Pakistan Case Study in National Loss of Ethics

November 21, 2018 | Last updated November 30, 2018
The academic fraud I had serendipitously uncovered in 2011 is simply momentous in its implications of how a corrupt system itself creates the self-sustaining problem of fraud and deceit in Pakistan's academe. The system automatically creates a state of equilibrium where people are inextricably caught in the very “banality of evil”, rising to the highest levels of mediocrity in the course of natural adjustment to it. Intellectual and ethical corruption is systemic in Pakistan's academia. Those tasked with policing are themselves co-opted and thriving comfortably in the system without ethics, in the society without ethics, in the nation without ethics --- and from which all the rest of the evils naturally follow!
Not having ethics and moral compunction in Pakistan is considered being pragmatist, savvy, street smart and going places; those with any moral compunction simply languish in obscurity and are thought to be plain stupid. A nation of cowards and sycophants living off the public exchequer deserve a lot more... From top to bottom, our national character has become thuggery in virginal dresses and white shirts. Every one of them a scholar and saint!
Is this state of affairs by happenstance alone due to Pakistanis' inexplicable innate mediocrity and poor sense of ethics compared to other nations --- or, is this state of affairs by Machiavellian design? Pakistani society has systematically eaten itself up from within from its once stellar position in the early 1960s through early 1970s when ethical standards and intellectual calibre stood out.
The destruction of Pakistan's higher and lower education systems ever since Pakistan became a nuclear power, has visibly manufactured mainly multi-generational human resource supply-chain fodder, of fanatics, useful idiots, mental midgets and mercenaries as the main bulwark of its intellectual, political, social, economic, and military fronts --- is it merely coincidental that nuclear Pakistan ever since, is also ruled by house niggers always out with a begging bowl, irrespective of the style of government, from military dictatorship to faux democracy?

Extended Abstract
Pakistan's Daily Times reported on October 18, 2018: “HEC fails to take action against executive director charged with plagiarism”. Business Recorder identically reported in its own lede passage the same day, October 18, 2018: “The federal government and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan has not taken any action against Executive Director HEC Arshad Ali despite the findings of various committees that most of the papers and publications referred to in his CV are plagiarised.” The distinguished scholar, who received his Phd from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, the “2006 Distinguished Scientist of the Year” award from the President of Pakistan, and was, until recently, the incumbent Principal of NUST School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (SEECS) in addition to being the executive director of HEC, only reluctantly resigned as reported by Dawn on October 22, 2018: “Senior HEC official quits over plagiarism”. And only after a year of stoically resisting his good conscience since being caught out by a simple syntax pattern matching technology, as was reported by The News on December 28, 2017: “HEC software shows its director’s paper 88pc plagiarised”. I could only exclaim with consternation: naqal kay leeyea bhi aqal zaroori hai (Urdu proverb: one needs brains to even copy). HEC News reported its Chairman endorsing the resignation of his Executive Director on October 22, 2018: “the Commission appreciated Dr. Arshad Ali's sacrifice to protect the organisation from further controversy.”
After almost a year of adverse news reportage with stony silence from Dr. Arshad Ali, The News on November 13, 2018, voiced Dr. Arshad Ali's clarification in his own words: “A number of committees were convened (interestingly without having members from computer sciences or relevant fields who could objectively judge the charges against me) but at every stage, I was neither provided copies of the detailed minutes regarding the deliberations and allegations nor an opportunity to present my defence, ... The internet record from ARXIV shows that the paper was submitted by Prof Richard McClatchey on 5 July 2004 at 15:48:43 UTC. This paper did not go through a peer review process, and was produced by an undergraduate student (Atif Mehmood) as part of his project. This is also based on material put together for a project report, and the leading author Prof McClatchey has already confirmed this to be the case and the paper was withdrawn by the authors in 2004 before the conference. I therefore confirm no deliberate plagiarism has taken place in my case, and the accusations being made are totally baseless and inaccurate. An independently constituted committee of leading computer science editors can confirm the above,”
The brightest crooks “legally” steal ideas, not their expressions. Which is why ideas are protected by keeping them secret, and as trade-secrets, since there is no other way of protecting them legally to prevent their being used by others; whereas, expressions of ideas are protected by copyright convention and patent regime. You cannot use someone's else's expression (or apparatus and method in case of patent) without their permission except by the “fair use” convention, so long as the protection hasn't expired, and even afterward you cannot pretend it is your own work by applying for copyright protection; but you can always create your own expression (or apparatus and method in case of patent) to reuse any existing idea, and of course come up with your own original ideas. Reusing well-known ideas generally require no special attribution since everyone in the domain knows about them and there is no intention to deceive. But reusing ideas that are not well-known, or very specialized, without attribution knowingly and with the intent to pass it off as one's own, even with one's own unique expression rewriting the idea, is considered deceitful and dishonest, and for which the prior-art legal regime exists to disqualify as original.
