OPINION

Karachi Awakens

Megacities with populations larger than entire countries are changing the physical and economic landscape of the globe. Megacities have economic engines that are powering the future of the world. Megacities have larger markets than many developed countries.

The megacities are coming. They are the future. They are here now.

Karachi, Pakistan’s, population of 14 million is augmented by an equal number of people in nearby satellite towns. The Karachi area has more people than Canada and an airport smaller than modest U.S. towns such as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Indianapolis, Indiana, or Tallahassee, Florida.

A Quick Quiz

Landing in Karachi today is the economic equivalent of visiting a huge spaceship moments before blastoff. You can feel the engines rumbling, the ground shaking, and you only have a few seconds to either jump off or be rocketed into the stratosphere.

What city has the fastest growing stock market in the world? Karachi.

What English language high school consistently tops out the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores? Karachi Grammar School.

What country has the fastest growing cell phone market? Pakistan.

The statistics go on and on.

Reading statistics is no substitute for seeing a place. So I stuffed my American preconceptions into a suitcase and headed out from Seattle.

Good Times

“These are the good times for Pakistan,” said the Cathay Pacific manager in Los Angeles, who is originally from Karachi. Decades of neglect are being compensated (and in some cases overcompensated) by the government of President Pervez Musharraf. Investment is pouring in from countries in the Persian Gulf, from India, and especially from China.

China is building a massive port in a Karachi suburb that sits at the entrance to the Persian Gulf. China sees Pakistan as a means to expand its market presence throughout the region.

Only U.S. firms, burdened by preconceptions, are holding back. American firms are afraid to even market computer hardware and software to a rapidly expanding market that is flush with cash and ready to spend.

Indian IT firms are gradually moving in because their own software economy has experienced labor shortages and price increases. Pakistan is 30 percent cheaper than India for information technology outsourcing. According to Karachi-based Alt-Source Communications, Karachi alone has 300,000 English-speaking job seekers in the 18 to 35 year old range who are interested in and qualified for call center work.

Arriving in Karachi

The plane touches down in Karachi in the middle of the night. The fashions here are different than the U.S., but the people are warm, friendly and surprisingly gentle. In Indian airports, it is a struggle to keep control of your baggage. Here nobody bothers me.

My government-supplied escorts are noticeably absent. Strike one. After half an hour of waiting, I hop in a cab and go to the hotel where my government tour planners had assured me a room. Strike two — with lots more to come. If this happens to you, take it in stride. The private sector is where the action is.

The government here is remarkably hands-off — perhaps a little too hands off. In India, when there is a problem, the government will often become involved in a major way. In Pakistan, the reaction is often for government to pull back or to engage in negotiations with disaffected groups.

Expo Pakistan 2005

I’m here to attend a national export-oriented trade show from February 2 through February 6 and then to screen software and call center facilities for possible outsourcing contracts from the U.S. Expo Pakistan 2005 is a big deal here because large international trade fairs do not happen very often in this country. I happened to be passing through here when the last one was held, 35 years ago.

The Pakistanis don’t need to look very far to see how trade shows can function if they are done well. In New Delhi there are 10 to 12 major trade shows every year for IT firms, with other metro regions hosting their own lavish displays. Trade shows are a well-developed industry in India and the Indians are good at organizing them.

The ultimate intellectual trade show is India’s Kolkata Book Fair. It is held in February every year, with specially constructed temporary buildings brimming with rare titles and stampeding crowds of intellectuals for whom the book fair is the ultimate literary pilgrimage. Who needs Stratford-on-Avon when the Kolkata Book Fair beckons?

A Tale of Two Cities

Comparisons between Kolkata and Karachi are inevitable. As megacities of similar size straddling opposite sides of the Indian subcontinent, they have both been languishing in economic obscurity until now. Both their governments have committed themselves to turning things around, to starting the economic engines of their huge labor forces, and to create the future rather than perpetually chase after it.

Both megacities have image problems, but Kolkata’s intellectuals are not afraid to wax poetic about the joys inspired by their much-loved and long neglected metropolis. In contrast, rapid social change in Karachi has left many people here with an identity crisis and self esteem issues. The fact that visas to the U.S. from Pakistan are now so hard to obtain is not helping the situation.

Both megacities will succeed. But Karachi has a better urban infrastructure than any big Indian metro, less traffic, far better tax policies, and less religious tension. Wages for manual work are higher than in India and there is less extreme poverty here. The fact that alcohol is rare contributes to a happier, healthier and more productive populace.

