Thursday, January 26, 2006

Kashmir Banay Ga...

As I have always said, in any situation where a duopoly (or any other small, finite, number of players) rules the roost, the thing that most scares the folks that own the "market" is the possibility that someone might wise up to the idea that they can operate outside of their control. Whether it is the US two party system; or our college days in Pakistan when the ethnic militants and the Islamist militants ruled our campus at the point of a gun, anything that showed any promise was often greeted with a very loud "Listen; you just can't survive as an independent."

And as my brother's favourite political quotation goes "Don't believe anything until it has been officialy denied." Here's the official denial that Kashmir can go it alone:

Don't get me wrong; I am very patriotic Pakistani and avidly for peace between the two wonderful countries I and my wife belong to. But anyone or anything that reminds me of those Kalashnikov-toting Jamat-e-Islami activists or equally earnest representatives of my own ethnic organization that tried to shut down our efforts to organize concerts and the like at NED University in Karachi just rubs me the wrong way. There's gotta be a better way of convincing the Kashmiris you love them and will do best by them.

Though you do have to give Gen. Saab credit for being honest about why and independent Kashmir is not a possibility.

[A version of this has also been published on my personal blog.]

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Outsourcing Plastic Pakistan

This came in on one of the mailing lists I am on. Interesting form of offshoring/outsourcing, no? Comments? I guess the US-based--and particularly in Silicon Valley--is not mature enough to get to where they are doing things like this...
LONDON, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The number of Pakistani women returning to their home country from England for discount plastic surgery with no waiting is on the rise.
Dr. Abdul Hameed, the president of the Pakistani Association of Plastic Surgeons, told The Independent the trend began four years ago when doctors noticed "waves of British clients" coming during the summer and winter holiday seasons. About 400 women were visiting the country to visit families and include some cosmetic surgery every year.
"The women know that the waiting lists for good cosmetic surgery in London are maybe three months long," he said. "In Pakistan, there is no waiting list. We do them whenever we get them."
Nose jobs, tummy tucks, liposuction and breast enlargements are the favored treatments for many, Hameed said.
Pakistan has about 70 plastic surgeons, mostly in Islamabad, Lahore or Karachi.

Though another story about a non-IT spin on Offshoring/Outsourcing also came in yesterday, oddly enough, on the same list and, come to think of it, it is a list for people in Pakistan. I guess for them there's life besides IT. Which is reassuring, actually:
LAHORE, January 22 (Online): The Tools, Dies and Moulds Center in Karachi will be equipped with 100 seats of UGS' NX Software for Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) Systems for teaching, training and developing human resources for the rapidly growing engineering industry in Pakistan.