India's Exploding Book Market Promotes Anti-Pakistan Authors, Publishers

Have you ever wondered why the publication of anti-Pakistan books has become a major growth industry today? The answer is simple: Authors and publishers of books about Pakistan know where the money is. It's in India where the book sales are rising rapidly in the midst of continuing global decline. Strong profit motive drives them to write what Indians want to read. Those, like Professor Wendy Doniger of University of Chicago, who ignore this reality are punished by having their books withdrawn and pulped. No publisher wants to take this risk now. And authors who wish to get published have to understand it too.

Indian Book Market:

India's English language book market is the world's third largest, behind that of the United States at the top and of the United Kingdom at number 2.  It is the fastest growing market today which will make India the world's number 1 market in the next ten years.  It could happen sooner if the book sales in the US and the UK decline faster or those in India grow more rapidly than they are already.

India's Pakistan Narrative:

The best way to understand the Indian narrative about Pakistan today is to read "The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World" by Canada's McGill University Professor Thazha Varkey Paul, a graduate of India's Jawaharlal Nehru University, who describes Pakistan as a "warrior state" and a "conspicuous failure". It is among a slew of recently published anti-Pakistan books by mainly Indian and western authors which paint Pakistan as a rogue state which deserves to be condemned, isolated and sanctioned by the international community.  Others, including Christine Fair and Husain Haqqani have also used the same narrative to get a lot of buzz and sell books in India and the West.

Christine Fair's About-Face:

C. Christine Fair is an assistant professor in the Center for Peace and Security Studies (CPASS), within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She has only recently wised up to the opportunity to sell lots of books in India.

Before writing and promoting "Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army's Way of War", an anti-Pakistan book, American analyst and author Christine Fair said this in 2009: "Having visited the Indian mission in Zahedan, Iran, I can assure you they are not issuing visas as the main activity! Moreover, India has run operations from its mission in Mazar (through which it supported the Northern Alliance) and is likely doing so from the other consulates it has reopened in Jalalabad and Qandahar along the border. Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Baluchistan".

Husain Haqqani's Double Game:

Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani ambassador to US, has been the darling of India and the West since the publication of his book "Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military" in 2005. He has recently followed it up with another Pakistan-bashing book "Magnificent Delusions" in which he accuses Pakistan of lying and playing a double-game with the West.

Washington Post's Richard Lieby's review summed up the book in the following words: "Read his book and you might think Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington from 2008 to 2011, is no friend of his homeland. Its leaders are liars, double-dealers and shakedown artists, he says. They have been this way for decades, and, as Haqqani ably documents, the United States often has served as Pakistan’s willing dupe. But for all its criticism of Pakistan, “Magnificent Delusions”is a necessary prescriptive: If there’s any hope of salvaging what seems like a doomed relationship, it helps to know how everything went so wrong. Haqqani is here to tell us."

If one really analyses Haqqani's narrative, one has to conclude that Pakistanis are extraordinarily clever in deceiving the United States and its highly sophisticated policymakers who have been taken for a ride by Pakistanis for over 6 decades. It raises the following questions:

Question 1: Given the belief that Pakistan would not survive, how did the country defy such expectations? What role did its "villainous" military play in its political and economic survival? What does the history say about rapid economic development of Pakistan under military regimes?

Question 2: Wouldn't any country that suffered a military invasion by its much larger neighbor and its break-up be justified in feeling threatened? Wouldn't such a country build deterrence against further adventures by its bigger neighbor?

Question 3:  If the standard western narrative is correct, why have successive US administrations been so naive and gullible as to be duped by Pakistan's politicians and generals for such a long period of time? Is it not an indictment of all US administrations from Harry S. Truman's to Barack H. Obama's?

Question 4:  What role did Pakistan play in the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and the subsequent break-up of the Soviet Union?

 Question 5:  What price has Pakistan paid for facilitating US military operations in Afghanistan? How many Pakistani soldiers and civilians have lost their lives since 911?

Debunking TV Paul's Narrative: 

TV Paul describes Pakistan as a "warrior state" and a "conspicuous failure". Is it really?

Let's do a point-by-point examination of Paul's narrative:

1. Paul argues: Seemingly from its birth, Pakistan has teetered on the brink of becoming a failed state.

In 1947 at the time of independence, Pakistan was described as a "Nissen hut or a tent" by British Viceroy of India Lord Mountbatten in a conversation with Jawarhar Lal Nehru. However, Pakistan defied this expectation that it would not survive as an independent nation and the partition of India would be quickly reversed. Pakistan not only survived but thrived with its economic growth rate easily exceeding the "Hindu growth rate" in India for most of its history.

Agriculture Value Added Per Capita in 2000 US $. Source: World Bank

Even now when the economic growth rate has considerably slowed, Pakistan has lower levels of poverty and hunger than its neighbor India, according UNDP and IFPRI. The key reason for lower poverty in Pakistan is its per capita value added in agriculture which is twice that of India. Agriculture employs 40% of Pakistanis and 60% of Indians. The poor state of rural India can be gauged by the fact that an Indian farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes.

2. Paul: Its economy is as dysfunctional as its political system is corrupt; both rely heavily on international aid for their existence.

The fact is that foreign to aid to Pakistan has been declining as a percentage of its GDP since 1960s when it reached a peak of 11% of GDP in 1963. Today, foreign aid makes up less than 2% of its GDP of $240 billion.

Foreign Aid as Percentage of Pakistan GDP. Source: World Bank

3. Paul: Taliban forces occupy 30 percent of the country.

 The Taliban "occupy" a small part of FATA called North Waziristan which is about 4,700 sq kilometers, about 0.5% of its 796,000 sq kilometers area. Talking about insurgents "occupying" territory, about 40% of Indian territory is held by Maoist insurgents in the "red corridor" in Central India, according to Indian security analyst Bharat Verma.

4. Paul: It possesses over a hundred nuclear weapons that could easily fall into terrorists' hands.

A recent assessment by Nuclear Threat Initiative ranked Pakistan above India on "Nuclear Materials Security Index".

5. Paul: Why, in an era when countries across the developing world are experiencing impressive economic growth and building democratic institutions, has Pakistan been such a conspicuous failure?

Pakistan's nominal GDP has quadrupled from $60 billion in 2000 to $240 billion now. Along with total GDP, Pakistan's GDP per capita has also grown significantly over the years, from about $500 in Year 2000 to $1000 per person in 2007 on President Musharraf's watch, elevating it from a low-income to a middle-income country in the last decade.I wouldn't call that a failure.

Pakistan Per Capita GDP 1960-2012. Source: World Bank 

Goldman Sachs' Jim O'Neill, the economist who coined BRIC, has put Pakistan among the Next 11 group in terms of growth in the next several decades.

