The Ebola Attack

Written By: Dr. Rizwan Khan (Georgia, USA)

Ebola means "black river", an ominous and befitting definition. It was discovered in 1976, in a small village in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following an outbreak. Under the microscope, you see a small thread-like worm, little indication to its devastating potential. How does Ebola survive in nature? It needs a host, an animal where it can sneakily reside, and most scientists believe that fruit bats serve this role for Ebola. Just like mosquitoes are "hosts" for malaria and dengue fever. These hosts are usually symptom-free and can introduce viruses to other animals, especially chimpanzees, monkeys and apes. Eventually this unwelcome visitor reached us, humans, through close contact with bodily secretions, blood or organs from these animals. the ebula2We are witnessing the largest Ebola outbreak in history. To date, Centre for Disease Control (CDC), USA estimates approximately 8947 cases and 4493 deaths. This current outbreak started December 2013, when unfortunate two year-old Emile became the first casualty, in the village Meliandou, Guinea. It spread through human contact and gradually added more victims. The pace picked up as cases appeared in neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone. Now the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates about 1000 people per week are getting infected, and could rise to 5000-10000 per week. One estimate by CDC has 1.4 million people infected by January. And that translates to over 500,000 deaths. The virus reached USA on September 20, 2014 when Thomas Duncan came to Dallas, Texas from Liberia, going through Brussels on a plane. Two healthcare workers taking care of Mr. Duncan subsequently contracted Ebola and more cases may emerge in USA. Mr. Duncan's story highlights some of the challenges in dealing with Ebola. The world is increasingly inter-connected, and viruses don't care about borders. Due to the virus' incubation period, a person could be symptom-free and pass through airport screening measures. These screening measures also rely on a person being honest about having contact with symptomatic Ebola sufferers. Healthcare workers need to have a high index of suspicion to diagnose "exotic diseases" like Ebola and have proper training for management. Even advanced nations, like USA, can be caught off-guard if they are not prepared. Ebola has a dramatic clinical course, usually lasting 6–10 days. Initial symptoms are “flu-like” with high fever, headache, muscle pain, and weakness. This can be followed by diarrhoea, vomitting, and unexplained bleeding or bruising. the ebula3In the end stage, severe bleeding leads to death from multi-organ failure and shock – literally “bleeding to death.” Initial symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola (known as its incubation period), but the average is 8 to 10 days. The people at highest risk for acquiring Ebola are those who travel to West Africa (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone), healthcare workers taking care of Ebola patients and family and friends coming in contact with Ebola patients. In humans, Ebola virus is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes, like nose, mouth, eyes) with infected blood or bodily fluids, objects like needles or syringes that have been contaminated with the virus, or have come in contact with infected animals. Unlike the flu, thankfully, Ebola is not airborne. It is imperative for healthcare workers to wear personal protective equipment as outlined by organizations such as the WHO or CDC including wearing gowns, gloves, protective eye wear, and facemask when coming in contact with a person under investigation for Ebola. Laboratory testing is available for Ebola virus. However, it is neither feasible nor good practice to test everyone for Ebola who comes to the hospital complaining of fever. There are several other more common illnesses that have symptoms similar to Ebola, such as the flu, malaria, and typhoid fever. When considering who to test, it is important to get a good travel history and exposure. It is also recommended to quarantine patients under investigation for Ebola to reduce risk of possible transmission. Public health officials should be notified immediately of any person who tests positive for Ebola for further guidance and public health surveillance purposes. The case fatality rate of Ebola in current outbreak ranges from 50-70%, which means for every 1000 people infected, over 500 will die. Although no effective treatment is currently available, experimental drugs and vaccines are under development. Recovery depends on good supportive care and patient's immune response. The following basic interventions, when used early, can significantly improve chances of survival; intravenous fluids and maintaining electrolytes (body salts), maintaining oxygen saturation, maintaining blood pressure, and treating other infections if they occur. Patients infected with Ebola may require large amounts of intravenous fluids as they get dehydrated from large volume diarrhoea and vomitting that they experience. To summarize, people infected with Ebola need to be caught early, treated aggressively and isolated appropriately. The international response to the outbreak has been slow and lacking in urgency until the virus reached outside Africa. Guinea officials notified WHO in March 22, 2014 about growing Ebola cases. WHO declared the outbreak a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern" on August 8, 2014. The following month, USA President Obama announced deployment of about 3000 military personnel to West Africa for setting up treatment clinics and training healthcare workers. The USA State Department advises against any non-essential travel to the affected regions. The idea of imposing a “travel ban” from affected region is controversial and current USA administration believes it could do more harm than good, as it could restrict movement of humanitarian aid workers and medical personnel. In addition, President Obama said, “If we institute a travel ban instead of the protocols that we've put in place now, history shows that there is a likelihood of increased avoidance.” It is felt that people may avoid getting screened, treated or quarantined properly. Stopping the outbreak in West Africa and having proper screening measures at airports is believed to be the best strategy. The impoverished African nations were no match for Ebola. These countries have deficient infrastructure, dysfunctional healthcare systems, low education rates, limited resources, poor sanitation and continual political unrest. In addition, there is widespread mistrust of authority, be it their own government or foreigners. Sounds familiar? Pakistan has similar conditions, although not quite as severe. The probability of Ebola reaching Pakistan is low. But recently, WHO representative in Pakistan, Dr. Michel Thieren, warned that due to recent spread and international travel, there is greater risk of Ebola reaching Pakistan. He suggested Pakistani government should take speedy precautionary measures and steps against the deadly disease. Advanced preparation is crucial to counter this difficult challenge. Even today, diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, polio, are proving to be formidable adversaries. Imagine trying to battle an illness never seen before in that country. Pakistan's Health Ministry issued an Ebola Virus Advisory on August 19, 2014 and a meeting was held on October 15, 2014 to develop an "emergency plan". Specific recommendations included: setting up "Ebola Counters" at airports, building temporary clinics and special isolation wards and monitoring military personnel returning from African nations be monitored for at least 21 days. These are encouraging steps, but more work needs to be done for enhancing awareness of Ebola and providing facts to counter potential misinformation or myths about the disease. For individuals, it is vital to wash hands with soap frequently and avoid close contact with suspected cases. Community burials need to be performed safely, as close contact with the body can lead to infection. Hospitals and clinics need to practice proper sanitation techniques. On a societal level, increasing awareness of the disease and community engagement is crucial. Misinformation and suspicious beliefs about the disease need to be addressed. If people believe Ebola is a "government conspiracy" or a "curse from higher beings", it will be harder to confront. For example, Dr. Cyril Broderick, wrote in a prominent Liberian newspaper, "Ebola virus is a genetically modified organism that was tested on Africans by aid agencies at behest of Western Governments." On national level, Health Ministry and relevant agencies need to develop a "Preparedness Plan" and provide adequate resources and support for local communities if needed. Government officials should enact legislation and regulation to support readiness efforts. Globally, WHO and related organizations are prepared to support and assist countries in formulating such a plan. Bottom line is: be prepared early, be informed and be ready to act. In conclusion, Ebola is a global matter, and similar diseases are likely to challenge us. Valuable insights can be gained from this outbreak to help develop prevention efforts. Pakistan must especially bolster its efforts, as consequences of not doing so are potentially devastating.

