Riaz Haq writes this data-driven blog to provide information, express his opinions and make comments on many topics. Subjects include personal activities, education, South Asia, South Asian community, regional and international affairs and US politics to financial markets. For investors interested in South Asia, Riaz has another blog called South Asia Investor at http://www.southasiainvestor.com and a YouTube video channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkrIDyFbC9N9evXYb9cA_gQ
"The pain of discipline is nothing like the pain of disappointment"
What is the most plausible explanation for the fact that Australian national cricket team is enjoying the thrill of victory while its rivals are suffering the agony of defeat? It can be found tattooed in Arabic on Australian Captain Michael Clarke's raised arm holding the ICC World Cup 2015. It's an Arabic proverb that translates as follows: The pain of discipline is nothing like the pain of disappointment.
Discipline is what distinguished Australia from its competitors in all departments during ICC World Cup 2015: Batting, Bowling and Fielding. And discipline doesn't come easy. It takes a lot of hard work to develop and maintain the discipline necessary to effectively compete and win. There were many flashes of brilliance and passion in Pakistani cricketers' performance at the World Cup. In fact, cricket greats like Lara, Ponting and Tendulkar all agree that Pakistani bowler Wahab Riaz's fierce bowling spell against Australian batsman Shane Watson was the most memorable part of the tournament. But these flashes of brilliance were overshadowed by the lack of discipline by Pakistani fielders and poor shots played by Pakistani batsmen. Pakistanis' lack of discipline was obvious in several ways: Fielders dropped crucial catches or failed to stop boundaries; Batsmen selected poor shots to lose wickets at critical moments. It all added up to a big loss to Australia in the quarter final. Other South Asian teams seemed to suffer from the same lack of discipline when playing against Australia. Pakistanis' poor discipline on display at the World Cup is not limited to just cricket matches; it seems to be pervasive in almost all spheres of life Pakistan, a nation whose founder Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah frequently emphasized the importance of "Unity, Faith and Discipline". All of the talk of various TV talking heads, commentators and pundits on the causes of Pakistan's failures will do little to help Pakistan succeed, be it in sports or education or economy or any other area. What is needed is the return to the basics of "Unity, Faith and Discipline". Unity of purpose; faith in yourselves as individuals and as a nation; and discipline in all your pursuits. Related Links: Haq's Musings
Pakistan's cyber security chief Mir Mazhar Jabbar tracked down and arrested Noor Aziz Uddin and his accomplices last month in Karachi. Noor was on FBI's Most Wanted list for stealing $50 million by international phone hacking that targeted small businesses in many countries around the world.
How Did Noor Do It?
Noor gathered business cards of small businesses and used them to target private branch exchange (PBX) switches by dialing into voicemail accounts and guessing passwords. One he guessed the voicemail passwords correctly, he would use the voicemail to forward calls to premium phone numbers that he owned. Then he and his many accomplices repeatedly dialed the hacked PBX numbers which forwarded to his premium phone lines earning him millions of dollars over several years. The premium phone line charges were in the range of several dollars a minutes.
The FBI’s official indictment doesn’t name specific entities, but it lists examples: One business in Livingston, New Jersey, was hacked for $24,120. Another, in Englewood, New Jersey, was charged $83,839, according to a story in International Business Times. Noor and his accomplices netted over $50 million over 4-year period from 2008 to 2012 by this scheme.
How Was Noor Caught:
Early in 2015, Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) found the cell phone number used by Noor personally. Upon getting hold of the phone number, Jabbar contacted the wireless service provider with a court order. The carrier then gave him access to the phone's GPS coordinates.
And that's how Jabbar reached Noor's doorstep last month.
Widespread use of Voice over IP (VoIP) by small businesses has created a huge opportunity for phone hackers. Communications Fraud Control Association, a telecom trade group based in New Jersey, estimated the PBX fraud at $4.42 billion in 2013.
Growing access to technology is opening up new opportunities for criminals in both physical and cyber worlds. Noor Aziz Uddin case shows that the technology used by criminals to commit crimes can also be used by governments to fight such crimes. It requires law enforcement to stay one or two steps ahead of the criminals to beat them at their own game.
