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Pakistan and its Image Problem
 
Pakistan, a Muslim country, has spent about half of its independent life under military governments.  Today, Pakistani leadership celebrates the ruling coalitions success in almost finishing the first five year term in history (previous leaders indicted by the courts, assassinated by extremists or brushed aside by the generals.)  In meetings last week with the senior General, Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, they made the case for a new and updated image of Pakistan: one of the largest democracies in the world, with a vibrant and open press, an upcoming demographic dividend of hardworking young people, and a highly educated elite leadership of the country.  Islamabad and Lahore, where we visited, were relatively safe and certainly safer than Afghanistan.  It was clear to us that Pakistan has an image problem.
 
Pakistan also has a power problem, as in electric power.  Power is now off two hours out of three all day and all night.  Estimates are that the country has enough generation capacity (hydro and oil based) to handle all the load, but corruption, power stealing, poor payment rates and the classic mistake of underpricing power compared to its real generation cost means that industrial production is threatened.  Everyone of means has a UPS, and the air-conditioning seldom works on a 45 Celcius day.   Our meetings often were literally in the dark, a common enough occurrence that people did not even remark about it.
 
Pakistanis are on their way to full mobile penetration with more than 110 million users, and all effective political communication programs now rely on SMS.  3G licenses are underway and the start of a real software industry can be seen.
 
Against this backdrop, another side of Pakistan emerges.  The consensus is that the military drives the foreign policy of the country with unforeseen consequences.  Alleged use of extremist groups to fight in Kashmir enables a criminal element to flourish, and the hosting of the Taliban in the autonomous regions (called FATA) to the north and west in the mountains turned an ungoverned area into a very dangerous area.  The Army Generals explained the difference between fundamentalism (which they support) and extremism (which they fight), and the political leadership explained that the extremism now comes from “seminaries” where youth are indoctrinated, housed and fed in the rural areas where there are no opportunities at all.
 
Until recently a strong US ally, Pakistan is now on very good terms with China, and has improving relations with India (with whom they have had three wars.)   The development of a nuclear stalemate between India and Pakistan seems to have forced them to pursue accommodation and trade is now increasing rapidly.  The press are generally hyper-critical of the United States policies in the region and take the view that the India-US relationship is driving much of our countries behavior.  The drone strikes are universally condemned as a violation of sovereignty and their constitution and are subject to much negotiation between the two countries.  The bin Laden raid is viewed with strikingly different perspectives in the two countries.
 
The son of the chief of the Supreme Court is under investigation for corruption, and the media in turmoil after the appearance of staged interviews.  In return, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Prime Minister is unable to govern after he was sentenced to a 30 second (yes, that’s right) detention for failing to investigate a corruption case against the President.  The Prime Minister, so proud of the stability of the political system in his comments a week ago, is now the former-Prime Minister.  The lack of trust within the society weakens both the real and perceived effectiveness of the government on security, corruption and good government matters.
 
We met a number of impressive Pakistanis, none more so than Masarrat Misbah of Smile Again.  Every year, hundreds of young rural women have acid thrown on their faces by men as punishment for some dishonor, including being raped by the men who pour acid on her.  This horrific crime, which often leads to death or blindness, requires painful rehabilitation and rebuilding of the woman’s life.  Masarrat Misbah’s home in Lahore provides a temporary safe house.  The perpetrators, most often direct family members, are seldom prosecuted and almost never convicted of anything.  I will never forget the faces of these shy, young women so grievously injured in such an evil way.
 
Much of what people say and think about Pakistan is absolutely true for most of the FATA provinces (autonomous areas) and for Baluchistan. Pakistan's image problem results from the fact that people outside the country believe the realities of North and South Waziristan and Quetta are reflective of what the larger country looks like. Islamabad and Lahore are certainly safer than people realize, unless you are a politician (many prominent politicians still suffer assassination attempts and threats inside these cities). 
 
Pakistan's major security challenge comes from having two many fronts. FATA represents a Haqqani network and Taliban problem, threatening the establishment in Islamabad. Baluchistan is a persistent separatist movement. Afghanistan is a threat because Pashtuns are allowed to go back and forth undocumented.  All of this, including India, is simply too much for a government like Pakistan to take on right now. 
 
We ultimately see three Pakistans: 1) The places where the security issues are true (FATA, Baluchistan, parts of SWAT Valley, and Kashmir); 2) the rest of Pakistan for the average citizen, much larger than the first and which is reasonably misunderstood and relatively safe; 3) The politician's and military's Pakistan, which whether in FATA or Islamabad, is turbulent, unsafe, and complex.
 
There is a good case for optimism about Pakistan, simply because of the large emergent middle class (#2).  The country, vast, tribal and complicated, can follow the more successful model of India.  Connectivity changes the rural experience completely.. illiteracy at 43% can be overcome relatively quickly, and providing information alternatives can dissuade young males from a life of terrorism.  The well educated elite can decide to further reform the countries institutions to increase confidence in the government.  The war in Afghanistan, destabilizing to Pakistan in many ways, winds down after 2014 and buys time for Pakistan to address its real and continuing internal terrorism threat (more than 30,000 civilian terror deaths in the decade.)
 
