , New York.  It showed American hippies sleeping in tents. He wrongly labeled them as internally displaced Pashtuns (IDPs) from FATA, Pakistan.

Another Pashteen tweet included the picture of an Afghan child who was killed by the Taliban in Helmand province. Pashteen incorrectly labeled him a Pakistani Pashtun child in FATA and falsely claimed the child was killed by the Pakistan Army.

Pashteen's account was suspended by Twitter for engaging in disinformation. It was only restored after he and his supporters made promises to correct their behavior and pleaded for restoration.

Violence in FATA:

 Pashteen has seen hundreds of fellow Pashtuns in FATA killed and injured. Tens of thousands have been displaced amid multiple military operations to clear out the Taliban militants from the region.

Terror Death Toll in Pakistan. Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal


There has been a marked decrease in violence as a result of Pakistan Army Operations Zarb e Azb and Radd ul Fasad to drive out militants from North and South Waziristan. Death toll from terrorism across Pakistan has declined from the peak of 11,704 in 2011 to 1,260 in 2017, according to South Asia Terrorism Portal.  Over 22,000 civilians have lost their lives in terrorist attacks since the year 2001. In the same period,  nearly 7,000 Pakistani security personnel have been killed in fighting the terrorists to bring peace to the country.

Pashtun Perpetrators and Victims:

It is true that many victims of terrorist violence in Pakistan have been Pashtuns. But data from South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) shows that Pashtuns alone have not suffered from terrorism.

All of Pakistan's ethnic groups and regions have paid a price. And most of the perpetrators of such violence have been Pashtuns. Pakistan Army has also used violence to stop this violence but it was inevitable to bring an end to an armed conflict that could not be peacefully resolved in spite of Pakistan's best efforts. Nearly 7000 Pakistani soldiers and policemen have died fighting the terrorists.

PTM Under Suspicion:

PTM"s detractors say the movement has been hijacked by those wishing to harm Pakistan. They point to the fact it went from pressing for redress of genuine Pashtun grievances to accusing the Pakistani soldiers of being "terrorists in uniform". In an interview with CNN, Pashteen asked "Who they are harboring in their cantonment zones, if not the Taliban?"

Pashteen's critics offer Pashteen's misleading tweets as evidence that he is being manipulated. This is not a surprise when seen in the context of the ongoing debate in the West about the use by hostile nations of the social media to promote divisions along ethnic, racial, sectarian lines.

American and British intelligence agencies claim that Russian intelligence has used social media to promote divisions and manipulate public opinion in the West.  Like the US and the UK, Pakistan also has ethnic, sectarian and regional fault-lines that make it vulnerable to similar social media manipulation.  It is very likely that intelligence agencies of countries hostile to Pakistan are exploiting these divisions for their own ends. Various pronouncements by India's current and former intelligence and security officials reinforce this suspicion.

Solution:

It is important that the Pakistani politicians and the military as well as the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leaders focus on finding a way forward rather than dissipate their energies in the ongoing blame game.

One of PTM's demands is the removal of Pakistan Army check posts in FATA. Such a move will create a power vacuum that will almost certainly be filled  by the militants, resulting in the loss of hard-fought gains. What is needed is that the Pakistan military be replaced by an effective civilian administration and a police force in a well-planned transition. This requires that FATA be mainstreamed by either creating a new province or by merging it with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.  It means ending the colonial-era Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR) that relies on collective punishment. It means extending Pakistan's constitution and laws to FATA region. There has been a lot of talk about it but little action so far.  Progress on it seems unlikely until after the coming general elections in the country.

Summary:

Pakistan Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) led by Manzoor Pashteen started with demands seeking redress of their genuine grievances. But it has come under scrutiny because of its use of misleading tweets and their rebroadcast by foreign media to spread disinformation. It is especially relevant given the current debate in the West about the use of social media by foreign hostile nations to promote divisions in societies. What is needed is for FATA to be mainstreamed with a civilian administration replacing the Pakistan Army in the region.

Here's a debate on PTM and Manzoor Pashteen:

https://youtu.be/TSePPq_4ILE




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Social Media: Blessing or Curse For Pakistan?

Planted Stories in Media

Indian BJP Troll Farm

Kulbhushan Jadhav Caught in Balochistan

The Story of Pakistan's M8 Motorway

What Can Pakistan Learn From Sri Lanka?

