Sunday, December 28, 2014

India's Exploding Book Market Promotes Anti-Pakistan Authors, Publishers

Have you ever wondered why the publication of anti-Pakistan books has become a major growth industry today? The answer is simple: Authors and publishers of books about Pakistan know where the money is. It's in India where the book sales are rising rapidly in the midst of continuing global decline. Strong profit motive drives them to write what Indians want to read. Those, like Professor Wendy Doniger of University of Chicago, who ignore this reality are punished by having their books withdrawn and pulped. No publisher wants to take this risk now. And authors who wish to get published have to understand it too.

Indian Book Market:

India's English language book market is the world's third largest, behind that of the United States at the top and of the United Kingdom at number 2.  It is the fastest growing market today which will make India the world's number 1 market in the next ten years.  It could happen sooner if the book sales in the US and the UK decline faster or those in India grow more rapidly than they are already.


India's Pakistan Narrative:

The best way to understand the Indian narrative about Pakistan today is to read "The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World" by Canada's McGill University Professor Thazha Varkey Paul, a graduate of India's Jawaharlal Nehru University, who describes Pakistan as a "warrior state" and a "conspicuous failure". It is among a slew of recently published anti-Pakistan books by mainly Indian and western authors which paint Pakistan as a rogue state which deserves to be condemned, isolated and sanctioned by the international community.  Others, including Christine Fair and Husain Haqqani have also used the same narrative to get a lot of buzz and sell books in India and the West.

Christine Fair's About-Face:

C. Christine Fair is an assistant professor in the Center for Peace and Security Studies (CPASS), within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She has only recently wised up to the opportunity to sell lots of books in India.

Before writing and promoting "Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army's Way of War", an anti-Pakistan book, American analyst and author Christine Fair said this in 2009: "Having visited the Indian mission in Zahedan, Iran, I can assure you they are not issuing visas as the main activity! Moreover, India has run operations from its mission in Mazar (through which it supported the Northern Alliance) and is likely doing so from the other consulates it has reopened in Jalalabad and Qandahar along the border. Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Baluchistan".

Husain Haqqani's Double Game:

Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani ambassador to US, has been the darling of India and the West since the publication of his book "Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military" in 2005. He has recently followed it up with another Pakistan-bashing book "Magnificent Delusions" in which he accuses Pakistan of lying and playing a double-game with the West.

Washington Post's Richard Lieby's review summed up the book in the following words: "Read his book and you might think Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington from 2008 to 2011, is no friend of his homeland. Its leaders are liars, double-dealers and shakedown artists, he says. They have been this way for decades, and, as Haqqani ably documents, the United States often has served as Pakistan’s willing dupe. But for all its criticism of Pakistan, “Magnificent Delusions”is a necessary prescriptive: If there’s any hope of salvaging what seems like a doomed relationship, it helps to know how everything went so wrong. Haqqani is here to tell us."

If one really analyses Haqqani's narrative, one has to conclude that Pakistanis are extraordinarily clever in deceiving the United States and its highly sophisticated policymakers who have been taken for a ride by Pakistanis for over 6 decades. It raises the following questions:

Question 1: Given the belief that Pakistan would not survive, how did the country defy such expectations? What role did its "villainous" military play in its political and economic survival? What does the history say about rapid economic development of Pakistan under military regimes?

Question 2: Wouldn't any country that suffered a military invasion by its much larger neighbor and its break-up be justified in feeling threatened? Wouldn't such a country build deterrence against further adventures by its bigger neighbor?

Question 3:  If the standard western narrative is correct, why have successive US administrations been so naive and gullible as to be duped by Pakistan's politicians and generals for such a long period of time? Is it not an indictment of all US administrations from Harry S. Truman's to Barack H. Obama's?

Question 4:  What role did Pakistan play in the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and the subsequent break-up of the Soviet Union?

 Question 5:  What price has Pakistan paid for facilitating US military operations in Afghanistan? How many Pakistani soldiers and civilians have lost their lives since 911?

Debunking TV Paul's Narrative: 

TV Paul describes Pakistan as a "warrior state" and a "conspicuous failure". Is it really?

Let's do a point-by-point examination of Paul's narrative:

1. Paul argues: Seemingly from its birth, Pakistan has teetered on the brink of becoming a failed state.

In 1947 at the time of independence, Pakistan was described as a "Nissen hut or a tent" by British Viceroy of India Lord Mountbatten in a conversation with Jawarhar Lal Nehru. However, Pakistan defied this expectation that it would not survive as an independent nation and the partition of India would be quickly reversed. Pakistan not only survived but thrived with its economic growth rate easily exceeding the "Hindu growth rate" in India for most of its history.

Agriculture Value Added Per Capita in 2000 US $. Source: World Bank


Even now when the economic growth rate has considerably slowed, Pakistan has lower levels of poverty and hunger than its neighbor India, according UNDP and IFPRI. The key reason for lower poverty in Pakistan is its per capita value added in agriculture which is twice that of India. Agriculture employs 40% of Pakistanis and 60% of Indians. The poor state of rural India can be gauged by the fact that an Indian farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes.

2. Paul: Its economy is as dysfunctional as its political system is corrupt; both rely heavily on international aid for their existence.

The fact is that foreign to aid to Pakistan has been declining as a percentage of its GDP since 1960s when it reached a peak of 11% of GDP in 1963. Today, foreign aid makes up less than 2% of its GDP of $240 billion.

