Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Indian Sports Analysts: Pakistan Tore Us Apart

Pakistan's 10-wicket triumph over India in their recent T20 World Cup match has made history. It's the country's first ever win against its neighbor in 13 World Cup matches. It is also historic because the Indian bowlers failed to take even a single Pakistani wicket.  Pakistani opening batsmen Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan romped to an easy 10-wicket victory by scoring 152 runs in 17.5 overs without any losses. Batting first, India lost 7 wickets to reach 151 runs total in 20 overs. Since this India-Pakistan encounter on October 24, 2021, Pakistan has gone on to win its second match against New Zealand by 5 wickets. 

Babar Azam and Virat Kohli

In a rare honest analysis seen on India's ZeeTV, the comments by retired Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif and sports journalist Harpal Singh Bedi summed up the results as follows: 

Mohammad Kaif: "Shameful defeat for India"..."No amount of praise (for Pakistan) is enough"... "They (Pakistan) have done it without practice matches..New Zealand pulled out...England cancelled tour"..,..  "Dew factor hurt us (India) because we failed to take early wickets before dew became a factor" ..."we got no wickets...we were completely flat on our back (Charo khane chit)....."Babar Azam had a complete plan...all 11 players pre-announced....field first..etc" "Shaheen's bowling was amazing"

Harpal Singh Bedi: "They tore us apart....they exposed us...we were completely dismantled" .... "Pakistan did the same in the Champions Trophy Final in 2017"..."Dew factor has no meaning".. "Never underestimate other teams" ..."Always respect the opponent" ...."Pakistan took early wickets...essential in T20" ..."Mauka Mauka is nonsense!"

For the uninitiated, "Mauka Mauka" is an Indian ad that mocks Pakistan for its string of losses against India in World Cup matches. Pakistan has done better against India in matches played outside of the World Cup. The two sides have played a total of 200 times. Pakistan has won 87 matches compared to India's 70 victories. In Test matches and ODIs Pakistan has won more matches than India, although India has won six of the nine T20 International between the two sides.    

It is indeed refreshing to see such candid commentary by Indian analysts on the emotion-filled India-Pakistan T20 encounter in Dubai, UAE.  Here's a video of the ZeeNews show:

https://youtu.be/AA_hBod9i-w



Wednesday, October 20, 2021

DC Comics Superheroes Fight Injustice in Indian Occupied Kashmir

DC Comics latest movie release "Injustice" is inspired by a video game titled "Injustice: God Among Us". It shows superheroes destroying military equipment in Indian Occupied Kashmir with the narrator's voice saying that Superman is stopping a government "waging a genocidal war against its own people.”

DC Comics' Injustice


In the DC Comics film, Superman is determined to avenge the villain Joker’s grave crimes, which include killing Superman’s partner Lois Lane and their unborn child. The Justice League, including Batman and Wonder Woman among other superheroes, try to get Superman to  restrain himself. 

Depiction of Kashmir as “disputed” and the fictional superheroes’ destroying military equipment  have drawn a strong angry reaction in India, with Indians on social media venting against the United States: “America is literally always butting its nose in another’s nations business”. “So now comic writers write politics of world that they don’t know? I think not, this is a well planned deliberate attempt to showcase supremacy subtly to the young consumers who have no idea. It’s a no brainer who are behind such activities”      

https://youtu.be/aVf3uZIAjM8


 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Pakistan's Quarterly Tech Exports Have Jumped Over 6-Fold Since 2010

Pakistan's quarterly technology exports reached $635 million in the first quarter of the current fiscal year 2021-22, up more than 6 times since the first quarter of fiscal year 2009-10. The nation's overall quarterly merchandise exports have been relatively flat at about $6 billion average during this period. 

Pakistan's Tech Exports 2010-2021. Source: Arif Habib

Monthly technology exports soared 36% YoY to $ 215 million in September, 2021 from $158 million in the same month last year.  During 1QFY22, technology recorded exports of worth $ 635 million (40% of overall services’ exports), up by 43% YoY. 


Recent Tech Exports FY 2021-22. Source: Arif Habib. 



Pakistan also recorded the highest ever monthly exports average of $2.23 billion in fiscal year 2020-21 as textile and garment exports jumped 22.94% to reach $15.4 billion in Fiscal Year 2020-21 (July 2020-June 2021), according to data from Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.  At the same time, the country's technology exports surged 47% to set a new record of $2.12 billion for the last fiscal year that ended in June 2021. Pharmaceutical exports also saw 25.3% growth to $241 million in the first 11months of FY 2021, indicating Pakistan's export diversification with higher value added goods and services. 

Overall Monthly Exports 2007 to 2021


Overall, Pakistan's exports of goods for fiscal 2020-21 rose 13.7% to $25.63 billion. The nation's service exports increased 9.2% to $5.93 billion in fiscal 2021. Combined exports of goods and services added up to $31.56 billion in July 2020 to June 2021 period. 