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel


Monday, May 14, 2018

Impact of Trump's Iran Nuke Deal Pull-Out on Afghanistan, Pakistan and Mid-East

What motivated President Donald Trump's unilateral decision to withdraw the United States from JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) on Iran nuclear weapons program? Why did the European signatories to the deal fail to persuade Trump to abide by the deal? What role did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and the Bush era neocons play in this decision?

How will the Trump decision impact Iran's stability? Will the hardliners on all sides be emboldened? Will the US, Israel and Arabs succeed in bringing about a "regime change" in Iran? Will Iran's economic stress turn the Iranian people against the powerful clerics led by Ayatollah Khamenei?

 How will Iran respond to the threat from US, Saudi Arabia and Israel? Will Iran step up proxy wars against US in Afghanistan and the Middle East? How will these events affect Pakistan? Will there be a renewed intensified sectarian war in Pakistan? Will India's efforts to bypass Pakistan to reach Central Asia via Chabahar suffer a setback?

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


https://youtu.be/1gme1sO28kM




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Iran Nuclear Deal

Iran-Pakistan Ties

Are Iran and Russia Supporting Taliban in Afghanistan?

Iran's Chabahar Port

Viewpoint From Overseas Youtube Channel

Riaz Haq Youtube Channel

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Open Forum 2018: Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs Summit in Silicon Valley

Hundreds of Pakistanis and Pakistani-Americans converged on Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley on Saturday May 12, 2018 for Open Forum 2018.  The attendees included entrepreneurs, technologists, business executives, investors, lawyers, accountants and others.What was different this year was the presence of an unusually large number of attendees from Pakistan, including dozens of Fulbright scholars studying in the United States,  entrepreneurs from Pakistan, and Husain Dawood of Dawood Group of Companies, the second largest business group in terms of market cap of the companies listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange. Driverless vehicle tech and leading-edge brain research were among the new research and technology topics discussed at the Forum.

L to R: Imran Qureshi, Nazim Kareemi, Husain Dawood, Riaz Haq, Faruk Ahmad at Open Forum 2018

Husain Dawood Keynote:

The morning keynote by Husain Dawood of Dawood Group was in the form of an on-stage interview of the visitor by Imran Sayeed. Sayeed is part of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation faculty at the MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

L to R: OPEN President Mobashar Yazdani, Imran Sayeed, Husain Dawood. Photo: Zain Jeewanji

Talking about ups and down of his business that reflect Pakistan's history, Husain Dawood said his father Seth Ahmad Dawood started in the textile business in undivided India and lost everything when he moved to Pakistan in 1947. He rebuilt the business from the scratch starting in 1947 but then suffered a major setback again in 1971 when the eastern wing of the county broke away. The family lost half its business in what became Bangladesh and the other half of its business was nationalized in what was left of Pakistan led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. They were forced to start all over again.


Husain Dawood took over the leadership of the group in 2002 when Ahmad Dawood passed away. Helped by President Musharraf's pro-business policies, Dawood diversified from textile into other businesses such as fertilizer, food, energy and communications.  The group took on a lot of debt to expand. Dawood invested nearly a billion dollars and built one of the world's largest fertilizer plants on government's commitment to supply gas to the plant. Then came the PPP government that went back on the commitment and plant ground to halt. The group was able to get it working again when Nawaz Sharif government took power in 2013 and restored gas supply to the plant. Dawood group also invested in the power sector upon Nawaz Sharif's urging to help deal with the energy crisis.

Karachi School of Business Leadership (KSBL):

After the keynote, I asked Husain Dawood why do the family owned business conglomerates and seth culture have such a strangle-hold in Pakistan. He said he's been working to change it to put professional managers in charge of the companies owned by his group. He cited his support for the setting up of Karachi School of Business Leadership (KSBL) a top private business school in Karachi.  KSBL was launched in collaboration with the UK's Cambridge University's Judge School of Business. KSBL faculty includes former professors at top US business schools like Wharton and Sloane.  Dawood said he is now working on creating a Business Leadership Institute at KSBL in collaboration with leading business schools and management consultancies.  McKinsey and Company is among the consultancies he's working with.


Dr. Maheen Adamson's Keynote. Photo Courtesy Ali Hasan Cemendtaur

Dr. Maheen Adamson Keynote:

The afternoon keynote speakers was Dr. Maheen Mausoof Adamson, a Pakistani-American professor at Stanford School of Medicine. She is engaged in leading-edge research and development for treating a variety of brain impairments such as Alzheimer's and brain injuries in sports and on the battlefields.

