Husain Haqqani vs Riaz Haq on India-Pakistan Ties

Ex Ambassador of Pakistan Mr. Husain Haqqani was interviewed on October 22, 2016 by Talk4Pak team's host Faraz Darvesh on his views on India-Pakistan relations.

This week,  regular Talk4Pak panelist Riaz Haq has offered his rebuttal to a number of statements made by Ambassador Haqqani during his interview. Here's a brief summary of Mr. Haqqani's views and Riaz Haq's responses.

Husain Haqqani: Pakistan needs to treat all "terrorists" alike and crack down on all of them.

Riaz Haq:  Most nations differentiate between "good" militants and "bad" militants.

For example, Indians see Bhagat Singh as "shaheed" (martyr) and Burhan Wani a "terrorist" even though both were fighting for freedom from foreign rule.

Also, Haqqanis were called freedom fighters (Mujahedeen) against Soviets but now called terrorists by Americans.

US and Israel founding fathers are accepted as freedom fighters, not terrorists.

Like others, Pakistan, too, has to differentiate among militants as a practical matter because, as President Clinton has said,  "you can not kill or jail all the terrorists".

Pakistan security forces are already stretched in their fight against Indian-backed terrorists like the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (See Doval Doctrine), the Baloch militants openly supported by Indian Prime Minister Modi and MQM militants who, according to sworn testimony of Mohammad Anwar and Tariq Mir, receive funding to launch attacks in Karachi.  Opening up additional fronts against more groups in response to Indian and US demands can potentially lead to the defeat of Pakistani security forces followed by a civil war.

HH: Indian economy is 20X Pakistan's

RH: According to World Bank data for 2015, Indian GDP $2,073,543 Pakistan $269,971 Actual Ratio is India's GDP is 7.68X Pakistan's, not 20X

Mr. Haqqani is known for exaggerating India's size, strength and importance while diminishing Pakistan's. Is this intended to demoralize and discourage Pakistanis and tell them they are insignificant relative to India? Is it meant to please Mr. Haqqani's Hindu Nationalist fans in India?

HH: Kashmir Unresolvable

RH: Kashmir is eminently resolvable as demonstrated by Musharraf formula agreed between India and Pakistan in 2007. Formula: LoC becomes soft border with easy movement of goods and people, Total internal autonomy of each region, overseen by a committee with reps from both regions, India and Pakistan, phased withdrawal of all troops. It is absolutely resolvable.

What has Changed since 2007? The players have changed in both India and Pakistan since Musharraf-Manmohan deal....especially in India where PM Modi thinks he can intimidate Pakistan with rhetoric like "chhapan inch ki chhati" (56-in chest) and "boli nahi goli" (bullets, not talks) and use of proxies like TTP, BLA and MQM to terrorize Pakistan and kill Pakistanis

Stephen Cohen has said this about India-Pakistan situation: "The alphabet agencies—ISI, RAW, and so forth—are often the chosen instrument of state policy when there is a conventional (and now a nuclear) balance of power, and the diplomatic route seems barren."

I expect PM Modi will soon realize that only workable option is to use the diplomatic route of dialog with Pakistan.

HH: Put aside Kashmir like China put aside Taiwan.

RH: Unlike Indian occupied Kashmir, there are no mass protests, ubiquitous checkpoints and extended curfews in Taiwan. No 700,000 troops there. There's no Burhan Wanis in Taiwan to resist occupation. It's not possible to ignore Indian occupied Kashmir with daily killings and atrocities against innocent people.

HH: There is consensus Pakistan did not win 1965 war.

RH: Both governments claim victory in 1965. Many Indians, including insiders like RD Pradhan and Gen Harbkash Singh believe India did not win the 1965 war. Indian journalists like Shivan Vij say it was at best a stalemate. If India was winning in 1965, it wouldn't be the first to agree to ceasefire as it did.

 HH: His diplomacy as ambassador in Washington was effective.

 RH: Every product has features and benefits but also flaws. Ambassadors are expected to be a pitchmen at least in public.
Pitchmen highlight features and benefits, not flaws. Ambassadors do not denigrate the countries they represent as Mr. Haqqani did.