6. Paul argues that the "geostrategic curse"--akin to the "resource curse" that plagues oil-rich autocracies--is at the root of Pakistan's unique inability to progress. Since its founding in 1947, Pakistan has been at the center of major geopolitical struggles: the US-Soviet rivalry, the conflict with India, and most recently the post 9/11 wars.

Pakistan is no more a warrior state that many others in the world. It spends no more than 3.5% of its GDP on defense, lower than most of the nations of the world.

7. Paul says: No matter how ineffective the regime is, massive foreign aid keeps pouring in from major powers and their allies with a stake in the region.The reliability of such aid defuses any pressure on political elites to launch the far-reaching domestic reforms necessary to promote sustained growth, higher standards of living, and more stable democratic institutions.

"Massive foreign aid" adds up to less than 1% of Pakistan's GDP. Pakistan's diaspora sends it over 5% of Pakistan's GDP in remittances.

8. Paul: Excessive war-making efforts have drained Pakistan's limited economic resources without making the country safer or more stable. Indeed, despite the regime's emphasis on security, the country continues to be beset by widespread violence and terrorism.

Pakistan Defense Spending as % of GDP Source: World Indicators

 In spite of declining military spending which is just 3.5% of its GDP now which is average for its size, Pakistan has achieved strategic parity with India by developing nuclear weapons. It has since prevented India from invading Pakistan as it did in 1971 to break up the country. Pakistani military has shown in Swat in 2009 that it is quite capable of dealing with insurgents when ordered to do so by the civilian govt.

Growth in Asia's Middle Class. Source: Asian Development Bank

While it is true that Pakistan has not lived up to its potential when compared with other US Cold War allies in East and Southeast Asia, it is wrong to describe it as "conspicuous failure". Pakistan should be compared with other countries in South Asia region, not East Asia or Southeast Asia. Comparison with its South Asian neighbors India and Bangladesh shows that an average Pakistani is less poor, less hungry and more upwardly mobile, according to credible data from multiple independent sources.


Pakistan is neither a "warrior state" nor a "conspicuous failure" as argued by Professor TV Paul. To the contrary, it has been the victim of the invading Indian Army in 1971 which cut off  its eastern wing. Pakistan has built a minimum nuclear deterrent in response to India's development of a nuclear arsenal. Pakistan has responded to the 1971 trauma by ensuring that such a tragedy does not happen again, particularly through a foreign invasion.

Pakistan is a complex country. It is much more upwardly mobile than many of its neighbors, including India.  While the country is suffering growing pains like any other developing nation, the false narrative of exaggeration of its difficulties being promoted by a flurry of books bashing Pakistan is driven more by desire for commerce than by serious academic search for truth. Assertions made in such books fall apart when subjected to the close scrutiny that I have done in this post.

Today, Pakistan faces some of the toughest challenges of its existence. It has to deal with the Taliban insurgency and a weak economy. It has to solve its deepening energy crisis. It has to address growing water scarcity. While I believe Pakistanis are a very resilient and determined people, the difficult challenges they face will test them, particularly their leaders who have been falling short of their expectations in recent years.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Debunking TV Paul

Challenging Gall-Haqqani-Paul Narrative

Looking Back at 1940 Lahore Resolution

Pakistan's Economic History

History of Literacy in Pakistan

Upwardly Mobile Pakistan

Asian Tigers Brought Prosperity

Value Added Agriculture in Pakistan

Are India and Pakistan Failed States?

Musharraf Accelerated Growth of Pakistan's Financial and Human Capital

Pakistan's Nuclear Program

Pakistan on Goldman Sachs' BRIC+N11 Growth Map


Riaz Haq said…
A Dawn Op Ed by Ambassador Munir Akram:

A lot has been written and said about Pakistan’s support to insurgencies in Afghanistan and Kashmir. Not much has appeared about India’s longer and wider role in clandestine warfare against its neighbours, Sri Lanka, Nepal and particularly Pakistan. A quick viewing of a Facebook video of a recent lecture delivered by Ajit Doval, India’s ex-spymaster and now the national security adviser, should set all doubts about India’s clandestine wars at rest. Mr Doval calls Pakistan the “enemy”; extols Indian intelligence’s ability to compromise and infiltrate the Kashmir insurgency; crows about the beheading of Pakistani soldiers by the TTP and advocates a policy of “defensive offense” against Pakistan.

Actually, India’s shadow wars against Pakistan commenced in 1971 when it actively trained and financed the Mukti Bahini to fight the Pakistan Army in East Pakistan, laying the ground for India’s eventual military intervention to break up Pakistan. Even after the Simla Agreement, bomb blasts continued in Karachi and other Pakistani cities to keep Pakistan destabilised and defensive. New Delhi has missed no opportunity to support Baloch, Pakhtun and Sindhi ‘nationalists’ and other dissidents in Pakistan.

Indira Gandhi’s attack on Amritsar’s Golden Temple created an opportunity for Pakistan to pay India back in its own coin. But its support for the Khalistan insurgency was also a ‘defensive offensive’ move to neutralise the threat of an Indian attack at the behest of its Soviet ally which Pakistan, in collaboration with the US, had pinned down in Afghanistan. India’s ‘warrior’ prime minister was assassinated by her Sikh guards. Eventually, after president Zia’s demise, the Khalistan insurgency was brutally put down by India. There is considerable speculation to this day whether the incoming PPP government released a list of Sikh insurgents to the Indians.

Even as the Khalistan insurgency died, Pakistan was offered its own ‘opportunity of the century’ — as the East Pakistan revolt was called by the Indians — to secure self-determination for the Kashmiris. In December 1989, the Kashmiris revolted at the rigged elections there. On 20 December, hundreds of peaceful Kashmiri demonstrators were mowed down by Indian security forces, unleashing an armed struggle for freedom. Pakistan’s intelligence agencies, fresh from their success in backing the mujahideen in Afghanistan, opted to support the religious parties, instead of the indigenous Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, to lead the Kashmiri struggle.

Under the pressure of the insurgency, India agreed in 1994 to discuss a Kashmir settlement with Pakistan. India’s Foreign Secretary offered a settlement based on “autonomy plus, independence minus” for occupied Kashmir. Unfortunately, Pakistan was not quick enough to press its advantage and secure a good deal for the Kashmiris. India used the time to infiltrate and compromise the insurgency (as Mr Doval boasted). Some jihadi groups, like Al Faran, resorted to kidnapping and killing foreigners. This was the initial step in India’s campaign to transform the Kashmiri struggle from a legitimate liberation struggle into a terrorist movement.

