05
January

Interview: Professor Dr Atta Ur Rahman

Published in Hilal English Jan 2014

Maj Asif Jehangir Raja

Question: You started your education from Karachi, had a vision to study science and obtained PhD from Cambridge University during 1960s. How has this journey been all along?

Answer: It has been an exciting journey all along. I started my school very late. I was ten years old when I first went to the school, the reason being our migration from Delhi after the partition. My family first migrated to Okara (a city in Punjab) and my father started the business of Cotton ginning. There wasn't any proper school in Okara at that time so I studied at home by taking tuitions. My father then shifted to Karachi and I started my formal schooling at Karachi Grammar School in 1951/52. I got two double promotions in my early schooling, from grade 3rd to 5th and from grade 6th to 8th. I did my 'O' Levels in 1958 and was lucky to top the exam in entire Pakistan with highest marks. It was followed by my 'A' levels that I successfully underwent in 1960 before joining Karachi University for BSc (Honours) and Masters in the subject of Chemistry with First-class-First grade.

I started teaching in Karachi University after obtaining Masters Degree for a year time before I was offered scholarship for further studies at Cambridge University in 1965. I availed this opportunity and moved to London for my Doctorate and completed my PhD in 1968. Basing on my performance, I was offered teaching assignment at Kings College (Cambridge University) that I accepted and continued my relationship with education in England for few years before my return to Karachi in 1973 with the ambition of setting a world class research centre in Chemistry. I managed to develop this institution in Karachi and am associated with it since then. This centre is now known as 'International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences'. It comprises number of institutes, one of them is “Hussain Ebrahim Jamal Research Institute of Chemistry”, and there are several others as well.

We have more than 500 students doing PhD in Organic Chemistry, Bio Chemistry, Pharmacology, Genomics, Molecular Medicine and other fields. It is the largest Doctorate programme in Pakistan.

I also have had 120 students from Germany who studied Chemistry from my institute in last 6 years. It is one of its own kinds of centres among developing countries where students from developed countries are carrying out research.

I have now over 900 research publications that include 124 books which have been published in Europe and USA, and have also been translated in many languages including Japanese and Chinese. These books are now being taught in many universities of the world.

I have continued this exciting journey for the learning, for teaching and for doing research in last forty years or so.

Question. You have always talked of building knowledge economy of Pakistan. Can you briefly explain this concept?

Answer: We live in a world where single most important ingredient for progress is the quality of human resource. The natural resources to include gas, coal, gold and all others have had diminishing importance. The countries which realized that real wealth lies in their children and have invested heavily in the fields of education, science, technology, innovations and entrepreneurship, and have forged ahead, have actually succeeded. Even small countries with very less population like Singapore and Finland have much larger economies than Pakistan that has 180 million population. The Nokia Company of Finland has greater exports than that of complete Pakistan, which should be matter of concern for all of us. This is a changed trend that the world has witnessed during the last few decades. So unless we invest in education and unleash the creative potential of our youth, we cannot move forward and get rid of the problems that we suffer from. Unfortunately our leaders did not possess requisite vision to take this country in the correct direction while even much smaller countries kept progressing.

Question. You are known to be the person who turned around the concept of Higher Education in Pakistan. How far has Pakistan come in this field?

Answer: We have made quite startling progress in the field of Higher Education. When I assumed appointment of Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), we had very less number of publications in international journals per year. I started to work on it and, from the figure of about 800 research publications during 2002, we have now gone above 9000 research publications per year which is very encouraging. I am pleased to inform you that we have even taken over India in the count of research publications calculated on the basis of per million population.

India was worried and upset to watch the rapid progress of Pakistan in this field. A presentation on this subject was made to the Indian Prime Minister by Professor CNR Rao, who is India's Advisor on Science & Technology. This presentation was made on 22 July 2006 and an article was published in one of the India's leading newspapers, “Hindustan Times” on 23 July 2006 with the caption of “Pak Threat to Indian Science.” This article talked about tremendous transformation of landscape of our universities during first decade of twenty first century.

India thereafter decided to follow the footsteps of Pakistan, closed down its University Grants Commission (UGC) and formed a body on the lines of HEC in Pakistan, called “National Commission for Higher Education and Research.” The proposal has been approved by their Cabinet and being sent to Lok Sabha for approval. This is an area where we have been able to even make Indians follow us (or to say even envy us). In India, an amount of Rs. 0.12 billion (120,000 Crore Rupees) has been deputed for Higher Education for the coming five years, which is huge. They have now decided to increase the number of “Indian Institute of Technology” (IIT) from seven to sixteen. They are also planning to set 200 new universities and large number of research centres.

Indians have really awoken up after watching the progress of Pakistan, whereas, on the other hand, in recent years (after 2008) we tried everything to destroy the HEC. It was ironic that even a group of worthy parliamentarians (in the shadows of forged degrees allegations and counter allegations) tried to devolve the HEC and break it up into fragments which was prevented by my intervention, wherein I moved a petition in the Court which was won subsequently. Then the effort to appoint an individual from the Ministry of Education as Executive Director of the HEC and to place it under the control of ministry was again challenged by me in the Supreme Court, and I won this case, too. Unless a system to appoint people on merit at all levels is not implemented, progress is not possible.

Question: How in your opinion should Pakistan handle and accommodate the inflow of thousands of PhDs who shall be qualified in the coming few years?

Answer: We have a need of at least 30,000 PhDs in our universities at present. The total requirement of the faculty in the universities is around 45,000 and 70% of our faculty is still not properly qualified. We have the capacity to overcome this shortage by absorbing these numbers of PhD in our universities right away. We also need highly qualified people in our industries and strategic organizations like KRL, PAEC, SUPARCO etc. So Pakistan has the space to accommodate all these highly qualified people within the country.

Question: To support Science or Arts? At which ratio should government grant scholarships to its students? And why?

Answer: To me, both are important. You need to have focus on Social Sciences along with Natural Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Agriculture etc. You need to have a balanced educational system. Both are important and you can't decide in favour of either Arts or Science. Mixed blend of educated people who are qualified in all fields can take us forward as a nation. We need historians, we need people in humanities, we need economists, and we need social scientist along with doctors, engineers and scientists, to work for this country.

Question: With the government and private schools teaching different curriculums to similar grade students, education in Pakistan appears to be running on two different streams. How can we narrow down this gap?

Answer: This is a national tragedy. We have ourselves created a fragmented society with the separate schools for the rich and the poor. Another segment of society is being educated in Madrassa system and who face difficulties at a later stage to get absorbed into main flow of education. We need to have one single system of education in Pakistan and it is practicable.

With a single curriculum for all, it will help promote homogeneity and unity at national level. You don't need to look far to watch the practical examples. This is what Sri Lanka, India and other developing countries have done. You cannot have a fragmented system of education. We can only achieve uniformity in education system if we improve quality of curriculum to make it viable for all. We have more than twenty Boards across the country that conduct examinations which is highly confusing. We need to have single examination system with uniformity of standards for all.

Question: What changes in curriculum can help our students to grow as a balanced person?

Answer: We have taken certain steps in this regard. I introduced four year Under Graduate programme in Pakistan which previously used to be of two years. Most of us have earned Graduation Degree under a two year Bachelors' Programme which was too less a period. Purpose of enhancing time period is to give rise to the broader base education system so that a student who is studying science should also get an opportunity to study Social Science, Literature, and Humanities and vice versa at under-graduate level. It will also help students to improve their communication skills and broaden their horizon.

