Saturday, September 14, 2019

Silicon Valley's Indian-American Operator of Home Health Care Biz Charged in Medicare Fraud Case

Federal prosecutors in Silicon Valley have filed fraud charges against 30 defendants in a patients-for-cash kickback scheme. Indian-American CEO Ridhima "Amanda" Singh of Amity Home Health and Indian-American Bhupinder Bhandari are among the key defendants charged in the case. Pakistani-American Dr. Mariam Hasan, a graduate of Karachi's Dow Medical College, has also been charged. In addition to South Asians, the accused come from many different national origins, according to media reports.

Ridhima Singh, daughter of Dr. Rajiv Ahuja of Fremont, funneled $8 million in bribes — in Warriors tickets, Louis Vuitton bags, and “literal envelopes of cash” — to doctors, nurses, social workers and marketers in the South and East Bay who sent patients to the company, said David Anderson, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California. Those new patients brought $115 million in Medicare funds for Amity and a related corporation, Advent Care.

Here's the full list of individuals and companies changed in the scheme:

Defendant    Role    Age/Residence    Case Number

AMITY HEALTH CARE Home Health Care Provider 19-71440 ADVENT CARE, INC. Hospice Care Provider 19-71459

SINGH, AMANDA CEO of Amity 33, Livermore 19-71430

ADDISON, BRENDA Amity employee 49, Oakland 19-71431

BHANDARI, BHUPINDER Doctor 59, Pleasanton 19-71441

DEGUZMAN, MERVINA Nurse/Case Manager 41, San Jose 19-71447

HICKS, KIMBERLY Doctor 59, Oakland 19-71451

KABANSKAYA, YELENA Doctor 39, San Jose 19-71452

MYINT, GERALD Doctor 68, Union City 19-71448

NGUYEN, TAM Doctor 44, San Jose 19-71453

POSADA, JUAN Doctor 58, Cupertino 19-71449

SCZENDZINA, EWELINA Marketer 42, Gilroy 19-71434

TAYLOR, SCOTT Doctor 61, Oakland 19-71455

WATSON, HENRY Doctor 63, Oakland 19-71423

ZHANG, ZHENG Doctor 62, Saratoga 19-71457

SANTOS, GLENNDA Marketer 47, Castro Valley 19-71433

MANCUSO, APRIL Doctor 38, Los Gatos 19-71445

REYNOLDS, KERISIMASI Doctor 37, Los Gatos 19-71446

CARIAGA, CATHERINE Nurse/Case Manager 31, Fremont 19-71458 

TIRONA, TERENCE Nurse/Case Manager 33, Hayward 19-71454

DEL ROSARIO, SAL Case Manager 44, San Jose 19-71456

GAY, ANDRE NICOLAS Doctor 39, Union City 19-71460

HASAN, MARIAM Doctor 37, Milpitas 19-71450

ROY, BELINDA Nurse/Case Manager 59, Fremont 19-71443

SUNO, NICOLE Marketer 38, San Leandro 19-71421

TEODORO, STELLA Nurse/Case Manager 37, Union City 19-71444

TACORDA, HILDA Marketer 40, Hayward 19-71432 PINA,

REBECCA Marketer 38, Redwood City 19-71442

SINGH, VINEETA Social Worker 42, Hayward 19-71422

PRESCOTT, CAROLINE Marketing Director 53, San Ramon 19-71420

Ridhima Singh pushed associates to get her more patient referrals. “It’s been so many years and i know you are aware of what the expectations are,” she texted one associate in November 2018, according to the prosecutors. “I’m not here to fight I’m pretty clear cut and u know that. I’m drama free but things can get to my nerve when I don’t see the mutual understanding.”

The suspects face a maximum of 10 years in prison and $500,000 if they are found guilty.

Judge Joseph C Spero released the defendants on bail. He urged them not to violate the terms of their bonds. He also said that the case may not reach a conclusion for years. He told Ridhima Singh: “A complicated case like this could take years and you don’t want to be sitting in a jail cell.”

Back in 2014, Pakistani-American cardiologist Dr. Asad Qamar, the second highest Medicare biller in America at the time, was investigated by US Department of Health and Human Services for unnecessary surgeries and over-billing. He settled with the Department by agreeing to pay $2 million and release any claim to $5.3 million in suspended Medicare funds.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Pakistan 3rd Largest Source of Foreign Doctors in America

Silicon Valley Pakistani-Americans

History of South Asians in America

Pakistani-American Cardiologist Investigated by US Dept of Health

Silicon Valley Indian-American Congressman Joins Pakistan Caucus

Riaz Haq Youtube Channel

VPOS Youtube Channel

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Silicon Valley's Indian-American Congressman Joins Pakistan Caucus, Rejects Hindutva

Democrat Ro Khanna representing Silicon Valley has joined US Congress's Pakistan Caucus and rejected Hindutva. His actions have angered Hindu American supporters of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  Cracks are beginning to appear in the Hindu American community. Democrats from the Progressive Wing of the Party are finding it increasingly difficult to support Prime Minister Modi as he ferociously pushes his hateful Hindutva agenda to target minorities. However, vast majority of Hindu Americans, including those in Silicon Valley tech community, are solidly supporting Mr. Modi in spite of his extended lock-down and brutal actions in Kashmir.

Congressman Ro Khanna with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Capitol Hill

Khanna Rejects Hindutva:

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-Fremont) tweeted the following on Aug. 29: “It’s the duty of every American politician of Hindu faith to stand for pluralism, reject Hindutva, and speak for equal rights for Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhist & Christians.”  On August 17, Khanna became the first Indian-American to join US Congress's Pakistan caucus headed by Democratic Congresswoman Shiela Jackson of Texas and Republican Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana. Khanna's decision to join Pakistan caucus came after he met Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan during his July visit to Washington. After his July meeting with Khan Khanna tweeted: "Honored to meet PM Imran Khan. We spoke Hindustani, and I shared that my grandfather, an Indian freedom fighter with Gandhi, always had a hope for reconciliation. South Asian Americans of my generation hope for peace in the subcontinent in the 21st century."

