Category Archives: Media

Pakistan’s Federal minister for Planning & Development, Ahsan Iqbal’s son Ahmed Iqbal’s remarks against Pak Army

“The responsibility of all terrorist attacks falls squarely on the armed forces & intelligence agencies. People of Pakistan have made enough sacrifices. It is time that that these institutions start doing their job of protecting Pakistan & not themselves. There would no war, no Taliban, no external threat if they would have done their job. It is high time to not only hit back at terrorists but to secure Pakistan’s future by dealing with this menace. Spend on education, health, development, people & …. the army!”  “Warna, yeh Taliban Ko Paalnay Waali, India Ko Ukssanay waali, Jamhoriat Ko Lapaytnay waali Fauj apnay bojh talay Is Mulk Ko Kuchal day gi.” ~ Ahmed Iqbal Chaudhary

Read more » http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=244363

More details »» Roznama Dunya

http://e.dunya.com.pk/colum.php?date=2014-06-16&edition=LHR&id=31946_74196307

Facebook under fire for blocking pages in Pakistan

By New York Times

By Declan Walsh and Salman Masood 

LONDON: Facebook said Friday that it had blocked users in Pakistan from access to the pages of a popular Pakistani rock band and several left-wing political pages, drawing sharp criticism from free-speech activists who accused the US company of caving in to government censors.

Members of the band, Laal, whose members have frequently spoken out against the Taliban, confirmed that their Facebook page, which had more than 400,000 “likes,” had been blocked.

After an outcry on so ..

Geo News to sue ISI for defamation

By Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Geo News is suing the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for defamation over accusations of being anti-state, it said on Friday.

Geo News, part of the privately-owned Jang Group, has also given the ISI 14 days to issue a public apology.

“Geo and Jang Group (have) served a legal notice on the Ministry of Defence, Inter-Services Intelligence and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority for defaming and maligning the group,” the channel said in a report published in a newspaper owned by the media house.

“More than 8,000 journalists, workers and professionals attached to the group and their families are not only being harassed but also attacked and tortured across Pakistan.”

The suing by Geo News was followed by a suspension of the channel’s license for 15 days along with a fine of Rs10 million.

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1110985

Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors, Vice President, Shaheen Qureshi’s worth listening speech on Hamid Mir Case

CPNE Vice President, Shaheen Qureshi’s worth listening speech on Hamid Mir Case. The speech is in Urdu/Hindi language.

Courtesy: Daily Motion

‘A media group banned at army offices’

RAWALPINDI – A ban has been imposed on a private media group including its television channels at all offices of the Pakistan Army with immediate effect, a private ARY News channel reported on Wednesday.

The channel reported that there will be a blanket ban on the newspapers of the Independent Media Corporation, which owns the Jang Group of Newspapers and the Geo TV network, at all army offices, mess and units.

Read more » Daily Times
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/23-Apr-2014/a-media-group-banned-at-army-offices

An act of desperation

TaqiBy Dr Mohammad Taqi

Hamid Mir’s guardian angel was watching over him perhaps. Mir, a prominent Pakistani journalist and media personality, survived despite receiving multiple bullet injuries. He may be out of the woods medically but the violent threat to him and the Pakistani media at large has not dissipated. Mir was not the first journalist to be targeted with such brutal impunity and, unfortunately, will not be the last. Someone in the deep, convoluted bowels of society is getting really, really desperate. It seems like the war for the narrative and on those who may shape it has just entered a new and more deadly phase.
After a similar attack on the journalist Raza Rumi last month, I noted in my column ‘Hooked on jihadism’ (Daily Times, April 3, 2014) that “the Committee to Protect Journalists’ optimism notwithstanding, the Pakistani state is unlikely to kick its jihadist drug habit. The space for those citizens, especially media persons who do not conform, will continue to shrink. Raza Rumi, and others like him, will be left to fend for themselves.” The usual suspects seem gung-ho on either taming or eliminating the dissenting voices. The relentless assault on the media appears to be from both the state and non-state actors or some combination thereof. The attack on Express Television this past January was claimed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan while the one on Raza Rumi has apparently been traced to the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi ringleader Malik Ishaq. Many attacks, like the multiple bomb attacks on the residence of the Express Tribune’s Peshawar bureau chief, Jamshed Baghwan, have not been claimed by anyone.
Hamid Mir’s brother, Amir Mir — also a veteran journalist who has written extensively about the military-jihadist nexus — has directly blamed the ISI for the attack on Mir. Amnesty International’s (AI’s) Deputy Asia-Pacific Director David Griffiths has said in an e-mailed statement that, in the past three years, “Mir had on two occasions told the Amnesty International that he believed his life was under threat from different actors, including the ISI and the Pakistani Taliban.” Saying that they do not know who is responsible for the attack, the AI has called for bringing the perpetrators to book “regardless of their affiliations to any state institution, political party or any other group”. The Director General ISPR has since refuted Amir Mir’s allegations and an ISPR press release stated, “An independent inquiry must immediately be carried out to ascertain facts.”

