Tag Archives: Economy

The Double Game

The unintended consequences of American funding in Pakistan.

by Lawrence Wright

It’s the end of the Second World War, and the United States is deciding what to do about two immense, poor, densely populated countries in Asia. America chooses one of the countries, becoming its benefactor. Over the decades, it pours billions of dollars into that country’s economy, training and equipping its military and its intelligence services. The stated goal is to create a reliable ally with strong institutions and a modern, vigorous democracy. The other country, meanwhile, is spurned because it forges alliances with America’s enemies.

The country not chosen was India, which “tilted” toward the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Pakistan became America’s protégé, firmly supporting its fight to contain Communism. The benefits that Pakistan accrued from this relationship were quickly apparent: in the nineteen-sixties, its economy was an exemplar. India, by contrast, was a byword for basket case. Fifty years then went by. What was the result of this social experiment?

India has become the state that we tried to create in Pakistan. It is a rising economic star, militarily powerful and democratic, and it shares American interests. Pakistan, however, is one of the most anti-American countries in the world, and a covert sponsor of terrorism. Politically and economically, it verges on being a failed state. And, despite Pakistani avowals to the contrary, America’s worst enemy, Osama bin Laden, had been hiding there for years—in strikingly comfortable circumstances—before U.S. commandos finally tracked him down and killed him, on May 2nd.

American aid is hardly the only factor that led these two countries to such disparate outcomes. But, at this pivotal moment, it would be a mistake not to examine the degree to which U.S. dollars have undermined our strategic relationship with Pakistan—and created monstrous contradictions within Pakistan itself.

American money began flowing into Pakistan in 1954, when a mutual defense agreement was signed. During the next decade, nearly two and a half billion dollars in economic assistance, and seven hundred million in military aid, went to Pakistan ….

Read more : The New Yorker

PAKISTAN IN CRISIS

Ahmed Rashid, Author and Journalist

With the recent assassination of Salman Taseer, governor of the province of Punjab, one of the strongest voices for democracy and secularism in the Pakistan People’s Party has been silenced. The government is in crisis, and the economy has been in freefall since the International Monetary Fund halted its loans to the country last year. Ahmed Rashid warns that the situation in Pakistan is potentially worse than in neighboring Afghanistan. This unrest comes at a crucial time when the United States is seeking increased cooperation with Islamabad on the war in Afghanistan and combating terrorism. What is the future of Pakistan’s partnership with the United States, and what will be Pakistan’s role in defining regional order before NATO pulls out of Afghanistan in 2014? …

Read more : The Chicago Council

Indian budget projects economic growth

India’s government has unveiled its annual budget, saying that the economy is expected to grow at 9% in 2012.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the growth rate for the current fiscal year was projected at 8.5%.

He said inflation would decrease over the next fiscal year – the current rate is 8.4%. But food price inflation, at 17%, “remains a concern”.

Mr Mukherjee promised action on food security and pledged an increase in social spending. …

Read more : BBC

The Perfect Government

Written by: Daniel Greenfield

Mankind has been searching for the perfect government, longer than it has been searching for the ability to transmute lead into gold. But while transmutation can turn lead into gold, no amount of energy in the world can make a government perfect. The atomic structures of every metal are a known quantity, but human beings are not. And never can be.

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle applies not just to electrons, but even more so to the paired entanglement of government and the governed. No system that rules over men can ever work perfectly. Nor was it ever meant to. But that hasn’t stopped progressive ideologies and philosophies from trying over and over again in age after age. Their goal is to create a perfect government that can then turn out perfect men. …

Read more : Eurasiareview

Will Pakistan Follow Egypt’s Example?

Author: Jayshree Bajoria, Senior Staff Writer

Pakistan may be even more vulnerable than Egypt (The News) to popular discontent, with higher inflation, unemployment, and external debt, much of it exacerbated by the devastating flood of 2010 that crippled an already teetering economy. Many Pakistanis are sympathetic (PressTV) to the anger over corruption, surging food prices, and lack of jobs driving Egypt’s protests.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani rules out the likelihood of an uprising such as those in Egypt and Tunisia. “Our institutions are working and democracy is functional,” Gilani says (Daily Times).

