Wednesday, November 29, 2006

AtoZ of Leadership Readiness

Click the following link to download the e-book:

AtoZ of Leadership Readiness

Anatomy of Leadership Readiness

Click the following link to download the e-book:

Anatomy of Leadership Readiness

The booklets are finally here

Dear Friends,

After much ado, the two booklets e-books are now ready. This has been done with the efforts of the entire class of Leadership Readiness - MBA/MS, (Fall 2006), SZABIST, Karachi. And ofcourse the guidance of our course instructor Sir. Wali Zahid.

I would like to thank each and every member for their support throughout the process of working on these two e-books.

May ALLAH help us in our cause.

Friday, November 24, 2006

In search of Leadership In The Long Shadows of Hindu Kush

Given below are my gossips/discussions with my buddy (Roommate, Classmate, Course mate, Sports mate for fifteen-year). We both think that that any change/leadership/development if ever it emerge again in this region will be from Hindu Khush.
Only Urs
Syed Fida Marvat
Flight Lieutenant

The Hindu Kush mountain ranges, desolate barren stretches of wilderness, were always a backyard of the Persian empire. Only about 300 years back, it began to be called `Afghanistan’. Its historical extension is upto river Indus.All invaders/Leaders came to Hindu kush only to move further towards greener pastures - Central Asia, Persia or South Asia. It just happened to be on the cross roads of the history. The last two invaders were the Soviets and the Americans. The latest production from Hindu Kush is Taleban. Another outsider with the name of Osama lives there. There is nothing unusual about the Hindu Kush and its associated baby mountain ranges. They are dry, barren and rugged. Hind Kush begins where the Karakorums end and it runs in a South Westerly direction in a monotonous cycle of plains and mountains. The height decreases progressively towards the West with the average the average being 12,000 feet. The highest point, around 21,000 feet, is in Chitral and has green forests. Numerous high passes guard its the approaches. Kabul valley is its psychological center its centre of gravity lies along the Kabul-Qandhar axis. Amu Darya and Indus form the psychological Northern and Eastern boundaries. Two small rivers, Hari Rud and Helmend, flow West drying up into the desserts.
Indus used to be called the Sindhu river and all inhabitants East of Indus were known as Hindus. And thus came about the name Hindu Koh or the Hindu mountain. When the Hindu prisoners of battles began to parish in the difficult journey through the mountains, the name got changed to `Hindu Kush’ or Hindu killer. Historically, Hindu Kush was always a backyard of Persia. Rig Veda talks about it as a sparsely populated region inhibited by Vedic Aryans who lived with sheep and goats in river valleys. Zoroaster was born in Balk and he preached the message of the Zoroastrianism. He exhorted the feuding tribes, who occasionally fought over grazing land, to unite in the name of Lord Ahura Mazda.
While the Himalayas, Karakorums or Pamirs may be more imposing and cause weather changes, it has been the Hindu Kush that cast deep long shadows and kept re-shaping the history of the whole indo pak region. Its only crime was its location in the middle of nowhere which happened to be on the passage towards the Central, West and South Asia. It was destined to witness a long line of Leaders, adventurers, armies, cultures and religions criss-cross it from the three directions. It began with the Achaemenians, to be followed by Alexander, Selecus, Mauriyas, Kushans, Sassanians, White Huns, Arabs, Samanids, Khawarzam Turks, Gengis Khan, Timur, Babar, Mughals, Nadir Shah, Sikhs,British, Soviets and now the Americans. Its own stalwarts were the Ghaznavis, Ghoris and the Abdalis. In recent times, it produced its very own radical Talibans and the international cult of Al Qaeda.
The outsiders who came to the Hindu Kush were only temporary visitors looking far beyond in search of territory, riches, influence or just to make a show of force. Empires/Leaders clashed over this real estate. Empires such as the Mauryas vs Selecus, Mughals vs Safvi, British vs Russia or the Soviets vs Americans. During the Taleban era, it caused tension between India vs Pakistan and between Pakistan vs Iran. The Hindu Kush wallas have become somewhat of an expert in exploiting the rivalries between others to their advantage and negotiating the best terms and conditions. At times, this has also worked against their interests.
Hindu Kush has passed through phases of Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Islam. Islam, introduced by the Abbasid Arabs, got bifurcated into the Persians’ Shiaism while the Hindu Kush opted for the Sunni sect. Add to this, the influences of the recent Soviet socialism and the American capitalism and democracy, and you get a heavy doze of ideological mix. We notice some interesting patterns of the outsiders who came to the Hindu Kush. All invaders from the West like the Achaemenians, Alexander, Selecus, Arabs, Sassanians and Nadir Shah invariably moved beyond the Hindu Kush. Similarly, the invaders from the North like the Kushans, White Huns, Samanids, Kwarazam Turks, Gengis Khan, Timur and Babar did stop at the Hindu Kush. (Only the Soviets got unlucky and were pushed back)
