Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index Ranks India 2nd Worst in South Asia After Afghanistan

"India is home to over 340 million destitute people and is the second poorest country in South Asia after war-torn Afghanistan...In South Asia, Afghanistan has the highest level of destitution at 38%. This is followed by India at 28.5%. Bangladesh (17.2%) and Pakistan (20.7%) have much lower levels"  Colin Hunter, Center for Research on Globalization 
Increases in per capita income and human development index are often used as indicators to represent improvements in the lives of ordinary people in developing nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Both of these have significant limitations which are addressed by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI)'s MPI, multi-dimensional poverty index.

The MPI brings together 10 indicators, with equal weighting for education, health and living standards (see table). If you tick a third or more of the boxes, you are counted as poor.

Source: Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative


Eradicating poverty in South Asia requires every person having access to safe drinking water, sanitation, housing, nutrition, health and education.

According to the MPI, out of its 1.2 billion-plus population, India alone is home to over 340 million destitute people and is the second poorest country in South Asia after war-torn Afghanistan, according to Colin Hunter of Canada-based Global Research.

Some 640 million poor people live in India (40% of the world’s poor), mostly in rural areas, meaning an individual is deprived in one-third or more of the ten indicators mentioned above (malnutrition, child deaths, defecating in the open).

 In South Asia, Afghanistan has the highest level of destitution at 38%. This is followed by India at 28.5%. Bangladesh and Pakistan have much lower levels. The study placed Afghanistan as the poorest country in South Asia, followed by India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, according to Hunter.

Afghanistan is the poorest country in South Asia in terms of multi-dimensional poverty with 66% of its people being poor, followed by India with 54%, Bangladesh with 51%, Pakistan and Nepal at 44%, Bhutan at 27%, and Sri Lanka and the Maldives at 5%, according to Oxford researchers. Among 104 countries ranked by OPHI,  Nepal ranks 82, India 74, Bangladesh 73,  Pakistan 70, Sri Lanka 32 in MPI poverty.

Why has India lagged  behind its neighbors in spite of rapid economic growth in recent years? Here's how Hunter explains it: "The ratio between the top and bottom 10% of wage distribution has doubled since the early 1990s, when India opened up it economy. According to the 2011 Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development report ‘Divided we stand’, this has made India one of the worst performers in the category of emerging economies. The poverty alleviation rate is no higher than it was 25 years ago. Up to 300,000 farmers have committed suicide since 1997 due to economic distress and many more have quit farming."

What Colin Hunter hasn't clearly articulated is the fact that India remains home to the world's largest population of poor, hungry and illiterates who lack even basic sanitation 67 years after the nation's independence from British colonial rule.

As the new Hindu Nationalist government under Narendra Modi begins its anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan campaigns so soon after inauguration, an Indian journalist  Pankaj Mishra reminds Indians  in a recent New York Times Op Ed that that "India’s reputation as a “golden bird” flourished during the long centuries when it was allegedly enslaved by Muslims. A range of esteemed scholars — from Sheldon Pollock to Jonardon Ganeri — have demonstrated beyond doubt that this period before British rule witnessed some of the greatest achievements in Indian philosophy, literature, music, painting and architecture".

It's time for Mr. Modi to shun his bellicose rhetoric (boli nahee goli--India's guns will do the talking) against Pakistan and focus on much more important issues of deep deprivation of his people.

Here's a video on Grinding Poverty in Resurgent India:

Haq's Musings Grinding Poverty in Resurgent India by faizanmaqsood1010
http://youtu.be/84-Qz4vFVHs



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

India Home to World's Largest Population of Poor, Hungry and Illiterates

Grinding Poverty in Resurgent India

An Indian Farmer Commits Suicide Every 30 Minutes

India's Israel Envy: What if Modi Attacks Pakistan?

India Teaching Young Students Akhand Bharat 

Pakistan Army at the Gates of Delhi

India's War Myths

India-Pakistan Military Balance

Pakistan Army Capabilities

Modi's Pakistan Policy

India's Israel Envy

Can India Do a Lebanon in Pakistan?

Pakistan's KSE-100 Outperforms Global, Emerging Market and Frontier Market Indices

Pakistan lost its place in MSCI  Emerging Markets Index in December 2008. It was included in MSCI Frontiers Market Index in May 2009.  Some analysts believe that Pakistan could re-gain the Emerging Market classification (which includes BRIC countries) in a couple of years.