 New York Times said this when Haqqani was forced out. As ambassador, Mr. Husain Haqqani behaved like "One Man Think Tank" who was "eager to share his own views, which often dovetailed American criticisms of Pakistan’s military". “There were questions about his influence at home and whether he could be trusted to accurately convey what his principals were thinking,” said one of the American officials.

HH: India's GDP growth rate 2.5X  Pakistan's

RH; Not true. India's GDP growth rate is 7.6% and Pakistan 5%.

So  the ratio is 1.52X not 2.5X

 Growth rates are not permanently sustainable.

Pakistan economy grew much faster than India's in 1960s-1980s and India's economy has grown faster since 1990s.

CPECis expected to add 2.5-3% growth on top of the current 5%, something India is strongly opposed to and trying to disrupt and sabotage.

HH: India's Literacy Rate 6 points higher in 1947, 22 points higher now.

RH: Not true either.  In 1951 census, the overall literacy rate was 20% in India and 14% in Pakistan, according to UNESCO.

As of 2012, India has achieved 75% literacy rate while Pakistan is at 60%.

Pakistan literacy is up 4X while India's is up 3.5X

HH: 1947-1958 was a good period for Pakistan, then Army messed it up.

RH:   Economists call this period the Flat Fifties when there was very little economic growth. Pakistan economy grew very rapidly in 1960s, much faster than India's "Hindu growth rate" under Nehru's democracy.

Pakistan had major development of agriculture with the Green Revolution that included several large dams and word's largest contiguous irrigation. Without it, Pakistanis would have starved to death.

Bangladesh happened because elected Pakistani politicians, particular Bhutto and Mujib, failed to work out difference after the elections.


Pakistan is neither a delusion nor owned by mullahs or military as claimed by Husain Haqqani in his books "Pakistan: Between the Mosque and the Military" and "Magnificent Delusions".

Pakistan is not one or two's much more complex as explained by Christophe Jaffrelot in his book "The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience".

Political, military, religious, ethnic, sectarian, secular,  conservative and liberal forces are constantly pushing and pulling to destabilize it but Pakistan remains resilient with its strong nationalism that has evolved after 1971.

Pakistan continues to defy pessimist pundits like Husain Haqqani and Tarek Fatah.

Bill Clinton once said "Follow the trend-lines, not the headlines".

There are many sensational negative headlines about Pakistan that are misleading.

But look at the trends that are all positive in terms of economy, security, democracy, life expectancy. per capita incomes, education, etc etc.

 If you look at Pakistan's socioeconomic indicators, they are all up over 5,10, 15 years in spite of all the difficulties.

Swedish Professor Hans Rosling compiles these for all of the countries. His website is Go take a look at it, especially health and wealth of nations.

Pakistan has lower levels of income poverty than India. It also lower levels of multi-dimensional poverty as measured by MPI index that looks at not just income but also other dimensions like education, healthcare, hygiene, etc.

Here's a video of the rebuttal:

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

History of Literacy in Pakistan

Brief History of Pakistan's Economy

Depth of Deprivation in India

Tarek Fatah vs Riaz Haq on India, Pakistan and Muslims

Indian Sponsored Terror in Pakistan

700,000 Indian Soldiers Vs 10 Million Kashmiris

Indian Insider Account of 1965 War

Musharraf's Kashmir Formula

Who Are the Haqqanis? 

Debunking Mr. Haqqani's Op Ed "Pakistan's Elusive Quest for Parity"

Doval Doctrine

Views: 502

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 31, 2016 at 1:45pm

Most people who are negative about Pakistan often follow the headlines, not the trend lines. 
They do not seem to seek data and information from primary sources such as from UN agencies as compiled by Rosling; instead they seem to rely on 2nd, 3rd, 4th hand interpretations brought you courtesy of authors at Washington think tanks who are known to do their funders/backers bidding.$majorMode=chart$is;shi=t;ly=2003;lb=f;il=t;fs=11;al=30;stl=t;st=t;nsl=t;se=t$wst;tts=C$ts;sp=5.59290322580644;ti=2013$zpv;v=0$inc_x;mmid=XCOORDS;iid=phAwcNAVuyj1jiMAkmq1iMg;by=ind$inc_y;mmid=YCOORDS;iid=phAwcNAVuyj2tPLxKvvnNPA;by=ind$inc_s;uniValue=8.21;iid=phAwcNAVuyj0XOoBL_n5tAQ;by=ind$inc_c;uniValue=255;gid=CATID0;by=grp$map_x;scale=log;dataMin=194;dataMax=96846$map_y;scale=lin;dataMin=23;dataMax=86$map_s;sma=49;smi=2.65$cd;bd=0$inds=;modified=60