The writer is practicing at Saint Francis Hospital, Columbus, Georgia (USA).

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جام زادی

تحریر: ملک فداالرحمن

پاکستان اورصوبہ بلوچستان میںآگ بھڑکانے والے دشمنوں کے خلاف نبرد آزما ہونے کی خواہاں صوبہ بلوچستان کی ایک بیٹی کے حب الوطنی سے سرشار جذبوں کی کہانی

ہندوستان گزشتہ کچھ عرصے سے پاکستا ن کی توجہ کشمیر سے ہٹانے کے لئے پاکستان پر نفسیاتی دباؤ بڑھانے کی کوشش کر رہا ہے۔بلوچستان میں آرمی اور فرنٹیئرکور( ایف سی) کو مصروف رکھنے کے لئے مختلف حربے استعمال کئے جا رہے ہیں۔میں نے مسلسل چھ ماہ بلوچستان میں گزارنے، دیکھنے ، سمجھنے اور پرکھنے کے بعد یہ نتیجہ اخذ کیاکہ بلوچستان کے اندر سے اگر بھارتی مداخلت ختم ہو جائے تو وہاں کسی قسم کی شدت پسندی اور دہشت گردی کی کوئی واردات نہیں ہو سکتی۔اس بھارتی مداخلت کو ختم کرنے میں پاکستان کی انٹیلی جنس ایجنسیاں، ایف سی اور بلوچستان حکومت کافی حد تک کامیاب ہو چکی ہیں۔لیکن افغانستان اور ایران کے ساتھ ایک طویل اور غیر محفوظ بارڈر ہونے کی وجہ سے وہ کسی حد تک بلوچستان کی حدود میں داخل ہونے میں کامیاب ہو جاتے ہیں۔ اس کے باوجود اب اللہ کے فضل و کرم سے بلوچستان کے اندرونی حالات بھی اس ڈگر تک پہنچ چکے ہیں کہ دہشت گردوں کو وہاں چھپنے کی جگہ نہیں ملے گی۔بلوچستان میں بہت زیادہ بیداری آ چکی ہے۔خاص طور پر بلوچستان کی یوتھ یا طالب علموں کی قوت اس حد تک مضبوط ہو چکی ہے کہ وہ وطن کی محبت میں اب دہشت گردوں کے خلاف ہتھیار اٹھا کر خودسامنے آ جائیں گے۔وہاں سوائے چوروں کی طرح چھپ کر وار کرنے کے کوئی سازش کامیاب نہیں ہو سکتی۔ہندوستان نے بلوچستان میں اپنی ناکامی دیکھتے اور محسوس کرتے ہوئے مشرقی محاذ پر نئے ڈرامے شروع کر دئیے ہیں۔لیکن وہ1965ء کی طرح شاید اب بھی بھول رہے ہیں کہ وہ اس ملک کے ساتھ یا اس قوم کے ساتھ چھیڑ خانی کر رہے ہیں جو موت کو ہی اصل زندگی سمجھتے ہیں۔(شہید کی جو موت ہے وہ قوم کی حیات ہے) اور پھر ہندو جیسے کافر ملک یا مذہب کے لوگوں سے لڑ کر مرنا تو مسلمان کے لئے سب سے بڑا اعزاز ہوتا ہے۔ہندوستان کے جھوٹے پروپیگنڈے پر لوگ اس لئے کان نہیں دھرتے کہ ان کے لئے جھوٹ بولنا ایک فن ہے گناہ نہیں۔اس لئے اس کے پاس جھوٹ ایجاد کرنے اور جھوٹ بولنے کے لئے سربراہ حکومت نریندر مودی سمیت بہت بڑے بڑے فنکار ہیں۔ہندوستان اپنی چالوں اور سازشوں میں مسلسل ناکامی کے بعد یہ سمجھتا ہے کہ اس کی عوام کا مورال بہت زیادہ گرگیا ہے۔ اس لئے وہ اپنی ذہنی پستی کا مظاہرہ کرتے ہوئے جھوٹے پروپیگنڈے کرتا ہے کہ آج ہم نے فلاں آپریشن کیا ۔



 آج ہمارے ہیلی کاپٹر پاکستان میں یہ کارروائی کر کے واپس آگئے۔شاید وہ بھول گئے ہیں کہ اب پاکستانی قوم کا جذبہ 1965ء سے بھی کئی گنا زیادہ ہے۔بھارت کو چونڈہ میں ٹینکوں کا قبرستان تو یاد ہوگا۔کھیم کرن تک پاکستانی فوج کا قبضہ بھی یاد ہوگا۔اس ہندوستان کے ٹینکوں کے نیچے اپنے جسم کے ساتھ بم بارود باندھ کر لیٹنے والے صرف پاکستان فوج کے بہادر سپوت تھے لیکن خدا کی قسم اب اگر ایسا موقع آیا کہ ہندوستان کے ساتھ جنگی مقابلہ کرنا پڑا تو پاکستان کا ہر شخص بم ثابت ہو گا۔اور ہزاروں لوگ اپنے جسموں کے ساتھ بم وبارود باندھ کر ہندوستان میں گھس جائیں گے۔ہماری پاکستان کی خواتین بھی محاذوں پر جا کر ہندوستان کے خلاف بارود برسائیں گی۔اس کا عملی ثبوت مجھے کچھ دن پہلے ضلع کوہلو بلوچستان میں ایف سی کے سکول میں جا کر ملا ۔ بلوچستان میں جگہ جگہ ایف سی نے تعلیمی ادارے اور ہسپتال قائم کئے ہوئے ہیں ۔میں نے کوئٹہ سے واپسی پر ایک رات کے لئے کوہلو میں قیا م کیا اور صبح اٹھ کر بلوچستان کے تعلیمی اداروں کا معیار دیکھنے کے لئے کوہلو میں ایف سی کے سکول کا معائنہ کیا۔یہ سکول انٹرمیڈیٹ تک ہے۔وہاں کلاس میں بیٹھی فرسٹ ائیر کی ایک طالبہ سے میں نے پوچھا کہ تعلیم سے فارغ ہو کر مستقبل میں آپ کیا بننا چاہتی ہیں تو اس نے بغیر کسی جھجھک یا سوچ کے کہا کہ میں پاک فوج میں جانا چاہتی ہوں۔میں نے اگلا سوال کیا کہ کیا آپ میڈیکل کے شعبے میں جا کر آرمی ڈاکٹر بننا چاہتی ہیں ؟ تو اس نے پھر اپنے ترو تازہ چہرے پر مسکراہٹ بکھیرتے ہوئے کہا نہیں میں ریگولر فائٹر آرمی میں جانا چاہتی ہوں۔میں پاکستان اور بلوچستان میں آگ بھڑکانے والے دشمنوں کے ساتھ دوبدو جا کر لڑنا چاہتی ہوں۔میں اپنے ہاتھ ملک دشمنوں کے خون سے رنگنا چاہتی ہوں۔میں نے اپنے ہاتھوں پر کبھی عید یا شادی کے موقع پر بھی مہندی نہیں لگائی۔میری خواہش ہے کہ میں اپنے ہاتھوں کو ملک دشمنوں، دہشت گردوں اور شدت پسندوں کے خون سے سرخ کروں۔اس کے ساتھ ہی اس کی آنکھوں میں آنسو آ گئے۔اور کہنے لگی کہ میں ایک غریب باپ کی بیٹی ہوں ۔ میٹرک میں، میں نے 80فیصد سے زیادہ نمبر حاصل کئے۔سائنس کی طالبہ ہوں۔

اس نے پھر اپنے ترو تازہ چہرے پر مسکراہٹ بکھیرتے ہوئے کہا نہیں میں ریگولراور فائٹر آرمی میں جانا چاہتی ہوں۔میں پاکستان اور بلوچستان میں آگ بھڑکانے والے دشمنوں کے ساتھ دوبدو جا کر لڑنا چاہتی ہوں۔میں اپنے ہاتھ ملک دشمنوں کے خون سے رنگنا چاہتی ہوں۔میں نے اپنے ہاتھوں پر کبھی عید یا شادی کے موقع پر بھی مہندی نہیں لگائی۔میری خواہش ہے کہ میں اپنے ہاتھوں کو ملک دشمنوں ، دہشت گردوں اور شدت پسندوں کے خون سے سرخ کروں۔اس کے ساتھ ہی اس کی آنکھوں میں آنسو آ گئے۔اور کہنے لگی کہ میں ایک غریب باپ کی بیٹی ہوں ۔


آپ میرے لئے دعا کریں کہ میری پاک فوج میں سلیکشن ہو جائے۔ میرے اندر پاکستان اور بلوچستان کے دشمنوں کے خلاف آگ کے شعلے بھڑک رہے ہیں۔ دہشت گردوں اور ہندوستان کے ایجنٹوں نے ہمارا بہت نقصان کیا ہے۔میرا چونکہ ایف سی سکول کا اچانک اور بغیر اطلاع کے دورہ تھا اور پھر پوری کلاس میں کسی کو یہ بھی معلوم نہیں تھا کہ میں کس سے کیا سوال کروں گا۔ کلاس روم کے بالکل درمیان میں بیٹھی ہوئی لڑکی کے یہ جذبات سن کر میری اپنی آنکھوں میں خوشی کے آنسو آ گئے کہ جس ملک کی نوجوان نسل اور خاص کر طالبات اس جذبے سے سرشار ہوں تو اس ملک کو کوئی نقصان نہیں پہنچا سکتا۔اس موقع پر مجھے سکول کی پرنسپل محترمہ مرینہ امجد کو بھی داددینی پڑی جنہوں نے اپنے سکول کے بچوں کی اس خوبصورتی، دلیری اور جرأت مندی سے تربیت کی۔ پورے کالم میں اس طالبہ کا نام اور تعارف لکھنا بھول گیا لیکن اس کو لکھنا اس لئے ضروری سمجھتا ہوں کہ جن حالات میں رہ کر وہ بچی تعلیم حاصل کر ررہی ہے وہ اپنی جگہ قابلِ فخر بات ہے۔ بچی کا نام جام زادی اور والد کا نام شمین خان ہے۔وہ سات بہن بھائی ہیں ۔ سب سے بڑی جام زادی ہے اور اس کے والد کی تنخواہ صرف 8000روپے ماہوار ہے۔ایسے حالات میں ان جگہوں پر ایسی معیاری تعلیم دینا ایف سی بلوچستان کا بہت بڑا کارنامہ ہے۔میں امید رکھتا ہوں ایف ایس سی کے بعد بھی اعلیٰ تعلیم کے لئے ایف سی اس کے اخراجات کا ذمہ اٹھائے رکھے گی۔کیونکہ اس سے پہلے سیکڑوں ایسے بچے ایف سی کے خرچ پر پاکستان کے اعلیٰ ترین تعلیمی اداروں اور یونیورسٹیوں میں تعلیم حاصل کر رہے ہیں۔بھارت کی گیدڑ بھبکیوں سے میرا دھیان اس بچی‘ جام زادی‘ کی طرف چلا گیا۔ مشکل وقت آنے پر پاکستان کی ہر بیٹی جام زادی جیسے جذبات لے کر سامنے آئے گی۔