Huma Yusuf, a Pakistan scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, says it is unlikely Pakistanis will unite against a common cause. “Decades of manipulative politicking under military regimes have fractured civil society (Dawn) and factionalized politics,” she writes. “We will always see ourselves through an ethnic, sectarian, or socio-economic lens before we see ourselves as Pakistani.” The murder of Pakistan’s Governor Salman Taseer by his own security guard in January, and support for Taseer’s assassin among many Pakistanis, exposed some of these growing divisions.

Like Egypt, Pakistan is an important strategic partner whose stability matters even more for U.S. national security interests, in neighboring Afghanistan as well as in U.S. efforts to confront al-Qaeda. But U.S.-Pakistan relations have been strained following the detention of a U.S. diplomat on possible murder charges. The Washington Post reports the Obama administration has suspended all high-level dialogue with Pakistan.

Read more : Council on Foreign Relations

Pakistan’s new economic agenda

by Manzur Ejaz

Then let’s start. Let’s take the economic agenda first:

1. Feudalism should be abolished completely

2. It will be a Social Democratic Economy…Public sector along with largely private enterprises. Public sector should be expanded to provide universal education and health services….

3. Everyone pays taxes to get services. At least everyone files taxes whether rich or poor. Role of indirect taxes should be minimized which is regressive but main source of government income. In a mixed economy taxes are the only instrument to distribute wealth on equitable basis. It is the only way to fund government operations without borrowing. And inflation or rising prices can only be checked if government borrowing is brought down to zero.

4. Electricity and gas should be supplied on continuous basis to run the industry and trade smoothly.

5. People living beyond their means and having wealth beyond known sources should be prosecuted and brought to justice.

6. End of monopolies or they should be regulated wherever necessary. Monopoly in media should be ended: Like the US one group should not have major newspaper in more than one region.

Read more : Wichaar

Pakistan’s nukes: How many are enough?

By Pervez Hoodbhoy

The latest news from America must have thrilled many: Pakistan probably has more nuclear weapons than India. A recent Washington Post article, quoting various nuclear experts, suggests that Pakistan is primed to “surge ahead in the production of nuclear-weapons material, putting it on a path to overtake Britain as the world’s fifth largest nuclear weapons power”.

Some may shrug off this report as alarmist anti-Pakistan propaganda, while others will question the accuracy of such claims. Indeed, given the highly secret nature of nuclear programmes everywhere, at best one can only make educated guesses on weapons and their materials. For Pakistan, it is well known that the Kahuta complex has been producing highly enriched uranium for a quarter century, and that there are two operational un-safeguarded plutonium-producing reactors at Khushab (with a third one under construction). Still, the exact amounts of bomb-grade material and weapons are closely held secrets.

But for argument’s sake, let’s assume that the claims made are correct. Indeed, let us suppose that Pakistan surpasses India in numbers – say by 50 per cent or even 100 per cent. Will that really make Pakistan more secure? Make it more capable of facing current existential challenges?

The answer is, no. Pakistan’s basic security problems lie within its borders: growing internal discord and militancy, a collapsing economy, and a belief among most citizens that the state cannot govern effectively. These are deep and serious problems that cannot be solved by more or better weapons. Therefore the way forward lies in building a sustainable and active democracy, an economy for peace rather than war, a federation in which provincial grievances can be effectively resolved, elimination of the feudal order and creating a tolerant society that respects the rule of law. …

Read more : THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE

Professional Beggars at their best … but .. Beggars are not choosers!

Vice President Joe Biden is the latest high level U.S dignitary to visit Pakistan. As the series of such high profile visits continues, one wonders what actually transpires in such meetings and what kind of assurances are given from both sides to each other. In this episode of Reporter, Arshad Sharif tries to find out what PM Gilani meant when he said that he has given assurances to Joe Biden that practical steps will be taken to resolve all the difficult problems.

