Posts

Showing posts from August, 2020

Have Modi's Misguided Policies Turned India Into A Beggar Nation?

Image
India is set to receive nearly $500 million in emergency aid from Japan to cope with rising covid19 cases and worsening economy, according to  Hindustan Times . This is the largest amount of financial assistance announced by any country so far to support India’s response to the Covid-19 crisis, which has had widespread impacts on the Indian economy and health sector. India’s economy in the organized sector shrank nearly 24% last quarter. It is likely a 40% decline in GDP after the government takes the unorganized sector into account, according to the  New York Times . Meanwhile, India is seeing record new daily coronavirus cases and becoming the new epicenter of the covid19 pandemic. Have Indian Prime Minister's  misguided policies  turned India into a beggar nation? The fact is that India was already the world's biggest recipient of foreign aid even before the pandemic.  Pakistan  is not even among the top 15 recipients of foreign aid. India in Crisis: Many in the world, i

Is Wudu the Secret of Pakistan's Success Against COVID19?

Image
 الطُّهُورُ شَطْرُ الإِيمَانِ” – “Cleanliness is half the faith [Sahih Muslim Hadith]   India is setting new global records in daily COVID19 cases while neighboring Pakistan has seen an unrelenting  decline in coronavirus cases  in recent weeks. This is happening in spite of the fact that both nations have taken similar measures on paper to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Both have imposed lockdowns. Both have required people to wear face masks in public. Both share similar climates, demographics and socioeconomic conditions. Then why this difference? Is it in the implementation of such measures? Or the fact that people in Muslim-majority Pakistan wash their hands before prayers much more often everyday with or  without soap , a hygiene practice highly recommended by public health experts during the pandemic? Or could it be that fewer women in Pakistan participate in the work force?  Let's examine this difference. Muslim Wudu Includes Hand-washing The bes

Is CPEC Authority Chairman Asim Bajwa Guilty as Alleged?

Image
Pakistani reporter  Ahmad Noorani has recently alleged  that "(T)he growth of the Bajwa family’s business empire in the United States and later in Pakistan directly matches the rise in power of retired general Asim Saleem Bajwa, who is now chairman of the country’s massive China-financed infrastructure project and a special assistant to the prime minister". “Out of total 99 companies, 66 are main companies, 33 companies are branch companies of some of the main companies, while five companies are dead now,” Ahmad Noorani alleges, adding that the businesses of the Bajwa family have been put under the umbrella called  Bajco Group . Noorani ignores many well-known Pakistani immigrant success stories in US restaurant franchise business and jumps to the conclusion that Nadeem Bajwa's success must be built on his brother's alleged corruption in Pakistan. Noorani does not offer any evidence to back up his allegations. Papa John's Franchisee Nadeem Bajwa Who is Nade

Pakistan Gig Economy: Women Freelancers Earning 10% More Than Men

Image
A global  survey conducted by Payoneer , a global payments platform company based in Silicon Valley, shows that Pakistani women freelancers are earning $22 an hour, 10% more than the $20 an hour earned by men. While Pakistani male freelancers earnings are at par with global average, Pakistani female earnings are higher than the global average for freelancers. Digital gig economy is not only helping women earn more than men but it is also reducing  barriers to women's labor force participation in the country. The survey also concludes that having a university degree does not help you earn more in the growing  gig economy . The  survey  was conducted in 2015. Freelancers Hourly Rate by Gender. Source: Payoneer An average Pakistani freelancer working 34 hours a week at $20 an hour earns $34,000 a year, or Rs. 5.7 million a year, a small fortune for a young Pakistani. This is one of the upsides of the online global labor market for skilled young men and women in developing n

Is Fareed Zakaria Souring on India?

Image
CNN GPS host Fareed Zakaria is known to be among the loudest cheerleaders for India and a  sharp critic of Pakistan . While he still refuses to say anything that could even remotely be considered positive about Pakistan, it seems that he is souring on his native India. Fareed Zakaria Speaking with Indian journalist Shekhar Gupta on  The Print YouTube  channel, Fareed Zakaria called the Indian state an “inefficient state”.“Indian government functions very poorly, even in comparison to other developing countries. Coronavirus has highlighted that reality, " he added. He did not clearly speak about the  lynchings of Indian Muslims  by people affiliated with the ruling BJP and the brutality of Indian military  against Kashmiri Muslims , but he did ask: “What I wonder about (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi is, is he really bringing all of India along with him? He noted sadly:”India seems like roadkill for China". Has New Delhi's abject failure in containing the coronavir

Karachi's NED University Alum's Startup Has Raised $190 Million to Challenge ARM's Dominance

Image
Silicon Valley based  SiFive , a technology startup headed by  NED University  alumnus Dr. Naveed Sherwani, has raised $60 million in series E round, bringing the total raised to $190 million to date. This round is led by SK Hynix, joined by new investor Prosperity7 Ventures, with additional funding from existing investors, Sutter Hill Ventures, Western Digital Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Intel Capital, Osage University Partners, and Spark Capital. The  Silicon Valley  company offers open-source RISC V processor core designs for custom and semi-custom chips used in a broad range of applications from smartphones and communications chips to IoT (Internet of Things), data centers and cloud computing. This market currently is dominated by proprietary Intel and Advanced RISC Machines (ARM) architectures. Availability of open-source processor architecture like RISC V has gained particular significance now because of the ongoing  US-China technology war . Dr. Naveed Sherwani SiFive was

VOA Urdu Chief Suspended For Covering Pro Biden Muslim American PAC

Image
Voice of America (VOA) Urdu language service chief Kokab Farshori and the managing editor for digital operations Tabinda Naeem have been suspended by VOA CEO Micheal Pack who was recently appointed by President Donald Trump. They are accused of violating a federal law by showing a 2-minute promotional video clip of Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden's speech to Emgage, a pro-Biden Muslim-American Political Action Committee.  The clip shows Biden promising "I will end the Muslim ban on day one". Suspended VOA Urdu Chief Kokab Farshori The  Emgage video clip  used by VOA Urdu Service has VOA Urdu logo and Urdu subtitles. Voice of America CEO Mike Pack’s office has alleged that the video “can only be described as an apparent election advertisement for [the] presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.” Prior to this action against VOA Urdu staff, Pack's shake-up of senior leadership positions had raised concerns among current and former staff, press freedom groups

Brothers From Rural Pakistan Teaching AI to American High-Schoolers

Image
Haroon and Hamza Choudhry, born in rural Pakistan, are teaching artificial intelligence (AI) American high-schoolers. Twenty-something Choudhry brothers were 8 and 6 when they came from Pakistan to the United States in 1998. They have co-founded " AI For Anyone ", a Brooklyn-based non-profit organization that sends volunteers to teach artificial intelligence to high school students. A recent study shows that  Pakistani-Americans  are among the top 5 most  upwardly mobile  groups in the United States. Other top most upwardly groups are Chinese-Americans from Hong Kong, Taiwan and People's Republic of China and Indian-Americans. Pakistani-Americans are known to volunteer for non-profit organizations like AIForAnyone to help the communities they live in. Several Pakistani-Americans are s uccessful social entrepreneurs . Hamza (right) and Haroon Choudhry in their village in Pakistan Choudhrys lived with 9 relatives in a 2-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, and later on a