Khanna Under Fire:

Khanna, a rising star in the progressive movement, who is vice-chair of the Progressive Caucus in the House, has come under fire by many right-wing Indian-American supporters of the RSS and BJP.
Majority of Hindu-Americans are ardent supporters of President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Indian Ambassador Shringle (R) with White Nationalist Steve Bannon

Most Hindu-Americans fail to see the irony that Srinivas Kuchibhotla who was killed by a white nationalist in Kansas in February 2017 was a victim of the same kind of hatred in America that Mr. Modi espouses against minorities in India. Kuchibotla himself was an ardent fan of Mr. Modi’s sweeping Hindutva politics as his wife related after this murder, according to and article published in the Hindu by Indian journalist and writer Varghese K. George.  Here is an excerpt of Mr. George's article:


"The dualism of Indian-American politics has now become unsustainable as Democratic leaders find it increasingly impossible to side with Mr. Modi as he advances the Hindutva agenda. Many of these friends of India were mislead, and had misread Mr. Modi’s politics and they interpreted his success in 2014 as a turn in Indian politics towards more neo-liberal reforms and globalism. Such an image of Mr. Modi was also projected by Indian diplomacy in America. But one American thinker, who interpreted Mr. Modi’s victory as a nativist revolt against a global elite, was none other than Stephen Bannon, the most authentic interpreter of Mr. Trump’s nationalist politics. Mr. Bannon has also been particularly a critic of the H-1B visa and Indian-American immigration. That the Indian Ambassador to the U.S. retweeted a tweet that denounced Mr. Sanders and tweeted about his meeting with Mr. Bannon in glowing terms (he deleted the tweet later) in quick succession bears out the official Indian position on the emerging fault-lines in American politics and the role of Indian Americans in it."

Hindu Nationalism in America:

India's top Hindu Nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has gone global with shakhas (branches) in 39 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and several Islamic middle eastern nations, according to Indian media reports.


In the United States alone, the RSS has 146 active chapters spread over all 50 states, according to Satish Modh who has been associated with RSS work abroad for over 25 years.

While shakhas in India take place in open public spaces, most shakhas meet on university campuses on hired parking lots in the US, says Modh.  Most overseas shakhas are held once a week. In London, they are held twice a week. The UK has 84 shakhas.


A US report entitled "Hindu Nationalism in the United States: A Report on Non-Profit Groups" disclosed the following findings regarding the strength and nature of the Hindu nationalist movement in the United States:

 a. Over the last three decades, a movement toward Hinduizing India--advancing the status of Hindus toward political and social primacy in India-- has continued to gain ground in South Asia and diasporic communities. The Sangh Parivar (the Sangh "family"), the network of groups at the forefront of this Hindu nationalist movement, has an estimated membership numbering in the millions, making the Sangh one of the largest voluntary associations in India. The major organizations in the Sangh include the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

b. Hindu nationalism has intensified and multiplied forms of discrimination, exclusion, and gendered and sexualized violence against Muslims, Christians, other minorities, and those who oppose Sangh violations, as documented by Indian citizens and international tribunals, fact-finding groups, international human rights organizations, and U.S. governmental bodies.

c. India-based Sangh affiliates receive social and financial support from its U.S.-based wings, the latter of which exist largely as tax-exempt non-profit organizations in the United States: Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), Sewa International USA, Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation-USA. The Overseas Friends of the Bharatiya Janata Party - USA (OFBJP) is active as well, though it is not a tax-exempt group.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard strongly supports Prime Minister Modi

American Presidential Politics:

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is a strong supporter of Indian Hindu Nationalist Prime Minister Modi.  Her bid for Democratic presidential nomination is being bankrolled by Hindu Nationalist donors. Amongst Gabbard’s many donors are members of the US chapters of groups such as the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, the Overseas Friends of the BJP and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, according to Pieter Friedrich. The Hindu Sangh Parivar in the United States has helped her come from nowhere to get elected to US Congress and set her sights on the White House.

US Presidential Candidate Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard's Hindutva Donors

Summary:

Cracks are beginning to appear in the Hindu American community. Democrats from the Progressive Wing of the Party are finding it increasingly difficult to support Prime Minister Modi as he ferociously pushes his hateful Hindutva agenda against minorities. Democrat Ro Khanna representing Silicon Valley has joined US Congress's Pakistan Caucus and rejected Hindutva. His actions have angered Hindu American supporters of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  However, vast majority of Hindu Americans, including those in Silicon Valley tech community, are solidly supporting Mr. Modi in spite of his extended lock-down and brutal actions in Kashmir.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Imran Khan in Washington

Modi's Extended Lockdown in Indian Occupied Kashmir

Hinduization of India

Brievik's Hindutva Rhetoric

Indian Textbooks

India's RAW's Successes in Pakistan

Riaz Haq Youtube Channel

VPOS Youtube Channel

Thursday, September 5, 2019

"Blinded by the Light": True Story of British Pakistani Teen Growing Up in Luton

Last weekend, my wife and I saw Gurinder Chaddha's "Blinded by the Light", a film based on the true story of British Pakistani journalist Sarfraz Manzoor growing up Luton in 1980s when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady, ruled the United Kingdom. Our evening started with a spicy and aromatic dinner at Banana Leaf, a popular Malaysian Restaurant in Silicon Valley, followed by our visit to AMC Mercado where we watched the movie.

Sarfaraz Manzoor (L) with Bruce Springsteen

Blinded by the Light draws its title from a popular Bruce Springsteen song of the same name. It is based on British Pakistani journalist Sarfaraz Manzoor's 2007 memoir "Greetings from Bury Park". Manzoor's memoir is about the power of Bruce Springsteen's music influencing him as a Pakistani teen growing up in Britain in 1980s.

Springsteen's music "speaks" to Javed, the teenage character's name for real-life Sarfraz Manzoor who is played by Viveik Kalra.  With plant closings and de-industrialization that cost Javed's father his job at a local auto plant and forced his mother work long hours as a seamstress, the teenager experienced what Springsteen's poetry is about. Springsteen's father was often unemployed and his mother was the main breadwinner for the family.  Lyrics of his songs like "Johnny 99" and "The Factory" made Springsteen a working class hero.

The person who introduced Javed to Springsteen's music was his Sikh classmate Roops, the only other Asian in high class which consisted almost entirely of white boys and girls. The shared love of Springsteen's music brought the two boys close. Javed's female classmate Eliza also becomes close to him and the two start to date.

