Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Perceptions of Supremacy of Law and Constitution

My agenda is simply to strive for supremacy of rule of law and constitution. I am pained to see people hurling invectives, slandering, and condemning people without due process. Even if I know that someone is guilty, I have no authority to take law in my own hand and dispense justice of my liking. This will make me no different from the terrorists who based on their whimsical understanding are willing to explode their vests or the crowds that lynch to death people on mere suspicion of crime.
No,  the only fit and proper recourse for me if I think someone is guilty is to pursue the case as per "due process of law" under article 10A of constitution that upholds the "right to fair trial" as a fundamental human right. This applies equally to all citizens especially more so to CJP whose primary responsibility is to uphold the rule of law in dispensation of justice through ALL levels of judiciary: The fundamental criteria for evaluating quality of justice include  "justice delayed is justice denied" and "justice should not only be done but also seen to be done".

The due process of law hinges on the assumption of "innocence unless proven guilty"  and the process includes   (i) right to be charged in front of court of law, (ii) open trial, (iii) prosecution, (iv) presentation of witnesses and evidence in an open court, (v) right to defense (vi) right to cross examine the witnessses and evidence, (vii) open verdict,  (viii) right to appeal.

My agenda is simply to uphold rule of law and constitution. Our nation has been used to saviors on horseback who relished breaking the law and violating the constitution using Justice Munir's disastrous Doctrine of Necessity (DoN).  Recently Supreme Court "claimed"  to have burried the DoN. My posts target only those who violate constitution and due process of law using the debunked notions of DoN.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Can Large Systems be Changed Only by Suomoto Judgements

Is it possible to eradicate corruption by only changing the person at the top,  the man at the helm?
Unfortunately,  this seems to be the CJP's assumption behind the removal of the chief executive of the government i.e the Prime minister. However, this assumption has been proven wrong by the disclosure of the corrupt 20 MPAs out of the 35 PTI MPAs in KPK under the certified Sadiq and Ameen,  righteous and sagacious leader,  Imran Khan!

Mere presence of IK at the top did not stop corruption in his own party. Even if we ignore that his move appears to be political and ceremonial,  and that it also seems crafted carefully and timed perfectly to a few weeks before the tenure of MPAs was to end as per the constitution (dissolution of assemblies  and their replacement with caretaker governments 2 months before the upcoming 2018 elections). The point to note is that merely the presence of a righteous person at the top could not and did not determine the end of systemic corruption.

Similarly,  did the assumption of the righteous and sagacious CJP resulted in a dramatic decrease in corruption in Judiciary? Has the efficiency of the courts increased dramatically?
It is not only changing the top man,  but also changing the system. Change management, even in private sector organizations, is  extremely difficult because it requires changing the culture, behavior of people and processes.  Changing the system in the government sector is many times more difficult than in the private sector because of the bureaucratic tangle, legal hudles, procedural complexities in coordinating among several independent departments and ministries where no one wants to assume responsibility and take ownership of the end to end process.  If snap judgements of a righteous man could have removed corruption,  then why the current CJP had not been able to eliminate corruption from Pakistani court system and why he has not been able to increase the disposal of court cases that have risen from 1.8m to 2+ Million during his time. Justice delayed is justice denied, after all!

What needs to be understood is that complex systems (like governmental systems or software with millions of lines of codes with hundreds of interconnected subsystems) can not be redesigned or improved just by changing only  the top man with a snap judgement.  Changing a system while it is live, online and functioning,  without degradation of performance, is a tedious long term process.  It requires very different skill sets and a huge team with patience and change leadership aptitude. It definitely requires much more than the snap Suomoto judgements reminding of DoN Quixote "Tilting at the windmills".

Since 1950s,  Pakistan has been running after that elusive angel-like strong leader who will be the savior on horseback, wielding his sword of Doctrine of Necessity (DoN). DoN godfathers have wreaked havoc with the country as described in the following posts. The system has deteriorated instead of improving with each incarnation of the new DoN.