These steps have been introduced at college and university levels which fall under the purview of the HEC. But the problem lies at our school levels. Our education system at Primary and Secondary level is the responsibility of Provincial and Federal Governments. The Provincial Governments are maintaining a pitiable education system in their areas and, sole reason being, our ruling elite, which is mostly feudal. An educated population doesn't suit the feudal system of governance, and also threaten the power base of the feudal elite. This is the main reason that this segment of the ruling elite has not worked on improving the education system at basic level. The previous governments have been spending around 1.9% of the GDP on education which takes us to the bottom seven ranked countries of the world in terms of education budget at par with small African nations, which is a shame. We will have to get rid of the feudal system to bring improvements in education system. It was done in India soon after partition, in Bangladesh through a decision of the Supreme Court after separation from Pakistan. For me, 'Feudocracy' (a word invented all by myself) should be replaced by true 'democracy' that actually represent the people of this country .

We need to make basic changes in the system of governance that can prove to be fruitful for Pakistan within norms of democracy. We must have a strong screening system to keep a check at people who reach to the levels of decision-making. In Iran, no one can become member of the parliament without a Masters Degree so majority of their Cabinet members have either a Masters or a PhD degree. Similarly large number of cabinet members in China and Korea are also PhDs.

Question: During the last decade or so, quality of teachers at college and university level has improved whereas at school levels, the teachers are neither much qualified nor display passion to teach. How can we bring improvements in this field?

Answer: It is all interconnected with the Higher Education System. If you produce good teachers at university and college level, the students who graduate through these good teachers shall themselves be the faculty at school levels tomorrow and would be able to deliver well. The nature of problem is similar to the one explained previously. The selection of teachers at school level is a Provincial subject and that must be accorded priority and due purely merit based. The negligence results in shape of ghost schools, and has also raised number of other issues at lower level education system.

We need to have raised salary structures for the teachers at the school levels and their selection should be done after conduct of central tests at national level. The selection process if conducted independently, shall bring deserving people for the slots and we shall see an automatic rise in the quality of teaching staff at lower level.

Question: We have Urdu as our national language and, English is an international language being taught all over the world. How should we systematically manage our teaching methods by incorporating local and international languages?

Answers: English is now an international language. It is no longer a language for the people of a certain region. Different countries of the world are transforming their education system in accordance with English. China that previously had its entire education system in local language is also now using English at Post Graduate level studies.

To me a student, at very initial stage of his life (2-3 years of education) should be taught in regional / local area language. Because a child understands things best in his own mother tongue. As he grows up, after 5th grade, he should be taught in Urdu as main, and English as a strong second language. At later stages, Urdu should progressively be replaced with English as main language of teaching at college level education and above. It should be a phased transition because 99% of world literature and knowledge being produced now is in English. English can't be scored out whereas learning of local language is equally important.

Question: How do you view life and what, in your vision, is driving force to succeed in life?

Answer: You have to be passionate about learning. It is something that has to be inside you. You have to have burning desire to learn, to teach and to carry out research. It can be termed as a 'love affair' with education. It can't be a 9 to 5 job and there has to be a passion within oneself to learn and then to spread the knowledge. There can't be a better thing than this. Our students are very bright and are amongst the best in the world. We need to provide them the opportunity to learn, to grow intellectually and unleash their productive talent, and then allow them to work for national development and progress.

05
January

Interview: Dr Shams Ul Mulk

Published in Hilal English Jan 2014

Maj Asif Jehangir Raja

Question. According to the State of Environment Report of 2005, Pakistan had per capita availability of 5300 Cubic Meter (m3) water in 1951 which has fallen to 850 m3 in 2013. It is even projected to come down to 659 m3 in 2025. How can situation of water be improved in Pakistan?

Answer: An important fact about Pakistan is its very fast growing population and this is one of the basic issues that we confront today. The rise in population is directly related to all our resources.

Water is one of the vital requirements for human survival. Situation of water in Pakistan is not as bleak as we think. But we have to find ways and means to make effective use of whatever per capita water is available to us and we have to make more productive use of water that we have. There are countries that have less per capita water availability but do survive through a well thought out plan. There is one interesting example related to this fact. During the period of drought in Australia which had almost 30-40% less per capita water availability, their production unit of water went upward and they could face the consequences of drought very effectively. It was made possible due to their better water management.

We also need to work on improving water management techniques in Pakistan to overcome the shortages. For example: store it, save it, use it when required, reduce the amount of water that goes in Arabian Sea, and reduce the impact of flood by utilizing the flood water.

Question. Pakistan is facing acute energy shortages. What are the cheapest options available to our country to overcome this crisis in minimum possible time?

Answer: I will not give answer in my words but will quote you the words of an important international institution, the World Bank, that was asked a question by WAPDA during 1960s about development plans and strategy of Pakistan after benefits of Tarbela and Mangla Dams are committed. Their reply was simple, “if Pakistan wanted to continue with the growth rate that it possessed at that time (Pakistan was being labeled as an Asian Tiger during 1960s), Kalabagh Dam must be built by 1992, and thereafter, Bhasha Dam. The construction of Kalabagh and Bhasha Dam in the specified timelines would give enough time to Pakistan to carryout detailed investigations of the Indus River system and prepare a plan that Pakistan could use at belated stage.”

In case of Pakistan, it is a settled and established argument that if we want to improve our economic well being, raise per capita income, provide cheap energy, improve our agriculture productivity and protect our people from the flood damages, it is essential to build as many dams as we can. In the context of existing energy crises, I shall strongly suggest to start building Kalabagh Dam to save ourselves. Kalabagh Dam can be built in 6-7 years time and we shall be able to add about 4000 MW electricity on extremely cheap rates to our main grid. It shall also have a positive effect on Pakistan's agriculture system as well as enable Pakistan to have an effective flood control system. The construction of this dam will facilitate availability of more water in the months of scarcity. It will also address the existing water issues between provinces wherein they allege and accuse each other for stealing water. While addressing the Sindh Cabinet during 1992/93, I foretold them that if they did not agree to build Kalabagh Dam, then by the beginning of 21st century (the time that we are in now), any year if flow of any river goes below the average, provinces will be faced with the shortages of water. And each province will then allege others of stealing water but actually no one would be stealing because the system would not have enough water.

It was stated by me around two decades back. As of today, the situation is exactly the same what I predicted; the provinces are complaining each other for share of water, despite knowing that system doesn't have enough water. This trend will have negative political consequences for federation of Pakistan in the times to come.

Question. Few people suggest that Pakistan should be conserving water through construction of small dams instead of large ones. What is technical difference between big and small dams and what option should Pakistan adopt?

Answer: Let me answer you by analyzing the existing utilization of small and large dams in Pakistan. First talking of large dams, we have two large dams at present; Tarbela and Mangla, which feed 29 Bn units of electricity in system along with Ghazi Brotha at the cheap rate of Rs 1.54 per unit. These large dams have provided us more water during the month of scarcity. Moreover, very few people know the fact that during the floods of 2010, Tarbela Dam saved Nowshera as well as Sukkar Barrage, which otherwise could have been a catastrophie. It was an enormous flood but around 2, 40, 000 Cusecs of water was stored in Tarbela that reduced its impact and ultimately, less stress was exerted on Sukkar barrage.

