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Pakistonomy

English, News, 1 season, 213 episodes, 1 day, 1 hour, 28 minutes
About
Pakistan's first podcast focused on the country's economy, simplifying the complex relationships between paisa, politics and the public. Presented by Tabadlab.
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Episode 200 - What just happened in the Indian elections?

The world’s largest elections are over and they have delivered a surprise in India. While we will get more detailed analysis in the coming days, what is for certain is that the elections mark a return to coalition politics in the world’s largest democracy. Uzair spoke to Rahul Verma about what the results mean for India, Narendra Modi, and the country’s democracy. We also talked about what the BJP and Congress got right, what they are likely to do next, and the role of coalition allies moving forward. Rahul Verma is Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, Ashoka University, Sonipat. He has a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include political representation, political parties, and voting behaviour. He is a regular columnist for various news platforms, and a regular TV commentator on elections, party politics, voting behavior, and public opinion polls. His book co-authored with Pradeep Chhibber, Ideology and Identity: The Changing Party Systems of India, develops a new approach to defining the contours of what constitutes an ideology in multi-ethnic countries such as India. He recently co-edited a volume with Sudha Pai & Shyam Babu - Dalits in the New Millennium. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:30 Key takeaways from the elections 8:30 Has Hindutva reached its peak? 21:30 Return of coalition politics 29:10 Scope for reforms in a coalition 33:50 What to look for in the near-term 38:47 Reading recommendations Reading recommendations: - Coalition Politics and Economic Development: Credibility and the Strength of Weak Governments by Irfan Nooruddin - Ideology and Identity: The Changing Party Systems of India by Rahul Verma and Pradeep Chhibber - Raag Darbari by Shrilal Shukla
6/5/202442 minutes, 14 seconds
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Episode 199 - Imran Khan v. Judiciary v. Establishment

In this episode, Uzair talks to Abdul Moiz Jaferii about the ongoing cases in Pakistan’s superior judiciary. We focused on the wiretapping case being heard by Justice Babar Sattar, cases related to Imran Khan, and the broader implications of the supposed standoff between the establishment and the judiciary. We also focused on the political ramifications of these cases through the summer and whether Imran Khan will be out of jail in the next few months. Abdul Moiz Jaferii is a lawyer and tweets @jaferii Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:30 The latest at the courts 7:30 IHC’s letter to Justice Isa 15:00 Illegal wiretapping case 33:30 Political ramifications 39:00 Will Khan be out soon?
5/31/202442 minutes, 22 seconds
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Episode 198 - Budget, Taxes, and the IMF

In this episode, Uzair talks to Ali Khizar about the upcoming budget and the ongoing conversations between the IMF and Pakistan. We focused on why this government will only pursue incremental reforms, the issues with the power sector, and why broadening the tax base is unlikely for the time being. Ali Khizar is head of research at Business Recorder and has over 20 years of experience in economic research and business analysis. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:55 IMF’s focus for Pakistan 9:30 Taxes in the budget 22:50 Cost of energy 36:30 Privatization outlook 47:20 Political space for reforms
5/24/202452 minutes, 22 seconds
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Episode 197 - Prospects for Saudi Investment in Pakistan

In this episode, Uzair talks to Ali Farid Khwaja about the potential of Saudi investments into Pakistan. We talked about why things were moving slowly, sectors Saudi is interested in, and why it is important for Pakistan to approach these conversations in a more professional manner. Ali Farid Khwaja is Chairman of KTrade Securities and has over a decade of experience in the technology and financial sectors. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:35 Current state of play 12:00 What Pakistan needs to get right 19:20 Engagement with IMF 27:20 What is Saudi seeking from Pakistan? 32:30 Risks to watch for 38:20 Conclusion
5/20/202443 minutes, 9 seconds
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Episode 196 - Budget, Reforms, and the IMF

In this episode, Uzair talks to Khurram Husain about the latest decision by the central bank to keep rates unchanged. We talked about why the central bank has a credibility problem and how the IMF is influencing its choices. We also discussed the ongoing conversations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, why it feels different this time around, and the role of geopolitics. Finally, we also discussed the upcoming budget, the finance minister’s priorities, and how he can secure his position in the cabinet. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:00 Interest rates and the IMF 16:20 Saudi Arabia’s interest in Pakistan 24:45 Role of geopolitics in Saudi conversations 32:18 Budget and reforms outlook 39:05 How long will the finance minister last?
5/3/202441 minutes, 39 seconds
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Episode 194 - Pakistan's Stunting Crisis

Uzair talks to Dr. Ghazala Mansuri about Pakistan’s stunting crisis and its implications for the country’s future. We focused on key causes of stunting, the linkage with Pakistan’s water supply, and what the country can learn from other nations. The conversation also focused on climate change and its impact on human development, especially stunting. Dr. Ghazala Mansuri is a Lead Economist for the South Asia Region and a Global Lead for the Welfare Impacts of Climate Change at the World Bank. Her work, at the intersection of research and policy, has been published in leading journals in economics and development, including the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies and the Review of Economics and Statistics. Her current research focuses on the effect of public policies on human development, and the impact of climate change and environmental degradation on the agri-food system and its implications for human health, poverty, and inequality. Her recent reports include When Water becomes a Hazard (2018), and the Pakistan Country Climate and Development Report (2022). She holds a PhD in economics from Boston University. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 3:05 Nature and scale of crisis 18:10 Water and stunting 25:50 Ways to solve for this 31:50 Climate change and stunting 48:50 What have other countries done? 55:30 What can the government do? 59:10 What can parents do? 1:09:00 Reading recommendations Reading Recommendations: - An Agricultural Testament by Albert Howard - The Soil and Health by Albert Howard - Farmers of Forty Centuries by Franklin H. King - Dirt: The Erosion of Civilization by David Montgomery
4/27/20241 hour, 15 minutes, 30 seconds
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Episode 193 - Why is foreign investment critical to Pakistan's economic success?

Uzair talks to M. Abdul Aleem about the role of foreign investment in Pakistan’s economy and the key reforms that foreign investors would like to see in the country. We also talked about what leading executives look for in emerging talent, and the key pain points faced by foreign investors in Pakistan. Mr. Muhammad Abdul Aleem is the CEO and Secretary General of Overseas Investors Chambers of Commerce & Industry (OICCI). OICCI is the oldest (since 1860) chamber of commerce in Asia. OICCI’s members comprising of 210 foreign investors collectively contribute about one third of the total tax revenue of Pakistan besides being the leader in transfer of technology and investment. Mr Abdul Aleem has worked in senior positions in both Exxon Chemicals and Engro Corporation, serving in Pakistan and Singapore. Thereafter, he worked with British American Tobacco Group UK (BAT) in Pakistan and overseas, where he ultimately served as CEO of BAT Operations in Cambodia, Mauritius, and Indian Ocean territory. Since 2004, he has served in senior positions with large Government-owned organizations in Pakistan and his last assignment was as the Managing Director, Pakistan State Oil Company Ltd. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 4:30 The role of foreign investors 13:30 Key issues and solutions for the economy 22:20 Why are investors kept away from policymaking? 26:40 Key traits for emerging talent 33:25 Learning from failure 36:40 Reform priorities 42:40 Judicial reforms 46:05 Reading recommendations Reading Recommendations: - CEO Excellence by Carolyn Dewar, Scott Keller, and Vikram Malhotra - Prosperity: Better Business Makes the Greater Good by Colin Mayer
4/21/202450 minutes, 27 seconds
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Episode 192 - Why did Pakistan fall behind India and Bangladesh

Uzair talks to Dr. Ishrat Hussain about his new book and its key findings. We focused on Dr. Hussain’s view of why Pakistan fell behind India and Bangladesh, why policy stability matters, and things that he is watching for on the economic front. Dr. Hussain’s latest book Development Pathways 1947-2022 is now available in Pakistan and you can order it here - http://www.libertybooks.com/development-pathways-9786277626198 Dr. Ishrat Husain started his career as member of Civil Service of Pakistan and then spent over two decades at the World Bank 1979-1999, where among many key positions, he became the Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, Director Poverty and Social Department, Country Director for Central Asian Republics. He completed two terms as Governor of State Bank of Pakistan 1999-2005 and has been appointed to chair various commissions and other boards. In addition to his role as public policy practitioner in national and international arenas he has also taken active interest in scholarly pursuits. He is author of twenty four books , prominent being Governing the Ungovernable and The Economy of an Elitist state published by Oxford University Press . He has been awarded several international and national awards including the highest civilian award of Nishan e Imtiaz. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 4:00 India’s reform success 12:00 Role of common sense economics 18:30 The role of unconstitutional interventions 30:45 Trading with India 35:50 Bangladesh’s keys to success 42:15 Military Inc and its role 46:20 Growing the pie v. distributing wealth 50:35 Outlook for Pakistan’s economy 56:10 Reading recommendations Reading Recommendations - Search for Stability edited by Maleeha Lodhi
4/8/202458 minutes, 44 seconds
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Episode 191 - How Israel's War on Gaza is Changing the Global World Order

This week’s episode focuses on the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza and its implications for the global world order. Uzair talks to Jasmine El-Gamal to get an assessment of Israel’s campaign against Hamas, why Western leaders are out of sync with their own public opinion, and the path forward for ending this conflict. Jasmine El-Gamal is a national security expert, political analyst and former Middle East advisor at the Pentagon. She is the founder and CEO of Mindwork Strategies, LTD, a consulting firm with a mission to help organisations craft empathy-based, culturally driven approaches to foreign policy, communications and workplace mental health. She has served throughout her 22-year career in various public and private-sector organisations covering issues related to security and international affairs. From 2008-2013, Jasmine served as a Middle East advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy. Born in New York and raised in Egypt, Jasmine’s experiences in the aftermath of 9/11 compelled her to spend her career advancing a less militarized, more humane U.S. approach to the Middle East, first as a U.S. public servant and then as a writer, analyst and media commentator. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 4:10 Israel’s goals and strategy 18:25 Hamas’ surrender and a ceasefire 27:20 Double standards in Washington 41:10 Building coalitions across communities 45:20 Impact on US policy 55:50 The need for patience 1:01:45 Censorship in the West 1:08:00 Reading recommendations Reading recommendations - Out of Place by Edward Said - No Ordinary Time: Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War by Doris Kearns Goodwin
3/29/20241 hour, 13 minutes, 35 seconds
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Episode 189 - Teach for Pakistan - Solving Pakistan’s Education Crisis

Uzair talks to Khadija Shahper Bakhtiar about Teach for Pakistan and the organization’s mission and vision. The conversation also focuses on the fellowship program being run by the organization and the key challenges facing Pakistan’s education sector. Khadija Shahper Bakhtiar is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Teach For Pakistan, a national nonprofit organization that nurtures leadership to end educational inequity. Teach For Pakistan provides inspired university graduates the opportunity and support to teach for two years in low-income communities through a structured Fellowship program and develop the leadership skills and contextual understandings to affect long-term, system-wide reform for educational equity. You can learn more about the fellowship here - https://iteachforpakistan.org Reading recommendations: - The Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:40 What is Teach for Pakistan? 10:10 What is the fellowship program? 17:20 How do fellows help improve outcomes? 23:30 Key criteria for fellows 27:55 Major issues in education 34:00 Devolving education 40:44 Focus areas for governments 46:30 Reading recommendations
3/23/202452 minutes, 22 seconds
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Episode 189 - Deciphering Indonesia’s Elections

In this episode, Uzair talks to Mehu Sitepu about Indonesia’s recently held presidential elections and its outcomes. These elections had a lot of similarities with Pakistan, including the use of social media to woo young voters, allegations of rigging, and questions over Indonesia’s policy towards the US and China. Mehu Sitepu is an Associate at The Asia Group’s Southeast Asia practice, where she supports clients navigating the region’s complex political and regulatory environments to build business strategies across a variety of sectors, including banking and finance, hospitality, manufacturing, and technology. With almost a decade’s experience as a journalist in Indonesia, including three years in a senior role at BBC News, Mehu has a strong knowledge of Southeast Asia and a far-reaching network of contacts. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:40 Overview of the political landscape 24:50 Role of social media 30:01 Rigging allegations 35:28 Foreign policy implications 39:25 Economic policies 44:49 Reading recommendations 47:40 Role of the Indonesian military Reading recommendations: - Indonesia, Etc. by Elizabeth Pisani - Departure: A Novel by Nh. Dini - Indonesian Food by Sri Owen
3/17/202450 minutes, 26 seconds
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Episode 188 - Competing in the elections as a PTI candidate

In this episode, Uzair talks to Taimur Malik about his political campaign in NA-148, where he competed as a PTI candidate against PPP’s former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. The margin of victory for the PPP’s candidate was razor thin and Taimur is currently in the process of appealing the results. We talked about the vote count, what was it like to campaign in Multan given the constraints on the PTI, and what comes next for the party, both in the courts and in assemblies. You can follow Taimur on X @taimur_malik. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:50 Status of NA-148 election 12:30 PPP’s response to the results 19:00 Campaigning in Multan for the PTI 28:00 Overall appeals of the PTI 37:50 PTI’s alliance with the SIC 44:40 PTI’s strategy moving forward 49:38 Reading recommendations Reading Recommendations - The Constitution of Pakistan - Nuskha ha-e Wafa bu Faiz Ahmed Faiz - The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
3/8/202455 minutes, 36 seconds
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Episode 187 - The devastating impact of arbitrary internet shutdowns

In this episode, Uzair talks to Farieha Aziz about the ongoing curbs on the internet, with X facing recurring blocks for the last two weeks. We talk about what the courts have said about these blocks, the response from the PTA, and why the industry needs to be more vocal about arbitrary internet shutdowns. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:10 Current situation 4:30 What have the courts said? 11:05 The state’s response 20:01 The industry’s response 22:20 Legacy of past laws 29:50 Outlook for the near-term 37:00 Conclusion
3/2/202440 minutes, 44 seconds
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Episode 186 - How similar is 2024 to 1977?

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Ilhan Niaz about the 2024 elections and their implications for the country. We focused on what has occurred in the past and the various scenarios that could play out. We also talked about analog autocrats and their shortcomings, and how more repression could create further instability in the country. Chapters 0:00 Introduction 4:45 2024 elections analysis 15:20 Failures of the analog autocrats 24:40 What can we learn from history? 41:50 Potential political scenarios 51:05 Why no one wants to rule the federation 1:01:00 Conclusion
2/24/20241 hour, 3 minutes, 31 seconds
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Episode 184 - Providing capital to SMEs and women

Uzair talks to Navid Goraya about Karandaaz’s ongoing work in Pakistan and their focus on improving access to finance for SMEs and women. We also talked about the outlook for the year and the key things that have to happen after elections to rebuild confidence in the economy. Navid Goraya is the chief investment officer of Karandaaz Capital. He has over 25 years of global experience in asset management, investment strategy, product development and corporate finance. Before joining Karandaaz as the CIO, he was leading a Strategic Advisory Firm, White Oak Advisors Inc, in New York where he was involved in serving private equity funds, family offices, banks and insurance companies in support of global investments in the US, Middle East, Southeast Asia and South Asia. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:50 What does Karandaaz do? 11:10 Barriers to financial inclusion 17:00 Role of the National Credit Guarantee Company 22:40 Bringing modern finance to women 28:40 What should happen after elections 34:10 Avoiding past mistakes 37: Reading recommendations Reading recommendations: - Buck Up, Suck Up . . . and Come Back When You Foul Up: 12 Winning Secrets from the War Room by James Carville
2/3/202441 minutes, 49 seconds
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Episode 183 - Running in an election in Pakistan

Uzair talks to Hamza Haroon, an independent candidate running in the national assembly elections in Pakistan from NA-46. Uzair talks to Hamza about his campaign strategy, the key issues facing Islamabad’s constituents, and what has he heard on the campaign trail. You can follow Hamza on X @HamzaAliHaroon and on Instagram @hamzaaharoon. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 3:20 What is the election situation like? 7:50 Key issues of constituents 14:50 How people vote 24:10 Hamza’s electoral strategy 29:40 Islamabad’s governance challenge 33:30 Why younger people should enter politics 37:20 Reading recommendations Reading recommendations: - Leadership on the line by Marty Linsky and Ronald Heifetz - For the Record by David Cameron
1/26/202439 minutes, 45 seconds
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Episode 182 - Pakistan Responds to Iran. What comes next?

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Kamran Bokhari about Iran’s unprovoked attacks on Pakistan, Pakistan’s counterstrike, and what comes next. We talked about the broader issues in the region, Iran’s own calculus, and the ways in which the regional dynamics are altered in the wake of these escalations. Dr. Kamran Bokhari is the Senior Director of the Eurasian Security and Prosperity portfolio at the New Lines Institute. Previously, he served as Director of Analytical Development Department from 2019 to 2023. Dr. Bokhari is also a national security and foreign policy specialist at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute. Bokhari has also served as the Central Asia Studies Course Coordinator at U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:30 Why did Iran attack Pakistan? 11:20 Assessing Pakistan’s response 20:20 Iran’s broader calculus 27:50 Did Pakistan strike the right balance? 43:50 What comes next? Podcast on Iran protests - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpUPncr5Mrs Reading Recommendations: - https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/experts-react-whats-really-going-on-with-pakistan-and-iran-exchanging-attacks/ - https://www.usip.org/publications/2024/01/making-sense-iran-pakistan-cross-border-strikes - https://amwaj.media/article/exclusive-inside-the-iranian-pakistani-exchange-of-fire-nbsp
1/19/202450 minutes, 47 seconds
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Episode 181 - What will the economy look like in 2024?

In this episode, Uzair talks to Khurram Husain about Pakistan’s economic outlook in 2024, why he is concerned about the cycle of revenge, and things he will watch out for immediately after elections in 2024. Reading Recommendations: - https://www.dawn.com/news/1804904/reassembling-pakistan - https://file.pide.org.pk/pdfpideresearch/discourse-2023-06-43-pakistan-and-the-imf.pdf Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:50 IMF review 13:05 Caretaker reforms 19:40 Elections and legitimacy 30:30 A new triumvirate and its implications 41:50 What to look for
1/13/202446 minutes, 11 seconds
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Episode 180 - Outlook for elections and beyond

Welcome to the 2024 season of Pakistonomy. We begin this season with as usual an outlook episode. Uzair talks to Arifa Noor, journalist at Dawn and host of the show Newswise, about the upcoming elections, the crisis of legitimacy, and the electoral dynamics in the country right now. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 3:50 State of media today 17:50 Elections outlook 23:30 PML-N’s strategy 27:12 PTI’s strategy 36:20 Scenarios and hybrid regime 41:10 New mandate and legitimacy 49:40 What is the vision for Pakistan? 55:05 Conclusion Reading recommendations: - Zahid Hussain’s latest piece - https://www.dawn.com/news/1783550/trying-for-a-fourth-term - Arifa Noor’s article in Dawn - https://www.dawn.com/news/1802553/the-centre-cannot-hold
1/5/202457 minutes, 35 seconds
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Episode 179 - Why trauma-informed schools are a necessity in Pakistan

In this episode, Uzair talks to Sabina Khatri about her work in Lyari, where she has spent over two decades investing in the education of a young generation of citizens. We talked about how and why Sabina began working in Lyari, the ways in which trauma hardens young children, especially men, and how community engagement and education can help birth a new generation of leaders who have deep empathy and a passion to change things. Sabina Khatri is the visionary Founder of Kiran Foundation (KF), a non-profit organization she established in response to a distressing incident of child abuse and domestic violence. Guided by an unyielding commitment to creating positive change, Sabina's journey began in 2004 and has since evolved into a transformative force in Lyari. KF's innovative Mother and Child, Trauma-Informed Education System, rooted in values such as compassion, ownership, responsibility, and empathy, reflects Sabina's dedication to holistic growth for both mothers and children. Over a decade of direct community involvement underscores her mission to provide marginalized families with a nurturing environment and quality education, transcending socio-economic barriers. In 2020, she was awarded the 'Sitara-e-Imtiaz' by the government of Pakistan. You can learn more about the Kiran Foundation here – www.kiranfoundation.org Watch this video about the foundation’s graduates - https://youtu.be/d2RFHHBIqrQ?feature=shared Reading recommendations: - Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl - When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress by Gabor Maté - Dibs in Search of Self by Virginia Axline - The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
11/10/20231 hour, 18 minutes, 1 second
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Episode 178 - Becoming a Cutting-Edge Scientist in Germany