When the US, after 9/11, launched its war on terrorism, India’s principal aim became to equate the Kashmiri struggle with global terrorism and Al Qaeda. New Delhi got its chance when ‘terrorists’ attacked the Indian parliament in December 2001. Despite the fact that Pakistan’s culpability was unproven, a commitment was extracted from president Musharraf’s government that Pakistan would not allow its territory to be used for ‘terrorism’ against others. Acceptance of this ‘obligation’ was interpreted as an admission of Pakistan’s culpability. The Kashmiri struggle was over for all intents and purposes.
Riaz Haq said…
“I AM a rambo b**ch”: Meet drone defender Christine Fair who wants #India to militarily SQUASH #Pakistan … via @Salon

In a debate on the Al Jazeera program UpFront in October, Fair butted heads with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, a prominent critic of the U.S. drone program. Fair, notorious for her heated rhetoric, accused Greenwald of being a “liar” and insulted Al Jazeera several times, claiming the network does not appreciate “nuance” in the way she does. Greenwald in turn criticized Fair for hardly letting him get a word in; whenever he got a rare chance to speak, she would constantly interrupt him, leading host Mehdi Hasan to ask her to stop.

The lack of etiquette aside, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Shadi Hamid remarked that Fair’s arguments in the debate were “surprisingly weak.”

After the debate, Fair took to Twitter to mud-sling. She expressed pride at not letting Greenwald speak, boasting she “shut that lying clown down.” “I AM a rambo b**ch,” she proclaimed.

Fair also called Greenwald a “pathological liar, a narcissist, [and] a fool.” She said she would like to put Greenwald and award-winning British journalist Mehdi Hasan in a Pakistani Taliban stronghold, presumably to be tortured, “then ask ’em about drones.”

Elsewhere on social media, Fair has made similarly provocative comments. In a Facebook post, Fair called Pakistan “an enemy” and said “We invaded the wrong dog-damned country,” implying the U.S. should have invaded Pakistan, not Afghanistan.

In another Facebook post, Fair insisted that “India needs to woman up and SQUASH Pakistan militarily, diplomatically, politically and economically.” Both India and Pakistan are nuclear states.

Fair proudly identifies as a staunch liberal and advocates for a belligerent foreign policy. She rails against neo-conservatives, but chastises the Left for criticizing U.S. militarism. In 2012, she told a journalist on Twitter “Dude! I am still very much pro drones. Sorry. They are the least worst option. My bed of coals is set to 11.”

Despite the sporadic jejune Twitter tirade, Fair has established herself as one of the drone program’s most vociferous proponents. Fair is a specialist in South Asian politics, culture, and languages, with a PhD from the University of Chicago. She has published extensively, in a wide variety of both scholarly and journalistic publications. If you see an article in a large publication defending the U.S. drone program in Pakistan, there is a good chance she wrote or co-authored it.

Reviewing the “mountains of evidence”

After her debate with Greenwald, Fair wrote an article for the Brookings Institution’s Lawfare blog. While making jabs at Greenwald, Hasan, and Al Jazeera; characterizing her participation in the debate as an “ignominious distinction”; and implying that The Intercept, the publication co-founded by Greenwald with other award-winning journalists, is a criminal venture, not a whistleblowing news outlet, Fair forcefully defended the drone program.

Secret government documents leaked to The Intercept by a whistleblower show that 90 percent of people killed in U.S. drone strikes in a five-month period in provinces on Afghanistan’s eastern border with Pakistan were not the intended targets. Fair accused The Intercept of “abusing” and selectively interpreting the government’s data. In a followup piece in the Huffington Post, she maintained that the findings of the Drone Papers do not apply to the drone program in Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
Saeed Book Bank: A Storied #Bookstore and Its Late Oracle Leave an Imprint on #Islamabad #Pakistan

NY Times Saeed Book Bank Story Contd:

“Other Pakistani booksellers laughed at us that we never carried pirated books,” Mr. Saeed said. “But only best-sellers get pirated, and we carry everything.”

The result is a bookstore of impressive scope, quirky and catholic. “Islamic Fashion,” a glossy coffee table book and a best-seller, vies for shelf space with “Queer Studies.”

A thick condolence book for Mr. Qureshi, the third so far, sits on a counter, which sags under the weight of a couple hundred miniature books as well. A few rows away, an entire shelf is given over to Noam Chomsky, 26 titles in all, which may well be more than any bookstore in the world displays for the radical linguist and philosopher.

“Honestly, Chomsky sells here,” Mr. Saeed said.

As the eldest son, Mr. Saeed was always destined to take over the business when his father passed away, and to learn the trade he traveled with his father to international book fairs; annually to Frankfurt, thrice yearly to London, twice yearly to Delhi.

But not to the United States, the Saeed Book Bank’s biggest source of books.

“We spend $500,000 annually in America, and I can’t get a visa,” Mr. Saeed said. “The consular officer said, ‘Why can’t you just order by email and fax?’ They just don’t understand about books. You have to go to the warehouses, and see them and feel them — that’s how you buy books.”

(“Fallen Leaves” again: “When my father was sick, he said, ‘Read this book, and you will calm down,’” Mr. Saeed said. “He was right.” Dr. Naqvi could quote lines from it. “What if it is for life’s sake that we must die?” Otherwise, “youth would find no room on the earth.”)

Mr. Qureshi made sure his children had the education he did not. Ahmad has a master’s degree in business administration, with ambitious plans to computerize the store’s inventory and build up what is now a clunky and unsophisticated online business. Nonetheless, it sells $1,000 worth of books a day online in a place where credit cards are still a novelty.

For his father, books were more than just a business, Mr. Saeed said. One of the penitent former book thieves who dropped in was Suleman Khan, the vice chancellor of Iqra University, in Islamabad.

“He came to say that when he was a child, 6 years old or so, he stole an Archie comic book and my father saw him,” Mr. Saeed said. “He said he was afraid he was going to get slapped, but my father said: ‘This is good that you like books. So every day you can take a book but keep it in mint condition and return it when you’re done so I can still sell it.’”

And then the vice chancellor said, “Everything that I am now, I owe to your father.”

(Dr. Naqvi, who is getting on in years, had seemed to doze off for a moment but awoke when he heard that story. “‘Fallen Leaves,’” he sighed. “You have to read that book. Everything is in there.”)
Riaz Haq said…
For the love of #books in #Pakistan where book sales are growing amidst global decline #WorldBookDay

Q. There is a general global decline in book sales, how is that affecting your business?

A. There may be a decline in sales globally, but fortunately in Pakistan and India, book sales are actually going up. The reason is the growth in population and even literacy rate. The trend of reading e-books on handheld devices may have affected book sales in the developed world but not here.

This is despite the fact that the Pakistani government has never taken steps to encourage the book business. Importing a book costs 18 per cent of the price, including taxes and transportation costs. In India the book business is thriving because the government offered publishers lucrative incentives.

The government even buys back any unsold book stocks from publishers at 10 per cent higher than the cost.

For Saeed Book Bank, in particular, business is good because of our scale. We import much of our stock. Publishers around the world know us and offer us better prices than smaller buyers. This allows us to offer competitive prices. Some publishers in the United Kingdom and the United States even offer us refunds on any unsold stock.