Pakistan Tech Exports. Source: Arif Habib Ltd. 


Imports grew 23.2%, much faster than exports as the economy recovered from the COVID-induced slump, widening the trade gap in the process. Energy demand drove imports of oil and gas to new highs. 

Pakistan Current Account Balance. Source: Arif Habib Ltd. 

During the last two fiscal years,  Karachi has accounted for 51% of Pakistan’s exports, Lahore came in 2nd with 18%, Faisalabad 3rd with 12% and Sialkot 4th with 8.5%. 

Pakistan's Exports by Cities. Source: FBR

Record inflow of nearly $30 billion in remittances from overseas Pakistanis helped reduce the current account deficit to $1.85 billion in FY 2020-21. It's down 58.4% from $4.45 billion in FY 2019-20. 

Overseas Pakistanis' remittances represent 10% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). This money helps the nation cope with its perennial current account deficits. It also provides a lifeline for millions of Pakistani families who use the money to pay for food, education, healthcare and housing. This results in an increase in stimulus spending that has a multiplier effect in terms of employment in service industries ranging from retail sales to restaurants and entertainment. 

Over 10 million Pakistanis are currently working/living overseas, according to the Bureau of Emigration. Before the COVID19 pandemic hit in 2020,  more than 600,000 Pakistanis left the country to work overseas in 2019. The average yearly outflow of Pakistani workers to OECD countries (mainly UK and US) and the Middle East has been over half a million in the last decade. 


Pakistan ranks 6th among the top worker remittance recipient countries in the world.  India and China rank first and second, followed by Mexico 3rd, the Philippines 4th, Egypt 5th and Pakistan 6th.  

Pakistan's technology sector is in the midst of an unprecedented boom. It is being fueled by the country's growing human capital and rising investments in technology startups. A recent tweet by Swedish fund manager Mattias Martinsson captured it well when he wrote, "Have followed Pakistan for 15 years. Can't recall any time time when VC activity was anywhere near we've seen in the last few months. Impact of reforms kicking in?".  New laws have made it easier to create startups and offered greater protection to investors.  Digital infrastructure has expanded with over 100 million smartphones and an equal number of broadband subscriptions. 

Soaring LNG prices are now adversely affecting Pakistan's balance of payments and threatening the nation's post-COVID economic recovery.  Pakistan's trade deficit has widened to nearly $12 billion in July-September 2021 quarter, up more than 100% from the same period last year. The nation's heavy reliance on expensive imported energy has been the main cause of prior balance of payments crises that have forced it to seek IMF bailouts more than a dozen times in the last 70 years. 

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Soaring Prices of LNG Imports Threaten Pakistan's Economic Recovery

Declining Investment Hurting Pakistan's Economic Growth

Brief History of Pakistan Economy 

Can Pakistan Avoid Recurring IMF Bailouts?

Unprecedented Boom in Pakistan Tech Sector

CPEC Financing: Is China Ripping Off Pakistan?

Information Tech Jobs Moving From India to Pakistan

Pakistan is 5th Largest Motorcycle Market

"Failed State" Pakistan Saw 22% Growth in Per Capita Income in Last 5 Years

CPEC Transforming Pakistan

Pakistan's $20 Billion Tourism Industry Boom

Home Appliance Ownership in Pakistani Households

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network

Monday, October 18, 2021

Squid Game: A Dystopian Korean Drama Featuring a Pakistani Migrant Worker

Popular Netflix series Squid Games is a dystopian survival drama about unfortunate people trapped in debt who enter a series of six survival games. The losers die while the single winner takes away 46.5 billion (US$38 million) South Korean won. One US dollar is equal to about 1,200 Korean Won. 

Anupam Tripathi as Ali Abdul in Squid Games

One of the characters in the series is an exploited Pakistani migrant worker named Ali Abdul who just wants to send money home to help his family in Pakistan.  Ali's role is played by Indian actor Anupam Tripathi. Tripathi has previously played other foreign characters in the genre often referred to as K-drama. Squid Games has achieved top ratings around the world in spite of its very violent content. It is the top-rated show among Netflix subscribers in Pakistan. 

Household Debt as Percentage of GDP. Source: IMF

Squid Game is a powerful indictment of capitalism as practiced in many countries, including South Korea. It has brought to light high levels of inequality and household debt in South Korea. The total household debt of $1.5 trillion is about the size of its entire GDP, among the highest in the world. By comparison, formal household debt in Pakistan is just 4% of its GDP, according to the IMF. It can be explained by the fact that the availability of mortgage financing, car loans and credit cards is very limited in Pakistan. 