Foreign Aid as Percentage of Pakistan GDP. Source: World Bank


3. Paul: Taliban forces occupy 30 percent of the country.

 The Taliban "occupy" a small part of FATA called North Waziristan which is about 4,700 sq kilometers, about 0.5% of its 796,000 sq kilometers area. Talking about insurgents "occupying" territory, about 40% of Indian territory is held by Maoist insurgents in the "red corridor" in Central India, according to Indian security analyst Bharat Verma.

4. Paul: It possesses over a hundred nuclear weapons that could easily fall into terrorists' hands.

A recent assessment by Nuclear Threat Initiative ranked Pakistan above India on "Nuclear Materials Security Index".

5. Paul: Why, in an era when countries across the developing world are experiencing impressive economic growth and building democratic institutions, has Pakistan been such a conspicuous failure?

Pakistan's nominal GDP has quadrupled from $60 billion in 2000 to $240 billion now. Along with total GDP, Pakistan's GDP per capita has also grown significantly over the years, from about $500 in Year 2000 to $1000 per person in 2007 on President Musharraf's watch, elevating it from a low-income to a middle-income country in the last decade.I wouldn't call that a failure.


Pakistan Per Capita GDP 1960-2012. Source: World Bank 


Goldman Sachs' Jim O'Neill, the economist who coined BRIC, has put Pakistan among the Next 11 group in terms of growth in the next several decades.

6. Paul argues that the "geostrategic curse"--akin to the "resource curse" that plagues oil-rich autocracies--is at the root of Pakistan's unique inability to progress. Since its founding in 1947, Pakistan has been at the center of major geopolitical struggles: the US-Soviet rivalry, the conflict with India, and most recently the post 9/11 wars.

Pakistan is no more a warrior state that many others in the world. It spends no more than 3.5% of its GDP on defense, lower than most of the nations of the world.

7. Paul says: No matter how ineffective the regime is, massive foreign aid keeps pouring in from major powers and their allies with a stake in the region.The reliability of such aid defuses any pressure on political elites to launch the far-reaching domestic reforms necessary to promote sustained growth, higher standards of living, and more stable democratic institutions.

"Massive foreign aid" adds up to less than 1% of Pakistan's GDP. Pakistan's diaspora sends it over 5% of Pakistan's GDP in remittances.

8. Paul: Excessive war-making efforts have drained Pakistan's limited economic resources without making the country safer or more stable. Indeed, despite the regime's emphasis on security, the country continues to be beset by widespread violence and terrorism.

Pakistan Defense Spending as % of GDP Source: World Indicators


 In spite of declining military spending which is just 3.5% of its GDP now which is average for its size, Pakistan has achieved strategic parity with India by developing nuclear weapons. It has since prevented India from invading Pakistan as it did in 1971 to break up the country. Pakistani military has shown in Swat in 2009 that it is quite capable of dealing with insurgents when ordered to do so by the civilian govt.

Growth in Asia's Middle Class. Source: Asian Development Bank


While it is true that Pakistan has not lived up to its potential when compared with other US Cold War allies in East and Southeast Asia, it is wrong to describe it as "conspicuous failure". Pakistan should be compared with other countries in South Asia region, not East Asia or Southeast Asia. Comparison with its South Asian neighbors India and Bangladesh shows that an average Pakistani is less poor, less hungry and more upwardly mobile, according to credible data from multiple independent sources.

Conclusion: 

Pakistan is neither a "warrior state" nor a "conspicuous failure" as argued by Professor TV Paul. To the contrary, it has been the victim of the invading Indian Army in 1971 which cut off  its eastern wing. Pakistan has built a minimum nuclear deterrent in response to India's development of a nuclear arsenal. Pakistan has responded to the 1971 trauma by ensuring that such a tragedy does not happen again, particularly through a foreign invasion.

Pakistan is a complex country. It is much more upwardly mobile than many of its neighbors, including India.  While the country is suffering growing pains like any other developing nation, the false narrative of exaggeration of its difficulties being promoted by a flurry of books bashing Pakistan is driven more by desire for commerce than by serious academic search for truth. Assertions made in such books fall apart when subjected to the close scrutiny that I have done in this post.

Today, Pakistan faces some of the toughest challenges of its existence. It has to deal with the Taliban insurgency and a weak economy. It has to solve its deepening energy crisis. It has to address growing water scarcity. While I believe Pakistanis are a very resilient and determined people, the difficult challenges they face will test them, particularly their leaders who have been falling short of their expectations in recent years.


Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Debunking TV Paul

Challenging Gall-Haqqani-Paul Narrative

Looking Back at 1940 Lahore Resolution

Pakistan's Economic History

History of Literacy in Pakistan

Upwardly Mobile Pakistan

Asian Tigers Brought Prosperity

Value Added Agriculture in Pakistan

Are India and Pakistan Failed States?

Musharraf Accelerated Growth of Pakistan's Financial and Human Capital

Pakistan's Nuclear Program

Pakistan on Goldman Sachs' BRIC+N11 Growth Map

22 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

A Dawn Op Ed by Ambassador Munir Akram:


A lot has been written and said about Pakistan’s support to insurgencies in Afghanistan and Kashmir. Not much has appeared about India’s longer and wider role in clandestine warfare against its neighbours, Sri Lanka, Nepal and particularly Pakistan. A quick viewing of a Facebook video of a recent lecture delivered by Ajit Doval, India’s ex-spymaster and now the national security adviser, should set all doubts about India’s clandestine wars at rest. Mr Doval calls Pakistan the “enemy”; extols Indian intelligence’s ability to compromise and infiltrate the Kashmir insurgency; crows about the beheading of Pakistani soldiers by the TTP and advocates a policy of “defensive offense” against Pakistan.

