Dear Colleagues!  This is Asrar Qureshi’s Blog Post #841 for Pharma Veterans. Pharma Veterans aims to share knowledge and wisdom from Veterans for the benefit of Community at large. Pharma Veterans Blog is published by Asrar Qureshi on WordPress, the top blog site. Please email to for publishing your contributions here.

James Heskett is UPS Foundation Professor Emeritus at the Harvard Business School. He is a regular contributor to HBS Working Knowledge, and his articles are always deeply thought provoking. Primary thought for this post comes from his August 2023 article titled ‘As Leaders, Why Do We Continue to Reward A, While Hoping for B?’. (Link at the end). His article focuses on corporates, which I shall take up in the next post with particular reference to the working in Pharma Industry.

In my view, encouraging bad behaviors comes in two ways: directly, and indirectly. And this happens in all settings; social, political, religious, business, corporate, and what not.

We encourage directly when we appreciate wrongdoing, become part of it, and support others who do it. Indirect is even more common, when we choose to look the other way even when we can do something or ignoring that it is not my problem.

In social settings, sometimes back, Khalil ur Rehman Qamar, a self-proclaimed reformer, whose writings are far from reform, made social headlines with his verbal abuse of Marvi Sarmad, a self-proclaimed liberal. Disregarding who was right or wrong, the behavior displayed by Qamar at that time was unacceptable. We not just accepted it but encouraged him to keep trumpeting this thing until many days later. This is just one example; bad behaviors are encouraged daily on every medium. X (Twitter) is rife with abuse, filthy language, and explicit suggestions against females. This is not just encouraged, but is supported by so many, including sadly, some females. Social media filth reaches a new low every day. TikTok has motivated its users to behave more and improperly and explicitly to become influencer, gain views, become viral, and make money. The mad rush suggests that if the social/legal restrictions are relaxed, we shall match with the western countries very quickly.

We are not new to encouraging bad behaviors. In many Punjab villages, it was common to distribute sweets when a young boy child uttered a profanity (gaali) for the first time. His parents and relatives were ecstatic with this and shared their happiness with everyone. In so many households, the language used is completely unacceptable but is accepted as norm. In a very large number of households, husbands routinely beat their wives on one or the other pretext. The wives accept it as a way of life because they saw their mothers getting the same treatment, who saw their mothers; it is a long history. Our expectation is that the children raised in these households shall be decent, well-rounded, and wholesome adults. Obviously, it does not happen. The deterioration in our society did not happen in few years.

On the political scene, the so-called politicians are vying to be labeled as more and more rogue and get quoted and discussed. The cock fights are common during talk shows, and some political pundits are trying to earn the badge of ‘bad boys’. The language is just above explicit because it is a compulsion, not from the channel, but from the government. These fights are circulated on YouTube and other media and attract thousands of views. During the last few years, political parties have learnt to use social media to denounce their opponents. In all this activity, you will note that that no party promotes their own agenda, as to what will they do if they come to power; their agenda about burning issues.

Pakistan is in the worst phase of its 76-year life. The economy is in shambles, the education is in deep rot, the healthcare is mired in greed, the politics is run by hooligans who do not even know politics, and the legal system is working against the poor and supporting the elite. In summary, nothing is working right in Pakistan at present.

In this dire situation, no political party has any manifesto, no agenda, no plan to present, not even a clue to what they will do. There are only empty promises of doing this and that but only after coming into power. They want power first and plan later. Their actual agenda is just to grab power and make money as fast as possible, nothing more.

We the people of Pakistan encourage these clueless scoundrels by attending their rallies and gatherings, give them a huge chunk of airtime on electronic media, and become party to their ill intentions. And we expect that the fate of this country shall change soon. It does not, and it will not.

Historically, religion has been used as a tool for gaining and sustaining power, and a reliable, highly effective tool for persecution of opponents. The religious leaders have always obliged the rulers and elite and have rarely stood by the masses. In fact, they have further robbed the masses in whatever way they could. The bishops in Europe used to sell spaces in paradise by taking money and issuing a written note confirming the allotment. Naïve people believed it and kept paying. This is the world history spanning centuries, and we are no different. The strength of religious leaders in Pakistan has grown over the years; dictator Ziaulhaq must be given share of the blame. The huge number of followers claimed and gathered by them speaks volumes about what kind of power they wield. It would be so great if they would use their power to educate people, eradicate serious social ills, and take the society to the egalitarian level envisioned by Islam. However, it is mostly the opposite. For instance, we never see a religious leader condemning any incidence of gang rape/ violent rape. The most recent example is that of the girl from Ranipur, Fatima. No word has been uttered by any one from the ulema community. The same is true about rampant ill of bribery; never condemned by the religious community, probably because they are their biggest donors. Just this year, hundreds of non-deserving people performed Hajj at taxpayers’ expense. Ulema accompanied them rather than stopping them.

This is another critical area where we openly and diligently encourage and support bad, and we pray for the outcome of good. The outcome is what it should be; more polarization, more prejudice, and more hatred.

The summary is that we as a community of 240 million are constantly Encouraging Bad and Expecting Good. We have fallen in a deep pit already, and the slide continues. The situation shall only change when we change our stance.


Disclaimer: Most pictures in these blogs are taken from Google Images and Pexels. Credit is given where known; some do not show copyright ownership. However, if a claim is lodged at any stage, we shall either mention the ownership clearly, or remove the picture with suitable regrets.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: