Chinese Investment in Pakistan: Rhetoric or Reality?

Chinese Investment in Pakistan: Rhetoric or Reality?

Much has been written and said about the announcement by the Chinese government in April this year to invest $46 billion in building an economic corridor, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), in Pakistan linking China to the Central Asian republics. The announcement came on the back of the $12 billion loan package made to Pakistan by the World bank the previous year. However, despite the political rhetoric and the show of bonhomie between the leaders of the two countries, and, the media frenzy that followed such announcement, there are serious questions that need to be raised as regard the risks of the promised Chinese investment in Pakistan.  The lion’s share of the investments are largely going to be in the form of loans of $22 billion by Chinese banks to help resuscitate some of the ailing debt-ridden Pakistani coal and nuclear power plants. The loans can be broken down into two broad temporal categories, the ‘Early Harvest’ ones in the next 3-4 years, and, the other loans promised after 2020. [1]  The key question that China watchers need to raise here is, how much is the Chinese government willing to stretch it’s banks now that there is a stock-market meltdown, currency devaluation, import stagnation and deepening recession within it’s own country? Advocates of China’s overseas investment model will no doubt point to the muscular investment by China in countries fraught with high political, financial and credit risks in Latin America and Africa in the last ten years. In fact, the example of Venezuela, a politically and financially high-risk country in which China has invested over $52 billion from 2008 up till 2014, the biggest Chinese investment in any single country so far, may hold some of the answers.  Although foreign loan-related information is hard to come by as regards most Chinese state-owned lenders, it is estimated that international investments comprised one-fifth of China Development Bank’s loans in end-2014. The majority of the loans were commodities-backed and have gone to resource rich countries in Latin America and Africa which were deemed extremely high risk by western banks or western multilateral institutions. [2]  The overseas investment model of China Development Bank was based on the oil-for-loan model...

Impact of Cultures, Ideals and Visions on Alternative Movements

Impact of Cultures, Ideals and Visions on Alternative Movements

Knowledge has been the foundation of all development and every age and era has seen some product or service that became a standard or benchmark for that time. This was always a general trend to follow and adopt a popular product or behavior but after the Industrial Revolution of 18th century it became possible to offer products made through different technologies that that offered alternative methodologies for producing the same product. An everyday example would be of soap that has remained a cleansing product for over two centuries. The end-use remains same despite change in technologies. It has become a dominant standard for cleansing. But in case of more complex products like software totally different technologies compete for space for same or similar value added end uses. An example is that of Microsoft Office that is based on Windows based technology while a similar product the Open Office that is based on Linux. Office was offered as a method of writing and recording. In this case the dominant trend is being impacted as the end-use is changed substantially by technological dexterity and Office is now used beyond its original simpler usage. Competitive advantage (Porter, 1980) has been the strategic reason for adoption of different technologies but this was until now product-centric. Competition has now moved to a different level. It is the different technologies that are now competing for producing the same product. This has been termed as differential generic strategy (Porter, 1996) that now attempts to corner niche markets or even carve out a new niche from the old one. A good example of this is the Southwest Airline that carved a niche for itself by offering low -cost no-frills flying to consumers and beat the dominating trend of flying with fully loaded services offered by traditional airlines. The competing methodology in this case was creating a new consumer who could now switch from driving or taking a train to flying short hauls at competitive or even lower price within a far shorter time. But can it be said that new alternatives, technological or strategic practices, can upset or change the dominating trend and set new standards or benchmarks? (Hofstede, 1991) said that...

Jargon of Killing Oneself: Injustice in law?

Jargon of Killing Oneself: Injustice in law?

The concept of suicide has been developed since ages long. Historically, Suicide was considered as a serious offense. But modern society has changed the perspective of many westernized country. But many Asian countries like India still criminalize even attempt to suicide. People are penalize and imprison after their failed attempt. Tragedy doesn’t ends there their family who are already grief stricken after the death are made to follow legal consequences. In India section 309 of the IPC criminalizes attempt to suicide. Suicidal tendency is an unhealthy condition arising of an abnormality.   Circumstances leading   them behind   the legal bar  will surely worsen the condition. If the law enforcement bodies are shifting their focus from legal sanctions to medical sanctions it will create positive frequency around to get more vocal for this cause. There are three different kinds of attempt to suicide depending on the way people attempt it and the manner in which it gets legal sanctions.  Sometimes people   are deliberately reporting the matter to the police as accidental so as not to get into penal actions and even hospital are frequently denying to admit suicide attempters in case not to get into trauma or stigma. So at last   patients lacks the even only emotional support they can get. Recent cases of   suicide during the last few years has revealed that there has been significant increase in attempt   to suicide.  So the government has decided to repeal the section 309 of the IPC by   passing Medical health care bill 2013 which can be stepping stone towards decriminalization of attempt to suicide. Suicide has been crime since ages long. Historically law against suicide and mercy killing has been developed from religious doctrine –“One(god) who gave should only take”. And external manifestation of the act done by the person by ending life was so against the natural law of the land. History shows the followed consequences of suicide as well as associated matters of assisting suicide and attempting suicide. There were strict jurisdictions with regard to the same and moreover, after the death, legal consequences were suffered by their family members and they were left to face the miseries of exorbitant legal procedure involuntarily. Subsequently, family...

