De-Lurking on the Net

November 20, 2016

Mr Trump, Mr Modi, Democracies & Intelligence

Here is a video between  Mitt Romney and Trump just compiled by BBC. See how Mr Romney was judging Mr Trump in this video –

Mr Trump is a phony. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. His domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament, nor the judgement to be president and his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.”

In this exchange of this video, it is clear that Mr Trump is hurling abuses at Mr Romney, while Mr Romney is analysing the man, Mr Trump is or would be in his presidency. It seems that Mr Romney has mapped out the capacities of  Mr Trump quite well but it just makes you wonder why those who can see the future, judge things minutely do hardly ever become head of the govt. Why do they  get defeated in elections.

However, I would like to apply the Romney’s assessment of Mr Trump, to the champion who is leading another democracy in the world, Mr Modi. So, let us see if Mr Modi possess that elusive quality to stave off recession by his domestic policies (demonetisation move) or if Mr Modi’s promises made at election time can be fulfilled.

mrmoditrump

India has been pretty nascent democracy in spite of its seventy years of age and the analysing capacities or scrutiny of the govts’ performances are seriously lacking in media or by opposition. Usually, either you are ready to throw away a govt like previous scam ridden govt of UPA led by Congress or you are ready to revere a govt without understanding the implications of any govt initiative. So, analysis is missing but either hurling of abuses is non-stop or showering effusive praises are endless. The current govt of Mr Modi is having a easy time in spite of giving awful time to the public by its recent drive of de-monetisation  or rather reissuing a Indian currency note and introducing a bigger note. Public is staying calm because indirectly, it seems that rich people have become less rich overnight and some sort of redistribution of wealth is going on between rich and poor in order to defeat the govt drive to eliminate black money. The poor people are getting offered a commission in order to help convert rich people’s black money into white, legitimate money. The poor people can not resist the powerful rich people(politicians included) either due to their display of force,  power by rich or due to the poor people’s own greed or need. Somehow reverence of Modi gets converted into a devotion of him in spite of the hardships of standing daily in the queues to convert the money from black to white rather than going to earn your daily wage. Chances of  wiping out a big chunk of GDP seems certain that relied on the availability of black money. So, how much of a big hole in GDP will it cause remains to be seen. Will it usher recession or merely drop some GDP growth rate is not clear to any one. Will it wipe out corruption or bring back black money stashed overseas as promised at election? It is pretty clear, it will not. It would just eliminate some black money. It will help RBI(Reserve Bank Of India) and govt to strengthen the banks balance sheets by infusing new funds into them.

A roar goes out against those who throw the pebble in the wells where devotees of Mr Modi also called Bhakthas in Hindi not only dwell but have been enjoying themselves in great numbers – specially on most of the WhatsApp groups. Discovering myself at the receiving end, recently I had wondered if  they should be dared to be asked if any of them had ever read anything beyond local publications from New York Times, Washington Post, Globe & Mail, Telegraph, Guardian or Le Monde about demonetisation drive of Mr Modi. But I resisted the urge after remembering  been questioned already once when BBC was quoted wherein a quote of the Indian PM’s speech of 2014 was referred. But Bhaktas had told that BBC was hardly trustworthy source even if it was a direct quote of the PM. One of the Bhaktha sometimes back had called the BBC as ‘Bak Bak Corporation’ meaning BBC just knows how to yap most of the time.

Recently, I was watching a video  by Mr Arun Puri, an ex editor of a magazine called India Today. Mr Puri has been very eloquent in this video in summing up Mr Modi‘s inning thus far. When Mr Modi campaigned during elections, he was projecting all kinds of hopes in the minds of voters as well as giving the ray of optimism to the world. May be, he just projected and promised too much. It seemed as if he will not only be able to stop the corruption, scams of previous govt, but also  be able to bring the efficiency in his new govt like it was never seen before. Unfortunately, he has ended up only tinkering mostly, so far in his new bureaucratic governance even though spawning some new initiatives like MakeInIndia, JanDhanYojna etc. In the early days of 2014, when he was sworn in he had raised the hope greatly by saying him believing in minimum govt, maximum governance . The Cabinet is now 80-member strong, up from 45 when Mr Modi came to power two years ago.
The tinkered bureaucratic system in India by Mr Modi is hardly ever going to complain about not changing much as why would the bureaucrats or the system  machinery not like to retain their status quo. The public is hardly ever going to debate it, if the media does not display the state of affairs to the public. The opposition is abysmal, the media delinquent, boot licking type. It is strange that Mr Arun Puri till date, had not had a chance to say his bit that he has just said in this video. I wonder how could he never got a chance to say it earlier. Why could he not write this in local media or international media. May be he waited, perhaps, for the right occasion or perhaps like most in journalistic circles, he too was not ready to take on the sloganeering brigade of Bhakthas. Let us see how he copes with the new attention that he will now draw from those in power. But I am glad, he took the opportunity to judge Mr Modi‘s govt now. Like him, I had always felt the same.  Mr Modi perhaps finds himself overawed  in that position. He offers simplicity and sincerity in the face of complex issues, problems. The plethora of advisers must be making it really tricky for him. It is difficult to drop an advice on your own, if you can not think beyond the simple things and do not understand all the complexity of a system. In financial systems, demonetisation and impact of globalisation on investment, currency flows, corruption, recession, growth etc is even hard for most people to understand, so would it be any wonder if the simple leaders do not understand it. They rely on advisers alone. So, how will one make its mind  before deciding to dump this advice or that advice. I am not surprised that Mr Modi has got lost in this conundrum.   Unfortunately,  Indian political scene is totally bereft of intelligent people in politics who could attain a position one day to challenge him politically. The political parties are really controlled by few people or groups and real talent within parties get stifled and never allowed to rise. It is not true that no intelligence exists there but what is there can never rise.  But this  democracy in India will not fail you as comprehensively as it does in most other countries where not only honesty, competence of the leader remains suspect but is also that of the leader’s advisers that the leader himself has gathered around him. One could easily conclude that democracy is a compromised system of government as individual intelligence of a leader has not much role to play in it.

November 9, 2016

Sledge Hammer strike by India’s PM Modi on black economy and terrorism funding

Today, Mr Modi went bold. Perhaps not of his own volition but on behest of what all the economic advisors he could muster in last few months, advised him. He struck the  big denomination Indian currency notes void(Rs 500, Rs 1000). Some say these large notes amount to 86% of economy. Indians have guessed that economy is as much in black as it has been in legal/legitimate or white economy. So, given that both 86% is a guess and dividing line between black and white as at 50% of guess, then Mr Modi is writing off 43% of GDP in one hit. No matter what % is hit, the impact will be to usher the huge deflation in its black economy. It comes on the heel of his visit to Japan, a country staying in deflation since its hay days of 1993, before which it had seen any boom. Perhaps, it is just a coincidence.

pm-modi-ends-rs-500-rs-1000-currency-notes-read-his-full-address-here

His intentions can not be construed as wrong as he wanted to hit the most, two sets of people – 1) terrorists 2) Black economy peddlers who have refused to come out in open in spite of the amnesty to convert their black money into white(The scheme was not failed but could hardly be called a successful scheme).

