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 the old state bank building which was being used as parliament building temporarily during the 1970s. Had heard wonderful stories of his adventures in Bengal and in Northern Pakistan.

Fauqul Chacha's Family in 1970s. Trying to find Fauqul Chacha's picture

We are greatly indebted to marhoom  Rashid Bhai s/o Fauqul Hasan Zaidi for his great support and help in arranging the logistics of the 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, and cooking burners set up and made available at the site. Cooks would simply come on the day, prepare n ground masalas and cook the food. Food was prepared at site by the cooks.
The entire food logistics of the two marriage functions were 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 story of the womanizer and drunkard dictator of Pakistan peeing in the flower pots during the 2500 year coronation celebrations, and the dictator getting slapped by a lady in the royal feast. I recalled the stories of lavishness of Shah, his 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....

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

I had experience of meeting someone who predicted the rain fall time precisely. It was 1983 in ziarat, our NED batch mates of 1980-85 were on the study trip of Pakistan. We were around 200 students in three compartments that was attached to different trains and detached at various stations in the city for a few days while we visit places. We reached in July to Quetta and the compartments were detached at the Quetta station. After visiting a few places we went to Ziarat in three buses. We reached there around 12-1pm. As the students were waiting for lunch we started exploring the area. About 5 of us got more excited when we asked about places to visit and someone told us about a track leading to the shrine of Baba Kharwariz. We ventured towards Baba Kharwari'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 local wayfarer on the way, we asked how far is the shirne and he would tell us it was just a few minutes ahead. Those few minutes on and on became half an hour, and then another half an hour. It was around 245pm when we asked yet another local who was passing by, he looked at the sky which was then clear and then he looked at his watch. He then advised us to return. He warned us that there would be thunderstorm and rain at 3pm. The path would be filled with flash floods and then it would be difficult for us to return. We ignored him because it was sunny and clear and there were no signs of any clouds. But in around 5 minutes we saw some ominously threatening clouds moving towards us. Another 5 minutes and we could hear their grumbling. We got scared by the thunder and the impending darkness and decided to return. Initially we were just walking, but then it became dark, the clouds came so near, and the lightening and thunder became severe. 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 started running as fast as we could. We were afraid of the intensity of the flash floods and were fearful that we would swept by the torrents. Soon we were fully drenched and running for our lives. 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

Friday, May 7, 2021

EVM 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.)

Trying to be a super woman

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-

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.