The paradox of complexity

Published: March 14, 2012
The writer is Executive Director Jinnah Institute. The views expressed are his own

The writer is Executive Director Jinnah Institute. The views expressed are his own

Some days ago, Mr Saroop Ijaz wrote a scathing piece on Imran Khan in these pages. That article has begot a letter from my friend Shafqat Mahmood, himself a writer and analyst of high merit. I do not intend here to discuss what kind of language must be employed in criticising an individual or an organisation because I believe that a strong argument must be able to stand on its own and should normally avoid emotions. Adjectives and expletives tend to draw attention away from the argument, if there be one, and that is quite unnecessary.

Having said that, let me try and raise some issues. I hope, in the spirit of an ongoing dialogue, that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf will focus on my submissions here.

Apropos of ending corruption, the number of days does not matter. I am sure Khan meant 90 days, not 19 days, though 90 is an equally arbitrary number here despite being a slightly safer bet.

But can he do it?

Please note that the question here presupposes that it is indeed crucial for Pakistan’s development to end ‘corruption’. There’s another assumption too, less obvious: that Khan and his party not only understand the structures of the system but can also predict the outcomes of whatever interventions they have planned. I say “whatever interventions” because at least I am not privy to their policy design.

However, the less obvious second assumption that Khan understands the structures of the system and can also predict outcomes is one that is not borne out by a vast corpus of literature in different areas of social sciences, especially public policy.

For instance, in his celebrated work, System Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life, Robert Jervis argued the concept of systems effects as “when a set of units or elements is interconnected so that changes in some elements or their relations produce changes in other parts of the system, and (b) the entire system exhibits properties and behaviours that are different from those of the parts.” The implication should be evident: even if one understands the system (highly unlikely), the outcomes of changes and their directions, given non-linearity, cannot be predicted.

Decades before Jervis, in 1936, sociologist Robert Merton argued in an article, The Unintended Consequences of Purposive Social Action that: “Although no formula for the exact amount of knowledge necessary for foreknowledge is presented, one may say in general that consequences are fortuitous when an exact knowledge of many details and facts (as distinct from general principles) is needed for even a highly approximate prediction.

“In other words, ‘chance consequences’ are those which are occasioned by the interplay of forces and circumstances which are so complex and numerous that prediction of them is quite beyond our reach.”

Nathan Glazer reached the same findings in his 1990 work, The Limits of Public Policy. Similarly, in a 1973 paper for Policy Sciences, Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning, Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber presented the idea of a wicked problem.

Using their framework, in a 2009 article for Daily Times I wrote:

“A wicked problem is generally one that is either difficult or almost impossible to solve because of contradictory and changing requirements and where information is incomplete. To add to the degree of difficulty, a wicked problem involves complex interdependencies, such that tackling one aspect of the problem can create other problems.
“Essentially, this means that no course of action can be based on a definitive formulation because a wicked problem successfully eludes one; courses of action cannot be correct or incorrect or true or false but only relatively better or worse; every attempt is a one-shot experiment which may or may not work; stakeholders have different frames for understanding and solving the problem; there are multiple value conflicts and so on.”

The problem, now generally referred to as “interactive complexity”, is increasingly being written about, not just in relation to public policy but also military operations in environments where the militaries have to fight, to quote Rupert Smith, “among the  people”.

Two things should be obvious: one, understanding the structures of social (as opposed to scientific-technical) systems is not entirely possible and having information on outcomes which are the result of interactive complexity is even more difficult. But let’s park this thought for a while and introduce another.

Are rents entirely bad?

In a 2000 study of rents (Rents, Rent-Seeking and Economic Development: Theory and Evidence in Asia) Mushtaq Khan, an institutional political economist, along with KS Jomo arrived at a different finding. In that edited volume, as well as in his other writings, Khan has consistently challenged the belief that eliminating rents and rent-seeking behaviour is a “precondition” for successful development. His work suggests that not only is there no evidence for this sequencing, inquiries reveal reverse causality. He speaks of transformation potential which he defines as the capacity of a state/society to transform rent-seeking behaviour in ways that are conducive to growth. The study looks at Taiwan and South Korea, among other states in the region, and notes that these states in fact used patron-client relations through selective but firm interventions to further growth.

Does this mean nothing can be done? That would be a wrong message. Policies can and must be formulated but they need to be sharply aware of limitations and unintended consequences. They must also avoid simplistic slogans and deadlines.