Since the beginning of 2012 MSCI’s index of Pakistani shares has jumped 60% in dollar terms—outpacing global indices as well as MSCI Emerging Market Index and Pakistan’s peers among frontier markets.  Pakistan's KSE-100 index was among the top 5 performers in the world in 2013. In recent months foreigners, who kept piling in even as jittery local investors began selling, have bought a net $36m-worth of shares in August, when the PTI and PAT protests were at their height, and a further $53m-worth in September, according to The Economist.

Over the next 6 months $2-2.5 billion of new float is expected to come on stream from Pakistan through government's privatization of assets which should take its MSCI frontier market weightage higher to 9-9.5% with its subsequent effects on passive flows, according to a report in Baron's.

Market classifications of securities from various countries into developed, emerging and frontier indices are made by Morgan Stanley based on a minimum market capitalization and size of free float.

Here's how Morgan Stanley explains it:

In order to be included in a Market Investable Equity Universe, a company must have the required minimum full market capitalization. This minimum full market capitalization is referred to as the Equity Universe Minimum Size Requirement. The Equity Universe Minimum Size Requirement applies to companies in all markets, Developed and Emerging, and is derived as follows:

1. First, the companies in the DM Equity Universe are sorted in descending order of full market capitalization and the cumulative coverage of the free float‐adjusted market capitalization of the DM Equity Universe is calculated at each company. Each company’s free float‐adjusted market capitalization is represented by the aggregation of the free float‐adjusted market capitalization of the securities of that company in the Equity Universe.

2. Second, when the cumulative free float‐adjusted market capitalization coverage of 99% of the sorted Equity Universe is achieved, the full market capitalization of the company at that point defines the Equity Universe Minimum Size Requirement.

3. The rank of this company by descending order of full market capitalization within the DM Equity Universe is noted, and will be used in determining the Equity Universe Minimum Size Requirement at the next rebalance.

As of April 19, 2011, the Equity Universe Minimum Size Requirement is USD 140 million. Companies with full market capitalizations below this level are not included in any Market Investable Equity Universe. The Equity Universe Minimum Size Requirement is reviewed and, if necessary revised, at Semi‐Annual Index Reviews.

In a recent interview with Forbes, Mohammad Sohail of Topline Securities in Pakistan has expressed confidence in the country’s capital markets moving forward:

"Things that were held up due to the protests – IPOs, privatizations, reforms, the $800 million share sell of our largest oil and gas company OGDC – have now resumed. When the OGDC deal is executed, I think that will give a very clear signal to the international business community that the protests may still be going on, but investment and business already are operating as usual. Pakistan is an unexplored market by most outside investors that is not marketed properly. Compared to peers, the market is very cheap. Pakistan’s markets trades at a price/earning multiple of 7.5 times; a 30% to 40% discount to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Vietnam. For me, from an investor’s point of view, the next 24 months look very positive for the equity markets."

Increase in Pakistani shares weight in Frontiers Index and expected re-entry in Emerging Markets  Index are both welcome developments for Pakistan's economy.  As a result of these developments, Pakistan should expect new capital inflows which would strengthen Pakistan's balance of payments position and spur the nation's overall economic growth.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan's KSE-100 Among Top Performers in 2013

Foreign Investment Up, Load-shedding Down in Nawaz Sharif's First 100 Days

Pakistan to Beg and Borrow Billions More in 2013-14

Power Companies Profits Soar at Taxpayer's Expense

Does Nawaz Sharif Have a Counter-terrorism Strategy?

Pakistan's Tax Evasion Fosters Aid Dependence

Pakistan's Vast Shale Oil and Gas Reserves

Pak IPPs Make Record Profits Amid Worst Ever Load Shedding 

Global Power Shift Since Industrial Revolution

Massive Growth in Electrical Connections in Pakistan

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar's Budget 2013-14 Speech

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Can India Win a Conventional War Against Pakistan?

Newly-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi government's rhetoric about "jaw-breaking" (munh tod) policy toward Pakistan is the latest manifestation of a disease described by Indian diplomat Sashi Tharoor as "India's Israel envy".


India's Israel Envy:

India's Israel envy is reinforced by the Hindu Nationalists over-estimating their country's strength while under-estimating Pakistan's. It's aided by India's western allies' belief that Pakistan can not fight a conventional war with india and its only option to defend itself would be to quickly escalate the conflict into a full scale nuclear war.

