Sunday, October 30, 2016

Husain Haqqani Vs Riaz Haq on India-Pakistan Relations

Ex Ambassador of Pakistan Mr. Husain Haqqani was interviewed on October 22, 2016 by Talk4Pak team's host Faraz Darvesh on his views on India-Pakistan relations.

This week,  regular Talk4Pak panelist Riaz Haq has offered his rebuttal to a number of statements made by Ambassador Haqqani during his interview. Here's a brief summary of Mr. Haqqani's views and Riaz Haq's responses.

Husain Haqqani: Pakistan needs to treat all "terrorists" alike and crack down on all of them.

Riaz Haq:  Most nations differentiate between "good" militants and "bad" militants.

For example, Indians see Bhagat Singh as "shaheed" (martyr) and Burhan Wani a "terrorist" even though both were fighting for freedom from foreign rule.

Also, Haqqanis were called freedom fighters (Mujahedeen) against Soviets but now called terrorists by Americans.

US and Israel founding fathers are accepted as freedom fighters, not terrorists.

Like others, Pakistan, too, has to differentiate among militants as a practical matter because, as President Clinton has said,  "you can not kill or jail all the terrorists".

Pakistan security forces are already stretched in their fight against Indian-backed terrorists like the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (See Doval Doctrine), the Baloch militants openly supported by Indian Prime Minister Modi and MQM militants who, according to sworn testimony of Mohammad Anwar and Tariq Mir, receive funding to launch attacks in Karachi.  Opening up additional fronts against more groups in response to Indian and US demands can potentially lead to the defeat of Pakistani security forces followed by a civil war.

HH: Indian economy is 20X Pakistan's

RH: According to World Bank data for 2015, Indian GDP $2,073,543 Pakistan $269,971 Actual Ratio is India's GDP is 7.68X Pakistan's, not 20X

Mr. Haqqani is known for exaggerating India's size, strength and importance while diminishing Pakistan's. Is this intended to demoralize and discourage Pakistanis and tell them they are insignificant relative to India? Is it meant to please Mr. Haqqani's Hindu Nationalist fans in India?

HH: Kashmir Unresolvable

RH: Kashmir is eminently resolvable as demonstrated by Musharraf formula agreed between India and Pakistan in 2007. Formula: LoC becomes soft border with easy movement of goods and people, Total internal autonomy of each region, overseen by a committee with reps from both regions, India and Pakistan, phased withdrawal of all troops. It is absolutely resolvable.

What has Changed since 2007? The players have changed in both India and Pakistan since Musharraf-Manmohan deal....especially in India where PM Modi thinks he can intimidate Pakistan with rhetoric like "chhapan inch ki chhati" (56-in chest) and "boli nahi goli" (bullets, not talks) and use of proxies like TTP, BLA and MQM to terrorize Pakistan and kill Pakistanis

Stephen Cohen has said this about India-Pakistan situation: "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 expect PM Modi will soon realize that only workable option is to use the diplomatic route of dialog with Pakistan.

HH: Put aside Kashmir like China put aside Taiwan.

RH: Unlike Indian occupied Kashmir, there are no mass protests, ubiquitous checkpoints and extended curfews in Taiwan. No 700,000 troops there. There's no Burhan Wanis in Taiwan to resist occupation. It's not possible to ignore Indian occupied Kashmir with daily killings and atrocities against innocent people.

HH: There is consensus Pakistan did not win 1965 war.

RH: Both governments claim victory in 1965. Many Indians, including insiders like RD Pradhan and Gen Harbkash Singh believe India did not win the 1965 war. Indian journalists like Shivan Vij say it was at best a stalemate. If India was winning in 1965, it wouldn't be the first to agree to ceasefire as it did.

 HH: His diplomacy as ambassador in Washington was effective.

 RH: Every product has features and benefits but also flaws. Ambassadors are expected to be a pitchmen at least in public. Pitchmen highlight features and benefits, not flaws. Ambassadors do not denigrate the countries they represent as Mr. Haqqani did.

 New York Times said this when Haqqani was forced out. As ambassador, Mr. Husain Haqqani behaved like "One Man Think Tank" who was "eager to share his own views, which often dovetailed American criticisms of Pakistan’s military". “There were questions about his influence at home and whether he could be trusted to accurately convey what his principals were thinking,” said one of the American officials.

HH: India's GDP growth rate 2.5X  Pakistan's

RH; Not true. India's GDP growth rate is 7.6% and Pakistan 5%.

So  the ratio is 1.52X not 2.5X

 Growth rates are not permanently sustainable. Pakistan economy grew much faster than India's in 1960s-1980s and India's economy has grown faster since 1990s. CPECis expected to add 2.5-3% growth on top of the current 5%, something India is strongly opposed to and trying to disrupt and sabotage.

HH: India's Literacy Rate 6 points higher in 1947, 22 points higher now.

RH: Not true either.  In 1951 census, the overall literacy rate was 20% in India and 14% in Pakistan, according to UNESCO.

As of 2012, India has achieved 75% literacy rate while Pakistan is at 60%.

Pakistan literacy is up 4X while India's is up 3.5X

HH: 1947-1958 was a good period for Pakistan, then Army messed it up.

RH:   Economists call this period the Flat Fifties when there was very little economic growth. Pakistan economy grew very rapidly in 1960s, much faster than India's "Hindu growth rate" under Nehru's democracy.

Pakistan had major development of agriculture with the Green Revolution that included several large dams and word's largest contiguous irrigation. Without it, Pakistanis would have starved to death.

Bangladesh happened because elected Pakistani politicians, particular Bhutto and Mujib, failed to work out difference after the elections.


Pakistan is neither a delusion nor owned by mullahs or military as claimed by Husain Haqqani in his books "Pakistan: Between the Mosque and the Military" and "Magnificent Delusions".

Pakistan is not one or two's much more complex as explained by Christophe Jaffrelot in his book "The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience".

Political, military, religious, ethnic, sectarian, secular,  conservative and liberal forces are constantly pushing and pulling to destabilize it but Pakistan remains resilient with its strong nationalism that has evolved after 1971.

Pakistan continues to defy pessimist pundits like Husain Haqqani and Tarek Fatah.

Bill Clinton once said "Follow the trend-lines, not the headlines".

There are many sensational negative headlines about Pakistan that are misleading.

But look at the trends that are all positive in terms of economy, security, democracy, life expectancy. per capita incomes, education, etc etc.

 If you look at Pakistan's socioeconomic indicators, they are all up over 5,10, 15 years in spite of all the difficulties.

Swedish Professor Hans Rosling compiles these for all of the countries. His website is Go take a look at it, especially health and wealth of nations. Pakistan has lower levels of income poverty than India. It also lower levels of multi-dimensional poverty as measured by MPI index that looks at not just income but also other dimensions like education, healthcare, hygiene, etc.

Here's a video of the rebuttal:

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

History of Literacy in Pakistan

Brief History of Pakistan's Economy

Depth of Deprivation in India

Tarek Fatah vs Riaz Haq on India, Pakistan and Muslims

Indian Sponsored Terror in Pakistan

700,000 Indian Soldiers Vs 10 Million Kashmiris

Indian Insider Account of 1965 War

Musharraf's Kashmir Formula

Who Are the Haqqanis? 

Debunking Mr. Haqqani's Op Ed "Pakistan's Elusive Quest for Parity"

Doval Doctrine


Rashid A. said...

Riaz Sahib,

Great rebuttal. Bravo.

Nothing beats the actual data. HH seems to live in a world of delusions where he makes stuff up as needed.

Ahmad F. said...

I did not realize Pakistan was doing SO well, not just doing better than India. I must be reading the wrong books and newspapers and going to the wrong conferences.

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmad: "I did not realize Pakistan was doing SO well, not just doing better than India. I must be reading the wrong books and newspapers and going to the wrong conferences."

You are not alone. There are many well-educated and well-read people who are " reading the wrong books and newspapers and going to the wrong conferences." They follow the headlines, not the trend lines.

That's the rationale for Hans Rosling's "Ignorance Project" that he talked to Fareed Zakaria about on CNN.

First, as I suggested in the video, please go to and run the health-wealth visualization of data for Pakistan and other countries to see how basic socioeconomic indicators have dramatically improved over the years.$majorMode=chart$is;shi=t;ly=2003;lb=f;il=t;fs=11;al=30;stl=t;st=t;nsl=t;se=t$wst;tts=C$ts;sp=5.59290322580644;ti=2013$zpv;v=0$inc_x;mmid=XCOORDS;iid=phAwcNAVuyj1jiMAkmq1iMg;by=ind$inc_y;mmid=YCOORDS;iid=phAwcNAVuyj2tPLxKvvnNPA;by=ind$inc_s;uniValue=8.21;iid=phAwcNAVuyj0XOoBL_n5tAQ;by=ind$inc_c;uniValue=255;gid=CATID0;by=grp$map_x;scale=log;dataMin=194;dataMax=96846$map_y;scale=lin;dataMin=23;dataMax=86$map_s;sma=49;smi=2.65$cd;bd=0$inds=;modified=60

Then check out Rosling's CNN interview.

Ahmad F. said...

So HH may be over the top and a sell out. Fine (even though I disagree with that characterization).

How about all the other scholars, authors and journalists?

Can you name a scholarly positive book about Pakistan?

The margin of "bad" books to good books about Pakistan must be 10:1, if not 20:1.

If all the headlines are negative, there has to be a reason for that.

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmad: "So HH may be over the top and a sell out. Fine (even though I disagree with that characterization). How about all the other scholars, authors and journalists?"

Apparently you haven't read my blog post nor watched the video.

Nor do you seem to seek data and information from primary sources such as from UN agencies as compiled by Rosling; instead you seem to rely on 2nd, 3rd, 4th hand interpretations brought you courtesy of authors at Washington think tanks who are known to do their funders/backers bidding.$majorMode=chart$is;shi=t;ly=2003;lb=f;il=t;fs=11;al=30;stl=t;st=t;nsl=t;se=t$wst;tts=C$ts;sp=5.59290322580644;ti=2013$zpv;v=0$inc_x;mmid=XCOORDS;iid=phAwcNAVuyj1jiMAkmq1iMg;by=ind$inc_y;mmid=YCOORDS;iid=phAwcNAVuyj2tPLxKvvnNPA;by=ind$inc_s;uniValue=8.21;iid=phAwcNAVuyj0XOoBL_n5tAQ;by=ind$inc_c;uniValue=255;gid=CATID0;by=grp$map_x;scale=log;dataMin=194;dataMax=96846$map_y;scale=lin;dataMin=23;dataMax=86$map_s;sma=49;smi=2.65$cd;bd=0$inds=;modified=60

I don't expect most books published in US or India to be a true reflection of reality, especially about Pakistan.

What you get from them are caricatures of countries based on Washington's worldview.

I do not rely on such books for honest discussion of any international issues. I take what they see with a huge grain of salt.

I prefer firstly to rely on primary sources of information and secondly on more nuanced views, not caricatures, of a complex country like Pakistan by authors such as Jaffrelot's and Lieven's.

Here's an excerpt of Christophe Jaffrelot's "Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience":

"The three contradictions ("Pakistan=Islam+Urdu", "civil-military establishment", "role of Islam in public sphere")...provide a three-part structure to this book....This thematic framework is intended to enhance our understanding of the Pakistan Paradox. Indeed, so far, none of the consubstantial contradictions of Pakistan mentioned above have had the power to destroy the country. In spite of chronic instability that they have created, Pakistan continues to show remarkable resilience. This can only be understood if one makes the effort to grasp the complexity of a country that is often caricatured. This is the reason why all sides of the three tensions around which this book is organized must be considered together: the centrifugal forces at work in Pakistan and those resisting them on behalf of Pakistan nationalism and provincial autonomy; the culture of authoritarianism and the resources for democracy; the Islamist agenda, and those who are fighting it on behalf of secularism or "Muslimhood" a la JInnah. The final picture may result in a set, not of contradictions but of paradoxes in which virtually antagonistic elements cohabit. But whether that is sufficient to contain instability remains to be seen."

Riaz Haq said...

BRIEF-S&P raises #Pakistan sovereign credit rating to B from B- via @Reuters

Oct 31 S&P Global Ratings:

* S&P raises Pakistan sovereign credit rating to B from B-

* S&P on Pakistan - Improved macroeconomic stability has raised pakistan's growth prospects and bolstered its fiscal and external buffers

* S&P on Pakistan - Estimate Pakistan's GDP per capita to be US$1,500 in 2016

* S&P on Pakistan - Revised upward forecasts of average annual GDP growth to 5% over 2016-2019 from earlier estimate of 4.7%

* S&P on Pak- Rating reflects improved construction, services sector activity, low-cost oil,finance, high investment associated with China-Pak economic corridor

* S&P - Forecast Pakistan's gross general government debt to fall below 60% of GDP by 2018 Source text: (

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #PTI Chief Imran Khan backs off from threat to shut down capital after SC #panamaleaks probe via @Reuters

Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan backed down from a threat to paralyze the capital on Wednesday, a move likely to ease tension that has spilled over into violence in the run-up to the planned protests.

Khan's vow to "shut down" Islamabad to press a demand for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign or face a corruption inquiry had sparked a citywide ban on gatherings and the arrests of hundreds of opposition activists accused of defying the ban.

Instead of the protest, Khan on Tuesday said he would hold a "celebratory" rally, following a decision by the Supreme Court to pursue a case linked to Sharif.

"We will hold a massive gathering in Islamabad tomorrow at the parade ground to celebrate this victory," Khan told media outside his plush home on the edge of the capital.

In a bid to resolve the crisis, the Supreme Court said it would form a judicial commission to probe allegations stemming from the "Panama Papers" leaks about the Sharif family's offshore wealth.

Khan had previously rejected the city High Court's order to hold his protests on Islamabad's parade ground, vowing to paralyze the capital with a turnout of a million protesters.

The tension unleashed fears Pakistan's economic recovery could be jeopardized if there were a prolonged crisis that could even draw in the powerful military, which has a history of meddling in politics and overthrowing civilian governments.

There have been daily clashes between police and supporters of the cricketer-turned-politician in the lead-up to Wednesday, while the government has cracked down on workers of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.

Authorities have arrested scores of party supporters and shut a major motorway leading from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Khan's political heartland. After the Supreme Court decision, officials said the highway barriers would be cleared.

Authorities said they wanted to prevent a repeat of Khan's protests in 2014 that paralyzed the city's government quarter after he rejected Sharif's election win a year earlier.

