Riaz Haq's Blog (1,285)

2010-2020: Pakistan's Lost Decade

Until 2010, Bangladesh was a laggard in South Asia region. Its per capita income was about half of Pakistan's. Now Bangladesh has surpassed Pakistan as the Pakistani economy has suffered significant slow-down from the previous decade. In fact, the Pakistan economy grew at the slowest rate in South Asia as reflected in per capita incomes. While Pakistan's per capita income more than doubled from $500 to $1,000 in the ten years 2000 to 2010, the growth has slowed to less than 30% from 2010 to…

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Added by Riaz Haq on April 14, 2021 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Cultural Psychologist Michele Gelfand on American and Pakistani Stereotypes

Americans see Pakistanis as "aggressive and violent" while Pakistanis say Americans are "loose, immoral and arrogant", according to research study findings of American cultural psychologist Michele Gelfand. She told an interviewer that the American media portrayed Pakistanis as "big bad wolf".  Gelfand is a distinguished professor at the University of Maryland. She studies why different cultures…

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Added by Riaz Haq on April 11, 2021 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Pakistani Academics Win Google Research Award For AI Paper on Machine Perception

Dr. Mohsen Ali and Dr. Izza Aftab have won Google Research Scholar Award 2021, according to an announcement on Google AI Blog. Dr. Ali is an assistant professor of computer science at the Information Technology University (ITU) in Lahore, Pakistan while Dr. Aftab is an assistant professor of economics at the same university. …

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Added by Riaz Haq on April 9, 2021 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Pakistan State Bank Governor on Fintech, Digital Currency and Stripe

State Bank of Pakistan is studying the issuance of central bank digital currency (CBDC), according to the country's central bank chief Dr. Reza Baqir. Recognizing Pakistan's growth potential, the San Francisco-based Stripe, valued at $95 billion, has recently invested in Safepay, a fintech startup in Karachi, Pakistan. Dr. Baqir spoke of both of these developments in an interview with CNN's Julia…

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Added by Riaz Haq on April 8, 2021 at 5:30pm — 4 Comments

Digital Pakistan: Broadband Subscriptions Soar to 100 Million

Broadband subscriptions in Pakistan have soared from 2 million in 2012 to 100 million now, according to the country's telecommunications regulator. Ookla, recognized globally for its broadband speed testing, reports that Pakistan's average broadband download speed is 11.35 Mbps, while its upload speed stands at 10.7 Mbps. Thousands of kilometers of new fiber optic cable is being installed and mobile data usage in Pakistan has recently surged to 8,000 petabytes. Smartphone sales are also…

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Added by Riaz Haq on April 6, 2021 at 10:30am — 3 Comments

Muslim Politician Holds Key to Netanyahu Retaining Top Office in Israel

Mansour Abbas, 46-year-old Palestinian leader of an Islamic party, has emerged as the man who can make or break Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ambition of retaining the top elected office in his country. On Thursday, Abbas quoted from the Holy Quran in a primetime speech on Israeli National Television and said he was "a proud Arab and Muslim". …

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Added by Riaz Haq on April 3, 2021 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Groundwater Depletion in Pakistan

Pakistan has about 1.2 million tube wells extracting 50 million acre feet of water every year for farm irrigation. NASA satellite maps show that Pakistan is among the places worst affected by rapid depletion of groundwater. …

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Added by Riaz Haq on April 1, 2021 at 11:03am — 2 Comments

Is "Ever Given" Container Ship's Indian Crew At Fault For Blocking the Suez Canal?

Ever Given container ship that ran aground and blocked all shipping traffic through the Suez Canal, the busiest waterway in the world, has just been re-floated.  The mega cargo ship's captain and the entire crew are Indian, the owners and shipbuilders are Japanese, the operator is German, the insurance company is British, the charterer is Taiwanese and the cargo is Chinese, according to media reports. The ship was reported blown aground by strong winds. …

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Added by Riaz Haq on March 28, 2021 at 9:30pm — 6 Comments

Hindu Rashtra: Will Modi's Hindutva Lead to Multiple Partitions of India?

Sheikh Alam, a Muslim leader of Mamta Banerjee's Trinamool Congress Party, has recently been quoted in the Indian media as saying: "We  (Muslims)  are 30% and they (Hindus) are 70% They will come to power with the support of the 70%, they should be ashamed. If our Muslim population moves to one side then we can create four new Pakistans. Where will 70% of the population go?"  …

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Added by Riaz Haq on March 27, 2021 at 11:30am — 12 Comments

Pakistan Tech Exports Soar 69% in February 2021

Pakistan's technology exports shot up by 69% in February 2021 from the same month last year. Tech exports soared 41% for the first 8 months (July 2020-February 2021) of the current fiscal year from the same period period last year, according data released by the State Bank of Pakistan. …

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Added by Riaz Haq on March 23, 2021 at 9:00pm — 4 Comments

Pakistan's Happiness Index Score Suffers Steep Decline Amid COVID19 Pandemic

Amid the COVID19 pandemic, Pakistan's World Happiness ranking has dropped from 66 (score 5.693) among 153 nations last year to 105 (score 4.934) among 149 nations ranked this year. Neighboring India is ranked 139 and Afghanistan is last at 149. Nepal is ranked 87, Bangladesh 101, Pakistan 105, Myanmar126…

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Added by Riaz Haq on March 20, 2021 at 8:00pm — 3 Comments