Indian MP Mani Shankar Aiyar has summed up India's war rhetoric against Pakistan in a recent Op Ed as follows:

(Indian Defense Minister) Arun Jaitley thumps his chest and proclaims that we have given the Pakis a "jaw-breaking reply" (munh tod jawab). Oh yeah? The Pakistanis are still there - with their jaw quite intact and a nuclear arsenal nestling in their pockets. (Indian Home Minister) Rajnath Singh adds that the Pakis had best understand that "a new era has dawned". How? Is retaliatory fire a BJP innovation? Or is it that we have we ceased being peace-loving and become a war-mongering nation? And (Indian Prime Minister Narendra) Modi thunders that his guns will do the talking (boli nahin, goli). Yes - and for how long?

India's Delusions:

Indians, particularly Hindu Nationalists, have become victims of their own hype as illustrated by Times of India's US correspondent who checked into the veracity claimed achievements of Indians in America and found such claims to be highly exaggerated: "On Monday, the Indian government itself consecrated the oft-circulated fiction as fact in Parliament, possibly laying itself open to a breach of privilege. By relaying to Rajya Sabha members (as reported in The Times of India) a host of unsubstantiated and inflated figures about Indian professionals in US, the government also made a laughing stock of itself." The Times of India's Chidanand Rajghatta ended up debunking all of the inflated claims about the number of Indian physicians, NASA scientists and Microsoft engineers in America.

Similarly, a US GAO investigation found that India's IT exports to the United States are exaggerated by as much as 20 times. The biggest source of discrepancy that GAO found had to do with India including temporary workers' salaries in the United States. India continuously and cumulatively adds all the earnings of its migrants to US in its software exports. If 50,000 Indians migrate on H1B visas each year, and they each earn $50,000 a year, that's a $2.5 billion addition to their exports each year. Cumulatively over 10 years, this would be $25 billion in exports year after year and growing.

Since the end of the Cold War, the West has been hyping  India's  economic growth to persuade the developing world that democracy and capitalism offer a superior alternative to rapid development through state guided capitalism under an authoritarian regime---a system that has worked well in Asia for countries like the Asian Tigers and China.  This has further fooled Hindu Nationalists into accepting such hype as real. It ignores the basic fact that India is home to the world's largest population of poor, hungry and illiterates. It also discounts the reality that  Indian kids rank near the bottom on international assessment tests like PISA and TIMSS due to the poor quality of education they receive.  The hype has emboldened many Indians, including the BJP leadership, to push neighbors around.

Pakistan's Response:

Pakistan has so far not responded to the Indian rhetoric in kind. It might create an impression that Pakistan is weak and unable to respond to such threats with its conventional force. So let's examine the reality.

Ground War:

In the event of a ground war, Pakistan will most likely follow its "offensive defense" doctrine with its two strike corps pushing deep inside Indian territory. Though Indian military has significant numerical advantage, Pakistan's armor is as strong, if not stronger, than the Indian armor.

Before embarking on further offensive, gains shall be consolidated.  Pakistan is also as strong, if not stronger, in terms of ballistic and cruise missiles inventory and capability, putting all of India within its range.  These missiles are capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads.

India-Pakistan Firepower Comparison Source: GlobalFirepower.com


In 1990 the Central Corps of Reserves was created to fight in the desert sectors, where enemy land offensives are expected. These dual capable formations trained for offensive and holding actions are fully mechanized. The Pakistan Army has ten Corps including the newly formed Strategic Corps. The Army has twenty-six divisions (eight less than India). Two more divisions were raised as Corps reserves for V and XXXI Corps. The Army has two armored divisions, and ten independent armored brigades. Presently one hundred thousand troops are stationed on the Pak-Afghan border to fight terror.

The Special Service Group – SSG - comprises two airborne Brigades, i.e. six battalions. Pakistan Army has 360 helicopters, over two thousand heavy guns, and 3000 APC’s. Its main anti-tank weapons are Tow, Tow Mk II, Bakter Shiken and FGM 148 ATGM. The Army Air Defense Command has S.A- 7 Grail, General Dynamics FIM-92 Stinger, GD FIM Red Eye, and ANZA Mk-I, Mk-II, Mk-III and HQ 2 B surface to air missiles. Radar controlled Oerlikon is the standard Ack Ack weapon system.