Technology can help in other ways as well.  The power problem is mostly a tracking problem (tracing corruption and mis-distribution).  The problem of extreme crimes (like acid, or stoning) in poorly policed regions can be mitigated with videos and exposes that shame authorities into prosecution.  The corruption problem can be tracked and traced using mobile money and transparent government finances.  We met with clever Pakistani entrepreneurs who will build large, new businesses in Pakistan in the next few years and global multinational will locate sales and eventually manufacturing in the country.
 
The emergent middle class of Pakistan won’t settle for a corrupt system with constant terrorism and will push for reforms in a burgeoning democracy.  Here’s to the new civil society of Pakistan, who will use connectivity, information and the Internet, to drive a peaceful revolution that brings Pakistan up to its true potential.
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161 comments
 
Holy crap that was awesome.  One thing that Google+ has done is made me more aware of the world outside the US as I now communicate with many different people from different backgrounds.  Something that wouldn't have happened in the FB model.  It has really been an eye opening experience, thank you!
 
If a dictatorship tries to establish itself again, hopefully Pakistan will have its own "Tahrir Square" moment. Corruption is a longer slog though, and I hope that the sunlight-as-disinfectant effect of technology starts to scale up in speed, like the tech itself.
 
I wish I could "Favorite" this post for later reading! Hey +Google+ and whoever else involved with it, are you listening?
 
+Sathya Vasudeva make a circle called "Read later" and share this post with that circle. That's what I do.
 
+Eric Schmidt your analysis is spot on... finding it hard to believe how you could get it so accurately... That too within a short visit... Hats off to you
 
Wow +Eric Schmidt ... hearing/reading something about Pakistan from a foreigner that I as a Pakistani mostly agree with is something of a rare occurrence. This is an excellent write-up and I admire your level of understanding of our country and its problems.

Our biggest problem is a general lack of enlightenment among people to be able to make the right decisions and realize their own power. Spreading education is the only way to circumvent this, I think. This will help us see past the shiny, clean and “pak” exterior of corrupt politicians that we keep electing back into office. Even a little improvement would at least plug the largest of the leaking holes in government resources that could actually give a boost to the current state of affairs.

Glad to know you visited here, hope you come again soon and see things improving. It would be great if you host some talk or speech next time, I am sure a lot of people would love to attend it and learn from you.
 
Thanks for sharing Eric. Very insightful.
 
+Eric Schmidt I always look forward to your posts!  You are so articulate and persuasive.  It is a real joy to read your perspectives on things.  A very sincere Thank You.
 
Despite all the good, it seems a major, fundamental problem, though, that it is a country founded on a particular religion. You mention this but your insightful discussion doesn't much consider its implications. A religious government charter -- regardless of which religion -- is philosophically incompatible with democracy, and I'm afraid Pakistan and other religiously chartered countries will always suffer under that burden until this fundamental and difficult aspect of their foundation is expunged.
 
+Eric Schmidt thank you very much for that highly informative and eye opening post. Please keep them coming so we can continue to learn the truth about other countries including those in the middle east.
 
Thank you for that informative perspective on the present state of Pakistan. Great read. Thank you.
 
Thanks specially for the last lines we will :)
 
+Eric Schmidt  Thanks Eric for this. Your observation is spot on and i hope it serves the purpose which is not only to identify the problem but also to activate "solutions".

A very important thing here is getting across and actually doing the things as per individual capacity. When a System Fails, the individuals who make up the system should operate as separate entities at their optimum levels. What sadly happens is that those who have the capacity to work best get involved in highlighting the issues at large.

With a massive mobile penetration (and smartphone users reaching 5 Million) there is an immense opportunity in building an eco-system that is nothing short of success. The only thing that needs to be done is to show the value in the problems around and come up with relevant solutions.

Hope your visit had a bigger impact on the community of representatives you met.

Regards,
 
Great analysis of the real Pakistan, all three of them. Shows weakness of those pundits who churn out papers without every actually visiting
 
We have high mobile penetration but technology wise we need to pick pace quickly.
Will it ever be revealed what the meeting with the top Pakistani leadership was about?
 
Thank you for visiting my country. Had you been around for longer and more accessible, we wouldve arranged for you to meet a long list of other type of Pakistani's, ones who's companies power the stock tickers at the NYSE and other stock markets as well, ones that have created some of the most successful mobile games (Howzat cricket) and work with clients from the world over to produce the most amazing products including but not limited to technology, leather, garments, food and much more.

We're a self-sufficient, fully capable nation, who unfortunately has lost it's way. Thank you for your visit, and for clearing some misconceptions about my country. You're always welcome!
 
its a really good article . Pakistan got so much potential its just we need to be more hardworking and pro active . We are encouraging people around the globe to come and invest . our group Global Entreprenuers Consortium is one of the Pakistan's most experienced group who is managed by people who got more then 40 to 50 years experience of how to make this Place heaven on the earth . 
 
Eric, for "clever Pakistan entrepreneurs" to build business, they need power and stability. We all don't have enough VC capital to ensure power and security for our employees.

Although I believe that education and technology will force the new generations to know better, the cure for tribal areas / feudal systems can not be modelled after India. Their feudal system was abolished when they got independent, while our leaders nourished these systems to their benefit. Unrest as you said, is driven by the far less privileged populous.

Only when we educate the children in the tribal / feudal areas, will their be sustained change. It might take more than 2014. So its not only an image problem.

I really appreciate that you came to our country. I hope you liked Islamabad and Lahore, as they are wonderful cities to visit. If you ever happen to come to Karachi, i am sure that you will find it as safe here.
 
