Showing posts from December, 2013

What is Strategy? Porter's View

In Mr. Porter’s view, strategy is all about escaping that model of “perfect competition,” and instead creating a strong position for your product or service that allows it to garner outsized profits.

He cites five key competitive “forces” that will determine the ability of your product or service to achieve a strong strategic position:

1. Entry. How easy is it for others to enter your market? Do newcomers face significant barriers, or do they expect sharp retaliation from existing competitors? Barriers to entry can include economies of scale, a highly differentiated product, large capital requirements for new entrants, large costs for customers to switch, limited access for newcomers to distribution channels, and government regulations or subsidies.

2. Threat of substitution. Are there other products and services that can easily be substituted for yours? Consider, for instance, what the rise of corn syrup did to the sugar industry, or what the iPod did to the CD business.

3. Bargaining po…

Pakistan Cricket Team Makes A Valiant Effort But Loses To Sri Lanka - Series Level At 1 - 1

By Sikander Hayat

Sri Lanka has beaten Pakistan in the 2nd T20 and has leveled the series 1-1. Pakistan lost the match in the first innings as Pakistani bowlers were unable to contain the Lankan batsmen who played brilliantly and with freedom that is associated with vintage Lankan batsmen of the previous generation. Jayasuria, Aravinda & Rana Tunga were the torchbearers of the older generation but the current generation has proved that baton has been passed to the correct people. Pakistani batsmen made a valiant effort to chase the score and in the end were 20 odd runs short of the
target. This is good practice for Pakistan for the coming T20 world cup as Pakistan has not been very good at chasing good totals and on odd occasions when Pakistani bowlers failed in their quest to restrict the opposition, Pakistani batting has been found wanting.

In the end it was a very good effort by Pakistani batsmen like Sohail Tanweer ( who is turning into a bit of an allrounder in the T20 cricket…

Awami League Of Bangladesh Murders Abdul Quader Mollah

Abdul Quader Mollah, 65, was hanged Thursday night for war crimes committed during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence against Pakistan. The case has exacerbated the explosive political divide in Bangladesh, an impoverished country of 160 million.

Even as violence swept through parts of the country Friday, hundreds of people rejoiced in the streets of the capital, Dhaka, and said justice had been served.

In an editorial, Bangladesh's English-language Daily Star newspaper congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for trying and executing Mollah "40 long years" after he committed his crimes.

Mollah, a leader of the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami, was the first person to be hanged for war crimes in Bangladesh under an international tribunal established in 2010 to investigate atrocities stemming from the independence war.

Following the execution, Jamaat-e-Islami activists on Friday attacked ruling party supporters and minority Hindus in parts of Bangladesh, torching their…

Budget compromise - Opposition from Republicans and Democrats

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced a bipartisan budget deal that, if approved, will prevent another possible government shutdown in January. Top Republicans such as House Speaker John Boehner and Democrats such as President Obama and Nancy Pelosi are saying they will support the bill: "This agreement makes sure that we don't have a government shutdown scenario in January. It makes sure that we don't have another government shutdown scenario in October," Ryan said. "It makes sure that we don't lurch from crisis to crisis." So, a deal is in place (go here to read a quick breakdown), ready for approval, and a shutdown can be avoided. Everyone's happy, right? Of course not. The deal has plenty of critics from both Republicans and Democrats. According toU.S. News and World Report: The deal will require both Republicans and Democrats to make concessions on their parties' key prin…

Is India Planning A Nuclear Attack On Pakistan?

India-Pakistan nuclear war could 'end human civilisation'Even limited nuclear exchange would devastate food production around the world, according to International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
A nuclear war between India and Pakistan would set off a global famine that could kill two billion people and effectively end human civilization.
Even if limited in scope, a conflict with nuclear weapons would wreak havoc in the atmosphere and devastate crop yields, with the effects multiplied as global food markets went into turmoil, the report said.
The Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility released an initial peer-reviewed study in April 2012 that predicted a nuclear famine could kill more than a billion people. In a second edition, the groups said they widely underestimated the impact in China and calculated that the world's most populous country would face severe food insecurity. &…

Pakistan Beats Afghanistan In A Thriller - Great Performance By Afghanistan Cricket Team

By Sikander Hayat

Pakistan has beaten Afghanistan in the only T20 which was played in Sharjah, UAE. Hafeez was the captain of Pakistan and apart from running Sohaib Maqsood out, played well & took Pakistan home. Afghanistan played really well and proved that they are the worthy qualifiers for the ODI & T20 world cup. Afghanistan have some really good players and have the potential to beat any side in world cricket. 

Following websites have more details about this match.

1. AFG vs Pak, Only T20I, Sharjah

2. Sharjeel debuts, Afghanistan bat

3. Pakistan win thriller against Afghanistan in only T20 at Sharjah

4. Pakistan vs Afghanistan T20 in Sharjah: Pakistan register thrilling six-wicket win


Balochistan Elections 2013 - A Step In The Right Direction

By Sikander Hayat 

Balochistan Elections have been a total success with 7000 seats being contested. Results are not out yet but overall peace has prevailed throughout the province. Out of 7000 seats, 500 seats were in the insurgency hit areas and elections may have to be held again in these areas. This is a successful show by the provincial government as these were the first local government elections after the 18th amendment which has given the provinces the power to have their own local bodies which are suited to their own local needs. Whats good for Sindh and Karachi may not work for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Provincial government of Mr Maalik must be congratulated on conducting an overall successful election. There were minor problems where voters at some polling stations voters names were not on the lists but these problems were few and overall satisfactory elections took place.

Following websites have relevant information about the Balochistan elections:

1. Local bodies elections: Pollin…

What Are The Chances Of Successful Elections In Balochistan?

