Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The Economist Does a Hatchet Job On Pakistan's Handling of COVID19 Pandemic

 In a recent article entitled "Is Pakistan really handling the pandemic better than India", The Economist says Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has "crowed" about his government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. It also cites an Indian-American professor who says "test not, find not" to raise questions about Pakistan's coronavirus data. Conspicuously absent from the article is any emphasis on  the covid19 test "positivity rate" that is seen as a key barometer of the pandemic to guide decisions by health officials around the world. Both the tone and the content of the Economist's piece smack of blatant bias. 

COVID19 Test Positivity Rate: 

The percent positive is exactly what it sounds like: the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive. John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health describes the positivity rate as " critical measure because it gives us an indication how widespread infection is in the area where the testing is occurring".

COVID19 Test Positivity Rate. Source: Our World in Data

Pakistan has been conducting around 25,000 tests a day for several months. While this level of testing is low by global standards, it is good enough to indicate the percentage of population that may be infected. The positivity rate in Pakistan has been below 2% since the beginning of August, 2020. 

Pakistan Government Statistics on COVID19. Source: Health Department


The Economist piece does admit that "the proportion of tests coming back positive was also falling, as were the numbers of people being taken to hospital or being kept in intensive care". But it clearly downplays it while highlighting the low testing rate in the country.

Pakistan government's data and anecdotal evidence suggest that the number of daily deaths from coronavirus have declined to near zero. Hospitals are not seeing thousands of new patients either. 

World Health Organization:

World Health Organization (WHO) has praised Pakistan's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. It has included Pakistan among 5 countries succeeding against the COVID19 pandemic. In an opinion piece published in UK's "The Independent", WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote as follows:  "Pakistan deployed the infrastructure built up over many years for polio to combat Covid-19. Community health workers who have been trained to go door-to-door vaccinating children against polio have been redeployed and utilized for surveillance, contact tracing and care. This has suppressed the virus so that, as the country stabilizes, the economy is also now picking up once again. Reinforcing the lesson that the choice is not between controlling the virus or saving the economy; the two go hand-in-hand". 

Pakistan's Health Chief Dr. Faisal Sultan has explained the country's efforts to contain the pandemic in the following words: “We have found significant positives amongst those traced via contact tracing and thus it has impacted on reducing further spread via self isolation, education and sensitization of the contacts. Quantification is sometimes not easy, but is being analyzed to see if a numerical value could be assigned with confidence.”

Community Based Health Program:

“It’s one of the best community-based health systems in the world,” said Dr. Donald Thea, a Boston University researcher, talking about Pakistan's Lady Health Workers Program. Thea is one of the authors of a recent Lancet study on child pneumonia treatment in Pakistan. He talked with the New York Times about the study. Published in British medical journal "The Lancet" this month, the study followed 1,857 children who were treated at home with oral amoxicillin for five days and 1,354 children in a control group who were given standard care: one dose of oral cotrimoxazole and instructions to go to the nearest hospital or clinic. The home-treated group had only a 9 percent treatment-failure rate, while the control group children failed to improve 18 percent of the time.

Launched in 1994 by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's government, Pakistan’s Lady Health Workers’ program has trained over 100,000 women to provide community health services in rural areas. The program website introduces it as follows: "This country wide initiative with community participation constitutes the main thrust of the extension of outreach health services to the rural population and urban slum communities through deployment of over 100,000 Lady Health Workers (LHWs) and covers more than 65% of the target population. The Programme contributes directly to MDG goals number 1, 4, 5 & 6 and indirectly to goal number 3 & 7. The National Programme for Family Planning and Primary Health Care is funded by the Government of Pakistan. International partners offer support in selected domains in the form of technical assistance, trainings or emergency relief." 

