Why Nawaz Sharif’s Economic Model Failed

South Asians (from India-Pakistan-Bangladesh) are well known for low wages, good work ethics and more importantly for delicious feasts. Investment Bankers from Europe and Americas like to congratulate South Asians for being at the center of global financial attraction and the preferred destination for investment. Especially since China, Singapore, Thailand, Korea and Malaysia have achieved their development objectives, its now time for South Asia to move up. South Asians however, disappointed the world and more importantly its citizens for repeated failures in Transparency, Governance and Rule of Law.

All this despite the fact that South Asia happens to be blessed with abundant resources ranging from the majestic Himalayas in the north to the beautiful blue waters of the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal in the south. Population of 1.5 billion people, mostly young and hard working. Large agricultural lands add to its growing industrial base enjoying a good portion of world textiles and garments production. Resources couldn’t help Pakistan from spiraling down to its current low. South Asians would like to know “is it because of the corrupt politicians, or is it because of the System itself?”

First, there was the war of 1971, until then Pakistan was the combination of West and East Pakistan and a shining star for Development Economics, before the generals decided it launch genocide on its own citizens in the country’s Eastern Wing, resulting in a humiliating defeat for the Pakistan Army, making way for the birth of independent Bangladesh.

In reality, West Pakistani generals in their utter brilliance managed to secede from the majority part of the country (East Pakistan), breaking up a united Pakistan into the new Pakistan and Bangladesh. Statistics will show that the economic progress of united Pakistan in the 60’s came mainly from the export of Jute (East Pakistan) and Cotton products (West Pakistan), whereas the distribution of wealth favored mostly the Western wing, regardless of East Pakistan’s contribution or its majority population.

It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out why the poor farmers and workers in the East would stand up to this economic injustice. But the generals knew better, they chose guns and bullets to do the talking. By December 1971, Pakistan was defeated, general Niazi surrendered half of Pakistan to India along with 90,000 soldiers.  The highly prosperous, populous, hard working wing of the country had been lost forever. The stupid generals still couldn’t get it.

Neither did the politicians rallying around Bhutto understand what they lost. For them, it was not possible for Mr Bhutto to loose an election to a nobody called Mujib from the backward farm land of Bengal (East Pakistan). Heck, Bhutto was UC Berkley, Oxford, UN, Foreign Minister, Nuclear Weapons and all that, and what did Mujib have – nothing! that was according to the enlightened men and women around Bhutto. Mujib did have something. Brains. Yup, he knew how to talk to his people, he knew to what extent his people would tolerate injustice, he knew how to break that tolerance level. That was the magic of Mujib which Bhutto’s ego refused to see, no matter the consequences.

In post 9171 scenario, the country went from being Divided Pakistan to Weakened Pakistan. For decades the country saw the rise and fall of one military dictator after another. Politicians lined up to the generals like models holding signs reading “Take me, I’ll be obedient!”. Generals chose. And the “models” delivered, faithfully. In the process, some “models” earned billions. Connections with other equally shameful and corrupt “royals” were established and exploited for mutual gains.

Business was booming. Except for the poor man who had to work harder than before for his tax and Vat had to bear the responsibility for filling up the deep pockets of the greedy top brass. Electricity generation, foreign currency reserve, current account deficit, devaluation of currency, unemployment and inflation joined hands in an unholy alliance to convert a Weakened Pakistan into a Bankrupt Pakistan. None of these economic causes qualify as anything other than man made, the  work of few elites abusing the mass people, while billions of dollars found their way into European banks, picking up multi million pound flats along the way.

Nawaz Sharif’s economic model rested on Chinese and Arabian investments in mega infrastructure projects. While that sounds very promising, the country’s ability to sustain long term foreign debt was deteriorating quickly. Country’s ability to service foreign debt depends on its foreign currency earnings and reserves, not on Chinese investments in roads although in the long run good infrastructure becomes essential. Pakistan’s foreign currency reserve as of writing stood at 2 weeks imports. It should be more like 3 to 6 months imports. Exports stagnated while imports increased. Are workers becoming more costly to hire?

Foreign buyers like the low wages in South Asia. But that’s not all. Low labor wages is but one of the many ingredients making up total production cost. Energy, shipment, insurance, technology, labor efficiency etc contribute just as well. More than anything else, lack of power hindered manufacturers from investing in export driven factories, on the other hand, due to higher production costs foreign buyers preferred to look east, leaving the country with stagnating foreign currency earnings. This could not have happened without the contribution of the C factor.

This political-economic model, its architecture, guarantees the enrichment (beyond our imagination) of few elites at the top while the “productive forces” will continue to break their backs – working, paying vat and taxes and finally be forced to vote (thereby legalize) in favor of a blood thirsty greed based corruption ridden “system” of hidden imperialism. Imran Khan may be clean, but him alone hardly stands a chance to rectify the grand old system of greed and corruption that plagues the administrative machinery.