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Bilal Khatri about his journey from Iqra University to Freiburg, where he is currently doing cutting-edge scientific research. We talked about the difference in how sciences are taught in Germany and Pakistan, why teaching the scientific method is important, and how innovation is going to transform our society. We also talked about how young students from places like Pakistan can do cutting-edge research in Europe, with Bilal sharing some thoughts on how to go about settling in a non-English speaking country. Bilal Khatri completed his Bachelors in Electronic Engineering from Iqra University, Karachi, Pakistan and his Masters in Microsystems Engineering from the University of Freiburg, Germany. In 2019, he completed his PhD on the development and characterization of functional composite materials for additive manufacturing (3D-printing) technologies. Since then, he is working as a postdoctoral researcher and academic at the Institute for Sustainable Systems Engineering (INATECH) at the University of Freiburg. His research interests include additive manufacturing, hybrid and composite materials with tailored properties, and the development of more sustainable materials and processes as well as circular strategies for materials used in the automotive and aerospace sectors. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:20 Bilal’s educational journey 8:30 How to adjust to life in Germany 13:10 Education in Pakistan v. Germany 26:35 State of scientific research in manufacturing 43:30 Innovation and its potential for Pakistan 55:05 Risks from rapid innovation to developing countries 1:16:30 Reading recommendations Reading recommendations: - Materials and Sustainable Development by Michael F. Ashby - No Bad Parts by Richard Schwartz - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky You can follow Bilal's gaming channel here - https://www.youtube.com/ @2GBananas Other YouTube channels recommended by Bilal: The B1M: https://www.youtube.com/@TheB1M Real Engineering: https://www.youtube.com/@RealEngineering Veritasium: https://www.youtube.com/@veritasium Mark Rober: https://www.youtube.com/@MarkRober Kurzgesagt: https://www.youtube.com/@kurzgesagt Astrum: https://www.youtube.com/@astrumspace Computerphile: https://www.youtube.com/@Computerphile Two Bit Da Vinci: https://www.youtube.com/@TwoBitDaVinci Two Minute Papers: https://www.youtube.com/@TwoMinutePapers Prof. Sabine Hossenfelder: https://www.youtube.com/@SabineHossenfelder The Royal Institution: https://www.youtube.com/@TheRoyalInstitution
10/27/20231 hour, 19 minutes, 37 seconds
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Episode 177 - How did we get here and what’s next for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

In this episode, Uzair talks to Tuqa Nusairat about the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, its key drivers and the path forward. We also talked about the regional responses so far and how the Biden administration has engaged with key partners in recent days. Tuqa Nusairat is the director for strategy, operations, and finance at Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center & Middle East Programs. Since joining the Council in 2012, she has played a key role in shaping the direction and growth of the Council’s Middle East related programming, publications, outreach and development and has been instrumental in advancing relationships with vital stakeholders including donors, board members, and high-level contacts. In addition to managing a team of Washington-based fellows and staff, her research focuses on political reform, civil society, and human rights broadly in the region, with a special focus on Jordan. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:35 Contextualizing this moment 8:45 Hamas’ strategic calculus 12:40 Palestinian views right now 17:10 Regional situation 21:33 Scenarios to keep in mind 25:30 Biden admin’s response 32:30 China’s response 36:08 Reading recommendations Reading recommendations: - The Hundred Years' War on Palestine by Rashid Khalidi - I Saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti
10/20/202340 minutes, 5 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 176 - Reorienting the economy for sustainable growth

In this episode, Uzair talks to Zafar Masud about Pakistan’s economy, how to reduce cash in circulation, and why fiscal deficits are the core problem that need resolution. Zafar Masud is an international banker and entrepreneur currently serving as the President and CEO of The Bank of Punjab. Previously, he has been employed at senior positions by multinational banks across Pakistan and abroad. You can read the co-authored piece on cash economy here - https://www.dawn.com/news/1779399/comment-transitioning-away-from-a-cash-economy Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:10 Why is cash a problem? 21:50 Demonetization in Pakistan 31:44 Financial inclusion 42:30 Debt restructuring 52:55 Charter of society 1:05:13 Reading recommendations Reading recommendations: - If God was a Banker by Ravi Subramanian - Gambling on Development by Stefan Dercon - Time for Socialism by Thomas Piketty - The Culture Map by Erin Meyer - In an Uncertain World by Robert Rubin
10/13/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 52 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 174 - Can Pakistan Deal with Climate Change?

Uzair talks to Zeeshan Salahuddin about the climate crisis and its impact on Pakistan. We focus on the fallout from the catastrophic floods in 2022, why the response was weak and the path forward for the country. Zeeshan is the Director for the Center for Regional and Global Connectivity (CRGC) at Tabadlab, a think tank and advisory services firm that works with businesses, international organisations, and governments to solve their most pressing challenges. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:30 Overview of the climate crisis 6:40 Capital needs and debt 13:24 Taxing to become client resilient 17:00 Youth involvement 23:25 Capacity issues in Pakistan 26:50 Role of finance 32:20 Focus for 2024 and beyond 44:00 Optimizing the economy 51:10 Conclusion
10/9/202353 minutes, 40 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 173 - LOKAL - Scaling an affordable tourism ecosystem

In this episode, Uzair talks to Asim Kidwai about Pakistan’s tourism sector and LOKAL, a startup that is helping scaling an affordable tourism ecosystem in the country. We talk about his journey as an entrepreneur, how the startup is growing its presence across Pakistan, and the company’s expansion plans for the GCC. Asim Kidwai is co-founder and CEO at LOKAL. He graduated from the University of Michigan and was part of the initial team at Kia Motors that was setting up their first automotive assembly plant in Pakistan. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:30 About LOKAL 7:05 Modernizing hotels across Pakistan 11:30 State of the tourism industry 14:05 Market growth strategy 19:00 Hiring the right talent 22:45 Growing across Pakistan 30:05 Scaling in an economic crisis 33:55 Reading recommendations Reading recommendations - The Last days of Night by Graham Moore - World Travel: An Irreverent Guide by Anthony Bourdain and Laurie Woolever
9/22/202339 minutes, 2 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 172 - How Mexico Is Taking Advantage of the US-China Competition

In this episode we talk about Mexico’s ongoing economic growth story, which has taken off due to increasing investments in light of the US-China competition. Uzair talks to Beatriz Navarro about what’s going on in the country, its politics, and the expectations around the upcoming elections. Beatriz is a lawyer and international public affairs specialist. She also served as an appointed diplomat at the Mexican Embassy in the United States. She currently serves as Senior Public Sector Specialist for the World Bank Group. Beatriz has published several articles for the Inter-American Development Bank on accountability and social development in Latin America. Reading recommendations: - The labyrinth of solitude by Octavio Paz - Sapiens by Yuval Noah Hariri - The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:20 Why are companies investing in Mexico? 11:50 AMLO and his politics 41:20 Growing role of military in Mexico 50:09 Electoral outlook 58:10 Reading recommendations
9/15/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 18 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 171 - How to deal with the power, smuggling, and dollar crisis

In this episode, Uzair talks to Ammar Khan about the ongoing electricity and dollar crises in the country. We also touch on ways to resolve these issues and why they are linked to competence and willingness to make decisions. Ammar has written extensively on these topics and you can read some of his pieces using the links below: - https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=ammar+khan+atlantic+council+infrastructure&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 - https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1104195-how-to-make-electricity-affordable - https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1106254-need-for-radical-ideas Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:30 Understanding the power crisis 17:34 Dollar rate and smuggling 26:30 Demonetization and disrupting the system 35:14 NICVD and healthcare
9/8/202340 minutes, 53 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 170 - Why did the dollar cross 300 rupees?

In this episode, Uzair talks to Khurram Husain about what is going on with the rupee and why money supply growth is actually the real driver of the ongoing weakness of the currency. We also talk about why Khurram has a bleak outlook for the economy, what it will take to stop the vicious cycle, and his views on the SIFC. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:25 What is causing PKR weakness? 20:15 Political impact of the adjustment 27:00 How to stop the vicious cycle? 34:40 Views on SIFC 41:10 Conclusion
8/25/202344 minutes, 50 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 169 - Afghanistan After 2 Years of Taliban Rule

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Asfandyar Mir about the evolving political and security situation in Afghanistan. We also talked about the terror landscape in the country and its impact on regional powers. Finally, we talked about the growing terror threat in Pakistan and why the Afghan Taliban have been unwilling to stop the TTP from using Afghan soil to target Pakistsan. Dr. Mir is a senior expert in the South Asia program at USIP and his research interests include the international relations of South Asia, U.S. counterterrorism policy and political violence — with a regional focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan. You can read his article here - https://www.usip.org/publications/2023/08/two-years-under-taliban-afghanistan-terrorist-safe-haven-once-again Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:50 The overall situation in Afghanistan 18:50 The terror landscape in the region 38:45 Why is the TTP finding havens? 46:40 Reasons for confusion in Pakistan 57:20 Politics in Pakistan and its impact
8/18/20231 hour, 7 minutes, 33 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 168 - Assessing the Outgoing Parliament

In this episode, Uzair talks to Ammar Ali Jan about the last five years of democratic rule in Pakistan, the outlook for the next twelve months, and why the country is likely to face growing instability. We also talked about Ammar’s own political work in Lahore and why left-wing politics is necessary as an alternative means to engage people at the grassroots level. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:20 Democratic backsliding in Pakistan 14:30 Outlook for the next 12 months 21:16 The left’s political agenda 34:40 Culture of resistance in Pakistan 40:10 Reading recommendations Reading Recommendations - How China Escaped Shock Therapy by Isabella Weber
8/11/202343 minutes, 28 seconds
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Tabadlab Tabadlab Pakistonomy - Episode 167 - Startup Ecosystem Update

In this episode, Uzair talks to Mutaher Khan about the state of Pakistan’s startup ecosystem and the outlook for the next 12-18 months. Mutaher is a technology and business journalist, and co-founder of Data Darbar. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:45 State of the ecosystem 18:18 Why did big startups collapse? 29:05 Talent demand for tech 40:50 Impact of legislation and policy 52:20 Outlook for next 12 months 1:01:50 Reading recommendations Reading recommendations: - India Wins Freedom by Maulana Azad - Cornered Tiger by Adam Licudi and Wasim Raja - Patras Kay Mazameen by Patras Bokhari
8/4/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 14 seconds
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Tabadlab Pakistonomy - Episode 166 - Human-Healthcare: World Class Healthcare At Your Doorstep

Access to quality healthcare is a major challenge across Pakistan. This is especially true for those of us who are abroad and need to find quality healthcare for our loved ones back home. Human-Healthcare aims to solve this problem, providing a one-stop concierge service for healthcare needs in the country. In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Atif Zafar about the startup, how and why it was founded, and the ways in which it is providing quality care in the country. We also talked about some of the challenges the team has faced, and the plans for growth. Atif Zafar is a physician leader originally from Karachi, Pakistan. He is trained in the US including at the Cleveland Clinic. He is currently working as the chief of the stroke program at a major university hospital in Toronto. He is also a faculty, teaching medical students, residents, and fellows at the University of Toronto. He has built clinical programs both in the US and Canada. His latest effort is very unique. The startup human-healthcare.com has been launched in Karachi where overseas Pakistanis can get their family experience VIP medical care at home under the supervision of US, UK, and Canada-based specialists. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:30 Vision and mission 11:45 What has worked and not worked? 19:10 Recruiting talent and building the ecosystem 24:10 How to get their services? 35:10 Providing specialist services to patients 41:20 Growth strategy 44:33 Reading recommendations Reading recommendations: - Antifragile by Nassim Taleb - Presuasion by Robert Cialdini - The Evolution of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod
7/28/202347 minutes, 15 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 165 - The Role of the International War Economy in Pakistan's Dysfunction

We have talked a lot about the role of Pakistani elites in the ongoing crises the country is facing, but not a whole lot on the role of the international order in influencing elite choices and Pakistan’s political economy. In this episode, Uzair talks to Azeema Cheema about the global drivers of Pakistan’s prolonged crises and the ways in which international actors have encouraged autocracy in the country. Azeema Cheema is a Founding Director at Verso Consulting, a Pakistan-based collective of practitioners, where she leads the portfolio on Conflict, Fragility and Violence. Azeema has over seventeen years of experience as a researcher with civil society organizations, governments and international organizations focusing on political economy, social cohesion, and conflict in Pakistan. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:00 Global elites and their role 15:15 War and Pakistan 24:20 Why didn’t Pakistan end up like Korea? 38:30 Current situation and scope for reform 49:46 Reading recommendations Reading recommendations: - Under the Gun: Political Parties and Violence in Pakistan by Nilofer Siddiqui - The Culture of Power and Governance in Pakistan by Ilhan Niaz
7/21/202351 minutes, 55 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 164 - India's Digital Data Protection Bill

In this episode, Uzair talks to Adnan Ansari about India’s Digital Data Protection Bill and what it means for internet users in the country. We also talked about the impact of this legislation on businesses and the investments India is looking to make in Digital Public Infrastructure. Adnan Ahmad Ansari is an Associate Vice President with The Asia Group’s South Asia Practice. Adnan brings extensive strategic advisory experience in helping clients advance their business and policy interests in India. Before joining TAG, Adnan was an Associate Vice President at 9.9 Insights, the independent strategic adviser to the Dentons Global Advisers-Albright Stonebridge Group in India. Adnan spent close to seven years at 9.9, working with Indian and international corporations across sectors. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:00 Background of this legislation 13:03 Key features of the Bill 25:00 Impact on tech companies 32:45 Mindset shift for companies 38:14 Other policy changes impact tech 45:36 India’s DPI strategy
7/15/202353 minutes, 40 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 163 - What comes after the IMF deal

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Fahd Ali about the recent deal Pakistan reached with the IMF and what comes next. We also talked at length about the taxation challenges in Pakistan, whether the country needs debt restructuring, and what he would like to see policymakers focus on in the next 12 months. Dr. Fahd Ali is Assistant Professor and Dean of Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences at the Information Technology University. Dr. Fahd Ali did his PhD in Economics from The New School for Social Research. He also has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, and two Masters in Economics from Lahore University of Management Sciences and University of Utah, respectively. His research interests lie in macroeconomics and economic history with political economy as theme common to both. Before joining the Information Technology University, he was working at Habib University as an assistant professor in their Social Development Policy and policy programme. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:15 The IMF deal 16:10 Taxation challenges 36:50 Debt restructuring 52:00 Priorities for next 12 months 1:09:10 Reading recommendations Reading recommendations: - The Wages of Destruction by Adam Tooze - Directorate S by Steve Coll
7/7/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 53 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 162 - India-US relations after Modi's DC visit

In this episode, Uzair talks to Ashok Malik about Modi’s visit to the United States and the future of US-India relations. We also talked about India’s foreign policy in the Middle East, and prospects of trade between India and Pakistan. Ashok Malik is a Partner at The Asia Group and Chair of its New Delhi-based subsidiary in India where he leads the firm’s in-market business strategy and services. Drawing on over 30 years of experience in government, media, and thought leadership Ashok is a recognized specialist on India’s policy landscape and the intersection of business and politics. Ashok advises clients on tailored strategies for market entry and expansion in India, enterprise level risk management and crisis mitigation. His areas of expertise include India’s foreign and trade policies and the government’s approach to international business, resilient supply chains and national capacities. Prior to joining TAG, Ashok served for three years (2019-22) as Policy Advisor/Additional Secretary in India’s Ministry of External Affairs. In that capacity, he worked closely with External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and others in the senior leadership of the Ministry to help shape and explain India’s foreign policy in a crucial and eventful period for the international system. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:30 Key takeaways from Modi’s US visit 25:46 India’s foreign policy in the Middle East 39:20 Future of India-Pakistan relations
6/30/202350 minutes, 28 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 161 - On Karachi, Journalism, and Digital Media

In this episode, Uzair talks to Mahim Maher about her career in journalism and digital media, what she found covering the problems of Karachi, and things that aspiring and young journalists should focus on. Mahim most recently served as a digital editor at Aaj and has several years of experience across multiple news organizations in Pakistan. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:50 Mahim’s career trajectory 11:43 What ails Karachi? 32:04 State of digital media in Pakistan 48:40 Advice for aspiring journalists Reading Recommendations: For giving yourself permission to write detail: White Noise by Don Delillo A Sport and Pastime by James Salter Anything by Ian McEwan For the nuts and bolts of journalism: Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why it Matters Now by Alan Rusbridger who oversaw The Guardian’s digital transformation Editor: An Inside Story of Newspapers by Max Hastings for what to look for in an editor or how to mould one’s principles to become one For deeper study of writing and editing: Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction by Jack Hart for an advanced study of how to approach longform in a sophisticated way The Accidental Life: An Editor’s Notes on Writing and Writers by Terry McDonell for behind the scenes wisdom on editing writers
6/23/202358 minutes, 10 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 160 - India's strategic competition with China

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Tanvi Madan about how India is dealing with a rising China and the current state of India-China relations. We also talked about what tensions between India and China mean for the country’s relations with the United States. Dr. Tanvi Madan is a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy in the Foreign Policy program, and director of The India Project at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Dr. Madan’s work explores India’s role in the world and its foreign policy, focusing in particular on India's relations with China and the United States. She also researches the U.S. and India’s approaches in the Indo-Pacific, as well as the development of interest-based coalitions, especially the Australia-India-Japan-U.S. Quad. Dr. Madan is the author of the book “Fateful Triangle: How China Shaped US-India Relations during the Cold War” Reading recommendations: - How China Sees India by Shyam Saran - The Long Game by Vijay Gokhale - Smoke and Mirrors by Pallavi Iyer - India’s China Challenge by Ananth Krishnan Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:10 Current state of affairs between India and China 9:20 India’s diplomacy around Chinese debt 16:55 Modi’s trip to Washington 25:15 Anti-Americanism in India 35:06 India’s diplomacy in East Asia 42:30 Trends to watch out for 50:05 Reading recommendations
6/16/202354 minutes, 39 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 159 - The Return of the Taliban: Afghanistan After the Americans Left

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Hassan Abbas about his latest book, The Return of the Taliban: Afghanistan After the Americans Left. Dr. Hassan Abbas is Distinguished Professor of International Relations at the Near East South Asia Strategic Studies Centre (NESA), National Defense University in Washington DC. He has also authored The Prophet’s Heir: The Life of Ali ibn Abi Talib (Yale University Press, March 2021), and The Taliban Revival (Yale University Press, June 2014), which chronicles the Taliban’s survival and resurgence after 2001, through firsthand research and interviews in the area. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:37 Why did Kabul fall so quickly? 18:28 How did the Taliban evolve? 33:42 Pakistan’s role and impact on the country 53:26 Global impact of Taliban’s resurgence 1:04:57 Political instability in Pakistan and ethnic issues
6/9/20231 hour, 21 minutes, 55 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 158 - On Deficits and Debt

In this episode, we dive deep into fiscal deficits in Pakistan and how they wreak economic havoc. In addition, we talk about the linkages between the fiscal deficit, higher interest rates, and external sector vulnerabilities. Dr. Derek H. C. Chen joined the World Bank in 2000 where he has held a number of positions. Currently, he is the Senior Economist for Pakistan, based at the World Bank office in Islamabad. He oversees the macroeconomics and fiscal programs and leads the production of various economic reports at the Islamabad office, including the most recent Pakistan Federal Public Expenditure Review 2023. You can read the Pakistan Federal Public Expenditure Review (PER) 2023 here - https://documents.worldbank.org/en/publication/documents-reports/documentdetail/099041223153536828#/P17507702d44490bd0bb660b4b60037e930 Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:30 Why are deficits so high? 8:50 Impact of these deficits 16:40 Links between economic instability and deficits 22:40 Government spending issues 26:10 Subsidies for the rich 32:20 Recommendations to solve this
6/8/202337 minutes, 59 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 157 - Where Does Pakistan's Democracy Go From Here?