comprehensive review of the program has found that as compared to communities not served by the LHWs, the served households were 11% more likely to use modern family planning methods, 13% were more likely to have had a tetanus toxoid vaccination, 15% more were likely to have received a medical check-up within 24 hours of a birth, and 15% more were likely to have immunized children below three years. The improvements in health indicators among the populations covered by the LHWs were not entirely attributable to the program alone; researchers noted that other positive changes such as economic growth, increased provision of health services and better education services helped to enhance the impact. While the program had managed to sustain its impact despite its large expansion, evaluators found that serious weaknesses in the provision of supplies, and equipment and referral services need to be urgently addressed. The program is now a major employer of women in the non-agricultural formal sector in rural areas, and is being more than doubled in size if budget allocations can be sustained. If universal coverage is achieved, every community in the country will have at least one lady health worker, one working woman and potential leader, who could serve as a catalyst for positive change for women in her community. The health officials say that unlike the mid-1990s when it was difficult to recruit women because of the minimum 8th grade education requirement, now there are large numbers of women who meet the requirement lining up for interviews in spite of low stipend of just Rs. 7000 per month. Private sector is also helping the LHW program. Mobile communications service provider Mobilink has recently partnered up with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Pakistan's Ministry of Health (MoH) and GSMA Development Fund in an innovative pilot project which offers low cost mobile handsets and shared access to voice (PCOs) to LHWs in remote parts of the country. Mobilink hopes to bridge the communication gap between the LHW and their ability to access emergency health care and to help the worker earn extra income through the Mobilink PCO (Public Call Office).


The tone and content of a recent Economist piece on the efforts to contain COVID19 in India and Pakistan leave little doubt in my mind that it is motivated by malice against Pakistan and its leaders. The Economist says Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has "crowed" about his government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. It also cites an Indian-American professor who says "test not, find not" to raise questions about Pakistan's coronavirus data. Conspicuously absent from the article is any emphasis on  the covid19 test "positivity rate" that is seen as a key barometer of the pandemic to guide decisions by health officials around the world. 

Here's a World Economic Forum (WEF) video describing the efforts of 5 countries, including Pakistan, to contain the pandemic:


 Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

COVID19 in Pakistan: Test Positivity Rate and Deaths Declining

Naya Pakistan Housing Program

Construction Industry in Pakistan

Pakistan's Pharma Industry Among World's Fastest Growing

Pakistan to Become World's 6th Largest Cement Producer by 2030

Is Pakistan's Response to COVID19 Flawed?

Pakistan's Computer Services Exports Jump 26% Amid COVID19 Lockdown

Coronavirus, Lives and Livelihoods in Pakistan

Vast Majority of Pakistanis Support Imran Khan's Handling of Covid19 Crisis

Pakistani-American Woman Featured in Netflix Documentary "Pandemic"

Coronavirus Antibodies Testing in Pakistan

Can Pakistan Effectively Respond to Coronavirus Outbreak? 

How Grim is Pakistan's Social Sector Progress?

Pakistan Fares Marginally Better Than India On Disease Burdens

Trump Picks Muslim-American to Lead Vaccine Effort

Democracy vs Dictatorship in Pakistan

Pakistan Child Health Indicators

Pakistan's Balance of Payments Crisis

Panama Leaks in Pakistan

Conspiracy Theories About Pakistan Elections"

PTI Triumphs Over Corrupt Dynastic Political Parties

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network


Tang said...

I stopped reading when right at the beginning it mention indian origin can take the man out of the gutter but you can never take the gutter out of the man

Moh said...

I read this couple of days ago, and could not believe what I was reading, pure fantasy.

Yet another prime example of how biased reporting is in global press regarding Pakistan. It is incorrect in so many ways that it is simply not worth commenting on, other then to state the obvious, that, it is an article devoid of rational thinking.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #COVID19 Outbreak Spreads Through Rural Areas. Hospitals are straining; in the #coronavirus ward of one hospital in the state of #Tripura , insects were left to crawl over corpses, according to photos from a ex govt official.- The New York Times

Mr. Modi locked down the country this spring, with four hours’ notice, to buy time for India to scale up its production of masks and other protective equipment and to open treatment centers. But the severe lockdown spawned an exodus of millions of migrant laborers who could not afford to stay in urban areas. Their movement to rural communities helped spread the virus to nearly every corner of India.

