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Archive for category PAKISTAN SHINING

Invisible Blinkers By   Brig(R)  Saleem Qamar Butt

Invisible Blinkers

By

Brig(R)  Saleem Qamar Butt

The moment one lands back from a developed country at any airport in Pakistan, one gets an uncanny feeling of chaos, mismanagement, dishonesty, rudeness, pollution and lawlessness…..all antonyms to values otherwise expected to prevail in an Islamic country where everyone claims to be a pious and holier than holiest Muslim. 

One is compelled to ponder as to why people in majority behave so bad living here or even those who live abroad and soon after touching home base, behave in the same appalling manners. Our airports, railway and bus stations, all public places and traffic on roads is perhaps one of the worst display in the world and speak volume about our poor education system and overall poorest grooming as human beings or members of a civilized society. Ironically, nothing seems to be done either by the government or by non-government institutions to arrest these negative practices.

While our religion puts so much emphasis on piety, cleanliness, truthfulness, doing good things and stopping self and others from evil practices, discipline, politeness and on helping the needy, why then people apparently performing all Islamic duties (haqooq Allah) and visibly following five main pillars of Islam, falter so badly on performing duties as a useful and sober member of society (haqooq-ul-ibad)? There is no short answer though; yet, a shallow dive into this matter reveals that most of us are wearing ‘invisible blinkers’, that keep us from considering a situation rationally or suffering from a phenomenon akin to a pair of flaps attached to a horse’s bridle, one beside each eye, to keep the horse from looking anywhere but straight ahead…..focused on self preservation and progress alone. What causes these invisible blinkers’ attachment to our eyes that causesmunafqat’, ‘double-dealing’ or ‘hypocrisy’? I posed this question to an Islamic scholar and he gave an out of the ordinary answer. According to him, “if a person willingly, knowingly or unknowingly eats forbidden or Haram, his/her sense of judgment on sifting right from wrong is taken away by Almighty as a punishment” something similar to ‘summun bukmun….!’

However, in societies like Japan or Singapore where religion is not so much visible, Islamic virtues and values are best seen in practice and hypocrisy is almost extinct. It is said that ‘poverty has no religion’….but our society defies this proverbial truth too because the rich class is more corrupt and duplicitous than poor people. The honest minority is facing enormous frustration as corruption infested society makes it almost impossible to remain free from ill practices one way or the other. No amounts of dua or prayers seem to work to put the rail back on tracks as far as Pakistan’s difficulties and challenges are concerned. Nevertheless, sometimes most complex challenges have simple solutions.

If we can follow the dictum, charity begins at home, we may find the silver lining sooner than expected. In Germany and Japan after second world war and in Central Asian Republics after independence from former Soviet Union in early 90s, the institution of Mothers and teachers played the main role in grooming and educating the children and youth to rise as shining stars of hope and prosperity of nations and results achieved by these countries in all fields in a short span of time are too obvious to neglect. If we can choose and elect the right leadership, who can provide people universal free education system, well-groomed mothers and highly qualified teachers, we can achieve in a decade what we have missed in the last seven decades. The training of trainers through Japanese and German teachers at the national level on a massive scale and raising the status of teachers in the society needs to be accorded a high priority. Our highly educated women resource need to be galvanized to undertake to groom of mothers as being practiced in Ladies Clubs in military circles. Inclusions of sports in all educational institutions must be made compulsory for the inculcation of sportsmen spirit and to ensure mental and physical health. A political party that can include these simple and basic grassroots level steps in its manifesto may be given preference for electing our government instead of lofty but hollow slogans. We as a nation have to strive hard to get rid of invisible blinkers. 

Allah only helps those who help themselves; therefore, we have to bell the cat ourselves rather than expecting in vain miracle happening by mere inactive prayers.

* Brigadier(R) Saleem Qamar Butt, SI (M) is a student of International Relations, Defence and Warfare Studies with expertise in Executive Management, Military & Intelligence Diplomacy, Strategic Analyses and Forecast.