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Ilhan Niaz about what is going on in Pakistan today and what we can learn from history to understand the present and what may come in the future. We also talked about why the political class is morally bankrupt, how the judiciary has ceded space, and why the military has been able to reassert itself in the country’s political economy. Dr. Niaz is chair of the history department at the Quaid-e-Azam University and author of several books, including The State During the British Raj: Imperial Governance in South Asia, 1700-1947. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 0:55 Understanding the present 8:10 How the military draws power 16:26 The supreme court’s role today 27:15 Maintaining unity among civilians 32:15 Has Khan awakened the masses? 40:37 Scenarios for the future 46:05 The role of geopolitical rents 50:54 Is Shehbaz the worst PM in history?
6/2/202354 minutes, 53 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 156 - Pakistan Stands One Step Closer to the Brink

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Ayyaz Malick about the ongoing crises in Pakistan and where he sees things going. Dr. Malick is a university lecturer, with research interests in Marxist and post-/anti-colonial theory. He has recently written a must-read essay on the ongoing crisis which can be read at the link below. https://jacobin.com/2023/05/imran-khan-arrest-pakistan-politics-crisis-military-alienation-ruling-class-oppression Tweet on military lands for agriculture - https://twitter.com/Benazir_Shah/status/1660897023531585539?s=20 Previous discussion with Ayyaz - https://youtu.be/_Qv0GrxM0-Y Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:40 Framework for understanding the crises 17:20 Shifting alliances and the importance of May 9 33:00 Why are PTI leaders leaving so quickly? 55:23 Role of the PDM parties in this and future scenarios 1:19:25 Can a savior like Khan save Pakistan? Reading Recommendations: - Antonio Gramsci - On the Southern Question (for understanding hegemony and how ruling classes rule) - Aijaz Ahmad - Lineages of the Present (for understanding Bonapartism, Bhuttoism, and fascism in South Asian politics) - Gyorgy Lukacs, History and Class Consciousness (for understanding structural blindness of ruling classes i.e. why elites cannot reform themselves)
5/26/20231 hour, 25 minutes, 44 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 155 - Special Series - Understanding the US-China Rivalry w/ Prof. Jane Golley

We continue our special series on the US-China strategic competition this week by looking at Australia’s evolving foreign policy with Professor Jane Golley. Professor Jane Golley is an economist at the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University (ANU). Jane is an ANU graduate (BEc, Hons, 1993). Jane's life-long interest in China began with a brief stint in the Asia Section of the Australian Commonwealth Treasury in 1993, before she left for the University of Oxford, where she wrote her Dphil thesis on 'The Dynamics of Chinese Regional Development: Market Nature, State Nurture'. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:50 The Australian view on China 11:08 Assessing Australia’s China policy 14:50 Technology and geoeconomics 23:15 Debt-trap diplomacy 31:30 Who wins this competition? 37:50 What should Global South countries do? 44:15 Key trends to watch for 48:20 Reading recommendations Reading Recommendations: - The China Choice by Hugh White - Fear of Abandonment by Allan Gyngell - No Enemies No Friends - Six Faces of Globalization by Anthea Roberts
5/19/202354 minutes, 40 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 154 - Special Series: Understanding the US-China Rivalry w/ Sameer Lalwani

We continue our special series on the US-China strategic competition this week by looking at the deepening military ties between Pakistan and China with Sameer Lalwani. Sameer Lalwani is a senior expert on South Asia at the U.S. Institute of Peace. He is also a non-resident senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. From 2015 to 2022, Dr. Lalwani was a senior fellow for Asia strategy and the director of the South Asia program at the Stimson Center. He has also spent time as an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and as a Stanton nuclear security postdoctoral fellow at the RAND Corporation. Sameer recently published a report titled A Threshold Alliance: The China-Pakistan Military Relationship which is a must-read: https://www.usip.org/publications/2023/03/threshold-alliance-china-pakistan-military-relationship Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:30 What is a threshold alliance? 4:50 Pakistan’s procurement of Chinese weapons 10:25 Where is the Pakistan-China relationship going? 19:30 China’s influence in Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea 29:40 Important trends to monitor 37:37 Reading recommendations
5/12/202339 minutes, 38 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 153 - Special Series: Understanding the US-China Rivalry w/ Andrew Small

Over the next few episodes, we are going to be focusing on the US-China rivalry and what it means for the world. In addition, we will try to bring to the forefront a diverse set of views on this rivalry and what key actors are concerned about and trying to do. To start things off, I spoke to Andrew Small on China’s rise, what are the key things concerning countries in East Asia, and where he sees things going. Andrew Small is a senior transatlantic fellow with GMF's Indo-Pacific Program, which he established in 2006. His research focuses on U.S.–China relations, Europe–China relations, Chinese policy in South Asia, and broader developments in China's foreign and economic policy. He is the author of The Rupture: China and the Global Race for the Future, which was named one of the 2022 Financial Times Politics Books of the Year, and The China-Pakistan Axis: Asia's New Geopolitics. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:50 China’s rise and key concerns 10:00 Military escalation in East Asia 21:37 Assessing Washington’s approach 32:10 Emerging markets, debt, and Chinese influence 40:20 What should South Asia pay attention to? 48:06 Reading recommendations
5/5/202352 minutes, 15 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 152 - Why are poultry and meat products becoming expensive?

In this episode, we talk about the meat industry in Pakistan, key components of this sector, and why meat prices are going up in the country. Suleman Anwar joined us to share his insights on these topics, what a roadmap for reforms should look like, and why price caps will not work. Suleman is a six-sigma trained business development & turnaround professional, successful at driving sustainable top-line growth, improving customer retention rates, and continuous bottom-line improvements. After extensive corporate sector work for +14 years with international brands, in 2017 he started his entrepreneurial journey and co-founded three successful startups. He is also a member of SBN ExCom for Pakistan under the umbrella of the Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives and has been a member of the working group of the State Bank of Pakistan on special initiatives. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:45 Key components of the meat value chain 12:20 Synergies in agriculture sector 30:30 Cold storage and dairy supply chain 40:50 Role of incentives in policy 46:50 McDonalds in India 52:00 Contracts and property rights 57:28 Key reasons for meat inflation 1:05:20 Roadmap for change 1:13:15 Reading recommendations Reading Recommendations: - Char Admi by Amjad Saqib - Getting Things Done by David Allen - Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger Readings for McDonalds in India: - https://mcdonaldsblog.in/2016/10/20-years-the-potato-revolution/ - https://www.forbesindia.com/article/my-learnings/in-search-of-the-perfect-potato-mcdonalds-in-india/21052/1 - https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/cons-products/food/we-source-all-our-ingredients-locally-mcdonalds-india/articleshow/17480753.cms?from=mdr
4/30/20231 hour, 16 minutes, 7 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 151 - Visa: Digitizing Payments and Promoting Financial Inclusion

In this episode, Uzair talks to Leila Serhan about Visa’s strategy, role, and mission for digitizing payments and promoting financial inclusion in Pakistan. We talk about how the company views Pakistan’s market, what it is doing to have a meaningful impact in the country, and ways in which digitization of payments can be accelerated in Pakistan. Leila Serhan is the Group Country Manager and Senior Vice President for NALP. Leila brings more than two decades experience of leadership positions, including 20 years gained at Microsoft. Leila most recently led Microsoft’s public sector business across the Gulf region, and previously served as General Manager for its operations across North Africa, East Mediterranean, and Pakistan. She previously held roles spanning country management, finance and marketing and has driven public and private sector digital transformation initiatives in finance, government and education. Leila is a strong advocate for women’s empowerment, founding and currently serving as President for the Women in IT Association in Lebanon. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:30 Visa’s business and core competencies 8:50 Barriers to financial inclusion 18:40 Visa’s impact strategy in Pakistan 23:06 Digital public infrastructure 32:40 Reading recommendations Reading recommendations: - How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie - Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt - A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles
4/14/202337 minutes, 6 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 150 - USF: Taking the internet to the last mile

We talk about the role access to the internet can play in transforming Pakistan’s economy, promote inclusion, and really empower those who are on the periphery of Pakistan’s political economy. The Universal Service Fund (USF) has been doing some phenomenal work on this topic, and Haaris Mahmood Chaudhry, who currently serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of USF, joins us to share what his organization is up to to promote access to the internet. Haaris has over 20 years of global experience in the private and public sector, with a particular focus in telecoms and finance. You should also follow USF on Twitter @USF_Pak. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:30 USF’s mandate and mission 10:20 Scaling internet infrastructure in Pakistan 15:30 Barriers to access in the ecosystem 22:30 Scaling pilot projects 28:10 Impact of access to internet
4/7/202333 minutes, 27 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 149 - Is the US on the brink of another financial crisis?

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Aaron L. Jackson about the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the strains we are seeing in the US banking sector. We also talk about rising rates, why the Fed is being so aggressive, and the outlook for inflation and the US economy. Aaron L. Jackson is the Senior Associate Dean of Business, and Professor of Economics at Bentley University, where he has also served as Chair of the Economics department. Aaron’s academic interests in teaching and research focus on macroeconomics and monetary policy. He has publications in a number of journals including Applied Economics, the Journal of Macroeconomics, Economic Inquiry, Review of World Economics, and Macroeconomic Dynamics, among others. Aaron has periodically provided expert commentary on monetary policy and the macroeconomy to various media both locally and nationally. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:00 The financial crisis and its implications 15:00 Inflation and asset prices 21:32 Inflationary pressures and higher rates 37:00 SVB’s collapse and bank runs 49:15 Conclusion
3/31/202355 minutes, 27 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 148 - Bridging the gap between talent and companies

Uzair talks to Usama Nini, co-founder of Qureos, a startup changing how people connect, learn and work. The team is on a mission to accelerate 100 million careers by matching talent to mentors, projects and job opportunities. In this episode, we talk about Usama’s own journey, what Qureos is looking to do, and how technology is helping reduce friction in the jobs market. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:30 Mission and vision 18:30 Growth and investment goals 24:20 What should people focus on early in their careers? 39:15 Reading recommendations
3/24/202344 minutes, 29 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 147 - Does Pakistan need to restructure its debt

In this episode, we talk about Pakistan’s debt problems, how much it needs to repay in the near future, and whether the country needs debt restructuring. We also talk about some of the ways in which debt management needs to improve in the country. Joining me for this conversation is Uzair Aqeel, who has 15+ years of experience in international debt markets, including structured credit and distressed debt. He was previously at Deutsche Bank in London, where he was global head of distribution for complex emerging market products, overseeing the firm’s largest institutional client relationships. His team raised billions of dollars in debt for emerging market borrowers, including stressed sovereigns like Ukraine, Egypt and Argentina. He is now the managing partner of Nairang Capital, a private markets investor focused on emerging & frontier markets. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:45 What are Pakistan’s debt repayment obligations? 9:25 Does Pakistan need debt restructuring? 27:30 Why is debt restructuring not a panacea? 36:00 How do improve debt management?
3/17/202344 minutes, 56 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 146 - A roadmap for sustaining post-crisis growth in Pakistan

In this episode, Uzair talks to Gonzalo Varela about the World Bank’s most recent report on Pakistan’s economy and its key findings. We talk about how distortions caused by tax policy, inefficient pricing of inputs and products, and curbs on imports are stagnating growth in the country. We also talk about the benefits of improving the economic inclusion of women in the country and its near- and long-term consequences on the broader political economy. Finally, we also lay out the sequence of key reforms that must be considered by a government to rebuild from the ongoing crisis. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:55 Key findings from the report 17:50 Distortions in the wheat market 27:45 Sovereign’s borrowing and impact on investment 43:10 Women’s role in economic growth 51:00 Sequence and nature of reforms You can read the full World Bank report here - https://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/099820410112267354/pdf/P1749040fc80a70ca0b6f70f7860c4a1034.pdf
3/10/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 11 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 145 - What's going on at the Supreme Court?

In this episode, Uzair talks to Abdul Moiz Jaferii about the ongoing hearings in the Supreme Court, which has intervened to ensure that elections are held as per the constitution. We talked about the process that led to the hearings in the Supreme Court, the split in the bench, and the medium-term outlook for the superior judiciary. Abdul Moiz Jaferii is a lawyer and tweets @jaferii. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:45 Why did the courts intervene for elections? 19:20 What happens if the government does not comply? 25:30 Split in the superior judiciary 36:10 Reko diq case and its end
3/3/202344 minutes, 25 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 144 - India's Notice to Amend the Indus Waters Treaty

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Erum Sattar about the Indus Waters Treaty, its history, and India's notice to amend the agreement. We dive deep into some of the capacity constraints on the Pakistani side and why we should be paying attention to ongoing events related to the treaty. Dr.Erum Sattar is the Former Program Director of the Sustainable Water Management Program and a Lecturer at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University.
2/24/202356 minutes, 47 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 143 - PostEx: Powering Commerce in Pakistan

We take a step back from the coverage of the economic crisis and ongoing negotiation and focus on emerging businesses that are the future of the economy, In this episode, Uzair talks to Omer Khan, founder and CEO of PostEx, Pakistan’s largest e-commerce service provider. PostEx is offering easy access to capital with embedded logistics and Uzair and Omer talk about the company’s vision, what it takes to solve for issues faced by small businesses, and how young adults can succeed at startups and founding their own businesses. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:20 What is PostEx? 10:45 Credit, trust, and small business 22:30 Formalizing and digitizing payments 29:30 Why cash is king? 35:30 Failing and entrepreneurship 39:50 Where is the startup ecosystem headed?
2/17/202345 minutes, 57 seconds
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Ruling elites are sleepwalking into a disaster

In this episode, Uzair talks to Ali Khizar about the ongoing negotiations with the IMF, the path forward, and why consensus is needed to rescue the economy. We also talk about debt restructuring, why the last few months have destroyed Pakistan’s credibility, and the broader challenges confronting the economy even after an IMF program is put back on track. Ali Khizar is a business journalist who frequently writes for Business Recorder. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 0:45 Why did the IMF deal did not happen? 24:00 Debt restructuring needs 34:30 Political crisis and economic stability
2/10/202346 minutes, 21 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 141 - What comes after the IMF?

In this episode, Uzair talks to Khurram Husain about the latest economic developments in Pakistan, focusing on the ongoing negotiations with the IMF. We also talk about why this time feels different, with not a whole lot of optimism for the economy and its future. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 0:55 IMF negotiations 21:35 Can the economy stabilize even with the IMF? 27:30 The role of the central bank 34:00 Why this crisis is different
2/3/202347 minutes, 4 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 140 - Economic meltdown, restructuring debt, and rebuilding Pakistan

In this episode, Uzair talks to Ali Farid Khwaja about the economic chaos in Pakistan and the collapse of the rupee. We also talk about why restructuring is necessary and how that process would work. Finally, we also touch on the startup community and takeaways from Paklaunch’s Unconference, which was recently held in Dubai. Ali Farid Khwaja is Chairman of KTrade Securities and has over a decade of experience in the technology and financial sectors. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:30 Devaluation of the rupee and debt restructuring 15:30 Why has selective default happened? 24:30 Economic discourse and role of politics 31:10 Gravity of the situation 34:43 Takeaways from Paklaunch Unconference 40:19 Saving and investing for the long-term 44:30 Need for honesty
1/27/202347 minutes, 28 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Special Episode - Understanding Pakistan's Economy

In this presentation, Uzair talks through a presentation on the economic crises in Pakistan, their causes, and the implication of not resolving the crisis through structural reforms.
1/22/202329 minutes, 53 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 139 - Chip wars & Pakistan’s semiconductor potential

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Naveed Sherwani about the global semiconductor industry, how geopolitics is affecting what is an extremely interconnected supply chain, and Pakistan’s potential in this space. Dr. Naveed Sherwani is Chairman, President, and CEO of Rapid Silicon, which was launched in 2021. Rapid Silicon’s goal is to promote, adopt and implement open source tech to address the low- to mid-range FPGA market. Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA), or integrated circuits sold off-the-shelf. He is a well-known semiconductor industry veteran with over 35 years of entrepreneurial, engineering, and management experience. He is widely recognized as an innovator and leader in the field of design automation of ASICs and microprocessors. Dr. Sherwani has founded or co-founded over fifteen silicon companies including Intel Microelectronics Services, Open-Silicon, and others. The companies collectively have a valuation of over $4.5B. Reading Recommendations: - Talent is overrated by Geoffrey Colvin - Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:30 State of the global semiconductor ecosystem 13:50 US-China competition 30:00 Pakistan’s potential in this space 40:10 Ongoing developments in Pakistan’s ecosystem 54:35 Reading recommendations You can read the semiconductor plan here - https://paklaunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Pakistan-National-Semiconductor-Plan-PNSP-1.pdf
1/20/20231 hour, 34 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 138 - The path out of Pakistan's economic crisis

In this episode, we continue our focus on Pakistan’s economic crisis and discuss the way out of it with Dr. Ahmed Pirzada. Dr. Ahmed Pirzada is an Assistant Professor at the University of Bristol, UK. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK, and the Chair of the independent Economic Advisory Group (EAG), Pakistan. He specialises in macroeconomics with a focus in monetary policy, and the conversation dives a bit deeper into what he sees as the main drivers of the crisis, the way out of it, and why debt restructuring may be a decent option. You should read the EAG’s latest press release on this at this link: https://eag.org.pk/eag-advises-debt-restructuring-and-warns-against-import-substitution-policies/ Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:20 What caused this crisis? 19:37 What decisions exacerbated the crisis recently? 28:30 Distorted exchange rate 35:21 Debt restructuring need 45:30 Painful adjustments in the economy 51:11 Reading recommendations Reading Recommendations: - This time is different by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff - Quantum Enigma by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner - The history of western philosophy by Bertrand Russell
1/13/202355 minutes, 36 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 137 - Pakistan Economic Outlook 2023

In the first episode of 2023, Uzair talks to regular guest Ammar H. Khan about the economic situation in Pakistan and the outlook for 2023. We talked about why the Dar Peg is so dangerous, why people keep ignoring economic fundamentals to run Pakistan’s economy, and the path forward. Reading Recommendations: - The Prize by Daniel Yergin - World for Sale by Javier Blas Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 0:50 Current economic situation 8:00 Why is the Dar Peg so dangerous? 20:30 Will decent policies be made in 2023? 23:28 Energy conservation plan of the PDM 28:00 Bright spots in the economy 37:10 Global themes to watch for 40:45 Reading recommendations
1/6/202343 minutes, 48 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 136 - Military Intervention, Politics, and the Birth of Bangladesh

In this episode, Uzair talks to Shuja Nawaz about 1971 and the events leading up to the birth of Bangladesh. Shuja talks about the political, military, and economic crisis in what was then East Pakistan, the missed opportunities to politically settle the issue, and the disastrous military strategy deployed by Yahya and his cabal. Shuja Nawaz, a native of Pakistan, was made the first director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council in January 2009. He is currently a distinguished fellow at the Center. A political and strategic analyst, Mr. Nawaz writes for leading newspapers and websites and speaks on current topics before civic groups, at think tanks, and on radio and television worldwide. He was a newscaster and news and current affairs producer for Pakistan Television from 1967 to 1972 and covered the western front of the 1971 war between Pakistan and India. He is the author of The Battle for Pakistan: The Bitter US Friendship and a Tough Neighbourhood (Penguin Random House, 2019 and Rowman & Littlefield 2020), and Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army, and the Wars Within (Oxford University Press 2008 and 2017). Reading Recommendations: The Transformation of War by Martin van Creveld War from the Ground Up by Emile Simpson Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:20 Why is December 16 an important day? 6:20 Was 1971 the result of a political failure? 17:12 Bhutto, America, and Racism 36:50 Fallout of the surrender in Dhaka 44:16 Have we learnt anything from 1971? 48:27 What current crisis in Pakistan 57:38 Reading recommendations
12/16/202259 minutes, 33 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 135 - Can Made in Pakistan Save the Country from Default?

In this episode, Uzair talks to Yousuf Farooq about his experience running a manufacturing business in Pakistan, why free markets are the need of the hour, and the effect of government interventions in creating distortions that ultimately harm companies like his. Yousuf is the director of Elite Lighting, a company that is making products in Pakistan that are competitive in the market. He is also CEO of Oqaab Capital and has a wealth of experience in financial markets. You can follow Yousuf on Twitter @YousufMFarooq Reading Recommendations: - Influence: Science and Practice by Robert Cialdini - The Most Important Thing by Howard Marks - The Dhandho Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns by Mohnish Pabrai Yousuf also recommends that folks watch this talk by Charlie Munger - https://youtu.be/zNxsAhc6sk8
12/10/20221 hour, 23 seconds
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Is Pakistan Going to Default?

