How to get started with IBM Software Support in 5 minutes


I hear almost every now and then, a request from new customers about how to get support from IBM. Some times, they missed the Welcome letter, because the employee has either left or overlooked the details and after some time, nobody knows how to register on Passport Advantage site and how to get log support request online and there are other related short videos.

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Quota System And the Law & Order woes in Karachi


Quota System:

Last year(2012), I read government has extended Quota system in Sindh for 20 more years, which was prevalent for the past 40 years, while there is no such quota system in Punjab or may be other provinces of Pakistan. Someone said that, we have to thank ZA Bhutto who brought this to the nation, pretty much divided the country. The quota system introduced in the 1973 Constitution to ensure that all areas of Pakistan were represented in government service was declared repugnant to Islamic injunctions by the Federal Shariat Court in 1992. However, this law still exists because the federal government and two provincial governments filed appeals against the Shariat Court decision. These appeals remain pending with the Appellate Bench. Quota system for the time being is ok for a greater education access, for the underprivileged, but not for any other case eg hiring/jobs, as it becomes discrimination, which you know is prohibited in Islam, may it be on the basis of race, color, family, land, or ethnicity. You cannot favor one over the other.

Example of Civil Services: 

According to the current recruitment policy listed at the Central Superior Service of Pakistan website, only 10% of posts are reserved for merit. FPSC (Federal Public Services Commission) allocates jobs in civil services institutions (every govt. organization, eg WAPDA, EOBI, Steel Mills, Railways, FBR, Excise & Taxation, Water board, Finance, SBP, including Sindh Police, etc) on the basis of merit and provincial or regional quotas. As per their rule, they are:

Merit                                                                                                 (only 7.5 %)

Punjab (including the Islamabad Capital Area)                   (50%),
Sindh (rural)                                                                                       (11.4%),
Sindh (urban)                                                                                     (7.6%),
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa                                                                     (11.5%),
Balochistan                                                                                          (6%),
Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA                                                              (4%)
Azad Jammu and Kashmir                                                             (2%).

Police Strength in Pakistan – Comparison:

Now, ponder on further facts:

1. There’s no concept of bribery in Islamabad Traffic police.
2. There is no concept of mobile phones snatching in Lahore city, even during late hours.

Why they say that you cannot bribe almost any policeman of Islamabad Traffic police, while it is a everyday business to bribe Karachi Traffic Police and get away with the fine? Have Islamabad police recruited British policemen? How come they are educated, have moral values and are paid well ? Why can’t that be done in Karachi ?

Someone said, Quota System is only in Sindh because there was a wider divide between Urban and Rural Sindh population of Sindh. So, I did some more research and found following (from Pakistan Bureau of Statistics 1998 survey):

Proportion of Population:
Sindh urban 48%               Sindh Rural 51%
Punjab urban 31%            Punjab Rural 68%
http://www.pbs.gov.pk/content/area-population-density-and-urbanrural-proportion

So, this is certainly not the case as you can see there is a greater divide in Punjab than Sindh. I did more research and found:

Sindh Police vs Punjab Police:

Punjab Police: 180,000
Serving Population: 81 million
Police:Citizen Ratio 1:444

Sindh Police: 105,000
Serving Population: 46 million
Police:Citizen Ratio 1:438

So, they’re equal in size, but how about Karachi vs. Lahore. I could only find estimates from Dawn report (2008):

Karachi Police vs. Lahore Police:

Lahore Police: 30,946 for a population of ~9 million.
Ratio: 1: 287

Karachi Police: 34,155 for a population of ~16 million.
Ratio: 1: 571

Here we have a stark difference, almost half the ratio of police vs citizens in Karachi vs Lahore. Then they say in Lahore, there’s no concept of mobile theft in Lahore and no fear of staying late in the streets at night. Why wouldn’t there be. Also note, roughly 7000 personnel are deployed on VIP security, so this ratio would further deteriorate in Sindh.

Now compare that with other cities of the world:

London police:         1: 155 (Police considered best in the world)
Dehli police:             1: 241
Mumbai police:       1: 357 (most suitable match for Karachi)
Lahore police:          1 : 287
Karachi police:         1: 571

If I compute with actual population of Karachi, ie 30+ million and minus the fact, that personnel deployed on VIP security, the ratio would be worse then 1:1000.

Other Reasons of Sindh Police failure: 

When Karachi police strength is so low, most of them would feel overpowered by the criminals, so they might not even try to perform their duties. While their salaries are said to be very low, that makes another excuse for them to avoid duty and earn through bribes, to make both ends meet. The reputation of Sindh Police(Karachi) is so bad, it’s  synonymous to criminals. Most of the time, they are involved in the crime, eg residential robberies, mobile snatching (they’ve a cut, most of the time). Nobody hopes anymore that their stuff could ever be recovered through police. Many don’t even want to report the incident, as they fear further harassment by police, in terms of bribe for recovery. However, when there’s a will to investigate, they know very well about each and every incident (who committed, what, where and when). They don’t act because of various factors, eg low salary,  lack of skills and lack of proper weapons, lack of knowledge of the society and their customs, lack of education, as most of them are hired on the basis of quota system, in disregard of merit.

Also note , thanks to quota system, all of our provinces represent their respective races and the largest political parties represent their respective race. With that in practice, another element of corruption is political influence in the police.

Who comes into power (authority over Sindh Police), tends to exploit it to the fullest, supporting their party and targeting their opponent party or parties.

When the political party is not representative of the city resident, then injustice results into widespread hate against the police.

VIP Deputation:

As if their strength is already not low, around 7000 of the meager 34000 police force are deputed on VIP security and 3000 on investigation. While the rest of 15000 are deployed in 109 police stations to cover 3500 square km area of Karachi, out of which 19 stations run without any personnel.

So, that equates to roughly one police stations per 32 square km area. This VIP protocol culture is equally common in Lahore and other cities, where it eats up major portion of the police budget.

Rangers in the city: 

When we talk about L&O, we can’t omit the presence of Rangers in the Karachi. Well, that is a military force, trained fundamentally to fight with the enemy and deployed on the borders. This means, it certainly has no place in the city, controlling civics amenities. Because, they lack the education and skills for it. The city was shocked to know about this fact, when a video was leaked through a TV channel, showing the cold-blood, merciless and extra-judicial killing of a civilian at the hands of Rangers at Benazir Bhutto park in Clifton. They’re trained to combat against armed adversary, they lack civic skills.

If there was a lack of personnel in Police, ideal would be to inducted more in Police, increase its funding. If there’s a lack of equipment and advanced armors, Police should have been provided funds and such resources and trainings, instead of bringing in Rangers.

Since the city is the cash capital of the country, everyone can be accommodated and everyone gets their living, and so are Rangers, which is causing Karachi ‘s exchequer Rs. 1.4 billion every year(2012), while enjoying permanent residence in many areas, encroachments and occupation of land,  to water-tanker business, marriage halls and so on. It simply does not make any sense to have army(Rangers) of 18000 personnel deployed permanently in cities. Out of 24000 Rangers assigned for Sindh, which should be protecting our borders, 18000 are stationed inside the cities.

From jurisdiction point of view, I wonder how would two law enforcers (Police & Rangers) operate in one city. It’s like having two managers of one employee. That is evident from various reports, which says there is hardly any coordination between the two forces. How could that be, when one is given direction from Armed forces (HQ Corps commander), while other from Provincial Interior Ministry.  In fact, there are so many other secret agencies working in the city, with over-riding powers. So, effectively, with so many law enforcers, you’re not even sure if any incident is committed by a criminal or secret services, thus nobody can be held accountable and instead blame each others, while the criminals gets a free ride and the general public suffers, very common story of karachiites.

Here’s an update post on L&O in Karachi, special in reference to current Rangers’ operation.

Solution: 

Karachi is booming in every respect, specially in terms of economic growth. Almost everyone finds it’s fortune in the city, from hungry beggars to shopkeepers to billionaire industrialists or the vast hardworking educated middle-class. The biggest issue of Karachi is Law and Order. L&O is the responsibility of Police. That is not a rocket science. Some suggested, making Karachi as a separate province. Not sure, if making more provinces would solve the woes of the city. There just has to be a genuine “will”, if that is missing, there can never be peace. When there was a will to progress the city (in Musharraf’s era), both federal & provincial government and all of governmental institutions (like Police) worked in unison for the peace and progress of Karachi, things changed in the city never seen before in the history of Karachi (evident in graph below). And we have experienced it first hand ourselves, with booming business. I never saw in my lifetime, Pakistanis returning to Pakistan, to Karachi, in Musharraf era.