Biden's Hypocrisy: Putin is a Killer But Modi is a US Ally

"Putin is a killer", declared President Joseph R. Biden in a recent interview with George Stephanopoulos  of ABC News. This stands in sharp contrast to what former President Donald J. Trump said in a 2017 Super Bowl Sunday interview Fox News when host Bill O'Reilly  authoritatively declared Russian President Vladimir “Putin’s a killer.” Trump replied with the question: “What, you think…

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Added by Riaz Haq on March 18, 2021 at 9:30am — 23 Comments

Pakistan Starts Producing Denim Jeans From Hemp ( بھنگ) Fiber

Quest for sustainable fiber with antimicrobial properties has created a global market for hemp (بھنگ) that grows wild in Pakistan. The ongoing COVID19 pandemic and increasing climate concerns have given further impetus to this movement. Responding to shifting market preferences, major Pakistani denim makers Artistic Milliners and US Denim have now begun producing new denim fabrics blending cotton with …

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Added by Riaz Haq on March 15, 2021 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

Bangladesh: Development Over Democracy

Until 2010, Bangladesh was a laggard in South Asia region. Its per capita income was about half of Pakistan's. Now Bangladesh's per capita gdp is higher than both India's and Pakistan's. What changed? The biggest change is Bangladeshi leader Shaikh Hasina's decision to stifle the unruly Opposition and the media to bring political and economic stability to the South Asian nation of 160 million people. It has eliminated a constant sense of crisis and assured investors and businesses of…

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Added by Riaz Haq on March 11, 2021 at 9:30pm — 6 Comments

Asif Zardari: A Corrupt Master Manipulator?

The recent shock defeat of  Dr. Hafeez Shaikh, Prime Minister Imran Khan's nominee for the Senate, has former President Asif Ali Zardari's fingerprints on it. The former president and current co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party orchestrated the buying of votes and arranged the hundreds of millions of rupees used for the purpose to ensure former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani's surprise victory in the recent Senate Elections. Zardari has been widely known to be "in his elements"…

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Added by Riaz Haq on March 6, 2021 at 10:30am — No Comments

Can Pakistan Follow Vietnam's Example to Become the Next Asian Tiger?

Vietnam has attracted major manufacturing and export-oriented industries that have relocated from China as the US-China trade war heated up. This process further accelerated during the COVID19 pandemic in the year 2020. As a result, Vietnam is now labeled by many analysts as "The Newest Asian Tiger". Bangladesh, too, has attracted export-oriented garment manufacturing industries.  Can Pakistan follow Vietnam's and Bangladesh's examples? Pakistan was the original Asian Tiger back in the 1960s…

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Added by Riaz Haq on March 5, 2021 at 7:00pm — 7 Comments

Indian Engineering Students Perform Poorly on International Assessment Tests

The results of a test called "Supertest", developed by researchers from the US, China, Russia and India,, show that Indian engineering students perform very poorly relative to their  peers in other countries. Supertest is the first study to track the progress of students in computer science and electrical engineering over the course of their studies with regard to their abilities in physics, mathematics and critical thinking and compare the results among four countries.  

Supertest…

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Added by Riaz Haq on March 4, 2021 at 1:20pm — 3 Comments

Can Digital Yuan Challenge US Dollar's Dominance in International Finance?

China's central bank is testing its digital currency in several major Chinese cities. The chairman of US Federal Reserve has recently confirmed that the US Central Bank is working on digital dollar. The State Bank of Pakistan announced in 2019 that it was developing a digital currency. It seems that the popularity of Bitcoin has triggered serious worries of loss of control of the official financial systems among the central bankers around the world. China's substantial lead in digital…

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Added by Riaz Haq on March 1, 2021 at 8:30am — 2 Comments

Construction and Manufacturing Driving Double-Digit Growth in Pakistan Cement and Steel Production

Pakistan steel production grew by 13.3% in 2020,  the second fastest among the top 40 steel producing countries, according to data published by the World Steel Association. At the same time, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics revealed that the nation's steel imports rose by 18% year-over-year. The demand for steel was driven by construction and manufacturing sectors which are leading Pakistan's economic recovery. …

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Added by Riaz Haq on February 27, 2021 at 12:00pm — 12 Comments

Can SEZ Industrial Parks Help Pakistan Become an Export Powerhouse?

Asian Tigers built their strong economies by becoming export powerhouses. China has done so in more recent decades.  How can Pakistan do the same? An answer to this question came this week from Karen Chen of China's Challenge Apparel. Here's what she said as reported by Dawn News:

“Chinese want to shift their business to a place where they can set up their operations in 3-6 months. You know…

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Added by Riaz Haq on February 23, 2021 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

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    Blog Posts

    2010-2020: Pakistan's Lost Decade

    Until 2010, Bangladesh was a laggard in South Asia region. Its per capita income was about half of Pakistan's. Now Bangladesh has surpassed Pakistan as the Pakistani economy has suffered significant slow-down from the previous decade. In fact, the Pakistan economy grew at the slowest rate in South Asia as reflected in per capita incomes. While Pakistan's per capita income more than doubled from $500 to $1,000 in the ten years 2000 to 2010, the growth has slowed to less than 30% from 2010 to…

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on April 14, 2021 at 6:30pm

    Cultural Psychologist Michele Gelfand on American and Pakistani Stereotypes

    Americans see Pakistanis as "aggressive and violent" while Pakistanis say Americans are "loose, immoral and arrogant", according to research study findings of American cultural psychologist Michele Gelfand. She told an interviewer that the American media portrayed Pakistanis as "big bad wolf".  Gelfand is a distinguished professor at the University of Maryland. She studies why different cultures…

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on April 11, 2021 at 1:30pm

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