Karachi has a vibrant alcohol-free nightlife. The residents here love to eat out and then go down to the beaches. There are throngs of well-mannered young men and women strolling around on the beaches until well past 2 a.m.

The city’s main beaches are well lit and, in my experience, are safe for Americans alone. I’ve been down there late at night with fellow Rutgers graduates. Rutgers alumni appear plentiful enough and successful enough to be in a position to establish a permanent alumni clubhouse in one of the neighborhoods near the beach.

Religious Tolerance

A big question about Pakistan is the status of religious minorities here. The roughly 600,000 Hindus in Karachi are part of the economic elite, have almost assimilated, and have generally adopted lifestyles similar to the larger population — much to the bane of vegetarians who visit here from the U.S. and India.

Christians and a smattering of Zoroastrians run the primary and secondary schools, which contributes to the acceptance that those groups experience. The Christians who I talked with all spoke about how comfortable they feel here. Everyone who I spoke with was respectful of the U.S. and Americans, even though they did not always understand or agree with U.S. policies.

On February 2, 2005, on my second full night in Karachi, I’m whisked off to the expo to hear President Musharraf deliver the opening remarks. His bodyguards are the best part of the show. As a front-line country in the “War on Terror,” there have been attempts on his life. Despite those attempts, the former commando has been traveling widely and meeting large numbers of people up and down the country as if he was campaigning for office. His bodyguards make that happen.

Democrats for Musharraf

In a rough survey of about 100 people that I conducted here, every single person spoke favorably of Musharraf. Most said that Musharraf is just what the country needs right now. The word “modest” is often used to describe him. Some would preface their endorsements by saying: “As an avowed democrat …”

One of Musharraf’s themes is openness and transparency in government. In the upcoming privatization of a large share of the government-owned telephone company, for example, he is having the bids opened and inspected by journalists who have been critical of the government — a public process that we have yet to see in the U.S.

The press’s openness to criticize Musharraf is remarkable and would have been unthinkable five years ago. The criticisms that I’m most interested in are those having to do with the pace of land reform and the social consequences of Pakistan not having moved forward as fast or as extensively as India has done with the land reform efforts undertaken since both countries gained their independence in 1947.

As Musharraf began his opening remarks at Pakistan Expo 2005, a small explosion occurred between us. There is a popping noise and a burning object falls from the ceiling. Without flinching, Musharraf assures the crowd that it is not a gunshot, telling everyone that he can distinguish gunfire from other sounds. The crowd laughs. It turns out that a lamp overheated and burst.

Stability

Musharraf emphasizes the continuity of purpose and policies that his government is using to create a stable business environment (something that is sadly lacking in the taxation policies of neighboring countries). Although the United States is contributing to stability in Pakistan, there are few Americans in the Expo crowd.

Musharraf spoke of moderation in Islam. Islam serves as a unifying force in what is actually a surprisingly secular country, something that none of Pakistan’s neighbors except China can say about themselves.

In Musharraf’s speeches on Urdu language television stations, he is much more blunt than he is in English. “We have a problem,” Musharraf tells his Urdu audiences, speaking in frank terms about the issues facing Pakistan and how the country needs to change.

“Come visit Pakistan,” Musharraf tells the crowd at Expo. If you visit, you will be pleasantly surprised, he adds.

I know, because I am. I’ve stayed on after the Expo to gather practical information on how both IT and non-IT firms operate, information that will be presented here later.


Anthony Mitchell , an E-Commerce Times columnist, has beeninvolved with the Indian IT industry since 1987, specializing through InternationalStaff.net in offshore process migration, call center program management, turnkey software development and help desk management.


45 Comments

  • You may also want to consider fact that Karachi has a local system model befitting a megacity. Indian NGO are currently pushing for a simialr model for India’s large cities.
    You can read the citymayors.com article on Karachi’s system.

    • Ha Ha..I bet he got paid well. Last time he wrote about how Indian business folks are fleecing the Pakis. This article seems to have some points. You should have read the last one. seemed like he just corrected the typos in the doc pakis gave him

      • I think its terrible to think about a professional I agree with Mr. Mitchell as he wrote whjat he felt. If you think about all that way frankly whom you gonna believe then? Its tru that Karachi Stock exchange performed best during 2004, Mobile market is expanding by leaps and bounds, Musaraf is modern man with clear AM bitions, normal paki people are like normal people everywhere, China is investing for whole market capture, so tell me dears where is untrue story. Just criticizing if you have some political or any kind of enemity thats another non professional thing which does not interest me or readers.