The paradox here is this: Imran Khan needs slogans to win adherents and exploit the general despondency. But equally, his movement, by raising undue expectations, can do more harm than good.

In a brilliant chapter for a USIP book, Jeremiah Pam invoked an epigram from that eclectic scholar Paul Valery: “That which is simple is always false; that which is not simple is always unusable”. This is the paradox of complexity. From politics, to economics, to public policy design to military affairs and the use of force, it serves leaders and policymakers well to appreciate this paradox.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (64)

  • zeeshan malik
    Mar 15, 2012 - 12:00AM

    It was pretty disturbing to see imran khan withdraw out of the conclave in india in protest against salman rushdie’s presence.And people are saying this religious fanatic might be our next prime minister!! do we really need a PM who takes decisions based on religious bigotry and hatred.
    and what were the people in India thinking inviting a religious fanatic to a conclave where rational,critical thinkers were also invited.The tabdeeli ka nishan is more suited to brainwashing children in madrassas rather than sharing views with rational people.


  • Z
    Mar 15, 2012 - 12:00AM

    Considering the author’s worst-case scenario, let’s assume Imran Khan does more harm than good based on high expectations.

    Still, the more relevant question in a larger context is this: Can Imran Khan do as much harm as Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif continue to inflict on Pakistan?

    It’s a pretty safe bet to say no.


  • sarfraz chaudhry
    Mar 15, 2012 - 12:05AM

    Tsunami khan belongs in a treatment centre for the religiously deluded alongwith Zion Hamid.He doesn’t belong in a meeting with people who actually use their grey matter.Salman rushdie and the rest of the people should have declined to attend an event where religious fanatics were also invited.People obsessed with religious ideology don’t belong at a place where rational thinking is required.


  • Hammad
    Mar 15, 2012 - 12:14AM

    The principle of bribery, or corruption being the cause of poor economic performance is moronic at best. Corruption occurs in every country. Reasons vary, but in Pakistan’s case, lower level corruption is because of extremely low salaries and a high inflation rate. On the other hand, economic performace is directly linked with investor friendly behavior, peace and stability. I’m sure PTI can do something about investor friendly behavior, by just taking the policies of Musharaf’s regime. Their misconceptions about peace are extremely worrying. They call Taliban misguided. Taliban are misguided if you can call murderers ‘misguided citizens’. His soft attitude towards terrorists will move the majority of his admirers to the leftwing parties. As far as I go, I will not vote for anyone this time because I fear that when voting for Imran Khan, I will play a role in the Talibanization of Pakistan.


  • White Russian
    Mar 15, 2012 - 12:29AM

    Excellent! Though I doubt if PTI, or any other brand of righteous politics for that matter, is capable of understanding these arguments. I would suggest readers to follow via negativa recipie of Nassim Nicholas Taleb (, whose simple argument is that active intervention to “do good” is generally harmful, and passive inaction by “avoiding bad” subtly solves most of the problems.


  • Babloo
    Mar 15, 2012 - 1:07AM

    Imran Khan is the new saviour, in the long line of illustrious saviopurs from Jinnah to Ayub to Yahya to Zia-Ul-Haq to Musharraf that have adorned the throne of Pakistan as saviours.
    That chapter too should be interesting.


  • Ali Q
    Mar 15, 2012 - 1:12AM

    I’ll try and address the crux (?) of your fairly technical piece.

    “Policies can and must be formulated but they need to be sharply aware of limitations and unintended consequences. They must also avoid simplistic slogans and deadlines.” –

    Absolutely true. At the same time, I have never heard Imran Khan claim that the slogan of change is enough. Infact, he doesn’t claim to be an expert at anything…except leadership. Some of our problems ARE complex…however, a great source of our problems stems from poor leadership and a genuine lack of vision. Strong institutions are built around strong leaders. While he talks about corruption, he also constantly talks of devolution of power, improvement of local government, bringing in the required expertise, diplomacy to bring forth peace etc. All this led by honest, strong-willed leaders can go a long way.