So, what happens now – he introduces two type of notes – Rs 500 and Rs 2000 . These are not Plastic polymer notes as recently got introduced in number of countries (Australia, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Vietnam, Maldives etc) but it has new security features. Some say , Rs 2000 note has NGC technology . Details of the NGC has not emerged from Govt sources but social media rumors are fueling this. The NGC introduced in Philippines did not have any nano GPS chip as people are talking of Rs 2000 will have one. Without introducing a fool proof arrangement of  temper prevention or making it tough for some people or countries to stay in printing duplicate currency  and sending it to India, this whole exercise achieves nothing but brings pain to India. You merely burn your own notes.

There are terrorists using Hawala market, an arrangement where someone who wishes to send money into India does not go to banks or use legitimate companies. They use individuals who disburse Indian rupees from their black money in India to the recipient and get paid in return in foreign currency in a foreign country abroad. Such transactions were major source for black marketers to convert their money into white, money launderers to launder money, terrorists to get funded for new terrorist acts, drug pushers, smugglers etc . The cinema(Bollywood) largely depended on black money for funding. The Real estate particularly in north India had a big share of black money in it. All the political parties virtually live on black money. There is a domestic currency based trade between Iran and India. India’s currency is also used and particularly popular in Gulf  countries and in a country like Zimbabwe who are in the process of re-introducing their own currency again after a hiatus of several years. So, will all these people or even diaspora spread around the world will have all their money in bank or would be in position to change these notes in time?

So, immediate impact would be less housing activity, less Bollywood Cinema films, less terrorism (at least for now), less smuggling(all the smugglers money is never fully invested in metals like gold or other commodities but also remains in hard currency), less drug trafficking. There will be less activity in air travel and luxury living. There will be suffering for both poor and rich people. Poor people hardly have bank accounts, so will be impacted  a great deal. There are remote , rural areas where there can never, ever be a bank.  Even if such people have notes with honest earning or sent by their relations or kids, they will never know how to go inside a bank and convert it. There will be people not been able to pay to private hospitals. Govt hospitals rarely exist  for most in the country. There will be people who hide the money and unable to return in time to the places where they hid it to convert it or have anyone to access their money to convert it. Virtually all sectors in India have humongous corruption from ISRO scientists to judges, from North to South, West to East India. So, what happens when people suddenly have less financial muscle. Well it means, that their economic activity goes down including expenses on exorbitant weddings. So, hoteliers, caterers, etc all will have impact. It is like dropping a bomb on your own economy or helping your enemies who may all want your GDP to come down to a very low level or to see  your purchasing capacity substantially reduced.

The notes  can be converted in next 50 days . But beyond a threshold  of converting Rs 4000 in cash of new notes, conversion is allowed only by the bank accounts. If someone does not have their own bank account, then they have to use some one else’s bank account by giving them consent to receive his/her money into their accounts. Later on,  such people can withdraw their money in new notes from the account for which they consented. So, this particular activity will make the menace of already accumulated black money  in the economy to reduce substantially and it will become trackable until it stays in bank. It may stay long term in bank accounts but chances of its  staying in bank accounts long term are remote as people are used to cash transactions.  This declaration by Mr Modi, therefore, will not make the economy to become overnight controlled by banks. The networks of black economy generation, terrorists funding or drug peddling mules, duplicate currency circulators, smugglers, betting, bribe givers, bribe takers  are not going to disappear overnight. They are part of the system just like political parties or corrupt judges.  So, a new black economy will start growing as soon as one ends. Yes, there will be  people who will suffer massively and a few may even commit suicides or may even die of heart attacks when they find themselves  ruined totally. Incremental changes like Jan Aadhar Yojana etc would have achieved Mr Modi’s dream of having a economy fully running via banks etc. in few years.

Misery awaits India in short term and this will have impact on  the growth of the world economy too. Perhaps, it will teach a lesson to the other leaders to be patient.

June 11, 2016

Fixing capitalism – Will taking away, knighthood from Mr Green prevent another BHS?

 

From India, recently, Britain gave refuge to a liquor tycoon, Mr Vijay Mallya. He had multiple companies including an airline. The company was extended loans from Indian Banks (State owned and Private) when the petrol prices were double than what is today. The company kept getting loans because without it massive unemployment would be created. Moreover, the man, Mr Mallya had political connections and he himself was a member of Indian parliament’s upper house. These loans were given to his airline company without any collateral support or risk assessment. So, this man sold his other main company to British company Diageo. He flew out of India, without paying anything to banks . Now banks are holding merely the brand name of bankrupt company Kingfisher as a collateral. But, no one is interested to buy this name. Banks now can not recover anything of this 1.4 billion dollars debt. Mr Mallya, from his safe abode in UK wants to settle these debts at his own terms (say around 55 %  haircut)  as per this article in FT on.ft.com/1ThQLnt. GOI has cancelled his passport and he has been given refuge in UK. It was clear from CBI investigation that this man was diverting loans from banks for buying assets abroad. He was also running a formula 1 team, an IPL franchise, two football teams etc.

Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya speaks to the media during a news conference in Mumbai November 15, 2011. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/File photo

Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya speaks to the media during a news conference in Mumbai November 15, 2011. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/File photo

Giving refuge to runaways like him is not a one off event. In 2010, there was another chap on these British Isles given refuge from India – Mr Lalit Modi. He was the czar of Indian Cricket Premier League for first 3 years. He diverted money in  various accounts overseas, bought assets abroad etc. There are many charges in this wiki page on LalitModi. So, Britain is good for fugitives as these people are given special protection by the British crown and are beyond repatriation.

One can understand, if British only overlooks the deeds of those who come from outside but how about the ones, who were very much part of this land from first day, they were born. The debacle of Royal Bank of Scotland was far more profound than the current crisis of BHS (British Home Stores). BHS owes 1.1 billion pound at the point, it  entered administration. RBS needed bailout of £45billion  in year 2008 when the British chancellor was told that the bank can only last 2 to 3 hours max. Both Mr Fred Goodwin and Philip Green were given knighthood.  The telegraph is publishing one article after another revealing gory details of current financial crisis in BHS as how Mr Philip Green did the asset stripping and lined up his pockets before selling the shell to a novice in retail business for one pound. While Mr Goodwin is now stripped of knighthood, but the debate is on if Sir Philip Green should follow. But should the debate be reduced to the knighthood. It will do nothing to correct the mistakes of the system which allows this.

