In a country where people spread rumours based on what they receive from social media, where economic foresight and analytical skills, especially in the field of finance and economic matters are almost nil within the journalist community, it’s a blessing to have a person in Pakistan who can accurately inform us about what economic policies can change our lives and future.
Mir Mohammad Ali Khan, the man who established the first Muslim-owned investment bank at the age of 29 years on Wall Street, the only Muslim to have done it in the history of the world, the man who served as the member of New Jersey Governor’s advisory council by the time he was 32, and someone who has helped Harvard University establish Islamic finance programme, has had a lobby of enemies against him on Wall Street. Perhaps it was his foresight that we are now witnessing in Pakistan that became a threat to his meteoric rise on Wall Street. Perhaps it was his humble nature or his intelligence in such a young age that drew the attention of General Musharraf as well who inducted him as the first member of NRB, a think tank, at the age of 34 to advise his government. He worked pro bono but he quit after 18 months and left Pakistan in 2001 back to conquer the world of international finance. He returned in 2009 to his motherland and says that he is here never to move out of Pakistan. His patriotic articles on social media and his television appearances on the topics of economy and patriotism have given him a popularity rarely seen before. Perhaps his message of loyalty to Pakistan and a bright future of Pakistan resonate with the common people of this great nation. He wrote the book “The Positive Pakistani” which has become an icon of hope for the youth of Pakistan.
When Modi announced his policy for the currency bills in India, many of the Pakistani media community were not only praising that move but demanding our own government to follow in the footsteps of Modi. At a time like this, immediately after Modi announced his policy on November 8, Mir Mohammad Ali Khan was the only banker in Pakistan or perhaps Asia and the world who wrote an article titled, “Currency Denomination Which Will Cause Abomination in India” followed immediately within days by another article titled “Modi’s “Surgical Strike” On Indian Currency.” In these two articles Mir predicted that India will face huge economic problems due to this policy and also predicted food price crisis, bank shutdowns, women being affected, agitation on the streets, erosion of investment capital, foreign fund inflow slow down, just to name a few. And his predictions have come absolutely true. It was an impossible prediction to digest when it came out but he stood firm on his belief and it paid off within weeks.
Pakistan needs people like Mir, who could have settled anywhere in the world but chose Pakistan as their permanent destination. Pakistani economists and the media community need to learn from this man about patriotism and financial intelligence. Pakistan is our motherland and the mother needs sons like Mir to nurture her, grow her and make her the shining beacon of positivity and resilience. As Mir says, “The most important thing about being a Pakistani is to be a positive Pakistani.”