Sorry state of Pakistan

Published on: 14/08/2022 | Comments: 1 comment 

CHITRAL: Ever since inception of Pakistan, rulers of the country have not done their duty properly, rather have been unfair with this entity. Today we have reached a stage which can be well understood reading the incident experienced recently first hand by this scribe:

A few days back went to see a movie in an Islamabad theater. Before start of a movie national anthem is played and audience is asked to stand up in respect. When the anthem began playing half the audience kept sitting, many reclining cross legged, munching on their popcorns. To be frank, even myself had to make an effort to stand up in respect. It was a sorrow feeling. Remember the early days when audience would not only jump up from their seats but even join their voice with the anthem.

The popular meme in Urdu floating around these days saying “hamarey liey qomi tarana, apney liey qomi khazana” has sad truth in it. Pakistan has been unfortunate not to have rulers with any vision or foresight and all who came into power only focused on their material greed, sticking to power with short term vote bank increasing measures, instead of long term policies for this poor country.

If at the time of independence certain policies would have been adopted, Pakistan could have been an economic tiger and an example of inspiration for others, like Singapore is now. Certain measures taken right at he time of independence could have been game changers. Some being:

If population was effectively controlled, Pakistan would not been having most of the problems now being faced.

If religious moderation would have been encouraged and extremism strictly stomped, Pakistan could have become a UAE by now. If UAE with all it’s oil had rulers like ours, it would have been in a condition similar to ours

If Arabic would have been declared a national language instead of Urdu, Eastern wing would not have separated and Arabic illiterate Pakistanis would not have been at the mercy of mullas for translation and interpretation of prayers and Quran, leading to many ills including extremism.

If the first Military takeover would have been resisted by civilian rulers and people, further military intervention would have been halted for good.

Clerics have unknowingly done great harm to the society by professing that all sins can be pardoned by certain prayers/rituals etc. Result is, everyone commits sins against the society with impunity in the belief that their sins would be pardoned by prayers/fasting/umra/haj/tableegh etc. If this mindset had been corrected right from the begining and clerics guided on the correct path, Pakistan would have been a country with minimum social crime/ corruption etc.

If our hydel resources had been harnessed right from the begining Pakistan would have emulated China which has progressed most by using it hydel resources.

If a separate, powerful, effective and ruthless accountability institution been established right at the beginning with offices up to the district level, corruption would not have flourished thus far.

If special attention had been paid to the judiciary right from the begining, a fair and stable society would have emerged and  progress would have been it’s collateral result.

Though 75 years have passed and cannot be brought back, but we can learn lessons from our past failures and make amends, so that the next 75 years are better for our coming generations. .. CN report, 14 Aug 2022

14 August; A short history of Pakistan (urdu)

Published on: 13/08/2022 | Comments: No comments 

Chitral: A short history of Pakistan is well encapsulated in this urdu stanza. Credit goes to the poet who wrote this evergreen couplet for Pakistan.

Chess should be made a mandatory part of school curriculum

Published on: 13/08/2022 | Comments: No comments 

OUR brain is the most important/vital organ in our body. It contains billions of neurons that make trillions of their connection networks.

Neurons are responsible for carrying information throughout our body. They use electrical and chemical signals to coordinate all functions of life.

Your brain is the command centre for all that you think, feel and do. The left side of the brain is involved in analytical thinking, whereas the right side is involved in creative activity.

Both sides of the brain become highly active when anyone is engaged in the game of chess which is an activity of enormous potential for our mind.

It develops mental activities that are used throughout life. Several studies have shown the advantages of chess in education.

Chess teaches basic life skills that all kids should know to lead a successful and productive life.

There are so many benefits for kids who learn and play chess. Some of these are:

1.Can help to deepen focus: Kids who play chess regularly significantly improve their visual memory and concentration.

2.Develops creativity and critical thinking: Chess makes kids to be able to think through changing variables and possibilities.

These skills are very important for the game and hence for life. Chess requires kids to use cognitive skills such as thinking, reading and analysis.

Robert Ferguson, who is Executive Director of American Chess School in Pennsylvania, has discovered that kids who play chess develop 35% higher creative and 15% higher critical thinking than kids who do not play chess.

3. Builds up confidence and improves memory: Dr Diane Horgan, Dean of the Graduate School of Counseling and Educational Psychology at University of Memphis in Tennessee, established that chess not only improves visual memory but also helps enhance reasoning ability.

4. Develops problem-solving skills: Research studies have shown a strong correlation between chess and math’s scores.

Even a short time practice of chess is very effective tool to enhance kid’s mathematical abilities.