The ballistic missile inventory of the Army is substantial. It comprises intermediate range Ghauri III and Shaheen III; medium range Ghauri I and II and Shaheen II, and short range tactical Hatf I- B, Abdali, Ghaznavi, Nasr, Shaheen I and M -11 missiles. All the ballistic missiles can carry nuclear warheads....some can carry multiple warheads. Nuclear and conventional weapon capable Babur Cruise missile is the new addition to Pakistan’s strategic weapon inventory.  It has stealth features to evade radar to penetrate India's air air-space to hit targets. The number of ballistic missiles and warheads are almost the same as those of India. So there is a parity in nuclear weapons, which is a deterrent.

Tactical missile which can be tipped with miniaturized nuclear warhead is the latest addition to Pakistan's arsenal. It's a battlefield weapon designed to destroy enemy troop concentrations poised against Pakistan.

Air War:

Pakistan has about 900 aircraft compared to India's 1800, giving India 2:1 numerical advantage over Pakistan. India's biggest advantage is in transport aircraft (700 vs 230) while Pakistan has some numerical advantage in two areas: Airborne radars (9 vs 3) and attack helicopters (48 vs 20).

Pakistan Air Force has  over 100 upgraded F-16s and 200 rebuilt Mirage- 3's (for night air defense) and Mirage-5's for the strike role. They can carry nuclear weapons. They have been upgraded with new weapon systems, radars, and avionics. Additionally, the PAF 150 F-7's including 55 latest F-7 PG’s. Manufacture of 150 JF 17 Thunder fighters (jointly designed) is underway at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra. The JF-17 Thunder is a 4th generation fly by wire multi-role fighter aircraft. Eight are already in PAF service. An order has been placed with China for the purchase of 36 JF-10, a Mach 2.3 -5th generation multi-role fighter, comparable in performance to the Su-30 Mk-1 with the Indian Air Force.

In spite of Indian Air Force's numerical superiority since independence in 1947, Pakistan Air Force has performed well against it in several wars. The PAF pilots have always been among the best trained in the world.

Complimenting the Pakistan Air Force pilots, the legendary US Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager who broke the sound barrier, wrote in his biography "The Right Stuff": "This Air Force (the PAF), is second to none". He continued: "The  (1971) air war lasted two weeks and the Pakistanis scored a three-to-one kill ratio, knocking out 102 Russian-made Indian jets and losing thirty-four airplanes of their own. I'm certain about the figures because I went out several times a day in a chopper and counted the wrecks below." "They were really good, aggressive dogfighters and proficient in gunnery and air combat tactics. I was damned impressed. Those guys just lived and breathed flying. "

 In 1965, Roy Meloni of the ABC reported: "Pakistan claims to have destroyed something like 1/3rd the Indian Air Force, and foreign observers, who are in a position to know say that Pakistani pilots have claimed even higher kills than this; but the Pakistani Air Force are being scrupulously honest in evaluating these claims. They are crediting Pakistan Air Force only those killings that can be checked from other sources."

Naval War:

Of the three branches of the military, India's advantage over Pakistan is the greatest in naval strength. Pakistan has just 84 sea-going vessels of various kinds versus India's 184.

Pakistan Navy can still inflict substantial damage on the Indian Navy. The Indian Navy has 17 submarines. Pakistan Navy has ten, some are brand new and equipped with AIP. Indian Navy has 28 war ships, Pakistan Navy has eleven.

As seen in the past wars, India will attempt a naval blockade of Pakistan. Here's how MIT's Christopher Clary discusses in his doctoral thesis the Indian Navy's ability to repeat a blockade of Pakistan again:

"Most analyses do not account adequately for how difficult it would be for the (Indian) navy to have a substantial impact in a short period of time. Establishing even a partial blockade takes time, and it takes even more time for that blockade to cause shortages on land that are noticeable. As the British strategist Julian Corbett noted in 1911, "it is almost impossible that a war can be decided by naval action alone. Unaided, naval pressure can only work by a process of exhaustion. Its effects must always be slow…. ". Meanwhile, over the last decade, Pakistan has increased its ability to resist a blockade. In addition to the main commercial port of Karachi, Pakistan has opened up new ports further west in Ormara and Gwadar and built road infrastructure to distribute goods from those ports to Pakistan's heartland. To close off these ports to neutral shipping could prove particularly difficult since Gwadar and the edge of Pakistani waters are very close to the Gulf of Oman, host to the international shipping lanes for vessels exiting the Persian Gulf. A loose blockade far from shore would minimize risks from Pakistan's land-based countermeasures but also increase risks of creating a political incident with neutral vessels."

