Just a personal update for my blog readers, I am off to a four day 4×4 adventure cum camping trip to Hingol, Baluchistan. An estimated 14 off road vehicles are set to brave the dunes of Baluchistan in an attempt to reach Goran Gatti a mountainous region deep inside the Hingol National Park
The group consists of over 30 odd 4×4 adventure seekers from the Karachi based group called Off Road Pakistan which has frequently gone an many adventure trips in the past many years. I was fortunate to get hooked on to this sport last year when I joined them on a trip to Hingol back in April of 2007. We plan to leave Karachi early Friday morning to return hopefully safe and sound late Monday night, In this four day trip I shall be out of contact both cellular as well as email and hence the blog may adopt a dormant status for the four days, though a few friends from the People’s Resistance might pitch in occasionally with some updates if needed.
Guest Blog Post by Moin Ansari
Moin Ansari’s Blog
The push theory pushes drug dealers and insurgents out of an area. This action does not eliminate the the insurgents or destroy the insurgency. It simply moves and “pushes the insurgents to a different area, usually into civilian quarters.
The US and NATO have been successful in pushing the insurgency, though not the insurgents out of Kabul to the Afghan Pashtun countryside. NATO, Khad, RAW and others then pushed the insurgency into the tribal areas of Pakistan. Continued activity pushed the insurgency, (not the insurgents) into Swat and Islamabad.
Already some of this insurgency has spread beyond Srinagar. More boots on the ground will spread this fire deep into the heart of India. From the other side, Burma, Thailand already are fighting a growing insurgency.
A more animated intervention or invasion of Pakistan will further push the insurgency and the insurgents into Lahore, Sialkot, Rawalpindi, and other settled areas of Pakistan. Surely the US army will follow the insurgency and the insurgents. Drones flying over Islamabad and firing missiled children hidden in Aabpara or missiles being fired into Gulberg 3 and Husein chowk in Lahore?
In the past few weeks the Election Commission of Pakistan had hired the services of a certain Mr. Hayee Bokhari of Cronomagic Canada Inc, a data warehouse, to electronically host Pakistan’s election lists in safe custody under hacker proof conditions, on the face of it, it sounds honest enough, but probing a little further armed with the interview published by Canada.com of the company reveals some interesting and eye-opening flaws.
It must be mentioned that the list containing the 80 Million names of all Pakistanis eligible to vote generally does carry all our sensitive and personal information, ranging from our names, ages, home addresses, parental information and most importantly our ID Card number, if not anything else, simply said enough information to be a security risk. Paranoid as I might be all such information must be protected by the Government of Pakistan and ensured that it must never fall into the wrong hands, let alone transfer the data across the world via the Internet to a software house located in Montreal, try as much as you might, the Internet is considered highly insecure regardless of any number of security levels one might use, it is all crackable at many points along the route and definitely prone to data monitoring & mining. We all know that NSA does not hide the fact that it does data mining of all traffic going in and out of North America despite the attempt to block them in 2003 but I am certain that due to the sensitive nature of Pakistan practically all information coming out of Pakistan will definitely get ‘mined’ to help collect information for their efforts on the War on Terror in this region
I am quite sure that our local IT industry is not ‘that’ inept that we cannot host this information locally within our own secure premises which could be under the full control of the Government, heck it just requires a few good servers and a good firewall to keep hackers out and does not requires a braniac in Canada to figure this out. In all honesty I feel this is sensitive country information which should be housed and protected within the confines of our own territory, not handed over to some company housed in a foreign land in god knows where.
Guest Post by Amer Nazir
Part One has already been published by Teeth Maestro last week and which was subsequent to a letter written by me to the Chairman NAB requesting for either his resignation or else for him to justify NABs actions by making the details of this case public. A continued silence from him can only confirm that integrity is not a requirement in Pakistan for the role of Chairman NAB. And that NAB does not have any right to hold accountability since it is corrupt itself…
The other objectives of these diaries are also straight forward. One only needs to read the local and International press to realize that the army is yet being made to seem as a better option. Corruption by the politicians is cited as the reason. The third and the most important consideration, the common man, is never brought into the equation. The debate remains between the army and the politicians almost as if the thought of such a comparison was appropriate… The issues most under discussion are nuclear weapons and terrorism, the common man still does not figure as much…
In a civilized society a single miscarriage of justice that concerns a common man is highlighted as much as the news of a celebrity. Prime Ministers are made accountable, systems are changed, it does not matter whether it is Labour which is in power or the conservatives, the fundamental principles of governance reign supreme.
