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RS. 200 bluechipmag.com

BLUE CHIP

Issue 133 | Vol 14

May 2018

BUSINESS, GOVERNANCE & PEOPLE

SONRAJ

Patrik Hoffmann Page 22

PAKISTAN’S Primordial Hindu Heritage Page 31

RECIPE CORNER

Anique’s Chocolate Cake Page 44

Selfless & Fearless FAWAD RANA – CHAIRMAN


Editor’s Note

Ali Gauhar

Executive Editor

This cover story focuses on the brand and ideology of the Lahore Qalandars. Successfully launching a player development program across eight districts of Punjab is no easy task. In 2016, the Lahore Qalandars launched this ambitious program to find young talented cricketers. In 2017, the player development program was taken to Kashmir and Punjab to find more young cricketers. We cannot stress enough just how important this initiative is. The youth of Pakistan desperately need opportunities to showcase their skills. Pakistan is blessed with cricketing talent, and the Qalandars recognized the need for a solid platform. Most of the youngsters that participated in the talent hunt were from poor backgrounds. If it was not for this camp, cricketers like Yaisr Jaan and Salman Irshad never would have been found. Let’s not forget, the majority of Pakistan’s population are young people from humble backgrounds. This is why it is so crucial to develop initiatives and platforms such as this, and to make sure that it is purely based on merit. The Lahore Qalandars have continuously stressed on the importance of merit and creating a culture that naturally produces it. Mr. Fawad Rana, the Chairman and the heart and soul of the Lahore Qalandars understands that cricket is a binding force, which brings people together. Through the players development program, Fawad Rana has ignited passion in our youth. He has given them a chance to live their dreams, and create a better life for themselves. We also have an interview with Mr. Patrik Hoffman. Hoffman, the former CEO of Ulysse Nardin and sparring partner of Sonraj. He came to Pakistan for a personal visit. His love and fascination for Pakistan lies in the fact that he strongly believes that it has great potential. This issue of Blue Chip has a number of important articles that make for good reading. We hope you enjoy it. Humayun Gauhar Editor-in-Chief Ali Gauhar Executive Editor Sub Editors Rizwana Ataullah Khan Syahirah Anwar Design & Layout Naveed Aziz Accounts & Business Manager Adeel Shabbir Social Media Arzoona Khalid Web Designer Maliha Azmat Published by Humayun Gauhar Office No. 1, 3rd Floor, Mehria Plaza, Jinnah Avenue, Blue Area, Islamabad-Pakistan. Printed by PanGraphics (Private) Ltd. Contact us T: +92 51 22 28 420 bluechipmag786@gmail.com  facebook.com/bluechipmag  twitter.com/bluechipmag_ www.bluechipmag.com


BLUE CHIP May 2018 / Issue 133 / Vol. 14

BUSINESS, GOVERNANCE & PEOPLE

25 04 News Picks Selfless & Fearless – Lahore Qalandars 12 by Ali Gauhar

22 Patrik Hoffmann – Sonraj by Alifya Aun

– The Last of The Greats 25 Gulgee by Humayun Gauhar Primordial Hindu Heritage 31 Pakistan’s by Mashaal Gauhar

31


CONTENTS

34

Pakistan’s Migrant Tragedy 34 by Mashaal Gauhar

38 Fastest Growing Brand in Pakistan 41 Keep Pakistan’s Wagon Hitched to The China Star

by Brian Cloughley

Anique’s Chocolate Cake 44 Recipe Corner

44


{ NEWS PICKS } Global growth in 2018 forecast to be the strongest since 2011 The International Monetary Fund has forecast that 2018 will be the strongest year for global growth since 2011.In its new assessment of the World Economic Outlook, the IMF predicts growth this year and next of 3.9%.However, it warned that performance could be curtailed by trade barriers. The IMF report warned that the current momentum was “not assured”.It lists a number of risks that could lead to weaker performance

Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia to be world’s tallest building in 2020

These are the images that show what will soon be known as the world’s next tallest building rising from the desert.When the 3,280-feettall (1,000-meter-tall) Jeddah Tower, in Saudi Arabia, opens in 2020, it will knock Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa off its throne as the tallest skyscraper in the world by 236 feet (72 meters). Construction of the landmark is estimated to cost $1.4 billion. According to CNN the tower will be the crown jewel of Jeddah Economic City, a commercial and residential project of 57 million square feet (5.3 million square meters), that will feature homes, hotels and offices, as well as tourist attractions. 4

than its main forecast, including what it calls policies that “harm international trade”. The report refers to “waning support for global integration”. It says increased trade barriers - tariffs or other restrictions - could harm sentiment in financial markets, disrupt global supply chains and slow the spread of new technology.Protectionism also affects consumers by making tradable goods more expensive.

Allowing full foreign ownership of car firms by 2022 China may open up the world’s biggest car market. The plans will change rules that require global carmakers to work through state-owned partners.The US says this forces them to share technology with potential competitors. The restrictions helped fuel its trade dispute with US President Donald Trump, but Chinese officials said the plans were not to ease tensions. China’s state planner has conveyed it would remove foreign ownership caps for companies making fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2018, for makers of commercial

Ethiopia forecast to be the fastest growing economy in sub-Saharan Africa this year Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populated country, is forecast to be the fastest growing economy in Sub-Saharan Africa this year, ac-

vehicles in 2020, and the wider car market by 2022. China imposed ownership restrictions in 1994, limiting foreign carmakers to owning no more than a 50% share of any local venture.The policy was designed to help domestic carmakers compete. cording to a new data from the IMF. Ethiopia’s economy is predicted to grow by 8.5% this year. The figures signal continued economic expansion following a long period of impressive growth. In the last decade, Ethiopia has averaged around 10% economic growth.. To boost the economy, the country is pursuing a number of large-scale infrastructure projects, including the Grand Renaissance Dam and a railway network.


State Bank of Pakistan bans cryptocurrencies in the country

In a major development, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has banned cryptocurrencies in the country. While the volume of trading remains on the lower side in Pakistan, Bitcoin’s phenomenal rise in value during 2017 has tempted many to open accounts with various exchanges and trade. However, in a circular issued on its website, the central bank said that virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Pakcoin, OneCoin, DasCoin, Pay Diamond or Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) tokens are not legal tender, issued or guaranteed by the Pakistan government. “The SBP has not authorised or licensed any individual or entity for the issuance, sale, purchase, exchange or investment in any such virtual currencies/coins/tokens in Pakistan,” it said in the statement.

The global recovery will peter out- IMF The World Economic Forum (WEO) said its biggest growth upgrade since October had been for the US, which is expected to expand by 2.9% in 2018 and 2.7% in 2019 – up from the 2.3% and 1.9% forecast in October. The eurozone is also expected to outperform previous forecasts, with growth of 2.4% in 2018 and 2.0% in 2019, up by 0.5 and 0.3 points, respectively. The IMF made only modest changes to its forecasts for the UK. It

said growth was on course to be 0.1 point higher in 2018, at 1.6%, but 0.1 point lower in 2019, at 1.5%. By 2023, the IMF expects UK growth to be 1.6%, slightly higher than the 1.4% pencilled in for the eurozone. Obstfeld said this forecast was a best-case assumption based on a Brexit deal that involved zero tariffs and favourable access to the EU for the City. Growth would still be lower than it would have been had the UK remained a member of the EU.

