Archive for the ‘Essays on Pakistan’ Category

Essays relating to Pakistan.

“Degree is Degree — Whether it is Fake or Genuine!” (CM Balochistan):

Posted by Magellanic Cloud on June 30, 2010

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“Degree is Degree — Whether it is Fake or Genuine!” (CM Balochistan)

Well … I am supporter of this statement … but not in feudal sense.

My following words basically deal with the issues of “Strong Institutions” Vs. “Strong Personalities” and “Competency Vs. Merit”. I will criticize the concept of “Strong Institutions” including “Education System” and will supports CM Balochistan’s recent statement: “Degree is Degree — Whether it is Fake or Genuine”.

One common point of view is that lack of proper institutionalization is the core problem Pakistan is facing these days. Once I dared to disagree with this opinion. I got following response from a friend:

So you think that there is no need for strong institutions like courts, police etc. Strength doesn’t mean anything else than independent decisions, decisions on merit. If you are against decision on merits than you can say that our country needs strong personalities above all rules, above all codes.

My Reply:

Well, I am not against the existence of institutions. But institutions should not be so big fools as to be not able to recognize what could be the real best option in various particular situations. I presented the case of a candidate whose over-all 62% marks (In that case, Passing Marks were 40%) could not save her from being declared FAIL in written exam just because she failed only in one paper (out of 12) on account of one short number. May be you cannot realize the stupidity of examination body (the institution) in this case. One can better realize it if one personally goes through similar instances.

Secondly I am in need to clarify what meaning I take of ‘strong’ person and ‘strong’ institution.

In this connection, we generally denote ‘strong person’ as a person who does not care for rules and regulations for negative purposes or for personal selfish reasons. This is the popular meaning and it is a negative meaning.

But I had not used ‘strong person’ with this negative meaning. For me, ‘strong person’ would be that one who does not care for rules and regulations for good and positive reasons.

Now about strong Institutions:

You say:

“Strength doesn’t mean anything else than independent decisions, decisions on merit.”

Well, if you are talking of ‘strong institutions’ in that sense which you are favoring, then let me point out that under the system of ‘strong institutions’ which you favor, decisions are NOT independent and decisions don’t have the basis of COMPETENCY (here I have replaced ‘competency’ for ‘merit’).

Because in ‘strong institutions’, decisions DEPEND on rigid rules and policies, whereas meaning of ‘merit’ is NOT level of competency but is just ‘level of compliance to written rules and policies’.

I ask you a simple question. There are two students who are doing Masters in Physics. University has designed a predefined syllabus for Physics. First student is research minded and he takes pain in trying to find new facts about Physics. For this purpose he has to spend time in his research activities.

Second student is good crammer of syllabus books. What shall happen in the University exam…??? Crammer of syllabus books shall come on MERIT. On the other hand, research minded student might fail in University exam because he had been full time busy in his research activities.

My question to you is that who is more competent…???

If you say that research minded person is more competent … Then you are in favor of strong personalities because in this case your decision has been INDEPENDENT OF RULES AND POLICIES OF UNIVERSITY.

If you say that person who is good crammer of syllabus books is more competent … then you are in favor of strong institutions because your decision has been BASED ON RULES AND POLICIES OF UNIVERSITY.

In my opinion, research minded person is REAL competent whereas crammer has just come on merit.

My another question to you is that: “Competency Vs Merit” … What do you like…???

Competency can go anywhere … it can set its own direction also … Merit is just a blind chase of rigid rules and policies. Competency is the quality of leaders. Merit is the quality of followers. Leaders are those who show others some direction. Remember that any new direction could not be contained in the way of rigid compliance to previously written rules and policies. Those who are only to follow the already written rules and policies how can they go to any new direction…??? A person who does not go to any new direction, how can he show any new direction to others…??? And a person who does not show the new direction to others … simply he is not leader. Perhaps he is such a ‘manager’ who cannot take many independent decisions … Because his decisions would depend on written rules and policies.

Yes I am against decisions on merit … but in the above mentioned sense. And yes there should be strong personalities … above all rules, above all codes … but they must be allowed to go beyond all rules and all codes only for good and positive reasons. Practically it is possible to be allowed to only head of the institution and/or heads of department/section.

My Friend Replied:

Just consider an example if you have a very good car latest model (institution) with an average driver one who can drive like you and me, and on the other hand if you have very old car with so many faults in it, weak engine out dated model with an expert driver (strong personality), what do you think who will win the race? Now a philosopher will favor the expert and a realistic one will favor the latest model machine. In simple words if you have strong institutions then you can utilize your mind otherwise its useless.