Secondly, even though it is a small city, Islamabad is a big market for books. It’s a city of diplomats and officers, so many people read. Book lovers from all over the region, come and shop at Saeed Book Bank. We even export books to South Africa, Nigeria and China.
Riaz Haq said…
PPP and Zardari now recognize Husain Haqqani is toxic. Unfortunately it's too late. A lot of damage has already been done and continues to done to Pakistan by this Benedict Arnold. I think Iqbal's lines about Mir Jaafar and Mir Sadiq apply to this guy more than anyone else "Jaafar uz Bangal Sadiq uz Dakan/ Nang e Millat Nang e Deen Nange Watan"
Riaz Haq said…
India's ex National Security Advisor and Foreign Secretary J.N. Dixit (1936-2005) :

"The reason Britain partitioned India was to fragment Hindu areas into political entities and ensure Pakistan's emergence as the largest and most cohesive political power in the subcontinent. Pakistan's ultimate aim is to fragment India. Pakistani invasion of Kashmir in 1948 and subsequent wars are part of this continuous exercise. The Kargil war and the proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir are the latest example of this pressure. India has not been decisive and surgical in resisting Pakistani subversion. India has voluntarily given concessions to Pakistan despite defeating it in all major conflicts. Pakistan's long term objective is to ensure that India does not emerge as the most influential power in the South Asian region. The Pakistani power structure has a powerful antagonism toward Hindu-majority civil society in India. Pakistan has sought the support of a large number of Muslim countries and Asian and Western powers (China ad the US) to keep India on the defensive. Pakistan's continued questioning of Indian secularism, democracy and constitutional institutions is a deliberate attempt to generate friction within India. Pakistani support of the secessionist and insurgent forces in Jammu and Kashmir, in Punjab and in the north-eastern states of India confirms this impression."
Riaz Haq said…
Indian PM Nehru's Defense MInister Krishna Menon:

"In Pakistan's view the Partition is only the beginning. Her idea is to get a jumping-off ground to take the whole of was from the Mughals that the British took over (India). Now the British having gone, they (Muslims) must come back (to rule all of India)"
Riaz Haq said…
“To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic Races — the Jews,” RSS leader Golwalkar wrote with approval. “Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by. Ever since that evil day, when Moslems first landed in Hindustan, right up to the present moment, the Hindu Nation has been gallantly fighting on to take on these despoilers. The Race Spirit has been awakening.”
Riaz Haq said…
On Hussain Haqqani by Haider Mehdi.
My considered view is that HH was turned by the Indians in the early 80's, when he was in Hong Kong as a rabid Islamist, writing for the now defunct, Far Eastern Economic Review.
And this is where his journey started, to embed himself as an Indian mole, in Pakistan's governance structures.
And because of his radical Islamist views, he also caught Gen. Zia's fancy, the then Pakistani military dictator, who himself was a dyed in the wool, radical fundamentalist.
I don't have any evidence to substantiate my hypothesis, except Haqqani's subsequent actions, behaviors and career moves.
Incredibly, he's changed more political ideologies than a kid's diapers, to suit his masters, both Indian and Pakistani, and the needs of the times.
From a rabid Islamist Taliban like activist, to a right wing democrat, to a supporter of military intervention, to left wing secularist, he's been to pretty much every base!
Working for the enemy is not uncommon. Personal and political biases, political philosophy, ego, greed, power, privilege, position, money, anger, bitterness, all contribute in creating a Kim Philby, the British MI6 mole embedded by the Russians, or a Gunter Guillaume, the East German spy, working as West German Chancellor Willy Brandt's assistant, or our very own Hussain Haqqani.
Here's why I think HH is or was an Indian mole.
1. He has known anti Pakistan views which he has held for a long time. Believes that partition was a very bad idea, and also holds very uncharitable views about the Quaid.
2. He managed to wrangle himself into both the PMLN and PPP governments. And willing to work in any role which gave him access and proximity, to power centers.
He was Ambassador to Sri Lanka under Nawaz. Secretary Information under BB. Then, Chairman, House Building Finance Corporation (imagine HBFC) again under her.
He desperately tried to join Gen. Musharraf's government. Offered his unconditional services to do "anything". Wanted to become Musharraf's media advisor. I know this from several horses.
And remember, this offer to Gen. Musharraf, from a man, who now presents himself to the world as the great upholder of democracy in Pakistan and virulently against military intervention.
Finally, he becomes the Pakistani Ambassador to the USA, under Asif Zardari, where he probably caused the most damage.
If his Memogate ploy had been successful, he was well on his way to National Security advisor with the ISI under him. God knows what the Army would have done to him. But that's another story. And then it was a short walk to either Interior or Defence Minister, and finally the ultimate prize. PM of Pakistan.
An Indian mole as a Pakistani PM!
He is unbelievably brilliant and masterfully cunning. Smooth as a snake and vicious as a viper. Can mesmerize anyone with his Lukhnawi charm, destroy you with his devastating intellect and make Lucifer look like Gabriel, especially in his writings.
Now that he stands exposed, at least to most Pakistanis, he now presents himself to the West, as their poster boy of democracy and anti militarism.
He has perhaps been one of the biggest factors in arming the anti Pakistan and pro Indian lobbies in the US, with information and evidence acquired through the very sensitive positions he occupied in the "service" of Pakistan.
He now works for the Hudson Institute, in Washington D.C. a known pro Israeli and pro Indian think tank, and makes himself relevant by espousing anti Pakistan narratives, cunningly presented as liberal and anti militarism views.
They liberally fund his research and his books and writings. In addition, he is actively supported and indirectly funded by staunchly anti-Pakistani and pro-Indian lobbies in the USA. And he gets himself invited or is invited to major anti Pakistan forums such as the one pictured below.
Riaz Haq said…
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".

American officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be seen as meddling in Pakistan’s internal affairs, said they hoped Ms. Rehman’s range of contacts within Pakistan’s military and its government and among rights groups could potentially make her a more effective interlocutor than her predecessor, who was very much seen as Mr. Zardari’s man, although he did argue the military’s case when needed.

The American officials were also pleased by Ms. Rehman’s speedy appointment, which assuaged fears of prolonged standoff between the military and civilian authorities over the ambassadorship, arguably Pakistan’s most important diplomatic posting. “The military doesn’t need more excuses to disregard the president and prime minister,” said one American official. “That they all found a way to agree quickly is a positive. They need an ambassador in Washington; we need them to have an ambassador in Washington.”

But experts in Pakistan and the United States cautioned that American officials should not view Ms. Rehman’s social liberalism, which is common among Pakistan’s elite, as a sign that she will fall in line with Washington’s views on what is best for Pakistan.

“Folks in Washington will expect her national security agenda to be as liberal as her domestic agenda,” said Shamila N. Chaudhary, a South Asia analyst at the Eurasia Group who previously served as the director for Pakistan and Afghanistan at the National Security Council.

