Eye on Pakistan

Significant interest in RBS’s Pakistani branches

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Political Economy by onpakistan on May 31, 2009

Contrary to the impression gained from the British financial press, there appears to be significant interest in RBS’s Pakistani assets and subsidiaries.

From the Business Recorder: “RBS Pakistan is said to be an attractive franchise after acquisition of former Prime Bank assets. The balance sheet has been reportedly cleaned up. However, the administrative cost is said to be on the high side due to the quality of staff in the bank.”

From the Daily Times: “Jahangir Siddiqui group and Orascom are the major contenders for RBS…These groups may offer between $150 million and $200 million.” (this link is troublesome, also try: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20095\30\story_30-5-2009_pg5_1).


Associated Press Reporters in the Refugee Camps

Posted in Domestic Affairs by onpakistan on May 30, 2009

“I myself put the bodies in the wheelbarrow and took them to a graveyard behind a girls’ school”….

AP reporters have conducted some interviews in the camps, and produced a news article for the Washington Post.

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Ahmed Rashid and Fouad Ajami

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Foreign Affairs by onpakistan on May 29, 2009

Ahmed Rashid = Fouad Ajami ?

Compare Ahmed Rashid on “Pakistan on the Brink” in the New York Review of Books to Fouad Ajami on Pakistan’s Struggle for Modernity in the Wall Street Journal.

Ajami, lest we forget, was once described by Edward Said as “a man who was once a progressive supporter of the Palestinian struggle who has now converted to the far Right and has espoused Zionism and American imperialism without reservation.” (“Israel, Iraq and the US”, Counterpunch (19 October 2002)).

Yet they are not the same. Rashid wants only “money and weapons” from the United States, and nothing more. There is, he says, nothing more it can give. Ajami, on the other hand, criticises Obama for wanting to give only that. He wants the U.S. to “invest ” ideologically and rhetorically.