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TwitterGate & a Response to Nusrat Javed Sb

The fiasco started as #FamilyGate, turned into a #MalikGate, morphed into #MediaGate and suddenly I was thrushed into a weird fiasco which I choose to call as #TwitterGate. Unless you have been sleeping under a rock im sure you must have read Pakistans obsession with the “Gate fiasco” somewhere along the line, watergate to memogate etc etc, It seems Pakistanis are ready to rename all possible gates in Lahore and beyond

TwitterGate takes birth on the afternoon of 14th June 2012. When suddenly scanned copies of a Baharia Town documents appeared on the social networks, it listed about 19 top journalists to have been allegedly favored by the Bahria town owners in one form of the other, [this release comes hours after the off-air DunyaTV youtube video hits the social network hours earlier]. Noticing these images, I choose to share the image by ProPakistani at 4:05 pm on my facebook profile

The ProPakistani had actually picked it up from a twitter account of Abdullah Saad (@Kursed) who had actually posted this a status update on Twitter

Upon talking to Abdullah Saad today he categorically says that the image was not posted by him, but instead was a ReTweet of a particular media personality, whose tweet he ReTweeted (new style), when “the media personality” deleted his own tweet, it actually resulted in Abdullah Saad’s tweet also being deleted. The name of the media personality mentioned by Abdullah Saad was given to me but I choose to with-hold the name until I can get his own point of view [I'm paying caution to the wind lest i be sucked in an another circus]

[Read an update at the bottom of this post]

My second facebook update was made at 4:31pm after I discovered that the ProPakistani had only one page [3rd page] and Meri Jan Pakistan had the entire 4-page set on their facebook page in an album titled #MediaGate

After this post almost 29 minutes after from my “first Facebook (ProPakistani) status update” I tweeted the following at precisely 4:34pm on 14th June 2012.  This was then also the first time I shared this on twitter and by then twitter was brimming full of these documents, if for an example even Kursed himself had retweeted the particular update well before 4:05pm, to have been picked up by ProPakistani and then to have been re-shared by myself

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So Imran Khan’s the target of your Goebbels’s Vendetta!

Zain Umar penned a very passionate article on his blog So Imran Khan’s the target of your Goebbels’s Vendetta! criticizing bloggers and writers at Express Tribune on going virulent against Imran Khan, I think this paragraph sums up my passion and the passion of thousands of PTI supporters

Imran Khan has his faults; he has had his share of indiscretions, oversights, omissions and faux paus; but which mortal is above such foibles and weaknesses? He who has never committed a sin, should hurl the first stone! He who lays claims to infallibility be our savior and I am ready to swore his allegiance


I want to Brag a Minute about Pakistan

Don’t get me wrong, I’m generally not that type who boasts but when I thought about it, what is the one thing which I can show off about? It is my very own mother country PAKISTAN. It’s the country where I was born, brought up and now living my life. I have explored most of its famous trademark places, be it Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore, Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi, Faisal Mosque in Islamabad or Lake Saiful Muluk in Kaghan. All these places are absolutely breathtaking. When you visit these areas, you will know you are in the presence of true splendor. All of these are made with spot on brilliance.

My favorite hobby whenever I visited the northern areas was horse-riding; I got to do a lot of it when I visited Nathia Gali and Murree. The horses are so beautiful, strong and free-spirited. I used to enjoy being in their presence when I was a little girl. It’s been my dream since forever to live in those areas in which where ever I look, the surroundings leave me in awe.
I, and so do most people, lovingly call Pakistan as Paki and Pakiland because our love for it is immeasurable and eternal. Pakistan has grown so much over time; it has all the newly constructed bridges, underpasses and roads. It also now has excellent drainage system. Whenever it rains, the water clears up in mere 3 to 4 hours.
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This post was submitted by Kinza Tahir.


Pakistani Blogosphere Accounts Hacked during Summit

On Saturday Karachi witnessed the first ever Pakistan International Social Media Summit where 300 or more social media experts aggregated at Avari for a day long conference on upcoming social media in Pakistan organized by PC World Pakistan. In my opinion it was a great experience, and there are many raves about it across many media portals online and offline.