She spoke directly to the young women in the audience to inspire them to set and achieve ambitious goals as women, particular Muslim women of color with immigrant parents.

Dr. Adamson is working on translational neuroscience methodologies for diagnostic and therapeutic treatments (mainly repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) in mild and moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), including structural and functional changes in the brain in both Veteran, active military and civilian population.

One particular kind of brain injury she described is "blast wave injury" that results from just being near a blast that generates fast moving high energy waves. These waves cause serious physical and structural damage to the brain.

She said her research is in early stages and a lot more work is required to fully understand and treat brain impairments and injuries.

Self-Driving Cars:

I was not able to attend the driverless car panel discussion at Open Forum but I spoke with its moderator Shoeib Yunus. Shoeib said there are many Pakistanis working on driverless car technology in the global auto industry.

In particular, Shoeib mentioned two names: Sajjad Khan and Zaki Fasihuddin.

Sajjad Khan is the head of Mercedes Digital Car Division.  As Vice President - Digital Vehicle and Mobility at Mercedes Benz Cars, he is based in Stuttgart, Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany. Sajjad has about 300 engineers working for him at Mercedes Research and Development Center in Silicon Valley, CA.  Prior to coming to Mercedes, Sajjad worked for BMW in Munich, Germany.

Zaki Fasihuddin is Vice President of Strategic Partnerships in the Volvo Cars Silicon Valley Technology Center, and CEO of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund focused on funding research in driverless cars.

Social Entrepreneurship Panel: 

It was an all-women panel with two of the three panelists coming from Pakistan to participate in the conference. It was moderated by Shahab Riazi. The companies represented at this company were: Komal Ahmad of Copia, Shameela Ismael of Ghar Par and Maryam Arshad of Impact. They head for-profit startups with the motto: Do good and do well.

Komal Ahmad of Copia described how her company is helping solve hunger by reducing waste of millions of tons of perfectly good, healthy and edible surplus food. Her company's smartphone app matches those with excess food with those in need of food. The idea was born when  Komal saw University of California at Berkeley's cafeteria regularly throwing away un-eaten food. It took her a couple of hours to persuade the cafeteria director to donate the food instead of throwing it away. His main concern was liability if someone ate the food and got sick and sued the university. Komal explained to him that a good samaritan law protects donors from liability in such cases. That was the key to getting him to agree to begin donating surplus food to charity.

Komal's business helps donors, recipients and Copia as the match-maker. Donors get tax deduction for the in-kind donation, the hungry get fed and Copia receives a commission for their work.  Cpoia is a Y Combinator company. It received its seed funding from Pakistani-American Amar Hanafi, a charter member of OPEN, Organization of Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs.

Lahore-based Ghar Par has a similar business model for matching beauticians with customers. It provides employment for women looking for work and generates fees for Ghar Par as a match-maker.

Summary:

Organization of Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs (OPEN) held its annual forum in Silicon Valley on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Santa Clara Convention Center. It drew hundreds of attendees including entrepreneurs, technologists, business executives, investors, lawyers, accountants and others. There were a large number of attendees from Pakistan, including dozens of Fulbright scholars studying in the United States, entrepreneurs from Pakistan and Husain Dawood of Dawood Group of Companies, the second largest business group in terms of market cap of the companies listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange. Driverless vehicle tech and leading-edge brain research were among the new research and technologies discussed at the Forum.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Pakistani-American Sells Tech Company For $7.5 Billion

Pakistani-American NED Alum Raises $50 Million Round

OPEN Silicon Valley Forum 2017: Pakistani Entrepreneurs Conference

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Nawaz Sharif's Report Card 2013-18

The last five years of Pakistan's outgoing government of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) have seen the revival of Pakistan's economy and completion of many long delayed infrastructure and energy projects. Mr. Nawaz Sharif deserves full credit for it.  At the same time, the PML government is responsible for slow progress on human development indicators, major decline in exports, growing twin deficits of budget and external accounts, mounting public debt and lack of transparency in financial matters.  It is the lack of transparency that has been brought in sharp focus with the removal of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by the nation's Supreme Court in the aftermath of Panama Papers. The leak of these papers revealed his family's ownership of undeclared and unexplained substantial assets abroad.