Often times though, one comes up with ideas concurrently with others, and sometimes does not know that others share it as well. It is not ideas, but their expressions, that are protected by law. In both patent and copyright law, it is important to be the first to be granted that legal protection on one's expression of an idea (whether or not the idea is original). Which is why, often times, scientists and researchers, as well as poets and other scholars who might care, get their diary entries and preliminary drafts legally notarized to date their thoughts, inventions and creativity in order to afford legal protection in case of future disputes of who came up with it first, be it some idea (to protect from prior art disqualification as original) or its expression (for copyright and patent protection if unique).
In summary, there is prior-art regime that disqualifies all others as original work, and there is copyright and patent regimes that disqualify all others from claiming it as their own, or using without paying royalties, or using beyond what's called the “fair use” doctrine. A copyright or patent mistakenly granted on prior-art is automatically annulled if prior art is proved to the granting authority. All cases of plagiarism in every industry to which it applies, are subjected to legal entitlement for all of the following: prior-art disqualification, copyright infringement, and fraud if some benefit, pecuniary and otherwise, was sought or received based on the fraud.
To contextualize the aforementioned summary for the erudite Pakistani psyche that does not intuitively understand English terminology, in the Urdu language, fraud means dhoka. The act of dhoka is called dhoka-daina. Those who partake in dhoka-daina are called dhoka-baaz, fraudia. Suddenly, in Urdu terminology, that behavior becomes morally reprehensible to even the rank and file. No one likes to deal with dhoka-baaz, fraudia, including those who are themselves dhoka-baaz. As they say, there is even honor among thieves. But so long as the English term “plagiarism” is used for it, in the intellectually stunted Pakistani psyche which only understands language in simpler moral Qur'anic terms in their own vernacular (at best), it has little moral significance.
It is the same with the common English term “rape”. If you use the Urdu term “chode”, which means to “fuck”, to describe a rape, suddenly it becomes the worst cuss word imaginable and blood can flow in the streets in mental anguish. But so long as “rape” is used, it hardly elicits an emotional revulsion. Description of abhorrent acts in foreign terms sanitizes them emotionally as these terms have little meaning in the local culture.
Moral stances require revulsion and emotional engagement against a despicable act to voluntarily motivate refrain, as well as strident action against. Otherwise, it mostly remains an academic conversation piece in living rooms, in conversation with Allah, and to write platitudinous books about.
Thus, to summarize the point of plagiarism for the erudite Pakistani academe with a sledge-hammer and without syntactical sugaring, to plagiarize is to dhoka-daina!
Would anyone in Pakistan ever hire a dhoka-baaz even as their goon, let alone as their employee, accountant, or even house servant, never mind marry their precious offspring to one? And if a Pakistani knows that a certain incentive or invitation almost always leads to dhoka-baaz congregating to feed, would he persist in making such invitations in all innocence? Surely only a fool might, but a mercenary with an agenda to destroy national assets certainly would, as would someone who has made his Faustian bargain to service his country. They create and sustain foolish policies that lead to rapid increase in such dhoka-baaz congregating at all the feeding holes in our parched land.
For completeness, in recent years, the US patent office has also permitted patenting some obvious ideas that are tightly coupled to its mechanics, and which in the non-digital commerce era would hardly be considered patentable, principally due to their commercial value in the digital era. Such as, the ridiculous one-click purchase patent awarded to Amazon in 1999, which has just expired to the glee of Amazon's competitors. Amazon only knows how many millions of consumers routinely fall into its impulse buying emotional trap with the ease of just one click; the cornerstone of capitalist consumerism and the raison d'être of the world's multi-trillion dollar advertising industry, and for which both copyright and patent protection laws in fact exist.
Monetization of intellectual property, in both pecuniary terms as well as social standing, is the currency of the modern world invented by the West, and is protected by its internationalized trade laws worldwide. Thus, by baser human instincts, wherever there is smell of monetization, crooks and fortune hunters follow. Academies of learning are no longer immune to this curse of monetization --- gone are the days of Plato's academy where learning was for the sake of learning, understanding, discovering. Now, only its shell remains in the guise of ornate graduation robes and hats with tassels, which are meal-tickets to higher paying jobs and social standing depending on the colors in the robe.
It is the rare academic today who is in the academe for the sake of knowledge, for the love of learning, for the joy of discovery. And virtually all of them are in the developed West, and of course some other parts of developed Asia including China, Korea, Russia, arguably also India and Iran. These nations are the ones moving science and technology forward, the rest being merely their consumers. Any Pakistani who wants to really be part of that space for the sake of making real and substantial contributions to their field, is forced to immigrate. The brightest Pakistanis now live abroad.
Those few who remain in Pakistan, either work in the military establishment where they actually have to produce real widgets that must function and cannot coast on academic nonsense publishing gibberish, or slog in relative obscurity in civilian life as unsung often reviled heroes at home with all their main contributions to their field abroad; the ones who don't have the right religious pedigree, have their headstone defaced.