Summary:

The probability of India prevailing over Pakistan in a conventional war now are very remote at best. Any advantage that India seeks over Pakistan would require it to pay a very heavy price in terms of massive destruction of India's industry, economy and infrastructure that would set India back many decades.

In the event that the India-Pakistan war spirals out of control and escalates into a full-scale nuclear confrontation, the entire region, including China, would suffer irreparable damage. Even a limited nuclear exchange would devastate food production around the world, according to International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, as reported in the media. It would set off a global famine that could kill two billion people and effectively end human civilization as we know it.

I hope that better sense will prevail in New Delhi and India's BJP government will desists from any military adventurism against Pakistan. The consequences of any miscalculation by Narendra Modi will be horrible, not just for both the countries, but the entire humanity.

Here's a video discussion on this and other current topics:


India-Pakistan Tensions; End of TUQ Dharna; Honors for Malala; Ebola Threat from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Here's an interview of former President Musharraf on an Indian TV channel:

 
Parvez Musharraf blasts Modi in an Indian Talk... by zemtvRelated Links:

Haq's Musings

India Teaching Young Students Akhand Bharat 

Pakistan Army at the Gates of Delhi

India's War Myths

India-Pakistan Military Balance

Pakistan Army Capabilities

Modi's Pakistan Policy

India's Israel Envy

Can India Do a Lebanon in Pakistan?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pakistan: Land of Social Entrepreneurs

"All members of the Commission (on Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation) were agreed, Pakistan is a land of opportunity" i-genius Opportunity Pakistan Report April, 2014

i-genius, headquartered in London, calls itself a "World Community of Social Entrepreneurs". It promotes social entrepreneurship to a network in over 200 countries.


Last year in September, it sent fifteen people (Commissioners) from Australia, Italy, Pakistan and the United Kingdom to Pakistan to survey its social entrepreneurship landscape.  At the end of their trip, all 15 members of the team unanimously conclude that "Pakistan is a land of opportunity" for social entrepreneurship and innovation.  They said:

"The population (of Pakistan) is proportionately one of the youngest in the world. The youth predominately feel passionate about their country and are determined for it to succeed. Entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship seems almost natural to them, perhaps in part due to the lack of large employers. Where their parents forged family businesses in traditional practices often around clothes, food and retail, Pakistani youth are embracing new opportunities that arise from modern technology and creative industries. Likewise, women (young and old) are making an important contribution to the economy and becoming founders of their own businesses. Pakistanis have had to overcome many hardships, but this in turn has made them resourceful, robust and resilient. Such characteristics are ideal in shaping successful social entrepreneurs."

Particular areas they focused on include energy, water and housing.  Writing for the Guardian newspaper, Nishat Ahmad identified some of the key efforts being made in these two areas.

Clean Water:

Nishat Ahmad highlights Pharmagen Water. Founded in 2007, Pharmagen aims to provide poor communities in Pakistan’s second largest city, Lahore, with affordable clean and purified drinking water. It is supported by the Acumen, which invests in entrepreneurs and creates venture capital which can provide solutions to causes of poverty.


Off-grid Energy:

In energy sector,  SRE Solutions is helping with affordable solar panels for the poor. Established just last year with Acumen’s support it offers to harness solar energy for off-grid customers in districts of Punjab and Khayber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

Affordable Housing:

Born after the 2005 earthquake, Ghonsla is working to build affordable housing for the poor. In the coming months Ghonsla is looking into increasing production and collaborating with another insulation firm based in Germany while working locally to increase the company’s footprint in Pakistan’s northern district of Chitral, a scenic yet underdeveloped area bordering the Himalayas.

Startup Finance:

In finance, Nishat Ahmed cites SEED, Social Entrepreneurship and Equity Development, a venture which supports startups and grassroots innovations. SEED provided initial funding for Ghonsla. Its incubation center in Pakistan provide opportunities for young entrepreneurs in their early years of startup. It was established by friends Faraz Khan and Khusro Ansari and runs five distinct projects, including StartUp Dosti, a business plan based competition for early stage startups in India and Pakistan. It seeks to build relationships between the next generation of entrepreneurs from the two countries and the wider South Asian diaspora. As part of this it also launched Pakistan’s first television program closely based on the BBC’s Dragons Den format. It is to be aired in India and Pakistan in November.

Other Sectors:

i-genius report on Pakistan also mentions their commissioners' meetings with other important social entrepreneurs such the Citizens Foundation (TCF) in education sector and Zacky Farms in sustainable agriculture.

i-genius report says that Pakistan's social entrepreneurs are actively seeking ways to fill the huge gaps created by successive governments' continuing neglect of the country's social sector and infrastructure needs.