Read more » Daily Times
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/opinion/24-Apr-2014/an-act-of-desperation

The Hamid Mir case: ‘In Pakistan, they used to censor journalists – now they shoot us’

Hamid Mir

Hamid Mir

On Saturday in Karachi, one of Pakistan’s most famous journalists survived being shot six times. Soon after, the TV news channel he works for blamed the feared Inter-Services Intelligence agency for the attack. Author Mohammed Hanif reports on a fourth estate under siege

By , The Guardian

More than a hundred bouquets line the lobby of the private ward of Karachi’s posh, private Aga Khan Hospital. Outside, dozens of policemen with bulletproof vests and automatic weapons look at every visitor suspiciously, officers speaking urgently into their walkie-talkies. The Karachi police force is really good at strutting about after a high-profile crime has happened. One of the largest bouquets in the lobby is from the force. “Get well Hamid Mir,” it says. “We may not be able to protect you,” it implies, “but we know where to order the best flowers.”

Mir is upstairs recuperating. He took six bullets – in the ribs, thigh, stomach and across his hand – in an assassination attempt on Saturday as he came out of the airport to present a special broadcast on Geo, Pakistan‘s largest news channel. Mir had warned about a possible assassination. He had also named his would-be killers. That’s what his brother claims, that’s what his colleagues and managers at the channel say. Geo, just after the attack, broadcast the allegation and, in an unprecedented move, also flashed the picture of the accused: the head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence chief, Lieutenant General Zaheer ul-Islam. In that picture he comes across as a big man. We are not supposed to know much about him except the fact that he is a very professional general. According to an internet myth very popular in Pakistan, the ISI has been rated as the world’s No 1 intelligence agency: Mossad is No 5 and MI6 languishes at No 9. According to television ratings, the man with three bullets still in his body is Pakistan’s top-rated TV journalist and one of the most vocal critics of Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies.

One of the modest bouquets wishing Mir a full and speedy recovery is from the prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, who visited him in the hospital earlier this week after announcing a judicial inquiry. Going by the history of judicial inquiries in Pakistan, Sharif seemed to be saying: “Look Hamid, we want you to get well but don’t really expect us to find out who tried to kill you. Who is going to go and ask a working general? Meanwhile, here are three senior judges who will help you get over the whole thing.”

The day after the assassination attempt, Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif visited the ISI headquarters to show that he stands with his intelligence boss.

And the very next day, the Defence Ministry recommended that the channel for which Mir works should be shut down for bringing a national institution into disrepute. Geo’s competitors have joined the chorus.

For years, Pakistan has been one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists. From feudal landlords to Taliban fighters, sectarian groups to separatists, all have killed journalists. The question one needs to ask is: does the ISI, a national body often referred to as “a sensitive institution”, occasionally kill journalists? As any trained journalist would tell you, we need two sources before we can tell you a story. Here are two stories, with multiple sources and two different endings.

Continue reading →

Committee to Protect Journalists condemns move by Pakistan’s ISI against Geo TV

 

CPJ condemns move by Pakistan’s ISI against Geo TV

New York, April 22, 2014–The Committee to Protect Journalists is greatly concerned by actions brought by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) against Geo Television today. In its complaint to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, the ISI accused Geo’s parent company, the Independent Media Corporation, of conducting a “false and scandalous campaign undermining the integrity and tarnishing the image of state institution (ISI) and its officers.”

The media regulator has the authority to shut down broadcasters based on such complaints, and has done so under previous administrations of Pakistan.

“We call on the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority not to act on this spurious complaint, and we call on Pakistan’s security services to recognize the critical role of the media and exercise tolerance and maturity,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “The ISI is free to rebut allegations in the media but should not try to censor coverage.”

Tension between Pakistan’s military and intelligence communities and much of the media swiftly escalated following an assassination attempt on Geo TV anchor Hamid Mir on April 19. Mir was hit with six rounds from assailants on motorcycles as his car was traveling between Karachi’s airport and the center of the city. Mir is severely wounded and recovering in the hospital. Geo TV has broadcast accusations that the ISI was involved in the murder attempt.

Courtesy: The Committee to Protect Journalists
http://cpj.org/2014/04/cpj-condemns-move-by-pakistans-isi-against-geo-tv.php

YouTube ban restricts rights of Pakistanis: Human rights organisation

KARACHI: Condemning hate speech on the internet in general and the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” in particular, the Bytes for All (B4A) Pakistan said it believes that banning “channels of communication [YouTube], limiting access to information platforms and steps to curtail free expression only serve to pave the way for politics-based control systems that curb the voices of individuals.”

The B4A, a human rights organisation with a focus on Information and Communication Technologies, commented on the recent ban imposed on video sharing website YouTube as per the order of Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.

The organisation stressed that the film should not be allowed to form the basis of systematic censorship and filtering of internet in the country.