Pakistan's per capita median income is $73.26 per month in terms of 2005 PPP (purchasing poverty parity) US dollars as of 2010. It is higher than India's $60.48 and Bangladesh's $51.67 per capita per month, according to the World Bank.
Median income is the amount that divides the income distribution into two equal groups, half having income above that amount, and half having income below that amount. Mean income (average) is the amount obtained by dividing the total aggregate income of a country by the number of people in that country. A country's median income is a better indicator than the average income to gauge how a population is faring economically.
Median income also helps assess the size of the middle class in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh based on the definition used by Asian Development Bank and World Bank. Both of these institutions define middle class as those earning $2 or more per capita per day in terms of 2005 PPP US$.
Pakistan median income of $73.26 per month translates into $2.44 per day, higher than $2 per day income level used by ADB and WB to define middle class. It means that more than 50% of Pakistanis are in middle class. India's $60.48 per month puts 50% of Indians in middle class while Bangladesh's $51.67 means fewer than 50% of Bangladeshis are in middle class.
A 2010 Asian Development Bank's report titled "Asia's Emerging Middle Class: Past,. Present, And Future" reported Pakistan's middle class size as 40.12% of the country's population as of 2005. It also estimated Bangladesh's middle class at 20.25% and India's at 25.05% of their total populations.
More recently, research conducted by Dr. Jawaid Abdul Ghani of Karachi School of Business and Leadership (KSBL) concluded that Pakistan's middle class rose to 55% of the country's population in 2010.
Even though Pakistan's GDP growth has been relatively low compared to India and Bangladesh in recent years, the country's middle class has continued to grow rapidly. It's explained as follows: It's not the overall GDP growth and average per capita income increases but the median per capita income growth that tells you how the GDP gains are shared among the population.
Data shows that economic gains in Pakistan are shared better than India and Bangladesh because of lower inequality. Income poverty rate (those below $1.25 per capita per day) in India is 33% and Bangladesh 43% versus 13% in Pakistan, according to WB data on povcalNet. Gini Index for India is 33, Pakistan 29 and Bangladesh 32, indicating that Pakistan has lower inequality.
General Khalid Kidwai, the man who headed Pakistan's strategic forces for 15 years, has said his country is close to having nuclear "second strike capability" with a "sea-based platform".
Kidwai said the 2750 Kilometer range Shaheen 3 ballistic missile has been developed in response to reports of India's plans to locate nuclear bases on Andaman and Nicobar islands in the Indian ocean.
On the tactical nuclear missile Nasr with a range of just 37 miles, Kidawi said it was intended to deter India's "Cold Start" doctrine which sought to exploit gaps between Pakistan's conventional and nuclear capabilities.
2. Conflicts must be managed for socio-economic development in South Asia.
3. Managing conflict is not revisionism--it's common sense.
4. Fear of nuclear war can maintain peace and enable socio-economic development
5. Pakistan's tactical nuclear weapons are a response to India's offensive doctrine.
6. It's unfortunate that the debate has degenerated into lesser issues of command and control and nuclear weapons falling into wrong hands.
7. Discriminatory access to technology is wrong-headed. It does not contribute to managing conflict.
Here are some Q&As from the session:
Question (Lavoy) : History of Pakistan's nuclear weapons...greatest accomplishment and biggest regrets
Answer (Kidawi) : No regrets. I am a "satisfied soldier". Greatest achievement: More comprehensive satisfaction of taking scientific experiments to complete operationalization with a variety of nuclear weapons. It has ensured peace in South Asia. War as an instrument policy is out.
Question: How do you regard nuclear weapons...extension of conventional war fighting?
Answer: They are seen as deterrent, not as primary war-fighting capability.
Question: What's the logic of Nasr with such a short range?
Answer: US has short-range nukes. Pakistan is not unique. Our adversary was seeing gaps in Pakistan capability to find space to launch conventional strikes. Nasr filled the gap to deter "cold start doctrine".
Question: Concern is about intermingling of conventional and strategic making nuclear war more likely, not less likely.