This is the time for a deep introspection and let the system heal itself not by bandaid solutions like suo-moto judgements but real changes through trial n error as per constitution and law.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Top Ten Reasons Why HEC Abandoned Quality Ranking of Universities

Recent decision of HEC to abandon its quality rankings [1] needs to be welcomed. It was an initiative motivated by hubris with scant regard to societal and industry requirements. It was conceived and designed by those who wanted all the universities to become research universities and clones of each other. It was a whip with which to make all the universities fall into the same line ignoring their local, geographical, societal, and industry specific contexts and distinct advantages. The criteria appeared to have been designed to satisfy the Western industry and societal requirements, and not from the point of view of national and regional requirements.  The ranking was called quality ranking but was nothing more than measurement of quantities devoid of any qualitative input. It was plagued by political considerations for a quota system. It had the audacity to measure quality of teaching with PhD degrees, and did not discriminate at all across different disciplines with their unique requirements. Above all, there was no mechanism of verification of data. The ranking criteria had too many infirmities and was modified each time under political pressure. It gave too much weight to input and too little weight to outcomes and impact under the assumption that output measurements will suffice. Societal and Industry impact measurement was conspicuous by its absence. Bureaucratic measures of impact were considered to substitute for feedback from industry and society. There was little recognition of the quality of university processes. Above all, HEC being a funding agency and a regulator could not simultaneously also act as a ranking agency because it would try to give more weight to its own funding decisions. Hence, the ranking criteria became nothing more than the criteria of measuring the decisions of HEC fundings.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Is Illiteracy Responsible for Problems of Pakistan? Narrative to Justify Neocolonialism and dictatorial rule

[To understand the context of this post, please read At What Cost! Why Compute Economic Costs of Faulty Political Decisions]
Are Illiterates Responsible for Woes of Pakistan? Or Is this a Narrative to Support Exploitation? Is this narrative designed to support exploitation by the un-elected "educated elites" in the service of neo-colonialism? There is a dominant narrative in Pakistan which states that lack of education is responsible for all our woes and problems. The narrative starts by emphasizing the dismal statistics of illiteracy in Pakistan, and implies that "illiterates" are responsible for the lack of development and progress in Pakistan. This narrative allows the "educated elites" to absolve themselves of their disastrous governance over the last 70 years of our existence and shift the blame on to hapless "illiterates". This narrative justifies usurpation of power by the "educated elites" from the people and maintaining their exclusive hegemony over the distribution of resources. In Pakistan, "illiterates" have never been in power. Half of our existence has been directly under the military rule which had been justified using this narrative explicitly, and during the remaining half, the power had never been devolved to the people using this same narrative. Even the governments formed by the politicians elected by the people had been that of the "educated elites". If there is any clique that should be held responsible for the woes of Pakistan, then it can be no other than the "educated elites". This post explains how this happens.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Pakistan Helped US Become Superpower- In the Service of Neocolonialism

[To understand the context of this post please read At What Cost! Why Compute Economic Costs of Faulty Political Decisions]
How Pakistan helped US become a superpower is a classic case study of how developing countries are maneuvered to help neo-colonial powers achieve their global agenda. This was admitted on record by DG ISPR in Pakistan,  "Had Pakistan not played its positive role, USA might not be the uni-super power in the world". This was reported in the papers of 29th March 2018 including News, Nation, Dawn etc. The role which has largely been "positive" for the super power is actually "negative" in its fall outs on economy and stability of the country. It has mired us in un-wanted wars for benefits that in the long term turned out to be exorbitant costs. Neocolonialism is the control of developing countries through hegemony and imperialism and through installation of unrepresentative governments and dictators. Pakistan has suffered tremendously on each of these accounts to service neocolonialism. 

DoN godfathers Political Engineering of the SC Bench to Obtain Doctrine of Necessity Judgement

How SC Bench was engineered in 1955 to get the judgement of choice notorious as Doctrine of Necessity (DoN). Sindh High Court had decided against the decision of Governor General in 1954 to dissolve the Constituent Assembly, and had restored Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan to his office of the President of the Constituent Assembly. The following excerpt from Hamid Khan's book "A History of Judiciary of Pakistan" [1], describes the doctoring or political engineering of the bench in 1955 that was sitting on the appeal which was filed by the Governor General against the SHC decision. There were five judges on the bench. CJ Munir knew that getting the judgement of choice was not easy in the presence of upright Justice AR Cornelieus and Justice Shahabuddin who would not only stand up but would also persuade another judge to side with them leaving CJ Munir and the 5th judge in minority. Hence, it was decided to some how remove Justice Shahabduddin from the bench and elevate in his place an ad-hoc compliant judge from Lahore High Court. This was done through Governor General Ghulam Muhammad's machinations and scheming and obtained the notorious Doctrine of Necessity judgement [To understand the context of this post, please read At What Cost! Why Compute Economic Costs of Faulty Political Decisions]

Friday, March 23, 2018

Power of Word in Value Based Education: Discriminating Truth from Falsehood

Honorable Prime Minister, Group Chairperson City School, dignitaries, educationists, teachers and my dear students. I thank the organizers for giving me the opportunity to speak about value based education, some thing that is near and dear to my heart. Power of Word emanates from the depth of our feelings. Words are only words unless they have conviction and heart felt emotions supporting the message. The reason why we are talking about values today is because we have lost sight of the fundamental value that used to be ingrained in the lives of the students. Some 40 years ago, all the corridors and halls of the schools in the morning would start with the reverberation of that prayer from Iqbal that outlines the purpose of life of the students: To make my life a beacon of light whose purpose is to remove the darkness from the entire world and to spread light everywhere. Somewhere along the way, we lost sight of this noble value. Our education's purpose became my personal career and prosperity for me and my family. My only objective became to have a generator that would lit my home instead of my knowledge spreading light everywhere. 

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied: Covey's First Habit Advice to Chief Justice of Pakistan

[To understand the context of this post, please read At What Cost! Why Compute Economic Costs of Faulty Political Decisions]
What is the advice for Chief Justice of Pakistan(CJP) from Covey's First Habit of Highly Effective People: CJP ought to work on his circle of influence, instead of his circle of concern, by focusing on speeding up the judiciary's process of dispensation of justice. Justice delayed is justice denied. If CJP succeeds in reducing the average time of court cases, he would have effectively extended his "circle of influence" to encompass majority of zillions of issues which are currently in his "circle of concern" as shown in the figure. However, he can not extend his circle of influence without working on his circle of control i.e. session courts,  high courts and SC. Ignoring the circle of influence and control makes his attempts to address the myriad of issues in his circle of concern, resemble more like "tilting at the windmills" by Cervantes' Don Quixote [1].

Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 

Covey's 7 Habits book is among the three most influential leadership books of 20th century. It has been read, and implemented extensively. The first habit explains how to concentrate on circle of influence and expand it by continuing to invest and add value to the things that are in our control and under our influence, so that our circle of influence expands and can then encompass many of the concerns that initially were not in our circle of influence. Things in the circle of concern can become part of the circle of influence by expanding our circle of influence. 

Baba Rehmatay's Focus on Circle of Control: Reactive Focus

Currently, Baba Rehmatay seemed to be caught in the reactive focus. His behavior and irritation which is evident from his instinctive snap judgments indicate that he is not living in his circle of influence and control. His irritation indicates that despite his best efforts, the outcomes he expected are not materializing. The fundamental reason as per Covey is that he has not focused on his sphere of influence and control. His primary mandate is speedy dispensation of justice for around 1.8 million cases pending in the courts (justice delayed is justice denied). Had he focused on their fast and speedy disposal, he would have initiated a massive change management project in the operations of courts. The process outcomes should have resulted in a marked speedup of judgments within a few months. The speed of justice in itself would have instilled fear in the hearts of corrupt and many of the problems that he is trying to focus, which are in his area of concern, would have been solved.

