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Pakistan's Rough Road to Democracy

Pakistan National Assembly has recently completed its 5-year term for the second time since 2008. A neutral interim government has assumed control to hold the general elections scheduled for July 25, 2018 to elect a new parliament. Media headlines about Pakistan are not good but the key trend-lines are definitely positive as the country continues its journey slowly but surely toward better…

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Added by Riaz Haq on June 22, 2018 at 8:38pm — No Comments

How America Promotes "We're the Good Guys" Narrative

In a 2017 Super Bowl Sunday interview with President Donald Trump,  Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly authoritatively declared  Russian President Vladimir “Putin’s a killer.”  Trump replied with the question: “What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

Trump did something similar more…

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Added by Riaz Haq on June 19, 2018 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Pakistan Among Top 5 Countries to Discover Oil and Gas in 2017

Pakistan made two key oil and gas discoveries in the third quarter and another three discoveries in the fourth quarter of 2017. These discoveries may have prompted the US-based Exxon-Mobil to join off-shore drilling efforts in Pakistan. American energy giant's entry in Pakistan brings advanced deep sea drilling technology, its long experience in offshore exploration and production and its deep pockets to the country. US Energy Information Administration …

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Added by Riaz Haq on June 18, 2018 at 7:00pm — 2 Comments

"Veere Di Wedding" Challenges South Asian Social Norms

I had a chance this week to see Veere Di Wedding, the latest Bollywood flick released recently in Silicon Valley, CA. The movie's story revolves around the lives of four childhood friends Kalindi (Kareena Kapoor), Avni (Sonam kapoor), Meera (ShikhaTalsania) and Sakshi (Swara Bhaskar).

The film…

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Added by Riaz Haq on June 15, 2018 at 4:25pm — No Comments

Pakistan Launches NUTech to Prepare 21st Century Workforce

As technology begins to permeate every aspect of life in Pakistan, the country needs a balanced mix of highly skilled workers, technicians, mechanics, technologists, engineers, researchers and development scientists to meet the challenge.  Recent launch of National University of Technology (NUTech) is part of Pakistan government's response to this challenge.

21st Century…

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Added by Riaz Haq on June 12, 2018 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

Pakistan Among Top Contributors to Global Plastic Pollution

Pakistan is among the biggest contributors to the 8 million tons of plastic waste that is dumped into the world's oceans every year, says a United Nations Report released on World Environment Day. This year's theme is 'beat plastic pollution'. While disposable plastic bags, bottles and straws are used for a brief time and then thrown away, it takes hundreds of years to decompose them. Fortunately, a Pakistani scientist has discovered a plastic eating microbe to accelerate this degradation…

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Added by Riaz Haq on June 8, 2018 at 4:51pm — No Comments

Fighting Hunger in the Holy Month of Ramzan

Going without food and water from dawn to dusk during the holy month of Ramzan heightens Muslims' empathy for the  world's 800 million hungry. It drives Islamic philanthropy in the form of fitra, sadaqa and zakat during this month of fasting and prayer.  This annual giving puts Pakistan among the ranks of the …

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Added by Riaz Haq on June 7, 2018 at 9:52am — 1 Comment

Pakistan Among World's Top 10 Tax Losing Countries

Pakistan ranks among the top 10 countries in terms of tax revenue losses due to corporate tax avoidance, according to UN World Institute for Development Economics World Economic Forum estimates that the country lost $10.4 billion in taxes last year.…

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Added by Riaz Haq on June 3, 2018 at 11:05am — No Comments

US DoD 1999 Forecast: "Pakistan Disappears By 2015"

Asia 2025, a US Defense Department Study produced in summer of 1999, forecast that Pakistan would "disappear" as an independent state by 2015. It further forecast that Pakistan would become part of a "South Asian Superstate" controlled by India as a "regional hegemon".  Two Indian-American "South Asia experts" contributed to this study.  Much of the forecast in its "New South Asian Order" section appears to be wishful thinking of its Indian contributors.…

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Added by Riaz Haq on June 2, 2018 at 10:30am — No Comments

Pakistani Politicians Change Election Law to Escape Accountability

Pakistan Elections Act 2017 passed by the National Assembly has removed the requirements for key disclosures relating to the ownership of assets, income taxes paid or owed, bank loan defaults, foreign residency (iqama) and  educational qualifications of the candidates for national and provincial legislatures in the upcoming elections. This came in October 2017 after several members of the national parliament were caught lying and subsequently disqualified by the courts under Articles 62 and…

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Added by Riaz Haq on June 1, 2018 at 7:11am — 3 Comments

Pakistan Elections 2018: Significance of Social Media, Minorities

Pakistan's 46 million young voters of ages 18-36 years, up from 41 million in 2013, will likely have the biggest impact on the outcome of the elections this year.  Among other notable changes in the electorate is the number of non-Muslim voters that has jumped 30%, significantly faster than the 23% growth in overall voter registration in Pakistan since the last elections in 2013, according to data from the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Pakistan's young demographics and…