I don't expect most books published in US or India to be a true reflection of reality, especially about Pakistan. 

What you get from them are caricatures of countries based on Washington's worldview. 

I do not rely on such books for honest discussion of any international issues. I take what they see with a huge grain of salt. 

I prefer firstly to rely on primary sources of information and secondly on more nuanced views, not caricatures, of a complex country like Pakistan by authors such as Jaffrelot's and Lieven's. 

Here's an excerpt of Christophe Jaffrelot's "Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience":

"The three contradictions ("Pakistan=Islam+Urdu", "civil-military establishment", "role of Islam in public sphere")...provide a three-part structure to this book....This thematic framework is intended to enhance our understanding of the Pakistan Paradox. Indeed, so far, none of the consubstantial contradictions of Pakistan mentioned above have had the power to destroy the country. In spite of chronic instability that they have created, Pakistan continues to show remarkable resilience. This can only be understood if one makes the effort to grasp the complexity of a country that is often caricatured. This is the reason why all sides of the three tensions around which this book is organized must be considered together: the centrifugal forces at work in Pakistan and those resisting them on behalf of Pakistan nationalism and provincial autonomy; the culture of authoritarianism and the resources for democracy; the Islamist agenda, and those who are fighting it on behalf of secularism or "Muslimhood" a la JInnah. The final picture may result in a set, not of contradictions but of paradoxes in which virtually antagonistic elements cohabit. But whether that is sufficient to contain instability remains to be seen."

Here's Riaz Haq rebutting Husain Haqqani:

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 3, 2016 at 8:22am

#Pakistan accuses 8 #Indian diplomats, including RAW station chief in #Islamabad, of spying, #terrorism via @Reuters

Pakistan on Thursday named eight Indian diplomats it accuses of espionage and terrorism, as tension mounted between the nuclear-armed rivals following days of artillery duels and skirmishes on the border dividing the disputed Kashmir region.

The foreign ministry said six Indian embassy staff worked for New Delhi's Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency, while two were operatives for the Intelligence Bureau agency. Their names were leaked to Pakistani media overnight.

In response, India said it "completely rejected the baseless and unsubstantiated allegations" leveled by Pakistan against officials at its high commission in Islamabad.

Rajesh Kumar Agnihotri, a commercial counselor, was named by the Pakistan foreign ministry as RAW's station chief in Islamabad.

The foreign ministry statement gave an eight-point list of the diplomats' espionage activities.

It accused them of fuelling instability in Pakistan's Sindh and Baluchistan provinces, as well as sabotaging its most vital economic project, the $46-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), involving transport and energy infrastructure projects to link China with Pakistan's coast on the Arabian Sea.

They were also accused of liaising with factions of the Pakistani Taliban and of working to damage Pakistan's relations with western neighbor Afghanistan.

It was not immediately clear if the diplomats would be expelled by Pakistan or withdrawn by India, which condemned the publication of their names and images and called on Pakistan to ensure their safety.

Last week, India and Pakistan both expelled one diplomat from each other's embassies, accusing them of spying.

The foreign ministry also said Pakistan had withdrawn six diplomats from its mission in India after Indian media reported they had been involved in spying.

Vikas Swarup, spokesman of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, told a news briefing that Islamabad had withdrawn its diplomats after some were named by the Pakistani embassy worker that it had expelled last week.

The allegations against the Indian diplomats in Islamabad were "an afterthought and a crude attempt to target these officials for no fault of their own", said Swarup, adding that Pakistan's actions added to security risks in the region.

