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Showing posts from November, 2019

Pakistani F1 Student Enrollment in US Rising at Slowest Rate in 5 Years

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Enrollment of Pakistani students on US F1 visa rose just 5.6% to 7,957 in 2018/19, the slowest rate in 5 years. It's in sharp contrast to 27% jump in Pakistani student enrollment to 28,000 in China this year.


Rate of increase in Pakistani students on F-1 visas declined to 5.6%, down from 8.5% in 2014/15 and 14.7% in 2015/16. However, the total number of Pakistani students on F1 visa in the United States has climbed from 5,354 to 7,957. Enrollment of international students from Pakistan on F1 visa declined from a peak of nearly 9,000 in 2001/02 to a low of 4,600 in 2011/12.


Total number of foreign students studying in the United States is nearly 1.1 million, the largest in the world. China hosts nearly 492,000 foreign students. New international student enrollment is declining in the US while it is rapidly climbing in China.

Pakistan (7,957) now ranks 22nd among nations sending students to study in the United States.  China (369,548), India (202,014), South Korea (52.250), Saudi Ar…

Brief Overview of Pakistan's Electric Vehicle Policy

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Pakistan has a low level of motorization with just 9% of the households owning a car. Nearly half of all households own a motorcycle. Motorization rates in the country have tripled over the last decade and a half, resulting in nearly 40% of all emissions coming from vehicles. Concerns about climate change and environmental pollution have forced the government to to take a number of actions ranging from adoption of Euro6 emission standards for new vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE) since 2015 and announcement of a national electric vehicle (EV) policy this year.


EV Policy:

Pakistan electric vehicle policy 2019 sets EV adoption targets and includes incentives for buyers and manufacturers. It also focuses on development of nationwide charging infrastructure to ease adoption of electric vehicles. Here are some of the salient points of the policy:

Policy Targets: 

1. Goal for cars: 30% of new sales by 2030 and 90% of new sales by 2040

2. Goal for 2 and 3 wheelers: 50% of new sal…

Pakistan's Longest Motorway M5 to Boost Road Transport Sector

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Recent opening of M5, Pakistan's longest access-controlled motorway, is a boost for the nation's fast-growing road transport sector. The 6-lane 392 kilometers long M5 motorway is longer than than the 375 kilometers long 6-lane M2 motorway. After M5 opening, the only missing section in planned 1,694 kilometer long 6-lane Peshawar-Karachi motorway is 296-kilometer Sukkur-Hyderabad M6 motorway. Growing network of high-speed motorways is opening up less developed parts of the country for investment, business and tourism. It is aiding agriculture, trade and commerce by moving freight and people faster.



Here's a brief overview of Pakistan's road transport sector as summarized by Karandaz research:

1. The Transport, Logistics and Communications (TLC) sector is estimated to have contributed 13.3% of GDP in 2016-17. Of this, more than 62% was contributed by the road transport sector. In 2014-15 the sector employed 3.1 million people.

2. Most traffic intensive routes are a) Kara…

Two of 265 India-Linked Anti-Pakistan Fake News Sites Located in Pakistan

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Researchers at Europe's Disinfo Lab have uncovered a network of 265 online news sites in 65 countries, including Pakistan, using the names and brands of defunct newspapers from the 20th century to push anti-Pakistan media coverage inside the regular news cycle. Two of these sites are located in Pakistani cities of Karachi and Lahore, according to Disinfo Lab's report. They are linked to social media accounts.  These two sites were spewing disinformation on Pakistan using the names of the long defunct Socialist Weekly (Karachi) and Khalsa Akhbar (Lahore), according to Pakistani researchers.  The real Karachi-based Urdu language Socialist Weekly and Lahore-based Punjabi language Khalsa Akhbar ceased publishing decades ago, long before the advent of online publishing.



The fake news sites were aimed at reinforcing the legitimacy of anti-Pakistan NGOs by providing linkable press materials to reinforce an anti-Pakistan agenda. Two of these anti-Pakistan NGOs named by Disinfo Lab are…

South Asian Contrast: Ayodhya and Kartarpur

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November 9, 2019 will go down in South Asian history as a day of sharp contrasts: While Pakistan restored and opened Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur for Sikh pilgrims, the Indian Supreme Court ordered the construction of a Hindu temple on the site where Babri Masjid stood for centuries. Can India and its western apologists still claim to have shared values?



Shared Values:

At a congressional hearing on the Capitol Hill in Washington in October, 2019, American Congresswoman Ilhan Omar asked Ms. Alice Wells, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, the following pertinent question:

"Kashmiris have been restricted from communicating outside their country for 50+ days. In Assam, almost 2 million people are being asked to prove their citizenship. This is how the Rohingya genocide started. At what point do we question whether PM Modi shares our values?"

The question of shared values has been forcefully answered in the negative by the Indian Supreme Court in its Ayodhya verdic…

Skills Gap in South Asia: Indian and Pakistani Youth Lack 21st Century Skills

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Only 18% of Pakistanis and 19% of Indians under the age of 24 have the skills required for 21st century jobs, according to a United Nations and Business Coalition for Education study. It's the percentage of all school age children on track to complete secondary AND reach the learning benchmarks spelled out  by National Achievement Test (NAT) 2016 for Pakistan  and NCERT 2017 for India.

South Asian economies have experienced some of the fastest growth rates in the world. They are driven by young and growing populations in the region. Sustaining growth will become increasingly difficult unless significant investments are made to prepare South Asian youth for 21st century jobs.

Today, South Asia is home to the largest number of young people of any global region, with almost half of its population of 1.9 billion below the age of 24, according to data produced by the Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Education), the Education Commission, and UNICEF.

Youth unemployment remain…

Pakistani Video Game Player Among World's Top 10 Earners

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Karachi-born Pakistani Syed Sumail Hasan, 19, is the world's youngest video gamer to surpass $1 million in earnings. In fact, he has earned $3.6 million so far as an international Dota 2 player, ranking him the 10th biggest winner in the world, according to esportsearnings.com website which tracks players' earnings. Sumail started playing Dota 2 at the age of 7. He now lives in a Chicago suburb as a permanent resident of the United States.


Arsalan Ash Siddique, 23 years old player from Lahore, Pakistan, caused a stir in Fukuoka Japan when he defeated world's top players to win EVO championship in February, 2019, according to Asahi Shimbun. In his victory speech, Arslan acknowledged many unknown Pakistani players who are also quite strong but could not join the competition because they could not get the visa to travel to Japan.



It wasn't easy for Arsalan to reach Japan to participate in the contest. He had to jump through many hoops and travel through several transit co…

Upward Income Mobility in Pakistan Better Than in India and Most Other Nations

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Economic mobility across generations, also known as intergenerational mobility (IGM), is a key measure of human progress. It shows that Pakistan is doing relatively well, according to a World Bank sponsored study. The analysis examines whether those born in poverty or in prosperity are destined to remain in the same economic circumstances into which they were born, and looks back over a half a century at whether children’s lives are better or worse than their parents’ in different parts of the world.


Intergenerational Income Mobility Study:

The World Bank study uses a newly created 2018 database—the Global Database of Intergenerational Mobility (GDIM)—that covers more than 95 percent of the global population.  Intergenerational income mobility measures how children's incomes compare with their parents' incomes at similar stages of life over a period of 50 years.


The study found that higher intergenerational income mobility is associated with lower income inequality.

More and mo…