IMF & WB vis-a-vis the underdeveloped countries.

Imtiaz Bokhari Sahib has written to me again that he wants to continue discussion about the topic in the title. Some of the initial exchanges between some members were done via email but most TF subscribers should have received those exchanges. So Bokhari Sahib, this is in some more detail the point I have been making.

Some of you have seen recent discussion going on the TF mailing list re. the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank vis a vis Third World countries. The original article’s premise was that the above two institutions were essentially blood suckers making poor countries poorer while those poor countries were faultless victims. I did not challenge the premise that those institutions (IMF &WB and their investors) care only for their profit and not for the well being of the citizens of those poor countries. The only thing I challenged is the fact that the underdeveloped countries were made out to be faultless victims.
As a result I was asked by some to read some articles that would enlighten me. At the time I refused to read those articles because I didn’t think you could acquire commonsense by reading an article and I feel commonsense is all you need to come to the conclusion I came to. Fayyaz,Nasik and Babar Sahibs actually did – and put it in writing. But over the long weekend I had a few hours to kill and to satisfy my own curiosity I decided to do my own research on the subject. I have attached links to a few articles and to be objective I have purposely chosen articles that are highly critical of the IMF and the WB but read carefully and you’ll see that those countries were not faultless. I’ll make it easier by giving you the exact location of the lines that will prove my point.
As you can see this article is highly critical of IMF & WB but scroll down to section “How do countries get into financial trouble, the Debt Crisis” and read the third line down in the second paragraph. Corrupt and inept leaders is why the countries are poor in the first place; getting loans to fill their own pockets makes things worse. And what is a bank supposed to do when a country fails to pay back? you certainly don’t expect them to say “please consider that loan as charity, we have enough money”.
This article is even more critical of IMF & WB but go to paragraph nine and read some of the lines.
Both these authors  seem to write pages and pages about how evil the banks are (and I am not even denying that) but  very casually glide over the ineptness of the poor countries’ leaders as if it was a very, very minor cause of poor countries getting poorer. I  think the leaders of those countries are AT LEAST half the problem

Song Of Lahore

This Memorial Day Weekend, while looking for some movie to watch at home theater, we stumbled upon a documentary” Song Of Lahore”. It is available on demand at Cablevision. This documentary turned out to be a rare treat. It is directed by Oscar winning director Sharmeen Chinoy. It follows classic Lahori  musicians who went through a hard time during General Zia’s regime and later Taliban’s rise that made playing music in public a life threatening endeavor. They recently started to regroup and create their own eastern version of Jazz music, Sachal Jazz. Their journey led to invitation by Wynton Marsalis, famous American Jazz musician, to collaborate with them and perform at Lincoln Center with full Orchestra. It is about 90 minute’s documentary but time flies and especially last 45 minutes are full of drama and joy. It is worth watching with family and friends.

Link to trailer of Documentary;

Posted By F. Sheikh

Book Review by Mirza Ashraf



This handy-encyclopedic work by S. Akhtar Ehtisham, Abu Talal Naseer Al-Din and Dr. Shahnaz Khan, explores and examines illuminatingly the march of man from his earliest stage to a society of mythical, cultural, religious, political, rational, and modern sensibility of God, Government and Globalization. The book, seemingly divided in three parts, portrayed in a characteristic provocative style, forensic insight and depth of extensive knowledge is a holistic package of thought-provoking presentation which can be readily gleaned from one treatise than to sift through many ponderous works on evolution, religion, history, political science, sociology or philosophy. Now that the West is colliding with the Islamic civilization in which God is very much alive, the Government is un-institutionalized, and Globalization is in confusion, this book is particularly timely.