India summoned the Pakistani deputy high commissioner on Wednesday to express its "grave concern and strong protest" over the denouncement of its diplomats in Islamabad.

On the same day, the press wing of Pakistan's military said India had violated a 2003 ceasefire in Kashmir 178 times this year, killing 19 civilians.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 6, 2016 at 8:59pm

Shahid Javed Burki Op Ed in Express Tribune

.... Large workers’ migration to the Middle East began in the mid-seventies. This was the time when construction booms began in the countries that had windfall gains in their incomes as a result of the several-fold increase in the price of exported oil. Since that time, I estimate that half a trillion dollars of remittances were sent by the workers to their families who stayed back in Pakistan. The Middle Eastern countries did not allow the workers to bring in their families. They were brought in on limited-time contracts and new recruits replaced those returning. Most of those who came were poor but the money they sent back made it possible for their families to graduate to the middle class status. My guess is that this social transformation involved at least 5 million households or 20 to 25 million people.

Pakistani sociologists need to study this new middle class,in particular their location, aspirations, and demands. K-P province and northern districts of Punjab have a large number of such people. A significant number of them are from the country’s major cities. They form a voter-block unlike any Pakistan has seen in its political history. They don’t have fixed political affiliations. They don’t constitute a reliable vote-bank. Their expectation from the government is that of the satisfactory fulfilment of their basic needs – food, shelter, education, health and transport. Those who meet their aspirations will get their support.

A quick study of the results of the 2013 elections suggests that some 15 million moved away from the People’s Party and were equally divided between the Nawaz League and Tehrik-e-Insaf. However, the beneficiaries must not assume that this was a permanent move. If this social group is unhappy with the substance of governance, it will move on to other places. This is one reason why we are likely to see considerable volatility in the structure of politics in the country.

The rise of the new middle class also has significance for the productive sectors of the economy. With sufficient disposal incomes these people would like to spend on high value agricultural products such as vegetables, fruits, milk products and meat. However, the heavily subsidised agricultural sector under the influence of the old political class is still engaged in producing food grains. This means that in terms of adding value to the economy, agriculture is performing well below its considerable potential. This must change for political as well as economic reasons.

Demographic change is another area of analysis for those who would like to understand Pakistan’s political development. Pakistan has the youngest population among the world’s most populous countries. Since we have not held a census for 18 years, the country’s demographic profile can only be guessed at. I assume that the median age of the population is 23 years which means that some 100 million people are below that age. Youth moves more than those who are older. A large number of them have left their homes and are living in large cities such as Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi-Islamabad. Three-fourths of the populations of these cites is below the age of 25 years. They want good education and training, essential to find well-paying jobs. The Pakistani state has failed in this area which was why for-profit educational institutions in the country have proliferated.

Pakistan is changing fast, a fact that the old political class has not fully understood. It will pay a price for not watching what is happening around it. By the time this comprehension occurs, the country would have moved beyond its grasp.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 7, 2016 at 8:48am

#China's billions are luring other foreign investors to #Pakistan. #CPEC #MergersAndAcquisitions #FDI via @business


After years of flat direct foreign investment, it has taken China’s pledges of billions to get overseas companies to start looking beyond Pakistan’s negative headlines on security challenges and power outages.

While investment into Pakistan has been little changed in the three years since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was elected, companies including Turkey home appliances maker Arcelik AS and Dutch dairy giant Royal FrieslandCampina NV are making acquisitions in Pakistan.

Along with a military crackdown against militants following a 2014 school massacre and the government’s plans to end power shortages by 2018, it is China’s vote of confidence in the country that has boosted investor confidence. It pledged $46 billion in soft loans and investments in a so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, announced last year.
“Pakistan has turned the tide,” said Mattias Martinsson, the Stockholm-based chief investment officer at Tundra Fonder AB, which holds about $160 million in Pakistani stocks. “The CPEC agreement was probably the trigger for many investors to actively start looking. We all know China does not take short term decisions.”