Actually, India’s shadow wars against Pakistan commenced in 1971 when it actively trained and financed the Mukti Bahini to fight the Pakistan Army in East Pakistan, laying the ground for India’s eventual military intervention to break up Pakistan. Even after the Simla Agreement, bomb blasts continued in Karachi and other Pakistani cities to keep Pakistan destabilised and defensive. New Delhi has missed no opportunity to support Baloch, Pakhtun and Sindhi ‘nationalists’ and other dissidents in Pakistan.

Indira Gandhi’s attack on Amritsar’s Golden Temple created an opportunity for Pakistan to pay India back in its own coin. But its support for the Khalistan insurgency was also a ‘defensive offensive’ move to neutralise the threat of an Indian attack at the behest of its Soviet ally which Pakistan, in collaboration with the US, had pinned down in Afghanistan. India’s ‘warrior’ prime minister was assassinated by her Sikh guards. Eventually, after president Zia’s demise, the Khalistan insurgency was brutally put down by India. There is considerable speculation to this day whether the incoming PPP government released a list of Sikh insurgents to the Indians.

Even as the Khalistan insurgency died, Pakistan was offered its own ‘opportunity of the century’ — as the East Pakistan revolt was called by the Indians — to secure self-determination for the Kashmiris. In December 1989, the Kashmiris revolted at the rigged elections there. On 20 December, hundreds of peaceful Kashmiri demonstrators were mowed down by Indian security forces, unleashing an armed struggle for freedom. Pakistan’s intelligence agencies, fresh from their success in backing the mujahideen in Afghanistan, opted to support the religious parties, instead of the indigenous Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, to lead the Kashmiri struggle.

Under the pressure of the insurgency, India agreed in 1994 to discuss a Kashmir settlement with Pakistan. India’s Foreign Secretary offered a settlement based on “autonomy plus, independence minus” for occupied Kashmir. Unfortunately, Pakistan was not quick enough to press its advantage and secure a good deal for the Kashmiris. India used the time to infiltrate and compromise the insurgency (as Mr Doval boasted). Some jihadi groups, like Al Faran, resorted to kidnapping and killing foreigners. This was the initial step in India’s campaign to transform the Kashmiri struggle from a legitimate liberation struggle into a terrorist movement.

When the US, after 9/11, launched its war on terrorism, India’s principal aim became to equate the Kashmiri struggle with global terrorism and Al Qaeda. New Delhi got its chance when ‘terrorists’ attacked the Indian parliament in December 2001. Despite the fact that Pakistan’s culpability was unproven, a commitment was extracted from president Musharraf’s government that Pakistan would not allow its territory to be used for ‘terrorism’ against others. Acceptance of this ‘obligation’ was interpreted as an admission of Pakistan’s culpability. The Kashmiri struggle was over for all intents and purposes.


http://www.dawn.com/news/1154894

Riaz Haq said...

From Newsweek about Lahore Literary Festival:


The hope that one day Pakistan will escape from the clutches of jihadist terrorism, corrupt politicians and an overbearing army came alive last weekend at the Lahore Literary Festival, where mostly young audiences averaging 25,000 people a day applauded criticisms and wider worries about the functioning of the country as well as enjoying other sessions on literature and the arts.

The festival took place in the shadow of a bomb blast in the city on February 17 that killed more than six people, but it matched the famous Jaipur Literature Festival for the mood, the energy and the excitement in the relaxed surroundings of the Alhambra Arts Centre, and it beat Jaipur for passion.

The enthusiasm during the three days was evident not only from the audience participation, but also from long lines of people waiting outside the five auditoriums and a queue that stretched 100 yards at a well stocked bookshop. People remembered and celebrated how Lahore had always been a center for the arts.

The secret that the organizers kept to themselves until the end was that the Punjab state government, worried about security risks, had canceled permission for the festival to take place on the afternoon before it was due to start, just as people were arriving from abroad and other parts of Pakistan. It took Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister and elder brother of Punjab’s chief minister Shabaz, to intervene and give the permission at 9 p.m. that evening.

Some music and other outside events were canceled, but otherwise the festival went ahead without fuss and included a stimulating exhibition that displayed the country’s vibrant contemporary art scene. There were several rings of highly visible security around the venue, though the police and other guards looked relatively relaxed and showed none of the officious heavy presence one would expect in India. A couple of foreign governments and agencies, including the British Council, panicked because of the bomb blast and withdrew approval for their sponsored speakers’ presence.