This is like a wikipedia excerpt. While the info is sound, it's sterile. From an American in Pakistan & regularly here, none of this is breaking news.  It is, however, a nice effort to share about Pakistan with skeptics. 

Pakistan is a special country.  Mujhe Pakistan se moHabbat hai!
 
He Did Perceived A Lot Of Good Facts About Pakistan.
But His Image Of Pakistan Was Not 100% Percent Correct.

I Believe He Still Have Vague Ideas And Concept Of The People In NWFP And Balochistan.

We Pakistanis Are Muslims We Are One Nation The More We Divide Our Selves In Casts, Linguistic Classes And Status Classes The More Hatred Will Spread Across Among Our Selves.

And This Is The Major Cause (According To Me) Of Image Problem Of Pakistan On International Scope. We Should Be Muslims Hold Firmly The Rope Of Allah Love Each, Be More Patient, Help Each Other Prosper And Do Not Spy Or Backbite Each Other. Would one of Us Like To Eat The Flesh Of His Brother When Dead?

"And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you - when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided." --[Surat 'Āli `Imrān (Family of Imran)|103]
http://quran.com/3/103

"O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful." --[Surat Al-Ĥujurāt (The Rooms)|12]
http://quran.com/49/12
 
i believe that one of the major issue of Pakistan, as a student here is the education, not many people will put education upfront as compared to corruption and electricity shortages. But it is an answer to every possible current and future problems of Pakistan. But it is a well written summary of my countries bad luck. But we can change it for sure.
 
Like you said connectivity is the key and mobile internet penetration is one of key investments that Pakistan should make in the near future.
 
Hi, I am a Pakistani and I am very happy to see such a knowledgeable article written by someone who is not a local, an article that had references to the Chief Justice's son as well as to the "planted-interview" that appeared on You-Tube and subsequently on the media very recently, an updated and well-researched article. Bravo Eric Schmidt !! Bravo !! Yes! it is very right that Pakistan suffers from an image problem primarily and that must be tackled with ASAP. That really is a major issue as far as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is concerned. I recently read that Pakistan was third on the list of most-hated countries of the world!. Also, ATM, the country suffers from a deadly power-crisis when, in-effect, there is all the capacity to take on all of the load !! Personally, i hope things will turn for the better, the ass-kicking of the Ex-PM that landed him outside of the Prime Minister Secretariat was a cool breeze amidst the heat and the load-shedding....... but I am pretty sure about one thing: This is the moment of truth for Pakistanis, if, even at this point in time, the majority does not realize its destiny and does not vote for Pakistan's last hope, read: cricketer turned politician Imran Khan, then, there would be eternal darkness and chaos in this land of the Pure.....I hope sanity will survive, i hope Pakistan will survive because I WILL vote for Imran Khan this election!! Imran Khan Rocks!!
 
"Today, Pakistani leadership celebrates the ruling coalitions success in almost finishing the first five year term in history" .. The Prime Minister is disqualified, and sent home!
 
Thanks Eric, to write about Pakistan and telling people about us. Off course there is positive side of each thing and we are really optimistic to be a great nation! 
 
The 'emerging middle class' is indeed the best hope for Pakistan. More than  anything, we need Entrepreneurship. lots n lots of start-up activity. 

we're workin on a Language Planning Initiative aimed at Hindi-Urdu Script, Style, Status and Lexical reform & modernization. 

hope u find it promising in Indo-Pak context
www.HamariBoli.com
 
Awesome, very informative =)
 
Thanks Eric for a very insightful piece of writing. I agree with your opinion on Pakistan and being a Pakistani it makes me really sad. Also believe Imran Khan is the only hope we are left with.
 
Bring Paypal to Pakistan. It will open many opportunities for entrepreneurs.
 
Very Precise and Very un-biased! Thank You Sir, hoping to see more  of you in Pakistan. Google should invest and create job opportunities here, a country where we've had young geniuses like Arfa Karim to the first (ahem) creators of Viruses. 
 
Nice article...I am from Pakistan and assure everyone that there are only some areas that are dangerous not the whole country.

We are contributing in IT worldwide and mobile is the next domain that we are looking forward too.
 
well written man... thanks #ericschmidt for visiting Pakistan !!!
 
Hmm like the story... most of its part is reality based and very much true.... and the root cause which is not very much discussed and eloborated in the story is the corrupt leaders.... this is the root cause that pakistan still not become a  stable country in last 64 years.... anyhow good to see that We Pakistanis have a good image..... that is only media our own media who are spreading only negative image...
 
well written article, thanks for visiting Pakistan.

+Eric Schmidt : there's little correction about Baluchistan, u said separatist movement is going on in Baluchistan , which is quite wrong. Baluchistan is 48 % of Pakistan's land and only 1 % population living there, there are more than 83 big tribes there but only 3 out 83 big tribes demand freedom, also in these 3 tribes there Leader only have not more than 40 % support .
 
so its not like Baluchistan wants freedom its these 3 tribes leader wants freedom on backing of Afghanistan. 
 
Sir, we would like permission to reproduce this post at The Express Tribune, the Pakistani affiliate of the International Herald Tribune. Would you be comfortable if we did so?
 
corruption doesn't only exist in the leadership anymore, there's a long chain of people who are corrupt and in some way or another all of us are corrupt looking for shortcuts etc. take power stealing as an example.
 
