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45 days

I have been quite busy and didn’t have time to write on my blog amid having so many thoughts on so many things. And today I don’t have time either but today something happened which shook me to core.

One of our minister who holds portfolio of n0thing other than DEFENCE, agreed to the question by an interviewer that we don’t have ability to fight India for 45 days!

I mean what????

What the hell he was thinking? Which world he lives in? What he knows about Pakistan and Pakistani forces and defence of Pakistan? His ministry is only a seat or a portfolio he got in return for his contribution (read: monetary contribution) to his party in democracy (don’t want to get in the dirty details of it). It doesn’t make him a defence analyst of Pakistan!!!!

Yes. I agree Pakistan vs India war cannot be fought for 45 days, instead history tells us that it cannot be fought even for 17 days. Because India cannot match what we have. Will to fight!!!! I really don’t know what to write.

Pakistan has will to fight for 4500 days if it comes to that! Pakistan’s will wont be decided by a minister who doesn’t know history of our armed forces.

My dear defence minister! please read ‘Fateh Saboona’ (Biography of Shabbir Sharif). Please read the citation of Lance Naik Mehfooz Shaheed, NH who didn’t leave last soldier’s neck even after embracing martyrdom and life leaving his body! Go and read account of any soldier who embraced martyrdom for his country.

Also, take a moment to visit any of their family member who are proud to have sacrificed their sons for this soil. This will to fight is found nowhere in Indians and their paid agents, Taliban. They cannot match us in Shoq-e-Shahdat, which is only for Allah’s Razaa.

While I admire Ahmed Mukhtar for his prowess in setting up industry and entrepreneurship is his forte. But defence is certainly not.

I don’t how else to express my feelings. May Allah always help and save Pakistan.

Pakistan Zindabad! (always InshaAllah)

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We are proud of Pakistan

OBL (Osama Bin Laden) shooting was a strange operation on all accounts and while its counted as successful in achieving its target of killing OBL, it is also hugely successful in putting negative light on Pakistan’s military capabilities.

Why people can’t see simple and straight facts:

  • OBL operation was conducted using Stealth Helicopters which are not detectable by radars. What can ANY country (yes, its ‘any’ means all 180+ countries of the world) can do if its attacked in such a way and in this case this operation was against an enemy who was condemned even by the country he was staying in because of countless deaths he and his accomplice individuals and organizations planned and executed.
  • A question is being raised that if the same happens against our strategic/nuclear assets tomorrow, what we’ll do? Frankly, it can happen to everyone and anyone in present condition. American military capability is not developed overnight, its result of decades of painstaking efforts and humongous defence spending all of which was invested on premise of keeping America safe. Today, this capability is not matched by any country and should definitely be a concern for those who do not like America (or vice versa).
  • We and other Islamic nations have not worked hard on technological fronts to develop warfare technologies and have always harped ‘peace’ while forgetting the clear Quranic injunction of keeping our horses prepared against enemies. How can we blame our forces for not being capable enough once the country lacks seriously in industrial and technological capabilities?
  • Once it comes to capabilities with existing technology, our forces have proven themselves to be amazingly successful on more than one ocassion.
  • One example is that of Swat operation (making it a peaceful area once again in less than 2 years of operations). Compare it to any single district of Afghanistan where Americans & International forces were able to restore law and order to the degree our forces did in Swat?
  • Also, see what America did to its own people in case of 9/11. Just to find an excuse to wage a war on oil-rich markets, it launched attacks on its own civilian population and made it look like something done by Al Qaeda terrorists. And for those who find this statement to be a mere conspiracy theorist’s words, fine. Lets see it this way, America, with all its prowess in Military ops, Warfare and Intel failed to know that 19 (not 2-3, 19) Arabs were making up plans to blow up these targets. The verb used is ‘failed’!!!
  • With our limited resources, look at the capabilities we have developed indigenously which so many countries always wanted to label as exported from North Korea etc. This makes us not only a nuclear power but also a power with finest capability to launch a nuclear strike through multiple platforms.
I think this time failure was on part of political forces who were scared of making a bold statement just like they got scared on drones issue (Our PM and foreign office started their condemnation after COAS issued a statement resenting attack in South Wazirstan on a Jirga which killed 53 innocent tribals!)
What we seriously lack is leadership and courage to call the shots. The courage and leadership of people like Quaid-e-Azam, Zulfiqar Bhutto and many of their followers is seriously missing in Pakistan today and needs to be boosted up. Our leadership can only be strengthened by a nation who thinks positively for Pakistan and that is going to be the only way forward.