It further stated that the blanket ban restricted the rights of Pakistani citizens, who wish to use the platform for counter-argument, expression and other educational and developmental purposes.

“This extreme step ignores the alternative, more conservative actions that were available to the government, including the issuing of a take-down notice to YouTube for the removal of specific content in Pakistan,” the B4A remarked.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune

An Analysis of the Latest Round of Internet Censorship in India (Communalism and Rioting Edition): Pranesh Prakash

By: Shivam Vij

Freedom of speech and expression, Internet Censorship in India, Social media and violence

Read more » Kafila

Isn’t it strange that he consider vulgarity on TV to be Haram [unIslamic] and immoral. However, the income he pocket every month from this vulgarity is Halal and moral!

Letter to Ansar Abbasi on vulgarity

By: Farooq Sulehria

Dear Mr. Ansar Abbasi,

When I recently heard about your latest crusade against vulgarity and obscenity, planned in connivance with our puritan Chief Qazi, I could not help laughing aloud.

By moving the Supreme Court against obscenity and vulgarity on television channels, you have indeed exposed the bankruptcy of the Moral Brigade’s policing of women’s bodies.

Continue reading →

Julian Assange urges US to end Wikileaks ‘witch-hunt’

Julian Assange has urged the US to end its “witch-hunt” against Wikileaks, in his first public statement since entering Ecuador’s London embassy.

He also called for the release of Bradley Manning, who is awaiting trial in the US accused of leaking classified documents to the Wikileaks site.

Mr Assange spoke from a balcony at the embassy and thanked Ecuador’s president, who has granted him asylum.

He faces extradition to Sweden over sexual assault claims, which he denies.

The 41-year-old said the United States must also stop its “war on whistleblowers”. ….

Read more » BBC

Corruption charges hit Pakistani `Sesame Street’

by: CNN, Priyanka Boghani

(CNN) – No more “sunny days sweeping the clouds away” in Pakistan as its version of ‘”Sesame Street” gets its funding cut due to fraud charges, according to Reuters.

The United States has withdrawn funding for the Pakistani version of the American children’s television series known for its educational content and colorful puppets.  The U.S. Agency for International Aid received reports of corruption charges on the production company, Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, through an anti-fraud hotline, according to U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner. Exact details of the graft weren’t provided.

The show, which began airing six months ago, features Elmo with a cast of local characters. The funding cut comes just six weeks after the U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter visited the set of “Sim Sim Hamara,” the Pakistani name for the series, “to reaffirm the U.S. Government’s commitment to children’s education in Pakistan,” according to a USAID press release.

The U.S. had originally allocated $20 million to produce the show and $6.7 million of this has already been spent, according to press agency reports.

According to reports from Pakistan Today, the money was used to pay off Rafi Peer’s debts. The funding was also used to award lucrative salaries to family members, many of whom worked in the company.

Continue reading →

SC asks PEMRA if it has taken notice of TV programs defaming judiciary

By Web Desk

We will show you advert­isemen­ts, you tell us if they are obscen­e or not, says chief justic­e to PEMRA

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan, hearing applications filed against “obscene content” being aired on television channels, asked Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (Pemra) if it had taken any notice of programs defaming the judiciary.

The applications were filed by ex-Ameer of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, and Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed of the Supreme Court, who has recently joined the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

The three-member bench hearing the applications rebuked Pemra’s performance in this regard, while Justice Jawad S Khwaja remarked that the regulatory body never does anything concrete.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said to Pemra that the bench will air TV advertisements and Pemra will be made to decide if they are obscene or not.

Continue reading →

Social media is lying to you about Burma’s Muslim ‘cleansing’

By: Faraz Ahmed

Social networking sites are abuzz with news about Muslims being killed in Burma.You can see the sporadic posting of pictures by different people with captions like ‘Muslims killing in Burma’, ‘Muslims slaughtered by Buddhists in Burma’ and so on.

Thus, I took on the mission to sort the truth out for myself once and for all and researched some pictures that I felt were dubious. Below are a few pictures and their original copies. You can evidently see the gross difference between them and how they are thrown out of context.

Continue reading →

Tarek Fatah Questions Memogate Commision Report & Pakistan’s Higher Judiciary

The language of the talk show is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: Rawal Tv » Bilatakalluf with Tahir Gora – 15th June 2012

Via – Siasat.pk & Twitter

Speaking truth to power

By: Irfan Husain

AS I was researching this article, reading scores of emails and writing to friends and contacts about the reported threat to Asma Jahangir’s life, something odd happened to my Gmail screen.

Now, whenever I open my email account, a red strip appears at the top with the following announcement from Google: “Warning – We believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer. Protect yourself now.”

Following the link to security advice, I duly changed my password and switched to Chrome, a Google browser that’s supposed to be more secure. But so far, the problem persists. Any advice from tech-savvy readers would be welcome. I understand Google has recently taken to warning users of such attempts from intelligence agencies to hack into their accounts. ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

MQM Behind Karachi Killings – Karachi Police Chief Akhtar Gorchani Talks to Media

MQM Behind Karachi Killings – Karachi Police Chief Akhtar Gorchani Says its an Open Secret.

