Financial inclusion, Waqar Zaka, and the reign of twitter – this week in Pakistan’s business and economics twitterverse

Has the Twitter community finally had its voice heard in the corridors of power?

This week, we had Waqar Zaka on our minds. It isn’t necessarily the best thing to have on one’s mind (particularly during a holy month) but it was definitely there, especially because of how he continues to have success giving cryptocurrency advice to mostly young men that idolize him.

The problem is that this isn’t even the strangest thing happening right now, and as one of the tweets in this week’s round up points out, decisions being made recently are saner than expected – almost too sane for our liking. Unfortunately, this kind of skepticism comes with the territory, and all we can really hope to do is keep our readers informed, and clutch onto our seats and hope that nothing catastrophic happens. Ariba Shahid brings you all this and more in this week’s social media round up. 

 

  1. We repeat, financial inclusion is a necessity 

Financial inclusion is something we feel strongly about. No, it should not be limited to pink check books and sign boards. It requires men to step up and help the women in their household to open accounts. It also requires the men at banks to be less daunting and scary to the women that show up to get their accounts open. They should be proactively welcoming and encouraging. Faizan Sidiqi rightfully says, “normalize” it because until it is treated as a privilege or a novelty, we won’t get anywhere with financial inclusion.

  1. Shady investments 

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In this thread, Rasheed Narejo asks an important question about how capital markets can ever take off in a country where shareholders do not trust the books. The SECP, PSX, and Audit Firms in Pakistan need to make sure they have the trust of the public.  In March we wrote about the Hashimi Can Company that was going through a buyback of shares. Pakistan’ continues to have a trust deficit, and as long as businesses and investment remain shady, there will be very little hope. 

  1. Waqar Zaka alternatives 

Waqar Zaka has 32000 members in his Facebook group where he gives crypto investment tips. He charges Rs 1250 per month from members. If that isn’t sheer genius on Zaka’s part, then we don’t know what is. However, we would suggest you save your money and get a Profit subscription instead. No disrespect to the towering intellectual giant and fearsome cruncher of numbers that is the enigma Waqar Zaka, but we would humbly say that we’ve got a few things that make us a better option for budding investors. We’re real, we’re authentic, we’re definitely PG, and we’re much easier to like. Oh, and also, we’re cheaper. 

  1. Table it already 

Remember all the noise about the SBP amendment bill? Well it’s all hush now except for people that are genuinely interested in the bill asking about its contents and what is taking it so long? Important to note that unless it isn’t tabled, one can’t get a look at the official document. We’re wondering the same thing, but all that can be done for now is to wait it out and hope it gets tabled sooner rather than later, preferably with an explanation about what in the world took so long. 

  1. Twitter in the driving seat? 

Very, very, politely, we would ask Azam Khan not to repeat this simply because we’re afraid he is going to bring down the commentator’s curse on all of us. For the longest time, we have been complaining that the government is running on whatsapp, and we’ve been praying that the government turns its heads away from those scrumptious ‘forwarded as received’ messages and look towards Twitter, where (some) saner minds do exist. 

Perhaps that wish has finally come true, as Azam Khan is pointing out and in the process dangerously tempting the Gods of fate. Then again, all CSS officers and politicians make their way to twitter as soon as they have office. There must be something we’re missing out on. Our only suggestion is that Azam Khan should touch wood because he might jinx it for all of us.

  1. Retirement regrets? 

Everyone has an opinion. Only some of them make it into op-eds. Ammar Khan shares our frustration over op-eds from people on how to change things up or fix things AFTER they no longer have the power to do so. It is nearly as bad as cricketers starting Youtube channels and advising the top players of the game after their less than prolific careers. 

Ariba Shahid
The author is a business journalist at Profit. She can be reached at [email protected] or at twitter.com/AribaShahid

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