Party officials said two supporters died after clashing with police blocking their route to Islamabad.

Pakistan's soaring stock market, which took a hit in recent days on the prospect of the protests, bounced sharply after Khan's decision to call them off.


Khan had accused the police, judiciary and other government bodies of conspiring against him, besides claiming to have been under virtual house arrest.

But ruling party officials painted Khan as a desperate politician seeking to revive his flagging popularity by setting up a violent confrontation in the capital.

Khan's retreat has left him politically weaker despite his effort to portray the Supreme Court decision as a political victory, said Michael Kugelman, a South Asia specialist at Washington think-tank the Woodrow Wilson Center.


"We have to save the country from unrest and crises," said Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, according to the English-language newspaper Dawn.

Holding offshore companies is not illegal in Pakistan, but Khan has implied the money was gained by corruption. Khan admitted in May that he himself used an offshore company to legally avoid paying British tax on a London property sale.

Anonymous said...

India oppressing Muslims--

Riaz Haq said...

S Khilnani Book: #India was "fragmented into kingdoms, savaged by #caste divisions, mired in poverty" … via @newyorker

Last year, a professor at the Indian Science Congress, in Mumbai, claimed that India possessed airplanes seven thousand years ago. He isn’t alone in such beliefs. When a certain swathe of India’s population considers the country’s ancient past, it doesn’t see a country fragmented into kingdoms, savaged by caste divisions, and mired in poverty; rather, what’s envisioned is a vast, unified Hindu empire stretching from Kashmir to the Indian tip at Kanyakumari. This imagined entity brims with characters from Indian epics and spits out grand inventions that would put scientists in the twenty-first century to shame—not only airplanes but cars, plastic surgery, and stem-cell research. What these Indians see, in other words, is an India that was once greater than any other nation on earth, and which has since fallen into a cruddy, postcolonial despair. Muslim and British invaders, they insist, have sapped the subcontinent’s energies over the past millennium.

This is a major strand of the nativist philosophy espoused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the flotilla of parties and social organizations that escorted him to power, in 2014. It is, in the rippling and echoing way of world events, in step with archaic right-wing movements everywhere—Make India Great Again would be a suitable slogan—and it is untroubled by facts. In the past year, right-wing mobs have lynched and beaten Muslims and Dalits (the former untouchables, who have often refused to be co-opted by upper-class-dominated Hindu nationalism) in Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand for allegedly eating beef, a crime that these nationalists cannot condone after a millennium of their religion’s supposed persecution. (Hinduism has always been the majority religion on the subcontinent.) Dormant laws in Indian states banning cow-slaughter and beef consumption are now being enforced. In January, a Dalit Ph.D. student at Hyderabad University hanged himself from the ceiling fan in his room after right-wing groups bore down on him for his activism. Elsewhere, emboldened nationalist groups have intimidated fiction writers, scholars, and publishers into silence for wounding religious sentiments. Student protests are branded “anti-national” and slapped with sedition charges.

In India, right now, the past is violently alive, and it is being bandied about like a blunt instrument, striking down those who try to speak sense to the present or who try to point out that this past is itself a fiction.

One of the intellectuals involved in calling the right’s bluff is the Indian scholar Sunil Khilnani, who has just published an incisive work of popular history, “Incarnations: India in Fifty Lives.” Where the opposition is clamorous, the book is calm; where the opposition flexes its Vedic muscles, the book is undercutting, irreverent, and impish. It attempts to show, through prodigious but lightly worn scholarship, how complex and heterodox the Indian past was, and how it has been, and continues to be, constructed.

Khilnani begins with the Buddha, who lived around 500 B.C.E., and is thus, Khilnani writes, the “first individual personality we can recognize in the subcontinent’s history,” as well as an apostle of neutrality and nonviolence. The Buddha’s religion has receded in India, except as a balm to the Dalits, who escaped into it, and as a self-help tool for a sliver of the upper classes, who have embraced it the way that some people in the West do. Buddha prefigures many of the themes in the book. A sheltered man, he is moved by his first encounter with suffering, and leaves behind his wealthy family to wander India in the thrall of slowly budding new ideas. He is serene and centered amid violence. He is open-minded and against sects in a Brahmin-dominated society. He calls for a total reinvention of Hinduism—one that becomes its own religion.....

Rizwan said...

Normally I enjoy your program, but this time I didn't even bother listening to his much repeated tripe. Mr. Haqqani is a sick, self-serving man who has prostituted himself to the powers that want to tear down Pakistan, whether ideologically, or on the ground. He is a traitor tp Pakistan. That's my opinion as a US citizen of Pakistani origin, with no ties to the army or government.

Riaz Haq said...

A Troubling Culture War Between #India and #Pakistan as #Hindu Nationalists threaten #Bollywood … via @newyorker

is past weekend, the Bollywood production company Fox Star Studios released a long-awaited film, “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil,” by Karan Johar, one of India’s leading directors. Johar has made some of Bollywood’s highest-grossing blockbusters, but less than two weeks ago he was pleading with people to watch his new movie. “Over three hundred people in my crew have put their blood, sweat, and tears into my film,” he said in a video statement, clad in black against a black backdrop. Then Johar promised not to work with talent from India’s neighbor, Pakistan, anymore. “I salute the Indian Army,” he reassured his audience.

The moment was astonishing and chilling, the direct result of criticism from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (M.N.S.), a right-wing Hindu political party. The party and its supporters were angry that Johar had cast the Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in his film. Cinemas in several states said they would not screen the movie. Even more astonishing was that Khan was already well-known in Indian movies. He made his Bollywood début a couple of years ago, become a heartthrob in India, co-hosted a film-awards show, and, earlier this spring, starred in another Johar film—one of the most popular of the year. What series of events led to Johar vowing not to engage with Pakistani artists?

In the past several years, the cultural collaboration between Pakistan and India has strengthened, with Bollywood stars appearing in commercials aired on Pakistani TV; musicians from both countries collaborating on Coke Studio, a television series featuring live music performances; and Pakistani soap operas gaining a loyal fan base across the border. In 2014, an Indian television channel was launched to air these soap operas. The fandom was large enough that Bollywood started casting Pakistani television stars in movies. Meanwhile, another trend was taking shape in India, a version of nationalism that threatened political dissent. In February, students at Jawaharlal Nehru University, in Delhi, held protests against India’s treatment of Kashmiris, and were met with retaliation by a Hindu-nationalist student group. As the issue widened, police arrested several pro-Kashmir student protesters, even charging one of the leaders with sedition. Government officials of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P.), which is pro-Hindu-nationalist, backed the move, and one leader in particular called for “stringent action” against anyone raising “anti-national slogans,” fuelling the charge against the student protesters. “The B.J.P. discovered for the first time the potency of hypernationalism as a political weapon,” Siddharth Varadarajan, a founding editor of The Wire, an online English publication in India, told me.

A few months later, that hypernationalism was amplified by renewed tensions with Pakistan. During the summer, protests in Kashmir against Indian security forces and Pakistan’s decision to get involved started a crescendo of hostile measures, including an attack on an Indian Army base in Kashmir and a surgical strike by India on Pakistan. The Indian government’s position was firm. “Pakistan is a terrorist state and it should be identified and isolated as such,” India’s home minister, Rajnath Singh, tweeted shortly afterward.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan accuses 8 #Indian diplomats, including RAW station chief in #Islamabad, of spying, #terrorism via @Reuters

Pakistan on Thursday named eight Indian diplomats it accuses of espionage and terrorism, as tension mounted between the nuclear-armed rivals following days of artillery duels and skirmishes on the border dividing the disputed Kashmir region.

The foreign ministry said six Indian embassy staff worked for New Delhi's Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency, while two were operatives for the Intelligence Bureau agency. Their names were leaked to Pakistani media overnight.

In response, India said it "completely rejected the baseless and unsubstantiated allegations" leveled by Pakistan against officials at its high commission in Islamabad.

Rajesh Kumar Agnihotri, a commercial counselor, was named by the Pakistan foreign ministry as RAW's station chief in Islamabad.

The foreign ministry statement gave an eight-point list of the diplomats' espionage activities.

It accused them of fuelling instability in Pakistan's Sindh and Baluchistan provinces, as well as sabotaging its most vital economic project, the $46-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), involving transport and energy infrastructure projects to link China with Pakistan's coast on the Arabian Sea.

They were also accused of liaising with factions of the Pakistani Taliban and of working to damage Pakistan's relations with western neighbor Afghanistan.

It was not immediately clear if the diplomats would be expelled by Pakistan or withdrawn by India, which condemned the publication of their names and images and called on Pakistan to ensure their safety.

Last week, India and Pakistan both expelled one diplomat from each other's embassies, accusing them of spying.

The foreign ministry also said Pakistan had withdrawn six diplomats from its mission in India after Indian media reported they had been involved in spying.

Vikas Swarup, spokesman of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, told a news briefing that Islamabad had withdrawn its diplomats after some were named by the Pakistani embassy worker that it had expelled last week.

The allegations against the Indian diplomats in Islamabad were "an afterthought and a crude attempt to target these officials for no fault of their own", said Swarup, adding that Pakistan's actions added to security risks in the region.

India summoned the Pakistani deputy high commissioner on Wednesday to express its "grave concern and strong protest" over the denouncement of its diplomats in Islamabad.

On the same day, the press wing of Pakistan's military said India had violated a 2003 ceasefire in Kashmir 178 times this year, killing 19 civilians.

Moid A. said...

Just a reminder, Haqqanis were not killing Americans in 80s, they were killing afghans and Russians

The idea that the US govt will look the other way while bunch of favorite jihadis killed thousands of Americans, is ridiculous. The president would be impeached, and army generals court marshaled

Riaz Haq said...

Moid: "The idea that the US govt will look the other way while bunch of favorite jihadis killed thousands of Americans, is ridiculous. The president would be impeached, and army generals court marshaled "

I don't expect Pak Army to tolerate the massacre of Pakistanis by Afghan and Indian proxies while Uncle Sam looks the other way.

As to your fear of what the US will or won;t do, let me just remind you of what Pakistan's favorite liberal Pervez Hoodbhoy said: "Pakistanis can outstare the West:. And ex US Ambassador Ann Patterson said: " The Pakistani establishment, as we saw in 1998 with the nuclear test, does not view assistance -- even sizable assistance to their own entities -- as a trade-off for national security vis-a-vis India".

Riaz Haq said...

Shahid Javed Burki Op Ed in Express Tribune

.... Large workers’ migration to the Middle East began in the mid-seventies. This was the time when construction booms began in the countries that had windfall gains in their incomes as a result of the several-fold increase in the price of exported oil. Since that time, I estimate that half a trillion dollars of remittances were sent by the workers to their families who stayed back in Pakistan. The Middle Eastern countries did not allow the workers to bring in their families. They were brought in on limited-time contracts and new recruits replaced those returning. Most of those who came were poor but the money they sent back made it possible for their families to graduate to the middle class status. My guess is that this social transformation involved at least 5 million households or 20 to 25 million people.

Pakistani sociologists need to study this new middle class,in particular their location, aspirations, and demands. K-P province and northern districts of Punjab have a large number of such people. A significant number of them are from the country’s major cities. They form a voter-block unlike any Pakistan has seen in its political history. They don’t have fixed political affiliations. They don’t constitute a reliable vote-bank. Their expectation from the government is that of the satisfactory fulfilment of their basic needs – food, shelter, education, health and transport. Those who meet their aspirations will get their support.

A quick study of the results of the 2013 elections suggests that some 15 million moved away from the People’s Party and were equally divided between the Nawaz League and Tehrik-e-Insaf. However, the beneficiaries must not assume that this was a permanent move. If this social group is unhappy with the substance of governance, it will move on to other places. This is one reason why we are likely to see considerable volatility in the structure of politics in the country.

The rise of the new middle class also has significance for the productive sectors of the economy. With sufficient disposal incomes these people would like to spend on high value agricultural products such as vegetables, fruits, milk products and meat. However, the heavily subsidised agricultural sector under the influence of the old political class is still engaged in producing food grains. This means that in terms of adding value to the economy, agriculture is performing well below its considerable potential. This must change for political as well as economic reasons.

Demographic change is another area of analysis for those who would like to understand Pakistan’s political development. Pakistan has the youngest population among the world’s most populous countries. Since we have not held a census for 18 years, the country’s demographic profile can only be guessed at. I assume that the median age of the population is 23 years which means that some 100 million people are below that age. Youth moves more than those who are older. A large number of them have left their homes and are living in large cities such as Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi-Islamabad. Three-fourths of the populations of these cites is below the age of 25 years. They want good education and training, essential to find well-paying jobs. The Pakistani state has failed in this area which was why for-profit educational institutions in the country have proliferated.

Pakistan is changing fast, a fact that the old political class has not fully understood. It will pay a price for not watching what is happening around it. By the time this comprehension occurs, the country would have moved beyond its grasp.

Riaz Haq said...

#China's billions are luring other foreign investors to #Pakistan. #CPEC #MergersAndAcquisitions #FDI via @business


After years of flat direct foreign investment, it has taken China’s pledges of billions to get overseas companies to start looking beyond Pakistan’s negative headlines on security challenges and power outages.

While investment into Pakistan has been little changed in the three years since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was elected, companies including Turkey home appliances maker Arcelik AS and Dutch dairy giant Royal FrieslandCampina NV are making acquisitions in Pakistan.

Along with a military crackdown against militants following a 2014 school massacre and the government’s plans to end power shortages by 2018, it is China’s vote of confidence in the country that has boosted investor confidence. It pledged $46 billion in soft loans and investments in a so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, announced last year.
“Pakistan has turned the tide,” said Mattias Martinsson, the Stockholm-based chief investment officer at Tundra Fonder AB, which holds about $160 million in Pakistani stocks. “The CPEC agreement was probably the trigger for many investors to actively start looking. We all know China does not take short term decisions.”

New power plant projects fueled by Chinese investment are expected to help with Pakistan’s chronic outages and pave the way for investment in other industries. Consumer companies are taking the lead to cater to the world’s sixth largest nation by population.
“If you look at demographic and population, it’s just a great place to be,” said Naz Khan, Chief Financial Officer at Engro Corporation Ltd. whose food subsidiary is being bought by Dutch dairy company FrieslandCampina, which is looking to take a 51 percent stake in a deal valued at about $545 million at the Nov. 4 closing.