Pakistan's higher academe is mostly crap. Its contribution to world knowledge is a big fat zero, despite its erudite scholars boasting papers that number in hundreds if not thousand plus. The sooner its head honchos and government-military policy planners come to grips with that sorry fact of the matter, that their human resource supply chain comes up through the zenith of mediocrity and groomed for corruption, the sooner Pakistan's academe will be remedied from its mediocre meal-ticket granting system that only supplies local fodder for MNCs (multi-national corporations) and goons for our feudal kings, into character-building and nation's deliverance system as it is in the developed nations of the world.
In the quest for the fast-path to that lucrative meal-ticket, the smartest academic crooks and thesis candidates adept at finding work-arounds and short-cuts, indulge in semantic plagiarism --- to borrow without attribution someone else's ideas, especially those published in obscure text books and conference proceedings that are not digitized, or not easily searchable, or exist only in paper copies in university libraries or on individual bookshelves. The intelligent crooks with more time at their hands, would recast these for their own thesis and source for their papers pretending that they came up with it on their own. There is indeed a fine line in being inspired by existing work and extending it, which is expected to be cited and is the natural part of advancing any field forward. And an entirely different beast to steal existing work by pretending it's one's own in order to fraudulently gain unfair advantage over others when originality is expected but can't be delivered. Unless the peer reviewers and academic hierarchy adjudicating the work for granting academic credentials or promotions, are incredibly well-versed in that specific domain, it is not possible to catch the fraud of semantic plagiarism, except by serendipity and happenstance. This is made further intractable in our era of knowledge explosion and knowledge specialization where even the most erudite experts are forced to become superficial broad-generalist or narrow-gauged specialist.
Academe is likely more ubiquitously plagued by this difficult to detect semantic plagiarism fraud that requires substantially larger brains to pull off, when it is even plagued by such obvious and studentish cut-and-paste syntactical plagiarism. Moral acumen transcends the size of one's brain and intellect. If anything, one's capacity for deviousness and deceit is directly proportional to the size of one's natural cpu power and sociopathic tendencies; where else but in academe does one find big imaginative brains in society?
In any event, only the most lazy or incredibly stupid intellectual crooks (and unsophisticated students in-training to be future crooks) copy expressions verbatim with cut and paste plagiarism, or with some syntax and paragraph juggling or diction rephrasing, which even a first year computer science homework assignment on pattern matching at a good university, can easily catch. To catch semantic plagiarism using technological tools, identifying someone taking the contents of an existing paper, and rewriting it from scratch with one's own expressions and not one single original thought contribution to it, basically a smart rewrite of an existing paper with no syntactical similarity, is infeasible. But the paper is hundred percent theft of intellectual property nevertheless, which an intelligent human reviewer well-versed in that domain should easily be able detect by reading both papers side by side. Or, even without side by side comparison, a well-versed domain expert should be able to tell that the paper under consideration is prior-art and a rehash. This is in pristine academic theory. Practice however is a bit different.
Peer reviewers simply cannot do such fine due diligence any longer with any great efficacy. The sheer volume of data in virtually every domain, and due to their own data availability bias which limits their knowledge of their domain, peer reviews have largely become bogus. Except perhaps for the most prestigious journals such as “Nature” and select other science and engineering publications that choose their reviewers very carefully, and for which even distinguished scientists feel honored to be called upon to review for such journals (tickling the ego works better greater the mind).
Even for these select publications however, as was depicted in “Nature” in its September 2015 issue, with a cartoon showing the temple of “Robust Science” in a state of collapse. Why? The replicability crisis in science whereby, other scientists are simply unable to replicate the results reported in published papers. Manufactured results, unreproducible results, including fakery, published in important journals, cannot be detected by any technological means, let alone by non experimental means. The scientific process itself is supposed to eventually weed out such results, but not soon enough. The fraudsters get their “peer reviewed” papers published, their tenure or their funding assured, their products approved by licensing authorities long before that --- capitalism's corruption of science being largely driven by the monetization of science that easily tickles the baser natural instincts at the expense of higher cerebral functions of ethics and integrity.
Which is one of the reasons that many “scientists” incestuously self-reinforce the concept of “peer review” --- especially in unknown journals and paper mills --- they know it confers “legitimacy” and easy monetization of their labors, while they can get away with publishing gibberish or inconsequential material and move on. When one is ethically challenged, and the system is loaded in their favor, this is the natural outcome. This is Pakistan's science!
Not sure what technological advancements fifty years down the road might bring to natural language processing for technical and scientific domains that might be able to catch semantic plagiarism. Catching fakery and inconsequentiality in papers before they are published and before their authors reap the benefits of monetization, will remain impossible outside of the actual science. Thus, for now, we are left with catching only the idiots and mental midgets plagiarizing syntactically with some paragraph reshuffle, while the creative crooks will continue to get away with their more imaginative frauds.
Such is the software used by HEC, called “Turnitin”, and many high-schools and universities to catch only the most obvious and stupidly plagiarized work of mostly students. This is also an indication of the general calibre of content in academe and science that is proclaimed to pass not just plagiarism detection software, but also the so called “peer review” process. Much of what exists in published papers is rubbish. Even software-generated, synthetic, and entirely nonsensical papers using the domain jargon, have passed “peer-review” and software filtering; and the replicability crisis that is crumbling the pillars of science has already made news in “Nature”.
Now, add to this rubbish pool, the HEC sponsored monetization of academe: its publication count as the metric for academic promotions and tenure --- what can one expect in an ethically challenged nation except the fastest path to it? Just steal, or produce junk, often a combination of both, and for which many paper-mill publishing resources have become available worldwide. This include the new paradigm of academic publishing, the pay-for-publish open source model, in which the author or the university or the faculty pays to have their papers published, and others can access these journals for free or at affordable cost. Much of Pakistani academics' papers are of this type, and HEC pays for their publications in these paper-mills that have cropped up worldwide including one that is addressed in Karachi Pakistan. Examples of these academic paper-mills popular in Pakistan and sanctioned by HEC are the ubiquitous Bentham Open (ostensibly a Netherlands outfit with one of its addresses in Karachi to which you send money to have your paper published, who collects this money in Karachi is unknown), BPAS (in India which publishes any crap Pakistanis can throw at it), and many more. If one wanted to finance terror, launder money, this would be a great way to do it as there is no money trail after the money is sent. One could easily transfer millions of dollars for illegal causes, or just mint money for oneself, in the guise of publishing erudite junk. No paper is ever rejected when it is accompanied by a thousand dollars with all the pretenses of anonymous “peer-review”.
With that big-picture backdrop, what would compel a distinguished professor of computer science, Dr. Arshad Ali, to stoop this low that he can't even commit fraud with competence, or at least commensurate with his educational skills and professional acumen that won him the “Distinguished Scientist of the Year” award from former General Pervez Musharraf's military government in 2006? Either the award is nonsensical and given for patronage, and the fraudia is just plain stupid who magically got a Phd in Electrical Engineer from a good American university, or, something else is going on.
Having met and partaken a hearty meal of kababs and nan with Dr. Arshad Ali and his colleagues and students many years ago when he headed NIIT (NUST Institute of Information Technology), and he had even invited me to join their institute to teach computer science, I can say with some confidence that this savvy administrator is anything but stupid. And by his own explanation, his student was the one who plagiarized, but the paper was withdrawn before publication. So what drove HEC to suddenly force Arshad Ali's resignation, variously leaking unsubstantiated statements to the press like: “the findings of various committees that most of the papers and publications referred to in his CV are plagiarised”? Most papers?
The News also reported at length on November 12, 2018: “FIA probing fake degrees attestation by HEC officials”. The News headlined the next day: “Ex-HEC ED says fake degree mafia behind his ‘forced’ resignation”.
Even a superficial glance at news reports of the past two decades show a systematic culture of extreme mediocrity and extreme self-interest at play under the guise of extreme learnedness and extreme national interest at HEC and throughout its gravy-train in Pakistan's academe. From fake degrees to plagiarized papers, third rate universities to third rate curriculum, third rate teachers to third rate students, none of whom contribute anything original or substantial to knowledge and society except as crooks (so long as they aren't caught), as fodder for MNCs, and as slaves to their political bosses whom they please bending low to hold on to the gravy-train; everyone a scholar and saint!
Prima facie, something else appears to be in play at HEC to force Dr. Arshad Ali to resign under pressure for listing an unpublished plagiarized student paper on his resume, that even cites the paper from which it is mostly copied in its own references. Strange that HEC initially did not act for a whole year (does not take that long to examine plagiarism, it took me just a few minutes to read both papers to adjudicate), and then came down hard on its own ED with the force of hammer. They have never done that before as far as one can tell. There have been other cases of plagiarism among its top honchos as reported in the press, and nothing ever happened, just as nothing happened for a year in Arshad Ali's case.
Dr. Arshad Ali's counter-charges against the fakery Mafia operating in collusion with HEC, is existential. But are they really what's behind the drive to oust Dr. Arshad Ali, or something else entirely?
It appears to me that given the heavy-handed way in which the specious case of corruption against Dr. Mujahid Kamran, former VC of Punjab University, has been publicly handcuffed by NAB and the respected professor unceremoniously jailed without a competent law court passing indictment, there is concerted effort afoot to discredit any remaining decent professionals in Pakistan's academe with extreme measures. Perhaps to set en example for others. Where does this happen any place else on earth? No, it happens only in Pakistan. What's going on?