    That’s not to say that PTI is ready for office tomorrow.
    I think Pakistanis need to be a little patient & wait for the party’s policies to flush out. There is a recognition that they need to present solutions (as evidenced, by the energy policy presentation). The professionals amongst us who believe we can offer solutions should step up and contribute as this nascent party drafts up solutions for our country. (I know he has been in politics for 15 years, but he has only become politically viable today…no leader carries a policy booklet the day you start having aspirations for political office. You run on a message/vision..and flush out policies around that vision, only once you become viable. Infact given how the problem set of this country has changed over the last 15 years – it would be a useless exercise to do things the other way around).


  • raja
    Mar 15, 2012 - 1:32AM

    khan never said that he will uproot corruption at all level he only said about ministerial level the people he will choose will not be hard to choose 15 among 180 million
    To consider above studies u need to have a system we don’t have one.No one denies the wicked problem in current structure as mention can be avoided by choosing the least worse option which will be batter then the current situation
    this system cant get any worse so ( can do more harm than good) does not apply to pakistan could have apply to other countries. any change with positive intention in pak will do good to current situation,


  • kP
    Mar 15, 2012 - 1:35AM

    a very good article indeed.
    but hasn’t imran khan proved everybody wrong before..


  • Abid Saleem
    Mar 15, 2012 - 1:44AM

    No PTI trolls… escaped their simplistic notions…!


  • Shehzad Shah
    Mar 15, 2012 - 1:46AM

    Saroop Ijaz might have been careless with his adjectives, but at least it was readable. This was like reading a paper in the International Journal of Applied Sociology. I would do that if I were reading for my Master’s thesis, but I feel newspaper opinion pieces should be less viscous. The bottom-line is that Khan is entirely jejune & reductive in his thinking; he cannot see or understand complexity. He thinks all terrorism will end by withdrawing from the American alliance and all corruption will end by making an example of a few bigwigs. Hence the 90/19 days claptrap.


  • PTIsupporter
    Mar 15, 2012 - 1:52AM

    Great article. I had the same feeling when IK came up with the 90 day deadline – surely it can’t be that simple to predict the outcome of one’s policies, now matter how accurate they may be.

    Still there is a mature way of criticising, and I hope the PTI, antiPTI and Saroop Ejaz gather something from this piece.


  • Bhatti
    Mar 15, 2012 - 1:53AM

    I’ve seriously started contemplating that our So-called liberals are focusing more on IK & PTI policies rather than debating outcome of the policies being implemented by PPP & PML-N.
    Honestly now IK bashing is getting a bit old-fashioned, a party which has never got a chance to govern & implement its policies.
    Positive criticism is a good thing and PTI followers must accept that with an open heart but bashing IK/PTI unnecessarily or due to writer’s personal grudge is totally unacceptable.


  • Ali Tanoli
    Mar 15, 2012 - 2:09AM

    In real life books does not worked.


  • Myrtle
    Mar 15, 2012 - 2:15AM

    Ejaz starts off well, and even at the end his conclusions r reasonable, but somewhere in the middle he starts warbling on dense bookish themes and intricate philosophical theses,,,more like submitting a paper than an op-ed! :p dissecting the thick monologue, the crux is usually simple and well stated! to each their own though! :)


  • Saim Baig
    Mar 15, 2012 - 2:20AM

    I don’t understand why this Salman Rushdie issue is being raised over and over again. He doesn’t want to participate, its his right to chose. All those who are labeling Imran Khan as a religious fanatic in result to this posses a dictatorial mindset. Its only Imran’s right to decide whether to go to India or not. Well on this article i can only say that he has done a lot for this country in his personal capacity, lets give him a chance to do same on a grand scale.


  • Cynical
    Mar 15, 2012 - 2:34AM

    @Ejaz Haider
    “That which is simple is always false; that which is not simple is always unusable”.

    You made my day.It’s not every day that one come across a pearl of wisdom so empirical, so holistic.Thank you,sir.


  • Max
    Mar 15, 2012 - 2:36AM

    Your argument well taken, the system theory and system analysis is no longer a valid mode of analysis. Robert Jervis and a few others still adhear to this tradition but it has been thrown out of out window by others.
    Robert Merton falls under the structural-functional umbrella, and if you talk to any political scientist or sociologist and bring-up “Structural-Functional mode of analysis'” I am sure they will be happy to meet and shake hand with a caveman.