Terrorism Toll in Pakistan. Source: SATP.org

Highlights:

Pakistan achieved 5.8% growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in fiscal 2017-18, the highest in the last 13 years.  Many long delayed projects ranging from roads, ports, dams and irrigation projects to power plants were finally completed.  Examples of such long delayed projects include M8 and M9 motorways, Lyari Expressway, New Islamabad Airport, Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project and Kachhi Canal. The PMLN government's performance was boosted by a number of factors including the following:

1. Pakistan Army's anti-terror operations Zarb e Azb and Radd ul Fasad dramatically reduced the level of violence and significantly improved security in the country. It resulted in increased confidence of businesses, investors and consumers in the economy. 

2.  Growth of Chinese investment in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related infrastructure and energy projects. Ongoing execution of CPEC projects is transforming some of the least developed areas of Pakistan and creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

3. Major decline in energy prices, particularly prices of liquified natural gas (LNG), helped boost the energy and the power sector which in turn helped increase industrial production and transport sectors.  Pakistan is now among the world's fastest growing LNG markets

Lowlights:

Structural problems in Pakistan's economy remained unaddressed. Current account deficits widened as exports declined and imports jumped, putting pressure on the nation's foreign exchange reserves. Increased deficit spending resulted in bigger budget deficit and heavy borrowing. Public debt and debt service costs climbed. School enrollment and literacy rates remained essentially flat in the last 5 years and Pakistan continued to rank low on human development indices. Here are some of the details:

1.  Pakistan's exports have plummeted from about $25 billion in 2013-14 to about $20 billion in 2016-17 under PMLN government.  Exports in first 9 months of current fiscal year 2017-18 have been recorded at $17 billion.  The trade deficit for the first nine months of fiscal 2017-18 reached $27.3 billion.  This situation has forced the government to borrow more in international debt markets at commercial rates. The country now faces the prospect of going back to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for yet another bailout.

2.  Pakistan's net primary enrollment is stuck at about 57% while the literacy rate is flat at about 60%. This is in spite of fact that the country now spends almost as much on education as on defense.  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. Unfortunately, the education outcomes do not yet reflect the big increases in spending. Why is it? Let's examine this in some detail.

Mujhe Kyun Nikala (Why was I ousted?): 

When former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif repeatedly asks "Mujhe Kyun Nikala" (Why was I ousted),  he appears to be arguing that, because of his government's unquestionably better performance than his predecessor PPP government's,  he deserves to be forgiven without explicitly asking for forgiveness.  What are his sins? His biggest sin is that he and his family have accumulated large amount of unexplained wealth in offshore shell companies during his three terms as Pakistan's prime minister. He and his family did not disclose this wealth until they were forced to acknowledge it after Panama Papers leaks.  They were given ample opportunity by the Pakistan Supreme Court to prove that it was acquired by legitimate means. But they failed to do so.

Mr. Sharif and his family are not unique as owners of unexplained offshore wealth. Washington-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI) estimates that developing countries have lost as much as $13.4 trillion through unrecorded capital flight since 1980. Bloomberg reports that Pakistanis own $150 billion worth of undeclared offshore assets, attributing this estimate to Syed Muhammad Shabbar Zaidi, a partner at Karachi-based A.F. Ferguson and Co. -- an affiliate of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Iqama (Foreign Residency) vs Panama:

Mr. Sharif says that he was removed for "iqama", not "Panama". What he doesn't acknowledge is that having "iqama" (foreign residency) facilitates "Panama", the hiding of assets in offshore locations.

Assets held by people in offshore tax havens are tracked by their country of residence, not by their citizenship, under OECD sponsored Agreement On Exchange of Information on Tax Matters. Pakistan is a signatory of this international agreement.  When Pakistan seeks information from another country under this agreement,  the nation's FBR gets only the information on asset holders who have declared Pakistan as their country of residence. Information on those Pakistanis who claim residency (iqama) in another country is not shared with Pakistani government. This loophole allows many Pakistani asset holders with iqamas in other countries to hide their assets. Many of Pakistan's top politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen hold residency visas in the Middle East, Europe and North America.

