Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mustafa Kamal: One Of The World's Top Mayors (According To Foreign Policy Magazine)

Correction appended below.

A
lright, so we're often accused of peddling only discouraging, distressing, and depressing news and views on this blog, and rightly so I guess. So I just wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the fact that Mustafa Kamal, Mayor of Karachi, has been declared by FP to be the one of the world's top mayors. It is important to note that this is not a ranking per se, but merely well deserved recognition for the immense work Mustafa Kamal has put into the city. (You can see their entire report on Global Cities here.)

There's a lot to like about Mustafa Kamal, but the one thing that stands out (for me anyway) is his pragmatic approach to problem solving. His entire tenure in Karachi has been about making the lives of its citizens easier, more prosperous, and less chaotic. He tries to stay above the political and ideological fray and just goes about his job. Is he always successful? No, of course not. But that has more to do with the way Karachi and Pakistan work than the way Mustafa Kamal works.


One of his best ideas was instituted this summer: his "I Own Karachi" program, which basically asked for common citizens to come forward and volunteer to work for the city (directing traffic, keeping streets clean etc etc). The brilliance of this idea was in its simplicity and effectiveness: all you have to do is give the do-gooders out there an avenue to make a contribution to their city. There's tons of people out there - across ethnic, gender and socioeconomic lines - who want to make a difference; Mustafa Kamal recognized that and simply facilitated it. (If you are a Karachi resident and would like to volunteer, you can register by going on the Sadistic Goremint's website and clicking on the "I Own Karachi" link on the lefthand side of the page.) He's always receptive of fresh ideas and new ways of doing things, and Karachi is lucky to have him.

If you are interested, you can read about a couple of encounters I had with the man himself in Chicago, while he was on his tour to the U.S. last spring (the second is more entertaining than the first).

UPDATE/CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly noted that Mustafa Kamal was ranked number 2 by FP among the world's mayors. As reader NA noted in the comments below, there was no ranking as such. However, the magazine does place him among "the world's top mayors," which is good enough if you think about it. I have corrected both the offending headline and sentence in the post.

41 comments:

na said...

Don't want to take anything away from MK but FP never uses the word "best", and it's not a ranking anyway. I read the FP (print edition) a few weeks back and all it does is place his profile second on a page titled "The Mayors of the Moment."

So I'll believe everyone who claim he's doing a good job but let's not kid ourselves that he's the second best mayor in the world.

Ahsan said...

NA:

Thanks for the correction. What the hell does "Mayors of the moment" mean anyway?

AKS said...

I was going to post something on Mustafa Kamal myself. In Pakistan, okay Karachi, everyone's been going on about how he's been declared the second best mayor in the world. Thanks for the clarification na. This is exactly like the time when Karachi was declared one of the world's future mega-cities. Karachiites, with the MQM in particular, took this to mean tome sort of prize and started celebrating, when in fact by mega-city the authors of the report just meant a city with a population of over 25 Million.

There are a few things I wanted to say on the topic of Mustafa Kamal.

Firstly, I think credit has to be given to the previous mayor Naimatullah Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami, who too worked hard for the city. Had Mr. Khan not done a good job, it is possible that Mustafa Kamal may not have been appointed by the MQM.

Kudos also to the MQM for not appointing some lackey and going for a guy with little political background. They could have easily appointed a party stalwart but they didn't. Compare this with the PPP appointing Qaim Ali Shah to be Chief Minister of Sindh.

Ahsan rightly acknowledges Mustafa Kamal's pragmatic approach and his willingness to involve people in government.

But I feel there's more to him than this. He's an inspirational figure for many Karachites. He's seen as someone who has succeeded on merit (which may not sound that important but it's extreeeemely raide in Pakistani politics ).

He's served the city with honour and dedication, and I can't think of any young politician in the country quite like him.

changinguppakistan said...

NPR did a good profile on him a few months ago:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91071685

NA said...

AKS...the MQM is at it again (or atleast the City Council is).