In this episode, our regular guest Khurram Husain joins Uzair to talk about the state of Pakistan’s economy, the status of the IMF program, why the exchange rate is under pressure, and the fight between Dar and Miftah. Khurram is a business and economy journalist and he shares his thoughts with Uzair on the outlook for the IMF program and why Pakistan’s economy is going to face more volatility in the coming weeks and months. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:10 Will Pakistan default? 5:30 Exchange rate issues 12:10 Afghanistan and dollar demand 20:10 Where did the IMF program go south? 36:40 Dar v. Miftah
12/3/202241 minutes, 47 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 133 - Karachi's Water Crisis

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Erum Haider about her research on Karachi's water crisis. We talk about how people in the city get access to water, how this is a regressive system, and what are the political implications of this crisis. Dr. Erum Haider is an Assistant Professor in Political Science and Environmental Studies at the College of Wooster. Dr. Haider received her PhD from Georgetown University, Department of Government in 2020. She is currently a Research Fellow at the Mahbub ul Haq Research Center in Lahore, Pakistan and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, DC. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:30 How do citizens get their water? 10:10 Regressive impact of water pricing 16:10 Political impact of the crisis 23:10 Is this leading to a grassroots movement? 32:20 Can Karachi force Sindh government to change? 43:10 How to change these structures? 49:10 Reading recommendations You can read the blogpost about the reserach here - https://www.theigc.org/blog/line-tanker-tube-well-water-and-the-politics-of-hybrid-service-delivery-in-karachi/ Reading recommendations: - Pakistan's Political Parties: Surviving between Dictatorship and Democracy by Mariam Mufti, Sahar Shafqat, and Niloufer Siddiqui - In Search of Lost Glory: Sindhi Nationalism in Pakistan by Asma Faiz - The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka
11/25/202254 minutes
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Pakistonomy - Episode 132 -Disrupting the Economy with Venture Capital

Venture capital is the fuel that powers an economy's innovation ecosystem, disrupting the old way of doing business and generating growth. In this episode, Uzair talks to Mohamed Eissa about the IFC's perspective on venture capital and the role the IFC is looking to play in Pakistan. Eissa talked about why Pakistan is an attractive market, what investments the IFC is going to make in the near-term, and why failure should be celebrated. Mohamed leads IFC’s Global Venture Capital and Direct Investments group. As a member of the investment committee, he leads a team of investment professionals in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern and Central Europe, South Asia and Asia-Pacific region. IFC’s portfolio investments include venture capital funds and direct investments in disruptive startups in over 30 countries. Prior to IFC, he led technology investments at Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) – a joint fund with equal ownership by the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries’ sovereign wealth funds. Mohamed also held operational roles in technology in the US as well as venture capital investments at Bell Labs’ New Ventures Group. Mohamed holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Reading recommendations: - The Greatest: My Own Story by Muhammad Ali and Richard Durham - Deep Simplicity: Bringing Order to Chaos and Complexity by John Gribbin - A Path Forward for Sharing the Nile Water: Sustainable, Smart, Equitable, Incremental by Elfatih Eltahir Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:00 Global VC Outlook 10:00 VC’s role in Pakistan’s economy 17:55 IFC’s VC role in Pakistan 26:36 How to turbocharge the tech ecosystem 31:50 IFC’s investment strategy in Pakistan 35:10 Innovating through failure 39:40 Inclusion in entrepreneurship 44:50 Reading recommendations
11/18/202249 minutes, 56 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 131 - The Global Economic Outlook

In this episode, Uzair talks to Marcello Estevão, who is the Global Director of the World Bank Group’s Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice (MTI). Marcello shares his perspective about the global economic outlook, why inflation is here to stay for a while, and what countries like Pakistan can do to navigate this tricky period. Marcello leads a large team of country economists, macroeconomists, and fiscal policy, debt, and macro-modeling experts. He is responsible for overseeing the delivery of the global analytical work on macroeconomics, fiscal policy, and debt policy; for coordinating the strategic direction of MTI and implementing it; for helping to shape and oversee MTI’s country/regional programs; and for mobilizing staff to work more effectively across Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) and other Global Practices. Reading Recommendations: - A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean - The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway - The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money by John Maynard Keynes Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:30 Where is the global economy today? 10:40 How do emerging markets navigate this? 16:40 Dealing with dollar debt 21:40 Will inflation come down soon? 27:05 Countries that have done well
11/10/202233 minutes, 17 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 130 - Digital Media Freedoms in Pakistan

The brutal murder of Arshad Sharif in Kenya has once again raised questins about free expression in Pakistan. While the details about the murder still remain murky, it is important to talk about how the state and its institutions exert influence over expression, particularly in the digital media domain. In this episode, Uzair talks to Ramsha Jahangir about digital media freedoms in Pakistan. Ramsha Jahangir is an award-winning journalist and an Erasmus Mundus scholar. Ramsha has extensively reported on the intersection of technology and human rights in Pakistan, focusing on disinformation, internet regulation, and digital politics. She is currently working at Global Network Initiative (GNI) as a senior policy and communications associate. She tweets @ramshajahangir. Reading Recommendations: - The People Vs Tech: How the Internet is Killing Democracy (and how We Save It) by Jamie Bartlett - The Death of the Gods: The New Global Power Grab by Carl Miller Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 3:30 Ways to curb free expression 10:20 Where do things go from here? 16:20 Why are journalists on the periphery ignored? 19:50 How different is Pakistan? 25:10 What are better models in terms of policy? 33:10 Policy and investment in tech 38:00 Should we be hopeful? 42:40 Reading recommendations
10/28/202244 minutes, 20 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 129 - Are Pakistan's Nukes Safe?

The recent comments by US President Joe Biden set off a short-lived firestorm in Pakistan, while also bringing front and center Pakistan's nuclear program and the safety of its weapons. In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Christopher Clary about Pakistan's nuclear weapons and their safety, discussing what the risks are and how Pakistan has invested in securing its nuclear weapons. Dr. Christopher Clary is an Assistant Professor of Political Science University at Albany. His research focuses on the sources of cooperation in interstate rivalries, the causes and consequences of nuclear proliferation, U.S. defense policy, and the politics of South Asia. Reading Recommendations: - Eating Grass by Feroz H. Khan - Pakistan’s Pathway to the Bomb by Mansoor Ahmed - The Limits of Safety by Scott Sagan Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:10 Remarks by Biden 5:40 Recent developments around nukes 10:10 Political instability and nuclear safety 15:00 AQ Khan’s role 23:20 Changes after AQ Khan 33:30 Are there any concerns? 39:30 Is Pakistan too big to fail? 45:00 Impact of Biden’s statement on US-Pakistan relations 49:30 Reading recommendations
10/21/202253 minutes, 3 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 128 - Why Are Iranians Protesting?

Iran has been rocked by protests, which are currently in their fourth week. Nearly 200 people have died and thousands injured. Sparked by the brutal killing of Mahsa Amini, these protests are a sign that all is not well in the country. In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Neda Bolourchi about what is going on in Iran and the path forward for the country. Dr. Neda Balourchi is Associate Director and Post Doctoral Associate, Middle Eastern Studies Program at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on the roles of religion, race, and secularism in the formation of Middle Eastern nation-states. Reading Recommendations: - Khomeinism: Essays on the Islamic Republic by Ervand Abrahamian - Female Religious Authority in Shi'i Islam: Past and Present by Mirjam Kunkler - Staging a Revolution: The Art of Persuasion in the Islamic Republic of Iran by Peter Chelkowski Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:20 What’s going on in Iran? 8:00 Underlying factors behind the protests 15:30 Why are younger Iranians angry? 25:00 Is the regime looking inwards? 29:00 Violence in Iranian Balochistan 37:30 International response 47:10 Should the international community do more? 54:30 What comes next? 1:00:23 Reading recommendations 1:07:20 Conclusion
10/14/20221 hour, 10 minutes, 27 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 127 - The Return of Ishaq Dar

We are back after a brief hiatus and in this episode, Uzair talks to Khurram Husain about the return of Ishaq Dar, who is already making headlines and "shouting down the dollar." We talk about what Dar's return means, the recent FX scandal casting a dark shadow over banks, and whether any political party has a serious plan to deal with the ongoing economic crisis. Khurram Husain is a business and economy journalist who most recently served as editor of Profit Magazine. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:20 What does Dar’s return mean? 22:40 Restructuring Chinese debt 33:30 Does the PTI have a plan? 40:20 Energy security strategy 43:40 The banks’ FX scandal 51:00 Why is the rupee appreciating? 59:20 Media’s love for Dar 1:02:00 Conclusion
10/7/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 51 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 126 - Floods, Governance, and Climate Change

Over 33 million people have been affected in the 2022 floods in Pakistan. The total estimated financial cost of damages and reconstruction is estimated to be over $16 billion, and this figure is going to rise in the coming days. In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Maira Hayat about this catastrophe, the need for solidarity among Global South countries, and the governance challenges that exist within Pakistan. Dr Maira Hayat is an assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame. This year she's a member of the institute for advanced study at Princeton. She did her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Chicago, and a BSc. at LUMS in 2008. Dr. Hayat conducts research at the intersection of bureaucracy, law, and the environment, drawing on ethnographic and archival methods. Her current book project is based on her doctoral dissertation, “Ecologies of Water Governance in Pakistan: The Colony, the Corporation and the Contemporary,” which won the 2019 S.S. Pirzada Annual Dissertation Prize for best dissertation on Pakistan. Reading recommendations: - Refashioning futures by David Scott - Anthropology & the Colonial Encounter by Talal Asad Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 3:30 Key events related to floods 14:00 Building global coalitions 20:40 Regional collaboration on climate change 28:00 What needs to change? 50:30 Governance v. climate change 57:30 Lack of capacity in Pakistan 1:04:40 Dual standards in international views 1:15:30 Reading recommendation
9/9/20221 hour, 18 minutes, 36 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 125 - Innovation & Speculation in Crypto

The speculative bubble around crypto and Web3 has popped, but the innovation in this sector continues. In this episode, Uzair talks to Arsalan Khan about the ongoing innovation in the sector, touching on what excites him, the state of technical talent in Pakistan, and what other jurisdictions are doing. Arsalan had been in conventional finance for over 12 years working as a stock broker in Pakistan. He has been involved in crypto since 2017 and switched to web3 since mid 2021. He is currently working as a Research Analyst for Zignaly which is a social investment platform in the crypto space. Reading recommendations: - The Infinite Machine by Camila Russo - Blockchain Wars by Evan McFarland - DeFi and the Future of Finance by Ashwin Ramachandran, Campbell Harvey, and Joey Santoro Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:30 What does Zignaly do? 8:30 State of the crypto ecosystem today 26:00 Digital art and NFTs 30:50 Web3 talent in Pakistan 36:20 Innovative jurisdictions in the world 39:20 Portugal’s approach to new sectors 42:40 Rule of law and innovation 46:00 Reading recommendations
9/2/202251 minutes, 27 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 124 - Floods Wreak Havoc in Balochistan

Pakistan is underwater and its largest province in terms of land mass has been the hardest hit. In this episode, Uzair talks to Saad Dehwar Baloch about the current situation in the province, ongoing relief efforts, and the crisis of governance there. If you'd like to donate to flood relief in Pakistan, please consider the following organizations: https://www.facebook.com/wangorg/?ti=as https://images.dawn.com/news/1190723/help-people-affected-by-the-balochistan-floods-through-these-7-relief-organisations Sindh Education Alliance Baloch Youth Against Corona Saad Dehwar Baloch is a socio political activist hails from Quetta. He has a masters in International Relations from Iqra University Islamabad and his core interests are politics and governance. He has been engaged with numerous organizations since 2011 working on advocacy, pluralism, human rights, peace, education, and democracy plus former fellow with Swedish Institute, Pildat, Kettering Foundation. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:45 Current situation with the flooding 14:10 Ongoing relief work 20:30 Organizations that you can donate to 23:40 Political situation in Balochistan Reading Recommendations: - Musa se Marx Tak by Sibt-e- Hassan - Mazi kay Mazar by Sibt-e-Hassan - Tareekh aur Siyasat by Dr. Mubarak Ali
8/26/202236 minutes, 32 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 123 - Why is the Rupee so Volatile?

In this Urdu discussion, Uzair talks to Dr. Sajid Amin Javed about why the Pakistani rupee has been so volatile, the structural drivers of this weakness, and whether he believes the issues at hand go beyond the scope of economics. Dr. Javed is Deputy Executive Director at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) Pakistan. Prior to joining to SPDI, he was Senior Research Fellow and Assistant Professor at Department of Economics, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE). Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:45 What caused the sudden devaluation? 14:00 Impact of Afghanistan trade and stopping imports 25:20 Has anything changed structurally? 30:10 Impact of petrol subsidy 37:20 Impact of fiscal deficits on currency value 51:20 Are these economic policy issues? 1:05:00 Conclusion
8/19/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 23 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 122 - Unlocking Capital Access for Small Business

Small businesses are the backbone of any economy. When they thrive, the economy grows, opportunity and jobs are created, and a culture of bottom-up innovation takes hold. In Pakistan, MSMEs face a tough time getting access to growth capital. Karandaaz Capital is changing this and this episode dives deep into how this change is happening. Uzair talks to Navid Goraya, who is Chief Investment Officer at Karandaaz Capital. He has over 25 years of global experience in asset management, investment strategy, product development and corporate finance. Before joining Karandaaz as the CIO, he was leading a Strategic Advisory Firm, White Oak Advisors Inc, in New York where he was involved in serving private equity funds, family offices, banks and insurance companies in support of global investments in the US, Middle East, South East Asia and South Asia. Reading recommendations: - People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent by Joseph Stiglitz - How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need by Bill Gates
8/12/202249 minutes, 43 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 121 - Rupee's Decline and Risks of Default in Pakistan

Where is the rupee headed? Will Pakistan default? In this episode, Uzair talks to Shahrukh Wani about the ongoing crisis in Pakistan, why this is just the latest episode of a long-term crisis, and what needs to change to get out of this. Shahrukh Wani is an economist at the International Growth Centre’s Cities that Work initiative based at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. In this role, he supports evidence-based urban economic policy reforms across Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, mainly on public finance and governance. These have included collaborations with policymakers in Afghanistan, Uganda, Pakistan, and Zambia on a range of policy questions — such as on property tax design in Punjab and informal settlements in Lusaka. Shahrukh has also co-authored a variety of policy-focused papers, including on urban governance, transport, public-private partnerships, and taxation in developing countries. He also advises public policy projects such as the UK Government’s Global Future Cities Programme.
8/5/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 34 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 120 - Politics Continues to Dominate the Economy

The first episode of this year, way back in January 2022, discussed how politics will dominate the economy for the entirety of the year. In this episode, we take a look at how things have shaped up and what the path forward looks like for Pakistan’s chaotic and unstable political scene. This instability is having a disastrous impact on the country’s economy, and Uzair talks to Amber Rahim Shamsi about whether or not there is light at the end of the tunnel here. Amber Rahim Shamsi is Director of the Centre for Excellence in Journalism at the IBA and an award-winning multi-media journalist and free speech advocate, with wide-ranging experience in television, radio, online and the print media. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 2:00 What’s going on with politics today? 12:00 PML-N’s declining political capital 23:00 The military establishment’s role 33:40 Role of foreign allies as guarantors 41:50 The role of incentives in reaching compromise 51:10 Is Pakistan too big to fail?
7/29/202259 minutes, 58 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 119 - Is This The End of Pakistan's Startup Boom?

There has been a flurry of negative news regarding Pakistan's startup ecosystem, with the collapse of Airlift being the biggest story of them all. In this episode, Uzair talks to Ali Farid Khwaja about what led to this collapse, whether this is the end of the boom, and how entrepreneurs and investors should navigate this cycle. Ali Farid Khwaja is Chairman of KTrade Security and has over a decade of experience in the technology and financial sectors.
7/22/202239 minutes, 54 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 118 - Thar Coal and Pakistan's Energy Security

Energy security has been a pipe-dream for Pakistan, with the country facing numerous economic and energy crises over its history. At its core, the issue revolves around failure to tap into domestic sources of energy in a way that benefits the country's economy. In this episode, Uzair talks to Amir Iqbal about Thar Coal and its potential to improve Pakistan's energy security. While coal is indeed a dirty fossil fuel with environmental challenges, it is a cheap source of energy for many developed and developing countries in the world. Pakistan has failed to utilize its own coal deposits, meaning that the share of coal in the country's energy mix remains miniscule. Given today's global energy crisis, it is important for Pakistan to responsibly tap into its own coal resources to produce cheap power, which is critical to promoting economic and export competitiveness. But this does not mean ignoring the environmental challenges either, and a balanced, measured approach is necessary. Amir was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company and Thar Foundation on 8th October 2021. He has over 27 years of experience in general management and has led various teams in sales and marketing function across Pakistan, Australia, and Africa. In his prior roles he has served as the Chief Executive Officer for Engro Agritrade, Chief Commercials Officer for Engro Fertilizer and CEO & Managing Director for Bayer Pakistan. He also served as the adjunct faculty at the Lahore School of Management Sciences (LUMS). Reading Recommendations: - Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brene Brown - The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg - Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnemann
7/15/202244 minutes, 16 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 117 - Private Sector Credit, Growth, & Lazy Banking

Access to credit is critical is fueling economic growth, especially by helping promising small businesses scale up and become more efficient. In Pakistan, however, access to credit remains a major challenge, especially because of the crowding out effect, where the financial system finds it easier and more lucrative to lend to the sovereign, which runs high fiscal deficits. In this episode, Uzair talks to Namoos Zaheer about the link between access to private sector credit and growth. We also dive into why lazy banking makes the economic growth challenge much more complex in Pakistan, and how changing incentives and a fiscally prudent sovereign can help change the situation. Namoos Zaheer is a Senior Financial Sector Specialist and leads the World Bank’s financial sector development initiatives in Pakistan. She has led the World Bank’s efforts in developing the housing finance market in Pakistan, including through the establishment of the Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company. She also leads the Financial Inclusion Project which focuses on access to micro-finance and the promotion of SME finance. Her other areas of engagement are capital market development, digital finance and overall financial sector stability. Prior to this, Namoos worked in financial services in London. Reading Recommendations: - On Human Nature by E.O. Wilson - State of Anxiety by Alain de Botton
7/8/202245 minutes, 24 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 116 - Reforming Higher Education

Pakistan's higher education sector has been in a state of flux for a long time. From regular cuts to funding to scandals about paper mills, the story has not been great. On top of that, research funded by the HEC has not led to innovation on the commercial end, something a country like Pakistan sorely needs. In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, on what ails this sector, his vision for reforms, and the path forward. Dr Tariq Banuri holds a PhD from Harvard University and joined HEC as its fourth chairperson. He has extensive experience of working in academia, civil society and national as well as international organisations. He was the member of Steering Committee on Higher Education Reforms, the body that played a vital role in inception of HEC in 2002. He has also worked as Professor of Economics at University of Utah, USA. Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:30 What ails higher education today? 14:10 Where does the economy need research-led innovation? 25:50 Building industry-academia collaboration 30:30 Wishlist for reforms 35:50 Reading recommendation Reading Recommendations: - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig - Dominating Knowledge Edited by Frédérique Apffel Marglin and Stephen A. Marglin
7/1/202239 minutes, 35 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 115 - Building a Constituency for Reforms: A Conversation with Dr. Ahsan Iqbal

Over the course of this podcast, we have had dozens of conversations on the need to reform the economy. But while we all know the broad scope of reforms that are needed, there is not really a constituency for reforms, across the political aisle, in Pakistan. Dr. Ahsan Iqbal, who is a senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz and is currently the Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Reform, joins us in this episode to talk about his efforts to build this constituency for reforms. To begin this process, his ministry is organizing the Turnaround Pakistan Conference, whose goal is to engage with people across the spectrum to prioritize and build consensus on these reforms. Reading recommendations: - The Holy Quran with translation - Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey - The Anarchy by William Dalrymple
6/27/202249 minutes, 13 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 114 - Political Parties and Violence

Political violence has been a major issue facing Pakistan's flawed and floundering democracy for decades. From Karachi to South Punjab, political actors have overtly and covertly deployed violence to gain influence, votes, and power. But why do political actors use violence to achieve these goals? And what are ways to deal with this issue? In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Nilofer Siddiqui about political parties and violence. Dr. Siddiqui is an Assistant Professor at the University of Albany. She is also a Nonresident Fellow at the Stimson Center and a Fellow at the Mahbub ul Haq Centre at LUMS. She is author of the book Under the Gun: Political Parties and Violence in Pakistan, which examines why political parties engage in violence and the variation in violence strategies that they employ. Reading Recommendations: - We crossed a bridge and it trembled by Wendy Pearlman - No good men among the living by Anand Gopal - Bring the war home by Kathleen Belew
6/24/202249 minutes, 15 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 113 - The Climate and Food Crisis

A record-breaking heatwave has been wreaking havoc across the subcontinent, impact the wheat and mange harvest, setting fire to forests, and giving us a trailer of what climate change can do to our world. In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Erum Sattar of what is the latest research showing about where the world is headed and what actions governments and individuals must take to day to reduce the likelihood of the worst-case scenarios becoming a reality. Dr.Erum Sattar is the Program Director of the Sustainable Water Management Program and a Lecturer at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Elizabeth Haub School of Law, Pace University and has taught at Northeastern University School of Law, and the National University of Singapore School of Law where she taught the school’s first-ever course on water law and policy. Reading Recommendations: - Diplomacy and Capitalism: The Political Economy of U.S. Foreign Relations - Water: A Biography by Giulio Boccaletti - Invisible China: How the Urban-Rural Divide Threatens China’s Rise by Natalie Hell and Scott Rozelle - Metabolical: The truth about processed food and how it poisons people and the planet by Robert H. Lustig
6/18/202254 minutes, 42 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 112 - Weak Coalitions and Reforms

There is a widely-held belief that strong governments deliver reforms and sustainable growth. Research, however, shows otherwise. In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Irfan Nooruddin about his research on this topic, based on his must-read book Coalition Politics and Economic Development: Credibility and the Strength of Weak Governments. Dr. Nooruddin is is the senior director of the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and the Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Professor of Indian Politics in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Irfan conducts research in the political economy of development, trade, and investment, and the challenges of democratization in the 21st century. He is the author of The Everyday Crusade (Cambridge University Press, 2022), Elections in Hard Times (Cambridge University Press, 2016), Coalition Politics and Economic Development (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and more than thirty scholarly articles and book chapters. In 2012, he was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC., and is a Team Member of Lokniti: Programme in Comparative Democracy in New Delhi, India. He has a PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan and a BA in Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University. He was born and raised in Bombay, India. You can download his book from this link: https://www.coalitionpoliticsandeconomicdevelopment.com/chapters.html Reading recommendations: - Political Order in Changing Societies by Samuel Huntington - Democracy and Development by Adam Jaworski - Scientist: E. O. Wilson: A Life in Nature by Richard Rhodes
6/10/202245 minutes, 8 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 111 - What's Going on in Balochistan?