Sir_Philip_Green1

Sir Philip Green

Before, these two episodes, there have been plenty others, but I will mention two related to famous football clubs – Liverpool and Manchester United. Both did not have any debt some 10 years back. Manchester United ‘s current debt is £322 million, its turnover is £133 million. The peak  debt as per this BBC report was £778 million in 2010 summer. So, this debt is going down at least. The Liverpool has quite a similar tale. From no debt to £313 million debt as per this guardian article in 2009. Liverpool has current debt is £47 million as per this article of daily mail after it has converted £69 million debt into equity last year. So, both these clubs are moving in right direction with having reduced debt every year. But the question is should a personal debt (to buy the debt free club) of an owner be allowed to be moved to the company. Where should the line be drawn. There are plenty of stories where the debt has sunk a club. Leeds Football Club is a good example of that.

 But does it not make one wonder how in the land where industrial revolution took shape and capitalism was born, the rules even today allow anyone to pocket any money from any company, only if they know how to play the game. The state has no control to prevent the plight in time. In case of RBS, the whole country (UK) suffered as the govt or tax payers had to rescue the bank. UK suddenly found so much in debt after all these mega bank rescues after recession started since 2008. In the present case of BHS, the plight certainly hinges on to the massive job losses and depleted pension funds of employees. Asset stripping to fill your pockets has still not disappeared . Movies have been made on this. So, how to prevent unscrupulous creatures exploiting the system while everyone else languishes? Perhaps, company law needs amendment. Could these be the solutions to prevent the owners from taking advantage –

  • The working capital should not be allowed to be touched.
  • Only a certain percent of retained profits be allowed to be withdrawn
  • It must be a rule that auditor and board be involved in a withdrawal bigger than a particular ceiling
  • A ceiling must also be placed to withdraw more than the capital injection done by any owner/investor
  • The shifting of individual loan onto company books must not be allowed

February 13, 2016

Security Council Reforms: Chasing up a mirage of veto power ?

Filed under: India,World — Geekay @ 4:11 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 

Over the years , the Veto power has become a status symbol. Not been able to have it has become a problem and given rise to frustration unnecessarily for certain countries. The G4 nations comprising BrazilGermanyIndia, and Japan are four countries which support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council. Unlike the G7, where the common denominator is the economy and long-term political motives, the G4’s primary aim is the permanent member seats on the Security Council.

G4Summit2015

Security council ‘s permanent membership provides veto power. The veto power enables all the countries not to bypass the voice of the veto powered country exercising its veto on any vote. When Veto powers were given after second world war,  UK, France and   China also got vetoes. Though Veto should have been  denied to  all these three as France had somehow re-emerged as an independent country post its capture in the war. Let alone be the big power in its own right. The argument to give veto power to UK was also marginal, specially, neither after war, it was left as a significant big power militarily, nor it was economically strong any more. Similarly, like France and UK, China also should not have been given any veto power  as it too was a dirt poor country and not militarily strong at all. The veto power given to China, in fact ended up going to Taiwan soon as the republic of China whom veto power was given got driven out from its own country. So, one wonders what justification was there to hand over Veto power to  a country who was inherently so week that  it could not manage its own fate. Mainland communist China got Veto in ’71 when Taiwan ‘s veto was handed over to it but by then Communist block had got divided . Perhaps, it would have been better if at the time of UN formation there should have been created only two veto wielding powers  – USA and Soviet Union rather than 5. It should have been called the group veto powers  – Capitalist block veto, Communist block veto as for all purposes the veto exercising history went according to the block’s desires .

But, as no body surrenders power once they have it, so even though the nation (UK and France) may no longer be the front runners either in military power or economy, but they  will still want to hold onto their permanent membership and Veto Power forever even if they become more and more integrated or subsumed into NATO or EU. Being part of these groups will make them irrelevant as it will not allow them any freedom to pursue their own independent line to exercise veto. They can  only toe a group line on any significant international issue. So, here again, it makes one wonder why veto power should only be given to states and not to the group when for all purposes the veto is exercised by states as per the group ‘s dictates.

Now, Russia and China are both power houses in military and economy respectively and they are no longer part of  one block. Though, back again now on most critical occasions either they act in unison or ignore the situation so they should continue to hold onto their individual veto power as they have not forged a military alliance. Even though both Germany and Japan are also economically very -2 important at present but as both are not free to pursue their own independent line, so giving them a  veto power will be a waste.

The other significant country is India which has been rising significantly. It stands at 7th position GDP wise in 2015 and 3rd on PPP basis as can be seen here in this chart –

GDP-PPP

It also is not having any military alliance and  for all purposes, it pursues independent foreign policy. So, it is far more deserving than other candidates. There are many negative things about security council permanent position. First of all, it brings extra responsibility to deal with more and more international issues as the issues are becoming day by day more of global nature needing global solutions. Since, India has great number of issues at home to deal with,  perhaps it should give up pursuing to seek Veto Power for now.

The Security Council membership will bring the need of providing for extra funding too to UN Budget. India contributes just 0.5% to say 10% by Japan and little over 5% by China. This is how the funding situation was in 2013 –

Member state Contribution
(% of UN budget)
 United States

22.000

 Japan

10.833

 Germany

7.141

 France

5.593

 United Kingdom

5.179

 China

5.148

But the most important issue will be if India who usually does not take any stand at all on any issue, will have to start taking a stand after getting the veto power. But taking a stand means preparing to ruin your relationships as independent middle line stand will not be possible any more. Perhaps,  India is besotted to covet the Veto power for enhancing its reputation as a significant power otherwise benefits are not there for chasing it.