The Emotions of Alienation

The Emotions of Alienation

SYED ATA HASNAIN I must admit that I am a cricket buff and would miss everything else just to take in the thrills and pleasures of a hard-fought one day match involving the men in blue. In the midst of the anguish that I faced watching my favorite team lose to Pakistan in the recent Asia Cup came the nails in the coffin of defeat, delivered by the events in Meerut. A segment of 67 young students from Kashmir allegedly and admittedly cheered for Pakistan even as the negative emotions from defeat were just about eroding. On a social media discussion I initiated with a wise and mature group of people I made an opening statement. It stated that the action of the students was “akin to the famous Hindi proverb – ‘ Aa Bael Mujhe Maar’, an euphemism for harakiri. Human instinct usually ensures that when no advantage accrues to you from a certain action you desist from it. However, if you still insist on doing it then it is at the risk of your neck”. The subsequent discussion was shorn of any major emotions but one thing was clear the friends from Kashmir who were engaged in the debate displayed a surprising naivety about the reality of the situation surrounding the problem of Kashmir, the way it is viewed by people in rest of India and the emotions connected with it. I tried to explain the issue of Realism through an example. In 2011, the World Cup was approaching and the chances of Dhoni’s men lifting it were reputed to be strong. I was heading the Army in Kashmir and in the middle of an exciting experiment to change the narrative through innovative methods of outreach to the ‘Awaam’. There were daily meetings with different stake holders and suggestions were being received from all quarters. Someone suggested that cricket being a passion, a virtual ‘Diwaangi’, in Kashmir it would only be appropriate that people in way off villages and towns must get the opportunity to view the World Cup matches. In their usual innovative way the Army formations went a couple of steps beyond the normal television sets and utilized their video...

Neither Azad nor Kashmir

Neither Azad nor Kashmir

Sahil Mushtaq POK covers an area of 5134 sq miles (13,927 Sq Km) with a population of 4.5 million. The region of POK is officially known in Pakistanistan as the Azad Govt of Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K).  The state is divided into three divisions viz Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Poonch and ten administrative Districts with Muzaffarabad as the capital of the state. The Muzaffarabad division comprises of Muzaffarabad and Neelam, Rawalakot division comprises of Bagh, Poonch and Sudhniti districts and Mirpur division comprises of Mirpur, Kotli and Bhimber.  These ten districts are further divided into 32 sub divisions. The people’s participation in the political and socio – economic development is ensured through elected institutions of AJ&K Legislative Assembly comprising 41 directly with 8 indirectly elected members and the AJ&K Council with 6 elected members.  Presently, Sardar Mohd Yaqoob Khan is the President and Chaudhary Abdul Majeed is the Prime Minister of AJ&K.  Urdu is the official language while Pahari, Mirpuri, Gujjari and Punjabi are also widely spoken. Farce of Autonomy & Anger against Pakistanistan in POK Theoretically, Azad Jammu & Kashmir is a self governing state under Pakistan’s control however according to the general public opinion and sentiment in POK reflects that “although ‘azad’ means ‘free’, the residents of Azad Kashmir are anything but free.  The Pakistan authorities govern Azad Kashmir with strict control on basic freedom and liberties”. It has been acknowledged by the global community as well Supreme Court of Pakistan has admonished Islamabad’s oppressive, undemocratic and colonial subjugation of the POK.  The residents of ‘Azad Kashmir’ are mostly Sunni Muslim and predominantly Punjabis, with barely 20 percent Kashmiris.  Expropriation of land and residence rights of natives in POK stands in sharp contrast to strictly adhered provisions in the Indian Constitution, disallowing non-Kashmiris to acquire property in J & K. Far from a ‘special status’ that Article 370 grants to J & K, people residing in POK lack any constitutional status whatsoever. Development wise, POK remains one of the poorest and most neglected part of Pakistan, with a minuscule per capita income of Rs 1,802 compared to J & K’s average of Rs 2,700. There is an acute shortage of electricity, water and basic amenities...