Courtesy: Dawn News (program Reporter with Arshad Sharif)

Source- You Tube Link

New opportunity and old challenges — Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi

The threats to the Pakistani state include socio-cultural intolerance, religious extremism and the use of violence to pursue self-articulated narrow ideological agendas. If these negative trends are coupled with a faltering economy, there is little hope for a stable, democratic Pakistan. …

Read more : Daily Times

US launches $15mn project to help small farmers in Sindh – Thank you USA, appreciated.

 

… province in Pakistan’s south cultivate sunflowers by providing seed, fertiliser and technical assistance, a statement issued here said. “This project will jumpstart the local economy by creating direct and indirect employment and increasing farmers’ incomes,” said USAID Economic Growth.

 

Let’s germinate like Germany did

– Muhammad Shoaib Akif

President Asif Ali Zardari will continue to face a difficult, and at times war-like, situation through such media debates which rather look like trials. The participants in the debates usually are the beneficiary of the system that speaks volumes about an ever-untold truth that is about human relationships that are determined by economy and security. President Zardari is in a struggle to change the system. Since he means economy and security for all, and not for only a few hundred thousand elitist Pakistanis, he would continue to face resistance. What does security and economy here in Pakistan for everyone mean? Moreover, what if these two entities are not achieved justifiably with the reasons quite understandable even to an illiterate and what is not happening here for more than 63 years? Last but not the least, who will help us achieve these utmost requirements and how? Let’s have one of the pertinent examples say of Germany to find the answer. Germany acted rationally after experiencing almost total devastation caused by its expansionist policies during Second World War 63 years ago. Germans did not raise another army; it raised its economic structure through social democracy. And that enabled Germany make its citizens secure both socially and economically. To Germans security and economy of an individual is security of state itself. The people out there do not need thousands of judges and generals because a responsible bureaucracy, which is much smaller than ours, does its job amicably under the guidance of political government. Germens do not have to pay almost 10 billion US$ to keep only their not-awfully over-sized army and administration happy every year as we do here. Although their differences between expenditures and income may be in hundreds of US$ billion yet the differences are not mere due to their spending on their army and administration but on employed and unemployed citizens living therein. Germany makes her citizens secure both socially and economically and in turn the citizens show a paramount patriotism and protect the state also simply because the state does best possible justice with them. None can refute a recent example when world economic recession had just started off to effect Germany; it were the elites of Germany who asked their state publicly to tax them more than what their common citizens paid. In fact, almost all the citizens work, produce and pay taxes willingly and thus increase the income of the state to be spent back on them in various ways later in shape of social and economic security. To them and rightly so: security and economy of an individual is the security of state itself. …

Read more : The Frontier Post

New corruption scandal deals blow to India’s image

By Paul de Bendern and Jui Chakravorty

NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s reputation as a place to do business took another hit after the scandal-tainted government charged top public sector bankers with accepting bribes initially estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars.

The scandal is one of the biggest to taint India, potentially harming the image of Asia’s third-largest economy as destination for foreign investors, especially as it comes a few days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has had to defend his government in another graft scandal involving telecoms licences sold at rock-bottom prices. …

Read more : Reuters

Afghanistan: NATO’s mission impossible – by Shiraz Paracha

…. But in 1991, all that ended abruptly with the smooth and peaceful split of the Soviet Union. The West painted the Soviet demise as its victory. But in fact, it was the biggest shock for the huge Western military and propaganda machine.

The Cold War mindset was not ready to accept the new change. The mysterious attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001 and the subsequent ‘war on terror’ filled the enemy vacuum for the Cold War warriors, but it did not help an organization like NATO that was created on the concept of traditional warfare.

In the post-1945 era, despite their technological superiority and military and economic power, Western countries did not fight directly against powerful states. Proxy wars were the West’s preferred method throughout the Cold War period.

Nevertheless, in the 1990s, the West opted for military interventions and regime changes. Western countries acted as a pack of wolves and attacked small and weak states. The strategy provided an opportunity to lightweights such as Bush and Blair to imitate Churchill and Roosevelt and appear strong and victorious.

But the US defeat in Iraq and the NATO’s failed mission in Afghanistan have proven that military occupations and interventions are counterproductive and expose weaknesses of occupiers and aggressors.

