by Iqbal Tareen, Herndon, VA, USA
November 12, 2008: When I turned on GEO TV yesterday, I was excited and proud to know that a Pakistani mayor, Syed Mustafa Kamal was recognized as Number 2 best mayor of the world. Usually I am little skeptical about such CLAIMS but when I saw our Prime Minister issuing congratulations and the entire Pakistani media celebrating this accomplishment I was filled with joy and pride.
This evening after I was done with my work, I wanted to read more about The Foreign Policy Magazine’s article on “The 2008 Global Cities Index”. I was shocked to see our city of Karachi listed number 4th from the bottom on a list of 60 global cities. Actually cities like Lagos in Nigeria and Dhaka in Bangladesh beat us (Here is the link: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4509&page=1)
What really outraged me was a disclaimer by FP Magazine Editors disputing claims made by Pakistani press, political parties, and Government officials especially against the article published in Pakistan’s #1 English newspaper Daily Dawn. I have reproduced their disclaimer here for your information. You can also go to http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/node/10285 to read it for yourself.
Quickly my pride and excitement turned into a shame and an outrage. It really doesn’t matter what political parties or individuals claim in order to hit the jack pot of instant glory. What turns my stomach is the lack of validation and process both in government and in the Pakistani media. If Prime Minister of Pakistan and Dawn want to restore their credibility some heads must role who manipulated both rushing them to unconditional recognitions and felicitations.
On a side note, I would encourage Karachi Mayor Syed Mustafa Kamal to continue working hard to make a real difference in the lives of millions of people who live under his domain of responsibility. I am sure he is a hardworking and extremely talented guy. But he has his plate full of so many challenges. I wish him and many other mayors of Pakistan including the one from my hometown Shikarpur, Sindh to win a real trophy one day.
We will pray for their success.
The writer can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org