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In the eyes of the beholder by Tariq A. Al-Maeena

In the eyes of the beholder

by

 

Tariq A. Al-Maeena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following my article a couple of weeks ago in which I complimented the Pakistani cricket team for snatching victory from the jaws of defeat against their formidable arch-rivals India, I received a couple of comments that left me puzzled.

One was from a Westerner while the other critic was an Asian. The gist of it was essentially dressing me down for complimenting what they both termed as a “failed state”. They both individually felt that there was not much to Pakistan’s credit to mention, and perhaps that was why I praised their team’s victory.

But let’s take a closer look at this country before we rush to judgment. Pakistan has been listed among the next 11 countries that along with the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have a high potential of becoming among the world’s largest economies in the 21st century.

In the last five years, Pakistan’s literacy rate has grown by 250 percent, the largest increase in any country to date. According to a poll organized by the Institute of European Business Administration, from 125 countries, Pakistanis have been ranked the “fourth most intelligent people” across the globe. The Cambridge exams of both A and O levels have been topped by Pakistani students and this is a record yet to be broken. The world’s youngest certified Microsoft Experts, Arfa Kareem and Babar Iqbal, are from Pakistan. The seventh largest pool of scientists and engineers come from, you guessed it, Pakistan. The fourth largest broadband Internet system of the world is in Pakistan.

Pakistan is the first and only Islamic country to attain nuclear power. It is also notable for having some of the best-trained air force pilots in the world. The country’s missile technology is one of the best in the world. The country has produced a large quantity of various types of missiles since it has become a nuclear power. It also boasts of the sixth largest military force in the world.

In cooperation with China, Pakistan has produced the PAC JF-17 Thunder aircraft, a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). The JF-17 can be used for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception. Its designation “JF-17” by Pakistan is short for “Joint Fighter-17”.

It has also constructed the world’s largest warm-water, deep-sea port situated on the Arabian Sea at Gwadar in Balochistan province. Tarbela Dam is the world’s largest earth-filled dam and second largest dam overall. The Karakoram Highway, connecting China and Pakistan, is the highest paved international road in the world. The Khewra Salt Mine, the second largest salt mine in the world is in operation in the Punjab region of Pakistan. The world’s largest irrigation network is present in Pakistan. It serves 14.4 million hectares of cultivated land. The irrigation system is fed by water from the Indus River.

Land of some of the oldest civilizations (Indus Valley and Mohenjo-Daro), Pakistan is a multilingual country with more than 60 languages spoken. It is the sixth most populated country in the world and the second-most populous Muslim-majority country. It also has the second-largest Shia population in the world. The Edhi Foundation, a non-profit social welfare program in Pakistan, founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi in 1951 runs the world’s largest ambulance network. The country also boasts of the world’s youngest civil judge, Muhammad Illyas.

Pakistan is one the biggest exporters of surgical instruments in the world. About 50 percent of the world’s footballs are made in Pakistan. Nestle Pakistan is one of the largest milk processing plants which generate large revenue every year.

Among its natural wonders, Pakistan has the highest mountain ranges in the world. The world’s second highest and the ninth highest mountains, K2 and Nanga Parbat respectively, are in Pakistan. The Thar Desert is among the world’s largest sub-tropical deserts. The world’s highest polo ground is in Shandur Top, Pakistan at a height of 3,700 meters.

In 1994, Pakistan became the first country in the world to hold four World Cup titles tournaments in different mainstream sports simultaneously. The sports included cricket, hockey, squash and snooker.

The Lonely Planet, a global tourist guide, has listed Pakistan as being tourism’s “next big thing for more years than we care to remember. But world media headlines always send things off the rails.”

Perhaps my critics too have been unfairly influenced by media headlines. I urge them to take a second look at this country before they rush to judgment. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

— The author can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena

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Pakistan Facts – Part 3   By FTD

 

 

Pakistan Facts – Part 3   By FTD

Kaghan Valley – Pakistan

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Fakhar Zaman: From the Navy to cricket stardom By Geo.tv

Fakhar Zaman: From the Navy to cricket stardom

By

Geo.tv

 
 

The men were glued to the television screen at Faqir Gul’s house in the Katlang area of Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Soon it was clear. Pakistan’s victory over England was quickly becoming a reality. The crowd broke out in jubilation. After the cricket match was over, families in the neighborhood emerged from their homes to distribute sweets. Mardan was celebrating the win. But more than that they were celebrating the performance of one of their own, Fakhar Zaman.