Coming to small dams, we have 68 of them in Pakistan. What have these small dams done for Pakistan in comparison with large ones? Is there any electricity generation from these small dams? No, zero. Do these ensure any availability of water during the months of water scarcity? No, zero. Do these provide any protection against flood? No, zero. In terms of storage, these small dams have an average storage capacity of 8000 Acre Feet, which is very less as compared to any large dam. To equal storage capacity of one Kalabagh Dam, we need 750 small dams. If 68 small dams have been built in 66 years in Pakistan, imagine how many more years will be required to build 700 more small dams to equal one Kalabagh Dam.

Suggestions to build small dams instead of large ones are all hypothesized by the people who do not have sound knowledge of dams and the related technicalities. There is no option for Pakistan than to go for large dams and reservoirs, especially after surfacing of weather change phenomenon. This weather change phenomenon may take us to the situation, when there may be an extreme drought and a heavy flood occurring within same year. The only solution is that we have large reservoirs, not one or two but more. We should be able to control and conserve water of these huge floods and use it during the months of drought or water scarcity, and it is only possible through construction of large dams.

Question. Shall construction of more dams on River Indus affect the share of water for the provinces? Please explain the effect that construction of Mangla and Tarbela dams had, on water share of provinces during 1960s.

Answer: It is alleged that construction of Kalabagh Dam shall convert province of Sindh into a desert. But fact remains that before construction of existing two large dams, Tarbela and Mangla Dams, average flow of water to the province of Sindh was 36 Million Acre Feet (MAF) per year. Interestingly, after construction of these two dams, now Sindh gets 43 MAF water per year which is 7 MAF more than previous. So how can someone claim like this when construction of Tarbela on Indus River didn't affect the share of water for Sindh. Ever since the formation of Indus River System Authority (IRSA) about two decades back, 70% of the water stored in Tarbela Dam is allocated to Sindh Province whereas Punjab only gets 20% and KPK only 4%. The opponents of Kalabagh Dam are doing it at the behest of powers that are enemies of people of Pakistan.

Question. There is an argument that Nowshera can be flooded after construction of Kalabagh Dam. Please explain whether this argument is correct or otherwise.

Answer: Have you ever heard that construction of Tarbela Dam resulted in flooding of Kohistan or adjoining areas? Have we heard the fear of submersion of Gilgit under the water after construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam? No. If it is not so, then why should it be in case of Kalabagh Dam? On 29 August 1929, there was heavy flood in river Kabul as well as Indus. The town of Nowshera was submerged under the water along with many parts of GT Road at many places, and there was no Kalabagh Dam then. It happened again in 2010 floods and might still happen if same climatic conditions are repeated in future. The sufferers are poor people of Pakistan. The decision makers in Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore and other big towns are normally not affected by these floods, but poor people are. Flooding of Nowshera is not related to Kalabagh Dam by any means.

It has some other reasons and some other remedies. The problem of Nowshera is the floods coming from Swat River and Kabul River. As Chairman WAPDA, I had proposed to build Munda Dam on Swat River as a flood storage project. But after my retirement, this project wasn't followed at any level, not even by the people who are against Kalabagh Dam and are fearful of flood in Nowshera. Because these people are not interested in benefit of the people of their province but are only concerned about non-constructing the Kalabagh Dam.

Now I have been told that Munda Dam is being built. I hope that it is used as flood water storage project. Coming to the Kabul river; during the time of General Musharraf, I was invited by the then Engineers-in-Chief of Pakistan Army, Lt Gen Zubair, whose team wanted my opinion about a study conducted by them on River Kabul. I was pleased to notice the high standards of the study conducted by engineers of Pak Army. I suggested them to work this project out with the Afghan Government.

In my opinion, Pakistan and Afghanistan should jointly build projects on Kabul River. It shall have few benefits: first, very less flood water will flow in Pakistan from Afghanistan. This flood water can be utilized for the water requirements of Afghanistan; and secondly, projects like this shall strengthen people to people bond between these two countries and can help to take forward, the strategic relationship between two neighbours. If Pakistan can assist them in building small irrigation projects on River Kabul, their children will also remember that Pakistan gifted them with these useful projects on the river. Otherwise, some other country, which is not very friendly with Pakistan, will built it for them. Those projects by our enemies will not be constructed to benefit people of Afghanistan, but to hurt Pakistan.

There is another theory that is propagated by enemies of Kalabagh Dam; that water may spill back from the dam site to the city of Nowshera. This is absolutely unrealistic and untrue.

The spill back effect of Kabul River on Nowshera cannot be due to Kalabagh Dam. Nowshera and Kalabagh Dam site are more than 170 KM apart. However, distance between Attock Bridge (the place where River Kabul falls in River Indus) and Nowshera is approximately 50 KM. Attock Gorge can be one of the reasons for any spill back of water in Nowshera, if at all it takes place, because the gorge is approximately 10 miles in length, 800 meters in width, and is located before Attock Bridge, short of Indus River. The gorge issue is related to Kabul River, not Indus River or for that matter Kalabagh Dam. I, for now, suggest carrying out of flood management study of Peshawar Valley and focus should be on construction of Munda Dam on Swat River and, construction of irrigation projects and small reservoirs on Kabul River as a joint venture with Afghan Government. Moreover, few flood saving projects can also be constructed on Chitral River.

Question. A team of experts from the World Bank, during 1960s, termed construction of Tarbela, Mangla , Kalabagh and Bhasha Dams necessary for survival of Pakistan. Why have we not been able to follow their recommendations?

Answer: We did follow their recommendations. Mangla and Tarbela were being built as part of the project that Pakistan signed with the World Bank after Indus Water Treaty was finalized. Tarbela was not initially included, but was made part of it as a development project. As per recommendations, WAPDA had to start feasibility study of Kalabagh Dam by 1977; that it did. The feasibility study was completed in 1988. WAPDA was then ready to start construction of Kalabagh Dam. I was the General Manager and Director of the project, and I know that Pakistan was prepared for the project. The World Bank team had asked WAPDA about the feasibility study of Kalabagh Dam. After going through the report, they asked us about our plans. They were expecting a reply regarding our commitment to commence building the dam as the bank was ready to support us. And, then, the problems after problems started to emerge. And, these continue till to-date.

During 1960s, WAPDA was worried about water management of Pakistan. Questions were being raised within WAPDA that what would happen and how should we proceed when benefit stream of Tarbela and Mangla Dams are committed through factors like rise in population etc. President Ayub Khan, during his visit to Washington in 1964, called on President of the World Bank and raised the similar question. The World Bank took these questions seriously and prepared a study called 'Indus Special Study'.

I am not sure about the present staff of the World Bank, but during my interactions with them few decades back, they told me about the pride that they took in having carried out Indus Water Basin study. They claimed to have had carried out Water Basin Studies of many rivers of the world, but never had they gone in so many details, that they did in our case.

The team of World Bank associated with this study was unequalled; they had experts from almost every related sector agriculture, economic, hydrology, experts of dams, power engineering etc. They assessed during 1960s that after construction of Tarbela and Mangla Dams, Pakistan would need a new large water reservoir by 1992, and they suggested construction of Kalabagh Dam followed by Bhasha Dam. They had given a projection of 30-40 years to Pakistan to even plan ahead of post-Kalabagh and post-Bhasha Dam scenarios. The report was submitted to Government of Pakistan in 1967 by the World Bank with the caption of 'Sectorial Study - The Development of Water and Power Resources of West Pakistan.'

