The idea is to periodically change the national and provincial capitals of the country. In other words, we must shift the designated capital cities (both national and provincial) of our country recurrently to new locations. To summarize the proposed idea in a few words, I have named it as “The Idea of Capital Change”.

DevelopmentHow relocation of our capital cities will benefit the nation? “The Idea of Capital Change” can be taken as a two-in-one formula for rapid growth and provincial solidarity. It’s totally a new concept that is supposed to trigger national development, especially in underdeveloped areas by changing both provincial and capital cities on a regular basis. By following this way, new areas will automatically come to the sate of the ideal development and growth. Shifting both national and provincial capitals to new places will be a revolutionary step ever taken by any government as it will solve a number of issues related with under development, slow-moving progress as well as a sense of escalating loneliness and economic and political deprivation in some areas of the country. Many Seraiki speaking people living in the Cholistan and Multan side of the Punjab want their own Seraiki province, whereas political conditions in our Balochistan province are even worse and a voice for a separate Baloach land is being raised by their leaders. My idea will also be a sign of relief for those people who want their own exclusive provinces rather than living within established provincial boundaries, or where separation movements have been formed in order to create their own homeland rather than being a part of the country. Implementation of this idea will not only multiply the regional bondages and attachment among all provinces, but would also help us reduce the widespread gap between rural and urban communities, especially the gap found between rather developed big cities vis-à-vis backward small cities of the same country. It will remove the sense of deprivation of the deprived masses belonging to rather underdeveloped areas of the country. “The Idea of Capital Change” is also a wonderful way to cure flawed democracy where a certain and constant majority, located a certain part of the land, is bound to rule the country democratically whereas the minority, on the other hand, can never be able to take the decisive lead during elections, thus being unable to rule the roost by any democratic means. In many countries like Pakistan, their minorities because of being low in number can never be able to form a government through democratic ways. What can be done in these conditions? And what about those supporters belonging to the losing party in the election- should they wait till the next election? Is thing not undemocratic? In a democracy, whoever wins the election leaves a permanent minority unelected despite being significant in numbers, just like a musical chair played between minority and majority offering one party to sit at a time. Especially, when minority belongs to certain ethnic or religious backgrounds, their frustration and sense of deprivation may easily ignite sectarian violence, thus leading them up to the separation of state where the minority can govern by itself e.g. Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, and Cyprus. Continue reading

ArmyThe Idea: Retired army personnel of any rank should always live within public housing projects instead of residing away from the general public in their housing projects managed by respective cantonment boards. To narrow down this idea, at least one army personnel of major or colonel rank should live in a population of 10 thousand people approx. So that these retired army gentlemen can easily influence concerned civic authorities and municipal departments to ceaselessly provide basic facilities like water, electricity etc. without any disruption to the population.

The Rationale behind the Idea: The rationale behind the proposed idea is simple and straightforward because this idea has been formed keeping in view the general psyche of our nation where just the name of an influential person or authority makes the work done which cannot be even done by thousands of common people by any means. The ‘Men in Khaki’ can ideally facilitate the devolution of convenience to the grassroots level. Here where the whole nation is steered by the philosophy of “might is right”, the role of army personnel is so crucial and decisive, especially when fulfilling the public needs are concerned. In our culture, army people are considered as a symbol of strength, thus nobody dares challenge their stance in any matter. Even a retired army officer, in accordance with our social culture, is more influential than a common man. In short, they have a definite say in the running of the public affairs. That’s why; their presence could be blessing for the general people who are usually deprived of essential utilities of life or their view is taken as granted by concerned authorities. Putting retired army personnel among the general people will benefit the deprived populace almost in every matter, particularly the matters related to the continuous provision of essential utilities and amenities of life like water, electricity, gas, sanitary services and the like. As a rule, retired army people don’t live with general public which, besides many other concerns, also creates a needless gap between the army and civilians. But, coming closer to the general public will lessen not only the mentioned gap, but also appears as a revolutionary step taken for the very survival of the general populace. As per our national psyche, army people, whether working or retired, are heard at any platform with due attention. Their humble suggestions are supposed to be irreversible orders; therefore just their presence among the general masses would be sure enough for smooth running of civic matters. Here I don’t mean to impose any sort of martial law or favor the concept of un-elected representation of public representatives. Here I just stress the need of putting the retired army personnel among general public as precautionary measures adopted to pressurize the concerned civic and municipal departments. Repeating my words again, at least one army personnel of major or colonel rank should live in a population of 10 thousand people. The presence of retired army personnel among the general people will be itself a good disciplinary gesture taken in inefficient civic departments so as to make them efficient in all their operations, chiefly when it comes to fulfilling public needs. In a nutshell, retired army people should always live with the general public as they are always in an ideal position to be the person in charge.

Post Judicial SystemThe Problem: Many a questions are being raised nowadays on much-needed transparency in court procedures and proceedings. The legitimacy and validity of the justice, delivered to the concerned parties, is itself a matter of concern and in a country like Pakistan, which was rated quite higher in the global corruption list as well as in the Corruptions Perception Index 2009, transparency in the overall judicial system must be determined through various means. Especially, when the judiciary is heavily criticized by numerous elected and non-elected political groups due to the alleged favoritism or judicial negligence shown during court proceedings, the judiciary should spare no effort to ensure the authenticity, validity and transparency of its each and every step taken by the court of law while delivering the justice. As described above, we lack such things unfortunately at the moment, and even after many years of the resolved legal cases there always remains an element of doubt in people’s minds regarding the validity and legitimacy of the verdicts issued by the court of law in precedent cases, mainly related to the government and national politics. Nawaz Sharief’s Plane conspiracy case, Hamud-ur-Rehman commission, and a case of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, etc. are some of the brightest examples of the same. Here, we discuss the viable solution of this matter and try to find out a long-lasting resolution so as to make the whole judicial process flawless and transparent.

The Idea: Comprising all modern camera devices, sound recording facilities, etc. there should be a Post Judicial System in Pakistan in which all highly-critical decisions taken by the High and Supreme Courts will be first scrutinized through a special Post Judicial Bench in light of the electronically recorded court proceedings before actual implementations of the verdicts as released by the concerned court of law.

How this idea will benefit the nation? Now, after the implementation of this idea, all court proceedings would be fully recorded through state-of-the-art cameras and sound recording equipments. Then, such recording will be scrutinized and critically analyzed by an especially formed full-time “post judicial bench” in order to check and recheck the validity, accuracy and legitimacy of the final verdict as announced by the esteemed court. The proposed Post Judicial System will be mainly facilitated by the documented court proceedings as well as electronic & digital recordings of the whole proceedings of the respective case. The proposed Post Judicial System will be highly effective before giving severe punishments to the criminals as a slight error in the court’s judgment will cost an irrecoverable loss to the affected parties. After the final announcement of the court’s verdict, the proposed Post Judicial Bench will start its work automatically without waiting for a special appeal made by the offender, especially when the punishment as given by the court of law seems to be so severe and critical. Knowing the fact that all complete court proceedings, including the final verdict will be electronically reevaluated by a full time bench, the Post Judicial System would be also so effective in determining the transparency of all legal proceedings and verdicts. This process will make both lawyers and judges so responsible and loyal with their professions since there remains no margin of error in setting up disputes and legal matters. Just like normal cases, these electronically-recorded court proceedings could be utilized for reference purposes when required by the court of law. The available archive of digitally-recorded cases will be of much help to law students and researchers as well. As it looks to be so simple and uncomplicated, the Post Judicial System is necessary for our country because of serious concerns and doubts raised over many courts’ decisions by both affected parties and media as well. In a word, the judiciary is supposed to be the most finest and the ultra transparent institution of any country, and any single doubt shown on its impartiality and workability is totally against the desired conditions in any way. Thus, it’s the need of the hour to devise a highly-efficient judicial system and mechanism, which remains transparent, authentic and legitimate not only for the contemporary ages but for the next generations as well.

Under 'Balance Encashment Scheme', users will be able to encash the available balance in their cell phones whenever they want

Under ‘Balance Encashment Scheme’, users will be able to encash the available balance in their cell phones whenever they want

The Idea: The idea is to start a “Balance Encashment Scheme” under Mobile
Currency Services of telecom operators. According to proposed Balance Encashment Scheme, users will be able to encash the available balance in their cellphones whenever they want. For example, if a user has balance worth 1000 rupees in his mobile phone, he may change the available balance of his phone into a hard cash when needed. This Balance Encashment feature will be available to mobile-phone users only giving them a needed convenience to encash their phone balance into a solid money when desired. Mobile phone franchises could offer this service to users where they can convert their phone balance into hard cash. By this way, the nominated franchises would be also performing the role of Money Changers. But the most ideal and secure place offering this service would be any nearby branch of nominated bank. The bank will offer this service after deducting a small percentage out of the total money being exchanged against the phone balance. To move further, all prepaid cards would be considered by users as a convertible currency note. Especially for the postpaid customers, this Balance Encashment Scheme will offer them more utility and convenience as compared with the prepaid customers. The telecom operator can allow its postpaid customers to get a certain amount of cash from any branch of nominated bank and repay the same through his postpaid bill. Many more options can be added to the postpaid users. By the same way, the available balance in the SIM card could be easily exchanged with other commodities as well. In short, the mobile phones’s SIM card would be upgraded as some sort of a debit card and credit card being a kind of pure financial instrument. The very ‘Balance Encashment Scheme’ could also increase the ratio of mobile theft. Thus, users will be required to bring up their original ID card or copy of the same when converting their phone balance into hard cash. The ID card condition will make this service more secure for the users, and only the original SIM card holder will be able to utilize this Balance Encashment service. The aforementioned is the main gist of the idea and could be also revised, re-modified or changed according to the very interest of mobile phone service provider.

ATMThe Idea: The task of changing the money from one currency to another can become simpler and cheaper for general people and banking institutions, operating in all parts of the world, can play a great role in this regard. For this purpose, what we require is a smart and intelligent integration of foreign currency exchange with automated teller machines (ATMs). ATM machines are installed everywhere and visited by hundreds and thousands of customers each day for an immediate transaction of money but only in a single local currency. Now, after integrating the very function of transacting international currencies through a single ATM, we will see a rather advanced version of ATM cum money-changing machine (MCM), offering money not only in local currency but in a number of international currencies as required. Having a single ATM card, the customers will be autonomous to get the required money exchange services without involving any intermediaries against excessive exchange rates or hefty commissions. As conventional ATMs are fully automated and computerized, it would be quite easier for finance ministries and financial regulatory authorities to regularize the exchange rates as per the international foreign exchange standards. This will also lead to an end of the role played by money changers, especially those money changers who have successfully monopolized trading of foreign currency exchange. By this way, the whole banking system will be redefined dealing with multiple international currencies along with their local currencies as well. Chiefly related to contemporary trading of foreign currency exchange, all issues and problems can be easily resolved if existing practices of the same get fully automated and computerized, thus leaving a least possible space for traditional money changers to play their role against well-defined international business standards.

ATM cum money-changing machine, offering money not only in local currency but in a number of international currencies as required

ATM cum money-changing machine, offering money not only in local currency but in a number of international currencies as required

The Problem: Modern technological development, to a greater extent, has totally changed currency exchange and other money processing activities. Especially trading of currency exchange has become quite faster, secure and more accurate now and people, all over the world, utilize these money exchange resources on a regular basis. Still, there are major issues in the field of foreign currency exchange as despite thorough automation in all its procedures, consumers are not fully satisfied or pleased in the end and therefore have to rely on a money changer because of having no other option or choice whatsoever. The major problem faced by customers at the money changing outlets is the frequently varying exchange rates, which get changed many times in a single day. And this is not only the problem with money changers operating in Pakistan, but in a number of countries, the exchange rates are never fixed functioning totally against the international free market mechanism. Particularly at airports, this situation becomes worse as money changers claim the higher exchange rates against currencies and customers receive a petty amount in return after a considerable cut made by these money changers. Moreover, the exchange rates offered by money changers are not similar and vary shop to shop in a single city or town. This phenomenon suggests that trading of foreign currency exchange is not fully regularized yet and widespread presence of the money changers at every nook and corner is now resulting into monopolized market conditions where end customers are always at a loss. A homogeneous solution is required, which should also be easier for the global customers as in these circumstances, a sizeable amount gets wasted just for the essential currency exchange only. Unless all trading services related to foreign currency exchange and money change are not fully regularized and automated, we can never expect it to be free from excessive exchange rates mercilessly charged by money changers worldwide. Though governments and finance ministries in many countries have taken various measures to standardize and regularize the varying levels of exchange rates, a lot more is still required to fully automate money changing operations and make customers quite independent in changing their currencies without any manual intervention of conventional money changers at all. [Note: This idea, proposed by Faizan Usmani, was first published in ‘Finance & Business Review Edition’ (The News Newspaper, Karachi Pakistan) on March 21st 2011.]

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