“People are almost surprised to see themselves here,” I was told by Salima Hashmi, a painter and writer, and daughter of the famous Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz. “They see it almost as an act of defiance, and they are speaking with the freedom to say what they want.”

http://www.newsweek.com/lahore-talking-books-and-politics-310280

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpt of Aqil Shah on TV Paul's book "Warrior State" and Christine Fair's "Fighting to the End":

" ...claims in The Warrior State are contestable on several grounds.
One, both South Korea and Taiwan enjoyed varying degrees of external
security guarantees from the United States, so they had a better chance of
prioritizing economics over warfare. Two, and unlike ethnically divided
Pakistan, both South Korea and Taiwan were also homogenous societies,
which ultimately facilitated their transitions to democracy by insulating
them from the potential challenge of peacefully accommodating ethnic
diversity. Finally, neither Turkey nor Indonesia was even half as insecure
as Pakistan, and their main security threats were internal. Hence, as Paul
himself concedes, neither had the need to overspend on defense or develop
the tools, such as the use of nonstate actors, needed to fight a much stronger
external enemy (p. 165).
Second, he attributes Pakistan’s thwarted development to its geographic
location, which has put a “geostrategic curse” on the country (pp. 3, 15,
21–22, 33). According to the book, this strategic curse works much like the well-known curse of natural resources. In return for serving (and at
times undermining) U.S. security interests, Pakistan’s elites have enjoyed
access to strategic rents, which has discouraged them from expanding the
state’s extractive capacity to achieve the economic strength required for
maintaining the security competition with India (pp. 18–23).
This “rentier” thesis has much going for it but leaves one question
unanswered: why did Pakistan not reform itself when the strategic rents
dried up—for example, in 1965–80 and 1990–2001? Paul alludes to the
path-dependent nature of ideas (p. 23), so it is reasonable to infer that even
in the absence of U.S. military aid, Pakistani elites continued to harbor their
hyper-realpolitik strategic assumptions. However, it is not clear where these
assumptions come from, or how they stick. On closer analysis, it appears
more plausible that once Pakistan’s founding fathers adopted a warrior state
strategy in response to structural insecurity at the outset of independence,
these Hobbesian beliefs developed a life of their own, especially because the
powerful military institution internalized them. "


"Fair seems to discount the role of political learning on elite
attitudes and behavior. As the case of Brazil and other Latin American
countries demonstrates, the experience of authoritarian government can
unite political elite against military praetorianism and electoral competition
can create incentives for them to erode the military’s undue political and
strategic influence. Pakistan’s most recent transition from authoritarian rule
in 2007–8 has revealed that major political parties like the Pakistan Peoples
Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have learned
their lessons from exile, incarceration, and repression under authoritarian
rule and appear strongly committed to the democratic process. In May 2013,
Pakistan broke its seemingly permanent curse of zero democratic turnover
of power from one full-term elected government to another when the PPP
government completed its five-year tenure and Nawaz Sharif’s opposition
PML-N won the parliamentary elections to form a new government. As Fair
herself admits, this successful transition was made possible in good part by
Sharif’s ability to resist the temptation of knocking on the garrison’s door
to unseat the PPP government (p. 265). "

http://www.nbr.org/publications/asia_policy/free/ap19/AsiaPolicy19_PakistanBRRT_January2015.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

“I AM a rambo b**ch”: Meet drone defender Christine Fair who wants #India to militarily SQUASH #Pakistan http://www.salon.com/2015/11/04/i_am_a_rambo_bch_meet_the_drone_defender_who_hates_neo_cons_attacks_glenn_greenwald_and_may_have_conflicts_of_her_own/ … via @Salon

In a debate on the Al Jazeera program UpFront in October, Fair butted heads with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, a prominent critic of the U.S. drone program. Fair, notorious for her heated rhetoric, accused Greenwald of being a “liar” and insulted Al Jazeera several times, claiming the network does not appreciate “nuance” in the way she does. Greenwald in turn criticized Fair for hardly letting him get a word in; whenever he got a rare chance to speak, she would constantly interrupt him, leading host Mehdi Hasan to ask her to stop.

The lack of etiquette aside, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Shadi Hamid remarked that Fair’s arguments in the debate were “surprisingly weak.”

After the debate, Fair took to Twitter to mud-sling. She expressed pride at not letting Greenwald speak, boasting she “shut that lying clown down.” “I AM a rambo b**ch,” she proclaimed.

Fair also called Greenwald a “pathological liar, a narcissist, [and] a fool.” She said she would like to put Greenwald and award-winning British journalist Mehdi Hasan in a Pakistani Taliban stronghold, presumably to be tortured, “then ask ’em about drones.”

Elsewhere on social media, Fair has made similarly provocative comments. In a Facebook post, Fair called Pakistan “an enemy” and said “We invaded the wrong dog-damned country,” implying the U.S. should have invaded Pakistan, not Afghanistan.

In another Facebook post, Fair insisted that “India needs to woman up and SQUASH Pakistan militarily, diplomatically, politically and economically.” Both India and Pakistan are nuclear states.

Fair proudly identifies as a staunch liberal and advocates for a belligerent foreign policy. She rails against neo-conservatives, but chastises the Left for criticizing U.S. militarism. In 2012, she told a journalist on Twitter “Dude! I am still very much pro drones. Sorry. They are the least worst option. My bed of coals is set to 11.”

Despite the sporadic jejune Twitter tirade, Fair has established herself as one of the drone program’s most vociferous proponents. Fair is a specialist in South Asian politics, culture, and languages, with a PhD from the University of Chicago. She has published extensively, in a wide variety of both scholarly and journalistic publications. If you see an article in a large publication defending the U.S. drone program in Pakistan, there is a good chance she wrote or co-authored it.

Reviewing the “mountains of evidence”

After her debate with Greenwald, Fair wrote an article for the Brookings Institution’s Lawfare blog. While making jabs at Greenwald, Hasan, and Al Jazeera; characterizing her participation in the debate as an “ignominious distinction”; and implying that The Intercept, the publication co-founded by Greenwald with other award-winning journalists, is a criminal venture, not a whistleblowing news outlet, Fair forcefully defended the drone program.