Being a non-aligned group’s leading voice in cold war era, when its voice was equi-distant on all international issues in the beginning of non-aligned movement and gradually fully become part and parcel of a pseudo member voice of Communist block led by Soviet Union. So, it chose either not to criticise Soviet Union, or criticise much too late otherwise only privately. This happened  when Communists occupation went into Hungary, Czechoslovakia or Afghanistan. But, American, Britain/France interventions were criticised far more vocally as it happened in Cuba, other parts of Latin America or Suez Canal occupation etc. Though, India now has drawn closer to USA but it has not abandoned Russia entirely. It is closer to both Iran and Israel as well as Saudi Arabia. It is also close to Japan but chances of it voting against China in Security Council are remote as  China has become its biggest trading partner. So, what role a veto given to India will bring to UN. One can surmise it will bring nothing at all. When Russia is involved anywhere, India offers only a muted reaction as it did in Syria, Ukraine, Crimea or Georgia. It remained taciturn when Turkey downed Russian plane because India also have somewhat OK relations with Turkey, a NATO country. In Middle east, both Palestine and Israel are close to India, so for all purposes being too close will prevent it to take any stand on Palestine. It did not act closer home too when Sri Lanka was exterminating Tamils in its north. The  fear was of Sri Lanka falling into the hands of China and Pakistan. It did  not ask or support demand for UN probe initially into the killing of Tamils while UK and west asked  UN team to investigate. It did not upset the Myanmar too by criticising or intervening when it was clear the Buddhists with the support of Myanmar military were burning down the houses of Rohingya Muslims, killing them or putting them adrift in boats with some food. Again the fear was same of losing the Myanmar to China. Then Maldives exploded, its elected president is incarcerated and the new one has taken control. India tried to convey its support for the incarcerated president but Maldives simply chose to ignore India’s stand. Even though, China is so far out in pacific but India chose  not  to press Maldives too for the fear of China getting a toehold in Maldives, which any way China still managed to get. So, when India can not decide on foreign policy issues with either clarity or strong authority at closer home or in distant lands, what point is there to covet a veto power. However, Pakistan and China oppose India to have Veto Power as if India will go into Pakistan straight away after getting the Veto power to free Baluchistan’s trapped people. The fact is India should not get the veto power for its own sake as until it becomes economically significant and able to resolve its internal problems, it will not push its stand on any issue anywhere strongly outside India. To push your stand one will need a far significant economy, content citizens  and a big military might behind and not merely the veto power.  Moreover, by having veto power, the focus would quickly move to international diplomacy from internally focussed development of the country. So rather than rising fast, it will lose its focus of growing rapidly. There will surely come a time when India will be a Veto Power inevitably but that time is still years away, perhaps a decade or so.

January 10, 2016

India needs Jobs (wealth) creation pro-active Initiatives

Just like, for many countries, India could focus on the two areas which create more jobs (including in outsourcing) besides producing revenue. These are tourism and agriculture. India is opening on-arrival visa regime for up to 150 countries soon. Before, it is done any tourism focussed initiative will help it big way to ramp up the revenues. But as before any new initiatives are considered, the funding for them should be arranged. For this, the special bonds in respective industry could be issued which may become redeemable after 10 years.

India has made beginning in both these areas but the inputs needed to make them contribute manifold are missing. Within tourism, the areas to focus should be medical tourism and adventure sports.

  1. Medical tourism

The new medical facilities can be opened by private public partnership (PPP). The govt. can provide the buildings(smart small clinics or mini specialist-hospitals) and equipments and give this facility on license or lease to doctors associations. They can run it on the same lines as private facilities such as Apollo, Fortis etc. The hotels or other residential areas in the vicinity can be developed by builders as patients will require areas to stay while convalescing. Such a facility provides the employment or training opportunity for both experienced (to run) and young doctors (trainee) besides bringing valuable foreign exchange and foreign tourists.

medical-tourism-in-india-swarna-18-638

Medical tourism is gathering momentum, one can see the growing revenue from this area for last 10 years but India is no4 after Mexico, Thailand, CostaRica. There is an outstanding opportunity to cut across the world in this area as most of Africa lacks the expertise or facilities. In America, Europe, the treatments as being so expensive, it gives opportunities to seek an outsourcing treatment contracts with the hospitals or govts or health insurance companies (such as BUPA, NHS etc) abroad. In fact, it will also benefit to improve the healthcare to Indian general public as well as there will be less pressure on the big public hospitals from those who can afford expensive treatments in India itself. India has 0.7 doctor to 1000 people in comparison to west where the best countries have 3 to 4 doctors per 1000 people. One of the lacunas could be perhaps not producing enough young doctors though India produces 3 times as many as USA.  First of all an assessment will be needed to figure out how many engg or medical employment positions are getting created annually in India. Not finding a job after a degree,  not only adds frustration to the students and families but also to the banks who may be adding these costs to Non-performing Assets(NPAs). There are roughly about 370 medical colleges, 49,840 MBBS seats and  charging Rs 50 lakh capitation each per annum in comparison to engineers ( 3,345 colleges, 15 lakhs students). Perhaps, lots of engg colleges should be converted into medical colleges and others closed down or students taught a particular craft to develop small scale or cottage industries – may be entrepreneurship too. The industry should be consulted for their annual requirements as education policy needs to be built to serve the industry. So, for formulating the education policy, education ministry should consult labour ministry, industrial ministry or directly survey industry’s needs and take inputs from planning commission plans in formulating type of colleges required in future and how many should be kept open or running. As clearly can be seen here India ranks in low income countries’ category when it comes to talk about healthcare infrastructure.

reaching-the-bottom-of-the-pyramid-6-728

 

  1. For adventure sports,

There can be any number of countries to emulate from. Most of them do not just engage in one sport but many acquire over the years a must status to visit for these types of tourists. Among these are New Zealand (Bungee Jumping etc), Switzerland(which has many trains going up the slopes or tunnels or has excellent piste infrastructure so it is good for many snow bound sports),  Australia (water sports- scuba diving, snorkeling), US(theme parks) etc.  The inputs such as setting up infrastructure – roads to such sites, the metal structures (Ropeways, support etc), concrete or building structure such as lifts taking to the mountains viewing areas, slopes etc can be built by issuing yet another tourism bonds.

New infrastructure can have ticket for entries to generate revenue and any hotels developed in that area can also have special tourism taxes to recover the infra building costs fast. So if the govt creates infrastructure as a priority, it will not take long to pay off the bonds. This initiative  will bring not only tourists(foreign and desis) to those areas but generate employment too. Infrastructure building will also help steel industry, as well as stop rich Indian people from flying abroad to spend foreign currency on these activities. The employment in areas where  very few other employment opportunities exist is particularly appealing.

Agriculture:

As India’s population will peak, its demand will go up in many of these areas. The areas for growth are olive production (Spain, Italy, Greece are leading countries but Israel could be tapped for exceptional high quality olive oil production who in spite of growing it in arid areas, using drip irrigation as well using salty (brackish) and purified wastewater which helps it to add natural fertilizers to the soil produces superior quality olives), mushroom production (China, Italy are leading and in USA, Pennsylvania, California are the leading ones), other edible oil production facilities particularly coconut oil where India is no 3 and Philippines is no1 with almost close to 4 times that of India’s production level, Orchards developments like in California to grow Almonds(which requires more water than how much olives need), Pistachio(good for arid areas – Iran is no 1 producer in it), Walnuts(US produces 9 times, China 8 times, Iran 5 times of India’s production level), apples, orange (citrus), plums(prunes). It will be particularly good in the  area of India’s Northeast where on the line of California orchards could be developed. As the North-East offers enough water resources (required for almonds etc) and the temp may be just right too but for production of pistachio(arid areas should be OK) and for Olive production could go to Rajasthan  bordering Punjab (as Olives need water too) or in dry areas of UP, AP, Maharastra etc for Pistachios. Orchards will largely depend on developing bee keeping industry too for pollination of fruits.

