Ali Kapadia, a filmmaker has recently embarked upon a film which talks about Peace between Pakistan and India – he aims to raise $75,000 through Kickstarter campaign – if you believe in promting peace between Pakistan and India read the story line of this movie it might compel you to support this cause.
On the 17th of April 2012, seven individuals, Dr. Awab Alvi, Sana Saleem, Faisal Kapadia, Nazim Haji, Naeem Sadiq, Noman Quadri and Ayesha Tammy Haq, through their lawyer Haider Waheed with Basil Nabi Malik, petitioned the High Court of Sindh at Karachi challenging the arbitrary and random acts of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in blocking/ censoring and restricting access to various websites in violation of the fundamental rights of the owners of the websites/online forums as well as the public at large, and without affording the aggrieved persons an opportunity of being heard or due notice.
It was prayed in the said petition that no website could be blocked/ censored or restricted without affording the aggrieved parties (including the public at large) due notice and an opportunity to be heard in accordance with Articles 4, 9, 10-A, 18, 19, 19A, 20 and 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973, read with Section 6 of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Act, 1996.
The Honorable High Court of Sindh issued notice to the Federation of Pakistan, through the Secretary, Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, through its Chairman, and furthermore ordered the PTA not to block any website other than in accordance with the provisions of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-Organization) Act, 1996.
It may be noted that as per the PTA Act, the correct procedure to be followed before blocking or censoring of websites is as per Section 6 of the said Act, which states,
Section 6: Responsibilities of the Authority.—In exercising its functions and powers under this Act, the Authority shall ensure that—
- Rights of licensees are duly protected;
- All of its decisions and determinations are made promptly, in an open equitable, non-discriminatory, consistent and transparent manner;
- All applications made to it are disposed of expeditiously;
- The persons affected by its decisions or determinations are given a due notice thereof and provided with an opportunity of being heard;
- Fair competition in the telecommunication sector exists and is maintained
- The interests of users of telecommunication services are duly safeguarded and protected.
The said petition has not been made to stop the banning of any website or forum contrary to the rules already laid out by the PTA but has instead the objective of bringing the entire process under judicial review to insure its fairness, transparency and to provide a proper system of redress of the parties owning these websites and forums and protect the fundamental rights of the public at large, including internet users, in Pakistan.
Continue reading “STAY GRANTED: Constitutional Petition Preventing PTA from Blocking of Websites” »
As you all may have heard about 3 days back Pakistan was abuzz with the abduction of a 14 yr old girl Madinah Anwar, well as the story played out it turns out that it might have been a con job by the father. Details can be read in the Express Tribune Article “Conman Shamsul Anwar Busted“.
The story of his daughter’s abduction was not newly minted, as Anwar has been portraying himself as a victim of terrorism since 2010. However, when his daughter Madina Anwar eloped to Swabi to marry her ex-fiancé, Anwar decided to take advantage of the situation. But for this purpose, he needed to gain people’s sympathies, for which he needed a story to hit the nail at the right place. Therefore he decided to present himself as a hero before the media, a hero who was being victimised for saving people’s lives. So he claimed his daughter had been kidnapped by the same terrorists who had earlier kidnapped his two sons and slaughtered one of them
In defense of the Social Media that rallied for this cause, I believe we relied upon the authenticity of The News seasoned Crime Investigative Reporter Shakeel Anjum who researched the story [It was also interesting to note that Shamsul Anwar did also convince Express Tribune reporter Sehrish Wasif of a similar story in Dec 2010 [without the Madinah Anwar kidnapping reference]
As Imran Khan declares his assets political opponents question his explanation to which Jemima Khan responds to allegation on twitter
About the same time as Secretary Clinton and other powerful members of the ‘Company Bahadur’ were landing at Islamabad airport last week, a US citizen was quietly assuming his responsibilities as the Governor State Bank of Pakistan. There are others who enjoy the unique distinction of being Pakistan’s ambassadors in their own countries. A week earlier the Governor of Sindh a British subject, in complete violation of the university rules awarded an honorary PhD degree to a fellow British citizen, who also doubles as the Interior Minister of Pakistan. The Leader of MQM has taken oath of loyalty to the Queen of England, her heirs and successors, while the Auditor General of Pakistan is a Canadian citizen. Dozens of other constitutional appointment holders including an estimated 30-40% of all Parliamentarians possess foreign nationalities and owe their loyalties to other countries.
This is despite Article 63 (1) of the constitution which clearly states that a person shall be disqualified from beingelected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), if he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan, or acquires the citizenship of a foreign state. It took some 150 years before the East India Company could begin to place British officers in position of authority in India. It took much lesser for the new imperial order to do so in Pakistan.
Continue reading “Our Right to Know” »
At the Islamabad Innovation Lab, a team envisioned a new technology called “Mera Vote, Meri Taqat”. It has been created to promote awareness for voters. It is a fact that only 36 million people are registered by ECP & NADRA to be eligible to vote, while 56 million aren’t.