My Reply:

Yes if we make our institutions ‘strong’ (within your meaning) then we would not be in need of competent persons … just like an incompetent driver of a better car can win the race against a competent driver, who drives an old car.

Well … we already have shortage of competent persons … Do you want to cover this deficiency in this way…??? By eliminating the role of any human competency…???

But you have forgotten that the incompetent driver shall be able to win the race only when a competent person would already have invented a better car. Actually these ‘strong institutions’ only make our lives more mechanical. Nothing would happen if you replace all the persons in your ‘strong institution’ with mechanical computer aided robots. So there would be no need of humans in your ‘strong institutions’. I again have given all the philosophical reasons in support of my views. I can give examples of ground realities also where so-called strength of institutions have given the results of miseries for general public and have opened the avenues for corruption in many government departments. Our official taxation laws, for instance, are so harsh that tax liabilities of small businessmen can reach to such amounts, which may be more than total capital employed. For example (real example) a business had to be closed just because that businessman made payments to his supplier in cash instead of through banking channel which was required as per law. Otherwise that businessman had been a regular tax payer and he had deposited all his due taxes. He committed only this procedural mistake i.e. of not making payments to supplier through banking channels. In this way he has attracted penalties amounting to more than the total capital of business.

Since our BLIND ‘strong institutions’ cannot see the on ground facts and they only can follow the written rules and policies … So as a result, now that business has been closed. I myself have won the case (being the representative of department in the judicial proceedings) against that businessman at Departmental Tribunal level. In my private meetings with the advocate of businessman, I admitted that no revenue loss was involved in that case because taxpayer had duly deposited all the payable taxes. Only fault was procedural in nature where no government revenue loss was involved. But the penalties involved for such procedural mistake would amount to more than the capital employed by the business. During the judicial proceedings before the Tribunal, I argued that taxpayer had violated such and such rules and sections of Law so he may be penalized for it. So I myself played the role of ‘strong institution’. In another case, taxpayer had made such mistake which had little effect on government revenue. But he was charged with heavy penalty for the procedural mistake. Case already had been decided in favor of tax payer by the lower adjudication forum. Adjudication officer might be some “strong person” within my meanings … So he had taken the decision in favor of taxpayer because amount of revenue loss was really just minor.

On the next forum i.e. before Appellate Tribunal, I represented the department before Tribunal. I won the case on first hearing in favor of department by arguing that tax payer had violated such and such rules and laws. Again I played the role of ‘strong institution’ and ‘weak personality’… And I promoted real injustice in this way because taxpayer had committed only immaterial type of procedural mistake which would have just minor impact on government revenue. Now that person shall pay heavy fines.

I also knew and Judges also knew that there had been no significant loss to government treasury in that case. But my role and the role of judges had been to just blindly follow the written policies and procedures. And this is what we really did. So how can you say that strong institutions shall solve all the problems of nation…??? Strong institutions themselves are a big problem … because they are blind … because they prevent the personalities from applying their minds for the betterment of country … because institutions possess no working mind … because they possess only mechanical written policies which might not be in the best interest of country in all the situations.

I give another example of a so-called “Strong Institution” which is our prevalent Education System. Yesterday, on a TV program, Mr.Tallat Hussain asked Voice Chancellor, Punjab University, “Suppose a student genuinely gets good marks in B.A (Graduation) exams but after some years it comes out that his F.A (Intermediate) certificate was fake (or his marks in F.A were not sufficient to get admission in B.A.) then what will happen to the status of his B.A degree?”

Voice Chancellor categorically replied, “His B.A degree will become liable to be canceled”.

It’s simple meaning is that Education System, as an institution, is not there to spread any knowledge or wisdom. It only ensures certain good percentage of compliance to written rules and policies. One who manages to get more knowledge/wisdom than offered by the Education System but does not manage to follow written rules and policies of university, SHALL NOT BE AWARDED DEGREE by the University. Sometimes universities bypass their written rules and policies when they award some persons honorary degrees. But in such cases, generally, those personalities already would have proven their competency before whole world. In this way, universities prove themselves BLIND as they cannot see competency outside of Education System as long as the world already recognizes that competency.

In short, I liked yesterday’s statement of Chief Minister Balochistan: “Degree is degree — whether it is fake or genuine!”.