According to the Daily Times they "tried hard to pass a unanimous resolution appreciating City Nazim Mustafa Kamal, who has recently been declared second best mayor in the world while opposition members fought back to highlight issues the city has faced for the last three years and staged a brief boycott.

Opposition leader and PPP-backed Awam Dost Group head Saeed Ghani...also alleged that the city government has planned to illegally occupy a large plot belonging to KWSB in his union council. 'If the staff of the American magazine learns of this scam, they would change their decision to honour the city nazim immediately,' he said."

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\11\11\story_11-11-2008_pg12_10

I dont understand why any kind words or positive mention in a foreign magazine makes them go crazy. What will a unanimous resolution accomplish? And shouldnt MK put an end to this, he can easily tell the City Council to get to work on things much more important than this.

Ahsan, sorry to lump you in with the rest of them but it's amazing to me how DAWN, Daily Times, Metblogs, and yourself readily proclaim him the second best mayor. At least you acknowledge the clarification...no such thing expected from the others.

Anonymous said...

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4509&page=3

Saad Ibrahim said...

http://pkpolitics.com/2008/11/12/the-fake-story-worlds-2nd-best-mayor/

MQM propoganda haha
MQM=fake doctors etc

Noor said...

The page where Mayor's name is listed on Foreign Policy web site (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4509&page=3 ) states clearly that

"Here’s how three of the world’s top mayors are climbing the ladder"

And afterward, the Mayor of Karachi name is at 2nd number.

There is no ranking of mayors of the 60 cities listed. But the 3 of the top Mayors are listed. Anybody can judge that 3 of the top must be 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Please don't snatch the acclamation from the Mayor of Karachi.

shahzad said...

I also visited the website http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4509&page=3
and it clearly says "Here’s how three of the world’s top mayors are climbing the ladder" and Mustafa Kamal's name is on 2nd position. I think everyone should visit this magazine's website or read the print copy before making any comments.
thanks

Saad Ibrahim said...

@shahzad
"three of the world’s top mayors"
do you realize that when we add of the to the statement the meaning changes drastically it means that 3 out of those mayor of top 60 cities they have rated cities from 1-60 and karachi comes on number 57 thats why they have written (#57) next to it
i think even MQM people don't realise this difference that's why they are going gaga over this and apart from that the magazine itself says they haven't said anything about that

Anonymous said...

Pkpolitics is pro punjabi website who had started the controversy of Zaradari mis spelling @ Quaid Mazar.
Pk Politics is run and funded by Punjabies who are baised and can not see a person from Karachi getting world attention and fame.
All krachiites can see the ugly punjabi faces who are trying to defame Mustafa Kamal as he is Mohajir(Urdu Speak) and belong from party representative of Urdu Speaking people .

Shame on PK POLITICS

Shame on Nawaz Sharif Imran Khan anti Urdu speaking cowards.

Saad Ibrahim said...

now you can't defend so bringing the muhajir factor into play? :D
i am supporting no one btw but the claim of pkpolitics is very correct

bubs said...

Ahsan: You wanted to post something that wasn't discouraging, distressing and depressing and you just end up causing a Muhajir/Punjabi civil war on this blog. God, I love this country.

Ahsan said...

Bubs:

Are you implying that a Mohajir/Punjabi civil war is in the least depressing, distressing or discouraging?

na said...

Noor:

You rightly state that there is no ranking of mayors but somehow come to the conclusion that "anybody can judge that 3 of the top must be 1st, 2nd and 3rd."

As it turns out the "anybody" you refer to clearly does not include the Foreign Policy magazine. They had the following to say in this regard:

"To clarify, although Mr Mustafa Kamal was mentioned in a sidebar called ‘Mayors of the Moment’ in the article, ‘The 2008 Global Cities Index,’ this mention had nothing to do with any ranking', Jina Hassan,, Media and Public Relations Coordinator Foreign Policy magazine told Online on Wednesday.

