Pakistan needs a good Leader: BabarDecember 21, 2009
Babar Ali, a prominent Pakistani businessman and philanthropist, citing leadership as Pakistan’s biggest problem has said, “Nobody is bothered about the masses.” What is most urgently needed, he told The New York Times, is “a good leader who will not think of himself first.” Babar Ali’s comments were carried in the course of his profile carried by the newspaper on Saturday, noting that as two decades older than Pakistan, he has witnessed every turn in its tumultuous history. “Now, at 83, he feels he has earned the right to give it a bit of advice,” The Times correspondent, Sabrina Tavernise, wrote from Lahore.
“Mr. Ali is an institution in Pakistan,” according the write-up. “He has started some of the country’s most successful companies. But perhaps his most important contribution has been his role in creating the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), begun as a business school but now evolved into the approximate equivalent of Harvard University in Pakistan.”
“Pakistan’s biggest problem, he believes, is one of leadership,” the dispatch said. “A corrosive system of privilege and patronage has eaten away at merit, degrading the fabric of society and making it more difficult for poor people to rise. The growing tendency to see government positions as chances to profit, together with the explosion in the country’s population, has led to a sharp decline in the services that Pakistan’s government offers its people”.
“It did not start that way,” Babar Ali says. “Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s visionary founder, criticised Pakistan’s system of feudal power, in which rich landowners reaped profits from land worked on by impoverished peasants, calling the system ‘vicious’ and saying it made the rich ‘so selfish that it is difficult to reason with them’”, the dispatch said.
“Pakistan was created as a haven for the Muslim minority of the Indian subcontinent, but Mr. Jinnah was adamant that the country should protect all faiths and be a fair society, where the poor, through hard work, could advance themselves.