1239004_10200566472739482_1488949289_n

So, it’s quite evident, where there is a will, setting peace in Karachi is not a big deal. It is commonly known,  that Karachi Police is not empowered (conflicts with Rangers), politicized, uneducated, lacks civic sense and most of their employees does not belong from the city – thanks to Quota system, thus having reduced tendency for lack of responsibility to serve their hometown. If we need peace and prosperity in Karachi, we have to revive Police, bring in resources on merit and remove all inefficient employees. I am not expert in Police or Law Enforcement, so I can’t say what measures within Police needs to be taken to improve it, but the obvious first step is to increase its strength (personnel, stations, arms) according to the international standard ration and the population of the city.

Eg Karachi Police force should be increased to 80,000 to cater for the current population of 24 million, if we go with the ratio of Lahore.  Else, 150,000 if we go with London’s standard.

Empower Karachi Police with autonomous power to deal with the crime. Karachi Police should fall under the control of local government or its equivalent (people’s representation), instead of Provincial Ministry or Armed Forces or Federal Ministry. Hiring should be made on 90% merit and 10% quota and obviously not the other way round. Independent justice system complements effective police system, one without the other, also cannot work. Virtually, all of the problems of Pakistan can be understood and solved by a 10 year old. It’s the disinformation or unaware population, that helps the leaders at the helm of power to exploit the rules with such impunity. I’ll reiterate, there just has to be a will, to bring prosperity in Karachi.

I have researched all these facts from various sources, and found very little facts and figures that I used above, as you might know, Karachi specific stats are hard to come by, specially when government is committing such misadventure. I wrote another blog on Quota System in general, some time ago, which you can read here: https://learnsharehelp.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/2013-still-quota-system/

Sources & Further Readings:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_10-10-2004_pg7_26

http://archives.dawn.com/archives/125808

http://tribune.com.pk/story/590798/overspending-sindh-pays-out-of-its-own-pockets-to-keep-the-rangers-in-town/

Sex Education for the Kids – Pakistani perspective


Syllabus upgrade: Sexual health rights to be incorporated in curriculum

http://tribune.com.pk/story/594336/syllabus-upgrade-sexual-health-rights-to-be-incorporated-in-curriculum/

Disclaimer: This blog post is meant for adults (18+)

After reading above article on Express Tribune, here’s my view on the topic.

I tend to nip the evil in the bud. I usually don’t recommend half-hearted solution or don’t believe in temporary solution. If there has already been an incident of sex, there’s no way to redress it. We see all such absurdities in developed (liberal) societies, being open about sex, which is beyond our remotest imagination, that I can’t even mention here. Naturally, they don’t have any solution for it, unless they abstain from the practice of open-relationship. They talk about abortion for the very reason, thinking it would undo the damage, however, that tantamounts to even bigger crime of killing a human life. You know, in US, 10% of fetuses are aborted after 4 months of development. 50% of pregnancies are unintended. 1.2 million abortion took place in 2008. It’s so complicated for them now. Thanks God, we haven’t fully copied their lifestyle, although, our society is well on track of copying it.

My arguments against sex education to kids:

1. Let the kids remain kids, not push them into adulthood before age. The sooner they learn about anything, the sooner they try to experiment it. At that tender age, we can’t expect them to demonstrate control and understanding that we have. We simply need to tell the kids, not to be alone with the opposite sex or in fact anyone, not to show their private parts to anyone, instead of teaching them how reproduction system works and what good and harmful effect it would have morally. Let them enjoy being children. Yes indeed, when they are getting married, we should tell them about it and not when they’re 13. Humans are curious by nature, children foremost. If you’ve been a child, you know well, you want to try out everything, that you get to know.

Reproductive health education and services, especially sex and family planning education for young ... / Credits: Reuters

Do you know, how many lost their innocence after this session ?

2. If naively, we’ve exposed kids to such information, through Bollywood or Hollywood, the parents will have to bear its aftermath.

Some stats:
* There are 24, 000,000 porn website on the internet
* Pornography industry is estimated to be $60 Billion per year
* 2.5 billion emails per day are pornographic
* 11 year old is the average age of children watching porn.
* 70% of men aged 18-24 visit port sites.

Further, that’s obviously not an excuse, to tell them the whole story in detail. You cannot just exempt yourselves, saying I am helpless, and I can’t protect children, from learning things from society (TV, books or internet) which they shouldn’t. There are smart parents, who still control all such mediums. If you child get to know about sex from anywhere, that does not mean, he’s very smart and can handle it in the right manner. He’s still immature.