Answer: If tactical nukes make India think twice, if not ten times, then they make sense. It's to stop India's bluster of massive retaliation and not provoke mutual destruction.
Question: The other side of the range, Shaheen 3, what is its actual range?
It's 2750 Km.
Answer: Logic is to respond to reports of development of Indian bases in Andaman and Nicobar islands in the Indian ocean. Pakistan has no need to go beyond the 2750 Km range.
Question: Shaheen 3's political dimension is troubling with capability to hit other countries in the Middle East (Israel?)
Why is Pakistan's 2750 Km troublesome while India's 10,000 to 12,000 Km not troublesome?
Q&As with the Audience:
Question: Is Pakistan's nuclear program open-ended? How many is enough?
Answer: It's not open-ended. It's to assure minimum deterrence.
Question: Saudis have often hinted at access to Pakistan nuclear weapons?
Answer: You should ask the Saudis why they are saying that. I can tell you that Pakistan will not be a source of nuclear weapons technology for any country.
Question: When would Pakistan have transparency of its nuclear program, like numbers of weapons?
Answer: No government of Pakistan will reveal number of weapons. It'll maintain ambiguity.
Question: Other nuclear weapons states call their weapons "weapons of peace"? Should you worry about their use in war?
Answer: Pakistan's nuclear weapons are bedrock of Pakistan's security.
Question: Will Pakistan develop nuclear submarine as 2nd strike capability.
Pakistan will develop 2nd strike capability to maintain balance with India.
Question: Will Pakistan's 2nd capability be sea-based?
Question: How will you coordinate army navy and air force commands in terms of nuclear weapons?
Answer: SPD is the coordination authority using elaborate C4ISR and transportation.
Question: You need a quiet submarine to avoid detection. Can you do it?
Answer: Yes, we are close to it. We'll have it in the next few years.
Question (Lavoy): Can Pakistan afford it?
Answer: There are a lot of fantastic figures quoted about Pakistan's defense spending. But Pakistan's nuclear costs are a fraction of total defense expenditures which are in the range of 3 to 3.5% of GDP.
Question: Will Pakistan sign international treaties?
Answer: Maybe in the next few years.
Question: What is Pakistan's plans in space?
Answer: Unfortunately, Pakistan's space program is lagging behind. SPD's interest in space program is in ensuring C4I2SR for our military needs.
Question: Pakistan's image after AQ Khan episode has not improved. What is Pakistan doing about it?
Answer: We are making serious efforts to join NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group).
Question (from Voice of Vietnam): Pakistan is China's only ally. Can Pakistan use its ties with China to promote peace in Asia?
Answer: I disagree that Pakistan is China's only ally. But Pakistan and China have been close friends since 1960s. Our alliance with China is not against any country but to promote peace.
Question (Lavoy): Have you asked your military colleagues to cut ties with terrorism that could start the war you are trying to avoid.
Answer: I disagree with the premise of the question. The situation we are in was thrust upon Pakistan. First lack of resolution of Kashmir issue and then superpower conflict in Afghanistan have led to militancy and terrorism we are dealing with.
Here's the full video of the session with Gen Kidawi:
I think senior American analyst and South Asia watcher Stephen Cohen summed up the current situation in South Asia when he said: "The alphabet agencies—ISI, RAW, and so forth—are often the chosen instrument of state policy when there is a conventional (and now a nuclear) balance of power, and the diplomatic route seems barren."
I see little likelihood of full-scale war between India and Pakistan. The best way for the two nuclear armed neighbors to proceed is sustained diplomatic engagement to resolve all outstanding issues including Kashmir. If the diplomatic route remains barren, there will be continuation of covert and proxy wars in the region.
Ricky Ponting, the legendary captain of the Australian national cricket team, has described Pakistani fast bowler Wahab Riaz's bowling in Pakistan versus Australia quarter final at the ICC World Cup 2015 as "extraordinary spell" and the contest between Wahab and Watson "cricket at its absolute best".
Brian Lara, another great cricketer and ex-captain of the West Indies, has called the decision to fine Wahab Riaz "ridiculous". Lara also offered to pay Wahab's fine.