What did come as a shock was the knowledge that these online experts when using their online tools did not have the adequate security to prevent anyone from hacking their accounts. WiFi Sniffing is a very simple trick that anyone can use to search and read insecure browser utilization on an open WiFi network literally reading every page the person uses on their own browser consequetnily it also means that if such a tool were to fall into the wrong hands passwords can be easily stolen and misused.
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TEDx comes to Karachi

Many of you may have seen the brilliant work being done at TED.com, they are in the business of promoting “Ideas worth spreading”. I am overjoyed to update that TED is coming to Karachi in the form of TEDxKarachi on the 4th of June at the South End Club auditorium. This has been a tireless effort by Asad Rehman [TED Attendee], Sharmeen Obaid {TED Fellow], Dr. Awab Alvi [TEDIndia Fellow], Sumaira Jaffery, Meher Jafferi [Event Manager] and Hiba Ali Raza [Event Manager] who have worked hard for the past 2 months to put this event together.

TED is an annual event where some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to share what they are most passionate about. What started in 1984 as a conference centered around Technology, Entertainment and Design (“TED”) has evolved to include a host of other disciplines, the driving philosophy being “Ideas Worth Spreading.” TED’s diverse audience – CEOs, scientists, creatives, philanthropists – is almost as extraordinary as the speakers who have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Bono, Stephen Hawking and James Cameron.

In the spirit of ‘ideas worth spreading’ TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, inspiring live speakers and TEDTalks videos combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event.
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Facebook Censorship Press Conference, My Position

I think a clarification is needed regarding my Press Conference on the Facebook issue on 20th May in Karachi.

My position at the Press Conference was to vehemently condemn the blasphemous cartoons. There is absolutely no compromise on this issue.

What was being argued by us and is open for debate was to question the effectiveness of a full ban. When PTA decides to throw 2 million Pakistanis all out by blocking the entire platform of facebook.com it has in turn left it open for non-Muslims to do as they please. We 2 million Pakistanis would have found ways to handle and protest from inside and cripple Facebook through our protests.

During the press conference I said that by banning the entire Facebook you have blown a small issue out of proportion and it has become a bigger public issue with Facebook gaining much more popularity. The word ‘small’ was immediately mistaken by one journalist and he responded “How could you suggest that these cartoons are small, they are a big issue concerning our Prophet”, that very moment I told him to not mistake the context of the word, my point was not to belittle the issue but the fact that small technical measures could have nipped it in the bud. Now Facebook is getting undeserved attention throughout the world which defeats our purpose. The person was still furious and felt offended. I continuously clarified the issue that the cartoons were a big issue but the problem if we could have handled it would have remained small. Banning has been counter productive.

Some mischievous people stated that I was supporting Facebook which was totally against what I had said. But emotions in Pakistan see no reason. The police was there to avoid any untoward incident in the area and after a little while I left the Press Club quietly to avoid any confrontation.

Lessons learnt: We could not communicate this scientific issue clearly, and emotions took better of the discussion

I assure you we are an equal part of the same battle, lets focus our efforts on how to stop this cartoon menace now and also in the future but as civilized, technically savvy people working in the world of technology, not by old world methods of court orders.


Sana Saleem speaks on the Role of Citizen Media in Pakistan at GV2010

Sana Saleem a fellow blogger in Pakistan represented Pakistan in a panel discussion at the Global Voices Summit 2010 in Santiago, Chile, she shared her views on the impact of Citizen Media in Pakistan – her 11 minute discussion is shared below, I believe she did amazingly well – Give her a shout out on her twitter account @SanaSaleem or her blog Mystified Justice


Brain Drain – Oh Really?

It is a concern habitually voiced now & than on various platforms that because of the untoward state of the state, students (undergrads & graduates) are fleeing the country ensuing brain drain

I would say, too many applicants for fewer seats obtainable in universities and consequently failure to get admission in professional institutes is actually the notion of “brain drain”. I’d rather consider the aforementioned brain drain a blessing in the given situation. It is inevitable now at least those who can afford, or students’ who are able to get scholarships are going abroad, creating space for freshmen here.

Policy makers are aware of the fact that more than half of our population constitutes adolescents; they have been calling them our greatest treasure & pride. But the irony is that, no development had been done to dwell them except to possibly exploit them for some mere political purpose, if not for anything else. Having most of our population being predominantly youngsters should have sent shivers & goose bumps, setting off alarm bells across campuses to have more of the same developed on an emergency basis.
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This post was submitted by Fatima Saleem.


The Express Tribune goes Online & in Print

The Express Tribune, partnered with The International Herald Tribune which is the global arm of The New York Times, is slated to finally make its debut today morning, while the online version has just been released to the public, the initial launch is limited to Karachi and many households will be treated with a fresh new English paper on their morning tables. Personally I do vividly recall the launch of ‘The News’ in the 80’s when it came hot off the press in a spanking, then, jaw dropping glossy sheets across the board, but unfortunately those fun frolicking days didn’t last long. The Lakhani group has been busy on this project for a good many month, under the watchful eye of Bilal Lakhani we await to see if it does indeed rustle the feathers of the existing competition and has the umpf to last in the long run.

The paper kicks of its first print with op-eds from Ayesha Siddiqa, Sami Shah, Quatrina Hosain and Osman Samiuddin with news that Zahoor’s cratoon-imagery is too be featured amongst its pages. On a personal note, I am also expected to send the paper a weekly column, so lets see how this papers fares up against the competition, it will have run for its money, but good quality and high standards will keep a stead stream of readers latched onto its print edition.
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Laidback Show – Take Back the Tech

Laidback Show in its 7th episode invites Jehan Ara, President P@SHA to discuss the Take back the Tech initiative, a campaign which is condemning violence against women. Other issues were also discussed, watch the episode and follow the show notes below

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New Iran – New Intentions

Guest blog by Ishaal Zehra

The attack which killed the National Deputy Commander of the ground forces of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (RG), General Noor Ali Shooshtari and the provincial commander for Sistan-Baluchistan, Rajab Ali Mohammadzadeh along with some senior officers and 42 others in a homicide bombing inflicted Iran’s worst military casualties in years.

Quick after the mishap, an Iranian military official went as far as to raise the prospect of a possible military offensive into Pakistan against the group blamed for the attack. “There is even unanimity that these operations (could) take place in Pakistan territory,” the ISNA news agency quoted MP Payman Forouzesh as saying. While the headquarters of Iran’s armed forces blamed the bombing on “terrorists” backed by “the Great Satan America and its ally Britain,” Fars News Agency said Sunday.

Islamabad strongly denied the allegations and said the attack was an attempt to “spoil ties” with Iran. “There are forces which are out to spoil our relations with Iran. But our ties are strong enough to counter these machinations,” said the Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit while dismissing the allegations.
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This post was submitted by Ishaal Zehra.


Indian bloggers welcome the Pakistani delegation to TEDIndia

Indian technology blogger TechGirl welcomes the Pakistani delegation to TEDIndia. This can possibly be a great opportunity to spread the message of friendship across the digital divide. Here’s to TechGirl, may this meetup in November be the start of a long lasting friendship between the two nations



Knee Jerk Patriotism

I kind of get puzzled by the reaction of people on the Independence Day. The celebrations, the road blocks, parade of bikes with mufflers (silencers) stripped off, the disproportioned flags, the aerial firing at midnight, all in the middle of a comedy of crises never witnessed in the history of this country; the water crises, the electricity crises, the hike of sugar prices, the political crises, and what not … though the public rejoices on 14th of August 2009.

Mushkelain itni pareen ke assan ho gain…? Or that was a blatant exhibit, a clear reminder to the world that we are still alive…? I doubt it, something is fishy here. Because the same crowd, probably, torched public and private property of hundreds of billions of Pak Rupees when one of their favorite politicians got assassinated in a suicide attack? Or when a European newspaper published the caricature of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)….? Or after some innocent illiterate children mistakenly sliced an Islamiat text book containing text from the Holy Quran?  … The same crowd? … or different factions hidden within our skins, each of which revealing their ugly face when ever their so called “holy gods” are desecrated, not when they do the same with their own hand but by those who they don’t considered qualified for it!
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This post was submitted by Omar Javaid.


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