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کینیڈا میں ایک دلکش سفر

تحریر: ڈاکٹر ہما میر

کینیڈا میں موسم سرد ہوگیا ہے‘ ہیٹر جل رہے ہیں‘ لوگ گرم کوٹ پہنے اونی مفلر لپیٹے نظر آتے ہیں۔ ایسے میں جب مینہ برستا ہے تو ہوا میں خنکی بڑھ جاتی ہے۔
پچھلے دنوں میرا ایک ہفتے کے لئے ایڈمنٹن جانے کا اتفاق ہوا۔ یہ شہر صوبہ البرٹا میں واقع ہے اور وہاں کا صوبائی دارالحکومت ہے۔ ونکوور سے ایڈمنٹن بائی روڈ بارہ گھنٹے کا سفر ہے۔ پہلے تو میں اتنی طویل مسافت کا سن کر پریشان ہوگئی مگر دوستوں نے بتایا کہ یہاں بائی روڈ سفر سہل ہے‘ خوبصورت اور دلکش مناظر راستے میں دل لبھاتے ہیں۔ سڑکیں کشادہ ہیں۔ دورانِ سفرپٹرول بھروانے‘ کافی پینے‘ یا واش روم جانے کی تکلیف نہیں ہوتی کیونکہ ہرتھوڑی تھوڑی دور جاکے گیس اسٹیشن‘ کیفے اور دیگر سہولیات دستیاب ہیں۔ اگرچہ میں اس سے قبل
بائی روڈ جا چکی ہوں جو ونکوور سے چار گھنٹے کی ڈرائیو ہے مگر 12 گھنٹے کا سن کر مجھے پسینہ ہی آگیا تھا۔ میں سوچ رہی تھی لمبے سفر میں بیٹھے رہو تو کمر دُکھنے لگتی ہے‘ پاؤں سوج جاتے ہیں‘ بوریت ہوجاتی ہے۔ مگر صاحبو میرے تمام خدشات غلط ثابت ہوئے بارہ گھنٹے کی ڈرائیو بہت شاندار رہی۔ ہم تین لوگ تھے‘ گاڑی ہمارے پاس بڑی تھی جیسے پاکستان میں پراڈو ہوتی ہے۔ طے یہ پایا کہ ڈرائیونگ کی باری لگے گی‘ تین چار گھنٹے کے بعد ڈرائیونگ سیٹ دوسرا شخص سنبھالے گا۔ پہلے سوچا علی الصبح سفر پہ نکلا جائے تاکہ شام تک منزلِ مقصود تک پہنچ جائیں۔ مگر پھر فیصلہ ہوا کہ آرام سے نیند پوری کرکے اٹھیں اور پھر روانہ ہوں۔ اس آرام کے چکر میں دوپہر ہوگئی۔ پھر سوچا لنچ کرلیں تو چلیں‘ چنانچہ نکلتے نکلتے ہمیں تین‘ ساڑھے تین بج گئے۔ سفر شروع ہوا‘ راستے بھر کھیت‘ پہاڑ‘ جھیلیں دیکھتے رہے۔ جی کرتا تھا گاڑی سے اُتر کر یہیں پکنک منانا شروع کردیں۔ مویشی نظر آئے جو گھاس چر رہے تھے۔ کہیں کہیں میں نے دیکھا بھوسے کی جیسی گول ڈھیریاں پڑی تھیں۔ معلوم ہوا یہ خاص گھاس ہے جسے مشین سے کاٹ کے مشین کے ذریعے ہی لپیٹ دیا گیا ہے‘ اس کو جانوروں کے چارے کے طور استعمال کیا جائے گا۔ بہت سے لوگوں کا ذریعہ معاش یہی چارا ہوتا ہے جسے بیچ کے وہ گزر بسر کرتے ہیں۔ ہماری گاڑی فراٹے بھرتی چلی جارہی تھی۔ شام ہونے لگی تو میں نے پیشکش کی کہ اندھیرا پھیلنے سے پہلے میں گاڑی چلالیتی ہوں۔ ہمارے دوستوں نے کہا کہ چونکہ آپ نے پہلے ہائی وے پر اتنی سپیڈ پہ گاڑی نہیں چلائی اور ویسے بھی بارش کی وجہ سے سڑک پر پھسلن ہے لہٰذا آپ آرام سے بیٹھیں نظارے کریں۔ ایک غلطی ہم سے یہ ہوئی کہ کوئی گانوں کی سی ڈی گاڑی میں نہیں رکھی لہٰذا موسیقی کی کمی محسوس ہو رہی تھی‘ اس کا حل یہ نکالا کہ خود ہی گانے کا مظاہرہ کیا۔ بہت لطف آیا‘ کوئی پنجابی گیت‘ کوئی غزل‘ کوئی درد بھرا گیت‘ گاتے رہے۔ حلق خشک ہوا تو راستے میں رُکنے کا سوچا‘ مگر چونکہ
پہنچنے والے تھے تو سوچا اب وہیں رُکیں گے۔
پہنچے‘ ایک دیسی ریسٹورنٹ میں کھانا کھایا‘ کھانا اچھا تھا۔ کھانے کے بعدمصالحہ چائے منگوائی جو بے حد بے ذائقہ تھی۔ سوچا چائے راستے سے پی لیں گے۔ چائے کا یہاں مسئلہ ہے۔ یہاں دیسی ریسٹورنٹ میں تو اچھی کڑک ہمارے انداز کی چائے ملتی ہے مگر باقی جگہوں پر پیپر کپ میں ایک ٹی بیگ ڈال دیتے ہیں جس میں نہ رنگ ہوتا ہے نہ خوشبو‘ اوپر سے دودھ ڈالو تو چائے سفید ہو جاتی ہے اس لئے لوگ کافی زیادہ پیتے ہیں۔
سے نکلے تو اندھیرا پھیل چکا تھا‘ کھانا کھاچکے تھے نیند کا غلبہ ہو رہا تھا‘ مگر سویا نہیں جارہا تھا سمجھئے اونگھ آرہی تھی۔ مجھے خوف ہوا کہ رات کی تاریکی میں سفر مناسب ہوگا یا نہیں۔ مگر معلوم ہوا کہ کینیڈا میں چور ڈاکو کا تصور موجود نہیں‘ رات کو ہائی وے پہ اطمینان سے سفر کریں کوئی بندوق بردار کہیں قریبی جھاڑی سے نمودار نہیں ہوگا۔


