Riaz Haq's Blog (1,329)

Karachi IBA Alum Appointed CEO of KFC

Sabir Sami from Pakistan has been appointed the chief executive officer of KFC effective January 1, 2022, according to a YUM Brands announcement today.  Sami, who currently serves as KFC Division Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of KFC Asia, will succeed Tony Lowings, who is stepping down as CEO at the end of 2021 in advance of his retirement in early 2022.  Sabir Sami is a graduate of the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, Pakistan. …

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Added by Riaz Haq on September 22, 2021 at 7:00pm — No Comments

AUKUS: An Anglo Alliance Against China?

In the recently announced AUKUS alliance, the US has joined the United Kingdom to arm Australia with nuclear-powered submarines to check China's rise. This announcement has not only upset the Chinese but it has also enraged France. The French are angry because AUKUS has scuttled Australia's earlier agreement to purchase diesel-powered submarines from France. …

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Added by Riaz Haq on September 18, 2021 at 11:00am — 13 Comments

Karachi-Born US Senator Van Hollen Stands Up For Pakistan During Afghanistan Hearing

Maryland Democrat Chis Van Hollen, a key US senator who was born in Karachi, said it was the Trump administration that asked Pakistan to release the top three Taliban leaders for US-Taliban peace talks in Doha Qatar. He was speaking at a recent US Senate hearing on the fall of Kabul to the Taliban and the chaotic US withdrawal that followed the Afghan Army collapse. …

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Added by Riaz Haq on September 16, 2021 at 9:30am — 6 Comments

Can Afghanistan Satisfy Tech Industries' Insatiable Appetite For Rare Earths?

Afghanistan is rich! The world's "poorest country" is known to have trillions of dollars worth of rare earths and other minerals buried underground. Rare earths are essential for the global supply chain of the technology industry. They are considered a "critical resource" for US national security.  A US Defense Department report has described Afghanistan as "Saudi Arabia of Lithium". …

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Added by Riaz Haq on September 13, 2021 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Islamophobia in America Has Doubled in 20 Years After 911 Terrorist Attacks

Muslims in America and the rest of the world have suffered the most since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. Washington responded to the attacks by launching its "global war on terror" that has been seen by many Muslims as "global war on Muslims". People in Afghanistan, Iraq, …

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Added by Riaz Haq on September 9, 2021 at 11:00am — 12 Comments

British Defense Minister Questions America's Superpower Status

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace appears to be questioning whether the United States is still a superpower after its recent hasty retreat from Afghanistan. Wallace served in the British military prior to entering politics. …

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Added by Riaz Haq on September 3, 2021 at 10:00am — 7 Comments

Unprecedented Boom in Pakistan's Technology Sector

Pakistan's technology sector is in the midst of an unprecedented boom. It is being fueled by the country's growing human capital and rising investments in technology startups. A recent tweet by Swedish fund manager Mattias Martinsson captured it well when he wrote, "Have followed Pakistan for 15 years. Can't recall any time time when VC activity was anywhere near we've seen in the last few months.…

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Added by Riaz Haq on August 31, 2021 at 6:30pm — 15 Comments

Pakistani Security Officials Had Warned of Afghan Army's Collapse

Pakistani security officials had warned Americans and Indians that the Afghan Army would collapse when faced with the Taliban onslaught, according to multiple people including American journalist Steve Coll and Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Former US Ambassador Ryan Crocker who has served in both Afghanistan and Pakistan has recently written that Pakistanis' skepticism has been validated. …

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Added by Riaz Haq on August 24, 2021 at 7:00pm — 40 Comments

Has Pakistan Achieved Herd Immunity Against COVID19?

How widespread are coronavirus infections and vaccinations in Pakistan? Has Pakistan achieved herd immunity or close to achieving it?  The latest IHME (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation) report on Pakistan (dated August 19, 2021) claims that "about 81% of the population have been infected, and about 65% are immune to the Delta variant". It says that the "cases and deaths are declining in Pakistan, but the situation remains fragile".      

The report defines two types of…

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Added by Riaz Haq on August 21, 2021 at 8:52pm — 4 Comments

Pakistan Independence Day: Can Religion Be A Basis Of Nationhood?

It is quite fashionable among liberal Indian and Pakistani elite to question religion as a basis of nationhood. Pakistani intellectual Javed Jabbar responded to some of these "liberal" critics at a conference in New Delhi, India. He said as follows: "India was a region, not a country until 1947....Pakistan was NOT carved out of India.... Both India and Pakistan became independent countries in 1947.. Religion can be a basis for nationhood".…

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Added by Riaz Haq on August 14, 2021 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

Afghanistan: Pakistan's Friend or Foe?

The open hostility of successive Afghan governments toward Pakistan begs the following questions: Why do Afghan leaders scapegoat Pakistan for their own failures?  Is Afghanistan a friend or an enemy of Pakistan? 

Scapegoating Pakistan:

Carter Malkasian, former advisor to US Joint Chiefs Chairman General Dunford, has recently talked about how Afghan governments have scapegoated Pakistan for their failures. He said: "Let’s take Pakistan, for example. Pakistan is a…

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Added by Riaz Haq on August 13, 2021 at 11:30am — 30 Comments

Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani on US-China Competition

Kishore Mahbubani, a prolific writer, speaker and former Singaporean diplomat, believes that the western domination of the world over the last 200 years is "aberrant" when seen in the context of the last several thousand years of human history.  In his book "Has China Won", he writes that "we are also moving away from a black-and-white world". "Societies in different parts of the world, including in China and …

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Added by Riaz Haq on August 9, 2021 at 7:30am — 7 Comments

Digital Transformation: Pakistan is Now Online!

Pakistan's digital transformation is in full swing. Over three-quarters of Pakistanis living in the top three metros of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad are connected to the Internet, according to a report titled "Journey to Digital" produced by global tech giant Google and Kantara consultants. Researchers found that two-thirds of urban and nearly half of rural Pakistanis regularly use the Internet in…

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Added by Riaz Haq on August 4, 2021 at 9:30am — 13 Comments

Food Prices in Pakistan Are World's Second Lowest Despite Inflation

The cost of living in Pakistan is the world's lowest despite recent inflationary trends, according to the Cost of Living Index for mid-2021 as published by Numbeo.  Numbeo Grocery Index reports that the food prices in Pakistan are the second cheapest in the world. In terms of local purchasing power, Pakistan ranks 101 among 139 nations. …

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Added by Riaz Haq on August 2, 2021 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Racial Slurs Hurled at Pakistani-American Doctor in a Public Hearing in St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis County Health Director Dr. Faisal Khan, a Pakistani American, was subjected to racial abuse at a St. Louis County Council meeting, according to multiple media reports. He apparently got caught up in the middle of a fierce, angry debate on new mask mandates amid surging infections attributed to the Delta variant of the COVID19 virus that originated in India. The anti-mask crowd is particularly strong in Republican states that voted for former President …

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Added by Riaz Haq on July 29, 2021 at 7:30pm — 1 Comment

US Afghan Pullout: Any Spillover of Possible Afghan Civil War into Pakistan?

Many fear the return to civil war in Afghanistan after the US pull-out. Are these fears well-founded? If so, who will be the main combatants in such a civil war? The Afghan Taliban? Or notorious warlords of yesteryears like  Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Ismael Khan, Abdur Rashid Dostum and progeny of Ahmad Shah Masood? Or terror groups like ISIS, TTP, ETIM, IMU, etc etc.? …

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Added by Riaz Haq on July 25, 2021 at 4:30pm — 31 Comments

Modi Government Planted Spyware in Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's Smartphone

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been the target of the Modi government's cyber attacks, according to a recently released Project Pegasus report.  The Indian government has neither confirmed nor denied the report.  The focus of the report is the use of the Israeli-made spyware by about  a dozen governments to target politicians, journalists and activists. The users of the Pegasus software include governments of  Bahrain, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, India, Mexico, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Togo…

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Added by Riaz Haq on July 19, 2021 at 8:30am — 14 Comments

Pakistan's Demographic Dividend: Record Remittances From Overseas Workers

Pakistan has received nearly $30 billion in worker remittances in fiscal year 2020-21, according to the State Bank of Pakistan. This is a new record representing about 10% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). This money helps the nation cope with its perennial current account deficits. It also provides a lifeline for millions of Pakistani families who use the money to pay for food,…

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Added by Riaz Haq on July 13, 2021 at 10:30am — 8 Comments

Lina Khan: Pakistani-American Law Professor Behind Biden's Pro-competition Executive Order

US President Joseph R. Biden  has signed a sweeping executive order to promote competition in a wide range of industries from big tech to telecommunications, transportation, banking and healthcare. This order has come within weeks of the appointment of young Pakistani-American law professor Lina Khan as the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chairperson. Lina Khan, 32, is the youngest FTC…

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Added by Riaz Haq on July 10, 2021 at 7:00am — 1 Comment

Pew Research: Two-thirds of Hindus Say Only Hindus "Truly Indian"

A recent Pew survey in India has found that 64% of Hindus see their religious identity and Indian national identity as closely intertwined. Most Hindus (59%) also link Indian identity with being able to speak Hindi language. The survey was conducted over two years in 2019 and 2020 by Pew Research Center. It included 29,000 Indians.  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu Nationalist BJP party's appeal is the greatest among Hindus who closely associate their religious identity and the…

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Added by Riaz Haq on July 8, 2021 at 10:58am — 6 Comments

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    Blog Posts

    Karachi IBA Alum Appointed CEO of KFC

    Sabir Sami from Pakistan has been appointed the chief executive officer of KFC effective January 1, 2022, according to a YUM Brands announcement today.  Sami, who currently serves as KFC Division Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of KFC Asia, will succeed Tony Lowings, who is stepping down as CEO at the end of 2021 in advance of his retirement in early 2022.  Sabir Sami is a graduate of the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, Pakistan. …

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on September 22, 2021 at 7:00pm

    AUKUS: An Anglo Alliance Against China?

    In the recently announced AUKUS alliance, the US has joined the United Kingdom to arm Australia with nuclear-powered submarines to check China's rise. This announcement has not only upset the Chinese but it has also enraged France. The French are angry because AUKUS has scuttled Australia's earlier agreement to purchase diesel-powered submarines from France. …

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on September 18, 2021 at 11:00am — 13 Comments

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