INSIGHT: Out-Of-the-Box ‘Dirty Dozen’ Solutions

PM Khan asked for out-of-the-box solutions. “If we want a new idea or solution, we should open an old book”.

IRSHAD SALIM — Some who reportedly “made money (paisa banaya hai)”– their personal hits have morphed into complaints– that they and many among them are being “victimized/terrorized”. PM Khan has been reportedly informed in bits and pieces, and have also been tractioned in the public domain– down the road it has become the “common narrative of the small and medium-sized business community”. I call them the “A”. May be good for them. However, does this narrative reflect other part of the nation’s collective wisdom? Not really so in my opinion.

The other portion (I call B1) is largely infested also– wittingly or unwittingly though, by being part of the A’s “rat race”. Only a motley part of the other group (I call B2) continue –like for decades–to feel the pinch– misdeeds of others (A+B1). B2 does not feel the same heat A+B1 feel qualitatively. B2s remain the silent community, and akin to the “children of lesser God” when A+B1 are the ‘preferred customers’ (marketing jargon).

Making them (A+B1) “owner-certified” albeit “factor certified” just as vehicles in the West (American term for fixed used cars and floating them back into the consumer chain) may be at work. If so makes sense– they’re not ‘street guys’ or ‘men with broken nose’.

The delta however between the two (A + B1) – B2 is being ironically spun as faults of the economy. That’s where I walk away. To begin with, when you sow wheatgrass seed instead of wheat, what you get is a hybrid and a headache too. Fixing it to the benefit of B1 +B2 is being tractioned as THE Tylenol for the economic body. Not really. It’s their (a huge community of A+B1) solution and won’t work for the B2 or for the whole economy (I call E) in the long haul. Sum of parts make the whole, not the other way around.

Also, there’s a deep faultline between the two sets of (A +B1) and B2. Here’s where E must be treated with herbal medicines (time-tested culturally acceptable techniques) rather than Western. Why? Our economic body consists of almost 65 percent culturally practised business techniques and benefits.

Tylenols may work to respond to Emergency Response Protocol. Ultimately a sustainable treatment (desi) may be needed. Khan team seems to be following both tools concurrently –and apparently with time lag between the two– using start-to-start; finish-to-finish; start to finish; finish-to-start relationship used on CPM (Critical Path Method).

Khan team and advisors together seem to be bringing in A+B1 narratives to the butcher table, I suspect. The move in my opinion appears to have semblance to the “Dirty Dozen” movie concept used during WWII. It worked– could work here too–local adjustments, bells and whistles allowable, as long as the end must justify the means, and no matter how long it takes.

Silence is the language B2s speak. Their children can wait, just as B2s waited, waiting and will wait, die empty. Dirty Dozen will die too –empty.

The Dirty Dozen mantra in my opinion is one of the (cool) “out-of-the-box” solutions Khan asked for from the nation yesterday.

Meanwhile, fix the parts please, their sum would be the whole –eventually. The two parts in economic terms are documented (30 to 40% of E) and largely undocumented (60 to 70% of E). The sins of latter reflect in the weightage of the former. As a whole, the number becomes woefully skewed in Indexes.

Like I wrote earlier, keep rowing the boat though. When you see the culvert in front of you, duck under, or jump over, and back on the boat . Watch the video and read my “two cents” published in April: Economy: Under The Bridge, Over The Bridge, Row The Boat…


ALSO READ: Gharib Awam (Poor Man) and Nouveau Riche…

PS: If we want a new idea or solution, we should open an old book; the book was written over 3 billion years of evolution; and the text is the DNA of life (natural law); all we have to do is read this text; embrace nature’s gift to us: the ability of listening, thinking, understanding; analyzing, and delivering. (This is not a religious narrative; it is beng practised by others, spun, wrapped and marketed to us all as ‘out of the box, innovative ideas, solutions, etc.) I hope Khan Sahib did not mean so when he asked for out-of-the-box solutions!

The writer has been advisor, consultant and analyst. He’s presently based in Islamabad.