Fakhar Zaman during his youth 

“He was once only the fakhar, the pride, of Katlang,” Faqir Gul, his father, told Geo.tv, “Now he is the fakhar of Pakistan.”

Back when Zaman was still a child his family discouraged him from playing cricket in school. They complained that he spent too much time out on the fields, and not much studying. There rarely was a day when he did not get into trouble for coming home late, covered in dirt.

In those days, Gul was working as an official with the wildlife and animal protection agency in the province. On his days off he would write poetry and recite it to Zaman to get his mind off cricket. His father feared that if he did not abandon his love for the sport he would not be able to finish his education and get a proper job. But nothing, it seemed, could dissuade the young boy.

After completing his matriculation from the Government High Secondary School Mardan, Zaman joined the Pakistan Navy as a sailor in 2007. During his time with the Navy, he would occasionally play inter-departmental cricket matches.

Azam Khan, the coach at the Navy’s cricket academy, noticed his talent. He then advised Zaman to apply for the position of a physical training instructor with the force, which he did.

In 2013, Zaman left the Navy. Thereafter he met Pakistan’s cricket star, Younis Khan, who advised him to play from his own region. Zaman then moved back to Mardan and represented Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Abbottabad Falcons, and Balochistan in inter-region cricket tournaments. In 2016, he was selected to play in the second edition of the Pakistan Super League.

To this day, Zaman remains indebted to his coach Khan. He has even named his cricket academy in Mardan after his coach.

“I hope he will continue to excel,” says his father, “Especially in the final match against India.”

Reference

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Carrying on up the Khyber Imran Khan’s party improves services in Pakistan’s (KPK) – The Economist

The PTI now wants to see locals flocking to use public services. It has certainly made schools more appealing: the party has appointed 40,000 more teachers, rebuilt institutions blown up by the Taliban and furnished others with toilets and electricity. Teacher absenteeism has fallen. But the PTI’s claim that about 100,000 students have chosen to switch from private to public schools is based on dodgy data. There are other bones to pick. In 2013 the PTI allowed its coalition partner, the Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamist group, to remove pictures in textbooks of women without a veil, among other measures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The diagnosis is less mixed when it comes to health care. The PTI has employed many more medical staff, raising the ratio of doctors per 1,000 people from 0.16 to 0.24. It has also begun, albeit far from smoothly, to roll out a comprehensive health-insurance card for poor families. All this has had an effect. The number of operations in public hospitals has doubled since 2013; inpatient cases have risen by half as much again. Such change comes despite objections from special interests that lose out from reforms. Pharmacists broke the shelves of a new drug dispensary at one Peshawar hospital, so incensed were they by its offering medicine at the wholesale price.

Yet the PTI may struggle to win a second term in 2018. One problem is excessive promises. Mr Khan, who broke into politics after a stellar career as a cricketer, pledged a “tsunami” of change. But it took his inexperienced party two years to get a handle on government, and many of its reforms so far, according to Faisal Bari of LUMS university, need much longer to get entrenched. Some of its more notable improvements are hardly photogenic. It is one thing for people gleefully to take selfies in front of a new flyover in Peshawar, another to do the same in front of new toilets in a rural girls’ school.

That Mr Khan himself appears to have lost interest in the province does not help. He aspires to national office and spends much of his time heckling the prime minister, who is under investigation for corruption. The PTI is starting to look more like the established parties. Having long mocked rapid-transit bus lanes, a favourite pork-barrel project of such parties, as a costly distraction from public-sector reform, the PTI is now building one of its own in Peshawar. It is said to be the country’s most expensive, per kilometre, yet.

 

The Economist

This article appeared in the Asia section of the print edition under the headline “Emergency treatment”

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