But this is year 2013, and we haven't moved an inch ahead after 1960s. The political angle to the problem came up and continues till to-date; consensus, flooding of Nowshera, water share of provinces, raising of low water table etc, are few of the issues that people link with construction of Kalabagh Dam. Fortunately though, these all reservations have also been addressed in technical language, but no one musters up the courage to do the right thing to construct Kalabagh Dam. After all these problems, the successive governments then decided to dump this project and started looking for the alternative of Kalabagh Dam.

Question. Could we find the alternative then?

Answer: Yes, after 20 years, we did find the alternatives to kalabagh Dam and alternatives are: load shedding, electricity at Rs. 18 per unit, closure of factories, and people on the roads.

Question. Do we need big Dams for energy production only or shall these also be helpful for agriculture sector? And how? Answer: The requirement of having dams is not only for generation of energy. We need water for our agriculture sector as well. Unfortunately, Pakistan being an agriculture country has low figure of agriculture yields; and the reason is less availability of water during winters. 84% of total water in our rivers flows during 6 months of summers whereas, during 6 months of winters, we receive 16% of the total available water. Resultantly, our winter crops are mostly short of water. We need to work to overcome this shortage.

We have the lands, we have the water as well; what we lack is the management and planning to utilize these resources. Question. How hydro electricity is cheap than other sources like coal, fuel etc? Answer: Water is the only source of electricity generation that has no fuel cost, rest all need some fuel to produce electricity; for gas turbines we need natural gas, for oil generation plants we need furnace oil, for coal we obviously need coal. All these fuels are expensive and cost of electricity fluctuates with fluctuation of their rates. However, in case of water, when the dam recovers its cost of construction, generation of electricity becomes almost free.

The requirement of electricity in Pakistan is around 40 Billion units per year. The approximate cost of generation of electricity from various sources is: Hydro - Rs 1.54 per unit, Furnace Oil Rs 16.50 per unit, Natural Gas Rs 6.50 per unit. Going by simple calculations, we can well understand the benefits of hydro electricity. While applied on 42 Billion units, the rates show the clear difference in cost of generation. Unfortunately, this whole amount has to be shared by the people of Pakistan.

Question: What are experiences of other countries in construction of dams? Can we learn from them?

Answer: There are three countries in the world that are economically very sound: USA, China and India. The USA has built about 6500 dams (medium and large), China has constructed around 22,000 medium and large dams in past 50 years, whereas India has constructed around 4500 dams so far and 650 dams are under construction by India at present.

If one Kalabagh Dam can damage Pakistan then 22,000 dams in China should literally have obliterated China from the globe. But fact remains that China is thriving economically, so are USA and India. And we also know the economic position of Pakistan.

Question. India is undertaking construction of 67 major water projects on the rivers of Pakistan. Where do you see this situation going?

Answer: The situation is alarming. Indians are doing a wrong thing. But we have our problems, too. If we are not utilizing our share of water, then they are doing it. We must start to use our share of water and our position on the cases against India against construction of reservoirs at international forums shall automatically improve.

Question. An argument is also given that construction of Kalabagh Dam shall weaken the federation. How do you see it?

Answer: This is absolutely untrue. I will reply this question through the expected financial benefits of Kalabagh Dam. This dam shall add 12 Billion units to the national feeder of electricity per year. If these 12 Billion units are generated through furnace oil (@ Rs. 16.50 per unit), then it will cost approximately Rs. 198 Billion whereas, if generated through Kalabagh Dam, it shall cost Rs. 18 Billion only. Hence, the construction of Kalabagh Dam will enable people of Pakistan to save Rs.180 Billion per year in terms of money only, which is a huge amount. The province of Punjab is annually losing approximately Rs. 100 billion for not constructing Kalabagh Dam, Sindh, Rs. 35 Billion and KPK, Rs 25 Billion. Can someone come forward and tell me a single rupee benefit for not constructing Kalabagh Dam?

The provinces are losing, not gaining anything by not constructing this dam. So how, then can it affect the federation. Few leaders, on the instructions from somewhere else, are pursuing their personal agendas and are damaging the interests of the people of Pakistan. Using the name of the federation for gaining political mileage is very unfortunate. Federation will not be disturbed by construction of Kalabagh Dam, but will certainly be affected, if Kalabagh Dam is not constructed.

Question. What difference shall it make if Kalabagh Dam is not constructed?

Answer: I can't think of any future for Pakistan without Kalabagh Dam. We will continue getting expensive electricity, we shall not have much water for crops during months of scarcity and most importantly, province of the KPK will be without any water share. Let me explain it this way. Each province gets it share of water through the Indus and other rivers and, through reservoirs. The only hope for the people of KPK to get water through a reservoir is, Kalabagh Dam. KPK is the only province which is above the level of Indus River. So distribution of water through barrage and canals on natural gravity flow will not be possible. The only way is to raise the water level through construction of Kalabagh Dam that shall facilitate irrigation of lands of DI Khan and Bannu through natural flow of gravity. People of KPK need this dam more than ever. With each passing day, the common man will suffer. If we hold a referendum for construction of Kalabagh Dam in KPK province, people will definitely support it.

Otherwise a time would come when people of this province would have to pump water through pipe lines from Indus which shall be an expensive proposition. The pumping of water will cost people of KPK Rs. 8000 per acre per year. The other three provinces, which get water through the gravity, will pay Rs. 700-800 per acre per year which is very cheap as compared to KPK. Kalabagh Dam is centrally located. It will facilitate people of all provinces. It will also help in distribution and supply of electricity using minimum distance to reach out maximum people.

Question. You are also President of Board of Governors of GIK institute. How can Pakistan improve quality of technical human resource in Pakistan?

Answer: Knowledge is only valued by knowledgeable people. People, who are not educated and are not scholars, cannot have the vision to develop quality human resource in any country. And same is, unfortunately, the situation in Pakistan. Mostly, our leadership lacked vision. People should be educated to learn English, as all technical skills are taught in this language. If they lack in understanding of the language, they might not comprehend the concept and will certainly miss out things.

To me, only three subjects should be taught to the students till primary levels: English, Mathematics and Science. But Science and Maths should be taught in mother tongue till primary level for better understanding and should subsequently be switched to English later on. There is no need to put extra burden on the students at very young age. The focus at childhood should be to ensure teaching of concepts to the children in the language that they comprehend and understand.

Question. What is your message for the people of Pakistan?

Answer: If we have to move smoothly in 21st century, we will have to register two things: personal preferences are gone, prejudices are gone. We will have to live up to two major requirements: follow what truth allows us to follow, and follow what reason allows us to follow.

08
February

Interview with Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir

Published in Hilal English

Written By: Tahir Mehmood

interview_sardar_masood_khan.jpg

Kashmiris in IOK are suffering grievously;
the world must come forward and help us rescue them; it is our collective responsibility;
not just of Pakistan
and the people
of Kashmir.

Sardar Masood Khan

President Azad Jammu and Kashmir

Q: Where exactly do we stand at this point in our struggle for achieving right to self-determination for the people of Kashmir?
Ans: The struggle for the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir goes on unabated, but any process for its realization, bilateral or multilateral, is stalled because of India's obdurate opposition. Kashmiris are right now facing an existential challenge; how to put an end to killings and mass blindings unleashed by Indian security forces since July 8, 2016. An estimated unarmed 12.5 million Kashmiris are pitted against 700,000 Indian occupation troops which are armed to the teeth. Out of which, some 400,000 troops terrorize, kill, maim and torture the 7 million residents of the Valley of Kashmir. Mass graves of thousands have been discovered; thousands have been victims of enforced disappearances; 'half widows', mothers and families wait forever for those who have "disappeared". The UN and international community have, practically, washed their hands off the Kashmir dispute. Pakistan extends moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiris, but for their physical self-defence they are on their own. This is one of the biggest calamities of our times.


