Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Art of Gentle and Soft Persuasion- Dr Zahir Ali Syed

Dr Zahir Ali Syed, Director of UIT (Usman Institute of Technology), was plucked from us yesterday June 11, 2021, in a murderous event reminding Karachites of how Hakim Saeed was taken away from us in a terrorist murder some 25 years ago. Inna lillah e wa inna ilaihi rajioon!

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Fauqul Chacha and Family Help

I knew them both and their father Fauqul Hasan Zaidi. Fauqul chacha will regularly drop at our place for morning tea with my father and mother during his break journey on his way from his home in F-6/1 to his office in old state bank building which was being used as parliament building temporarily during 1970s. Had heard of wonderful stories of his adventures in Bengal and in Northern Pakistan

We are greatly indebted to marhoom  Rashid Bhai s/o Fauqul Hasan Zaidi for his great support and help in arranging the logistics of wedding food arrangements of my two eldest sisters Farida apa n Ghufaira apa. Farida apa with Rafi Uddin Haider in 1975 and Ghufaira apa with Misbah ahmed Zaidi s/o Fiza A Zaidi in 1977. I was in school during those days. There didn't use to be caterers of the type available today who do everything and just deliver the food on time at the event. In those days there used to be only cooks (bawarchi).  It was the responsibility of event organizers to arrange for utensils, gosht, chawal, masalay, ghee,....  Individually each ingredient had to be purchased separately, utensils rented, cooking burners set up and made available at the site. Cooks would simply come on the day, prepare n ground masalay and cook the food. Food was prepared at site by the cooks.
The entire food logistics of the two marriage functions was supervised by Rashid Bhai the great. May Allah give him the best of abodes in the hereafter. Aameen

Rise and Fall of Dictators and Kings: Delusions of Grandeur by Neocolonialism Forces

Last Shah of Iran

How the kings are installed and propped by the great powers;

Just finished seeing this BBC documentary about the shah of Iran whose pompousness we grew up with. I remember waiting for hours on the Chaklala road to airport in 1967 to catch a glimpse of the motorcade. But, I was too young (around 5) for the wait, and left early and later came to know that his motorcade has passed. Witnessed Murree Road being renamed as Raza Shah Pehalvi Road and after his debacle again being renamed Murree Road. There was such pomp and show in the newspapers about his his 2500 years coronation ceremonies, read about the intrigue and the stories of his previous wives and current wives in Jang. Also, saw the yearly pictures of his heir being groomed to take over his crown. The heir's ascent was short circuited by the Iranian Revolution. The documentary made me recall the stories of the womanizer and drunkard Yahya peeing in the flower pots during the coronation celebrations, and getting slapped by a lady in the royal feast. Recalled the stories of lavishness, blind following of the West, and the wholescale adoption and imposition of foreign culture on the poor Iranians. Western powers that brought him also left him high and dry after the revolution when he was moving in his airplane from country to country till eventually  was sent to Egypt to spend his last days. The daily stories of scores people being shot after the revolution reminded me of the reign of terror in France after the French revolution. 

The king was a fool made to think that he had divine right to rule, propped by US/British advisors, bent upon robbing the aspirations of poor third world countries. How this project of "modernization' at the expense of people's aspirations gets implemented. It reminded me of the puppet Last Emperor of China. How history and reality catches up with reality. Now people don't even remember or recall his artificial glory. 

Idi Amin:

The pomposity with which he came to the Islamic Summit in 1973. We thought as children then that he was much cherished by his people. His rise and fall happened in front of my eyes in the 1970s. His portrayal in Last King of Scotland tells us of the artificial pomp of the dictators, shahs and sheiks propped up by Western powers to satisfy their neocolonialism agenda. When a few years ago I went to Uganda I realized how destructive these stooges are in the developing countries. The plight of Idi Amin in an Egyptian hospital where he breathed his last was well captured by Javed Chaudhry in one of his columns.

Anwar us Sadat


Hosni Mubarak

Saddam Husain

Gen Ayub

Gen Yahya

Gen Zia

Gen Musharraf

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Leadership Style of Imran Khan as Cricket Captain and as Prime Minister

Imran Khan leadership style:
Is IK trying to run the country exactly as he ran the captaincy of Pakistan cricket team?  Favoritism in picking up players, holding of personal grudges against fellow players, and being vindictive against those who dared to disagree with him. Habit of making arbitrary and adhoc decisions, which worked in cricket because cricket is largely a game that depends too much on indidual brilliance. Cricket is a game where a team's spectacular performance is often a chance; a coincidence of glorious uncertainties when a few individuals happen to click together to produce scintillating results....

A comment on the following Pic of my post :
"It is reputed that during 1992 world cup, he had personal grudge with Jawed Miandad. He did not take him in his team. When Pakistan lost first three round matches, then he called Miandad. He had ruined the careers of Basit Ali, Qasim Umer and many others. He is considered to hate Karachaits. Very highly egoistic. He always promoted the players who belonged to Punjab. He is still maintaining the quota system, whereas he gives the examples of meritocracy. "
Need references to this quote above.

" Reading the earlier of his two autobiographies suggests that Imran was anything but a pleasant youngster. He seems to have been petulant, arrogant and a very bad loser, something at which he had plenty of practice where cricket was concerned. "
[From Imran Khan: Made in England by Martin Chandler]

" Imran was honest enough to write of himself; The 1971 tour party to England contained one player who must surely rank as the rawest, most conceited cricketer ever to represent his country. At the start of the tour he had problems with his run up and found it difficult to control the swing of the ball in English conditions and after just eight expensive wickets he was in no form at all going into the first Test. In fact had it not been for injuries to Salim and Sarfraz he would have been nowhere near the side and he was selected only by dint of Pakistan quite literally having no other option." [Source IK's first book]

No one is disputing IK's individual brilliance in bowling (especially his in cutters) and his batting. I have also been his admirer as a cricketer. Here we are only comparing IK's leadership style as the captain of cricket team and his leadership style as a PM. There are several common traits of his personality that are now visible and also comparable.

