Pakistan Elections 2018 Predictions; Nawaz Sharif's Future

What will be the impact of tragic terror attacks with mass casualties on Pakistan's July 25, 2018 general elections? How does the current situation compare with the situation in 2013 elections? Will the elections proceed as scheduled?

Which party is likely to get the most votes and parliamentary seats in Pakistan's July 25, 2018 general elections? Will one party get a clear majority? Who will form the new government? Is PTI Chief Imran Khan likely to be the next prime minister of Pakistan? Will it be a coalition government? How can a weak coalition government implement a radical reform agenda proposed by Imran Khan?

Why did former prime minister of Pakistan Mr. Nawaz Sharif, convicted recently by a Pakistani court on charges of having assets beyond income, come back to Lahore to face certain arrest? What is his strategy? What is Nawaz Sharif's future in Pakistani politics after his conviction and arrest? How will PMLN fare in 2018 and future elections? Will the disgraced S…

Pakistan GDP Growth 1960-2017: How Does Pakistan Compare With China and India?

The latest GDP figures in terms of current US dollars released by the World Bank for 2017 put Pakistan's GDP at $305 billion, India's at $2,597 billion and China's at $12,237 billion.  The World Bank also lists where the gross domestic products of each country in current US dollars stood in 1960.

Economic Growth Since 1960: 

The World Bank report released in June, 2018 shows that Pakistan's GDP has grown from $3.7 billion in 1960 to $305 billion in 2017, or 82.4 times. In the same period,  India's GDP grew from $37 billion in 1960 to $2,597 billion in 2017 or 71.15 times. Both South Asian nations have outpaced the world GDP growth of 60 times from 1960 to 2017.

While Pakistan's GDP growth of 82X from 1960 to 2017 is faster than India's 71X and it appears impressive, it pales in comparison to Malaysia's 157X, China's 205X and South Korea's 382X during the same period.

Economic Growth Since 1998:

In spite of all of the multiple challenges on several …

A Muslim Woman Founded World's Oldest Continuously Operating University

Taxila University, the world's first known university, was founded in 600 BCE in what is now Pakistan. This university ceased to exist in 500 CE. University of Al Quaraouiyine, started by a Muslim woman in North Africa, is believed to be the world's oldest university that has been in continuous operation since its founding 859 CE.

University of Taxila:

University of Taxila, the  world's oldest known university, was founded in 600 BCE  in the Kingdom of Gandhara, in Ancient India, but now in Pakistan. It was not a university in the modern sense of the word. It did not have any infrastructure like classrooms nor did it provide housing for its teachers or students. There was no established system of schooling or curriculum in Taxila. Taxila followed no system of examinations, and did not award degrees to its students.

The town of Taxila flourished between 600 BCE and 500 CE. Dozens of subjects were taught at the university including religion, language, philosophy, politics, wa…

A Perspective on Deposed Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Conviction

Guest Post by Rashid Ahmad.

My thoughts on Nawaz Sharif (NS) verdict:

1. This decision, like all major decisions that involve national level politicians, will remain controversial as the people will look at this decision from their own perspectives. To Anti-NS folks he was guilty before the trial began, and it does not matter on which charge he is convicted, as long as he is knocked out. For those who support Nawaz Sharif, he would never be guilty even if he is caught red handed.

2. The conviction was a foregone conclusion. It may be selective justice but the real reason was the accountability court, working under direct supervision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which, to many people, is not a neutral arbiter any more, but the “REAL PROSECUTOR”.  It is selective application of the law.

3. Although not comparing, this kind of motivated convictions are not uncommon. Pakistan’s illustrious judiciary has to its “credit” many infamous decisions: Doctrine of necessity by Justice Munir, …

NGO-ization of Pakistan

Pakistan has seen more than 10-fold increase in the number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in the country since 911. There is now one NGO per 2000 Pakistanis. A large slice of the billions of dollars in American aid to Pakistan has been funneled through these non-government organizations (NGOs). This has been particularly true since the passage of Kerry-Lugar-Berman aid bill in 2009 that tripled civilian aid to Pakistan from $500 million to $1.5 billion a year. Most of these new NGOs are not likely to survive the planned US aid cuts to Pakistan by the Trump Administration.

NGO Proliferation: 

Pakistan has been massively NGO-ized since the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, according to data compiled by Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP), a certification organization for non-government organizations (NGOs) and charity institutions. The number of NGOs has exploded from 10,000-12,000 in 2001 (source: Aga Khan Civil Society Index) to 100,000-150,000 mos…

Pakistan's Economic Performance Since 1960

Asia 2025, a US Defense Department Study produced in summer of 1999, forecast that Pakistan would "disappear" as an independent state by 2015.  Since the issuance of this dire forecast, Pakistan has not only survived but its economy has nearly quintupled from $62 billion in 1999 to over $300 billion in 2018. This has happened in spite of political corruption and instability and terror Pakistan has suffered from due to the Afghan war next door and Indian sponsored proxy war against it.

Dire Forecasts:

The US DoD 1999 forecast was not the first nor would it be the last dire prediction by western and Indian "scholars" working in the American academia and Washington think tanks.

Many western and Indian analysts have been forecasting Pakistan's demise as the country struggles to deal with terrorism at home. Among them is former President George W. Bush's adviser David Kilcullen.

"We're now reaching the point where within one to six months we could see th…

Pakistan Water Crisis: Facts and Myths

Pakistan is believed to be in the midst of a water crisis that is said to pose an existential threat to the country. These assertions raise a whole series of questions on the source of the crisis and possible solutions to deal with it. The New Water Policy adopted in April 2018 is a good start but it needs a lot more focus and continuing investments.

Questions on Water Crisis: 

How severe is Pakistan's water crisis? Is India contributing to this crisis? How many million acre feet (MAF) of water flows in Pakistan? What are its sources? Glaciers? Rain? Groundwater? How much of it is stored in dams and other reservoirs? What is the trend of per capita water availability in Pakistan? What sectors are the biggest consumers of water in Pakistan? Why does agriculture consume over 95% of all available water? How can Pakistan produce "more crop per drop"? What are Pakistan's options in dealing with the water crisis? Build more dams? Recharge groundwater? Use improved irrigatio…