Showing posts from December, 2022

Today's Pakistan: Conservative or Progressive?

Pakistan is often portrayed in the international media, particularly the western media, as a highly tradition-bound conservative society dominated by Taliban sympathizers.  Fatima Bhutto, a granddaughter of former Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, offers evidence to suggest otherwise.  Fatima Bhutto In  a recent Op Ed published in The Guardian titled "Superheroes, jazz, queer art: how Pakistan’s transgressive pop culture went global", Fatima Bhutto offers recent examples of the Pakistani pop culture going global. In particular, she cites television series Ms. Marvel, feature film Joyland, Grammy winning Urdu singer Arooj Aftab, world-famous qawwali singers Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Abida Parveen, celebrated artists Shazia Sikandar and Salman Toor,  and novelists like Mohammad Hanif, the author of "A Case of Exploding Mangoes".  Fatima talks about the history of the ongoing struggle between the conservatives and the progressives that dates back to the na

Rural Pakistan: New Infrastructure Driving Socioeconomic Revolution in Tharparkar

In a 2018 New York Times Op Ed titled " How Not to Engage With Pakistan ",  ex US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard G. Olson wrote: "Its (CPEC's) magnitude and its transformation of parts of Pakistan dwarf anything the United States has ever undertaken". Among the parts of Pakistan being transformed by China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are some of the  least developed regions  in Balochistan and Sindh, specifically Gwadar and Thar Desert. Over 70% of Thar desert's population is Hindu.  Tharparkar: Road Built Under CPEC. Source: Emmanuel Guddu More recently, Pakistani architect and social activist Arif Hasan has detailed the socioeconomic impact of new infrastructure in Tharparkar district, further reinforcing what Ambassador Olson wrote about how CPEC is transforming Pakistan's least developed areas. In his book titled "Tharparkar: Drought, Development, and Social Change", author Arif Hasan has highlighted the following (excerpted from Arif

Pakistan FM Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Lashes Out At Indian EAM Subramanyam Jaishankar

“If the FM (foreign minister) of India (Jaishankar) was being honest, then he knows as well as I, that the RSS (India's militant Hindu organization) does not believe in Gandhi, in his ideology. They do not see this individual as the founder of India, they hero-worship the terrorist that assassinated Gandhi", said Pakistan's Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at a press conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. "Osama Bin Laden is dead but the butcher of Gujarat lives and he is the prime minister of India", he added. Mr. Bhutto Zardari was responding to a question from the media asked at the behest of the Indian Foreign Minister Subramanyam Jaishankar.  Earlier at the UNSC, Indian External Affairs Minister Subramanyam Jaishankar had unveiled a statue of Mohandas K. Gandhi at the UN and accused Pakistan of "hosting Osama Bin Laden". Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a member of the militant Hindu organization RSS. India

India's Crony Capitalism: Modi's Pal Adani's Wealth Grows at the Expense of Ordinary Bangladeshis and Indians

Prime Minister Shaikh  Hasina  has agreed to buy expensive electricity from  India  in spite of a power glut in Bangladesh, according to a report in the  Washington Post . The newspaper quotes B.D. Rahmatullah, a former director general of Bangladesh’s power regulator, as saying, "Hasina cannot afford to anger India, even if the deal appears unfavorable." “She knows what is bad and what is good,” he said. “But she knows, ‘If I satisfy (Gautam) Adani, Modi will be happy.’ Bangladesh now is not even a state of India. It is below that.”  The Washington Post report says: "Facing a looming power glut, Bangladesh in 2021 canceled 10 out of 18 planned coal power projects. Mohammad Hossain, a senior power official, told reporters that there was “concern globally” about coal and that renewables were cheaper".  Gautam Adani (L) and Narendra Modi India Ranks  High on Crony Capitalism Index. Source: Economist  Hasina recently visited New Delhi to seek political and economic ass

Goldman Sachs Projects Pakistan Economy to Become the World's 6th Largest by 2075

Goldman Sachs analysts Kevin Daly and  Tadas Gedminas project Pakistan's economy to grow to become the world's sixth largest by 2075.  In a research paper titled " The Path to 2075 ", the authors forecast Pakistan's GDP to rise to $12.7 trillion with per capita income of $27,100.  India’s GDP in 2075 is projected at $52.5 trillion and per capita GDP at $31,300.  Bangladesh is projected to be a $6.3 trillion economy with per capita income of $31,000.  By 2075, China will be the top global economy, followed by India 2nd, US 3rd, Indonesia 4th, Nigeria 5th and Pakistan 6th. The forecast is based primarily on changes in the size of working age populations over the next 50 years.   GDP Ranking Changes Till 2075. Source: Goldman Sachs Investment Research   Economic Growth Rate Till 2075. Source: Goldman Sachs Investment Research   Economic Impact of Slower Population Growth:   Daly and Gedminas argue that slowing population growth in the developed world is causing their