 

December 15, 2015

The Global Jihad Factories operating nonchalantly and Mr Trump on the horizon

Filed under: Faith,World — Geekay @ 2:59 am
Tags: , , , ,

There are two topics at present in the news – terrorism and climate change. Both are global and need global answers. Climate debate has been settled into a deal in Paris. The other is very long term and stays undefined for its reasons, let alone being addressed. Even to  associate a religious ideology to terrorism is like inviting oneself to be labelled as bigot. If the religion is named as Islam then straight away, one is referred as Islamophobe (refer here to another article on this topic). Liberty and privacy is all but dead thanks to terrorism except for perhaps tech savvy people.EiffelTowers

It is no secret that most terror incidents are coming from Islam related radicalised individuals. Even though, the concerted effort by Russia and west against ISIS is addressing the leaking wound of terrorism. But the fight is not just there. It is everywhere. Even if ISIS is eliminated, it will not be a surprise if it emerges elsewhere soon after. The funds available to terrorists are from many sources. The breeding ground are many – some countries, Madrassas or even some mosques.

Anyway, the question is – will more people like Mr Trump not offer the same solution of disallowing Muslims in their respective country in west. There is bound to be reaction in west and it will become more and more right wing. Hope, it stays close to centre and does not bring extreme right to the power anywhere. But to gradually move towards this ideal solution, the public needs to see that politicians are not clueless and do not keep behaving as if nothing has changed or behaving like liberals winking and allowing anything anywhere as it may alienate the minorities. Issue is if the problems itself are not accepted as existing then there can be no solutions either.

Edward Snowden is still not back in US after revealing that US has accessed, stored or hoovered in virtually all that goes on the net. It is not been denied by US emphatically. So, clearly there are no privacy issues raised when the govts access any individual. The issue is, however, if the civil liberty or public is able to acquiesce to govt accessing virtually anything then one wonder why would it be concerned if all religious, communal places, community centres are also monitored 24X7 by the govt or perhaps all these places are brought under a law that videos of all the activities should be recorded, kept for a month and should be made available for police viewing whenever it may so desire to access it. At least, if that happens, the lacuna that is left unmonitored for checking any insidious activity will then be filled.

BurqaWoman

Yet another thing is that countries will gradually move towards formalising same sort of civil code for all communities. So, religious freedom held dear by many religions to wear their religious symbols in public will gradually cease. A state, Hesse had banned Burqa in Germany in 2011. Now, one of German party called CDU is asking for a full ban there following the bans imposed in France, Holland, Italy. There will be similar pressure now built on any other govts to impose this ban not just on Islam followers but on all other religion followers too including Sikhs who are required by their religion to wear turban and a steel metal wrist piece. I am assuming both of these will have to be banned as well not much longer there after.

The education also brings new issues. even though one may think that the Madrassas are not running in west but these are running as they are  in eastern part of the world.   Education in UK is not fully state controlled and there are complete religion controlled educational entities running outside state control. Here  is  a newspaper article  after Mr David Cameron speech on Madrassas . In this article, a Muslim can be seen defending madrassas and perhaps trying to say, please do not inspect us but collaborate with us whatever it may mean. The Article says “Muslims fundamentally want to counter the ‘poisonous narrative’ of radicalisation, so why not collaborate with them? “ The madrassas should on their own be teaching multi-faith education and keeping their pupils more prepared for modern education and morals. There are many a madrassas in India which are not teaching main stream education too, but there was news recently on India Today of a madrassa of Mandsaur District, MP (india) which is introducing Hindu religion to Muslim kids like Gayatri Mantra etc. Who would not wish that UK madrassas may also one day emulate this policy of bringing home the education of majority religion of Britain which is Christianity. There is a nice article here on Madrassa education in India. At higher levels, in London there are some campuses where it is hard to escape Muslim brotherhood or other gangs.

The Issue however is – no matter how much the govt monitors any religious place or educational place, the monitoring will not achieve much as people will take their activity elsewhere. Only it will end up alienating people. Perhaps, it is time to use the public itself. May be people can anonymously report issues in which govt may be interested.

October 25, 2015

Make-In-india Initiative, is it viable?

India’s GDP stood at 2.066 trillion dollars in 2014. Amidst the plethora of initiatives, funding and new policy moves in India, there is one news that said India launches one stop Reserach funding for Research. It seems a good initiative on the surface as India was spending abysmal amount on research in comparison to other top countries. The latest data available from world bank was from 2012. But since it was not available for some countries,  2011 was chosen here to compare –

Global Research Spending by Major Countries

Country Year 2011
Korea 4.04
Israel 3.97
Japan 3.39
Swedan 3.39
Germany 2.89
Austria 2.77
USA 2.76
Iceland 2.6
Slovenia 2.47
France 2.25
Singapore 2.23
Belgium 2.21
Netherlands 2.03
China 1.84
Canada 1.79
UK 1.78
Russia 1.09
India 0.81

So, India spent 0.81 % of its GDP in 2011 or 15 billion US dollars. The west in general spends more than double to 5 times of India in percent terms. After adding this new spending,  does it change anything.  Well, with  this miniscule addition of 0.09%, it amounts to nothing when India’s biggest IT company TCS spends 900 Crore Rupees (14 million dollars)  itself which is close to this figure of 1000 Crore Rupees (15 million dollars) announced by govt of India. Also, if  this change will bring research from scientific labs of the govt or universities, institutes etc to the commercial entities is not clear. One can not think any new bridges have been built there between labs and industry.

Lately, India has made lots of interaction on international stage either by visiting their countries or inviting them over. India has been focussing to get some Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from all these countries. But given that except few countries all are in deep hole. The few who have deep pockets are in Gulf, China or Norway(having largest pool of Oil related sovereign fund).  The UAE, China, Japan, US, Germany etc pledged to invest in India but how much does it really fructify remains to be seen. To attract this FDI, India of course had to give away something – which is market access. In some industries as defence and insurance, it has given access to 49% equity holding but in many areas the foreign companies or individuals can get access to  even 100% equity.

Only the other day, India’s one mobile infrastructure company Viom was sold to American Tower Corporation (ATC). After the deal in which it buys 51% holding of Indian which has 11.5% share of the market, the combined entity will have close to 15% market share or to the number three position  in the fragmented market. It is expected that this type of M&A activity will gather pace. Though a private law firm, “Linklaters” operating from Hong Kong says this – “The largest interest in Indian M&A has come from investors in the US.” The overall volume is down by 10% to second half of 2014 but in value terms the new FDI amount brought in  is now 15 billion dollars.