        • Great article, Anthony. You always do your research and provide us an unbiased view point. Thumbs up for that!
          Looks like the ‘haldi-raams’ are getting jealous. Guys, you would be better suited to applying ‘ubtun’ on your faces and oiling your hair:)
          Media boost and the Indian accent (e.g "duvulupmunt", "ungineeur") will only take India as far as the next few years after which countries like China and Pakistan will be getting more of the $$ for outsourcing.

          • why the hell are you reading this if you don’t even trust the integrity of the man writing it.
            but that’s the proverbial, sick indian for you: if you have anything good to say about pakistan,
            this sick mind will accuse you – just like he accuses pakistan for all his own ills.
            get over this slave mentality. it has been two hundred years since the muslims ruled you

          • A search at the string "Pakistan will be failed state by 2015" on google revealed many links to newspapers. But the not-so-surprising part is all of those are Indian : )
            Wow! What a news!

          • Much Rif Raf is living up to its name and seems to be a good example of the type of people Anthony referred to in his article – "IGNORENT".
            It also appears that Mr. Rif Raf has no clue about economics. The Chinese investment is important for several reasons (1) It is a very large investment which indicates a higher level of confidence and economic activity in a country. (2) This is an infrastructure building project which will have long term benefits.
            I think the comments on religious tolerance are also very speculative and without any basis or research or logic. Just because Sheikh Mohd being born to Pakistani parents do not make the whole nation a terrorist.
            I would also like to ask Mr. Rif Raf:
            1. Have you ever been to Pakistan? If yes when and for how long?
            2. Which country has the most prevalent class system (I guess Mr. Rif Raf must be a barahman not to know about the shudurs)
            3. Which country burns widows alive?
            The list can go on but I suppose who wants to talk about the vurtues of gero one gero one speaking Khatroos.

          • Oh these dimwit minority of indians, bombarding us with their out of context views, still can’t break out of the psychological shackles that taint their views of the muslims of the sub-continent courtesy the eight hundred year muslim rule of the land.
            to call the writer names, or questioning of integrity are all different shades of the same psychological problems.
            and as regards the claims to democracy…ask the muslims of the occupied Kashmir for a clearer picture of the indian democracy where the indian PM has to go under military cover, and where any man, woman or child from pakistan would be declared the king solely on account of being a pakistani.
            also, i don’t like the use of this word ‘paki’. but maybe that’s the only way you can irritate me you spineless wimp.

          • It is usually the indian Rif Raff that calls us ‘Paki’ in a futile attempt to overcome their psychological inferiority complex sprouting from the muslim rule of the sub-continent for over eight hundred years.
            read the article my dear…that’s an independent view

          • Surr,
            You seem to be a well balanced person. To tell the truth, It’s in the interest of India that Pakistan bloom and blossom. A combined south asian might (economically) can match the might of any other region in the world, whether it’s EU, China or the US.
            HOWEVER, after having said that, this is what bothers me. Pakistan always have this tendency of defining everything based on what India does. Instead of trying to find a sweet spot/niche for itself, it tries to say why it’s better than India in Software. To an experienced individual this comes across as outright foolish and crass. Historically, this is how Pakistan has always proceeded, and that policy has literally took it to bankruptcy. Let us face it, The IT industry in India developed because of the hard work of a number of entrepreneurs, not by organizing an expo or getting to write up some articles in a magazine
            This is what Mr Mitchell wrote in his earlier piece Titled: Pakistan Has Become a Hot Spot for IT Outsourcing
            1. "the relatively open and trusting nature of Pakistanis has made them easy prey for Indian business brokers who have managed to cheat several Pakistani IT firms by offering to provide them with outsourcing contracts in exchange for up-front fees. The Pakistanis assumed that these Indians were open minded and charitable for coming to help less experienced firms in Pakistan gain access to international contracts, until the Indians took their money and disappeared." – What a GENERIC COMMENT.
            2. "Once you have lived through a few riots in India, once you have taught yourself how to quickly turn the lights out and lay down on the floor because you are afraid of what might come through the window, then Pakistan doesn’t seem so scary anymore"
            The bottomline is that this is NOT going to take Pakistan anywhere. Paying a Phirengi to write up an article WILL NOT boost your industry. Trust me, I run a company. Instead it should look at learning from the Indian experience. That might be too hard for the Pakistanis to digest???