Q: No matter what means are used by the oppressors, history tells us that freedom movements for individual and collective rights have always won. Under the historical framework, are the recent brutalities by India a part of self-defeating mechanism?
Ans: Yes, freedom movements have always succeeded but at a huge cost. Kashmiris are paying that cost with their blood and honour. Imperialists coerce and brutalize subjugated nations to assimilate and exploit them. India is doing precisely that. Using colonial tactics, it is making the price of freedom so prohibitive that, they hope, Kashmiris would be terrorized into submission; dissent would be silenced; and the flame of liberty would be extinguished forever. And yes, despite India's killings and depredations, the flame of freedom burns to its full in Kashmir. For the past seven decades, in order to make IOK part of India's body politic, Delhi has used brute military force to crush the will of the Kashmiris, tried to win them over through blandishments for economic development, nurtured and propped up local political parties sympathetic to India, and demonized Kashmiris as terrorists being supported by Pakistan. As if killing Kashmiris was not enough for Indians, they have been targeting and killing scores of civilians and soldiers on our side of the Line of Control (LOC), too.


Nothing has worked for India. All its plots and machinations have failed, but that has not meant any reduction in the pain and suffering of the Kashmiris. In fact, with each coming year, Indian occupation forces are using more lethal methods and weaponry to escalate state terrorism in Kashmir. India's terror machine in IOK will not dissolve on its own. We need urgent intercession to put an end to Indian acts of genocide and crimes against humanity in Kashmir. Left to its diabolical devices, India's barbarity will become more vicious and will continue in perpetuity. Intercession is needed.


Q: Usually Kashmir Dispute is seen through the prism of so-called Instrument of Accession with India by Maharaja Hari Singh and a revolt by Kashmiris; whereas the struggle for fundamental rights of Kashmiris is much older and deeper. The original sin is attributed to the British who sold it off to the Sikh Maharaja that later Hindu leadership conspired and annexed at partition in 1947?


Ans: Kashmiris were treated as chattel by the British; they are still being treated as colonial subjects by India. The dark night of the people of IOK under foreign occupation and alien domination has become darker. Historically, both – Britain and India – are guilty of inflicting injustice on a peaceful and proud nation.


Q: Historians like Alastair Lamb have questioned the legitimacy of the Instrument of Accession as before it became effectual, the Indian forces had landed on Srinagar Airport on October 27, 1947 Does that make them invaders outrightly?

 

• Despite India's killings and depredations, the flame of freedom burns to its full in Kashmir.
• With each coming year, Indian occupation forces are using more lethal methods and weaponry to escalate state terrorism in Kashmir.
• Left to its diabolical devices, India's barbarity will become more vicious and will continue in perpetuity. Intercession is needed.
• One cannot trust India when it comes to Kashmir.
• Historically, both – Britain and India – are guilty of inflicting injustice on a peaceful and proud nation.
• India is guilty of illegal occupation of Srinagar and later of the Valley of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh on October 27, 1947.
• The blame that Pakistan did not withdraw the troops first as per UNSC resolutions and thus did not initiate the Plebiscite process is factually incorrect; historically a misnomer.
• India made a sinister plan to attack Azad Kashmir and occupy it after withdrawal of Pakistani troops in 1950s.v
• Indian Deep State is following the policy of ‘continuous encroachment’ towards Kashmir.
• Simla Agreement does not reduce the Kashmir dispute to a bilateral issue.
• Despite all machinations, India has not succeeded in integrating Kashmir into India.
• September 11 incident has been exploited by India. The Kashmiris have the right to defend themselves.
• Western powers see profit and strategic benefits in their relationship with India.
• No matter what move or counter-move Indian occupation forces make, Kashmiris have vowed to continue their struggle. They will prevail.

Ans: Alastair Lamb's meticulous research is seminal on this question. He has established authoritatively, beyond a shadow of doubt, that the so-called Instrument of Accession is a fake document and therefore, by corollary, India is guilty of illegal occupation of Srinagar and later of the Valley of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh on October 27, 1947. This document has never been communicated to Pakistan or to the UN; nor its original or a satisfactory copy has been produced. The Maharajah could not have signed that document on October 26, 1947, as claimed by India, because on that day he was travelling between Jammu and Srinagar. All evidence points to the fact the Maharajah did not sign the documents and the Indian occupation forces landed in Srinagar on October 27 to beef up some Indian troops which had already secured the airport in mid-October. The irony is that India is not amenable to such fine legal points which it expunged from its lingo early on and has always owned its forcible entry into IOK to establish its illicit writ. It makes no bones about it and flaunts the thin veneer of its (il) legitimacy in Kashmir.


Q: How do you see Gandhi and Nehru’s role in genesis and perpetuation of this problem?
Ans: Gandhi very strongly advocated for a united India and his pre-Partition stance towards Kashmir falls in the same category. After Partition, in all fairness, Gandhi once said in one of his prayer meetings, "If the people of Kashmir are in favour of Pakistan, no power on earth can stop them from doing so... they should be left free to decide for themselves..." But Nehru is a different story. He made promises to hold the plebiscite to ascertain the will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and he did agree to implement UN Security Council resolutions; and then he reneged on his promises. This kind of duplicity and dissimulation permeates India’s foreign policy. You can't trust them when it comes to Kashmir. The world knows that Kashmir does not belong to India; and Indians know that too because Kashmiri men, women and children hold a plebiscite every day to say ‘GO INDIA, GO BACK, LEAVE OUR KASHMIR’.


Q: Few scholars, particularly Indian and Western scholars, blame Pakistan for not withdrawing troops after the UN Resolutions in 1950s and thus failing to create the right conditions for the Plebiscite?
Ans: This is not true. One needs to read Security Council Resolution 98 of December 30, 1952 that provided that 3000 to 6000 Pakistani troops would remain on the Pakistani side (Azad Kashmir) and 12,000 to 18,000 on the Indian side (IOK) to pave the way for the holding of a UN-supervised plebiscite. Disagreement arose when India demanded that Pakistan should withdraw its forces first, whereas Pakistan insisted that this be done simultaneously. Pakistan saw through India's sinister plan in 1950s: to make Pakistan vacate Azad Kashmir so that it could attack and occupy it later. Again this is a fine point and disingenuous stance by Delhi about the implementation of the UN resolutions, because India had already started underhand, specious and illegal political and constitutional processes to integrate IOK into the Indian Union. In July 1952, Sheikh Abdullah signed Delhi Agreement with India to establish Centre-State relationship and to attain an "autonomous status" for the State. The real objective was to annex the occupied territory. In November that year, the so-called Constituent Assembly (the one rejected by the UN Security Council as being a substitute for the plebiscite) passed a resolution to formally abolish the Maharajah's rule and replace it with Sadar-i-Riyasat. All of this was happening in 1952. Where was India's intent or action to withdraw its troops?