‘Flick’ – a new unit of time invented by a Facebook engineer The flick has been designed to help developers keep video effects in sync,according to a description on the code-sharing site GitHub. A flick, derived from “frame-tick”, is 1/705,600,000 of a second - the next unit of time after a nanosecond.A researcher at Oxford University said the flick wouldn’t have much general impact but may help create better virtual reality experiences. Flicks are defined in the programming language C++, which is used to generate visual effects for film, television and other media.Flicks give programmers a way to measure the time between media frames without using fractions. Matt Hammond, lead research engineer at BBC Research and Development, said this can reduce errors

such as stutters in graphics. “When the numbers used are not integers, errors can gradually creep into computer calculations. These errors can build up over time, eventually causing inaccuracies that become noticeable,” he said.

North and South Korea bridge 65-year divide to hold one-day historic summit Kim Jong Un became the first North Korean ruler to cross the border into South Korean territory since 1953 as he met with President Moon Jae-in. The one-day bilateral summit is the third ever meeting between leaders of the two Koreas, but skepticism is high about whether they can achieve any concrete progress on denuclearization. 6

The face-to-face meeting has been heralded as a diplomatic win following years of the North’s repeated nuclear tests and missile launches. But many believe Moon will use the summit to establish trust rather than broach the nitty-gritty details of the North’s nuclear program.. The event’s real purpose, according to strategists, is to set the stage for

Kim’s meeting with President Donald Trump slated for May or June.


Shanghai Stock Exchange and Abu Dhabi Global Market to develop platform in Abu Dhabi China’s Shanghai Stock Exchange has agreed in principle a deal with the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). The partners signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop the platform in Abu Dhabi. The joint exchange is poised to support businesses and investors along the Belt and Road. This Beijing-backed scheme plans to link the world’s second-largest economy to the west via a vast land and maritime infrastructure network across Eurasia. It envisions a platform serving the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region (and) serving the Belt and Road economic route.

Report cites gender discrimination in job adverts by leading Chinese firms Leading Chinese firms including e-commerce giant Alibaba were heavily criticised for gender discrimination in job adverts in a new report which said the landscape for the female workforce in China was deteriorating. The report by campaign group Human Rights Watch, entitled “Only Men Need Apply: Gender Discrimination in Job Advertisements in China”, details a host of

8

offences by private companies and public bodies, from issuing “men only” job ads to requests for women applicants to be “trim” and “aesthetically pleasing”. The adverts reflect “traditional and deeply discriminatory views” that women are less capable than men and that they will not be committed to their jobs because of their role as family caregivers, it said. According to the report, discrimination in hiring practices is contributing to a drop in the female workforce and a widening gender pay gap.

Pakistan-origin British MP Sajid Javid appointed new interior minister Britain’s Theresa May appointed Sajid Javid as her new interior minister in the wake of the sudden resignation of Amber Rudd who fell victim to an immigration scandal. Known for his passion for detail when he was business minister, Javid, who backed staying in the European Union, will take over Britain’s Home Office at a time it is under scrutiny for using targets for the deportation of illegal migrants. Javid, 48, is the first member of an ethnic minority to hold the position, one of the most senior in the British government. He had spoken out forcefully on plight of people from former British colonies who arrived legally in Britain in the 1950s and 60s, but who had struggled to prove their status amid a wider crackdown on illegal immigration. They became known as the Windrush generation after the name of the ship that brought an early group of Caribbean migrants to Britain in 1948.


The new Islamabad International Airport finally inaugurated Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi officially inaugurated the new Islamabad International Airport (IIA) on Tuesday 1st May. Its the first greenfield airport of Pakistan destined to emerge as one of Asia’s major aviation hubs after its operationalisation. A Pakistan International Airlines flight, PK-300, landed at the airport as part of its inauguration ceremony. Equipped with cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art facilities for passengers, the IIA is also the

largest airport of Pakistan. It is capable of serving nine million passengers and 50,000 metric ton of cargo every year in its first phase, while the modular design enables expansion to serve up to 25 million passengers every year by 2025. The airport was initially conceived in 1984 and land was acquired in Fateh Jang the same year to cater to the need of increasing passenger load at Benazir Bhutto International Airport.

Singapore-Kuala Lumpur air route wins the title of the busiest in the world Google gets wary with election adverts in US Learning from the Facebook fiasco, Google has rolled out new policies for verifying election advertisers in the US that require additional verification for anyone who wants to purchase an election ad on Google in the country. “As a first step, we’ll now require that advertisers confirm they are a US citizen or lawful permanent resident, as required by law,” Kent Walker, Senior Vice President at Google, said in a statement. “To help people better understand who is paying for an election ad, we also require that ads incorporate a clear disclosure of who is paying for it,” Walker added. The move comes in the wake of strong evidence that Russia used social media and online ads in an attempt to influence the 2016 US Presidential election. Google will soon release a new “Transparency Report” specifically focused on election ads. 10

The air route linking Singapore and the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur has become the busiest in the world, research shows. An av-

Twitter users urged to change their passwords Twitter Inc urged its more than 330 million users to change their passwords after a glitch caused some to be stored in readable text on its internal computer system rather than disguised by a process known as “hashing”. The social network disclosed the issue in a blog post and series of Tweets saying it had resolved the problem and an internal investigation had found no indication passwords were stolen or misused by insiders. Still, it urged all users to consider changing

erage of 84 flights per day plied the route. The route overtook Hong Kong-Taipei in a list dominated by Asian destinations. Flying between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur takes about an hour, and there are plans to build a highspeed rail link between the two. The route is operated by a host of budget carriers such as Scoot, Jetstar, Air Asia and Malindo Air as well as the two countries’ flagship carriers, Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.

their passwords. “We fixed the bug and have no indication of a breach or misuse by anyone,” Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said in a Tweet. “As a precaution, consider changing your password on all services where you’ve used this password.” The disclosure comes as lawmakers and regulators around the world scrutinize the way that companies store and secure consumer data, after a string of security incidents at Equifax Inc, Facebook Inc and Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL].


Saudi Arabia goes fast forward with its sweeping modernization plans After repealing a decades-long ban on cinemas only last year, Saudi Arabia has now launched an ambitious drive to become a culture and entertainment hub as part of sweeping modernisation plans. American film star Katie Holmes and British actor-cum-director Idris Elba rubbed shoulders with Saudi officials, as the conservative kingdom recently kicked off an initiative to invest 130 billion riyals ($34.7 billion, 29 billion euros) in culture and leisure by 2020. The goal is to create “a true cultural industry, with theatres, cinemas and training centres,” said Ahmad al-Mazid, who leads culture policy for Saudi Arabia. Key projects include 16 entertainment complexes, an aquatic centre and three other huge leisure hubs -- all part of a bid to ensure three Saudi cities make it into the global top 100 for quality of life.

The project, dubbed “Quality of Life Program 2020,” is in part designed to encourage wealthy young citizens to spend more of their leisure time in the kingdom, where more than half the population is below the age of 25.