My Interest in Cricket:
I have been listening/watching cricket since 1972. Have read all cricket related news from 1973 till 1990s published in Dawn and Jang. Had a collection of The Cricketer magazine of 1970s and 1980s. I have read books written by Bradman, Illingworth and also Imran. I was listening to international test matches worldwide on shortwave radios in 1970s and 1980s. For example, I listened to centenary test between England and Australia in 1976-77 where Randall scored a century. Used to go regularly to British Council to read Cricketer International in 1980s. Have read several articles of famous cricket writers such as the legendary John Arlott. I used to have a collection of urdu cricketer magazine. Watched and followed Kerry pecker saga.l of late 1970s where IK blossomed. I read about IK's learnings from South African Mike Proctor and others. Remember this was all pre internet/YouTube...there after the match fixing turned me off the cricket.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

How Legacy is Transmitted over Generations: Case Study of Ikram Hyder

During lock down I was organizing the old stuff left by my father. In that I found some papers in old dilapidated state, crumpled. On closer inspection I found them belonging to my grandfather's father. Till this time I had only seen a Pic of my grand father's father in a Pic of my father's graduation in 1930s. The person in white beard. On greater inspection I found that he belonged to naqshbandi silsila. in those papers there were his منظوم صوفیانہ کلام dating back to 1880s. The Kalam is in Arabic, Persian and urdu. It has been a great excavation and curating experience. No one in the family today seemed to be aware of this treasure or the spiritual life of my grandfather's father. My father did not share this and we did not ask him. He had been too reticent about his life before partition. It was too painful. But now I could see the connection of ethical and spiritual values of my grandfather's father with the strong character, truthfulness, morals, principles of my father, uncle, and three of my father's cousins standing in this Pic. I could see the strong influence of these values in their life with this lineage. I can now connect many of my personality traits with those spiritual teachings which I stumbled on in these papers. I could see those values  alive and kicking within my siblings and cousins....

Life is insignificant (in khasara) except for those who believed, did good deeds, promoted Haq and enjoined sabr. The good deeds and tarbiyat of our parents spreads through our actions and good deeds and the tarbiyat that we do of our children. We may not know the name of our great grandfathers, but their legacy of good deeds got transmitted to our grandparents and from them to our parents and from them to our children and inshallah to our children's children and then on and on, inshallah. Names and places are forgotten by mortals but the good deeds live on and their contribution would be counted and tallied on the day of judgements by the omniscient Allah.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Visit to Baba KhorwaRi Shrine Ziarat

Mahmood Zaidi
I had a similar experience in 1983 in ziarat with our NED class fellows study trip. About 5 of us got more excited and ventured towards Baba kodwari's Mazar via mountaneous trek through a forest. We were told that it was a 20 minutes distance rural distance. We went along for 30-40 minutes. Each wayfarer we asked told us that it is a few minutes ahead. Those few minutes on and on became another half hour. Around 245pm we asked a person, he looked at the sky which was clear and his watch. Then he advised us to return as there would be stormy rain at 3pm. We ignored him. But in around 5 minutes there were ominously threatening clouds moving over head. We got scared by the thunder and decided to return. Lo and behold as we neared 3pm it became dark and we started running. At 3pm there started  vicious rain. The trek path soon resembled a stream and then a torrent. We ran as fast as we could. By the time we reached the road, we were thoroughly drained, drenched, and fighting for breath...
Rest is another story

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Economic Hit of Pakistan: CAD Focus vs GDP Neglect

CAD focus vs GDP neglect (IKnomics Hit) :
"کرنٹ اکاؤنٹ خسارہ" CAD:  ایک صاحب کی دکان خسارہ میں چل رہی تھی- ایک دن انہوں نے فاتحانہ اعلان کیا کہ پچھلے مہینہ انہوں نے CAD خسارہ پر قابو پا لیا! پوچھا وہ کیسے؟ فرمایا "بڑا آسان تھا، بس دکان بند کر دی، تمام ملازمیں کو فارغ کر دیا، تمام ضروری اور غیر ضروری اخراجات بھی ختم کر دئے، کرنٹ خسارہ زیرو!"

جی ڈی پی GDP گروتھ:
ایک صاحب کی دکان خسارہ میں چل رہی تھی- ایک دن انہوں نے فاتحانہ اعلان کیا کہ انہوں نے CAD خسارہ پر قابو پا لیا! پوچھا وہ کیسے؟ فرمایا "بڑا مشکل اور تکلیف دہ تھا، میں نے ایکسپرٹس سے مشورہ کر کے اپنے بوسیدہ سسٹمز کو تبدیل کرنے کا فیصلہ کیا، اس انویسٹمنٹ کے لئے مجھے  قرضہ لینا پڑا جس سے نئے سسٹمز خریدے اور دو سال لگا کر تمام بوسیدہ سسٹمز تبدیل کئے، فضول اخراجات ختم کئے، پراسیسز آسان کئے، اب میرے کسٹمرز بھی خوش ہیں ان کو بہترین پراڈکٹس کم قیمت پر، کم وقت میں آسانی سے دستیاب ہیں، کاروبار میں اضافہ ہوا، نئی پراڈکٹ لائنز شروع کیں، ملازمین کی تنخواہوں میں اضافہ ہوا، نئے ملازمین کو جاب دیں،  کرنٹ خسارہ منافع میں تبدیل ہو گیا!"
Over the last 3 years IKnomics policies has crippled the economy whilst propoganda machine trumpets false economic principles related to magical properties of CAD while denigrating GDP.

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period. As a broad measure of overall domestic production, GDP functions as a comprehensive scorecard of a given country's economic health. It encapsulates growth in economy due to growth of business, production, services, and the resultant employment opportunities.

On the other hand, Current Account Deficit or CAD is the difference between the money coming in due to exports and the money going out due to imports. It is no where in world  used as indicator of economic health of country. CAD only tells you about the ability to service external debt, as such it is only in Pakistan's IMF dictated "IKnomics" that CAD was used for measuring health of Pakistan economy during first 3 years of IK with disastrous consequences.