Interesting insights into the what of the current affairs of Pakistan. Here is an interview of Imran Khan (a prominent, forward-thinking politician) by Juian Assange. This offers more insight into why Pakistan is the way it is, right now.
The World Tomorrow - Imran Khan
 
Eric Schmidt for the President of Pakistan. He's certainly got a better sense of the problems here than the current regime..
 
To correct Mr +Eric Schmidt about Kashmir, India had occupied the region long years back and those who are fighting over there are not millitants but locals for their own land. Similarly like people will fight anywhere else to getrid of enemies. Something that you will do when someone occupy your home and you retaliate 
 
yes. Eric for President of Pakistan and also India :D
 
In my view, pakistan is amazing nation with vast amount of untapped talent. However problems  pointed out in the post, generally makes them under-achievers. Add to that, the education system of Islam needs to be seriously renovated. This is hurting their chances in competing with other countries in the world. 

They need good political leaders just like my country INDIA who can't look beyond a particular dynasty :(
 
A lot goes right in Pakistan every day, though mostly overshadowed by the sensationalist head lines. Good to see a balanced view.
 
+Eric Schmidt  Kashmiris fighting for their homeland with indian army, According to the two-nation theory, which is one of the theories that is cited for the partition that created India and Pakistan, Kashmir should have been with Pakistan, because it has a Muslim majority.
 
+Eric Schmidt nice piece  of writing about Pakistan at least something positive, but you haven't mentioned any thing about Gilgit-Baltistan one of the major tourist attraction and a heaven on earth, specially Hunza and Baltistan one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the world. Thanks for the good write up :) 
 
+Eric Schmidt Just wanted to clear one thing that i had visited the Swat and Kashmir valley this year and i think everything is going to ok slowly and steadily. Swat valley has been closed for 4 years for visitors... 3 years due to Taliban and 1 year due to flood. but for now everything was peaceful. Kashmir and swati people are the kind and great in nature.  Kashmir is also the most peaceful place of Pakistan. I am not an +Eric Wingrove  but Just wanted to let all the people know that what i saw and found.
 
Quiet accurate view on current situation of Pakistan. Both the challenges and opportunities. Very different from the biased stuff usually purported in Western Media about Pakistan.
 
+Mehta Parag Issue is not about religious education. Islam never stops from studying Science, Technology or Medicine. Infact a lot of earlier studies and breakthrough in these fields are made by Muslims scholars & scientists. Just like Algebra in Maths! 
Unfortunately some narrow-minded clerics have twisted the real essence of Islam and driving their own agendas which is actually the sad situation.
 
The irony is that there are Muslims in India today than the entire population of Pakistan!
 
really good piece +Eric Schmidt . Glad to see someone outside the green walls of Pakistan understands the current state of our beloved nation.
 
but what was the agenda of your visit besides this :)
 
+Eric Schmidt Thanks for highlighting some facts specially the mis-conception of entire #Pakistan  being in-secure. On the other front, you mentioned about mobile money, is it something #google  can do on that front? If yes, I would be interesting in providing my experience and expertise.
 
Thank you Google+ and Mr. Schmidt for reminding all our problems.
Could you please request your own Govt. to stop supporting Corrupt and Looting regime in Pakistan?
Please make sure to do that.
 
+Eric Schmidt  Thank you very much for your valuable time. I hope you will visit Pakistan in future as well. You have very well elaborated the current situation and as a Pakistani I could not agree more with the positives and negatives that you have highlighted. Younger generation can learn a lot from you. On the next visit you may bring more googlers and meet with university students and share your experiences with them. We need more and more visits from people like you who have done so much for the world. Once again thank you very much.
 
Pakistanis are making a significant voluntary contribution to Google offerings like Google Maps. It makes perfect sense for Google, a global giant, to be interested in Pakistan because of its young demographics which Schmidt described as a “great asset” in an interview published in Pakistani newspapers.
http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/11/online-digital-maps-petaluma-to.html
 
Your analysis is pretty correct, however I would like to add one thing, you should also visit Karachi, its 8th largest city in the world and 68 percent of federal governments revenue is generated from this city. Security is however a problem, like any major metropolis the city faces gang wars in certain areas and a police department that is overstretched. Plus it isn't facing the same power shortfalls as other parts of the country since it has its own dedicated 4 major power plants 1 of them nuclear to sustain and cope with any shortfalls. I hope things turn out better for the country overall.
 
Wow! I like how you end up writing this accurate piece after spending just a day or two in Pakistan. Bravo!
 
Well written Mr Schmidt, I live and work in Pakistan. The Pakistan of the burgeoning middle
Classes versus that of the Army/Politicians is at war with each other, primarily because of the huge awareness , your industry has enabled , onto all and sundry worldwide. I can sense a change in the offing. The young of our country have come alive. The 'vested establishment' comprising Army/politicians/business elite beware. Dr Daudi
 
Thank you +Eric Schmidt for putting it out in black and white. Just a correction, Pakistan has always had very close relations with China, we have had ups and down with the US.

On an another note, if +Google Ventures ever wants to get its feet wet with some investments in IT sector here, I would be happy to help to discuss prospects and make introductions.
 
couple of days stay and a good overview. impressive. Things are not that bad to be honest. Corruption and power are main problems hurting Pakistan. As far as terrorism is concerned, US must resolve Afghanistan issue as roots of all the terrorists are there.
 