Mera Vote Meri Taqat targets a voter awareness campaign to over a potential 99 million cell phone users in Pakistan engaging them in a dialogue to make them aware of the voting process and thier fundamental right to vote
This is more or less a concept project, which requires fine tuning and details development, to test the concept and a few initial questions SMS [in Pakistan] to 9900 with the keyword “VOTE” then watch the magic happen, more work needs to be done before this is ready for public consumption. Watch the Out of Bounds discussion her
As Shahbaz Sharif launches himself into the poetic rendition of Habib Jalib's famous poem – Main Nahin Manta, the irony was inescapable. It was as if he was rebelling against himself. It was a desperate attempt to sell himself as a revolutionary, but no one was buying it. Three years of alignment with the status quo had taken its toll. Shahbaz Sharif had lost his mojo, sacrificed at the altar of expediency. The Khadim of Punjab had been dethroned – LINK
In other news "Dr" Rehman Dakait has said that TTP must give up their "arms" before talks …..
He had told reporters “The minimum agenda is that they give up arms and come forward and then there will be talks. But if they think they will keep Kalashnikovs in their hands and also hold talks, that will not happen,”
Dr. Dakait – can you please give 'wazahat' [clarification] on your statement as such a statement coming from an irresponsible statesman needs more clarity – it is vague if you meant "arms" as in hands & fingers because TTP may gladly oblige but did you accidentally mean arms as in Klashinkovs …. I bet you did .. but then again you are known to fudge the truth, so please help us out WILL 'YA – LINK
Babar Sattar drills holes into the Supreme Court ruling on the Karachi violence – it is high on rhetoric, light on (relevant) substance.
The Karachi suo motu case has affixed responsibility for the violence, death and destruction in the city on the federal and provincial governments, political parties and individuals perpetrating crimes. And while it has issued directions to ensure that individual offenders are effectively prosecuted, it has neither endeavoured to hold political parties accountable for their abetment of crimes nor provided for the prosecution and punishment of public office holders for their malfeasance and nonfeasance. A more thoughtful verdict could have achieved all of this. – LINK
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.
Continue reading “I want to Brag a Minute about Pakistan” »
I believe in a mere 4 minutes Daniyal has presented a true picture of the imbalance of the US-Pakistan relationship possibly suggesting that its time for Pakistanis to standup for their own dignity and self respect
The crowd was pulsating as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) continued to talk about Afro-Asian solidarity. Some of us raised anti-Ayub slogans. ZAB stopped us and said ‘abhi naheen’. He was into the third hour of his first public speech after ditching his mentor and the venue was Government College Lahore. The 60s were an era of healthy debate between the left and the right. My mother insisted that I stop reading comics and novels and she thrust upon a young mind The dialogues of Plato.
I graduated to Maududi, Marx and Engels to understand socialism, religion and the exploitation of man by laissez faire capitalism. Iqbal fired up a passion and pride, and Bhutto’s book The Myth of Independence gave me a nationalist perspective, though I disagreed with his political philosophy. People dislodged Ayub Khan and yours truly still carries a couple of bullets in his right arm as a memento of a people’s struggle gone awry, somewhat like Egypt of today with no real change. Our lot since then has gotten from worse to worst and beyond.
Forty years later I am travelling with Imran Khan from Lahore to Faisalabad for a PTI jalsa. His recent upsurge started from the Peshawar dharna. Karachi was the watershed where people of all ethnicities joined in to make a statement that there is a breath of fresh air in this miserable political arena. Multan was a notch higher and we reached there in time from Lahore despite many receptions on the way.
Continue reading “From Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to My Kaptaan – by Dr. Arif Alvi” »
Christine Fair writes a fairly good assessment of the Pakistan-US love-hate relationship at the German Marshall Fund of the United States to say -> The Pakistan government’s inability to provide for the security and prosperity of its own people has led to questions about its sovereignty, whether in terms of its monopoly of violence, fiscal solvency, or human security. Admittedly, the United States has often compromised long-term goals for short-term access.
Pakistan can certainly do better by following India’s example of self-sufficient economic growth. Pakistanis should also question Chinese and Saudi intentions as vigorously as they do those of the United States. Both countries have used Pakistan for their own interests, without attempting to invest in the country’s people. Pakistan can only escape the leash of donors and manipulative outsiders by raising revenue, securing its territory, providing for its citizens, and becoming a responsible international actor. [Read the full text in PDF]
I’m sure over the past year you may have accidentally stumbled across the word Stuxnet, it is technically a simple computer virus that has started infecting Microsoft Windows computers since July 2010, I too heard some reports of the virus, but as usual shrugged it aside as just another scare, little did I worry any any further until I heard Ralph Langner speak about it at TED 2011 Cracking Stuxnet, a 21st-century cyber weapon. Only recently after reading a blog post by Amit Agarwal who shared an animated documentary on the Stuxnet Virus prepared by ABC1 Australia on Jun 8th 2011, that made me realize the implications of this mere virus to have the devastation power of becoming a Cyber Weapon of Mass Destruction, im not talking sci-fi, this weapon is being used, carried around on hundreds, thousands and millions of USB’s with the potential force of causing a meltdown in any [or possibly a certain series] of nuclear power plant around the globe.
Lets start with a brief explanation – Stuxnet is a Windows worm virus spreading via USB drives once inside an organization, it self propagates by copying itself to network shares and other USB drives for further infection once it infects the system it hides itself with a rootkit and sees if the infected computer is connected to a Siemens Simatic (Step7) factory system and sends particular commands to modify PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers, i.e. the boxes that actually control the machinery) [centrifuges in nuclear power plants]
Take a moment to watch the animated documentary prepared by Australia ABC1 uploaded on Youtube on 8th June 2011
Continue reading “Stuxnet: Cyber Weapon of Mass Destruction” »