Volume 22 Issue 5, May 2018
By Shahid Javed Burki

Pakistan is not only a founding member of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), but is one of the largest recipients of funds from the institution. As discussed later, the institution's importance for Pakistan is likely to increase significantly. The Bank was modeled after the World Bank Group (WBG) and was established on December 19, 1966. Headquartered in Manila, the Philippines, such nations as Japan and the United States are the institution's largest shareholders, each with 15.61 percent share in the capital. China holds 6.44 percent, India 6.35 percent and Australia 5.79 percent.

In an interview with the Hitachi Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan, Takehiko Nakao,
President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) talks about the ADB’s short and long-term goals in terms of supporting the socio-economic growth and technological
development of the Asian region as a whole.

Click this photo to view
the 'Genesis Awards' video.


Syed Jawaid Iqbal

Zeba Jawaid

Javed Ansari

Faizan Usmani
Khawaja Amer
Syeda Areeba Rasheed

S. G. Jilanee

Aadil Nakhoda
Dr. Ikramul Haq
Dr. Moonis Ahmar
Dr. Muhammad Ali Ehsan
Dr. Raza Khan
Huzaima Bukhari
Iqbal F. Quadir
Khawaja Amer
Mirza Aqeel Baig
Mubashir Noor
M. Omar Iftikhar
Noor Javed Sadiq
Noureh Mourad
S.G. Jilanee
Shahid Javed Burki
S. M. Hali
Soha Sheikh
S.R.H. Hashmi
Syeda Areeba Rasheed
Taha Kehar
Taj Haider
Taj M Khattak
Waqar Ahmad
Zaigham Hameedi

Neha Ansari

Kamran Ghulam Nabi
Haroon Rasheed
Riaz Masih


Syed Ovais Akhtar

Aqam-ud-Din Khan

SouthAsia is published every month by Syed Jawaid Iqbal for and on behalf of JAWZ Communications (Pvt.) Ltd.

Views expressed by the contributors are not necessarily shared by the editors.

Published since 1977 as Thirdworld, the magazine was re-launched in 1997 as SouthAsia.



In an exclusive interview with SouthAsia, Xiaohong Yang, the ADB Country Director for Pakistan emphasizes the role of the Asian Development Bank in capitalizing the potential for accelerated growth in South Asian countries.

There is much talk from certain political powers in Pakistan these days about respecting the vote. A seminar was also held recently regarding respecting the vote. It seems the vote was respected in the country in previous years and has suddenly lost that respect. This sudden love among the politicians for the respect of the vote never existed before. No Pakistani politician in the past stood up and demanded respect for the vote. The vote was simply there to buy or obtain by any means to get into the parliament. In fact, if respect of the vote were of such value to the politicians, they would have made sure, when they came to power, that the respect was translated into benefits for the people. This called for judicious governance. Unfortunately, nothing of the sort happened and now people are being asked to ‘respect the vote.’ The fact is that such respect can only be given if people are served by the politicians. So far, during all civilian dispensations, while the politicians have been more than eager to form governments, there have hardly been instances where the voters have been served. In any event, service to the voters is given only in sectors where it serves the interests of the rulers. In all other aspects, no service is forthcoming and the people always suffer.

Of late, the Chief Justice of Pakistan has taken it upon himself to issue suo moto notices and to personally intervene in those areas of governance that have been completely neglected by the civilian government. In addition to his important and time-consuming duties as the Chief Justice of Pakistan, the present CJP, Mian Saqib Nisar, personally travels to all parts of the country and examines the areas of health, education, water supply, public cleanliness, etc. and issues orders for solution of the problems. His only purpose is to give the people their basic rights. But it has been seen that elected politicians do not attend to the people’s needs. Instead, they are preoccupied with preserving themselves, their families or the people most dear to them. The politicians do not realize that governance is like a liquid. In the absence of those who should actually be governing and facilitating the people, governance flows and takes up the space and shape vacated by the civilian rulers. It is then that other forces occupy the space and address those issues and problems of the people that should have been originally taken care of by the civil administration.

Besides criticizing the judiciary for stepping into the domain of administration, the politicians have also raised loud voices against the armed forces. They tend to forget that in times of calamity, it is not the civilian government but the armed forces that are called in to help the people contend with disasters like floods, earthquakes, rains, terrorist attacks, etc. The job of the armed forces to fight terrorists is taken for granted. The Rangers are called in to take over policing responsibilities in big cities like Karachi and locate terrorist sleeping cells or even to fight dacoits who kidnap policemen in unreachable river belts, whereas their actual job is to help the army guard the country’s land borders. It is also true that when top foreign dignitaries come to visit Pakistan, they meet the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) rather than the Prime Minister. The question then arises is that why does the political leadership not garner the importance that it should in a democracy where the civilian government is supreme and the army is only one of the several arms working under the Prime Minister? A good example in the recent past is that of the Soviet Union which was supposedly ruled by a civilian dispensation. However, the internal insecurity of the Soviet government was such that its enemies in the capitalist world did not have to attack it and the Soviet Union simply imploded from inside. It was the internal lack of political governance that led to the breaking up and the powers that wished this to happen did not move a finger.