11


I know what you are thinking, and you are not wrong. The Lahore Qalandars failed to walk the talk, especially in PSL-3.. ... But let us be real. Any team can lose a game of cricket, or even a tournament. They will always have the ability to come back strongly next time. Anyhow, this is not a story on the Qalandar’s PSL-3 performance. ... This story seeks to shed light on the core features of the Lahore Qalandar’s brand and ideology. It is crucial to delve into what they represent, and what they have achieved off the Pakistan Super League field. Once we understand what the Lahore Qalandars are striving for, we will begin to appreciate the difference they are trying to bring about. 12

Player Development Program 2016 In collaboration with Mobilink Jazz, Lahore Qalandars launched a player development program across eight districts of Punjab to find Pakistan’s next superstar. The Lahore Qalandars made history by conducting a talent hunt of 113,000 young people. A task, which quietly frankly falls under the Pakistan Cricket Board’s domain, was taken up by the Qalandars. The talent hunt was conducted in a simple and organized manner. Under the watchful eyes of Mudassar Nazar and Aqib javed, the 16 best crickets of each district would be selected to play the final tournament in Lahore. In order to take part in the camp, the cricketers had to be less than 23 years of age (The criteria changed in the second development program). The Qalandars brought in 30 coaches to scout for talent.


FAWADRANA

“

Pakistan youth needs direction, and we have direction because, cricket is a binding force. When we win, we are together, when we lose, we are together.

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1

113,000 Young Cricketers took part in the 2016 talent hunt across 8 districts of Punjab

The journey began in Bahawalpur The response in Bahawalpur was extremely positive. Over 7,000 people took part in the talent hunt, hoping to represent their city and region.

BA

H AWA L P U R

The search for more starts continued in the city of saints, Multan. Over 12,000 young cricketers participated in the camp. The Qalandars then moved to DG Khan, where 3,944 players came out to showcase their talent. Faisalabad was the next destination, and once again, it was a massive turnout. This time, 14,542 people joined the two day talent hunt. The next destination was the city of eagles, Sargodha. Sargodha saw 7,198 people in the camp. The Qalandar caravan then reached the city of Gujranwala. In two days, over 19,000 youngsters came out to showcase their skills in the summer heat.

7879

When the Qalandars moved to Rawalpindi (21,324), they discovered a unique young talent in the shape of Yasir Jaan. Defying traditional norms, Yasir Jaan demonstrated that he could bowl with his left and his right arm. The ambidextrous fast bowler, who was a fruit seller in Charsadda was all over social media in no time.

Participants

14

M U LTA N

D G K H AN

12,230

3,944

Participants

Participants


FA I S

A L A BA D

A L PI N D I

14,542

21,234

Participants

Participants

SARG

GU

R AW

O DHA

Yasir Jaan and Fawad Rana

L A H ORE

7,198

24,549

Participants

Participants

JR A N WA L A

The final stop was Lahore. The last round of trials had 24,549 players. After the trials, the stage was set for fascinating cricket in the city of Lahore. Eight teams from eight districts of Punjab were created; Lahore, Faisalabad, Sargodha, DG Khan, Multan, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, and Bahawalpur. A total of 16 matches were played in this tournament. In the end, it was Faisalabad who came out on top. However, the journey did not end there for the best 15 cricketers who were sent to Australia to harness their talent further.

19,983 Participants 15


2

116,501 Young Cricketers took part in the 2017 talent hunt in Kashmir and Punjab

Building on the success of the first season The Lahore Qalandars in collabaration with Jazz and Geo returned again to find more talented cricketers. This time the journey began in

M

I

U RP

R A ZA D KASH

M

IR

Mirpur Azad Kashmir followed by Muzzaffarabad where an exiting young talent was unearthed. Salman Irshad a right arm fast bowler with a slinging action impressed the coaches. The Qalandars caravan moved on to Punjab where once again the response was unprecedented. The passion was palpable, making everyone realise that people especially the youth are extremely passionate about cricket. Like last year, eight teams were made, and 128 aspiring young cricketers were determined to make an impact. The tournament kicked off in Muzaffarabad and culminated in Lahore. The tournament lasted 7 days, and we witnessed dynamic cricket. This time it was Sargodha that took the trophy in front of a packed house in Gaddafi Stadium.

10,258

Out of 8 teams and 128 players the best 15 cricketers were sent to Australia. Those 15 players were given the chance to be trained by cricketers like Grant Elliot and Kyle Mills. They had the great oppurtunity to play with some of the leading clubs in Australian cricket.

Participants

MU

Z A FFA R A B A D

R AW

A L PI N D I

Salman Irshad Fast Bowler

16

23,828

23,509

Participants

Participants


BA H

L A H ORE

A WA L P U R

10,435

26,150

Participants

Participants

L AY YA H

GU

JR A N WA L A

7,530

23,023

Participants

Participants

SARG

O DHA

FA I S

A L A BA D

13,590

22,178

Participants

Participants 17


Grand Finale

18


Aqib Javed

Head Coach Lahore Qalandars

Quick-Fire Stuff What does the Lahore Qalandars mean to you? It’s a dream to be a part of the Lahore Qalandars. I am truly blessed to have this opportunity. Being involved in the players deveoplment program must have been very exciting for you? It was absolutely amazing! We need to remember that something like this has never happened before, but the Qalandars made it happen, and will continueto do so. The satisfaction that I feel during these talent hunts is right up there with the 1992 World Cup win. Aqib Javed with Ali Gauhar Blue Chip – Editor-in-Chief

What did you make of the Lahore Qalandar’s performance in PSL 3? We were not up to the mark that is for sure. But I am very confident that we can bounce back next time. Were you happy with Brendon Mcculum’s captaincy? He is a very intelligent captain, who has a great understanding of the game. One must understand that as a foreign captain, it takes time to understand the local talent. What are your thoughts on Fawad Rana? He is a larger than life figure. People absolutely adore him. He is the heart and soul of the Lahore Qalandars.

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Lahore Qalandars AN IDEOLOGY

It is clear that the Lahore Qalandars are not only keen on keeping the Pakistan Super League alive. They are determined to create a vibrant sports culture in the country. They realise that there is no concept of open trials, or even a solid system that can be relied on.

“This journey that focused on bringing hope and empowerment to the streets, alleyways and remote areas of Punjab has not yet reached its end. Despite a lack of International cricket our talent and our passion remain strong, We want to ensure that our country and our land remains fruitful for love and commitment to the sport.”

Fawad Rana

Chairman Lahore Qalandars

The Qalandars are aware that nepotism continues to haunt the system, which is why they are committed to routing it out, and creating a system that is purely based on merit. The best part of the talents hunts were that players were solely picked on merit. For too long, nepotism and mediocrity have trumped merit. The Qalandars recognize that the only way to defeat an outdated system is to make a new one, which guarantees that the best will always prevail. Discovering new talent is also crucial to their cause. Yasir Jaan, who used to sell fruit in KPK was found in Rawalpindi. He is now training with the MCC in England, and has a 10 year development contract with the Qalandars. Salman Irshad from Muzaffarabad was not only noticed, but was lucky enough to get an opportunity to take part in PSL 3. Rauf Harris, a quick bowler from Islamabad came to the camp in Gujranwala and impressed everybody with his speed. This initiative indicates that the Lahore Qalandars is not only a brand, it is an ideology, an ideology that is focused on giving youngsters from poor backgrounds an opportunity to shine at the highest level. Young people, particularly those who do not come from money need and deserve a platform to showcase their cricketing potential. A development program like this should serve as an example not just to Pakistan, but to other cricketing nations who are searching for young talent.