Today, NATO is disillusioned and disoriented. It is demanding from its member states to allocate at least two percent of their GDPs to defense budgets. In a desperate effort to keep its large and bureaucratic structures and huge budget, NATO has been adding vague, unrealistic and ambiguous aims and objectives to its mission. It has committed blunders like Afghanistan but its commanders did not seem to have learned any lessons.

Regardless of the Lisbon rhetoric, not all NATO member states can afford ever increasing military budgets to counter open-ended threats and fight unspecified enemies. Weakening European economies need trade and investment rather than wars. They rely on energy but the energy sources are out of Europe. Skilled labor and markets are beyond the geographical sphere of the most NATO states. And most NATO countries certainly do not have the will and capacity for missions impossible, like the one in Afghanistan.

To read full article : Criticalppp

Bharat Mahan : The Most Corrupt nation on this planet, say Jay Hind

$1.5 Trillion of India’s stolen money: Swiss Banking Association
Transparency International and the Freedom Foundation ignore the blatant and egregious theft of money from official coffers of the Government of India. The Most Corrupt nation on this planet Bharat (aka India).

Swiss Banking Association report, details bank deposits in the territory of Switzerland by nationals of following countries:

Top five: India—- $1,456 billion (Public loot since 1947), Russia —$ 470 billion, UK ——-$390 billion, Ukraine – $100 billion, China —–$ 96 billion

According to Global Financial Integrity Indian politicians, IAS, IRS, IPS and people from entertainment and sports industry have deposited $ 325 billion in last five years in Swiss accounts (say Jay Hind).

This may be the picture of deposits in Swiss banks only. What about other international destinations? There are presumably more than 70 Tax havens in the world. Indian wealth could be more in Switzerland and various British /US islands. At least forty countries market themselves aggressively as tax havens.

After Bharat mahan the second best Russia has 4 times lesser deposit in Swiss accounts. US is not even there in the counting in top five !! India has more money in swiss banks than all the other countries combined.

Interestingly Swiss government agreed to disclose the names of the account holders only if the respective governments formally asked for it but Indian govt. is not asking for the details. Annually more than 100,000 Indians travel to Switzerland, of whom 35,000 travel very frequently.

A few corrupt Indians have 1.5 trillion dollars of black money on other hand daily 3000-4000 children die from malnutrition in India and 1000 pregnant women die every day in India (say Jay Hind). More than 70% of population is anemic (In simple maths after 50 years there will be no Indian in India.) India got the gold medal in black money but they are competing with Angola and Congo in GHI (global hunger Index).

Chennai, The Switzerland government has not received any request from the Indian government for sharing the names of tax evaders who have stashed away their illicit money in Swiss banks, the Swiss Ambassador to India Philippe Weiti said Wednesday. …

Read more : Wichaar

More details : BBC urdu

US graduates heading to India for jobs

Breaking tradition, top American graduates are heading to India to find jobs and opportunity. Many believe that having experience in India is an important addition to their resume in this increasingly globalized world. Some say that its easier to find a good job in India than in the United States, as India’s economy is growing while the US economy is predicted to shrink within the next year.

via GlobeistanYouTube Link

Pakistan – No sign of a rainbow

Banyan

No sign of a rainbow

Badly governed and short of the foreign help it needs, Pakistan’s people deserve a new covenant

….. Even the optimistic case for Pakistan’s survival is downbeat. It has long been “the most dangerous place on earth”, on the brink of some apocalypse. Yet it is more resilient than it looks. “This is Pakistan’s fifth last chance,” quips a government minister. Or, in the words of Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to America: “We’ll muddle through again.” Even if he is right, as Banyan hopes and believes, it is not just a question of limping through the next few weeks until the monsoon ends. The floods have washed away food and cash crops in the country’s agricultural heartland of southern Punjab. Livestock in the tens of thousands has been lost. Irrigation canals, roads, bridges and electricity networks have been damaged. The economic hardship will help provide recruits for terrorist outfits. Even if it survives without a political or social upheaval, Pakistan is going to worry its neighbours and the outside world for another generation.

