Who will lead us?

The Pak Banker - - 4EDITORIAL - Dr Farid A Malik

IN 2007, the No­bel Prize was awarded to the for­mer US Vice Pres­i­dent Al-Gore for his work on cli­mate change and global warm­ing. On his team was an il­lus­tri­ous son of the soil Dr. Adil Na­jam who af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Univer­sity of En­gi­neer­ing and Tech­nol­ogy (UET) La­hore pro­ceeded to USA for higher education. He re­ceived his Masters de­gree from Har­vard Univer­sity and Doc­tor­ate from MIT. Cur­rently he is a pro­fes­sor at Bos­ton Univer­sity. He was the se­cond Pak­istani, af­ter Dr. Ab­dul Salam to be in­cluded in this award. As we had long fam­ily terms with the Na­jam's, I de­cided to pro­ceed to Is­lam­abad to con­grat­u­late his proud father Col. Im­tiaz Na­jam.

Col. Sahib railed from La­hore. His father Mian Na­ja­mud­din was the first Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Sur­vey Govern­ment of Pak­istan. Their haveli is lo­cated in Moori Gate, very close to the Data Dar­bar. At the time of par­ti­tion he was a class ten stu­dent at the cen­tral Model School lo­cated not too far away. On my fa­cil­i­ta­tions on his son's achieve­ment he nar­rated a very in­ter­est­ing in­ci­dent. Af­ter school he stopped at a bi­cy­cle shop to pump air in his cy­cle tyres. The owner of the busi­ness on notic­ing his school uni­form ap­proached him and asked one of his em­ployee's to com­plete the chore. He re­marked that this young man will one day lead the na­tion and it is our duty to nour­ish him to­day.

In­deed Im­tiaz sahib soar, where he fought two wars (1965 and1971) and be­came a pris­oner of war (POW) in East Pak­istan where he was lodged in a camp in In­dia, fi­nally to be repa­tri­ated back to his mother­land.

Pro­fes­sor Hamid Ahmed Khan was ap­pointed as the Vice Chan­cel­lor of Pun­jab Univer­sity. In the 1964 Pres­i­den­tial Elec­tions the mighty Ayub Khan de­sired to hold a pub­lic rally at the univer­sity grounds near Chauburji. His party ap­proached the VC who de­manded a se­cu­rity de­posit of Rs. 400,000- the amount spent on the cricket pitch. The Pres­i­dent was fu­ri­ous but Pro­fes­sor sahib as leader of the in­sti­tu­tion stood his ground. To­day the same venue is in sham­bles, to­tally de­stroyed first by the Metro Bus and now the Or­ange Line Pro­ject.

Pro­fes­sor Hamid was a true leader and Ayub Khan was not. In­stead of hon­or­ing his com­mit­ment to his in­sti­tu­tion he was de­nied ex­ten­sion and sent home. The fam­ily fell on hard times but they braved the storm.

What we have to­day is a tainted lead­er­ship in all spheres. Political lead­ers are mostly pro­pelled by the Khankis through ma­nip­u­lated elec­toral ex­er­cise. Once in power they en­sure loyal and sub­servient in­di­vid­ual ap­pointed against merit. Then the neg­a­tive in­flu­ence of the haves cre­ated by the Ayub regime con­tin­ues to dom­i­nate the pri­vate sec­tor and strengthen sta­tus-quo.

In­ter­est­ingly Dr. Ab­dul Na­jam a star of the il­lus­tri­ous Na­jam fam­ily and an ed­u­ca­tion­ist of In­ter Na­tional re­pute was ap­pointed VC of the most pres­ti­gious univer­sity of La­hore in the year of 2011. He left his po­si­tion in USA to re­lo­cate him­self in the city of his fore fa­thers. The nor­mal term of a VC is four years but in this case he stepped down af­ter two years. Stu­dents were shocked. There was a small cam­paign to keep Dr. Na­jam in the coun­try but he landed back in Bos­ton. While Col. Na­jam was able to serve his coun­try his son could not-the times and play­ers had changed.

Dr. Na­jam is not alone; there are sev­eral il­lus­tri­ous sons of the soil who tried to serve their mother­land. Dr. Shahid Bokhari left his pres­ti­gious po­si­tion at NASA to join the Elec­tri­cal En­gi­neer­ing Depart­ment at the Univer­sity of En­gi­neer­ing and Tech­nol­ogy. He played a long in­nings, but was fi­nally driven out by the Khaki VC who was brought in to re­store law and or­der but in the process de­stroyed academics of the univer­sity. Dr. So­hail Zu­beri started the Elec­tron­ics pro­gramme at the Quaid-e-Azam Univer­sity and pro­duced out­stand­ing schol­ars. In this case a Ba­boo VC drove him out. Dr. Asad Abidi es­tab­lished the school of sci­ence and En­gi­neer­ing at LUMS. I per­son­ally con­vinced him to leave his job at Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Los An­ge­les (UCCA) to serve his coun­try. He lasted for two years be­fore re­turn­ing back to re­sume his aca­demic ca­reer in the USA.

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan felt the need to pro­duce lead­ers for the Mus­lims of the In­dian Sub- Con­ti­nent. His Ali­garh Univer­sity played a piv­oted role in the cre­ation of Pak­istan. The need to re­duce lead­ers was pur­sued af­ter the cre­ation of the new coun­try but then the es­tab­lish­ment (Khakis, Ba­boos, Qazis) came in the way. Now there is no one left to lead. Where are our Hus­sains? Iqbal raised this ques­tion about a cen­tury ago but was able to lo­cate and con­vince Jin­nah to come and lead the move­ment which led to the cre­ation of the first Is­lamic democ­racy of the world. Jin­nah's team was dis­banded and re­placed by third rate political lead­er­ship with the bless­ings of the Khakis. This ma­nip­u­lated process must come to an end.

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