The situation in Balochistan has been complex for decades starting with the way in which Balochistan became part of Pakistan following independence in 1947. In recent months, the insurgency there has picked pace, but many forget that there are two insurgencies roiling the province. In addition, the economic situation is dire, with citizens facing abject poverty and a continued extractive approach to economic development. This episode is an Urdu conversation with Rafiullah Kakar, a public policy expert based in Quetta. Rafiullah writes a column for Dawn, which is a must-read. You can find his writings here: https://www.dawn.com/authors/8211/rafiullah-kakar Reading Recommendations: - Wretched of the Earth By Frantz Fanon - Justice by Michael Sandel - Islamic Exceptionalism by Shadi Hamid - Remotely Colonial by Nina Swidler
6/3/202256 minutes, 57 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 110 - Is This The End of Crypto?

Crypto is going through another winter with prices of all major crypto assets down sharply. There has also been the Luna collapse, which has raised a lot of questions about the future of the crypto and Web3 economy. In this episode, Uzair talks to Salahuddin Khawaja about what's going on in the crypto economy and how is he navigating the ongoing downturn. Salahuddin Khawaja is CEO of Hypermode, a crypto consulting firm - helping clients design, build, grow and transform in Web3.
5/27/202252 minutes, 44 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 109 - Why has the Dollar Crossed 200?

Pakistan’s economy is spiraling out of control with the rupee hitting a record low on a daily basis. What is driving this crisis and how can Pakistan get out of this tailspin? This episode focuses on the ongoing crisis, with Ammar H. Khan joining the podcast to offer his perspective on what is going on and the path forward. Ammar is a non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council, and is the Group Chief Risk Officer at Karandaaz Pakistan, a UK FCDO and BMGF backed entity that focuses on enabling access to finance for Small & Medium Enterprises, and digital financial inclusion. Previously, he has worked with the largest asset manager in Pakistan as a Chief Risk Officer, as well as at HSBC in varying roles in sovereign risk assessment, and credit risk. In addition, he has been a consultant to multiple energy projects, from coal mines to LNG power plants, and terminals, with an accumulated ticket size of more than US$10 billion. Having worked in projects across the energy value chain, Ammar has an in-depth understanding of the intricacies of the sector. He tweets at @rogueonomist.
5/20/202241 minutes, 35 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 108 - Assessing the State Bank of Pakistan

Pakistan's monetary policy has been the focus of attention over the last few years, particularly since Dr. Reza Baqir became governor in 2019. His three year tenure is up, which is a good time to assess the central bank and its performance. In this episode, Uzair talks to Ariba Shahid, a business journalist based in Pakistan, about the highs and lows of the SBP over the last few years.
5/13/202249 minutes, 23 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 107 - Foreign Policy Begins at Home | Conversation with Maleeha Lodhi

Uzair talks to Maleeha Lodhi about Pakistan's foreign policy and the repercussions of the regime change conspiracy theory. Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi most recently served as Pakistan's Representative to the United Nations. Previously, she served as Pakistan's envoy to the Court of St James' and twice as its ambassador to the United States.
5/6/202245 minutes, 24 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 106 - Imran Khan and the Real Foreign Conspiracy

There has been a lot of talk about a foreign conspiracy in Pakistan, particularly by former prime minister Imran Khan and his followers. While this conspiracy theory is outlandish and has been debunked by many experts, Khan and his followers continue to believe it. But is Khan really standing against up for Pakistan when it comes to pushing back against foreign powers that have exercised influenced over Pakistan over the decades? Or is this just political rhetoric? In this Urdu discussion, Uzair talks to Dr. Ayyaz Mallick about the structural underpinnings of Pakistan's society, politics, and economy and how these structures allow foreign powers to influence the country. Dr. Mallick is a Lecturer at the University of Liverpool and has a PhD from York University. Reading Recommendations: - On the Jewish Question by Karl Marx - The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte by Karl Marx - The Wretched of the Earth by Franz Fanon
4/22/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 27 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 105 - The Rise, Fall, & Possible Return of Imran Khan

A lot has happened in Pakistan over the last few weeks, with Imran Khan's government first creating a constitutional crisis and then losing power in a dramatic late-night vote in the National Assembly. But what does this mean for Pakistan's flawed and floundering democracy? And how should we view this moment in time from a historical perspective? In this episode, Uzair Younus talks to Dr. Ilhan Niaz, Head of the Department of History at the Quaid-e-Azam University, about the impact of ongoing events on Pakistan's political economy.
4/15/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 2 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 104 - Combating the Pandemic with Data

The COVID-19 pandemic, a once-in-a-century event, caused widespread socioeconomic upheaval in the world. In Pakistan, there were fears that the country would descend into chaos, but the country was able to navigate this crisis without realizing the worst-case scenarios. Credit for this goes to the Khan government and the NCOC, which did an excellent job coordinating the public health response to the pandemic. In this episode, Uzair talks to Maha Rehman and dives deeper into how a data-led approach helped deal with the crisis, and how collaboration across the border in India also played a role. Maha is a data analytics specialist and has almost a decade of experience in designing and executing evidence-based programs, products and policies to improve service delivery and impact. She has also setup the Analytics Wing at CERP that is focused on embedding data in the decisions and operations of private and public sector companies to increase efficiency, impact and profit. Prior to this, she has led research experiments at CERP and at World Bank in the fields of education, public finance and governance.
4/8/202246 minutes, 23 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 103 - State of the Startup Ecosystem

Uzair talks to Ambareen Baig about the state of Pakistan's startup ecosystem based on the findings of Invest2Innovate's recently released Pakistan Startup Ecosystem Report 2021. Ambareen Baig is a research professional well acquainted with the startup ecosystem in Pakistan. After starting out her career as an educator, she moved on as a Fulbright scholar for a masters in Educational Psychology from the University of Arizona (UofA). Other than teaching research methodologies at the undergraduate level at her alma mater, she also served as a Global Ambassador for international students at the UofA. She has worked on youth development projects in Pakistan through the School of Leadership (SoL) where she brought two UNICEF projects to fruition while spearheading SoL’s community space, the Hangout Space. Currently, she is working at invest2innovate (i2i) as Head of Insights where she gets to do what she loves inherently - data and research. In addition to coauthoring i2i's bimonthly data driven newsletter, she has authored/co-authored several publications at i2i including Pakistan Startup Ecosystem Report (2019), COVID & its Impact on Pakistani Startups (2020), KP Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Report (2021), and more. She loves to make an impact on the startup ecosystem in the country by bringing equity to the use and dissemination of data and information. You can find the complete report here: https://www.insightsi2i.com/pser-21 Reading Recommendations: - Kartography by Kamila Shamsie - Being Pakistani by Raza Rumi - Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Perez
4/1/202255 minutes, 34 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 102 - What's Going On In Sri Lanka

Uzair talks to Asanga Abeyagoonasekara about the ongoing political and economic crisis in Sri Lanka. Things have gone from bad to worse in the island nation, which is now suffering shortages of essential goods. Asanga explains how things spiralled out of control and the way out. Asanga Abeyagoonasekera is Senior Fellow at the Millennium Project and an international security analyst from Sri Lanka. He has led two government think tanks providing strategic advocacy in Sri Lanka and was the Founding Director General of the National Security Think Tank under the Ministry of Defence in the country. He is the author of Sri Lanka at Crossroads. Reading Recommendations: - The Long Game by Rush Doshi - On Thermonuclear War by Herman Kahn - The Fateful Triangle by Tanvi Madan
3/25/202253 minutes, 50 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 101 - Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

Uzair talks to Dr. Margarita Konaev about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, what prompted Putin to invade now, and the risks of urban warfare in the heart of Europe. Dr. Margarita Konaev is a Research Fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) interested in military applications of AI and Russian military innovation. Previously, she was a Non-Resident Fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point, a post-doctoral fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House. Her research on international security, armed conflict, non-state actors and urban warfare in the Middle East, Russia and Eurasia has been published by a whole host of publications, including the Journal of Strategic Studies, the Journal of Global Security Studies. Reading Recommendations: - A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya by Anna Politkovskaya
3/18/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 34 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 100 - Interloop Chairman Musadaq Zulqarnain

Uzair speaks with Musadaq Zulqarnain, Chairman of Interloop Limited, the largest Textile on the Pakistan Stock Exchange. Musadaq also serves on the board of Karandaaz, a not for profit organization promoting financial inclusion, sponsored by DFID(UKAid) and Bill Melinda Gates Foundation. He is also the President of Interloop Welfare Trust and Lyallpur Literary council. An ardent supporter of quality affordable education, Musadaq is actively associated with The Citizens Foundation (TCF), the largest not-for-profit organization providing education to underprivileged children in Pakistan. He has served on the Board of Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development & Management Company (FIEDMC) for 6 years and also held the position of its CEO. Musadaq has also been a Member of the Board of Port Qasim Authority. This episode is a major milestone for the podcast, so thank you to all of you for supporting and joining us in this journey. Reading Recommendations: - How China Became Capitalist by Ning Wang and Ronald Coase - Mr and Mrs Jinnah, the Marriage that Shook India by Sheela Reddy - Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age by Sanjay Gupta
3/11/202253 minutes, 19 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 99 - The Second War on Terror

Uzair talks to Dr. Asfandyar Mir about rising cases of terrorism in Pakistan, the emerging threat on the Afghan border, and what risks he is concerned about during this ongoing second war on terror. Dr. Asfandyar Mir is a senior expert in the Asia Center at USIP. Previously, Dr. Mir held various fellowships at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. His research interests include the international relations of South Asia, U.S. counterterrorism policy and political violence — with a regional focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Dr. Mir’s research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, such as International Security, International Studies Quarterly and Security Studies. He received his doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago and a master’s and bachelor’s from Stanford University. Reading Recommendations: - Rise and Kill First by Ronen Bergman - Ordering Violence: Explaining Armed Group-State Relations from Conflict to Cooperation by Paul Staniland
3/4/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 16 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 98 - The Emerging Edtech Ecosystem

Uzair talks to Aiman Bashir about her startup and the emerging edtech ecosystem in Pakistan. Aiman is co-founder and CEO of the business and has worked at the World Bank, Nestle and Coca-Cola. In 2020. Out-Class is a world-class EdTech platform, whose instructors hail from the world’s best institutions and have a deep-rooted passion for educating the country’s youth. Aiman won the coveted Standard Chartered Women In Tech competition in Pakistan and became the Pakistan winner for the largest tech competition in the world, She Loves Tech Global. Reading Recommendations: - Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work by Marilee Adams - Amy Cuddy's TED Talk - Fake it Till You Make it - Happiness Is a Choice by Barry Neil Kaufman
2/25/202250 minutes, 26 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 97 - The Roadmap for Recovery and Reforms

Uzair talks to Dr. Miftah Ismail, former finance minister and senior member of the PML-N, about the path ahead for Pakistan's economy. The conversation explores reform priorities, export promotion, and improving the fiscal and external sector outlook for the economy.
2/21/202256 minutes
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Pakistonomy - Episode 96 - India's Domestic and Foreign Policy

Uzair talks to Pramit Pal Chaudhuri about domestic and foreign policy developments in India. The conversation focuses on state elections in the country, Yogi's bid to become a national leader, India's relations with China and Russia, and Modi's outreach to Nawaz. Pramit Pal Chaudhuri is Foreign Editor of the Hindustan Times and a Distinguished Fellow, Ananta Aspen Centre, and Foreign Editor of the Hindustan Times, the primary newspaper of the Indian capital New Delhi. Among India’s most prominent commentators on the country’s political and economic relations with the rest of the world, Mr. Pal Chaudhuri combines this with extensive insight into the intricacies of the domestic situation in India. Reading Recommendations: - The New BJP: Modi and the Making of the World's Largest Political Party by Nalin Mehta - The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World by Dr. S. Jaishankar
2/18/202258 minutes, 19 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 95 - Volatility in Energy Markets

Uzair talks to Randy Bell about ongoing volatility in the energy markets, how countries like Saudi Arabia are preparing for the future, and ways in which energy importing countries like Pakistan should develop long-term strategies that enhance their energy security. Randy Bell is the senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center (GEC), where he oversees the center’s research and programs in Washington and elsewhere, including the annual Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi. He also serves as the co-director of the Atlantic Council’s Task Force on US Nuclear Energy Leadership and is the Richard Morningstar chair for global energy security. Reading Recommendations: - Sculpting in Time by Andrei Tarkovsky - The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations by Daniel Yergin - Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
2/11/202244 minutes
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Pakistonomy - Episode 94 - Navigating the Middle East Quagmire

Uzair talks to Dr. Vali Nasr about ongoing developments in the Middle East, where tensions between Iran and Gulf countries, especially the UAE and Saudi Arabia, continue to escalate. This podcast also touches on how the US should engage with the region and the ways in which Pakistan ought to navigate this quagmire. Vali Nasr is the Majid Khadduri Professor of International Affairs and Middle East Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center. He served as the eighth Dean of Johns Hopkins SAIS between 2012 and 2019 and served as Senior Advisor to U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke between 2009 and 2011. Nasr is the author of The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat; Forces of Fortune: The Rise of a New Middle Class and How it Will Change Our World; The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam will Shape the Future; Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty; Islamic Leviathan, Islam and the Making of State Power; Mawdudi and the Making of Islamic Revivalism; and Vanguard of Islamic Revolution: Jama'at-i Islami of Pakistan; and numerous articles in scholarly journals. He has advised senior American policymakers, world leaders, and businesses, including the President, Secretary of State, senior members of the Congress, and presidential campaigns. He has written for New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, among others. Reading Recommendations: - The Shia Revival - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000U0O9FC/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 - The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat - https://www.amazon.com/Dispensable-Nation-American-Foreign-Retreat-ebook/dp/B009Y4I9EM/ref=sr_1_1? - All Against All - https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/middle-east/2021-12-02/iran-middle-east-all-against-all
2/4/202256 minutes, 2 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 93 - The Left's Economic Vision

In this Urdu discussion, Uzair talks to historian, activist, and author Ammar Ali Jan about the Left's assessment of Pakistan's economy, the State Bank autonomy bill, and the types of reforms he would like to see in Pakistan's economy. Ammar is author of the book Rule by Fear: Eight Theses on Authoritarianism in Pakistan, which is a must-read. Reading Recommendation: - 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang - Capitalism's Crisis Deepens by Richard D. Wolff - China's Revolutions in the Modern World by Rebecca E. Karl - Violent Fraternity by Shruti Kapila
1/31/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 35 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 92 - Escaping the "Nazuk Mor"

In this Urdu discussion, Uzair talks to Shahid Mehmood about a recent article he published which showed how major issues since at least the 1980s continue to plague the economy. The discussion focuses on key drivers of these issues, why policy does not change to deal with this reality, and includes updates on economic developments in the former FATA regions. Shahid Mehmood is an economist and research fellow at PIDE. You can read his article here - https://www.dawn.com/news/1669368 You can read the PIDE Growth Strategy here - https://pide.org.pk/Research/PIDE-Reform-Agenda-Report.pdf Reading Recommendations: - Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond - Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco - The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
1/28/202256 minutes, 8 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 91 - Reforming Agriculture: Learning From Our History

Uzair talks to Ovais Zuberi, founder of Shazday Foods, about Pakistan's agriculture sector, why it is in a state of perpetual crisis, and how we can learn from the rich agricultural history of this region to reform the sector. The conversation also touches on important market access and development reforms that are needed, including farm-to-market infrastructure in the country.
1/21/20221 hour, 22 minutes, 9 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 90 - How Politics will Dominate the Economy in 2022

Welcome to Season 3 of Pakistonomy. 2022 will be a year where politics will dominate the discourse, and rightfully so. In the first episode of this season Amber Rahim Shamsi helps us understand key things we all should keep an eye on, and how they will affect the economy moving forward. Amber is Head of Communications at Tabadlab. She is also an award-winning multi-media journalist, with wide-ranging experience in television, radio, online and the print media. She is also an International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) and The Centre for Excellence in Journalism (ICFJ) fellow. Reading Recommendations: Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart Rule of Fear by Ammar Ali Jan Wolf Hall Trilogy by Hilary Mantel
1/14/202254 minutes, 36 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 89 - 2021 Round-Up with Ariba Shahid

Uzair talks to regular guest Ariba Shahid about key events in 2021 and the outlook for 2022. This is our last episode of the year. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday season with your family and friends. If you've enjoyed our podcast over the year, please rate it, share it, and spread the word. See you in 2022!
12/17/202145 minutes, 19 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 88 - Islamism and the Making of Pakistan

In this Urdu discussion, Uzair talks to Dr. Kamran Bokhari about his recently-published essay titled "The Long Shadow of Deobandism in South Asia." This essay is a must-read as it provides a long history about the rise of political Islam in the subcontinent and how it has shaped Pakistan. Dr. Kamran Bokhari is Director of Analytical Development at the Newlines Institute. Dr. Bokhari is also a national security and foreign policy specialist at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute. Bokhari has also served as the Central Asia Studies Course Coordinator at U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute. He was a Fellow with the Program on Extremism at George Washington University (2016-18). Dr. Bokhari has also been a Senior Consultant with The World Bank since 2009. He has 15 years of experience in the private sector intelligence space during which he provided intellectual leadership in the publishing of cutting-edge geopolitical analysis & forecasts. You can read the full essay here -https://newlinesmag.com/essays/the-long-shadow-of-deobandism-in-south-asia/
12/10/20211 hour, 16 minutes, 54 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 87 - How Do Pakistan's 1% Live?

Uzair talks to Dr. Rosita Armytage about her book Big Capital in an Unequal World: The Micropolitics of Wealth in Pakistan. We talked about factions within Pakistan's elites, their worldview, morals, and perspectives about Pakistan and its political economy. The book is highly recommended if you want to learn more about this fascinating subject. Reading Recommendations: - Politics, Landlords and Islam in Pakistan by N. Martin - Political Kinship in Pakistan: Descent, Marriage, and Government Stability by S. M. Lyon - Anxious Wealth: Money and Morality Among China's New Rich by J. Osburg
12/3/202149 minutes, 51 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 86 - Return of Austerity and the IMF

Uzair talks to Khurram Husain, incoming editor at Profit, about the latest economic developments in Pakistan. The conversation focused on the current government's economic vision, whether or not the COVID-19 stimulus was overdone, and the underlying causes behind inflation in the country. Khurram also shared his thoughts on the State Bank's change of decision making processes and his priorities at Profit.
11/27/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 16 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 85 - The Pakistani Elite’s Seven Deadly Neglects

Uzair talks to Mosharraf Zaidi, founder of Tabadlab, about his latest opinion column, why he is not optimistic about a change in elite behavior, and ways in which the state should deal with groups like the TLP and PTM. Reading Recommendations are all books written by Mariana Mazzucato: - Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism - The Value of Everything: Makers and Takers in the Global Economy - The Entrepreneurial State If you like this podcast, then do check out Tabadlab's latest podcast focusing on Climate Change. Listen to Climate Mahaul using the link below or by searching for it on your favorite podcast app. https://soundcloud.com/climatemahaul
11/20/20211 hour, 34 minutes
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Pakistonomy - Episode 84 - Major Power Rivalry in South Asia

Uzair talks to Dr. Tanvi Madan about her research paper which looks at the role of major power rivalries in the broader South Asian region. The emerging US-China rivalry and growing tensions between India and China are already having an impact on the geopolitics of the region. As this rivalry sharpens, countries in the region will have to strategize and find ways to effectively balance against these major powers in a way that maximizes the benefits they can derive in line with their own national interests. We also talked about potential areas of cooperation in the region, including climate change. Dr. Tanvi Madan is a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy in the Foreign Policy program, and director of The India Project at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Madan’s work explores India’s role in the world and its foreign policy, focusing in particular on India's relations with China and the United States. She also researches the U.S. and India’s approaches in the Indo-Pacific, as well as the development of interest-based coalitions, especially the Australia-India-Japan-U.S. Quad. Her book Fateful Triangle: How China Shaped US-India Relations during the Cold War is a must-read along with her most recent paper for CFR: - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N8DRSQC/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_3YRDM3S9FWQ92PTE366H - https://www.cfr.org/report/major-power-rivalry-south-asia Reading Recommendations: - The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America by Louis Menand - War and Peace in Modern India by S. Raghavan - Animosity at Bay: An Alternative History of the India-Pakistan Relationship, 1947-1952 by Pallavi Raghavan - The Price of Aid: The Economic Cold War in India by David Engerman
11/13/20211 hour, 11 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 83 - How Modern Materials Can Transform Pakistan's Construction Industry

Uzair talks to Jahangir Piracha, Chief Executive Office of Engro Polymer & Chemicals, about the company's business, how its products are helping transform Pakistan's construction industry, and why a petrochemicals policy is needed to attract increased investments in Pakistan. Jahangir Piracha is the Chief Executive Officer for Engro Polymer & Chemicals Limited. In his most recent role, Jahangir was serving as Chief Executive Officer of Engro Vopak Terminal Limited and Engro Elengy Terminal Limited since March 2017. Earlier, he served as the Chief Executive Officer for Engro Powergen Qadirpur Limited. Prior to this, he has served as Vice President – Manufacturing, and General Manager Human Resource & Corporate Services at Engro Polymer & Chemicals Ltd. He has also previously worked as the Production and HSE Manager at Engro Fertilizers Limited. Prior to joining Engro, he has worked for ICI Pakistan Ltd. Reading Recommendations: - Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Lawrence Bossidy and Ram Charan - Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't by Jim Collins
11/6/202152 minutes, 7 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 82 - Understanding China's BRI Impact