          • C’mon. You must be kidding if you think Indians will go only upto the low-hanging fruits.
            http://www.newscientist.com/channel/opinion/mg18524876.800
            Pakis can keep the call center jobs, if you want to. That fact that you guys think that "accent" is the most critical aspect explain why Pakis won’t go beyond call centers and basic number crunching. The stooge in you and Much-riff-raff can only think in terms of aping the rest..
            Chinese are far behind India when it comes to Knowledge based Industries,
            http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item.jhtml?id=3604&t=innovation&noseek=one
            Though China has been attracting manifold FDI in the manufacturing sector, India has performed better in R&D. And more to come..
            As for Pakistan, I rather not say anything.

          • It is quite true that some Indians want to see Pakistan going down. Many Indians who see things from the filter of their media (newspapers & some low quality bollywood movies) have developed a hatred for Pakistan. But if I request all such Indians (I AM friends with many who are not like those I sometimes encounter on internet) to look into their own hearts and see whether they would like any nation any country to suffer or go down I AM sure they themselves would not like this to happen. But thanks to their politics and the short-sightedness of their media many find themselves fighting with air cribbing about such senseless reports. Well, its same everywhere, even US news media lives on money and sensationalism. No particular blame on Indians for that. Its nature of the beast.
            But point is people need to look at things from their own independent thinking, from their own analysis of the news and consider situations reported in the news only as catalyst of their thinking process.
            History of Indo-Pak is full of bloody stories and each side claims victory both moral and physical.
            But under their skins these are same people having similar desires and almost similar statuture. Why would Indians not try to help strengthen the hands of moderate majority in Pakistan and help weaken the uneducated/illiterate minority ?
            If any country which is going to lose most if Pakistan fails (which I AM perfectly sure it won’t) is India itself. The battle which will rage after such an incident will be far worse than what is happening in Kashmir and it would rage for several years and will bring India to its knees.
            Smart thing for Indians to do is to not only cultivate but follow general principles of human development both for their own country and also for their neighbors. They should think why their leadership is keen on making peace with Pakistan rather than war. Leaders of course know more than some journalists who wants to sensationalise things.
            It would be hard to believe (and its my personal opinion) one nation which is sure going down in its power and control is US itself. The geopolitical are moving the world power hub towards Europe/China and to some extent India. By 2015 it would be US in fact which will have lesser power and lesser control of the world politics. The US empire has seen its peak and the only way is now downward. And history is full of such Empires. I AM not saying by 2015 US will be reduced to nothing; its an elephant and will take may be 50 more years to completely get humbled by natural process. So in that sense, its US who should be worried about losing the status that it enjoys today. They should remember the principles this great country was created on and not give into lobbying of small groups. But there is no such signs for that. Parhaps we are witnessing how a super power starts crumbling. Honestly, I wish all AM ericans, all humans best wishes since I know an average AM erican is straight, hardworking individual. But if US is to lose its dominance it will happen and I only wish it happens with no harm to any individual.
            Guys, please look at things from your own heart and not from the eyes of money making machines (media)
            Its everyone’s benefit if things continue to pick up in Pakistan. Its to everyone’s benefits if people help each other overcome internal problems.
            Look at Europe, they are independent countries but nicely cooperating and help their people achieve a better lifestyle. Why can’t India and Pakistan do that same ? Why should Indians jump up and make such non-sense focus of their news ?
            By the way this article is of course overdone. But realities are changed by changing the preception. There are newspapers which focus only on the negative aspects of Pakistan. No harm in this news highlighting only positive aspects. Its doing some balance here.
            But again, many europeans and some AM erican companies are investing in Pakistan. Europe clearly sees is has an opportunity to capture Pakistani market and they are doing a good job at it. Telenor is starting gsm operation, Mentor Graphics is their in Lahore increasing the headcount from 80 to 120 and there are many other companies too. Clearly growth level is not like whats in India but things are improving and the good part is, people at the top are creating an environment friendly for foreign investment. This article is highlighting only those facts and there is absolutely nothing untrue about it.

          • The Haldi-Raams need to worry about India’s so called "democracy" and the future dis-integration of the world’s largest sham democracy i.e India.
            1) Gujaraat saw the worst communal massacre in the history of world in 2002 where more than 2000 innocent people were killed, thanks largely to the generous contributions of the hindu millitants and terrorists.
            2) Other flash points are the Indian forces fighting the rebels in the North and Punjabi Sikhs (3000+ Sikhs were brutally murdered in the Golden Temple Massacre in the 80’s, the Babri Mosque destruction in 1992).
            3) Then there is the population. With more than 500 Million people in India below the poverty line and another 250 Million living in slums and on less than $1 a day, I think India has a very bleak future.
            4) Analysts predict that by about 2050, India will most definitely take over from China as the most populous country. Believe me, this is nothing to celebrate or brag about. [Then, where will Pooja apply haldi !?]