Courtesy: Geo Tv (Capital Talk with Hamid Mir 23 May, 2012) + Aaj News Tv + DAWN TV News Night with Talat

Via – Siasat.pk + facebook

http://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?113458-MQM-Behind-Karachi-Killings-Karachi-Police-Chief-Akhtar-Gorchani-Talks-to-Media

Pakistan’s leading intellectual, Prof. Parvez Hoodbhoy on the rise of jihadi terrorism and its acceptance in Pakistan

Courtesy: News Click In » via – Twitter (TF’s tweet)

New York Times – How Pakistan Lets Terrorism Fester – By HUSAIN HAQQANI

ON the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death last week, Pakistan was the only Muslim country in which hundreds of demonstrators gathered to show solidarity with the dead terrorist figurehead.

Yet rather than asking tough questions about how Bin Laden had managed to live unmolested in Pakistan for years, the Pakistani Supreme Court instead chose to punish the prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, by charging him with contempt for failing to carry out the court’s own partisan agenda - in this case, pressuring the Swiss government to reopen a decades-old corruption investigation of President Asif Ali Zardari. (Never mind that Swiss officials say they are unlikely to revisit the charges.)

In handing down the decision, one justice chose to paraphrase the Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran. He held forth in a long appeal to religious-nationalist sentiment that began with the line, “Pity the nation that achieves nationhood in the name of a religion but pays little heed to truth, righteousness and accountability, which are the essence of every religion.”

That a Supreme Court justice would cite poetry instead of law while sentencing an elected leader on questionable charges reflects Pakistan’s deep state of denial about its true national priorities at a time when the country is threatened by religious extremism and terrorism.

Today, Pakistan is polarized between those who envision a modern, pluralist country and those who condone violence against minorities and terrorism in the name of Islam. Many are caught in the middle; they support the pluralist vision but dislike the politicians espousing it.

Meanwhile, an elephant in the room remains. We still don’t know who enabled Bin Laden to live freely in Pakistan. Documents found on computers in his compound offer no direct evidence of support from Pakistan’s government, army or intelligence services. But even if Bin Laden relied on a private support network, our courts should be focused on identifying, arresting and prosecuting the individuals who helped him. Unfortunately, their priorities seem to lie elsewhere.

In Pakistan, most of the debate about Bin Laden has centered on how and why America violated Pakistan’s sovereignty by unilaterally carrying out an operation to kill him. There has been little discussion about whether the presence of the world’s most-wanted terrorist in a garrison town filled with army officers was itself a threat to the sovereignty and security of Pakistan.

Pakistanis are right to see themselves as victims of terrorism and to be offended by American unilateralism in dealing with it. Last year alone, 4,447 people were killed in 476 major terrorist attacks. Over the last decade, thousands of soldiers and law enforcement officers have died fighting terrorists – both homegrown, and those inspired by Al Qaeda’s nihilist ideology.

But if anything, the reaction should be to gear up and fight jihadist ideology and those who perpetrate terrorist acts in its name; they remain the gravest threat to Pakistan’s stability. Instead, our national discourse has been hijacked by those seeking to deflect attention from militant Islamic extremism.

The national mind-set that condones this sort of extremism was cultivated and encouraged under the military dictatorships of Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq from 1977 to 1988 and Gen. Pervez Musharraf from 1999 to 2008. A whole generation of Pakistanis has grown up with textbooks that conflate Pakistani nationalism with Islamist exclusivism.

Anti-Western sentiment and a sense of collective victimhood were cultivated as a substitute for serious debate on social or economic policy. Militant groups were given free rein, originally with American support, to resist the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and later became an instrument of Pakistani regional influence there and in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan’s return to democracy, after the elections of 2008, offered hope. But the elected government has since been hobbled by domestic political infighting and judicial activism on every issue except extremism and terrorism.

Before Mr. Musharraf was ousted, a populist lawyers’ movement successfully challenged his firing of Supreme Court justices. The lawyers’ willingness to confront Mr. Musharraf in his last days raised hopes of a new era. But over the last four years, the Court has spent most of its energy trying to dislodge the government by insisting on reopening cases of alleged corruption from the 1990s. During the same period, no significant terrorist leader has been convicted, and many have been set free by judges who overtly sympathize with their ideology.

This has happened because the lawyers’ movement split into two factions after Mr. Musharraf’s fall: those emphasizing the rule of law and those seeking to use the judiciary as a rival to elected leaders.

Asma Jahangir, who helped lead the lawyers’ movement, has become a critic of the courts, accusing them of overstepping their constitutional mandate and falling under the influence of the security establishment. And Aitzaz Ahsan, who represented the Supreme Court’s chief justice during the lawyers’ showdown with Mr. Musharraf, is now Prime Minister Gilani’s lawyer in the contempt-of-court case – a clear indication of the political realignment that has taken place.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s raucous media, whose hard-won freedom is crucial for the success of democracy, has done little to help generate support for eliminating extremism and fighting terrorism. The Supreme Court, conservative opposition parties and the news media insist that confronting alleged incompetence and corruption in the current government is more important than turning Pakistan away from Islamist radicalism.