Posted in -Home-, Education & Examination System, Essays on Pakistan, Pakistan, Pakistan Internal Affairs, Philosophy, Philosophy in Pakistan, Subjectivity/ Objectivity and Scientific Method, Theory of Knowledge | 1 Comment »

Identity Crisis of Pakistan

Posted by Magellanic Cloud on August 19, 2006

Identity Crisis of Pakistan


§ Historical factors which brought about ‘Muslim’ identity to the territory of present day Pakistan.
§ Emergence of Muslim society and culture in the sub-continent.
§ Downfall of Muslim rule and culture.
§ Muslim mind-set under the British rule.
§ Demand of Pakistan on the basis of ‘two nation theory’.
§ Identity crisis after independence.
§ Issue of national language.
§ Issue of one unit.
§ Separation of East Pakistan mainly because of identity crisis of Pakistan.
§ Importance of National Identity.
§ Contemporary crisis of National Identity.


Pakistani territory has been home to one of the most ancient civilizations (i.e. Indus Valley Civilization) of the World. The Indus Valley civilization flourished in period 2500-1700 BC. It is generally believed that Indus Valley Civilization was destroyed by Arian invaders. Originally those Arians were not accustomed to civilized way of city life and they only could establish many small village oriented states that were run by many Rajas etc. Later on, most of the Pakistani territory has been a large province of world’s earliest imperial power i.e. Iran. Afterwards, Alexander put an end to the Iranian rule and he invaded the Pakistani territory also. Alexander then went back but died in the way. But Iranian imperial rule and the type of Alexander’s vast scale military achievements drew profound impressions upon the political set up of the sub-continent. Chandar Gupata Moriah, following the Iranian imperial type political model, brought about most of the territory of northern India into a single political regime, which was later on further extended by his grandson Asoka.

But that large political set up could not last for long time period and the sub-continent was again divided into many small kingdoms of Hindu Rajas. A major political change, which shaped the identity of present day Pakistani territory was the event of 711AD when an Arab Muslim military commander, Muhammad bin Qasim, invaded the territory of Sindh, defeated the Hindu Raja Dahir and thus annexed the area of Sindh to the Muslim imperial rule of Umayyad Caliphate. Emergence of Muslim rule resulted in fundamental changes in the civil society of this area in a way that vast local population embraced Islam and thus acquired their identity as ‘Muslims’. After about three centuries, other Muslim invaders of Turkish origin managed to bring most of the northern Indian Territory including almost whole territory of present day Pakistan under the Muslim rule. Muslim society flourished under the Muslim rule because Muslim culture had focused, formal and consistent cohesive and adhesive societal approach than the culture of Hindus, who were in majority but largely had unfocused, less consistent, informal and scattered forms of culture preservation approaches. Muslim culture and society got its own distinct identity, which was quite different to the identity of majority Hindu culture. Muslim political rule continued over centuries until eighteenth century when signs of the decline of Muslim rule began to appear and many turn of events resulted in the shift of locus of political control in the hands of a British origin business oriented establishment which was doing business in the country in the name of British East India Company.

After the war of 1857, the political control over India formally shifted to the British Crown. British government introduced democratic type limited self-autonomy in India. Under this type of government, Muslims would have gone under the Hindu political control in case the country got freedom from Britain.

The two world wars made Britain so much weak that now it could not hold on its many colonies including India. It became apparent during the Second World War that sooner or later Britain will have to announce freedom for India.

Indian Muslims were already concerned about the future of their separate identity as a ‘Muslim Culture’ and a prominent Muslim leader Sir Allama Iqbal already had proposed the establishment of a separate Muslim state within India where Muslims could preserve the separate identity of their culture.

But it was during the second world war when top Muslim leadership first time realized that Allama Iqbal’s proposal could become the real motto of Indian Muslim’s struggle for independence from British Rule. So Indian Muslims demanded for a separate homeland i.e. Pakistan for them. The basis of this demand was the ‘two nation theory’. The themes of this ‘two nation theory’ was that Indian Muslims were not just a minority community in India but were having a distinct complete culture of their own and so were a separate nation. The underlying idea was that future of India should be decided by not considering Indian Muslims as just minority community but should be decided while considering Indian Muslims as a complete nation, which should be given a separate homeland where they could preserve their distinct culture.

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah did lot of effort to persuade British rulers and Hindu leadership about the truth of this ‘two nation theory’ so that they may accede to the Muslim demand of a separate homeland for them. Quid-e-Azam succeeded in his efforts and so ‘Pakistan’ came into being as a homeland for Muslims who were having their own independent culture which was quite different from the majority Hindu culture.