Miss Jina said that Kamal was NOT chosen as the world's second best mayor because the purpose of the article was not meant for that."

http://www.dawn.net/wps/wcm/connect/Dawn%20Content%20Library/dawn/news/pakistan/sindh/magazine+denies+declaring+kamal+2nd+best+mayor+rs


Now that we have that out of the way let me be the first one to accuse FP of being anti-MQM and pro-Punjabis.

AKS said...

The editors of Foreign Policy have issued a clarification on the story stating that:

"[FP named] Kamal, Berlin's Klaus Wowereit, and Chongqing's Wang Hongju as "mayors of the moment" who have found innovative ways to globalize their cities. The mayors are not ranked, nor are we implying that they are objectively "better" than any other mayors.

"...we simply never ranked him in any way."

Interestingly, they also referred to FiveRupees as a blog that had reported this erroneous story.

Even before the FP clarification, NA had alerted Ahsan to the error, which Ahsan had acknowledged. I don't feel that any further clarifications are required.

We should perhaps have checked the story more assiduously, but some errors are to be expected considering the fact that this remains an informal blog. We will of course try to ensure that such errors are kept to a minimum.

It is also important to note that while the FP story may have been the starting point for Ahsan's post, the majority of the post is devoted to Ahsan's personal opinon about, and experience with, the mayor. That Ahsan's opinion of the mayor is generally favourable shouldn't come as a surprise to most people who call Karachi home.

The FP clarification can be viewed at -

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/node/10285

Anonymous said...

What a shame.... I understand our most respectable English newspaper could not handle something to be admired of about Karachi's Mayor. Before they would have published this report saying "Magazine denies declaring Kamal 2nd best mayor", some one should have atleast read the article. I wont be surprised to find the racial discrimination behind this. It is so unfortunate that during the times when the World is dramatically changing esp with gigantic victory of a black man in a white majority country. Our Pakistani newspaper is not wasting a second to disown something which our failing country was surprisingly admired about. I really want some one to please do a little investigation on 3 grounds:
1-The main article clearly used Syed Mustafa Kamal's name among "three of the world’s TOP mayors". Why on earth Ms Jina Hasan or the personal in Dawn news who wrote the news so proudly denounced the achievement of a very middle class background Mayor of relatively inexperienced to democracy Pakistan/Karachi, whose mere mentioning of name would have brought delight and sense of humble achievement.
2-Please do the research about the racial/ethinic background of people including Ms Jina Hasan and Dawn news reporter. Not for profiling purposes but to initiate a dialogue, to allow people to live out side their own sleeves, to let them grow to be able to cherish success not just based on Zaat/ Braadri/ class/ or color but on nationality.
3-Why and who chose the heading "Magazine denies declaring Kamal 2nd best mayor". This could have simply being explained by reading the article. It was not a criticism about some one that people had to come out and explain what the writer said or how wrongly it was percieved, surprisingly it was other way round. Link to the article is as follows:
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4509&page=3

and heading of that particular section was :
The Mayors of the Moment

Again no body had written any thing bad about us rather it was a praise..... It also left a sense of feeling that our Mayor was among the top 3 in the World, who cares whether there was a Gallup survey or Haj Qurandazi or Ballot box etc etc the reason behind citing of Mustafa Kamal's name there..... very very shameful act by reporter and Ms Jinna.

I still expect my most beloved countries newspaper to rise up to the level beyond ethinicity. And I do feel, while being a Pakistani American to be proud of my current citizenship for the first time since Barrack Obama won this historical election. Because in my birth place I would not be allowed to think that despite having better ideas, or being more pragmatic, or more tuned to true democarcy, or being more educated that people in rest of Pakistan would have ever allowed people from Karachi to represent them by electing them democratically but rather chosing those who dont even live the same life as them like wadera's, Landlords, Generals, Cuban cigar smokers, big businessmen. Our media can atleast highlight the people who are struggling to take us in the right direction which above color, cast, or creed...... I just wonder how on earth Quaid-e-Azam was able to lead this amazingly diverse group of people. I would love if this writing of mine is read by hate mongering Kamran Shafi of Dawn News, who to me sound like Rush Limbaugh of Pakistan, very sorry to see him disgust our most prestigious newspaper.