“She’s coming here to represent the government, and that includes the military,” Ms. Chaudhary said.

Mr. Haqqani, in contrast, at times behaved as “a one-man think tank,” said one American official. The ambassador would often privately voice criticism of the military that he had publicly laid out before taking on his role, the official said.

Mr. Haqqani’s eagerness to share his own views, which often dovetailed American criticisms of Pakistan’s military and its longstanding ties to militant groups, had over the past year led to a diminishing of his influence in Washington, especially in the White House, said a pair of American officials. “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.

Riaz Haq said…
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."
Riaz Haq said…
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.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's Tariq Ali, a Pakistani left-wing intellectual who graduated from Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics, and economics, and was President of the Oxford Union. on Husain Haqqani:

One of Zardari and his late wife’s trusted bagmen in Washington, Husain Haqqani, whose links to the US intelligence agencies since the 1970s made him a useful intermediary and whom Zardari appointed as Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, has been forced to resign. Haqqani, often referred to as the US ambassador to Pakistan, appears to have been caught red-handed: he allegedly asked Mansoor Ijaz, a multi-millionaire close to the US defense establishment, to carry a message to Admiral Mike Mullen pleading for help against the Pakistani military and offering in return to disband the Haqqani network and the ISI and carry out all US instructions.

Mullen denied that he had received any message. A military underling contradicted him. Mullen changed his story and said a message had been received and ignored. When the ISI discovered this ‘act of treachery’, Haqqani, instead of saying that he was acting under orders from Zardari, denied the entire story. Unfortunately for him, the ISI boss, General Pasha, had met up with Ijaz and been given the Blackberry with the messages and instructions. Haqqani had no option but to resign. Demands for his trial and hanging (the two often go together when the military is involved) are proliferating. Zardari is standing by his man. The military wants his head. And now Nato has entered the fray. This story is not yet over.
Riaz Haq said…
View from right-wing India:

Pakistan’s Political Economy Is Changing – And India Must Take Note
Monica Verma
- Mar 30, 2017, 8:35 pm

Pakistan, according to experts, can now be classified as a stable economy in view of its comparatively strong macroeconomic indicators.

The country’s economic performance, along with China’s investment into the CPEC initiative, has encouraged investors to look at the country in a new light.

Such is the dominance of geopolitical narratives in South Asia that any positive news from the neighbourhood does not reach us. While thinking about our neighbours, especially Pakistan, images of a country whose economy is in shambles and polity unstable strike us.

Not that these images have changed completely, nor has Pakistan moved on to become a developed economy overnight, but the changes in the neighbourhood are significant. The country now has the potential to transform itself into a stable polity and healthy economy pending a good deal of caution.

The positive signs

In 2013, Pakistan’s economy was on the verge of a collapse. The foreign exchange reserves were drying up, and fiscal deficit was mounting even as the rate of economic growth was slowing down. It was during this turbulent time that International Monetary Fund (IMF) extended a loan of $7.6 billion to help the country stabilise its economy and protect the vulnerable sections of its population. This three-year IMF-supported programme not only helped the country stave off a foreign exchange crisis, it also laid the foundation for macroeconomic and financial stability in the country.

Pakistan, according to experts, can now be classified as a stable economy in view of its comparatively strong macroeconomic indicators. The economy witnessed a 4.7 per cent real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate in 2016, the country’s highest in the last eight years. Fiscal deficit has also come down to 4.6 per cent from 8.8 per cent. Another sign of revitalised economic activity is the stock market that rose by almost 50 per cent in 2016. These figures might indicate a positive turnaround in Pakistan’s economy, but in comparison to other South Asian countries such as India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, Pakistan’s growth rate is still miniscule. If the country maintains its fiscal prudence and executes reforms as suggested by IMF fairly, there is still light at the end of the tunnel.

Promising sectors

The construction industry has emerged as one of the sweet spots for Pakistan’s economy. Government of Pakistan considers it an important driver of economic growth, where a spurt in economic activity has the potential to positively impact growth in allied sectors as well. The boom in the industry is a result of increased infrastructural activities as well as various residential projects that have been initiated to deliver housing solutions to the people. This boom is aided by favourable fuel prices including oil, electricity and coal. The government has also given tax relief to builders to facilitate growth in the real estate sector.

Along with construction, the Information Technology (IT) sector has emerged as a promising sector for the Pakistani economy. In 2015, Pakistan’s IT sector accounted for $2.8 billion, of which services worth $1.6 billion were exported abroad. This is an almost negligible share of a $3.2 trillion global IT market, but the commitment of the Pakistani government to the IT sector signals that this share may increase exponentially.

The model followed by the Pakistani IT industry has helped it cut through problems like corruption, bureaucratic red tape and security challenges. The software professionals in the country seek clients through popular freelance hiring sites such as Elance, Upwork and Fivver. The freelance software professional community from Pakistan is now the third largest in the world. Various estimates put the number of IT companies in the country at 25,000.
Riaz Haq said…
5 books for troubled times from this #indie #bookstore in #Lahore #Pakistan. Alderman , Hanif, Mishra. via @NewsHour

On the arts desk, we turn to books to try to make sense of the times we’re living in, and with so much going on in the U.S., it can be a challenge to maintain a global perspective. This week, we asked “The Last Word,” an independent bookseller in Lahore, Pakistan, for what we should be reading right now.

Aysha Raja, who opened the store in 2007, wrote in an email to NewsHour that The Last Word has been “selling books through the toughest of times” in Pakistan, including eras of terrorism and authoritarian rule. Right now, she said, as incidents of intolerance rise around her country, and the world, the store is recommending books that “celebrate the provocateur, the vilified, and the misunderstood.” Below, their five recommendations, in the staff’s words:

1. “The Power” by Naomi Alderman

“The Power” can be best described as feminist dystopian sci-fi. It takes place in a world almost exactly like ours, except women have spontaneously developed the ability to shoot electricity out of their fingers, sometimes with fatal consequences.

2. “A Case of Exploding Mangoes” by Mohammed Hanif

Mohammad Hanif’s debut novel was published during General Musharraf’s regime and was poised to upset a lot of important people. Set during Pakistan’s military dictatorship of the ’80s, this comic political thriller offers up an array of possible motives behind the still-unsolved murder of Musharraf’s predecessor, President Zia-ul-haq.

3. “The Age of Anger” by Pankaj Mishra

Mishra surveys the philosophies that rose from the ashes of colonialism, the French revolution, industrialization and the rise of fascism to show us how we arrived at today; how growing discontent was consistently ignored in favor of unbridled capitalism; and how that has ultimately cost us our humanity, our freedoms, and our environment.

4. “Hip Hop Raised Me,” by DJ Semtex

Compiled by Radio 1 DJ Semtex and edited by industry insider Marium Raja, this tome serves as a reference guide, monograph and history of the most subversive contemporary movement of the modern era.