The single minded focus on IMF CAD related policies were responsible for the crash of GDP from 5.8% to - 0.4%, reduction in jobs over the last three years by over 5 million, and increase in inflation (too much money chasing too few goods), and hemorrhage of economic sentiments.

IK should have curtailed luxury imports without impacting raw materials for our production. Instead of clamping down hard on smuggling and significantly increasing duties on luxury items, IK tremendously increased the exchange rate and utilities costs while simultaneously going after the small and micro businesses, which resulted in decrease in production and increase in prices of all  the inputs, increasing the prices of outputs, reducing the viability of many businesses and their shutting down. 

Ability to service debt is measured as a percentage of the productivity of economy (i.e GDP). A country with high GDP growth can sustain larger debt. This is similar to a person earning 100k can service a larger debt than a person earning only 10k. There are several countries with higher debt to GDP then pakistan but that is not a problem for them. For example Japan has around 200% whereas Pakistan is around 50%. Over here IK increased the policy rate to 13.5% that made the local debt servicing the largest single item of our expenditure around half of all expenditure even more than military expenditure!

One must read the history of how government investment in infrastructure (GDP growth ) got USA out of the global Great Depression. This came to be known as Keynesian Economics that is taught in every Economics 101 course in the chapter on overcoming recession. See this

How Economic Hit through policy rate increase happened

How Economic Hitmen duped IK's policy to astronomically increase the loan interest burden on Pakistanis. 

1. By increasing the policy rate from around 5% to 13.5% after tabdeeli, IK government doubled the interest payments (markup expense) to nearly half of the total expenditure. That is double of what was being spent during previous regime. 
2. Markup suddenly became the single largest outlay even more than the entire military expenditure and military pensions. 
3. To compensate for this, government had to stop/slow down all development expenditures, was forced to increase the utility rates and petrol prices, thereby severely decreasing the GDP and employment. 
4. SBP demand based rationale was that higher policy rates will reduce inflation. However, inflation in Pakistan skyrocketed to around 12-14%. SBP demand rationale was contrary to the cost rationale emerging worldwide where countries like Brazil had by decreasing the policy rate decreased their inflation. Ironically , SBP website shows research papers which also establish that Pakistan's inflation will decrease with decreasing policy rate. 
5. The myth sold to Pakistan through the Economic hit media brigade that Pakistan has too much debt. This is again contrary to the fact that many of the countries around the world have even hundred percent to 200 percent debt to GDP ratio, and they are not having such problems. Analysis shows that it is not the higher debt, but the higher policy rates which creates the burden. Most of the countries that have higher debt to GDP ratio than Pakistan have policy rate of less than 2% , in some cases even negative policy rates. Pakistan suffered because of high policy rates not because of high debt. 
Do you know that yearly pensions expenditure of government is as large as the yearly civil government expenditure.

یہ کسی صحافی یا نو آموز سیاستدان کے سطحی خیالات پر مبنی رائے نہیں، عرصہ دراز تک لٹریچر کو پڑھنے، سمجھنے، اور خود سے تاریخی ڈیٹا کا تجزیہ کرنے کے بعد پوری ذمہ داری سے لکھا گیا تبصرہ ہے۔ اس میں مذکور ہر انفارمیشن کی صداقت ثابت کرنا میری ذمہ داری ہے، اور اس مختصر نوٹ میں جن آرا کا اظہار کیا گیا ہے ان کے لئے دنیا بھر میں بے شمار واقعاتی شواہد موجود ہیں جن کا ثبوت دینا میری ذمہ داری ہے۔ اپنے اپنے حلقہ احباب میں جو لوگ سیاست یا پالیسی سازی میں کردار ادا کر سکتے ہوں، ان تک یہ حقائق پہنچا دیجیے۔ اللہ ہمیں اس ملک کی بہتری کے لیے کردار ادا کرنے کی توفیق دے

ڈاکٹر عتیق الرحمن

1. پاکستان میں بجٹ اخراجات کی سب سے بڑی مد اندرون ملکی قرض پر سود کی ادائیگی ہے۔ اس مد پر رواں مالی سال میں 2631 ارب خرچ ہوئے، جبکہ آمدہ مالی سال میں اس سے زیادہ اخراجات کا تخمینہ ہے
2. اخراجات کے اس قدر زیادہ ہونے کی وجہ پاکستان میں سرکاری شرح سود یعنی پالیسی ریٹ کا بہت زیادہ ہونا ہے۔ اس وقت پاکستان میں پالیسی ریٹ 7 فیصد ہے جبکہ امریکہ میں پالیسی ریٹ محض 0.25 فیصد، اور تھائی لینڈ میں 0.5 فیصد ہے

3. اگر پاکستان میں پالیسی ریٹ امریکہ والی سطح پر چلا جائے تو پاکستان کو سود کی ادائیگی کے لیے محض 100 ارب کی رقم درکار ہو گی۔ یعنی 2500 ارب کی بچت ممکن ہے۔
4. سٹیٹ بینک اف پاکستان کے مطابق شرح سود بلند رکھنے کی وجہ افراط زر پر قابو پانا ہے۔ سٹیٹ بینک کے مطابق اگر شرح سود میں کمی کی گئی تو ملک میں مہنگائی میں بیحد اضافہ ہو جائے گا
5. سٹیٹ بینک کا یہ مفروضہ دنیا بھر میں غلط ثابت ہو چکا ہے۔ کرونا بحران سے نمٹنے کے لیے دنیا بھر میں شرح سود میں کمی کی گئی، جب کہ کہیں بھی اس اقدام کی وجہ سے مہنگائی میں اضافہ نہیں ہوا
6. سٹیٹ بینک کے پاس ایسی کوئی دستاویزی /تاریخی شہادت موجود نہیں جو یہ ثابت کر سکے کہ واقعی شرح سود میں کمی سے مہنگائی ہوتی ہے۔ پاکستان میں تاریخی شہادتیں اس مفروضہ کے خلاف ہیں
7. اس لئے گذارش ہے کہ سٹیٹ بینک کو اس بات کا پابند کیا جائے کہ وہ تاریخی ڈیٹا سے بلند شرح سود کی افادیت کا ثبوت فراہم کرے