Thanks for visiting, but he shouldn't have talked so much about Acid burning, seriously its a very small part of something big.
 
Thanks for visiting Pakistan. It means a lot to us when distinguished and learned people like yourself come here and show confidence in the future of our country at a time when many of us are not so sure ourselves.
 
you have actually written excellent about the Pakistan but you have to spent more time in Paksitan and visit each and every city, District, Division or at least capitals of all the four provinces, so that you may be able to see how the people of Pakistan are working hard for their livelihood and what are the sources of their income, you must had to visit several district of the Sindh and Punjab Provinces of Pakistan, where agricuturists are busy by day and night to provide natural products to the citizens of the country and if their hardships should be displayed publicly it would be actually a proud for those hard workers. So I being a Pakistani advise you that in the next trip you may prefer the visit of interior province of Sindh.  
 
Wonderful piece of writting :-)

Very positive...
 
You must have arranged a meeting with Pakistani top 50 bloggers, it would have been a great experience for us.
 
Thanks Eric for visiting my hometown country and this article.
 
 
Good observations. but you should tell what we have before 9/11. Today's picture is only due to 9/11 incident.
 
Pakistan and its Image Solution

Thank you Mr. +Eric Schmidt for this write-up, it has spread like wild-fire on social media across Pakistan, mostly on facebook and some of it on twitter. Currently over 7 million people from Pakistan are active on facebook, I hope you have some sort of tool to measure how wide your message has spread and Pakistani’s all over the world have read your words and agree with most of what you wrote. 

Your “secret visit” to Pakistan has been treated with optimism, negativity and few conspiracy theorists amused us with their assumptions. It was not an unusual time to be in Pakistan, your timing was perfect and that is one reason why your analysis is mostly correct. The power of the Internet in Pakistan should be evident to you. It was social media which spread the off-air footage from the staged interview between widely respected news anchors and a property tycoon; something like this wasn’t possible even three years ago. The staged interview showed the involvement of the Prime Minister’s son with all the people on the set of the interview, just the icing on the cake that was needed for the Judiciary to hammer down the popular verdict.

Mr. Schmidt, Pakistan and America share a rich history together, not only in time of War but also when there is peace. Many Hollywood movies used to choose Pakistan for filming the desert sands and we used to host legendary Hollywood entertainers frequently in the 60’s and 70’s. Moonwalkers from Apollo 17 were here in 1973 and paraded across the city of Karachi. IBM and HP have been here since these companies went global. Pepsi, Coke and P&G are household brands in Pakistan while many other American companies like G.E, Microsoft, Dell, Kraft etc are strongly present here. Pakistan is an Ally of the World and USA and will continue to be one in the toughest of times, like the ones being faced by us currently.

Pakistan is also a beautiful country:
http://goo.gl/DNeVp

And its people also dream like everyone else on this planet:
Arfa Karim - Princess of Bill Gates

There are approx. 180 million people in Pakistan. Out of which 140 million people live in the as safe as New York provinces of Sind and Punjab. Rest of the 40 million represents the provinces of KP and Baluchistan (Also Safe). Amongst those 40 million, some 2 million people live in the troubled tribal area where around 20,000 people have a different mindset than the rest of the180 million. This is the Image Problem of Pakistan.

Most Pakistani’s suffer due to this Image Problem, yes there is no Electricity at the moment and corruption is at its highest. But we are a resilient nation, tough times will go away and people like Mr. Edhi inspire us every single day.

Google can play its part by not just opening a sales and marketing office in Pakistan, But also create a small R&D division, just so you know that we can innovate if given the opportunity. No one has tapped our endless field of brilliant minds; you can be the first one.
 
thank you mr.ERIC for a balanced article,all we need is to equip ourself with science&technology.
 
but also to provide education to our un-educated people
 
Great article Eric, obviously media outlets always work on their own hidden agendas and sadly they are all anti-Pakistan these days due to various reasons of their own. Great to know that you came to Pakistan and have seen it yourself, a person of your status can do a lot to change the perspective of this country. Startup culture is starting to boom and it's only a matter of time now when you will meet Pakistani people in Silicon Valley which would say no we don't do outsourcing instead we are a startup working on this great idea.

It will be great if you can help in opening a "technology community center" in Lahore like the one Google opened in London's East End last year, that would help us in going forward and I am sure Punjab Govt. will be very happy to assist.
 
Pakistanis are smart, resourceful and warm people.

They need a stable system that rewards hard work and a level playing field where everyone stands a chance to win.

When transplanted to other stable countries, Pakistanis thrive and prosper in entrepreneurship, professions, science, technology and the arts.

Google needs to cast an economic vote with Pakistan and not an emotional one with simply air and words.
 
Thank you very much for such a insightful thoughts to rest of the world. +Eric Schmidt  can you please give another insight why Paypal is not coming to Pakistan? Paypal is in every country almost, except 5. 
 
+Eric Schmidt Thank you for your visit and clearing misconception about my country. Not to mention you and every one are always welcome!
 
Thank you So much for the review Eric, 

I am a Android Developer and Owner of AuWire Technologies !
I am Happy you visit Pakistan, it will help boost Development in Pakistan specially Android Development - !
 