  • Adeel
    Mar 15, 2012 - 2:37AM

    Heartening to read the comments above. Perhaps you people are very happy with the way the country is being run. Mr Zardari has managed to quell the Taliban fire and electing Imran Khan would somehow re-ignite it right? You people who are worst critics of Khan would not even step out of your homes to vote, I am pretty sure about that, because deep down you people also know that in the present scenario nobody is worth voting for except IK.


  • Ram
    Mar 15, 2012 - 2:55AM

    From Yates, “Second Coming”:
    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.


  • shakrullah khan
    Mar 15, 2012 - 3:51AM

    The writer provides Imran Khan a lot of food for thought . In spite of his passion and

    idealism , he appears to be ill-prepared to assume leadership of a country which has

    been misgoverned for decades . There is veritable chaos in all spheres of life which needs

    gargantuan effort to achieve some semblence of order .

    Denouncing corrupt polititicians may be cathartic for people , but it provides them little by

    way of a vision for the future . Without a sustained education of the youth about the

    socio-political realities of our soctiety , without liberating them from poisonous ideas

    hammered into their minds by custodians of unjust and corrupt status quo , without

    organising them into effective agents of change , they cannot act as avant gauard for

    any constructive change Imran Khan is aspiring for. Harnessing the energies of the youth without due preparation

    ,it must be realised , carries the risk of creating anarchy in the country .


  • Dr Waqas
    Mar 15, 2012 - 4:10AM

    It is a good article but does that mean that the common man stops thinking that there is no person left to make things right for him?Atleast there should be an intention to perform good for the country.I dont see any good intentions in either PPP or PML-N.


  • Dr ajmal
    Mar 15, 2012 - 4:23AM

    I just dnt understand why the tribune writers publish completely baseless things like the ppp and pmln politicians, having nothing meaningful to say against pti. The issue is to eradicate corruption, whether he does it in ninety or one ninety days. How much does that matter. Man take a break and start doing dsomething better.


  • wsd
    Mar 15, 2012 - 4:24AM

    There are only 2 possibilities…..Either Imran will succeed in uprooting corruption or he will fail. If he fails it means nothing has changed. On the other hand if he succeeds a huge positive change will take place……..
    BTW trying anyone else except Imran means NO CHANGE!!!!!!!!! Is this scenario an option?????


  • vasant Deshpande
    Mar 15, 2012 - 4:28AM

    Has Ejaz said something relevant or important on the topic he has chosen? Yes, he tries to show off his erudition.


  • Z
    Mar 15, 2012 - 4:34AM

    @Abid Saleem: I’m voting PTI. Either my comment escaped your keen ‘PTI troll’ senses or you might be making generalizations that are…well…simplistic.


  • Ali Wazir
    Mar 15, 2012 - 4:43AM

    This is a Defence mechanism called Intellectualization:
    Its overused in PTI case. Which is strange given its not a ruling party.
    At least you werent snarky and dishonest like Sarop (PPP apologist).

    Corruption and Tax evasion by far are Pakistan core problems.
    If PTI just stuck to their Anti Americanism, most Pakistanis would have withheld support by now. But the fact is they have brought these issues to the forefront in the political discourse. This augars well for the country.

    Politics is a relative choice. Unfortunately every major party was copted into this government. PTI claims to be an alternative.
    As in politics all decision are relative. There is only one question to be asked is that “Is IK potentially better then NS or AAZ?” Most Pakistanis have answered “Yes”. Its a fair bet to make.

    The crux of the problem with NS and AAZ is a lack of will.They are the richest individuals in the country with huge business conglomerates to look for and with large amount of wealth stashed outside the country.
    Good governance is a conflict of interest for them.


  • Basit Khan
    Mar 15, 2012 - 4:52AM

    Abid Saleem, The PTI trolls are still figuring out how to react to this piece. I am sure they must be asking each other, ‘Hey ! Is that Ejaz Haider’s piece pro-IK or against IK. Should i start hurling abuses or start showering praises ?’.


  • JCD
    Mar 15, 2012 - 5:08AM

    An excellent article. Pieces like this are needed to promote a healthy debate about corruption and PTI policies regarding it. Well done Ejaz Haider!


  • A Shahid
    Mar 15, 2012 - 5:41AM

    Another keyboard warrior using cavillings like probabilities and statistics to prove an infinitesimally of a chance that Khan would fail. What is even more galling is that these writers are supposed to inspire hope and ambition in readers and instead they are betting on failure of the political leadership and ultimately the country itself. They are so entrenched in this wretched political system that they have come across as biggest defenders of status-quo even quite unwittingly at times.