8. اگر سٹیٹ بینک کے پاس ایسی کوئی دستاویزی شہادت موجود نہیں جو اتنی بلند شرح سود کی افادیت ثابت کر سکے، تو شرح سود کو عالمی معیار کے مطابق 1 فیصد پر لایا جائے

9. شرح سود کو 1 فیصد پر لانے سے 2200 ارب سالانہ کی بچت ممکن ہے۔ اس طرح ایک سال میں ہونے والی بچت دفاعی بجٹ کے دگنا کے قریب ہو گی
10. شرح سود کو کم کرنے سے سرکاری قرض پر سود کی رقم میں کمی کے علاوہ کاروبار کے لیے قرض سستے ریٹ پر دستیاب ہوگا، جس سے کاروباری سرگرمیوں کو فروغ ملے گا

Friday, May 7, 2021

Voting Machines- Is Technology a Panacea: Technology is as good as the people using it

کیا صرف ٹیکنالوجی لگا دینے سے ٹرانسپیرنسی و شفافیت حاصل ہو جاتی ہے؟

My dear PM, technology in itself is not a panacea. Technology is as good as the people using it! 

Taking on Challenging Responsibilities vs Trying to be a Superwoman

What is the problem with the following advice:
"Don't get too proud, she said, of your capabilities at handling anything — or soon people will expect you to handle everything. The world is always eager to find someone who can handle everything (because the world is lazy, and doesn't want to do the work) and soon you will be responsible for more than you can manage. You will be doing more than what is fair, or even sensible — and you will be doing thousands of things that you were never designed to do.

Don't get seduced by the idea that you are some kind of Superwoman — as much as the world wants to put that honorific upon you. (Telling women that they are superheroes is a trick the world has always played, for making women do all the work.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Power of Psychological Assumptions in Matchmaking Processes

Power of assumption?
Match-making processes would be markedly different for society that assumes "you are mentally ill unless proven healthy" vs the society that assumes "you are healthy unless proven mentally ill".
This is similar to the power of assumption in law:
"You are innocent unless proven guilty" vs "you are guilty unless proven innocent" through due process.
The impact on behaviors, societal norms and management processes differ tremendously in societies using the assumption "innocent unless proven guilty" (simpler open fast processes of developed countries) vs 'guilty unless proven innocent (complex convoluted opaque tedious processes of developing countries like Pakistan).

Monday, May 3, 2021

Hill Park Karachi over the Years and Social Networks of Old Familiar Faces

ھل پارک 1975, PECHS, Karachi
 I went regularly in the mornings during 1995-2012 when my children were growing up. Feeding the ducks and climbing up and down the hilly slopes was the nearest to tracking/hiking children could get in Karachi. I also frequented it during 1980-86 during my engineering and MBA days, and even used to study there too . I still go there some times.
My Khaloo was a regular visitor of Hill Park with his children from 1970-88. While on visit from Islamabad to Karachi and staying at Khala's place in PECHS has some very interesting time there.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Branding, Consumerism and Islamic Principles of Trade

مغربی کیپٹلزم کی اشتراکیت کو ضم کرنے کے بعد اس سے بڑی کیا کامیابی ہو گی کہ اس دو سو سال سے لڑنے والے مزہبی پیشوا خود کیپٹلسٹ کنزیومرزم کے سب سے بڑے داعی بن جائیں-
تاریخ میں کیپٹلزم سے لڑنے والے اب تک کے تمام نظام فکر لڑتے لڑتے خود کیپٹلزم میں ضم ہو گئے ہیں مثلاً اشتراکیت, 
 anarchist, socialist, religious and nationalist viewpoints, socialist tendencies (e.g. anarcho-syndicalism, social democracy and Bolshevism), philosophy of historical materialism, small-scale cooperatives and family businesses, and large-scale antitrust regulations,.... etc

 مغربی کیپٹلزم کی اس سے بڑی کیا کامیابی ہو گی کہ مغرب سے لڑنے والے اسلام کے پیشوا جو خود کو سید بادشاہ اور اسیر مالٹا کی روایات کے امین گردانتے ہیں وہ  خود کیپٹلسٹ کنزیومرزم کے سب سے بڑے حمایتی اور داعی بن کر سامنے آ رہے ہیں-

"We are all capitalists now!" 
Socialists admitted this after the implosion of Soviet Union & fall of Berlin Wall. Do Muslim scholars who have embraced capitalist consumerism can muster the moral courage to admit it too?

اپنے برانڈ کے پرچار کرنے والوں کو کس نے مجبور کیا ہے کہ اسلامی روایات اور سادگی کا درس دیں؟
کیپٹلسٹ برانڈنگ اور کنزیومرزم کا اسلامی روایات سے کیا تعلق ہے؟ ان کو کس نے مجبور کیا کہ سورۃ التکاثر میں " الھاکم التکاثر"[1] کا درس دیں؟ " لم یسرفوا" [2]  کا درس دیں؟ فویل.. الزین ہم یراءون "[3] کا درس دیں؟

احیاء العلوم میں غزالی نے cost plus pricing کے مقابلہ میں demand pricing (منہ مانگی قیمت) کے چند واقعات درج کئے ہیں جن سے اسلام کا مدعا ظاہر ہوتا ہے- جن میں بیچنے والا مُصِر تھا کہ اس سے مارکیٹ پرائس بہت زیادہ بڑھنے کے باوجود کم قیمت خرید پر جائز منافع کے ساتھ مارکیٹ سے کم cost plus پرائس پر خریدا جائے- [4]

مسئلہ تعیشات کو بیچنے، کاروبار کرنے یا پرائس فکسنگ  کا نہیں بلکہ مذہبی پیشوا کا سادگی کا درس دیتے دیتے اس کو برانڈ بنانا [5]، اس کا کنزیومرزم کے زریعے ان لوگوں میں ترغیب پیدا کرنا ہے جو افورڈ نہ کر سکتے ہوں.[6]، اور عوام کو خود نمائی اور دنیاوی دکھاوے کی ایسی دوڑ میں مبتلا کرنا ہے جو معاشرے میں ہیجان اور ڈپریشن پیدا کرتی ہے [7]، جو عوام میں ضرورت (needs) کا خواہشات (wants) سے فرق دور کر کے معاشرے میں زہنی بیمار پیدا کر رہی ہے [8] .. ..