The Balochistan government has chalked out a comprehensive security plan to ensure peaceful local government elections in the volatile province.

Local bodies’ elections, scheduled for Saturday Dec 7, appear to be a major challenge for the provincial government in Balochistan, led by nationalist Dr Abdul Malik Baloch.

The May 11 general elections witnessed violent attacks by separatist armed groups in the capital Quetta and other troubled parts of the province.

Asad Gilani, the Secretary Home and Tribal Affairs Department in Balochistan, said 55,000 security personnel including 5,000 personnel of the Pakistan Army would be deployed across the province to make the polls peaceful.

Around 18,000 candidates are testing their muscle to win 4,168 seats.

Baloch, Pashtun nationalists, religious parties and mainstream political parties including the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) are contesting the elections in 32 districts of th…

Imran Khan Of Pakistan Stops American Military Supplies Through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Washington has temporarily halted military supplies moving by ground out of Afghanistan along a key route through Pakistan, according to news agencies, citing safety concerns for its truck drivers. Activists have been staging protests along key NATO supply routes in Pakistan since November, after a drone strike killed the leader of the  Pakistani Taliban shortly before peace talks between the militant group and the government began. Some protestors have been detained for allegedly harassing truck drivers, according to reports. Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, has been leading the protests in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where his party is in power. On Dec. 3, Khan told the Express Tribune that PTI is also considering blocking supply routes that run through Punjab province and Balochistan. Read the full story here. 
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Pakistan Builds A Nuclear Power Plant In Karachi With Chinese Help

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday ceremonially broke ground on a $9.59 billion nuclear power complex to be built in Karachi with China’s help, seeking to ease Pakistan’s long-running energy crisis and signaling a new step by China in becoming a top nuclear supplier.
The deal, which officials said was still being finalized, is a major new advance in energy cooperation between the two countries, dwarfing previous reactor projects built along with China at Chashma, in Pakistan’s interior. And it establishes a growing counterpoint to a nuclear axis between the United States and India in recent years that Pakistani officials have seen as an irritant and Chinese officials have seen as a geopolitical challenge.

“The beginning of the 2,200-megawatt power project is indeed a proud moment in the energy history of Pakistan,” Mr. Sharif said at the ceremony, adding that the construction was to be completed in six years. The Chinese ambassador to Pakistan, Sun Weidong, and officials from the

What Is Future Of India Pakistan Relations?

Pakistan’s outgoing envoy to New Delhi said on Monday he saw “light at the end of the tunnel” in diplomatic relations and predicted the improvement would survive next year’s Indian elections. High Commissioner (ambassador) Salman Bashir said calm had returned to the neighbours’ de facto border in disputed Kashmir after a deadly flare-up earlier in the year and both sides were committed to improving ties. “I do not want to sound over-optimistic or exaggerate but what I am saying is that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Bashir told a farewell press conference in the Indian capital. “We have constantly worked for the improvement in relations between the two countries and at this point of time I am personally optimistic that we will be on the upward trajectory in the coming months.”
Read the full story here.
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2. Deadly Anti Muslim Riots in north India
3. India & Afghanistan - Pakistan's S…

Can India's Economy Recover?

MUMBAI, IndiaIndia’s economy is showing signs of a gradual recovery as gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 4.8 percent in the three months that ended in September. The growth surpassed the expectations of analysts, who projected a 4.6 percent rate, and was faster than the 4.4 percent pace seen in the previous quarter, which was the slowest growth in four years. “The Indian economy has bottomed out on growth, and I think we are definitely seeing signs of a mild, moderate recovery — not just the gross domestic product numbers but in the results of individual companies,” said Saugata Bhattacharya, chief economist at Axis Bank. “However, in order to resuscitate growth, the government must improve investment channels, take measures towards fiscal consolidation, decontrol diesel prices and simplify the tax structure.” The pickup in the September quarter was driven primarily by a good monsoon, which helped the agriculture sector expand at a 4.6 percent annual rate, accordin…

Is Brazil A Racist Country? Football World Cup Under Shadows?

Lazaro Ramos and Camila Pitanga are two well-known and well-loved Brazilian stars - they played the leading couple in the soap Lado a Lado (Side By Side). And they were expected to play a key role in the World Cup group stage draw on 6 December, in the state of Bahia - the historic heart of African-Brazilian culture. When news emerged that the draw would instead be led by the blond, white couple, Fernanda Lima and Rodrigo Hilbert, there was outrage onblogs, forums and social media in Brazil. "Fifa, we want Lazaro Ramos and Camila Pitanga, ok? They are our face, our people, and we love them!" was one tweet. "As if we weren't already self-sufficient when it comes to racism, Fifa comes over to lend us a hand," was another. US film director Spike Lee even chimed in with criticism of Fifa's power over the game. Many demanded an explanation - and in the absence of one, were quick to come to their own conclusions.
Read the full story here. 


Pakistan Beats South Africa - Wins Cricket Series 2 - 1

Misbah-ul-Haq has hailed Pakistan's maiden ODI series win against South Africa as a "really big achievement". Pakistan also became the first subcontinent team to win a series in South Africa when they edged the hosts by one run in Port Elizabeth to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead with one game remaining. "It is a really, really big achievement for us, especially for this young team," Misbah said. "They are going to start believing that they can perform well. I think that is what we were lacking in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and lost few games which we should have won. It is a good comeback for the confidence of the team. In the future we can come with better confidence, and winning a first bilateral one-day series in South Africa means something to us." Misbah praised Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan for bringing Pakistan back after AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla had taken South Africa to a winning position. The hosts needed 36 off 38 deliveries with six wickets in han…