Mooda said...

I am new to blogging so I am pasting my article again which earlier I posted as Anonymous:

What a shame.... I understand our most respectable English newspaper could not handle something to be admired of about Karachi's Mayor. Before they would have published this report saying "Magazine denies declaring Kamal 2nd best mayor", some one should have atleast read the article. I wont be surprised to find the racial discrimination behind this. It is so unfortunate that during the times when the World is dramatically changing esp with gigantic victory of a black man in a white majority country. Our Pakistani newspaper is not wasting a second to disown something which our failing country was surprisingly admired about. I really want some one to please do a little investigation on 3 grounds:
1-The main article clearly used Syed Mustafa Kamal's name among "three of the world’s TOP mayors". Why on earth Ms Jina Hasan or the personal in Dawn news who wrote the news so proudly denounced the achievement of a very middle class background Mayor of relatively inexperienced to democracy Pakistan/Karachi, whose mere mentioning of name would have brought delight and sense of humble achievement.
2-Please do the research about the racial/ethinic background of people including Ms Jina Hasan and Dawn news reporter. Not for profiling purposes but to initiate a dialogue, to allow people to live out side their own sleeves, to let them grow to be able to cherish success not just based on Zaat/ Braadri/ class/ or color but on nationality.
3-Why and who chose the heading "Magazine denies declaring Kamal 2nd best mayor". This could have simply being explained by reading the article. It was not a criticism about some one that people had to come out and explain what the writer said or how wrongly it was percieved, surprisingly it was other way round. Link to the article is as follows:
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4509&page=3

and heading of that particular section was :
The Mayors of the Moment

Again no body had written any thing bad about us rather it was a praise..... It also left a sense of feeling that our Mayor was among the top 3 in the World, who cares whether there was a Gallup survey or Haj Qurandazi or Ballot box etc etc the reason behind citing of Mustafa Kamal's name there..... very very shameful act by reporter and Ms Jinna.

I still expect my most beloved countries newspaper to rise up to the level beyond ethinicity. And I do feel, while being a Pakistani American to be proud of my current citizenship for the first time since Barrack Obama won this historical election. Because in my birth place I would not be allowed to think that despite having better ideas, or being more pragmatic, or more tuned to true democarcy, or being more educated that people in rest of Pakistan would have ever allowed people from Karachi to represent them by electing them democratically but rather chosing those who dont even live the same life as them like wadera's, Landlords, Generals, Cuban cigar smokers, big businessmen. Our media can atleast highlight the people who are struggling to take us in the right direction which above color, cast, or creed...... I just wonder how on earth Quaid-e-Azam was able to lead this amazingly diverse group of people. I would love if this writing of mine is read by hate mongering Kamran Shafi of Dawn News, who to me sound like Rush Limbaugh of Pakistan, very sorry to see him disgust our most prestigious newspaper....

abbas said...

It is true that Kamal Mustafa is NOT declared 2nd best mayor by FP but it is also very much true that they acknowledged his efforts in nice words,that itself is an achievement,and for those are still unable to understand the meaning of "Mayor of moment",it is just like promising or emerging player in games,which does'nt mean that said player is best, but it is to acknowledge the effort,talent and potential of that player. Anyway, in my view,MK should concentrate more on his work,rather than play in hands of his political party. I also believe that MQM itself does'nt need this type of hype building to win the support of its voters.

Anonymous said...