Trojan Tactics

Trojan Tactics

Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain comments on this piece You may disagree but I think Fahd Humayun needs compliments on his ability to articulate exactly what is required in Pakistan today. His emphasis on the non military aspects of the counter movement either COIN or CT hits the nail on the head. The employment of the clergy, exploiting the power of the mosque to slowly dilute the footprint of fascist radicalism, the drying up of financial conduits, the control of drug running, narcotics and arms, the recognition of criminal nexus and how jails can be used for producing fedayeen squads, manipulation of dissensions within the TTP et all are the methods which will work. Force on force, employing weaponry to dilute the lethality of the radically oriented TTP and using large size forces to fight the TTP in its own area which it knows so well, are not measures which will get the Pakistani establishment its gains.  I am not proffering advice to Pakistan on how to fight its terrorists. I am recognizing the identified aspects which our own establishment has refused to recognize. Ours has been a force on force approach in Kashmir and the Red Corridor. There has been no doctrine specific to the problem. Perhaps we need to take a leaf from the analysis by this young Pakistani who I happened to meet recently. He gave me no inkling of his cerebral capability. Shouldn’t that be worrisome to us; a young Pakistani from its premium think tank, with no ground exposure to CT is able to articulate a counter narrative for the Pakistan Government. I am not sure how many young people from our think tanks have that capability to appreciate which way our policy on Kashmir and the Red Corridor should move.    Access to Jinnah Insitute’s write ups is a good way of assessing Pakistan’s strategic thinking. By Fahd Humayun                   Last week the PM teetered on the knife-edge of launching a full-scale military operation in North Waziristan. For the first time in months it seemed as if the PML-N had finally come of age and commenced its climb up the...

The Army Take On Pathribal And Machil In Kashmir

The Army Take On Pathribal And Machil In Kashmir

Syed Ata Hasnain Seema Mustafa’s article ‘Army plays politics with fake encounters in Kashmir, is likely to upset many soldiers and rightly so. Firstly, it is a commentary, like many others doing the rounds, without trying to understand the military justice system. These are all based on the recent decision of the Army not to pursue the infamous Pathribal case any longer but pursue the Machil fake encounter case with convening of a general court martial (GCM). Secondly, it once again rakes up a dead issue, the tiff between the former Army Chief, Gen VK Singh and his successor, the current Army Chief, Gen Bikram Singh; going to the extent that the decision to prosecute the alleged perpetrators of Machil and not to do so in the Pathribal case is linked to the standoff between the Generals. As one who has served both the Chiefs and having reasonable knowledge of the two incidents being referred I am duty bound to clear the air, although it may have been better for the Army to officially do so. The only linkages that the two Chiefs have to these cases are purely co-incidental. Gen VK Singh was the Colonel of the Rajput Regiment right through his tenure as ‘Chief’; Machil was allegedly perpetrated by 4 Rajput, one of his many units, during the early part of his tenure. However, no Chief comes in the way of military justice and a description of the events will explain why and how. The Machil incident occurred in mid 2010 and came to fruition as a legal case to be tried by a GCM only in Dec 2013. Neither of the two Chiefs was handling the case at any stage; it was being handled at Srinagar with advice from Udhampur and Delhi; although overall responsibility of anything related to the Army is obviously the Chief’s. From all perceptions Machil was like an open and shut case and the Army had no hesitation to apply to the Chief Judicial Magistrate and thereafter to the Sessions Judge to take over the case, since it was one of dual jurisdiction (meaning it could be progressed through civil or military justice with first call resting...

A Dialogue with Agha Humayun Amin Major (r)

A Dialogue with Agha Humayun Amin Major (r)

Agha Humayun Amin Major (r) Tank Corps: 13 Years service in Pakistan Army (PAVO 11 Cavalry,29 Cavalry,58 Cavalry,15 Lancers,5 Independent Tank Squadron,14 Lancers,15 SP) and 31 years research . Ex Editor Globe , Ex Assistant Editor Defence Journal , Ex Editor Journal of Afghanistan Studies. Publications: More than 200 articles in News, Nation , PRAVDA,Pakistan Army Journal , Citadel Magazine of Command and Staff College,Journal of Afghanistan Studies,Indian Strategic Review,Dawn ,Friday Times,Outlook Afghanistan ,Afghanistan Times,Frontier Post,Globe,Defence Journal,Media Monitors Network,Pakistan Army till 1965 held at US Army War College Library,US Army Command and Staff College Library,Indo Pak Wars a Strategic and Operational Analysis,Sepoy Rebellion of 1857-59 Reinterpreted, The Essential Clausewitz,Man’s Role in History: Education/Credentials : Masters (History). Past/Present Clients: Various Think Tanks , Afghanistan Research Associates,Centre for Study of Non State Militant Actors in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Can you share some of the important events of which you were an active part in your Military Service? The first event was 1984 mobilization. Pakistan Army was in bad shape and would have come to certain grief if India had attacked. We were mobilized and concentrated at Qila Sobha Singh near Pasrur. Tanks were in bad shape and the nuclear deterrent was not there. Only assassination of Indira Gandhi averted the disaster that Pakistan was sure to face. The second event was 1987 mobilization in face of Brasstacks. Again the Pakistani military was in bad shape but disaster narrowly avoided because Indians had no long term strategic vision. The Indians lost three golden chances to strategically reduce Pakistan in size in 1971, 1984 and 1987.Now Indians will reap the harvest of destabilization, which would be difficult to foresee as well as handle. What exactly do you mean by destabilization? When India avoided the chance to reduce Pakistan by size, then what exactly are you referring to by destabilization? India lost chances to deal with the Pakistan factor in 1971,1984 and 1987.With the nuclear deterrent now fully active India cannot impose any settlement on Pakistan. The threat of destabilization and a possible war will now increase because of following factors: A new Afghan civil war. US China rivalry in Pakistani Baluchistan. India Pakistan tensions over water. Greater religious...

What if Rumi would have been a politician and a Law-maker? – Siddharth Acharya

What if Rumi would have been a politician and a Law-maker? – Siddharth Acharya

The article has been written as a tribute to sufi saint  Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī and analyzing  the idea of presence of someone like Rumi in heated sphere of conflict between two warring nations India and Pakistan. “Be like the sun for grace and mercy. Be like the night to cover others’ faults. Be like running water for generosity. Be like death for rage and anger. Be like the Earth for modesty. Appear as you are. Be as you appear.” – Rumi Rath-yatra by Lal-Krishna Advani in 1990, Exodus of Kashmiri Hindu pundits, demolition of Babri Masjid, Godhra riots, Malegaon Bomb blasts, controversial 26/11 attacks and surreptious killing of Hemant Karkare, Vijay Salaskar and Ashok Kamte on the night of 26/11 somewhere has involvement of element of religion into politics, Assam riots and the latest one being AkbaruddinOwaisi’sferocious and hard hitting speeches in Nizamabads brought series of religious outrages back in our country. Evidently, elections are not far and every political party be it Congress or BJP and new stalwarts like Maharashtra NavnirmanSena and Majilis-i-Itihaad will not loose even a single opportunity to champion the cause of there regions and religions. Few of them will gain power out of this and others like always keep mum about everything in order to save there traditional vote banks. Communal politics laid its foundation long back during British regimeand still persists in Great Indian Political Theatre. The eminent jurist and reknowned lawyer in sub-continent like Mohammed Ali Jinnah and great laureate Mohammed Iqbal in search of own political identity diverged from Hindu-Muslim unity and still after sixty five years of Independence religion still remains an inevitable ingredient of political campaigns. Rumi had always spoken about the introspection of soul and by seeing all this he would have been shedding tears and regretting of even giving it a thought. Rumi said “People of the world don’t look at themselves, and so they blame one another.” Need of a Philanthropist Watchdog: In the subcontinent, the Sufis made untiring, selfless and incessant struggle for the spread of Islam. They devoted their lives and gave up their homes to champion the cause of Islam in a miraculous way. Neither did they resort to...

Cultural Emergency of India – Akshay Mehta

Cultural Emergency of India – Akshay Mehta

In the last month, the nation, driven by the ever increasing shrillness of 24-hour news channels, aided by the ever more intransigent nature of protesters, lurched from outrage to outrage. It began with outrage on Yoyo Honey Singh’s concert – making him a household name. The protests had an effect of getting his New Year concert cancelled, but as compensation he became so known, that he was on national television as a featured performer in the finals of a music talent show. Then this was followed by outrage on misogynist statements by relatively obscure political personalities, giving them the kind of publicity that money cannot buy. But the price of this was public haranguing on TV till they apologised. Then there were protests on Ashish Nandy’s statements, followed up by a FIR under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989; outrage on Shah Rukh Khan’s article(“Being a Khan”, on how he was treated by politicians; asking him to return to his native land) followed by a lengthy explanation; right wing protests on Pakistani authors visiting the Jaipur Literature Festival, forcing the authors to cancel the show; potential rage on Salman Rushdie visiting Kolkata that led the Mamata Banerjee Government to prevent him. And finally protests by some Muslim organisations in Tamil Nadu against Kamal Hassan’s new Tamil Film Vishwaroopam – which has taken a life of its own. Just as a cycle of protest and outrage dies out, a new cycle of protest and outrage begins, the previous outrage is forgotten. It is almost as though this has become the Republic of Outragistan. Ask those protesting about what they are protesting about – and they will tell you in all earnestness – against an insult to xyz (where xyz could be muslim religious intolerance, language, culture, nation, hero, sentiments, feelings). Most have not even interacted with the objects of their outrage. People have begun to identify themselves by the things they hate rather than those they love. “There is nothing more frightening than active ignorance.” It is a quote that comes to mind every time there are protests about books, authors, paintings, films, music – in short ideas and concepts....

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