Uzair talks to Dr. Ammar A. Malik about his team's recent report on China's Belt and Road Initiative. The report titled "Banking on the Belt and Road: Insights from a new global dataset of 13,427 Chinese development projects" is currently the most in-depth analytical look at BRI projects around the world and is a must-read. Dr. Malik is Senior Research Scientist at AidData, where he leads the Tracking Underreported Financial Flows program that uses pioneering methods to track and analyze underreported financial flows from non-traditional donors to developing countries. To read the full report, click the link below: https://www.aiddata.org/publications/banking-on-the-belt-and-road
10/30/202138 minutes, 16 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 81 - What Ails the Judicial System

Uzair talks to Abdul Moiz Jaferii, a lawyer and host of a popular TV show on Samaa, about the legal system in Pakistan, what ails it, and why is it that justice for elites is different than justice for less privileged segments of society. This episode also covers the impact of the lawyers' movement and ways in which the judicial system in the country can be improved. Abdul Moiz Jaferii tweets at @Jaferii Reading Recommendations: - Crossed Swords and The Battle for Pakistan by Shuja Nawaz - A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif
10/22/202140 minutes, 20 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 80 - Can More Information Build Trust in the State

Uzair talks to Dr. Sanval Nasim about research that he has conducted with other academics about ways in which information may or may not build citizen trust in the state. The working paper is available online at this link -https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/34736 Dr. Nasim is is Assistant Professor of Economics at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). His primary research field is environmental and natural resource economics. His research work includes behavioural experiments on air pollution forecasts and information based pollution mitigation interventions, optimal control modelling of water resources, and cost benefit analysis of clean technology adoption. He obtained his PhD in environmental and natural resource economics from the University of California, Riverside in 2015 and a BA in economics mathematics and in history from Colby College in 2008. Reading Recommendations: - Mastering Metrics by Joshua D. Angrist - Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger by 2050 by Nadeem Haque - The Armchair Economist by Steven Landsburg - The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
10/15/202157 minutes, 5 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 79 - Disrupting Agriculture in Pakistan

Uzair talks to the co-founders of Tazah Technologies, a startup in the agriculture space that recently raised $2 million in pre-seed round. The B2B marketplace is based in Lahore and is seeking to disrupt the country's agriculture sector, which represents 24 percent of GDP. Abrar is part of the famous "Careem Mafia", where he led operations for and executed the financial and operational turnaround for the business despite the pandemic. In his last engagement as General Manager at Swvl, Abrar helped build a strong team and developed the post covid recovery strategy for bus hailing business. Mohsin joined Careem in 2017 as an Operations Manager where his first engagement entailed launching and scaling Ricksha category, the category now contributes to over 10% of revenue for the organisation. Mohsin’s role grew from leading a single category to managing Lahore’s P&L and eventually managing P&L for the entire Ride hailing business for Pakistan. Reading recommendations: - Zero to One by Peter Thiel - Good to Great by Jim Collins - Sapiens by Yuval Noah Hariri
10/8/202151 minutes, 10 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 78 - Impact of Corruption on Pakistan

In this Urdu episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Ali Hasanain about the types of corruption, how they impact Pakistan's political economy, and ways in which reform measures can be implemented to address corruption in society. Dr. Ali Hasanain is an Associate Professor and the Head of the Economics Department at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). Dr. Hasanain’s research focuses primarily on how public service delivery can be improved through reform initiatives, particularly through technological progress and improvements in the media. He also studies how information and communication technologies (ICT) can improve market functioning. At LUMS, he teaches courses on the economics of the media, corruption, markets, and the law. He is also the Pakistan country coordinator (and one-time participant) of the South Asian Economics Students Meet. Reading Recommendations: - Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion by Harold Holzer - Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann - The Promise of Power: The Origins of Democracy in India and Autocracy in Pakistan by Maya Tudor
9/25/20211 hour, 11 minutes, 58 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 77 - Sri Lanka Outlook: 2021 and Beyond

Uzair talks to Akhil Bery about ongoing developments in Sri Lanka, which is in the midst of a severe economic crisis, caused in large part by COVID-19. Akhil talked about the overall political economy in the island nation, its geopolitical ties with China, India, and the United States, and what's next. Akhil is currently Director, South Asia Initiatives at the Asia Society Policy Institute, where his research focuses on the US-India relationship and developments in South Asia more broadly. Previously, he worked at Eurasia Group, where he was responsible for the firm’s coverage of South Asia, including political and economic developments in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Prior to Eurasia Group, Akhil worked with McLarty Associates, where he led the research for the India & South Asia Team. He has also worked at Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo, Japan, as well as at 9.9 Media, a B2B start-up based in New Delhi. Akhil holds a M.A. in International Business and Policy from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and Walsh School of Foreign Service and a B.A. in History from Franklin & Marshall College. Reading recommendations: - The Nine Lives of Pakistan by Declan Walsh - India at the High Table by Howard B. Schaffer and Teresita C. Schaffer
9/18/202149 minutes, 45 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 76 - Digitizing the Retail Industry

Uzair talks to Wahaj Ahmed, co-founder of Retailo, about the startup, its growth plans, and how it is looking to digitize small businesses in Pakistan's retail sector. They also talked about what it takes to excel at a startup, and how recent graduates can get their foot in the door at a startup like Retailo. Wahaj's book recommendations are: - Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't by Jim Collins - Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
9/10/202144 minutes, 50 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 75 - Institutional Reforms & the Afghanistan Situation

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Hussain Nadim about reforming institutions in Pakistan, why bureaucrats still use fax to send documents, and how data can be used to better inform policy. We also discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan towards the tail end of the episode, where Dr. Nadim shared his views on Pakistan's role in the region and what may happen next. Dr. Nadim's reading recommendations are: - The Conference of the Birds by Attar of Nishapur - The Tragedy of Power by Ian Withrow - Avoiding Armageddon : America, India and Pakistan to the Brink and Back by Bruce Riedel - Directorate S by Steve Coll - Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army's Way of War by C. Christine Fair
9/4/20211 hour, 1 minute, 38 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 74 - Pakistan Outlook: 2021 and Beyond

Ariba Shahid returns to the podcast to talk about what is going on in Pakistan, including the successee of the NCOC and Ehsas Program, as well as the constant changes in the finance ministry.
8/28/202147 minutes, 35 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 73 - Impact of Taliban's Takeover on Pakistan

The last few days have been a whirlwind for Afghanistan and its people. With the Taliban seizing control over Kabul and America withdrawing from its longest war, there are fears that regional instability will only increase in the coming days. In this episode, Uzair talks to Fahd Humayun about what the Taliban's military win mean for Pakistan. Fahd Humayun is a PhD candidate at Yale University and frequently writes on South Asian affairs. He has recently written two must-read articles on this topic, which are a must read: - https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/08/17/5-ways-talibans-takeover-afghanistan-will-hurt-pakistan/ - https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/8/20/us-pak-cooperation-is-more-necessary-today-than-ever-before?sf149454561=1 Fahd's reading recommendations are: - Afghanistan and Pakistan: Conflict, Extremism, and Resistance to Modernity by Riaz Mohammad Khan - No-Win War: The Paradox of U.S.-Pakistan Relations in Afghanistan's Shadow by Zahid Hussain - A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
8/21/202154 minutes, 2 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 72 - Bangladesh Outlook: 2021 and Beyond

Bangladesh has had the fastest rate of economic growth during the pandemic in the subcontinent, despite the fact that its export sector has not fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Despite its success story, however, the country continues to face serious challenges which may upend the country's growth story. In this episode, Uzair talks to Atif Ahmad about the Bangladeshi economy's outlook beyond 2021. Atif Ahmad is a DC-based researcher of South Asian affairs. He was born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh where he lived for nearly two decades prior to coming to the US to study at Rutgers University for his undergraduate degree. He is passionate about all things South and Central Asia and studied these regions while pursuing his Masters at Johns Hopkins SAIS. Follow him on Twitter @atifjahmad. Book Recommendations: - Ghost Wars by Steve Coll - Blood Telegram by Gary J. Bass - Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill - Metaphysics of Morals by Immanuel Kant
8/14/202154 minutes, 54 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 71 - Abhi: Improving Financial Wellness

Uzair talks to Omair Ansari, CEO and Co-Founder of Abhi, about the startup's mission, growth plans, and how younger folks can set themselves up to thrive in Pakistan's startup ecosystem. Abhi is a Karachi-based salary advance platform that has recently raised $2 million in a seed round. Founded by Omair Ansari and Ali Ladhubhai Abhi enables employees to withdraw their accrued wages anytime through its web or mobile app. The product is Shariah-compliant and charges employees a small transaction fee for these advances. Reading Recommendations: - Siddhartha: A Novel by Herman Hesse - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
7/17/202158 minutes, 32 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 70 - Wheat Production and Imports

This episode digs deep into Pakistan's wheat market, discussing the recent output figures, why the government wants to import additional wheat, buildup of commodity debt, and the utter lack of detailed data to help policymakers plan for a sector that has a tremendous impact on tens of millions of households across the country. Note: Adil made an incorrect claim about a Rs 200 billion wheat subsidy for Punjab. This is the budgeted expenditure for state trading of wheat, not a subsidy. The error is regretted. Adil Mansoor is an agricultural policy analyst who does some brilliant research for BR Research. He recently wrote about the wheat sector and the below article is a must-read for anyone who is looking to develop a detailed understanding of the sector. https://www.brecorder.com/news/40105049 If you like this podcast, please don't forget to rate, subscribe, and share with your friends and family.
7/10/202155 minutes, 26 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 69 - From BCCI to Alfalah: A Banker’s Journey

Uzair talks to Azmat Khan about his banking career, which started at the BCCI in the 1970s. In the 1990s, Azmat Khan played a pivotal role in building the personal relationships that deepened Pakistan's strategic ties with the UAE, following which he helped setup and expand Bank Alfalah in Pakistan. This conversation records the history of Khan's career, things he learnt along the way, and his views on Pakistan's own economic journey and potential.
7/3/20211 hour, 40 minutes, 45 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 68 - Afghanistan After U.S. Withdrawal

Uzair talks to Sameer Lalwani about the evolving situation in Afghanistan, prospects for peace following the U.S. withdrawal from the country, and the role regional powers are and can play in ensuring peace and stability in the country. Sameer Lalwani is a Senior Fellow and Director of the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center where he researches nuclear deterrence, interstate rivalry, national security decision making, crisis behavior, and counter/insurgency. He is also a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations, a Contributing Editor to War on the Rocks, a non-resident fellow with the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at George Washington University (GWU), and a 2019 National Asia Research Program Fellow. His reading recommendations are: - Shaping Strategy by Risa Brooks - Inadvertent Escalation by Barry Posen - Pakistan A Hard Country by Anatol Lieven - Nonstate Warfare: The Military Methods of Guerillas, Warlords, and Militias by Stephen Biddle
6/25/202158 minutes, 56 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 67 - Pakistan's Political Economy

Uzair talks to Dr. Ilhan Niaz about the structural underpinnings of Pakistan's political economy and how things are eerily similar to the way the economy functioned during the British colonial era. This conversation focuses on Dr. Niaz's recently-published paper "Pakistan's search for a successful model of national political economy" which you can read using this link: https://www.academia.edu/47785779/Pakistans_search_for_a_successful_model_of_national_political_economy Reading recommendations: - Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas - The Water Kingdom: A Secret History of China by Philip Ball - Islam in Pakistan: A History by Muhammad Qasim Zaman
6/19/202154 minutes, 22 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 66 - Oraan: Digitizing Savings

Uzair talks to Halima Iqbal, Founder and CEO of Oraan, a startup committed to the financial enablement of the underserved. This conversation focuses on how Oraan is digitizing committees, the barriers women face in terms of accessing formal financial services, and how Oraan is looking to scale its business to bridge the digital and financial divide. Reading Recommendations: - Ride of a Lifetime Robert Iger - Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
6/12/202155 minutes, 24 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Twitter Spaces - Budget 2021-22

Uzair talks to Faseeh Mangi and Samiullah Tariq about Pakistan's 2021-22 budget during this discussion. Participants on Twitter also share their comments, questions, and insights about the budget and what they liked and / or didn't like about it.
6/11/20211 hour, 7 minutes, 43 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 65 - Inside Pakistan's Media Industry

Pakistan's vibrant media landscape has been facing increasing curbs in recent years. From attacks on journalists to forcing media outlets to not cover certain issues, the media industry is facing unprecedented pressures. In this episode, Uzair talks to Wajahat Khan about how the media industry operates, its structural weaknesses, and how overt and covert influence is exerted to force journalists and outlets to toe a certain line. Wajahat Khan is Nikkei Asia’s Digital Editor in New York City, reporting on Indo-Pacific security. A graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism and the University of Michigan, Wajahat has reported from 16 countries covering conflict, diplomacy, politics and media for digital, cable and network news, on and off camera. An Emmy-nominee for producing breaking news, Wajahat was bureau chief in Afghanistan and Pakistan for NBC News for most of the last decade, and covered South Asia for The Times, India Today and leading Pakistani networks. He has also authored the 2019 Amazon sports bestseller, “Game Changer: Being Shahid Afridi.” Reading Recommendations: - Neuromancer by William Gibson - The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy - The Battle for Pakistan: The Bitter US Friendship and a Tough Neighbourhood by Shuja Nawaz If you like Pakistonomy, then check out Dragon Road, a new Tabadlab podcast covering China's growing global influence. Dragon Road is hosted by Arif Rafiq and season one is out now. Click the link below to listen to the first episode: https://soundcloud.com/tabadlab-dragonroad/s01-e01-how-china-does-aid
6/4/20211 hour, 38 minutes, 6 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 64 - Making Internet for All a Reality

Uzair talks to Isfandiyar Shaheen about making internet access a reality for all and why this can have a transformative impact on communities around the world. Isfandiyar also shares his perspective on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, including how this emerging technology is transforming how business can be conducted. Isfandiyar is Founder & CEO of NetEquity Networks, an infrastructure sharing start-up based in San Francisco. NetEquity has established a partnership with Facebook and is focused on building open access fiber optic networks in collaboration with electric utilities. Prior to this, Isfandiyar helped create a tower co in MENA region called Towershare (acquired by edotco - 2017). In addition, Isfandiyar served as Director on the boards of two publicly traded companies, Engro Corporation and Engro Foods (51% acquired by FrieslandCampina - 2016). Isfandiyar graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a degree in Economics and Mathematics. Reading Recommendations: - Sapiens by Yuval Noah Hariri - The Three-Body Problem (Trilogy) by Liu Cixin - A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
5/31/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 59 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 63 - Potential of Agribusiness

In this episode, Uzair talks to Ovais Zuberi, founder of Shazday Foods, which is doing some fantastic work in Gilgit-Baltistan. This conversation focuses on the potential of agribusiness in the country, how this potential can be fully realized, and the good, bad, and the ugly about doing business is Pakistan. You can check out Shazday on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ShazdayCo/ Reading recommendations are: - The Lean Startup by by Eric Ries - The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau - Muslim Zion by Faisal Devji
5/24/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 35 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 62 - The State of Mental Health

May 10-16 is mental health awareness week and Uzair hosted Dr. Aisha Sanober Chachar to talk about mental health and illness. Dr. Aisha talked about why paying attention to mental health is important, issues people typically face, especially women and children, and how we can improve both our own mental health and support those around us that may need help. Dr. Aisha Sanober Chachar is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and former Medical Director at Alleviate Addiction Suffering (AAS) Trust & AAS Recovery Center, Pakistan, and currently working with the pediatric population. Dr. Chachar is a graduate of ISRA University, Hyderabad. She completed her adult psychiatry residency at Aga Khan University. She has worked at a faculty position at the Department of Psychiatry, Aga Khan University. At the same time, the Office of Dean of Students, Aga Khan University, Karachi, jointly appointed her as a College Psychiatrist. In 2020, she completed her second fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She serves as a peer reviewer for national and international academic journals. She has authored several academic papers and book chapters. She is a member of the WPA (World Psychiatry Association) Early Career Psychiatrist Committee, IACAPAP Early Career Psychiatrist Task Force, UK Balint Society, and an International Member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). Her book recommendations are: - Civilized to Death: The Price of Progress by Christopher Ryan - When Nietzsche Wept by Irvin D. Yalom - The Psychoanalysis of Career Choice, Job Performance, and Satisfaction by Paul Marcus
5/17/202153 minutes, 14 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 61 - The Story of Pie in the Sky

Uzair talks to Naila Naqvi, founder of Pie in the Sky, about her entrepreneurial journey and keys to success. Pie in the Sky is a well-known bakery in Karachi in Hyderabad, with over 20 branches, employing over 400 people. Naila's book recommendations are: - Animal Farm by George Orwell - Novels by Jane Austen
5/10/202155 minutes, 4 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 60 - Achieving $60 billion in exports

In this episode, Uzair talks to World Bank economists Alen Mulabdic and Gonzalo Varela about their recent research, which shows that Pakistan's export potential stands at $60+ billion. This discussion talks about how this potential can be realized and some of the actions that the Pakistan government is already taking to grow its exports. You can read Gonzalo'r thread documenting the research findings here - https://twitter.com/gonwei/status/1379381149169037316?s=20 Book Recommendations: - The Great Convergence - Mostly Harmless Econometrics - The Great Reversal
4/26/202139 minutes, 49 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 59 - Economic Impact of COVID-19

Uzair talks to Maha Rehman about what the data tells us regarding the economic toll of the pandemic on Pakistani households. Maha is a Data Analytics Expert with almost a decade of experience in designing and executing evidence-based programs, products and policies to improve service delivery and impact. Previously, she has set up the Analytics Wing at CERP that focused on embedding data in the decisions and operations of private and public sector companies to increase efficiency, impact and profit. Prior to this, she has led research experiments at CERP and at the World Bank in the fields of education, public finance and governance. She has designed curriculum and taught policymakers, bureaucrats and data practitioners at various programs in the USA and Pakistan. Besides using data analytics for policy and program reform, her research interests include energy economics, education and law & governance. She also teaches at LUMS and currently a Director Data-Led Policy Reforms at MHRC. You can read the article detailed Maha's findings here - https://mhrc.lums.edu.pk/pakistan-dialogues/covid-19-pandemic-economic-burden-in-pakistan.html Reading Recommendations: - The Practice of Adaptive Leadership by Ronald A. Heifitz - Nudge by Richard H. Thaler - Learning from Others by Syed Babar Ali
4/19/202153 minutes, 9 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 58 - Changing Pakistan's Economic Trajectory

Uzair talks to Dr. Shahida Wizarat about the structural underpinnings of Pakistan's economy and why the country has gone from being a role model to a basket case. Dr. Shahida is Dean at CESD, Institute of Business Management. She has authored three books, The Rise and Fall of Industrial Productivity in Pakistan (OUP), Fighting Dependance: Proclaiming Sovereignty for an Enslaved Pakistan (LAP) and Fighting Imperialism: Liberating Pakistan (CRS). She has authored more than 70 research papers published in international and national journals and newspapers. Dr Wizarat has been visiting faculty at the Naval Staff College, Air War College, Command and Staff College and National Defence University. Reading Recommendations: - The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins - China’s Model of Development—Lessons for Pakistan by Ambassador Syed Hasan Javed
4/12/202154 minutes, 19 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 57 - Sehat Kahani - Bringing Telemedicine to Pakistan

Uzair speaks to Dr. Sara Saeed Khurram and Dr. Iffat Zafar Aga, the co-founders of Sehat Kahani. In this discussion we talked about the startup, which has recently raised $1 million in a funding round, its growth strategy, and what it is like to be a female founder of a startup in Pakistan. Sehat Kahani is an all-female health provider network including that is working to create quality health care solutions for communities where health access, quality, affordability of health care is still a dream, using cost effective ICT enabled solutions. Sehat Kahani has impacted over 1.5 million people globally with its telemedicine platform. Dr. Iffat Zafar is the Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer for Sehat Kahani, a telemedicine startup based in Pakistan. She did her medicine from Ziauddin Medical University and currently. She is a Commonwealth scholar for her ongoing Masters in Global E-Health from University of Edinburgh. She is the MIT Elevate Prize Winner (2020), She is also the GCC Innovator (2020) for her work in telemedicine with the support of GCC. She was recently featured by Microsoft4Africa 2020 for the women led success stories in South Asia. She has been a winner of the GSMA Accelerator (2018-19), & a Good Fund Fellow 2017-18. Dr.Sara Saeed Khurram has over 5 years of experience in the field of Digital health care as the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Sehat Kahani. She has won notable awards such as the Rolex Awards 2019 as Ass. Laureate, TIAW Award, CRDF Global Awards, Ashoka Change makers, ISIF Asia, The Unilever Sustainable living Young Entrepreneurs Awards, The Unicef- Global Goal Campaigner Award 2016 and Arpatech Young Entrepreneurs Award 2017 for her work. She is also a Cartier Awards finalist and the first frontier Innovator from Pakistan. Reading Recommendations: - Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg - The Alchemist by Paul Coelho - Muhammad by Karen Armstrong - 40 Rules of Love by Elif Shafak - The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz
4/5/202156 minutes, 51 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 56 - Achieving State Bank's Autonomy (Urdu Discussion on SBP Amendments)