Summary:

The last five years of Pakistan's outgoing government of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) have seen the revival of Pakistan's economy and completion of many long delayed infrastructure and energy projects. Mr. Nawaz Sharif deserves full credit for it.  At the same time, the PML government is responsible for slow progress on human development indicators, major decline in exports, growing twin deficits of budget and external accounts, mounting public debt and lack of transparency in financial matters.  It is the lack of transparency that has been brought in sharp focus with the removal of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by the nation's Supreme Court in the aftermath of Panama Papers. The leak of these papers revealed his family's ownership of undeclared and unexplained substantial assets abroad.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

CPEC Transforming Pakistan's Least Developed Regions

Pakistan: The Other 99% of the Pakistan Story

How Pakistan's Corrupt Elite Siphon Off Public Funds

Bumper Crops and Soaring Credit Drive Tractor Sales

Panama Leaks

How West Enables Corruption in Developing Countries

Declining Terror Toll in Pakistan

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Pakistani-American NED Alum Raises $50 Million For Silicon Valley Startup SiFive

SiFive,  a Silicon Valley intellectual property tech startup, has raised $50.6 million in series C funding. The company is headed by Pakistani-American CEO and fellow NED University alumnus Dr. Naveed Sherwani.  SiFive investors include Intel Capital, Western Digital, Sutter Hill Ventures and Spark Capital.

NED Alumnus Dr. Naveed Sherwani
The company was founded by Andrew Waterman, Krste Asanovic and Yunsup Leethe of the University of California at Berkeley. Their team developed open-source instruction set architecture (ISA) for Reduced Instruction Set Computing V (RISC V). RISC V design is freely available under Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) that was first introduced for Berkeley's open source UNIX operating system and open software tools. BSD license permits development of derivative intellectual property (IP) and products. It offers the advantage of having a large open-source community contribute to its continuous development and innovation.

SiFive sells core IP (intellectual property) based on RISC V ISA. The company's IP Cores are the most widely deployed RISC-V cores in the world.  SiFive Core IP is verified and delivered in Verilog for custom SoC (System on Chip) designs.

Naveed Sherwani is a serial entrepreneur with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Karachi's NED Engineering University in 1983. He has a Ph.D. in computer engineering from University of Nebraska. He has taught at Western Michigan University and authored four books and over 100 papers.

In May 2017, NED University alumnus Khalid Raza and two co-founders of Viptela sold their company to Cisco for $610 million. Viptela was a software-defined-networks (SDN) start-up in Silicon Valley that was co-founded in 2012 by Pakistani-American entrepreneurs Amir Khan, Atif Khan and Khalid Raza.

In November 2017, another NED University alumnus Raghib Husain sold his company Cavium to Marvell Technology in a $6 billion stock deal, according to CNBC News. The value of the deal jumped to $7.5 billion enterprise value at the close of market on November 22, 2017.

Sherwani headed Intel's ASIC division before starting Open Silicon, a fabless semiconductor company that offered turn-key custom ASIC solutions. He was the CEO of Peernova before joining SiFive as its chief executive officer.


Related Links:

Haq's Musings

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 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Chinese ECommerce Giant Alibaba Enters Pakistan Market

Alibaba Group (BABA.N) has bought the entire share capital of ecommerce platform Daraz, Rocket Internet said, according to Reuters. American ecommerce giant Amazon is already in Pakistan via its investment in another ecommerce platform Clicky.pk.

Daraz, founded in Pakistan in 2012, operates online marketplaces in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The unit will continue to operate under the same brand following the sale to Alibaba, Rocket said.

Online sales in Pakistan's $152 billion retail market are doubling every year,  according to Adam Dawood of Yayvo online portal. He expects them to pass $1 billion in the current fiscal year (2017-18), two years earlier than the previous forecast.

Media reports suggest global e-commerce behemoth Amazon.com could purchase substantial stake in Pakistan's e-commerce site  Clicky.pk.

Amazon's Presence in Pakistan:

Amazon already owns about 33% stake in Clicky.pk through its acquisition in 2017 of Dubai-based online retailer Souq.  Souq acquired this stake in the Pakistani company in late 2016.

Today, Alibaba Group (BABA.N) announced the purchase of the entire share capital of ecommerce platform Daraz, according to Reuters.


E-Commerce Market Growth: 

Online sales in Pakistan's $152 billion retail market 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.

E-commerce in Pakistan 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.

Payment Options: 

Mobile wallets, also called m-wallets, are smartphone applications linked to bank accounts that allow users to make payments for transactions such as retail purchases. According to recent State Bank statistics on branchless banking (BB) sector, mobile wallets reached a high of 33 million as of September 2017, up 21% over the prior quarter. About 22 percent of these accounts – 7.4 million – are owned by women, up 29% seen in Jul-Sep 2017 over previous quarter. Share of active m-wallets has also seen significant growth from a low of 35% in June 2015 to 45% in September 2017.