Let’s stop Blaming Pakistan, its Defence Forces and intelligence. We, Pakistanis, are proud of our country and definitely our people including our armed forces.

Lessons from Abu Dhabi Group

Abu Dhabi Group (ADG), one of largest foreign investors in Pakistan, is rumored to be planning divesting off its businesses in Pakistan which include some big names like Warid Telecom, Bank Alfalah and Wateen Telecom. This decision is mainly driven because of recent economic crises in ADG’s country of origin, UAE and group’s management desire to focus on its other ventures particularly Dubai. Although I haven’t heard it yet, but it is highly expected of certain circles of Pakistani media to purport this move because of ‘weak’ economic conditions in Pakistan (because that is more ‘crispy’ a news!). They forget this basic principle that when a multinational or global organization faces crises, divesting and/or consolidation is among the options on the table.

Also, we need to look at the success this group enjoyed in Pakistan for all these years and today its departure is not because it failed or Pakistani economy failed, its just a business strategy move fueled by their internal crises, having nothing to do with Pakistan.

Whether ADG stays or it leaves, the group enjoyed its stay for sure thing.

Story of Abu Dhabi Group in Pakistan which began around early 2000s, is that of a classic example to showcase to world, what Pakistani business scene is actually like.

ADG never had any problem running its businesses in Pakistan. It did whatever it wanted and grew while strongly respecting law of land and remained sensitized to the target market in every of its ventures. It hired professional management at all levels and they ran the business well and grew year after year. Ventures like Bank Alfalah, Wateen, Warid continue to be among best in their own categories. Interestingly, the ADG team quite ably sensed the sectors which could be targeted for successful ventures and went on to enter even in healthcare business and launched a success story, Al Razi Healthcare. Some of the ventures were not that big a success and were kept on backburners. Like Taavun which planned building one of the largest office buildings in the country on Ferozpur Road, Lahore.

Doing what you think is better and postponing the ones which are not feasible is what smart business is all about and this is what this group did. This group’s story in Pakistan manifests the fact that opportunities in Pakistan are humongous. It is only the matter of identifying what can be achieved in this country and whats needs to be done to achieve it and it will be achieved.

Here I remember an ad of Zong, which asks us, the Pakistanis, who find the other lands to be greener and not work on their own soil. While going abroad is not a bad idea or a bad move at all, it is certainly worth seeing, what others are seeing in your land.

We are 34, OK! What about the others

It was not a surprise last week listening to the ‘fact’ that we have gone higher in corruption perception rankings which are erroneously being considered as a corruption index. A report by Transparency International ranks perception of corruption happening in different countries.

Well, we are corrupt. No doubts about it. We have jumped 8 places from 42 to 34 (whatever it means!) and yes corruption is the only thing improving in our country.

First of all, perception beats reality (no further comments on this)

Secondly, we are corrupt, fine. We have improved, fine. What about others?

Does anyone remember:

  • March 20, 2003, President Bush launched full-scale attack on a sovereign nation with ‘proven’ evidence that they have WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction. Needed to give this abbreviation because its a forgotten term). Few months later, one fine morning, it was announced “oops. our reports were not right and there are no WMDs”. Operation code changed to “liberate or liberty …..” Billions spent of American taxpayers, Thousands of lives lost, even greater number suffered in injuries, loss of property etc. All on a war that was on an “oops”. But this is totally irrelevant as TI (Transparency International) doesn’t conduct audits on these kind of practices.
  • UK: While the whole world is moving towards modern technology and new horizons are opening for mankind, there is a Windsor Palace in UK. Residents of this palace are ‘monarchs’. They are not formally monarchs but they are monarchs. They do not rule the country but they and their blood line is to be served extravagantly with taxpayer money of British people. But again: this is not TI’s area of concern.
  • April 2010, BP oil spill getting worse. In June, President Obama was mentioning in his press conference that a large part of responsibility lies on corrupt practices of his administration and the administration before his. He acknowledged that he recognized that this had something to do with corruption. and Yes, this time: this is TI’s domain but what if their TVs were switched off at that time!
  • India: Commonwealth games 2010 (enough said)
  • US/Europe: Education & degrees for sale. Even Time/Newsweek publishing ads of ‘get a PhD in 7 days (fully accredited)’.