Consumer Spending
Consumer spending in Pakistan has increased 83.4 percent in the past five years compared with 48.7 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, according to data by Euromonitor International, a consumer research firm. Its forecasts show Pakistan’s disposable income has more than doubled in six years.
“Its young population, increasingly growing economy, makes it an enticing prospect as a market in the region,” Polat Sen, chief financial officer at Arcelik, said by e-mail. “Pakistan is on the verge of an investment-led growth cycle.”
Arcelik is scheduled to complete its purchase of Pakistan’s home appliance maker Dawlance for $243.2 million this month. It plans to focus on the local market and closely evaluate opportunities in the current export markets of Dawlance, according to Sen.
Pakistan’s government expects the economy to grow at the fastest pace in a decade after completing an International Monetary Fund loan program that averted a balance of payment crisis and boosted foreign exchange reserves to a record level. The economy is expected to grow around five percent annually for the next three years and Arcelik plans to keep its sales growth above that, according to Sen.


Pakistan’s automobile sector has also attracted interest with Renault entering exclusive negotiations with Ghandhara and Al Futtaim to develop a brand in Pakistan, a spokeswoman said by phone on Nov. 3. Meanwhile, investments are expected to jump to $5 billion in the year starting July from $1.28 billion in the last fiscal year as power plants come on line, Miftah Ismail, chairman of the nation’s Board of Investment, said in an August interview.
“I think you will also see Pakistan moving more toward merchant markets, you know people coming in and start taking risks," Khan said. “ I think this is just the beginning."

Riaz Haq said...

India’s crackdown in Kashmir: is this the world’s first mass blinding?
A bloody summer of protest in Kashmir has been met with a ruthless response from Indian security forces, who fired hundreds of thousands of metal pellets into crowds of civilians, leaving hundreds blinded. .... Since July, when the killing of a young militant leader sparked a furious civilian uprising across the Kashmir valley, the Indian state has responded with singular ruthlessness, killing more than 90 people. Most shocking of all has been the breaking up of demonstrations with “non-lethal” pellet ammunition, which has blinded hundreds of Kashmiri civilians.....In four months, 17,000 adults and children have been injured, nearly five thousand have been arrested, and an entire population spent the summer under the longest curfew in the history of curfews in Kashmir.

Anonymous said...

India withdraws/demonetizes 500 1000 rupee notes to curb black money.

Read the comments.

A leader like Modi backed by Trump and Putin.

Things not looking good for PAkistan!

Riaz Haq said...

World Bank projects 5.4% growth for #Pakistan in Fiscal 2017/18 July 2017-June 2018 #CPEC via @MailOnline

Pakistan's economy is set to grow by a robust 5.4 percent by 2018 as Chinese investment from a multi-billion dollar infrastructure project flows into the country, the World Bank predicted in a new report Thursday.

The cash-strapped country, for years plagued by a bloody homegrown Taliban insurgency, has been battling to get its shaky economy back on track and solve a chronic energy crisis that cripples its industry.

But now confidence in South Asia's second-biggest economy is growing, with security improving and the International Monetary Fund claiming in October that it has emerged from economic crisis after completing a bailout programme, though it still faces major challenges.

Pakistan recorded a 4.7 percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) for the fiscal year ended June 2016, the highest rate in eight years, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has set an ambitious target of 5.7 percent for the current year.

He is banking on structural reforms, the improved energy sector, taxation -- and China's ambitious $46 billion infrastructure project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), linking its western province of Xinjiang to the Arabian Sea via Pakistan.

The World Bank report appeared optimistic about his plans, predicting even further growth in 2018.

"The pace of Pakistan's economic growth will accelerate to 5.4 percent in fiscal 2018," the Bank report said, observing that a moderate increase in investment mainly related to CPEC projects is expected to contribute to an acceleration of growth.

The Bank also noted Pakistan's efforts to address grinding poverty, including with revised ways to measure it.

"Based on the revised poverty line..., the percentage of people living below the poverty line decreased from 64.3 percent in 2002 to 29.5 percent in 2014," the report said.

Illango Patchamutu, World Bank country director for Pakistan, said the country needs to push forward with deeper structural reforms, and that the World Bank stood ready to support such an agenda.

Riaz Haq said...

#IMF: #Pakistan's Glass Half Full …

Pakistan: Glass Half Full?
November 10, 2016

Successful program completion points to moment of opportunity
Significant challenges remain ahead
Close partnership to continue through policy dialogue and capacity building
Pakistan’s economy has stabilized from near-crisis circumstances and economic growth has gradually increased under the recently completed three-year economic reform program supported by a $6.15 billion arrangement under the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility.

In an interview, Harald Finger, IMF mission chief for Pakistan, talks about the state of the economy, the challenges ahead, and the next steps for Pakistan.

IMF News : On her recent visit, IMF chief Christine Lagarde spoke about a moment of opportunity for Pakistan. What has Pakistan accomplished over the course of the just completed program, and in what sense is there now such a window of opportunity?

Over the past three years, Pakistan has greatly strengthened the resilience of the economy and began making inroads towards addressing long-standing structural economic challenges. Not everything worked out fully as envisaged, of course, but it is important for us to recognize the program’s achievements. For instance, foreign exchange reserves have tripled, supported by foreign exchange purchases and external borrowing.

The fiscal deficit declined by 2½ percent of GDP (not counting a large payment to clear energy sector arrears just before the program started). This was made possible by removing untargeted energy subsidies that disproportionately benefited the affluent, significantly raising tax revenue through removing exemptions and concessions, and taking a more systematic approach to bringing various economic groups into the tax net.

These measures allowed for an increase in investment spending and social protection. Enrollment in the Benazir Income Support Program has increased by 1½ million families, and stipends were raised by more than 50 percent.

In the energy sector, power outages have gradually decreased and financial performance is strengthening. As a result, accumulation of arrears in the sector has also declined significantly, thereby relieving pressures on the budget. Increased independence of the State Bank of Pakistan has improved the monetary policy framework. A new comprehensive strategy to improve the business climate has been adopted and started to be implemented.

While there have been important achievements, the outlook for economic growth has also turned broadly favorable. Exports and agricultural output have been declining amid a more challenging external environment and appreciating real exchange rate. These are important causes for concern. But private credit growth has been recovering, and strong machinery imports, cement consumption, and gradually rising core inflation also point to firm domestic demand. Moreover, large-scale investment under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is beginning to be implemented.

With the authorities’ accomplishments in strengthening the economy’s resilience and a broadly favorable outlook for growth, the IMF's Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, spoke of a moment of opportunity for Pakistan during her recent visit to Islamabad. She emphasized that now is the time for the country to continue its transition toward becoming a full-fledged emerging market by addressing the remaining challenges and implementing policies for higher and more inclusive growth.

Riaz Haq said...

#India Occupied #Kashmir Is Paralyzed by an ‘Adored’ Band of Just 200 "Militants" fighting for freedom #FreeKashmir

Relatively few in number, about 200, roughly half of them from local villages, Hizbul Mujahedeen is the larger of two militant organizations and has widespread support from a populace that has lost faith in dialogue to resolve differences with the Indian government.

“They are adored,” said Sridhar Patil, the head of the regional police in Kulgam district, where crowds have burned a courthouse and a police station. “The younger generation of Kashmir is searching for a good leader, a good role model,” he said, and it has settled, for better or worse, on these young men.

Daily life in Kashmir has come close to a standstill since July, when Indian security forces killed the 22-year-old leader of the local militancy, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, who had attracted a broad following through videos he posted on Facebook and WhatsApp. He started the trend of young, charismatic militants, dressed in military fatigues and carrying assault weapons, revealing their names and faces on social media in efforts to spread their message to a wide audience.

The killing of Mr. Wani touched off four months of violence, including bombings, shootouts and attacks by stone-pelting youths, as well as protests by tens of thousands of people.

In a lengthy interview, the young man’s father, Mohammad Muzafar Wani, said he had tried hard to influence the path of his son, a handsome youth who gelled his hair and changed his outfits twice a day, preferring Western-style T-shirts to traditional kurtas.

But in 2010, three weeks after Burhan and his older brother were beaten up by security forces, the brainy boy who got top grades at school dropped the original plan to train as a doctor and instead joined Hizbul Mujahedeen.

“He was not a small child; I couldn’t have confined him to home,” his father said. “I could have stopped him for a day or two, but not all days.”

The Kashmir police have counted 2,400 clashes since July. Schools remain closed, more than 30 of them burned, and public transportation is almost entirely shut down. The state’s education minister was holed up in his home for days after receiving a threat.

Seventy-six people have been killed in the violence, the police in Kashmir say, while local activists put the toll at closer to 100. At least a thousand protesters have been struck in the eyes by pellets fired by police officers, and some have been blinded.

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpts of World Bank Report "Making Growth Matter" released November, 2016:

The government recently set a new national poverty line that identifies 29.5 percent
of Pakistanis as poor (using the latest available data from FY14). By back casting
this line, the poverty rate in FY02 would have been about 64.3 percent. This means
that poverty has more than halved between FY02 and FY14, even according to this
new and higher metric. The new poverty line was introduced in April 2016 precisely
because of Pakistan's success in reducing poverty over the last decade and a half.
Using the old national poverty line, set in 2001, the percentage of people living in
poverty fell from 34.7 percent in FY02 to 9.3 percent in FY14—a fall of more than
75 percent. Other sources of data corroborate this decline—ownership of assets and
dietary diversity also increased over this period. For example, in the bottom income
quintile, motorcycle ownership increased from 2 to 18 percent between FY02 and
FY14. See Section C1.

When poverty declines, it usually coincides with other gains in household welfare.
Throughout the period under review, Pakistan saw substantial gains in welfare,
including the ownership of assets, the quality of housing and an increase in school
enrollment, particularly for girls. First, the ownership of relatively more expensive
assets increased even among the poorest. In the bottom quintile, the ownership of
motorcycles increased from 2 to 18 percent, televisions from 20 to 36 percent and
refrigerators from 5 to 14 percent (see Figure 29). In contrast, there was a decline
in the ownership of cheaper assets like bicycles and radios. Housing quality in the
bottom quintile also showed an improvement. The number of homes constructed
with bricks or blocks increased while mud (katcha) homes decreased. Homes with a
flushing toilet almost doubled in the bottom quintile, from about 24 percent in
FY02 to 49 percent in FY14 (see Figure 30).

Changes in consumption patterns over time were also consistent with the poverty
decline. It is well-known that increases in income are strongly associated with
households spending less of their budget on food, and more on non-food items
(Engel’s law). In Pakistan, the 25 percentage point decline in poverty between FY02
and FY14 was associated with a 10 percentage point reduction in the share of
expenditure devoted to food (see Figure 31).

In Pakistan, the reduction in poverty led to an increase in dietary diversity for all
income groups. For the poorest, the share of expenditure devoted to milk and milk
products, chicken, eggs and fish rose, as did the share devoted to vegetables and
fruits. In contrast, the share of cereals and pulses, which provide the cheapest

calories, declined steadily between FY02 and FY14. Because foods like chicken,
eggs, vegetables, fruits, and milk and milk products are more expensive than cereals
and pulses, and have lower caloric content, this shift in consumption also increased
the amount that people spent per calorie over time (see Table 12). For the poorest
quintile, expenditure per calorie increased by over 18 percent between FY02 and

Overall, this analysis confirms that the decline in poverty exhibited by the 2001
poverty line is quite credible, and that Pakistan has done remarkably well overall in
reducing monetary poverty based on the metric it set some 15 years ago.

... there is now a considerable body of
research suggesting that the link between food availability and nutritional status is
weak, and is mediated by the ambient disease environment and the quality of water
and sanitation.

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi's #demonetization : #India's GDP growth rate will crash to just 0.5% in 2nd half of FY17 via @forbes

Ambit Capital, a respected Mumbai-based equity research firm, has officially estimated that the demonetisation-driven cash crunch will result in GDP growth crashing to 0.5% in the second half of financial year 2016-17. This means the GDP growth for six months, from October 2016 to March 2017, could decelerate to 0.5%, down from 6.4% in the previous six months.

Further, Ambit Capital estimates that during the October to December quarter that we are currently in, the GDP growth may contract, thus showing negative growth. However, Ambit is hopeful that a strong formalisation of the informal economy will ensue through 2017 until 2019 and this disruption could also crimp GDP growth in 2017-18 to 5.8 % from their earlier estimate of 7.3%.


“The demonetisation-driven cash crunch that is playing out in India will paralyse economic activity in the short term. We expect a strong ‘formalisation effect’ to play out as nearly half of the non-tax paying businesses in the informal sector (40% share in GDP) will become unviable and cede market share to their organised sector counterparts. We expect this dynamic to crimp GDP growth in India in FY18 as well and hence we have cut our FY18 GDP growth estimate to 5.8 per cent YoY (from 7.3 per cent),” Ambit economists Ritika Mankar Mukherjee, Sumit Shekhar and Prashant Mittal said in a note.

Riaz Haq said...

Heated exchange between Haqqani, Ishrat over Pak-US ties

“CSF was not assistance. It was our money that we spent to support the US logistic operations in Afghanistan during the war on terror and it was reimbursed later. I sat in cabinet meetings where we approved allocation from our own budget to support the US operation. That money was later reimbursed by the US government through the CSF,” Dr Ishrat said while responding to Haqqani’s point that Pakistan did not deliver enough after receiving the US assistance after 9/11.

While praising the Indian progress after independence, Haqqani strongly criticised Pakistan for failing to utilise $43 billion aid it received from the US since 1949 for its development.

Haqqani argued that the US should not provide large-scale assistance to Pakistan. However, the former ambassador of Pakistan was reminded by no one else but an American former official that the US assistance was given to Pakistan to protect US national interests.

“May be you are not serving your national interests by giving money to Pakistan,” Haqqani told the former US official. Haqqani said during his tenure as Pakistan ambassador he received the CSF bills that were objected to by the US authorities. “Once I received a request for $120 million for beef that was used by Pakistani soldiers serving in Swat and $100 million for barbed wire in tribal areas. I was asked by US officials what kind of barbed wire costs that much.”

The moderator of the discussion had to intervene to stop the heated exchange between Ishrat and Haqqani as the former ambassador started interrupting Ishrat. Dr Ishrat said whatever assistance Pakistan received was delivered when the US needed Pakistani support. “Whether it was during the 1960s Cold War or 1980’s Afghan war and the recent war on terror, the assistance was given to promote the US national interests in the region.”

He said Pakistan did not need an aid model that never worked as it could not promote development. He said the US and Pakistan should cooperate in educational exchanges and human resource development as South Asian country’s had huge potential.