Summary: 

Online sales in Pakistan's $152 billion retail market are doubling every year,  according to Adam Dawood of Yayvo online portal.  The country's 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, May 6, 2018

Rising Afghan Violence; Hazara Killings; Safdar's Anti-Ahmedi Move

Why is the violence in Afghanistan intensifying? Why has US-NATO coalition dropped more bombs in Afghanistan in Jan-March 2018 quarter than in any other 3 month period in the last 15 years? Is it in response to the Taliban annual spring offensive? Or the Daish (ISIS) contributing to more killings? Is the Trump administration too busy with the military option and paying too little attention to any diplomatic initiatives to end the war in Afghanistan? Will the appointment of Michael Pompeo as US secretary of state make a difference?

Terrorism Toll in Pakistan. Source: SATP.org
Why are the Hazara killings continuing in Quetta? What can the Pakistani state and the military do to provide relief to the Hazara community? Beyond the the focus on security, what else can and should be done to reduce ethnic and sectarian hatred in Pakistani society in general? What kind of social and educational initiatives are needed to quell such violence? What role must the politicians play to appeal to the better angels of human nature?

 What does Captain Safdar, son-in-law of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, hope to achieve by pushing a bill in the Pakistan National Assembly to drop the name of renowned Pakistani Nobel Laureate Dr. Abdus Salam from the National Center of Physics at Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU)) in Islamabad? Is this cynical move timed to coincide with the upcoming election to win votes for his father-in-law's PMLN party? Why do politicians pander to the worst instincts of the people to win votes? Why is this happening in this day and age in many countries including India, European Union and the United States? Is this the ugly underbelly of modern democracy?

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

https://youtu.be/rhS9QC8UCmU




Related Links:

Haq'sMusings

South Asia Investor Review

Trump's Afghanistan Policy

Security Situation in Pakistan

Mariam Nawaz and Capt Safdar's Support of TLYR  Dharna

Viewpoint From Overseas Youtube Channel

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

PakAlumni Worldwide

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

How Pakistan's Corrupt Elite Use Trade Misinvoicing to Launder Money

Pakistan's exports have declined significantly since former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's PMLN party assumed power in 2013. They are down from about $25 billion in 2013-14 to about $20 billion in 2016-17.  At the same time, the nation's imports have jumped to $47 billion during this period, widening the trade deficit to a record $27 billion. Overvaluation of the Pakistani currency and CPEC related imports are often cited as a reason for it. The other, probably more important reason, may be increasing misinvoicing of trade facilitated by the people in power. Trade misinvoicing is the largest component of illicit financial outflows from developing countries, according to Washington-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI) which tracks such flows.

Trade Misinvoicing:

Global Financial Integrity (GFI) defines trade misinvoicing as "fraudulently manipulating the price, quantity, or quality of a good or service on an invoice submitted to customs" to quickly move substantial sums of money across international borders.

How does trade miscinvoicing work? Here's an example:

Let's say an exporter in Pakistan exports goods worth $1 million to a foreign country and invoices it at $500,000 through an offshore middleman.  The middleman invoices and collects $1 million from the end customer, sends $500,000 to Pakistan and deposits $500,000 in an offshore account. The result: Pakistan is deprived of the $500,000 in foreign exchange.

Similarly, imports of goods worth $1 million to Pakistan are overinvoiced at $1.5 million through an offshore middleman and the difference is kept in an overseas account. The result: Pakistan loses another $500,000 in foreign exchange. Meanwhile, the Pakistani traders and the officials facilitating misinvoicing together pocket $1 million or 50% on the two trades.  Pakistan's trade and current account deficits grow and the foreign exchange reserves are depleted, forcing Pakistan to go back to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for yet another bailout with tough conditions.



Terror and Drug Financing:

It is not just greedy politicians, unscrupulous businessmen and corrupt officials in developing countries who rely on fraudulent manipulation of trade invoices; all kinds of drug traders, terrorists and criminals also use what is called TBML (trade-based money laundering).

John A. Cassara, former US intelligence official with expertise in money laundering, submitted written testimony for a US Congressional hearing on “Trading with the Enemy: Trade-Based Money Laundering is the Growth Industry in Terror Finance” to the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing Of the House Financial Services Committee February 3, 2016. Here's an except from it:

"Not long after the September 11 attacks, I had a conversation with a Pakistani entrepreneur. This businessman could charitably be described as being involved in international grey markets and illicit finance. We discussed many of the subjects addressed in this hearing including trade-based money laundering, terror finance, value transfer, hawala, fictitious invoicing, and counter-valuation. At the end of the discussion, he looked at me and said, “Mr. John, don’t you know that your adversaries are transferring money and value right under your noses? But the West doesn’t see it. Your enemies are laughing at you.”"