New power plant projects fueled by Chinese investment are expected to help with Pakistan’s chronic outages and pave the way for investment in other industries. Consumer companies are taking the lead to cater to the world’s sixth largest nation by population.
“If you look at demographic and population, it’s just a great place to be,” said Naz Khan, Chief Financial Officer at Engro Corporation Ltd. whose food subsidiary is being bought by Dutch dairy company FrieslandCampina, which is looking to take a 51 percent stake in a deal valued at about $545 million at the Nov. 4 closing.

Consumer Spending
Consumer spending in Pakistan has increased 83.4 percent in the past five years compared with 48.7 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, according to data by Euromonitor International, a consumer research firm. Its forecasts show Pakistan’s disposable income has more than doubled in six years.
“Its young population, increasingly growing economy, makes it an enticing prospect as a market in the region,” Polat Sen, chief financial officer at Arcelik, said by e-mail. “Pakistan is on the verge of an investment-led growth cycle.”
Arcelik is scheduled to complete its purchase of Pakistan’s home appliance maker Dawlance for $243.2 million this month. It plans to focus on the local market and closely evaluate opportunities in the current export markets of Dawlance, according to Sen.
Pakistan’s government expects the economy to grow at the fastest pace in a decade after completing an International Monetary Fund loan program that averted a balance of payment crisis and boosted foreign exchange reserves to a record level. The economy is expected to grow around five percent annually for the next three years and Arcelik plans to keep its sales growth above that, according to Sen.


Pakistan’s automobile sector has also attracted interest with Renault entering exclusive negotiations with Ghandhara and Al Futtaim to develop a brand in Pakistan, a spokeswoman said by phone on Nov. 3. Meanwhile, investments are expected to jump to $5 billion in the year starting July from $1.28 billion in the last fiscal year as power plants come on line, Miftah Ismail, chairman of the nation’s Board of Investment, said in an August interview.
“I think you will also see Pakistan moving more toward merchant markets, you know people coming in and start taking risks," Khan said. “ I think this is just the beginning."

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 15, 2016 at 5:20pm

#India Occupied #Kashmir Is Paralyzed by an ‘Adored’ Band of Just 200 "Militants" fighting for freedom #FreeKashmir

Relatively few in number, about 200, roughly half of them from local villages, Hizbul Mujahedeen is the larger of two militant organizations and has widespread support from a populace that has lost faith in dialogue to resolve differences with the Indian government.

“They are adored,” said Sridhar Patil, the head of the regional police in Kulgam district, where crowds have burned a courthouse and a police station. “The younger generation of Kashmir is searching for a good leader, a good role model,” he said, and it has settled, for better or worse, on these young men.

Daily life in Kashmir has come close to a standstill since July, when Indian security forces killed the 22-year-old leader of the local militancy, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, who had attracted a broad following through videos he posted on Facebook and WhatsApp. He started the trend of young, charismatic militants, dressed in military fatigues and carrying assault weapons, revealing their names and faces on social media in efforts to spread their message to a wide audience.

The killing of Mr. Wani touched off four months of violence, including bombings, shootouts and attacks by stone-pelting youths, as well as protests by tens of thousands of people.

In a lengthy interview, the young man’s father, Mohammad Muzafar Wani, said he had tried hard to influence the path of his son, a handsome youth who gelled his hair and changed his outfits twice a day, preferring Western-style T-shirts to traditional kurtas.

But in 2010, three weeks after Burhan and his older brother were beaten up by security forces, the brainy boy who got top grades at school dropped the original plan to train as a doctor and instead joined Hizbul Mujahedeen.

“He was not a small child; I couldn’t have confined him to home,” his father said. “I could have stopped him for a day or two, but not all days.”

The Kashmir police have counted 2,400 clashes since July. Schools remain closed, more than 30 of them burned, and public transportation is almost entirely shut down. The state’s education minister was holed up in his home for days after receiving a threat.