candamaminaik.jpgکینیڈا کی حکومت لوگوں کی جان و مال کی محافظ ہے۔ یہاں جنگلوں‘ بیابانوں میں لوگ ایک چھوٹے سے گھر میں رہتے ہیں جہاں میلوں تک آبادی نہیں ہوتی مگر نہ تو کوئی واردات ہوتی ہے نہ لُٹیرے آتے ہیں۔ پھر سب سے بڑی بات یہ ہے کہ بھلے آپ جنگل میں رہتے ہوں جہاں سوائے آپ کے دُور دُور تک کچھ نہ ہو پھر بھی وہاںآپ کو بجلی‘ پانی‘ گیس‘ فون اور کیبل سب سہولیات میسر ہوتی ہیں۔ چھوٹے سے چھوٹے قصبے میں مارکیٹیں ہیں جہاں وہی دکانیں اور اسٹور ہیں جو بڑے شہروں میں ہیں۔ یہ ایک اچھی بات ہے‘ سکول ہوں یا بازار‘ امن وامان ہو یا ضروریاتِ زندگی کی اشیا‘ حکومتِ کینیڈا لوگوں کا خیال رکھتی ہے‘ اُن کے ٹیکس کے پیسے کو انہیں کے کام میں لاتی ہے۔ اب ہائی وے پر ہی دیکھیئے کہ سڑک پر اسٹریٹ لائٹیں نہیں مگر سڑک پر ایسی پٹیاں یا دھاریاں پینٹ کی گئی ہیں جو گاڑی کی لائٹ پڑنے سے اندھیرے میں چمکتی ہیں جس سے سڑک روشن نظر آتی ہے‘ اسی طرح سڑک کے کنارے ایسے
ہیں جو بلب کی طرح چمکتے ہیں۔ ایک اور کمال یہ ہے کہ دو طرفہ سڑک کو تقسیم کرنے والی اور اطراف کی چمکدار پٹی پہ سڑک کی سطح کچھ ایسی گراری دار ہے کہ اگر گاڑی چلاتے ہوئے ڈرائیور کی آنکھ لگ جائے یا بے خیال میں گاڑی ٹریک سے باہر جانے لگے تو اس ناہموار پٹی پر ٹائر کی رگڑ سے زور دار آواز پیدا ہوتی ہے جس سے ڈرائیور فوراً ہوشیار ہوجاتا ہے۔
ہمارا سفر جاری تھا‘ بارش تھمنے کا نام ہی نہیں لے رہی تھی‘ راستے سے ہم پٹرول ڈالواتے‘ کافی پیتے چلے جارہے تھے۔ یہاں پٹرول کو گیس کہتے ہیں، عموماً ہر گیس اسٹیشن پر سٹور ہوتا ہے جہاں سے ضرورت کی چیزیں مل جاتی ہیں‘ صاف ستھرے واش روم ہوتے ہیں‘ یہ سب 24 گھنٹے کھلے رہتے ہیں۔ رات کو دو بجے تھے‘ ہم سفر میں تھے‘ میں نے غور کیا گاڑی کی سپیڈ زیادہ نہیں تھی۔ وجہ پوچھی تو بتایا گیا کہ رفتار کی حد جو سڑک کے کنارے لکھی ہے اسی پر گاڑی چلانی ہوگی ورنہ چالان ہوسکتا ہے۔ مجھے بڑی ہنسی آئی کہ بیابان میں کوئی چالان کرے گا مگر میری حیرت کہ اس وقت انتہا نہ رہی جب میں نے دیکھا کہ راستے میں پولیس کی گاڑی کونے میں کھڑی اپنے فرائض ادا کرنے کے لئے موجود ہے۔
بارہ گھنٹے کا سفر کیسے طے ہوا پتہ ہی نہیں چلا‘ ایڈمنٹن پہنچے تو صبح ہو رہی تھی۔ یہاں کا ٹائم ونکوور سے آگے ہے سفر کی تھکن کے باعث نیند بھرپور آئی۔
صبح اٹھے تو گھومنے کا پروگرام بنایا۔ ہمارے پاس تفریح کے لئے ایک ہی دن تھا کیونکہ اس کے بعد
شروع ہونی تھی۔ یہ
کیا ہے۔ اس کا ذکر بعد میں‘ پہلے ایڈمنٹن شہر کے بارے میں بتا دوں‘ یہ البرٹا کا صوبائی دارالخلافہ ہے‘ یہاں تیل کے ذخائر اور ہیرے کی کانیں ہیں۔ یہاں سردی زیادہ پڑتی ہے‘ گرمیوں میں زیادہ سے زیادہ درجہ حرارت17ڈگری سینٹی گریڈ پر رہتا ہے‘ جبکہ سردیوں میں درجہ حرارت منفی میں ہوتاہے۔ برفباری خوب ہوتی ہے۔1972 میں یہاں درجہ حرات منفی 48.3 سینٹی گریڈ تک گرگیا تھا۔ بس اس سے آپ اندازہ لگا لیں کہ یہاں کتنی ٹھنڈ پڑتی ہے۔
یہاں کا سب سے بڑا شاپنگ مال
West Edmonton Mall
ہے جو شمالی امریکا کا سب سے بڑا اور دنیا کا دسواں بڑا مال ہے اور لوگوں کی دلچسپی و تفریح کا سامان خوب ہے۔
مال میں ہم گھومے پھرے‘ شام میں شہر میں گاڑی دوڑاتے رہے‘ یہاں سڑکیں خاصی چوڑی چوڑی ہیں۔ مکانات بھی بڑے بڑے ہیں‘ اچھا خاصا خوبصورت شہر ہے مگر ونکوور جیسی ہریالی نہیں۔ ونکوور میں تو سمندر بھی ہے اور دریا بھی‘ جھیلیں بھی ہیں اور آبشاریں بھی‘ سبزہ بھی ہے اور کھیت بھی‘ موسم نہایت معتدل۔ اس کے مقابلے میں ایڈمنٹن میں شدید سردی پڑتی ہے‘ یہاں بھی دریا ہے‘ جھیل ہے‘ سب سے بڑی بات یہ ہے کہ یہاں تیل نکلتا ہے‘ لہٰذا یہاں کی اکانومی مستحکم ہے۔ پیسا کمانا ہو تو یہ صوبہ یعنی البرٹا لاجواب ہے۔ قدرت کے حسین نظارے دیکھنا ہوں تو صوبہ برٹش کولمبیاسب سے بہترین ہے اور مجھے خوشی ہے کہ کینیڈا میں میرا قیام بھی برٹش کولمبیا ہی میں ہے۔