“We are still in the first wave,” said Rajib Acharya, a New Delhi-based research associate at the Population Council, a nonprofit that works on health and development issues.

“I don’t see any new strategy for the rural areas,” he added.

Rural areas are not well positioned to cope. Nearly two-thirds of all hospital beds in the country are in urban areas, which are home to only one-third of the population.


Sliding out of their rickshaw, masks on, fresh sanitizer smeared across their hands, a team of health workers approached one of the mud-walled homes in Masli, a remote village in northeast India surrounded by miles of mountainous rainforest.

“Are you Amit Deb?” they asked a lean, shirtless man standing in his yard. Mr. Deb nodded cautiously. Five days earlier, he had tested positive for the coronavirus. Now his family members needed to be tested.

They all refused.

“We can’t afford to quarantine,” explained Mr. Deb, a shopkeeper. If anyone else in his family was found positive, they would all be ordered to stay inside, which would mean even more weeks of not working, which would push the family closer to running out of food.

The medical team moved on to the next house. But they kept meeting more refusals.

The defiance of the coronavirus rules is being reflected across rural India, and it is propelling this nation’s virus caseload toward the No. 1 spot globally. Infections are rippling into every corner of this country of 1.3 billion people. The Indian news media is calling it “The Rural Surge.”


On a muggy September evening, Rupam Bhattacharyajee broke down outside the Govind Ballabh Pant Hospital, Tripura’s only critical care health facility, in the state capital of Agartala.

Mr. Bhattacharyajee’s elderly father was inside, sprawled on a mattress on the floor — there were no spare beds — fighting for his life.

“I am totally helpless,” Mr. Bhattacharyajee said.

A local court is investigating Tripura’s pandemic response, following news reports about conditions at the hospital. A photograph believed to have been taken recently in the hospital’s coronavirus care center, which was shared with The New York Times by Sudip Roy Barman, a former state health minister, showed a dead body with insects crawling on it.

Debashish Roy, the hospital’s medical superintendent, declined to comment.

After seeing the conditions inside the hospital, Mr. Bhattacharyajee brought his father back home. He paid more than $200 for a private ambulance and made the bumpy six-hour journey sitting in the back, swapping out oxygen cylinders continuously to keep his father breathing.

Anonymous said...

Indians cannot bear the pain of the success of Pakistan and Imran Khan.These Indian Parasites have proliferated in the Global Media - as Indian Corporates and the Indian State, sprinkle their ads,in the Global Media.

The Right approach of the Economist,should have been to start from the Number of Tests per Million - which is just 16000 in Pakistan,vs around 65000 in India.That has some basis - but is also specious,as it is 30% higher than that of Indon-ass-eeah,which has a population, 20% HIGHER than Pakistan,and is next to PRC - with millions of Chinese in
Jakarta and islands of that nation.dindooohindoo

The Pakistani tests are also 30R higher (on a per million basis) w.r.t Nippon - which has a large population of Japanese in PRC,and also,has a very high frequency of air travel with the PRC.Several flights from Shang and Beijing,transit via Nippon.So the "Low Aggregate Tests" Theory of Pakistan,is busted.The Marginal Cost of each RTPCR test,is USD 10 and Pakistan cannot waste its funds on that

Let us ASSUME,still, that the Pakistania are NOT coming for testing,AND that the Pakistani state is NOT testing.Therefore,the people are NOT showing symptoms - as else,by now,there would be a sharp SPIKE in deaths (young and old).There is 1 brilliant innovation by the Pakistani state - in that,they are testing the dead.AT the EOD,even if patients are not tested,AND THEY DIE - the virus would be in the dead body.

The death rates in Pakistan,in general,are normal, and COVID rates in the dead,are also normal (w.r.t the age and morbidities of the dead) - so the STRATEGY of NOT doing random testing,TO AVOID scare mongering,has worked,as the bet is on the immunity of the Pakistanis, and a close monitoring of the generic death rates - with their COVID content.If it lasts the winter - then this could be a Harvard Case Study.

