Friday, August 31, 2012

Dementia: Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan & Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman.

Dementia: Chronic brain syndrome; Lewy body dementia; DLB; Vascular dementia; Mild cognitive impairment; MCI - Dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior. On 14 August 2012, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan again made an speech which can easily be described as hate speech against Ahmadi Community (who despite being Kaafir are still Pakistanis and Pakistan’s most persecuted minority despite clear guarantees of protection of their lives, property, privacy and honour, and Free Practicing of their Religion given in Objective Resolution and 1973 Constitution of Pakistan) Sitting comfortably with another Hate Monger of Geo TV i.e Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain : Details , Dr A Q Khan said in Urdu which can be translated: “We, the people of Bhopal origin, are proud of two things: first, Bhopal has never produced a traitor. Second, Bhopal has never produced a Qadiyani” ends - Dr A Q Khan quite innocently and quite beautifully implied that Quadiyanis are Treasonous and while doing this he conveniently forget that Father of the Nation i.e. Muhammad Ali Jinnah did appoint a Quadiyani Chaudhry Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan as Minister of foreign affairs who also remained leader of Pakistan's delegation to the United Nations (1947–1954). Therefore not only Jinnah but Liaquat Ali Khan should also be declared Treasonous and Kaafir (Apostate) too for tolerating a Blatant Treasonous Non-Bhopali Kaafir in the Corridors of Alleged Ideological State. Lest I forget, historically Dr A Q Khan is also quite a dunce because one of his fellow Bhopali i.e. Obaidullah Aleem (A Pakistani Poet) was a Quadiyani and from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. There is another tip for Dr A Q Khan i.e. to adopt the School of thought of another Great Scholar of Bhopal i.e. Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan of Bhopal, who was Ahl-e-Hadith but there is one big problem before becoming Ahl-e-Hadith, he was a Shia. This is a dangerous trend in a country which consists upon people of diverse belief, culture, language, faith, sects and social background e.g. we have books available in the market written by Rampant Sectarian Mullahs declaring opposing sects Deviant, Apostate, Infernal, Death Deserving and what not, Mullah who had issued Fatwa of Apostasy against Jinnah, Allama Iqbal, and Sir Syed Ahmed Khan : Read Fatwa, today Dr A Q Khan has spit venom against a community to sooth his own personal ego and show off and tomorrow somebody else could rise and start declaring any other community and region as Treasonous and Apostate as well. Where would this end? Ultimately this would end up in anarchy and would fetch bad name for not only Pakistan but overwhelmingly peaceful and tolerant Pakistanis who are also overwhelmingly Muslims and ultimately this would be a blot on Islam. Non Combatant and Peaceful and Neutral Disbelievers were not killed even during the full scale war whereas Pakistani TV Anchors and some demented scientist are bent to attribute Violence and Murder towards Islam which is itself a biggest Blasphemy against Islam, read,  particularly for the trigger happy sanctimonious Pakistanis what Islamic Laws of War says - Islamic Laws for War. . There are numerous places in the Holy Quran and several Hadith which clearly detest creating Anarchy on Earth. Prevailing situation in Pakistan is already anarchic enough and any more rhetoric and religious exploitation would open doors of complete chaos which would detrimental not only for the Pakistan but it's very sovereignty and existence.  

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, Quadiyanis, Bhopal and Mutineer (Bolta Pakistan 27 August 2012)

Objective Resolution &; Minorities: 5 Adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to freely profess and practice their religions and develop their cultures. Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to [1][freely] profess and practice their religions and develop their cultures; - Wherein shall be guaranteed fundamental rights including equality of status, of opportunity and before law, social, economic and political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, subject to law and public morality; Wherein adequate provisions shall be made to safeguard the legitimate interests of minorities and backward and depressed classes; Ed. note: Mr. Ardeshir Cowasjee's article 'The sole statesman - 4' - published in Dawn on July 9, 2000 - makes an interesting observation about a potential disparity between the original Objectives Resolution and the Annex inserted into the Constitution by P. O. 14 of 1985. The word "freely", which appears in the original Resolution, notes Mr. Cowasjee, is missing from the clause: "Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to profess and practice their religions and develop their cultures;" The Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Act, 2010 (Article 99), with effect from April 19th, 2010, has corrected this by inserting the word "freely" at the correct place. REFERENCE: ANNEX [Article 2(A)] The Objectives Resolution Editor's note about Objectives Resolution