To read full article >> The Economist

Pakistan economy on the verge of collapse?

Economy: on the verge of collapse?

Finance Minister Hafeez Sheikh’s warning to officials of the state, delivered in a sombre meeting late last month, could not be clearer: the government, federal and provincial, is on the verge of financial collapse. So dire is the state of affairs that the government may not have money to pay salaries in a few months. Lest this be dismissed as hyperbole, Mr Sheikh’s comments have been echoed privately by many economists and experts familiar with state finances in recent weeks. In fact, if anything the finance minister’s comments are on the more optimistic side of dire.

The basic problem is clear: the Pakistani state, all tiers of government, spends twice as much as revenue generated, while neither is expenditure being curtailed nor are revenues being meaningfully increased. At the level of the citizenry, the immediate impact is felt in the form of rising inflation (sustained budget deficits of the kind Pakistan has had over the last few years are highly inflationary in nature) while in the long term it will be felt in terms of debt servicing crowding out investments in development and infrastructure.

The blame must be shared by everyone. …

Read more >> Dawn Editorial

AJP Held Budget & Economy Seminar in Hyderabad.

A Seminar on Budget & Economy of Sindh entitled “Addressing Developmental Needs of Sindh” was held at Hyderabad Press club on Monday, May 31st by Awami Jamhoori Party (AJP). Keeping in view great dearth of economic thinking, discourse among civil society and political forces of issues of development and under-development, it proved to be a good start.

Continue reading AJP Held Budget & Economy Seminar in Hyderabad.

A Conversation with Ayesha Siddiqa in Toronto

World Sindhi Institute Presents A Conversation With AYESHA SIDDIQA Author of Military Inc., Inside Pakistan ’s Military Economy Monday April 19th, 2010, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, University of Toronto , Woodsworth College Residence, Room 20, “Today, the military’s hegemony in Pakistan is a reality…the military has penetrated the society, politics and the economy.” -Military Inc.

Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa is currently a Senior Visiting Professor at the Johns Hopkins University ’s School of Advanced International Studies . She is the author of two books on defence decision-making and political economy of the military – Military Inc, Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy and Pakistan’s Arms Procurement and Military Buildup, 1979-99: In Search of a Policy. She did her doctorate from King’s College, London in 1996 and has worked on issues varying from military technology, defence decision-making, nuclear deterrence, arms procurement, arms production to civil-military relations in South Asia . She has also written commissioned papers on small arms and light weapons proliferation and problems of governance.

RSVP: humaira.rahman@worldsindhi.org

Unlikely Scenario?

By B. R. Gowani

Courtesy: Globeistan.com

10% is the official unemployment rate

Nor is the unofficial rate too great:

The Economy is on a downward slide

And by now, people’s hopes have died

So all of the employed make a plan

To join the jobless; to form a clan

They declare a total general strike

To break the rulers’ disparity-dyke

Most dependent is the capitalist class

That forms a part of the exploiting brass

To maintain the greatest democracy façade

They appealed calmly while hiding the rod

Patriotism, nationalism, enemy, and flag

The usual bull shit were used to gag

But the people have really united this time

And are in no mood to join the elite’s chime

Continue reading Unlikely Scenario?

The US is running a printing press economy with no restraint!

WASHINGTON DIARY: Printing money
by Dr Manzur Ejaz, USA
April 1st, 2009
Courtesy: Wichaar.com

Pakistan, a parody of the US economic model, has already gone through this process of printing money to inundate insufficient roads with vehicles, and homes with machines that require electricity which is not there. If your business goes under, you are forced to declare bankruptcy. But not if you are a government and your treasury has a working printing press. Shaukat Aziz & Co had the State Bank’s printing press working overtime, but it led to an inflation disaster. However, if you are the sole superpower, your treasury would have the largest printing press and no one in the world would challenge you when you buy another country’s goods with just paper. The US is running a printing press economy with no restraint or second thoughts.

Continue reading The US is running a printing press economy with no restraint!