India on the other hand,has a TEST COUNT of 60000 per Million.For the size of the Indian Pop,and the Intl flights transiting via India,in the pre Covid tenor,and the Tourists in India,in the pre-COVID tenor,this statistic is pathetic.Brazilw,ith a sixth of India's Population,has 85000 tests per million ,and Chuna has 100000 plus

The worst HIT nations are France and UK,with a DAILY CASE COUNT OF 18000,and a population of 65 million - which is 5% of the Indian population - and so ON A PER CAPITA BASIS, IT IS TYHE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD - far ahead of USA and Brazil.

France sold the Rafael to the Indians,and UK has millions of Indians (who are also,the worst hit group)

Providence - Is It ?

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir Riaz

I have a question ,how many Indians are their in Microsoft and Google as employees ? Many Indians come to youtube channel and brag about their number of Indians working in these companies . They even very proudly say that CEO of Google ,Microsoft and other big companies are Indians .

Can you pls throw light on this ?


Riaz Haq said...

Ahmed: " how many Indians are their in Microsoft and Google as employees?"

There are about 10,000 Indians working at Microsoft. Microsoft employs over 160,000 people. So the its Indian employees make up less than 10% of the total workforce at Microsoft.

There's a similar situation at other US tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google etc.

Most of the H1B Indians work for Indian-owned-run body shops like Cognizant, Infosys, TCS and Wipro. The number of H1Bs at big US tech giants is miniscule.

Riaz Haq said...

#NobelPeacePrize goes to World Food Program for combatting #hunger. Backslide can be seen everywhere from #India — in the midst of its deepest-ever recession — to #LatinAmerica, where the number of people in #poverty is expected to rise 25%. #COVID19

The World Bank said this month that global poverty would rise this year for the first time in two decades. It said somewhere between 88 to 115 million would fall this year into extreme poverty, defined as living on less than $1.90 per day.

“In the blink of an eye, a health crisis became an economic crisis, a food crisis, a housing crisis, a political crisis. Everything collided with everything else,” the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said in a recent report. “We’ve been set back about 25 years in about 25 weeks.”

The WFP’s greatest logistical and humanitarian challenge in recent years has come in Yemen, where nearly six years of conflict have left 20 million people in crisis, with another 3 million potentially facing starvation due to coronavirus.

Many Yemenis remain out of reach of assistance, because of the remoteness of some hard-hit areas, and because of violence that has made it perilous for aid groups to deliver relief. The WFP said that, despite those challenges, it delivers assistance “to the vast majority of the vulnerable people in the country.”

The Norwegian Nobel Committee noted the role of hunger as a weapon of war, seemingly a reference to WFP’s criticism of Yemen’s Houthi rebels for diverting food aid and preventing access to WFP and other aid groups.

“It’s one of the oldest conflict weapons in the world, that you can starve out a population to enter a territory,” Reiss-Andersen said. “If you get control over the food, you get also military control and you get better control of civilians. You can also use food insecurity as a method to chase populations away from their territory.”

The deadline for nominations for this year’s prize was Feb. 1 — seemingly a different era in a world that was not yet paralyzed by the pandemic.


With every in-person gathering a risk, this year’s announcement was a stripped-down affair, without the jostling, cheerful crowd of journalists who assembled at the ornate offices of the Norwegian Nobel Institute in past Octobers.

Trump had been nominated for the prize by far-right Norwegian politicians, a fact he trumpeted in campaign advertising but which carried no meaningful weight, since a wide group of people are free to nominate whomever they wish. Trump had long sought the laurel, though given his unpopularity in Norway, where the decision is made, an award always seemed like a long shot.

Riaz Haq said...

An Arrest in Canada Casts a Shadow on a New York Times Star, and The Times
A top editor is now reviewing Rukmini Callimachi’s reporting on terrorism, which turned distant conflicts into accessible stories but drew criticism from colleagues.