When would be a good time to strengthen the argument for upscaling an alternative to this unjust and harsh political-economic abusive system? Have you given the “alternative” a thought, would you even like to know what the alternative is…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A King and the Moon – and the Beginning of a 1000 year Civilization from India

On my lunch break right now, so I can afford to share my thoughts. On my way to work I read the ARABIC Grammar book. Four English to Arabic phrases from this book knocked me off few hours ago. Here are the 4 lines:

  1. Al Hindu watanun Adheemun. India is a great country.
  2. Al Hindu watanee. India is my country.
  3. Uhibbu Watanee. I love my country.
  4. Al Hunudu kulluhum Ekhwatee wa Akhawatee. All Indians are my brothers and sisters.

The book was written by Mr Amanulla Vadakkangara, a respected educationist from Malappuram District in Kerala, India. The author taught Arabic in an international Indian school in Doha, Qatar. Are you surprised yet? If not, then let me explain this in bit more detail.

The outside world thinks that Muslims of India are basically north Indians speaking Urdu and having more in common with Central Asian cultures as in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan which produced raiders and conquerors whose very names still evoke some kind mixed feelings in the common people. Pakistani books usually credit a young general called Bin Qasem with the honor of bringing Islam by the sword to India going back to the 8th-9th century Umayyad dynasty. It is said that Bin Qasem in an effort to rescue a band of Muslims wrongly captured by Raja Dahir of Sind arrived with about a hundred soldiers defeating armies much more numerical superiority paving the way for the firm footing of Islamic governance in the western region of South Asia (basically Sind and Punjab to some extent in today’s Pakistan).

This story is refuted strongly by another Muslim community called the Shiites. They say that Bin Qasem was actually ordered by the great butcher Hajjaj ibn Yousuf to hunt down supporters of the Ahl-al-Bayt (peace be upon them) who had takn refuge in the court of Raja Dahir who himself being overtaken by the nobility of the Shiite Muslims refused to give them up to anyone and in the process lost his Kingdom to the young Muslim Arab general.

Now, let me tell you that there is yet another story which clouds both the narrations stated above. Islam is said to have arrived in India much earlier than Bin Qasem, if we follow the history of a certain king based in Kerala in the 7th century. Kerala boasts of an interesting geography located in the southwestern tip of India placed right next to Tamil Nadu in the east and the Arabian Sea in the west, basically the Malabar coast is the site of Kerala where natives speak Malayalam housing 56% Hindus and 26% Muslims in its state. The Kerala Muslims (or Malyallam Muslims) also called Mappas locally have a rich story to tell and it goes back to the 7th century at the time of the Holy Nabi Sallillahu alihi wa aalihi wa sallam.

According to legend a noble king called Cheraman Peruman was out at night when he witnessed the splitting of the moon. His amazement could not be explained by any scholar in his court except when he approached visiting Arab traders about it who only promised to search for answers in their journey on the sea. Years later, the Arab traders came back to him with answers, and the answer was in their desert country of Arabia itself for a man had arrived in their midst who declared his appointment as the leader of mankind being the last and final Prophet and Messenger of ALLAH Swt. It was the blessed Nabi sallillahu alihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam who had split the moon into pieces one day as his miracle for the doubters’ minds. The Prophet (swm) had split the moon by asking ALLAH SWT for a miracle and it was that miracle which the noble king had witnessed and it was this even t that was responsible for setting off waves of questions and thoughts in the heart of the noble king.

He had decided. He would go to Arabia, meet the blessed Messenger (swm) of ALLAH SWT so that he could become a Muslim at the hands of none other than the man who was the Ambassador of God. The noble King set out for Arabia with his Arab friends. He is said to have reached the kafela of Muslims during the time of the Farewell Pilgrimage. There, the King was given audience with the Noble Messenger of God (PBUH) where the king said his shahadah to enter the fold of Islam as a believer. How could this meeting take place without some exchange of gifts as India was famous in the world for its exquisite and extra-ordinary beauty and flavors. The noble king brought with him Garlic Pickle as a gift which the Noble Messenger (PBUH) accepted very happily choosing to share them with his companions.

On the return journey through Yemen, the noble king fell seriously ill, not being able to make it to his kingdom he summoned his Arab friends to take his money back to Kerala and inform his family of what had happened and instruct them to light up Islam in Kerala starting with a Masjid for which his money should be used completely. King Cheraman Peruman Radi Allahu Anhu rests in Yemen while the Cheraman Jama Masjid in Kodungallor stands today as a testament to the noble king’s legacy.