Guest Post by Amer Nazir
My name is Amer Nazir. I live in exile in London. It is a forced exile. I left Pakistan as soon as NAB took my name off the Exit Control List after a period of three years. If I had not left, probably I would have also disappeared forever like my best friend Ahmed Shujaudin a leading architect.
God willing and the Teeth Maestro permitting, I intend to write about my journey from a modest middle-class background to one of the top IT entrepreneurs of Pakistan before I fell to the extent that I became homeless. Once a familiar face in the so-called corporate social circles in Karachi it came to a point where no one was willing to take my phone call after all, I was a NAB accused. I was never to be convicted but it did not matter. The logic was straight forward. If Shuja had been kidnapped then surely Shuja must have done something terrible to cause it or else at least deserve it…
The scope of these four narrations hopefully to be published during the next four weeks is to narrate a very brief account of my business journey, my labour of love, after a briefest possible introduction of myself, the major space will be given to my NAB experience, the actual inside account, and the behaviour and the attitude of our kings of the castle.
According to the Geo.tv website at around 8PM a serious of DDoS attacks started to go onto the website which was brought under control by midnight. This is the second time such an incident has happened at the Geo.tv website the first one was on November 10th when the Pakistani media giant suffered the first attack to recover in a few hours. The website quotes “Geo TV website once again came under DDoS attack for the second time at around 8pm on Wednesday, after which a very significant source of information is temporarily disconnected. It has been rectified by the timely action.”
Interestingly even the Teeth Maestro blog was suffering a significant slow down which presented many of our readers with a 500 error page. A little investigation into the matter followed by a prompt response from our hosts (dreamhost) we were able to isolate the problem which was basically a Google bot which had commenced a massive indexing of our blog resulting in serer overloads. We have resolved to suspend bots from crawling our site to ensure better upload times for all our readers, lucky for us it was not a DDoS and I would rather not be found in the company of a DDoS like Geo.
As we all know a renowned scholar Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa had recently published a book title Military Inc which actually exposed the billions of dollars of mismanagement by the Pakistan Army. The book turned out to be a best seller in Pakistan and was highly controversial as the Army did not want it published to the extent she continued to be threatened by the military. The News today reported that she had to flee the country as she was getting threating indicators of a probably charge sheet against her including a legal notice by a retired general demanding Rs 1 billion as damages for exposing his alleged acts of omission and commission in her book
The News Sunday Nov 18th 2007
Dr Ayesha Siddiqa leaves Pakistan
Renowned scholar Dr Ayesha Siddiqa secretly reached London on Wednesday after she “received a message that a charge sheet is being prepared to put her on trial for writing a book against the Pakistani military establishment. Dr Ayesha, whose recently launched book, “Military Inc, created a stir in Pakistan, was scheduled to reach London on June 13. However, she abruptly got out of the country after the messengers told her that she might be put on trial soon.
An update has come in that the PPP (Pakistan People’s Party) are planning to organize a rally to be staged tomorrow (Wednesday) which starts off at 4pm in front of the Parliament House in Islamabad. Benazir Bhutto who has now landed in Islamabad appeared earlier this evening on private media channels to encourage people to attend the demonstration.
Follow-up Update#1 by Teeth Maestro
It will be interesting to see what transpires from this political rally. it may very well be her own way of saying that in theory I am against Musharraf and his the Martial Law, [simply since I have to maintain a reputation], yet I am willing to enter into power sharing negotiations with Musharraf. Though this blog would recommend to use the following precautions if the protest march happens to be teargassed. But in all honesty we sincerely doubt that anyone would touch this rally and its onward progress towards the Parliament house, after all everyone else is a terrorist and has no right to assembly, with the exception being Begum Bhutto and her supporters. This is all as we in Pakistan call, a TOPI DRAMA
Follow-up Update#2 by Ange
We have now received information that this rally has been banned by the Rawalpindi administrative government and that no person should attend.
Last Thursday, Google put up a special Roald Dahl logo on its main page google.com to celebrate the birthday of the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Some hours later the logo was gone, not getting its customary one day in the spotlight. The company acknowledged that it took down the decoration known as a Google Doodle in response to complaints raised by members of the Jewish community.
“Google has decided to remove its Doodle of Roald Dahl based on user concerns,” a spokeswoman for Google said in a statement.
I was recently interview by Ghazala Khan at The Pakistani Spectator – here is the published version as found on their website – I thank her and the entire Pakistani Spectator team for all the kind words they have repeatedly mentioned about me.
Teeth Maestro is one of the beaconhouses of Pakistani blogosphere. He is a dentist by profession, but geeker than any geek when it comes to information technology. He has been actively blogging since July 2004 first on blogspot, but now has got his own WWW home at Teeth Maestro. He has been instrumental in making the Pakistani blogging horizon dynamic. Along with the people’s teeth and blogging, he also manages some other cool ventures.
Barely over three years back on July 6th 2004 was the release of the first ever post made by this blogger on the world wide web. Three years seems like a long time, but it has been fun. This fad started off like just one of those geeky itches, an attempt to explore the latest cutting edge technology, but little had I known then, that this portal would have me engulfed entirely ultimately becoming a passion which has been immensely satisfying.
Blogging provided me with a window of an opportunity to share my thoughts with the world around us available for anyone who cared to listen to the ‘bull’ I spat out in the past three years. It must be noted that I have penned over 502 articles on this blog, about 225 odd articles on Karachi Metroblog and a few more here and there for probably around 750 articles online.
By: Naeem Sadiq
Comment from Teeth Maestro: I received this article from an email list and felt it important to share with everyone, more interestingly I had an image perfectly suited for this article, to the letter, so enjoy
One must give due credit to the pious MQM for having realized that Imran Khan does not possess the impeccable character that their own leadership is endowed with such abundance. While this discovery may not fetch a Nobel for early character detection capability (ECDC), it would long be remembered for raising pettiness to new heights.
There is little doubt that we could have witnessed our first virtual parliament, had the Election Commission bothered to correctly scrutinize the 300 odd fake degree holders, loan defaulters, drunkards, murderers, kidnappers and ‘bhatta’ takers during the 2002 general elections. Although late in the day, it may still be important to take a quick look at how the clueless and gutless election commission completely failed to filter out the gang of 342, most of whose members were well within the ambit of Article 62 and 63.
The Government of Pakistan (read Pakistan Army) has been trying its best to suppress the release of the book titled Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy which was written by Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa. Since Friday, the proposed release date the military has pulled all stops to prevent the release of this all-exposing book going to the extent of pulling the book off the shelves and then harassing the author considerably.
This recent attempt to bully Free Speech has resulted in a world wide outcry and many people overwhelmingly have objected to the attempt by the Pakistan Army to silence this author and offer her my full physical and moral support in this regard.
Cricket Bloggers of Pakistan: For some days I have been fascinated by the easy and utility of Twitter, this is without doubt a step closer to interconnecting the entire world via the mobile phone. The best portion of twitter which I have grown to love is the ability to deliver instant news right to my cell phone. I have configured a few twitter accounts and attached them to some RSS feeds and whenever the feed updates I get pinged immediately with an SMS containing a short description and a tinyurl to browse through using GPRS.
I have for the past few weeks created a number of Twitter accounts which is customized to update you with Pakistan specific news from some leading news sources in Pakistan.
With a strong passion for cricket I have just recently configured the Pakistan Cricinfo RSS feed with a twitter account aptly calling it PakCricket and now whenever there is a story update on Cricinfo about anything related to the Pakistan Cricket scene I get the news sent to me instantaneously.