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Added by Riaz Haq on May 31, 2018 at 10:25am — No Comments

India-Pakistan Spy Chronicles; Trump-Sharif Troubles

What are Asad Durrani and AS Dulat, ex spooks of India and Pakistan, trying to accomplish with their joint appearances and book collaboration? What is “Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace" all about? What have the two revealed about the work of ISI and RAW spy…

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Added by Riaz Haq on May 26, 2018 at 6:31pm — 2 Comments

Proliferation of Cyber Hacking Tools in Pakistan

Many intelligence agencies are turning to the use of smartphone malware and spyware for the purpose of hacking and surveillance. The list of such agencies includes but not limited to US CIA, NSA, Mossad, RAW, MI6, ISI and others. Global proliferation of cyber hacking tools appears to have been accelerated with the US CIA's loss of control of its hacking tools including spyware, malware, viruses and trojans.

Stealth Mango and Tangelo:

Lookout, an American…

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Added by Riaz Haq on May 23, 2018 at 11:06am — 3 Comments

History of Pakistan's Business and Industry

Pakistan's $1.1 trillion GDP ranks the country as the world's 24th largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP).  Pakistan has come a long way since independence in 1947 when it was a poor agrarian country struggling to survive. Business and industry sectors now account for more than half of Pakistan's economy while agriculture's contribution is down to 20% of GDP.

The story…

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Added by Riaz Haq on May 21, 2018 at 7:25am — 3 Comments

British Government Lists Pakistan Among Top 3 Money Laundering Sources

British National Crime Agency (NCA) has identified Pakistan, Nigeria and Russia as the top source countries for money laundering in the United Kingdom, according to British media reports. The NCA report says the UK is a prime destination for…

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Added by Riaz Haq on May 19, 2018 at 9:21pm — 2 Comments

Free Speech: Myth vs Reality

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) recently acknowledged the practice of hiring journalists vetted by MI5, the UK intelligence agency, to keep out the "subversives".

The CIA is believed to have driven American investigative reporter Gary Webb to suicide after he exposed the…

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Added by Riaz Haq on May 16, 2018 at 7:36am — 1 Comment

PTM: The Lowdown on Manzur Pashteen

Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) has held rallies across Pakistan in support of Pashtun rights. The movement was born in response to the murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud, a young Pashtun falsely accused of being a terrorist by a rogue senior police officer in Karachi.  PTM has received very little coverage in Pakistan's mainstream media but the extensive foreign media reporting on its leader Manzoor Pashteen has been effusive.  Inside Pakistan, the PTM movement has been mainly a social media…

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Added by Riaz Haq on May 15, 2018 at 8:03am — 1 Comment

Impact of Trump's Iran Nuke Deal Pull-Out on Afghanistan, Pakistan and Mid-East

What motivated President Donald Trump's unilateral decision to withdraw the United States from JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) on Iran nuclear weapons program? Why did the European signatories to the deal fail to persuade Trump to abide by the deal? What role did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and the Bush era neocons play…

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Added by Riaz Haq on May 14, 2018 at 10:51pm — 1 Comment

Open Forum 2018: Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs Summit in Silicon Valley

Hundreds of Pakistanis and Pakistani-Americans converged on Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley on Saturday May 12, 2018 for Open Forum 2018.  The attendees included entrepreneurs, technologists, business executives, investors, lawyers, accountants and others.What was different this year was the presence of an unusually large number of attendees from Pakistan, including dozens of Fulbright…

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Added by Riaz Haq on May 13, 2018 at 10:00am — No Comments

Nawaz Sharif's Report Card 2013-18

The last five years of Pakistan's outgoing government of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) have seen the revival of Pakistan's economy and completion of many long delayed infrastructure and energy projects. Mr. Nawaz Sharif deserves full credit for it.  At the same time, the PML government is responsible for slow progress on human development indicators, major decline in exports, growing twin deficits of budget and external accounts, mounting public debt and lack of transparency in…

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Added by Riaz Haq on May 11, 2018 at 9:30am — 6 Comments

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    Blog Posts

    Pakistan's Rough Road to Democracy

    Pakistan National Assembly has recently completed its 5-year term for the second time since 2008. A neutral interim government has assumed control to hold the general elections scheduled for July 25, 2018 to elect a new parliament. Media headlines about Pakistan are not good but the key trend-lines are definitely positive as the country continues its journey slowly but surely toward better…

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on June 22, 2018 at 8:38pm

    How America Promotes "We're the Good Guys" Narrative

    In a 2017 Super Bowl Sunday interview with President Donald Trump,  Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly authoritatively declared  Russian President Vladimir “Putin’s a killer.”  Trump replied with the question: “What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

    Trump did something similar more…

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on June 19, 2018 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

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