Seventy-six people have been killed in the violence, the police in Kashmir say, while local activists put the toll at closer to 100. At least a thousand protesters have been struck in the eyes by pellets fired by police officers, and some have been blinded.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 17, 2016 at 9:43pm

Excerpts of World Bank Report "Making Growth Matter" released November, 2016:

The government recently set a new national poverty line that identifies 29.5 percent
of Pakistanis as poor (using the latest available data from FY14). By back casting
this line, the poverty rate in FY02 would have been about 64.3 percent. This means
that poverty has more than halved between FY02 and FY14, even according to this
new and higher metric. The new poverty line was introduced in April 2016 precisely
because of Pakistan's success in reducing poverty over the last decade and a half.
Using the old national poverty line, set in 2001, the percentage of people living in
poverty fell from 34.7 percent in FY02 to 9.3 percent in FY14—a fall of more than
75 percent. Other sources of data corroborate this decline—ownership of assets and
dietary diversity also increased over this period. For example, in the bottom income
quintile, motorcycle ownership increased from 2 to 18 percent between FY02 and
FY14. See Section C1.

When poverty declines, it usually coincides with other gains in household welfare.
Throughout the period under review, Pakistan saw substantial gains in welfare,
including the ownership of assets, the quality of housing and an increase in school
enrollment, particularly for girls. First, the ownership of relatively more expensive
assets increased even among the poorest. In the bottom quintile, the ownership of
motorcycles increased from 2 to 18 percent, televisions from 20 to 36 percent and
refrigerators from 5 to 14 percent (see Figure 29). In contrast, there was a decline
in the ownership of cheaper assets like bicycles and radios. Housing quality in the
bottom quintile also showed an improvement. The number of homes constructed
with bricks or blocks increased while mud (katcha) homes decreased. Homes with a
flushing toilet almost doubled in the bottom quintile, from about 24 percent in
FY02 to 49 percent in FY14 (see Figure 30).

Changes in consumption patterns over time were also consistent with the poverty
decline. It is well-known that increases in income are strongly associated with
households spending less of their budget on food, and more on non-food items
(Engel’s law). In Pakistan, the 25 percentage point decline in poverty between FY02
and FY14 was associated with a 10 percentage point reduction in the share of
expenditure devoted to food (see Figure 31).

In Pakistan, the reduction in poverty led to an increase in dietary diversity for all
income groups. For the poorest, the share of expenditure devoted to milk and milk
products, chicken, eggs and fish rose, as did the share devoted to vegetables and
fruits. In contrast, the share of cereals and pulses, which provide the cheapest 

calories, declined steadily between FY02 and FY14. Because foods like chicken,
eggs, vegetables, fruits, and milk and milk products are more expensive than cereals
and pulses, and have lower caloric content, this shift in consumption also increased
the amount that people spent per calorie over time (see Table 12). For the poorest
quintile, expenditure per calorie increased by over 18 percent between FY02 and

Overall, this analysis confirms that the decline in poverty exhibited by the 2001
poverty line is quite credible, and that Pakistan has done remarkably well overall in
reducing monetary poverty based on the metric it set some 15 years ago. 

... there is now a considerable body of
research suggesting that the link between food availability and nutritional status is
weak, and is mediated by the ambient disease environment and the quality of water
and sanitation.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 20, 2016 at 6:58pm

Heated exchange between Haqqani, Ishrat over Pak-US ties

“CSF was not assistance. It was our money that we spent to support the US logistic operations in Afghanistan during the war on terror and it was reimbursed later. I sat in cabinet meetings where we approved allocation from our own budget to support the US operation. That money was later reimbursed by the US government through the CSF,” Dr Ishrat said while responding to Haqqani’s point that Pakistan did not deliver enough after receiving the US assistance after 9/11.

While praising the Indian progress after independence, Haqqani strongly criticised Pakistan for failing to utilise $43 billion aid it received from the US since 1949 for its development.

Haqqani argued that the US should not provide large-scale assistance to Pakistan. However, the former ambassador of Pakistan was reminded by no one else but an American former official that the US assistance was given to Pakistan to protect US national interests.

“May be you are not serving your national interests by giving money to Pakistan,” Haqqani told the former US official. Haqqani said during his tenure as Pakistan ambassador he received the CSF bills that were objected to by the US authorities. “Once I received a request for $120 million for beef that was used by Pakistani soldiers serving in Swat and $100 million for barbed wire in tribal areas. I was asked by US officials what kind of barbed wire costs that much.”