Secret government documents leaked to The Intercept by a whistleblower show that 90 percent of people killed in U.S. drone strikes in a five-month period in provinces on Afghanistan’s eastern border with Pakistan were not the intended targets. Fair accused The Intercept of “abusing” and selectively interpreting the government’s data. In a followup piece in the Huffington Post, she maintained that the findings of the Drone Papers do not apply to the drone program in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Saeed Book Bank: A Storied #Bookstore and Its Late Oracle Leave an Imprint on #Islamabad #Pakistan http://nyti.ms/1NprQkA

That approach helped Mr. Qureshi make an extraordinary future for Saeed Book Bank, particularly in an era when online sales have been driving independent bookstores out of business, and in a region where unfettered book piracy adds to retailers’ travails.

With his passion for books, Mr. Qureshi built one of the biggest bookstores in the world — mostly selling books in English, in a country where that is a second language for most people.

Saeed Book Bank has 42,000 square feet of usually busy floor space over three stories, displays 200,000 titles, and stocks more than four million books in its five warehouses — all, Ahmad Saeed said, “by the grace of the almighty.”

(His visitor had not read “Fallen Leaves,” so Mr. Saeed sent one of his 92 employees to fetch a copy. “It is so good, you must read this book.” Another visitor to the office, an aged doctor named S.H. Naqvi, agreed, having himself read it at their insistence: “It will touch your heart,” he said.)

Saeed Jan Qureshi came from a family that worked for a feudal landlord named Mir Banda Ali. His estates in southern Sindh Province were so vast that five railway stops reputedly lay within his property lines. His library was similarly scaled, and as a 9-year-old, Saeed was put to work dusting the shelves. One day Mr. Ali found him reading instead of working, and told the boy to get back to work immediately — but added that he could take a book home every night, so long as he returned it in mint condition.

Saeed never got past high school but he was exceedingly well-read, and after school he found a job as a book salesman for a company that sent him to its Peshawar branch. Later, in the 1950s, he opened his own bookshop in Peshawar.

During the Cold War years that followed, Pakistan was an outpost in the American rivalry with the Soviet Union, and Peshawar became an important military base, and later a vital C.I.A. base of operations, particularly during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Say what you will about the spooks, they were readers, and Mr. Qureshi built his business around catering to their literary tastes.


(Speaking of Afghanistan, Mr. Saeed said: “Have you read ‘The Spinner’s Tale,’ by Omar Shahid Hamid? No?” He seemed mildly shocked. Moments later a Pan Macmillan paperback copy of the novel materialized. “I am sorry, we’ve sold out of ‘Fallen Leaves’ — it’s so hard to keep in stock — but read this,” Ahmad said. “A lot of it is set in Afghanistan.”)

Later the rise of terrorism and fundamentalist Islam made Peshawar, capital of the wild frontier lands of Pakistan, a dangerous place for a bookseller — especially one who insisted on carrying magazines like Cosmopolitan and Heavy Metal, books by Karen Armstrong on Islam, and even the scientist Richard Dawkins’s atheist treatise, “The God Delusion.” (“You just wouldn’t believe how that sells,” Mr. Saeed said. “We buy a thousand copies from Random House every year, year after year.”)

On the other hand, he said, another best-seller is “The Message of the Qur’an,” an English translation of the holy book by Muhammad Asad, a European Jewish scholar and diplomat who converted to Islam.

Forced to close shop in Peshawar, Mr. Qureshi focused his efforts in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, a place heavily insulated from the country’s more extremist elements. Hard times followed as even Islamabad became a “no families” posting for diplomats and aid workers, but by then the bookstore was so big that its sheer breadth kept it viable, as plenty of Pakistanis read books in English.

Riaz Haq said...

Saeed Book Bank: A Storied #Bookstore and Its Late Oracle Leave an Imprint on #Islamabad #Pakistan http://nyti.ms/1NprQkA

NY Times Saeed Book Bank Story Contd:

“Other Pakistani booksellers laughed at us that we never carried pirated books,” Mr. Saeed said. “But only best-sellers get pirated, and we carry everything.”

The result is a bookstore of impressive scope, quirky and catholic. “Islamic Fashion,” a glossy coffee table book and a best-seller, vies for shelf space with “Queer Studies.”

A thick condolence book for Mr. Qureshi, the third so far, sits on a counter, which sags under the weight of a couple hundred miniature books as well. A few rows away, an entire shelf is given over to Noam Chomsky, 26 titles in all, which may well be more than any bookstore in the world displays for the radical linguist and philosopher.

“Honestly, Chomsky sells here,” Mr. Saeed said.

As the eldest son, Mr. Saeed was always destined to take over the business when his father passed away, and to learn the trade he traveled with his father to international book fairs; annually to Frankfurt, thrice yearly to London, twice yearly to Delhi.

But not to the United States, the Saeed Book Bank’s biggest source of books.

“We spend $500,000 annually in America, and I can’t get a visa,” Mr. Saeed said. “The consular officer said, ‘Why can’t you just order by email and fax?’ They just don’t understand about books. You have to go to the warehouses, and see them and feel them — that’s how you buy books.”

