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Pakistan Economy Hits Rough Patch

The recent political turmoil with Bhutto's return and her tragic

assassination in Oct-Dec 2005 period is taking its toll on Pakistan's

economy. Weaker textile exports, rising food prices, and ongoing energy

crisis have caused the government to scale down its growth target for

the fiscal year ending June 2008.

Immediately after… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on February 5, 2008 at 4:05pm — No Comments

Bhutto's Book Release Hastened Before Elections

Bhutto's Book Release Hastened Before Elections

By Riaz Haq

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's posthumous book

titled "Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West" is being

released February 12,2008, exactly 6 days before the crucial voting in

Pakistan. Ghost-written by Mark Siegel, Washington lobbyist and

Bhutto's personal friend, the book was originally… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on February 5, 2008 at 8:36am — 2 Comments

Conspiracy Theorists on Internet Outage

Iran has been completely cut off. Israel, Iraq and Lebanon are not affected at all.

With several undersea cables cut within days, the rest of the Middle East,

North Africa and South Asia including India and Pakistan are having

serious Internet problems. Is all of this just a coincidence? These

questions are being raised in various ways and reported by Jerusalem

Post and CNN on the causes of this massive outage. Many find it

difficult to accept the ostensible reason:… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on February 4, 2008 at 8:35am — No Comments

Cricket Super Bowl in South Asia?

Super Bowl XLII

As New England Patriots meet New York Giants for Super Bowl XLII tomorrow,

there is the usual annual excitement among the football fans planning

for Super Bowl parties around the country. In addition to being a great

sporting event, Super Bowl has also become a gigantic commercial

extravaganza for a whole range of businesses. For example, the media

are the big beneficiaries of the multi-million dollar TV… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on February 2, 2008 at 11:15am — No Comments

Internet Woes Persist in Pakistan As Second Cable Snapped

The Falcon cable, owned by FLAG (Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe)

Telecom, was snapped on Friday morning, according to a BBC report.

This is the second undersea cable that has gone down in two days. This

latest cable is believed to lie alongside SWM4 undersea that snapped


The cause of the latest break has not been confirmed but a repair ship has been deployed, said owner Flag Telecom. FLAG is a

28,000km (17,400 mile) long submarine communications… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on February 1, 2008 at 4:02pm — No Comments

Emaar Chairman Bullish on Pakistan

Talking with CNBC today, Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman of Dubai-based

Emaar Properties, said he believes Pakistan represents a great

investment opportunity for his company as it goes global. He said Emaar

sold a major project yesterday within hours of launch in Pakistan.

A massive real estate project valued at $43b by Emaar is underway in

Pakistan to develop two island resorts near Karachi. This is Emaar's

single largest project and supersedes the $26.7… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on January 31, 2008 at 4:11pm — 3 Comments

OPEN Joins Force With MIT To Encourage Entrepreneurship in Pakistan

By Adil Najm

Sofizar, which works on “click fraud” and “web analytics Solutions” (maybe we at ATP

should be talking to them!) describes itself as “a Carlsbad, CA based

internet marketing company with development and operations based out of

Lahore” won the 2007 MITCEF-OPEN Business Acceleration Plan (BAP).…


Added by Riaz Haq on January 31, 2008 at 7:23am — No Comments

Web Disruption in Pakistan, Middle East, India

Internet services have been disrupted in parts of the Middle East after

damage to an undersea cable in the Mediterranean. There was disruption

to 70% of the nationwide network in Egypt, a government official told

Reuters. There was also disruption in the United Arab Emirates (UAE),

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, reported the Associated Press. India also

suffered up to 60% disruption, a national industry body told Reuters

news agency.…


Added by Riaz Haq on January 30, 2008 at 12:34pm — 1 Comment

Merchant of Death Eyes Pakistan

Philip Morris International, the international unit of the US tobacco

giant often described as a merchant of death, is building a new massive

cigarette plant in Pakistan.

Philip Morris is expected to spin off PMI as an independent company to be unconstrained by the U.S. tobacco

regulations and out of reach of American litigators. Importantly, its

practices would no longer be constrained by American public opinion,

paving the way for broad product… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on January 29, 2008 at 4:34pm — 4 Comments

Pakistan's Political Class And The War Of The Elite

Ayesha Siddiqa, the well known author of "Military, Inc." has written a

very insightful piece for, arguing that Pakistan is ruled

by a small elite that disregards the wishes and the best interests of

its average people. I absolutely agree with Ayesha Siddiqa, that

Pakistan has been and still is ruled by a small elite consisting of

feudal lords, military officers, industrialists, and bureaucrats (and,

I add, some nefarious clerics colluding with… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on January 29, 2008 at 9:58am — 2 Comments

Thinking About Tomorrow

Wall Street Journal Jan 28, 2008

How will technology change the way we shop, learn and entertain ourselves? How will it change the way we get news, protect our privacy, connect

with friends? We look ahead 10 years, and imagine a whole different


Let's get this out of the way first -- in the next 10 years, no one will travel to work by jet pack or have robot maids that serve dinner. But technology will continue to…


Added by Riaz Haq on January 28, 2008 at 9:45pm — No Comments

Pakistan's Electricity Crisis

Pakistan’s economy has recently been growing at 7-8% per year, doubling

its GDP over the last 7 years. The industrial growth rate has been

closer to 12.5% per year during this period, contributing 38% of the

total economic output of Pakistan. Per capita energy consumption of the

country is estimated at 14 million Btu, which is about the same as

India's but only a fraction of other industrializing economies in the

region such as Thailand and Malaysia, according to… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on January 28, 2008 at 10:43am — 13 Comments

What's Next After "Da Vinci Code"?