Sources of Household Debt in Pakistan. Source: SDPI

Only 14.6% of household debt is owed to banks, and the rest to informal sources like family and friends. Researchers Sajid Amin Javed, Wajid Ali and Ifra Baig at SDPI  (Sustainable Development Policy Institute) have analyzed four rounds of the HIES segment of the Pakistan Social and Living Standard Measurement (PSLM) and data from the PPHS (covering the 2005 to 2016 period),  and found that 20% of households in Pakistan are indebted.  

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2016

Pakistan's Trillion Dollar Economy Among World's Fastest Growing

Pakistan: A Majority Middle Class Country

Karachi School of Business and Leadership

State Bank: Pakistan's Actual GDP Higher Than Officially Reported

College Enrollment in Pakistan

Musharraf Accelerated Development of Pakistan's Human and Financial Capital

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni: Pakistani Social Network

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Pakistan Nuclear Program: Kahuta in the Crosshairs of India & Israel in 1980s

Recent death of Pakistani nuclear scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan has brought back memories of the success of Pakistan's nuclear program in the face of extreme adversity. This story came into particularly sharp focus by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz's headline "How Pakistan's A.Q. Khan, Father of the 'Muslim Bomb,' Escaped Mossad Assassination".  The opponents' efforts to stop what they called "The Muslim Bomb" exemplified "by all means necessary" madness, including assassinations of scientists. It included a joint India-Israel plan to attack and destroy Kahuta, the location of the Khan Research Lab (KRL) tasked with enriching uranium to build the bomb. Accounts of this plan have emerged from multiple sources in India, Israel and Pakistan.  

Dr. Abul Qadeer Khan

Joint India-Israel plan was developed to attack and destroy Khan Research Lab, named after Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, in1982. The plan involved Israeli F-16 fighters carrying bombs and F-15 air superiority aircraft providing air defense to the attacking aircraft. The Israeli aircraft would fly from an airbase in India.  

India-Israel Partnership


Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark:

British journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, authors of ‘Deception: Pakistan, the US, and the Global Weapons Conspiracy’, have reported that the Israeli Air Force was to launch an attack on Kahuta. The book claims that “in March 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi signed off (on) the Israeli-led operation bringing India, Pakistan, and Israel to within a hair’s breadth of a nuclear conflagration”. Here is an excerpt of Levy's book:

"In February 1983, with the strike plan at an advanced stage, Indian military officials had travelled secretly to Israel, which had a common interest in eliminating Khan, to buy electronic warfare equipment to neutralize Kahuta’s air defenses. On 25 February 1983, Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi had accused Pakistan of “covertly attempting to make nuclear weapons,” and three days later, Raja Ramanna, director of India’s Bhabha Atomic Research Center, had revealed that India, too, was developing a uranium enrichment facility. Suspecting something was brewing, the ISI sent a message to their Indian intelligence counterparts in RAW that autumn, and as a result Munir Ahmed Khan of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission met Dr. Ramanna at the Imperial Hotel in Vienna. He warned Ramanna that if India were to strike at Kahuta, Pakistan would hit India’s nuclear facilities at Trombay. It lay downwind from the teeming Indian city of Mumbai and an attack would result in the release of “massive amounts of radiation to a large populated area, causing a disaster.”

Indian Defense Analyst Bharat Karnad:

Indian defense analyst Bharat Karnad has also reported about  the Israel-India plan, citing Israeli sources. Here's Karnad's account:

"....I met with the Israeli army chief Moshe Dayan’s legendary MilIntel head from the 1956 Sinai Operations, retired Major General Aharon Yaariv then in Reserve and called up for duty, at the Kiryat Shimona kibbutz just this side of the Israeli border. It was Yaariv who told me over breakfast the story of how Indira Gandhi had first approved of an Israeli strike on the Pakistani uranium enrichment centrifuge complex in Kahuta in 1982 with Indian help but called off the raid just before it got underway. The Israelis who had taken out Saddam Hussein’s Osiraq military reactor in Baghdad in June 1981 had planned the attack, according to Yaariv, thus: A sortie of six IsAF F-16s and like number of F-15s flying combat air patrol (CAP) were to come in from Haifa over the southern Arabian Sea into Jamnagar where the crews would rest up for a couple of days, and tie-up last minute, minor, changes in the flight and mission plans. The IsAF strike and CAP aircraft would then take off from Jamnagar, fly over central India and into Udhampur where previously IsAF C-17s would have landed with a cargo of deep penetration and detonation weapons for use on Kahuta targets. The Israelis had warned GOI that their aircraft would fly with Israeli roundels and entirely unmasked because, as Yaariv put it, they didn’t trust the Indians, who would be the principal beneficiaries, to not claim that it was a solely Israeli initiative in which India had no role whatsoever. “We wanted India to be fully involved and implicated and to share in the responsibility for the mission”, he told me, even though the IsAF could have carried out the entire operation all by itself using aerial refuelers as was done on the strike on the PLO HQ outside Tunis (over 1,500 miles away) in 1985. The plans were thereafter for the Israeli F-16-F-15 complement to top off their tanks, upload the special heavy ordnance on fuselage points and take off, flying in the lee of the mountains to avoid Pakistani radar detection, before coming into the open for the final bomb run over target — two F-16s at a time drooping (sic) their loads and egressing as the F-15s circled overhead to take care of any interference by PAF air defence aircraft. The attacks completed the F-16s would continue flying west, out of Pakistani airspace, before dipping southwards and returning to home base. The IsAF aircraft breaking out into the open from the mountain shadows would not have afforded PAF and Pakistani RBS-70 anti-aircraft guns (ex-Sweden) enough time to erect and fire away. (Wrote about it first in the Sunday Observer in the mid 1980s.)" 