Continue reading →

Former prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif tries to date author Kim Barker by offering her an iPhone

The Language of the news is urdu (Hindhi).

Courtesy: Duniya Tv News » Siasat.pk

Via – Twitter

 

Pakistani Canadians criticize Supreme court on the controversial Decision to convict Prime Minister Gillani for following the Constitution and Judicial dictatorship

Pakistani Canadians on the Decision to convict Prime Minister Gillani for following the Constitution

We are pleased to published an interesting and informative debate that took place between Pakistani Canadians on the recent controversial decisions and activity of Pakistan’s politisized Supreme Court.  This took place on a the TV show, Bilatakullah, hosted by Pakistani-Canadian Tahir Gora.  The panel consisted of lawyer Hamid Bashani and journalist Rana Suhail.  Here is the clip for the entire show which we highly recommend:

There were some superb observations made during this show which include:

1. A categorical mention of the 3-Jeem alliance of Judges, Generals and Journalists and how this powerful establishment Troika has evaded accountability.

2. Another excellent point that was made was with regard to Article 63 of the Constitution – whose current text has been inserted by former military dictator, General Zia ul Haq.  The panel commented on how this article prosecutes for contempt against NON-ELECTED institutions like the Army and the Judiciary. The panel pointed out how Article 63 said nothing about contempt for the Parliament – the only institute that is elected by and represents the people of Pakistan.

Our Pakistani-Canadian friends should note that Pakistan’s Jejune “liberals” are usually silent on this topic as they have mostly supported the same Judiciary that has faciliated dictators and allowed them to mangle the Constitution.  After all, the unquestion devotion to this compromised judiciary by Pakistan’s Jejune “liberals” is a matter of public record. This slavish sycophancy towards the Judiciary by Pakistan’s Fake Civil Society has placed it on the wrong side of the verdict of history.

3.The panel pointed out the Judicial bias in the decision and was honest in admitting how the Supreme Court dodged and evaded the question of Presidential immunity which is explicit in Article 248 of the Constitution. They pointed out that the Supreme Court should have responded legally to this point that was raised by the legal advice given to Prime Minister Gillani and which was used as a basis for not writing the letter.  This as per the observations of the guest panel was refusal and not ridicule – the charge on which Prime Minister Gillani was convicted.

To Tahir Sahib and his guests: Dear sirs, we wish that our media was as honest as yourselves.  Barring the exception, powerful retired bureacrats, generals, right-wing idealogues and psuedo left-liberals dominate the discussion that takes place on the Corporate-owned private channels and newspapers.  The views, both on this issue and others, is largely one-sided.  Our Jejune “liberals” have compromised themselves with their uncritical support for this judiciary and barring the exception, cannot bring themselves to present an honest and clear opinion on this topic.  Their token criticism of the judiciary is balanced with harsh, abusive and unjustified attacks on elected politicians – especially if those politicians are PPP/ANP and do NOT happen to be Urban, Pro-Taliban Central Punjabis (PML N, Imran Khan)

The panel also pointed out the neglect and tokenism of this Supreme Court on the Missing Persons case. We agree with the panel when they pointed out how the Courts have simply given token attention to this most pressing case and that too because of the presence of a few cases which pertained to Islamist suspects.

The fate thousands of Baloch Nationalist youth who form the bulk of the “Missing Persons” case remains unknown.

Instead of the selective judicial lynching of PPP, we wish the Court would take this case seriously.

(Refer to Tarek Fatah blasts the military-judicial establishment for our previous coverage of Bilatakalluf)

Courtesy: Bilatakalluf with Tahir Gora Ep38 – Rana Suhail & Hamid Bashani Criticize the Verdict Against PM Gilani

Read more » LUBP » Twitter

http://criticalppp.com/archives/76356?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

PAKISTAN: A newspaper terminates its editor after threats from fundamentalists

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-056-2012 : The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that an editor of a daily newspaper was terminated from his job after threats of the filing of a blasphemy case against him. Threats of blasphemy cases were also made against the publisher, editor and editor of the editorial page by Muslim fundamentalists. After his sudden termination and threats of further action by the fundamentalist organizations the editor was left with no one to turn to and suffered a heart attack. For one month now he has been bedridden and cannot leave the safety of this house because of the threats.

Continue reading →

Fighting the Great Firewall of Pakistan

How an unlikely free-speech campaign defeated the censors.

It takes a strong stomach and a thick skin to be a female activist fighting online censorship in Pakistan. Sana Saleem has both.

The 24-year-old founder of a Karachi-based free expression group Bolo Bhi has been accused of supporting “blasphemy.” On Twitter, a chilling message made the rounds last month: “this @sanasaleem is a prostitute who feature in porn movies #throwacidonsana.” Her photo was posted in pornography forums.