It usually takes just one new really big seller to ignite book sales

and revive the publishing industry fortunes. There has been the "Harry

Potter" phenomenon and the "Da Vinci Code" that kept the industry

humming over the last few years and brought lots of people to

bookstores around the world. Lately, however, the book sales have

slowed down. "Harry Potter" has retired and Dan Brown, the author of

"Da Vinci Code" has been taking his time to complete… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on January 27, 2008 at 5:41pm — No Comments

Pakistan: A Magnet for Foreign Investors

By Riaz Haq

Saratoga, CA

Extreme Investing or Safe Haven?

Some call it "Extreme Investing". Call it by any name, but international investors have discovered Pakistan as an attractive destination.

Referring to the recent upsurge in violence, Bank Muscat CEO Ali Issa said,

"We are not worried about our investment in Pakistan, we think it's just a



Added by Riaz Haq on January 26, 2008 at 9:31am — 1 Comment

Who Is In Charge: Mehsud Or Mullah Omar?

Americans have now been saying for several months that the Taleban and

Al-Qaeda have shifted their focus of attacks from Afghanistan to

destabilize Pakistan. "Al-Qaeda right now seems to have turned its face

toward Pakistan and attacks on the Pakistani government and Pakistan

people," US Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Washington Post on

Dec 21, 2007. Most of the recent activities including a big surge in

suicide bombings in Pakistan seem to confirm this… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on January 23, 2008 at 11:38am — 1 Comment

Ruttie & Jinnah

Ruttie & Jinnah – A remarkable story of love

After his return to India Jinnah chose Bombay for his residence since he no longer had any interest in Karachi after the demise of his mother and his wife. His father joined him there and died in Bombay on the 17th of April 1902, soon after Jinnah had started his political career.

In the next two decades after his return from…


Added by Ameer Alam on January 22, 2008 at 9:28am — 1 Comment

The Story of Oil, Greed, Religion and Blood

The story of oil, greed, religion, and blood is as old as the discovery

of oil. This story is brought to life in the recent Hollywood movie

"There Will Be Blood", starring Daniel Day Lewis as the greedy oilman

drilling for oil in California over 100 years ago. Loosely based on

Upton Sinclair's novel "Oil", the movie shows oil discovery in San

Fernando Valley in Southern California in early 1900s. I must say the

performance by Lewis is masterful. The story… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on January 21, 2008 at 5:53pm — 1 Comment

Unreasonable Men: Martin Luther King to Barack Husain Obama

"A reasonable man adapts himself to his environment. An unreasonable

man persists in attempting to adapt his environment to suit himself.

Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." So said the

famous British playwright George Bernard Shaw a century ago. The

"unreasonable Man" label applied well to the famous civil rights

leader Rev Martin Luther King in the 1960s and applies well today to

US presidential candidate Senator Barack Husain Obama. As… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on January 20, 2008 at 9:20am — No Comments

CIA Chief Believes Mehsud Killed BB

CIA Director Michael Hayden told the Washington Post that the former

Pakistani prime minister was killed by fighters allied to Baitullah

Mehsud. Mr Hayden did not reveal the sources for his claim. Apparently,

CIA has come out with this conclusion based on their own independent

intelligence sources and due diligence. With this CIA claim, there is

now agreement between the Pakistani intelligence and the US

intelligence on the identity of the people behind… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on January 18, 2008 at 8:30am — No Comments

Quaid-e-Azam Mohamed Ali Jinnah: Time Magazine Cover 1946

Fellow member Ameer Alam posted a photo of the Time Magazine cover from 1946 that carries Quaid-e-Azam's picture on the cover. The following is the article inside that issue of Time:

By every sign & portent this would be India's year of decision—a decision that would be bitterly contested by all three partners to India's future: the British Raj, 256 million Hindus, 92 million




Added by Riaz Haq on January 17, 2008 at 1:28pm — No Comments

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    Drone Swarms: Saudi Oil Fields Attack Shows Their Destructive Power

    Dozens of cheap drones were deployed against Abqaiq and Khurais oil fields to cut Saudi Aramco's production by half, according to multiple media reports. Saudi and US officials have blamed Iran for the destructive hit. This is the first time that cheap drone swarms loaded with explosives have dodged sophisticated air defense systems to hit critical infrastructure targets in the history of warfare.  And it is not likely to be the last time as more nations and non-state terror groups are…


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