And here is a live case:

Company X is getting a project from USAID, an International Aid organization plagued by corruption and malpractices. It is so rampant that the project it needs to hire Company X’s services for, is to identify how money for its funded projects is wasted due to corruption. Problem is that those who get projects funded by USAID are corrupt and waste American taxpayers money in corrupt practices and do NOT do anything on ground.

But now since Company X got this project. It will be alright. (btw how Company X will be checked? and how did it get this project)?

P.S. Company X = TI 🙂

Here is what the corruption perception index looks like on a map.

Corruption map as taken from website: www.transparency.org

This is what the map looks like to common people

and this is ‘official version:

Same corruption map edited for Governments

This is what the promotional campaign for 2011's index looks like (as being sent to different governments)

DISCLAIMER: Author is NOT a government agent! Author doesn’t deny that there is No corruption in Pakistan. He believes that it is a corrupt society and nation (honestly, I do!). But this whole post is written just to show another side of picture. As one of my teachers (late) said: Don’t take things on face value, apply your own discount……This is my discount! (May Allah bless His soul).

My House, my home

This is just a perspective and is not meant to target any person or group by any means. Just a thought which I found worth sharing and worth listening to other’s thoughts on it.

When I was young, I read a story of a boy who lived in a poor family and had a simple house. One day his friend invited him to his birthday and he was amazed to see his house as it had all modern luxuries or stuff like that. On returning back, he found his home to be even more humble and was irritated with his parents who tried explaining him these realities of life. But his young, immature mind couldn’t grasp theses properly and even wanted to leave his house and live with his friend in a ‘luxurious house’ but afterwards he did realize that it was his home and his house and it belongs to him.

There is nothing in this story. But just a thought. If my house is not luxurious, if my house houses my family members with different lifestyle, difference of opinions, different attitudes and responses to different situations as we move along in life, what should I do? Should I leave? Should I leave for a rented house? Which although I can live in but will never be ‘mine’. Even if I buy a different house, will it give me same sense of belonging as the house where my family is altogether? Will it give me same sense of protection? Will it be mine?

Think over it and then think is Pakistan not our house, our home, where we all live as a big family?

We have our differences, our share of problems, our issues but should we leave it? should we go to a ‘rented’ place? Another land which we cannot call our own? Even as our generations wont be able to call it theirs? always they will be known from the family they actually belonged, their roots. and they will be looked down upon as ‘immigrants’?

What if my house has bad floors, bad electricity, bad tempers? Should I not be courageous enough and bold enough to stand up and try my own to resolve it. What if at the end, my life is nothing but a struggle to mend my house? If my whole life is a struggle, I can rest with peace in my grave with the contentment that it was life spent for a cause. Cleaning, mending my house, my Pakistan for my generations to live a better life……

And before I make this decision to ‘move’ should I not know that the rented house have these problems too? Even worse can be there? Just because its problems are ‘different’ from my own house’s problems, I should accept it? Owners or neighbors there would not accept me because I am not one of ‘them’. I am not what they look like, live like and at times I would abhor their lifestyle and would even prevent my child from even thinking about doing what they do.

I think I know answer to these questions……

Are we thinking about it?

In a recent visit to Northern Areas of Pakistan, I had to witness myself what Al Gore mentioned in his famous documentary “An inconvenient truth” regarding melting glaciers, receding snow peaks all due to global warming.

We as global citizens are failing to realize our responsibility individually and collectively towards our planet.

Are we thinking about it?……..if our planet keeps getting warmer, what will our coming generation i.e. our sons and daughters will be living in (not even going to their next generations)

Are we thinking about it?……..that what kind of world we will have in which ecosystem will be a mess and something as free as clean air will be a luxury

Are we thinking about it?……..if we dont act now and that too harshly, we can all have more Katrinas, more oil spills and God knows what

Are we thinking about it?……..

I seriously doubt it

Rising [once] again…..May be…

We have had our share of problems and issues and we had faced them almost together as a nation. Our resolve as a nation in fundamentals of religion and belief to some extent in our origin a a “land for muslims with equal rights for all” has kept us together and kept us going.

We had many problems, we have worse problems and in days to come we ll have even worse (who knows). But what is important is that this nation has to pervail. Greatness might not be in our destiny, per se. But may be our greatness is to prevail. May be we are not to become the world’s richest nation or top the list of best countries to live.

We need to continue to strive individually in our own places to do the right thing. We need to understand and respect the foundations and stay close to the ideals of our origin.

At times, when a lot of damage is done, it is better to start off from scratch. May be it is the time to do that……