The Change Project


Thursday, 13 June 2013

“POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK” (A Reply to Dawn editorial “ PIA Peacekeepers” by Hajrah Mumtaz | 27th May, 2013)

This refers to the DAWN newspaper editorial “ PIA Peacekeepers” by hajra mumtaz. It was disheartening to read the exaggerated & envious views towards the crew members of the national flag carrier. Therefore I beg to disagree with the statement in the editorial that it was an ire (literary anger) but in fact to some extent I thought it was a presumptuous overstatement & to the average reader maybe even a schadenfreude. One has to admit that these days maligning PIA has become daily bread for our Pakistani writers and so called law abiding citizens of the country. Instead of replying or presenting intelligent arguments the writers & people stick to personality attacks (ad hominem). The typical Pakistani writer has criticized a clever decision by the crew members to the PK 709 situation, she has defamed every crew member with a profuse allegation of petty theft to add to the exaggerated criticism towards the intelligent decision instead of condoning the behavior of the expat passengers (born and raised in Britain's hooliganism culture). One must note here that around the world such unruly passenger behavior is liable for prosecution & heavy penalty in the court of law as per FAA/CAA/IATA rules & regulations. Accordingly here our Pakistani brethren (passengers, writers etc) are to blame for the incident, whom when traveling on a different airline or visiting another country are utmost law abiding citizens, while back home in a Queue or traveling on the national flag carrier they think they are above the law, they complain, make a fuss about nothing,& slander. In every family there are some black sheep, but calling the whole family black is just preposterous. Our writers should understand this because they are also a part of that Pakistani family , Talk about the “pot calling the kettle black”!
The link to the Dawn article

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Training to Shun Street Crime in Karachi: Developing " Counter-Surveillance Skills" By Mohammad BIn Iftikhar

Street Crime is on a rise in Karachi mainly due to as some say poverty or corruption. One wonders how rogue elements in political factions finance their campaigns. You might be thinking, I’m just a regular guy ,”What does any of this have to do with me?.  Well, you probably won’t find yourself against something like the old ISI, KBG or even the CIA, it’s true. But you might find yourself being targeted for a kidnapping or sized up for a street crime after taking your cash out from an ATM/bank etc.

So if you’re serious about learning how to detect someone following you, you need to get out there and practice. The goal of counter-surveillance is to get that follower of yours to do things no one in that environment is doing. Don’t get it to react, But how?:

Question yourself whether to confirm the presence or absence of people following you?.

Do you care if people following you know you’re aware of it?

Do you want to loose them?  

You can think of these three questions as forming a continuum.


Confirm that you’re being followed without the follower recognizing what you’ve done. Disguise your moves as ordinary behavior, for example in a mall (at park towers hypothetically speaking of-course), stop at various shops as if for window shopping using the image reflection on the windows to identify your follower or looking behind you at Tariq road to cross a street for traffic as you turn left.


Plan routes; know as (SDR’s) surveillance detection routes that are normal but in fact make things difficult for a person or a group following you. A good SDR will usually combine low cover for a follower with a range of entrance/exit options for the subject. In a car this could mean using “short cuts” through neighborhood streets with little covering traffic but with many routes. A route like this force your suppressors to follow you closely because they can’t predict which road you’re going to use while the lack of traffic in the neighborhood makes it easy for you to spot them.


On foot for instance at sea view stroll into a relatively empty park (bin-qasim or zamzama park) with multiple exits & entrances as it will have the same affect. People following you have to move in close or risk loosing you at one of the many exit or entrance points, while lack of pedestrian traffic deprives them of opportunities to conceal their presence. Change pace dramatically by using deception and suddenness, Use your imagination: question yourself again that if you were following someone what would make your job difficult?.  


Though it is hard to beat professional people following you but it will reveal to your suppressor/follower that you are surveillance conscious and you can counter it. So the secret to good counter-surveillance, is to be able to put yourself in the other party’s shoes, what do they call it, I guess its empathy. Try surveillance first by picking a family member as a subject and following him/her around but be careful you don’t want to end up in a lock-up at feroze-Abad police station.

Enough Reading! Go practice.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Resonant Leadersip (Mohammad Bin Iftikhar Blog)

leadership matters because a good leader creates what is known as resonance which makes him/her very effective.

Resonance which come from the latin word resonare. Meaning creating sound however when applied to leadership simply describes as effective leader who is attuned to others people's feelings and move them in a positive emotional direction. They speak authentically about their own values, direction and priorities and resonate with the emotions of surrounding people. Under the guidance of an effective leder, people feel a mutual comfort level. Resonance comes naturally to people with a high degree of emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self management, social awareness and relationship management) but also involves intellectual aspects.

