Pakistan Produces A Second Youngest IT Prodigy



From civil nuclear technology applications in agriculture, to music to IT, Pakistanis continue to excel even as a failed political elite and a crumbling political system slowly brings the nation down.

KARACHI, Pakistan—Shafay Thobani, an eight-year-old child has become the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, Geo News reported.

He is the second youngest IT specialist from Pakistan. The world’s youngest, Arfa Karim, also from Pakistan, was nine when she became the world’s young Microsoft Certified Professional.

Interestingly, Shafay was born the same year Arfa became the world’s youngest Microsoft professional, in 2004.

Shafay and Arfa are part of a long list of Pakistani achievers who have emerged during the past decade.

This decade was dominated by the US-led war in Afghanistan and the consistent negative media coverage of Pakistan primarily driven by the American media.

As the US media demonized Pakistan for political reasons, it detracted the world from seeing Pakistanis as a hardworking people trying to improve their lives like people do everywhere.

The real story of Pakistan is the one that Shafay, Arfa and other smart and hardworking Pakistanis epitomize, a country where ordinary Pakistanis would excel if not suffocated by failed politicians whose faces haven’t changed over the past quarter century and their political parties have turned into armed militias and family holdings threatening to turn Pakistan into another Lebanon.

Unlike a failed democratic system, ordinary Pakistanis are the engine that drives progress and creativity in Pakistan.

This year, six universities of Pakistan won positions in the list of top 300 Universities, according to QS World Universities Rankings 2012. Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) UK is the world’s most renowned and prestigious ranking agency.

This year, rap song Islamabad II became a sensation, as pop music in several Pakistani languages, including Pashto, Sindhi, Punjabi, and the national language Urdu attracted wide following outside Pakistan.

Also in 2012, a Pakistani scientist was honored by the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) as the Scientist of the Year for his pioneering work in the cotton biotechnology sector. This was also an honor in a way for Pakistan’s progress in civil nuclear science, since honored scientist, Dr. Yusuf Zafar, is a director general for agriculture and biotechnology at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.


Born on March 13, 2004, Shafay Thobani grew interested in computers ever since he was a toddler.

On April 9, 2012, Shafay appeared in the Prometric test and secured 91 per cent marks, thus making him the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Training Specialist (MCTS) at the age of eight years and 24 days.

The young man is certified professional in Microsoft Windows 7 Configuration and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2. Before appearing in the exam, he remained under training of Microsoft certified trainers for 13 months.

His trainer Faisal Durrani said it was a challenge for him to teach complicated concepts such as Domain Name System (DNS) and Internet Protocol (IP) address to a child as young as Shafay. “So we split the 40-hour course designed for grown-up IT specialists into 13 months for the child. We taught him by giving him easy examples in order to grasp the concepts. Teaching him for three to four hours every day, we would also allow him breaks to let him be the normal kid that he is, swimming, playing football or rollerblading,” said Mr Durrani.

Speaking of the boy’s main areas of interest, Shafay’s father Dr. Shah Thobani said he liked network and communication programming. “He has already completed 65 per cent of Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization, too,” he added.

“Shafay was born in 2004, the same year Arfa was declared the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional at the age of nine. Arfa was an inspiration for us and I hope that Shafay, too, would be a role model for more children to show their tremendous achievements,” Dr Thobani said.

In the tradition of most ordinary Pakistanis who are patriotic when it comes to their homeland, Shafay echoes familiar feelings.

Shafay said, “I am proud of myself and I will work for Pakistan in any way possible.”

[To see more features in our Pakistanis At Work Collection, click here.]

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