Sam Walton, ‏Ghazali's Ihsaan in ‎معاملات ‏ ‏and High-end Expensive Brands

There are several types of price setting strategies such as Cost Plus and Demand Driven Pricing. Walmart's success was built on cost plus pricing model. Sam Walton was the founder of the retailing giant of 1990s-2000s. In his autobiography "Made in America" published a few months around his death in 1992, he mentions the example of a toothpaste he was selling at around 2 dollars. He found a vendor who offered the same quality at around 55cents. Managers advised him to sell at around $1.20. Their logic was that Walmart buyers are used to buying this tooth paste at around 2 dollars. $1.2 is a significant decrease. However, he declined. He decided to sell at around 70 cents. His logic was that his CSR is providing consumers with lowest prices. Walmart slogan is "Everyday Lowest Prices". He said around 10% margin is as per his mission. The toothpaste was sold at 70 cents. He writes in the autobiography, while he was suffering from terminal cancer, that this book will come to haunt those who will try to meddle with his legacy. He was writing in the context of the question that what was his contribution to the social welfare of people. He said his mission was to provide his customers with the lowest price anywhere. This mission had made life easier for millions of mass consumers of USA. The benefits of cheaper prices that he had passed on to Americans is unparalleled.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Why Leaders Fail to Recognize their Own Incompetence: Bureaucracy and IK

Why People Fail to Recognize Their Own Incompetence.
Incompetence of the "competent authorities" of pakistani government bureaucrats. And belief of PTIans in competence of IK. 

Dunning Kruger-Effect: Why Unintelligent People Don’t Learn?

Economic Hit of Pakistan and Illusion of Monetary Policy's Independence from Fiscal Policy

Central Banks are required by law everywhere to manage and control monetary policy or value of money. There is nothing "natural" about value of money or forex rates. Monetary policy (always artificially crafted) works in tandem with fiscal policy and international policy to establish value of money. Tools used by fiscal/monetary policy include (1) interest rate changes, (2) unemployment rates, (3) inflation reports, (4) gross domestic product numbers, (5) manufacturing data, and (6) commodities. 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Imran Khan's Tabdeeli- Change Management and BPR

IK got elected on the slogan of "tabdeeli" (change). He doesn't know ABC of change management or how BPR (Businesses Process Reengineering) achieves substantial and visible "tabdeeli". BPR is about reducing the complexity of Inter departmental processes by eliminating 60-80% steps and increasing efficiency by up to 80%, and resulting in substantial reduction of corruption as seen in CNIC process of NADRA, passport process or CDC system for share purchase and sale processes.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Growing up with Magazines

In 1969-70 I was 7 when I started reading Taleem o Tarbiat and other magazines. We had almairah shelves full of magazines issues going back to early 1960s and to even mid 1950s. 
Old issues of subscriptions of Taleem o Tarbiat, Bachon ki Duniya, Naunehal, Khilona which were children magazines. And magazines for my elder sisters such as Ismat, Jame Nau, Zaibun Nisa, Mah e Nau, Sidq, Urdu Digest, Sayyara Digest, Alibqa, Readers Digest, Life,. ... These I would read a few later once I was done with the children magazines.
We would immerse ourselves after school and would continue till  our play time around an hour before Maghreb. Books reading was in parallel 
May Allah give my parents the best of abodes in the hereafter who provided and environment of reading for me and my siblings.

First Makeup Experience: Impact of Childhood Experiences across Time and Space

Vividness of childhood experiences and the distance it travels across time and space. As I am going through the letters, papers and other documents of my parents dating back to the days before their marriage (1940s, they married in 1951), I come across the clues to their personality that I observed during 1966-2003, time of my conscious interactions with them till before their death. Your post reminded me of a page from my mother's diary where she writes about an incident of when she was around 10-12 ( 1946-47) about makeup.

بارہ تیرا سال کی عمر تھی- بھائی صاحب[ شاہ فریدالرحمان] بمبئ سے اینگلوانڈین بیوی مسلمان کر کے لائے تھے- وہ میک اپ کرتی تھیں- دیکھا دیکھی خود بھی شوق ہوا- ہلکا ہلکا پوڈر اور لپ اسٹک لگانا شروع کیا-

اور تو سب دیکھتے ہی تھے- والد مرحوم بہت غور سے دیکھتے تھے- ہم خوش کہ ابا بہت پسند کر رہے ہیں، ہم کتنے خوبصورت معلوم ہوتے ہیں-لیکن کچھ تھا- کوئی چیز کوئی خیال جو عجیب قسم کی گھبراہٹ، ڈر اور شرم بھی محسوس ہوتی - دل چاہتا کہ ابا کے سامنے نہ جائیں- تیسرے یو چوتھے دن ابا مرحوم نے فرمایا، بیٹی یہاں آؤ- جان نکل گئی- ابا آگے آگے اور ہم پیچھے پیچھے- کمرہ میں قالین پر لے کر بیٹھ گئے- کچھ دیر صورت دیکھتے رہے - بڑے درد سے یہ پڑھا 
نہیں حاجت اسے زیور کی جسے خوبی خدا نے دی
اپنے میں خوبی پیدا کرو- کام پیارا ہوتا ہے صورت نہیں- جو حسن اور خوبصورتی سیرت سے.[ذندگی میں پیدا ہوتی ہے وہ زیور اور سولہ سنگھار سے نہیں ].......( اگلا صفحہ نہ مل سکا)

 [This is the page from my mother's diary. Unfortunately the next page is missing. Written around early 1965 when my mother was in her 30s with 4 kids]. 