What FP did said about Mustafa Kamal

The news was spreading like a wild fire that Foreign Policy Magazine included Mustafa Kamal the Mayor of Karachi in it’s Top three Mayors list, But as the Punjabi Mafia is out to damage Karachi and people of Karachi specially Mohajirs, they started a propaganda campaign against Mustafa Kamal and MQM,

FP in its article The Mayors of the Moment name Mustafa Kamal the yound energatic Mayor of Karachi as three of the world’s top mayors, but the sorry punjabi and jamati losers who are doing propaganda against MQM from soo long sparked and starts a malacious propaganda on the internet about this.

The Propaganda was started by a punjabi blog pkpolitics a punjabi nationalist blog doing such propaganda against every single person who is not punjabi, the person who is more involved in such propaganda is Dr Ahwab Alvi aka Teeth Maestro a punjabi from lahore settled few years back in karachi to earn his bread and butter and active member of Punjabi Sponsored Mafia Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf in karachi, Party headed by Certified Zaani Imran Khan.

Intrestingly the Punjabi Mafia is writing against Mustafa Kamal that he is not names the second best mayor by the FP Magazine but failed to tell that the Same FP Magazine included Mustafa Kamal in the list of Worlds Top three Mayors.

To show the real ugly faces of Punjabi Mafia who are contineously out to do propaganda against Mohajirs, MQM and Karachi just because Mustafa Kamal is not from Punjab and no city from Punjab and no Mayor from punjab is included in this list, i am putting the Pictorial evidence of WHAT FP SAID about Mustafa Kamal.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4509&page=3

Shame on these punjabi losers, and the propaganda against Mustafa Kamal is also an eye opener to all the urdu Mohajirs that we are still not accepted as Pakistanis and son of soil.

khaledfaroqi.wordpress.com/

NB said...

@khaledfaroqi

If you open the link that you yourself have posted above, you will note that Mustafa Kamal, while listed as one of the "mayors of the moment", appears to be ranked as (#57).

And just because Pkpolitics is biased and nutty, doesn't mean that this is a Punjabi conspiracy, or that Mustafa Kamal has somehow lost standing as a mayor.

Anonymous said...

itna johot bola jaye kee such lagy
very good MQM

Qaiser said...

if your English is good then you must recognize that Mustafa Kamal is on no. 2. see link below

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4509&page=3

NB said...

This is great. I can just cut and paste my comments.

@Qaiser

If you open the link that you yourself have posted above, you will note that Mustafa Kamal, while listed as one of the "mayors of the moment", appears to be ranked as (#57).

Ahsan said...

NB:

Actually, the #57 refers to Karachi, not MK. Go on the page where they talk about mega cities; that's where Khi is "ranked".

NB said...

I see. I guess i cant cut and paste my comments, because they're incorrect. Damn (my) mental laziness and foreign policy magazine. Damn them to hell.

Anonymous said...

@ All

I guess you all should go and attend a better school as your english is too bad.

57 # is referred to city ratings and nothing to do with Mayors.

Mustafa Kamal was placed in Worlds Top Three Mayors.

Go read it on FP Site again

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4509&page=3

The Top Three Mayors are struggling and doing what ever they can to make their city a better place

If Mustafa Kamal is on 57 # then how he could be in World Top Three Mayors list ??

Use your brains remove your Tassub Glasses you will not argue about this again.

Go and read what FP posted on its site.

na said...

anon 1134:

Your English clearly isn’t very good but I wouldn’t suggest you go to a better school as that’s clearly your prerogative.

I don’t understand what agenda you’re trying to push here but there is no such “list” that you refer to. Also there is a huge difference between “three of the world’s top mayors” (as FP calls them) and “Worlds Top Three Mayors” (as you refer to them) and you either cannot or refuse to comprehend this difference.

Either way let’s move on; let’s just applaud Mustafa Kamal for doing a good job and being recognized in a foreign publication for his services.

If we're going to leave any more posts on this topic please let them be about Mustafa Kamal and the work he's doing and not about what the FP did or did not say/mean. They have clearly articulated what they've said (see AKS's post).

MKA said...

Karachi is a diverse city. Let's keep the ethnic card out of this.

Mooda said...