Pakistan's Brigadier Feroz Hasan Khan:

Pakistani Brigadier Feroz Hasan Khan, the author of "Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb", described it in his book as follows: 

"... Pakistani intelligence picked up leads of Israeli and Indian intelligence collaboration and discovered that the Indian Air Force had begun planning a strike on Pakistan’s nuclear facilities. India conducted a feasibility study on an Osirak-type attack against Pakistan at its Combat College, and the Indian Air Force conducted a series of exercises related to this study, some of which used top-of-the-line Jaguar aircraft. Meanwhile, Israel offered a new proposal that would accomplish New Delhi’s goals. Under this new plan, Israeli planes would take off from an Indian Air Force base in Jamnagar, refuel at a satellite airfield somewhere in northern India, and in the final stage, the planes would track the Himalayas to avoid early radar detection before penetrating Pakistani airspace.”   

President Musharraf on Dr. AQ Khan's Contribution: 

In a Dawn TV interview with Naeem Bukhari, former President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf explained the complexity of the development of the nuclear bomb. He recognized Dr. AQ Khan's major contribution to the development of uranium enrichment process but went on to elaborate that it takes a lot more to build a bomb. To put it perspective, Brigadier Feroz Khan, author of "Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb", cites a 1968 UN study's finding that it takes at least 500 scientists and 1300 engineers with relevant training and skills to have a nuclear weapons program. Unlike most western accounts of Pakistani nuclear program which begin and end with A.Q. Khan's network, Brig Feroz H. Khan's scholarly work "Eating Grass" offers a very comprehensive story of "The Making of The Pakistani Bomb". Feroz Khan takes the reader through the interdisciplinary nature and the inherent complexity of what it takes to develop, build and operationalize a nuclear weapons arsenal.

Western Media Coverage:

A Stanford study of the western media coverage of Pakistan's nuclear program found it to be negative. Here's an excerpt from "Media's Use of Propaganda to Persuade People's Attitude, Beliefs and Behaviors" by Johnnie Manzaria & Jonathon Bruck:    

"In order to get a better feel for how the United States media is able to persuade the public to think about Pakistan’s nuclear technology in a negative way, it is helpful to see how the same media is able to make a different county’s nuclear technology appear unrelated to global stability and safety. In effect, the purpose of the propaganda will be to ensure that French nuclear technology appears non-threatening. In order to achieve this goal, the media had to take the focus of nuclear technology away from the military implications and focus it elsewhere. Many articles that came out in newspapers across America after France exploded their first atomic bomb on February 13, 1960 shifted the focus toward more political themes. This is a clear example of the Dune affect, which states that those who control the media control the opinions of the people. Subjectively, the media focuses on shifting the focus from something bad to something good when it serves the ideology they wish to spread. Furthermore, it is possible for this to be work because this exploits a well-known principle of human behavior which says, "people simply like to have reasons for what they do" (Cialdini 3)............Thus, the media only needs to give a reason for their message despite its validity in order for it to be accepted" The Jerusalem Post and the Washington Post articles also take another approach to the propagandistic tactic of creating an enemy as friend of enemy. Not only do both of them link Pakistan to Iran, Syria, and Libya politically--by showing ties between the countries--they further connect the countries through religion by using the coined term: Islamic bomb. The term is not a new one, originating in the 1970’s after the former President of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto referred to the desire to produce a nuclear bomb to help counter the nuclear arsenals of the Christians, Communists, and eventually Hindus (Downie A20). Largely misquoted, the term became used in much of the anti-Pakistani propaganda of labeling by generalization. 1In fact, both the articles in the Washington Post and the Jerusalem Post make references to the potential threat of an "Islamic bomb." Such references are made despite repeated statements from the Pakistani government explaining that Pakistan does not intend to share any of its nuclear technology with any country. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, "No one should give religious color to the success achieved by our nuclear scientists.... It is incorrect to call it an Islamic bomb" (Moore 19). Despite the Pakistani attempts to disavow the notion of an Islamic Bomb, American media has been using the term rather liberally as a propaganda tactic of dehumanization, a tactic that involves lumping a group together in such a way that takes away any individuality. 1This is effective because we systematically blur distinctions and insist that the enemy remain faceless so that any acts are done not against men, women, and children, but a mass identity and in this case surrounded by the group with the "Islamic bomb." Such techniques can be found in even scholarly works, such as one written through the Center for Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown University where the term Islamic Bomb is used to persuade the public to see nuclear proliferation into South Asia as a threat to national security. Using the faceless enemy tactic, the paper written by Rodney Jones states that Pakistan’s centrifuge program in 1979 "were accompanied by suggestions that the program was financed by Libya and dramatized the notion that the end result would be an Islamic bomb"" . 

Summary:

Sources from India, Israel and Pakistan have confirmed that India and Israel secretly planned to attack and destroy Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan Research Lab in Kahuta, Pakistan in early 1980s. It was intended to stop Pakistan from enriching uranium to build a nuclear bomb. Pakistani ISI learned of the secret plan and tipped off the Pakistan Air Force which started increased patrols. PAF was also told to be ready to strike at nuclear sites in Trombay in India and Dimona in Israel. Meanwhile, the ISI let the Indians and the Israelis know that Pakistan would retaliate, bringing "India, Pakistan, and Israel to within a hair’s breadth of a nuclear conflagration". In the end, better sense prevailed in New Delhi with the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi rescinding her orders.

Here's a video of President Pervez Musharraf speaking about Dr. AQ Khan's contribution to the Pakistani atomic bomb development:

https://youtu.be/TOL2_Jw1YvI



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

India's Indigenous Copies of Nukes and Missiles 

Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb

Pakistan's Shaheen 3 Can Hit Deep Inside India and Israel

Western Media Propaganda Against Pakistani Nuclear Program by Manzaria & Bruck

Pakistan's Defense Industry Going High-Tech

Islamophobia Has Doubled Since 911

Modi's India: A Paper Elephant?

Scientist Reveals Indian Nuke Test Fizzled

The Wisconsin Project

Top American CIA Official on Pakistan ISI

India, Pakistan Comparison 2010

Can India "Do a Lebanon" in Pakistan?

Global Firepower Comparison

Evaluation of Military Strengths--India vs. Pakistan

Only the Paranoid Survive

India Races Ahead in Space

21st Century High-Tech Warfare

World Military Spending

Indian Attempts to Scuttle F-16s For Pakistan

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni: Pakistani Social Network

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Soaring Prices of Imported LNG Threaten Pakistan's Economic Recovery

Soaring LNG prices are adversely affecting Pakistan's balance of payments and threatening the nation's post-COVID economic recovery.  Pakistan's trade deficit has widened to nearly $12 billion in July-September 2021 quarter, up more than 100% from the same period last year. The nation's heavy reliance on expensive imported energy has been the main cause of prior balance of payments crises that have forced it to seek IMF bailouts more than a dozen times in the last 70 years. 


Global LNG Prices. Source: The Peninsula Qatar 


Pakistan: World's Fastest Growing LNG Market. Source: Bloomberg



Global Commodity Price Increases


The average LNG price for November delivery into Northeast Asia was estimated at about $32 per metric million British thermal units (mmBtu), up nearly 20 percent from the previous week, according to the Peninsula Qatar publication. Price agency S&P Global Platts said on Thursday that its Japan-Korea-Marker, which is widely used as a benchmark for spot LNG contracts, rose to $34.47 per mmBtu.       

Pakistan Trade Stats. Source: Topline Securities

Rising LNG prices have forced power generating companies in Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Middle East to start switching fuels pushing oil prices higher.  About 60% of Pakistan's current LNG needs are covered by long-term contracts at significantly lower prices than the current spot prices. US crude closed above $80 for the first time since late in 2014, bringing its climb since the end of last October to 125%, according to the Wall Street Journal

Pakistan Coal Power Plants Under CPEC. Source:China's Global Power Database

All Pakistani Power Plants Under CPEC. Source: China's Global Power Database


The key to Pakistan managing its current accounts lies in reducing reliance on imported energy and dramatically increasing its exports. Pakistan already faces climate change pressures forcing it to change its energy mix to reduce the use of fossil fuels. 

Pakistan's Malik Amin Aslam with CNN's Becky Anderson 

Malik Amin Aslam, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's special assistant on climate change, said recently in an interview with CNN that his country is seeking to change its energy mix to favor green.  He said Pakistan's 60% renewable energy target would to be based on solar, wind and hydro power projects, and 40% would come from hydrocarbon and nuclear which is also low-carbon. “Nuclear power has to be part of the country’s energy mix for future as a zero energy emission source for clean and green future,” he concluded. Here are the key points Aslam made to Becky Anderson of CNN:

1. Pakistan wants to be a part of the solution even though it accounts for less than 1% of global carbon emissions. 

 2. Extreme weather events are costing Pakistan significant losses of lives and property. Pakistan is among the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. 

3. Pakistan is moving towards renewable energy by converting 60% of its energy mix to renewable by 2030. Electric vehicle (EV) transition is also beginning in his country. 

4. Aslam said:  “We are one of the world leaders on nature based solutions. However, the World Bank (WB) in its Report yesterday came up with really good numbers in a comparison done of countries who are shifting their mainstream development towards environment friendly policies and Pakistan came atop among them,” the SAPM explained. 

900 MW Zonergy Solar Park in Bhawalpur, Pakistan



To a question on Pakistan’s capacity to make investments in nature based solutions, he said, “We cannot afford not to do it….that’s a cliche in our country and we are living that cliche in Pakistan. We are not just talking the climate talk rather doing climate action in Pakistan.” 

1,100 MW Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 2



To a question on the 26th Conference of Parties (COP-26) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Amin said his country’s revised "national determined contributions" (NDCs) are going to be released next week. “….that’s going to clearly tell the world that this (money) we had spent in nature and could do further and that was also our direction,” he added. The SAPM informed that Pakistan was going to COP 26 with a very clear message that the country has been affected by climate change, climate injustice, adding, “but we are one of the countries that are leading the way to nature based solutions.” 

Pakistan Among Top 3 Countries For Newly Installed Hydro



He cited the WB Report and said 44% of the country’s mainstream development was climate friendly investment and it had doubled in the past one year. He said 60% renewable energy target would to be based on solar, wind and hydro power projects, and 40% would come from hydrocarbons and nuclear which is also low-carbon. “Nuclear power has to be part of the country’s energy mix for future as a zero energy emission source for clean and green future,” he concluded.

Installed Wind Power in Pakistan. Source: Modor Intelligence 


It's noteworthy that Pakistan's neighbor India currently generates 70% of its electricity from coal extracted from Indian coal mine.  It is aiming for renewables and nuclear energy to account for 40% of its installed electricity capacity by 2030.   

Pakistan NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) For Climate Goals. Source: UN



Here's a video of Malik Amin Aslam's interview with CNN"s Becky Anderson:

https://youtu.be/Q_s4kQXChuM




Thursday, October 7, 2021

Is CPEC Development Focus Shifting From Gwadar to Karachi?

China has agreed to invest $3.5 billion in Karachi, according to Pakistani and Chinese officials. In a separate announcement earlier, Saudi Arabia said it is moving its planned $10 billion petrochemical complex from Gwadar to Karachi.  These announcements have triggered speculation that the focus of development of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is moving from Gwadar to Karachi. 

Karachi Port, Pakistan

The Karachi project dubbed "Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone project" or KCCDZ    includes additional new berths to Karachi port, development of a new fisheries port and a 640-hectare special economic zone near the port. The project also envisages building a harbor bridge connecting the port with the nearby Manora islands, according to Nikkei Asia

Gwadar Port City

Saudi decision to shift the $10 billion petrochemical plant from Gwadar to Karachi was triggered by the fact that there is no oil pipeline nor a rail line planned to support it at Gwadar. Karachi already has well-developed roads, rails, telecommunications and pipeline infrastructure for connectivity with the rest of the country. 

Gwadar East Bay Expressway, Pakistan

China already has a lot invested in Gwadar.  Krzysztof Iwanek, head of the Asia Research Center at Warsaw's War Studies University, told Nikkei that the challenges of developing a major port in an underdeveloped area like Gwadar must have been factored in by China from the outset. "[I]t may be assumed that Chinese involvement in Gwadar may be at least partially strategic. Karachi, in turn, is Pakistan's most important port, and, hence, Chinese involvement there may be of purely economic nature," Iwanek said.

My own view is that Gwadar remains very important to China for strategic reasons. Gwadar sits very close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz that is used by tankers carrying the bulk of China's and the world's energy imports.  Karachi is the fastest and most economical route to making CPEC operational but it does not diminish the long-term importance of Gwadar for China. 

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Pakistanis Happier Than Neighbors

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's Vision

Karachi Safety Ranking Rising

Gangs of Karachi

Gangster Politicians of Karachi

Karachi is World's Fastest Growing Megacity

Karachi's Human Development Index

Pakistan Rising or Failing: Reality vs Perception

Pakistan's Trillion Dollar Economy Among top 25

CPEC Myths and Facts

Gwadar Port

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Pakistan's Denim Exports to US Soared 62% in First Six Months of 2021

Pakistan exported $38 million worth of denim clothing to the United States in July, 2021. This figure represents 140% growth over July, 2020. Mexico's denim exports grew 58% while those of Bangladesh grew 24% in this period, according to the US Office of Textiles and Apparel. 

US Denim Apparel Imports. Source: US Office of Textiles and Apparel

Among the top Asian suppliers, Pakistan's exports to US jumped 62.16% year to date to $188.94 million. Bangladesh’s exports increased 42.82% to $362.38 million in this period while shipments from China were up 13.28% to $192.49 million. 