Wahab's initial six-over spell brought 2 for 24. Then it was a dropped catch off of Wahab's bowling early in the innings that saved Watson from being dismissed at a very low score. Australia stood at 83 for 3 at this point. "(Watson) couldn't do much but survive against Wahab Riaz in that extraordinary spell on Friday night," Ponting wrote in The Australian. "Their contest was cricket at its absolute best. Watto (Shane Watson) didn't want to hook him and Wahab (Raz) was going to make life hell for him if he didn't". Watson made the best of the chance afforded by the dropped catch to score an unbeaten 64 off of 66 balls, taking Australia to victory.
Another critical dropped catch was that of Glenn Maxwell off of Wahab when Australia were at 185 for 4. Maxwell reached an unbeaten 44 to win the match for Australia. Although Pakistan couldn't win the encounter, it did earn a lot of respect for Wahab from Brian Lara who was incensed by the ICC decision to fine Wahab 50% of his match fee. "It's just unbelievable that that's the end result ... both were fined. I don't know what the ICC is thinking. It's just uncalled for. We need this in a sport that people are running away from, especially 50-over cricket. I loved the exchange. It was above board as far as I'm concerned and I can't wait to meet him. I want to meet with [this] Riaz guy. I'll pay the fine."
Wahab Riaz is the latest pacer to come from the land that produced legendary fast bowlers like Fazal Mahmood, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younus and Shoaib Akhtar. Mohammad Irfan, 7 ft 1 in tall fast bowler with the distinction of being the tallest in the history of cricket, could not play against Australia due to injury. The list of the victims of bouncers bowled by Pakistani pacers reads like the Who's Who of international cricket: Sachin Tendulkar, Alan Lamb, Mohinder Amarnath, Lance Cairns, Brian Lara, Shane Watson, Saurav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh.
Pakistani bowlers, particularly Wahab Riaz, bowled their hearts out but they still couldn't make up for their team-mates' poor batting and fielding. The shot selections by Pakistani batsmen were just atrocious and the fielding extremely poor. It's hard for any side, including Pakistan, to win against a well-rounded side like Australia without strong performance in all three departments: Batting, Bowling and Fielding.
Majority of the households in Pakistan now belong to the middle class, a first in Pakistan's history, according to research by Dr. Jawaid Abdul Ghani of Karachi School of Business and Leadership (KSBL).
It's an important tipping point that puts Pakistan among the top 5 countries with fastest growing middle class population in Asia-Pacific region, according to an Asian Development Bank report titled Asia's Emerging Middle Class: Past, Present, And Future. The ADB report put Pakistan's middle class growth from 1990 to 2008 at 36.5%, much faster than India's 12.5% growth in the same period.
From 2002 to 2011, the country's middle class, defined as households with daily per capita expenditures of $2-$10 in 2005 purchasing power parity dollars, grew from 32% to 55% of the population, according to a paper presented by Dr. Abdul Ghani at Karachi's Institute Business Administration's International Conference on Marketing. Dr. Ghani has cited Pakistan Standards of Living Measurement (PSLM) Surveys as source of his data.
Growing middle class is a major driver of economic growth, as the income elasticity for durable goods and services for middle class consumers is greater than one, according to a Brookings Institution study titled The Emerging Middle Class in Developing Countries.
Among some of the manifestations of the rising middle class, Dr. Abdul Ghani reports dramatic increase in the ownership of television sets, refrigerators and motorcycles in households in all income deciles in Pakistan. At the same the total household assets have nearly doubled from $387 billion in 2001-02 to $772.6 billion in 2010-11 in terms of 2005 purchasing power parity dollars.
Pakistan's transition to middle-class middle-income country over the last decade mainly during Musharraf years represents a major tipping point for the country's economy. It is likely to accelerate economic growth driven by consumption and draw greater investments in production of products and services demanded by middle class consumers. Some of it is already in evidence in booming sales of durable goods (TV sets, refrigerators, motorcycles) AND non-durables (cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, processed foods, etc) in Pakistan's booming FMCG sector.