In this episode, Uzair talks to regular guest Ammar Khan about the proposed amendments to the SBP Act. They talked about whether giving autonomy to the SBP will lead to bankruptcy, how inflation is a major issue that needs resolution, and what the process ought to be in order to pass this legislation through parliament.
3/29/202137 minutes, 30 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 55 - Sustaining Pakistan's Economic Growth (Urdu)

This is episode is in Urdu so that a wider audience can understand why Pakistan's economy cannot maintain high rates of growth over long periods of time. To understand the reasons for this, Uzair spoke to Dr. Sajid Amin Javed, who is a Research Fellow and heads Policy Solutions Lab at Sustainable Development Policy Institute [SDPI] Pakistan. Prior to joining to SPDI, he was Senior Research Fellow and Assistant Professor at Department of Economics, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE). Dr. Sajid’s research is located at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary inquiry of issues related to structure of economic growth and sustainable development. This entails a focus on monetary policy, particularly exchange rate and financial policies, and their socioeconomic implications. Largely, he is macroeconomist with focus on social content in macroeconomic policies. Reading Recommendations: - Money Interest and Prices by Don Patinkin - The Political Economy of Underdevelopment by S. B. D. de Silva - Human Actions by Ludwig von Mises
3/22/20211 hour, 17 minutes, 16 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 54 - India's Economic Reforms

Since the onset of the pandemic, the BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pushed forward a whole host of reforms, including much-needed changes to India's farm laws. Farmer protests, however, have caused many to focus on the everything but the core components of these reforms and what they seek to achieve. In this episode, Uzair spoke to Sadanand Dhume about India's economic reforms and what he calls Modinomics 2.0. Sadanand is a South Asia columnist for the Wall Street Journal and covers South Asia's political economy and business affairs. He has worked as a foreign correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review in India and Indonesia and was a Bernard Schwartz Fellow at the Asia Society in Washington, D.C. Reading Recommendations: - Politics and the English Language by George Orwell -- https://www.orwellfoundation.com/the-orwell-foundation/orwell/essays-and-other-works/politics-and-the-english-language/ - Tilak and Gokhale: Revolution and Reform in the Making of Modern India by Stanley Wolpert -- https://www.amazon.com/dp/0195623924/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_0Y00WHS55MR3GXGT56N8 - Pakistan: A Hard Country by Anatol Lieven -- https://www.amazon.com/dp/1610391454/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_E1Q9KHZ5HTJXA0W70N3J
3/15/202150 minutes, 38 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 53 - Women and the Economy

There is systemic exclusion of women in Pakistan's economy and the drivers of this systemic exclusion are poorly understood by most. In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Hadia Majid about the role of women in Pakistan's economy and the unique and diverse challenges they face in the country. Dr. Hadia Majid is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics & Director at the Saida Waheed Gender Initiative at LUMS. She is a a Fulbright Scholar and holds a PhD in Development Economics from The Ohio State University. Her research agenda is focused on labor markets in Pakistan where she documents and explores the barriers to women’s labor supply and their access to decent, empowering work. Reading Recommendations: - Bargaining with patriarchy by Deniz Kandiyoti - The status of women: Conceptual and methodological issues in demographic studies by Karen Mason - A Treatise on the Family by Gary Becker
3/8/202154 minutes, 22 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 52 - Reimagining Learning

Uzair talks to Pramath Sinha about Harappa Education, an education startup offering the foundational skills critical to achieve professional success and personal meaning. Pramath is a trailblazer in many different fields, including education. He served as the Founding Dean of Indian School of Business (ISB), which just got ranked as the best business school in India and #23 in the world, according to the Financial Times. He is also one of the founders of Ashoka University. Book Recommendations: The Story Of My Experiments With Truth by Mahatma Gandhi - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KJ048MM/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_W6MF9R63ZQZ1SC20ZMBD The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004JHYRYU/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_8FE5PTD005CWS1REJZV7
3/1/20211 hour, 12 minutes, 29 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 48 - Bykea

Bykea is one of Pakistan's startup success stories that raised $13m in the middle of a pandemic. In this episode, Uzair talks to Rafiq Malik, the startup's Chief Operating Officer, about the business and its growth plans. Rafiq's book recommendations are: - A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - https://www.amazon.com/dp/0060883286/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_4SZ51RF4EPHP991P332J - The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson - https://www.amazon.com/dp/0143116177/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_0JXTYBT31JFMK9E91Q17
3/1/202154 minutes, 21 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Special Episode - A Conversation with Zarrar Khuhro

In this special episode, Uzair talks to Zarrar Khuhro about a whole host of issues, focusing on the rise of illiberal populism around the world. Zarrar is a co-host of the show Zara Hat Kay which airs on Dawn News and writes a weekly column for Dawn.
2/24/202146 minutes, 5 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 51 - Modernizing Food Retail

Uzair talks to Jarrar Shah about his startup 24Seven.pk, an online Grocery Shopping platform based in Lahore. The 24SEVEN journey started from his farm when he painfully found out how he was getting no premium for growing graded, good quality produce in the off season and consequently decided to create an alternative marketing channel for farmers that would enable them to bypass the middle men. His book recommendations are: - Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose - Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance - Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder - Skin in the Game
2/22/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 16 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 50 - Making India Great

Uzair Younus talks to Dr. Aparna Pande about her new book "Making India Great: The Promise of a Reluctant Global Power. The episode covers a wide range of topics related to India, including domestic politics, economic nationalism, the country's foreign policy, and its relations with Pakistan. Dr. Aparna Pande is Director of the Initiative on the Future of India and South Asia at the Hudson Institute, Washington D.C. Her major field of interest is South Asia with a special focus on India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Foreign and Security Policy. Born in India, Pande received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in History from St. Stephens College at Delhi University before receiving an M. Phil in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She completed her Ph.D. in Political Science at Boston University in the United States. Dr. Pande's book recommendations are: - The Lessons of History by Will Durant - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NB19GRS/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_A46B96W3D9FN93FEGQK4 - The March of Folly by Barbara Tuckman - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00589AYWW/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_FFJPDTDMJGYN29KYSPVX
2/16/20211 hour, 1 minute, 19 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 49 - The State of Media

Uzair talks to Raza Rumi about the state of media in Pakistan and the role of Nayadaur in bringing alternative perspectives into the discourse. Raza Rumi Director, Park Center for Independent Media and teaches in the journalism department; a visiting lecturer at the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs. He is also the Founding Editor of Nayadaur Media, a bi-lingual progressive digital media platform. He is also a visiting lecturer. Raza's recommended the following books: - Masvani by Rumi - The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm - Aag Ka Darya by Qurratulain Hyder
2/8/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 40 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 47 - Raast: Digitizing Pakistan

Pakistan finally has a digital payments system and this development is going to revolutionize financial transactions in the country. It will also accelerate the formalization of the economy, increase financial inclusion, and catalyze the growth of fintech startups in the country. Uzair spoke to Rehan Akhtar, Chief Digital Officer at Karandaaz Pakistan, about Raast and its potential. This week's book recommendation: - The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell. A book that I recently read complements this excellent recommendation: - Upstream: How to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan Heath
1/25/20211 hour, 3 minutes, 32 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 46 - Outlook for Reforms in 2021

In the first episode of 2021, Uzair talks to Hasaan Khawar about why it is difficult to push through bureaucratic reforms, why Prime Minister Khan accepting his government's mistakes is something that should be appreciated, and his theory of change. Hasaan also shared three books that have profoundly interested him: 1) The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma - https://www.amazon.com/dp/1443456624/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_oVDaGb2HNARQA 2) Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Hariri - https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062316095/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_vXDaGb5AXWMBG 3) Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Steve Coll - https://www.amazon.com/dp/1594204586/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_1WDaGbR7E74XJ
1/18/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 19 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 45 - Pakistan: 2020 and Beyond

In the final episode of 2020, Uzair talks to frequent guests Ammar Khan and Ariba Shahid about how 2020 turned out for Pakistan's economy, unresolved issues, and the outlook for 2021. Thank you to all of you for tuning in this year. I will be taking a break for the next couple of weeks and a new season of the show will be back in early January, 2021.
12/19/202047 minutes, 17 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 44 - Bangladesh's Economic Transformation

Uzair Younus talks to a Bangladesh-based economist about the keys to Bangladesh's economic transformation. Syed Yusuf Saadat, Senior Associate at the Center for Policy Dialogue, is an economist with deep expertise is in assessing economic policies and has done research for several international organizations, including the UNDP. Yusuf is also co-author of the book titled “Youth Employment in Bangladesh—Creating Opportunities, Reaping Dividends” published by Palgrave Macmillan.
12/7/202052 minutes, 14 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 43 - A Volatile 2020: India's Experience

The COVID-19 pandemic brought the global economy on its knees, leading to mass unemployment and a dramatic slowdown in economic activity. The Indian economy, which was already showing signs of weakness before the pandemic, has now entered a recession. At the same time, concerns over India's illiberal turn, its refusal to enter trade agreements, and poor implementation of flagship programs have led some to argue that India is missing a once in a century opportunity. Uzair Younus spoke to Aman Thakker about these developments, asking his guest about why Narendra Modi's BJP continues to be the dominant force in politics despite the economic woes. Aman Thakker is an Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He writes a weekly newsletter called Indialogue, which is a must-read for anyone interested in following political, economic, and foreign policy developments in India.
12/2/202053 minutes, 36 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 42 - Increasing Pakistan's Exports

Pakistan's exports have been a chronic issue and in the last few years, an overvalued exchange rate dramatically accelerated the decline in the country's exports. But exchange rate is only one of several issues that have made Pakistan's exports uncompetitive. In this episode, Uzair Younus spoke with Dr. Gonzalo Varela about why Pakistan's exports have fared poorly and how this can be changed. Dr. Gonzalo Varela is a Senior Economist in the Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice of the World Bank. He is currently based in Islamabad, where he leads the trade program. Previously, he worked in the World Bank’s Global Trade Unit in Washington, in the Ministry of Industries of Uruguay, and in the private sector. He also taught in the University of Sussex, the University of Pisa, and the University of Trento. His work focuses on how trade and investment policy affect firms’ performance, and it has been published in peer-reviewed journals, books and reports. He holds a PhD in Economics from Sussex.
11/27/202059 minutes, 16 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Special Episode - New Social Media Rules (Urdu)

In this special episode, Uzair Younus speaks to Farieha Aziz about the new social media rules that have been approved by the government. These rules have raised serious objections from ISPs, digital rights activists, journalists, and other organizations in Pakistan. Uzair asked Farieha why this has caused an uproar and the potential impact of these rules on free expression in Pakistan.
11/23/202022 minutes, 15 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 41 - The Potential of LNG in Pakistan

Pakistan is about to experience another winter of gas shortages. Meanwhile, the LNG sector continues to cause confusion among citizens, with baseless claims of corruption and backroom dealings sowing doubt among many in Pakistan. In this episode, Uzair Younus talks to Laure Baynes Clarke about the LNG sector, how it operates, and its potential in Pakistan. Laure is a General Manager and part of Shell’s global leadership team that manages its global LNG portfolio. She comes with a wealth of experience in the business, in trading and origination for LNG, she has led teams that have bought and sold LNG, managed arbitrations, price reviews and supported companies and countries across multiple geographies that have looked to develop their capabilities to bring in LNG. As part of her current role she is responsible for the LNG Trading strategy. Interestingly, she has a long history with Pakistan, having been moved there as an infant, she did her schooling in Karachi and has had the opportunity as an adult to work in Pakistan and visit often with personal and work commitments.
11/16/202048 minutes, 46 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 40 - Building Pakistan's Fintech Ecosystem

Fintech has played an important role in promoting financial inclusion, formalizing the economy, and accelerating economic growth around the world. Pakistan, however, has struggled in efforts to ensure that a significant part of the country's population has access to formal financial services. To talk about how this ecosystem is being developed in the country, Uzair Younus spoke with Nadeem Hussain, Founder of Planet N. He also founded Tameer Micro Finance Bank, Pakistan’s first private sector microfinance bank and is someone who has played a key role in promoting financial inclusion in Pakistan.
11/11/202044 minutes, 36 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 39 - The Economy of Waste

Millions of dollars a year are made in collecting, sorting, and recycling waste across Pakistan. But this sector remains largely informal, leading to a whole host of issues, including the use of child labor, sexual abuse and exploitation, and criminality. Ahmad Shabbar is someone who has been on a mission to change the way the system works in Karachi. He is the Founder and CEO of GarbageCAN, an organization providing comprehensive waste management to several schools, festivals, and businesses; recycling management to established restaurants; and enable to households to recycle via our door-to-door program. We have also introduced an Adopt-A-Spot Program via, which groups or individuals can adopt areas they want to be cleaned for a specified period of time. Uzair spoke to Ahmad about this sector, how the system currently functions, and why a city like Karachi does not have a robust solid waste management program. You can read the World Bank report Ahmad referred to using the link below: https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/immersive-story/2018/09/20/what-a-waste-an-updated-look-into-the-future-of-solid-waste-management
11/2/202053 minutes, 14 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Special Episode - Why Do Markets in Karachi Pay More Taxes? (Urdu)

Uzair Younus talks to Ammar Khan and Shahrukh Wani about the latest FBR data which shows that markets in Karachi - Jodia Bazar and Saddar in particular - pay significantly more in income taxes than markets in the rest of Pakistan. Despite that, Karachi has poor infrastructure and public service delivery. The guests share their views of why this is the case. You can read the article written by Ammar Khan on this topic here - https://www.samaa.tv/money/2020/09/karachis-saddar-jodia-bazaar-pay-more-tax-than-lahore-islamabad-markets/
10/30/202028 minutes, 16 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Special Episode - Rescuing the Agriculture Sector (Urdu)

In this Urdu discussion, Uzair Younus talks to Ahmed Majid Warraich, a Faisalabad-based entrepreneur in the agriculture sector. Uzair talked to Ahmed about the reasons for higher food inflation, his experience in modernizing farms, and what needs to be done to uplift this sector which employs almost 40 percent of Pakistan's labor force. Ahmed is currently growing Sugarcane, Wheat, Maize and various orchards. He has converted around 100 acres of his land to drip irrigation – all powered through Solar power and has completely automated the drip through automation technologies. Ahmed is a staunch advocate of sustainable agriculture and renewable energies for viable food sources. He is the Director of IRDC (Integrated Renewables Development Company) and HortiVenture Private Limited - aiming to bring sustainability and indigenous renewable sources to agriculture and beyond.
10/29/202023 minutes, 38 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 38 - The Role of Dynasties and Caste in Politics

The Role of Dynasties and Caste in Politics In a previous episode of the podcast, Dr. Adil Najam made a very important point that underneath all divides in Pakistan is the class divide. That is a very important point and one could argue that this divide is anchored by the caste divide in the country, particularly in Punjab and Sindh. However, both caste and class are absent from the daily political and economic discourse in the country. To talk about this issue, Uzair hosted Dr. Hassan Javid, who is an Associate Professor of Sociology at LUMS. He has done phenomenal research on democratization and the relationship between class, power, and the state. We spoke about why dynastic politics remains popular in Pakistan, why caste is missing from political discourse, and the path ahead for Pakistan's political evolution.
10/27/20201 hour, 15 minutes, 19 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Special Episode - Understanding the Wheat Crisis (Urdu)

Food inflation is breaking the back of households in Pakistan. Despite repeated warnings about a food crisis, the government has been unable to control rampant inflation. The price of wheat and flour has been rising at a rapid pace. To understand what is going on, Uzair talked to Adil Mansoor, who has deep insights about the wheat market and how it functions.
10/20/202029 minutes, 44 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 37 - The War on Free Expression

The War on Free Expression In recent weeks, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has been on a banning spree. However, the issue is structural and the powers being used by the PTA were given to it through PECA, a legislation passed in 2016 by the PML-N government. In this episode, Uzair Younus speaks with Farieha Aziz about the war on free expression in Pakistan, Digital Pakistan and its future, and what message is being sent to international investors and technology companies by the actions of the PTA. Farieha Aziz is a Karachi-based, APNS-awardwinning journalist. She is a co-founder and Director at Bolo Bhi. She has a masters in English literature. She worked with Newsline from July 2007-January 2012 and taught literature to grades 9-12. She served as an amicus curiae in a case filed in the Lahore High Court in 2013, challenging the ban on YouTube, and is currently a petitioner on behalf of Bolo Bhi in a case filed in the Islamabad High Court challenging government's censorship on the Internet and the powers of the regulator.
10/20/202050 minutes, 12 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Special Episode - Gas Crisis Update (Urdu)

Gas Crisis Update - Urdu In this special Urdu discussion, Uzair speaks with Ammar Khan about the ongoing gas crisis and the recent cargos being bought by Pakistan. The price is now higher than the long-term Qatar contracts signed by the PML-N government and Uzair asked Ammar to explain what that means.
10/14/202012 minutes, 10 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 36 - What's Going On, Pakistan?

What's Going On, Pakistan? Ariba Shahid returns to Pakistonomy to talk about recent developments in the country. We talked about PTA bans, inflation, gas shortages, business optimism, and much more. This is a break from our usual in-depth conversations, which will return next week.
10/12/202046 minutes, 23 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Special Episode - Selling Brand Pakistan's Narrative (Urdu)

Many people within and outside Pakistan often say that if only Pakistan had a stronger narrative, the country would do much better. But the reality is much, much different. In this discussion, Uzair Younus spoke to Ejaz Haider about his recently published article in The Friday Times, titled Selling the Narrative. Ejaz Haider is Executive Editor at Indus News and was the News Editor at The Friday Times. Uzair and Ejaz talked about why the issues facing Pakistan need to be addressed by addressing root causes, rather than arguing that better marketing and branding can get the job done. You can read the full article here - https://www.thefridaytimes.com/selling-the-narrative/
10/6/202026 minutes, 46 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 35 - A Conversation with Dr. Adil Najam (Urdu)

Uzair Younus has a wide-ranging conversation with Dr. Adil Najam about polarization, generational shifts in Pakistan, climate change, and much more. Dr Najam needs no introduction. He is the inaugural Dean of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University which was founded in 2014 with a generous gift from BU alum Frederick S. Pardee. He is also a Professor of International Relations and of Earth and Environment. Earlier, Prof. Adil Najam served as Vice Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Lahore, Pakistan and as the Director of the Boston University Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. In addition to Boston University, Prof. Najam has taught at MIT and at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. His research focuses on issues of global public policy, especially those related to global climate change, South Asia, Muslim countries, environment and development, and human development.
10/5/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 3 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Special Episode - Why Are There Gas Shortages in Pakistan?

Karachi is already facing power shortages due to supply constraints of gas. Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned of another crisis in the winter months of this year and the next. And as expected, the issue has fallen victim to partisan politics. To talk about this issue from a non-partisan perspective, Uzair spoke to Samiullah Tariq, Head Of Research And Development - ‎Pakistan Kuwait Investment Company. At the heart of the issue is the price of natural gas and for as long as the price doesn't reflect the cost of the commodity, we will continue to face issues in the gas sector. Additionally, the government needs to encourage people to switch from gas-powered stoves and heaters to electric ones, as they are not only more efficient, but can help ease the growing household demand for natural gas.
9/29/202020 minutes, 57 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 34 - Powering the Solar Revolution

The world is quickly moving towards renewable energy sources. In Pakistan, less than 5 percent of the country's energy comes from renewable energy (excluding hydro power). To talk about how the country can promote renewable energy and whether ending the grid as we know it is feasible, Uzair Younus spoke to Shazia Khan. Shazia Khan is the CEO of EcoEnergy, an environmental lawyer, and off-grid energy expert. She began her career as a consultant with the World Bank, working with the Global Environment Facility and Africa Energy. Prior to that, Shazia worked at Pakistan’s National Development Finance Corporation, facilitating long term financing for energy projects.
9/29/202047 minutes, 58 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 33 - What Caused the Decline of Muslim Civilization?

