off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid


Behind every fortune there
could be Crime
 or Honesty,
competence and hard work


Some people are very fond of using quotations, phrases and excerpts from books written by famous authors but at times they are written out of context and when they try to generalize things, it becomes ridiculous because there are always exceptions.  For example to say that behind every fortune there is always a crime is not true at all. It could be but there is also possibility that it is the result of honesty, sincere efforts, competence and hard work. Just take the example of Bill Gates who is now the richest person in the world but did he amass all this wealth through crime, definitely not. It is the result of his intelligence, honesty, sincerity and hard work. There are numerous books describing case history of hundreds of people who started their business from a scratch but with dedication, devotion, honesty and hard work became business giants which is a living example that one cannot and should not try to generalize things all the time as exceptions are always there.

In fact people from the affluent class have a typical mindset and they think in their own way. They just cannot believe or imagine that some common man or any one with honesty and hard work can become a success story. I remember when I developed some editorial differences with the management in 70s and decided to quit my job and under great demand and persistence from my friends in the medical profession decided to start my own medical newspaper, I had to face lot of difficulties. I just had Rs. 2,780.00 in my bank account. My younger brother borrowed Rs. 5,000/- from someone and gave it to me so that I can deposit it in the bank and get a Certificate to show a healthy balance which was a requirement for applying for a Declaration. My application was rejected by the Sindh Home Secretary with a note that it is not possible to publish and run a successful medical newspaper with such a tiny amount but little did he realize that the intellectual capital which I had gathered working with honesty and devotion for almost a decade was much more valuable than millions of rupees and it cannot be bought at any price. One of my doctor friends came to my rescue and he gave an undertaking that if ever I needed financial help and assistance to run the newspaper he will be there to help me and gave his own bank certificate. That enabled me to pursue my application and finally I did manage to get a Declaration to start my own medial newspaper in 1978.

I started business with just Rs. 10,000/- (ten thousand only). I purchased a second hand Type Writer for Rs. 1300/- one table and a chair for about  Rs. 2,000/- and that was all. It became a success story within two months because the Press gave me credit period of two months to settle the bills, paper supplier was very kind and wanted to help me and agreed to give paper on credit simply because they all had trust in me and my credibility. My advertisers were happy to help me with the result that I managed to settle bills of my suppliers within five to six weeks and then everything was a routine. Finances are important for any business activity but not that important as intellectual capital but not all bureaucrats know and realize its importance. Punjab Government under the dynamic leadership of Mian Shahbaz Sharif has done a commendable job by creating Punjab Educational Endowment Fund worth sixteen billion rupees to help offering scholarships to deserving students. Federal Government has come up with a scheme of offering financial help, loan on soft terms to young people to start their own business which has helped thousands of people to be self-employed and they are contributing their share in the development of the economy and this country. One hopes other provincial governments will also follow this.

Some people were running industries before partition and then migrated to Pakistan and continued their business. There are others who survive on cheating and stealing, some survive by collecting Zakat Funds from all over the world for their projects but there are others who keep on working hard, developing the infrastructure, building a network of roads, Highways and Motorways, set up industrial zones, help overcome energy crisis so that the economic progress is accelerated and the country is economically and financially strengthened. Let us all work hard; instead of wasting our energies in criticizing others, governments, improve our own performance. Be honest, pay our taxes in time and become a partner in the country’s economic development in which lies the prosperity of each one of us. Let us also pray that God Almighty show all of us the Right path particularly to those who are busy overtime derailing the democratic set up. Governments must come and go with the Ballot. Let us strengthen the democratic system, strengthen the institutions so that we can improve upon monitoring and accountability, help introduce election reforms to ensure smooth, transparent elections giving the people of Pakistan right to elect their Government based on the performance of various political parties in the political arena.

Tail Piece: A seed grows into a plant only when the soil, moisture and temperature are favorable. In other words environment must be ideal.

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