There is another Gold Monetisation Scheme announced for the festive Nov Season by govt of India. it is estimated  to mobilise a part of 20,000 tonnes (about 750 billion dollars) of idle gold lying with households and temples. What will it do to the International  bullion market also remains to be seen as that depends heavily on the Indian gold demand. Will it effect the gold jewellery makers as the people will deposit their gold in the banks to to earn interest on their gold. The logic says the state will melt this gold and use this to sell overseas to use the fund for development project like infrastructure building. So, two things should happen – first the state will give full interest only if it is allowed to melt the jewellery into gold, that means  who will spend money to  make jewellery . It means it should certainly affect the jewellery sector work. It also should affect the gold prices. it seems that the only way is down for them from here onward. Will it affect the international gold mining – of course it should. With most of the mining sector already sick, this certainly should drag gold sector in doldrums too. Being the largest gold producer of 300 tonnes, South Africa should be affected most of them all. But given nothing much came out of many pre-election promises (return of black money from abroad) , one should not assume that this scheme will definitely take shape or  be successful.

GoldJewelleryGoldBars

What about reforms on land, labour and GST(to transform india into one integrated market) etc. While GST is definitely on the schedule, it will be implemented on 1st April 2016 as per the govt website GST India. The growth estimated to be boosted by GST is estimated around 1.5 to 2% . This will give definitely boost to manufacturing. But any boost to manufacturing also needs many more ingredients e.g. increase in capacity of transportation networks, power generation  besides  the ability to hire labour at short term basis. There was a short one day strike in Sep, 2015  by labour unions. As per Economist’s article where union leaders claimed  150 millions downed their tool. The article said “The government wants to streamline India’s 44 labour laws into five codes covering wages, conditions, social security, industrial relations and training. It also proposes to raise the employment threshold at which employers must ask for permission from government to lay off workers—from 100 employees to 300—a reform that has already been adopted in the state of Rajasthan. In return it has offered unions a national minimum wage and a broader social-security net. Since only a small proportion of India workers are protected by any such legislation, there ought to be a new labour deal that would work for all. Sadly, many union bosses think otherwise.” So, chances of labour reforms succeeding do not look good. But even without it, labour laws are not completely archaic.There are many sectors where hiring and firing is easy and in Govt also  the voluntary retirement schemes are running.

The land reforms are already rolled back for now as the current incumbent govt do not control both houses and the opposition was in no mood to oblige the govt. But while land may be an issue in short term, it is not an issue in long term. The govt has time on its side to wait for this.

What about power sector reforms – well an article in June 2015 of Livemint, a financial paper asked its readers at the end of article “Will the government enact pricing reforms in the power sector?“. That says it all which means the reforms need one of the biggest courage from the govt. The chances of that happening looks slim at best as there are no talks seem on the horizon for its reforms.

There is one good initiative of integrating rural hinterland into banking sector by opening some 10 new banks  each with initial paid up equity of 200 crores rupees.  In her talks with Bloomberg, ICICI bank chief Mrs Kochar(youTube video) said  recently that  this initiative  will bring 180 million new bank customers, but the sword of Damocles keeps hanging in the form of non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks as the problem stays untackled. The patent regime to protect its own industry let alone companies of outside countries also needs strengthening and so does the capacity enhancement to judicial system. It is creaking at the moment. So, where does this all leave India.  Well, it amounts to nothing much for now.  But India is gathering steam bit by bit. One has to hold the breath. Perhaps, it will definitely achieve its potential or  bring success to the “Make in India” initiative if  it tackles many crucial ingredients mentioned here and it is definitely looking good at the moment.

June 19, 2015

Greece Induced Euro Meltdown reaching to its climax

Filed under: Currencies,Europe,Finance,World — Geekay @ 1:18 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The turmoil in Greece due to its inability of committing to austerity pledges as proposed by Brussels & IMF etc. makes one imagine of the day when this turmoil will end. It makes one compare the situation of the country with a company who becomes bankrupt. US companies, who owes others and unable to service their debts, gets protection under chapter 11 keeping its lenders etc from dissolving the company and meanwhile some more funds are arranged by the company from some others source to carry on running. Ford and Gen Motors came out stronger after this situation when it got rescue funds from US govt itself. Not every company is salvageable. So, willy-nilly one cannot fund any amount of loans to such a sinking company. Chapter 7 deals with protection to creditors when a company‘s assets are sold and given to creditors first before returning the rest to owner of company. Important issue is to identify in the sinking company if the salvage plan is any good. It usually rests on selling the currently produced items with the better design and better competitive price or sales with some incentives. Now, in the case of Greece, clearly Greek people want to pay the same pensions or other benefits as before. So the costs for the govt will stay the same and current account deficit will stay just the same. How can the solution lie in sticking to austerity without building some additional revenue generating capacity in Greece. So, if the Greece not only gets funds to service its loans but also additional money to build such a capacity then there may be a ray of hope. The productivity cost in Greece should now be comparable to the best in Europe. The ideas could be to produce new items in Export promotion Tax Free Zone areas. The richer countries should not only commit to buy from such zones but also help in setting it up in the first place. It means the richer countries basically shifting their own industries to Greece.

So, to rescue the EU currency project, not only other member countries have to commit to extend new loans to service the debts of Greece but also shift some of their industrial base out of their own country to Greece.  One cannot see that happening.  The Europe’s centre is pretty weak. The member countries have no desire to help those sinking members unrestrained. The centre has no ability to impose its own taxes and build reserves. Currently EU raises money from member countries’ VAT receipts(0.3%), its gross national income (usually around 0.7%) and export duties it collects on non-EU  products imported. So, if EU parliament cannot decide tomorrow to levy a new tax to build emergency rescue funds for countries in trouble and the individual country‘s largesse does not exist. So, why should Greece not be left to drift away. Of course, it will mean once untethered from Europe, it will seek saviours from where ever the cash pockets can be found in the world.  It could be in China, Russia, Gulf Countries etc.

It gives a lesson to those blocks or groups (like ASEAN, NAFTA, MERCOSUR, SAARC, BRICKS etc) who want to follow EU trading block example to build tighter integrated block. Any block should never attempt the currency union without building a strong centre. No matter how effective the intra trade within the block may be. For a currency union to succeed depends on giving up power from the member countries to raise the tax for the whole group. Merely imposing an austerity formula cannot keep the currency union safe. But if an austerity formula is devised, then countries should be allowed to join and leave at will. A mechanism should be built to entangle and disentangle. Perhaps, writing off debt to creditors after a forced ejection may mean losing the capacity to raise any money at all unless a saviour country outside EU can be found.