None of this has fazed Sana, who in conjunction with several other young Pakistani blogger-activists had launched a successful campaign that has shamed the government into halting plans for a national Internet censorship system. A long-time contributor to the international bloggers network Global Voices Online, in March Saleem joined forces with other groups including the Pakistan-based social justice group Bytes For All and other activists like the dentist-blogger Awab Alvi, a.k.a. “Teeth Maestro,” who has been campaigning against censorship since 2006. Their success is a victory for free speech, and not only in Pakistan. It holds lessons for activists around the world who are fighting uphill battles against censorship schemes initiated by governments that claim to be acting in the public interest, and who have support from influential political constituencies. ….

Read more » Foreign Policy (FP)

Pakistan’s largest telecommunication company “PTCL Internet Blackout in Pakistan”

Pakistan’s largest telecommunication company,PTCL, is suffering a country word service blackout. Users took to twitter to report service suspensions, they are unable to reach out to customer support for any explanation on the blackout.

Google , Facebook, YouTube and loads of other services not working in Pakistan. surprisingly twitter is the only site that’s working on PTCL right now, facebook is not even opening.

Read more » http://storify.com/BoloBhi/ptcl-internet-blackout-in-pakistan?awesm=sfy.co_mLa&utm_campaign=&utm_medium=sfy.co-twitter&utm_source=t.co&utm_content=storify-pingback

Mad dogs and laal topiwallahs – By Feisal H. Naqvi

The latest of ‘crusaders’ (read idiots with a cause) who has taken his ‘case’ to the courts is one Zaid Hamid, self-described as the “Founding President of an Internationally Recognised Threat Analysis Consultancy and Defence Think Tank.” On March 27, 2012, he announced triumphantly that he had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking the death penalty for a number of journalists as well as the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA).

Mr Hamid’s basis for seeking the death penalty against eleven different people is his firm belief that they are involved in “nefarious activities”, hence guilty of treason and hence liable to be put to death.

Continue reading →

In Pakistan, No Quick End to Islam Conversion Case

By DECLAN WALSH

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Hopes for the rapid resolution of a controversy over the conversion of a Hindu woman to Islam that has seized the Pakistani public were dashed on Monday, when the Supreme Court declined to decide the matter for at least three more weeks.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry ruled that Rinkel Kumari, a 19-year-old Hindu student who converted under disputed circumstances last month, should spend the next three weeks pondering her fate in protective custody, along with another Hindu woman in a similar situation.

During an emotional and sometimes rowdy hearing in a packed courtroom in Islamabad, the capital, Chief Justice Chaudhry noted that there had been “serious allegations of abduction and forced conversion” in both cases.

“Both ladies must have an atmosphere without any pressure to make a decision about their future,” he said.

Continue reading →

“Eqbal Ahmad saw the Taliban as a social cancer that, if unchecked, would reduce Muslim society to medieval primitivism

File photo

US defeat won’t be Afghan victory

By Pervez Hoodbhoy

Excerpt;

…. Eqbal Ahmed, who worked for Muslim causes from Palestine to Algeria, was by far the most perceptive and knowledgeable social activist and intellectual I have known. We had occasional disagreements but he too saw the Taliban as a social cancer that, if unchecked, would reduce Muslim society to medieval primitivism. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

Mullah, Military and Media – ‘Punjabi Nationalism’ Dominates Pakistani National Discourse

‘Punjabi Nationalism’ Dominates National Discourse

Pakistan’s ‘jaundiced’ media is full of terms such as ‘Baloch, Pashtun, or Sindhi nationalism’ and ‘Mohajirs’. What is missing in defining Pakistan’s ethnic groups in the mainstream media is ‘Punjabi nationalism’.

The electronic media, newspapers and communication flood on the social media had printed on the masses’ minds that demands coming from Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan are speaking of the nationalists in those provinces. However, Punjab’s gains in development, education, health, and communication infrastructure are portrayed as national achievements of Pakistan.

In politics, a term like ‘Sindh card’ is widely used with PPP despite its presence in all four provinces, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan. ANP is hardly defined in terms of its secular agenda or the only anti-Taliban forces in the volatile northwest Pakistan. Political forces from Balochistan—JWP, BNP and others are presented as soft names of the Baloch rebel groups in the national media. Political parties in Sindh are paraded in the media with the available negative tags attached to their names and causes.

All national traitors Pakistanis have known so far through media are either the Bengalis of the pre-71 Pakistan or the non-Pujabi nationalities of the post-71 era–Sindhis, Pashtuns, Balochis and Mohajirs. Starting from the latest case, Dr Shakil Afridi (the doctor whose small efforts had allegedly got rid the South Asian Islam off the terror godfather Osama bin Laden and Wahabism) is Pashtun. Former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (Sindh), former opposition leader late Khan Abdul Wali Khan (Pakhtunkhwa), late GM Syed (Sindh), late Ghaus Bakhsh Bizanjo (Balochistan), to name a few, all are defined as traitors in the mainstream media. Altaf Hussain of MQM can’t come back to Pakistan and leaders like Nawab Akbar Bugti don’t deserve life.