مصنفہ ‘ مشہور ادا کارہ‘ کمپیئر اوردو کتابوں کی مصنفہ ہیں۔

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Contours of Knowledge at the Dawn of Third Millennium

Written By: Dr. Gulfaraz Ahmed

Human knowledge and human intellect have been building progressively during the course of human history. Intellect grows in the very act of living. It builds through cognitive processes of observation, reflection, deduction, induction, perception and finally the expression. The cumulative potential of human intellect is a function of time and is ingrained progressively in the genetic heritage. The intellect can be converted into achieved intelligence through conscious processes of learning. It is the achieved intelligence that contributes to the body of knowledge and makes a positive impact on life. Growth in the body of knowledge is a product of an unending human quest for learning. Let us start with the beginning of the time! According to the cosmic theory the universe began with a singular explosion about 14 billion years ago. It was followed by a burst of inflationary expansion, consequential cooling and phase transitions allowing the formation of stars and galaxies. Understanding of inflation still requires breakthroughs in quantum physics and quantum gravity. Another conundrum is the breaking of the symmetry between the matter and the anti-matter. The Big Bang almost certainly produced equal amounts of matter and anti-matter, but the universe now contains no anti-matter. How did the symmetry break, is a question mark challenging the scientists. Our solar system including the earth was formed some 10 billion years thereafter from the dust of an exploding star. Through a miraculous series of coincidences and developments, the life evolved on Earth when a few complex chemical molecules in the primordial soup replicated themselves. Replication of a single cell still remains the starting as well as the crowning phenomenon of life. Over the following three billion years to the present times, the life continued to evolve by replication and mutation growing in complexity, richness and biodiversity. The largest mammals, some of them weighing up to 60 tons, called Dinosaurs lived for 150 million years over the entire globe but disappeared mysteriously nearly at once some 65 million years back. In comparison, the development of the modern man started only about 2 million years ago, long after the extinction of the dinosaurs. Originating from Africa, our earlier ancestors fanned out wave after wave over the entire planet. In 1935 some archeological discoveries were made from Riwat, which is located at about 20 km south of Islamabad. These finds then dated back to 1.6 million years and were considered anomalous and cast aside as the whole history of modern man at that time was considered to be no more than half a million years. Later research then established the evolution history of the modern man to be spread over two million years and Riwat discoveries provided the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle. Scientific American of April 1997 has a detailed article on the evolution history that displays a map with Riwat shown prominently in the centre. There has thus been an unbroken chain of prehistoric human activity in this part of the world building the cumulative intellect. The first breakthrough in the biological development of man came when he stood up and started walking upright some 750,000 years back. This greatly improved his field of view and freed his hands, which brought about a quantum leap in the cognitive processes of learning. With his hands freed, he started crafting tools to cut meat and break bones for marrow using stones and later the stone tools. The Stone Age lasted from 750,000 to 10,000 years BC. The Bronze Age followed the Stone Age from 10,000 to 3000 years BC witnessing improved quality of bronze tools and implements with growing skills. Use of iron about 3000 years ago brought about the Iron Age spanning from 1000 years BC relatively recently to 1500 years AD bringing about versatile tools and skills. Modern Age, as it is known in history, started after the Iron Age i.e. from 1500 years AD. Human life has transformed more substantially in the following 500 years from 1500 to 2000 than in the entire history preceding 1500 AD. Three Milestones: I will map three milestone events that created quantum leaps for mankind on earth: The First Milestone took place when man invented plough and tamed animals to pull it some 10,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. This changed forever the way man lived as he started settling around fertile land leading to urbanization, socialization and culturization. This set in motion what the history called as the First Agricultural Revolution. It was later boosted by the Muslims from 8th to 13th Centuries with the infusion of new crops and techniques. The Europeans gave it a further boost, when they introduced a stronger and fast-gaited horse that could pull heavier plough digging deeper during the 16th to 18th Century. It improved food production and freed mankind from the pressure of subsistence allowing more time for creativity and innovation. The Second Milestone occurred when man invented engine and discovered fuel to run it. The steam engine was developed in the 18th century and the internal combustion engine came about in the second half of the 19th century around 1860. This brought about the Industrial Revolution that we are still going through. In fact countries like Pakistan are far from being industrialized and only a small number of countries called Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have achieved the benefits of industrialization so far. This revolution has boosted the means and scale of production and greatly reduced the cost of manufactured goods. The Third Milestone took place in the last 60 years or so, when man invented computer and found networking for sharing information. This is setting in motion what is commonly known as the Information Revolution and we are living through its ushering bounties. Next generation computers will use the infinitely large bandwidth of photons for storage and processing of information exploiting the 1980's Theory of Entanglement of particles. These computers will be faster, more efficient and secure by a quantum jump. Taking another look at the three milestones, the first made a call on 'Muscle Power'; the second on 'Mind-Muscle Coordination'; and the third on pure 'Mental Skills.' See the progression from muscle power to brain skills. This has brought about a revolution of social kind as the mental skills are accessible equally to men and women. By placing the superior attributes of mind at play, nature has brought about the ultimate egalitarian equality between the two genders. Using the animal muscle power increased means of productivity; using mechanical power gave man sovereignty over production; but the third milestone is bringing about in its wake a paradigm change. It is a leap from the Mechanical Power to the Brain Power, which has an unlimited capacity, potential and promise. Second Millennium: I shall briefly map for you the closing year of the First Millennium and salient events of the Second Millennium that have shaped the start of the Third Millennium: 1000 AD: The year 1000 AD marking the end of the First Millennium was characterized by the empires of Islam with caliphs in Cairo, Cordoba and Baghdad. Dhinar was a common currency from Spain to Lahore. Slaves from Asia, Europe and Africa laboured in the mines, cities, armies and harems from Cadiz to Samarkand. Meanwhile Europe was still limping out of the Dark Age and the present time Americas were not yet on the world map. Center of the World (COW) was Baghdad and rival COWs were Constantinople in the Byzantine Empire and Kifeng in Song Dynasty China. The population of the world was only 300 million less than that of the present-time USA. 1500 AD: Let us take a look at the middle of the Second Millennium i.e. Year 1500 AD, which is a watershed and marks the beginning of the Modern Age. The rich empires are of Ming Dynasty of China and the “Sultanat-e-Osmania” known in the West as Ottoman Empire. The Centre of the World was Constantinople with the preponderant wealth and military power of the Sultanate. The rival Centres of the World were Beijing, the capital of Ming Dynasty China and Florence, the epicentre of the Renaissance which started the revolution of knowledge. The world population increased to 480 million, nearly equal to the present-time European Union. Looking at the 15th century that culminated at 1500 AD, there were a number of developments that would continue to impact the later course of human history: The invention of printing press in Germany by Gutenberg in 1453 created an information revolution of an earlier kind. The Sultanate-e-Osmania conquered the Byzantine Empire, annexed Anatolia, and shifted its capital to Constantinople which they called Istanbul. Having full control of the land routes to the East, the Turks cut off the trade routes of the Europeans. This compelled Portugal and Spain to attempt alternate routes over waters and the Europeans took to the seas. This would lead to the sea faring trading nations to colonize the world and one or the other European power ruled most parts of the world. I may add that the history repeated itself when the British denied Turks the trading routes to the Middle East in the following century. The Renaissance movement stimulated interest in arts and sciences and stoked a revolution of knowledge in