The moderator of the discussion had to intervene to stop the heated exchange between Ishrat and Haqqani as the former ambassador started interrupting Ishrat. Dr Ishrat said whatever assistance Pakistan received was delivered when the US needed Pakistani support. “Whether it was during the 1960s Cold War or 1980’s Afghan war and the recent war on terror, the assistance was given to promote the US national interests in the region.”

He said Pakistan did not need an aid model that never worked as it could not promote development. He said the US and Pakistan should cooperate in educational exchanges and human resource development as South Asian country’s had huge potential.

“US Fulbright programme is helping Pakistani students but these students need to be sent to the top US universities to learn science, mathematics and related subjects,” Ishrat said adding that currently majority of Pakistani students were placed in less famous universities as it cost less.

To this, Husain Haqqani argued that Pakistani students were not enough talented to get admission to the top Ivy League universities prompting a response from Ishrat. “This is not true I know many Pakistani students in my institute who are brilliant and could get admission anywhere,” Ishrat, who served as dean and director of the prestigious Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in Karachi, said.

Speaking on the occasion Robin Raphel said the US assistance to Pakistan did achieve objectives. “We always know money can’t buy you love but when you build road, you build hospital or school, people do like that,” she said. She listed major development projects that were completed in Pakistan with US assistance provided under the Kerry-Lugar bill.

These projects included the 2,400 megawatt electricity project, 1,100-kilometre road in tribal areas, clean energy project, the largest Fulbright programme and university partnership apart from $1 billion humanitarian assistance.

Praising Vision 2025 programme of PML-N government, she said Pakistan under the current government had better sense of development priorities. She said the current Pakistani administration was not talking much about aid but the focus had now shifted to trade and business opportunities.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 24, 2016 at 9:37pm

Credit Suisse: Avg adult in #Pakistan 20% richer than avg adult in #India. Pak median wealth 120% higher than India

Average Pakistani adult is 20% richer than an average Indian adult and the median wealth of a Pakistani adult is 120% higher than that of his or her Indian counterpart, according to Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2016. Average household wealth in Pakistan has grown 2.1% while it has declined 0.8% in India since the end of last year.
Here are the key statistics reported by Credit Suisse:

Total Household Wealth Mid-2016 :

India $3,099 billion Pakistan $524 billion

Wealth per adult:

India Year End 2000 Average $2,036 Median $498.00

Pakistan Year End 2000 Average $2,399 Median $1,025

India Mid-2016 Average $3,835 Median $608 

Pakistan Mid-2016 Average $4,595 Median $1,788

Average wealth per adult in Pakistan is $760 more than in India or about 20% higher.

Median wealth per adult in Pakistan is $1,180 more than in India or about 120% higher


Median wealth data indicates that 50% of Pakistanis own more than $1,180 per adult which is 120% more than the $608 per adult owned by 50% of Indians.

The Credit-Suisse report says that the richest 1% of Indians own 58.4% of India's wealth, second only to Russia's at 74.5%. That makes India the 2nd biggest oligarchy in the world.

The CS wealth data, particularly the median wealth figures, clearly show that Pakistan has much lower levels of inequality than India.

World Bank Report:

A November 2016 World Bank report says that Pakistan has successfully translated economic growth into the well-being of its poorest citizens. It says "Pakistan’s recent growth has been accompanied by a staggering fall in poverty".

Rising incomes of the poorest 20% in Pakistan since 2002 have enabled them to enhance their living standards by improving their diets and acquiring television sets, refrigerators, motorcycles, flush toilets, and better housing.

Another recent report titled "From Wealth to Well Being" by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) also found that Pakistan does better than India and China in translating GDP growth to citizens' well-being.

One particular metric BCG report uses is growth-to-well-being coefficient on which Pakistan scores 0.87, higher than India's 0.77 and China's 0.75.