3. Such initiatives are usually foreign funded (through NGOs) with vested interested, just like this news. And those NGOs do what their donor agencies funds them to do. There are thousands of similar NGO’s working for birth control, abortion awareness, while such things are clearly prohibited in our culture. Our government is usually not qualified to understand, let alone know their motives. For sex education, western societies are mainly concerned about ‘Safe Sex‘, while we don’t have any place for sex in the first place. So, we have to be extra-careful about such initiatives and compel the Government to have stern scrutiny on such NGOs, so that their interest is not against our needs, values, culture and lifestyle. Acc. to this news, they plan to teach maternal health, AIDS, reproductive health, puberty, in fact virtually everything, to the 13 year old. Some would reach puberty at this age, some would not. These NGO’s are funded to campaign SRHR (Sexual and reproductive health and rights). I remember, some year back, one such NGO (promoting SRHR), were helping the sex-workers (how politely they coined that word, I remember), saving them from HIV/AIDS disease and providing abortion/contraceptive etc. Yes, in Pakistan, not US. So, right, we don’t need NGO’s to rehabilitate and support financially, these poor souls (girls), but we need NGO’s to soothe them, so that they continue to sell their body to earn living (which is illegal as per our constitution, culture and most importantly religion).

Remember this movie? They’re mainly concerned about Safe Sex, otherwise, see, they encourage sex (without marriage).

4. It spreads indecency, that’s not part of our culture or religious teachings. First, it makes it easy to discuss, then they do such things, as they develop the feeling that I can talk about it, parents will forgive us, if I do it by mistake. The more indecent you become, the less taboo such act gets and the less you fear about doing such things. It is a normal psyche, as long as you know snakes are dangerous that could attack you and their venom attack can kill you, you stay away from it. Once, someone starts to play with snakes and gets you involved with it, touching it, you tend to loose fear. Same analogy.  So, awareness should be made, but not in public, specially not co-ed and according to age and child’s physiological needs.

5. No wonder, Islam terms perpetrating extra-marital sex as a crime, awarding public exemplary punishment, because God knows, its implication, which is beyond the control of human being, which in turn destroys societies.

6. Has Sex education helped the developed world ? See some stats:

Of the women obtaining abortions in 2000:
* 57% had some college education;
* 88% were from metropolitan areas;

I am sure all these teenagers and children from cities, are well aware of sex and sexual implications, then why do 60% needs abortion ?

Solution:

We must make an environment, where there is less opportunity for individuals to have open-relationship, so that such incident are avoided in the first place. Here some more facts:

* 38% of rapist are a friend or acquaintance.
* Every 2 minutes someone in America is sexually assaulted.
* About 72% of eighth and ninth graders are “dating”.
* One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.

Cartoon: sex education think of next (medium) by rmay tagged education,think,of,next

So, we should nip the evil in the bud (abstinence), instead of making ways to redress the situation afterwards, with abortion or sex education, birth control, etc. Redressing it afterwards could be kept for exceptional cases like 0.01%, not for 99% of the population should be taught about it, so it becomes easy for everyone to commit sex and get redressal, through accommodating society (hospital, parents, teachers, etc.).  While researching on this topic, I learned, NGO’s want to teach the kids that, sex between two women carries less HIV transmission risk than sex between two men. Why on earth would you want to teach this to your kids, except so that they know, there’s something like women to women sex. My goodness!

Sex related information needs to be provided to the individuals, but the content, environment, age and physiological needs of the child, should be very well taken into account. Not unlike what the western societies start of with kids aged 5 or 7 and in public groups, showing animated videos of reproduction. We do need to teach them about the anatomy and physiology of the human-body, about the act of sex and family life, about prevention of sexually-transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy. They should be aware of the social, moral and religious ethics, how to avoid peer pressure, sexual growth and development, time table for puberty, physical changes during puberty, development of fetus and birth, needs of family life, reproductive system, for girls- organ, menstruation, premenstrual syndrome, for boys- the organ, the sex drive, fornication, adultery and punishments for them, and marriage, divorce, cleanliness etc. But all of that in a prescribed manner, conducive to our values. So, that’s why I have apprehension on these NGO’s, if they would tailor their funded campaigns according to OUR values or just bribe the govt. and complete the job as per the donor agencies mandate.

The fundamental reason for such rampant abuse, is the growth of liberal views towards open-relationships and exposure of sexual content to children, in movies, TV shows, books/magazines, internet and other mediums. We got to protect our children, which is our future and our obligation to the nature, to raise them properly.

Hear what scholars have to say about it:

Like most of our problems today, the solution can’t be as simple as I mentioned above, since there are many other factors involved.

Implications of free sexual relationship:
1. Lack of interest in marriages
2. Higher divorce rate
3. Early age pregnancy, birth
4. Identity of new born babies
5. Sex becomes trade
6. Girls end-up in such trade due to poverty and social acceptance.
7. Sexually transmitted diseases, eg AIDS

That’s my opinion on the topic, you’re welcome to share yours.

Another good read is:  How to cope with amoral ‘sex education’

http://en.harakahdaily.net/index.php/articles/edu-spective/1728-how-to-cope-with-amoral-sex-education.html

Further reading and sources:

http://www.academia.edu/453374/Sex_Education_An_Islamic_View

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Fedo3Zuwss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWm51uxhRfg

Disinformation: Playing havoc


As per Merriam Webster’s dictionary, Disinformation means: “false information deliberately and often covertly spread (as by the planting of rumors) in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth“.  It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth. Unlike traditional propaganda techniques designed to engage emotional support, disinformation is designed to manipulate the audience at the rational level by either discrediting conflicting information or supporting false conclusions. A common disinformation tactic is to mix some truth and observation with false conclusions and lies, or to reveal part of the truth while presenting it as the whole (a limited hangout).

Another technique of concealing facts, or censorship, is also used if the group can affect such control.

When channels of information cannot be completely closed, they can be rendered useless by filling them with disinformation,

effectively lowering their signal-to-noise ratio and discrediting the opposition by association with many easily disproved false claims.

When every organization is driven by profit/money business, news media is no different. They work on different agenda, as defined by their stakeholders or who provides the funds and resources to run those corporations, so much so that, there is no un-biased news channel or paper or website left, that you can trust.

So, it has become virtually impossible to get to the truth and know the facts, what is happening or has happened.This becomes extremely dangerous, where the evil-doers get away with such heinous crime, unimaginable before, because of this disinformation plague.

Decades passes, yet people in general, don’t know what was the truth, and they are confused through bombardment of false news. It has resulted in people’s inaction, no matter how severe an incident occurs. People tend to stay away, since they don’t know what is correct information, which side to take, who is the culprit (evil) and who is being suppressed (good). The examples are – 9/11 incident killing thousands of people, overthrowing Libyan government, killing hundreds of thousands in Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, occupation of Afghanistan, mass murder of Egyptians, use of chemical weapons against Syrian population and hundreds of pharma industry frauds, banking frauds, healthcare regulatory body and government corruptions and so on. Majority does not raise their voice against it, or take any action, because they’re being confused, as to whether to believe if the information is true or false in the first place. That is where the evil-doers gets a free hand, which is something very dangerous for the humanity and we need to find a solution for it.

What “I” did to tackle it: I stopped following mainstream media (TV, websites or papers). I seek news from social media, where I research news, learning from both sides and try to find what is true. I read what my friends or people have to say about it, if they have authenticated the information or made a logical guess.  Depending on their level of expertise on the topic and their credibility, I believe in the inforamtion. I may not necessarily get to the truth quickly always, but it is still better than hearing all biased (false) news, because you know, you cannot deny the immense power of TV – see, hear and listen at the same time.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disinformation

How facebook generate so much revenue, when it’s free ?


In the meanwhile, did anyone notice, Facebook market capitalisation is exceeding $60 billion, with over 1 billion users.  Imagine, if every user just pay a penny, for an hour long ad for a day, FB would generate  $100million in just one hour. Then imagine, full day revenue, week and year, and even if you take 10% of the FB user population, it’s easy money. Their usual ad cost is around $5 (minimum) for a day.

I was wondering earlier, how come they afford to pay for the sms’s, if I configure SMS-based notification for login eg, Note: Like everyone else, I also don’t pay anything to FB for my use. So, where do they get money to pay for billions of sms of their users, free of charge ? And money for extremely large infrastructure and facilities in many cities ? I guess, I need to research on it.

2 Steps To Understanding Your Hard and Soft Skills


Digital Attitude: Becoming Eminent

Player_runsSocial Presence is about putting your best foot forward… but you need to know which foot that is.  Only when you are clear on what skills you possess can you really paint a good picture of yourself online.

Today we are going to talk about the two types of skills that are critical to your success in business, your HARD and SOFT skills. Your Attitude Adjustment Homework will help you hone in on both so that you will be able to highlight them in your online profiles.

I find that people tend to define themselves more by the technical and business hard skills that they have, rather than the strengths of their personality that are defined by the soft skills.  They lead with their business titles, not with their strengths.

Human Resource people say “it may be your hard skills that get you the interview, but it is…

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