Foreign Residency(Iqama):

Assets held by people in offshore tax havens are tracked by their country of residence, not by their citizenship, under OECD sponsored Agreement On Exchange of Information on Tax Matters. Pakistan is a signatory of this international agreement.  When Pakistan seeks information from another country under this agreement,  the nation's FBR gets only the information on asset holders who have declared Pakistan as their country of residence. Information on those Pakistanis who claim residency (iqama) in another country is not shared with Pakistani government. This loophole allows many Pakistani asset holders with iqamas in other countries to hide their assets. Many of Pakistan's top politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen hold residency visas in the Middle East, Europe and North America.

Loss of Tax Revenue:

Customs duties in developing countries often make up a huge part of the tax revenue collected by the governments. Trade Misinvoicing not only increases current account deficits but also worsen budget deficits by cutting tax receipts. Raymond Baker, author of Capitalism's Achilles Heel, has written about it as follows:

"The Pakistan government's largest source of revenues is customs duties, and therefore evasion of duties is a national pastime. Isn't there a way to tap into this major income stream, pretending to fight customs corruption and getting rich at he same time? Of course; we can hire a reputable (or disreputable, as the case maybe) inspection company, have the government pay the company about one percent fee to do price checking on imports, and get multi-million dollar bribes paid to us upon award of the contracts. Societe de Generale de Surveillance (SGS), headquartered in Switzerland, and its then subsidiary Cotecna, the biggest group in the inspection business, readily agree to this subterfuge. Letters in 1994 promised "consultancy fees", meaning kickbacks, of 6 percent and 3 percent to British Virgin Island (BVI) companies, Bomer Finance Inc. and Nassam Overseas Inc., controlled by (Benazir) Bhutto and (Asif) Zardari. Payments of $12 million were made to Swiss bank accounts of the BVI companies."

Aid in Reverse:

Some have called London the "Money Laundering Capital of the World" where corrupt leaders from developing nations use wealth looted from their people to buy expensive real estate and other assets. Private individuals and businesses from poor nations also park money in the west and other off-shore tax havens to hide their incomes and assets from the tax authorities in their countries of residence.

The multi-trillion dollar massive net outflow of money from the poor to the rich countries has been documented by the US-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI). This flow of capital has been described as "aid in reverse". It has made big headlines in Pakistan and elsewhere since the release of the Panama Papers and the Paradise Leaks which revealed true owners of offshore assets held by anonymous shell companies. Bloomberg has reported that Pakistanis alone own as much as $150 billion worth of undeclared assets offshore.

Impact on Economic Growth:

There's a direct relationship between investment and GDP. Flight of capital reduces domestic investment and depresses economic growth in poor countries. Lower tax revenues also impact spending on education, health care and infrastructure, resulting in poor socioeconomic indicators.

In Pakistan, for example, it takes investment of about 4% of GDP to grow the economy by 1%. Lower levels of investments in the country has kept its GDP growth below par relative to the rest of South Asia.  Any reduction in the outflow of capital to offshore tax havens will help boost economic growth in Pakistan to close the gap with its neighbors, particularly Bangladesh and India whose economies are both growing 1-2% faster than Pakistan's.

Summary:

Pakistan's exports have declined significantly since former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's PMLN party assumed power in 2013. They are down from about $25 billion in 2013-14 to about $20 billion in 2016-17. Overvaluation of the Pakistani currency is often cited as a reason for it. The other, probably more important reason, may be increasing underinvoicing of exports facilitated by the people in power. Trade misinvoicing is the largest component of illicit financial outflows from developing countries as measured by New York- based Global Financial Integrity (GFI) which tracks such flows.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Did Musharraf Steal Pakistani People's Money?

Pakistan Economy Hobbled By Underinvestment

Raymond Baker on Corruption in Pakistan

Nawaz Sharif Disqualified

Culture of Corruption in Pakistan

US Investigating Microsoft Bribery in Pakistan

Zardari's Corruption Probe in Switzerland

Politics of Patronage in Pakistan

Why is PIA Losing Money Amid Pakistan Aviation Boom?