  • hamza
    Mar 15, 2012 - 6:57AM

    Mr. Ejaz Haider,
    no point in writing such lengthy pieces to try to malign Imran Khan. Bottomline remains: Imran Khan is the most honest and credible political leader in Pakistan today. Zardari and Nawaz Sharif are at the opposite end of the spectrum;they are corrupt and dishonest and incompetent who have done nothing except loot the country’s wealth and put the country on the verge of total destruction.


  • Mar 15, 2012 - 8:06AM

    “The paradox here is this: Imran Khan needs slogans to win adherents and exploit the general despondency. But equally, his movement, by raising undue expectations, can do more harm than good.” When a leader raises false expectations his followers are generally the people who lack understanding and knowledge of the issues and thus his followers ultimately seek his blood. Yes I agree with one commentator that he will not bring more harm than Zardari and Sharif, Fazal Ur Rehman and at least. I am still unable to understand why people forget all the times a person President Musharaf who practically delivered in each and every aspect of the problem which nation is facing. Economy, Education, Medical, Gender Rights, Minority Issues, moderate society, Foreign Policy etc. He is honest, visionary, bold, and patriotic. Can our Media, Liberal So called Impotenet Elite and so called intellectuals answer my question?


  • BlackJack
    Mar 15, 2012 - 8:12AM

    I appreciate the level of analysis presented in this rather unreadable article. However, the point that most intellectuals fail to consider is the segment that Imran Khan appeals to, and what sways them – definitely not secondary data analysis or fact-based logic. Imran Khan’s next objective is to win the national elections by becoming the next-best alternative to the existing unpopular regime; for this he needs (a) an emotive issue that clicks with a large-enough segment (anti-corruption and anti-Americanism) (b) create sustained visibility that appeal to this core segment (who cares if it is through outlandish claims?) (c) build the infrastructure to convert this good-will into votes. He may espouse lofty ideals and could be personally incorruptible, but he is astute enough to recognize that his Govt will not come to power for 19 or 90 days, but for 5 years – which should be enough time to make an impact, and for us to figure out if he was the right choice.


  • MarkH
    Mar 15, 2012 - 8:23AM

    @Dr Waqas:
    That is the primary problem. It’s always about looking for someone to make things right “for them.” The problems are centered even more in the people outside the government and nobody, not even the poor man’s leader can do anything without the people waiting for someone to do something, actually doing things themselves.


  • Ali
    Mar 15, 2012 - 8:43AM

    It is impossible for IK and PTI to ever fail because the alternative are mafias and cults who have hijacked the nation. Even if PTI is a group of ideologues whose words don’t match their actions they still can’t be worse than the current lot who are not only incompetent but are deliberate offenders of corruption and high treason. I don’t put Ijaz Haider in this category but the cynical articles written by minorities are troubling. They’d rather live under Zardari rule than Imran Khan rule because somehow the PPP represents liberal Pakistan. Anyone who has a brain knows the PPP is far from being liberal.


  • moshfit
    Mar 15, 2012 - 9:16AM

    the same theory applies to Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari. So effectively nothing can be done. Pakistan is a basket case along with its learned liberals and everyone else. Lets pack our bags and go home. When is the next episode of Veena Malik show coming? I dont want to miss it for anything. Or should i watch Najam Sethi without his moustache? Ideas people?


  • Azam Khan
    Mar 15, 2012 - 10:01AM

    Moral of the story: let us reject Imran Khan as he is not intelligent enough to understand the complexity of running a government; go for NS who is a genius (he can make billions without paying a pittance in taxes). Or even better: let us re-elect Zardari who is is even better at the game.Recommend

  • RizwanTKhan
    Mar 15, 2012 - 10:14AM

    The basic and core problem of any Pakistani. Kill anything good before it even rises out of the ground. We sure are a pessimist nation and unless and until we tear up this in-born qaulity of ours, forget getting on the bench of successful nation.

    If we want to change our life for the better, then we better change the turn our face and change the direction we moving on…a complete change of Paradigm.

    Revolution does not come with changing leaders. It comes by changing the paradigm.


  • Saeed
    Mar 15, 2012 - 10:54AM

    If he would’ve chosen to attend it, you people would’ve called him a non Muslim. Now that he is not attending it, he is a fanatic ? Grow up seriously.