          • Low hanging fruit and foot soldier work is all India gets. Have you ever done analysis of the indian software export numbers? Majority of work is body shopping. Where is the IP? Name three world known Indian Software Products. Oh sorry that is asking for too much. Name one that 50% of the people on this board would know.

          • "Burning Widows" – How many times have you heard that in the news?. That was an old thing which some castes carried out centuries ago..Similar to "Honour Killing" in Pakistan. Apparently it used to happen in 1700’s and 1800’s.
            But you guys still have those customs. don’t you?
            Stoning sentence for Pakistan woman:
            http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1939566.stm
            Cheers!
            President Much-Riff-Raff -aka- Mucharraf

          • IGNORANT is the correct word. Now if you want to call someone ignorant, you should use the right word, else you come across as IGNORANT 😉

          • I agree..Much of the work done by Indian software biggies like Infy, Wipro, TCS etc are mundane roles. BUt to get to Phase B you need a positive cash flow and that can only be generated by going through that route, albeit boring and low end. No one is going to fund your IP development other than yourself. So the rold urrently played by the Indian Software companies perfectly suites what the Indian IT industry need at this time.
            BUT you are not aware of the AM ount of the R&D work that is moving to India these days.
            http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_49/b3861001_mz001.htm
            http://www.technewsworld.com/story/32379.html12/12/03/
            These are just 2 examples.
            The graduates turned out by the elite educational institutions such as IIT’s are the creme de la creme of the world.
            http://placements.iitb.ac.in/comunity/maincbs559476.shtml.html
            So coming back to your Question. Read the above URL and you will come to the realization that the IP generated by Indians in the US is immense. Whether is the "Father of pentium" (http://alumni.dce.edu/vinoddham.html) -or- Vinod Khosla who founded Sun Micro -or- the founder of SAN storage – or the founder of hotmail – and many many more.
            Eventually this entrepreneurial spirit will be transplanted/replicated to India. That’s the strategy. Already the VC community has started flying there more often.
            http://sanjose.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2003/12/15/smallb3.html

          • Rif Raf: Why do you keep avoiding the facts? Indians in America are not India. Nor are they Indian software industry. If an Indian happens to work at an American company that creates a good product does not say anything about the Indian software industry. As acknowledged by you the Indian software industry is involved in mundane jobs (low hanging fruit – remember). While your AM bition of phase 2 is much appreciated, I must remind you there are many a slips between the cup and the lip. So hold your breath till you can name a couple of world known products which are a true creation of the Indian software industry. And if Vinod and company could do all this in India then why dont they go back and do the next big thing in India? And please dont specualte. Tell us when it happens.

          • Your calling it a game does not make it a game. The fact that a large port is being built will have a positive impact on the Pakistani economy. Like it or not but it is happening….
            Once again your response is speculative and appears to be biased and politically motivated. Why dont you worry about how you are going to feed the world’s largest homeless population in India rather than calling a multi billion dollar project a game.

          • Thanks for the correction. It was an oversight on my part.
            I hopeyou did get the message and did not ignore the point I was trying to make just because of a typo.

          • Climbon – You post seems to be coming a man of Wisdom. To tell you the truth, I don’t harbor anything against the Pakistanis. As you said, there is no better alternative than joining hands. The author’s earlier article in which he used this wide brush whereby pakistan’s IT industry suffered because "Indians ran away after taking the money" really ticked me off. I’m sure you agree that is actually pretty hilarious. To tell the truth, I’ve actually subcontracted some work to a pakistani company through elance.com. But I do like to play hardball here 😉

          • What I dont understand is that the article barely touched on Pak-India political relations yet the discussion seems to boil down to just that. this isnt cricket. its business, pakistan has some of the best brains in the world, theyre doing well… what on EARTH does this take away from india??? I mean for years the press has been complete n utter syncophants to india and how its the ‘next big thing’ not a squeak out of pak… hello… wake up yea? pakistan has its identity INDEPENDENT of india, as was decided over 57 years ago… no comparisons required….