She recalls bhabhi of her elder brother who had married an AngloIndian. Bhabhi used to do makeup and my mother then 10 put up her first makeup with lipstick. Her father noted that a couple of times and she was feeling apprehensive, then a few days later her father asked her to come to his room and sat down with her on carpet and gave her advice which ended with this
نہیں محتاج زیور کا جسے خوبی خدا نے دی-

Then partition happened, my mother and her siblings and my Nani migrated with nothing. My Nana died soon after and my mother n family till 1950s were hand to mouth. My mother and khalas used to have just couple of clothes. One was being washed while the other was being worn. Even after marriage my mother with my father had meagre resources. Never had the luxury of "makeup". Once in early 1970s my mother showed me the makeup set still within the original box with empty bottles in velvety receptacles that she got as marriage present. I recall it was of "Evening in Paris" with beautiful case and beautiful blue glass bottles, containers. Note plastic utensils were not used then. She had gotten it as present after marriage in 1951.  I think that was the only luxury she had. I never saw my mother putting up a makeup, and never saw her complaining about anything that she did not have. She was deeply religious. We were lower middle class till 1980s. I heard several times my mother giving the same advice to my four sisters, individually at different times before their marriage, that she got from her father
نہیں محتاج زیور کا جسے خوبی خدا نے دی
Although I heard them complaining, putting forward the pleas that times have changed. And that my mother is not aware of the ways of the cities and of the new world. It is not like  the old times of her days, etc. Twenty years have passed since  my mother's death. I saw my four sisters who all are now in upper middle class to upper class strata, transmitting the same values and same advice to their daughters before their marriage and now their daughters' daughters who are getting to the marriage able ages.

I also got this same advice from my mother when I was a child and wanted some new expensive shoes. I have transmitted it to my children too!

How impressionable is the child and how the legacy of such experiences transmits through generations.
May Allah give my parents the best of abodes in the hereafter. Aameen.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

History of PKR Pakistani Rupee

چمڑی جاۓ پر دمڑی نہ جاۓ

دمڑی نہ جائے چاہے چمڑی جائے۔
دمڑی کی بڑھیا ٹکہ سرمنڈائی۔
دمڑی کی بلبل ٹکا ہشکا ئی۔[1]
دمڑی کے تین تین۔
دمڑی کی آمدنی نہیں گھڑی بھر کی فرصت نہیں۔
دمڑی کی ہانڈی گئی کتوں کی ذات پہچانی گئی۔
اونٹ دمڑی کا اور دمڑی بھی پاس نہیں۔
دمڑی کی ہانڈی لیتے ہیں تو اسے بھی ٹھونک بجا کر لیتے ہیں۔
دمڑی کی دال بوا پتلی نہ ہو۔[2]

Saturday, March 27, 2021

My First Brush with Philosophy: A Tribute to Sir Nafees Siddiqui of ICB/IMS

I remember Sir Nafees Siddiqui who used to teach English at ICB/IMSB, G6/3,Islamabad. He didn't teach our class but we had the opportunity to be taught for a couple of class sessions when he came in to fill in for the absence of our regular teacher. Sir Nafees Siddiqui gave us our first introduction to philosophy and its terminology. He drew a vertical line at the center of blackboard to divide it into two columns. On left side he wrote physical, temporal, mundane, real, objective ... and on right words like metaphysical, transcendent, spiritual, abstract, subjective ,.. And then explained the terms and their difference which were instrumental in raising my awareness.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

ICB/IMSB Teachers Autographs 1975-80

Tribute to my school teachers who laid the foundation for my learning at ICB (Islamabad Model School for Boys) G-6/3 near Covered Bazar/Melody. 
Autographs from 1975 and 1980:
Sir Ghalib Raza (Urdu) 
Sir Hanif Tahir (Maths) 
Sir Subhan Ullah (Geography)
Sir Rafique Malik (English)
Sir Jan e Alam (Urdu)
Sir Sabir Raza (Urdu)

I regret not having taken autographs on this autograph book from some other great teachers like Sir Saleem A Khan (Physics) , Sir Tanveer (Chemistry) , Sir Wajid Nawaz (Pak Studies) , Sir Muhammad Ahmed, (Technical Drawing), Sir Zafar Zaidi (Chemistry), Sir Arif Husain (islamiat) , Sir Shabihul Hasan (Biology)... But I do have reports with their comments and signatures 😊..

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Social Media and Medium is the message

ٹیکنالوجی نے اب اتنی زیادہ ترقی کر لی ہے کہ عام عوام نے کتابیں "پڑھنے لکھنے" کی صلاحیتیں چھوڑ کر 1435 کی گٹنبرگ پرنٹنگ پریس کی ایجاد سے قبل کے زمانے کی عوام کی طرح صرف "دیکھنے سننے" کی صلاحیتوں تک محدود کر دیا ہے!
انسٹاگرام ٹک ٹاک جنریشن کو مبارکباد

FB is not a medium but message itself? tiktok is not a medium but message itself? Instagram is not a medium but message itself? Is technology value neutral or does it bring its own values?

"Medium is the message" Marshal Luhan observed this phenomenon in TV, radio, movies, newspapers. Now this observation is clearly visible in different media now available such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.
McLuhan in his 1964 book uses the term 'message' to signify content and character. The content of the medium is a message that can be easily grasped and the character of the medium is another message which can be easily overlooked. McLuhan says "Indeed, it is only too typical that the 'content' of any medium blinds us to the character of the medium". For McLuhan, it was the medium itself that shaped and controlled "the scale and form of human association and action".[4] Taking the movie as an example, he argued that the way this medium played with conceptions of speed and time transformed "the world of sequence and connections into the world of creative configuration and structure".[5] Therefore, the message of the movie medium is this transition from "lineal connections" to "configurations".[5] Extending the argument for understanding the medium as the message itself, he proposed that the "content of any medium is always another medium"[6] – thus, speech is the content of writing, writing is the content of print, and print itself is the content of the telegraph."