However, instead of focusing on his circle of influence and control (i.e. the courts), he started using sou-motto powers to focus on issues lying in his circle of concern. There is no doubt that there are zillions of issues in Pakistan that need addressing and need addressing urgently, such as sugarcane prices, water quality, drugs control, garbage disposal, unhealthy salts, adulterated food, schools, universities, medical colleges etc. Wielding the raw sword of sou-motto, Baba Rehmatay is stretching his jurisdiction to bring those issues under his control which are typically the focus of executive. However, large organizations and institutions, especially the government, can not be changed overnight through snap sou-motto judgments. CJP can not improve the standards of schools, universities and medical colleges through his judgments. Only school/university authorities can do that, and only if they do that systematically and willingly through a motivational buy-in. And getting to that is a long term process. The more he tries to focus in the circle of concern, the more he becomes political and controversial. People are now openly asking him to become chief executive by imposing judicial martial law. See references to his sou-motto judgments in  Baba Rehmatay: From Chief Justice to Chief Executive?

Focusing on Circle of Concern is like Tilting at the Windmills

Ignoring the circle of influence and control makes his attempts to address the myriad of issues in his circle of concern, resemble more like "tilting at the windmills" by Cervantes' Don Quixote.  Each wing of the windmill representing some of the zillion issues, with DoN Quixote's raw sword of sou-motto aided by the lure of likely "beneficial" consequences, often called a "great right" (Justice Khosa) or Doctrine of Necessity (CJ Munir).
Focusing on Circle of Concern without Mastering the Circle of Influence

 Why CJP could not expedite the speed of court judgments?

In his interview with Javed Chaudhry (Daily Express March 22, 2018), CJP lamented on his inability to expedite the speed of court judgments. The excerpt is given below.
Currently there are around 1.8 million court cases languishing in session courts, high courts and supreme court [2]. Justice delayed is justice denied. But, his impatience is making him lose the sight of this primary responsibility. 

Change Management Expertise Required for Speeding up Justice in Pakistan.

From my 23 years experience in change management in teaching, execution and bringing about change in organizations and people through leadership, and empathizing with his apparent despair in improving the speed of court cases, I can safely say that:
1. Baba Rehmatay needs experience of "change management" and exposure of a course in change management, especially of large complex organizations such as the government machinery.
2. By his own admission,  Baba Rehmatay has failed in bringing about substantial change (increase) in the speed of case disposal by HC. Simple reason is that he is a judge (and hence judgmental) and he is not a change manager. The two roles (judge and change manager) require skills and attitude that are antithesis of each other and he needs to appreciate the difference, if he has to succeed.

If (1) and (2) are true, then he will soon realize that he has been instrumental in destroying the Constitution like CJP Munir and his impatience. His dream to be remembered as Justice AR Cornelius or Justice Hamoodur Rehman as in the above interview, can safely be predicted to be turning into a nightmare.

Baba Rehmatay knows about the balance of trichotony of powers from a legal point of view. However, he needs to appreciate from a management and systems engineering point of view why executive, parliament and Judiciary are three corners of a triangle that must evolve during a change management process. They can't be evolved through arbitrary decisions. Each must evolve in their capacity and maturity in tandem.

References:

[1] Don Quixote - Wikipedia

See also: 


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Baba Rehmatay- From Chief Justice to Chief Executive: Tilting at the Windmills?

[To understand the context of this post, please read At What Cost! Why Compute Economic Costs of Faulty Political Decisions]
What is the constitutional role of CJP? To act as the Chief Justice who arbiters when there is a constitutional conflict between law passed by parliament and executive decision making, or is the CJP role to assume powers of the Chief Executive and start controlling  the executive decision making?  Given the recent intrusion into the executive policy making, Baba Rehmatay through an indiscriminate use of the the suo-motto powers, appears to be morphing from the role of Chief Justice in to the role of Chief Executive? Is CJP responsible for framing  (i) sugar policy, (ii) health policy, (iii) salt policy, (iv) education policy, (v) water policy, (vi) drugs policy, (vii) milk policy, (viii) media policy? Is CJP the framer of investigations policy, procedures and schedules for JITs, and NAB, is he the final approver of executive appointments, and determinant of hiring policy? The news reports below, quoting the remarks and observations of CJP, indicate that he is on a mission. Is the mission extending beyond the constitutional boundaries of judiciary? Ignoring the circle of influence and control over courts makes his attempts to address the myriad of issues in his circle of concern, resemble more like "tilting at the windmills" by Don Quixote as explained in
Covey's First Habit Advice to Chief Justice of Pakistan.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Metro/trains vs hospitals vs schools: Where to Allocate Meagre Resources