Derek Henry Flood wasn’t looking for work in March of 2018, when he sent a direct message to a New York Times reporter he admired, Rukmini Callimachi, to congratulate her on the announcement of her big new podcast about the terror group known as the Islamic State.

By that time, major American news outlets had mostly stopped hiring freelancers like Mr. Flood in Syria, scared off by a wave of kidnappings and murders.

But when Mr. Flood mentioned that he was in the northern city of Manbij, Ms. Callimachi wrote back urgently, and quickly hired him for a curious assignment. She sent him to the local market to ask about a Canadian Islamic State fighter called Abu Huzayfah.

The assignment, Mr. Flood recalled thinking, was both hopeless and quite strange in its specificity, since the extremist group had been forced out of Manbij two years earlier. But he was getting $250 a day, and so he gamely roamed the bazaar, reporting on all he saw and heard. Ms. Callimachi was singularly focused. “She only wanted things that very narrowly supported this kid in Canada’s wild stories,” he told me in a phone interview.

Mr. Flood didn’t know it at the time, but he was part of a frantic effort at The New York Times to salvage the high-profile project the paper had just announced. Days earlier, producers had sent draft scripts of the series, called Caliphate, to the international editor, Michael Slackman, for his input. But Mr. Slackman instead called the podcast team into the office of another top Times editor, Matt Purdy, a deputy managing editor who often signs off on investigative projects. The editors warned that the whole story seemed to depend on the credibility of a single character, the Canadian, whose vivid stories of executing men while warm blood “sprayed everywhere” were as lurid as they were uncorroborated. (This scene and others were described to me in interviews with more than two dozen people at The Times, many of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive internal politics.)


A month later, The Times’s audio team moved forward. The first episode of Caliphate appeared on April 19, 2018, marking a major step toward The Times’s realization of its multimedia ambitions. It was promoted with a glossy marketing campaign that featured an arresting image, with the rubble of Mosul on one side and Ms. Callimachi’s face on the other. The series was 10 parts in all, including a new, sixth episode released on May 24 of that year detailing doubts about Abu Huzayfah’s story and The Times’s efforts to confirm it. The presentation carried an obvious, if implicit assumption: the central character of the narrative wasn’t making the whole story up.

That assumption appeared to blow up a couple of weeks ago, on Sept. 25, when the Canadian police announced that they had arrested the man who called himself Abu Huzayfah, whose real name is Shehroze Chaudhry, under the country’s hoax law. The details of the Canadian investigation aren’t yet public. But the recriminations were swift among those who worked with Ms. Callimachi at The Times in the Middle East.

“Maybe the solution is to change the podcast name to #hoax?” tweeted Margaret Coker, who left as The Times’s Iraq bureau chief in 2018 after a bitter dispute with Ms. Callimachi and now runs an investigative journalism start-up in Georgia.

Riaz Haq said...

An Arrest in Canada Casts a Shadow on a New York Times Star, and The Times
A top editor is now reviewing Rukmini Callimachi’s reporting on terrorism, which turned distant conflicts into accessible stories but drew criticism from colleagues.

The Times has assigned a top editor, Dean Murphy, who heads the investigations reporting group, to review the reporting and editing process behind Caliphate and some of Ms. Callimachi’s other stories, and has also assigned an investigative correspondent with deep experience in national security reporting, Mark Mazzetti, to determine whether Mr. Chaudhry ever set foot in Syria and other questions opened by the arrest in Canada.

The crisis now surrounding the podcast is as much about The Times as it is about Ms. Callimachi. She is, in many ways, the new model of a New York Times reporter. She combines the old school bravado of the parachuting, big foot reporter of the past, with a more modern savvy for surfing Twitter’s narrative waves and spotting the sorts of stories that will explode on the internet. She embraced audio as it became a key new business for the paper, and linked her identity and her own story of fleeing Romania as a child to her work. And she told the story of ISIS through the eyes of its members.