Summary:

Pakistan has many problems in almost all areas including education, health care, food, water, energy, housing and infrastructure. But the country is also home to one of the youngest and most passionate populations which, in the words of i-genius commissioners, is "determined for it to succeed. Entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship seems almost natural to them, perhaps in part due to the lack of large employers. Where their parents forged family businesses in traditional practices often around clothes, food and retail, Pakistani youth are embracing new opportunities that arise from modern technology and creative industries. Likewise, women (young and old) are making an important contribution to the economy and becoming founders of their own businesses. Pakistanis have had to overcome many hardships, but this in turn has made them resourceful, robust and resilient. Such characteristics are ideal in shaping successful social entrepreneurs".

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Social Entrepreneurship in America and Developing World

TEDx Karachi

light Candles, Do Not Curse Darkness

Social Entrepreneurs Target India, Pakistan

Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley

Fighting Poverty Through Microfinance in Pakistan

Silicon Valley Summit of Pakistani Entrepreneurs 2008

Pakistan's Multi-Billion Dollar IT Industry

Media and Telecom Sectors Growing in Pakistan

Pakistan's Middle Class Growth in 1999-2009

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

First Bitcoin Exchange Starts in Pakistan


"We plan to create a platform (Urdubit Bitcoin Exchange) where people feel safe with the world of Bitcoin and hopefully substitute it for trading locally as easily as Pakistani rupees, while giving everyone an opportunity to invest in this commodity." Zain Tariq, Urdubit, Pakistan


Zain Tariq and Danyal Manzar have launched Pakistan's first Bitcoin exchange called Urbudit, according to media reports.

It represents an attempt to introduce Pakistanis to the  digital currency and bring them into the wider Bitcoin community.



As a virtual currency, Bitcoin is created and stored electronically on a computer or mobile device.  There are over a hundred digital currencies in use today but Bitcoin is by far the most popular one and accounts for more than two-thirds of the virtual currency market.

Satoshi Nakamoto, a computer programmer, proposed Bitcoin, which was an electronic payment system based on mathematical proof. The idea was to produce a currency independent of any central authority, transferable electronically, more or less instantly, with extremely low transaction fees.

Unlike national currencies, no one controls Bitcoin. Bitcoins aren’t printed, like dollars or euros – they’re produced by lots of people running computers all around the world, using software that solves mathematical problems. It’s a growing category of money known as cryptocurrency.

Urdubit exchange's main focus is on bringing liquidity to the Pakistani Bitcoin market, and educate the people on the use of the cryptocurrency as a commodity. To accelerate these processes, Tariq and Manzar built a Bitcoin community and advocacy group called BitcoinPk. According to Tariq, Pakistan's Bitcoin community is still small, although active, and rather dispersed.

There's a lot of activity around Bitcoin in Silicon Valley. A number of entrepreneurs, including Pakistanis, are pursuing opportunities offered by digital currencies. One such Silicon Valley Pakistani entrepreneur is Haseeb Awan, co-founder of BitAccess, who is developing Bitcoin ATM machines.

Bitcoin is attracting the attention of law enforcement agencies, tax authorities, and various government regulators, all of whom are trying to understand how the cryptocurrency fits into existing frameworks. US law-enforcement and securities agencies have said at a recent Senate hearing that digital currencies could be legitimate means of exchange, spurring more investments by venture capitalists.

Bitcoin Price Oct 7 2012 to Oct 15 2014 Source: CoinDesk


The legality of your Bitcoin activities will depend on who you are, where you live, and what you are doing with it, according to Coindesk. Bitcoin has proven to be a contentious issue for regulators and law enforcers, both of which have targeted the digital currency in an attempt to control its use. It's still early in the game, and many legal authorities are still struggling to understand the cryptocurrency, let alone legislate around it. It's another case of legislation significantly lagging technology.  In the end, the currency's future will depend on how many consumers and businesses adopt it and eventual recognition of such transactions by various national governments around the world.

Here's a video explaining Bitcoin mining in Urdu:

http://vimeo.com/84558750


CPU MINING Urdu Tutorial from Dablio Raja on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Financial Services in Pakistan

Mobile Banking in Pakistan

Pakistan Among Most Popular Outsourcing Destination

Microfinance in Pakistan

Pakistanis in Silicon Valley