Lets come back to my Arabic lessons. The fact that Kerala currently is called home by 8.8 million Muslims makes them a Muslim community equal to the Hashemite Kingdom Jordan. The Malayallam language should also be considered as an Islamic language if only to honor the brilliance of the Malayallam culture for upholding the dignity of Islam when the courageous followers of the noble king constructed the Islamic mosque letting the drops of Islamic knowledge accumulate over centuries into an ocean of art, culture, knowledge and scholarship for the benefit of all mankind.

Mr Amanulla chose to write the four sentences in Arabic and English it seems with another greater agenda more noble than learning another language for the sake of it. The agenda, it would seem to me is this, the word Hindu is an Arabic Islamic word, this should be known to all the Muslims in South Asia. Al-Hindu is the Arabic translation for India. In Sanskrit, India is called Bharat not Hindustan. It was the Islamic world that called Bharat as Al-Hind and the Central Asian Muslims called it Hindustan (as in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan etc). Every Indian should therefore be a Hindu I terms of ethnicity, according to Arabic Islamic understanding. The plural form of Hindu is Al-Hunudu, that is all Indians which naturally includes Muslims and non Muslims also signifies the above statement which says that Hindu is a nationality not a religion as such. It were the colonialists British who had to severe the brotherhood between the natives by splitting the religious harmony through categorizing where the great Hindu brotherhood of Muslims and non-Muslims fell apart once the Hindu was given the religious shape and color. On the other hand Muslims were pulled away by another form of religion advocated by the British loyalist “Sir” Syed Ahmed Khan under the banner of the Two Nation Theory. It was a divisive theory that floated just after the First War of Independence conducted by the Sepoys in 1857 when Hindus and Muslims for the “second last” time united against a common foe. The “Last Time” for Hindu Muslim unity was under the banner of “KHILAFAT MOVEMENT” organized by Mawlana Mohammad Ali and his brother Mawlana Shawkat Ali, together called the Ali Brothers.

Islam’s forerunners were the noble companions among whom is the blessed king of Kerala Syedene Cheraman Peruman Radi Allahu Anhu. His travel to the Arabian peninsula in order to meet the Leader of all Mankind was the reason and the heavenly door for the entry of Islam in India, also known as Al-Hindu in the Islamic Arabic language. For 1000 years Islam contributed to the economic, social and educational advancement of Al-Hind. The cultural character of present day India can never be separated from its Islamic identity no matter how hard certain right wingers may try. The tear drop on the cheek of time, the greatest throne of the material world, the fort of jewels, the tomb of the emperor, and so on and so forth are the fruits of a work created in the mausoleum of love nurtured by the brotherhood of respect and dignity and long dreamed by a lonely king taking a night walk staring at the beautiful face of the moon.

 

 

 

 

Hajj Message 2017 – tell another Hajji

9th Dhil HAjj or the Day of Arafah is the important day for the global Muslim family. Day of Arafah for the year 2017 shall be on 31 August, Millions of Muslims shall gather in Makkah for the Holy pilgrimage and on this day the most important rite will take place on the plains of Arafah, a place just outside of Makkah, where pilgrims pray, supplicate and ask for God’s Mercy. Arafah can be distinguished by the site of Hajjis sitting on a mountain called the Mountain of Mercy (Jabal Rahmah), its where the Holy Prophet Muhammad Sallillahualihi wa alihi wa sallam gave the farewell sermon.

This great day of Muslims is followed by celebrations called Eid al Azha which lasts for about 3 days. In this Eid, Muslims sacrifice an animal as re-enactment of Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail for the sake of Alimighty God. Sacrifice is usually followed by distribution of meat amongst the needy.

In addition to the religious ceremonies, Muslims have another golden opportunity to address the issues facing 1,7 billion Muslims. Political leaders may have succeeded in keeping Pakistanis away from Indians and Bangladeshis away from Rohingyas but in Makkah all of them will come together without any prejudice and without any care for boundaries or languages.

Hajj is indeed a great event. Its the world’s largest gathering of people who desire nothing but peace for Muslims and non Muslims. Makkah for five days becomes the political religious and social center of the whole world. The pilgrims come from countries around the world with only one agenda, ISLAM, peace, submission to God’s Will. It is therefore a truly common ground for bringing together people from two categories, from the grass roots – workers, farmers, laborers AND also from the landed aristocracy, elites and business empires etc. No other event in the world compares to this classless and self motivated and self financed attendance, and this is a potential weapon unknown to most Muslims.

Lets come to the point. Muslim world is being humiliated by the political and religious leaderships. Muslims should understand very well that, their only way out of the terrible situation is to throw away the junk at the top, reorganize their social and economic systems and ensure that accountability and transparency are never compromised again.