Europe. The Religious Reformation movement liberated knowledge from the clutches of the Christian dogma and loosened the tight hold of the central Church in Rome. Americas were discovered that would have great impact on complexion of the world in time to come. The 16th Century was marked by the grand expansion by the Sultanate-e-Osmania in all directions. In Europe this century was a century of arts with masters like Shakespeare, Micheal Angelo, Leonardo, and Rafael. Shakespeare is regarded as the Man of the Century. The Polish mathematician and astronomer Copernicus published a book on “The Revolution of Heavenly Bodies” in 1543, introducing a paradigm change to helio-centred universe instead of the earth-centred. He died the following year, before Church could move against his, so called, heretic idea. The 17th Century was clearly the century of science with scientists like Descartes, Newton, Leibniz (Laibnits), and Galileo. Newton would be the Man of that Century. It is said that the first Newton who ever learnt to sign his name changed the world for ever. The Century of Science was preceded by numerous sacrifices by scientific scholars trying to liberate the mind from the dogmatic hold of the Church and looming fear of heresy inquisitions. Lynching of Giordano Bruno and indictment of Galileo through inquisition for heretic views in the early part of the 17th Century are just cases of the many who sacrificed for contributing to knowledge. The 18th Century was the century of statecraft with the American Charter of Independence of 1776, French Revolution of 1780s and awareness of human rights dominating the later part of the Century. Euler, Gauss, Francis Bacon, Samuel Johnson are just a few among numerous names who progressed knowledge to new heights. Gabriel Fahrenheit developed mercury thermometer, Benjamin Franklin light bulb, James Hargreaves spinning jenny, James Watt improved steam engine, Edward Jenners developed small pox vaccine and Alessandro Volta gave the battery to mention just a few. The 19th Century was the century of machine tools and assembly lines speeding up the manufacture of consumer goods. It was the pace of technological inventions that ushered in the Industrial Revolution. Scientific knowledge extended during the 17th and 18th Centuries provided a large reservoir of knowledge and the where-withal to start converting it into usable technology – a trend that would continue to grow stronger in time to come. I will single out 'The Dynamic Theory of the Electromagnetic Field” by Maxwell in 1864 in which he had showed that light was an electromagnetic phenomenon. He provided a mathematical model of eight equations that are invaluable in electromagnetic wave theory. The Century gave birth to professional scientists; and internal combustion engine, light bulb, telephone, typewriter, sewing machine and movie camera came off age during the century. Year 1900 Pax Britannica: Let us take a snapshot of the year 1900 that is called Pax Britannica as Britain rules an empire where sun does not set and West European powers rule almost every other part of the world. Knowledge has turned into power to rule the world. North America is emerging as an industrial power with vast resource base and growth in knowledge and technology. Centre of the world was London and rival centres were Berlin and San Francisco and the world population increased to 1065 million but still less than the population of the present time India. Year 2000 Pax Electronica: The conclusion of the Second Millennium was marked by decolonization and freedom movements as more than 200 independent countries emerged on the political map of the world. Internet is now the medium of emperium as electronic democracy links even the tyrannies with increasing World Wide Web. The power of chip doubles and cost halves every 18 months known as the Moore's Law. New 'Have-Nots' are not the age-old poor of the wealth but the new poor of the knowledge. The paradigm of poverty/wealth has changed and become equitably egalitarian: wealth historically remained concentrated and restricted, knowledge is prolific and accessible. The Centre of the world is New York and rival centres are Silicon Valley, (California), and Shanghai (China). The world population is 6000 millions: staring, daunting and threatening! Time Magazine's Person of the 20th Century: Let us look with some focus at the 20th Century that passed just 13 years ago. Three themes stand out characterizing the past Century. First Theme: Impact on freedom and democracy and the finalist for this theme as Man of Century was Franklin Roosevelt. Bill Clinton, then reigning President of the USA, wrote his citation. Second Theme: Impact on human rights and the finalist for this theme was Mohandas Gandhi for his non-violent struggle and Nelson Mandela wrote the citation. Third Theme: Impact on science and technology and the finalist is Albert Einstein and citation was written by the crippled giant of a physicist Mr. Stephan Hawking. He is now in early 70s, but after he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease at age 21, his body would be less every day but his mind grew every moment. Time Magazine's Man of the 20th Century: The third theme was adjudged to be the most pervasive in its effects upon life and Albert Einstein was chosen as The Man of the 20th Century. The amount of technological progress made in the last century far outstrips all that was made since modern man first appeared on this planet. It took centuries for the wheel, the spear, the bow and arrow, paper etc. to become commonplace. But since Samuel Morse sent the first modern telegram in 1844, we have seen the light bulb, cars, the telephone, the atomic bomb, jets, radio, television, transistors, rockets, penicillin, hydrogen bomb, optic fibre, laser, mobile phone, video recorder, integrated circuits, space travel, digital computers, gene splicing, nanotechnology, and the internet change the complexion of life with break-neck speed never seen before in the history of the civilisation. It is the World Wide Web connectivity that is making it possible to find new solutions through breakthroughs in technology. It is time consuming to go over the list of major inventions or development during the last century. Dominant Models of the Physical Visualization of the Universe: Another aspect of knowledge I would like to map is the Dominant Models of the Physical Visualization of the Universe. Every civilization since the start of pre-history had some conception describing the physical reality of the universe. contours of knoledge1There has long been a quest to find the ultimate model but as the knowledge improved so did the models. It is of course a reality of its own that even the improved models posed as much of mystery as did the older ones. Of recent history, there have been four notable ones: Aristotle Model: A pre Christian-era conception of the Greek heritage of a geocentric universe with concentric spheres of heavenly bodies around the earth obeying the hierarchical order to clockwork perfection. An important spin-off of this model of the universe was the social order with divine rights and powers with the king and structured and stratified society down to the lowliest of serfs. Human liberty and therefore the dignity could be found only within the upper stratum. Newton Model: A 16th Century Model of a non-hierarchical universe with all heavenly bodies and earth obeying the same laws of physics. Modern cosmology is built on Newton's edifice. This liberated the universe of the hierarchical order and brought about an egalitarian/democratic social system based on liberation and equality, the two attributes that give grace to humanity. Einstein Model Old: The 20th Century Model of Einstein, through his theories of Special and General Relativity, Gravitational and Quantum Mechanics, conceptualized the universe as space-time warp explaining the illusive origin of gravity. He linked mass and energy interchangeably by his epoch changing famous equation of E equals M times C2. The social spin-off of this model of the universe is the Chaos Theory linked with the unpredictability of the future contrasting with the predictability of the clockwork universe of the earlier model. The original mathematical model of General Relativity showed the universe expanding, which Einstein had fudged to a static universe for general acceptability by introducing a Cosmological Constant. He was, however, proven wrong by experimental evidence in 1929 produced by Hubble that showed that the universe was expanding. Einstein Model New: It has now been established since 1998 that universe is not only expanding but expanding at an increasing rate and this is what the original equation of General Relativity had meant till Einstein had fudged it with the Cosmological Constant. That is why even the New Model is known by his name. It has also been established as of now that there is no more than 20% mass in the universe needed to stop the expansion and/or start the contraction. This means that the universe will expand away into infinite nothingness in umpteen billions of years. This has also given rise to a fifth force called force of antigravity or vacuum which is causing the acceleration in the expansion of the universe. There are big gaps in the understanding of the universe. It is now known that the universe has 5% of the normal visible matter and 95% is the strange, invisible dark matter and dark energy which still is a mystery. Dark matter is perhaps the heavy particles produced in the earliest moments after the Big Bang.

