– By Osama Hasan
Meeting élite scientists of the country used to be an honor once upon a time, but listening to their life lessons became the better version of it. Fortunately, I had multiple opportunities to interact with a number of scientists and observe their behaviors, attitudes, point of views, and most importantly, to learn from their invaluable experiences. The special thing about their conclusions with life was that they were logically reasonable, very well established, and not based upon mere feelings or opinions. Here I give a brief account of what I learnt and from whom.
Dr. Samar Mubarakmand NI, HI, SI:
I met Dr. Samar at his office in Planning Commission (Pakistan Secretariat) to interview him for SCME magazine Chimaera. In a more than two hour long interview, he enlightened us (the group of students) with many facts and incidents of his lifetime including the historic nuclear tests at Chaghi. He considers developing his substitute the most important feat in his life. In his words “I founded NESCOM, today I’m no more associated with the organization in the way I used to be, but the organization is running well. Likewise, when I retired from PAEC, someone else took my place…” and then came the strongest words I recall, “Our systems collapse when we stress more on importance of individuals and not organizations. It is the responsibility of every leader to prepare his successor and take a back seat when the suitable time comes.”
In a nutshell: Developing Leadership
Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad NI, HI, SI:
Meeting Dr. sahb at his residence on the bright sunny morning of 25th December, 2011, which also happens to be his wedding anniversary, is worth remembering. The warm welcome, the very affectionate hospitality, and, yes, the nostalgic conversation with repeated words “ye baat yahan se bahar ja kar nahi karni”. Narrating his life journey he mentioned that he has haemophilia i.e. his blood doesn’t clot in case of wound, and he was told that he won’t live more than two years when he was 25. The fun part was when we met Dr. Sahb he was MashAllah 82 years old and happily surviving. The lesson learnt is that one should not give up, no matter how worse the conditions happen to be. Miracles can happen but you need to continue your go.
In a nutshell: Do not Fear but Dare
Engr. Parvez Butt HI, SI:
A few days before one national symposium in which he was invited as Chief Guest, I received a phone call from an unknown number: “Beta mein Parvez Butt bol rha hun, aap Osama baat kr rhe hein…” and with these words, I couldn’t feel the land beneath my feet. This was my first interaction on phone. To my surprise, Mr. Butt was interested to know the level of his audience to suitably decide his presentation at the closing session. He also discussed different presentations that he could deliver to know what which would be the most appropriate. Later, we went to his residence in F-11 to return his USB that he forgot at the symposium and were very warmly welcomed. He very well explained to us about good governance and made us realize that for a leader, it’s not just the performance of his team but also the prosperity of his fellow beings. “You cannot expect someone to give his cent percent if he’s worried for his family or promotion, anytime in life,” he shared. “When I was the Chairman PAEC, a naib qasid came thanking when his daughter graduated with an MBBS degree and started her professional career…. And his was possible just because the excellent governance systems for both the professional and personal growth of the individuals associated with the organization.” He also shared how a technician working at Guddu barrage was not promoted for nearly 22 years and the level of de-motivation among the employees there, when he visited the power station as Member Energy of the Planning Commission.
In a nutshell: Good Governance
P.S. I’m grateful to Tippu Iqbal for his very kind support, time, efforts, and company in meeting these wonderful people. Not to forget Usman and Zeyshan, whose company and post-meeting discussions I still cherish.
– The author is an alumnus of School of Chemical and Materials Engineering and Founder of NUST Science Society.
– Pictures by Mallick Zeyshan Tariq @ Zeyshan Clicks