All the Muslims all over the world should know that they have a religious responsibility to make an effort to change their corrupt, despotic and dictatorial leaderships. Muslims should also remember that according to the monotheistic (unitary) principle there can be absolutely no room for racial, linguistic, nationalistic, tribal, wealth driven prejudices. The power to change a corrupt government lies with the mass people, the workers and home makers. This realization seems the hardest part to communicate to mass people although it happens to be in their primary interest. So long as Muslims continue to feel helpless, small wolves will pretend to be big lions.

The blood of a Kashmiri Muslim has the same value as a Punjabi, the life of a Rohingya child has the same value as a Bangladeshi child. The world, and everything in it, belongs to ALLAH swt, no man has the right to deny or deprive another human being their right to security of life and property. Kashmiri Muslims and Rohingya Muslims demand this security of life and property from their fellow Muslims in Pakistan and Bangladesh. May God have Mercy on them and on us if we failed to do that.
Yemen and Syria and two blessed lands. The entire Muslim world will have to answer for the genocide happening there. Misr still asks why the petro dollars were used to bankroll into office a psychopathic murderer? It needs to be reminded, the one who shows no mercy to those on EArth, the One in the sky will show no mercy to him on the Day of Judgement.

Muslim commoners are united in their hearts through the feeling of pan Islamic bonding. Its the political leadership and the economic system which needs to be thrown into garbage before something meaningful can once again begin to grow on Muslim lands.

Progress of Political Islam

Trees can be compared to Islamic politics. A good word is like a good seed, its roots are strong and its vertical growth is solid and straight. there is no short cut to it, and there is no crookedness in it.

Political organizations with Islamic ideology are in my opinion tree planters. They sow the seeds of Tawheed, Resalah, Nubuwah, Akhirah and Qadr in their fertile lands which is in the hearts of the listeners. From these seeds big trees will grow one day, inshaAllah.

Materialists, secularists and atheists will obviously try to uproot the plants wherever possible. Urban cities like leaning towards materialistic and mechanized society. Remote areas are not as mechanized and they are more receptive to the ideas of faith. This general concept seems to have played a significant role in elections in Bd and Misr where in local elections large number of voters chose members from Islamic parties.

MB and JI have expanded their Dawah work in rural centers and to be more specific to those people whom the capitalists class as poor people. This is an insult to human dignity because in Islamic thought, class differentiation based on wealth is a disgusting concept. Only classification is by good or bad deeds, as all are equal citizens of the state with equal rights.

Unfortunately, Muslims have fallen for the rich-poor divide trap and by doing so, the large majority of the population have been turned into second class citizens. However, it is in rural centers and amongst so-called poor people where MB and JI have immense support for their dawah and it is here where the seeds have been planted for the future big tree to rise up.

In the future, it may lead to a situation where the majority rural and poor people will want an Islamic political party against the wishes of the minority urban cliques. then what? Will democracy come to the rescue or will the voice of the rural poor be crushed?

Which Jama is the Correct One?

Asalamalikum wrwb. I had never heard any speech of prof Ghulam Azam before. Neither did I know much about his political activities or Islamic scholarship. I only read about him in the secular media. After the hanging of Qader Mollah and the death of Prof Azam I began to have questions.

Who were these men, why were they imprisoned and what did they do in 71?

Lets study Prof Azam and rest will fall  into place. I had no information about him until I read in secular media that people like Qardawi, Erdogan and Gul were pleading for him. Why was he so famous as an Islamic thinker outside his native country? I was dumbfounded by this.

I came across some interviews and speeches of Marhum Azam sahib on youtube. Then I began to understand why he was so much feared and censored in his country. The late professor fixed his entire political theory on one simple point. Indian Hindus would dominate Muslim Bengalis unless Bengali Muslims were connected strategically to a powerful military country like Pakistan.

Mr Azam had actually picked a fight against India itself, he took this fight as a Muslim thinker and reformer and he did not care what his countrymen thought about him, he simply continued to fight the Indian hegemony with his words and writings. Internationalizing the India factor was also credited to this man. This was a big problem for Indian politicians. He was reviving the Bengali Muslims intellectually and politically which in the future could be India´s biggest threat. India does not want to find itself surrounded by Pakistan, China and Bangladesh all joined in alliance against India. Late professor was doing exactly what India considered security threat.

Osama picked a fight against the US and Prof Azam did the same against India. Khilafah party wanted to resist both India and US. None of these parties could come to one platform. They remained separate and were eaten up one after another while they stood and watched. So which Jama is the correct one? armed struggle, political democracy (not religious democracy), ideological movement (khilafah party) or spiritual movement (tabligh jamaat)? Or a combination of all of them?