Can we make the difference

By Ali Nawaz Memon

1) Can one man/woman make the difference? YES. HOWEVER, A LARGE, WELL ORGANIZED, ENERGETIC AND DEDICATED GROUP HAS A BETTER CHANCE OF SUCCESS. 2) If we were to take just one severe issue and try to improve which one it will/should be?

i) education ii) health iii) economy iv) bring up the moral values again v) or any other

ALL ARE IMPORTANT. I AM PERSONALLY GIVING HIGHER PRIORITY TO EDUCATION BECAUSE IT CAN TAKE INDIVIDUALS TO EMPLOYMENT AND PRODUCTIVE LIVES. IN TURN, THEY CAN HELP THEIR FAMILIES AND THE COMMUNITY.

3) Can we make a real difference from here or any place in the world or we ought to be on the real ground to get better and more effective results?

WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE FROM ANYWHERE. HOWEVER, PEOPLE ON THE SCENE HAVE TO PLAY THEIR PART.

Courtesy: Sindh e-lists/ e-groups.

April 27, 2008

Higher tax on rich

Obama’s bold budget dicards Bush ideology in bid to lift economy

U.S. President Barack Obama blamed current economic woes on “an era of profound irresponsiblity.”
– ANDREW TAYLOR
ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON- U.S. President Barack Obama charted a dramatic course for the United States with a bold but contenttious budge proposing higher taxes for the wealthy and the first steps toward guaranted health care for all Americans.
The budget was accompained by an astonishing $1.75 trillion federal deficit that would be nearly four times the highest in history. In a veiled jibe at George W. Bush’s eight- year presidency, Obama attributed the current economic maelstrom to “an era of profound irresponsibilty that engulfed both private and public institutions from some of our largest companies’ executive suites to the seats of power in Washington, D.C.”

Denouncing what he called the “dishonest accounting” of recent federal budgets, Obama unveiled his own $ 36 trillion blueprint for next year, a proposal tha would transfer walth from rich taxpayers to the middle class and the poor….

STATE BANK OF PAKISTAN GOVERNOR`S SELF ABSOLUTION

SBP GOVERNOR`S SELF ABSOLUTION
by Ali Akbar, Karachi, Sindh
The writer can be reached at: drdhakansindheconomist@hotmail.com

On Geo Tv Channel, Mr. Kamran Khan conducted a detailed Interview with the SBP Governor about her decision of increasing the discount rate and action taken against Money Changers on 13-11-2008 at 10:05 Pm. Mr Kamran, due to the untimely and hastily SBP Governor`s decision of incresing thrice the discount rate expressed the fears of less developmental activities, low investment, slow production function, high changes in demand and supply, price hike, inflation, unemployment, curtailment in purchasing power of poor people hence absolute poverty etc, in the coming future.

Continue reading STATE BANK OF PAKISTAN GOVERNOR`S SELF ABSOLUTION

Those who dumped all the money into the war have been defeated

by Ayaz Latif Palijo Advocate, Hyderabad, Sindh
The writer can be reached at: ayazlatif@gmail.com
Obama won and those who were ruining the US economy and the economy and peace of the world, those who dumped all the money into the war have been defeated. Where are the WMD? The war that Bush and company started? I think the very least we can expect from Mr Obama is that he will not waste American and third world lives for a publicity stunt. The best way to run the presidency is to think “what would Bush do in a situation like this” and then do the exact opposite.

Continue reading Those who dumped all the money into the war have been defeated

WAR ECONOMY

By Dr Ali Akbar Dhakan, Karachi

Non-economists do not know that there is no any recipe for econmic development in the presence of war.They must know that there are two kinds of economies i.e, (i)Peace economy in which the non-development expenditure is at lowest ebb but the development expenditure is at the highest height when every rupee is spent for productive purpose which means more and more goods are produced increasing the supply side of economy bringing prosperity due to low prices on account of the law of demand and supply meaning thereby that when supply is at higher side and demand is at lower side, the price will also be at lower side raising the purchasing power of the common man and vice versa and (ii) the war economy for which every rupee is spent for destruction and consumption purpose bringing no more production and creating shortage of goods or low supply which will cause high prices or price hike or inflation and causing low purchasing power of the common people just as at present,

Continue reading WAR ECONOMY