There continues to be a concerted effort by some western and Indian governments and the mainstream media to demonize the ISI, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency of Pakistan. Some Pakistanis, particularly Pakistani liberals, are also part of this anti-ISI campaign.
To put unrelenting attacks on the ISI in perspective, let's read some excerpts from an interview of ex CIA officer and chief Bin Laden hunter Michael Scheuer on ISI, and watch the following video:
1. ISI is like all other intelligence services--like the Australian service or the American service.
2. ISI works for the interest of their country, not to help other countries.
3. The idea that ISI is a rogue organization is very popular--and even the Pakistanis promote it---but having worked with ISI for the better part of 20 years, I know the ISI is very disciplined and very able intelligence agency.
4. Pakistanis can not leave the area (AfPak) when we (Americans) do. They have to try and stabilize Afghanistan with a favorable Islamic government so they can move their 100,000 troops from their western border to the eastern border with India which---whether we like it or not, they see as a bigger threat.
5. We (US) have created the mess in South Asia and the Pakistanis have to sort it out. Our (US) problems in Afghanistan are of our own making.
C. Christine Fair is an assistant professor in the Center for Peace and Security Studies (CPASS), within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She has only recently wised up to the opportunity to sell lots of books in India, the world's third largest and currently the fastest growing market for books written in the English language.
Before writing and promoting "Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army's Way of War", a virulently anti-Pakistan book, Dr. Fair said this in 2009:
"Having visited the Indian mission in Zahedan, Iran, I can assure you they are not issuing visas as the main activity! Moreover, India has run operations from its mission in Mazar (through which it supported the Northern Alliance) and is likely doing so from the other consulates it has reopened in Jalalabad and Qandahar along the border. Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Baluchistan".
Fair spoke at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco on "Pakistan, the Taliban and Regional Security" March 4, 2015. Here are some interesting excerpts from her generally anti-Pakistan narrative at the event:
1. India's Hindu Nationalists (RSS, BJP) are like the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), the violent post-civil war white supremacist organization made up mainly of former southern confederate supporters, in the United States. The difference is that while KKK has very little popular support in America, the RSS's political wing BJP recently won general elections by a landslide, making Narendra Modi ("KKK wizard") the prime minister of India.
2. India's human rights record in Kashmir is appalling.
3. It's "flat out wrong" to say that "Indian Muslims do not participate in terrorism".
4. Pakistan can use Indian Mujahideen (IM) which includes India's deeply alienated Muslims to conduct covert actions in India with plausible deniability.
5. China has been talking with the Taliban since 1990s. Chinese can play a huge role to stabilize Afghanistan with investments and control Pakistan's behavior. (Later, she says US should encourage India to go big in Afghanistan).
6. India has been able to establish significant presence in Afghanistan under US security umbrella. India's intentions in Afghanistan are not benign. But she also says that US should encourage India to "go big" in Afghanistan to check Pakistan.
7. India has built the Iranian port of Chabahar to compete with Gwadar port in Pakistan. She says Chahbahar offers a better land route for trade with from Arabian Sea to Central Asia.
8. No one wants to pay Afghanistan's bills when US leaves. China can fill the gap. US and China can be partners for peace in Afghanistan.
9. Fair says she is a "personal fan" of India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Fair says "Pakistanis are afraid of him". Fair supports Modi's position of "India not engaging with Pakistan".
10. Current Indian government under Modi can aggressively "over-interpret" as exemplified by recent Indian claim of a "Pakistani terror boat" blown up by the Indian Coastguard.
What is the role of civil society in Pakistan today? How's civil society activist Jibran Nasir's movement doing? Why did Pakistan Rangers raid MQM headquarter at "90" which is also self-exiled MQM leader Altaf Husain's home in Karachi? Was this action justified? Why are Ranger not acting against many banned sectarian outfits engaged in murder and mayhem of Shias? Why has Indian government banned BBC documentary "Daughter" about the culture of rape? Why is beef now banned in Maharashtra in Indian "secular democracy"? What is the significance of Pakistan's Shaheen 3 missile's successful test?