The powers that be only want a decrepit wreck left of the nuclear armed nation before their coup de grâce of de-nuking Pakistan with the help of her own fifth columnists. Fourth and Fifth generation warfare which demoralizes the targeted nations from within, is what is being waged against Pakistan for a very long time. Only off late has its recognition even become part of the public discourse, with the Army Chief calling it by the misnomer “hybrid war”. There is nothing more hybrid about it just because it has a variety of modalities than there is about Third-gen warfare fought on land, sea and air (and space and cyberspace) with a variety of weapons and its own modalities. It's a new more diabolically unified type of whole warfare with its underlying political theories, of which fabricating all the “colored” revolutions, internal chaos, debt-burden leading to austerity measures and local discontent, economic collapse, loss of domestic tranquility, terrorism, heightened and perpetual climate of fear, civil war, are all equally an integral part of the whole. Its overarching purpose is to defeat nations and their sovereignty from within, with the threat of Third-gen warfare only as the backdrop that is cunningly brought in at the right times under pretext of solving intractable problems that they have themselves manufactured. Ultimately, the coup de grâce, either as the merciful savior on victor's terms, or dismemberment / re-partition under victor's justice in the interest of peace. Not much different in final outcome than during World War I and II which successively remade the world order.
We are headed for the next phase of that, towards another world order. The final outcome sought is Global Governance under a single international political and financial authority, also called one-world government. Nations and regionalized Unions may continue to fly their own flags, but under global laws and global policies which are enforced from the central place. To transition to this one-world order, this new type of warfare has been chosen, as Third-gen warfare alone could not take a fiercely nationalistic world clinging to national sovereignty, to that outcome.
This modus operandi already has its own developed taxonomy and its own final outcome that is being sought in small baby-steps. Read the war literature of which plenty is available publicly from the Pentagon, private foundations and their liberally funded think-tanks, and in the writings of political philosophers seeking that final outcome. My old articles, and former Pakistani journalist now living in exile, Abid Jan's articles, already spoke to this treacherous warfare more than a decade ago, right after 9-11. Then, we were only 'conspiracy theorists'. Now that Pakistan's Army Chief has only partially woken up to its reality and speaking to it publicly in subdued tones, without identifying the principal nemesis or the final outcome sought, the pseudo intellectuals of Pakistan are suddenly echoing the same as if they have chanced upon a brilliant discovery or knew it all along. Better late than never, but sometimes, it is too late to be late. As the cliché goes, in love and war, matters are time-critical.
Defending against this type of intellect-driven warfare needs intellectual sophistication and bold cunning, not weapon systems hardware and large standing armies. Even the USSR could not survive this diabolical type of imposed warfare, which was only in its preliminary stages during the Cold War. Today, it demands even more sophistication to thwart, which is evidently entirely lacking in the Pakistani national psyche – elites and plebes alike – regardless of how piously patriotic the establishment may pretend to be. Only sophistication in thought and sophistication in warfare can ease Pakistan out of its long running dilemma as a servile client state, not more begging bowls and more outstretched hands. From the war-mongers' point of view, getting rid of establishment minds capable of such sophistication among their nemeses is the first order of business. That recognition also appears to be lacking in Pakistan's intelligentsia and its establishment thinkers, that it is by design that mental midgets, only cunning in the modalities of domestic corruption, but otherwise compliant to every will of the massa regardless of its morality or long-term consequences to the nation, continually preside over her destiny. Does it take rocket science to discover that? Or only commonsense? Or perhaps having the courage of one's convictions?
None in the universe can tolerate a Muslim nation being nuclear armed (with real teeth as opposed to boogieman's show-teeth) at this stage of the world in transition to Global Governance, and here we have our newly elected super-patriotic Prime Minister along with the notable Army Chief going out with begging bowls in delegations once again to tyrannical and murderous rulers. Why are they seeking charity from the same proxy-service providers of powers that be who'd like to see Pakistan de-nuked? Are they too stupid, or too savvy? What is the quid pro quo being offered, and has already been committed to over the years as payment for our services in secret handshakes?
In my five open letters to Prime Minister Imran Khan, and one open letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mian Saqib Nisar, I had boldly advocated breaking the bonds of servitude to our masters in both form and substance. And here I see our rulers pursuing exactly the opposite course of action while making all the appropriate noises in public relations. Acts speak louder than words even in 'naya Pakistan'! I am certain the big brass know what they are doing when they shake all those dirty hands, for heavy lies the head that wears the crown. It is the public who does not know, and has to intelligently add two plus two to make four amidst the sea of deception and co-option that the rulers appear to be a part of. Should we all shut our eyes lest we glimpse the unspeakable truth, or, heaven forbid, dare to speak the unspeakable? Summun, bukmun, umyun, appears to be the wisdom du jour in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Destroying Pakistan's higher and lower education system is very much a part of this Fourth and Fifth Gen warfare, to produce only fanatics, useful idiots, mental midgets and cunning mercenaries among its new generations, and get rid of any intellectual opposition. Make the nation so starved, and so without ma'arifat (wherewithal), that they'd be easy to control by house niggers cunningly installed by the massa employing its staple of workhorses, from dictatorships to crippled democracies.