Section 1, God: It opens with an outline of human evolution remaining mostly focused on mankind’s social evolution that resulted in creation and establishment of ideological, religious, and sociopolitical order. It goes on to discuss the theories of the origin of religion and God, defined as an out of necessity discipline of “speculative nature” and an interconnected order of doctrines, myths, rituals, and beliefs. Discussing the theory of origin of God in terms of man’s fear and curiosity, it moves on to the God of Abraham and the appearance of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic faiths, and reflecting upon Hinduism and Buddhism, this section concludes that religions are not rational. An overview of history of ideology, mainly focusing on the role of Marx and Angels in the development of a godless political theory, information about the term scientific socialism helps to understand the reformist plans that European thinkers offered from time to time. Researching through the courses of enlightenment, modernism, rational ideologies and European Renaissance, it affirms that attempts at explaining religion logically have failed.

Section 2, Government: This section taking up the definition of government as a political system, reflects upon several theories such as modernization, economic and capitalism, Marxism, and world systems. The theory of world systems, as a disarticulation of political and economic world system that has permitted capitalism to survive and prosper, being very important today has been elaborated and critically examined. Throwing light on the origin of capitalism, its development in Britain, and asserting that democracy is a very useful tool of capitalism, a very important commentary reveals how corporations make governments work for them and how the governments play the role of serving the corporations! In the international spectrum, Western powers funding friendly politicians in other countries, would advise and enforce dictators and military generals to take over unfriendly governments. It is interesting to note that imperialism, neo-colonialism, sub-imperial, cultural, post colonial globalization, today are all different facets of Empire. The section ends with the chapter “The Wretched of the USA,” describing America as the richest nation in history, but has the highest poverty rate in the industrialized world with an unprecedented number of Americans living in dire state. The first two sections of the book, starting from the germination and conception of faith, the evolution of government through multiple stages of human civilization and coming to the dominance of capitalist corporation, have educated and prepared the reader to proceed further and cope with the final and most important subject of Globalization.

Section 3, Globalization: Starting from colonization, Globalization’s uneven historic development is introduced as a continuation of capitalism. Its economic paradigm constitutes an integration of national economics into international economy through trade, direct investment from foreign countries, short term capital flow, and international flow of workers, students and technology. Arguing the pure capitalist ideology, the market implies freedom guaranteed by supply and demand and chosen freely by people which according to socialist ideology involves commoditization of labor and class exploitation, globalization of the economic system has affected nearly four hundred million indigenous people of the world in the worst way. Another factor affecting the undeveloped or developing countries is the myth of Western aid, which in most cases is actually loan with interest to control and preserve relations. This enables the capitalist democracies of Western countries to reap profits by further exploiting natural and manpower resources of the world beyond West. Helped by the highly paid professionals as Economic Hitmen who cheat countries around the Globe of trillions of dollars, by funneling money from World Bank, US Aid into coffers of huge corporations and into the pockets of few wealthy families, Globalization appears to be neo-colonization instead of a free global-humanity.

Globalization has been discussed from historical to economical point of view, mainly focused on capitalistic and idealistic spectrum. Its application as a set of social processes that appear to transform our present social condition of weakening nationality into one globality, has been scarcely discussed in this section. However, Globalization as a concept referring to people’s growing consciousness of belonging to a global community, mainly an intensification of world-wide social relations which compresses the time and space aspects of people’s relations, has most of the time been depicted as a brain-child of capitalism. Some references to growing forms of political and economic interdependence and technology, that provide a partial explanation for the current wave of Globalization, are not enough to have justified this most important section of the book under review here. However, the book, as one whole treatise, is a very interesting work, intelligently, scholarly and clearly presented, displaying the hard work and depth of knowledge of the authors.


Mirza Iqbal Ashraf, a retired professor of English Language and Literature, and a scholar of  Philosophy, has taught and lectured on cross-cultural religious and  philosophical issues. He lives in Poughkeepsie, New York.

He is the published author of following books: (1) Introduction to World Philosophies: A Chronological Progression. (2) Islamic Philosophy of War and Peace. (3) Rumi’s Holistic Humanism, and soon to be published (4) Islamic Civilization’s Religious, Political, and Modern Aspects, and (5) Philosophical Traditions of Muslim Thinkers. He can reached by visiting at


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