Dec 30, 2008

Disintegration of Pakistan visible on the Horizon

Things are clearly getting from bad to worse. Ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif calls it a failed state. It won't be long before we see Information Minister Sherry Rehman in BURQA and President Zardari in Turban and long Beard. Number of bombings across Pakistan is on the increase. The beautiful valley of Swat, a major tourist location just a few years ago is now fully under Taliban control. See Dec 29th, 2008 news (

The capitol of Pakistan Islamabad is only 100 miles away. Before takeover, Peshawar is being softened by increased bombings inside the city to create fear. The government in Islamabad is routinely condemning the blasts and loss of life and goes back to hand shaking and photo opps.

Why would anyone invest in a failed state? Why would anyone set up factories in Pakistan when there is hourly load shedding?

Dec 22, 2008

South Asia: Both Good News and Bad News

We all know that terrorism is a growing global curse that is plaguing the entire world. Most talk about the problem, which is getting worse by the day. I am here to talk about solutions to start winning the war against terror.

In the new world order, strength and power of countries will not be defined by military power or by how many bombs or missiles or nuclear warheads you have. It will be defined by the short and long-term economic health of the country, and by how many of its citizens go to sleep hungry.

We here in California are privileged to live in the most pioneering and innovative state in America! All recent technology-driven revolutions affecting the economic health of America and the world started here. But guess where most of the hard-working, intelligent, innovative, and pioneering brains and bodies come from? South Asia.

The new economic growth cycle will start from South Asia. South Asia is home to about one-third of the world’s population. South Asia will also produce hundreds of millions of new consumers as they move from below the poverty line to above the poverty line. This economic cycle from South Asia will affect the economy, wealth, and create jobs in the rest of the world. But this new cycle cannot start unless all of the South Asian countries work together in harmony and address common problems like terrorism, education, and health with collective intelligence and information sharing.

Unfortunately, South Asia is also home to hundreds of millions that live below the poverty line, and millions go to sleep hungry every night. It is where millions of women and children die due to absence of basic preventive health for the poor. South Asia may have world-class universities for the children of the rich, but hundreds of millions of poor children can’t even get basic education.

This hopelessness, hunger, and lack of education and health provides an ideal climate from which terrorist masterminds can recruit their soldiers of terrorism.

War on terror cannot be won by using excessive and indiscriminate “Hard Power” and very little “Soft Power”. Too much “Hard Power”, in the form of missiles from drones, is killing, injuring, and displacing hundreds of innocent people for every one terrorist killed. The use of Hard Power results in Collateral Damage, which is “unintentional” civilian causalities. The illiterate poor do not understand the term.
Soft Power, in the form of economic aid for the poor, never reaches the poor. Most of it is either used up in paying for bureaucracy or ends up in the pockets of the corrupt.

Let’s start winning the hearts and minds of the poor!

All South Asians live the same kind of life! All South Asians eat the same kind of food! All South Asians enjoy the same kinds of Indian movies. All South Asians arrive two hours late! And all South Asians suffer from the same kind of corruption!

Let’s make this South Asian Solidarity Forum the start of a pioneering effort from California! Let’s take the message of this South Asian Solidarity Forum to the United States Senate and Congress! Let’s take this message of the South Asian Solidarity Forum to the lawmakers in both Pakistan and India!

Pakistan and India have made great progress in coming closer to each other in recent years. The terrorists hate this. Let the Indian hit movies play in Pakistani cinemas! Let the cricket matches between India and Pakistan go on and show the terrorists that they cannot win!

We only have three choices: Keep pointing fingers at each other, let tensions rise to the point of nuclear war, or we can come together and bring peace and prosperity to our part of the world.

Our choice is clear. Let us help unite the South Asians!

Dec 1, 2008

Very little “Soft Power” - Too much "Hard Power"

Very little “Soft Power” from United States is reaching the Poor Villagers in Pakistan but lots of “Hard Power” is reaching innocent Tribals and destroying them.

United States Continues to send 100’s of Millions of Dollars as Economic Assistance to Pakistan. Then why all this US Taxpayer money creating 1000’s more enemies instead of winning the Hearts and Minds of the Pakistanis?

Couple of simple reasons. Most US money for economic aid to Pakistan is being channeled into Pakistan through USAID. There is likelihood that no serious qualification; accountability or verification before and after the contract is awarded. USAID solicits bids for implementing poverty alleviation and education programs on the ground all over Pakistan. This has spawned a major new industry called the NGOs. I now hear that we now may have close to 60,000 NGOs and Companies operating in Pakistan that mainly rely on getting USAID contracts. Most are only on paper and fly by night operations. Possibly 90% of the USAID money with these NGOs goes into overhead, expenses, salaries. Maybe less than 10% goes to the project making no difference in the poor villager’s life in any way. The cycle of few becoming richer at the expense of village masses becoming poorer gets worse.