Cant agree more with MKA. It feels so proud to be best freinds with Punjabis, Pushtoons, Sindhis, Hindus, Karantaas etc etc and actually growing up with them with out declaring them terrorrist etc etc. Thats where Karachi leaves rest of the cities in Pakistan million miles behind. What ever any one says I had a sense of pride when I read the news about MK. I hope we can produce more hard working, educated, dedicated reformist like him.....just look at poor Lahore's Mayor who apparantly was also doing a grt job, has not been to his office in last 4 months or so..... pathetic Abba Jee politics....

Alina Dar said...

Though i truly agree with Mustufa Kamal's ability, qualitative execution of smart plans and his hardwork, but i believe you all need to go through the TRUTH as well rather than believing the false and exaggerated flip-side of the coin:

http://www.haqeeqat.org/2008/11/14/how-thug-became-no-2-mayor-of-world/

TheloneRex said...

People who are against Mustafa Kamal or pass unsatisfactory commentary on him, or his works are indeed the enemy of our nation and especially Karachi, these are the people who knows nothing save that floccinaucinihilipilification and are true illiterate folk. I thanks Mr. Alftaf Hussain from all my heart for he gifted us with such a mayor. This can never be redeemed.

TheloneRex said...

know* G'rr

Anonymous said...

dont miss must read the real story of Mustafa Kamal how he make fake story

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/node/10285

AKS said...

@ thelonerex

"floccinaucinihilipilification!"

Really?

Anonymous said...

If anyone is not clear on what "Mayor of the Moment" means - please read this extract from the email sent by Jina Hassan, Media & Public Relations Coordinator, FOREIGN POLICY magazine

I regard this acheivement of Mr. Kamal as much higher then being ranked #2 "Innovation against enormous odds"


Our editors chose the “mayors of the moment” by looking at several mayors from around the world and identifying three city executive who are doing innovative things against enormous odds.

For clarification you can contact Jina or you may email me at: alihemani01@hotmail.com

Safdar Mahmood, Karachi said...

Are we even human? We Pakistanis never appreciate anybody, we start to hate our brother if he gets some sort of success and recognition for a good work... "CHALO MAANA K 2nd number nahin, chalo kahlo k 'nahin'.... ye bhi kahlo k 'best' bhi nahin... KAM SE KAM EK PAKISTANI HONEY K NAAATEY EK PAKISTAN KI HOSLA AFZAI HONEY PE KHUSH TO HOJAO... HASAD TO NAAA KARO..." Why we always try to let down our own brothers (in front of everyone)... Atleast we should be happy on global appreciation of a "PAKISTANI MUSLIM!!!"...

Syed Mustahsan Alam said...

I don't understand why people hate MQM for no reason, where they are trying their hard to build up and construct the country. It is visible to everyone that how Mustafa Kamal has worked in karachi and helped people to transport easily than ever before. I would say shame on you people who are claiming that previous Nazim was working hard, shame on you once again, because if you ask people around the pakistan they must have heard Mustafa's name but not the previous name of nazim. Shame on you people who are against Mustafa Kamal and MQM, because it only define that you guys are not human but animals, who don't see the right and wrong. stop lying please, fear the fire at least of the hell.
Live longer Mustafa Kamal and MQM inshah Allah

geminee said...

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thanks,

shahid

shahid_geminee said...

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I would like infrom you that in ouer are water issue no bady can solve this issue, please do the action in this regard. secter 11 1/2 Block 'D' saleemabd orangi town karachi

thanks,

shahid

Ebraiz Chishti said...

IT nice to reading you all,
Some one says and some one see,It make a difference because some one says it must wrong or fake but some one see, it will be true,
otherwise it's your dream. so as a citizen of karachi I visit karachi every year, Believe me it totally change, It really looking nice and beautiful. I hope karachi will be a dubai in future, Inshallah
Don't go with the fake web sites which are given below, Just visit karachi only once a time. and say what you have to say to about mustafa kamal.