Asim Imdad Ali would be considered a polymath in most cultures, with extensive knowledge of the law, public administration & policy, business, and his first love, literature. An alumnus of Harvard University (M.P.A., Kennedy School), where he was honored as an Edward S. Mason Fellow, he did his LL.M. from King's College, London. He is a gold medalist (LL.B., Punjab University). Asim has served, with distinction, in the civil service of Pakistan as a member of the Pakistan Administrative Service. In the Corporate world, Asim has been a member of the C-suite of a large multinational with a footprint across Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and the Maldives. He has written in the print media on the administrative, constitutional, and political history of Pakistan as well as on international affairs. He has taught at the Civil Services Academy of Pakistan and served a term as the President of the Harvard Club of Pakistan. Asim is married and lives in Islamabad.
CIRCULAR HISTORY OF PAKISTAN
This book’s central thesis is that our cyclical political history is, in fact, like a short movie clip, set on a time-loop, that creates a perpetual déjà vu for those in the theater. Every political scene has been enacted before and is being re-telecast repeatedly. We are stuck in circular time and history and have not found our Nirvanic moment to follow the alternative trajectory of linear growth and development.
The first part of the book, ‘Our Circular History’, recounts our political journey of a recurring, predictable, painful, and vicious decade-long Samsara of cyclic birth and death of order and freedom. This bird’s eye view shows how the same episodes keep happening with mind-boggling regularity, and how each of our institutions is responsible for our entrapment in circular time and history.
The second part of the book, ‘Chronicles of our Times’, narrates what is currently happening in our polity. Our circular political past primarily shapes contemporary events, but we also mimic what is currently happening in other parts of the world, where new weaponized and micro-targeted social media has facilitated the trend of cartoon-history and political jokers.
The last part of the book, ‘Future Panoramic Realities’, uses a broad angle lens to view developments in the Indian subcontinent, in Eurasia, and in the wider world.
We cannot escape our Malthusian dilemmas, without redefining our national priorities, our Hobbesian snare. Without that shift away from geo-rentals and geo-politics, we may not be able to escape our entrapment in vicious cycles, or even downwards spiral.
The key to an endless growth cycle is investment in innovation, knowledge, people, and creativity. That is the only real virtuous cycle: without that, there can only be one-off spurts of growth. Only by investing in geo-economics, people, knowledge banks, and critical technologies can we join the virtuous growth and development cycles.
Publisher: VANGUARD BOOKS