#DamaDamMast 20

“Owning a franchise is a very prestigious honor. The biggest challenge is that we do not have a sports culture in Pakistan. We need to realise that national cricket and league cricket are not the same. We must develop a league culture. This is why we are keen on creating new concepts like the battle of Qalandars, which is our latest. We will divide Lahore into 8 regions and make club houses in these areas.”

Atif Rana

CEO Lahore Qalandars


REACTIONS TO THE

Development Program Shahbaz Sharif CM Punjab

“This work which Lahore Qalandars have done, is supposed to be done by the government, I congratulate them and their team.”

Najam Sethi

Zaheer Abbas

Inzamam-ul-Haq

PCB Chairman

Former Cricketer

“The amount of hard work the Qalandars have done and the facilities they are creating, this exposure is fantastic!”

“What the Lahore Qalandars have achieved is absolute magic.”

Shoib Akhtar

Mohammad Yousuf Former Cricketer

Former Captain NZ / Qalandars

“I have never seen work happening on such a big scale.”

“Because of this, millions of youngsters get a chance to show their talent.”

“This program will make not only Pakistan, but world cricket a better place.”

Former Cricketer

Former Cricketer / Chief Selector “This work is not done for Lahore Qalandars, this hunt is happening for Pakistan Cricket.”

Brendon Mccullum

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PATRIK HOFFMANN

SONRAJ

by Alifya Aun

Have you always been’ passionate about watches and watchmaking? I started working in a watch company named “Oris” after which I went to study in America. Since the beginning it was a combination of the technical aspect and the design. What really fascinated me was what happens inside (the watches). It’s the smallest thing that you can perceive with your eyes and you can still work on with your hands. I have lived in Malaysia for five years, and I have to say, it reminds me a lot of Pakistan. Malaysia and Pakistan have a number of similarities, but the most striking similarity is the high level of individuality. 22

Does the South Asian market have room for small investors? Well it’s a global market. I think it’s a market of opportunities. It’s not a market that is saturated. CPEC opens new doors for Pakistan and will of course bring it closer to China. This really is a fantastic opportunity for Pakistan. I read some very interesting statistics recently. If you go back 10 years, you see the impacts of investments from the US compared to that China. China is providing healthy investments. It is more secure and with less downside, which is why investors are now more bullish about Pakistan. I appreciate the opportunities here. When I get asked by my friends I tell them about


PATRIKHOFFMANN

Former CEO Ulysse Nardin, sparring partner of Sonraj, and expert on the South Asian market


investing in Pakistan and visiting Pakistan, because there is this kind of a mysticism about it. We should also know that Pakistan is a lot safer now. There is a platform here because of the Chinese and that will convince people to invest. Talk to us about the recent trends in Pakistani Market? First of all, I believe in globalization. If there is a trend happening in the world, it’s happening here as well. If you look at social media, it is clear that is becoming a very strong player. That’s why I opened an office here 6 months ago, because I see many opportunities here I feel that more people should invest in Pakistan. Is it true that the stock market is not an accurate gauge for the health of the economy? At the end of the day the market doesn’t solely rely on the stock market. It is also about consumer confidence or educated consumers along with the globalization. Consumers

feel more confident to buy products here. There should be a strong domestic market for consumers, that is absolutely vital. They want comfort in life, that’s the ultimate goal, and I feel that’s happening in Pakistan. At the end of the day the stronger the retail, the more it shows in the market. What makes the Pakistani market tick? Pakistanis have a very strong understanding and pride in their culture. So if you understand culture you understand the product, and Pakistanis appreciate good products. So I believe a time piece like “Sonraj” is a classic time piece, and Pakistanis understand that. Pakistanis are a very proud nation, so they are very patriotic in that sense. “Sonraj” does a lot of limited addition watches and it works, because people believe in the company and a very proud of it. What is it like working with Sonraj? First of all, a lot of it is based on trust.

I love Pakistan and I love visiting Pakistan. I see a great deal of potential here. So of course, the most important thing for me as a business person when I came from Switzerland was the professionalism. But what really impress me are how things are handled here, and the high level of creativity. The innovation and creativity at Sonraj is absolutely tremendous. It is an honor to be associated with a luxury high end product Where do you see Pakistan’s economy in the next 5 years? When I see all the numbers, when I see China, the connection Pakistan has with China, it’s a sure future. Pakistan need to capitalize on their advantages. It is important for the world to realise that Pakistan is on the rise, and therefore a fantastic place to invest.

Serving Brunch Now

@ 24


FROM BLUE CHIP’S ARCHIVES

Gulgee THE LAST OF THE

GREATS

by Humayun Gauhar

Like the Sufi mystic poet Rahman Baba of the Khalil-Mohmand tribe, the great warrior poet Khushal Khan Khattak, chief of the Khattak tribe and the famous contemporary Urdu poet Ahmad Faraz, Gulgee is a Pathan. Ismail Gulgee was born in Peshawar on October 25, 1926. His father and grandfather had moved there from Attock, while his mother was from Hazara. Attock is near the Punjab-Pukhtoon border. It is also famous for the fort built there by the third Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great astride the confluence of the two rivers Indus and Kabul that meet in a deep gorge. The word ‘Attock’ means ‘to get stuck’ and Akbar named it so because this is where invading armies coming through the fabled Khyber Pass could get stuck. It is an awesome sight, the mighty Indus with its crystal clear cold waters having just left the towering Himalayas and the muddy rapids of the

Kabul having just left Afghanistan crashing into each other and becoming one, flowing for miles together yet separately, the pristine waters of one distinct from the brown waters of the other before they finally mix. If you stop your car after crossing the Attock Bridge with the railway line going above it and go down to the banks of the two rivers where both meet, you will find fishermen there who will ask you whether you want Indus fish or Kabul fish. You can even have it cooked there or take it home. Most people don’t know this and obliviously drive past. Gulgee of Attock might like to do a painting of this point, unless he already has. Another surprise is that Gulgee belongs to the Ismaili community, followers of His Highness the Aga Khan. You normally don’t associate this sub-sect of the Shia with Pathans. Peshawar, though, had a vibrant Ismaili community. Gulgee’s father stud25


ISMAILGULGEE


ied at the Muslim College Peshawar. He was an engineer employed with the government and Gulgee traveled with him a lot. His grandfather was a Sunday painter. Gulgee first studied at Peshawar Convent School and then went to finish high school studies in Lawrence College situated in the Himalaya Mountains in a place called Ghora Galli near the British hill station called Murree. I had gone to Karachi to meet and talk to Gulgee. I do my best to avoid travel, having done more than a normal person would in two lifetimes, but a call from the last of our great masters galvanized me into action. In any case, Gulgee had known my late father Mr. Altaf Gauhar, who had been a patron of the arts. He was the one who founded the Arts Council in Karachi and the Gallery for Contemporary Art in Rawalpindi. Great artists like Zainul Abideen, Shakir Ali, Zubeida Agha and Sadequain were his friends and he helped many of them when they were struggling and unknown. I remember Zainul Abideen in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) living with us on our launch ‘Molly’ while my father traveled through the district of which he was magistrate. He would sit on the small

deck of the launch and paint in watercolour before lunch while Molly sailed on a river they called Padma. Every morning boatmen would surround our launch to sell groceries and fruit, mainly bananas and kathal or jackfruit, and I remember my late mother negotiating with them. Our daily fare was — you guessed it — fish. The one I loved was curry made of tiny fish the size of Whitebait. Zainul Abideen also lived with us in Karachi in the District Magistrate’s House just across from the Karachi Gymkhana on Club Road. It is now the Commissioner’s House. I remember Zainul Abideen sitting to my left during lunch rolling up his chappati and dipping it in curry and biting chunks off. My sister Naveed and I copied him, much to the annoyance of our mother. Then there was the young Sadequain, sober as a saint, who also lived with us in the same house. He would wear off-white cotton sherwanis with a cap made of the same fabric, like the one that Nehru wore. Every morning he sat in our drawing room making sketches, including of me and my sister. Altaf Gauhar introduced him to Prime Minister Suharawardhy and under his patronage he got his break. Zubeida Agha was our best fami-

ly friend from amongst the artists. I have little memory of Shakir Ali, except that I remember him walking up the drive of our house in GOR Lahore with a huge painting strapped to his bicycle. It was a present for my father, a still life that is considered his best. I do remember hearing that Shakir Ali’s Czechslovakian wife, now sadly deceased, had left him and married the journalist and labour leader Minhaj Barna, older brother of the politician Mairaj Mohammad Khan, whom she got to know while he was underground, hiding from the police in Shakir Ali’s house. Minhaj Barna was later to work with us in South, the magazine my father and I published from London, which is when I also met his wife. She was a wonderful lady. May God rest her soul in peace. Here I was writing about Gulgee but there I have gone telling you stories about Pathans, rivers and other artists. So back to Gulgee. “I wanted to be a painter and my parents were planning to send me to Paris to study art. Like all children I used to draw. I was a painter right from the day I was born. It is said that I was painting even in my mother’s womb. Like a person who is madly in love with a woman and could do anything for her, I was madly in love with painting. But things got bad and my parents could not afford to send me anywhere.” Gulgee’s father suggested that he take up such subjects for studies that would give him a chance to win a scholarship. “So I opted for mathematics and engineering and won the scholarship.” Gulgee earned a scholarship for Aligarh University and then won the scholarship for postgraduate studies at Columbia University. He studied engineering and later taught at Colombia. When asked whether he had ever taught painting, he said, “No. You can either paint or teach.” (I thought Gulgee was going to say, “You can either paint or you can’t”, which I also think is true, at least for 27


helped him in painting? “I think so,” said Gulgee, his brow furrowed. “Apparently the two [painting and mathematics] are very different but they are very much the same. My field was mechanics.” He explains what mechanics is about: “You are standing here, 20 feet to that side and 10 feet down, what is the effect of my standing here at that time?” I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about.

the great artists. The master batsman Viv Richards once said in an interview: “You either got it or you ain’t got it.”). Gulgee continues: “I was teaching mathematics to graduate students of engineering at the Aligarh University when I was 20 years old. All my students were older than me without exception. I would go in my slippers and talk to them. We were good friends and they liked me. We remained friends afterwards.” When I asked whether he couldn’t have got a scholarship in art, he got animated: “Art mein koi miltey hai? Shukar karo maar naheen daitay.” [Does one ever get a scholarship in art? Thank God one is not killed.] But he stressed that he did not feel the need to study painting. “I never had a problem there. My training had all been in mathematics. It doesn’t sound very modest but I have been very good at whatever I attempted, whether it was mathematics, art or engineering. In engineering, I got a first class and came first in Aligarh University. I got an average of 86.6 percent. And the person who came second with a 200 marks difference became a famous engineer who later joined the United Nations.” Has his background in mathematics 28

After the teaching stint at Aligarh, Gulgee went to study at Columbia. “Uss waqt mil bhee jatay thay scholarship” [In those days one could get a scholarship]. When I went for the interview for the scholarship, I told them of my project which I had dedicated to Aga Khan Sultan Mahomed Shah. One of the persons there said, ‘But the Aga Khan is not an engineer.’ I said, no, I was doing it in my personal capacity, out of respect. I got the scholarship without knowing anybody. And that was a big thing, three years of fully paid scholarship. It included not only fees but lodging and other expenses too. “I was looking to do a PhD from Harvard but the government took me off to look at the design of Warsak Dam” — for which Gulgee worked with a company in Sweden. “I participated in the actual design of the dam and spent a year-and-a-half with HG Acres and Company, which was assigned the designing work of Warsak.” In the early Fifties Gulgee held his first exhibition in Stockholm where his paintings were sold before the exhibition opened. Back in Pakistan Gulgee joined government service but wanted to resign after only a few months. Prince Karim Aga Khan’s grandfather, Sultan Mahomed Shah, persuaded him to keep the job. “He said to me, ‘What your country needs at the moment is engineers and there are not that many people with the kind of background that you have. Why don’t you work for five years and then you can still do your paintings?’ ”

Gulgee worked with the Central Engineering Authority and apart from the Warsak Dam, he also worked on some dams in East Pakistan. “I worked on every aspect of designing and wrote a series of reports which was very useful information because all the engineers were there. [The report covered] all the designs they did, the assumptions they used and the kind of tests and investigations they had to do to arrive at the kind of assumptions.” But not all his work hours were spent in mechanical calculations. He was often officially asked to do portraits. The last five years at work “I was mostly painting…doing portraits. Kabhee kisi ko khush karna hae [having to please a person at times]. And I was very happy. Mazedar zamana tha [Those were enjoyable times]. Engineering to karnee par rahee thee [I had to do engineering, of course]. I also had the chance to do what I liked doing.” It is like the wazeefa in the Mughal period. Gulgee continues, “Then the government sent me to Afghanistan to do a portrait of King Zahir Shah. They desperately wanted to make good relations with Afghanistan. I was asked to do a very flattering portrait of the King that would please him. I told them that I would try to make a flattering portrait but when I do a portrait I have no control over it. I react to the person. So if you want to make sure it is a flattering portrait you have to go to some other painter who only makes flattering portraits. Luckily, Zahir Shah was also an artist. He used to paint. He invited me to Kabul and I stayed there for three years. I made portraits of the King, his granddaughter, Wali Khan, his uncle and of Sir Mahmood Khan Ghazi.” “Was that the time when Aslam Khattak was the ambassador?” I ask. “Exactly,” Gulgee replies. “I stayed at the Kabul Hotel and Aslam Khattak walked in and told his men to


carry all my luggage and follow him. What a lovely gesture!” In Afghanistan, he did sketches as well as portraits in oil and had an exhibition in Kabul of nearly 100 drawings. “It was a wonderful experience,” he says. “They are lovely people. The land as well as the people are beautiful.” But were there any cultural activities at that time? “Here and there.” “But not much?” I press. “Idher kon see much hotee hain [How many do you get to see here],” replies Gulgee. After continuing for 10 years he left the job to pursue art. At that, he says, his parents felt that, “bechare kee kismet kharab hae [Poor thing, he is ill-fated].” He met Zaro, who later became his wife, for the first time in Dhaka. “I was doing a portrait of Karim Aga Khan and was traveling with him to Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Chitagong and then to Paris.” They got married in Paris. The magnificent portrait of her that hangs in his sitting room was done a couple of years after their marriage.