Contrary to this, the Indian-specific media and text books are defining Major Aziz Bhatti, Captain Muhammad Sarwar, Major Muhammad Tufail (a total of 11) as Pakistan’s national heroes. All of them died while defending Punjab in four wars against India from 1948-1999. However, the state and ‘yellow’ media of Pakistan have yet to produce a single hero in the 10- year war against Terrorism in a comparatively tough terrain and tricky battlefield known as the Wild Wild West of Pakistan.

Over 160 million Pakistanis, today, can’t recall a man or a woman that they know who might have been fallen against the Arab, Central Asian or Pakistani fanatics in the mountains in FATA while defending Pakistan against militancy. One apparent reason for this nation-wide apathy towards soldiers fighting Terrorism is that Pakistan not owning the ongoing war despite its claims of higher causalities at international fora.

The decades long control of the Punjabi mindset and ‘Maulvis-turned-journalists’ on media has locked Pakistani journalism in ‘Punjabi Box’. The journalists living in that particular box can hardly imagine the sensitivities of people and regions existing out of the Punjabi Box. They don’t see Pakistan Muslim League (N) or (Q) as Punjabi nationalists nor they define Sharif brothers as leaders of Punjabi nationalism when they allocate more development funds for Punjab or deny due shares of the other three provinces from the national pool of resources.

Whether it’s a political fight between PPP or Muslim League, differences on NFC award (national resources), provincial autonomy, militancy, royalty rights, blasphemy law, or women rights, Pakistani media shows Punjab’s voice as protagonist and those of other provinces as antagonist in its narration of events.

As if that is not enough, they cover up Punjab’s causes as Pakistan hard core national interests and label others as Pashtun, Baloch, Sindhi or Mohajir nationalists in a bid to deny them a space on the minds of media viewers, listeners and readers.

The irony is that the state institutes and Pakistani intellectuals call it a ‘media revolution era’ of Pakistan though a reader of the Jang newspapers in 1970s and viewer of Geo TV in March 2012 doesn’t see a difference in contents and description of facts (Punjab vis-à-vis others). The media revolution in Pakistan has, unfortunately, reinvigorated the Punjabi voice and its outreach, however, and has successfully avoided the ‘Punjabi nationalism’ label for itself while defending the interests of one major ethnic group at all levels in a multi-ethnic country.

Courtesy: Mullah Military Media

http://mullahmilitarymedia.blogspot.ca/2012/03/punjabi-nationalism-dominates-national.html

The U.S. Empire’s Achilles Heel: Its Barbaric Racism

by Glen Ford

The American atrocities in Afghanistan roll on like a drumbeat from hell. With every affront to the human and national dignity of the Afghan people, the corporate media feign shock and quickly conclude that a few bad apples are responsible for U.S. crimes, that it’s all a mistake and misunderstanding, rather than the logical result of a larger crime: ….

Read more » Common Dreams

Slogans of Independence

JSQM rally

By Dr. Ahmed Makhdoom

Leading a ‘march against slavery,’ in Karachi, the capital of Sindh,‘Nationalist Party ’ of Sindh, JSQM demanded an independence of Sindh from the deep state of Punjab-dominated, Punjab-ruled, and Punjab-manipulated state. The idolized chieftain, leading his flag-waving, slogans-screaming, ferociously hands-waving and menacingly arms-flailing collection of turbulent and animated mechanised Sindhi supporters passed peacefully and harmoniously through the wide streets of the business-centres and the busy thoroughfares of the heavily-populated metropolis of Sindh.

And, today, in Karachi, Sindh, the Sindh nationalist leader Bashir Khan Qureshi, who is Chairman of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), proclaimed: “Sindhis are ready to protect their motherland and to defend every inch of Sindh.”

However, is this ‘march,’ proclamations, speeches and the chanting of the ‘demands’ enough? My honest and straightforward, frank and candid, prudent and sincere answer is a blunt, “No!” Why? But, first things first – the bravado and enthusiasm, love and genuineness, honesty and integrity, loyalty and patriotism of the nationalist leader, Bashir Qureshi of the Jeay Sindh and his thousands of Sindhi supporters, is manifestly praise-worthy, highly commendable and extremely laudable! My humble head bows down to your remarkable sense of purpose and my hands rise up to my forehead to salute you for this great show of faithfulness and allegiance for Motherland and constancy and passion for our Ancestral Land, Jeejal Sindhrree.

