Friday, August 3, 2012

Dr. Samar Mubarakmand: Who really is he?

When people like Dr. Samar Mubarakmand practise pseudo-science, it allows amateur to make comments that have nothing to do with science whatsoever.  

Dr. Samar Mubarakmand.

Dr. Mubarakmand is a Pakistani nuclear scientist. He successfully led the team which test fired two nuclear missiles — code name Chaghi I and Chaghi II — in the province of Baluchistan. Hence, he is also one of those who consider themselves as the 'saviour of this country'.

Dr. Samaar holds a degree in Nuclear Physics from the University of Oxford. He does know much about about his nuclear stuff, but now this man is trying to become some sort of a super man who can do anything through a magic wand which Harry Potter gave him.

Dr. Samaar involved himself into projects that have nothing to do with his educational background or expertise. The two prominent projects that came to a halt because of his intervention are the Thar Coal Project in Sindh and Reco Diq copper mine in Baluchistan — hence his intervention fundamentally disrupted the economic benefits that the smaller provinces of Pakistan could have gained if Dr. Sammar hadn't hindered into them.

1. Thar Coal Project

Dr. Samar launched a coal gasification project in the Thar coal fields, stopping the Chinese company from further investment. Samar made factitious comments regarding the future of Thar Coal Project,
“Coal reserves can provide electricity to the country for more than 500 years”
This was nothing more than a myth. The Sindh government gave him millions of dollars, but in the end he produced electricity close to nothing. In a pilot project, Mubarak's team produced a mere 100 MW and blamed the planning commission for not releasing more funds! Does he think that he can go on wasting the nation's money like he wasted the nation's money on building nuclear missile? How much more will he waste?  What has nuclear physics to do with coal gasification? Has he ever studied the affects coal gas has on the environment? Is he a scientist or a pseudo-scientist who tries to solve every problem with the same bunch of tool? This is similar to quackery, which tries to solve problems related from marriage to social complexities arises in family through the same mantra.

Dr. Qadeer aptly said:
“Dr. Samar has nothing to do with mineral sciences as he is a Ph.D in High Voltage."
Dr. Samar's self-confidence ruined the Thar Coal project. His supporters  — most of them know nothing about nuclear physics or electricity generation  — accuse the government for creating hurdles in his ways.

I believe that he has wasted enough money in the Thar project. The Sindh government should now take the project from his hand and call international investors to invest in Sindh's coal.

2. Reko Diq Project

Dr. Samar also put his nose in the Reko Diq copper mine in Baluchistan. Similar to the Thar project, he again made a factitious comment on the copper reserves present here:
"A small part of Reko Diq gold and copper mines (EL-5) have deposits worth $270 billion and there are numerous other bigger deposits in the same belt which could give many more billions to the country"
Next, Samar the Great went to the Supreme Court of Pakistan and begged the court to throw out the American infidels who are trying to steal the resources of our land of pure. The Chief Justice — who probably knows nothing about copper mining — went on to give a decision in favour of Dr. Samar!

Hence an experienced mining company that did a deal with the government of Baluchistan was forced to leave. The deal came to a halt, with Baluchistan suffering the most just because of a single man who jumped into this issue from nowhere.

Interestingly, there was another man speaking against the US mining in Baluchistan. This man was Zaid Hamid! This man even made a crying face on a private Television channel to stop the mining process. The Nuclear scientist hearkened to his voice and went to the court. The rest is history.

The method which Dr. Samar proposed is pretty much interesting to share. In his speech in front of the judicial bench, he was recorded saying,
“This technology is similar to uranium mining. The digging process will also help excavate a number of precious minerals, including zirconium and cobalt.”
So Dr. Samar thinks that mining copper is similar to mining uranium! Just like our old quacker for whom the cure for cancer and headache is the same.  

Dr. A.Q. Khan rightly said,
"Recodec (sic) Project in Balochistan and Thar Coal Project in Sindh both are put on stake due to him [Dr. Samar Mubarak Mand]."
So what did Baluchistan and Pakistan gain from Dr. Samar's ingenious ideas? Pakistan gained now even a single penny. Furthermore, foreign investors are now scared in investing in Pakistan. All because of one man.


A degree from Oxford doesn't mean that the graduate can jump into anything he wants to do. 

A primary difference between science and pseudo-science is the existence of a scientific method. Scientists follow a strict methodology for arriving at a desired result. Hypotheses are vigorously tested; and in case of failures new hypotheses are constantly presented that complement nature.

On the other hand, there isn't any scientific method present in pseudo-science. Everything is ad hoc (i.e. works on Jugaar). Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it saves cost, while at other instants it can make the whole company bankrupt. 

Moreover, a pseudo-scientist believes more in his personal judgement compared to empirical realities. For example, it is an empirical fact that coal gas is extremely hazardous for the local environment. Sindh's agricultural lands will suffer the most if coal gasification is performed on large scales. Disregarding this fact, Dr. Mubarakmand went on with his gasification project based on this 'personal judgement' that agricultural lands are pretty much far away from Thar region. He maybe right, but he can also be wrong. He should had done a comprehensive environmental analysis before making such a bold claim.

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