          • I would like to notify all the indians thinking that the author was payed to look into his other articles. He has also written articles praising india and indian benefits. no wonder its almost natural that you cannot digest a word against you.
            As climbon said, both India and Pakistan share equal interests and more or less the same problems. Kindly stop bashing each other and be open. Remember how those european powers and AM ericans were like blood suckers to each other in history? But once after they realised that economic power is more important than blood of the enemy or piece of land, they shook hands and become friends to generate a better world together economically; which was a very wise decision that is paying off now!
            India and Pakistan should do the same. I know there are people in both countries who are wishing for friendship, but there still are plenty of those who hate each other.
            Just my 2 cents.. or rupees 😉

          • Yes. I worry about how to eliminate poverty in my country. In between I also read up on the geo-politicals shifts happening globally.
            Just like China is wooing Caribean, they have got you under their clasp. Of course, they have been your pals for a while, but soon you will realize that China’s intentions are more, they would like Pak to be their whore, just like it is to US.
            http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=516046&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312
            BTW – the Gwadar project is a 200 million project, not a multi-billion one. Just to straighten out the facts!!

          • Ok. Now tell me. How do the Pakis plan to develop their IP?
            By cultivating Hashish along the Pak-Afghan border and selling it? -or- Maybe Uncle Sam will shell out some moolah for being a whore to the US?

          • C’mon. Sultan of pak. Why does Uncle Musharraf leave it up to me to make his subjects read more and glean more knowledge..? Why. O Why?
            This is one of the most popular science magazines. This special edition is about India.
            http://www.newscientist.com/special/india
            BUY IT, PLEASE. That should answer most of your concerns about IP dev in India. [At one point it mentions that 35% of SAP’s US patents now come out of Bangalore] If you ask me to point to the IP now, I cannot (in a major way), because we are just starting. If you are insistent, I can only point my finger at you. I can see an IP in you. (I)gnorant (P)aki.

          • "I believe it was Mr. Nawaz Sharif that lit a candle under your asses and you guys started opening up"
            I bow before you, great soul. I’ve heard that Al Gore Invented Internet, didn’t know that Nawaz Sharif prodded India to open up it’s economy. But I might be wrong, as these sort of news probably gets circulated only in Pakistan.
            "We do not have the same number of goats as you do to do the basic body shopping work" – But you still have 160-170- Million people correct? Going back to earlier post, you mentioned that India has 500-600 million below the poverty line. Based on that your 170 million mullahs should be good enough to create a dent in the IT business ?? What happened to all of them ? Are they hiding in the caves -or- do they spend their time whining about how "Hindus", "Jews", "Media", "Infidels" are out to destroy them?
            In the US tech Industry, except of Atiq Raza, I haven’t come across any major Paki name…Maybe a few more I’ve missed. But that’s about it.
            So, tell me this again? How do you plan to skip the "mundane" jobs and develop IP all of a sudden?

          • You now sound like an Awaara instead of Awain & your points seem to completely [In Vain].
            Let me ask you this. If you are not obsessed with India, why is that your missiles (I heard that if you scratch the paint on them, you see the pictures of Mao and Kim Jong II) are named after people who invaded and plundered India?
            Ghauri, Ghaznavi, Abdali – these are the three missiles Pakistan possess. But these are also names of three prominent Afghan warlords, or conquerors, who invaded India from Afghanistan.
            Pak is the ONLY country in the world where the missiles are named to have an association with a neighboring country. So if one day, Iran decides to attack Pakistan will it repaint the missiles and rename it, paying deference to some warlord who centuries ago who invaded some part of Persia ???? Tell us na..
            The moment an Indian driver got into the F1 race, Pak wants F1 too!!
            http://in.sports.yahoo.com/050206/139/2jgkt.html