But all the invaders who came from the East like the Mauryans, Mughals and Ranjit Singh did not venture beyond the Hindu Kush. The British were wise to be content with only the influence. It seems that all invasions from the East were defensive in nature and South Asia itself was rich enough not to look beyond. In general, the South Asians were inward looking, culturally more refined and docile because of the Vedic heritage. The Hindu Kush heroes like the Ghaznavis, Ghoris or Abdalis, if anything, were adventureous and powerful leaders than Western or the Northern invaders. They expanded in all the three directions. Similarly the later day spurious religious movements like the Talibans and Al Qaeda tended to flow outwards.
What is finally left behind is a mosaic of different ethnicities - Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Turkmen, Baluch and Punjabi speaking Sikhs and Hindus and the mixing of some Arab and Mongol blood. The history has also left behind a wide array of faiths, languages and cultures. All along its borders, the inhabitants have close ethnic, linguistic and cultural affinities with countries across the borders. However, Hindu Kush continues to remains a chaotic conglomerate of the local chieftains, tribal laws and customs very similar to the days of the Vedic Aryans. It was in 1747 that it became a political entity, called Afghanistan, Sunni in nature. And it broke away from its historical Persian God mother.
Let us pickup a few interesting episodes of the invaders/leaders venturing out of Hindu Kush especially towards the South Asia. Darius (486 BC), the Achaemenian leader, ruled upto Taxila (Islamabad). Alexander reached Kabul valley in 330 BC. He has a word of praise for the Hindu Kush wallas because it took him two years to subjugate them whereas it took only six months to subjugate Persia. Alexander then dashed to Central Asia and married Roxana at Samarqand (Uzbekistan). On his return, he got out of Khyber and headed towards the Indus. Raja Ambhi of Taxila joined him. He fought Raja Poros close to Mandi Bahauddin. His expeditions took him to Charsadda, Bannu, Bajour, Swat and Buner. A flavour of the Hellenic culture still persists in Northern Pakistan.Presently, the Greek Government is establishing a museum in Chitral to preserve the Greek culture.
The successor of Alexander, Selecus (305 BC), even went beyond what is now Pakistan and reached upto the Ganges. He also expanded towards the Central Asia. His nemeses was Chandra Gupta, a khatree from Taxila, who unified South Asia and captured the Hindu Kush introducing Buddhism. Thereafter, another Greek, Demetrious (160 BC), came and he extended upto Patna (Patalipura). This Indo-Greek kingdom lasted for 200 years.
Then came the Chinese Kushans, from Shinjan (150 BC). They conquered the Indus valley upto Kashmir. Kaniska (2 AD) sets up a flourishing Gandhara civilization from Peshawar to Potohar to Mathura with Buddhism at its peak. Then the Persians (Sassanians) again reclaim their territory in 3 AD. They are followed by the White Huns who descend from North. The White Huns get fully assimilated leaving behind no trace except for the chinky eyes on the Western borders of Pakistan. They rule upto Sialkot.
The next invader, the Abbasid Arabs (651 AD) reach Heart and bring about a major change in the region for all times to come. They move only towards the Central Asia and convert the Turks to Islam. A unique Pashtun-Turkish-Sunni assimilation takes place. Arabic becomes the official language in Central Asia. By the ninth century, the Samanids, descend down from Bokhara to Hindu Kush and extend their rule right down to South India. They revive the old Persian culture and Farsi. This is the beginning of the Tajik ethnicity.
By 1000 AD, Hindu Kush produced its own greatest of all leader/conqueror, Ghaznavi, who goes beyond the Amu Darya in the North and makes a habit of going deep into the South Asia. With South Asian wealth, he builds a grand city at Ghazni. He is followed by the Ghori (1186AD) from Ghor and who gives a strong foundation for next 600 years leadership. Ghoris extend towards the South Asia as well as into Persia. There is a brief moment for the Khawarzam Turks (1200AD) who descend from the North until Gengis Khan (1220) rises from Mangolia and desecrates everything on his path and destroys the Muslim Empires. By 1300AD, the Mongols become Muslims. Timur (1300-1380) comes from Samarqand and goes West towards Persia and East towards the South Asia.
Finally, it is time, for Babar from Farghana to capture Kabul which is called Khuba in Avesta. Babar (1504) enters Hindu Kush and sets up his shop in Kabul. For four years, he makes forays into areas now in Pakistan. Getting out of Khyber, his visits include Pehawar, Kohat, Bannu (My home Town) , Bajaour, Kalar Kahar, Bhera. He marries Mubaraka, Wali Swat’s daughter and hunts rhinoceros at Swabi. Then he begins his final historic journey in 1525. He crosses rivers Indus, Jhelum and Chenab to reach Sialkot, then to Pasrur and then to Kalanur. And finally, to the battle ground - Panipat.