Identity Crisis After Independence:

Muslims as a whole really were quite different from Hindus but within Muslims, the society was divided into many sub groups. As already has been mentioned that society of sub-continent has been a product of firstly the struggle between local Dravidians and Indo-Arians, secondly the struggle between Indo-Arians and Persian as well as Greek invaders, fourthly the political dominance of Muslims which effectively lasted up till eighteenth century and lastly the British rule and its downfall. Due to such a nature of historical events, the present day Pakistan’s society is ethnically diverse. Pakistanis trace their ethnic lineages to many different origins, largely because the country lies in an area that was invaded repeatedly during its long history. Migrations of Muslims from India since 1947 and refugees from Afghanistan since the 1980s have significantly changed the demographics of certain areas of the country. The people of Pakistan come from ethnic stocks such as Dravidian, Indo-Aryan, Greek, Scythian, Hun, Arab, Mongol, Persian, and Afghan. The people follow many different cultural traditions and speak many different languages and dialects. At the time of independence, Pakistani territory was divided into two wings i.e. East and West Pakistan, which were separated by a distance of 1000 miles. West Pakistan corresponds to present day Pakistan whereas East Pakistan became independent country of Bangladesh in 1971, mainly because of the identity crisis of Pakistan. Originally, West Pakistan consisted of four provinces i.e. Punjab, Sindh, N.W.F.P and Balochistan. East Pakistan was a single province, which had its population greater than all the four provinces of West Pakistan combined. Pakistan faced its first identity crisis when government adopted Urdu as national language. Although Urdu was not just a regional language and was widely understood among the people of different provinces and so could better serve the purpose of inter-provincial communication but this language had not any deep roots in the East Pakistan, the largest province of the country. People of East Pakistan protested against the decision of making Urdu as national language and they raised the demand of making Bengali as a national language as this was the language of majority population of East and West Pakistan combined. But this demand could not be acceptable to the people of any of the provinces of the West Pakistan because Bengali language had no roots at all in any of the provinces of West Pakistan. Urdu language, finally became the official national language but without happy consent of the largest province of the country. Obviously, country was divided into many sub-cultures who had their own languages and they did have emotional attachment with their own regional languages also. Our early leaders however were trying to identify the country as a uni-lingual one but this was not the on ground reality of course.

Secondly, our early leaders also tried not only to conceive, but also to practically make the whole country a cultural unity. They abolished the provinces of West Pakistan with the view to make it one cultural unit. This was an attempt to eliminate the regional cultures of different provinces in order to promote the idea of a one single culture. The underlying purpose however was political in nature whose aim was to bring West Pakistan at the level of political parity with the otherwise more populous East Pakistan. Political benefit was going in the favour of West Pakistan but even then people of different provinces of West Pakistan protested against this new scheme and insisted on the separate distinct identities of regional cultures of the provinces. It means that people of country had strong emotional ties with their regional sub-cultures but our leaders were not ready to accept this fact. This thing created a grave unrest among the people of East Pakistan as the new scheme had put them on politically disadvantageous position. Since our leaders failed to apprehend the plural nature of the culture of country and since they did not identify the true national identity, so the consequent identity crisis at last resulted in the Separation of East Pakistan in 1971.

How a country identifies its National Identity is important because it is actually the comprehension of a country about the composition and structure of its own society and culture. This National Identity not only determines objectives and goals for the people and leadership of the country, it also determines the type of relationships with other sovereign countries of the world. Secondly, National Identity of a country is not any rigid or fixed entity, as its various aspects always remain in the process of change and developments as a result of the changes that occur in the political and cultural environment of the whole world. Pakistan’s National Identity also has gone through many such changes. Before the separation of East Pakistan, the main outstanding issues were those, which mainly related to the interrelationships of different provinces. Loss of East Pakistan resulted in somewhat reduced burden of this type of issues and so rest of the Pakistan successfully resolved the matters relating to interrelationships of the remaining provinces, in the form of unanimous constitution of 1973. With the passage of time however, those issues are again getting significance and so there is need to re-identify the current composition, structure and kind of country’s society. Country has also got the experience of both civil democratic political set-ups as well as various Martial Law regimes. But we still are in need to identify which form of government best suits to the taste and needs of our society. On the international environment, due to many factors, image of Muslim societies is being negatively projected. Mass international media is projecting that Muslim societies are the supporters of terrorist activities on the global scale. Muslim societies are being labeled as ‘extremist societies’. Pakistan is also one of the victims of this wrong media projection. Under these current crisis, we are in need to evaluate our true identity i.e. whether we, as a nation, are extremist people or are enlightened, moderate, balanced, peace loving, and at the same time, brave people. Now we are also a nuclear power nation and so we should identify ourselves as more balanced and more responsible nation than before.

Posted in -Home-, Essays, Essays on Pakistan, Pakistan | 14 Comments »