+Eric Schmidt  Please - put some light on small companies for development in Pakistan do they have a future ? in Pakistan ! 
as I run US/Pakistan based company for Android Development 
www.auwire.com [AuWire Technologies !]
 
+Eric Schmidt I appreciate +Google for having a Country Rep in Pakistan in the shape of +Badar Khushnood who works hard in representing +Google well.  What I desire/ dream to see is the +Google Play store to have its Hardware also available on sale in Pakistan, rather than us relying on various importers.  The local Samsung agents are a rip-off in pricing/ customer service.  Pakistan, as you have on first-hand observed in your brief stay, has a strong and vibrant commercial market.  People are getting online and relying more in the power of Cell-phones to keep them connected rather than the past era of slow cabled internet and Desktop PCs. Tablets are yet to take over the market.  Please keep Pakistan in the loop of latest developments and tech in both SW & HW form. With well wishes and best regards, a Pakistani!
 
A decent summary of what all is happening in Pakistan. I respect your view. I hope that politicians, military and people of Pakistan look at their country and at themselves from similar perspective. 
 
+Ali Hafeez Azmat  I am working on the same - trying to introduce Pakistan software market to worldwide and creating new opportunities for Pakistani developers- ! I wish we can have a Small Google Conference in Pakistan ! +Badar Khushnood  can we ?
 
Very neutral opinion unlike the west media. Encourgement with bitter realities
 
you have go through a-lot of issues in a very short time, so can say its neutral opinion if individual, but we are facing and trying to sort out things and trying so we can show more good result to world hope Technology and Google will also help us in our dreams .. very informative
 
+Eric Shmidt Turn by Turn Navigation for Pakistanis in Adroid Eric. Is that too much to ask for? I am willing to volunteer. +1 if you like to volunteer as well!
 
So what we can take from this note is that Pakistan is a land of opportunities and the people really want to be explored. Yes, this is also evident from the number of +1 and shares on this post.
 
+Eric Schmidt Thank you sir for this post, really appreciate honest and sincere review of what my country really is, and how its actually protrayed, really proud of this post...
 
Great going Eric!  Impressive to see you in Pakistan and get a first hand view of one of the most misunderstood country in the world. While optimistic myself, Pakistan has a serious social disorder best described as that of individual gain but collective loss.  Here is a country with all the fundamentals in place, people, opportunity and rich history of global citizenship but total absence of leadership!  A simple example being the mobile companies that report 110 million accounts knowing very well that they are only 65 million users with 110 million multiple SIMs. Pakistan is misunderstood alright but it is really as simple as this little digging to find the reality in this case of mobile operators.  Had there been true leadership in these wireless operators they would have tapped the other 120 million Pakistanis and their houses as well!
 
You have summarized Pakistan very well. Thank you for doing justice with your words.
 
I am from Pakistani middle class and Eric has so perfectly described me. Thank you so much sir
 
Very imperasive opinion ....good to here ...:) thanks 
 
Nice work Eric! I am from Pakistan as well. And yes Eric has described our political as well as democratic situation in a correct way. This country now have a lot if education. And this country have a lot of chances to grow and many ways in which we can look and open  new doors of opportunity. Just waiting for the right time! 
 
aww you did not talk about drone attacks (killing innocents) , black water and american terrorism in pakistan :(
 
Thank you Eric for showing what Pakistan is really about. I have a new found respect for google and you!!
 
thanks Eric for this article .... you are right its all image problem ...  
 
+Eric Schmidt Your observations are not accurate in many aspects. Especially about, Kashmir, Balochistan, and FATA. I wish "you should visit Pakistan again and observe neutrally".
You will certainly find footprints of USA, India and some other countries, in disturbing Pakistan. The causes of all the agitations and undefineable reasons will lead you to your country.
I wish you would have a neutral eye, to observe what is happening in this part of the world, and then post your observations again.
 
Please Respect Author's Request
+Eric Schmidt did clearly state right at the opening comment that it is not to be a Political battleground, 

I also found it to be very amusing how all of a sudden there are so many  "experts" on Middle-East or  Israel coming out of the woods about a topic they clearly react from just Information frenzy (or lack of information for that matter).
 
You have got to be kidding me! One of the largest democracies of the world? Highly educated elite leaderships?

Why didn't you see through that these are complete and utter lies! They're lying to the Google CEO just as they lie to us.

i) There is absolutely no democracy here.
ii) Most of the leaders here haven't passed 10th grade and use fake degrees. Everybody knows that.

Only a few areas here are actually dangerous. You can see in all the other cities that lives here are perfectly normal and no one cares about any threat. The impact of terrorism doesn't affect our normal lives.

But yeah, Pakistan has GREAT potential, but first we have kick these 'highly educated leaders' out. Seriously, how can they lie so much.
 
a great article about Pakistan a rarity by an influential personality. Thank you for explaining it in such details. but i would love to see how you are planing to tap in to the huge educated younger generation. I am sure you will find many of those in your company. how about setting up a small development center, you will find the most talented of the people in Pakistan, with its small software industry they are already generating vibes globally, specially i can name two companies like Avanza and TPS who have majority of the MENA region as their customers. This shows that Google can also benefit from Pakistani engineers and entrepreneurs.

Setting something of a development office in Pakistan would be the first positive thing that you could do to Pakistan at the moment.  
 
101% true. Very well-analyzed. Coming from a Pakistani.
 
Eric,

I would request your permission to include quotes from your post in a section of a document that makes a case for investment in Pakistan.