There is substantial research now which indicates technology brings its own values and it rejects the earlier notion of technology being value neutral. For example you can say things on Facebook which you will not say in an email. And you can write certain things in chat which you will not write an email. Also you can say things in an email that you will not say on phone call. There are things that you can say in phone call which you will not say in person.
Similarly, what you can see in a youtube video, you will not see in a cinema hall,.....

 what Marshal Luhan says is that the medium is so impactful that voice of the content is drowned by the medium

yes that's why I said it is part of context.. and effects the message, intended message precisely BUT not the message per se.. You see same has been true in retrospect in all times.. For eg writing on bones with charcoal to writing on tablet with quills, then on paper with fountain pen, then ball point... All methods and media brought substantial changes in handwritings, and hence also carried noticable effects on message because handwriting reflects the inner psychological context of the writer.. like body language carries in verbal communication.. Jab bhi to log ye hi kehte the email typing mein wo bat nahi.. Because handwritings personal touch is gone.. TRUE.. اب ye to ہوگا.. but saying medium is the message is misleading in my opinion.

there is substantial research now which indicates technology brings its own values and it rejects the earlier notion of technology being value neutral. For example you can say things on Facebook which you will not say in an email. And you can write certain things in chat which you will not write an email. Also you can say things in an email that you will not say on phone call. There are things that you can say in phone call which you will not say in person.
Similarly, what you can see in a youtube video, 
you will not see in a cinema hall,.....

Medium is the message. SMS/texting is only suitable for short messages that were exchanged via telegram like short messages that have urgency such as informing about death, arrival, departure, rendezvous, change in meeting time, an emergency, hospitalization, congratulations on success, death info, condolence, receipt, acknowledgement of communication confirmation , etc. It is totally inappropriate for sharing your profound thoughts, intense grief, expectations, disappointments, future plans, major life decisions, etc.

People are getting their love accepted, getting committed and even great break ups through SMS, this cannot always be misinterpretation :) many hidden love affairs are also making love through these messages. We can't call them misinterpretation completely

Mohammad Ayub Latif my point is that medium
 being an overpowering message will dilute and misconstrue your deeper messages. Why do you think the Hidaya Academy students were sitting on the floor during the awards. The medium (seating structure) through which you go for the award is an overpowering message. Similarly, SMS has its intrinsic message which overpowers what the content means. It is constrained by the structure of device, word count limits, sequence in which you see the messages, the hierarchy of display etc is similar in impact to whether the talaba are sitting on floor or on chairs/sofas

People are getting their love accepted, getting committed and even great break ups through SMS, this cannot always be misinterpretation :) many hidden love affairs are also making love through these messages. We can't call them misinterpretation completely

Irfan Hyder yes boss agreed and I think the floor seating shows more of learning attitude and also gives the message that asatza and akabareen are Afzal 
Q: But Sir why then writing on social media books npapers etc has such profound effect even tweets, even official matters even arguments by lawyers to great extent, but when it comes to messages why we deem it so useless...

A: Problems are often too complex. For example, Twitter is simply a soundbite. When you reduce a complex issue to a tweet of one sentence consisting of max 280 letters, you have to reduce the complexity arbitrarily to a simplicity which does not do justice to the problem and you are forced to come up with slogans or simplification that can not withstand the complexity of real life. This is what happened to Trump's messages and also IK's messages. They were forced to reduce complex problems to simple soundbites that they were not. Extremist and fringe thoughts of populace pulled the message in their direction. Message got reduced to satisfying the simplistic mind. Nature of Twitter medium focusing on count of subscribers and count of likes forced the message to be  reduced to satisfying the simplistic mind only. Once in power, reality exposed the impossibility of their soundbites! 1 crore jobs, 50 lacs home, Mexico border wall.... See the devastation in both countries

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

How many taxpayers are in pakistan

فائلر ہوں، چور نہیں ہوں:
ہر پاکستانی GST,WHT دیتا ہے، 
صرف FBR فائلرز 1% ہیں
مگر 13 کروڑ فون، بجلی پر ٹیکس دینے والے بھی فائلرز ہیں!

It is a blatant lie that there are only 1% tax filers who are supporting the taxes of the whole country. Government has files of taxpayers who are giving huge amount of indirect taxes, they must be called filers too! 

Government must give tax receipt of the withholding taxes that people deposited through electronic means,  for example 130 million mobile subscribers + electricity subscribers + bank account holders. Currently for all individuals,  CNIC has replaced the NTN as National Tax Number. No new NTN is being issued to individuals any more. 

Therefore,  government has all the "files" of withholding taxes, CNIC wise, of 130-150millions phone subscribers, millions of electricity and gas subscribers, millions of vehicles registrations, all property transactions in DC offices, all banking taxes,... They are all filers. The number of such "filers" whose data is with government would be at least 60% of population. 

We first demand a compilation of these filers from nincompoop government departments. Government must give me receipt of the tax they had withheld. Why should I obtain the receipts from each withholder and file again with Nicompoops of FBR?

"Please note that bulk of our taxes (55%to 58%) are indirect taxes, the burden of which is disproportionally on the shoulders of poor and lower middle class. 40% of population is engaged in agricultural activity, but adding only 21% of GDP. So they are paying disproportionally lesser tax. 
60 % of population is largely  settled in urban areas and is producing 59% of GDP. They are paying both  indirect and direct taxes. 
But saying that only 1 % people pay taxes is a highly irresponsible statement. People are virtually groaning under the burden of indirect taxes.

While in principle agriculture is subject to income tax but it is still with the provincial governments and income tax yields are small.

Services sector is highly bloated, comprising 58% of GDP.  In the financial sector even middle level employees are making more than half a million per month.

The biggest constraint is the consistently low level of growth rate, particularly in the commodity sector and its limited spinoff( multiplier) effect on employment, exports, dependence on imports and general welfare."
[Last four paragraphs are quoted from comments of Mr Ashraf Janjua, ex Deputy Governor of SBP, ex Dean of CBM,  and author of 4Volume History of SBP.]
It is indeed true that time and again, the governments in power embarrass us for doing our nation a huge favour in the form of indirect taxes. There is no good or service in Pakistan that is tax-free; from birth (expenses that parents bear before birth and at the time of birth) to death (burial places, are sold for a price). Historian Richard Hofstadter’s statement comes to mind "It is the Crassness and anti-Intellectualism of governments in power" this is true and is reminiscent of the statement that you shared above that mentions that only 1 percent tax filers support the taxes of the whole country. Instead of calling us tax thieves, these governments in power should have thanked the Pakistani nation for not rising up and burning down the rent-seeking edifice(Government).