I see what's happening to both Dr. Mujahid Kamran and Dr. Arshad Ali partially in the light of this overarching backdrop. Nothing in a “system” is ever in isolation. All its matters, big and small, are interconnected, but like the 90% of iceberg, may remain submerged beneath the surface. As Max Planck had observed, and the tracing of which led to discovering the plagiarism case examined in this report: “Modern physics has taught us that the nature of any system cannot be discovered by dividing it into its component parts and studying each part by itself, since such a method often implies the loss of important properties of the system. We must keep our attention fixed on the whole and on the interconnection between the parts.”
This “interconnection” is easily visible at least in the case of Dr. Mujahid Kamran, who happens to be the only institutional scholar in Pakistan who has even had the courage to commonsensically question and deconstruct the official narratives of empire, while all the rest of likkha-parrha jahils in the establishment of Pakistan and its barren intellectual space simply tow the official party-line whatever it may happen to be at any given time. The critics too retain the core axioms and presuppositions of the party-line in their mostly gibberish dissent. If the axioms are specious, the theorems and corollaries will be gibberish no matter how eruditely conceived! Only mental midgets and house niggers unable to reason from observations and first principles despite high-falutin credentials, are ever deceived by them. The rest are mercenaries!
I am, in fact, surprised that it took so long to nab Dr. Mujahid Kamran, and this tells me that his former political bosses had protected him. Why? I don't know, since they themselves towed the empire's party-line no matter how patently absurd, to stay in power. All politicians, all prominent public intellectuals in Pakistan with one exception, including our learned supreme court chief justices and retired military generals who routinely come on television to enlighten the masses, either publicly echo the same absurdities, or stay silent on them as if they see nothing. The lone prominent exception in Pakistan, of a respected and accomplished institutional intellectual straying away from the party-line, is Dr. Mujahid Kamran. The world sees 10% of visible iceberg and is easily burdened by it. I am burdened seeing all the rest of it and none pay any attention. But someone evidently paid attention to Dr. Mujahid Kamran. Not the kind he had intended, but surely expected. Socrates only deserve the Hemlock, nothing else. That is the burden of seeing the rest of the iceberg, and being foolish enough, or driven enough, to shout it to warn the Titanic merry-makers before the fact.
Similarly, only in the new government is Dr. Arshad Ali suddenly strong-armed, while earlier the allegations of plagiarism did not seem to muster much weight even within HEC. Is that the quid pro quo for Imran Khan coming to power? To eliminate difficult intellectuals and decent professionals from Pakistan in his 'naya Pakistan'?
Thus we can now begin to appreciate why those entrusted with educating Pakistan's burgeoning young population into upstanding professional cadres, are themselves grossly ethically challenged; thriving comfortably in the system without ethics, in the society without ethics, in the nation without ethics --- and from which all the rest of the evils naturally follow, generation after generation!
Not having ethics and moral compunction in Pakistan is today considered being pragmatist, savvy, street smart and going places; those with any moral compunction simply languish in obscurity and are thought to be plain stupid. Those few who dare to speak up in unvarnished language are thought to be too crude for civilization and quickly marginalized or ignored. Most just play ball and pretend to see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.
The pertinence of this report – first publicly revealed in November 2011 and submitted to the Supreme Court of Pakistan for suo motu notice (obviously ignored) – which examines the dynamics of a corrupt pathological system that feeds upon itself, persists in its broad significance. This self-balancing pathological system in equilibrium is not correctable from within. Its beneficiaries are too intimately invested in the system the way it is, to permit the system to do anything different from what it is actually doing despite all attempts to reform the system. The narrow self-interests of its elder statesmen, its guardians, its henchmen, along with all the rest of the crowd supping off of its gravy-train, create an operational equilibrium which cannot be altered in any significant measure by the participants themselves due to the intense self-serving inertia of the system.
This report dissects this dynamically auto balancing corrupt system. The report demonstrates how Peter and Paul self-servingly wash each other of sins under the utmost pretenses of piety, to help maintain the system at equilibrium within its operational envelop. The operational envelop auto resists all external attempts to focus attention on the principal first-causes of its pathological behavior, its members proclaiming innocence and blaming the symptom.
This report with its underwriting labors of consternation, was done gratis by a concerned citizen of Pakistan living in the United States who stumbled upon this brazen corruption by chance, and decided to drive the discovery to its natural conclusion, with assistance from a courageous non academic human being living in Lahore, Pakistan, while hundreds of academic and other learned onlookers watched from the sidelines with some amusement as if this was the most important concern of Pakistan at this time!