Ms. Callimachi’s approach and her stories won her the support of some of the most powerful figures at The Times: early on, from Joe Kahn, who was foreign editor when Ms. Callimachi arrived and is now managing editor and viewed internally as the likely successor to the executive editor, Dean Baquet; and later, an assistant managing editor, Sam Dolnick, who oversees the paper’s successful audio team and is a member of the family that controls The Times.

She was seen as a star — a standing that helped her survive a series of questions raised over the last six years by colleagues in the Middle East, including the bureau chiefs in Beirut, Anne Barnard, and Iraq, Ms. Coker, as well as the Syrian journalist who interpreted for her on a particularly contentious story about American hostages in 2014, Karam Shoumali. And it helped her weather criticism of specific stories from Arabic-speaking academics and other journalists. Many of those arguments have been re-examined in recent days in The Daily Beast, The Washington Post, and The New Republic. C.J. Chivers, an experienced war correspondent, clashed particularly bitterly with Mr. Kahn over Ms. Callimachi’s work, objecting to her approach to reporting on Western hostages taken by Islamic militants. Mr. Chivers warned editors of what he saw as her sensationalism and inaccuracy, and told Mr. Slackman, three Times people said, that turning a blind eye to problems with her work would “burn this place down.”

Ms. Callimachi’s approach to storytelling aligned with a more profound shift underway at The Times. The paper is in the midst of an evolution from the stodgy paper of record into a juicy collection of great narratives, on the web and streaming services. And Ms. Callimachi’s success has been due, in part, to her ability to turn distant conflicts in Africa and the Middle East into irresistibly accessible stories. She was hired in 2014 from The Associated Press after she obtained internal Al Qaeda documents in Mali and shaped them into a darkly funny account of a penny-pinching terrorist bureaucracy.

Riaz Haq said...

An Arrest in Canada Casts a Shadow on a New York Times Star, and The Times
A top editor is now reviewing Rukmini Callimachi’s reporting on terrorism, which turned distant conflicts into accessible stories but drew criticism from colleagues.

Ms. Callimachi’s approach to storytelling aligned with a more profound shift underway at The Times. The paper is in the midst of an evolution from the stodgy paper of record into a juicy collection of great narratives, on the web and streaming services. And Ms. Callimachi’s success has been due, in part, to her ability to turn distant conflicts in Africa and the Middle East into irresistibly accessible stories. She was hired in 2014 from The Associated Press after she obtained internal Al Qaeda documents in Mali and shaped them into a darkly funny account of a penny-pinching terrorist bureaucracy.

But the terror beat lends itself particularly well to the seductions of narrative journalism. Reporters looking for a terrifying yarn will find terrorist sources eager to help terrify. And journalists often find themselves relying on murderous and untrustworthy sources in situations where the facts are ambiguous. If you get something wrong, you probably won’t get a call from the ISIS press office seeking a correction.

“If you scrutinized anyone’s record on reporting at Syria, everyone made grave, grave errors,” said Theo Padnos, a freelance journalist held hostage for two years and now working on a book, who said that The Times’s coverage of his cellmate’s escape alerted his captors to his complicity in it. “Rukmini is on the hot seat at the moment, but the sins were so general.”

Terrorism coverage can also play easily into popular American hostility toward Muslims. Ms. Callimachi at times depicted terrorist supersoldiers, rather than the alienated and dangerous young men common in many cultures. That hype shows up in details like The Times’s description of the Charlie Hebdo shooters acting with “military precision.” By contrast, The Washington Post’s story suggested that the killers were, in fact, untrained, and noted a video showing them “cross each other’s paths as they advance up the street — a type of movement that professional military personnel are trained to avoid.” On Twitter, where she has nearly 400,000 followers, Ms. Callimachi speculated on possible ISIS involvement in high-profile attacks, including the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which has not been attributed to the group. At one moment in the Caliphate podcast, Ms. Callimachi hears the doorbell ring at home and panics that ISIS has come for her, an effective dramatic flourish but not something American suburbanites had any reason to fear.