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Shajra Taxonomy of Sufi Tassauf Terminology

 شجرہ معرفت الہی و حقیقت روح و صراحت عالمہائے ظاہری و باطنی و طریقہائے تصوف متعلق نور ایمان

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Ausaf Husain

Syed Ausaf Hussain Marhoom: On 18th January, Ausaf Bhai left for heavenly abode. A wrangler in true sense and a man of high principles. The way he carried himself, no one could gauge his true age. I remember sharing an anecdote with us that he once he visited a hakeem. Hakeem sb as per practice took the pulse and said asked what was Ausaf bhai age. Ausaf bhai replied either 72 or 79, I cannot remember. Hakeem sb got furious and said that do not joke and that Ausaf bhai must be in 50's. A solid person on whom you could rely upon in times of need. Irfan, Sara and Khurram can dwell more on Ausaf bhai personality. May Allah grant Jannah to Ausaf bhai and buland his darajats. Ameen

In the words of Ammi Jan (Huzabra Ahsan Hyder) he was internally a very deeply religious  which was not typically visible from outside. His apparent strictness emanated from a very strong adherence to the principles of honesty, commitment to the given word, punctuality, integrity, legal process, prompt action. He would get angry when we would be late, not adhere to the stated plan, or procrastination. He would say out what is in his heart and would call a spade as spade irrespective of whether people will like it or not. His maintenance of records of financial transactions was meticulous. All receivables, payable, receipts, payments records with every party were maintained in an immaculate manner going back to decades. It was a very hard struggle for survival battle that he waged every day after the death of his father. It took him around 20 years to rise from the ranks to the officer level in airforce in 1970, a feat that was achieved only by him in his batch. For this he had to excel in not only operations but also to distinguish himself as a marksman, expert in handheld arms and hand combat, judo and as a commando. His insistence on making everyone understand and remember each and every instruction by repeated reminders is exemplary. This struggle for excellence defined his personality. After retirement he excelled in everything he did. Whether in learning the protocol duties, security business. He had over 100 items published in various newspapers on home security, self security, organizational safety and security issues. He became a member of an international safety and security association and used to subscribe to its monthly magazine which he would read diligently from end to end and apply it in various companies. He was among the early adopters of technology. He professionally started using his email much before others. He was using PowerPoint in late 1990s. He had a blackberry and was using group sms. I learned how to use sms for eid baqreid messages. He had a functional website much before I made one....

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Social Interactions of Eid through Poetry

What a mournful separation of the family members after partition depicted through poetry. Note the following message of eid Mubarak and its poetic response by members of the family across the divide. Also note the level of education in 1950s and the ability of educated to express through poetry their feelings and experiences. Today educated can't even read poetry, let alone compose it. 

Picture of a page from diary of my paternal grandmother capturing the poetic exchange between two of her cousins across the border. 

See also: Fatima Khatoon's depiction of separation of family members in a beautiful nazm. See this link.


 برادر نثار حیدر کی نہٹور (بجنور، انڈیا) سے عید کی مبارکباد جس میں اپنا وطن چھوڑ کر پاکستان چلے جانے والوں کے لئے پیغام ہے- ان کی کزن وحیدہ کی طرف سےکراچی، پاکستان سے جواب-

انوار فاطمہ (والدہ احسان حید) کی کاپی /ڈائری میں ان کے ہاتھ سے لکھا ہوا ہے - نثار حیدر اور وحیدہ دونوں انوار فاطمہ کے کزنز ہیں-

ستمبر 19 سن 1950 میں نہٹور سے نثار حیدر:

غربت سے بہی فزوں ہے یہ اپنے وطن کی عید

اہل چمن ہیں جب نہیں پھر کیا چمن کی عید

پروانہ ہائے خاک وطن بے قرار ہیں

جب شمع انجمن نہ ہو کیا انجمن کی عید

 ان کی کزن وحیدہ کا پاکستان سے جواب:

اپنا وطن وہی ہے کہ عزت جہاں ملے

بے خوف و بے خطر ہو ہراک مردو و زن کی عید

آجا! کہ چشمہائے عزیزاں ہیں شرف راہ

تجھ بن تھی اون کی عید بھی رنج و محن کی عید

اپنا چمن بھی چھوڑا خیاباں بھی چھٹ گیا

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Saturday, January 2, 2021

Elegy on the Killing of PM Liaquat Ali Khan by Shah Abdul Shakoor Faridi

مرثیہ ترجیح بند در شہادت لیاقت علیخان
بر بند سعدی علیہ الرحمہ
از شاہ عبد الشکور فریدی، مانک پور

یہ مرثیہ ایک ١٩٥١ کےخط میں ملا جو کہ شاہ عبد الشکور ساکن مانک پور کا بھیجا ہوا تھا-
 شاہ عبد الشکور فریدی میری والدہ کے نانا تھے- بڑے بزرگ تھے- ان کے منظوم ملفوظات میرے پاس کچھ موجود ہیں- ان کے مزار پر اب بھی عرس ہوتا ہے- ان کے کئی خطوط میرے پاس ہیں- پارٹیشن کے بعد ان کے خاندان کے اکثر لوگ ہجرت کر کے پاکستان آ گئے مگر انہوں نے اپنے آباؤاجداد کے قصبہ کو چھوڑنا مناسب نہ سمجھا- وہ وہاں اکیلے ایک دو افراد کے ساتھ رہ گئے- ان کی ایک بیٹی عائشہ فریدی(میری والدہ کی خالہ) ان کے ساتھ رہا کرتی تھیں جن کے تواتر سے دلخراش خطوط میری والدہ کے پاس آیا کرتے تھے جو کہ ان کے انتقال  1967-68 تک آتے رہے- ان خطوط میں شاہ عبد الشکور فریدی کے منظوم ملفوظات بھی ہوتے تھے- ان کا کچھ دیوان ہمارے ایک عزیز کے پاس ہے