A picture of Greece debt (in billion Euros)

GreeceDebt

A wilderness for years like Argentina  following its second default in 2014 in last 14 years awaits Greece, if it doesn’t agree to those willing to bail it out on their terms. On the other hand, will EU risk Greece to move into the arms of unsavoury company of countries? An example of Zimbabwe could be followed where it has now adapted the stable global currencies in place of its own currency. After leaving Euro project, Greece will be free to default on its debt. It can still use Euro and does not have to stick to austerity plans imposed by IMF, Brussels. It can stabilise and build its reserves, economy gradually. Of course, being outside the EU project means it  will probably not able to trade with EU any more but perhaps EU may allow some trade on some conditions.

February 16, 2015

Should wider world continue surrendering to religion whether radical or otherwise ?

Filed under: Faith,Science,World — Geekay @ 1:54 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Today, we learnt Coptic Church adherents of Egypt have been beheaded in Libya by ISIS. The middle east is turning rest of the world into an unstable world where not only outside faith people(Kuffars) are getting beheaded, raped, butchered but also many of those who live in the Islamic lands itself.   Current strategy seems to be nudging some of these countries towards banning the funding and declare them terrorists groups and sporadic bombing.

sisi&CopticChurchMan

The fight against radical Islam remains in abeyance. One of the problem is the differing policies of  most countries .  Starting with west – it does not declare openly the new war on  radicalism as it  does not want to define the contours of radicalism. It chooses to condemn in mild tones to some countries like India where it knows that criticism will not undermine the relations but otherwise takes the  conversation private with the respective country like Saudi etc. I do not think these private conversations will help in the long run. The west remains ill prepared to monitor the indoctrination level  by the Imams/Maulvis or teachers in school by framing a law. Anjem Chaudhri comes to mind. Not only the killer of Lee Rigby, Michael Adebolajo but the new guy, Brusthom Ziamani,  arrested on way to murder another army cadet had been inspired  by the Anjem’s thoughts along with Abu Hamza. The material on net also remains available. Perhaps, it remains available not only for the indoctrination of radical elements but also for helping the spy agencies to monitor the people who access this.  Countries like UK have allowed the independent Islamic education where integration and becoming patriot to the land one is living in is not the focus of  education but to make pupils more adherents to the faith just like followers in Mosque are drilled into doing something for saving their faith by invoking the supposed insult (against prophet or Islam) or crimes against the fellow Muslims. The victimhood card remains the hallmark even of the intellectuals of Islam.  So, when should non-Muslims feel alarmed? Should they worry  “When someone is expressing the feelings of  muslims being the victims or only when there are open declarations of hate against others. The linkages to incitement expressions is very hard to prove. Perhaps, that is why Anjem remains elusive to jail. So, degree of radicalism needs defining for conviction.

The Islamic countries till date have been open supporters of  not only allowing  the fundamentalists ideologies like Wahabism or Deobandies to flourish among their midst  but they also fund the followers of these ideologies. Taliban used to get funding from Saudi, USA, China. Saudi continue the funding of Madrassas in South Asia –India (Kashmir and other parts), Pakistan, Bangladesh. The funds for Jama’at-ud-Da’wah ‘s chief Hafiz  Saeed comes from Pakistan establishment  and also privately from people ‘s donations in Pakistan. This person was linked to Mumbai Carnage of 2008. Iran supports the Hizbollahs and Hamas besides the Syria, Iraq and the new group  in Yemen. The Muslim brotherhood also gets funding perhaps from Jordan even though it is on the receiving end in Egypt after Morsi’s (last President) ouster. Saudi remains averse  towards it. However, the Muslim brotherhood not only has controlled ministry of education in Jordan for last 17 years but has received  funds raised by charities in the name of Palestine. It is considered a terrorist group in one country like Egypt, Saudi, UAE, Baharain but not outlawed by others like Jordan, Qatar. It was feared that brotherhood has taken root  in many British campuses ( London University campuses), so in 2014 David Cameron had ordered a review of activities of Brotherhood.

                                            Following ‘Peshawar Massacre’ of school children, there was a lot of soul-searching going on in Pakistan. But some elements there are just too powerful. The media invites them all for discussions and they soon change the discourse of the nation. The fight against radical elements start slipping even before it begins.  Here is the list of 2012 in Pakistan of banned Islamic groups. The list has grown only since then but against most of them there are no actions as they continue to thrive among local and intellectual support on media. The prevaricating Jordan on fundamentalism has been bitten suddenly like Pakistan, by the burning of its pilot which has inflamed the Jordonians into taking some action. Saudi too wants to support the action against IS and so is the Turkey, Iraq and the west. This has not prevented IS to continue the game of killing the captured assets. The resoluteness against IS is one thing but when it comes to dealing with radicalism at home in each of these countries, every govt find themselves in conundrum. They want to deal but do not want to inflame the existing saner elements of Islam. There are very few liberal voices within the Islamic fold and they become target of bigots as soon as they present their views or their sane reasoning. The others outside the faith are not allowed to have any voice. They quickly get labelled as Islamophobes. In any case the Islam has to begin a reformation within itself but it can never do that. There is a fundamental problem. In Islam, Christianity and Judaism, there is a concept of  immutability meaning  God does not need to gain knowledge; he knows all things, eternally and immutably so an infinite and changing God is inconceivable . Now, if that is so, how can the Islam begin to accept the knowledge outside Islam in science or from other faiths. This is the crux that makes one tenet of Islam call itself holders of true Islam and other tenets as non-Islamic. No wonder there is such a big fight with Islam where Ahmedi, Shia etc are all considered non-muslims by Sunnis.  I am not sure, why it is not affecting the followers of  Judaism, Christianity. Perhaps, Judaism, Christianity allows dissenters within its fold and it allows more tolerance of those who refuses to listen and follow to the dictates of the orthodox Rabbi, father, priests, Pope etc.  Hinduism is all-embracing & accepting all. They have in their temples even photos of Jesus Christ, Budhdha, Guru Nanak(Sikh).

Religion should not be relevant today but it continues to thrive. If one were to look at the attributes of God in Chrisitianity, one of the attribute says God is omniscient means it has all the knowledge, perhaps similar to what Allah is considered to have. If you think about this, then you think first of all knowledge is changing and expanding all the time. So, when today not only we know the BigBang took place but we can simulate the universe at the time of BigBang i.e. 14 billion years ago. Here is the simulation of BigBang done after 6 months of  number crunching on a super computer. Perhaps, the God was not there at the time of BigBang.

BigBang

Because if God was there at time zero i.e. time of BigBang then it must have existed in some material form, gas, rock or liquid – perhaps it must have gone into some star, planet, dark hole or dark matter that holds galaxy together. If that was so, how could God move from that existence onto Planet earth or heaven where ever it is. Most likely, it should still be where it always was. Presumably like thoughts of  Plato, God has been similar to human form (based on Genesis 1:27) and only came to existence only after humans evolved. Earth is only 4.6 billion years old and earliest humans 55 million years old. Since human have finite shape and size so, God will also be like that only. It is physically impossible to be everywhere (omnipresent – another attribute of God). So, if there is finite size of brain, then it can not know everything. If it is physical in nature means of finite size than it can not be everywhere.  Let us assume it is present in every cell of living creature after all Hindus say it is present in “Kan Kan” means in every molecule. If that was so, perhaps it was present at time zero and will be at the infinite time when there will be no humanity on Earth. First of all our galaxy Milky way and its nearest galaxy Andromeda are heading towards collision in 4 billion years time.