2012: A different democracy Atta-ur-Rahman (Former Federal Minister in General Perevz Musharraf Cabinet) The key to progress in this day and age is education. The former prime minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, was once asked what were the top three priorities of his government. He instantly replied “education, education, and education”. In this day and age countries with strong knowledge economies have surged forward on the basis of innovations and entrepreneurship. The real global competition is an economic one – in the field of high-tech products, ranging from pharmaceuticals to engineering goods, from biomedical devices to laptop computers, from sophisticated defence equipment to automobiles and aircraft, from software to solar cells. To be leading in this race of socio-economic development the four key pillars are (1) education, (2) science & technology, (3) innovation & entrepreneurship and (4) good governance requiring an eminent, honest leadership. Pakistan was created in 1947 after hundreds of thousands sacrificed their lives for a separate homeland, free from oppression. Today, 66 years later, we find that we are sinking fast due to massive corruption at the highest levels, defiance of the Supreme Court, feudal stranglehold over governance systems and rampant illiteracy that breeds poverty, intolerance and terrorism. The federal and provincial parliaments have a large number of parliamentarians with forged degrees – some 300 at least, and the Supreme Court has failed to evict them from these bodies in spite of its initial decisions directing the Election Commission to identify and act against such fraudsters. Our aspirations to rid of ourselves of poverty and hunger remain an illusion largely because of two closely inter-connected factors – feudalism and illiteracy. A feudal dominated parliament just cannot support education as it threatens the very existence of the feudal system. Pakistan is the only country in the world today where the feudal system has survived in its present form. It was abolished through land reforms in India by Jawaharlal Nehru soon after partition, and also in Bangladesh soon after it came into existence after breaking off from Pakistan. This laid the foundations of genuine democratic systems to be established and to evolve. In Pakistan the feudal dominated parliaments refused to take any such actions or to frame laws against their interests so that true democratic systems could not be established. This has had a devastating impact on the state of education in Pakistan and consequently on the socio-economic development. Pakistan today is ranked among the bottom seven countries of the world with an expenditure of 1.7 percent of its GDP on education. Lack of education and skills have led to massive unemployment and increasing frustrations and bitterness in the country. With some 90 million below the age of 19, about 56 percent of our population is in this sizeable “demographic bulge”, a huge opportunity for development through their empowerment is being lost. The repeated failure of the present democratic system has often been attributed to military interventions. It is claimed that democracy was never given a proper chance to “evolve”. In fact the military was forced to repeatedly intervene to stop the loot and plunder that became the norm each time the ‘feudal dominated democracy’ (“feudocracy” — a term coined by me to describe the prevailing demonic version of democracy found in Pakistan) was allowed to function. A clear break from the present is needed. The salient features of such a system are presented here.

(1) Pakistan should establish a presidential system of democracy so that people have the opportunity to elect one person who they consider has the needed qualities of integrity, competence and leadership to lead the nation. That person should then choose his team of cabinet ministers and government secretaries from the best technocrats that are available with the necessary skill sets.

(2) A “Judicial Council of Elders” should be established from retired judges of the Supreme and High Courts which should be self-sustaining and elect any replacements without government involvement. This Council of Elders should be responsible for carefully screening and approving all persons who have been nominated to be elected to the post of the President of Pakistan as well as to parliament and heads of major public organisations.

The approval should only be given to persons with spotless character, outstanding capabilities and a track record of excellence and outstanding accomplishments.

(3) The role of parliament should be confined to law making and oversight. To be able to make laws parliamentarians and senators should have the education background and competence required for this job. These should be defined and only those persons with the requisite competence be elected for parliament.

(4) All public sector organisations (PIA, Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan Railways, Wapda, PTCL etc) should have eminent governing boards (approved after screening by the Judicial Council of Elders). They should not be appointed by the government. Their heads should be internally elected.

(5) It should be made mandatory to invest at least 7 percent of the GDP in education through necessary constitutional changes.

(6) To curb corruption the heads and senior persons in NAB, FIA and other anti-corruption agencies should be appointed by the Judicial Council of Elders and not by the government.

(7) Major reforms in the judicial system and appointment of thousands of additional judges so that justice could be delivered with a mandatory deadline of three months.

Now the million dollar question: Who will bring such reforms? Obviously the feudal dominated parliament would not want to amend the Constitution in this manner as it would undermine strong vested interests. The change in the Constitution to bring in a different presidential form of democracy will therefore need to be done by an interim technocrat government with the blessings of the judiciary and the military. It is hoped that within the political parties there would be some visionary persons with national interests at heart who will be able to support such a constitutional change, in spite of the strong opposition expected from many of their feudal colleagues. We do not need to look far to see the ongoing transformation of many Asian countries into economic giants. Lee Kwan Yew took charge as prime minister of Singapore in June 1959, and within three decades Singapore became an economic giant. It has a population of only five million but a GDP of about $250 billion, much greater than that of Pakistan which has a population of 180 billion. A similar situation is seen in Malaysia. Due to the visionary policies of Mahathir Mohammed, Malaysia today contributes 86.5 percent of all high tech exports from the Islamic world and its GDP has jumped from only $26 billion in 1980 to about $300 billion! General Park Chung-hee was the architect of the Korean economy. From a poor country with a per capita income of only US$72 in 1961, Korea today is an economic giant with the per capita income at a stunning $30,200 and a GDP of above $1.2 trillion. We too can do it. However some visionary leaders, the Supreme Court and the military must come together before it is too late so that Pakistan too can rise from its ashes and establish a new presidential form of democracy as outlined above. The writer is former federal minister for science and technology and former chairman of the Higher Education Commission. REFERENCE: A different democracy Atta-ur-Rahman Saturday, August 25, 2012 Email:

Bolta Pakistan - 27th-August-2012 - Aaj News

Reckoning time for HEC By Pervez Hoodbhoy  THE exit of Dr Atta-ur-Rahman as chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) closes a unique period in Pakistan`s education system. His endless stories of success were accompanied by a flood of half-truths. But on the other hand Dr Rahman led the first serious effort to rescue a failed university system. Had a system of checks and balances been in place, some of his bold steps could have worked. In any case, it is time to make a balance sheet. What do the pluses and minuses of his term add up to? The negatives are huge. Numerous HEC projects violated common sense and, not surprisingly, turned into costly disasters. An egregious example is the $4.3bn HEC mega-project to establish nine new engineering universities staffed by hundreds of European professors. None were built although large, but unknown, amounts were spent. Other prestige projects sucked up resources too. Many scientists, including myself, warned against buying certain fancy scientific equipment. But the opposition was futile and the whims of influential individuals prevailed. Expensive equipment was bought for which, years down the line, use still cannot be found. The desire to show revolutionary progress inflicted long-term damage on our university system. For example, advised by Dr Rahman, Gen Musharraf declared that the annual production of PhD degree holders would be boosted from 150 per year to 1,500 per year. To support this, HEC incentive schemes encouraged PhD thesis supervisors, often of doubtful academic merit, to take on dozens of students each. Quality plummeted. The proof is before us. One straightforward measure of a student`s achievement level is his/her performance in an international examination known as the GRE subject test. In a notification issued in July 2008, the HEC declared the passing mark required of Pakistani PhD graduates, who could take the test even in their final year, to be 40 percentile. This announcement is shocking. It officially acknowledges the inferiority of Pakistani degrees. A web search by the reader will show that entry-level students in graduate programmes at an average US university have GRE subject scores in the 70-75 percentile range. Many Chinese, Indian and Iranian entry-level students make it to the 90 percentile bracket in the same tests. On the other hand, Pakistani students, although allowed an additional four to five years` preparation time, can get a PhD with just 40 percentile. Worse, some university teachers, who are paid by the HEC an extra Rs5,000 per month for every PhD student enrolled under their name, are energetically lobbying to get the pass mark reduced still further.

Strong endorsements by the World Bank and the science journal Nature were deftly used by Dr Rahman to justify his schemes. Neither conducted independent investigations, nor were familiar with the local university culture. They relied exclusively on what the HEC had to say about itself. Their partisan praise eroded their credibility. On the other hand, some of Dr Rahman`s initiatives were fundamentally sound. And, to his credit, he did put his finger on some key problems in Pakistan`s higher education sector. It was a positive achievement to have increased access to higher education in a country where enrolment is abysmal. The number of public universities nearly doubled between 2002 and 2008. Unfortunately, there was no way to provide an adequate number of properly qualified teachers and as such they were largely ineffective. One feels that similar resources spent on vocational or college education would have yielded greater dividends. Sending students overseas for graduate work also goes to Dr Rahman`s credit. Although the cost was enormous, around 3,000 were sent. Surely some good can come of it. But the flawed selection mechanism, which amounted to a simple numeracy and literacy high-school-level test, permitted large numbers of academically unprepared students to slip through into advanced graduate programmes. Perhaps only a quarter of those sent should actually have been sent. Low salaries for university teachers needed raising, and Dr Rahman did that. Today a public university professor, provided he successfully finagles himself into the higher-paying (tenure track) position, can make as much as Rs350,000 per month. Unfortunately, the jump lacked proportion. If money grew on trees and bushes it would be wonderful to give such raises. But it is not right to pay university teachers huge salaries in a country where primary school teachers make a miserable Rs10,000 a month, and college lecturers only Rs25,000. There are important lessons to learn from Pakistan`s flawed experiment. Large financial inputs did not work, nor were good ideas without adequate implementation mechanisms sufficient. The record-setting increase in the budget for higher education — which shot up from Rs3.8bn in 2002 to Rs33.7bn in 2007 — did not remove basic weaknesses. Today, with the national economy almost bankrupt, more money is not an option. So what should be done to save higher education? In the tiny space available here, only a glimpse can be given. Solutions are needed at three distinct levels — determining correct funding priorities, implementing approved plans responsibly and, most importantly, inducing changes in cultural values to promote and enable real learning.

Broadly speaking, higher education reform must now aim primarily at improving teaching quality. It was wrong to have concentrated so heavily on funding research, much of which is of dubious quality and utility. Good research is impossible without sound basics, and this will only be achieved if the next generation of researchers is exposed to knowledgeable teachers at the college and university level. Therefore, high priority should be assigned to better teacher-selection mechanisms, and to create large-scale, high-quality teacher-training academies in every province. Established with international help, these academies should bring in the best teachers as trainers from across Pakistan and from our neighbouring countries. The present neglect of public colleges must end. Even as many public universities were furiously wasting money, our colleges remained in desperate shape with dilapidated buildings, broken furniture, and miserable laboratory and library facilities. Many other changes are also needed. Major quality improvements could result from using properly standardised nationwide tests for students` admission into higher education institutions, teaching teachers to use distance-learning materials effectively, and designing standardised teaching laboratories that may be efficiently duplicated across Pakistan. Higher education in Pakistan has a chance only if it is seen as the apex of a supporting pyramidal structure, and if solution strategies are pursued with intelligence and honesty. The new HEC head has a difficult task ahead. One hopes that he will have the dynamism and eloquence of Dr Rahman, but not the flaws. REFERENCE: Reckoning time for HEC By Pervez Hoodbhoy Hoodbhoy's Letter to Nature on Pakistan's Higher Education Reform FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2009 HEC vs Dr. Hoodbhoy: The Controversy Continues By Mamoona Amjed WASHINGTON DC, July 18, 2005 | ISSN: 1684-2057 | 

Instead of criticizing Hoodbhoy, the HEC should welcome debate about its projects and should apologize for acting in such a reprehensible manner. An interesting debate has been going on revolving around various HEC projects. The debate started with an article “Reforms? What reforms?” by Pervez Hoodbhoy (The News July 7th 2005). In the article, Hoodbhoy criticized several HEC projects clearly stating his reservations about them. The futility of the projects should have been obvious to the HEC if they had the courage to look at the facts Hoodbhoy presented. Instead of admitting its mistakes, the HEC has tried to defend these projects without regard for the academic consequences. Articles by the HEC officials have appeared in the newspapers and in the online forums. Multiple versions of the articles are available on the HEC website. The authors of these articles have levelled all sorts of charges against Hoodbhoy but have failed to provide any satisfactory answers to the questions raised by him. They have deliberately ignored the facts mentioned in the article and have tried to create an impression that Hoodbhoy is not competent enough to criticize the projects. The objective of HEC media blitzkrieg aimed at Hoodbhoy seems to be to discourage people from criticizing the HEC projects. Consider the Best Teachers Award initiated by the HEC. As Hoodbhoy mentioned in his article most of the teachers who got this award were chairpersons or directors of their respective departments or institutes. The list of awardees is available online. A simple google search reveals that in 2003 15 of the 22 and in 2004 20 of the 28 who got the award were in senior administrative positions. The HEC cannot be excused on the ground that people making the recommendation were not suppose to recommend themselves. The HEC is well aware of the tendency of the people in charge to profit from their position. We should assume that HEC is aware of the culture that permeates Pakistani Universities. Another example provided by Hoodbhoy was of too many PhD students registered with a single supervisor. The number of students registered with different faculty members of the physics department is available on the QAU website at The chairperson of the department, Aslam Baig, has 13 students registered with him. Another faculty member, Muhammad Zakaullah, has 11 and another nine students are registered with Asghari Maqsood. These three professors together have 33 PhD students. Compare this with 38 PhD students at the Centre for Theoretical Physics (MIT) with a faculty of 26. In the last 20-25 years, these three professors supervised altogether 20 PhD students. Are we to believe that since the creation of the HEC they have somehow overnight become capable of handling 33 students at once? It should be obvious to the HEC that their practice of paying the supervisor Rs. 5000 per month for an HEC funded student has something to do with supervisors overnight becoming interested in research.