          • Ha..Ha. I notice that throughout this thread, Pakis of varying degrees of fanaticism (0-9) have repeatedly used "Hindu", "Haldi-Rams" etc. However, you don’t seem to notice Indians adressing you as "Muslims"!! That my friend, is PRECISELY THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN.
            As a Hindu, I AM proud of the Muslims living in India. I hope there are more of the likes of Dr Kalam, Irfan Pathan, Sania Mirza as part of the identity called – India. So, to me my muslim neighbor is as much my brother/friend as my Hindu neighbor. To me you are a ‘Paki’, not a Muslim because Muslims are as much part of our community as they are in yours.
            Now let me address your questions,
            1. Gujrat was an aberration. I agree, it was wrong. But that was a small group of fundamentalists who carried it out.
            2. Let us not hide under Indian forces "killing rebels". You very well know what is happening in your tribal areas. I bet you are aware of the Shia-Sunni clash that frequently happens in Pakistan. Frequently I read about how some Shia went to Sunni mosque and gunned down a few, or how a Sunni threw a grenade at a Shia procession.
            You very well know the movement of Mujahirs. This is what Altaf Hussain said recently,
            http://www.satribune.com/archives/nov04/P1_arun3.htm
            http://www.subcontinent.com/sapra/regional/regional20001001d.html
            Yes. Sikhs were murdered during the riots after Khalistanis assasinated Mrs Gandhi. That too was a mistake. But as a nation we have moved forward. That’s where it counts and that’s where the difference is. Today our Army Chief, Prime Minister and Deputy Chair of Planning Commission are all Sikhs. That my friend, IS THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN OUR COUNTRIES.
            India has a population problem! That’s an accepted fact. On the economics side people say it’s going to be our advantage for a while. Apparently that demographics is going to be in our advantage as Chinas population will mature soon. Read what your own media says,
            http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_24-1-2005_pg7_47
            But the BEST part of it all is that we are growing INSPITE of all these problems. Now isn’t that something. Unlike China, we don’t have a central command system that can force and direct change, we still have to pin our hopes on the cumbersome juggernaut of our democracy. But even then the world is hyphenating India with China thesedays. So the future is boundless, NOT bleak.

          • the missiles are named so because Ghauri, Ghaznavi, Abdali were not Afghans but the forefathers
            of the muslims in india and pakistan today. go read up some history
            before you go shooting your mouth off. but then you are Rif Raff, oblivious to history and the
            winds of change…

          • This ‘Indian’ posing as "DanielPearl" is obviously shitting on this forum. The US State Department doesn’t have any travel advisories for Karachi. It’s perfectly safe, safer than most Indian cities Gujarat, Bombay, Calcutta and the north where the rebels are constantly fighting Indian occupation.
            1) Gujarat, India: The city saw the worst communal riots in world history. More than 2000 people were killed by hindu terrorists and the biggest terrorist who allowed this to happen, the current Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr. Narendra Modi. This SOB is still out there goes to show a lot about the Indian judiciary and the sham democracy india preaches. Here is what Human Rights Watch International has to say about this: "Sixteen months after the beginning of the violence, not a single person has been convicted."
            http://hrw.org/press/2003/06/india070103.htm
            http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2002/india.ayodha/
            2) Bombay, India: Controlled by thugs and mafia. In fact, the indian film industry is all controlled by mafia. People, dont go to Bombay or you’ll get kidnapped for ransom. Westeners the prime targets for these thugs.
            http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=725&id=1322702002
            3) Punjab Province India: This state saw the worst communal massacre involving Sikhs called the Golden Temple Massacre. In this holocaust more than 3000 Sikhs were killed by Indian Police. The retaliation was simple: the then Indian Prime Minister was killed the a Sikh. The Sikhs wants independence from Indian rule since the last 50 years: http://www.khalistan.net/council.htm

          • I’ve to admit that Pakistan is catching up very fast. I’ve had some issues with Indians, but after working with a Pakistani firm for software development, I feel I made the right decision. It was cheap and exactly what I wanted. Moreover they documented the source code in good english.

          • What software do pakis make? something in basic/cobol? or a software to record halal slaughter.? or software to keep track of all the terrorist and taliban in pakistan? All those pakis who are proud of their IT industry should note that it is Indian companies who are giving the US IT biggest sleepless nights. Infy, Wipro, TCS, Satyam, Cognizent are snatching deals from jaws of IBM/Accenture. All major US IT company, u name it, Yahoo, google, CISco, motorola, sun microsystem, TI, Nortel, I2, IBM, Deloitte, Accenture, CSC, CApgemni, KEane, Ato Origin…( u can complete the list to rub on ur wound) have dedicated IT development/research cente in India. In US, the IBMs/Accentures have adopted Indian delivery methods, Indian IT management technique.

  • Pakistan is developing fast and we are proud of it. I AM glad to see some positive stuff on Pakistan in the media. It’s something very AM azing for a change, but there will be more I AM sure. 🙂

  • Great story Anthony. Huge IT business will sooner or later come to Pakistan. The reasons, as you have laid out quite well are:
    1) Pakistan is 30% cheaper than India in terms of development costs.
    2) Pakistani Administration has very open business policies, there are no extra taxes on foreign companies unlike other coutries in the region.
    3) Pakistan has a large untapped pool of english speakers whose accents are easier to neutralize as compared to Indians.
    4) Real estate in Pakistani metros, Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad etc. is way cheaper than other major cities in South Asia.
    The Indians here on this forum are obviously getting jealous. They are trying their level best to pollute this forum with their "haldi".
    I’d like to put up a question: What makes Indians stink. A lot of indian girls on college campuses in the US are full of stink. Is it what Indians cook or what is it? I would be extremely grateful if some indian could answer this question. Coz then I might as well just see what Pooja looks like (beyong the stink).
    Getting back to my point, I think the indians are have an inferiority complex. So we should just let them be. The only media writing good things about India is their own (which is quite evident from the links they have posted!). The foreign media/films only associate beggars with Calcutta and slums/ghettos with the whole of india. A country with a per capita GDP of about $470, what are these indians proud of.