However, is this ‘march’ and the chanting of the ‘demands’ enough? Are these highly animated hoarse-voiced speeches for Sindh’s sovereignty enough? My honest and straightforward, frank and candid, prudent and sincere answer is a blunt, “No!” Why, because, the voice for the rights of Sindh, sadly, pathetically, disgustingly and unfortunately, none will hear this murmur  for the glorious and gregarious Land of Sindh! The voice for the rights of Sindh will turn into the deafening by the Punjab dominated establishment. Therefore, we should UNITE and FIGHT FOR THE EQUAL RIGHTS FOR THE PEOPLE OF SINDH.

There should be a Sindh where everyone should be an equal citizen, without any hegemony of any religious dogma or practices – A Secular Sindh. Feudalism and Peeree Mureedee must be abolished – freedom from Feudal Lords, Peers, Paathaareedaars, Chiefs, Wadderaas, and hereditary crooked politicians and their ruling families – a Socialists Sindh! A Sindh with its own culture, history, heritage civilisation, music and arts, norms and traditions, language and literature: A Sindhi Sindh, a Sufi Sindh, a Progressive Sindh! a Sindh that co-exists with other communities and nations of the world and play its positive role for the peace and betterment of the world and humanity.

Sindhi leadership must also come out, immediately, with Constitution and Flag of Sindh! Those living in Sindh should learn Sindhi language, Sindhi way of peaceful life, Sindhi food, Sindhi values, Sindhi music, and Sindhi culture of love and communal harmony.

And, let us ‘march’ not alone, but TOGETHER for Sindh and Sindhyat (Humanity). Let us speak with the real, true, noble and worthy ‘Sindhyat,’ which our Murshid (mentor, guide, teacher, guru), Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, the True Leader, Sufi, Saint and Sage of Sindh has taught his (followers, adherents, devotees, pupils) thus:

Continue reading →

What is the worst thing about Pakistan’s media?

By Jahanzaib Haque

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) deserves a pat on the back for its bold move towards greater transparency in their online complaints section – they’ve given the public access to the complaint log.

To be frank, a pat on the back for Pemra and a cold shiver down one’s spine is unfortunately the order of the day. Let us delve into this treasure trove of the Pakistani complainant’s mindset.

First of all, the top 10 list of offenders:

No Name Complaints
1 Samaa TV 450
2 Geo News 147
3 Geo Ent 95
4 Express News 32
5 AAG / Geo Aur 26
6 ARY Digital 21
7 HUM TV 13
8 Dawn News 11
9 Dunya TV News 11
10 AAJ News 8

That is a total of over 800 complaints; again, an encouraging sign for an accountability service that has a very narrow reach and hasn’t been marketed heavily. Leaving aside the Maya Khan phenomenon that accounts for over 400 complaints alone, what is it that Pakistanis with internet access complain about the most?

[Key: Below is a rough estimate, as some complaints overlapped in subject matter, and some have been rounded off]

Against ideology of Islam/Pakistan: 150+ complaints

Yes my friends, the biggest problem in Pakistan’s media – if the complaints are to be believed –  is the channels being anti-Pakistan, anti-Islam or the flip side of that coin: pro-India or pro-Israel.

Sample comment 1:

Promoting Hindu Ideology, Destroying Islamic Identity and Two Nation Theory and ALLAMA IQBAL Status. Making Propaganda against PAK ISI and Armed Forces which are defending Pakistan, Severe Restrictions must be put on these channels to operate to restrain them from harming Pakistan

Sample comment 2:

I would like to lodge a complaint against channels which are playing with the emotions of the common people. It is showing too much Indian content which is directly killing the ideology of Pakistan. They are ignoring all the sacrifices our ancestors gave at the time of Partition, in 1965, 1971 and 1999. It uselessly shows Bollywood filth in all its news bulletins, they should be given warnings or otherwise they should be banned. They are promoting nudity now. It’s seriously looking like if this continues for few more years they will show sex on their channels…long live Pakistan

Sample comment 3:

No time, during in every breaking news firstly they show “One Eye” before starting the breaking news and this is a sign of Jewish. Our beloved prophet Hazarat Muhammad PBUH quoted regarding the sign of one Eye as a sign of Jewish. Please stop it.

Fueled by a foul mix of twisted mindset, outright hatred and the arrogance of a simpleton with a fancy red cap, this is the Pakistan we have come to know and love. Ah, the ol’ scum of the Earth, always there when you need them to set the agenda and mindset dead backwards. Classy. This is definitely the media’s biggest problem. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

Postcard Campagin for 24 Hours Sindhi channel – Sindhis of India Demand a DD SINDHI channel from the govt. of India

Promoting Sindhi through Media , Demanding our Right, Send this letter to Prime Minister of India.

Post Card Campaign — a unique campaign for 24×7 Sindhi DD channel is launched and Sindhi-speaking people across the globe would send a post card to Prime Minister of India Demanding our Right. Keep postcards ready on Cheti Chand (Sindhi Thanks giving day), Get signatures from Sindhi and post to PM of India.

We Sindhis are a gifted community, always addicted to success in everything we do. This time let us put all our might to save our Sindhi language and culture. The language of the video clip is Sindhi.

Courtesy: Sindhi Sangat » Asha Chand