The quote and attribution text are:

“………..Islamabad and Lahore, where we visited, were relatively safe and certainly safer than Afghanistan.  It was clear to us that Pakistan has an image problem……….Pakistanis are on their way to full mobile penetration with more than 110 million users, and all effective political communication programs now rely on SMS.  3G licenses are underway and the start of a real software industry can be seen.……..There is a good case for optimism about Pakistan, simply because of the large emergent middle class.  The country, vast, tribal and complicated, can follow the more successful model of India.  Connectivity changes the rural experience completely. Illiteracy at 43% can be overcome relatively quickly, and providing information alternatives can dissuade young males from a life of terrorism.  The well educated elite can decide to further reform the countries institutions to increase confidence in the government.  The war in Afghanistan, destabilizing to Pakistan in many ways, winds down after 2014……..”

Selected excerpts from post by Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google Inc., on 21 June 2012 on his Google+ account titled “Pakistan and its image problem”.
 
+Eric Schmidt You've depicted the problems and potential of Pakistani people in a well manner. We are better than what people talk about us, that is TRUE.
 
nice article, the young generation is trying their best to change the image of Pakistan.
 
Interesting to see you mention Bin Laden raid, terrorism and all that stuff but you forgot to mention how these terrorists get their ammunition for all these years continuously? You also forgot to mention that the US govt never managed to use today's connectivity and give us a real account of Bin Laden's dead body instead of changing the story 3-4 times at least and giving contradictory recollections of events. 

How about you tell us about your visit to the BUILDERBERG conference in Virginia this year and what you guys have decided for the rest of the world... which some of you think of as "cockroaches"? 
 
Strange, my comment got deleted. Was it too factual to digest?
 
Mr Schmidt, I wonder if you have any understanding of your own country :) war-fighting, oil hungry, specialist of PSYOPS and false flag operations, spreading unrest in middle-east from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Egypt and also responsible for putting Pakistan in its current situation (on geo-political front). What do you think are the root causes, of course America's quench for establishing its prominent presence in our region. You better try getting to know your OWN COUNTRY as better as you TRIED knowing our country :) peace!
 
I am Pathan and hail form Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, just bordering FATA. I would like to ADD to this article few facts about Pathan and life in FATA. There used to be peace and love prevailing all over in communities in Pakhtun belt till the war on terror was launched by US in Afghanistan. The common people are peace-loving, hospitable, respectful and enriched with Pakhtunwali (The Pakhtun Code of Conduct). 
 
To me this is a note Eric Schmidt wrote for consumption of his office "here is country with potential but warrant caution in the short run till things sort themselves out".  
 
real pakistan is quite different tha what you would think, are totally against the west and condone sharia law"
 
a good overview and insight. thank you for making the trip.
 
Excellent post. Your insight is exact because it depicts the actual picture of Pakistan. And yes, eventually, the strengthening civil society of Pakistan will push for reforms.
 
Pakistan zindabad pakistan paindabad jeway jeway Pakistan dil dil pakistan jan jan Pakistan!!!!!!!! Suna tumnay? 
 
#Pakistan will be a great nation after some time, though it lacks some basics but time will improve all that....
Being an #Indian i would like both economies to grow n together become a great strength :D
 
persian gulf for ever
persian gulf for ever
persian gulf for ever
persian gulf for ever
persian gulf for ever
persian gulf for ever
persian gulf for ever
 
Pakistan problems are just as any other country's got. Its just that the problems are pessimistically exaggerated by the media. Nothing else. Its just another awesome developing country.
 
Wow. That was great. 
Thanks for the doodle. 
 
Haji shabib baig, on September 4, 2012 at 10:43 am said:
AOA Since present most corrupt rulers who came with 40%fake votes
the ECONOMICAL,POLITICAL,MORAL,LAW AND ORDER,POVERTY,
AND HUMAN LIVES are not save all big organizations are finished
due to MEGA corruption of UNKIND rulers BUT SORRY TO SAY no
any AUTHORITY SUPREME COURT,C.O.A.S GENERAL ASHFAQ
PERVEZ KAYANI taking any action to SAVE QUAID KA PAKISTAN
from most corrupt who are UNDERMINING COUNTRY,I have also
send MERCY REQUEST TWO THREE TIMES with MEDIA PROOFS
but all in vain once again requested to BOTH authorities please
come forward and save PAKISTAN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
A LOVER OF PAKISTAN PAKISTAN ARMY
PAKISTAN ZINDA BAD

Reply 
 
very nice post =)
 
A spot on analysis, Absolutely loved the way you connected the dots..
 
Hello ,I'm a Chinese Man .Now I talk to you by use the GAE .I hope Google make GAE have a HongKong IP rather than only usa IP
 
Pakistan will never deserve the respect of the world until the day comes that they treat their women with dignity and respect. The atrocious, malignant mysogyny that Pakistani men continue to heap upon their women is primitive and shows the world the depth of their uncivilised, cowardly depravity. A country is judged by the way it treats its poor, its women and its children.  Pakistan fails on all three accounts. I have travelled throughout Pakistan back in the 1970's - the situation there has not improved!  I thoroughly disagree with Abdul Samad Karar - there is NOTHING sweet about Pakistan .. especially if you have the misfortune of being born female!  Pakistani men have the collective IQ in single digits ... shame on you all!
 