“US Fulbright programme is helping Pakistani students but these students need to be sent to the top US universities to learn science, mathematics and related subjects,” Ishrat said adding that currently majority of Pakistani students were placed in less famous universities as it cost less.

To this, Husain Haqqani argued that Pakistani students were not enough talented to get admission to the top Ivy League universities prompting a response from Ishrat. “This is not true I know many Pakistani students in my institute who are brilliant and could get admission anywhere,” Ishrat, who served as dean and director of the prestigious Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in Karachi, said.

Speaking on the occasion Robin Raphel said the US assistance to Pakistan did achieve objectives. “We always know money can’t buy you love but when you build road, you build hospital or school, people do like that,” she said. She listed major development projects that were completed in Pakistan with US assistance provided under the Kerry-Lugar bill.

These projects included the 2,400 megawatt electricity project, 1,100-kilometre road in tribal areas, clean energy project, the largest Fulbright programme and university partnership apart from $1 billion humanitarian assistance.

Praising Vision 2025 programme of PML-N government, she said Pakistan under the current government had better sense of development priorities. She said the current Pakistani administration was not talking much about aid but the focus had now shifted to trade and business opportunities.

Riaz Haq said...

Credit Suisse: Avg adult in #Pakistan 20% richer than avg adult in #India. Pak median wealth 120% higher than India …

Average Pakistani adult is 20% richer than an average Indian adult and the median wealth of a Pakistani adult is 120% higher than that of his or her Indian counterpart, according to Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2016. Average household wealth in Pakistan has grown 2.1% while it has declined 0.8% in India since the end of last year.
Here are the key statistics reported by Credit Suisse:

Total Household Wealth Mid-2016 :

India $3,099 billion Pakistan $524 billion

Wealth per adult:

India Year End 2000 Average $2,036 Median $498.00

Pakistan Year End 2000 Average $2,399 Median $1,025

India Mid-2016 Average $3,835 Median $608

Pakistan Mid-2016 Average $4,595 Median $1,788

Average wealth per adult in Pakistan is $760 more than in India or about 20% higher.

Median wealth per adult in Pakistan is $1,180 more than in India or about 120% higher


Median wealth data indicates that 50% of Pakistanis own more than $1,180 per adult which is 120% more than the $608 per adult owned by 50% of Indians.

The Credit-Suisse report says that the richest 1% of Indians own 58.4% of India's wealth, second only to Russia's at 74.5%. That makes India the 2nd biggest oligarchy in the world.

The CS wealth data, particularly the median wealth figures, clearly show that Pakistan has much lower levels of inequality than India.

World Bank Report:

A November 2016 World Bank report says that Pakistan has successfully translated economic growth into the well-being of its poorest citizens. It says "Pakistan’s recent growth has been accompanied by a staggering fall in poverty".

Rising incomes of the poorest 20% in Pakistan since 2002 have enabled them to enhance their living standards by improving their diets and acquiring television sets, refrigerators, motorcycles, flush toilets, and better housing.

Another recent report titled "From Wealth to Well Being" by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) also found that Pakistan does better than India and China in translating GDP growth to citizens' well-being.

One particular metric BCG report uses is growth-to-well-being coefficient on which Pakistan scores 0.87, higher than India's 0.77 and China's 0.75.

Big Poverty Decline Since 2002:

Using the old national poverty line of $1.90 (ICP 2011 PPP) , set in 2001, the percentage of people living in poverty fell from 34.7 percent in FY02 to 9.3 percent in FY14—a fall of more than 75 percent. Much of the socioeconomic progress reported by the World Bank since 2000 has occurred during President Musharraf's years in office from 2000-2007. It has dramatically slowed or stagnated since 2010.

Riaz Haq said...

#India doesn’t have power to take territory from #Pakistan: Farooq Abdullah. #Kashmir via @NewIndianXpress

SRINAGAR: Amid heightened Indian-Pakistan border tension, Jammu and Kashmir’s former Chief Minister and opposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah has dared Narendra Modi government to reclaim Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) from Pakistan saying it does not have the power to take it back.

“They say in parliament and there is a resolution that PaK is India’s territory,” Abdullah said while addressing party workers in Kishtwar area of Jammu province.

“Arre Tumhare Baap Ka hai kya. Tumhae pass wo takt nahi hai ki tum wo hissa vapas le sako (You don’t have the power to take the territory back),” he said.

Abdullah, who was three-time Chief Minister of J&K, said PaK is presently under the control of Pakistan.

“It is not the personal property of India so that it could make a claim over it like an inherited property of forefathers,” he said adding, “Pakistan is one of the stakeholders of the Kashmir issue, which even India has accepted”.

Stressing the significance of dialogue between New Delhi and all stakeholders in Kashmir and externally with Pakistan, Abdullah said, “Sooner or later, the central leadership will have to talk to Islamabad for lasting peace in the region”.

He said the solution to Kashmir problem lies in a sustained dialogue process and not in military might or aggression on the LoC and the International Border.

Riaz Haq said...

No evidence of #Pakistan's role in fomenting trouble in #Afghanistan, says Gen Petraeus. #Taliban #terrorism …

Former US military commander Gen (R) David Petraeus has said that during his long association with his Pakistani counterparts and interaction with ISI as head of CIA, he could never find a convincing piece of evidence which supported the alleged double game by ISI or its explicit support to elements associated with terrorism.

This statement was given by the general while answering a question during an interactive discussion session that was held at Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in the last month during which the commander talked about wide range of issues and challenges likely to be faced by the next US administration.

During the discussion, an Afghan female student from Buckingham University asked the general about the alleged complicity of Pakistan in fomenting trouble in Afghanistan, double role played by ISI and why US was not using its influence to reign in Pakistan. The general gave an elaborate reply and talked for about 7-8 minutes. He said that during his long association with his Pakistani counterparts and interaction with ISI as head of CIA, he could never find a convincing piece of evidence which supported the allegation of double game by ISI or its explicit support to elements associated with terrorism. He said like any other intelligence agency, ISI might have had some sort of communication channels to engage with them and there may have been some degree of accommodation but the talk about explicit support or double game is more of a journalistic conclusion with no concrete evidence. He said that Pakistan Army’s campaign against the Taliban in Swat in 2009 and its subsequent progress in most of the Tribal belt under General Kayani and his successor, General Raheel Sharif, was impressive.

“Pakistan Army suffered casualties and had limited Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities though the US did try to help and there existed enormous amount of cooperation between the two militaries. However, the unfortunate episodes of Raymond Davis and publications of book by Bob Woodward and WikiLeaks did impact negatively on this cooperation”. Petraeus added that he looked hard to establish any linkage between Pakistan Army, FC and ISI with any of the terrorist elements and did not find any supporting evidence. What Pakistani military has not been able to achieve has more to do with its capacity rather than it being complicit. He again said that the popular narrative about ISI double game etc was a journalistic thing. He said that some people refer to Pakistan as FRENEMY but again exact pinning down the blame on Pakistan for attacks on US soldiers in Afghanistan remains ‘very very difficult’.

As regards the leverage, there is a limit to what US can achieve. US did cut of all aid, stopped F-16s but it did not help and the two countries only came together after 9/11. He said that managing its relationship with Pakistan would be among the top two or three challenges for the next administration”. Considering his background as one of the top US military leaders in Afghanistan and Iraq and former head of CIA, comments of General Petraeus against the popular Afghani, Indian and Western propaganda maligning Pakistan Army/ISI is considered very helpful in setting the record straight especially considering the significant attendance of the event by people from various backgrounds. The session was moderated by Sir Peter Ricketts, Senior Association fellow of RUSI.

Riaz Haq said...

Gen (R) David H. Petraeus' remarks on security challenges facing the new US administration at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a British security think tank in London:

"There's no question there's communication between the ISI and various militant groups in FATA and Balochistan (Haqqanis, Taliban, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, etc) but some of it you'd do anyway as an intelligence service.....there may be some degree of accommodation that is forced on them (Pakistanis) because of the limits of their (Pakistan's) forces.... I looked very very hard then (as US commander in Afghanistan) and again CIA director at the nature of the relationship between the various (militant) groups in FATA and Baluchistan and the Pakistan Army and the ISI and I was never convinced of what certain journalists have alleged (about ISI support of militant groups in FATA).... I have talked to them (journalists) asked them what their sources are and I have not been able to come to grips with that based on what I know from these different positions".

Some people say Pakistan is a is just very very difficult to pin down (blame on Pakistan) and it's even more difficult to figure out how to exert leverage that in a meaningful way resolves the issue There was a period when we cut off all assistance (to Pakistan) and ties and held up F-16s that we were supposed to deliver for a while and that did not help our influence there (in Pakistan). It's a very very tough situation and it may be among the top two or three challenges for the new administration right up there with Syria".

Riaz Haq said...

#India #economy racing before #Modi removed oxygen of cash. #Demonitization #BJP #achedin via @Reuters India posted on Wednesday the world's fastest growth rate for a large economy in the September quarter, yet that offered cold comfort after misery inflicted by the government's unexpected move to remove high denomination banknotes from circulation.

Gross domestic product (GDP) INGDPQ=ECI clocked an annual 7.3 percent growth between July and September, faster than 7.1 percent in the previous quarter and higher than China's 6.7 percent.

That impressive headline figure, however, failed to mask the underlying weakness in Asia's third-largest economy.

Not only was the overall growth lower than expected, it was primarily driven by consumer and government spending. Contraction in capital investment deepened.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision this month to scrap 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee banknotes as part of a crackdown on tax dodgers and counterfeiters denting consumer spending, which makes up 55 percent of India's economy, the outlook for upcoming quarters is not encouraging.

In a country where most people are paid in cash, and buy what they need with cash, Modi's decision has removed 86 percent of the currency in circulation virtually overnight. His shock therapy has left companies, farmers and households suffering.

"Post-demonetization the situation is really grim whether you look at any sector or talk to people," said Devendra Kumar Pant, chief economist at India Ratings & Research.


Economists agree the economy will take a hit this quarter and for several quarters to follow. But opinions on the scale of damage vary widely.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley expects a minor impact lasting for a quarter or two. Private economists, however, reckon the impact would be felt through 2018.

The most optimistic forecasts suggest that India will finish this fiscal year in March with a respectable, but slightly lower, growth rate of 7.3 percent.

But the most pessimistic forecast, from Mumbai-based brokerage Ambit Capital, is for a precipitous drop to 3.5 percent growth.

Riaz Haq said...

#US defence bill passed by Congress pledges $900 million economic military aid to #Pakistan in 2017 via @TOIWorld

The US House of Representatives has passed a defence bill that pledges $900 million in economic and other assistance to Pakistan, a significant portion of which is dependent of a Pentagon certification that the country is taking demonstrable steps against the dreaded Haqqani Network.
The US National Defence Authorisation Act for fiscal year 2017 was passed in the House of Representatives yesterday.
The bill limits the overall amount available for reimbursement to $1.1 billion, of which $900 million is available for reimbursement to Pakistan.
It extends Congressional notification and certification requirements regarding reimbursements to Pakistan. The bill specifies that certain reimbursements to Pakistan are ineligible for a national security waiver unless Department of Defense makes specified certifications regarding the activities of Pakistan with respect to the Haqqani Network.
According to Dawn newspaper, the bill conditions $450 million from this assistance to a certification.
This year the amount was $300 million, which was not released after Defence Secretary Ashton Carter refused to certify in Pakistan's favour.

The bill is schedule for a vote in the Senate next week. Since it is a consensus bill, it is unlikely to face any opposition.
The bill notes that "the United States and Pakistan continue to have many critical shared interests, both economic- and security-related, which could be the foundation for a positive and mutually beneficial partnership."

In a conference report, which combines the House and Senate versions of a legislation, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain had underlined the importance of a continued relationship between the United States and Pakistan.
He noted that the bill "refocuses security assistance to Pakistan on activities that directly support US national security interests".

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan can’t be faulted for #Kashmir unrest: Ex CM Omar Abdullah. #India #Modi

With tensions simmering between the two rival states, former chief minister for Indian Occupied Kashmir Omar Abdullah on Saturday said that the unrest in Kashmir cannot be blamed on Pakistan but was a result of mistakes made by New Delhi for not engaging with the people.

“Do not be under this false impression that the fire you see in Kashmir has been ignited by Pakistan. It is a result of our mistakes,” Press Trust of India quoted Omar as saying at a National Conference in Baramulla.

Kashmir unrest: OIC calls for immediate halt to Indian atrocities

“To blame Pakistan alone for the political situation or the current unrest in the valley is a distortion of the truth,” he said adding that the people of the Indian Occupied Kashmir had sentiments against the Indian government even when there was no external interference,.

These sentiments, he stated, were a result of the ‘historic blunders and broken promises by successive dispensations’ in New Delhi.

“This political sentiment forms the basis of the state’s special status that has since been eroded by extra-constitutional machinations,” Omar said.

The former chief minister stressed that the current situation was because of the incumbent Indian government’s refusal to even acknowledge that a problem existed in Kashmir.

The statement comes at a time when Pakistan’s Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz is in Amritsar for the Heart of Asia Conference.

Iran willing to mediate on Kashmir

Two days before the conference was due to start, Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup categorically ruled out any possibility of talks between Indian officials and Sartaj on the sidelines of the conference.

Earlier, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit on Wednesday had stated that Islamabad was ready for a bilateral dialogue with Delhi at the Heart of Asia summit.

Riaz Haq said...

#India leads global #defense growth with $56.5 billion budget in 2018 to be #3 (after #US, #China ) #Modi … via @FT

● $38.17bn: Indian defence spending in 2010
● $64.07bn: Indian defence spending (projected) in 2020
● $1.6tn: global defence spending in 2016
Source: Jane’s

India’s drive to modernise its military has helped it to oust Russia from the world’s top five spenders on defence this year, while the country is set to push Britain from the number three spot by 2018.


India this year surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the fourth biggest defence budget, spending $50.7bn against Russia’s $48.5bn and the UK’s $53.8bn. After three years of budgetary constraints, Jane’s is forecasting that Indian spending will surpass Britain’s, rising from $38bn in 2010 to a forecast $64bn in 2020, against expectations of $55bn for the UK.

Meanwhile, China’s defence spending continues to accelerate and the Jane’s analysts predict the shift from territorial protection to power projection, along with rising tensions around the South China Sea, could prompt faster budget growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Between 2011 and 2015, states surrounding the South China Sea spent $166bn on defence equipment. Between 2016 and 2020, that will rise to $250bn, the review states.

