Showing posts from May, 2023

Pakistan's Large and Growing Civil Nuclear Program

Pakistan's  nuclear weapons  program gets a lot of global attention. But the country also has a large and growing civil nuclear program which has added over 3,500 MW of low-carbon electricity to the national grid. It also supports a variety of agricultural, biological and medical applications. The program relies  particularly on the expertise and contributions of nuclear scientists trained at the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH) founded in 1965 by Dr. Ishrat Husain Usmani.  Dr. Usmani graduated from Aligarh Muslim University and later did his doctoral research at London's Imperial College under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Niels Bohr. The entire civilian nuclear program in Pakistan operates under the International Atomic Energy Agency's safeguards. PINSTECH, Pakistan Pakistan Nuclear Science and Technology History:    Pakistan started its nuclear program in the 1950s under the United States’ “Atoms for Peace” program, which was designed t

G20 Kashmir Meeting: Modi's PR Ploy Backfires!

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's campaign to show normalcy in the Indian occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir has backfired.  Three member countries of the G20 boycotted the tourism event in Srinagar. The rest of them sent local embassy staff to attend. The event also drew negative worldwide media coverage of the brutality of India's "settler colonialism" in the disputed territory. It elicited strong condemnation from the United Nations. Prior to the event, India’s tourism secretary, Arvind Singh had promised that the meeting will not only “showcase (Kashmir’s) potential for tourism” but also “signal globally the restoration of stability and normalcy in the region.” The Modi government failed to achieve both of these objectives. G20 Meeting in Indian Military Occupied Kashmir  Meeting Boycott: China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey did not attend the G20 event in Srinagar. Rest of the G20 members sent diplomats posted in New Delhi to attend it.  It's not unusual for fore

India-Russia Trade: Is Indian Rupee Worthless For Cross-Border Transactions?

What good is a currency in global trade if it can not be used to buy products and services from other nations that a country needs?  The answer to this question came when Russia said it has accumulated billions of rupees in Indian banks which it can not use. “This is a problem”,  Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in India’s Western state of Goa on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting.  “We need to use this money. But for this, these rupees must be transferred in another currency, and this is being discussed now”.  Russia has decided it won't take any more Indian rupees. Moscow has rejected New Delhi's proposal for the Kremlin to invest rupees from oil and military equipment payments back into Indian capital markets so the currency doesn't pile up. Global Export Map 2023. Source: World Population Review Only the currencies issued by the governments of the world's largest exporters are useful for buying products and services o

Pakistan Now: Darkest Before Dawn?

Pakistan is experiencing one of the darkest periods of its history. Political instability is eroding confidence in the nation's future. Declining economic growth and high inflation are hurting the people of all strata of society, particularly the poor whose numbers are rapidly rising. Is there any  hope  left for the country? Is it a case of the "darkest before dawn"? How do investors see it?  Ex PM Imran Khan (R) with President Erdogan Writing in the Time magazine immediately after the recent arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, American investor, author and commentator Zachary Karabell who has invested in Pakistani startups sees rare hope for Pakistan. He sees Pakistan where Turkey was back in 2001-2003, "when a series of elections brought Recep Erdogan to power even as he was repeatedly disqualified by a military that was determined to retain control". Here's an excerpt of his article titled " The Contrarian Case for Pakistan " published