Katie Johnson, I respectfully disagree with you, this is 2012 not 1970 and 2013 is about to come. i am living since 24 years in Lahore and my sisters can drive, go out for shopping even at midnight without any problem.
 
M Awais Q, I appreciate your comment, however, you make it sound like it is a privilege for your sisters to be able to drive, go shopping and be out after midnight when, in fact, it should be regarded as their RIGHT as female adults to come and go as they please without the autocratic permission of males which is, after all, the experience of the larger majority of women in Pakistan and other Muslim countries. My point is that things have NOT changed in Pakistan since the 1970's and, in fact, fundamentalism (under Sharia law) has made things worse for many women.  The ongoing and horrific acid attacks and honor killings seem to be completely IGNORED by Pakistani authorities and Pakistani people in general.  It is an UNBELIEVABLE situation.  If it happened in my country, these barbaric, primitive animals (who attach these poor women) would be locked up forever. My heart goes out to poor Pakistani women who, like their Saudi Arabian sisters, seem to be destined to live under the tyrannical boot of mysogyny until Pakistan moves on from its primitive, tribal heritage. This cannot be done until the brainwashing of young, uneducated boys (in poor rural areas) by medieval Muslim  clerics ceases.  These illiterate boys' heads are filled with vile mysogynistic propoganda that has the end result of viewing women as sub-human property to mistreat and abuse as they see fit.  Unfortunately, for Pakistan, this is how your country is viewed by the Western world and will remain so until you make radical changes!
 
The son of the slain True Leader of Pakistan who was slaughtered will soon be old enough to carry on where his mother left off. I believe in him.
 
How can google help bring a true revolution in pakistan. Can Google do such a thing ?
 
Katie Johnson that was such a feminist point of view. In a country like Pakistan religion also binds the women in the country and not in a negative way. Where ethics and morality are considered high in regard, the women here are very much respected. Benazir Bhutto, the ex prime minister of Pakistan, was a woman. In the US's history, there has never been a woman leading the country. I have no intentions of defending all the atrocities against "the woman" in Pakistan but that represents 5% of the society. Woman here are empowered to do anything they like to and our "vile mysogynistic propaganda" in your words in utterly misleading. 
This all coming from a person who actually lives in this country and travels around in 2013 rather than the 1970s.
Cheers
 
So what are you saying, Farhan, that a "feminist" point of view isn't to be taken seriously?  Let me remind you that Benazir Bhutto was ASSASSINATED!!!  In Australia, we have a female Prime Minister and many women in leading roles in politics and business (your uneducated assumption that I am American is incorrect)!  Whatever you say will not change Pakistan's horrific legacy and reputation as a country that tolerates ongoing and horrific assaults and open discrimination against women.  Women are NOT empowered in Pakistan, Farhan!  I have travelled throughout Pakistan and have witnessed such atrocities first hand.  Your misguided belief that such cowardly acts represent only 5% of society is misinformed.  Of course, you are a male and protected from such realities. You may live inn 2013 but the ideology of Islam is stuck in the middle ages. Shame on you!  You cannot change what you don't acknowledge!
 
Yes. Because I don't believe in either feminism or male chauvinism. I believe in what's right and what's wrong. Good to know that you come from Australia. Did you know that rape cases in your country are the highest per capita? Of course you didn't because you know more about Pakistan than me who has lived in this country since he was born. Moreover my sister is amongst the strongest women in Pakistan. Ayesha Eirabie. Look her up please. I know we can be critical about Islam but only when we have studied the religion on a whole. Your ignorance causes you to insult a religion that first gave rights to women. That first promoted equality amongst women. However women have a specified role just like men. This is why there are less rape cases reported in Pakistan than Australia. Saudi Arabia is a country where Islam is highly prevelant and naturally the rape cases per year can be counted on your fingers. I say that when you've travelled more than 100 different cities and villages of Pakistan, then you could come to a substantial solution.
 
You so typify the ignorant Pakistani male .. happy to live in your male chauvinistic bubble completely unaware of what goes on around you!  Wake up!  Australia has absolutely nowhere NEAR the rape and cruelty cases against women!  Have you EVER been here? The rate of your horrific "Honour Killlings" against women and acid thrown in their faces is well documented! Shame on you.  Islam is a cult of hatred, like a sickening cancer spreading throughout the world. The reasons why rape are NOT reported in misogynistic havens like Saudi Arabia is because women are so downtrodden and afraid to report it!  Even when they do, your prehistoric Islamic clerics twist the situation so that female VICTIMS of rape are then made to take the BLAME!  How can you possibly deny the FACTS - women are nothing but property, without even the most fundamental rights.  Women can't even possess a Driver's License in Saudi Arabia.  OMG!  Why bother discussing this issue with you ... there is no one as blind as those who REFUSE to see!
 
+Robert Kennedy It was founded on islam according to realities of 1947. People majority have sense that religion is no answer to running the state affairs. Religious leaders operate in framework of democracy but do not get enough votes to form a majority showing majority of Pakistanis are moderates. Politicians in Pakistan like in many other places are not favorite of masses (irony of democracy?). Anyway Pakistan is a good example of religious elements folded in system of democracy. Unless one lives for 5 years in some country, they cannot undrstand it properly and Eric post seemed like collection of news papers articles and liberary book excerpts.
 
I want to initiate export of leather belts please guide.
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