 

interview_sardar_masood_khan1.jpgQ: Since 1947 Indian policies towards Kashmir follow a pattern of ‘continuous encroachment’. What next moves do you expect from Indian Deep State which has followed this policy of encroachment irrespective of any political government in New Delhi?
Ans: After the assumption of office, the BJP Government has taken a series of steps to accelerate the pace for the permanent annexation of the IOK into the Indian Union. Its main objective is to scuttle the special status given grudgingly to IOK, change the demography of the occupied territory and further squeeze the space for Kashmiris. It has encouraged and orchestrated steps to abolish Article 35 (A) of the Indian Constitution, an offshoot of Article 370, that gives special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir in regard to employment, acquisition of immovable property, settlement in the state and scholarships. The BJP, backed by the Hindu extremist organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is also taking incremental steps and preparing the ground for the repeal of Article 370 itself; and this was in fact its stand during the 2014 elections. Right from the beginning this article was all but a thin veneer to "legalize" India's occupation of the territory and with extensions of Indian legislation to IOK it has been all but eviscerated. In addition, the 2002 SARFAESI
(Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest) Act is being imposed on IOK for seizure, auction and sale of the mortgaged immovable properties to non-Kashmiris. In yet another "encroachment" on the rights of the Kashmiris, nativity certificates are being issued to the so-called West Pakistan refugees to increase the population of Non-Kashmiris in the IOK. Illegal settlements for ex-Army personnel and Pandits, on the pattern of Israeli settlements, are being built. Above all, through electoral maneuvers, the BJP is elbowing out even pro-India Kashmiri, but essentially Muslim, political parties – the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party – to dominate the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly so as to "legitimize" all these steps.


Q: Indians often tell the world that after Simla Agreement in 1972, Kashmir is a bilateral issue between the two countries. What are your views on this Indian claim?
Ans: The Kashmir issue never was and will never be a bilateral issue; it is a trilateral issue involving Pakistan, India and the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Despite repeated misinterpretations by India, the Simla Agreement does not reduce the Kashmir dispute to a bilateral issue. Nowhere does the treaty say or imply that. Article 1(i) of the agreement invokes the principles and purposes of the UN Charter; Article 1(ii) states that the two countries would settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon between them; Article 4(2) highlights the recognized positions of both sides; and Article 6 talks about the final settlement of Jammu and Kashmir. I think the Ceasefire Line in Jammu and Kashmir should not have been called the Line of Control; that was a mistake. That said, the Indian claim to the Indian Occupied Kashmir is not recognized in the agreement. Most importantly, the agreement does not overrule the rights of the Kashmiris or override the application of the UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir and international law upholding the right to self-determination. A reference to the UN, though not stated explicitly in the agreement, remains intact.

 

interview_sardar_masood_khan2.jpgThe real harm has not been done by the Simla Agreement but by the elusive bilateral dialogue process. While Pakistan sincerely tried to pursue this path, India has used it to (a) reduce the core issue of Kashmir to one of the eight or ten agenda items; and (b) acquire a veto over the commencement and timetable of the dialogue. India would scuttle the process on the slightest pretext and push Pakistan to a position of begging for dialogue. Talks on Kashmir, if they ever start, India tells Pakistan there will be no dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir because it is an integral part of India; and the only thing the two sides can talk about is terrorism. India used these tactics to cause inordinate delays in the possible resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute so that the status quo in Kashmir gets legitimacy. Despite all such machinations, India has not succeeded in integrating Kashmir into India.


Q: How much has September 11 affected Kashmir Freedom Movement in its claims for legitimacy?
Ans: The stark irony is that Indian Army, one of the largest and most equipped armies of the world, has waged a full throttle, ferocious war against the people of IOK, the most unarmed people in the world. Indian Army is killing non-combatant civilians, who are demanding their freedom from Indian subjugation and their right to self-determination. Indians are calling this demand terrorism. Pakistan and people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir are extending their moral, diplomatic and political support to the people of Kashmir. The Kashmiris have the right to defend themselves. If the most powerful nations on earth have the right to defend themselves according to the UN Charter, why is it being denied to the people of Kashmir? To allow India to persevere in its carnage? One thing is clear: the struggle for freedom and self-determination, such as that of Kashmiris, is not terrorism.


Q: Where do you see the UN, USA and the international community supporting the cause of Kashmiris and taking it to the logical point of exercising the Right to Self-determination?
Ans: The bitter truth is that right now Kashmir is not on the radar screen of the global powers or even the United Nations. This does not mean we will be discouraged or disheartened. We will continue to knock on their doors until we get their attention. Western powers see profit and strategic benefits in their relationship with India. I call it rank mercantilism and misplaced strategic alignments. But let's not get into that. We are confident that our message will resonate in world capitals and like other peoples of the world, the Kashmiris too would get their rights. President Trump, the newly elected President of the U.S., has hinted that he would like to play a role in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute; and the new UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has given indications that he would use his good offices. So let's not lose hope. The world order is in flux and we hope that the emerging global order will address the suppression of people under foreign occupation and alien domination, such as in Kashmir.


Q: India is implementing demographic changes by New Hindu Settlements (NHS) in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) particularly in Muslim majority areas. Is any role being played by the UN as seen in case of Jewish Settlements by Israel?
Ans: The Palestinians got that break in the UN Security Council after a long time. And that victory appears to be evanescent because the new U.S. Administration has resolved to reverse this decision. Israel has become even more defiant. This teaches us one lesson; we should be resilient. We should continue to send communications to the UN Security Council, the Secretary General, and the Human Rights Council about these illegal settlements that are altering the character of the state that is yet to decide its political future. We, the people of Azad Kashmir, IOK and, above all, Pakistan should be the primary custodians of the parameters for the UN resolutions on Kashmir.


Q: How do you view the ongoing indigenous struggle in IOK and Indian counter-moves?
Ans: No matter what moves or counter-moves Indian occupation forces make, Kashmiris have vowed to continue their struggle. They will prevail.


Q: What basic steps would you recommend towards the resolution of this historic issue which has the potential to become a nuclear flash point?


Ans: Here are the eleven points:

(1) Hold India accountable for its atrocities at all international forums.

(2) Revive the international dimension of the Kashmir dispute and pursue your case with full vigour.

(3) Do not abandon the path of engagement with India despite its obduracy; and maintain your moral high ground on a peaceful solution of the Kashmir dispute through diplomacy even if this track seems unproductive in the short-term.

(4) Continue to develop Pakistan's nuclear and conventional capability.

(5) Continue to invest in strategic restraint and responsibility.

(6) Consolidate the strengths of your diaspora community, especially in North America and Europe.

(7) Use the tools of communication, including the traditional and modern media, at the strategic level to get your message across.

(8) Use all possible avenues to express solidarity with the people of IOK.

(9) Make Pakistan strong economically and bring it on par with other emerging economies.

(10) Make Azad Jammu and Kashmir a model state in terms of economic development and governance.

(11) Reach out to Indian civil society to persuade them to speak up for the rights of Kashmiris and not be a party to India's crimes against humanity in IOK through silence which amounts to acquiescence.

 

Q: What is your message to the people of AJK, IOK, Pakistan, India, and the world?

Ans: Kashmiris in IOK are suffering grievously; the world must come forward and help us rescue them; it is our collective responsibility; not just of Pakistan and the people of Kashmir.