(“Fallen Leaves” again: “When my father was sick, he said, ‘Read this book, and you will calm down,’” Mr. Saeed said. “He was right.” Dr. Naqvi could quote lines from it. “What if it is for life’s sake that we must die?” Otherwise, “youth would find no room on the earth.”)


Mr. Qureshi made sure his children had the education he did not. Ahmad has a master’s degree in business administration, with ambitious plans to computerize the store’s inventory and build up what is now a clunky and unsophisticated online business. Nonetheless, it sells $1,000 worth of books a day online in a place where credit cards are still a novelty.

For his father, books were more than just a business, Mr. Saeed said. One of the penitent former book thieves who dropped in was Suleman Khan, the vice chancellor of Iqra University, in Islamabad.

“He came to say that when he was a child, 6 years old or so, he stole an Archie comic book and my father saw him,” Mr. Saeed said. “He said he was afraid he was going to get slapped, but my father said: ‘This is good that you like books. So every day you can take a book but keep it in mint condition and return it when you’re done so I can still sell it.’”

And then the vice chancellor said, “Everything that I am now, I owe to your father.”

(Dr. Naqvi, who is getting on in years, had seemed to doze off for a moment but awoke when he heard that story. “‘Fallen Leaves,’” he sighed. “You have to read that book. Everything is in there.”)

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpts: Stop Writing Pakistan Blank Checks by Daniel Markey:


Mending U.S. assistance to Pakistan requires a more sophisticated and comprehensive approach for precisely the reasons that Corker notes: The countries continue to share both overlapping and diverging interests with this nuclear-armed nation of nearly 200 million people. Washington should keep the following points in mind as it reconsiders assistance to Pakistan.

First, Washington should be careful not to overestimate the leverage generated by U.S. assistance. It has learned this lesson through its long experience in Pakistan. Despite tens of billions of dollars in aid since 9/11, Islamabad still does not see the world through the United States’ preferred strategic prism — whether in Afghanistan, India, or on the issue of nuclear proliferation. Then again, history also shows that U.S. sanctions on Pakistan throughout the 1990s failed to curtail Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions, the political dominance of its military, or the state’s support to terrorist groups like the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba that have engulfed the region in violence. Aid is no panacea. Neither are sanctions.

Second, U.S. assistance is never delivered in a vacuum; its political effects must be assessed in a broader context. For instance, U.S. lawmakers should not be surprised that billions of dollars in development assistance over the past decade failed to win Pakistani “hearts and minds,” when the arrival of that money coincided with a massive surge in violence at least partly caused by the U.S. war in neighboring Afghanistan.

Similarly, Sen. Corker’s threat to hold up FMF until Pakistan turns against the Haqqani network is only the latest wrinkle in the long, complicated saga of the U.S. war in Afghanistan and its associated dealings with Pakistan. Unfortunately, that saga is full of mixed messages being sent from Washington to Islamabad. Right now, U.S. officials are not simply using assistance as coercive leverage to force Pakistan to fight the Haqqanis; they are also asking for Pakistan’s help to facilitate a “reconciliation dialogue” with all factions of the Afghan insurgency (including the Haqqanis). These mixed messages come at a time of deep Pakistani doubts about the future of America’s commitment to Afghanistan’s struggling government and security forces. Under such circumstances, Pakistan’s decisions about how to manage relations with the Haqqanis will surely be influenced by many factors beyond U.S. aid.

Third, Pakistan is a high-stakes game for the United States. Washington should steer clear of risky policy moves — including threats to curtail assistance and reimbursements — unless they hold the realistic promise of significant gains. Washington must appreciate that fixing today’s patently broken aid strategy is a tricky business, and that some “solutions” could make the problem even worse. This is not an unqualified argument against cutting Pakistan’s aid, but only for thinking carefully and acting with purpose.

Many academics and pundits have correctly pointed out failings in U.S. assistance to Pakistan. Most damningly, they argue that U.S. aid is often worse than ineffective; it is positively counterproductive. These critics have a ...


http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/02/18/pakistan-corker-military-aid-blank-checks-corruption-terrorism/

Riaz Haq said...

For the love of #books in #Pakistan where book sales are growing amidst global decline #WorldBookDay

http://www.dawn.com/news/1166006

Q. There is a general global decline in book sales, how is that affecting your business?

A. There may be a decline in sales globally, but fortunately in Pakistan and India, book sales are actually going up. The reason is the growth in population and even literacy rate. The trend of reading e-books on handheld devices may have affected book sales in the developed world but not here.

This is despite the fact that the Pakistani government has never taken steps to encourage the book business. Importing a book costs 18 per cent of the price, including taxes and transportation costs. In India the book business is thriving because the government offered publishers lucrative incentives.

The government even buys back any unsold book stocks from publishers at 10 per cent higher than the cost.

For Saeed Book Bank, in particular, business is good because of our scale. We import much of our stock. Publishers around the world know us and offer us better prices than smaller buyers. This allows us to offer competitive prices. Some publishers in the United Kingdom and the United States even offer us refunds on any unsold stock.

Secondly, even though it is a small city, Islamabad is a big market for books. It’s a city of diplomats and officers, so many people read. Book lovers from all over the region, come and shop at Saeed Book Bank. We even export books to South Africa, Nigeria and China.

Riaz Haq said...

Former envoy (Husain Haqqani) lobbying against #Pakistan in #Washington: Aziz

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1127824/former-envoy-lobbying-pakistan-aziz/

A former Pakistani ambassador in Washington has been lobbying against his own country and creating problems for the government in Islamabad, says foreign policy wizard. Though Sartaj Aziz didn’t name anyone, it was obvious that he was referring to Hussain Haqqani.