China’s defence budget will have doubled within 10 years from $123bn in 2010 to $233bn in 2020, the report predicts. In 2016, China spent $191.7bn. By 2020, China will be spending more than the whole of western Europe and by 2025, more than all states in the Asia-Pacific region combined.

Riaz Haq said...

How the #American #CIA Infiltrated the World's #Literature Using Famous Writers as Tools … via @VICE

"The CIA's influence in publishing was on the covert ops side, and it was done as propaganda. It was a control of how intellectuals thought about the US."

The new book, Finks, reveals how great writers such as Baldwin, Márquez, and Hemingway became soldiers in America's cultural Cold War.

When the CIA's connections to the Paris Review and two dozen other magazines were revealed in 1966, the backlash was swift but uneven. Some publications crumbled, taking their editors down with them, while other publishers and writers emerged relatively unscathed, chalking it up to youthful indiscretion or else defending the CIA as a "nonviolent and honorable" force for good. But in an illuminating new book Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World's Best Writers, writer Joel Whitney debunks the myth of a once-moral intelligence agency, revealing an extensive list of writers involved in transforming America's image in countries we destabilized with coups, assassinations, and other all-American interventions.

The CIA developed several guises to throw money at young, burgeoning writers, creating a cultural propaganda strategy with literary outposts around the world, from Lebanon to Uganda, India to Latin America. The same agency that occasionally undermined democracies for the sake of fighting Communism also launched the Congress for Cultural Freedoms (CCF). The CCF built editorial strategies for each of these literary outposts, allowing them to control the conversation in countries where readers might otherwise resist the American perspective. The Paris Review, whose co-founder Peter Matthiessen was a CIA agent, would sell its commissioned interviews to the magazine's counterparts in Germany, Japan, and elsewhere. Mundo Nuevo was created to offer a moderate-left perspective to earn trust among Latin American readers, effectively muting more radical perspectives during the Cuban Revolution. Sometimes the agency would provide editors with funding and content; other times it would work directly with writers to shape the discourse. Through these acts, the CCF weaponized the era's most progressive intellectuals as the American answer to the Soviet spin machine.

While the CIA's involvement in anti-Communist propaganda has been long known, the extent of its influence—particularly in the early careers of the left's most beloved writers—is shocking. Whitney, the co-founder and editor at large of the literary magazine Guernica, spent four years digging through archives, yielding an exhaustive list—James Baldwin, Gabriel García Márquez, Richard Wright, and Ernest Hemingway all served varying levels of utility to Uncle Sam. (Not that the CIA's interest were only in letters: Expressionists Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko were also championed by arms of the agency.)

But don't let that ruin Love in the Time of Cholera. Whitney explains with methodical clarity how each writer became a tool for the CIA. This nuance not only salvages many of the classics from being junked as solely propaganda, but it serves as a cautionary tale for those trying to navigate today's "post-truth" media landscape. In an era where Facebook algorithms dictate the national discourse, even the most well-meaning journalist is prone to stories that distract on behalf of the US government.

"It was often a way to change the subject from the civil rights fight at home," Whitney said of the CIA's content strategy during the Cold War. We can easily draw parallels to today, where the nation's most dire issues are rarely our viral subjects. With Donald Trump's presidency just weeks away, Finks arrives at a crucial time, exposing the political machinery that can affect which stories are shared and which are silenced.

Riaz Haq said...

Husain Haqqani's employer Hudson Institute is working on political mobilization of Indian Americans.

Are the 3.4 million Indian Americans, who have the highest median income among Asian Americans, ready to mobilize politically? How will this impact the 2016 election cycle?

On June 9th, Hudson Institute’s India Initiative hosted a panel discussion with four distinguished Indian American leaders who are political candidates, fundraisers, and community mobilizers. Congressman Ami Bera of California; Delegate Aruna Miller of Montgomery County, Maryland; and Delegate Dr. Jay Jalisi of Baltimore County, Maryland are all elected officials. Shekar Narsimhan is chairman and founder of the first ever Asian American super PAC, the AAPI Victory Fund, which aims to increase Asian American voter-registration and turnout in battleground states. The discussion was moderated by Hudson Institute Adjunct Fellow Dr. Maina Chawla Singh.


Hudson Institute

This article is part of the Atrazine Exposed portal on SourceWatch. Help expose the truth about atrazine.

The Hudson Institute is a non-profit think tank headquartered in Washington D.C. Its 2008 IRS form 990 listed $11.8 million in advocacy expenditures. [1]

While describing itself as "non-partisan" and preferring to portray itself as independently "contrarian" rather than as a conservative think tank, the Hudson Institute gains financial support from many of the foundations and corporations that have bankrolled the conservative movement. The Capital Research Center, a conservative group that seeks to rank non-profits and documents their funding, allocates Hudson as a 7 on its ideological spectrum with 8 being "Free Market Right" and 1 "Radical Left." [1]

Hudson has traditionally had a strong focus on U.S. domestic policies such as national defense, education, crime, immigration, welfare, pesticides and biotechnology. However, in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks it has substantially boosted its focus on international issues such as the Middle East, Latin America and Islam.

The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.

Between 1987 and 2006, the Institute received 273 grants totaling $17,722,643 (unadjusted for inflation) from a range of foundations including:[4]

Castle Rock Foundation
Earhart Foundation
F.M. Kirby Foundation
John M. Olin Foundation, Inc.
JM Foundation
Koch Family Foundations (David H. Koch Foundation)
Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
Scaife Foundations (Scaife Family, Sarah Mellon Scaife, Carthage)
Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation
Smith Richardson Foundation
Walton Family Foundation
William H. Donner Foundation
While many conservative think tanks eschew government funding, Hudson happily takes government contracts. The Capital Research Center (CRC) database lists Hudson as having received six grants between 1996 and 2002 totalling $731,914 (unadjusted for inflation). Five of the six grants were from the Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs. (Neither the CRC database or Hudson's annual report for those years provide details on what the grants were specifically for). [5]

Riaz Haq said...

Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks

The money is increasingly transforming the once-staid think-tank world into a muscular arm of foreign governments’ lobbying in Washington. And it has set off troubling questions about intellectual freedom: Some scholars say they have been pressured to reach conclusions friendly to the government financing the research.

The think tanks do not disclose the terms of the agreements they have reached with foreign governments. And they have not registered with the United States government as representatives of the donor countries, an omission that appears, in some cases, to be a violation of federal law, according to several legal specialists who examined the agreements at the request of The Times.

As a result, policy makers who rely on think tanks are often unaware of the role of foreign governments in funding the research.

Joseph Sandler, a lawyer and expert on the statute that governs Americans lobbying for foreign governments, said the arrangements between the countries and think tanks “opened a whole new window into an aspect of the influence-buying in Washington that has not previously been exposed.”

“It is particularly egregious because with a law firm or lobbying firm, you expect them to be an advocate,” Mr. Sandler added. “Think tanks have this patina of academic neutrality and objectivity, and that is being compromised.”

The arrangements involve Washington’s most influential think tanks, including the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Atlantic Council. Each is a major recipient of overseas funds, producing policy papers, hosting forums and organizing private briefings for senior United States government officials that typically align with the foreign governments’ agendas.

Most of the money comes from countries in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere in Asia, particularly the oil-producing nations of the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Norway, and takes many forms. The United Arab Emirates, a major supporter of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, quietly provided a donation of more than $1 million to help build the center’s gleaming new glass and steel headquarters not far from the White House. Qatar, the small but wealthy Middle East nation, agreed last year to make a $14.8 million, four-year donation to Brookings, which has helped fund a Brookings affiliate in Qatar and a project on United States relations with the Islamic world.

Some scholars say the donations have led to implicit agreements that the research groups would refrain from criticizing the donor governments.

“If a member of Congress is using the Brookings reports, they should be aware — they are not getting the full story,” said Saleem Ali, who served as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar and who said he had been told during his job interview that he could not take positions critical of the Qatari government in papers. “They may not be getting a false story, but they are not getting the full story.”

Riaz Haq said...

The Nation on Hudson Institute, Husain Haqqani's employer:

The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate

Philanthropist Nina Rosenwald has used her millions to cement the alliance between the pro-Israel lobby and the Islamophobic fringe.

Through her affiliation with the Washington-based Hudson Institute, where Norman Podhoretz is an adjunct fellow, Rosenwald established a branch of the think tank in New York City. Operating under the Hudson banner, Rosenwald brought Wilders to town in 2008 to warn against the Muslim plot to “rule the world by the sword.” Wilders’s tirade during that visit against the prophet Muhammad, whom he described as “a warlord, a mass murderer, a pedophile,” was strident even by the standards of the hawkish Hudson Institute. By 2011, well before Wilders’s return visit this year, Rosenwald separated Hudson New York City from Hudson’s national branch, changing her organization’s name to the Gatestone Institute. Today, Rosenwald maintains a seat on Hudson’s board of directors.


Following their father, Nina Rosenwald and her siblings became active in the pro-Israel community. While her sister Elizabeth has assumed a lower profile, there is hardly a single major pro-Israel organization that does not provide Rosenwald with a seat on its board of directors. Thanks to her financial generosity, Rosenwald sits on the board of influential neoconservative groups from WINEP and AIPAC as well as Hudson. She is the vice president of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, which has provided training to thousands of American law enforcement and military officials from Israeli intelligence and police officers.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Tariq Ali, a Pakistani left-wing intellectual who graduated from Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics, and economics, and was President of the Oxford Union. on Husain Haqqani:

One of Zardari and his late wife’s trusted bagmen in Washington, Husain Haqqani, whose links to the US intelligence agencies since the 1970s made him a useful intermediary and whom Zardari appointed as Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, has been forced to resign. Haqqani, often referred to as the US ambassador to Pakistan, appears to have been caught red-handed: he allegedly asked Mansoor Ijaz, a multi-millionaire close to the US defense establishment, to carry a message to Admiral Mike Mullen pleading for help against the Pakistani military and offering in return to disband the Haqqani network and the ISI and carry out all US instructions.

Mullen denied that he had received any message. A military underling contradicted him. Mullen changed his story and said a message had been received and ignored. When the ISI discovered this ‘act of treachery’, Haqqani, instead of saying that he was acting under orders from Zardari, denied the entire story. Unfortunately for him, the ISI boss, General Pasha, had met up with Ijaz and been given the Blackberry with the messages and instructions. Haqqani had no option but to resign. Demands for his trial and hanging (the two often go together when the military is involved) are proliferating. Zardari is standing by his man. The military wants his head. And now Nato has entered the fray. This story is not yet over.

Riaz Haq said...

India is far ahead of Pakistan in more ways than I can count :-)

Here are some:

1. India leads the world in open absolute numbers and percentages.

2. India leads the world in child absolute numbers and percentages.

3. India has more poor, hungry and illiterate people than any other country in the world. In percentage terms, the poverty rate in India is 2X higher than in Pakistan.

4. More farmers have killed themselves in India than any other country in the world.

5. Top 1% of Indians own 58% of India's wealth, 2nd only to Russia's 70%.

6. India has a mass murderer Modi as its elected leader.

7. India has more slaves than any other country in the world.

8. India has had more anti-minority riots than any other country in the world.

9. India is only one of only two countries where Apartheid is still rampant....the other is Israel.

10. There are more active insurgencies in India than any other country in the world.

And yet, India is a "secular democracy"!!!!!

All of the above are easily verifiable facts from credible sources which track such data.

Riaz Haq said...

Ex #Pakistan Envoy Husain Haqqani: "I had facilitated the presence of large numbers of #CIA operatives" in #Pakistan

"Among the security establishment’s grievances against me was the charge that I had facilitated the presence of large numbers of CIA operatives who helped track down bin Laden without the knowledge of Pakistan’s army — even though I had acted under the authorization of Pakistan’s elected civilian leaders."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's how conservative Heritage Foundation, funded by Koch Brothers, supports Republican climate change denial agenda:

When Nick Loris started sketching out budget proposals for the Department of Energy in 2012, he didn't realize his theories would actually go into practice.

Now the 33-year-old Heritage Foundation policy analyst's work might be the key to the Trump administration's energy strategy.

"It's fun," said Loris, an energy and environmental policy fellow at the conservative Washington-based think tank. "We certainly are writing what we're doing for a purpose, and that's to, in terms of energy, create a more market-oriented energy economy that works more efficiently and protects taxpayer dollars and rewards innovation."

The Heritage Foundation is poised to have a major role in President Trump's federal budget, and its small-government focus means big cuts are in store across federal agencies (Energywire, March 7).

More than 30 Heritage staffers were part of the Trump transition team, and several now work at the White House, including Loris' boss at Heritage, Paul Winfree. Former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), the president of the Heritage Foundation, met with Trump at the White House this week.

Observers, analysts and career staffers at federal agencies are desperately trying to figure out where the Trump administration is setting its funding priorities. For climate researchers, clean energy startups and power plants whose work is funded by DOE, Loris' work on a conservative take on the agency could foretell their future.

Quotable and telegenic, Loris is a frequent sight in climate and energy discussions in Washington, D.C., bringing an articulate conservative voice to discussions on what the government should or should not do in the energy sector.

He completed his undergraduate degree in economics in 2006 at Albright College near his hometown of Quakertown, Pa. He then completed a master's degree in economics at George Mason University in 2008 and received a Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation fellowship, which then placed him at Heritage. He's now worked there for more than nine years.

Loris has been on shows like BBC's "Newsnight" to discuss the Paris climate change accord and on CNN's "Crossfire" to debate Bill Nye the Science Guy on climate change. He also had a cameo in Leonardo DiCaprio's climate change documentary.

On Capitol Hill, he's the Republicans' go-to guy on DOE's budget, having testified before Congress seven times. He will do so again before the end of the month at a hearing on wasteful DOE programs.

Riaz Haq said...

Hudson Institute Right-Wing Agenda

As many of you know, there have been a series of attacks on MSF and WHO around the provision of generic antiretrovirals over the past few months. While these claims are factually wrong and baseless and can be challenged on the weaknesses of their arguments alone, it is interesting to look into the motivation of the Hudson Institute [website] and other institutions leading these attacks. Here is a list of the Hudson Institute's key funders, which includes some of the most extreme right-wing foundations in the United States and host of enormous multinational corporations including the mega-pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Lilly. It is clear that none of the Hudson Institute's funders have any significant history in philantrophy around public health issues. What these foundations and companies do support is the advancement of American business' agenda on a number of fronts, from tax and trade policy, and the American right wing's agenda to dismantle public health and social welfare programs such as Medicaid and Medicare in the US.