 
29
December

پاکستان میں ہاکی کو اس کا کھویا ہوا مقام دلانے کے لئے کوشاں ہوں

Published in Hilal Urdu Jan 2014

قومی ہاکی ٹیم کی ناؤ کو عالمی سطح پر پے در پے شکست کے بھنور سے نکالنا کسی چیلنج سے کم نہیں اور چیلنج قبول کرنا محمد عمران کی فطرت میں ہے۔ 2011 میں ہار اور جیت کے تھپیڑے کھاتی اس ٹیم کی کپتانی محمد عمران کو ملی جسے نہ صرف انہوں نے چیلنج سمجھ کر قبول کیا بلکہ ایسے حالات میں ایشین ہاکی چیمپئنز ٹرافی جیت کر اس ناؤ کو بڑا سہارا دیا ہے۔ فیصل آباد سے تعلق رکھنے والے محمد عمران نے 2004 میں Debut کیا اور اب تک صرف ایک بار قومی ٹیم سے ڈراپ ہوئے ۔ اب تک 223 میچز میں پاکستان کی نمائندگی کرچکے ہیں۔ ہم نے ان سے ایک خصوصی نشست رکھی اور قومی کھیل کے بارے انہوں نے خاصی دلچسپ باتیں کیں‘ جو قارئین کی نذر ہیں۔

س:۔ پاک فوج میں شمولیت کب اختیار کی؟

ج:۔ میں نے 1998 میں پاکستان آرمی میں شمولیت اختیار کی جس پر مجھے فخر ہے۔

س:۔ پاک فوج سے وابستگی ہاکی کی بنیادپر ہوئی یا ہاکی فوج میں شمولیت کے بعدکھیلنا شروع کی؟

ج:۔ ہاکی سکول اور کالج کے دور سے ہی کھیلتا آ رہا ہوں مجھے ہاکی کا بچپن سے ہی جنون تھا اور یہی ہاکی پاکستان فوج میں آنے کی وجہ بنی۔

س:۔ آپ کب سے قومی ہاکی ٹیم کی کپتانی کررہے ہیں اور کیا پاک فوج کی جانب سے بھی بحیثیت کپتان ہی کھیلتے تھے؟ ج:۔ میں 2006 سے پاک فوج کی ہاکی ٹیم کی کپتانی کر رہا ہوں اور ڈومیسٹک مقابلوں میں کپتانی کے دوران بہت کچھ سیکھا۔ آپ کہہ سکتے ہیں کہ پاک فوج میں ہاکی ٹیم کی کپتانی کا تجربہ ہی میرے کام آیا اور میں 2011 میں قومی ہاکی ٹیم کا کپتان بنا اور یہ میرے لئے کسی اعزاز سے کم نہیں ۔ لیکن اس کا کریڈٹ پاک فوج کو جاتا ہے کہ جس نے میرے اندر کپتانی کرنے کے ہنر کو پہچانا۔

س:۔ آپ کی قیادت میں ٹیم نے اب تک کون سی بڑی کامیابیاں حاصل کی ہیں؟

ج:۔ ہر کھلاڑی میدان میں جیتنے کے لئے اُترتا ہے۔ خاص کر آج کے دور میں ہمیں جیت کی بہت ضرورت ہے ۔ میری کپتانی میں قومی ٹیم نے دو بار ایشین ہاکی چیمپئنز ٹرافی کا ٹائٹل جیتا۔ ورلڈ چیمپئنز ٹرافی اور ایشیا کپ میں کانسی کے تمغے جیتے۔ اس کے علاوہ آئرلینڈ میں چار ملکی ٹورنامنٹ میں کامیابی بھی ہمارے حصے میں آئی۔ لیکن خواہش ہے کہ قومی ٹیم کو میگا ایونٹس میں بھی جیت سے ہمکنار کروں۔

س:۔ قومی اور بین الاقوامی ہاکی مقابلوں میں آپ کو کن تجربات سے گزرنا پڑا؟

ج:۔ جیسا کہ ہم سب جانتے ہیں کہ عالمی سطح پر پیشہ ورانہ معیار کے عین مطابق کھیلوں کے مقابلوں کا انعقاد کیا جاتا ہے ایسے میں ایک ایسی ٹیم کو منظم رکھ کر کھیلنا اس وقت مشکل ہو جاتا ہے جب کہ ٹیم میں شامل کھلاڑی انفرادی کارکردگی دکھانے میں زیادہ دلچسپی رکھتے ہوں۔ہماری بدقسمتی ہے کہ ہمیں مقامی اور قومی سطح پرتیار شدہ کھلاڑی دستیاب نہیں ہیں جیسا کہ یورپ اور دیگر ممالک میں نچلی سطح سے قومی سطح تک ایک ہی طرح کی تربیت دے کر کھلاڑی تیار کئے جاتے ہیں ۔ ہمارے ہاں کھلاڑیوں کو انٹرنیشنل لیول پر ایک سال کھیلنے کے بعد وہ تجربہ ملتا ہے جو کہ انہیں ڈومیسٹک لیول میں ملنا چاہیئے۔ میری کوشش ہے کہ قومی ٹیم کو عالمی معیار کے مطابق تیار کرکے زیادہ سے زیادہ بہتر نتائج حاصل کئے جائیں۔

س:۔ جیت کے لئے آپ کی کیا حکمتِ عملی ہوتی ہے؟

ج:۔ کرکٹ کی طرح ہاکی بھی ایک ٹیم گیم ہے۔ لیکن ہاکی میں کوچ میچ سے پہلے پلان دیتا ہے جس پر سب کھلاڑیوں کو عمل کرنا ضروری ہوتا ہے لیکن میچ کے دوران بحیثیت کپتان حریف ٹیم کی منصوبہ بندی کو ناکام بنانے کے لئے میں حکمت عملی تھوڑی تبدیل بھی کر دیتا ہوں۔ اور میدان سے باہر کوچ سے ملنے والی ٹپس بھی بڑی کام آتی ہیں پورے میچ میں یہ چلتا رہتا ہے۔ میرے خیال میں اگر سبھی کھلاڑی منصوبہ بندی پر صحیح عمل کر یں تو ہاکی میں کامیابی مشکل کام نہیں۔

س:۔ کوئی دلچسپ واقعہ یا کسی ایسی ٹیم کا ذکر جس نے آپ کو ٹف ٹائم دیا ہو؟

ج:۔ آسٹریلیا میں ہمارا مقابلہ ہندوستان کی ٹیم کے ساتھ تھا ۔ ہماری ممکنہ جیت کو دیکھتے ہوئے ایک ہندوستانی کھلاڑی نے غصے میں ہمارے ایک کھلاڑی کو ہاکی مار دی جس کے بعد دونوں ٹیموں کے کھلاڑیوں کے درمیان جھگڑا ہو۱۔ جس میں میرے دو دانت بھی ٹوٹے ۔ میرے نزدیک کھیل کے میدان میں جیت بہترین بدلہ ہوتا ہے اور پاکستانی ٹیم نے فتح حاصل کر کے ہندوستانی ٹیم کو منہ توڑ جواب دیا۔ ہماری ہمیشہ یہ کوشش ہوتی ہے کہ ہم سپورٹس مین سپرٹ کا مظاہرہ کریں۔

س:۔ ٹیم کی کارکردگی کو مزید بہتر بنانے کے لئے آپ کے ذہن میں کیا تجاویز ہیں؟

ج:۔ ہمیں ڈومیسٹک سٹرکچر کو بہتر بنانے کی ضرورت ہے۔ سکول اور کالج کے ساتھ ساتھ کلبوں کی سطح پر بھی توجہ دینی ہو گی۔ کرکٹ کی طرح ہاکی میں بھی زیادہ سے زیادہ کمرشل ازم کو فروغ دینے کی ضرورت ہے۔ ہاکی میں زیادہ پیسہ شامل کر کے بہتر نتائج حاصل کئے جا سکتے ہیں کیونکہ ہاکی کے فروغ کے لئے جتنا زیادہ پیسہ شامل کیا جائے گا اتنا ہی یہ قومی کھیل عوامی مقبولیت حاصل کر پائے گا۔