“He is trying to circumvent all our diplomatic efforts aimed at boosting bilateral ties between Pakistan and the United States,” Aziz said. “The Foreign Office has serious reservations about his activities in the US.”

Indian PM’s visit to US: International lobby ‘active against Pakistan’

Aziz made the statement in the lower house of parliament after opposition MPs criticized the government over recent foreign policy fiascos. Aziz downplayed the opposition’s criticism, saying Pakistan had the lowest budget for the Foreign Office — Rs15 billion — while Turkey had a Rs82 billion budget and Iran Rs40 billion. “The Foreign Office budget has been increased by 14% over the last three years,” he said.

Foreign policy

According to Aziz, Pakistan was pursuing a ‘balanced policy’ based on non-interference and protection of national interests and nuclear assets and its sovereignty.

“Indian Prime Minister Narandra Modi’s recent trip to Muslim countries should not be construed as a failure of Pakistan’s foreign policy,” he said. Pakistan enjoys historical relations with the Muslim world based on common religion, Aziz said. “Modi’s visit will not affect our ties.”

Aziz also said that Pakistan was ‘making successful efforts’ against India’s attempt to seek a membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. About the new border management plan with Afghanistan, the de facto foreign minister said: “The war against terror cannot be won without effective border management.”

All is not bad

Aziz said criticism for criticism’s sake would not go down well as the CPEC, Central Asia-South Asia-1000 and besides Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline were the projects for regional connectivity. “Pakistan’s political role will enhance after becoming a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.”

About Afghanistan, the foreign policy wizard said Pakistan was pursuing a ‘no-favourite policy’ and making efforts to restore peace in the war-ravaged country through the Quadrilateral Coordination Group.

Meanwhile, NA approved 19 demands for grants of four ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Food Security and Water and Power. The opposition had moved over 700 cut motions but they were rejected in a voice vote.

Riaz Haq said...

PPP and Zardari now recognize Husain Haqqani is toxic. Unfortunately it's too late. A lot of damage has already been done and continues to done to Pakistan by this Benedict Arnold. I think Iqbal's lines about Mir Jaafar and Mir Sadiq apply to this guy more than anyone else "Jaafar uz Bangal Sadiq uz Dakan/ Nang e Millat Nang e Deen Nange Watan"

http://www.dawn.com/news/1266983/ppp-disowns-hussain-haqqani

Riaz Haq said...

India's ex National Security Advisor and Foreign Secretary J.N. Dixit (1936-2005) :

"The reason Britain partitioned India was to fragment Hindu areas into political entities and ensure Pakistan's emergence as the largest and most cohesive political power in the subcontinent. Pakistan's ultimate aim is to fragment India. Pakistani invasion of Kashmir in 1948 and subsequent wars are part of this continuous exercise. The Kargil war and the proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir are the latest example of this pressure. India has not been decisive and surgical in resisting Pakistani subversion. India has voluntarily given concessions to Pakistan despite defeating it in all major conflicts. Pakistan's long term objective is to ensure that India does not emerge as the most influential power in the South Asian region. The Pakistani power structure has a powerful antagonism toward Hindu-majority civil society in India. Pakistan has sought the support of a large number of Muslim countries and Asian and Western powers (China ad the US) to keep India on the defensive. Pakistan's continued questioning of Indian secularism, democracy and constitutional institutions is a deliberate attempt to generate friction within India. Pakistani support of the secessionist and insurgent forces in Jammu and Kashmir, in Punjab and in the north-eastern states of India confirms this impression."

Riaz Haq said...

Indian PM Nehru's Defense MInister Krishna Menon:

"In Pakistan's view the Partition is only the beginning. Her idea is to get a jumping-off ground to take the whole of India.....it was from the Mughals that the British took over (India). Now the British having gone, they (Muslims) must come back (to rule all of India)"

Riaz Haq said...

“To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic Races — the Jews,” RSS leader Golwalkar wrote with approval. “Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by. Ever since that evil day, when Moslems first landed in Hindustan, right up to the present moment, the Hindu Nation has been gallantly fighting on to take on these despoilers. The Race Spirit has been awakening.”

Riaz Haq said...