  • Mr Mitchell, you really ought to know better than to put American lives at risk.The following are State dept advisories:
    Due to on-going concerns about the possibility of terrorist activity directed against American citizens and interests, the Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Pakistan. The U.S. Consulates in Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar continue to operate at reduced staffing levels. Family members of official Americans assigned to the Embassy in Islamabad and to the three consulates in Pakistan were ordered to leave the country in March 2002 and have not been allowed to return.
    Al-Qaida and Taliban elements continue to operate inside Pakistan. Their presence, coupled with that of indigenous sectarian and militant groups in Pakistan, continues to pose potential danger to American citizens. Continuing tensions in the Middle East also increase the possibility of violence against Westerners in Pakistan.
    U.S. citizens who travel to, or remain in Pakistan despite this Travel Warning should register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad or at the Consulates in Lahore, Peshawar, and Karachi in order to enroll in the emergency alert system (the warden network).

  • I wrote to respond to the author’s interest in land reform. Actually, given the groundwater depletion issue in all of Asia(particularly in South Asia-with India leading by far-and a topic of discussion at an international conference:See Asian farmers sucking the continent dry, by Fred Pearce New Scientist 28 August 04 -land reform will encourage people to rely on something which is unsustainable as an income source).
    Unfortunatly IT in India and Pakistan really is only applicable to a limited segment of the population. The key is to get pupulation off the land and into other forms of mass employment.
    [See also:http://atimes01.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/FL24Df01.html
    ww.atimes.com
    December 24, 2004
    India’s underperforming industrial sector
    By Kunal Kumar Kundu]
    By the way, the author missed something about Karachi that he shouldn’t have. He can Email me if he wants to know what it is. I will give him a hint: it has something in common with the pioneering changes for America being implemented by Los Angeles;and the pioneering ones being implemented for North America by a major Canadian city.

  • This is one of the worst written articles I’ve come across in a while. Obviously the Pakistani Gov is trying to improve it’s IT message, but the way that this guy has presented it makes it so hilarious.
    I mean, why is the author salivating about the port being built by the chinese?? The chinese are perfectly executing their plans of global domination. They are investing massively in other regions (be it in oil fields in Venenzuela, sudan or Russia) and funding massive infrastructure developments in other strategically located regions. So I fail to understand how that can be mapped to Pakistan’s IT industry. Infact, according to the NIC report the chinese manuevers run counter to US security.
    This made my belly ache – "The fact that alcohol is rare contributes to a happier, healthier and more productive populace" Ha.Ha.Ha (Hey, that’s just part of the script). I really hope that Mr Mitchell was not forced to write this with some bearded pakistanis pointing his AK47’s at him 🙂
    "Democrats for Musharraf" ha ha. I guess now he has taken the role of Karl Rove :-). Mr Mitchell went for an IT expo, but the little baby in him overtook the Rutgers in him, so the best part of the IT expo does not have anything to do with the expo itself, but "His bodyguards are the best part of the show" ..Jesus Christ soldier, is it so easy to be a journalist these days??
    Now, about the secular part of Pakistan. But for Musharraf that country would be a Taliban kind of a place. Infact 9-11 was masterminded by a pakistani.
    http://www.theage.com.au/cgi-bin/common/popupPrintArticle.pl?path=/articles/2003/03/06/1046826463227.html
    ———————————-
    Sheikh Mohammed, born in Kuwait to Pakistani parents, has been dubbed by US Attorney-General John Ashcroft as "the brains" behind the September 11 terror attacks for his alleged logistical planning and engineering of the atrocities that killed some 3,000 people.
    ————————————
    I really hope Pakistan’s economy picks up and the region becomes more stable, but I guess they have to do a better job of getting their message across. I mean, seriously, this article sounds so childing. and maybe he should stop comparing Pakistan with India, Bangladesh might be a better suited comparison. People might then believe atleast half of the story..
    Wonder why jobs get outsourced..so much for his Rutgers degree…

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