January 2008 Blog Posts (23)

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 BBCUrdu.com, 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

Merrill Lynch Calls Pakistan Safe Haven For Investors

"Pakistan is a safe haven for investors", says Mark Matthews, chief

Asia strategist at Merrill Lynch, speaking to CNBC's Arnold Gay in

January, 2008. This is in sharp contrast to some of the rating agencies

like S&P and Moody's hinting at possible downgrade of Pakistan as

an investment opportunity. Matthews argues that Pakistan is one of the

best information arbitrage markets in the world.

While the bombings, shootings and the body bags make good headlines for… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on January 16, 2008 at 10:51am — No Comments

Atta Crisis in Pakistan

Rising Atta Prices

The rising prices and acute shortages of atta in Pakistan are clearly

distressing to the people. However, putting it in perspective, this

wheat crisis is not isolated to Pakistan. There are widespread fears of

food shortages and lack of affordability in many countries around the world.

According to a recent report in Wall Street Journal, the prices of Illinois corn

and soybeans rose 40%…

Added by Riaz Haq on January 15, 2008 at 12:51pm — No Comments

Pakistan is Lagging in Social Media

As the membership of social networks and the users of social media

applications such as Facebook, MySpace, and Orkut grow dramatically to

hundreds of millions in the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America, it

seems that this phenomenon is still in very early infancy in Pakistan.

As of now, there are about 117,000 Pakistanis on Facebook, about

100,000 on Orkut, and a few thousand on MySpace. There are smaller

social networks such as Naseeb.com that have a few thousand… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on January 12, 2008 at 6:41pm — 4 Comments

Pakistan, the worlds power keg!

"The country most likely to trouble the world in 2008 may not be Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Afghanistan or even Israel - it could be Pakistan"…


Added by khalid Hassan on January 12, 2008 at 10:33am — No Comments

Bilawal's Extra-curricular Activities at Oxford

In his high-profile role as the Chairman of one of Pakistan's largest political parties, there are enormous security threats for Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. In the words of John Giduck, a US security consultant, "The threat level is going to be inordinately high - you are dealing with a young man with an enormous target painted on him. It would take dozens of people and hard assets to keep this man safe". In addition to this security threat, Bilawal is dealing with the loss of his privacy with the… Continue

Added by Riaz Haq on January 10, 2008 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

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