On Hussain Haqqani by Haider Mehdi.
My considered view is that HH was turned by the Indians in the early 80's, when he was in Hong Kong as a rabid Islamist, writing for the now defunct, Far Eastern Economic Review.
And this is where his journey started, to embed himself as an Indian mole, in Pakistan's governance structures.
And because of his radical Islamist views, he also caught Gen. Zia's fancy, the then Pakistani military dictator, who himself was a dyed in the wool, radical fundamentalist.
I don't have any evidence to substantiate my hypothesis, except Haqqani's subsequent actions, behaviors and career moves.
Incredibly, he's changed more political ideologies than a kid's diapers, to suit his masters, both Indian and Pakistani, and the needs of the times.
From a rabid Islamist Taliban like activist, to a right wing democrat, to a supporter of military intervention, to left wing secularist, he's been to pretty much every base!
Working for the enemy is not uncommon. Personal and political biases, political philosophy, ego, greed, power, privilege, position, money, anger, bitterness, all contribute in creating a Kim Philby, the British MI6 mole embedded by the Russians, or a Gunter Guillaume, the East German spy, working as West German Chancellor Willy Brandt's assistant, or our very own Hussain Haqqani.
Here's why I think HH is or was an Indian mole.
1. He has known anti Pakistan views which he has held for a long time. Believes that partition was a very bad idea, and also holds very uncharitable views about the Quaid.
2. He managed to wrangle himself into both the PMLN and PPP governments. And willing to work in any role which gave him access and proximity, to power centers.
He was Ambassador to Sri Lanka under Nawaz. Secretary Information under BB. Then, Chairman, House Building Finance Corporation (imagine HBFC) again under her.
He desperately tried to join Gen. Musharraf's government. Offered his unconditional services to do "anything". Wanted to become Musharraf's media advisor. I know this from several horses.
And remember, this offer to Gen. Musharraf, from a man, who now presents himself to the world as the great upholder of democracy in Pakistan and virulently against military intervention.
Finally, he becomes the Pakistani Ambassador to the USA, under Asif Zardari, where he probably caused the most damage.
If his Memogate ploy had been successful, he was well on his way to National Security advisor with the ISI under him. God knows what the Army would have done to him. But that's another story. And then it was a short walk to either Interior or Defence Minister, and finally the ultimate prize. PM of Pakistan.
An Indian mole as a Pakistani PM!
He is unbelievably brilliant and masterfully cunning. Smooth as a snake and vicious as a viper. Can mesmerize anyone with his Lukhnawi charm, destroy you with his devastating intellect and make Lucifer look like Gabriel, especially in his writings.
Now that he stands exposed, at least to most Pakistanis, he now presents himself to the West, as their poster boy of democracy and anti militarism.
He has perhaps been one of the biggest factors in arming the anti Pakistan and pro Indian lobbies in the US, with information and evidence acquired through the very sensitive positions he occupied in the "service" of Pakistan.
He now works for the Hudson Institute, in Washington D.C. a known pro Israeli and pro Indian think tank, and makes himself relevant by espousing anti Pakistan narratives, cunningly presented as liberal and anti militarism views.
They liberally fund his research and his books and writings. In addition, he is actively supported and indirectly funded by staunchly anti-Pakistani and pro-Indian lobbies in the USA. And he gets himself invited or is invited to major anti Pakistan forums such as the one pictured below.

https://www.facebook.com/haider.mehdi/posts/10155205624904838?comment_id=10155213730099838&notif_t=comment_mention&notif_id=1474692146731976

Riaz Haq said...

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".

American officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be seen as meddling in Pakistan’s internal affairs, said they hoped Ms. Rehman’s range of contacts within Pakistan’s military and its government and among rights groups could potentially make her a more effective interlocutor than her predecessor, who was very much seen as Mr. Zardari’s man, although he did argue the military’s case when needed.

The American officials were also pleased by Ms. Rehman’s speedy appointment, which assuaged fears of prolonged standoff between the military and civilian authorities over the ambassadorship, arguably Pakistan’s most important diplomatic posting. “The military doesn’t need more excuses to disregard the president and prime minister,” said one American official. “That they all found a way to agree quickly is a positive. They need an ambassador in Washington; we need them to have an ambassador in Washington.”

But experts in Pakistan and the United States cautioned that American officials should not view Ms. Rehman’s social liberalism, which is common among Pakistan’s elite, as a sign that she will fall in line with Washington’s views on what is best for Pakistan.

“Folks in Washington will expect her national security agenda to be as liberal as her domestic agenda,” said Shamila N. Chaudhary, a South Asia analyst at the Eurasia Group who previously served as the director for Pakistan and Afghanistan at the National Security Council.

“She’s coming here to represent the government, and that includes the military,” Ms. Chaudhary said.

Mr. Haqqani, in contrast, at times behaved as “a one-man think tank,” said one American official. The ambassador would often privately voice criticism of the military that he had publicly laid out before taking on his role, the official said.

Mr. Haqqani’s eagerness to share his own views, which often dovetailed American criticisms of Pakistan’s military and its longstanding ties to militant groups, had over the past year led to a diminishing of his influence in Washington, especially in the White House, said a pair of American officials. “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.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/24/world/asia/pakistan-names-new-envoy-to-us-as-probe-of-predecessor-begins.html?_r=0


Riaz Haq said...

Most people who are negative about Pakistan often follow the headlines, not the trend lines.
They do not seem to seek data and information from primary sources such as from UN agencies as compiled by Rosling; instead they 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.

http://www.gapminder.org/world/#$majorMode=chart$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."

https://books.google.com/books?id=gQDzCQAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=jaffrelot+pakistan+paradox&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwib_Jr32YHQAhUrxFQKHT6IDIYQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=resilience&f=true

Riaz Haq said...

Heated exchange between Haqqani, Ishrat over Pak-US ties

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/165794-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 http://www.riazhaq.com/2016/11/cs-wealth-report-2016-average-pakistani.html …

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

Inequality:

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...

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.

http://nation.time.com/2011/11/29/what-is-next-for-pakistan/

Riaz Haq said...

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

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/03/10/yes-the-russian-ambassador-met-trumps-team-so-thats-what-we-diplomats-do/?utm_term=.7bd76c8a5014

"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...

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

http://www.actupny.org/reports/hudson.html

Riaz Haq said...

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

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/03/10/yes-the-russian-ambassador-met-trumps-team-so-thats-what-we-diplomats-do/?utm_term=.7bd76c8a5014

"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.