21st Century:

Coming to the beginning of the 21st Century, a number of important breakthroughs in genetic science, biology and embryology indicate that there is about to usher a 'Genetic Revolution' of some kind. Of history making significance is the so called cloning of the sheep Dolly in 1996. It would be an understatement to consider it just the cloning of a mammal. Cloning is producing multiple and identical issues from the only natural building block of a fertilized egg which till then was the one and only the natural building block of life whether human, animal or plants. Dolly was not produced from the natural building block but developed from an unfertilized and differentiated adult cell of the mammary gland of a female sheep with no role of a male sheep. It mimics quasi-creation and points to unprecedented breakthroughs in biology. Higgs Particle or God Particle as it came to be called is more precisely Higgs boson. At long last the illusive particle was identified and verified by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN on March 14, 2013. This collider is the largest and most powerful that stated operations in September 2008. It is constantly smashing numerous protons accelerated close to the speed of light every second to unravel the secrets of the universe. The super acceleration is achieved by superconducting magnets without dissipating any energy into heating by operating at – 271.3 C, just close to the absolute zero. The discovery of the Higgs Particle has led to a profound understanding of the fundamental particles and the physical laws that govern the matter, energy, space and time and completes the Standard Model to its perfection. Higgs boson provides the mechanism by which matter got its mass in the universe. Another development that also took place last year relates to the toughest proof yet of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity which had predicted that a close binary stars system of intense gravity will radiate gravitational energy in the form of ripples in space-time called Gravitational Waves. The existence of Gravitational Waves had not ever been detected till last year. Recently discovered, about 7,000 light-years from Earth, is an exceptionally massive binary system with a neutron star that spins around 25 times a second, also called a Pulsar, which is orbited by a compact white dwarf star. The gravity of this binary system is so intense that it offered an unprecedented testing ground for theories of gravity. The neutron star is twice as massive as the Sun but super compressed into a minuscule space of only 19 km wide. On the surface of this star, gravity is 300 billion times stronger than on the surface of the Earth, by comparison gravity on earth is only 6 times larger than that on the Moon. General Relativity had predicted a change in the orbital time of a binary star system when it loses energy in the form of Gravitational Waves. Precise measurements last year showed a change in the orbital period of 8 millionth of a second per year – exactly what Einstein's theory predicts. So far this theory has passed every test in the last 100 years. Scientists know that General Relativity proposed by Albert Einstein in 1915 isn't the complete story. While it does very well describing large, massive systems, it's incompatible with quantum mechanics, which governs the physics of the very small. For something extremely small, yet extremely massive – such as a black hole – the two theories i.e. General Relativity and the Quantum Physics contradict each other, and scientists are left without a physical description or a mathematical handle on the physics of the Black Holes. This is the reason for the search for integrating the gravity physics with the non-gravity physics by a 'Theory of Everything'. The new development of the Modern String Theory posits 11 dimensions: one dimension of time, three dimensions of space relating to the macro world and seven undiscovered dimensions of space that would relate to the quantum world. If the extra dimensions are discovered the String Theory could reshape the Einstein's concept of gravity. At the most fundamental level, all forces (i.e. strong, weak, electromagnetic, gravity and force of anti-gravity or of vacuum) and particles in the universe may be related and all the forces might be manifestations of a single grand unified force realizing Einstein's dream. The Man of the 20th Century had disagreed with the Copenhagen Model of Quantum Mechanics and rejected the theory of entanglement by calling it the “Spooky action at a distance”. The theory had predicted that a pair or multiple entangled particles interact instantly at superluminal speed following the theory of Non Locality and behave in identical manner even if separated in space by long distances. The Theory of Entanglement was then experimentally proved in 1982 by a French Physicist Alain Aspect, well after Einstein's death in 1955. This has led to the breakthroughs of quantum information, quantum computation and quantum cryptography which are at the heart of photon based new breed of computers under development. Quantum theory is unlike classical physics, it is characterized by probability as against the certainty of the classical physics. Take for example the Heisenberg's Principle of Uncertainty which posits that all quantum particles in a closed space have an equal probability of being everywhere at the same time, but that is what led to the development of the television. Or the Principle of Duality that quantum particles are particles and waves at the same time or the conundrum that for a quantum particle you cannot precisely measure its location and momentum, if one is measured precisely the very act of observation adds an error in the measurement of the other. Since precise measurement is not possible the Quantum theory is built on the Schrodinger's famous equation of probabilities rendering the quantum physics to the science of probabilities. Speed of Change Knowledge Doubling Time: Let us consider the total body of human knowledge that developed from pre-history to the year One AD. First doubling of the body of human knowledge that had accumulated up to year One AD took 1500 years i.e. until the dawn of the 16th Century or the start of modern era. Second doubling took only 250 years i.e. until 1750 AD. Third doubling took 150 years i.e. until 1900 AD. Towards the end of the 20th Century knowledge doubled nearly every decade. In the first decade of the 21st Century it is conjectured that the knowledge doubles every 18 months. The knowledge doubling time reduction curve followed a linear pattern till about 1950 and then the time reduction curve became asymptotic almost approaching singularity. The Change of Change: The breathless 'change' of change is changing the paradigms where the only enduring framework in life is the change itself. This is bound to have far reaching physiological, psychological and material effects on the harbinger of the change – the human being itself. Endemic Scarcity changing into Sovereignty of Abundance: I like to romanticize the last concept that deserves a mention. I call it the sovereignty of abundance. Humanity has remained chained in the endemic scarcity of resources compounded by the uncontrollable vagaries of nature. The age of Information Technology has brought about a paradigm change where the knowledge economy is now providing the Sovereignty of Abundance especially in the modern resource of electromagnetic bandwidth. Take for example the useable bandwidth of the electromagnetic spectrum unlocked by the ingenious mind of Maxwell back in 1864. We had thus far been looking at a slice between near-ultraviolet to near-infrared which occupies nearly 70% of the Sun's light and heat. This is just a miniscule sliver of the available spectrum. In the new era of growing Abundance, the useable bandwidth has a factor of 1025 between the longest and the shortest electromagnetic waves. In other words, the smallest wave with the highest frequency is one trillion-trillion-trillion times the lowest frequency of the longest wave in the available spectrum. Imagine the volume of data that traverses the globe and the lower space at the speed of light at an equally unimaginably low cost. In April this year, Pakistan sold 3G and 4G for US$ 1.14 Billion. What did they sell, was just the 10 G Hertz frequency band out of the abundant bandwidth available, i.e. 109 out of 1025 band? We could not raise this amount by exporting 1.5 million tons of Basmati rice or 3 million tons of wheat produced with an incalculable amount of elbow grease energy of the growers. This is the nature of knowledge economy that is being created by the unlimited ingenuity of the knowledgeable mind and which is moving the humanity to the Sovereignty of Abundance. In the dawning Age of Abundance there will however loom ever more evidently one Residual Scarcity – the human life span. Even in that context I may add that the average global life span has been increasing by one year in every four years, but this is trivial compared with scale of growing Abundance. Energy: Energy is at the heart of modern development, prosperity and life style. Since pre-history humans had been living on the energy of muscles of their own and their beasts. About half a million years ago Man discovered fire and found the use of chemical energy stored in biomass of wood, crop and animal waste. Biomass is mostly carbon with Hydrogen to Carbon ratio of 1:10. In the middle of 18th Century Coal entered the commercial use as a more concentrated form of chemical energy with Hydrogen-Carbon ratio of 1:1. In the middle of 19th Century oil entered as an even more concentrated and versatile source of chemical energy with a Hydrogen-Carbon ratio of 2:1. In 20th Century natural gas became a commercial fuel which is called the Fuel of 21st Century. It is a cleaner fuel with Hydrogen-Carbon ratio of 4:1. The world has, albeit unwittingly, been moving on a path of Decarburization without even realizing that Carbon would one day pose a challenge to the very existence of life on earth. Uranium entered use in the middle of 20th Century and it has no carbon footprints. Modern Renewables including Hydroelectricity, wind, solar and ocean waves have no carbon content. As we are traversing the path of Decarburization, we, as a corollary, are taking the path of Hydrogenation. Many countries have taken a start on Hydrogen Energy Economy. As it proliferates, mankind will witness a change to Abundance even in that critical resource that gives the modern life the style it has attained. Why do I say it, because the stuff that the whole universe is made off, is that one proton one electron atom that we Hydrogen and place at No 1 position on the Atomic Weight Table. It is simple, beautiful and therefore true. It mirrors Keat's poetical romantics: “truth beauty, beauty truth”. Hydrogen is what the universe or the multiverses are made off. It is pervasively abundant, cheap and non-polluting. Carbon on combustion produces pollutants, Hydrogen on combustion produces water. It is projected that hydrogen might garner 90% of the global energy market by 2100. In the era of the growing Sovereignty of Abundance, the world would increasingly belong to those to whom knowledge belongs! The Western civilization developed knowledge and power only when they achieved two principal attributes: Liberation of the mind and innovation for turning knowledge into useful technology. The two movements of Renaissance and Reformation catalyzed the process. I am tempted to share briefly the story about a 14 years old African American teenage boy who became a regular visitor of a public library in San Francisco in the early years of the last decade. He would literally spend all the library hours working on computers. One day the Librarian passed by him and remarked that he sure liked the computer a lot. The boy replied,” Because the computer cannot tell that I am Black.” This is the era of egalitarian equality in access to knowledge. It is accessible by whosoever, whenever and from wherever. If knowledge is power, thus is power equally accessible to all. In the beginning of 1980s I had to go Silicon Valley (Stanford) to access knowledge, today you can do it just as well from your own schools and homes. I have made a humble effort to try to romanticize some contours of knowledge, what I cannot map and perhaps no one can and what would remain the last frontier and that is the Human Brain, the very fountain of knowledge. I will conclude with a word of hope and anticipation for future: If you take a high energy beam of ordinary light and shine it on a thick piece of steel, you get a nice reflection. When you take the same light and align the photons so they move together in phase or lockstep they form a laser beam and you can burn a clean hole through that same steel. What will happen when we start working together in unison with total harmony and turn our combined attention to the gigantic problems that have so far evaded solutions threatening life, peace and prosperity on earth? The fast growing body of knowledge makes me optimistic of the future of mankind! ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The writer holds a PhD degree from Stanford University, California USA. He is a former Federal Secretary and has been CEO/Chairman of OGDCL and Chairman NEPRA.

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