So, next time you read an op-ed from someone associated with the Hudson Institute, remember who pays their bills. It's a bit like reading an op-ed talking about the health benefits of cigarettes from an "institute" that's funded by the tobacco companies, or an op-ed on the benefits of industrial pesticides by a "think tank" that's funded by oh, say, Monsanto or American Cyanamid. So, yes, we have issues to deal with in rolling out therapy and in fighting AIDS, but no one should be fooled into thinking that the Hudson Institute or any similar organization cares one iota about people with AIDS or our communities.

The Hudson Institute and its ilk are more dangerous than HIV itself.

-- Gregg Gonsalves

Funding for the Hudson Institute

Between 1987 and 2001, the Institute received $12,041,203 in 183 separate grants from only -- foundations: [source]

* Castle Rock Foundation
* Earhart Foundation
* JM Foundation
* Koch Family Foundations (David H. Koch Foundation)
* John M. Olin Foundation, Inc.
* Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
* Scaife Foundations (Scaife Family, Sarah Mellon Scaife, Carthage)
* Smith Richardson Foundation

The Hudson Institute's IRS Form 990 for the financial year ending on September 30, 2001 showed total income of $7,818,439, most of which came in large grants. Other known funders include:

* Ag Processing Inc
* American Cyanamid
* Archer Daniels Midland
* Cargill
* Ciba-Geigy
* ConAgra Foods
* DowElanco
* DuPont
* Exxon Mobil
* HJ Heinz
* Lilly Endowment
* McDonalds
* Monsanto
* National Agricultural Chemical Association
* Novartis
* Proctor & Gamble
* Sunkist Growers
* United Agri Products

Riaz Haq said...

Is Notorious Islamophobic Think Tank Inspiring More Far-Right Terrorism?
More worrying is the prestige that the Gatestone Institute seems to be able to flaunt along with its considerable resources.

Blumenthal notes that Gatestone emerged in 2011 as an offshoot of the right wing Hudson Institute. Since then it has become a hub for anti-Muslim ideologues of all hues; neoconservative, ultra-Zionist and so-called ‘counterjihad’. It has acted as a clearing-house, for example, for claims about Muslim ‘no-go zones’ (the likes of which ‘terrorism expert’ Steven Emerson was widely ridiculed for, including by UK Prime Minister David Cameron). Its articles carry fear-mongering titles such as: ‘‘Spain: Soon the Muslims will be kings of the world’, ‘Britain’s Islamic future’, ’The Islamization of France’, ‘The Islamization of Germany’ and ‘The Islamization of Belgium and the Netherlands’.

The theme of so-called ‘Islamisation’ is fundamental to the paranoid political imaginary of the counterjihad movement, combining anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment. It is the notion that animates a network of groups under the banner ‘Stop the Islamisation of Nations’ (SION), and underpins street movements like Germany’s PEGIDA (an acronym of the German for ‘Patriot Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West’) and the English Defence League (EDL) – and their respective copycat movements.

It is a favourite topic of many right-wing populist politicians like the infamous Geert Wilders, anti-Islam leader of the Dutch ‘Party for Freedom’, who, according to Blumenthal, calls Gatestone founder Nina Rosenwald a ‘good friend’ (perhaps why Gatestone recently published an article defending his call for ‘fewer Moroccans’ in the Netherlands, comments for which he is facing hate speech charges). ‘Islamisation’ was also, of course, the major preoccupation of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik. In July 2011 he killed 77 people in an attack he called ‘gruesome but necessary’ and saw as a precursor to the civil war he believed was inevitable - that he hoped would drive Islam and Muslims out of Europe.

Eurabia conspiracy theorists and the Abstraction Fund

Breivik detailed his views – typical of the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant counterjihad movement - on the ‘threat’ posed to Europe by Islam in a 1,518 page ‘manifesto’. Given that virtually every article that Gatestone publishes is suffused with the same assumptions (for instance ‘How Islam Conquers Europe’, ‘UK Islamic takeover plot’) it is no surprise to learn that the institute’s authors include many of the writers cited by Breivik in his notorious tract. Gatestone author Robert Spencer and his Jihad Watch website were mentioned 116 times, while Daniel Pipes and his Middle East Forum (MEF) got 18 citations. Other Gatestone authors mentioned in Breivik's lengthy screed include David Horowitz and the aforementioned Steven Emerson.

More importantly, Nina Rosenwald’s mega-foundation, the Abstraction Fund, provides funding to many of these organisations: the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism, Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy (CSP), Pipes MEF, and many other Islamophobia industry groups besides. (Abstraction also gives to a host of pro-Israel organisations like CAMERA, MEMRI and the Zionist Organization of America, illustrating the increasingly common funding overlap between many anti-Muslim and some pro-Israel groups, observed in the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network’s recent report ‘The Business of Backlash’.) Interestingly, as well as presiding over the Gatestone Institute, Rosenwald is also financing it with money from the Abstraction Fund, albeit indirectly: as with other groups, the money is being channelled via a third party (MEF).

Riaz Haq said...

Can US President take Hudson Institute report on Pakistan seriously?

by Jamal Hussain

Dismissed for suspected anti-state activities, which he vehemently denies, accusing the Pakistan Army of orchestrating a plot to implicate him in a false case. HH settled in the USA and currently is the Director for South Asia and Central Asia at Hudson Institute. He has authored three books on Pakistan where his animosity towards the Pakistan Army is apparent.

He is known to carry a grudge against the Pakistan Army that a clear majority of Pakistanis consider the only state institution which secures the country from foreign domination. With such a credential of HH, should one expect objectivity if he heads a policy paper advising the US administration on how to deal with Pakistan?

Lisa Curtis, the co-author is a retired CIA employee who has also served as a diplomat in Pakistan and India. With her CIA background where the confrontation of the CIA with the Pakistani intelligence agency the ISI is an open secret, can one expect an impartial approach when dealing with Pakistan where the ISI is known to provide key inputs on the conduct of the nation’s foreign policy?

Among the signatories, Christine Fair, Polly Nayak and Aparna Pande ring alarm bells. Christine Fair, who once was considered the darling of the Pakistan Army, is now known for her anti-Pakistan sentiments. Her earlier work on drones and her pro-drone stance and viewpoints has been denounced as “surprisingly weak” by Brooking Institution and journalist Glenn Greenwald dismissed it as “rank propaganda.”

n 2011 and 2012 she received funding from the US embassy in Islamabad to conduct a survey on public opinion concerning militancy. Her journalistic sources have been questioned for their credibility and she has been accused of having a conflict of interest due to her past work with the US government think tanks, as well as the CIA.

In the Pakistani media, she has been accused of double standards, partisanship towards India and has been criticized for her contacts with dissident leaders from Baluchistan, a link which raises serious questions “if her interest in Pakistan is merely academic.”

Polly Nayak, a South Asian expert and currently an independent consultant retired from CIA in late 2002 as a senior executive. Her views on Pakistan, like those of Lisa Curtis, would not be free from the bias that colors CIA’s opinion about Pakistan and Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency the ISI, which is viewed as an ally only when its help is desperately sought— otherwise a nemesis.

Aparna Pande is a born Indian working for the Hudson Institute and her writings mirror the rabidly anti-Pakistan stance of the Indian government under Narendra Modi.


Avoid viewing and portraying Pakistan as an ally, is the first policy recommendation of the briefing paper. The USA has never considered Pakistan as a true ally and has used this term only when it suited them. It considers Pakistan as a rentier state and hires it for a price to pursue policies to promote their regional and global agenda.

Yes, Pakistan has often willingly accepted the US offer, at a considerable price to its security and well-being. Even though the military aid package of 1954 and the collaboration in the 1980s to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan was on a reciprocal basis where both sides viewed it as a win-win situation, the USA benefitted far more from them while Pakistan, in the long run, paid a very heavy price for the liaisons.

The Mutual Defence Assistance Agreement of 1954 turned Pakistan as the bulwark against any spread of communism that was primarily aimed at containment of the USSR. The defense pact ruled the USSR, the rival superpower, and a neighbor of Pakistan to an extent where they established a strategic partnership with India, the country’s principal security threat and enemy, which had unlawfully and illegally occupied two-thirds of Kashmir.

Riaz Haq said...

Ex #Pakistan Envoy Husain Haqqani: "I had facilitated the presence of large numbers of #CIA operatives" in #Pakistan

"Among the security establishment’s grievances against me was the charge that I had facilitated the presence of large numbers of CIA operatives who helped track down bin Laden without the knowledge of Pakistan’s army — even though I had acted under the authorization of Pakistan’s elected civilian leaders."

In Husain Haqqani's Op Ed titled "Yes, the Russian Ambassador met Trump's team. So? That's what we diplomats do", it seems that Husain Haqqani has tried to achieve the following objectives:

1. Be on President Trump's good side by defending contacts between Trump campaign and Russian officials.

2. Show how he helped the United States by facilitating the entry of large numbers of CIA agents in Pakistan when he was Pakistan's envoy.

3. Cover his own back by saying he had the support of the ruling PPP at the time.

Meanwhile, PPP leader Khurshid Shah has denied the PPP government approved Haqqani's actions and declared Haqqani a traitor.

An ambassador of a country sending foreign intelligence agents into his own..that's what's wrong with the big picture.

The OBL hunt was just an excuse to let in "large numbers of CIA operatives "who most likely have a far wider wider agenda, including tracking Pakistan's nuclear assets and spying that could risk Pak security. As undercover foreign agents unknown to Pakistan's intelligence agencies, there was no way to track what these CIA operatives were doing in Pakistan.

An ambassador of any other country would have been tried for treason in similar circumstances.

Riaz Haq said...

View from right-wing India:

Pakistan’s Political Economy Is Changing – And India Must Take Note
Monica Verma
- Mar 30, 2017, 8:35 pm

Pakistan, according to experts, can now be classified as a stable economy in view of its comparatively strong macroeconomic indicators.

The country’s economic performance, along with China’s investment into the CPEC initiative, has encouraged investors to look at the country in a new light.

Such is the dominance of geopolitical narratives in South Asia that any positive news from the neighbourhood does not reach us. While thinking about our neighbours, especially Pakistan, images of a country whose economy is in shambles and polity unstable strike us.

Not that these images have changed completely, nor has Pakistan moved on to become a developed economy overnight, but the changes in the neighbourhood are significant. The country now has the potential to transform itself into a stable polity and healthy economy pending a good deal of caution.

The positive signs

In 2013, Pakistan’s economy was on the verge of a collapse. The foreign exchange reserves were drying up, and fiscal deficit was mounting even as the rate of economic growth was slowing down. It was during this turbulent time that International Monetary Fund (IMF) extended a loan of $7.6 billion to help the country stabilise its economy and protect the vulnerable sections of its population. This three-year IMF-supported programme not only helped the country stave off a foreign exchange crisis, it also laid the foundation for macroeconomic and financial stability in the country.

Pakistan, according to experts, can now be classified as a stable economy in view of its comparatively strong macroeconomic indicators. The economy witnessed a 4.7 per cent real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate in 2016, the country’s highest in the last eight years. Fiscal deficit has also come down to 4.6 per cent from 8.8 per cent. Another sign of revitalised economic activity is the stock market that rose by almost 50 per cent in 2016. These figures might indicate a positive turnaround in Pakistan’s economy, but in comparison to other South Asian countries such as India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, Pakistan’s growth rate is still miniscule. If the country maintains its fiscal prudence and executes reforms as suggested by IMF fairly, there is still light at the end of the tunnel.

Promising sectors

The construction industry has emerged as one of the sweet spots for Pakistan’s economy. Government of Pakistan considers it an important driver of economic growth, where a spurt in economic activity has the potential to positively impact growth in allied sectors as well. The boom in the industry is a result of increased infrastructural activities as well as various residential projects that have been initiated to deliver housing solutions to the people. This boom is aided by favourable fuel prices including oil, electricity and coal. The government has also given tax relief to builders to facilitate growth in the real estate sector.

Along with construction, the Information Technology (IT) sector has emerged as a promising sector for the Pakistani economy. In 2015, Pakistan’s IT sector accounted for $2.8 billion, of which services worth $1.6 billion were exported abroad. This is an almost negligible share of a $3.2 trillion global IT market, but the commitment of the Pakistani government to the IT sector signals that this share may increase exponentially.

The model followed by the Pakistani IT industry has helped it cut through problems like corruption, bureaucratic red tape and security challenges. The software professionals in the country seek clients through popular freelance hiring sites such as Elance, Upwork and Fivver. The freelance software professional community from Pakistan is now the third largest in the world. Various estimates put the number of IT companies in the country at 25,000.

Riaz Haq said...

Can #Pakistan’s Banned Organizations Rejoin the Mainstream? #JuD #JeM #ASWJ @Diplomat_APAC

“Though Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) is not listed as a political organization but it is a political entity, we want to register JuD as a political party. We played a positive role in the politics and we want to continue it,” said Hafiz Masood in Islamabad on March 27 this year.

Masood, brother of JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, was speaking in a closed-door session on “Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Different Brands of Militants.” The discussion, organized by the think tank Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies (PIPS), centered on the reintegration of banned outfits like Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), and Ahle-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ).

Later, during a press briefing on April 26, the spokesman of the Pakistan Army, Major General Asif Ghafour, released a confessional video statement from Ehsanullah Ehsan, the former spokesman of the banned Jamat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), a splinter group of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

In April last year, he handed over two deradicalization plans to Nawaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan. The first proposal was to be implemented through the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the other was under the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA). There was a role assigned to at least six different government departments in the proposed plan.

The proposal was to segregate different kinds of extremist on the basis of their history and nature of involvement in militancy. Some individuals are associated with the welfare work of banned outfits and some are part of the propaganda arm, while others actually take up arms against the state. Therefore, each individual would be reviewed according to his level of involvement in militant activities.

Pakistan is not the only country trying to develop a mechanism to rehabilitate militants. Deradicalization plans for repentant militants already exist in the Muslim world. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Yemen, Morocco, and Jordan adopted such plans much earlier. Pakistan has another significant example: neighboring Afghanistan, where Hezb-i-Islami has announced it will shun violence and join mainstream politics in the country. The United Nations lifted its ban on the Hezb-i-Islami chief, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, in February this year. The historic move was a result of a deal that was brokered between the Afghan government and Hekmatyar.