Simply put: Since people want to be led; and they want leaders with human values and respect for people's unique talents and the contributions they can make and also employees want leaders who will create an environment that nurtures excellence, risk taking and creativity . They need a leader that creates resonance, which in turn promotes excellence, risk taking and creativity amongst employees.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year 2011" food for thought"

Pakistan really is beautiful in many ways,that sadly enough, many Pakistani's and people from the world who see through the media aren't even aware of, or at least not enough appreciative of its blessings is for the simple fact that we complain way too much about trivialities. 
But if all you are acquainted with is the sun,how will you know it is the sun, how will you appreciate its warmth, its power to make things grow,unless you are also aware of the night? (Which of course has its own blessings). 
Many of us don't take the world view in perspective,while it is so easy nowadays with internet and a gazillion tv broadcasts of world news.If all Pakistani brethren really took the time to appreciate all we have, all the country has to offer, especially seen in light of what goes on in the rest of the world,we would stop complaining immediately and only offer well placed critique to add to a positive development.
The tolerance we have is more 'matter of factly'. And possibly more about laziness to anything either way. With intellectual unity we can stand together and rise above the winds of adversity but with ignoramus attitude we will stay divided and fall.
I wish you the best of health and wealth in the year to come 2012

Sunday, 4 December 2011

THE KEY TO A TRAINER'S ROLE (crtical assesment of using too much fun in training sessions)

My assessment of the trainers at a domestic training event called "TRG learnfest 2011" held at sheraton karachi on nov 15th was the same as the views of the audience that is critical.

The element of using "TOO MUCH FUN" has i guess affected the adult learning concept. Several people in the audience that i interviewed were asking one question "WHAT WAS THE POINT OF ALL THE FUN AND WHAT HAVE WE LEARN T WITHOUT DATA?".Using the play bow affect or other immense fun techniques or humor reflected that the trainers had failed to  "analyze the audience" and thus have MADE LEARNING TOO informal. The use of one word per slide ,  using more games had no agenda or objective. 

Lets Look it some basics for trainers that was missing in TRG Learnfest 2011:

The key to the trainer's role   "control". The trainer must balance the presentation of new material, debate and discussion, sharing of relevant audience experiences, and the clock. Ironically, it seems that trainers are best able to establish control when they risk giving it up. When they shelve egos and stifle the tendency to be threatened by challenge to plans and methods, they gain the kind of facilitative control needed to effect adult learning.

The instructor has to protect minority opinion, keep disagreements civil and unheated, make connections between various opinions and ideas, and keep reminding the group of the variety of potential solutions to the problem. A skill-training task can draw much from the behavioral approach, for example, while personal growth-centered subjects seem to draw gainfully from humanistic concepts. An eclectic, rather than a single theory-based approach to developing strategies and procedures, is recommended for matching instruction to learning tasks.

All in all it is a stupendous (meaning good) effort by navitus in arranging TRG Learnfest 2011 Touche!!. Rules must also be incorporated that allow real trainers to perform, as Rs 5000 per day  is a huge investment for us the audience/learners.


It is time for a revolution. Government does not work for regular people. It appears to work quite well for for the feudals, the rich and powerful. But it does not work for people.

The 1973 Constitution of Pakistan emphasizes that when abuses by those in power is evidence to a design to reduce the rights of people to freedom, happiness, it is then the peoples right to engage in a revolution.

The last time the country saw a personality capable of changing Pakistan’s ideological foundations was Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto or Presdient Mushsraf. Bhutto & Mussharaf had the popularity and a vision, right or wrong, required for changing Pakistan’s outlook.They preached “a true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies.” It is clearer than ever that now is the time for radical change.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached in Riverside Church in New York City that “a time comes when silence is betrayal.” He went on to condemn the Vietnam War and the system which created it and the other injustices clearly apparent. “We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing oriented” society to a “person oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

We pay our taxes and we have the right to speak our constitution has given us this right so its time to wake up. It's time for Revolution in Pakistan.



Feudal Landlord Politicians in Power terrorizing & enforcing the legitimate monopoly over the means of coercion and administration on its own people the tax payers (hundreds of poor men and women are enslaved to work on their farmlands, taxes are used for personal use rather than development of the country )


Pakistani Sovereignty Breached/sold daily by allowing foreign forces to operate on its soil for a couple of dollars. Present American puppets in the pakistani govt allowing Nato/u.s attacks on Pakistan Military posts in mohmand agency killing 24 soldiers breaching rules of engagement considered as a stab in the back  and a double game being played by NATO and U.S in Pakistani public opinion poll.


Economic Instability in the country social growth has been curtailed. Unemployment, domestic inflation is on its peak


Promoting a divided Pakistan , (People prefer themselves to be called sindhis, pukhtoons, punjabi, balochi, hazaraywall, Urdu Speaking, Memon, gujrati etc rather than a PAKISTANI)


Injustice, Ignominy, Chaos, Bad Governance & Unaccountability has lead to massive human deprecation and the credit goes to PPP(Z) and other parties in power.