Q: So How is Pakistan treating you?

A: Where there is chaos there is opportunity, can you handle the chaos? If not then read on.

That is what we call a loaded question with a more loaded answer. Pakistan for business is like going out on the street and finding them lined with gold bullion. If you know which streets to walk on. If you don’t, then you have an other thing coming.

Like most markets which are under developed or developing, the balance of power lies in the imbalance of information.

But chaos is not for every one, we have simple reasons in front of us which make it ever so hard to want to stick around and see if the balance of power turns out in our favor. The environment around us in general is negative and stifling, entrepreneurship, innovation, outside the box thinking or even dreaming big are crimes punishable by the sentiments from friends and family that question your mental state of mind.

When there is a general sense of hopelessness every where, not just in government or political circles but in and around our every day lives, from employment opportunities, law and order to the “in-bred, closed mindset” of every one around us, its almost impossible to break free of that thinking.

But you must do your self a favor, you must leave, you must give your self the opportunity to experience normalcy, apathy, moral courage, humility, civility and being human. All the things that seem to be drawn out from within us the day we enter the adulthood fold in Pakistan.

It wont be easy, you must therefore be prepared to “leave”. One has to open their eyes, see new things, learn new things, garner new experiences, understand how people co exist and how people debate ideas and build consensus. All it takes is the act of going away and experiencing it, without that, you will never figure it out, even though its not astro-physics, you will only see it if you remove your self from the daily rut of where you are today.

Once you have given your self the runway to see what else is on offer in the rest of the world, you then bring those learning’s and try to disseminate them, by coming back. Don’t try to solve big problems that ail the country, try to di-sect and solve problems that will bring meaningful change. Start small, from you neighborhood, to your self , then perhaps national and then potentially regional and from there on global. You cant solve things that have an internal inertial longer than your years you have to break them down first.

The worst kind of Pakistani, is the remote analyst, when you learn what you think is enough, don’t become a TV Preacher equivalent and talk about change and revolutions on FB and Twitter. No one likes or wants any one who doesn’t have skin in the game. Decide, if you want to have skin in the game and if you are committed to change, then by all means be a commentator, but with out being a competitor ever, those commentators generally don’t have a following of any kind and yield no influence.

We have the NY Times the WSJ and CNN who do a decent job at taking a stab at Pakistan every day, we don’t want to see more of our own doing it without offering solutions.

Remember the time when you left and dreamt of coming back and to inculcate change?

Never think, that one person cant change a system. The very crux of local, social, societal, corporate change is typically driven by one person. We need more people to leave and then come back to drive that change. One step and one person at a time.


Pakistan awaits your return.

One thought on “Q: So How is Pakistan treating you?”

  1. Yet another great piece,

    I believe one has to strive day in and out to be successful. I came back and found something that I love doing. There are good days and bad days, but at the end of the day always greatful for the opportunity I got. Hoping the day will come that I might be able to impact my surroundings in a positive way 🙂

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