س:۔ اب تک کن کن ملکوں میں کھیل چکے ہیں اور کامیابی کا تناسب کیا رہا؟

ج:۔ میں ہاکی کھیلنے والے تمام ممالک میں کھیل چکا ہوں تاہم ایشیائی ممالک میں ہماری کارکردگی اچھی رہی ہے ۔ عالمی مقابلوں میں مجموعی طور پر ہماری کارکردگی چالیس فیصد جبکہ ایشیائی ممالک میں جیت کا تناسب ساٹھ فیصد سے زیادہ رہا۔

س:۔ پاکستا ن ہاکی ٹیم میں کون کون سی کمزوریاں پائی جاتی ہیں؟

ج:۔ اگر ہم اپنی کمزوریوں کا جائزہ لیں تو ہم بخوبی جان سکتے ہیں کہ ہمارے بہت سے کھلاڑی انفرادی طور پر کھیلنا زیادہ پسند کرتے ہیں اور انفرادی کارکردگی پر توجہ مرکوز کئے ہوتے ہیں۔ جبکہ اجتماعی طور پر کھیلنے میں ہی ہماری کامیابی ہے۔

س:۔ بھارت ہاکی میں پاکستان کا روایتی حریف ہے۔ اسکے خلاف میچ میں کیا حکمت عملی ہوتی ہے؟

ج:۔ گو کہ ہم اپنا ہر میچ کوچ کی منصوبہ بندی کے تحت ہی کھیلتے ہیں تاہم ہندوستان کو شکست دینے کے لیئے ہر کھلاڑی بے تاب ہوتا ہے۔ یہ حقیقت ہے کہ بھارت کے خلاف ہم زیادہ جوش و جذبے کے ساتھ کھیلتے ہیں تاکہ قوم کو جیت کا تحفہ دیں ۔ ہم ہمیشہ کوشش کرتے ہیں کہ قومی ہاکی ٹیم کو ہندوستان سے شکست نہ ہو کیونکہ ہماری قوم ایسی شکست برداشت نہیں کر پاتی۔

س:۔ لوگ ہاکی میچ بہت دلچسپی سے دیکھتے تھے آج ان کی توجہ صرف کرکٹ کی طرف ہے اس کی کیا وجہ ہے؟

ج:۔ ایک توکمرشل ازم اور پیسے کا زیادہ سے زیادہ بہاؤ ہونے کی وجہ سے کرکٹ کی طرف زیادہ توجہ دی جاتی ہے دوسرا یہ کہ ہم کافی عرصہ سے کوئی بڑا ٹورنامنٹ نہیں جیت پائے۔ ذرائع ابلاغ کا رجحان کرکٹ کی طرف ہونے کی وجہ سے بھی ہاکی کا کھیل مقامی اور قومی سطح پرعدم توجہی کا شکار ہے ۔مجموعی طور پر دیکھا جائے تو اشتہاری ادارے کرکٹ پر سرمایہ کاری کرتے ہیں۔ٹی وی چینلز ہاکی دکھائیں گے تو اس قومی کھیل کو توجہ ملے گی۔ میرے خیال میں ہاکی کو کمرشلائز کرنے کی ضرورت ہے ۔

س:۔ کھیل کے حوالے سے آپ کی انفرادی کارکردگی کیسی رہی؟

ج:۔ بحیثیت کپتان میری کوشش ہوتی ہے کہ اپنے کھلاڑیوں کے سامنے رول ماڈل بنوں۔ مجموعی طور پر میری انفرادی کاکردگی کافی بہتر ہے یہی وجہ ہے کہ میں ابھی تک نہ صرف فوج کی ہاکی ٹیم بلکہ قومی ٹیم کا بھی کپتان ہوں۔

س:۔ کیا آپ کے پاس پینلٹی کارنر اورپینلٹی سٹروک کے ماہر کھلاڑی موجود ہیں؟

ج:۔ میں خود بھی پینلٹی کارنر کا ماہر ہوں اور دو سو تیئس میچز میں میں نے اب تک ایک سو تراسی گول کئے ہیں۔ پینلٹی سٹروک کا بھی کافی تجربہ ہے۔ تاہم ہماری ٹیم میں توثیق احمدبھی پینلٹی کارنر اسپیشلسٹ ہے ۔

س:۔ کیا پاک فوج کی ہاکی ٹیم میں اور بھی ایسے کھلاڑی موجود ہیں جو بین الاقوامی سطح پر پاکستان کی نمائندگی کر سکیں؟

ج:۔ موجودہ قومی ٹیم میں پاکستان فوج کی طرف سے دو کھلاڑی کھیل رہے ہیں۔ لیکن میں دعوے کے ساتھ کہہ سکتا ہوں کہ فوج کی ٹیم میں ایسے کھلاڑی موجود ہیں جو مستقبل میں قومی ٹیم کی نمائند گی کرنے کی صلاحیت رکھتے ہیں۔ اگر انہیں موقع ملے تو ملک کا نام روشن کر سکتے ہیں۔

س:۔ مستقبل میں پاکستان کی ہاکی ٹیم کودنیا میں کس مقام پر دیکھتے ہیں؟

ج:۔ عالمی سطح پر اگرچہ قومی ٹیم کی رینکنگ زیادہ بہتر نہیں لیکن بھارت. اور ملائشیا کی موجودگی میں ہم نے ایشین ہاکی چیمپئنز ٹرافی جیتی ہے جو بڑے اعزاز کی بات ہے۔ اگر ہم اپنا کھویا ہوا مقام حاصل کرنا چاہتے ہیں تو ہر کھلاڑی کو انفرادی طور پر سخت محنت کرنا ہوگی ۔

قابل اعتماد

ایک خاتون اپنے خاوند کی نئی کار لے کر بازار آ نکلیں جس میں انجن پیچھے لگا ہوا تھا۔ خریداری سے فارغ ہو کر جب کار چلانے لگیں تو کسی وجہ سے کار نہ چلی۔ کئی مرتبہ کوشش کر کے خاتون نے انجن چیک کرنے کے لئے سامنے سے ڈھکنا کھولا تو کلیجہ دھک سے رہ گیا۔ انجن غائب تھا۔ بے حد پریشانی کے عالم میں قریب ترین چوراہے پر پولیس افسر سے شکایت کی کہ کوئی شخص میری کار کا انجن چرا کر لے گیا ہے۔ متعجب پولیس افسر فوراً موقع واردات پر پہنچا۔ خاتون نے شاہانہ انداز میں ازسرِ نو گاڑی کا سامنے کا ڈھکنا کھولا تاکہ محافظ قانون اپنی آنکھوں سے نقصان کا اندازہ کر لے۔ سراسیمہ افسر ایک لمحے کے لئے تو بھونچکا ۔ وہ پھر معنی خیز مسکراہٹ کے ساتھ کار کے پیچھے گیا اور انجن کا ڈھکنا اٹھا دیا۔ انجن نظر آ گیا۔ خاتون بھی ہار ماننے والی نہ تھیں۔ خوشی سے بولیں میں ہمیشہ اس کار کو قابل اعتماد سمجھتی تھی لیکن مجھے قطعی اندازہ نہ تھا کہ اس میں ایک فالتو انجن بھی ہے۔

(مجیب الرحمن مفتی کی کتاب فی سبیل اﷲ سے ایک اقتباس )

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