We often hear about the unity of the ummah and how that drove progress. But this idea is poorly, if at all, understood by most people. The reasons given for the rise and fall of Muslim civilization often do not meet the test of history and rigorous analysis. In this episode, we are going to try to understand the causes of its dramatic rise and sustained decline. To help us understand this complex topic, Uzair Younus spoke to Dr. Ahmet T. Kuru Professor of Political Science at San Diego State University. Dr. Kuru is the author of the fantastic award-winning book Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment: A Global and Historical Comparison and his works have been translated into Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese, French, Indonesian, and Turkish. You can purchase his book on Amazon using this link - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07S9DBZ1R/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
9/21/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 10 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 32 - Understanding the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Understanding the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Conversations around the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in mainstream media end up in a “are you a patriot” or “are you a traitor” binary. There is no doubt about the fact that Pakistan has doubled down on its strategic relationship with China in recent years: Prime Minister Imran Khan recently saying in an interview that Pakistan’s future is tied to China. But what is CPEC all about? And how does it fit into China’s overall regional and geopolitical ambitions? To talk about this, Uzair Younus invited Dr. Tayyab Safdar, a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Virginia’s Department of Politics and East Asia Center. His research investigates the effects of increasing Chinese investment in infrastructure projects on economic development in countries located along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media and with your friends and family! Don't forget to subscribe to our channel!
9/15/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 4 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Special Episode - The Pension Crisis (Urdu)

Pakistan is facing a pension crisis which is straining the country’s fiscal resources. In a recently published article for Business Recorder, Ali Khizar wrote that pension spending has gone from “Rs 164 billion in FY 11” to “Rs988 billion in FY21.” To talk about this crisis, Uzair Younus spoke to Ali Khizar and discussed what is going on and why it is important that Pakistan prioritize pension reforms. If you are interested in diving deep into this topic, read Ali Khizar’s articles below: Defusing the pension bomb - https://www.brecorder.com/news/40013934 How pension turned into a bomb - https://www.brecorder.com/news/40014859 If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media and with your friends and family! Don't forget to subscribe to our channel! Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pakistonomy/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/tabadlab Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/tabadlab You can also subscribe to our podcast by searching for "Tabadlab Pakistonomy" on your favorite app.
8/31/202016 minutes, 54 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 31 - Ethnicity and Governance in Pakistan

Ethnic cleavages have created unique challenges for Pakistan's political economy since 1947. Since the passage of the 18th Amendment, the conversation has changed substantially. To talk about how these issues affect Pakistan's political system and its economy, Uzair Younus spoke with Dr. Farhan H. Siddiqi. Dr. Siddiqi is an Associate Professor at the Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad and has done in depth research on ethnic issues in the country. If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media and with your friends and family! Don't forget to subscribe to our channel! Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pakistonomy/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/tabadlab Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/tabadlab You can also subscribe to our podcast by searching for "Tabadlab Pakistonomy" on your favorite app.
8/26/202058 minutes, 4 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Special Episode - Stocks Make a Comeback

Stocks Make a Comeback (Urdu) The KSE-100 has been rallying in recent weeks, increasing optimism among investors about the prospects of Pakistan's economy. While the stock market is not fully indicative of the real economy, it provides us with insights about where the economy is headed and the sentiment among investors. To talk about this ongoing rally, Uzair Younus spoke with Bilal Moon. They talked about whats driving the recent momentum, why foreign investors have been net sellers, and what retail investors should do to maximize their long-term returns. If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media and with your friends and family! Don't forget to subscribe to our channel! Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pakistonomy/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/tabadlab Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/tabadlab You can also subscribe to our podcast by searching for "Tabadlab Pakistonomy" on your favorite app.
8/21/202017 minutes, 56 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Special Episode - Renegotiating Power Contracts (Urdu)

Renegotiating Power Contracts (Urdu) Uzair speaks with Ammar Khan about the government's successful negotiations with IPPs and what it means for Pakistani consumers. If you want to dive deeper into this topic, listen to the podcast Uzair hosted with Ammar on the power sector: https://soundcloud.com/tabadlab/pakistonomy-episode-15-pakistans-power-sector
8/19/202017 minutes
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Pakistonomy - Episode 30 - Unlocking the Economy?

Pakistan has been able to successfully flatten the COVID-19 curve and that has had a positive impact on the economy, with some key indicators turning positive over the last few weeks. Uzair Younus spoke with Ariba Shahid, a business journalist at Profit by Pakistan Today, about this nascent recovery. We also spoke about Karachi's governance challenges, Punjab's chief minister, and her predictions for the next 3-6 months. Views expressed in this video are personal and do not reflect the employer’s views. If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media and with your friends and family! Don't forget to subscribe to our channel! Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pakistonomy/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/tabadlab Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/tabadlab You can also subscribe to our podcast by searching for "Tabadlab Pakistonomy" on your favorite app.
8/18/202050 minutes, 40 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 29 - India's Growth Story: Astute Planning or an Accident?

India’s Growth Story: Astute Planning or an Accident? Shankkar Aiyar is a political economy analyst, columnist, and the author of several books, including Accidental India: A History of the Nation's Passage Through Crisis and Change, which is a must-read for anyone who wants to fully understand what it took for India to push through transformative structural reforms. Uzair talked to him about India's reforms, why crises are an opportunity for pushing change, and how COVID-19 creates new opportunities for India and other emerging markets. If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media and with your friends and family! Don't forget to subscribe to our channel! Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pakistonomy/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/tabadlab Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/tabadlab You can also subscribe to our podcast by searching for "Tabadlab Pakistonomy" on your favorite app.
8/10/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 48 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 28 - A Conversation with Junaid Iqbal

Careem has transformed mobility in Pakistan and around the world and Junaid Iqbal played a key role in making that possible. In this episode, Uzair Younus talks to Careem's former MD about how the startup was able to succeed, his views on Pakistan's digital payments ecosystem, and a whole lot more. If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media and with your friends and family! Don't forget to subscribe to our channel! Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pakistonomy/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/tabadlab Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/tabadlab You can also subscribe to our podcast by searching for "Tabadlab Pakistonomy" on your favorite app.
7/30/202044 minutes, 2 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 27 - A Conversation with Shuja Nawaz

A Conversation with Shuja Nawaz Shuja Nawaz is author of The Battle for Pakistan: The Bitter US Friendship and a Tough Neighbourhood. This book is a fascinating account of Pakistan's troubled relationship with the United States and is based on detailed interviews with key US and South Asian leaders, access to secret documents and operations, and the author's personal relationships and deep knowledge of the region. In this discussion, Uzair talks to the author about recent developments in Pakistan, how Pakistan should navigate the US-China confrontation, and what Pakistan needs to do to transform itself from being a problem that must be managed into an opportunity that benefits its people, South Asia, and the rest of the world. If you are interested in learning more about Pakistan's role in the War in Afghanistan, you should read his book The Battle for Pakistan: The Bitter Us Friendship and a Tough Neighbourhood. If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media and with your friends and family! Don't forget to subscribe to our channel! Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pakistonomy/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/tabadlab Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/tabadlab You can also subscribe to our podcast by searching for "Tabadlab Pakistonomy" on your favorite app.
7/27/20201 hour, 1 minute, 11 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 26 – Airlift: Fueling Pakistan’s Startup Ecosystem

Airlift recently raised $10m in a funding round and has set its sights on transforming Pakistan’s mobility landscape. By provided affordable, safe, and comfortable rides to its users in major cities, the startup is making a big impact. It has also entered the grocery business and its promise to deliver goods to households within 45 minutes is going to fundamentally disrupt e-commerce in the country. To learn more about the startup’s vision and its growth plans, Uzair spoke to Saba Abid, who is General Manager at Airlift. This was a wide-ranging discussion that includes tips about what younger people need to do in order to be successful entrepreneurs or succeed at a company like Airlift If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media and with your friends and family! Don't forget to subscribe to our channel! Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pakistonomy/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/tabadlab Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/tabadlab You can also subscribe to our podcast by searching for "Tabadlab Pakistonomy" on your favorite app.
7/20/202034 minutes, 31 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 25 - How Technology is Ushering in the Age of Freedom

Rethinking Humanity, published by the think-tank RethinkX is a fascinating read that talks about how major technological shifts in key sectors such as agriculture and energy are about to usher in a new age for humanity. The authors of the book argue that humanity is at a crossroads, but not for reasons most would assume. Based on historical analysis, they predict that this is not another Industrial Revolution but something far more fundamental. In this episode, Uzair Younus talks to one of the co-authors of the book, James Arbib, who is also the co-founder of RethinkX. You can read the book here - https://www.rethinkx.com/humanity-download James also recommended the following books for those interested in learning more about how we got to where we are as a civilization: - Why The West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History and what they reveal about the Future (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004ASNG04) - Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies (https://www.amazon.com/Guns-Germs-Steel-Fates-Societies/dp/0393354326) If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media and with your friends and family! Don't forget to subscribe to our channel! Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pakistonomy/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/tabadlab Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/tabadlab You can also subscribe to our podcast by searching for "Tabadlab Pakistonomy" on your favorite app.
7/13/202056 minutes, 35 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 24 - PIA's Decline and the Path Ahead

The Pakistan International Airlines has found itself in the news yet again, starting with the tragic crash of the flight 8303 in Karachi. Since then, issues about fake pilots, the sale of the Roosevelt hotel owned by the PIA in New York, and systemic issues plaguing the airline have been the talk of town. To talk about the reasons for PIA’s decline and how the airline could be reformed and restructured, Uzair Younus spoke with Dr. Musharraf Rasool Cyan, who is the former CEO of the PIA and is no stranger to both the internal and external issues that plague the airline. If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media and with your friends and family! Don't forget to subscribe to our channel!
7/6/202057 minutes, 40 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 23 - Demystifying Rural Sindh: Property Rights, Elite Capture, and Feudalism

Many of us have a surface-level understanding of rural Sindh and its political economy. Feudalism, lack of land reforms, and elite capture are often bandied out as catch-all issues that plague not only Sindh, but many parts of rural Pakistan. But the reality is far more complex and the foundational issue in the political economy of rural Sindh, and rural Pakistan in general, is the lack of property rights. To talk about rural Sindh and its political economy, Uzair Younus invited Dr. Mujtaba Isani as a guest on the podcast. Dr. Isani is a political scientist with a PhD in Political Science from the University of Muenster. He is currently an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Saudi Arabia. Formerly, he was an Assistant Professor of Politics and Policy at the Habib University in Karachi. Dr. Isani recommended some books during this discussion: https://press.princeton.edu/…/9780…/designing-social-inquiry https://www.amazon.com/Rethinking-Social-Inqui…/…/074251126X https://www.amazon.com/Statistical-Methods-Soc…/…/0130272957 If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media and with your friends and family! Don't forget to subscribe to our channel! Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pakistonomy/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/tabadlab Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/tabadlab You can also subscribe to our podcast by searching for "Tabadlab Pakistonomy" on your favorite app.
6/30/202057 minutes, 10 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 22 - Innovation in Education: A Conversation with Edkasa

Distance learning became the norm after COVID-19 shutdown schools all over the world. In Pakistan, where access to quality education is challenging for millions of households, edtech startups are beginning to change the status quo. Edkasa is one such startup and it has embarked on a mission is to provide easy access to quality education to Pakistan's youth to enable them to take full advantage of future opportunities. In this episode, Uzair Younus talks to Annum Sadiq about Edkasa and the edtech sector in the country. Annum is Co-founder and Chief Education Officer of Edkasa. She is also a 2016 Fulbright scholar, 2017 Education Pioneers Graduate Fellow, and Rockefeller Foundation Fellow. Annum leads the education delivery at EDKASA and provides support on curriculum design and live lecture delivery for the online platform. She has ten years of experience with education policy in Pakistan and the United States, in the Chelsea Public School District, at USAID, and as a World Bank consultant in the Punjab Education Sector Reform Programme. If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media and with your friends and family! Don't forget to subscribe to our channel! Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pakistonomy/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/tabadlab Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/tabadlab You can also subscribe to our podcast by searching for "Tabadlab Pakistonomy" on your favorite app.
6/22/202055 minutes, 46 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 21 - Budget Time

The 2020-21 Budget comes at a time when Pakistan is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. The last year saw the economy enter a recession, with growth coming in at -0.38 percent. For the coming year, the government is projecting the economy to grow by about 2 percent and expects revenues to grow by a significant amount. To talk about the budget and what it means, we decided to reverse roles for this episode. Shahab Siddiqi from Tabadlab moderates this discussion with Uzair Younus, who shares his views and insights about the economic survey and 2020-21 budget. If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media and with your friends and family! Also, please don't forget to subscribe to our channel! Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pakistonomy/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/tabadlab Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/tabadlab You can also subscribe to our podcast by searching for "Tabadlab Pakistonomy" on your favorite app.
6/15/202049 minutes, 34 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 20 - The Informal Economy (Urdu)

Many people view the informal sector as corrupt, illegal, and detrimental to the country’s economic well-being. The reality, of course, is more complex. In fact, some argue that the informal sector is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy. In this episode, Uzair Younus talks to Dr. Ali Kemal about Pakistan's informal sector and its implications on the country's economy. Dr. Kemal is an Economic Policy Advisor at the SDG Support Unit, Ministry of Planning Development and Reform. He has co-authored a detailed analysis of Pakistan’s informal economy in a paper titled “Exploring the Determinants of Underground Economy of Pakistan” which was published by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics. You can read his paper using this link - https://www.pide.org.pk/…/Working%20Pa…/WorkingPaper-163.pdf Don't forget to subscribe to our channel! Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pakistonomy/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/tabadlab Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/tabadlab You can also subscribe to our podcast by searching for "Tabadlab Pakistonomy" on your favorite app.
6/8/202051 minutes, 30 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 19 - The Water Economy

Dr. Erum Khalid Sattar talks to us about Pakistan's colonial past and its impact on the water economy, why mega-dams will not solve the country's water, and the need to strengthen the institutional software governing the country.
6/1/20201 hour, 10 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 18 - Economic Decline: A Historian's Take

Pakistan's civilian institutions have been in decline since independence. In this episode, we talk to Dr. Ilhan Niaz, Associate Professor of History at the Quaid-e-Azam University, about the impact of this decline on Pakistan's political economy.
5/18/202054 minutes, 12 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 17 - What Can We Learn From Reko Diq?

The Reko Diq case has been a long, drawn out saga where Pakistan faced penalties of almost $5.9 billion. To talk about this case, the overall role of international arbitration, and the path forward for Pakistan, Uzair spoke to Marike Paulsson. Marike is one of the foremost experts in the field of international arbitration and is Vice President of the Global Legal Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution.
5/11/202043 minutes, 1 second
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Pakistonomy - Episode 16 - The Pakistan Super League

Cricket is perhaps the greatest unifying force in Pakistan and in its early years, the Pakistan Super League has had a transformative effect on the cricketing landscape in the country. In this episode, Uzair talks to Shoaib Naveed, Project Executive of the Pakistan Super League, about the PSL's business model, the path to profitability for franchises, and what's in store for the future.
5/4/20201 hour, 6 minutes, 35 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 15 - Pakistan's Power Sector

Uzair talks to Ammar H. Khan, an energy economist, about Pakistan's power sector, the power industry report and its findings, and reforming the country's power sector.
4/27/202059 minutes, 19 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 14 - Dr. Miftah Ismail

Uzair talks to Dr. Miftah Ismail, former finance minister of Pakistan and member of the PML-N about COVID-19 and its economic impact, structural reforms, and the path ahead for Pakistan.
4/20/20201 hour, 12 minutes, 28 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 13 - What Caused the Sugar and Wheat Crises?

Uzair speaks with Ali Khizar, Senior Consultant at Business Recorder, and M. Adil Mansoor, an Agriculture and Water Policy Analyst. The episode looks at the causes behind the sugar and wheat crises and why both markets need to be de-regularized to prevent yet another crisis in the future.
4/13/202057 minutes, 19 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 12 - Real Estate in Pakistan

Uzair talks to Hammad Rana about Pakistan's real estate sector, what's holding it back, and how it can play a key role in boosting Pakistan's economic growth. Hammad leads Colliers International Pakistan's Sales, Leasing and Investment Advisory teams. In his role, he works extensively with multi-national corporates, institutional investors, banks, hotel operators and developers on projects across Pakistan.
4/6/202048 minutes, 46 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 11 - Economy and Coronavirus

Uzair and Shehzad Ghias (host of The Pakistan Experience) talk about COVID-19 and its impact on the economies of both the US and Pakistan. If you haven't listened to The Pakistan Experience, do check it out on your favorite podcast app!
3/27/20201 hour, 10 minutes, 23 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 10 - The Economic Impact of Coronavirus

Uzair talks to Erum Haider, Maheen Rehman and Mosharraf Zaidi about the economic impact of the Corona Virus in Pakistan.
3/18/20201 hour, 29 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 09 - Can Pakistan Replicate Korea?

Uzair talks to Dr. Khalid Ikram about South Korea's economic miracle and what Pakistan needs to do to change its economic trajectory. Dr. Ikram has worked for the Pakistan Planning Commission and the World Bank, and was awarded the Korean President's medal for services to Korean development.
3/16/20201 hour, 19 minutes, 23 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 08 - Women, Feminism, and the Aurat March

Uzair talks to Dr Afiya Shehrbano Zia about the future of women in Pakistan, their economic empowerment, and the importance of movements like the Aurat March.
3/8/20201 hour, 18 minutes, 42 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 07 - Dr. Umair Javed

The Politics of Reforms. Uzair talks to Dr. Umair Javed about tax and bureaucratic reforms and how politics in the country is responsible for reduced impetus for reforms in Pakistan.
3/2/20201 hour, 21 minutes, 40 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 06 - Naurin Muzaffar

In this episode, Uzair speaks with Naurin Muzaffar about why Pakistan's textile sector has failed to keep up with Bangladesh, what Pakistan can learn from Bangladesh, and what needs to change in Pakistan.
2/24/20201 hour, 26 minutes, 9 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 05 - Kalsoom Lakhani

In Episode 05, Uzair speaks with Kalsoom Lakhani, Founder and CEO of Invest2Innovate, about Pakistan's startup ecosystem, its evolution, and advice for young entrepreneurs.
2/16/20201 hour, 13 minutes, 38 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 04 - Atif Mian

In Episode 04, Uzair speaks with Dr. Atif Mian about why Pakistan keeps going back to the IMF, why the country’s economy keeps going from one crisis to another, and what he would do if he was the economic czar in the country.
2/7/20201 hour, 22 minutes, 2 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 03 - Pakistan's Stock Market

In episode 3, Uzair talks to Bilal Moon, who has been working in the equity markets for over a decade about Pakistan’s financial markets, how it works, and how they can be taken to the next level.
2/1/20201 hour, 2 minutes, 30 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 02 - Mehvish Arifeen

In our second episode, Uzair talks to Mehvish Arifeen, co-founder and COO of GharPar. We talk about GharPar’s mission and vision, Pakistan’s start-up ecosystem, and her journey as a woman entrepreneur. About GharPar: GharPar is a social enterprise that provides timely, convenient and professional at-home beauty services to its female clients through a web and mobile based solution. The start-up also enables women to be economically self-sufficient, and the company has gone from having 6 beauticians and 200 customers in 2016 to over 150 beauticians and 30,000 customers today. Check it out at www.gharpar.co!
1/24/202043 minutes, 33 seconds
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Pakistonomy - Episode 01 - Khurram Husain

The first episode of Pakistonomy, a podcast in which Uzair Younus will discuss the state of Pakistan's economy with key stakeholders in the rate of growth, the degree of stability and the manner in which political economy shapes the lives of ordinary Pakistanis. Episode 01: Khurram Husain Khurram Husain is a leading business and economy journalist in Pakistan, based out of Karachi. He has taught at the prestigious Lahore University of Management Sciences in the past. He writes a widely read column in Dawn, Pakistan’s leading English language newspaper and in television has been a contributor to the BBC, providing short features on economic issues as well as appearing as an analyst for English and Urdu language services.
1/13/202046 minutes, 37 seconds
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Ivan Rasmussen on the story of China

Ivan Rasmussen of NYU Shanghai appears on Tabadlab Live to explain the rise of China, how it got to where it is today, and how it plans to continue to get where it wants to be tomorrow. Ivan Rasmussen bio: https://shanghai.nyu.edu/academics/faculty/directory/ivan-rasmussen Recorded on March 21, 2019, in Islamabad.
1/12/202046 minutes, 1 second
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Parag Khanna on “The Future Is Asian”

Parag Khanna, author of "The Future is Asian" appears on Tabadlab Live to explore how the coming years and decades will look, sound and feel distinctly "Asian". He invites his readers to look beyond current narratives about China, the impact of urbanization and how commerce, conflict, and culture in the 21st Century will be shaped by Asia. Parag Khanna bio: Recorded on January 10, 2019, in Islamabad.
2/25/201938 minutes, 37 seconds
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Hina Khar, Mohammad Sadiq & Joshua White on the future of Afghanistan

* Hina Rabbani Khar, former Foreign Minister of Pakistan * Mohammad Sadiq, former Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan * Joshua White, former White House staff under the Obama National Security Council appear on Tabadlab Live to discuss the prospects for peace in Afghanistan, the emergence of the dialogue lead by Zalmay Khalilzad, and the hopes for successful detente between the Taliban and the US. Recorded on December 13, 2018.
2/25/20191 hour, 4 minutes, 34 seconds