Pakistan’s textiles and clothing exports are expected to rise in the coming months as the US moves orders out of China and other neighboring Asian countries. The focus on more value addition and new textile policy of the country will support the organic growth in exports. The depreciation of PKR has also boosted textile exports.

The monthly average of apparel exports from Pakistan was $565.60 million in H1 2021, which is expected to rise by 13.44% in H2 2021 to reach $641.60 million, according to a report in Fiber2Fashion. The US, the UK, Germany, Spain and France were the top importers of Pakistani apparel in H1 and accounted for approximately 68.27% of total apparel exports of the country, according to Fibre2Fashion’s market analysis tool TexPro.

Pakistan's textile and garment exports jumped 22.94% to reach $15.4 billion in Fiscal Year 2020-21 (July 2020-June 2021), according to data from Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.  At the same time, the country's technology exports surged 47% to set a new record of $2.12 billion for the last fiscal year that ended in June 2021. Pharmaceutical exports also saw 25.3% growth to $241 million in the first 11months of FY 2021, indicating Pakistan's export diversification with higher value added goods and services. 

Pakistan Textile/Apparel Exports. Source: Arif Habib Ltd
Pakistan Textile Exports FY 2006-2021. Source: APTMA

Overall, Pakistan's exports of goods for fiscal 2020-21 rose 13.7% to $25.63 billion. The nation's service exports increased 9.2% to $5.93 billion in fiscal 2021. Combined exports of goods and services added up to $31.56 billion in July 2020 to June 2021 period. 

Pakistan Tech Exports. Source: Arif Habib Ltd. 


Imports grew 23.2%, much faster than exports as the economy recovered from the COVID-induced slump, widening the trade gap in the process. Energy demand drove imports of oil and gas to new highs. 

Pakistan Current Account Balance. Source: Arif Habib Ltd. 

During the last two fiscal years,  Karachi has accounted for 51% of Pakistan’s exports, Lahore came in 2nd with 18%, Faisalabad 3rd with 12% and Sialkot 4th with 8.5%. 

Pakistan's Exports by Cities. Source: FBR

Record inflow of nearly $30 billion in remittances from overseas Pakistanis helped reduce the current account deficit to $1.85 billion in FY 2020-21. It's down 58.4% from $4.45 billion in FY 2019-20. 

Overseas Pakistanis' remittances represent 10% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). This money helps the nation cope with its perennial current account deficits. It also provides a lifeline for millions of Pakistani families who use the money to pay for food, education, healthcare and housing. This results in an increase in stimulus spending that has a multiplier effect in terms of employment in service industries ranging from retail sales to restaurants and entertainment. 

Over 10 million Pakistanis are currently working/living overseas, according to the Bureau of Emigration. Before the COVID19 pandemic hit in 2020,  more than 600,000 Pakistanis left the country to work overseas in 2019. The average yearly outflow of Pakistani workers to OECD countries (mainly UK and US) and the Middle East has been over half a million in the last decade. 


Pakistan ranks 6th among the top worker remittance recipient countries in the world.  India and China rank first and second, followed by Mexico 3rd, the Philippines 4th, Egypt 5th and Pakistan 6th.  

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Pakistan's Debt Crisis

Declining Investment Hurting Pakistan's Economic Growth

Brief History of Pakistan Economy 

Can Pakistan Avoid Recurring IMF Bailouts?

Pakistan is the 3rd Fastest Growing Trillion Dollar Economy

CPEC Financing: Is China Ripping Off Pakistan?

Information Tech Jobs Moving From India to Pakistan

Pakistan is 5th Largest Motorcycle Market

"Failed State" Pakistan Saw 22% Growth in Per Capita Income in Last 5 Years

CPEC Transforming Pakistan

Pakistan's $20 Billion Tourism Industry Boom

Home Appliance Ownership in Pakistani Households

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Dubai Expo: India Prominently Displays Controversial Ayodhya Ram Mandir at Pavilion Entrance

India's pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020 has a large and prominent display of a miniature model of the controversial Ram Mandir at its entrance. Ram Mandir will replace the Mughal-era Babri Masjid that was destroyed by a Hindu mob in 1992.  It represents Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of India as a Hindu Rastra built on the ruins of the country's Muslim past. Inaugurating the Indian pavilion,  the country's trade minister Piyush Goyal told the media that "Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally gave us ideas and a lot of guidance on how to showcase India". 


Model of Controversial Ram Mandir at Dubai Expo


“It is a great opportunity to showcase emerging new India to visitors who are coming from all over the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally gave us ideas and a lot of guidance on how to showcase India as a modern vibrant technology driven international economy," trade minister Piyush Goyal, who inaugurated the India pavilion on Friday, told reporters.

World Expos have a long illustrious history going back 170 years. They represent an opportunity for  participating countries to showcase their achievements in arts, sciences and technologies. First mechanical computer was shown at the 1862 London International Exhibition on Industry and Art. Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated the first telephone at Philadelphia in the 1876 Expo in the United States. 
Pakistani Pavilion at Dubai Expo

Pakistan has a large pavilion at Dubai Expo which will remain open for six months. It will highlight opportunities for trade, tourism and investment in the country. The focus on the first month of Expo 2020 Dubai at the Pakistan Pavilion is Balochistan.    

Pakistani pavilion attracted about 8,000 visitors when it opened yesterday. Speaking on the occasion, Pakistani representative Aftab Abro said: “The response has been outstanding and we have people appreciating all aspects of the pavilion, ranging from the colorful fa├žade to the vibrant bazaar and also our custom-made Pakistani restaurant called ‘Dhaba’ that has been a great crowd-puller…We are grateful to the Expo 2020 Dubai for bringing the world to us so we could show them what Pakistan is all about. After taking their reviews, we were happy to learn that coming to our pavilion dispelled many misconceptions and doubts they had about Pakistan, due to some false information they got from unreliable sources. By physically coming to the Pakistan pavilion they said they experienced the real Pakistan.”



Friday, October 1, 2021

2021: A Banner Year For Pakistani Tech Startup Investments

The year 2021 is turning out to be a banner year for Pakistani tech startups. At the end of the third quarter of the current year, technology startups have already raised $278 million, twice the funding raised in the previous 5 years combined. In per capita terms, this is still just over $1 per person, a lot less compared to neighboring India where startups attracted $20 per person

Venture Capital Investment in Pakistan. Source: Kalsoom Lakhani, i2i Ventures


The third quarter (July-Sept 2021) alone has seen startup companies raise $172.6 in 17 deals closed in the three-month period, according to data compiled by Kalsoom Lakhani of i2i ventures. The top deals closed in the third quarter were: 1. Airlift $85 million series B 2. Bazaar $30 million in series A and 3. QisstPay $15 million seed round. 

Source: Kalsoom Lakhani, i2i Ventures

The lion's share of the ,money ($117 million) went to E-commerce startups followed by Fintech ($35 million) and trucking platforms ($13.6 million). Male-founded startups got 46.5% while female-founded companies received 1.7% with the rest of the money going to startups whose founding teams include both male and female founders. 

Venture Funding in Pakistan Lowest Among Most Populous Nations. Source: Crunchbase

In per capita terms, startup investment in Pakistan is still just over $1 per person, a lot less compared to neighboring India where startups attracted $20 per person. As expected, the startups in the United States dwarfed all other countries in both per capita terms ($808) and in total size ($269 billion) of venture capital investments. 
 
Largest Global Market For Venture Funding. Source: Crunchbase

Pakistan's technology sector is in the midst of an unprecedented boom. It is being fueled by the country's growing human capital and rising investments in technology startups. A recent tweet by Swedish fund manager Mattias Martinsson captured it well when he wrote, "Have followed Pakistan for 15 years. Can't recall any time time when VC activity was anywhere near we've seen in the last few months. Impact of reforms kicking in?".  New laws have made it easier to create startups and offered greater protection to investors.  Digital infrastructure has expanded with over 100 million smartphones and an equal number of broadband subscriptions. 

With expanding Internet infrastructure and rapidly growing user base, Pakistan is now seeing robust growth in venture money pouring into technology startups. Pakistani startups have already attracted more than $278 million in funding in 2021, more funds than all the money raised by Pakistani startups in their entire history. A recent example is Kleiner Perkins, a top Silicon Valley venture capital investment firm, that led a series A round of $17 million investment into Pakistani start-up Tajir. The startup operates an online marketplace for small store merchants in Pakistan. The announcement came via a tweet by Mamoon Hamid, a Pakistani-American Managing Partner at Kleiner Perkins who led the investment. Last year, Tajir raised a $1.8 million seed round.  The company's revenue has increased by 10x since its seed round. 

Pakistan Technology Exports Trend 2007-2021. Source: Arif Habib


Pakistan's technology exports are experiencing rapid growth in double digits over the last decade. Total technology exports jumped 47% to $2.1 billion in fiscal year 2020-21. 

Pakistan University Enrollment Growth. Source: Encyclopedia of Higher Education

The foundation for Pakistan's digital transformation was laid with the higher education reform and telecommunications deregulation and investments starting in the year 2001 on President Musharraf's watch. With a huge increase in higher education funding, Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr. Ata ur Rehman succeeded in establishing 51 new universities during 2002-2008. As a result, university enrollment (which had reached only 275,000  from 1947 to 2003) soared to about 800,000 in 2008. This helped build a significant human capital that drove the IT revolution in Pakistan.      

Please watch the following video presentation for more details on Pakistan's technology startup ecosystem:

https://youtu.be/ePApXOM3vkQ