Big Poverty Decline Since 2002:

Using the old national poverty line of $1.90 (ICP 2011 PPP) , set in 2001, the percentage of people living in poverty fell from 34.7 percent in FY02 to 9.3 percent in FY14—a fall of more than 75 percent. Much of the socioeconomic progress reported by the World Bank since 2000 has occurred during President Musharraf's years in office from 2000-2007. It has dramatically slowed or stagnated since 2010.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 26, 2016 at 9:12pm

#India doesn’t have power to take territory from #Pakistan: Farooq Abdullah. #Kashmir via @NewIndianXpress

SRINAGAR: Amid heightened Indian-Pakistan border tension, Jammu and Kashmir’s former Chief Minister and opposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah has dared Narendra Modi government to reclaim Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) from Pakistan saying it does not have the power to take it back. 

“They say in parliament and there is a resolution that PaK is India’s territory,” Abdullah said while addressing party workers in Kishtwar area of Jammu province. 

“Arre Tumhare Baap Ka hai kya. Tumhae pass wo takt nahi hai ki tum wo hissa vapas le sako (You don’t have the power to take the territory back),” he said.

Abdullah, who was three-time Chief Minister of J&K, said PaK is presently under the control of Pakistan. 

“It is not the personal property of India so that it could make a claim over it like an inherited property of forefathers,” he said adding, “Pakistan is one of the stakeholders of the Kashmir issue, which even India has accepted”.

Stressing the significance of dialogue between New Delhi and all stakeholders in Kashmir and externally with Pakistan, Abdullah said, “Sooner or later, the central leadership will have to talk to Islamabad for lasting peace in the region”. 

He said the solution to Kashmir problem lies in a sustained dialogue process and not in military might or aggression on the LoC and the International Border.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 27, 2016 at 5:17pm

No evidence of #Pakistan's role in fomenting trouble in #Afghanistan, says Gen Petraeus. #Taliban #terrorism

Former US military commander Gen (R) David Petraeus has said that during his long association with his Pakistani counterparts and interaction with ISI as head of CIA, he could never find a convincing piece of evidence which supported the alleged double game by ISI or its explicit support to elements associated with terrorism.

This statement was given by the general while answering a question during an interactive discussion session that was held at Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in the last month during which the commander talked about wide range of issues and challenges likely to be faced by the next US administration.

During the discussion, an Afghan female student from Buckingham University asked the general about the alleged complicity of Pakistan in fomenting trouble in Afghanistan, double role played by ISI and why US was not using its influence to reign in Pakistan. The general gave an elaborate reply and talked for about 7-8 minutes. He said that during his long association with his Pakistani counterparts and interaction with ISI as head of CIA, he could never find a convincing piece of evidence which supported the allegation of double game by ISI or its explicit support to elements associated with terrorism. He said like any other intelligence agency, ISI might have had some sort of communication channels to engage with them and there may have been some degree of accommodation but the talk about explicit support or double game is more of a journalistic conclusion with no concrete evidence. He said that Pakistan Army’s campaign against the Taliban in Swat in 2009 and its subsequent progress in most of the Tribal belt under General Kayani and his successor, General Raheel Sharif, was impressive.

“Pakistan Army suffered casualties and had limited Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities though the US did try to help and there existed enormous amount of cooperation between the two militaries. However, the unfortunate episodes of Raymond Davis and publications of book by Bob Woodward and WikiLeaks did impact negatively on this cooperation”. Petraeus added that he looked hard to establish any linkage between Pakistan Army, FC and ISI with any of the terrorist elements and did not find any supporting evidence. What Pakistani military has not been able to achieve has more to do with its capacity rather than it being complicit. He again said that the popular narrative about ISI double game etc was a journalistic thing. He said that some people refer to Pakistan as FRENEMY but again exact pinning down the blame on Pakistan for attacks on US soldiers in Afghanistan remains ‘very very difficult’.

As regards the leverage, there is a limit to what US can achieve. US did cut of all aid, stopped F-16s but it did not help and the two countries only came together after 9/11. He said that managing its relationship with Pakistan would be among the top two or three challenges for the next administration”. Considering his background as one of the top US military leaders in Afghanistan and Iraq and former head of CIA, comments of General Petraeus against the popular Afghani, Indian and Western propaganda maligning Pakistan Army/ISI is considered very helpful in setting the record straight especially considering the significant attendance of the event by people from various backgrounds. The session was moderated by Sir Peter Ricketts, Senior Association fellow of RUSI.


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