Govt should do more

Bilal Qureshi

I have noticed strange things in Pakistan during my recent stay there, but two things stand out for me. One, it is the unbelievably weird ability of Pakistanis to connect every bad thing to American and how America with Israel and India is relentlessly trying to destroy Pakistan, but Pakistan is surviving against all odds.

Second, it is the unusual talent of Pakistanis to ask the government to solve all there problems, do more, and more and more, without being specific. For example, prices of daily commodities go up, and the people start repeating the same thing: government should bring down the prices, but is it really possible? Of course not because the government in Pakistan is not in the business of owning or running agriculture or agricultural products, but obviously, nobody cares, or even understands the frame work of how government and markets work, at least in Pakistan.

Similarly, the government in Pakistan does not produce or market sugar or flour, but once again, people in Pakistan demand, repeatedly that the government provides them with cheap and abundant sugar, flour, rice, lentils, meat, oil, spices, even though, government in Pakistan has nothing to do with prices, production, storage or distribution of any food commodity in the country, none whatsoever.

After thinking hard and long about it (and I am not being sarcastic here), I have come to the conclusion that people in Pakistan are not only desperate for help, but they also feel helpless and hopeless about almost everything, including their future. Therefore, they want their government to step in to help them about every possible issue that they face in their daily lives. These expectations are wrong, but when people lose hope it does not matter whether their expectations are realistic or not – they just want help.

Unfortunately, Pakistan is not a socialist country, and Pakistan’s economic model does not allow the government to interfere with free markets and businesses in general. In fact, given Pakistan economic model, it is not even possible for the very active and populist judiciary to intervene. Therefore, the businessmen are free to charge whatever they feel is right for their products because this is how free markets and Capitalism work at the end of the day, whether we like it or not.

When Z.A. Bhutto socialized industries in Pakistan, he was maligned (just go back and read what was written about Bhutto at the time), but what people in Pakistan expect today would require the government to take over all the industry in the country, once again. So, Pakistan has to decide, once and for all whether it wants to be a socialist country or not in order to proceed on the right path from on. Based on people’s expectations, it is obvious that Pakistan should be a socialist country, but who is going to tackle this issue?

No question if Zardari decided to socialize anything, he would be crucified publicly. If Zardari doesn’t do anything about it, he would be accused of being not doing anything for the ‘poor’. He is going to lose both ways.

On the other hand, there is no other alternative in Pakistan. By and large, people in Pakistan don’t seem to understand the concept of free market economy. Worse, there is no effort by anyone to educate the public and make a case about settling on a national system about how to run the country.

In addition to everything else, in the end, it is the responsibility of Pakistanis to work and lift themselves up, one family at a time if they have to in order to develop a society that is self reliant and self sufficient.

Unless and until help arrives for ordinary Pakistanis, the society will have to take steps to help itself. If people in Pakistan kept looking towards the government to solve their problems, they will be disappointed, again.

Bilal Qureshi

Washington, DC

59 Comments

Filed under Democracy, Economy, Pakistan, Zardari

59 responses to “Govt should do more

  1. Junaid

    Bilal sahab,

    Apne ki to sirf daal roti chaye.

    Ye economics aur capitalism apne ko samajh nahi aati.

  2. Anwar

    Purpose of the government is to govern and uphold law and not babysit…

    What Bilal is pointing out is not new – that is how it was thirty years ago when I escaped from hell and that is how it is now… and that is how it will perhaps be. Almost like a destiny.

    A large majority of able body men nest, courtesy of their equally insecure parents, rather than face the hardships of life.

    Insecure by upbringing, lazy by circumstances, incapable of availing opportunities, shackled to their living rooms and afraid to go away from home, lack of education, direction, trained for dependency, social stratification, faith based nihilism… what else can they do besides tweeting..

    State also cannot be exonerated – it has to provide avenues for job, education, training, environment for freedom of thought, self sufficiency, a manufacturing sector, programs for social uplift etc.

    The bottom line is that it has become a culture – a DNA of the society and it will take time, very long time, for any changes to take hold…

  3. Hayyer

    When a society has problems that cannot be remedied at a personal level collective solutions are required. Cost of living is one such problem and that is why governments are expected to target it.
    Dal, atta, chawal and vegetables are basics of existence. While governments are not responsible for bad weather they can and should foresee problems and plan to mitigate the effects of climate and pests.
    Of course by keeping prices of agricultural produce low deliberately governments comes to the help of urban poor, but acts against the rural poor. Not the large landlords but the small farmers. Rural labour is neutral since most of them get paid in kind.

  4. lalded

    @hayyer

    In the supply and demand sit. isnt the Govt “dormy” like in matchplay?

  5. Mustafa Shaban

    Bilal: It is the responsibility of the government to create the conditions that allow for the functioning of all kinds of institutions and the running of the country….Pakistan has got many resources and there is not excuse to bad performance…Pakistan needs to employ more leftist socialist poicies rather than the extreme right neoliberal policcies that damage a country….also what do other governments around the world do?? Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai, US ….do they not play a role in the economical and business environment too? Do they not attempt to make sure that the population can meet its basic needs? Can not the Pakistani government invest in its massive amounts of unused fertile soil to produce more crops so that food prices come down….why is the government selling large swaths of rural lands to the Gulf countries and other countries so that they can ensure thier food safety..when there is hardly any food safety for the local population??? Can Zardari not improve the security situation so that we can have foriegn investment into Pakistan???….Can he not deal with the massive 400% increase in curroption that has occured in the last 2 years which makes the population suffer??…not to mention that i am talking about government curroption. Did not Musharraf bring all economic indicators up all on the positive side with an amazing performance?? Only to be brought into the negative by Zardari with abysmal perfomance! Is PPP helpless so much so that the people standing in line for food and flour die in line while nothing can be done??? Can Zardari not bring bak his own money to the country before asking everyone to do the same and go around with a begging bowl to the enitre world and putting our country to shame??? Especially to the IMF and World Bank? This is the governemtn with the largest number of ministers recieveing th elargest salaries ever! Can they not cut these costs?? Can the elite not pay thier taxes?? does zardari and gilani and others have to live in huge villas…can they not cut thier costs….can the PPP stop flying in first class or private jet to cut costs??? And muhc much more…point is there is not excuse and the only explanantion is incompetence and curroption. I would like your guyz response.

  6. Mustafa Shaban

    Also why dont u guyz do a comparison of other governments in 1st 2nd and 3rd world countries at a basic level to see the differences and how the 1st world countries operate…..there is no scarcity of resources, wealth, and finance…..every country has got great opportunity….it is that countries like ours dont have the leadership to tap into the massive potential of the nation

  7. bonobashi

    @Mustafa Shaban

    Fascinating.

    But are you serious? Seriously serious, rather than “I have five minutes spare, what should I do? Oh, I know, I’ll write a rant for PTH that’ll really shake them up” kind of serious.

  8. Nadeem

    The sugar issue is in court and SC already told owners to reduce price of face contempt proceedings. They are not ready to obey the courts order. In case they are forced, they wont run mills next season. Thus bringing down the banks and farmers and government as well. No doubt they are too powerful to get caught.

    Their present production costs are less then Rs. 30. If they do not obey courts ruling, court should order government to take over mills and also assets of directors. Hand it over to a joint committee of farmers, consumers and workers and we get sugar at production price forever. We have to demand from court to make it an exaple. Next can be flour, rice, ghee….

  9. Mustafa Shaban

    Bonobashi: what do you mean?? I am just stating my point of view and yes i am damn serious about it….i dunt write for the sake of passing time…the youth need to discuss on blogs and shae ideas as we are the future driving force of the nation…i am very patriotic and passionate and one of my goals in life is to play a role to make Pakistan and the world a better place….and do you find anything wrong in what i have written?? By the way I may use strong language but i am not here to ‘shake you guyz up’ i am here to share ideas and perspective and hope we can reach a solution to the many issues we face today

  10. Hayyer

    Lalded:
    Are you the golfer who wont concede a gimme.
    Mustafa Shaban and Nadeem:
    Collectivist solutions to agriculture led to massive shortages in the USSR and China. If Pakistan has uncultivated arable land it should be farmed by Pakistanis. Of course productivity increases are key.
    India would have no problems if productivity in the rest of the country were up to Punjab and Haryana standards. The same goes for Pakistan.
    Sugar is something else.

  11. Mustafa Shaban

    hayyer: you are rite…Pakistan needs its own people to farm its own lands and use them…..there is so much unused fertile land…so muhc so that it can feed the entirety of Pakistan and some say even India but i know for sure atleast Pakistan…if you look at what one geological expert said….i forgot his name…Imran Khan spoke of him….he said that australia is known for fertile soil…and that it produced loads of crops for the people but Pakistan soil is so much more fertile and can feed the entire country with surplus! Government needs to fund it and support it. Food will become much cheaper….I will try to find some extra info and websites regarding this and will post it here later.

  12. bonobashi

    @Mustafa Shaban

    Yes, there’s lots wrong with what you’ve written, and that’s why I wanted to find out if you were a troll or not, if you were making remarks just to create a stir, or were a Pakistani with a genuine interest in contributing to the country.

    This is not yet clear.

    If you do intend to put your shoulder to the wheel to make your country a better place, presumably you are in Pakistan at the moment? What kind of job do you have? Something in the development sector? Have you made any specific sacrifices for Pakistan? Or contributed in any way to the betterment of the country?

    I ask out of curiousity if you mean what you say, or if you are merely sitting in a bed-sitter out in Vienna. Do let me know

  13. Mustafa Shaban

    bonobashi: Your rude tone and rude insults only shows what kind of a person you are.

    You ask me what I have done?? Well I am in university in dubai, My family donates charity to many places in Pakistan. I myself personally have enagaged myself in different blogs regarding Pakistan and sharing my ideas. Just becuase I do not have physical contribution towards Pakistan, does that means that I dont care? Or that I am indifferent to the conditions of the poor in Pakistan?? Are you telling me that the people who wirte on blogs such as this and have not physically contributed to Pakistan simply ddo not care and are just out here for spending time or cheap publicity??? If this is your accusation then you have put on the spot many many people. Why dont you pose this question to others on the blog?? Some of them are not in Pakistan and actively contributing. They are all here to have fun??? Does stating facts and figures or expressing your opinion or sharing ideas wrong?? Does it show carelessness? Does it mean that someone is creating a stir?? I am amazed at your thinking. What rite do you have to hurl such an accusation?? How can you be so judgemental? I have done nothing to offend anyone or simply unneccarily inflame anyones emotions. I may use strong words but that is only to share my point of view and becuase i am passionate about certain things.

    my goal one day is to come to Pakistan and do something for my country whe i become older…that is true.

    Also it is common practice to atleast do the following when someone disagrees with anothers writing:

    1. Tell them exactly what is wrong, and quote it

    2. Tell them why they think its wrong

    3. And then tell them how it shud reaally be

    So please kindly do these 3 things so that I can understnd your point of view.

  14. bonobashi

    @Mustafa Shaban

    With regard to your concluding statement that there are three things which are common practice when criticising another’s writing, that precisely underlines part of the point that I am making.

    Before I go further, however, based on what I have written to you, specifically, is there any possibility that you might have gauged my point already? Or do you continue to hold that all that you stated was well thought out and justified?

    This is not a cynical attempt at wearing you down, just an experimental enquiry regarding the impact you yourself and your views have had on others.

    You started your response by complaining about my rude tone and rude insults. My intention was to be plain and blunt, but not rude. Would you care to point out what seemed rude in tone, and what seemed rude to the point of insult? It is my impression that you are upset at not receiving adulation for your sublime patriotism and your religious learning and integrity, and choose to classify contrary views as ‘rude’. I seek, as a very minor objective, to test this impression.

  15. @ Mustafa,

    yaar, don’t worry, bonoboshi has a tendency to become condescending and start assuming people are ignorant. He told me “oh no one is interested in your opinions, perhaps you should debate academically”. Yet he doesn’t have the fairness (or perhaps the guts) to call out YLH when he starts attacking my family, my career (oh sorry, that’s not in the development sector either– apparently only those people are valuable) or my weight.

  16. Last I checked, the norms of academic intellectual debate preclude insulting people’s parentage and physical appeareance. But then, i’m only a “bhajan singer” so what do I know?

    I’m still waiting for an apology from YLH and his gang.

  17. bonobashi

    @Kobir

    It is all the nicer when my assumptions are so wholly vindicated, as in your case.

  18. @ bonobashi.

    Your assumptions may be vindicated or not, that’s neither here nor there. But in any case, YLH’s behavior is not acceptable and outside the norms of intellectual debate. That is all I am saying.

    Regards

  19. @ Bonobashi,

    I did not mean to misspell your name. It was a typo. Your mispelling ,on the other hand, i’m not quite sure about. Either way, I will choose to ignore your pettiness, but it is duly noted.

    Regards

  20. bonobashi

    @Kobore

    Look at it this way, and try to listen and absorb, don’t fake it.

    You walk into a discussion which has been running and is running at a very rich mix – for the moment, take my word for it. My credentials are not totally devoid of worth, and are those of a student of history for over forty years.

    Your ideas are not sorted out at the time that you walk in. They are probably still not sorted out. I doubt that you even today realise the difference between nation and state, and I doubt that you know where the two-nation theory started, among rabid Hindu bigots who went on to form elements of the current Hindu right wing.

    You then proceed to make a series of resounding declarations; I could almost hear the silver trumpets ring out as you intoned your declarations of identity.

    When numerous holes were punched into your ideas of identity and what constituted a nation, you steadfastly refused to engage with the ideas, and instead focussed on the personalities. It was open to you to talk ideas, even at that very late stage.

    Thereafter, not having made much – any – headway on your cause celebre, you have relentlessly focussed – even in your latest post, on your personal wrongs.

    Does it occur to you that it’s all over?

  21. bonobashi

    @Kabir

    Saturday 19 September: Masters of Mutilation
    bonoboshi. It is not my intention to be repetitive or rude. I’m just very distressed by PMA sahib’s quasi-racist characterization of “spindly …

    Monday 21 September: Mera Sahib – Saadat Hassan Manto’s Classic
    Bonoboshi proceeded to inform me of facts which I already know,

    Monday 21 September: Government should do more
    Mustafa, yaar, don’t worry, bonoboshi has a tendency to become condescending and start assuming people are ignorant.

    Three times? on three different threads? How many times are you permitted to insult others before you are insulted in your turn?

    Nobody else, not even the Indian-baiters, have managed to achieve your effortless offensiveness in manner.

    And I am intrigued at your stating that my pettiness is noted. Are you proposing to horsewhip me on the steps of my club? Or what?

    If you behave like this, you invite comment on yourself, and also on your antecedents.

  22. Dear bonobashi,

    Look, I apologize for being snarky, yet I have never insulted anyone’s parentage, career, or physique. All of which YLH has done. Why is it that I am recieving all the criticism, yet no one calls him out for being gratuitously personal and offensive? That’s my only question. Otherwise, I have better things to do.

    Regards

  23. yasserlatifhamdani

    “I’m still waiting for an apology from YLH and his gang.”

    Don’t hold your breath.

    Kabir mian, given your performance here I have to ask you to please take your baggage elsewhere because now you’ve become a bore.

  24. yasserlatifhamdani

    Kabir,

    Ref: Latest deleted posts..

    As of now you are on spam. Don’t waste your time typing anything anymore.

  25. bonobashi

    @Mustafa Shaban
    @Kabir
    Id Mubarak.

    It is nice to know that I am contributing to the festivities, for instance, by bringing people from opposite poles of the political world close together.

    Presumably the celebrations are keeping you from responding to specific questions I have asked. I will wait till Wednesday for an answer, if that’s OK with you. After that, I trust it is a reasonable conclusion that you have nothing further to say.

  26. Mustafa Shaban

    @bonobashi:

    I think the use of the word ”troll” is probably not the nicest thing to say to someone, would you not agree?

    I would like to ask you what you found in my writing that suggested that could possibly ”create a stir.” These are just opinions and facts. My point of view.

    Also you suggested that may be posting on this blog just for the heck of it , meaning i am here because I have nothing better to do. Now that is rude.

    It is absolutely alright to hold a different view from mine, as long as it is in a respectful way, I have no issues with your point of view, but with your tone. Any person can tell the tone when reading your post, don’t have to be genius.

    Can you please rephrase your last post please? Your English is too fancy and hard to understand, better to just stick to plain simple English. Just my suggestion. Did not get everything you said on your last post.

    Also kabir is just voicing his concern about behaviors of others towards him which he is entitled to do. In this post he has not been offensive or derogatory and all he has done is defend himself and voice his concerns.

    @ YLH: If you really have insulted kabir, then it is upon you to apologize, because so far you have not denied that you insulted him, rather you have just spammed his posts. I thought this was a democratic, left wing, liberal blog. Since when did insults and restriction of free speech become a part of this ideology???

    YLH: This says something about your character, at first you seemed to be aggressive with your point of view but tolerant, now I see you differently. And those who without much reason , restrict freedom of speech, do not belong to the liberal left wing ideology.

    I would request raza rumi and other PTH admin to respond to this.

  27. bonobashi

    @Mustafa Shaban

    The central theme : a gentleman does not insult another accidentally.


    With regard to your concluding statement that there are three things which are common practice when criticising another’s writing, that precisely underlines part of the point that I am making.


    [Meaning] In any reasonably complex intellectual exchange, I would expect to see some uncertainty, some inability to deal with every situation with single-minded certainty. This is totally lacking in you. Every situation has its cut-and-dried answer.

    In this case, even while making a defensive point, even when defending your writing, you produce three, well-clad rules. How pre-determined can this get?


    Before we go further, however, based on what I have written to you, specifically, is there any possibility that you might have gauged my point already? Or do you continue to hold that all that you stated was well thought out and justified?


    [Meaning] Have you figured out what I’m hinting or are you still confused?


    This is not a cynical attempt at wearing you down, just an experimental enquiry regarding the impact you yourself and your views have had on others.


    [Meaning] Do you realise that your self-righteous tone offends some people? Offends me, in fact?


    You started your response by complaining about my rude tone and rude insults. My intention was to be plain and blunt, but not rude. Would you care to point out what seemed rude in tone, and what seemed rude to the point of insult?


    [Meaning] More or less what it says. If you need this paraphrased, you ought to be on an Urdu blog, not here.


    It is my impression that you are upset at not receiving adulation for your sublime patriotism and your religious learning and integrity, and choose to classify contrary views as ‘rude’. I seek, as a very minor objective, to test this impression.


    [Meaning] You are used to getting praised for saying precocious things, that means, things which would normally be said by much older people. As a result, you hate this praise to stop. The moment people stop saying flattering things to you, about, for instance, your grip over religious history, you dislike it and scream loudly for help.

  28. mazhur

    <<<<<<<<Unfortunately, Pakistan is not a socialist country,<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    The War on every front including the economic and social fronts can only be fought and won through the enforcement of true rule of law and justice. The leadership and the system ought to be cleared of corrupt elements. Being a socialist, capitalistic , democratic, autocratic, Islamic or secular country does not matter.

  29. Mustafa Shaban

    @bonobashi:

    I did not need everything paraphrased….just somethings. I have not insulted anyone and quote me if you feel anything I said was insulting. Rather you have resorted to personal attacks and name calling (such as troll). My response to your statements:

    1. It is still not clear what you are hinting at so it would be great if you just spit it out. If it is something true and valid I wont mind. Otherwise I will simply just respond to what you have said.

    2.. I do not see myself as righteous and I do not have any moral or intellectual arrogance, though no offence, you and YLH are full of it. Quote my statements which you believe indicate moral or intellectual arrogance, or arrogance of any nature? I welcome all points of view and am not superior to anyone on this forum, I am just stating my ideas and viewpoints but some people just start getting personal and confrontational.

    3. I understood that and did not need it paraphrased.

    4. I am not hungry for fame, or praise and never indicated a greed for such a thing. I do not want praise but feedback and discussion and debate. Quote me even one sentence that I have written that indicates that I dislike not being praised or scream loudly for help.

    You accuse me of various things yet have not even a shred of evidence to prove it! Please be mindful in your accusations and please back them up, that would be better.

  30. bonobashi

    @Mustafa Shaban

    If it helps you to understand what I am ‘hinting at’, I am summarising my position below, so that you don’t have to plough through a lot of difficult words and incomprehensible concepts to understand what is being said.

    1. You are unfairly exploiting the democratic principles of any site and on the goodwill of its members to post stuff that has little or no meaning.

    2. Your posts don’t display any care at all to have done some homework, and instead you just tell others what to do from a safe distance and from the safety of a social role which calls on you to accept no responsibility at the moment.

    3. You have a flimsy grip on history and seek to shove this down others; throats as givens, as certainties established beyond dispute and conjecture, and quote nebulous Western authorities without any identification.

    4. On the other hand, you lack respect for what other members try to say to you, and brush aside their suggestions.

    5. When this is pointed out to you, you personalise things and imagine that you have been insulted, more or less to divert attention from a discussion of your errors of logic or fallacies of fact.

    In your post, you asked for two things: specifics on what I was ‘hinting at’, and evidence; I quote:

    You accuse me of various things yet have not even a shred of evidence to prove it! Please be mindful in your accusations and please back them up, that would be better.

    So, we have here the specifics.

    Please let me know if you have understood these, as there is no point in going on if you were to state later that these were not understood by you, or that these were not clear to you. Note that these are presently unaccompanied by evidence; the moment you are clear about these points themselves, about what they mean, that is, I hope to present you with evidence that ought to convince you. If you are willing to consider that you could be wrong or misguided, that is.

  31. Mustafa Shaban

    I understand what you are saying and i am open to crtiticism, and i understand that anyone like me can have the wrong idea or be misguided, so i think you should point out the evidence. Saying that here is my response to your points:

    1. In your opinion what I have said has little or no meaning, I have stated my opinion as is allowed on any democratic forum without being offensive. I am awaiting the evidence and your argument in full that proves that what I have said has little or no meaning, I would also like to know from other people on this blog whether what I have said in their opinion has little or no meaning. Wasting time and exploiting my space was never my intent. By the way I have posted facts, opinion and my political ideology which is has a lot of meaning and presents a certain point of view, don’t people have the right to even speak on this forum?? Can you tell me one thing that I have written that has little meaning?

    2. I have done my homework, and my research, and I will cite evidence when I can. I am not ordering anyone to do anything, all I intend to do is voice my opinion, also can anyone tell me when I asked somebody to do something??? rather than voice my opinion??

    3. I am welcoming all criticism and arguments against my theories, I state, that whatever I believe may not necessarily be true and I invite everybody to challenge any allegation I have made against Zardari or any analysis that I have done of the current situation. I quote western scholars who have a lot of credibility, now that you mention it I will cite the websites and organizations that back my claims and they are organizations and personalities of great renown and scholarly value. Also everybody over here has free will, I cannot force anybody to accept my point of view , hence everybody has the option to counter my stance and arguments, is this not after all a democratic blog? Am I a fanatic that has chosen not to listen to anyone? Have I ever personally attacked anyone for disagreeing with me? Is it not my choice if I would like to agree with the counter argument or maintain my stance? Can any one person (other than YLH and bonobashi) on this entire forum tell me when I have shoved down my views down their throats and have condemned the act of countering my arguments??

    4. I respect everyone on this forum, and I do not brush them aside, I kindly agree or disagree with what they have said. Again awaiting evidence on this one. I am better than no one, my point of view is superior to no one except on the basis of evidence presented, logic and science.

    5. Hmmm, lets go back to the previous posts on this topic in this blog, lets see who started getting personal first? Shall we?:

    Mustafa Shaban
    September 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm
    hayyer: you are rite…Pakistan needs its own people to farm its own lands and use them…..there is so much unused fertile land…so muhc so that it can feed the entirety of Pakistan and some say even India but i know for sure atleast Pakistan…if you look at what one geological expert said….i forgot his name…Imran Khan spoke of him….he said that australia is known for fertile soil…and that it produced loads of crops for the people but Pakistan soil is so much more fertile and can feed the entire country with surplus! Government needs to fund it and support it. Food will become much cheaper….I will try to find some extra info and websites regarding this and will post it here later.

    bonobashi
    September 20, 2009 at 10:51 pm
    @Mustafa Shaban

    Yes, there’s lots wrong with what you’ve written, and that’s why I wanted to find out if you were a troll or not, if you were making remarks just to create a stir, or were a Pakistani with a genuine interest in contributing to the country.

    This is not yet clear.

    If you do intend to put your shoulder to the wheel to make your country a better place, presumably you are in Pakistan at the moment? What kind of job do you have? Something in the development sector? Have you made any specific sacrifices for Pakistan? Or contributed in any way to the betterment of the country?

    I ask out of curiousity if you mean what you say, or if you are merely sitting in a bed-sitter out in Vienna. Do let me know

    The very first personal attack in this entire topic was when you were suggesting that I mite be a ”troll” and stuff, and suggesting that I was here to create a ”stir”. You were the one who first personalized the discussion and was indeed insulting, if I call you a troll, is this not rude and insulting? Maybe I was just imagining that. I am welcoming all debate, the best way not to divert the attention away from the facts and ideas I have presented would probably be to end this debate between you and me and have others input on the statements and ideas that I have put forward.

    I am waiting for evidence on all 5 of these points.

  32. mazhur

    @ Raza Rumi

    Dear me, could you please stop this bickering?
    As someone stated somewhere on this forum: ‘let’s all of be civil’and impersonal towards each other and learn to accept dissent.

  33. Mustafa Shaban

    @mazhur: I completely agree with you, I did not intend to fall into this personal bickering, but bonobashi keeps accusing me of different things, I apologize for getting engaged in this kind of thing, but I have to respond to allegations made against me by other people, but I will stop that also, because I think we should try our best to remain impersonal.

  34. Mustafa Shaban

    we should only talk about issues and have intellectual discussion, personal attacks and insults should not be allowed in this forum.

  35. Mustafa Shaban

    @mazhur, on your previous post I agree and disagree with you, it does matter to a certain extent what system you have decided to implement, which political and economic model is in place, but rule of law, justice, security, corruption and elite misuse of power should be given top priority and should be dealt with first. The system you choose does matter most of the time because it is the characteristics of the system you have chosen that determines the quality of justice, whether the elite have opportunities to misuse their power, and how well rule of law can be maintained.

  36. bonobashi

    @Mustafa Shaban

    Only the first line of your answer was really needed, but I will read all your posts carefully, naturally, before taking up the thread. My day job, and its very bustling, tiring nature, has come to the rescue of many lambs for the slaughter.

    Wait for it.

  37. Mustafa Shaban

    bonobashi: I await your response. Also out of curiosity. What do you do for a living?? What is your cultural and educational background?? I am just curious, it is alright if you don’t want to disclose that.

  38. bonobashi

    WHERE is Gorki, when I need him to return the SEVERAL favours I’ve done him in the past?

  39. Mustafa Shaban

    bonobashi: Look my friend I am not trying to put you down, I am only defending myself against your allegations against me. And you would be surprised, in my point of view Gorki disagrees with me on many things, but I see him as a reasonable person, and for this once he would probably agree with me on this one, as you have not exactly succeeded on providing any evidence to your claims, so I wouldn’t put too much of my money on Gorki if I were you. But I could be wrong of course. He might as well support you, just giving my thoughts.

  40. Bloody Civilian

    mustafa

    have you been posting both as “mustafa” and as “mustafa shaban”…. on the “Don’t Let The Devil Dazzle you” thread, that is? or is “mustafa” not you? could you please clarify?

  41. Gorki

    Dear Mustapha:

    Having engaged in several debates with Bonobashi, I know that it is unimportant to him whether I agree with him or not.
    You asked him about his background. In my debates with him over the last few months I have learnt a little bit about him and will share it with you since you asked.

    He is an exceptionally well read and gifted individual whose grasp of both the World history and the English language is better than most tenured university professors. In a world where most people like to flout the names of their alma mater to impress others; when Bonobashi mentions the name of his school and college, others are impressed that these institutions must indeed be something since they are associated with him.

    Anyway my guess is that he asked me to comment here not to support him but to try to explain to you something that I started to do on another post but gave up because I did not think I was making much headway.

    So let me try again. I will reply to your earlier questions and comments.

    Since you mentioned that you were open to suggestions and (constructive?) criticism, I will take you up on your word and will try to be blunt. Please accept my comments not as an insult but rather as words of advice from an elder. (My own daughter is about your age.)

    Your words convey three overlapping things:
    1. A lack of depth; the comments are non specific and general, with only vague reference of ‘reliable sources’ but you seem to be echoing someone else’s words.
    2. A lack of factual knowledge and inability to either accept the contrary sources or to counter them with a serious rebuttal of your own.
    3. A near absence of any doubt about your own beliefs, even when confronted with overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    The over all impression one gets is that while you are earnest, you have no idea what you want to say and just love to see you words on the post; worse, it seems you don’t want to listen. The result is that anyone talking to you appears to be talking right past you.

    Let me give you examples:

    You said :
    “Pakistan needs to employ more leftist socialist poicies rather than the extreme right neoliberal policcies that damage a country….also what do other governments around the world do?? Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai, US ….do they not play a role in the economical and business environment too?”

    Here one is left wondering; are you asking for more socialist policies? Then why are you asking a favorable comparison with Singapore which is anything but socialist?

    Then you wrote:
    “Also why dont u guyz do a comparison of other governments in 1st 2nd and 3rd world countries at a basic level to see the differences and how the 1st world countries operate…..there is no scarcity of resources, wealth, and finance…..every country has got great opportunity….it is that countries like ours dont have the leadership to tap into the massive potential of the nation”

    Here I am not sure what you are trying to say. Are you saying that the resources available to Pakistan are the same as those available to the US and Europe? If so, then it makes you look either very naïve or very ignorant (or both.) Take just one parameter; energy. It took me less than 30 seconds to look up the following information on the net:

    The US population is about 350 million and Pakistan is 170 m (48%.) Energy production in the US vs. Pakistan is as follows (US produces energy equivalent of 1675770 metric tons of oil versus 47124 metric tons in Pakistan; exactly 2.8% of the former)
    Hardly equal resources!!

    On another post you argued for the establishment of a perfect Khilafat and quoted an example of an Islamic empire that was abolished in 1924. I assumed it was the Ottoman Empire and gave you examples of corruption and fratricide in it.

    First you refused to believe the evidence, then you said it must be some biased ‘western sources’ saying that, then you quoted some un named western sources of your own and still later you mentioned that you were actually talking of the First four Caliphs of the Arab empire.

    When I pointed out that the period you mentioned was only 29 years you said yes; it was perfect with many scientific discoveries made during this period without bothering to check whether your claim was indeed true. At this point I felt it was useless to talk to you and gave up!

    Bonobashi I guess has more of a staying power than I have and hence this exchange with you; frankly I am not sure why he even bothers.

    You may feel bad after reading my above post. I confess I don’t feel too good about it myself. Yet I am writing it not to score any points with you but to illustrate to you how your posts appear to be written in a hurry to write something; anything.
    It seems you write for the sake of writing but without putting much thought process into it.
    I am writing the above to you because I know that basically you are a good person; a youngster who wants to make a positive impact yet does not quite know how.

    If my above post appears useful to you and you start writing somewhat more clearly, then it would have been worth it and in that case kindly overlook the bluntness in my tone; if not then discard it from your mind anyway and you will be no worse for it.
    Regards.

  42. Gorki sir, i absolutely agree with what you have said about bb sir. He is one the few polymaths i have interacted with. And his english is very cool and suave.After i got to knowabout the etymology of Thalassa from one of his posts, i wrote the words Thalassa Thalassa on my hostel room s wall(my med school room was my thalassa!!)and later i came to know that even the word Thalassemia has similar origins.
    I will be always thankful to pth for introducing me to such wonderful people as bb ji,gorki ji, hayyer ji, bc ji

  43. Mustafa Shaban

    Gorki :

    I understand what you are trying to say, but this is not the case:

    1. You are right and I need to cite where I get my information from so that I can validate it, so I will do that.

    2. I accept other people’s view, and thing is very few people on this blog, cite where they get their info from as well, and I am not ignoring the rebuttal. Actually me and also the other side do not cite our sources, which is alright, but it is better if everyone can substantiate their arguments.

    3. When you talk about ”overwhelming evidence” I did not see any of that, all I saw is counter arguments or rebuttal which is also good, but I did not see any ”overwhelming evidence” in other people responses, or maybe I missed something, can you give me an example of overwhelming evidence??? So that I can know where I might have missed out.

    4. I do not love to see my words on the post, I just like to contribute, I am all ears and listening, I respond to everyone’s counter arguments.

    5. You are right on my comments, I failed to make this clear, I apologize. What I meant to say was 2 different things:

    a.) Pakistan needs to move out of its extreme rightist policies, and not necessarily go all the way to the left, but at least move towards the center, the policies they have now are very damaging. Socialism is a good alternative. Good examples of these policies are Cuba, Venezuela etc.

    b.) When I mention Singapore and other countries, I was talking about how they take responsibility and action to maintain law and order, and help create the environment for people to live their lives and for the country to function since Bilal said that everyone blames the government and its not their fault or responsibility, which I disagree with.

    6. No you are right the resources available to each country are different, but Gorki, the availability of resources is certainly an advantage but it does not determine at all whether a country has good governance or the standard of living within a country is good or not. You know Pakistan has a lot of untapped resources, and so much potential, it can certainly provide a lot more than it does at the moment.

    7. Actually I did not make myself clear on this one, this is what I wanted to say:

    That the first 4 Caliphs had the best governance system over the period of 29 years, this is where the people received the most justice, the most equality, than anywhere else in history, it was on the basis of this system that after those 29 years, despite the corruption that followed it, managed to create the best scientists and innovators and best people human history has ever seen! I agree that there was a lot of corruption after those 29 years but the system that was there for 29 years changed somewhat but the basic principles were the same and hence over time gave great results! Also I apologize for just brushing aside the Ottoman Caliphate comment that you gave previously, I have not studied it enough to know what really happened, but there are different versions by different scholars on what those times were like. I still need to study that more. Even in those 29 years their were some great struggles and a lot of work was done.

    8. I do not feel bad about your post, I admit that sometimes I can be in a hurry and things may not come out right. So I will try my best to correct this.

    9. One thing I must say that your response was very diplomatic and fair, whereas bonobashi at particular points resorted to personal attacks, which I think is not acceptable, his approach was sarcastic and purely negative, while yours had a criticizing but positive tone to it. No offence bonobashi, only my opinion.

    @Bonobashi : If you dont mind I would like to know about your educational background, you have very advanced english, wondering where you got that from, I can’t grasp it. Also some people over here are youngsters or people who do not understand a high level english , so I advise if it is alright that you make it a little bit simpler, and I mentioned this before and your response again was strange. You did the following:

    1. You made it look like there was no simpler version of English and that anyone like me who cannot understand what you are saying must be very unintelligent or something.

    2. There is in your tone, I am not saying you are, but in your writing there is a feeling of intellectual superiority or arrogance. I have seen this in quite a few people especially those who are very educated with high level qualifications.

    3. Gorki, you asked me some questions regarding my comments, which is good, unfortunately I did not see this from other people, instead bonobashi, just took another approach rather than simply address what was unclear or wrong in my posts.

    @Bloody Civilian: sorry for the confusion, mustafa and mustafa shaban are the same.

  44. Mustafa Shaban

    Also adding to number 6, Switzerland does not have a lot of resources, it has good tourism and stuff but the main reason why it is successful is because it has a good system. And the problems faced in most countries is not due to lack of money or resources but due to flaws in the political and economic system, would you not agree? Also , do you think that 3rd world countries are doomed for eternity to be 3rd world countries?? Can they not bring changes in order to progress??

  45. Mustafa Shaban

    Gorki : You said this in your previous post ”Bonobashi I guess has more of a staying power than I have and hence this exchange with you; frankly I am not sure why he even bothers.”

    I am not sure what you mean , but are you asking why I bother to defend myself or respond to bonobashi?? That seems a little strange, but I will wait for you to clarify what you meant before responding.

  46. Bloody Civilian

    mustafa

    That the first 4 Caliphs had the best governance system over the period of 29 years, this is where the people received the most justice, the most equality, than anywhere else in history,

    perhaps you can defend that statement… but it would seem a tall order for the most accomplished and articulate scholars!

    now to claim that the 4 caliphs had the best intentions and were good muslims.. would be a different kind of claim. but to claim that being good muslims made them good statesmen, administrators, economists etc. would require some serious backing up with evidence. or to suggest that good intentions mean good governance.

    it was on the basis of this system that after those 29 years, despite the corruption that followed it, managed to create the best scientists and innovators and best people human history has ever seen!

    now who could agree with that and how? youare not saying ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ scientists and ‘innovators’ for their period of human history. how do expect such statements to be taken as credible?

    I agree that there was a lot of corruption after those 29 years but the system that was there for 29 years changed somewhat but the basic principles were the same and hence over time gave great results!

    well, if there was “a lot of corruption” after those 29 years, and the system was changed only “somewhat” and “the basic principles were the same”… then either the ‘system’ was all that great as you are claiming to start with… or there was no more than a tiniest bit of corruption even over the next few centuries. this is not a matter of historical evidence. just simple logic.

    Also I apologize for just brushing aside the Ottoman Caliphate comment that you gave previously, I have not studied it enough to know what really happened, but there are different versions by different scholars on what those times were like. I still need to study that more. Even in those 29 years their were some great struggles and a lot of work was done.

    now your last sentence is a far more reasonable statement. it is credible in the light of the historical fact that it was the beginning of a ‘struggle’ for an idea that was to become a major world religion later on. it was like the beginning of most revolutions.

    btw, what are your views on the battle of the camel? i ask you this because on the other thread you repeatedly termed this period of 29 years as being ‘perfect’. you are more or less saying that even now. my question on the other thread was, although not worded as a question there: if the 29 years immediately after the prophet’s death were perfection, then what is the struggle? just to maintain that perfection? is there no moving forward? no progress? no evolution? just a constant struggle to keep returning to the past — not just glorious but perfect?

    now if prophets are teachers, then what you’re saying is that what your high school teacher wanted you to do… in all that she taught you… was for you to keep returning to the perfection of the high school and making sure that you don’t go any where else.

  47. Bloody Civilian

    [Corrections]:

    1.how do [you] expect such statements to be taken as credible?

    2.then either the ’system’ was [not] all that great as you are claiming to start with

  48. Majumdar

    Mustafa bhai,

    A few questions:

    That the first 4 Caliphs had the best governance system over the period of 29 years

    #1Do Shias believe this is the case? Now of course if Shiites are not Muslims then of course it does not matter.
    #2 If I am not mistaken, 3 of the first 4 Caliphs were bumped off by fellow Muslims. Doesnt say much does it?

    Regards

  49. Gorki

    Dear Mustapha:

    “Gorki : You said this in your previous post ”Bonobashi I guess has more of a staying power than I have and hence this exchange with you; frankly I am not sure why he even bothers.”

    I am not sure what you mean”
    ……………………………………………………..

    I am sorry if the sense was not clear.
    What I was saying was that Bonobashi was still trying to point out (and correct) the flaws in your writing style and logic whereas I had given up; thus he was more persistent than I.

    BTW, reading your responses I think you are open minded enough to understand and retain what he is trying to tell you.

    Just remember; Bonobashi Da has a very elegant writing style that mixes just the right amount of humor with solid facts and then throws in a tinge of wicked (but good natured) sarcasm for seasoning.
    The overall effect is not unlike a much sought after dish prepared by a master chef; and like all such delicacies, it is an acquired taste.😉
    I believe that in time you too will learn to enjoy the great servings he puts out from time to time.
    Just sit back and watch!
    Regards.

  50. Mustafa Shaban

    okay gorki, i’l take your word for it. Also to the other guyz posting questions about Khilafat. I am a little busy today and tommorow, and its a big discussion so in few dayz time I will respond to the questions with some strong evidence to bak up wat I am saying as well, so please hold on for a while, I will come bak on this one

  51. Mustafa Shaban

    I will answer the main question of khilafat soon, but let me clarify a few things that are a lil away from the subject:

    Shias are muslims just like all other muslims. I am a Shia (though my view on Khilafat mite be surprising at first, but I will mention why that is later). I am saying this not becuase I am a shia but because I am a human being and it is unacceptable to just write off a certain group of people as kafirs or something becuase of thier specific beliefs. I am a muslim first then a shia. I believe that it is absolutely neccessarry for muslims to see each other as brothers. This is something our enemies do not want to see.

    I will prepare a response for Khilalafat a little later, just got caught up in somethings.

  52. Majumdar

    Mustafa bhai,

    Actually Shiites being Muslim or not was a secondary aspect.

    My first question was:

    Do Shias consider Khilafat of the first three Caliphs to be just and perfect like other Muslims?

    Regards

  53. Mustafa Shaban

    Well Majumdar…my opinion is that..the system was almost perfect….you cannot get absolute perfection in anything…. also there were a lot of internal conflicts and controversies. The problem is that I used to look at this period very controversialy like most other people do. I learned that though there were internal conflicts which lead to bloodshed, there was also massive expansion and massive entry into science, The Khilafat e Rashida was a base and the Khilafat despite its imperfections took gr8 strides. This went on until the early 1500’s. From 700 AD to 1500 AD, this 800 years produced the greatest scientists and scholars ever known.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inventions_of_the_Islamic_Golden_Age

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_science_and_engineering_in_the_Islamic_world

    These are some of the examples. Also if you watch Zaid Hamid’s Qurun E Aula, you will get to see a glimpse of this massive advance in science, politics, military, economy and sociology. I know all the info on this show is authentic….even if you dont like him if you wanna learn about muslimadvances in different fields of life you should watch the show. There are so many great names, Ibn Sina, Ibn Khaldun etc. These people mastered in different fields of life. If muslims were not there then it would be impossible to have modern day technology. We would be 100-150 years back.

    The basis of modern science, and sociology and geography comes from muslims. Everything you see around you, al the technology, 95% of it goes bak to an invention or discovery of an islamic scholar.

    In a way this was deceptively and cunningly hidden from people by the western scholars by doing the following:

    1. Giving credit for certain discoveries to themselves, especially concepts put forward by Newton and others had been discovered by muslims 500-700 years back.

    2. Giving certain muslim scholars fancy similar sounding english names so it is not obvious where that scholar is from.

    There is material in the internet for this stuff but unfortunately in the UAE it is blocked. So i will try finding other sources….I will post later.

    Coming bak to the Shias no they do not see it as perfect. They see many problems with it. They do not see the problem in the system, they saw a problem with the elite and thier resistance towards the system. Thing is some shia and sunni scholars throughout have tried inflaming emotions and creating divide between sunni and shia and creating hatred using different methods. But we cannot know exactly what internal conflicts took place but we do know what exactly the posotive initiatives that took place.

  54. Mustafa Shaban

    I am still trying to look for some literature on the net but am not having much luck…though it wud be good if anyone could find some documentaries about that period of time…..and some articles….so that we can get an idea

    Here is a short documentary:

  55. bonobashi

    @Mustafa Shaban

    Have you heard/ been through it yourself? Would you like to repeat here on the forum the portion between 5:35 and 6:35?

  56. bonobashi

    @Mustafa Shaban

    There is a proverb, I think Chinese in origin: Be careful what you pray for; your prayers may be answered.

    You asked for help about the period and about Islamic science. To start at one end, you might look up ‘the closing of the gates of ijtihaad; you might find out more about the great Islamic theologian al Ghazzali and his influence on scientific discovery and scientific speculation; finally you might want to find out why the golden period of Islamic science and engineering, of mathematics and physics came to an end.

  57. Mustafa Shaban

    you are right bonobashi..some knowledge was learned from indians and maybe also greeks and other people…but the discoveries and innovations were original and only some things are derived from other societies. The things derived from other societies were further developed. The reason why it came to an end needs to be seen. I will look into it and find out. By the way the documentary is short and does not cover everything…..I am trying to find some material from the net…having a hard time with it. Does anyone know a website or something with an accurate account of this period in time?

  58. bonobashi

    @Mustafa Shaban

    It is distressing to read you referring to things on such matters. It is possible to describe them with great precision; they have in fact been described with great precision.

    When people in the west realised that the great scientific breakthroughs of the Renaissance were anchored so firmly on the treatises of the Greeks and the mathematical and astronomical knowledge of the Indians brilliantly absorbed by a wide Islamic civilisation, it was like a bombshell. Their initial disbelief was overturned by increasing excitement. There is a vast amount of reading material on these issues, and for a starter, you could even try Wikipedia; instead of reading the articles themselves, you could read the references.

    Some of us, Bloody Civilian, for instance, has a firm grip of these subjects; he can help you far more than I can, or I would have provided you with a reading list. Several of us are historians; we are not exactly unread in these matters, and it is some of these people to whom you have been addressing what might best be described as your obiter dicta.

    If you were angry at my sarcasm and brutality, this might begin to explain why. It was cheeky and impertinent to enter into these arguments without any basic knowledge or any foundation in the subjects you took up. Gorki has already listed them; I shall not rub further salt into your wounds.

  59. bonobashi

    @Mustafa Shaban

    Incidentally I have already given you the answer as to why ‘it’ came to an end. It is easy to look into it and find out. You may find the historical reasons instructive and edifying, especially in view of the discussion that we have had.