1c. Interview

Pakistani Spectator

Interview with Blogger Iftikhar Ajmal Bhopal

Q. Would you please tell us something about you?
I was born in Jammu Tawi, the winter capital of state Jammu Kashmir. We were forced to migrate to Pakistan after August, 1947.
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan
Interests: Reading, writing, human service and web surfing.

B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering, Lahore, 1962 (Annual)Member,
Institution of Engineers and Technicians, London, 1975.
Incorporated Engineer, England, 1976.
Fellow, Institution of Engineers, Pakistan, 1976.
Professional Engineer, Pakistan, 1977.
Work Study Techniques Course (1965)
Advanced Administration and Development (1974-75)
Operations Research and Quantitative Techniques (1986)
Strategic Planning / Management (1990)

Several technical papers on the subjects of planning, production, training and management had been written.
The two liked most were:
(1) Triangle of Supervision (about management)
(2) Small Arms through Centuries (about evolution and development of small arms)
(3) Bani Israel and State Israel and
(4) Tea, its History and Uses

Pakistan Engineering Council
Member, Executive Committee (1989 – 1990 & 1994 -1996)
Member, Admin & Finance Committee (1989 – 1990 & 1994 – 1996)
Inspector of Examinations (1989 – 1990 & 1994 – 1996)
Member, Accreditation Committee (1994 – 1996)
Chief Co-ordinator, Seminars (1994 – 1996)
Convenor, Drafting & Planning Committee (1994 – 1996)
Institution of Engineers Pakistan
Member Central Council (1984 – 1986 & 1988 – 1990)
Chairman, Wah Sub-Centre (1984 – 1992)
Vice-Chairman, Rawalpindi / Islamabad Centre (1986 – 1988 & 1998 – 2000)

Planning, negotiations with foreign firms
Development and production of precision parts
Preparation of feasibility reports for establishment of manufacturing organizationsEstablishment a state of the art Technical Training Institute
Planning, establishment & running of a high class computer training centre
Development and implementation of computerized inventory management system
Study, sifting, scrutiny and analysis of rules and procedures, and their systematic review.Proficient in computer operation of Lotsuite, Windows XP, MS Office 2003

Lecturer at Poly Technic Institute (1962 to 1963)
Assistant Manager (1963 to 1969)Production Manager (1969 to1976)
Adviser to Libyan Government (1976 to 1983)
Principal, Technical Training Institute (1983 to 1985)
General Manager, MIS & Director, Computer Training Centre (1985 to 1992)
Director POF Welfare Trust (1992 to 1994)
Chairman Mechanical Engineering, Al-Khair University (1996 to 1999)
Honorary service to different welfare organizations for over 20 years up to end 2005
Currently living retired life in Islamabad

Q. Could you tell us what made you decide to blog?
Ans. To save young generation from what I suffered and to share with them my experiences.
Q. What do you think sets Your blog apart from other blogs?
Ans. It mainly targets betterment of human beings.
Q. If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success, what would it be?
Ans. Sincerity.
Q. What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?
Ans. My happiest moment was at 11:57 PM during the night between Aug 14 and 15, I heard from Radio “Yeh radio Pakistan hai”. I was only 10 years old at that time.
The gloomiest moment was when, travelling in train from Karachi to Rawalpindi, I heard on radio about fall of Dacca on December 16, 1971.
Q. If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it’spaid for – what would your top 3 choices be?
Ans. First Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umra, second Atlanta (USA) to be with my only grand-daughter and third, Japan.
Q. What is your favorite book and why?
Ans. My favourite book is Qur’aan Shareef which has guided me all my life to success and made me live even when there were no apparent chances to stay alive.
Q. What’s the first thing you notice about a person (whether you know them or not)?
Ans. Manners.
Q. Do you think Pakistani politicians could benefit from the social networks and things like twitter?
Ans. I am not sure.
Q. How Pakistani bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?
Ans. Few bloggers are, already, benefiting by allowing advertisements. I have so far not thought of it.
Q. Do you think Pakistani bloggers tend to remain somewhat self-centered and really don’t go out of their shells? Is it the oriental style of blogging, or they are still unsure about it?
Ans. To start with, generally, they are self-centred but most of them open up with time. Though some bloggers are working on their specific goal of bringing about a good change in thinking, majority of Pakistani bloggers display their environmental behaviour on their blogs.
Q. Is it true that who has a successful blog has an awful lot of time on their hands?
Ans. No. It is variety and type of posts on the blog that makes it success.
Q. What are your thoughts on corporate blogs and what do you think the biggest advantages and disadvantages are?
Ans. Some corporate blogs already exist some of which are educative and popular. Corporate blogs can be very useful for learning but the problem is that everybody thinks he is correct which made a few corporate blogs a battle-field.
Q. Does it pain you or proud you that we have made a history by electing a uniform general as our president?
Ans. This is most unfortunate act of our nation.
Q. Do you think this whole emphasis on blogs and whatever online is a significant indicator to show that the web, the social web, is becoming a very important social force?
Ans. Yes, it is becoming a social force but needs lot more serious effort.
Q. What do you think where the Pakistani blogosphere is right now?
Ans. Pakistani blogosphere has made it’s existence felt but is still in infancy.
Q. Who are your top five favourite bloggers in Pakisan?
Ans. Please allow me to change your question. It should be “Pakistani Bloggers”.
I will not say top favourite but if I read only five which those will be.
Q. Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger in Pakistani blogosphere?
Ans. Not “stunned” so far.
Q. What is the future of blogging in Pakistan?
Ans. Should be progressing.
Q. In political respect, can we say blogging a ‘democracy of message’?
Ans. Some what yes. It will be encouraging if the democracy spirit goes to the corporate blogs.
Q. Can Pakistani blogosphere play any notable role in the forthcoming elections, if they happen at all?
Ans. I think it can if concerted sincere efforts are made by the bloggers and people on their e-mail lists are requested to read the concerned posts and, also, invite their friends to do the same.
Q. You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?
Ans. Blogging has given me chance to interact with people whom I had never met and many of them who initially didn’t agree with my view point are now supporting me. Also I have gained some knowledge from them.
Q. What are your future plans?
Ans. Just to go on working hard to assist people to the right path.
Q. Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?
Ans. My message is “if you want to live, let others live”, and “help / assist the needy and not the mighty human beings and you will live a life full of satisfaction”.