Around 1700, the Ghilzai Pashtuns make it into the Safvi territory in Persia and capture the capitol Isfahan. They are evicted by the Persian Nadir Shah (1738) who goes further East towards Dehli and makes out with Koh-e-Nur which eventually finds a place on the peacock throne.
By 1747, Hindu Kush finds an identity as a state founded by Ahmed Shah Abdali (Another greatest Leader of the HindoKhush). He descends into Punjab and Kashmir many times. The Mughals get so fed up with the Afghans that they cede areas West of Indus to the Afghans. When the British come, they fail to conquer Hindu Kush from the East . The great game between the Soviets and the British continues until South Asia is divided into two states by the Great Powers. Afghanistan threatens Pakistan with `Pashtoonistan’ and does not accept `Durand Line’. It has sympathetic onlookers ? India and Soviet Union. Then the Soviet Union walks into the Hindu Kush.
Hindu Kush becomes the focal point of the cold war between the Soviets and the Americans. Religion is used to fight the Soviets. Saudis provide money, America provides equipment and Pakistan provides the covert organization for the Mujahiddin. Russia is driven out and America flies back to its continent.
Hindu Kush reverts back to its traditional chaotic mode. Both Iran and Pakistan try to move into the vacuum. Pakistan mothers the birth of radical Taleban and was naive enough to begin thinking of Hindu Kush as its `strategic depth’ little realizing that, in its 2000 years of history, Hindu Kush has never permitted an outsider more than a transitory status. Taleban even refuse to accept `Durand Line’ as the border. Talibans permit the growth of `Al Qaeda’ which attacks America. America is back into Hindu Kush and this time with no intention to fly back in a hurry. They have already built up the Kabul-Kandhar highway, the centre of gravity, free of cost.
Historically, Hindu Kush has been a tribal society run by the local chieftains. The Pashtoon majority has always co-existed amicably with other minorities. The centuries old Pashtoon code of ethics, Pashtoonwali, is harsh but liberal and forward looking. It has elements like the Badal (eye for an eye), ghairat (like killing own sister and her seducer for sex) or Jirga (Courts) , elders council which gives a appealable/non-appealable verdict. The Mulla looked after the mosque and the Malik managed the Hujra to take care of the worldly affairs. But the events of the Soviet/US invasion have changed all that. The Pashtoon tribal customs have gotten entangled with the super powers zeal for control. And over 800 years of the Pashtoon rule in the region, which gave birth to a unique leadership, identity and cohesiveness, has come under a stress. Imperialism has been the most powerful force in the Muslim regions history over the last two centuries, carving up whole region while oppressing indigenous peoples/leaders and obliterating entire Muslim Leadership. As result in most of the Muslim countries minority has been imposed over majority thus systematically blocking path for any emergence for real Leadership/Development. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders. If we study Muslim leadership in past 1200 years, we can easily figure out Arabs, Kurds, Turks and Pathans. The aim is not to prove/support leadership based on racism but to highlight the interesting fact that these four were never known in history prior to Islam. They emerged only after embracing Islam in totality and Muslim leadership was almost in these great fours. In present downward cycle of Muslim, Imperialism prior to leaving divided Muslim areas in a manner that these great four does not have a single single geographic entity.
With United States settled in the Hindu Kush, it has once again begun to cast long shadows in the three directions. North and West are significant for oil which has replaced the grazing lands of the old days days. Nuclear and terrorist discomfort is both from West and East. United States considers China as its long term adversary while interested in local allies. Pakistan finds itself placed between the cross-currents of three bigger states. Folk wisdom suggests that it should have good relations with all the three. It need not be re-told that every invader into the South Asia invariably exploited the differences between the local players. Therefore, when the push comes to a shove, it would be a wise decision for Pakistan to side with the regional rather than the extra-regional states ……?
The Saga of the Hindu Kush tells us that any leadership which will ever rise in region will be from Hindukhush. ( Pashtun : The Great Sons of HinduKhush). This is also absolutely in line of prediction of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) about an Army of Fighters from Kharasaan (Present Day Phushtoon Areas of Afghanistan, NWFP & Baluchistan)