Greetings from Bury Park, the book Blinded by the Light is based on, is the story of young Sarfaraz Manzoor's experience of living in a white working class neighborhood and being subjected to bigotry and racism by neighbors and classmates. But it is also a story of kindness and support extended to him by some of the white teachers and neighbors. In particular, his English schoolteacher encouraged him to pursue his passion for writing. She recommended him to the local newspaper for an internship where he was asked to cover the unfolding story of attempts by some in Luton to shut down the only mosque in town. He even got paid for the mosque story he wrote for the newspaper. Later, his teacher entered one of his essays in a competition in which he won a trip to Monmouth College (now Monmouth University) in New Jersey in the United States.  The trip gave him an opportunity to visit Asbury Park referred to in Bruce Springsteen's debut album "Greetings From Asbury Park".

Gurinder Chaddha who previously brought us "Bend It Like Beckham" has lived up to her reputation as a great filmmaker with "Blinded by the Light". The soundtrack of her latest film is dominated by Springsteen's popular hits. It's a well-made film. The only complaint I have is that Chadhha has not cast any Pakistani actors in this film. I'm sure she could have found several British Pakistani actors to cast from the available talent pool in the British Pakistani community.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

British Pakistani Actor Makes History By Winning Emmy

British Pakistan Singer Zayn Malik

British Pakistan Members of Parliament

British Pakistanis

London Mayor Sadiq Khan

Pakistan 3rd Largest Source of Foreign Doctors in America

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

Pakistanis in Silicon Valley

History of South Asians in America

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Ashley Tellis Wants Trump to Continue US Policy of "Strategic Altruism" With Modi's India

In a piece titled "The India Dividend: New Delhi Remains Washington’s Best Hope in Asia" published in Foreign Affairs journal, authors Robert Blackwill and Ashley Tellis argue that the Trump Administration should continue the US policy of "strategic altruism" with India that began with US-India nuclear agreement. They want President Trump to ignore the fact that the US companies and economy have only marginally benefited from this policy. They see India as a "superpower in waiting" and urge Washington to focus on the goal of having India as an ally to check China's rise. They see Chinese support for India's archrival Pakistan and China’s growing weight in South Asia and beyond as threat to India.

Who is Ashley Tellis:

Ashley Tellis was born and raised in Mumbai, India. Back in 1999 as a “researcher” at RAND Corp, he contributed to a report for US Department of Defense (DoD) that forecast Pakistan would “disappear” by 2015. It proved to be wishful thinking.

Here are the Key Points of Pentagon's Asia 2025 Report on South Asia region that Ashley Tellis contributed to:

1. Pakistan is "near collapse" in 2010 while India is making "broad progress".

2.  Iranian "moderation" in 2010 while Afghanistan remains "anarchic hotbed".

3. Pakistan is "paralyzed" after an "Indo-Pak war 2012".

4. US launches conventional strike on "remaining Pakistan nukes" after the "Indo-Pak war 2012.

5. China "blinks at US-India Collusion".

6. Pakistan "disappears".

Source: Pentagon Asia 2025 Report

He is promoted as a South Asia "scholar" by various Washington Think Tanks he has worked for. Currently, he is with Carnegie Endowment For International Peace in Washington DC. His hostility toward Pakistan shows through in all his work.

Criticism of Trump's India Policy:

Blackwill and Tellis have praised Presidents George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama for ignoring long-standing US policy on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and for pushing US-India nuclear deal through.  At the same time, they have criticized Trump for "leaving even staunch pro-U.S. stalwarts such as Modi wondering whether India could ever count on the United States to come to its aid in the event of a major crisis with China".

The authors take President Trump to task for "focusing less on India’s potential as a partner than on its unbalanced trade with the United States". The Trump administration has  recently withdrawn India’s privileged trade access to the United States under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.

Trump's Afghan Policy:

The authors are unhappy with administration’s approach to peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan for for failing "to consider Indian interests".  They complain that their expectation that "Trump might put less pressure on India regarding....its relations with Pakistan" have not materialized.

Blackwill and Tellis don't explain how Trump can end America's longest war while protecting Indian interests in Afghanistan.

Strategic Alturism:

Blackwill and Tellis want Trump administration to continue "generous U.S. policies" not merely a favor to New Delhi but a "conscious exercise of strategic altruism". They praise the US administrations that preceded Trump in the following words:

"A strong India was fundamentally in Washington’s interest, even if New Delhi would often go its own way on specific policy issues. Both Bush and his successor, Barack Obama, turned a blind eye to India’s positions in international trade negotiations, its relatively closed economy, and its voting record at the United Nations, all of which ran counter to U.S. preferences".

Summary:

Robert Blackwill and Ashley Tellis argue that the Trump administration should continue "generous U.S. policies" not merely a favor to New Delhi but a "conscious exercise of strategic altruism".  The authors are unhappy with administration’s approach to peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan for for failing "to consider Indian interests".  They complain that their expectation that "Trump might put less pressure on India regarding....its relations with Pakistan" have not materialized. In other words, they want US-India relations to be a one-way street where all the benefits flow from US to India in the expectation that at some point in the future India would be useful to counter China's rise in Asia.

Related Links:






Sunday, September 1, 2019

Modi Brings Back Indian Economy to "Hindu Rate of Growth" of 3%

In a tweet earlier today, Indian journalist Shekhar Gupta said, "Under the old method, it would be just a little over 3%. So the Hindu Rate of Growth returns before the Hindu Rashtra arrives...".  One hundred percent "Hindu Rashtra" is the goal of the ruling BJP.  Another Delhi-based journalist Abheek Barman has blamed India's slowing economy on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's single-minded pursuit of his fascist Hindutva agenda against Muslims in India and Indian Occupied Kashmir.  "Every village idiot knows the way out of income slowdown is meaningful economic policy, not blocking communication lines in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir or listing 2 million (Muslim) Assamese as ‘illegals’", he wrote in an op ed in The Quint.  The slowdown in Indian economy is also reflected in India experiencing the worst unemployment situation in 45 years. All sectors of the economy from construction to manufacturing are seeing high job losses.

Major Economic Slow-down in India: 

Gupta is referring to India's GDP growth rate which has reportedly dropped to 5% for the last quarter under Modi's method of measurement. Many experts, including Modi's former top economic adviser Arvind Subramaniam, believe it overstates India's GDP growth rate by about 2.5%.