At the same time US bombings are killing very high percentage of tribal civilians and very small number of foreigners linked with terrorism. To US it is collateral damage but to the tribals it is plain murder. Tribals are not highly educated and don’t understand the word “Collateral Damage” . All they see is a foreign enemy in the sky preparing to take over their 1000’s year old land, destroy their livelihood and kill their friends and families. This has created more enemies and hatred against the West along the entire tribal belt. Pakistan is paying a heavy penalty for this US action.

The best way forward is for US to connect with the select and qualified Pakistani American Diaspora specially the Diaspora from the Tribal area in US to understand the tribal cultures and start winning hearts and minds of the people with the help of the diaspora.

Nov 1, 2008

Musharraf regime pidgeons have all flown away

The pigeons that started coming back to Pakistan one at a time during the last eight-year Musharraf regime have all flown away. Using Instant Text Messaging, YouTube, emails, Internet, cell phones they spread the bad news about risks of investing in Pakistan.
In 2002 the Pakistan Government asked the international community to partner with Pakistan in creating 100% Universal Primary Education along with Adult Literacy, Basic Women’s Health in Pakistan’s Rural Villages. This well-meaning initiative was to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) set by the United Nations. For every Dollar invested by the private sector locally and globally Pakistan promised to rightfully invest five times the amount. The Global Pakistani Diaspora joined and invested millions of dollars worth of time and money for six years. The program funding was controlled by the Pakistan Human Development Fund and the implementation on the ground was done by the National Commission for Human Development. The results were phenomenal, unprecedented in the history of Pakistan in so short a span of time. Eight Million village children were given primary education.
Now most of the NCHD schools remain closed due to lack of long-term funding by the new Pakistan Government laying off 1000’s of NCHD teachers. The Adult Literacy Program has been closed down. The preventive Basic Health program for infants and mothers in the NCHD areas has been stopped. The six-year foreign investment is going down the drain.
On Oct 17, 2008, a skeleton NCHD Universal Primary Education program was approved by the Pak Government. Out of 80,000 NCHD laid off village teachers 18,000 are back to work. At the same time, a Rs34 Billion Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) of Rs1000 per month cash handout to the 3.4million poorest village women has been launched to alleviate poverty. This cash will be handed out by the area MNA’s.

Oct 2, 2008

If the current trend is not TIMELY arrested

If the current trend is not TIMELY arrested

Year after year Pakistan will trudge a messy course and continue to be a Beggar and a Failed State, because it uses the worst practices in all areas affecting and relating to Economy and Exports

Powerful resources to acquire best Global Practices are readily available at no cost by just connecting with the professional and successful Pakistani-American Diaspora settled in all 50 States and helping America in every conceivable field.

Sep 22, 2008

Many countries would greatly benefit if Pakistan disintegrates

Many countries would greatly benefit if Pakistan disintegrates. They know it is only a matter of time. These countries may have already worked out contingency plans decades ago. They also know that Pakistanis are their own worst enemies and will lead the disintegration of Pakistan without outside help.
The process of disintegration of Pakistan may have already begun by following events
• Absence of Rule of Law and Accountability of past and present
• Country Assets slowly sold off to outsiders to meet expenses
• Heading back to high debt by borrowing from IMF and other lenders
• Efforts to weaken or break the country’s only most crucial and strongest most disciplined institution called the Pakistan Armed Forces.
• Breaking the most solid long standing relationship with real friend and neighbor China
• Increasing and unchecked cross border intrusions
• Increasing kidnappings for ransom in major cities
• Reducing or shutting down of Basic Education in villages
• Ever increasing number of population joining the hunger line
• Existing Foreign Investors insecure and leaving
• New Foreign Direct Investment now bypassing Pakistan
• All the fundamentals and basics necessary for economic growth missing and never fixed

Aug 5, 2008

Progress in Pakistan 2008

Progress in Pakistan 2008

$17 Billion Foreign reserves now down to $10 Billion

KSE Index Drops from 15,000 to near 9000

Many Established Textile Factories closed

100,000 Rural Primary Schools with 8Million Village Children will be shut down Aug31st, 2008 UNLESS!