In view of the author of this report, the few instances of gross academic plagiarism of this magnitude that are in fact caught and just the tip of the iceberg, are only the manifest symptoms of the first-cause of corruption from which all other corruptions in every system naturally follow: the loss of ethics among the noble classes in society driving their mutual self-interests, with no moral impediments, and no fear of accountability.
Intellectual mercenaries seeking upward mobility and pecuniary gain rather than having integrity in anything they do professionally, in the name of national interest no less, craft and implement ill thought out policies under diktats from their political bosses or foreign masters, often both, that create an easily corruptible system which in turn aids and abets in corrupting all who come in contact with it, or become part of it in order for them to thrive within it.
This include those who commit small breaches of ethics to get ahead as no big deal, leading to greater and greater breaches while still maintaining the cover of pious respectability, until corruption becomes the backdrop for all their activities; and the respectable onlookers who don't care, or dare, enough to stop it out of fear of jeopardizing their own pious respectability. Addressing the first-cause of this underlying disease therefore, while dissecting its manifest symptoms, is the raison d'être of the length and depth of this report.
With the present government's noble interest in public education reform to usher in its socialism-inspired agenda of a unified national curriculum in order to ameliorate disparity between the rich and poor social classes --- which in itself threatens to make all school systems equally mediocre (bad socialism: make all equally poor; good socialism: egalitarianism offering fair opportunities to all commensurate with their talents and abilities, which automatically differentiates by its very nature) --- the well-intentioned but poorly thought out policies will equally come to naught. When the principal focus in education reform is not on inculcating ethical personal behavior as an innate virtue (and not merely an externally policed behavior), no reform will ameliorate anything.
How can that age-old platitude ever be instrumented in Pakistan when those carrying the reform banner are themselves beneficiaries of the corrupt system and who shall always remain clueless to personal ethics except in public relations? A bootstrap protocol is necessary. Which is, as pertinent to this report, use first principles derived from this report to underwrite all reform agendas in all national public and private domains across multiple generations, until the old die out, and the new take over. That's how long it takes to instill ethics in society! And without which, education systems will only produce mercenaries and likkha-parrha jahils. In the time span of nations, this is within the blink of an eye; in the lifetime of a generation suffering its tribulations, it is a rather long gestation period.
Instrumenting this transition effectively, minimally entails a single-minded focus on consistent execution of national policies that underwrite this new ethical value system, over say a period of twenty-five years, until ethical behavior gradually and naturally becomes instinctual, ingrained, habit forming, and the new normal; just as today deceit is the sociopathic instinct that is considered normal.
The teaching of ethics must begin in the education system from Kindergarten onward, where it can be controlled and executed as an integral part of any curriculum (nisab) as well as daily life. There are plenty of real world examples to be inspired by and to learn from. Caltech, The California Institute of Technology, for instance, expects its entire community, students, professors, researchers, staff, janitors, to abide by the self-policed honor code: “No member of the Caltech community shall take unfair advantage of any other member of the Caltech community.” It's a simple statement with far-reaching implications. This ethical behavior does not just magically transpire simply because the honor code is written on a piece of paper at Caltech. It transpires because the behavior that results in the honor system getting voluntarily implemented, is taught and expected from Kindergarten onward, including at Caltech which leaves open everything to personal integrity and trust. Exams are not proctored, and most are take-home for instance. Students have keys and access to all sorts of labs and buildings after hours without any authority supervision. I enjoyed the same privileges at MIT as a student. A largely irreligious liberal society exhibits far more ethical standards and civilized behavior in its daily dealings than ours drowning in a surfeit of religion.
Making the teaching of a self-policed ethical value system, taking pride in oneself to not transgress its limits whether or not someone is watching, not taking unfair advantage of others and the system, bringing the joy of learning and discovery to one's education for its own sake rather than as a meal-ticket, etc., as the first foundation of all education systems from Kindergarten to Phd, including for religious seminaries; and making ethical behavior as much a part of student and professional life as learning science, humanities, religion, or playing sports; is the principal seed for genuine national transformation of Pakistan in all spheres. All else will naturally follow from a generation trained to live by ethical standards as an innate virtue of civilized existence. Everything else is an illusion. A shell-game mocking the public at its own expense.
Curriculum isn't the fundamental problem. Religion or lack thereof isn't the fundamental problem. Religious education or secular education isn't the fundamental problem. Corruption is merely the symptom, not the first-cause. Attitude is the first-cause from which all behaviors naturally follow. Ethical attitudes beget ethical societies. Systemic corruption simply cannot be outlawed or legislated out while keeping the corrupting system in place that attunes individual attitudes to its needs in order to thrive. Attitudes also cannot be changed on a national scale without mass behavior modification under the new national value system that rewards this virtue and deprecates its lapses by all educational, incentivizing, and propaganda means (in the beneficial sense and not the perverse sense that it is used today to indoctrinate the public mind with falsehoods in the interest of the rulers), until the new ethical behavior patterns become a social virtue. It begins in the education systems.