ON HIS WORK

Earlier Gulgee was more interested in portraits. Doing portraits becomes easier if you like the person, he says.

These days he “doesn’t do that many sketches.” On switching from portraits to calligraphy, he says that he uses the same colours. “I paint the whole day, from 11 am till around 8 pm. My brush moves like a quill. My earlier calligraphy was classical. In calligraphy you have to go back to your roots. I can write in any of the styles of the old masters. But I have given it a new direction. In Islam soch mein to agae gae [we progressed in thought].” But not in calligraphy, he says. Whatever our painters did it was still spiritually classical calligraphy. “It is not something that goes in another direction.” He believes that there is a great deal of artistic talent in Pakistan. “People think that an artist should be natakee [performer]. They like that kind of thing. People are more impressed with their personality, their image. Many artists are like that and tend to do nothing. There should be genuine involvement in the work.” He himself, he said, was a “seedha saadha” [simple and straight] person.

into painters of substance, whether there was any depth or not. Talent was there. But they can make their little talent go a long way in making it a big happening.” He wasn’t that fascinated by it but “liked the free and easy way of working.” In his own work, he says that not only the hand moves with freedom, but there is content too. “Art critic Eric Gibson came to my exhibition in Washington [in 1993]. He came only because it was in a museum. He said, ‘Mr Gulgee you don’t need to come with me, I like to see the paintings on my own. Matlab dafaa ho jayo teri zaroorat naheen hae [Meaning, get lost, you are not needed]. I said, I would like to ask you one favour: spend a little time with at least one of my paintings. He came running back and said, ‘Gulgee what have you done. Our artists have been doing the same work. But you have got something in your work which they don’t get.’ Then I took him along and said in these works you need a connection beyond…call it nature, God…us ke bagher naheen hota.” Gibson wrote in The Washington Post: “Mr Gulgee began as a portraitist, moving into his colour abstractions only in the past 20 years. These paintings are by far his most interesting. In them, the artist is attempting to fuse two traditions: Islamic calligraphy, in which writing both carries a religious text and decorates a page, and the West-

Abstract expressionism was the rage in America when Gulgee went to study there. He visited galleries and “anyone could do that”, was his impression of the abstract expressionism. “They were not all great painters. The desperate need of the people for heroes in art made them 29


ern style of Abstract Expressionism, with its movemented brushstrokes. These paintings combine the two traditions with grace and elegance, and at the same time manage to transcend them. The paintings stand as more than the sum of their sources.” Quranic words “mein jadoo hota hae [have magic]”, he says. The way the words move along dovetailing each other, “us mein maza aata hei [gives a great sense of pleasure]. Mine is a new direction in calligraphy.” The previous work was not spiritually different from what had gone before, he says. “You have to merge yourself in the husn [beauty] of that writing and in that kefiyat [state] you write.” He says he is building up a museum of his work at his house. “For this I didn’t get any money from the government or anybody else.” He laments that there was no place where paintings could be preserved and displayed. “These paintings are not for sale. Now they are asking me to pay a tax for Rs 700,000 for three months on this.”

His mosaics are done with thousands of pieces of lapis lazuli put together with no glaze or colour used. He points to a portrait of Prince Karim Aga Khan done in mosaic which took a year to complete. “It is like the work of Rembrandt but a thousand times more difficult to do,” says Gulgee. “Italians have done mosaics in stone but they are so incompetently done.” His son, Amin Gulgee, has already established himself as one of Pakistan’s leading artists. “I am very proud of him. I have not taught him anything. We don’t discuss paintings or sculptures. We do our own work. He has learned from me in the sense that he saw me work. I neither discouraged nor encouraged him. He is one of the most talented artists living today.” Paksitan’s greatest living artist, Gulgee has witnessed the fall of the British and Soviet empires, the creation of a country and its painful division

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in 1971. Does he look back at our history in sadness or does he still retain that original spirit of hope? “My biggest wish was that in my country, a time would come when people start having respect for artists. That hasn’t happened. Artists are so vulnerable. Their profession is so difficult. Zindagi, rozi kamane ke liye kitna mushkil hae [Life, it’s tough to earn a living]. How much they sacrifice to be an artist. Except for respect, there is nothing else they can get.” Gulgee reminds me of our great history when artists were accorded great respect by the rulers of the day. “In the days of Hafeez Usman, when Hafeez was doing calligraphy, the ruler of that time would carry his inkpot for him. When the king said that there would never again be another Hafeez Usman, he replied, ‘No, if there are rulers like you, itnee khater karne wale [who are so caring], then there would be thousands of Hafeez Usman. This is all there is to it.”

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PAKISTAN’S “ PRIMORDIAL HINDU HERITAGE

Beyond Sindh and across Pakistan, ancient Hindu empires have left their own special footprint: the Katas Raj temples in the Punjab, the Kalat Kali temple of Balochistan and the Raja Gira Fort in Swat are just a few enduring testaments to the land’s primordial Hindu past

by Mashaal Gauhar

The election of 39-year-old Krishna Kumari as the first Hindu Dalit woman to occupy a place in Pakistan’s Senate shines a spotlight on Pakistan’s long-suffering Hindu minority. Escaping a life of forced labour, her rise to the forefront of Pakistani politics is nothing short of inspiring. Similarly, the tireless struggle of 52-year-old Veeru Kohli against slavery in Pakistan has drawn widespread recognition. A Hindu from Sindh, Kohli worked as a bonded labourer for 20 years and now fearlessly advocates against the system of indentured servitude which operates with impunity across the country. These women are just two examples of the brilliance, tenacity and integrity of Pakistan’s deeply marginalised Hindu community. At a time when Pakistan’s Hindu minority remains deeply vulnerable in the face rising extremism, it is essential to remember the integral role played by Hinduism in Pakistan’s culture and civilisation. According to historians, Hinduism was the earliest religion to take hold in the Indus

Valley. The Indus River, which has served as the site for a multiplicity of civilisations including the Hindu Vedic Civilisation, was originally called Sindu, meaning Hindu. The cradle of one of the world’s most ancient civilisation, the Indus was and still is revered by both Hindu and Muslim communities in Sindh. The name Jhule Lal given to the Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar is a Hindu name which refers to the god of water. Today, Sindhi fishermen still invoke Jhuley Lal when venturing out to sea to ensure their safe return. Pakistan’s rich Sufi heritage is also shared by the Hindu community. For example, the name Jhule Lal given to the Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar is a Hindu name which refers to the god of water. Today, Sindhi fishermen still invoke Jhuley Lal when venturing out to sea to ensure their safe return. The land of Sindh holds such special importance for India’s Sindhi community that when the deletion of the word ‘Sindh’ from the Indian national anthem was considered 31