5. “Saffron Tales” by Yaseem Khan

Iran is often vilified, and misunderstood. This is both a cookbook and travelogue, so it humanizes a culture through its food. For the book, Khan travels to her ancestral home of Iran and unearths an impressive array of recipes from her meals in home kitchens all over the county. Culinary secrets are revealed with the underlying history and traditions of the region, introducing Iran to us through its food. The use of everyday ingredients and helpful instructions will ensure you develop a taste for Persian cuisine.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan has got a new publisher of English books, and she’s looking to stir things up
‘The totemic figures of traditional publishing in Pakistan haven’t looked to sustain anything other than their own relevance,’ says Shandana Minhas.

Pakistan has produced several internationally acclaimed writers in English, including two Booker Prize nominees (Mohsin Hamid, 2007 shortlist; Mohammed Hanif, longlisted in 2008). But the English language publishing scene in the country is conspicuous by the absence of presses of any repute, barring Oxford University Press Pakistan. Enter, in this space, Mongrel Books, started by Shandana Minhas, author of three novels – Tunnel Vision, Survival Tips For Lunatics, and Daddy’s Boy. Excerpts from an interview on publishing in Pakistan, Mongrel’s vision and mandate, and the way ahead:

Why did you decide to set up Mongrel Books? How has the journey been so far?
For some years now my husband Imran and I have been quietly building the life we always imagined for ourselves, in the company of books, in the service of books. Recently we have been struggling to find books we want to read on shelves in Karachi, so we just decided to take the next logical step and publish them. The journey has just started. I hope you’ll ask me again in a year and I’ll be around to answer.

Why do you think that the English language publishing scene hasn’t evolved in Pakistan? Is it because of a lack of a dedicated readership, infrastructure or even security threats?
Lack of a dedicated readership and infrastructure would be news to the retired bureaucrats, landowners, politicians, socialites and inbred memoirists whose English language offerings have been, and continue to be, published in Pakistan. Just two minutes ago the host of the country’s most watched political talk show told us that all three of the night’s guests were published writers. Between them they had written books on law, dentistry and honour killing.

They might all be good books; the point is that traditional publishing in Pakistan is as riddled with greed, nepotism, cronyism and corruption as the body politick of the wider nation. Its totemic figures, the gatekeepers to visibility, haven’t looked to sustain anything other than their own relevance. If something happens and they aren’t involved in it, they won’t tell you about it. And given the opportunity they will tear it down.

This applies to everything from state-funded cultural bodies to privately owned enterprises to media coverage, and cuts across class. They might tell you they’re not publishing English language fiction because of security threats or censorship, but the truth might be closer to self-censorship: the margins aren’t big enough and “native Pakistani” writers (like me) don’t add to their social cache.

But there might be something stirring in English language fiction publishing too, finally. A distributor in Lahore set up a dedicated imprint a couple of years ago. A big distributor in Karachi is quietly testing whether the footfall at book fairs and festivals might translate into actual sales for its own new fiction imprint. Talented young writers have organised themselves into collectives and started publishing online and in print. And one of the older, smaller presses just published a book of English short stories. By the chairman of the senate.

Almost all Pakistani authors publish or aspire to publish with major Indian publishers. How does Mongrel plan to reverse this trend? And have you managed to poach any writers from bigger publishers?
We have no aspirations to trend setting, bucking, reversal and/or spotting. Pakistani writers need to continue to find as many publishers as they can. All writers should. We’d love to do co-editions with other indie presses in the region to bring our writers to as wide a readership as possible. Maybe one day we’ll all make enough to pay our electricity bills, haina?
Riaz Haq said…
Husain Haqqani Defends #India, Asks #Trump to Get Tough With #Pakistan to Win in #Afghanistan

Islamabad’s response was to argue that Pakistan does, indeed, support insurgents in Afghanistan, but it does so because of security concerns about India, which is seen by generals and many civilian leaders as an existential threat to Pakistan.

But that excuse is based on exaggerations and falsehoods. India has no offensive military presence in Afghanistan and there has never been any evidence that the Afghans are willing to be part of India’s alleged plan for a two-front war with Pakistan.

Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, recently asked India to train Afghan military officers and repair military aircraft after frustration with Pakistan, which failed to fulfill promises of restraining the Taliban and forcing them to the negotiating table.

Pakistan’s leaders question Afghanistan’s acceptance of economic assistance from India even though Pakistan does not have the capacity to provide such aid itself.

It seems that Pakistan wants to keep alive imaginary fears, possibly to maintain military ascendancy in a country that has been ruled by generals for almost half of its existence. For years Pakistani officials falsely asserted that India had set up 24 consulates in Afghanistan, some close to the Pakistani border. In fact, India has only four consulates, the same number Pakistan has, in Afghanistan.

Lying about easily verifiable facts is usually the tactic of governments fabricating a threat rather than ones genuinely facing one. As ambassador, I attended trilateral meetings where my colleagues rejected serious suggestions from Afghans and Americans to mitigate apprehensions about Indian influence in Afghanistan.

While evidence of an Indian threat to Pakistan through Afghanistan remains scant, proof of the presence of Afghan Taliban leaders in Pakistan continues to mount. Mullah Omar, the Taliban’s leader, reportedly died in a Pakistani hospital in 2013 and his successor, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, was killed in an American drone strike in Baluchistan Province in Pakistan last year.

The United States should not let Pakistan link its longstanding support for hard-line Pashtun Islamists in Afghanistan to its disputes with India.

Both India and Pakistan have a lot of blood on their hands in Kashmir and seem in no hurry to resolve their disagreement, which is rooted in the psychosis resulting from the subcontinent’s bitter partition. The two countries have gone through 45 rounds of summit-level talks since 1947 and have failed to reach a permanent settlement.

Linking the outcome in Afghanistan to resolution of India-Pakistan issues would keep the United States embroiled there for a very long time. The recent rise in Islamophobia in India and a more aggressive stance against Pakistan by Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not detract from recognizing the paranoiac nature of Pakistan’s fears.
Riaz Haq said…
Who invented Hinduism?

by David N. Lorenzen

"Over the past decade, many scholars have put forward the claim that Hinduism was constructed, invented and imagined by the British scholars and colonial administrators in the 19th century and did not exist in any meaningful way before this date"

"There is also a consensus that the name Sindhu became "Hind" or "Hindu" in Persian languages and then re-entered Indian languages as "Hindu"

Riaz Haq said…
Books published, last available year.