Hindu rate of growth refers to the low annual growth rate of India's GDP before economic liberalizations of 1991. It stagnated around 3.5% from 1950s to 1980s, while per capita income growth averaged just 1.3%.

Before Mr. Modi became prime minister of India in 2013, Indian economy saw robust growth reaching a peak of 8.5%. There were few questions about the veracity of GDP figures published by the Manmohan Singh government. However, there have been persistent doubts about Mr. Modi's GDP figures since his government revised GDP measure-met methodology.

Indian GDP Figures Disputed: 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has claimed GDP growth rate averaging 7% since 2014 when BJP won the parliamentary elections. This claim has been challenged by many Indian and foreign economists in the last several years.

India’s gross domestic product product (GDP) growth rate between under Mr. Modi's government should be about 4.5% instead of the official estimate of close to 7%, according to Mr. Modi's former chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian who published a research paper at Harvard University. “India changed its data sources and methodology for estimating real gross domestic product (GDP) for the period since 2011-12. This paper shows that this change has led to a significant overestimation of growth,” he said in the paper.

While India's boosters in the West are not only buying but applauding the new figures, Indian policy professionals at the nation's Central Bank and the Finance ministry are having a very hard time believing the new and improved GDP brought to the world by Indian government. Dissenters include Morgan Stanley's Ruchir Sharma, an Indian-American, who has called the new numbers a "bad joke" aimed at a "wholesale rewriting of history".

Based on the latest methodology,  it is claimed that the Indian economy expanded 7.5 percent year-on-year during the last quarter, higher than 7.3 percent growth recorded by China in the latest quarter, making it the fastest growing major economy in the world, according to Reuters. Is it wishful thinking to make Indian economy look better than China's?

India GDP Revisions. Source: Financial Times


The GDP revisions have surprised most of the nation's economists and raised serious questions about the credibility of government figures released after rebasing the GDP calculations to year 2011-12 from 2004-5. So what is wrong with these figures? Let's try and answer the following questions:

1. How is it possible that the accelerated GDP growth in 2013-14 occurred while the Indian central bankers were significantly jacking up interest rates by several percentage points and cutting money supply in the Indian economy?

2. Why are the revisions at odds with other important indicators such as lower industrial production and trade and tax collection figures?  For the previous fiscal year, the government’s index of industrial production showed manufacturing activity slowing by 0.8%. Exports in December shrank 3.8% in dollar terms from a year earlier.

3. How can growth accelerate amid financial constraints depressing investment in India?  Indian companies are burdened with debt and banks are reluctant to lend.

4. Why has the total GDP for 2013-14 shrunk by about Rs. 100 billion in spite of upward revision in economic growth rate? Why is India's GDP at $1.8 trillion, well short of the oft-repeated $2 trillion mark?

Questions about the veracity of India's economic data are not new. US GAO study has found that India's official figures on IT exports to the United States have been exaggerated by as much as 20 times.

Similarly, French economist Thomas Piketty has argued in his best seller "Capital in the Twenty-First Century that the GDP growth rates of India and China are exaggerated.  Picketty writes as follows:

"Note, too, that the very high official growth figures for developing countries (especially India and China) over the past few decades are based almost exclusively on production statistics. If one tries to measure income growth by using household survey data, it is often quite difficult to identify the reported rates of macroeconomic growth: Indian and Chinese incomes are certainly increasing rapidly, but not as rapidly as one would infer from official growth statistics. This paradox-sometimes referred to as the "black hole" of growth-is obviously problematic. It may be due to the overestimation of the growth of output (there are many bureaucratic incentives for doing so), or perhaps the underestimation of income growth (household have their own flaws)), or most likely both. In particular, the missing income may be explained by the possibility that a disproportionate share of the growth in output has gone to the most highly remunerated individuals, whose incomes are not always captured in the tax data." "In the case of India, it is possible to estimate (using tax return data) that the increase in the upper centile's share of national income explains between one-quarter and one-third of the "black hole" of growth between 1990 and 2000. "

T.C.A. Anant, the chief statistician of India, has told the Wall Street Journal that “there’s a large number of areas where we have deviated (from the United Nations’ latest guidebook on measuring GDP) for a large measure, because we are simply, at the moment, unable to implement those recommendations.”

Summary: 

There is growing consensus among top economists that India's GDP figures reported by Mr. Modi's government are highly exaggerated. India's former chief economist Arvind Subramanian has said the figures are overstated by 2.5%. He puts the real growth rate in the last 5 years at 4.5%. The latest claim of 5% growth means that the actual growth rate has dropped to be below 3%, often referred to as "Hindu growth rate" of the years before 1991 economic reforms. It is being blamed on Mr. Modi's single-minded focus on his fascist Hidutva agenda to remake India into a Hindu Rashtra.  The slowdown in Indian economy is also reflected in India experiencing the worst unemployment situation in 45 years. All sectors of the economy from construction to manufacturing are seeing high job losses.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Indian Occupied Kashmir Under Total Lockdown

Is India Fudging GDP to Look Better Than China?

India's IT Exports Highly Exaggerated

India-Pakistan Economic Comparison 2014

Pakistan's Official GDP Figures Ignore Fast Growing Sectors

Challenging Haqqani's Op Ed: "Pakistan's Elusive Quest For Parity"

State Bank Says Pakistan's Official GDP Under-estimated

Pakistan's Growing Middle Class

Pakistan's GDP Grossly Under-estimated; Shares Highly Undervalued

Fast Moving Consumer Goods Sector in Pakistan

3G-4G Roll-out in Pakistan


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Ten Day Alaska Cruise From San Francisco

My wife Yasmeen and I returned from a 10-day Alaska cruise over the weekend. We left from Pier 27 in San Francisco aboard the cruise ship named Grand Princess on Pakistan's Independence Day and came back on August 24, 2019. It was a fun-filled cruise with excellent food and entertainment with ports of call at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway in Alaska as well as Victoria, British Columbia in Canada. It was smooth sailing except one night on our way to Victoria when the sea was really rough making some of the passengers really sick. Seeing massive glaciers up close and watching whales made for some the highlights of our trip.



Departure From San Francisco:

We were picked up from home on time at 12 noon on August 14 by a driver from East Bay Shuttle driving a Toyota Sienna minivan and arrived at San Francisco Pier 27 at about 1:15PM. The process of baggage handling and check-in was very efficient and we soon found our way to our cabin where our baggage was already sitting at the door. We put the baggage inside our room and left for the lunch buffet that was all set for the hungry passengers on Deck 14. The ship sailed from the port exactly at 4 PM as scheduled.