Riaz Haq said...

An Arrest in Canada Casts a Shadow on a New York Times Star, and The Times
A top editor is now reviewing Rukmini Callimachi’s reporting on terrorism, which turned distant conflicts into accessible stories but drew criticism from colleagues.

Her (Callimachi's) work had impact at the highest levels. A former Trump aide, Sebastian Gorka, a leading voice for the White House’s early anti-Muslim immigration policies, quoted Ms. Callimachi’s work to reporters to predict a wave of ISIS attacks in the United States. Two Canadian national security experts wrote in Slate that the podcast “profoundly influenced the policy debate” and pushed Canada to leave the wives and children of ISIS fighters in Kurdish refugee camps.

The haziness of the terrorism beat also raises the question of why The Times chose to pull this particular tale out of the chaotic canvas of Syria’s collapse.

“The narrative her work perpetuates sensationalizes violence committed by Arabs or Muslims by focusing almost exclusively on — even pathologizing — their culture and religion,” said Alia Malek, the director of international reporting at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY and the author of a book about Syria. That narrative, she said, often ignores individuals’ motives and a geopolitical context that includes decades of American policy. “That might make for much more uncomfortable listening, but definitely more worthwhile.”

Ms. Callimachi told me that she has been focused on “just how ordinary ISIS members are” and that her work “has always made a hard distinction between the faith practiced by over a billion people and the ideology of extremism.”

Mr. Baquet declined to comment on the specifics of Ms. Callimachi’s reporting or the internal complaints about it, but he defended the sweep of her work on ISIS.

“I don’t think there’s any question that ISIS was a major important player in terrorism,” he said, “and if you look at all of The Times’s reporting over many years, I think it’s a mix of reporting that helps you understand what gives rise to this.” (Mr. Baquet and Mr. Kahn, I should note here, are my boss’s boss’s boss and my boss’s boss, respectively, and my writing about The Times while on its payroll brings with it all sorts of potential conflicts of interest and is generally a bit of a nightmare.)

While some of her colleagues in the Middle East and Washington found Ms. Callimachi’s approach to ISIS coverage overzealous, others admired her relentless work ethic.

“Is she aggressive? Yes, and so are the best reporters,” said Adam Goldman, who covers the F.B.I. for The Times and has argued in favor of the kind of reporting on hostages that alienated Ms. Callimachi from other colleagues like Mr. Chivers. “None of us are infallible.”

What is clear is that The Times should have been alert to the possibility that, in its signature audio documentary, it was listening too hard for the story it wanted to hear — “rooting for the story,” as The Post’s Erik Wemple put it on Friday. And while Mr. Baquet emphasized in an interview last week that the internal review would examine whether The Times wasn’t keeping to its standards in the audio department, the troubling patterns surrounding Ms. Callimachi’s reporting were clear before Caliphate.

Riaz Haq said...

International Infrastructure Investment & Construction Forum in #Macao. 22 projects under #CPEC, covering roads, railways, airports, thermal power, hydropower, renewable energy, Gwadar Port, special economic zones have all made progress despite #COVID19.

In his speech, Chairman of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (CPECA) Asim Saleem Bajwa said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was a major pilot project of the “Belt and Road” Initiative. Over the past five years, there were 22 construction projects under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, covering roads, railways, airports, thermal power, hydropower, renewable energy, Gwadar Port, special economic zones, and other areas. In the face of COVID-19, all projects in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor have been moving forward, bringing hope for a future of peace and economic growth.

On the first day of the Forum, keynote forums themed “Challenges and Opportunities: Outlook on International Infrastructure Development in Post COVID-19 Era” and “Solidarity and Co-operation: Jointly Promoting International Infrastructure Development in a Steady Progress”, the 6th China-LAC Infrastructure Forum and the “Networking Reception of the Mainland China-Macao Belt and Road Business and Professional Services Council” were also held. At the same time, the “Belt and Road Infrastructure Development Index (2020)” and the “Annual Report on Belt and Road Infrastructure Development Index (2020)” were released.
(Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute)

samir sardana said...