[To understand the context of this post, please read At What Cost! Why Compute Economic Costs of Faulty Political Decisions]
Metro/trains vs hospitals vs schools vs dams vs energy vs other infrastructure projects?
Allocation of resources to infrastructure projects and measurement of their comparative benefits is a political decision and should be decided  by people not elites. Why?

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sir Najmul Hasan of IBA and How to Determine the Extent of Your Success in Life

Yesterday, during my PhD class with students I was trying to explain the complexity of real world and how models (and theories) help us in making sense of this complexity by focusing on a few concepts and their relationships. The discussion moved towards perception and reality and from there to this phenomenal lesson by Najmul Hasan Sb about how to determine the extent of our success in life. Sir Najmul Hasan did his MBA from 1955-57 as part of the first batch of IBA, Karachi offering the very first MBA program outside North America in collaboration with USAID and University of Pennsylvania. He served as a faculty member of IBA from 1969 till 2006.
Sir Najmul Hasan of IBA. Photo taken for NIC card in 1972-72 
This is 1985, my first semester of MBA at IBA and the course was Organizational Behavior. Mr Najmul Hasan in the very first class emphasized that he would be focusing on psychology, which is his favorite subject and the subject in which he did his masters from USA. I was coming from the electronic engineering background where the focus is on scientific observations in areas far removed from understanding people. I found this course by Najmul Hasan sb a refreshing perspective on the world of reality, and our perceptions resulting in our behaviors. The course gave me the opportunity to observe applications of psychology concepts. I would try to apply the concepts being learned to the characters of hundreds of fiction and literature books that I had read and loved. To me analyzing the psychology of these characters and their behavior that I often hated or loved, using the course concepts, became a scintillating experience. I then started applying the concepts to the people whom I would meet and would try to connect the observations with the theories of psychology. The book and its concepts are with me to this day, because I had been actively analyzing the situations that I encountered in my subsequent interactions and readings with many of the concepts that I learned from this course, including the concept which helps in measuring the extent of our success in life.
Mr Najmul Hasan had a reputation for being a hard task master and students were afraid of being penalized for not remembering minute details. Despite the apprehension of my class fellows, I have understood by the end of second hourly (monthly exam) that I would not only pass the course but would also score an A! It was true that he wanted students to master the intricate details and to answer questions which tested fine differentiation of concepts, which I tried to do. But more importantly, I realized early on that he actually had a single point agenda from this course. The agenda was to make the students understand the concept related to "measuring the extent of their success in life". I could predict from the frequency with which he emphasized this concept that if I master this concept, and can demonstrate its application in different situations, he would be happy to give me a good grade. His agenda was for us to understand the full import of the following concept:
"The extent to which our perception matches the reality, determines the extent to which we will succeed in our life".
This concept emphasizes that reality is too complex. The picture of reality that we hold in our mind is called the perception. This perception is an incomplete and often an inaccurate representation of what exists in the real world. Success is a function of our perception matching the reality because our perceptions determine our behavior and are actions. If perceptions are imprecise and inaccurate our actions would trigger inappropriate responses to the challenges we face. Hence greater the match between reality and perception, greater the chance of our actions being appropriate and directed effectively to meet our goals of life, and hence greater the chances of our success.
Having understood this concept and the emphasis he was putting on it, I made sure that in answer to each question I will link the answer of the question to this central concept. I did that and I think this was the major determinant of my scoring an A in the course.  There were a couple of other students who scored an A, but for that they had to put an extra ordinary amount of more time and effort than me (this is my perception!).
One of the things that I learned from Sir Najmul Hasan is how to ensure that the students come to the class prepared with the assigned text. I was not too much aware of the impact of this technique while he was teaching the course but became aware of it when I was a fellow faculty member at IBA from 1995 to 2000 during which time Najmul Hasan sb was teaching Managerial Policy. The students were in awe and intense pressure of coming prepared to the class with the assigned case study. For each student who would participate in the class discussion,  he would make some shape in front of the name on a sheet similar to the attendance sheet. The difference in this sheet was that instead of marking absent or present for a given day, he would make a triangle, rectangle or a kite. No one knew the quantification of such shapes which acted like codes. The students would only see that having participated in the class discussion or having answered a question, Sir Najmul Hasan had assigned a coded shape mark. Later, the students were failed or given grade based on these coded shapes representing participation marks. I also learned the effectiveness of this technique when I observed the students not coming to class prepared with the assigned text. I typically dedicate the first ten fifteen minutes of the class time for questions and then marking coded shapes of mine. I could sense a silence and tension descending on the class  during this interval. Once I had finished with marking their preparation, I could hear of sigh of relief sweeping the class. A very effective technique indeed. 
I also learned from this course that 5 to 7 is the maximum number of concepts that can be held sensibly in our mind simultaneously together. My presentations and teaching about presentations to students continually emphasize minimalism. Hence our talks should not try to make more than 5-7 points, there should not be more than 5 lines in a slide, and no more than 5 words on a line.
There were several other concepts from the book "Introduction of Psychology" by Morgan and King that I learned from this course and have been applying them since. These include:
  • Comparison level of alternatives in our relationships. 
  • Group psychology and crimes committed by crowds. 
  • Source and sink in group dynamics. 
  • Emotions and Moods.
  • Etc.