So chess can be used as an instrument to enhance problem solving skills.

4. Teaches us Foresight: Chess teaches us foresight by forcing us: (a) to make a plan ahead, (b) to be vigilant (c) to keep watch over the entire chess board (d) to restrain from making hastily moves (e) increases Intelligence Quotient (IQ) levels.

It has been proved that the game of chess increases brain power and enhances IQ levels. One study in Venezuela has shown that 4000 grade-II students showed marked improvement in overall IQ scores in just 4 months of play. So, chess indeed raises a child’s IQ significantly.

5. Reduces the Risk of Developing Degenerative Brain Diseases Research has shown that playing chess can help to reduce the chances of mental illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Chess promotes brain growth and healthy stimulation of neurons. Thus, it can make brain stronger and faster.

Chess can provides kid’s the opportunity to enjoy a mentally entertaining quiet game. It is more entertaining and beneficial than any other game.

It keeps kids away from loud, violent and4 often silly online games. Chess is in the school curriculum in about 30 countries worldwide.

In USA, Russia and all the countries which were part of USSR etc, the game of chess is mandatory part of primary school curriculum.

Since 2011, all the children in Armenia from 6 to 8 years have had compulsory chess lesions.

Armenian authorities say teaching chess in schools is about building character, a sense of responsibility and organization among school children.

Chess develops important array of intellectual skills. Chess fosters independent strategic thinking among future generation at school, at work and in society.

International Chess Federation (FIDE) and European Chess Union (ECU) have issued a survey report on May 28, 2021 about chess in schools.

According to this survey, 25,600,000 children are participating in chess activities in school environment.

Out of these 15,000,000 children are in India, 5,000,000 in China and 5,600,000 in rest of the world.

This report will be used to suggest an operational and financial plan for FIDE 2021-2025 concerning chess in schools.  .. Source

Pakistan’s ‘Kodak moment’

Published on: 10/08/2022 | Comments: 1 comment 

Kodak was established 135 years back in 1888. It enjoyed a market share of 80% in photography in 1970. However, it failed to scan the changing environment of digital photography and ultimately filed for bankruptcy in 2012. In fact the first digital camera was invented by a Kodak employee Stevan Sasson.

Nokia, founded in 1865 was the largest cellphone maker in 1988 but its CEO Stephen Elop ended his speech saying, “we didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost.” Upon this conclusion, he and the entire management team publicly wept on the sunset of Nokia.

Pakistan, a nuclear state, is facing its Kodak moment. Historically it thrived on participation in conflicts and developed a War Economy. It has not planned for a Peace Economy, ie, how will we get dollars when there is peace? Not surprising that the nuclear weapon country is threatened by a looming default today.

On the other hand, Dubai, a mini sheikhdom on sands is thriving. 4000 global millionaires have thronged to Dubai recently. KSA has reinvented itself and has shunned exporting Wahhabism. Qatar population is equal to a middle size district of Punjab like Sahiwal or Okara but is hosting FIFA World Cup this year.

Pakistan needs to reinvent and reorient itself. It needs a paradigm shift from drawing mileage out of a conflict to one where we reap benefits from peace. It has to devise ways and means to gain dollars without participating in a conflict.

Lewis Bentley once said, The light bulb did not come from the continuous improvement of candles. A strategic paradigm shift is warranted to escape our Kodak moment. .. source: courtesy internet

Kalash woman returns from Greece after three decades

Published on: 09/08/2022 | Comments: No comments 

.. by GH Farooqi

CHITRAL: A kalash woman Moi Korela, has returned to Chitral after living in Greece for 32 years. The then young girl had married a Greek national on choice and migrated to Greece. The couple bore two sons and a daughter, however Korela’s husband died five years ago after which she was living with her Children there.

Moi Korela’s homecoming along with her children was made possible through the efforts of Talim Khan Kalash a local philanthropist.

Moi expressed her gratitude to Talim Kalash and her joy on returning to her motherland in Birir valley and meeting her parents and relatives. .. GH Farooqi, Chitral 09 Aug 2022

Israeli scientists develop ‘longevity drug’

Published on: 06/08/2022 | Comments: No comments 

JERUSALEM, Israel — A fountain-of-youth drug could soon make the problems of aging a thing of the past. Researchers in Israel say they have identified a group of molecules that repair the damaged parts of cells which break down over time. That discovery may also lead to a new pill that prevents age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem note that modern medicine has helped to increase the average life expectancy worldwide. However, as people live longer, they face more and more problems associated with old age. With that in mind, the team set out to balance the benefits of longevity with a better quality of life in our later years.

During their study, the researchers developed a drug which protects human cells from damage, making it possible for a person’s tissues to retain their proper function for a longer period of time.

Fixing the power plants of cells

Study authors say a major factor in the aging process is the drop in effectiveness in a cell’s quality-control mechanism. When this system starts to break down, it leads to a buildup of defective mitochondria — the “power plants” of the cells.

“Mitochondria, the cell’s ‘power plants,’ are responsible for energy production. They can be compared to tiny electric batteries that help cells function properly. Although these ‘batteries’ wear out constantly, our cells have a sophisticated mechanism that removes defective mitochondria and replaces them with new ones,” Professor Einav Gross explains in a media release.

However, this mechanism breaks down as people grow older. The result is cell dysfunction and the deterioration in tissue activity — which can cause diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and heart failure to develop.

The team is hopeful that their study has found an innovative compound that may help treat these diseases. Turned into an easy-to-take pill, the molecules may also act as a preventative measure, repairing cellular aging before it has a chance to trigger disease.

“In the future, we hope we will be able to significantly delay the development of many age-related diseases and improve people’ quality of life,” says co-author Shmuel Ben-Sasson.

The researchers, together with Yissum, Hebrew University’s tech transfer company, have created the startup company Vitalunga to further develop this compound into an anti-aging drug.

“Ben-Sasson’s and Gross’s findings have significant value for the global aging population,” notes Itzik Goldwaser, CEO of Yissum. “As Vitalunga advances towards pre-clinical studies, they’re closer than ever to minimizing the unbearable burden that aging-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, has on individuals, their families and our health care systems.”  .. Source

Is two third majority necessary for a government to deliver?

Published on: 04/08/2022 | Comments: 1 comment 

CHITRAL: There is a general perception that Pakistan has not developed due to instable democracy and lack of sufficient majority of any sitting government. Is that true?? 

Let us take the case of KP province where one party is in power since the last nine years with two third majority unhindered. There has never been any threat to the government from any side. Has it delivered accordingly? Have the promises made by the ruling party at the time of elections been fulfilled? Has there any been improvement in governance or accountability for which people voted the party? Unfortunately, the answer to all the above questions is ‘NO’. Unfortunately all the above mentioned sectors have worsened instead of improving.

also read : Meritocracy

The slogan of ‘Riasat e Madina’ a favourite slogan of the party head, is no where seen in KP province where it is ruling with 2/3rd majority for last nine years.

The underlying point to highlight is that it is not 2/3 majority which will ensure that a government delivers. Even with 2/3 majority, a government would comprise of electables who would have their own priorities and stakes and they can easily cripple the government to their own advantage.

The answer is not to get more votes and more members. The answer is to change the system and enable a government to be formed without elections and on merit alone. Then will a change come. Other wise it would be a swing of disappointments pendulating forever. .. CN report, 04 Aug 2022

(please note that this writeup is not against or in favour of any party/leader. It is aimed at highlighting the real problem with our government making and governance system, and an effort to high light facts which are sacred but drowned in emotionalism and being blinkered)

 

Demerits of Democracy

Published on: 29/07/2022 | Comments: 1 comment 

Pakistan is a ‘Banana Republic’ for its staggering position both in political and economic fields because the MNAs and MPAs have not achieved the majority votes of their constituencies and, therefore, sell votes for dollars and abuse the trust or confidence of their supporters. Why? Because in the general elections many candidates contested and got votes but all less than 50% of the total votes that were cast. Generally 50 to 55% of the voters of the electoral roll come to the polling station and the 45% is already outside this process. Now out of that turnout  for example one top scorer got 30 %, the next one 15 % and third one 7 % and the last one only the poor 3 % and that makes 55% but it rarely reaches the height of 60% turnout so the majority is not in the Assemblies but the 30% vote holder is an MPA or MNA , elected by 30% educated and 70% uneducated voters. This is not the basic concept of Democracy. Those who reach the Assemblies manoeuvre to do so by a number of unfair means, not in a transparent way.

In order to remove that discrepancy there should be a rule and criteria for success in the election that the winner should at least have secured 50% or above votes and that we can accept  true representation by a majority winner candidate. Those who fail to secure that percentage should go through a second round and then a third round. That will purify the system. Otherwise it is no democracy but a  -JISKI LAATHI oS KI BHENS – type of muddle like the one we are facing today.

With that system introduced another important step is to make democracy on some other model or this system a better one that by amendment in the Constitution:

  • Only the high educated-graduates and above – should have the right to vote. The illiterate adults should be deleted from the electoral rolls and should have no voting right at all.
  • The contesting candidates should also undergo the same process and the fake degree holders must by verified from the Universities concerned and clearance be mandatory.
  • This will encourage literacy rate as well as motivate public to get higher education to reach the voting standard.
  • Religious knowledge of the candidates be tested at the time of scrutiny or the situation will crop up again as seen a couple of years ago when one Minister could not recite a very short and well- known  Verse of the Holy Quran.
  • That a Referendum system both on provincial and National level should be a basic of that system on provincial/Nations issues.
  • There has to be a Single party system not the 118 at present. The One party system like Russia, Iran, China model to curb the pubic and the unbridled media. Strong discipline has to be introduced to stabilize the country and the economy. .. Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig, Chitral 29 July 2022

Hunting for pleasure is nothing to be proud of

Published on: 24/07/2022 | Comments: No comments 

.. by Gulsher Panhwer Johi

SOME influential men were recently caught by locals after they killed eight Chinkara deer in Tharparkar. A young man, Utam Singh Rajput, valiantly resisted and banged his vehicle against the jeep of the ruthless hunters amid a volley of bullets to force them to surrender. The locals rushed to the location, caught three of the hunters and handed them over to police. Cruelty against animals is common in Pakistan when the world has generally abandoned the callous practice of hunting for pleasure.

Officials paid for protecting wild animals are either active facilitators of hunting or find themselves helpless against the hunters.

Tribal chieftains, who are often parliamentarians as well, are also seen posing behind hunted deer, ibex and other animals as trophies.

However, the vigilant local community, civil society and media deserve our appreciation for resisting the powerful to protect the threatened wildlife species. The late Nazim Jokhio, who lost his

life while resisting the powerful facilitators of foreign hunters from the Middle East, and Utam Singh Rajput should be hailed as heroes. They really are.

SOME influential men were recently caught by locals after they killed eight Chinkara deer in Tharparkar. A young man, Utam Singh Rajput, valiantly resisted and banged his vehicle against the jeep of the ruthless hunters amid a volley of bullets to force them to surrender. The locals rushed to the location, caught three of the hunters and handed them over to police. Cruelty against animals is common in Pakistan when the world has generally abandoned the callous practice of hunting for pleasure.

Officials paid for protecting wild animals are either active facilitators of hunting or find themselves helpless against the hunters.

Tribal chieftains, who are often parliamentarians as well, are also seen posing behind hunted deer, ibex and other animals as trophies.

However, the vigilant local community, civil society and media deserve our appreciation for resisting the powerful to protect the threatened wildlife species. The late Nazim Jokhio, who lost his life while resisting the powerful facilitators of foreign hunters from the Middle East, and Utam Singh Rajput should be hailed as heroes. They really are.  .. Source

Sure shot solution for fallen moral standards of Pakistani Muslims

Published on: 24/07/2022 | Comments: 4 comments 

CHITRAL: It is no secret that the moral standards of Muslims world over (save noble exceptions) have fallen to the lowest ebb, as say the ground realities today. Tales of moral degradation at the venues of even Khana e Kaaba and Masjid e Nabwi can be heard from people visiting there for Haj and Umra.

In Pakistan the situation of moral decadence is ever so glaring. There is no sphere of life whether be social conduct, business affairs, job matters, legal matters, or other daily life chores where blatant and overwhelming examples of dishonesty cannot be found. What is the underlying reason behind this? The lack of accountability might be one, but the core reason behind this decadence is the concept promulgated amongst the people by clerics that ‘sins of all kinds can be forgiven by prayers, duas, specific rituals, umras and haj’.

As long as this narrative is alive and being promoted by clerics, muslims will never try to abstain from sins against society (huqooq ul Ibaad) and will not try to improve their attitude towards the world and humanity.

The fact of the matter is that Allah Almighty has clearly mentioned in the Holy Quran that sins against society and humanity (Huqooq Ul Ibaad) shall not be pardoned by Him in lieu of any ritual or prayer. All other narratives which are in contradiction to this Quranic injunction are trash and have been cooked up later to weaken the moral fiber of Muslims in a canny and cunning way.

The Government of Pakistan can play it’s part in repairing the damage. It can instruct the clerics in mosques (at least those who are paid by the government) to repeatedly mention this Quranic injunction at the begining and end of each prayer and talk about it at length in every Juma prayer. If this practice is carried out religiously in every mosque of Pakistan, the country will transform from a ‘gunah e huqooqul ibadistan’ to a ‘paakistan’ within two years. .. CN report, 24 July 2022