The basic idea is a national project. A "Pakistan Information" database.
Pakistan is the second largest Muslim nation in the world; the country that gave us Tariq Ali as well as the Taliban; for every Maududi a Mahbubul Haque (who, after all, gave us the Human Development Index); for every Khalid Shaikh Mohammed an Asma Jahangir (the UN's first Rapporteur on Honor Killings); for every Malik and Seeme Hasan (after whom is named the Colorado State University School of Business), a Fazlur Rahman and a Samiul Haq (after whom is named the alma mater of the Taliban leadership); ... for every Farhat Hashmi, a Tarek Fatah; as well as Atiq Raza and Safi Qureshy and Abdus Sattar Edhi and some of the best cricket and squash players in the world ...or haven't you heard about half of those? Any of those?
People like the founder of this wiki have often dreamt of a database that would open up this nation of 150 million so it can engage with the rest of the world in a meaningful way. This is particularly pressing at this point in time because we have, on the one hand, the world discussing the need to engage with Muslims and Islam and, on the other, the outsourcing and offshoring juggernaut rolling through India, next door, and into Pakistan. In fact, often we Pakistanis ourselves--both at home and abroad--need a way to find out what is happening within the country and in the diaspora, outside of our own circles and what CNN and the Business Plans of IT enterpreneurs show us.
There are efforts here and there on various aspects of national and diasporic life; some patchy, some pretty comprehensive:
- Apna Karachi (Our Karachi--seems to be down, but Google has a cached copy)
- http://www.pcp.org.pk/, and specifically http://www.pcp.org.pk/research.html
- Earlier attempts to get a project like this going included the founder's involvement as a founding/charter member of the Pakistan Science and Engineering Foundation (PakSEF), a non-profit, pubic-benefit 501(c)(3) organization in the State of California, U.S.A. Which partly how the first item on the above list came into being. See: Sources of Information for more—and please add your own favorites.
We need to link them all up and provide one central "clearinghouse" that can then become the place where we categorize information and create a resource people can turn to when they need specific information on how to start a business in Pakistan, where to go hiking, how to help with the human rights situation, where to go for religious learning, who to contact to donate books to a university, how to find out if a non-profit (or NGO, if you will) is reliable and part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
The hope is this wiki will become a robust and comprehensive database of information about as many facets and details of Pakistan and Pakistani life.We hope to treat Pakistan like a real country; not a utopia that we wish it was, or a disutopia that is the reason we live somewhere else. We are hoping to use the categorizatin and indexing features of a wiki and it's collaborative power to harness the combined knowledge, energy, and wisdom of the Netizens in Pakistan and around the world--both Pakistani and non-Pakistani--to achieve that aim.
As a matter of record, my own efforts in this regard are dedicated to Syed Qasim Abbas Rizwi, a late friend who, like a lot of the people we often recognize too late as the next Great White Hope, was taken from us way too early. If Qasim were still with us, he'd be riding point on this one--and a hundred other things--and I wouldn't have to worry about its success.
Blurb for Press Releases, Invitations, etc.Edit
- By way of background, WikiPakistan is an Information Database about Pakistan, Pakistanis and the diaspora. It is hosted by Wikia, a community destination supporting the creation and development of wiki communities and is run by a lot of the same people who run the Wikipedia--the largest encyclopedia in the world. The site is at http://pakistan.wikia.com/ and background information can be seen at http://pakistan.wikia.com/wiki/Pakistan:About . Like other wikis such as the Wikipedia, WikiPakistan is an open database that anyone can edit and is developed under a Free Document License. [Contributors should be aware that if they choose to post material there directly, they are agreeing to release it under the GNU Free Documentation License. Please see www.wikia.com and WikiPakistan for further details.] Contributors are encouraged to click on the “Create an account or log in” link in the top righthand corner of every page and create an account. You do not need to provide any personal information.