  • WB
    Mar 15, 2012 - 11:00AM

    Bhai Jan, the audience of ET is an average Pakistani; reading this article was like a PhD homework assignment and halfway through I gave up. The only reason this “article” was written was to prove intellectual superiority by the author over us lowly Pakistanis who dared to support a person who shows some integrity
    I guess the author is not happy with PTI policies, etc; so he is more than welcome to vote for PPP, PMLN or JUI; but knowing his kind, he will never vote and why should he, in his mind he is too superior and too cool to vote in Pakistan.


  • gp65
    Mar 15, 2012 - 11:24AM

    @Z: “I’m voting PTI. Either my comment escaped your keen ‘PTI troll’ senses or you might be making generalizations that are…well…simplistic.”

    Can’t speak for Abid but I would not describe you as an PTI troll though you might be a PTI supporter. The reason is that your initial comment on the subject was based on logic related to what was written even though you disagreed with the author. In my mind, a PTI troll simply flames anyone who questions Imran’s approach by using adjectives like liberal fascists or by referring to Imran’s world cup victory and cancer hospital (both great achievements but not always relevant to the subject being discussed).

    If people put forward reasonable arguments (like you did) this term PTI troll would go away (even if we disagreed with the argument.


  • sick of this nonsense
    Mar 15, 2012 - 12:06PM

    @zeeshan malik:
    I am not a supporter of IK at all, I personally think he is more right leaning however his withdrawal was very right as it hurt many muslim sentiments. I doubt any Jew will share a stage with a Nazi sympathizer or an American with an Alqaeda sympathizer.


  • Ali Wazir
    Mar 15, 2012 - 12:18PM

    @BlackJack: Could not agree with you more.


  • am
    Mar 15, 2012 - 12:44PM

    pls sir i give you choice which one you will vote for IK/NS/ZADARI in that is your answer if you use your vote with sincerity


  • fatima
    Mar 15, 2012 - 1:53PM

    This is sober reasoning. Healthy criticism. Recommend

  • Hussain
    Mar 15, 2012 - 2:46PM

    Good read …. n above all voting for PTI means voting for ‘Difa-e-Pakistan Council’ (Or their like-minded extremists) …. As far as the argument relating to Zardari Vs IK or Sharifs Vs. IK is concerned, to me its like choosing between two devils, no matter how smart you are, u’ll end up choosing a devil only.


  • Lobster
    Mar 15, 2012 - 2:50PM

    By the way surely he said 90 days, and he said corruption at upper level. It is certainly not difficult if you appoint professionals on all top position in government organizations. He won’t and he never promised that he will able to end the Rs 50 note one gives to traffic police to avoid traffic rules penalty.


  • Umer Rasheed
    Mar 15, 2012 - 2:54PM

    This article is written ahead of its time and perhaps with for a reason. If only such articles are written once Imran Khan comes to power, the general inference would be that public should wait patiently and should not expect a change overnight. Whereas it sends the message that putting all your faith in Imran would eventually make this country hopeless over time. I think instead of highlighting the lack of capacity of Imran Khan to deliver, it is important for such opinion makers to coax the public/target audience to cast their vote and promote democratic iteration.


  • elementary
    Mar 15, 2012 - 5:42PM

    @White Russian:You wrote:” and passive inaction by “avoiding bad” subtly solves most of the problems”.

    It will be the passive inaction of not doing what the present lot of rulers is doing i.e corruption (Both moral and Financial) that you will solve the problem. The moment you wipe out the present lot you will achieve it ,you dont even need 90 days it will be instant.


  • Imran Mohammad
    Mar 15, 2012 - 5:56PM

    @zeeshan malik, Ok, Imran Khan will be a PM who panders to the religious right , according to you. So the alternate you have is Nawaz Sharif ( aspiring Ameerul Momineen, who did his best to become one). Or a member of incumbent party whose corruption and incompetence knows no bounds. Why should IK care about what people in India think, he has to live and do politics in Pakistan. His decision to pullout was absolutely correct. I don’t consider myself religious but Rushdie is hate-mongering fanatic who lives on the other side of spectrum. His intellect has been hyped by west and Indians for obvious reasons. So, please stop living in Cuckoo-land, live in reality.