In my Post dated October 8, 2020 at 3:33 PM, in this section ,I had stated,as under :

France sold the Rafael to the Indians,and UK has millions of Indians (who are also,the worst hit group)

Providence - Is It ?


And then this happened - precisely 5 months down the line !

The owner of Dassault is dead ! Air Crash !

I love France and Dassault and Olivier - but this is the curse of Chaiwala and Hindooosthan- the Kiss of Death !

The curse of the Chaiwala is detailed in my post, in the link as under (October 3, 2019 at 7:44 AM)

What EU and USA need to understand - is that the supply of lethal armour and weapons to the Chaiwala Brigade - encourages,promotes and perpetuates their genocide in Kashmir and on the Dalits !

These weapons will NEVER be used - except on the D-DAY syndrome.

Nature requires that the IDEA of INDIA has to end - it is past its expiry date !

Any one who tries to alter that end - will perish ! That is the record of Indian History ! Whosoever armed the Indian Nation was destroyed !

Israel will also learn it slowly ! dindooohindoo

Riaz Haq said...

Lancet Study: Non-infectious diseases cause early death in Pakistan

Pakistan has considerable control over infectious diseases but now struggles against cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer as causes of early deaths, according to a new study published Thursday.

The Lancet Global Health, a prestigious British-based medical journal, reported that five non-communicable diseases — ischaemic heart disease, stroke, congenital defects, cirrhosis, and chronic kidney disease — were among the 10 leading causes of early deaths in the impoverished Islamic nation.

However, the journal said some of Pakistan’s work has resulted in an increase in life expectancy from 61.1 years to 65.9 over the past three decades. The change is due, it said, “to the reduction in communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases.” That’s still 7.6 years lower than the global average life expectancy, which increased over 30 years by 8% in women and 7% in men.

The study says “despite periods of political and economic turbulence since 1990, Pakistan has made positive strides in improving overall health outcomes at the population level and continues to seek innovative solutions to challenging health and health policy problems.”

The study, which was based on Pakistan’s health data from 1990 to 2019, has warned that non-communicable diseases will be the leading causes of death in Pakistan by 2040.

It said Pakistan will also continue to face infectious diseases.

“Pakistan urgently needs a single national nutrition policy, especially as climate change and the increased severity of drought, flood, and pestilence threatens food security,” said Dr. Zainab Samad, Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at Aga Khan University, one of the authors of the report.

“What these findings tell us is that Pakistan’s baseline before being hit by extreme flooding was already at some of the lowest levels around the globe,” said Dr. Ali Mokdad, Professor of Health Metrics Sciences at IHME. “Pakistan is in critical need of a more equitable investment in its health system and policy interventions to save lives and improve people’s health.”

The study said with a population approaching 225 million, “Pakistan is prone to the calamitous effects of climate change and natural disasters, including the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and catastrophic floods in 2010 and 2022, all of which have impacted major health policies and reform.”

It said the country’s major health challenges were compounded by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and last summer’s devastating flooding that killed 1,739 people and affected 33 million.

Researchers ask Pakistan to “address the burden of infectious disease and curb rising rates of non-communicable diseases.” Such priorities, they wrote, will help Pakistan move toward universal health coverage.”

The journal, considered one of the most prestigious scientific publications in the world, reported on Pakistan’s fragile healthcare system with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine. The study was a collaboration with a Karachi-based prestigious Aga Khan University and Pakistan’s health ministry.

The study also mentioned increasing pollution as one of the leading contributors to the overall disease burden in recent years. Pakistan’s cultural capital of Lahore was in the grip of smog on Thursday, causing respiratory diseases and infection in the eyes. Usually in winter, a thick cloud of smog envelops Lahore, which in 2021 earned it the title of the world’s most polluted city.