First Formal Night at Sea:

The ship sailed for two days and nights toward our first port of call at Ketchikan in Alaska. The second night was a Formal Night when all on board dressed up for pictures. Most of the passengers chose fine dining with sit-down dinner available at multiple restaurants on the ship.



Yasmeen and I had lots of pictures taken at several spots chosen by professional photographers. We then sat down for dinner at Michelangelo restaurant on Deck 5. Yasmeen had shrimp cocktail and I ordered Caesar's salad to start. Yasmeen had steak and I ate almond crusted salmon for the main entree. We topped it off with Creme Brulee for Yasmeen and a slice of fruit tart cake and a cup of cappuccino for me.




After dinner, we both went to the Princess Theater to see the "British Invasion" show. It was mostly about the Beatles but also featured Elvis Presley “ the King” and The Rolling Stones. The cast ably performed with songs and dances that got the audience up on their feet singing along the favorites like Help Me, Lucy in the Sky” and I Don’t Get No Satisfaction”. It was loads of fun!

Stop at Ketchikan:

We arrived in Alaskan town of Ketchikan on the morning of Saturday, August 17, 2019. Our disembarkation photo op with a man holding an axe said it all: The population of Ketchikan traditionally relied on cutting down trees for their livelihood. It sits on the edge of Tongas National Forest, America's largest national forest covering 16.7 million acres. Logging was banned in large parts of it in 1990. Since that ban, tourism has emerged as the largest industry in Ketchikan and similar other towns in Alaska. The second largest industry here is salmon fishing.



We took "Duck Tour" in an amphibious vehicle which took us on a tour of both the land and the sea. On this tour, we saw several fresh water streams where salmon come from the sea to spawn.



The original native people who have been living here since well before the Europeans arrived are called the Tlingit people. They first suffered at the hands of Russians from 1733 to 1867 when Alaska was purchased by the United States. Then came the Gold Rush that brought a huge influx of Americans who brought many infectious diseases that almost wiped out the native population.

Back on the ship, we watched Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s a biopic about British singer Freddie Mercury who was born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar to Parsee Indian parents. The word Bismillah is in the lyrics he wrote for the Bohemian Rhapsody song. He was the lead singer of the band Queen that produced some of the most popular hits in 1980s like We Will Rock You, We Are the Champions and Another One Bites the Dust. Freddie is played by Egyptian born actor Rami Malek who won the Best Actor Oscar for his role. It’s worth watching.

Port Call at Juneau:

Our ship docked at Juneau, the capital of Alaska and the second largest city in the state, on Sunday August 18, 2019. We saw three other large cruise ships already in port, indicating Juneau is a popular tourist destination.

We took Mount Roberts Tramway, an aerial tramway located just south of downtown Juneau. The tram hanging from cables made a 6-minute ascent of 3,819-foot Mount Roberts from the cruise ship docks to a height of about 1,800 feet.

L to R: Libby Riddles, Riaz Haq, Yasmeen Haq


In the evening, Yasmeen and I met with Libby Riddles, the first woman to win the Iditarod dog sled race . She was invited on board to talk about her experience of one of the world's toughest races in the  frozen Alaskan Tundra.




Alaska Skagway Stop:

Skagway is the northernmost point that our ship sailed to on this cruise on Monday August 19, 2019. This town was the biggest attraction during Klondike Gold Rush years. We took a bus tour that took us to the historic White Pass and Yukon route.



We passed through Canadian territory on this tour. It's a very scenic road with glaciers visible on mountain tops, several beautiful streams and waterfalls and trees growing on high mountains.

Some of our fellow tourists took the steam engine train that runs the route where railroad tracks were first laid during the Klondike Gold Rush.

Tracy Arm Fjord:

We sailed through TracyArm Fjord, named after Civil War General Benjamin Franklin Tracy, toward a huge glacier on water's edge. Along the way, we saw several small and large icebergs floating on the water. Tracy Arm is a narrow, 27-mile long inlet 50 miles south of Juneau. The Fjord at its narrowest is no more than half mile wide—and cliffs rise over 3,000 feet on either side, with waterfalls covering them.



The ship made a tight S-turn and stopped as we got really close to the face of twin glaciers, known as Sawyer Glaciers, to allow us to a take a close look. Photographers hovered around us to take lots of pictures with the majestic glacier in the background.

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada:

Our last stop on August 22 was in the city of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. It's a charming town that reminds of London, England. Some of the oldest buildings, including the provincial legislature, were designed by British architect Francis Rattenbury (1867-1935). Victoria's Chinatown is the second oldest in North America after San Francisco's. Victoria is sometimes described as the city of gardens. Its Butchart Garden is world famous for its floral display gardens.



We took a bus tour of the city that took us to Oak Bay, home of some of the most expensive real estate in western Canada. Along the way, our tour guide talked about the architecture of various buildings and spent considerable time telling us tales of architect Francis Rattenbury's scandals.

Second Formal Night:

We had our cruise's second formal night on August 22, 2019. We put on formal clothing, had pictures taken and sat down for dinner at a restaurant. Yasmeen started with Caesar's salad and I had escargot. Our main course was chicken for Yasmeen and salmon for me. Yasmeen chose fresh fruit and I had chocolate cake.



After dinner, we saw “Born to Dance”, a show produced by Oscar, Tony and Grammy award winning composer Stephen Schwartz. It featured dances choreographed by Bob Fosse and other great choreographers of Broadway musicals like Oklahoma, Carousel, West Side Story, Chicago, Cats, Hairspray, Mamma Mia and Hello Dolly






Indians On Board:

There was a group of 60 Indian-Americans among 2700 fellow passengers on board. Yasmeen and I know some of them from the San Francisco Bay Area. Princess cruises responded to their significant presence by offering daal, chawal, vegetarian dishes and spicy papad on the menu.

On August 15, the Indians had Independence Day Celebrations on the ship with flag raising and karaoke.

There were also many Indians among Grand Princess's multi-national crew.  Large numbers of Russians, Ukrainians, Hungarians, Latin Americans and Filipinos were some of the more significant nationalities among the crew. The ship's captain was from Italy where Grand Princess was built in 1998 at a cost of $450 million.