Pakistan has successfully flight-tested Burraq, its first armed drone. The new unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) fired and precisely hit both still and moving targets with Barq, a laser-guided missile it carried under its wings.
Pakistan UCAV Burraq Source: ISPR
Based on Chinese CH-3 specification,the indigenously developed Burraq can carry 100-kilogram payload. It is a medium altitude long endurance (MALE) drone which can stay up for 12 hours. The payload can be laser-guided missile Barq, similar to Chinese AR-1 missiles, or a pair of precision guided small-diameter bombs like the Chinese FT series PGM.
With its successful Burraq test, Pakistan joins eight other countries — the United States, South Africa, France, Nigeria, Britain, Iran, Israel and China — which have already put weapons onto unmanned aircraft, according to the New America Foundation. Of these, only the US, Britain and Israel have successfully deployed armed drones during military operations, the foundation said.
Pakistani military's interest in armed drone technology is based on its direct knowledge of how effective American Predator drones have been in targeting and eliminating Taliban terrorists in Pakistan's FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas).
The objections to US drone strikes in Pakistan have mainly been due to the political sensitivity with violation of sovereignty, not due to lack of precision and effectiveness. Top TTP terrorist leaders Nek Mohammad, Baitullah Mehsud and Hakimullah Mehsud have all been killed in US drone strikes.
In a rare public statement on the effectiveness of the US drone campaign in FATA, General Officer Commanding 7-Division Maj-Gen Ghayur Mehmood serving in Waziristan in 2011 confirmed the effectiveness of US Predators when he said: "Yes there are a few civilian casualties in such precision strikes, but a majority of those eliminated are terrorists, including foreign terrorist elements.”
Pakistan is hoping to emulate the success of American drones in FATA by deploying Burraq in its ongoing anti-terror campaign in Waziristan and other tribal agencies. Burraq has the ability to linger over targets for long periods of time, gather intelligence and fire deadly missiles precisely at much lower cost than fighter planes like F-16 and JF-17.
Pakistan has successfully tested Shaheen III ballistic missile with 1700 mile range. The intermediate range missile can hit deep inside India and Israel. Its multi-stage solid-fuel technology can also be used to launch satellites into space. It has been jointly developed by the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) and the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO). It's the latest example of dual-use technology.
The missile was successfully test-fired into the Arabian Sea on Monday, March 9, 2015, according to the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) which oversees Pakistan’s nuclear program. Announcing the result, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, the head of SPD, congratulated NESCOM (National Engineering and Scientific Commission) scientists and engineers for “achieving yet another milestone of historic significance.”
Shaheen-III is the latest in the series of the indigenously produced Shaheen-I and Shaheen-II, which had shorter ranges. “The test launch was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system at maximum range,” the Pakistani military said in a statement.
Pakistani military leaders are trying to maintain a “credible deterrence” as arch-rival India continues to invest heavily in military hardware.
Since the technology used in satellite launch vehicles (SLV) is virtually identical to that used in a ballistic missile, Shaheen 3, the latest enhancement to Shaheen series of missiles, is expected to boost Pakistan's space program as well. Several nations, including India and Israel recently, have used same rocket motors for both ballistic missiles and satellite launch vehicles (SLVs). Israel's Shavit SLV and India's SLV-3 are examples of it.
The success of Shaheen 3 multi-stage solid-fueled ballistic missile is a confirmation of Pakistan's determination to ensure its security AND to pursue its space ambitions at the same time. I congratulate Pakistani engineers and scientists at NESCOM and SUPARCO on their hard work, continuing deep commitment and the latest achievement.
Here's Pakistan's General Kidawi speaking at a Washington Conference:
What is all the controversy surrounding senate elections in Pakistan, especially in KP and Baluchistan? Why has the new Saudi Arabian King Salman invited Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and rolled out the red carpet for him? What are Pakistan's chances at the ICC World Cup 2015? Why has Sri Lanka's ex-President Rajapaksa accused India and RAW of fomenting terror in Pakistan and Sri Lanka? What will be the impact of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to US Congress on President Obama's efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran?