Member Interview : Mcmlxxxii


PakPassion Administrator
Staff member
Jun 1, 2001
11 February 2008

Question: When asked what the most important thing was in the run up to an election, Bill Clinton answered 'the economy, stupid'. How far do you think the economy is an important factor in the run up to an election and what other factors determine success or failure for candidates?

I believe that the economy is the single most important issue in any election. The thing that people are mostly worried about is putting food on their table and living their life with the lifestyle they wish to lead. The economy is the part of politics that affect the individuals directly. If people are hungry and have no jobs then everything else becomes irrelevant. If you look now at the US election, the country is in recession and unemployment is rising and inflation is really high while the dollar is at an all time low. The economy is the single most important issue right now. Many candidates try to put national security first, like Rudy Guilliani and he received virtually no support. The single most important factor in determining a candidates success is not anything to do with the candidate at all, but with people's perception of the current government. If people are not happy with the current governement and the state they are in then all they want is change and they will support whoever promises the biggest change and this is why you can see Obama is leading right now. Bush won in 2004 because even though people were not happy with the Iraq war, they were happy with the economic condition and they were happy about the resolve bushed had shown to defend the US after 9/11 so change was not as strong an option and that is why Kerry lost. Same thing with Blair in the UK. Although the margin of victory was less, people were still economically happy with the status quo.

Question: Have you studied discrete mathematics? You always post your answers in the format we were taught to at Uni.

As a matter of fact, I have studied Discrete Mathematics. I studied computer science and discrete mathematics and subsequently discrete and data structures were taught to me. However I am not aware of any format that you refer to and any similarities that might exist may have been inherently programmed into me after taking those courses and I would respond in that fashion unknowlingly.

Question: Who was your favourite player from the 1992 Pakistan team?

1992 was the first World Cup that I saw and remember so I had plenty of childhood heroes from that team. By far the most favourite was Wasim Akram. I loved his explosiveness while bowling and he could come back from anywhere and begin a spell and take key wickets. Wasim till this day remains the most talented bowler I have ever seen and the guy could do magic with the ball in his hand. Others that I liked a lot from that time were Javed Miandad and Aqib Javed.

Question: Who is your favourite player currently and why?

This is a tough one. Previously it would have been BC Lara who is my all time favourite player and I don't think anyone can match his genius. Watching him bat was pure thrill. I suppose I had the same reaction watching him as others on this forum might have while seeing Afridi. Currently, I would jump on the bandwagon too and say Misbah is my favourite player but it could still be up for contention. I think the game is losing the magic it had before and these days you see more thrilling and exciting games but the players lack the flair their predecessors had. Misbah reminds me of Miandad a lot and I guess that is why I enjoy watching him.

Question: When one team is winning the other always ends up whining?

That is not true at all. A Case in point would be to watch any underdog losing. When they lose, they just go home and learn their lesson, they don't whine. One of my favourite players used to be Andy Flower and when he was captain, he would always say that being the underdog means they have nothing to lose and those players never whined. Only sore losers whine. I think out of the current teams, I have only seen Pakistan, India, Australia, England and South Africa whine.

Question: Do statistics influence your views and perceptions of a cricketer ?

Statistics do influence my views and perceptions of layers but not solely. There was a long time when I was unable to watch any cricket and had to follow scorecards online on cricinfo. At that time stats were all that mattered about players and I started judging players solely on that. Later on when I started seeing players on tv, I was able to see that so many times they got out with no fault of their own and what might have looked like a crap score of 3 on the scorecard would show that the player was in really good touch and was convincing in all his shots but was out because of a spectacular catch.

Question: Which cricket grounds have you been to?

I have been to Sharjah and to the National Stadium in Karachi. I went to Sharajh in 1995 or so and saw Pakistan play India in a final which Pakistan won and that was the most fun I have had. National Stadium was when I was very young and it was a game against the Windies but I only have a few memories of that game. I have also been to Hove cricket ground as I used to live very close to it when I lived in England but I never saw any international game there.

Question: Whats the toughest decision you've ever had to make?

None yet. When I was looking to change jobs I got offers from two places on the same day with both offering me the same amount of money which caused me to think for a while but I ended up going with the one which was more beneficial for my future career down the road. I am still single so I guess the toughest decision to make still lies ahead.

Question: What are your plans for Moazzam Khalil? Will you continue to train him? What about Imranullah Javeduddin?

These players are from Battrick which is a virtual team management game that many of us are part of on PP. These players were pulled from my youth Academy and since then I have trained them to become quality level and I think that is as far as I would train them. I don't think any of them would be suitable for the national team and I need to focus more on building the rest of my team. Meanwhile, these two have become an essential part to my team and they will continue to keep moving my team forwards and I have no plans to sell them yet.

Question: How far around the world have you traveled ?

I have travelled around a lot, I have been as far east as Malaysia and Singapore and as far west as California. I have seen the pacific from both sides along with the Atlantic on both sides and have seen the Indian Ocean as well. I have lived in 6 countries and visited some more. Places I have lived are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan, UK, Oman and USA. I have also visited UAE, Canada, France, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

Question: Hawking or Kaku- Who is the better writer?

I have never read anything written by Kaku so I can't really answer that. Hawking is a very good author though and I have read “A Brief History of Time” and also “Black Holes and Baby Universes”

Question: If i forced you to give me only one main reason which caused the current situation in PAK then what will it be?

Education. If the electorates were educated then they would be able to make better decisions for leaders to move this country forward.

Question: What is the best way to fix Pakistan's education system which currently is on par with some of poorest countries in the world?

Incidentally, I would say that the Education system in Pakistan is not only on par but better then other countries around the world. If I were to compare students who have studied in Pakistan and those studying in the US, the Pakistani student would have more knowledge and be more proficient in all things. The problem with Pakistan is not the education system but rather access to that education system. If we can get all the children in Pakistan to attend school then Pakistan will not be where it is today.

Question: If you could recommend 1 book to anyone which book would it be?

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I love that book and it has many important lessons also. One other book I would recommend to everyone is The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum which has the best plot of any book I have ever read.

Question: What are your views on the state of islam and muslims?

I feel that the state of Islam is very weak. Muslims do not have refuge anywhere in the world. They find it hard to practice everywhere. Either governments are oppressing them or religious leaders are taking them hostage to further their own political goals. The main problem we have right now is the lack of Muslim Scholars. We have a lot of learned leaders but they are not scholars in any way. All they do is learn and repeat the things that have been handed down to us rather then further enhancing the knowledge of Islam. If you look back at the golden days of Islam, there were so many scholars, and each of those scholars were moving forward in writing new things. Scholars used Islamic knowledge to re-investigate the writings of the Greek philosophers, scholars applied their Islamic knowledge to learn about new things in astronomy, math, the sciences, everything. At that time we believed that knowledge, both religious and secular, was bountiful but now we have made religion into a set piece of Dogma and the scholars today just learn and repeat the teachings of earlier scholars and became proficient in those rather then pursuing any original direction and applying their Islamic knowledge into something new. Scholars today are just students and not the thinkers they used to be in the past. We seriously need scholars of the caliber of Imam Shafi or Imam Ghazali or so many others in this age to not only give direction to the Muslims today but also to unite the sectarianism that we have among Muslims. I am not one of those that says the deen should be reinterpreted, but I feel the need for breaking away from the current salafi trend that has become dominant. We have to remember that Fatwas apply to a certain time, place ans case and many have decided to take them to be universal which is not the case. We need Muslims themselves to educate themselves about Fiqh and learn the rules of Fiqh so they themselves can see how a ruling is derived instead of just concentrating on the end result. Sure just following the teachings of Islam is good but it is better to understand the reasoning behind why we should perform such action. Please forgive me if I said anything incorrect in the above.

Question: If you were made PM for two terms what changes would you bring?

I assume you mean PM of Pakistan. One of the first things I would try to do would be to split the provinces and increase their numbers. This will make the regions more easy to manage and will also give local power to local leaders and I believe that local leaders find it more necessary to do things for their community to get re-elected as compared to MNAs. Another thing this would do is reduce the role ethnicity plays in politics as right now the political field becomes Punjab vs rest of Pakistan most of the time. If the provinces are based more on political boundaries rather then ethnic areas then we can move away from the ethnic divide we have in the country and move more towards national unity. Also, I think about 60% of the revenues collected from each province should stay there and not be passed to the federal government. This will cause more local development and will also bring efficiency in the wealth distribution set up. The more the money travels back and forth the more opportunity there is for corruption. The money that the federal government does receive should go to defense and other federal programs and also passed to poorer regions of the country that do not raise sufficient revenues. These are just some issues, I am sure there are more things I would like to be done if I gave it some more thought.

Question: Why do you post on pakpassion?
this always gets everyone hehe

If you look at my post count, you will notice I don't post on PP that much given that I have been here for so long. I mostly come to PP to get the latest news on cricket that you would not find on mainstream sites. I also love reading the experiences of other people here with cricketers they have met in person and also read player interviews. I only post when I have something meaningful or original to say. I don't post in any of the “Post your XI” threads as they are pointless and everyone has their own opinion and people rarely give their justifications.

Question: Your favourite male singer of all time?

I suppose this would have to be Bryan Adams although I haven't listened to him for a long time. I mostly listen to groups with Lifehouse and Red Hot Chili Peppers as my favourite while The Ramones play my favourite song which is “My Brain is Hanging Upside Down”

Question: Your favourite female singer of all time?

Michelle Branch. I like the rock stuff she does but not the country stuff she has done lately. Amy Lee of Evanessence is good also.

Question: How does it feel to be up against Fawad Alam and the Beast?

It is amazing to be interviewed at the same time as them and it would be amazing if my interview would be marked as a sticky along with those two. I have been following Fawad Alam for a long time when he was an unknown because I have a friend in Karachi with the same name and I at first wondered if it was him who was playing in those games but then found out it was someone else. After a couple more games I saw the potential Fawad had but the first time I actually saw him play was in the T20 cup when he played for Karachi. I think he is a better batsman then he is a bowler. The beast is the beast. I would be one of the first to say that Afridi is too inconssistent and should not be in the team but at the same time I wait for the time when he comes on the crease just like everyone else and there is nothing that gives me more joy then to see Afridi blazing a few sixes and at those times I am just like any other Beast fan. After the dismissal though, rationality prevails and I feel that we can get better results with more conventional but slightly boring batsmen who can be better overall for the team. I would pick Fawad Alam over Afridi for instance in the team.

Question: Do you think the world is ready for a female or black US president?

Not only do I think they world is ready, but I believe that it is inevitable. The Republicans are not as strong anymore and I don't think they can be elected nationally because the people of this country want change from the current conditions and I am sure that a democrat will be in office come next January.

Question: What should the USA's role be in Pak and who would be the best Presidential candidate for Pakistan.

What should their role be? I believe they should not have any role except for pressure to move to a democratic government. They US should not support dictators at all but should not interfere directly with the matters of Pakistan either. The thing is, the people of Pakistan want both, they want support, from the US and look for favor as compared to the situation with India but at the same time want the US to not interfere at all. Who is the best presidential candidate for that? I would think it would be Ron Paul as he has a non-interventionist policy. All the other candidates are the same when it comes to Pakistan. The democrats will support the move to democracy more while the republican will support Musharaf more and let him keep control for longer but when it comes down to actual details, like troops in Pakistan, they are all the same.

Question: Can I easily beat your Battrick Team??

It is very possible to do so. It all depends on the fitness of my superstars. My top players are kind of like Shoaib Akhtar, they are very talented but they cannot play every single match as they perform highly in all of them. Even half fit they are very good so I play them at those levels too at time which means there are often times when their fitness is very very low and then I have to rest them and my team becomes very ordinary. In the end it will all depend on how you define the word “easily”.

Question: Tell me somthing about the city, you live in and the people( not family or friends) who live there?

I live in Northern New Jersey about 45 miles from NYC. The name of the town is Rockaway and the people here are nearly all white but they are nice and the neighbors are very friendly. We just recently got permission here to start a masjid as previously we used to go about 10 miles away to another town for the masjid. Incidently it is the churches here who have helped the masjid here the most and we have many community programs which we do with the other churches together such as food banks and other things.

Question: What is your favourite eatarie and why?

Question: MCM, your favourite restaurant ?

I will treat both of these as the same question. Incidentally my favourite place to get food from is neither a restaurant nor an eaterie in the conventional sense. It is basically a cart on the street in Manhattan that sells halal food. This is at 53rd and 6th and sells chicken and rice and gyros and is unbelievable and very famous in all of NYC and its surroundings. You have to wait in line to get the food and I have waited as long as two and a half hours once. It has a fan site at and it has been among the top 5 foods to eat in NYC for the last 5 years. When it comes to conventional restaurants, I think Sabri Nihari in Chicago is fantastic and Shanawaz restaurant in Edison is very good too.

Question: Do you play any sports yourself?

I love sports a lot and watch nearly all of them but when it comes to playing, I only play Cricket (tape-ball) and Tennis. I also like running. I also play Table Tennis usually at our masjid and play pool for enjoyment with my friends. I also like playing American Football casually when there are enough people around but only get the chance maybe twice a year or so.

Question: Where did you go to high school?

I went to the British School – Muscat, Oman where I did GCSEs and then completed last 2 years of high school in the USA at Wayne Valley High School, in Wayne, New Jersey. I then completed my Bachelor's degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Question: Where were you born? How and when did you get here? Was it a struggle?

I was Born in Saudi Arabia. I got to the US in 99 and came here when my Father's job transferred here. He says that we came to the US like princes. When we came here at the airport, there was a limo which came to pick us up and the white driver struggled and picked up all our heavy suitcases. We didn't even pick up our bags. We then went to a hotel and had a rental car for a month while the company hired a realtor for us to find a house. All our things were shipped from Oman to here. The company also sponsored our green card and by 2001 we had our green card just 9 months after applying for it. I have met people here who have gone 8-9 years since applying and are still awaiting their green cards. I became a citizen here in 2005. When I compare with other immigrants who have come to the US, we did not struggle at all and I am really grateful to Allah for that.

Finally I would like to thank everyone for asking me questions and I hope these questions help people to know me better. The thing I love the most about PP is that it is not just a forum but a community. I feel great to be part of it. Jazakallah khair.