The message given by George Carlin -mouthy comedian of the 70’s/80’s is very eloquent and very appropiate/relevant to our Pakistan 2030. For our every problem and its solution we look to West especially US. Our Pakistan 2030 if it will be developed will be 180 degree opposite to what is US today as developed nation. I hope I am able to convey my message.

Fida Marvat

Awonderful Message by George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things. We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent. Remember, to say, “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind. Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

GOALS by Dr. Ahmed Adam

Goals are very important wheter it is readiness or Pakistan 2030. We should have goals according to Quran/Sunnah. In this article Dr Ahmed Adam has given beautiful strateagies for goal setting.


Syed Fida Marvat

“To Allaah we belong, and to Him is our return”(Al Baqarah 2:156)


My mom only had one eye. I hated her… she was such an embarrassment. She cooked for students & teachers to support the family. There was this one day during elementary school where my mom came to say hello to me.
I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I ignored her, threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school one of my classmates said, “EEEE, your mom only has one eye!” I wanted to bury myself. I also wanted my mom to just disappear. So I confronted her that day and said, ” If you’re only gonna make me a laughing stock, why don’t you just die?!!!” My mom did not respond…
I didn’t even stop to think for a second about what I had said, because I was full of anger. I was oblivious to her feelings. I wanted out of that house, and have nothing to do with her. So I studied real hard, got a chance to go to
Singapore to study. Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. I had kids of my own. I was happy with my life, my kids and the comforts. Then one day, my mother came to visit me. She hadn’t seen me in years and she had not even met her grandchildren.
When she stood by the door, my children laughed at her, and I yelled at her for coming over uninvited. I screamed at her, “How dare you come to my house and scare my children!” GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!!!” And to this, my mother quietly answered, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address,” and she disappeared out of sight. One day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house in
Singapore. So I lied to my wife that I was going on a business trip.
After the reunion, I went to the old shack just out of curiosity. My neighbors said that she had died. I did not shed a single tear. They handed me letter that she had wanted me to have.

“My dearest son, I think of you all the time. I’m sorry that I came to
Singapore and scared your children. I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I may not be able to even get out of bed to see you. I’m sorry that I was a constant embarrassment to you when you were growing up. You see……… when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn’t stand watching you having to grow up with one eye. So I gave you mine. I was so proud of my son that was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye.
With my love to you, Your mum “

(How that boy must have felt and repented is anybody’s guess. Physical beauty no matter how great is so temporary, but inner beauty never fades.

Be proud of your parents for what they are and how much they do for you. They may not be there tomorrow when you wake up and realise their worth)