The Pakistan Armed Forces are in a difficult situation in this context. They have the dual responsibility of guarding both the country’s frontiers as well as its internal security. When serving on the borders, they take the enemy’s bullets on their chests and render their wives as widows and their children as orphans. All that they get in return are medals and decorations. At the same time, the elected civilian rulers simply enjoy the peace within the country and take advantage of all the perks they can lay their hands on. They pay no heed to the myriad problems of the masses and simply loot and steal national wealth and send it abroad to secure a luxurious lifestyle for themselves and their families. Even then, they have serious objections to any other force attending to public governance and they still want the electorate to respect the vote.

Syed Jawaid Iqbal
Editor in Chief


Demise of Communist Politics

Communist parties in India had a field day in the 60s and 70s. However, theystarted losing their popularity and public support when they largely drifted away from their flagship promise to provide every Indian with roti, kapra aur makan (food, clothes and shelter). Seen as a dead ringer for other mainstream political parties in the country, the politics of the Left relegated to a mediocre political crusade aimed at bagging the most seats in the polls by joining power-hungry alliances than sticking to the ideology that the Communists were known for in the past. Becoming a part of the political elite, the Communists in a poverty-stricken country like India suffered a massive setback in their chances of reforming a corrupt socio-economic system that most suits capitalists and favours only the wealthy few. To me, Communist politics in India is just another chapter of the past the country will no longer remember.

Arjun S. Kumar,
Chhattisgarh, India.

Qatil Hasina

In a democracy, the head of the government is always supposed to be a democratic and somewhat a diplomat who is able to look beyond personal grudges and is capable of letting bygones be bygones in order to head towards a brighter future. Unfortunately, the track record of Sheikh Hasina Wajed, the current Prime Minister of Bangladesh, suggests quite the opposite, as she has been on a killing spree, targeting only those politicians and citizens who have had a soft corner for Pakistan. Time and again, she leaves no stone unturned in speaking her heart out against Pakistan. The most recent example of her anti-Pakistan views was seen when addressing a public gathering. She suggested to the people of Bangladesh to brutally respond to those in the country who had any love for Pakistan. Going even further, she reiterated her intention to severely punish pro-Pakistan elements to make them forget their love for the country they were once part of. This suggests that Hasina Wajed could better serve as a jailor of a district prison than being the head of a government.

Nasreen Bano,
Rajshahi, Bangladesh.



FATF Fiasco

This is with reference to the story on the prospects of Pakistan being placed on an international terrorist financing blacklist by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Though the matter will be decided in the FATF’s next meeting in June, Pakistan seems to have lost its international credibility as a peace-loving nation owing to its over-reliance on nurturing and supporting militants that have now emerged as a Frankenstein, destroying its own creator through a brutal display of unbridled terror and unrestrained violence under the mask of religion and virtue. Pakistan has been negating a globally held perception that it has been serving its vested interests through its clandestine support directed to the so-called good and bad terrorists. However, this time the international community seems to be no longer willing to agree with Pakistan’s stance and the country may have to deal with an inevitable FATF fiasco.

Mujtaba Haider,
Islamabad, Pakistan.

Anti-Muslim Violence

The recent wave of anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka made headlines in the international media for a brief period. However, this is not the first time when Muslims in Sri Lanka have been subjected to rampant persecution at the hands of Sinhala Buddhists, the majority ethnic-religious group in the island. After te Tamils, Muslims are the second largest minority in Sri Lanka and have been suffering from injustice and prejudice mostly because of their religious background. Along with Tamil minorities, Sri Lankan Muslims have been denied their constitutional rights and have had limited access to education and employment opportunities that have, impaired their socio-economic growth and development. When the incumbent government assumed power in January 2015, Muslims were expecting a positive change in the status quo, but unfortunately the new government has miserably failed to stand up to its promise and seems to be no more willing to address the leading factors and are contributing to continuous minority persecution in the island.

Samadara Jayawardhana,
Colombo, Sri Lanka.

A Long Way Ahead

In India, Punjab and Haryana are two developed states. Although both states have slipped from their respective positions of second and fifth level in the Human Development Index (HDI) which they held till 2001, they have achieved a 77% literacy rate and the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) there has also improved from 68 per 1000 live births to 55 in Haryana and from 53 to 43 in Punjab. Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) also increased from 3.31 during 2002-03 to 15.14 during 2009-10 in Punjab and from 9.68 during 2002-02 to 17.80 during 2009-10 (Year on Year) in Haryana. Despite attaining such commendable growth, this could not benefit all the people of both states. Some had a large portion of the growth pie while the others were left scrambling for the crumbs, reeling at the bottom. Unfortunately, those who were neglected were the backward classes, Dalits and poor. They were left out of the prosperity ushered in by the Green Revolution in the 1970s. Their need for a support system and to be part of a larger community remained unfulfilled. Their sluggish trail in all spheres continues even today.

Sanghmitra S Acharya,
New Delhi, India.

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