Pakistan is also running at least two deredicalization centers – Sabaon and Mashal – in the Sawat area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Explaining the rationale of new proposed deredicalization program, retired Lt. Gen. Amjad Shoaib said that in January 2004, under orders from General (retd.) and then-President Pervez Musharraf, camps of banned outfits were dismantled and the militants were flushed out. It was a big blunder; for two years these men had been motivated and trained to wage jihad and then suddenly they were asked to vacate the area. “Those elements perceived that Pakistan betrayed the cause of Kashmir and [that’s when] Punjabi Taliban was formed. At that time nobody thought of starting a deradicalization program,” Shoaib explained.

Shuja Nawaz, a fellow at the Washington, DC-based South Asia Center of the Atlantic Council does not see rapid movement toward these goals given the lack of careful consideration of the deradicalization and de-weaponizing of Pakistani society. He believes that ties between these shadowy jihadi groups and the political system prevent firm actions. Nawaz, who author of the book Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within, says, “Mainstreaming can only occur when wider actions alter the school systems and curricula and to remove the vestiges of Ziaist [referring to General Zia-ul-Haq] policies and systems in both the civil and military are effected. That needs political gumption, a rare commodity in Pakistan today.”

Riaz Haq said...

Husain Haqqani Defends #India, Asks #Trump to Get Tough With #Pakistan to Win in #Afghanistan

Islamabad’s response was to argue that Pakistan does, indeed, support insurgents in Afghanistan, but it does so because of security concerns about India, which is seen by generals and many civilian leaders as an existential threat to Pakistan.

But that excuse is based on exaggerations and falsehoods. India has no offensive military presence in Afghanistan and there has never been any evidence that the Afghans are willing to be part of India’s alleged plan for a two-front war with Pakistan.

Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, recently asked India to train Afghan military officers and repair military aircraft after frustration with Pakistan, which failed to fulfill promises of restraining the Taliban and forcing them to the negotiating table.

Pakistan’s leaders question Afghanistan’s acceptance of economic assistance from India even though Pakistan does not have the capacity to provide such aid itself.

It seems that Pakistan wants to keep alive imaginary fears, possibly to maintain military ascendancy in a country that has been ruled by generals for almost half of its existence. For years Pakistani officials falsely asserted that India had set up 24 consulates in Afghanistan, some close to the Pakistani border. In fact, India has only four consulates, the same number Pakistan has, in Afghanistan.

Lying about easily verifiable facts is usually the tactic of governments fabricating a threat rather than ones genuinely facing one. As ambassador, I attended trilateral meetings where my colleagues rejected serious suggestions from Afghans and Americans to mitigate apprehensions about Indian influence in Afghanistan.

While evidence of an Indian threat to Pakistan through Afghanistan remains scant, proof of the presence of Afghan Taliban leaders in Pakistan continues to mount. Mullah Omar, the Taliban’s leader, reportedly died in a Pakistani hospital in 2013 and his successor, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, was killed in an American drone strike in Baluchistan Province in Pakistan last year.

The United States should not let Pakistan link its longstanding support for hard-line Pashtun Islamists in Afghanistan to its disputes with India.

Both India and Pakistan have a lot of blood on their hands in Kashmir and seem in no hurry to resolve their disagreement, which is rooted in the psychosis resulting from the subcontinent’s bitter partition. The two countries have gone through 45 rounds of summit-level talks since 1947 and have failed to reach a permanent settlement.

Linking the outcome in Afghanistan to resolution of India-Pakistan issues would keep the United States embroiled there for a very long time. The recent rise in Islamophobia in India and a more aggressive stance against Pakistan by Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not detract from recognizing the paranoiac nature of Pakistan’s fears.

Riaz Haq said...

Venom-spewing Husain Haqqani challenged by sane ex US National Security Council official Laurel Miller on PBS News:

HUSAIN HAQQANI, Former Ambassador, Pakistan: Well, the two most important things that I saw in President Trump’s address were a removal of deadlines. That to me is very important, because the Taliban have had a saying for years that the Americans have watches and we have the time. When you set deadlines and show urgency about leaving Afghanistan, they really know they can wait you out, and so can the Pakistanis who support them.

So that I think is the change. It might actually be easier for the United States to get out of Afghanistan by saying, we do not intend to get out without doing what we really came here to do, which was to eliminate a terrorist safe haven.

The second thing I found interesting was that instead of offering a carrot to Pakistan, which has been the past practice, and a little bit of reprimanding Pakistan, there was a clear acknowledgment of the fact that Pakistan is not a good actor in Afghanistan.

It pains me to say that. I am a Pakistani. I served Pakistan as ambassador, but Pakistan has never been transparent about its attitude towards Afghanistan. And it has had an imaginary fear of India having a strong presence in Afghanistan.

President Trump has implied that he will invite India into Afghanistan, bringing Pakistan’s nightmare to reality. And that may have some effect in changing Pakistan’s calculus that several billion dollars in American assistance did not do.

LAUREL MILLER, Former State Department Official: Over an extended of period, the U.S. has provided substantial support the Pakistan, primarily security related, but that’s been dwindling quite considerably over past years and is expected to dwindle further. And s a consequence, it’s not really a major point of leverage with the Pakistanis anymore. The U.S. is not providing billions of dollars any longer to Pakistan.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, that was incorrect to say billions —

LAUREL MILLER: If you calculate the amount that has been provided over a long stretch of time, it’s billions of dollars. But on an annual basis now, it’s nowhere near that. It’s well under a billion dollars a year. By contrast, the Chinese provide much, much greater levels of support to the Pakistanis. And so, it’s quite notable that the Chinese have come out today, giving a boost of support for the Pakistanis.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Ambassador Haqqani, is it really that serious leverage then? Because we hear Laurel Miller saying it’s not that much money.

HUSAIN HAQQANI: Well, with all due respect to Laurel, here are the facts: Pakistan has received $43 billion since 1954. Pakistan built its nuclear program while promising not to build it. A long track record, Pakistan offered bases in which return Pakistan was supposed to have been compensated way back in the ’50s and ’60s. Only provided an intelligence base, didn’t provide the air base that was promised.

The point is there is a pattern here. And that pattern is enabled by arguments like the one that, this is not as much money.


JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me just stop you there.


LAUREL MILLER: There is some leverage. I mean, look, the border can’t be closed. It’s a very porous border. It’s very difficult territory.

So, the idea of literally closing the border is an impossibility. But certainly, there’s much more that the Pakistanis could do to close down the sanctuaries that Taliban leadership in particular enjoy in Pakistan.

But, you know, it’s not that there’s no leverage on the Pakistanis. But the Pakistanis are not going to change their perception of their own national security interests based only on American pressure. There has to be something that attracts the Pakistanis to cooperate in a positive way with the United States.

Riaz Haq said...

Venom-spewing Husain Haqqani challenged by sane ex US National Security Council official Laurel Miller on PBS News:

HUSAIN HAQQANI, Former Ambassador, Pakistan: Well, the two most important things that I saw in President Trump’s address were a removal of deadlines. That to me is very important, because the Taliban have had a saying for years that the Americans have watches and we have the time. When you set deadlines and show urgency about leaving Afghanistan, they really know they can wait you out, and so can the Pakistanis who support them.

So that I think is the change. It might actually be easier for the United States to get out of Afghanistan by saying, we do not intend to get out without doing what we really came here to do, which was to eliminate a terrorist safe haven.

The second thing I found interesting was that instead of offering a carrot to Pakistan, which has been the past practice, and a little bit of reprimanding Pakistan, there was a clear acknowledgment of the fact that Pakistan is not a good actor in Afghanistan.

It pains me to say that. I am a Pakistani. I served Pakistan as ambassador, but Pakistan has never been transparent about its attitude towards Afghanistan. And it has had an imaginary fear of India having a strong presence in Afghanistan.

President Trump has implied that he will invite India into Afghanistan, bringing Pakistan’s nightmare to reality. And that may have some effect in changing Pakistan’s calculus that several billion dollars in American assistance did not do.

LAUREL MILLER, Former State Department Official: Over an extended of period, the U.S. has provided substantial support the Pakistan, primarily security related, but that’s been dwindling quite considerably over past years and is expected to dwindle further. And s a consequence, it’s not really a major point of leverage with the Pakistanis anymore. The U.S. is not providing billions of dollars any longer to Pakistan.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, that was incorrect to say billions —

LAUREL MILLER: If you calculate the amount that has been provided over a long stretch of time, it’s billions of dollars. But on an annual basis now, it’s nowhere near that. It’s well under a billion dollars a year. By contrast, the Chinese provide much, much greater levels of support to the Pakistanis. And so, it’s quite notable that the Chinese have come out today, giving a boost of support for the Pakistanis.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Ambassador Haqqani, is it really that serious leverage then? Because we hear Laurel Miller saying it’s not that much money.

HUSAIN HAQQANI: Well, with all due respect to Laurel, here are the facts: Pakistan has received $43 billion since 1954. Pakistan built its nuclear program while promising not to build it. A long track record, Pakistan offered bases in which return Pakistan was supposed to have been compensated way back in the ’50s and ’60s. Only provided an intelligence base, didn’t provide the air base that was promised.

The point is there is a pattern here. And that pattern is enabled by arguments like the one that, this is not as much money.


JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me just stop you there.


LAUREL MILLER: There is some leverage. I mean, look, the border can’t be closed. It’s a very porous border. It’s very difficult territory.

So, the idea of literally closing the border is an impossibility. But certainly, there’s much more that the Pakistanis could do to close down the sanctuaries that Taliban leadership in particular enjoy in Pakistan.

But, you know, it’s not that there’s no leverage on the Pakistanis. But the Pakistanis are not going to change their perception of their own national security interests based only on American pressure. There has to be something that attracts the Pakistanis to cooperate in a positive way with the United States.

Riaz Haq said...

In the book, “How India Sees the World: Kautilya to the 21st Century”, Mr. Saran records the crucial meeting of the CCS (Cabinet Committee on Security) on the eve of India-Pakistan Defence Secretary-level talks in May 2006, where the draft agreement, that had been approved by the Army and other stakeholders, was to be discussed. However, he said two crucial players, the-then NSA MK Narayanan and then Army Chief General J.J. Singh made last minute interventions to cancel the proposal.

“When the CCS meeting was held on the eve of the defence secretary–level talks, [Mr.] Narayanan launched into a bitter offensive against the proposal, saying that Pakistan could not be trusted, that there would be political and public opposition to any such initiative and that India’s military position in the northern sector vis- à-vis both Pakistan and China would be compromised. [Gen] J.J. Singh, who had happily gone along with the proposal in its earlier iterations, now decided to join Narayanan in rubbishing it,” Mr. Saran writes.

According to Mr. Saran both Indian and Pakistani armies had agreed to authenticate the Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL), and sign an annexure with maps marking exactly where Indian and Pakistani troops held positions. As a result, Mr. Saran says, Indian troops, who occupy the heights of Siachen would be able to mutually withdraw and be spared “extreme cold and unpredictable weather in inhospitable areas, [where] their psychological isolation was just as bad as their physical hardship.”

Mr. Saran’s revelations are significant as it is the first time that an Indian official of the time has accepted that agreements on Siachen and Sir Creek, often called the “low-hanging fruit” of the Comprehensive bilateral dialogue between both countries, was a reality. In 2015, former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri has written about the agreements in his memoirs “Neither a Hawk nor a Dove”, with an account of the Pakistani side of those negotiations.

During the book launch on Wednesday, General (Retd) J.J.Singh, who was also in the audience, asked Mr. Saran whether it would have been possible, in fact, to “trust Pakistan”, and ensure Pakistani troops wouldn’t return to occupy positions in Siachen. “In matters of international diplomacy, it is a convergence of interests rather than trust that counts,” Mr. Saran replied.

The book also records what Mr. Saran calls a “missed opportunity” to solve the Sir Creek dispute in Kutch, with the solution crafted by the Navy to divide the creek between India and Pakistan according to the “equidistance” principle. When asked by Mr. Menon whether the opportunities to resolve the long-standing issues with Pakistan still existed, Mr. Saran said, “Opportunities are perishable. When they aren’t seized, they don’t return.”

Riaz Haq said...

Why Nelson Mandela was on a terrorism watch list in 2008
By Caitlin Dewey December 7, 2013

Nelson Mandela is being remembered across the world (and political spectrum) for his heroic, life-long battle against apartheid and injustice in South Africa. But with all the accolades being thrown around, it’s easy to forget that the U.S., in particular, hasn’t always had such a friendly relationship with Mandela -- and that in fact, as late as 2008, the Nobel Prize winner and former president was still on the U.S. terrorism watch list.
The sticking point was, in Mandela’s case, ideological. In the mid-'80s, as activists in South Africa and around the world began to agitate in earnest for Mandela’s release, the Reagan administration still saw communism as one of its primary enemies -- and defeating communism as one of its foremost foreign policy goals. That complicated the administration’s take on South Africa.

The apartheid regime, it turns out, had supported the U.S. during the Cold War and had worked closely with both the Reagan and Nixon administrations to limit Soviet influence in the region, as Sam Kleiner chronicled in Foreign Policy last July.

Meanwhile, the African National Congress, which Mandela chaired, was peppered with members of the South African Communist Party. Even worse in the eyes of the Reagan Administration was the ANC’s apparent friendliness toward Moscow: The ANC’s secretary general, Alfred Nzo, bore greetings to the Soviet communist party congress in 1986. That was enough to inspire Reagan to accuse the ANC of encouraging communism in a 1986 policy speech, and to rule that South Africa had no obligation to negotiate with a group bent on “creating a communist state.”

Riaz Haq said...

Husain Haqqani and journalists like Margaret Bourke-White cited by him who attack Jinnah are like little pygmies trying to denigrate a giant of history.

“Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.”

― Stanley Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan

Riaz Haq said...

The reality is a lot more complicated than this Eurocentric view of Pakistan’s civil–military relations, which tends to reinforce a perception of Pakistan that serves Western powers and interests. At the core of this Eurocentrism is a tendency to view Pakistan’s civil–military relations through a foreign policy lens, while almost entirely neglecting the domestic political and structural issues at play. Western commentary also tends to treat civilian political leaders as passive actors, overlooking their role in the imbalance.

The civilian and military leadership in Pakistan are on the same page when it comes to foreign and security policies. Disagreements are only over the right methods for achieving these foreign policy goals, and reflect an internal power struggle rather than an ideological difference between civilian and military factions.