PS: 

Najmul Hasan Sb's Picture above: I had to make an effort to get this picture. I was surprised when i could not find any picture of him on IBA website. He did his MBA from IBA with the first batch 1955-57. He served IBA as faculty member from 1969 till mid 2000s. I was surprised not to find any picture of Sir Najmul Hasan on the Internet. I searched in some old prospectuses of late 1990s that i had, but could not find any picture of him there. I then called him yesterday. He told me that he didn't use to get the photos taken for the prospectus. On my request, he then assured me that when his son will come for the visit, he would ask him to send me his picture. And here it is through whatsapp. It was nice talking with him and hearing his voice after a long time. I later remembered that while developing prospectuses of IBA from 1997-2001 when I was there as a deputy director, we could never find his picture and he was always reluctant in giving the picture. 

See also: 



    Tuesday, March 6, 2018

    Artificial intelligence vs data science - A Parallel between Chomsky's Cognitive Science vs Skinner’s Behavioral Science

    AI is facing the same challenge today from data sciences that was faced by Chomsky’s Cognitive Psychology when it confronted Skinner’s Behavioral Psychology in early 1950s. The basic issue is whether “intelligence” can simply be understood by observing the input-output relations over a black-box representation of the mind? Is the success of Google data science in predicting outputs usefully from deep statistical analysis of big-data of billions of similar input-output relations a sign of artificial intelligence? Does accuracy of proving its machine generated conjectures through big data analytics can actually replace the need of humans to do science, i.e. to develop hypothesis, design experiments, observe results and develop theories? This talk focuses on some of the questions raised by Chomsky about the recent advancements in AI and draws parallel with clash of Cognitive Psychology with the Behavioral Psychology in the 1950. This talk would illustrate through this parallel the need for AI to understand and develop the internal representations of how humans intelligence work.

    Constitutional Solution to Curb Horsetrading in Pakistan

    [To understand the context of this post, please read At What Cost! Why Compute Economic Costs of Faulty Political Decisions]
    Massive horsetrading of votes took place during Senate 2018 elections.  PTI and MQM Senate seats were lost. Do you know what were the two signals that triggered  horse trading in Senate elections 2018?

    • (1) The stringent regime of secrecy implemented by ECP signaled the voters to cross party lines without divulging their affiliations to their party heads. This led to their wholescale defections. The regime threatened action through agencies.
    • (2) Signal by DoN godfathers to declare all PMLN candidates to be independents.