China however did it in a different way. They just hang all the crooks at the gallows for not just high crimes and misdemeanors, but corruption of every kind, setting a cold existential example across the board. Today, the Chinese appear to not just be on the brink of becoming a world economic superpower, but its ethical standards for conducting daily life in all spheres of life appear to surpass even the West. China is an outlier in its sledge-hammer approach to achieving ethical standards nationally, because their culture of respectful obedience is ancient, monolithic, ingrained from birth, the people relatively homogeneous, and their political system is able to continue national policies with self-consistency despite the change in political leadership. It is in that monolithic environment of supreme dictatorship of consistent policies and consistent administration from the central Communist Party of China which has ruled China for nearly a century, that they could accomplish their transformation to high public ethics by brute force. It also took them multiple generations under multiple generation of long-lasting leaders, all executing with the same single-minded focus to bring China up rather than seek their own personal gain, to get to where they are today.
The Chinese sledge-hammer approach to instilling ethics is not for all, certainly not for Pakistan. We have no such cultural monolithicity, social-political temperament, or homogeneity of our peoples. We have more divides than the Grand Canyon, and we are all waiting for Allah. Besides, dictators in Pakistan, far from ever being benevolent and selflessly serving the interests of the Pakistani people, have always had the habit of becoming self-serving tyrants.
The Western countries have remarkably succeeded in overcoming our failings with much easier transitions. Its peoples, by and large, are taught to be ethical from elementary school onward, in both its public and private institutions. My children who have grown up in the United States of America, studied in both its public and private school systems, cannot ever function without angst in Pakistan. They cannot even dream of soiling their hands in unethical behavior to even get their legitimate needs met, let alone take unfair advantage of another. While many people living in Pakistan may no longer understand this concept, the children of most expatriates of any nationality that I have met in the United States are very much like that. Even I, who grew up in Pakistan and attended UET Lahore, cannot function in Pakistan without the generous help of my local Pakistani school friends and my parents' friends all of whom have networks of connections which they frequently put at my disposal to get my legitimate tasks accomplished. I feel powerless in Pakistan to get even the smallest things done on my own.
Whereas, living in the United States for almost four decades without any connections to officialdom, I can get even the biggest of tasks accomplished with ease. I can even hold my own against the state's security apparatus when they come calling at my front door soon after 9/11 searching for “Muslim terrorists”, and not yield an inch to their unjust demand of interviewing me without fear of being “disappeared”. I didn't even let them set one foot across the threshold of my home without them showing me a search warrant, and they fairly, and in a very civilized manner, accepted that constitutional stance and simply left after my long lecture to them on their own nation's Bill of Rights and their own nation's history. I had my lawyer write them a letter agreeing to any interview provided my lawyer was also present, and they just declined and never bothered me again after their first two attempts at my door. Can that ever transpire in Pakistan? Within the borders of Rome, high civilization always flourishes, except for its useless eaters and its untermensch who are treated much the same everywhere.
The failings of Western education and Western societies are many and I have dissected this elsewhere. But its portfolio of successes is what is missing from their former colonies. The masters bequeathed to us something that is most pernicious: how to get us to steal our own self-respect and pretend it does not matter. All the nobility and learnedness in the world without ethics, is just another mercenary who hasn't been caught yet. This report exemplifies this attitude. By unmasking their carefully camouflaged attitudes behind their mask of respectability, this report boldly asserts to the learned academic and bureaucratic elites of Pakistan in the most straightforward language that even a common man can easily understand: Enough BS!
Without ethics we have only barbarianism, the law of the jungle. While for the advanced civilizations barbarians exist only at their periphery, to be looted and plundered at will, and talked down to in their la mission civilisatrice, the white man's burden if you will, for us, we devour our own, loot and plunder our own, without compunction. As the saying goes, we may have descended from the tree-top but we have yet to lose our tail --- with apologies to the tree dwellers.
When Pakistanis mimic the West in everything else, why do we conveniently cast aside this first principle of civilized existence which the Western nations have so successfully adopted and universalized in their own societies. And it all commences in their education system from Kindergarten onward.
There is a pressing need to preempt transformation of Pakistan's education systems from one lunacy to another being contemplated under Imran Khan's 'naya Pakistan' government. Despite HEC's existence for nearly two decades as the policy-making, policing, and administrative arm of higher education, subsequently devolved to the provinces under a constitutional amendment, Pakistan still does not have one single public or private institution of higher learning where her privileged keepers and ruling classes would happily educate their own wards. They prefer to send their own children abroad, even to over-priced junior colleges and third tier universities, while bequeathing to their own nation the shameless load of crap unraveled in this report.

Published Wednesday, November 21, 2018 | Last Updated November 30, 2018 2:00 pm 8246

Pakistan Case Study in National Loss of Ethics 2011-2018 By Zahir Ebrahim | Project 22 / 22