China: 440,000
US: 304,912
UK: 184,000
Russia: 101,981
Germany: 93,600
India: 90,000
Japan: 82,589
France: 77,986
Iran: 72,871
Italy: 61,966
Turkey: 50,752
South Korea: 47,589
Spain: 44,000
Riaz Haq said…
Husain Haqqani worries about his planned book sales after Jalaluddun #Haqqani's death in #Afghanistan, not in #Pakistan. #Pompeo #TalibanRiaz Haq added,
Husain Haqqani

Jalaudin Haqqani got killed in Afghanistan. I was writing a book on how he’s hiding in Pakistan. Sari sales kharab kardien
Riaz Haq said…

Christine Fair, a prominent academic at Georgetown University is in the news again. This time for accusing Moeed Yusuf who is a respected scholar at USIP for being an asset of the Pakistani Government.

This is not the first time she has accused Yusuf or other respected scholars without evidence for espionage. This is also not the first time that her extremist views have landed her in trouble. She got into a confrontation with the German government for calling the German airport officials ‘Nazi Police’ – a deeply insensitive remark to be made in Germany given the history of the country.

When it comes to her attacks on academics and scholars, many within the scholarly community view it as an attempt to silence any opposing view to ensure her monopoly in Washington D.C. on the narrative on Pakistan.

However, Fair’s persistent attacks on Mooed are a reflection of a larger problem of racism within the scholarly community in the West. The academic and policy think tanks, especially in the International Relations discipline, have long been accused of racism due to deep Western centrism and neo-imperial tendencies.

Western centrism essentially means that the field of IR is driven primarily by the Western conception of what constitutes ‘knowledge’ and ‘truth’. It is basically looking at the world through the eyes and prejudices of the Western scholars that hijack the global discourse and exclude non-Western voices as either ‘irrelevant’ or ‘compromised’. This is what Meera Sabaratnam calls the ‘West knows best’ ideology that puts the non-Western scholars as inferior and unscientific.

A journal article published by Arlene Tickner titled ‘Core, Periphery and (Neo)Imperialist International Relations’ using the Trip Survey (2011) provides extensive details on this Western centrism that exists in the academic and scholarly world.

In an already rigged scholarly world, non-Western scholars like Moeed are soft and vulnerable targets because of their background. In her tweets, Christine Fair claimed to have lodged an official complaint against Moeed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and members of Congress to not only revoke his U.S. citizenship but also the right to work in the country.

The purpose is to exclude and silence the diversity of opinion not through academic dialogue but through vicious attacks on the credibility of non-Western scholars like Moeed Yusuf. Christine Fair, unfortunately, exhibits and reinforces the very orientalist, and extremist tendencies that she claims to fight against in Trump’s America.
Riaz Haq said…
#Indian Defense Analyst Dr. Pravin Sawhney: "PAKISTAN HAS NEVER LOST TO INDIA. NOT IN 1965! NOT IN 1971! IF INDIA HAD DEFEATED PAKISTAN, THERE WOULD BE NO LINE OF CONTROL IN KASHMIR TODAY". #India #Pakistan #China #Kashmir #CPEC | | JNN | via @YouTube Watch at 33 Minutes in 43:12 Minutes video interview
Riaz Haq said…
The Indian publishing industry is not just surviving, it is thriving, but who’s reading?

According to the India Book Market Report (2016), India is the sixth largest publisher in the world overall, and the second largest publisher in the world for English-language books. That’s huge! Led by educational books, publishing is a $6.76 billion sector expected to grow at an astounding 19.3% until 2020 (Nielsen Report, 2016). This means almost 250 books are published per day. 55% sales are of English books, 35% of Hindi, and the rest are regional-language books. 65% of English-language sales come from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. Also, contrary to popular perception, on an average, Indians read around 2.1 books a week. According to World Culture Score Index, Indians spend more time reading than their counterparts globally.


Let’s take a look at some numbers: 90% of all books published in India sell less than 2,000 copies a year. A paltry 9% sell between 2,000 to 10,000 copies, and — hold your breath — less than 1% sell more than 10,000 copies. The number sounds ridiculous, but we are a population of almost a billion and a half. A book is typically considered a bestseller when it crosses the coveted 10,000 mark within a year of publication. Despite technological advances, digital revenue is still only 3-4% of total sales. The answer is in the facts.
Riaz Haq said…
Indian Newspaper Deccan Herald Opinion: #India obsessed with #Pakistan's #terrorism at a time when an array of issues are crying for urgent attention, and action on the domestic front and at the global level where India could play a role @deccanherald

It is unfortunate that at a time when an array of issues are crying for urgent attention, and action on the domestic front and at the international level where India could play a global leadership role, the Narendra Modi government is busy harping o...

It has been going on and on about Pakistan’s support to terror groups at every forum, even if these meetings have nothing to do with counter-terrorism. For instance, TERI is engaged in research and advocacy on issues like climate change. While Jaisha...

Terrorism is not an existential threat to our country anymore and a country of India’s size and capacity cuts a sorry figure when it persists with whining and whimpering at every available forum about its woes with its troublesome neighbour. Does it ...

In recent years, India’s diplomatic energies have been dissipated by its obsession with getting Pakistan reprimanded internationally. In the process, geopolitical issues including the Chinese threat to our border, Beijing’s growing strategic ties wit...
Riaz Haq said…
Tweet by Malik Khurram Dehwar:

report #IndianLeaks specifically mentions this interview of yours given to ANI linked to Indian deep state, where you’re seen defending propaganda posters in Geneva propagating
“Sindhudesh” by Srivastava Group.

Page 49 of the #IndianLeaks report by EuDisinfoLab mentions you Hussain Haqqani giving this interview to the Indian propaganda news agency ANI, anti Pakistan propaganda posters in Geneva Switzerland during the UNHRC meet:

Full Report link here:


Page 50 of the EuDisinfoLab Report
mentions how your (Hussain Haqqani’s) interview with ANI was amplified by Indian media’s propaganda machine for larger audiences by Business Standard & Outlook India to spread anti Pakistan propaganda to even wider global audiences.


Page 6 & 89 mentions how ANI that you Hussain Haqqani were giving this interview to, is linked with Indian state & Indian intelligence R&AW operatives & how this propaganda network spanned a 15year period in 116 countries.

Full Report link here:
Riaz Haq said…
Tweet from @husainhaqqani

ایک طنزیہ کالم - “سعودی عرب نے پاکستان سے 1400 سال کی مستعار تاریخ واپس مانگ لی” پاکستان نے 700 سال ترکی سے لے لئے ہیں باقی کی تلاش جاری ہے

Replying to
Of course, you will find anything that ridicules or disparages Pakistan and it’s people amusing.

Ever commented on why the Americans & the British eulogise Greek and Roman history, culture & literature!

I guess not, because then u would have to learn perspective.
Riaz Haq said…
NYTimes: Adroit Envoy States Case for Pakistan

critics say Mr. (Husain) Haqqani is a quick-change artist who cozies up to whoever is in power. Before he left Pakistan in 2002, after falling out with Gen. Pervez Musharraf, he had worked for both his country’s leading political figures — Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto — switching from one to the other with dispatch, depending on whose fortunes were rising.