 Back in San Francisco:

We had smooth sailing as we headed back. Early Saturday morning of August 24 as we woke up, we saw Golden Gate's red and green lights through the fog. We were home again. San Francisco skyline with TransAmerica building and the SalesForce Tower were soon visible as we pulled in to Pier 27 of San Francisco Port where we had left exactly 10 days earlier.

Summary:

Alaska's fresh clean air, natural beauty and cool temperatures were great for our summer vacation. With the exception of one rough right as we sailed to Victoria, it was smooth sailing for the rest of the cruise. It was worth every penny we spent on it.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Alaska Permanent Fund

Israel in Alaska

Pakistan Travel and Tourism Boom

Extreme Kayak Adventures in Pakistan

Helicopter Skiing in Karakorams

Climbing K2: The Ultimate Challenge

Indian Visitors Share "Eye-Opening" Stories of Pakistan

American Tourist Picks Pakistan Among Top 10 Best Countries to Visit

Pakistani American to Pakistani Diaspora: Go Back and Visit Pakistan

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network

Monday, August 12, 2019

Indian Occupied Kashmir Under Total Extended Lockdown On Eid ul Azha

Indian military has kept Occupied Kashmir under extended and inhumane lockdown on the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha to prevent protests against New Delhi's reckless decision to scrap Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The lockdown is being enforced by over 700,000 Indian troops deployed in Jammu and Kashmir.  People are imprisoned in their homes for several days in a row. There is no Internet, telephone or television.  Delhi rules the region under Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the same law that was created and used by the British colonial power to try and crush Gandhi's Quit India movement. Thousands have died and more than 6,221 people received pellet gun injuries in the seven months following the July 2016 killing of Burhan Wani, according to the Jammu and Kashmir government as reported by The New Humanitarian.  Mr. Modi's actions are not only an affront to the people of Jammu and Kashmir but also in clear violation of India's international and bilateral obligations under United Nations charter and the Simla Accord.   It is time for all sane Indians and the rest of the world to wake up to the serious threats posed to peace in South Asia region and the wider world by Mr. Modi's fascist Hindutva project.

Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir:

Regardless of Article 370, the region of of Jammu and Kashmir remains a disputed territory whose status must be resolved according to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 47 (1948) and 80 (1950). India can not unilaterally alter its status without agreement with Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are are parties to it.  Any unilateral action by either India or Pakistan on Kashmir also violates the Simla Agreement which requires bilateral resolution of the disputed region.

Mr. Modi's actions are not only an affront to the people of Jammu and Kashmir but also in clear violation of India's international and bilateral obligations under United Nations charter and the Simla Accord.

China, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, lays claim to Ladakh region. It has objected to India making it a union territory.

India is deploying 700,000 troops with extraordinary powers to detain, torture, blind, injure and kill any Kashmiri citizen with impunity under Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act 1990. It is the most heavily militarized region in the world.

India rules Kashmir using Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the same law that was created and used by the British colonial power to try and crush Gandhi's Quit India movement.

After independence in 1947, the Indian government has made extensive use of the same colonial-era British law to crush legitimate demands for freedom by the peoples of Assam, Manipur, Kashmir and other regions. The Act has now been in force in Kashmir for 26 years.

Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's Pledge

Deaths and Injuries:


In the latest Kashmir uprising triggered by the July 8 2016 murder of young Kashmiri activist Burhan Wani by Indian military,  hundreds of protesters have been killed and thousands more injured in peaceful protests.

The extensive use pellet guns by Indian soldiers has blinded thousands of young men and women, even children, during the current wave of mass protests. More than 6,221 people received pellet gun injuries in the seven months following the July 2016 unrest, according to the Jammu and Kashmir government as reported by The New Humanitarian.

Prior to casualties this latest round of protests since Mr. Modi rose to power in New Delhi, there have tens of thousands of civilians killed and hundreds of thousands injured by Indian military in Kashmir. Thousands of bodies have been found in mass graves in Bandipora, Baramulla, and Kupwara districts in Kashmir, according to The Hindu.

Kashmir Mass Graves:

Dr. Angana Chatterji, a professor of cultural and social anthropology at California Centre for Integral Studies who uncovered the mass graves, reported as follows:  “Of the 2700 graves, 2,373 (87.9 percent) were unnamed. 154 graves contained two bodies each and 23 contained more than two cadavers. Within these 23 graves, the number of bodies ranged from 3 to 17."

Scholars, she said, refer to mass graves as resulting from Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes, or Genocide. “If the intent of a mass grave is to execute death with impunity, with intent to kill more than one, and to forge an unremitting representation of death, then, to that extent, the graves in Bandipora, Baramulla, and Kupwara are part of a collective burial by India’s military and paramilitary, creating a landscape of ‘mass burial.’

Dr. Chatterji said post-death, the bodies of the victims were routinely handled by military and paramilitary personnel, including the local police. She said that the bodies were then brought to “secret graveyards” primarily by personnel of the State Police.

The International Peoples' Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice, an independent group headed by Dr. Chatterji, alleged that the violence and militarization in Kashmir, between 1989-2009, have resulted in over 70,000 deaths, including through extrajudicial or “fake encounter” executions, custodial brutality, and other means. “In the enduring conflict, 6, 67,000 military and paramilitary personnel continue to act with impunity to regulate movement, law, and order across Kashmir,” she added.

Indian University Student Protest:

Many enlightened Indians like the Jawaharlal Nehru University students see the brutality and futility of Indian military occupation of Kashmir. At protests earlier this year, many chanted slogans in favor of Azadi for Kashmiris.  "Geelani bole azaadi, Afzal bole azaadi, jo tum na doge azaadi, toh chheen ke lenge azadi! (Geelani and Afzal demanded freedom. If freedom is denied, we will snatch it!)".

New Generation in Revolt: 

During the 26 years of Kashmir under Armed Forces Special Powers Act, an entire new generation of Kashmiris has grown up. This generation, represented by tech-savvy youngsters like Burhan Wani, has seen nothing but repression and violence committed by the Indian military against their people. They are more determined than ever to defy and defeat the illegal and immoral military occupation of their land by India.

Domestic Opposition in India:

Mr. Karan Singh, a member of Indian Rajya Sabha (upper house) and the son of Kashmiri Maharaja Hari Singh who "acceded" Jammu and Kashmir to India in 1947, has said that Kashmir is "not an internal matter" of India. Mr. Singh has insisted on restoration of the dialogue process with Pakistan.