  • Mr Ali
    Mar 15, 2012 - 5:56PM

    My point is that Imran’s slogans are not fake, not empty, and not Simplistic. Leader has to reach out masses who are educated as well as who can’t write his name.

    I can witness already that due to Imran khan many parties and especially politicians already started working for the good of public because they think that now we need to compete over good stuff rather bad things like in past whoever comes into power compete over fraud and corruption.

    So all about competition of public services now due to Imran khan. And for this reason i can see bright future of pakistan as more than two parties will put pressures on lawmakers and executives.Recommend

  • Posting for Realist
    Mar 15, 2012 - 6:07PM

    Excellent article.

    Nailed it.


  • elementary
    Mar 15, 2012 - 6:16PM

    @Haroon Choudhry: He brought back the corrupt politicians,accelerated the radicalization (lal masjid,war on terror etc), flared up separatism ( Akber Bugti),made ISI rampant ,handed over own citizens to US,and demolished democracy.Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Mar 15, 2012 - 6:24PM

    IK will say all sorts of silly things to attract attention and hopefully win votes. That is his plan.

    The people of Pakistan have been betrayed by all the governments that they have had the misfortune of voting for (not to mention those they did NOT vote for!). They have been let down badly and that is what IK is exploiting to some effect.


  • Mar 15, 2012 - 6:44PM

    All you need is reform one dept: Police. With Western style police system corruption will go down 80%. Read: ‘police reforms in Georgia’.


  • Falcon
    Mar 15, 2012 - 7:14PM

    Interesting. The factors you have cited with respect to complexity of decision making are a known fact in decision sciences. However, perfect solution design just like perfect decision making is simply impossible on a large scale because of the fundamental constraints of bounded rationality. So, thinking about complexity to the n-th degree does not solve the problem since a perfect solution tomorrow is a moving target while a workable solution today is much more embraceable reality. Therefore, solution lies in action, planning, and adaptation specially when faced with a high level of uncertainty in the environment. Lastly, one of the things that has been ignored by almost all IK critics is the viability of alternatives vs. IK and the cost of lost opportunity.


  • elementary
    Mar 15, 2012 - 9:16PM

    Forgive my naivety but I don’t see the point of article. Is it saying that nothing is certain therefore we should stop promising or even trying? Is it telling us about recent advances in sociological thinking.
    and what was the digression about rents for?
    well life isn’t certain I still promised my boss I will turn up for work tomorrow and I guess he even believed me.


  • Imran Mohammad
    Mar 15, 2012 - 9:19PM

    @Ejaz Sahib, I like your articles but sometime , in my opinion, you tend to quote from other articles/papers too much. That runs the risk of losing your original point/idea. So, less quotes are better.


  • Zoaib
    Mar 15, 2012 - 9:44PM

    Ending “high level” corruption is no rocket science nor will any attempt at it result in any unintended consequences which cannot be handled in 90 days of coming into power. Sometimes we make things more COMPLEX than they need to be. Ending high level corruption in Pakistan simply means having the political WILL to not make money yourself, have honest cabinet ministers and heads of various government institutions including the police. Then keep a strict check on all of these gentlemen (or women) for any sign of wrongdoing which will not be difficult given the active media and judiciary here and take action wherever required.

    It is a matter of political WILL rather than the complexity of the problem at hand in my honest opinion.


  • go65
    Mar 15, 2012 - 9:58PM

    @Falcon: I am not a big fan of IK (which is not very relevant anyway since I am not Pakistani) but the points you make are reasonable.In fact in many instances, even when my own point of view is something different, I find your arguments always reasonable and sometimes persuasive enough to change my opinion.


  • Shyam
    Mar 15, 2012 - 10:21PM

    Vote for IK, He is the Pakistani Harry Potter, He can make corruption disappear in 19 days by just waving his magic wand.


  • Falcon
    Mar 15, 2012 - 10:32PM

    Thank you. I certainly feel humbled to say the least.


  • littlefluffyclouds
    Mar 16, 2012 - 12:00AM

    this gets my vote for \most incomprehensible article ever


  • MUA
    Mar 21, 2012 - 6:45PM

    @zeeshan malik: if some one is a religious mind its not a bad thing and if we again want to rule the world then we need ppl like Hazrat Umer (RA). after that time period many ROSHAN KHAYAL came to muslim ummah but not even a single person to leave his name after his death. he is good honest and brave man. we need Imran kahn….


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