As a journalist, Mr. Haqqani cultivated sources in Mr. Musharraf’s circle. But he soon became an outspoken critic of the Musharraf government, making his life in Pakistan difficult. He aligned himself solidly with Ms. Bhutto — and after she was assassinated in 2007, with her husband, Ali Asif Zardari, now the president.

Since moving to the United States, Mr. Haqqani has developed an affinity for American culture. He taught international relations at Boston University from 2004 to 2008, and he roots for the Red Sox. The American experience has only added to suspicions about him back in Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
RH: "It’s sad that the only thing that mediocre journalists and writers can get published in the international press are articles shitting on Pakistan and its society"

Profit motive drives #media . Top 3 markets for #English language books, articles and films are #US, #UK and #India. "Successful" #Pakistani writers/producers write/produce for these markets where there are few takers for anything positive about Pakistan
Riaz Haq said…
Excerpt of "Our Man", US diplomat Richard Holbrooke's biography by George Packer

Holbrooke returned from Islamabad and told Ambassador Haqqani about his talk with Kayani and Pasha. “Your army wants a balance of power with India,” Holbrooke said. “The civilians want more money for economic development. What if we offer both of them what they want?” “That’s a great formula,” Haqqani replied. “But what if the army doesn’t just want to be able to defend against India—because, is there a real threat? What if what they want is pride and prestige equal to that of India? Look at the record.” (Pakistan's Ambassador Husain) Haqqani—who was distrusted in both Washington and Islamabad—began a campaign to educate Holbrooke in Pakistani reality. The lessons began in the SRAP office during working hours but continued evenings and weekends at Georgetown restaurants and movie theaters and ice cream parlors, where Haqqani always paid.


(Pakistani Ambassador Husain) Haqqani told him (Richard Holbrooke) that the ISI didn’t want the United States to know Pakistan too well. Haqqani once heard Pasha say, “You civilians are wrong—there is no way Holbrooke has our interests at heart. He’s a Jew.” Haqqani explained to Holbrooke that the Pakistani military was deceiving itself as well as America—imagining an Indian menace in order to justify the outsized power and budget it had claimed ever since the founding of the state. Why would the generals cut a deal over the Taliban that would only deflate their significance by reducing tensions with India? Holbrooke’s effort to change Pakistan’s perception of its national interest was doomed, because the perception was based on delusions. As for Pakistan’s politicians, they would always promise things they couldn’t deliver because they didn’t have the popular standing at home. The public was divided on violent Islamists but nearly united in its strident anti-Americanism, which no amount of flood relief could change. But the promises kept coming along with the deceptions, because the generals and the politicians needed the Americans. It was like theater, Haqqani said. The whole region was a theater in which everyone understood their part, except the Americans.

Packer, George. Our Man . Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Riaz Haq said…
Excerpt of "Our Man", US diplomat Richard Holbrooke's biography by George Packer

As for Pakistan’s politicians, they would always promise things they couldn’t deliver because they didn’t have the popular standing at home. The public was divided on violent Islamists but nearly united in its strident anti-Americanism, which no amount of flood relief could change. But the promises kept coming along with the deceptions, because the generals and the politicians needed the Americans. It was like theater, Haqqani said. The whole region was a theater in which everyone understood their part, except the Americans.

These lessons were delivered below the waterline. They bore no resemblance to the ambassador’s official cables to the foreign secretary in Islamabad after his formal meetings with Holbrooke, in which he echoed the Pakistani military’s suspicion of every American move. His cables were part of the theater. Holbrooke’s labors were gargantuan. The contemplation of them wears me out. Repeated trips to Islamabad, strategic dialogues in Washington, donor meetings in Tokyo and Madrid, the bilats, the trilats, the fifth draft of the thirty-seventh memo, the sheer output of words—in pursuit of a chimera. All the while knowing what he was dealing with—all the while thinking he could do it anyway, with another memo, another meeting… One evening he was sitting in Haqqani’s library when the ambassador took a copy of To End a War off the shelf. He opened the book and read aloud a description description of the Balkan presidents at Dayton—their selfishness, their lack of concern for the lives of their people. “Do you feel that you’re dealing with a similar situation now?” Haqqani asked. “God, I’d forgotten about that,” Holbrooke said. “Maybe it’s true.” Haqqani asked what Holbrooke was hoping to achieve. “I am trying to get the Pakistani military to be incrementally less deceitful toward the United States.”

Packer, George. Our Man . Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Riaz Haq said…
Ex Pakistani Ambassador Husain Haqqani works for Hudson Institute partially funded by Indian government.

"Its 2020 Board of Trustees included Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a BJP Member of Parliament and a current Minister in Modi’s far-right Hindu nationalist government. He has also previously acted as the National Spokesperson for a party best known for overseeing India’s significant drop in global democratic, liberty, and press freedom rankings. Chandrasekhar is a large donor to the Hudson Institute, giving up to $50,000 in the previous year"
Riaz Haq said…
More than 150,000 people visited the 17th Karachi International Book Fair in just two days and organisers of the event expect at least 400,000 people to take the trip to the five-day expo that ends on December 12.

The Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers Association (PPBA) has organised the annual exhibition at the Karachi Expo Centre that is open from 9am to 10pm daily.

Some 40 foreign publishing houses from 17 countries and over 130 noted publishers from Pakistan are participating in the event by setting up 330 book stalls.

According to the event organisers, the annual exhibition serves as a platform to let book publishers and retailers around the world share with each other the latest trends, technological improvements, and innovations introduced to upgrade the publishing industry.

Sindh Education and Culture Minister, Syed Sardar Ali Shah, said such events provided the opportunity to teach the new generation to stay away from violent and gory video games played on smartphones and reconnect with their native culture that stands for peace and security for everyone.

He conceded that the number of book readers had sharply gone down over the last several years due to excessive reliance on digital means of communication but still books play an important role in the lives of coming generations.

He advised the PPBA to organise fairs in other cities including in Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, and Larkana as the authorities would provide all help in this regard.

The provincial government aims to expand the network of public libraries to small towns and in the first phase the number of libraries was being increased in Karachi.

The retired bureaucrat and former lawmaker, Mehtab Akbar Rashdi, said that the recent pandemic had provided an opportunity for many people in the world to reconnect with the hobby of book reading.

PPBA Chairman, Aziz Khalid, appealed to the government to lessen the duty on paper and also introduce incentives for local paper producers for promoting the Pakistani publishing industry which had been facing a challenging situation due to economic woes.

Haroon Aziz, a first-year college student, said it was an amazing sight for him that the Karachi Expo Centre, which just a month back had hosted an international arms expo was now exhibiting thousands of books under one roof.

He said the books displayed at the expo would be highly helpful in his studies in addition to encouraging him to adopt the reading habit in his leisure time.

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