Andromeda_Collides_Milky_Way

If it escapes that collision then we have Sun ready to engulf it in 7.6 billion years from now when Sun’s fuel runs out. Will the God disappear as earth or God ‘s abode heaven disappear? If that is true that means God has end too and it is perishable too.

BigBangUniverse

So, if God is in every molecule than it must be either in nucleus or in the orbits around nucleus . If it is in biological cell, then again it could be in nucleus (DNA) or the cell area outside nucleus. So, if it is present in nucleus, then it must be a part of DNA, RNA or who knows God may be just letter of  DNA or a gene expression. If it is outside nucleus, then it could be just an an atom, ion or molecule of protein, harmones, enzymes etc. But, since the cognizance in human brain takes place when we have memory and processing capacity of brain, so how will God do processing when it is merely a part of molecule, a whole molecule or combination of the molecules. The processing by brain requires communication between neurons(brain cells). So, if it knows everything then it has to be in brain cells alone and not in every cell or molecule as the religions claim and it can not be infinite as neurones will require continued supply of blood with oxygen means survival of neuron depends on the presence of a body. If it requires a body that means the existence of  God has to be finite as body is of finite size. So, it can not be infinite. It also means the God can not be  omnipresent if it is finite and  if it has limited faculties, then It can not be omniscient. It can also not be immutable, if knowledge keeps changing all the time. The fact is the God was created when people thought of miracles and there was no knowledge to understand the natural phenomenon like volcano eruption, earthquakes, famines and floods, diseases etc. Perhaps, it is time for people to move on from God  as most govts. are unable to chart out a course of  freeing the man from the clutches of Godman of whatever faith – radical or liberal .

December 16, 2014

Pakistan’s s Future could still be rosy after the latest mayhem

_79757855_pakistan_army_school_attack_624map

(courtesy Digital Globe: google Images)

So, soon after Malala got the Nobel Prize, this carnage today on a Pakistani Military School comes along, perhaps it is the biggest attack fatalities wise in Pakistan. Taliban seems to be the perpetrator. In spite of being poignant, I am looking again with the renewed vigour on Pakistan. There is this article from Shashi Tharoor on Pakistan and India relations, talks etc. Shashi Tharoor was the state foreign minister in last Indian govt. He came second to to Ban Ki Moon  of being head of the UN . He writes that it  is no policy for India not to engage with Pakistan in talks. I wonder what type of meaningless talks he advocates and with whom. All talks are meaningless as Pak Army has persisted with the same ideology of two nation theory and bleeding India to thousand cuts even after the appointment of its latest General, Mr Raheel Sharif. They do not want to give up controlling the Pak budget. It does not matter if it keeps the Pakistan sliding further into destitution. They are becoming good guys in the eyes of public at present though as TTP seems to have been suppressed or eliminated in spite of this one off carnage today. The attitude however on the path regarding capturing Kashmir or controlling Afghanistan has not changed one bit by Army. So, saving the terrorists or so-called Mujahid’s terror camps or their infiltration into Kashmir remains as before. Also, those Talibans were saved which may soon be operating in the  Afghanistan e.g. Haqqanis. The new Afghan govt is on the back foot at present as it can not afford to blame Pakistan straight away on daily unfolding bombs explosions.  It wants Pakistan to help in reconciliation with Talibans who have already started getting better results in the aftermath of withdrawal of NATO forces.

So, where do we stand ? The Afghan govt is definitely better equipped this time as against when USSR left Afghanistan in 1989. This time it has functional army with some tools handed over to them by US/NATO. But it is dependent on the handout from US etc and it has developed no self sustaining capacity financially. So, a sustained campaign by  Taliban reducing the govt capacity to fight back daily will make the Afghan Govt cede a sizeable controlling power  in Afghanistan soon to them. With that looming victory, the role of India and US in Afghanistan will soon be over and both of these powers have to reconcile to this fact. However, Mr Kerry is going to Pak to develop a good relationship of US with Pak. So, Pak army will be resurgent and confident in spite of occasional setbacks as today’s carnage. It has already started dictating to its civilian govt on India-Pak relations. So, in such a scenario, without doubt no brick can move in its  relationship with India either on trade or on other disputes irrespective of what civilian govt Pak may have? It is also not in India’s interests to pursue the repair of any relations with Pakistan when the army  remains in ascendance and largely in charge unless someone like Gen Musharraf comes again to the fore.

_79756185_79756184

(Courtesy AP – BBC)

This does not sound very optimistic but where does the future rests of Pakistani state. Well, it is entirely in the hands of Pak Army. If the army believe in the welfare of Pakistan and not just in the welfare of their own institution, then there is a solution.

In 1959, there was a proposal made by then Pakistani ruler Gen Ayub Khan to India for building joint Defence . It was shot down by India as it was not clear on joint defence against whom. India at the time wanted to follow avidly non-alignment as being its founder and Pakistan was a member of SEATO and CENTO and completely aligned with the west.  So, it would have meant defence against communist block. Mr Nehru, had however made several (at least 10) no-war pact proposals to Pakistan e.g. in 1949, 1958, 1963 but Pakistan rejected them all because it wanted Kashmir to be settled first.

Now, one thing that can happen which did not happen in the past  is for Pak Army to accept the divided Kashmir on the current boundaries (Ceasefire lines, Lines of Control etc)  and make a new  pact with India on joint military for any expeditions or joint missions e.g. terrorism or Maoism in India. It could be based on the same lines like UK and France have done. Such a pact should not be seeking only the joint defence against external enemies or no-war pact as these two sides offered to each other in the past. This should enable  Pakistan to stay together and be governable and be able to educate its public and make them reasonably well off. Pakistan will be able to exploit its resources and the  restive states as Baluchistan etc can become peaceful .In doing so, the Pak Military does not have to drastically reduce its budget but the  army  will also benefit as it does not have to compete any more with India on every modernisation effort Indian army engages in. It will help not only SAARC to become a proper union but also help Afghanistan to become viable. I am sure India will not shoot down such a proposal if it came from Pak Military. Trouble is India has to recognize that Indian civilian govt has to talk and negotiate either directly with Pak Army or with a group made up of civilian govt and Pak Army. This alone can help build the trust between these two eternal enemies (Pak and India) and this alone will establish that Pak definitely have an intent of moving forward  on its relations with India.

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: