Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Friday, October 2, 2015

"Liberal" heartburn

Nadeem F. Paracha is a good writer, e.g., read his Storming heaven: A revolt in Makkah and is also what would count as a liberal in Pakistan.  That doesn't prevent him from having heartburn caused by progress in India.   Very much like Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer, who was liberal enough and lost his life for criticizing Pakistan's blasphemy law, but had heartburn because of India's space program.  (Taseer's Indian son, Aatish, explained this phenomenon in a Wall Street Journal article - it stems from Pakistan's existential confusion.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pakistan's CNIC: cannot exit Islam

Pakistan has a national identity card (CNIC - Computerized National Identity Card).

A checklist for applicants for the card, or for those who have a card but need to make changes, is available here from a Govt. of Pakistan website.  (PDF)

For a modification in CNIC, due to change in religion, there is a note:
Note: Change of religion from ISLAM to any other religion will not be entertained.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Why blame Zia alone?

Salman Zafar has a newspaper blog article that points out that the rot in Pakistan long precedes General Zia-ul-Haq, whom it is fashionable nowadays, to blame for Pakistan's ills.

These include the Objectives Resolution, 1949, which bound state and religion together; the Doctrine of Necessity, 1954, that enabled constitutional processes to be broken at will; the One Unit program, 1954, that made West Pakistan into one province to try to match East Pakistan; the Constitution of 1956, that made Pakistan into an Islamic Republic, and gave the President the right to declare emergency; the first coup of 1958; the Constitution of 1962 that set up the Council of Islamic Ideology; the unequal treatment of East Pakistan that created massive unrest 1965-1970; the denial of the right of the East Pakistan based Awami League to form the government after it won the elections; the genocide during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971; the second amendment to the Constitution of 1973 that declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Pakistan by the numbers

Via Pakistan's Debt-to-GDP ratio:
Pakistan's External Debt:
External Debt in Pakistan decreased to 62649 USD Million in the first quarter of 2015 from 63960 USD Million in the fourth quarter of 2014. External Debt in Pakistan averaged 49206.62 USD Million from 2002 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 66490 USD Million in the third quarter of 2011 and a record low of 33172 USD Million in the third quarter of 2004. External Debt in Pakistan is reported by the State Bank of Pakistan.
The external debt fell under Musharraf not because of any great policies he had. PS: Academic paper from 2001: (PDF)
Recently, debt of amount USD 3.8 billion is rescheduled in 1999–2001. After September 11, Paris club rescheduled bilateral debt of USD 12.5 billion and time period is 38 years.
Pakistan's total external debt at the time was around $38 billion. Pakistan's Annual GDP growth rate:

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Limits of self-criticism

Kaalchakra wrote in a comment on, about the boundaries within which Pakistanis must remain:
“One can ‘criticise’ Pakistan, and promote ‘self-introspection’. But to not fall “beyond the pale” one must offer ‘solutions’ that call for at least one of the following three –

(1) more Pakistani military, to protect Pakistan against a rapacious India

(2) more Islam, to save Pakistan against the ill effects of Hinduism

(3) more Jinnah, to make Pakistan different from what Hindu/Gandhian leadership would want it to be.

The less a person buys into this living TNT as Pakistan’s universe of solutions, the more unacceptable/sell out the person becomes.”
(TNT = Two-Nation Theory)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

PAKISTAN: A Sea of Forced Conversions Floods the country

The Asian Human Rights Commission reports that in Pakistan, "the attack on minorities and forced conversions are on a dramatic upswing resulting in mass exodus of minorities, particularly the Hindu community."