As soon as Twitter got a new CEO, Pakistanis hit the social media ground to play the T20 match: Unkay CEOs vs Humaray CEOs. That the new CEO of the micro-blogging site, Parag Agrawal, is India-born has opened the floodgates of soul-searching in Pakistan, something that many get in the mode of doing in December, asking oneself what one did with the year.
“India invested in IT what did Pakistan invest in?”, said a user. Then there were those who asked “how did we reach nowhere and they are everywhere?” But all is not gloomy, there are still Pakistani exports that no one can match, even if the ‘city of Prague’ becomes the new Twitter CEO.
Where demand is to cover Newton in dupatta
What we do know so far is that techies India-born and educated in public universities of the country have landed top jobs in Google, IBM, Microsoft and now Twitter. Hence, the question Pakistanis are asking is where are we on the IT front? Where are our IITs? A serious debate on the subject will reflect on the lack of policy or even seriousness towards it. When the priorities of successive military and civilian governments have been to cling onto power, technology institutions that ready the talent to compete on the global stage don’t make the cut. The ministry of science and technology is also treated as a punishment or demotion posting rather than a portfolio of choice. Let alone the want for tech institutions, under the Imran Khan-government’s ‘Single National Curriculum’ the religious scholars want publishers to not print and students to not see diagrams that do not have clothes on in biology textbooks. Biology students should learn anatomy with their own imagination. When demand is to cover Newton in a dupatta, then talking about running space programmes and IITs looks far fetched. For the motion here is set in reverse as the PM urges universities to research the disastrous effects the Western culture had on family life, these are the priorities.
Some reality check …
Twitter- Parag Agarwal
Google – Sundar Pichai
Microsoft – Satya Nadella
IBM – Arvind Krishna
Adobe- Shantanu Narayen
VMWare – Raghu Raghuram
Vimeo – Anjali Sud
Google Cloud – Thomas Kurian
NetApp – George Kurian
Palo Alto Networks – Nikesh Arora
— Umar Saif (@umarsaif) November 30, 2021
But who in Pakistan doesn’t want to win a comparison match when India is involved, even if it is overseas talent? Like always, Pakistan wins and how. Now, if the last one month has taught us anything, it is that when it comes to the talent pool of overseas Pakistanis, there is no comparison match whatsoever.
Once upon a time, there was a Pakistani American doctor who promised to relinquish his Ameriki nationality, leave his job, sell his lake-house and return to Naya Pakistan. They named him jheel wala doctor. Three years on, no one knows where that patriotic doctor is, certainly not near any of the jheels in Pakistan. The conscientious overseas Pakistanis have been telling the ‘underseas Pakistanis’, whilst hanging out at petrol stations abroad, that petrol in the UK and US is costlier than Pakistan, hence one should be supportive of the government. Then, another voice of reason from South Africa tells compatriots that the price of a single watermelon is Rs 800 in South Africa, so be thankful that watermelon inflation hasn’t hit you. This month, we look forward to overseas Pakistanis cooking on wood as they explain gas shortage in Pakistan. These are Pakistan’s inflation CEOs. Unmatchable, unbeatable against the Google, Twitter CEOs.
Looks like Pak is not #JustLikeIndia unlike what the parha likha jahaliya of this country like to tell me.
— Xerxes Rex ریکس (@Klashanfork) November 30, 2021
What the world refuses to acknowledge are the Pakistan-born bread-and-buttered individuals who have made a name for themselves mostly on their own. The ‘pizza CEO’ who made a world record that everyone conveniently forgot, the ‘waterkit marvel’ (of running cars on water, not petrol). The world is jealous to even name the revolutionary who gave the idea of solving the electricity problem — capture the jinns and make bijli. World is biased. How else you describe the global coronations of Pakistanis in terror lists? That too with no foreign help, self-made, self-helped, without any IITs? There are many such examples, like sending balloons to India instead of multimillion dollar machines in space. Still, India chooses to award its Wing Commander but who will ever award the radars on duty of 2019? They were a success story of Pakistan’s technological victory against India.
ایک نقطہ نظر یہ بھی ہے 😂 pic.twitter.com/ux5iYritHB
— Saad Maqsood سعـــــد مقصـــــــــود (@SaadMaqsud) December 1, 2021
The chronicles of T in IIT can go on and on but to highlight a few, Pakistani Twitter has shown that in the name of 5th generation warfare, Pakistan has potent weapons such as the hashtag-churning galam galoch (abusive) brigade that targets critics at home; reality TV star Veena Malik; an American-turned-Pakistani blogger, and a set of regime’s YouTubers to name a few.
But throw the gloom away because we ain’t settling for CEO Twitter et al. Pakistan will have its own president in the Oval Office. You wait and just you watch!
The author is a freelance journalist from Pakistan. Her Twitter handle is @nailainayat. Views are personal.