An HEC funded student registered with these professors is not going to get any better supervision than other students do. The limit of eight HEC funded students for one supervisor does nothing if the total number of students per professor is not constrained. There has to be some constraint on the number of students one faculty member can have since most faculty members in Pakistani Universities are just not capable of supervising multiple PhD students. In its multiple rejoinders to Hoodbhoy, published in various newspapers and available on the HEC website, no reasonable explanation has been provided by the HEC for funding the ’Quaranization Project’ of Saadia Chisti. The mysterious change in the title of the project the very day Hoodbhoy’s article appeared indicates that perhaps the HEC itself was uncomfortable with this project. Could it be that they had to fund it since Dr. Chisti is a member of the board of governors of the HEC? It is also not clear what the actual amount of funding for the project is. The research grants web page mentions Rs. 5.58 Million but the August HEC newsletter (page 16) indicates an amount of Rs. 4.98 Million. This Rs. 4.98 Million are in addition to the Rs. 5.58 Million already approved or is it that so much money is lying around that Rs. 600,000 does not matter anymore? Of the ten principal investigators mentioned in the August newsletter, Saadia Chisti is the only one with no University affiliation. 

The HEC did not follow its own rules limiting research grants to persons holding a full time position at an academic institution  The HEC’s claim that project was reviewed by “top experts in the field” is rather strange since by its very nature there cannot be any credible “experts” in the field of Quaranization of science. As far as I know, no high-energy Physics lab is carrying out experiments based on verses of Quran. Perhaps the million-dollar ancient artefact HEC is proposing to buy i.e. Van de Graaf accelerator, was for this purpose. If the HEC has nothing to hide all referee reports about this project and the breakdown of the various expenses involved in the project should be made public. In any case one does not need an advanced degree in science to realize that such attempts at Islamizing science are counter productive and have, in the past, led to deterioration of science research in the country. Perhaps it is time to read once again the article “They call it Islamic science” by Pervez Hoodbhoy (Herald, Jan 1988) to realize what happens when science and religion are mixed under state patronage. I recall a project very similar to this presented by a PhD student from a Pakistani University at a Math conference in Lahore recently. The student wanted to derive all scientific facts and formulas from the verses of Quran and clearly indicated without any reservations, as Saadia Chisti does to a lesser extent in her project abstract, that it is an established fact that all scientific knowledge is contained in Quran. That he did not even had a basic understanding of Physics or Mathematics seemed no obstacle to him declaring after reciting a Quranic verse that, for example, instantaneous communication is possible since, after all, Allah can see different things going on at different places at the same time. Not satisfied with destroying the basis of modern physics by a single verse he went on to recite verses, which according to him explain the basic principles behind information retrieval from the internet by a computer. Who invited this student to a Math conference and why he was allowed to speak is a mystery. A degree from Cornell, as the HEC keeps reminding us Saadia Chisti has, was no excuse for funding this project. As the above example shows, a degree from Cornell is no obstacle to absurd proposals. Foreign faculty hiring project also needs urgent attention. This scheme has been going on for over two years now, and it is time for the HEC to carry out an academic audit to access its impact. Student evaluations of the foreign faculty should be the corner stone of any such audit. The HEC has spent Millions on this project; a few thousand spent on getting the opinion of the students would be worth it. The HEC has not been able to provide any satisfactory explanation of the various points raised by Pervez Hoodbhoy. Instead of criticizing Hoodbhoy, the HEC should welcome debate about its projects and should apologize for acting in such a reprehensible manner. REFERENCE: HEC Juggernaut and Pervez Hoodbhoy by Amer Iqbal 14 Aug 2005 
Dr Hoodbhoy Responds to HEC Rejoinder HEC Buying Fantastically Expensive Scientific Junk Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy WASHINGTON DC, July 16, 2005 | ISSN: 1684-2057 |

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