KRISHNAKUMARIKOHLI


there was great protest. In 2005, the Indian Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Sindhi community asserting that a national anthem was ‘a hymn or song expressing patriotic sentiments or feelings’ and ‘not a chronicle which defines the territory of the nation.’ Beyond Sindh and across Pakistan, ancient Hindu empires have left their own special footprint: the Katas Raj temples in the Punjab, the Kalat Kali temple of Balochistan and the Raja Gira Fort in Swat are just a few enduring testaments to the land’s primordial Hindu past. The Hindu temples of Pakistan continue to draw people from all faiths as places of solace and spirituality. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, journalist and author of Historic Temples in Pakistan: A Call to Conscience, Reema Abbasi explained, “It seems these sites have transcended all faiths and that’s why often Muslims go to these sites in the belief

that something that is so ancient, with such mystique, pulls people and keeps them coming back. Some go for blessings; others believe it’s a place that should be respected for all that it has seen.” The ancient ties of Pakistan’s Hindus to the land must not be undermined any longer. Sadly, discrimination against this minority means that Hindus face acute economic exclusion, often relegated to undertaking the most menial of jobs like roadside sweepers and janitors in government offices. Several endure lives of serfdom in Pakistan’s feudal heartlands. Hindus constitute just over two percent of Pakistan’s 200 million population. Statistics reveal that increasing numbers are fleeing to India to escape persecution. With increasing sectarian strife and religious intolerance taking hold, it is all too easy to forget our shared heritage. The temples and Sufi shrines of the past are a reminder of the

transience of this worldly life, our inescapable mortality and ultimately the grave error of discrimination and prejudice.The great Sufi Baba Fareed cautions us of how we are united in a common destiny, “In conceit, I have kept the turban on my head free of dirt, Forgetful that my very head is to be consumed by dirt one day.” In today’s polarised Pakistan, these words must not be forgotten.

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PAKISTAN’S MIGRANT TRAGEDY by Mashaal Gauhar

At present, Pakistan’s politicians seem inured to the suffering of the people they have been elected to serve. Until this changes, such horrific tragedies will continue unabated

In February, it was reported that 16 Pakistani migrants drowned at sea near the shores of Libya en route to Italy. Such tragedies are becoming all too common, highlighting the plight of countless Pakistanis whose lives have been marred by conflict, poverty and despair. The number of Pakistanis making this perilous journey by sea is on the increase: last year, over 3,100 Pakistanis reached Italy by sea, making them the 13th largest nationality among migrants. This year, Pakistanis already account for the third most numerous nationality — about 240 embarked on this treacherous journey in January. The route from Libya to Italy is considered to be the most dangerous crossing in the world. This serves as a damning indictment against Pakistan’s woefully inadequate governance

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structures and political system. Local and federal government have failed to respond to the needs of its citizens, many of whom live without access to the most basic of amenities such as clean drinking water, electricity, proper sanitation, health and educational facilities. Escaping a life of unimaginable hardship, these economic migrants are left with no alternative but to leave their

homeland, their family and friends. Even years after leaving, the love for one’s home remains unshakeable. It was an emotion that Pakistan’s famed dissident poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz understood all too well. Yearning for his homeland, he wrote during his days of exile, ‘Bury me, oh my country, under your pavements, where no man now dare walk with head held high’ Recognising the country’s inability to dismantle human smuggling syndicates, last year Pakistan was included in the ‘Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants’ project launched by the EU and UN.

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It is up to the politicians to ensure that their citizens are no longer reduced to such an abject state making them easy prey for rapacious human smugglers. Just recently, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took suo moto notice after the discovery of 20 bullet riddled bodies in Balochistan. The victims were labourers who had been transported to the province by human traffickers with the object of crossing the Pak-Iran border illegally. Justice Nisar stated that it was the government’s responsibility to develop a policy to end human trafficking and lamented the lack of coordination between government departments. Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency has also been sharply criticised for its inability to crack down on trafficking organisations. This represents a grim manifestation of the deplorable living conditions endured by so many, their anguish enabling them to be lured by exploitative smugglers who hold out the promise of a better future.

In spite of the endemic violence that engulfs the country, Pakistan is not internationally recognised as a conflict zone and so such people fleeing their homeland are regarded as ‘economic migrants’ — often viewed with suspicion and hostility by the countries they seek refuge in. The term ‘economic migrant’ euphemises the extreme deprivation such people find themselves in: a life berefts of dignity and basic wellbeing. Moreover, it suggests a choice: people in search of better economic prospects in other countries, threatening the job security of the residents of those countries. This perception overlooks the harrowing reality of the lives of economic migrants who feel compelled to put their faith and their life savings in the hands of modern day slave traders.

ing, the love for one’s home remains unshakeable. It was an emotion that Pakistan’s famed dissident poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz understood all too well. Yearning for his homeland, he wrote during his days of exile, “Bury me, oh my country, under your pavements, where no man now dares walk with head held high;” The great poet even prophesised that times would become even harder, “Yes, the bitterness of the times will grow still greater; Yes, the tyrant people will go on practising tyranny;”

Escaping a life of unimaginable hardship, these economic migrants are left with no alternative but to leave their homeland, their family and friends. Even after years leav-

At present, Pakistan’s politicians seem inured to the suffering of the people they have been elected to serve. Until this changes, such horrific tragedies will continue unabated.

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Fastest Growing Brand in Pakistan

Brand is neither something tangible, nor is it something physical. Yet brand has an entire persona that defines a company, person or even a country. Brands exist in the hearts and minds of people. If you think of a brand, what comes as the first image of a service or product after seeing or hearing the name of the identified sponsor is actually the ‘brand’ and how it evolves around your life. When you think of a brand locally in Pakistan, there are a few which stands out like Khaadi, Tapal, Gul Ahmed, etc. It takes years of efforts and focus to build a strong brand that has built brand equity and market presence. PTCL as a brand has been recognized and declared recently as the ‘Fastest Growing Brand in Pakistan’ by Brand Finance, which is the world’s leading brand evaluation company. This was announced at World Mobile Congress 2018 in Barcelona. This is indeed a cause for celebration while 38

to many it came as an astonishing achievement as there are many other competitive local brands in Pakistan. If you look closer, winning this specific award is not on outcome of one “big idea” or one outstanding advertising campaign. In fact, it is a collective effort of multipronged persistent efforts that was witnessed last year starting from grassroots level to top corporate echelons. These efforts include association of the brand with national sports, transformation of exchanges project, marketing and communication focus, CSR activities, national &international partnerships, training and development of


Islamabad United champions of PSL 3 brings the winning to PTCL Headquarters in Islamabad. Dr. Daniel Ritz, President & CEO, PTCL, Ali Naqvi, Owner, Islamabad United, Misbah ul Haq, Caption, Islamabad United, Syed Mazhar Hussain, CHRO, PTCL, Adil Rashid, Chief Digital Services Officer, PTCL, Syed Shahzad Shah, EVP, Marketing & Communication, PTCL, along with other Islamabad United players and team management were present on the occasion.


human resource and improved customer services. Transformation of Exchanges program was the tangible effort in which fiber optic, cables replacement and most importantly, transformation of more than 100 exchanges are included, which cater almost 50 percent of PTCL’s clients. So where 100 is a huge number, its snowball effect actually reaches entire Pakistan. Launch of CharJi in Khyber Pakhtoon Khawah, Balochistan and AJK, along with major cities in Punjab and Sindh, enabled customers to enjoy high Speed 4G network in these areas, where no one had imagined to have such facility and that certainly built the brand presence in the minds of the customers. Marketing and communication efforts are another success factor contributing to the success of the brand. These efforts included sponsorship for hockey revival in the country, in which international hockey returned

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to Pakistan after 10 years, National Cricket team collaboration in T-20 series with New Zealand, sponsorship of Islamabad United in the 2nd and 3rd edition of PSL, partnering with FC Barcelona 2017 for football followers. Not only that, PTCL is also seen supporting disabled cricket in Pakistan. In addition to the tangible deliverables, PTCL also expanded its circle of influence through multiple corporate social development initiatives and community mobilization activities. Nationwide Blood Donation Drive was the flag bearer of these activities, in which a record of collecting 9,726 pints of blood was donated. Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign in collaboration with Pink Ribbon was another impactful initiative which brought the brand closer to the hearts of Pakistani masses. Fully financed Hajj for a large number of staff was also perceived as a positive step as an employer.

Customer services and compliant redressal system are absolutely the backbone of any service industry. PTCL also took initiative to revamp1218 (Bara Athara) helpline. This helpline has amalgamated all customer related information, order booking and support services on a unique number 1218, which serves as one window solution for all its customers. National and international partnership ventures are another area where aggressive marketing tactics are deployed. These initiatives were must for PTCL to bring itself updated with contemporary global technological advancements. Organizations like Telenor, Zong, IBM, Microsoft and Netflix are companies who have signed up with PTCL recently under various collaborations. All the collaborative efforts witnessed a remarkable growth of PTCL brand and clearly shows their potential in years to come.


KEEP

PAKISTAN’S

WAGON HITCHED TO THE

CHINA

by Brian Cloughley

On the website of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) the words of President Xi Jinping stand out in simplicity. He refers, as usual, to the “all-weather strategic cooperative partnership” but makes it clear he wants more. And when one considers the way the Western world is behaving at the moment and is likely to stagger for the foreseeable future, it would serve Pakistan well to move even closer to China. Of course China is not a purring pussycat, no matter what honeyed words might be uttered by its leader, and Beijing will always seek to obtain advantage from any agreement in which China engages — but it seems that, so far, its international commercial and diplomatic arrangements appear to have worked well and to the satisfaction of its partners. Mr Xi wants China and Pakistan to “strengthen mutual assistance and deepen strategic cooperation” while “we should ad-

STAR

vance our shared interests and achieve common development. We should use the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to drive our practical cooperation with focus on Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure development and industrial cooperation so that the fruits of its development will reach both all the people in Pakistan and the people of other countries in our region.” It is all very encouraging, but is there to be a golden age for Pakistan? Perhaps not altogether, and certainly not quickly, because Pakistan’s current economic situation is not satisfactory and will take a long time to rectify. In March 2018 the International Monetary Fund forecast that the current account deficit will soon be 4.8% of national income, some $16.6 billion, which is 83% higher than the government’s official estimate. This reflects a critical imbalance between imports and exports, but the longer term benefits of CPEC will almost certainly include amelioration of the im41


XIJINPING


port-export predicament, especially if such sectors as cotton production are attended to by the government in Islamabad. On the Chinese front, relations are cordial and fruitful, but from the other side of the world the Administration of the United States appears determined to destroy whatever bilateral amiability existed in former times. President Trump’s first tweet of the year was appallingly insulting to the nation of Pakistan, and Washington’s actions since then have accelerated the decline in relations. Later in January the State Department announced suspension of $255 million in military assistance to Pakistan, placed the country on the Special Watch List for severe violations of religious freedom and deferred $900 million in Coalition Support Funds which is money “used to reimburse coalition partners for logistical and military support to US military operations.” In March 2018, on the other hand, India was declared to be “an incredibly important, incredibly valuable and incredibly close counter-terrorism partner of the US.” The Washington Administration’s representative noted that President Trump and Prime Minister Modi had “held a very, very productive series of meetings . . . and

in response to that set of meetings, the US government and the Indian government have forged ahead to create a really powerful partnership.” Pakistan has been given the message, and would be well-advised to cut its losses to far as the US is concerned. One major difference between the international policies of the US and the People’s Republic of China is in how they engage with Africa. As Forbes observed, “In December 2015, President Xi Jinping ushered in a new era of ‘real win-win cooperation’ between China and Africa. This strategy aims to create mutual prosperity, allowing investors to ‘do good while doing right.’ China has backed this proposal up with a commitment of $60 billion of new investment in major capital projects, which are tied to developing local economic capacity.” Washington has a decidedly different approach, and is building up militarily in Africa, to the extent of having formed ‘Africom’, the US Africa Command (with its headquarters, astonishingly, in Stuttgart, in Germany). The Pentagon now has some 7,000 troops permanently positioned in fifty of Africa’s 54 countries (but nobody knows, not even the US Congress, how many others move in and out on temporary deployments). Ac-

cording to Africom, it maintains “14 enduring locations which give the United States options in the event of crisis and enable partner capacity building.” There are 20 “Contingency Locations” with the purpose of “support[ing] partners, countering threats, and protecting US interests in East, North, and West Africa.” The difference between the policies of China and the United States are manifest: on the one hand Beijing “aims to create mutual prosperity” while Washington, in the words of Africom’s commander, General Waldhauser, in testimony to a Congressional Committee in March 2018, has the policy of “forward staging of forces to provide operational flexibility and timely response to crises involving US personnel or interests . . .” And so it is in Asia. The US has no interest in assisting Pakistan either economically or in the international political sphere. Washington is out for what it can get, which is inherent in the oft-repeated “America First.” It would be ingenuous to imagine that China does not give priority to its own economic interests, but it does exhibit loyalty to partners, rather than using them and then tearing them up. Pakistan should keep its wagon hitched to the China Star. 43


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THE CAKE Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt , sugar and espresso powder in a large bowl and mix until combined well.

THE FROSTING 1 ½ cup butter 1 cup cocoa powder ½ cup milk 2 teaspoons vanilla essence ½ teaspoon espresso powder

Add milk, vanilla, vegetable oil, and eggs in to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and add boiling water. Beat for about 1 minute. Pour mixture on a greased pan and bake at 180 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. THE FROSTING Melt butter, vanilla essence in a saucepan. Gradually add icing sugar. Add cocoa, espresso powder and milk. Mix until well combined. Pour on cake when hot.

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BlueChip Magazine - May 2018  

Business, Governance & People

BlueChip Magazine - May 2018  

Business, Governance & People

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