135+ Schools Burnt to ground in Tribal Areas

Foreign Investors holding back and turning away

Pak Government run from Dubai and London

Government focused on export of Mangoes to US

Value of Pak Rs per $ down from Rs60 to Rs77

New PTV Chairman Dr Shahid Masood paid Rs 850,000 monthly salary

What else will we see in the coming days?

Jun 12, 2008

Why are we bent upon re-inventing Pakistan over and over again?

Why are we bent upon re-inventing Pakistan over and over again?

Why can’t we take the last 8 years of momentum, fix the weak areas and improve upon it?
Personal vendetta and personal agenda politics continues to take Pakistan backwards. Why can’t all political parties put their positive energy and extensive experience in one direction. FORWARD.

Why we keep showing more and more of our dirty laundry to the whole world? By planting false statements and stories, spreading false rumors and creating suspicions we are our own worst enemies.
Result. KSE index falling, GDP down, foreign investment down, deficit rising

May 23, 2008

What Many Expatriates Like Me Would Want to Know

What Many Expatriates Like Me Would Want to Know

Is the beautiful Swat Valley, a popular vacation destination, part of Pakistan or an independent State or region?
Pakistan Government has now agreed to allow Swat to be Talibanized and be run under Sharia Law.

Does this signal the beginning of the Talibanization of Pakistan and Sharia Law for all of Pakistan?
Many Expatriates like me would want to know

May 1, 2008

United States invasion of Iraq is a failure

The United States invasion of Iraq is a failure and a foreign policy setback. It may take more than a few decades to recover the financial losses and repair America’s image in the world.
It has been argued, and perhaps rightly so, that the war on terror is directly responsible for an increase in terror and suicide bombings in Pakistan. It is difficult to win the war by bombing innocent tribesmen on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Only two decades ago these warriors were recruited as Mujahideen by America and they played a heroic role in winning the war against the Soviet Union.
While elimination of the hard-core terrorists cannot be disputed, there should be a foolproof strategy to spare the innocent and the politically unmotivated.
America cannot win the hearts and minds of the Pakistan Tribes by bombing with one hand and giving aid like creating ROZs with the other hand.

Mar 20, 2008

Moving Forward on Two Diametrically opposed courses

Today, Pakistan’s Leadership has the option of Moving Forward on Two Diametrically opposed courses

The leadership could either opt for the fast track to Extinction, like that of the Dinosaurs, if it decides to pursue a course of confrontation, pull out old skeletons from the closet, and resort to vendetta politics, strikes, and consequent destruction of national wealth.

The second option is to be a part of the fast paced global economic revolution and to speedily attract the available multi-billion dollar foreign direct investment that was initially destined to come to Pakistan but had been pouring into other countries like China, India, and Central America.

President Musharraf has laid the foundation for the recognition of Pakistan’s role worldwide in the economic rejuvenation. It is now up to the new lawmakers to sustain the momentum of his strivings and carry the zestful drive forward.

Mar 1, 2008

Pakistani expatriates- Powerful resource

It was Pakistan’s good fortune that decades ago its citizens went around the world to gain higher education and professional excellence in import disciplines. These expatriates excelled in their respective fields and made their mark. Indisputably, they remain better that the best today.

It was Pakistan’s misfortune that none of these accomplished sons and daughters of the New World had any desire to return to the homeland.

Regretfully, even President Musharraf did not utilize this most critical and powerful resource to take Pakistan forward into the 21st century.

Feb 5, 2008

It was Pakistan’s good fortune

It was Pakistan’s good fortune that decades ago its citizens went around the world to gain higher education and professional excellence in important disciplines. These expatriates excelled in their respective fields and made their mark. Indisputably, they remain better than the best today.
It was Pakistan’s misfortune that none of these accomplished sons and daughters of the New World had any desire to return to the homeland.
Regretfully, even President Musharraf did not utilize this most critical and powerful resource to take Pakistan forward into the 21st century.

Jan 11, 2008

Window of Opportunity for America

1.3 Billion Muslims are visibly angered. Their rage and disquietude may be stoking fundamentalism and Terrorism. Now there is a small window of opportunity for America and Israel to help turn the disconcerting situation around. While in Jerusalem recently, President Bush made a historic statement asking Israel to return to the pre-1967 boundaries and pay compensation to Palestinians displaced by the country’s creation in 1947. If this is only PR rhetoric to gain points and time then we may see continued terrorism and instability around the world. But if the well-meant urging is in earnest and duly heeded a wholesome world order may ensue. An English novelist once said, “Let’s conserve a livable world. Let’s contemplate existence.” It’s time to heed his advice.