“J&K’s relationship with the rest of India is guided by Article 370 and the State Constitution that I signed into law. We must realize that from the very beginning, J&K, rightly or wrongly, has been given a special position. Now [after] that special position from the original three subjects, there have been a whole series of developments — some may call them positive developments of integration, others may say negative developments of reducing autonomy,” Mr. Singh was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

Strongest reactions to Mr. Modi's decision to annul article 370 have come from top leaders in Indian Punjab and Tamil Nadu. It has inspired fear that the central government in Delhi could take control of any state, strip it of its statehood and impose direct rule without the consent of its people.

Former union minister P. Chidambaram called Modi's action a "cardinal blunder" and a "fatal legal error"."What you are doing today sends a very wrong signal to every state of country", he added.

Tamil Nadu's DMK party leader MK Stalin took to Twitter to condemn Modi's decision. “This is a dark day in the history of Indian federalism. I urge the President of India to not precipitate the situation and not take any further steps in this regard until a democratically elected Government is formed there. The DMK stands with its Kashmiri brothers and sisters and will oppose any assault on federal structure,” he said in a series of tweets.

Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh of Indian Punjab has denounced the revocation of 370 as “totally unconstitutional”. He tweeted that “the Constitution of India had been rewritten without following any legal provisions. Such a historic decision should not have been taken and pushed through in this arbitrary manner...This will set a bad precedent as it would mean that the Centre could reorganize any state in the country by simply imposing President’s rule.”

Summary:

Indian Hindu Nationalist government of Prime Minister Modi's abrogation of Article 370 is in clear violation of the Indian constitution and international rules governing resolution of disputes between countries.  Indian military has kept Occupied Kashmir under extended and inhumane lockdown on the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha to prevent protests against New Delhi's reckless decision to scrap Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The lockdown is being enforced by over 700,000 Indian troops deployed in Jammu and Kashmir.  Thousands have died and more than 6,221 people received pellet gun injuries in the seven months following the July 2016 killing of Burhan Wani, according to the Jammu and Kashmir government as reported by The New Humanitarian  It has wider implications for India's federal, secular and democratic constitutional structure. It has sent alarm bells ringing in Indian states of Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland and Mizoram. It also threatens to escalate tensions between nuclear armed rivals India and Pakistan when the Kashmiri resistance turns violent and Modi falsely blames it on "cross-border terrorism". Nuclear confrontation in South Asia could result in deaths of billions of people across Asia, Africa, Europe and America. It is time for all sane Indians and the rest of the world to wake up to the serious threats posed to peace in South Asia region and the wider world by Mr. Modi's fascist Hindutva project.

Here's Human rights activist Ajit Sahi exposing Modi's atrocities in Kashmir at Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Sahi says 6 people a day being killed in extrajudicial killings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBjfOERnLz0

&

Here's another video discussion:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_VAqyClS-0





https://vimeo.com/182288648

Did India beat Pakistan in the 1965 war from Ikolachi on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Kashmiris Observe Black Day

India: A Paper Elephant?

India-Pakistan Nuclear Arms Race

Kashmir: 700,000 Indian Soldiers vs 7 Million Kashmiris

Funding of Hate Groups, NGOs, Think Tanks: Is Money Free Speech?

US and China Vying For Influence in Pakistan

Pakistan-China-Russia Vs India-Japan-US

Pakistan Rising or Failing: Reality vs Perception

Pakistan's Trillion Dollar Economy Among top 25

MQM-RAW Link

Riaz Haq Youtube Channel

VPOS Youtube Channel



Sunday, August 11, 2019

Pakistan's Digital Gig Economy Growth Among World's Fastest

Pakistan's digital gig economy growth is the fastest in Asia and fourth fastest in the world, according to digital payments platform Payoneer.

Gig Economy Growth in Q2/2019. Source: Payoneer
United States led gig economy growth of 78% followed by the United Kingdom 59%, Brazil 48%, Pakistan 47% and Ukraine 36%. Asia growth was led by Pakistan followed by Philippines (35%) , India  (29%) and Bangladesh (27%).

The rapid gig economy expansion of 47% in Pakistan  was fueled by several factors including the country's very young population 70% of which is under 30 years of age coupled with improvements in science and technical education and expansion of high-speed broadband access.  Pakistani freelancers under the age of 35 generated 77% of the revenue in second quarter of 2019.

Mohsin Muzaffar, head of business development at Payoneer in Pakistan, has said as follows: "Government investment in enhancing digital skills has helped create a skilled freelancer workforce while blanket 4G coverage across Pakistan has given freelancers unprecedented access to
international jobs".

Global Freelance Revenue By Age. Source: Payoneer. 


In Q2/2019, Asia cemented its status as a freelancer hub.  Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, Philippines made it to the  top 10 list, collectively recording 238% increase from Q2/2018.


Online Labor Index. Source: Oxford Internet Institute

As of 2017, Pakistan freelancers ranked fourth in the world and accounted for 8.5% of the global online workforce, according to Online Labor Index compiled by Oxford Internet Institute. India led with 24% share followed by Bangladesh 16%, US 12%, Pakistan 8.5% and Philippines 6.5%.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Digital BRI and 5G in Pakistan

Pakistan's Demographic Dividend

Pakistan EdTech and FinTech Startups

State Bank Targets Fully Digital Economy in Pakistan

Campaign of Fear Against CPEC

Fintech Revolution in Pakistan

E-Commerce in Pakistan

The Other 99% of the Pakistan Story

FMCG Boom in Pakistan

Belt Road Forum 2019

Fiber Network Growth in Pakistan

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel


Saturday, August 10, 2019

Modi's Kashmir Blunder: Wider Implications For India, Pakistan and the World

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's reckless decision to unilaterally abrogate Article 370 of the Indian constitution has sent shockwaves across South Asia and the rest of the world. The immediate effect of this action is on Indian Occupied Kashmir which has lost its status as a state and stands divided into union territories directly ruled from New Delhi. It has wider implications for India's federal, secular and democratic constitutional structure. It has sent alarm bells ringing in Indian states of Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland and Mizoram. It also threatens to escalate tensions between nuclear armed rivals India and Pakistan when the Kashmiri resistance turns violent and Modi falsely blames it on "cross-border terrorism". Nuclear confrontation in South Asia could result in deaths of billions of people across Asia, Africa, Europe and America. It is time for all sane Indians and the rest of the world to wake up to the serious threats posed to peace in South Asia region and the wider world by Mr. Modi's fascist Hindutva project.

Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir:

Regardless of Article 370, the region of of Jammu and Kashmir remains a disputed territory whose status must be resolved according to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 47 (1948) and 80 (1950). India can not unilaterally alter its status without agreement with Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are are parties to it.  Any unilateral action by either India or Pakistan on Kashmir also violates the Simla Agreement which requires bilateral resolution of the disputed region.

Mr. Modi's actions are not only an affront to the people of Jammu and Kashmir but also in clear violation of India's international and bilateral obligations under United Nations charter and the Simla Accord.

China, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, lays claim to Ladakh region. It has objected to India making it a union territory.

Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's Pledge

Domestic Opposition in India:

Mr. Karan Singh, a member of Indian Rajya Sabha (upper house) and the son of Kashmiri Maharaja Hari Singh who "acceded" Jammu and Kashmir to India in 1947, has said that Kashmir is "not an internal matter" of India. Mr. Singh has insisted on restoration of the dialogue process with Pakistan.

“J&K’s relationship with the rest of India is guided by Article 370 and the State Constitution that I signed into law. We must realize that from the very beginning, J&K, rightly or wrongly, has been given a special position. Now [after] that special position from the original three subjects, there have been a whole series of developments — some may call them positive developments of integration, others may say negative developments of reducing autonomy,” Mr. Singh was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

Strongest reactions to Mr. Modi's decision to annul article 370 have come from top leaders in Indian Punjab and Tamil Nadu. It has inspired fear that the central government in Delhi could take control of any state, strip it of its statehood and impose direct rule without the consent of its people.

Former union minister P. Chidambaram called Modi's action a "cardinal blunder" and a "fatal legal error"."What you are doing today sends a very wrong signal to every state of country", he added.

Tamil Nadu's DMK party leader MK Stalin took to Twitter to condemn Modi's decision. “This is a dark day in the history of Indian federalism. I urge the President of India to not precipitate the situation and not take any further steps in this regard until a democratically elected Government is formed there. The DMK stands with its Kashmiri brothers and sisters and will oppose any assault on federal structure,” he said in a series of tweets.

Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh of Indian Punjab has denounced the revocation of 370 as “totally unconstitutional”. He tweeted that “the Constitution of India had been rewritten without following any legal provisions. Such a historic decision should not have been taken and pushed through in this arbitrary manner...This will set a bad precedent as it would mean that the Centre could reorganize any state in the country by simply imposing President’s rule.”

India-Pakistan Escalation:

Most of Kashmir has been under an unprecedented and extended lock-down. People are imprisoned in their homes for several days in a row. There is no Internet, telephone or television.

Eventually when the restrictions are eased, there will be large street protests which the Indian security forces will try to quell by force. When such protests turn violent,  Mr. Modi will cry "terrorism" and falsely accuse Pakistan of being behind it. There will be a familiar replay of the events of the past with Mr. Modi escalating conflict with Pakistan across the Line of Control in Kashmir.

Such escalations pose the danger of spiraling out of control and leading to a nuclear confrontation.

The West, particularly the United States and Canada, are geographically far removed from South Asia. This distance makes many think that any nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan would not have a significant impact on life in America and Europe. Dr. Owen Brian Toon and Professor Alan Robock dispute this thinking. They believe the nuclear winter following an India-Pakistan nuclear exchange will kill crops as far as the United States and cause a global famine. Another study by Nobel Peace Prize- winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility reached the same conclusion.

Professors Robock and Toon have calculated that the smoke from just 100-200 Hiroshima sized atomic bombs exploding in South Asia would cover the entire globe within two weeks. This smoke would hang 30-50 miles above the surface of the earth where it never rains. This thick layer of smoke would block the sun causing farmers to lose their crops for years to come. The resulting famine would kill billions of people around the globe.

It seems that the American leadership recognizes the devastating global impact of possible India-Pakistan nuclear war.  In "Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments U.S. Crisis Management in South Asia", Pakistani-American analyst Dr. Moeed Yusuf talks about the US efforts to prevent India-Pakistan war that could escalate into a full-scale nuclear exchange. He analyzes American diplomacy in three critical periods: Kargil conflict in 1999; the stand-off after the Indian Parliament attack in 2001 and the terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008.

Yusuf argues that the US-Soviet Cold War deterrence model does not apply to the India-Pakistan conflict and offers his theory of "brokered bargaining". In chapters that detail the US role during three India-Pakistan crises, it is clear that the US rejected India's insistence on bilateralism in resolving India-Pakistan disputes.  The author says that "in each episode, the concern about the escalation forced the United States to engage, largely unsolicited, and use a mix of rewards (or promises of) and punishments (or threats of) with the regional rivals to achieve de-escalation--ahead of its broader regional or policy interests."

Summary:

Indian Hindu Nationalist government of Prime Minister Modi's abrogation of Article 370 is in clear violation of the Indian constitution and international rules governing resolution of disputes between countries. It has wider implications for India's federal, secular and democratic constitutional structure. It has sent alarm bells ringing in Indian states of Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland and Mizoram. It also threatens to escalate tensions between nuclear armed rivals India and Pakistan when the Kashmiri resistance turns violent and Modi falsely blames it on "cross-border terrorism". Nuclear confrontation in South Asia could result in deaths of billions of people across Asia, Africa, Europe and America. It is time for all sane Indians and the rest of the world to wake up to the serious threats posed to peace in South Asia region and the wider world by Mr. Modi's fascist Hindutva project.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Kashmiris Observe Black Day

India: A Paper Elephant?

India-Pakistan Nuclear Arms Race

Kashmir: 700,000 Indian Soldiers vs 7 Million Kashmiris

Funding of Hate Groups, NGOs, Think Tanks: Is Money Free Speech?

US and China Vying For Influence in Pakistan

Pakistan-China-Russia Vs India-Japan-US

Pakistan Rising or Failing: Reality vs Perception

Pakistan's Trillion Dollar Economy Among top 25

MQM-RAW Link

Riaz Haq Youtube Channel

VPOS Youtube Channel