For instance, after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif took power at the 2013 elections, he was interested in bold steps to move quickly on peace with India — often even going beyond state protocol and opening backdoor channels. The Pakistan Army was not disinterested in peace with India. Military leaders just wanted to mend relations in a systematic way that would not compromise Pakistan’s interests and that would make peace last beyond rhetoric.

Military leaders advised caution and small steps to achieving sustainable peace with India — advice which Sharif ignored. After several months of futile attempts to court Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who pressed hard on Pakistan after his rise to power, Sharif faced an embarrassing situation. He accepted that his strategy had been a failure and allowed the military to devise a new strategy to engage India.

Civilian and military leaders were similarly split over issues of method when it came to tackling terrorist safe havens inside the country. In 2013, the then new government under Sharif was not interested in launching operations inside the country against the Taliban and other extremist actors. The government instead began peace talks with the terrorist outfits despite repeated advice from the Pakistan Army to the contrary.

The Pakistan army pushed the view that terrorist outfits use ‘peace talks’ as a pretence to regroup, develop credibility and then launch attacks again when the government is vulnerable. Months later, when the terrorists continued their attacks on Pakistan and US forces despite the ongoing negotiations with the Pakistani government, Sharif again was sheepish in front of Pakistan’s security establishment and allowed the military to launch an operation.

When it comes to Pakistan’s current foreign policy posture, there appears to be no rupture in civil–military relations. Both civilian and military leaders support deep ties with China, opening up to Russia, balancing the Middle East, defying the United States and finding a sustainable peace with India and Afghanistan. Even the ‘Dawn leaks’ controversy was less a matter of disagreement over foreign policy than a case of the civilian government trying to embarrass the military establishment.

While civil and military leaders in Pakistan are locked in a power struggle, they are on the same page in terms of foreign and security policy — which is why Pakistan has seen much policy continuity over the past four decades. Civilian leaders pitch this domestic power struggle to international audiences as a matter of ‘foreign policy’ and a ‘fight for democracy’ for the purposes of seeking international endorsements that can be leveraged in the local power tussle.

This absence of nuance in Western academic writing and commentaries on Pakistan is not just a blind spot. It is deliberate neglect whereby the dominant characterisation of Pakistan’s civil–military relations is constructed to suit Western political interests that include aligning Pakistan’s national security policies with that of the West, and having a strong check on its nuclear program.

Riaz Haq said...

#ASWJ's Ludhianvi in North #Waziristan. #Pakistan agencies have used a two-pronged counter #terrorism approach: fight, capture and kill those who cannot be convinced to lay down arms and co-opt those who can be weaned from violence.

In its fight against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and its affiliates, many of whom are from Deobandi sectarian outfits like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Jaish-e-Mohammad, the security forces and their intelligence agencies have used a two-pronged approach: fight, capture and kill those who cannot be convinced to lay down arms and co-opt those who can be weaned from violence.

There’s nothing radical about these two approaches. They have been tried, mostly in tandem, in other conflict zones, with varying degrees of success. In the case of Ludhianvi, he, and some of his lieutenants were co-opted by the intelligence agencies as part of the operation to clean up Punjab of sectarian terrorism.

Ludhianvi was also used to bring in Malik Ishaq, one of the most dreaded sectarian terrorists and the face of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. The same group also provided help to, and facilitated, terrorist attacks by the TTP and its Jama’at-ul-Ahrar faction.

Ishaq did initially come round and stayed away from violence for some time, but went back to his old habits. That created a rift between his group and Ludhianvi’s and his hitmen also killed a close associate of Ludhianvi’s. It was at that point that counter-terrorism (CT) experts decided that Ishaq needed to be sent to his Maker. Ishaq was killed in a shootout along with his two sons, his consigliere, Ghulam Rasool Shah, and several hitmen.

The dead Ishaq and the living Ludhianvi are metaphors for the two-pronged CT strategy that has been at play. There has been much criticism of what some call mainstreaming these terrorists. Personally, I am not keen on the term. The strategy is more about coopting than mainstreaming.

Riaz Haq said...

After #BLA #terrorist listing by #US, will the #British and the #Swiss governments deny asylum to #Indian proxies Hyrbyair Marri and Brahmdagh Bugti? #Balochistan #Pakistan #India

The United States on Tuesday took a step of massive significance to Pakistan by declaring the Balochistan Liberation Organisation (BLA) to be a terrorist group. It was a welcome change from the norm, where Pakistan usually has to scramble to ban organisations well after the world has declared them to be terrorists. The BLA has been a proscribed entity in Pakistan since 2006. The listing means that all of the BLA’s property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US individuals and entities are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them. The US also declared Jaish al-Adl, which has been involved in deadly terrorist attacks against Iran, a global terrorist organisation. Jaish al-Adl is essentially the successor to the previously banned Jundallah group.

Pakistan has long claimed that the BLA is a proxy of India’s premier external intelligence agency, the innocuously-named Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). If true, the listing would also be a potentially massive embarrassment for New Delhi. But even if Pakistan cannot prove to the world that India is explicitly sponsoring the BLA, and thus terrorism in Pakistan, India has openly been hosting a number of BLA leaders and sympathisers, giving them a platform from which to spew their terrorist vitriol before the media in the ‘world’s biggest democracy’. It would be more-than-fair for Pakistan to push for the case that India is actively sympathising with terrorists by doing such things.

It will also be interesting to see what they do with the asylum application filed by alleged BLA leader Brahamdagh Bugti, and for that matter, what the Swiss do, since he is currently living it up in the picturesque and famously neutral European state. There is also the issue of another alleged BLA leader, Hyrbyair Marri, who has been granted asylum by the British. Will the British reinvestigate the terrorism charges Pakistan filed against him a decade ago, and will the US back Pakistan if it tries to prove that the British and Swiss are harbouring terrorists?

Riaz Haq said...

As of 2019, GDP of India is around of 10 times greater than Pakistan. In nominal terms gap is wider (above 10 times) than ppp terms (below 10 times). India is 5th largest country of the world in nominal method and 3rd largest economy in ppp method. Nominal ranking of Pakistan is 43 and PPP ranking is 25. India's economically largest states Maharashtra has GDP ($334 billion) greater than Pakistan. Margin between these two countries was lowest in 1993 when Nominal GDP of India was 5.43x of Pakistan and highest was in 1973 (13.53x).

Both countries together share 9.78% and 18.15% of total Asia's GDP.

Both countries has been neck-to-neck in gdp per capita terms. Margin is being wider in favour of India since 2009. In 2019, per capita income of India would be 1.62 times all time higher than Pakistan on exchange rate basis. 2006 is the previous year when Pakistan was more richer than India. Both nations are at very lower position in World GDP per capita ranking. rank of India is 145 (nominal) and 126 (PPP). World rank of Pakistan is 156 (nominal) and 140 (PPP). Out of 33 Indian states/UTs, 28 states/UTs are more richer than Pakistan.

India attains maximum gdp growth rate of 9.63% in year 1988 and minimum -5.24% in 1979. Pakistan reached an all time high of 10.35% in 1970 and a record low of 0.47% in 1971. During period 1961 to 2017, Pakistan grew by more than 10% in 3 years while India never. GDP growth rate was negative in four years for India, but Pakistan has never showed negative growth rate.

According to CIA Fackbook sector wise GDP composition of India in 2017 are as follows : Agriculture (15.4%), Industry (23%) and Services (61.5%). Sector wise GDP composition of Pakistan in 2017 are : Agriculture (24.7%), Industry (19.1%) and Services (56.3%).

Riaz Haq said...

Husain Haqqani's SAATH Forum linked to EFSAS #NGO.
#EUDisinfoLab has found that EFSAS is spreading #Indian-sponsored #disinformation against #Pakistan. Husain Haqqani's Photo with EFSAS's Yoana Barakova,-london-october-2017/

SAATH Forum, London October 2017: ‘Pakistan: The Way Forward’
October 2017, London
Ms. Yoana Barakova (Research Analyst EFSAS) represented the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) during an international conference on South Asia in general and Pakistan in particular, held in London. Several prominent liberal, progressive and nationalist intellectuals, human rights and social media activists and public figures from Pakistan and other countries around the world gathered in London for the conference, ‘Pakistan: The Way Forward’, organised under the banner of South Asians Against Terrorism and for Human Rights (SAATH), co-hosted by US-based columnist Dr. Mohammad Taqi and former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani.

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpt of "Our Man", US diplomat Richard Holbrooke's biography by George Packer

Holbrooke returned from Islamabad and told Ambassador Haqqani about his talk with Kayani and Pasha. “Your army wants a balance of power with India,” Holbrooke said. “The civilians want more money for economic development. What if we offer both of them what they want?” “That’s a great formula,” Haqqani replied. “But what if the army doesn’t just want to be able to defend against India—because, is there a real threat? What if what they want is pride and prestige equal to that of India? Look at the record.” (Pakistan's Ambassador Husain) Haqqani—who was distrusted in both Washington and Islamabad—began a campaign to educate Holbrooke in Pakistani reality. The lessons began in the SRAP office during working hours but continued evenings and weekends at Georgetown restaurants and movie theaters and ice cream parlors, where Haqqani always paid.


(Pakistani Ambassador Husain) Haqqani told him (Richard Holbrooke) that the ISI didn’t want the United States to know Pakistan too well. Haqqani once heard Pasha say, “You civilians are wrong—there is no way Holbrooke has our interests at heart. He’s a Jew.” Haqqani explained to Holbrooke that the Pakistani military was deceiving itself as well as America—imagining an Indian menace in order to justify the outsized power and budget it had claimed ever since the founding of the state. Why would the generals cut a deal over the Taliban that would only deflate their significance by reducing tensions with India? Holbrooke’s effort to change Pakistan’s perception of its national interest was doomed, because the perception was based on delusions. As for Pakistan’s politicians, they would always promise things they couldn’t deliver because they didn’t have the popular standing at home. The public was divided on violent Islamists but nearly united in its strident anti-Americanism, which no amount of flood relief could change. But the promises kept coming along with the deceptions, because the generals and the politicians needed the Americans. It was like theater, Haqqani said. The whole region was a theater in which everyone understood their part, except the Americans.

Packer, George. Our Man . Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpt of "Our Man", US diplomat Richard Holbrooke's biography by George Packer

As for Pakistan’s politicians, they would always promise things they couldn’t deliver because they didn’t have the popular standing at home. The public was divided on violent Islamists but nearly united in its strident anti-Americanism, which no amount of flood relief could change. But the promises kept coming along with the deceptions, because the generals and the politicians needed the Americans. It was like theater, Haqqani said. The whole region was a theater in which everyone understood their part, except the Americans.

These lessons were delivered below the waterline. They bore no resemblance to the ambassador’s official cables to the foreign secretary in Islamabad after his formal meetings with Holbrooke, in which he echoed the Pakistani military’s suspicion of every American move. His cables were part of the theater. Holbrooke’s labors were gargantuan. The contemplation of them wears me out. Repeated trips to Islamabad, strategic dialogues in Washington, donor meetings in Tokyo and Madrid, the bilats, the trilats, the fifth draft of the thirty-seventh memo, the sheer output of words—in pursuit of a chimera. All the while knowing what he was dealing with—all the while thinking he could do it anyway, with another memo, another meeting… One evening he was sitting in Haqqani’s library when the ambassador took a copy of To End a War off the shelf. He opened the book and read aloud a description description of the Balkan presidents at Dayton—their selfishness, their lack of concern for the lives of their people. “Do you feel that you’re dealing with a similar situation now?” Haqqani asked. “God, I’d forgotten about that,” Holbrooke said. “Maybe it’s true.” Haqqani asked what Holbrooke was hoping to achieve. “I am trying to get the Pakistani military to be incrementally less deceitful toward the United States.”

Packer, George. Our Man . Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Riaz Haq said...

Ex Pakistani Ambassador Husain Haqqani works for Hudson Institute partially funded by Indian government.

"Its 2020 Board of Trustees included Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a BJP Member of Parliament and a current Minister in Modi’s far-right Hindu nationalist government. He has also previously acted as the National Spokesperson for a party best known for overseeing India’s significant drop in global democratic, liberty, and press freedom rankings. Chandrasekhar is a large donor to the Hudson Institute, giving up to $50,000 in the previous year"

Riaz Haq said...

'India needs educated PM': Arvind Kejriwal targets Narendra Modi in Assam | Deccan Herald

Continuing his criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his educational qualifications, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said an educated PM would not have gone for "dangerous" decisions like the demonetisation and three "anti-farmer" laws.

"I listened to Narendra Modi's speech where he said he went to a village school only and could not do further studies. But I want to ask you today, shouldn't the Prime Minister of a great nation like India be educated?" Kejriwal asked the crowd during his maiden rally in Assam capital Guwahati on Sunday afternoon. The rally was organised by the Assam unit of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as part of its organisational expansion programme in the state, where BJP has been in power since 2016.

"India is a poor nation and someone not going to school due to poverty is not a crime. But our Prime Minister should be educated. The Prime Minister did demonetisation which took our economy 10 years backward. Someone fooled our PM and told him to ban the notes to end corruption. Did demonetisation end corruption? Someone told our PM that demonetisation will end terrorism. Did demonetisation end terrorism?" Kejriwal asked.

"It's the 21st Century and youths of the 21st Century are aspirational. They believe in science and technology. They want employment and prosperity of India and only an educated PM can bring that prosperity. A less educated or illiterate person can not bring prosperity. A private company asks for an MBA, MA and BA degree for a manager's job. But shouldn't there be educational qualifications for the country's topmost manager as the Prime Minister?" he asked.

Punjab CM Bhagwant Singh Mann addressed the rally before Kejriwal in which he also slammed BJP.

Both Kejriwal and Mann slammed their Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma saying the latter was only doing "dirty politics" and failed to provide jobs, hold examinations in a fair manner and could not improve amenities such as schools, hospitals and other infrastructure. "Today he is threatening me on TV to put me behind bars. Am I a terrorism, why will you catch me?" Kejriwal asked while referring to Sarma's warning on Friday about filing defamation cases in case the former made corruption allegations. "Today I want to invite him to come to my home for tea when he visits Delhi next. I will take him around in my car and the finest schools and hospitals we have provided to the people of Delhi," he said. Both Mann and Kejriwal asked why Sarma's wife was running a private school in Guwahati. "If a CM's wife runs a private school, will the government improve the government schools?" he asked. Both promised that AAP will provide Delhi and Punjab-like facilities if people voted them to power in the Assembly elections in 2026.