September 30, 2010

President, PM, army & ISI chiefs to be responsible if…

By Habib R. Sulemani

"Voice being suppressed in the larger interest of few
 people." The blogger views the world from 
this terrace.
Six months have passed since I've been confined to my home after the first assassination attempt. I can’t visit even a doctor as my blood pressure sometimes shoots up—I’m living like a prisoner in the Stone Age!

I could not get a chance to go to the nearby barbershop to get my wavy hairs cut. I was a clean-shaven man but during these trying days, I’ve turned into a bearded man. The ongoing suffering and looming dangers are graying my hairs rapidly. Sometimes, visitors don't recognize me! I look like a poor European intellectual of the 20th century whenever I come across a mirror!

During this long period of time, spring has turned into autumn—the sparrows in the next house's wall have completed their nests and raised a new generation that flies freely in the air—but I'm still locked inside my cottage!

In solitary confinement, I'm observing some very interesting things—the most amazing moment comes at dawn, when the call for the morning prayers starts from the nearby Shia (Muslim) mosque in my Satellite Town neighborhood in Rawalpindi. Then from the Barelvi (Sunni Muslim) mosque (minaret seen in between the trees on the right side in the photo above), then from the Deobandi (Sunni Muslim) mosque (left in the photo), and finally the church bell starts ringing from the Holly Family Hospital. Amazing combination of faiths. Thus my day starts with an exciting atmosphere of pluralism in Pakistan! All religions call for love and peace but many followers spread hatred and initiate wars. As a writer, my dream about peace and prosperity of the world at large will never die!

Personally, I’m in great pain. My parents and siblings all are also suffering in this sadistic society. But, unfortunately, the government of Pakistan is unable to provide me security and bring the influential culprits to justice despite requests. This is happening in a time when everyone is talking about the reinstated independent Supreme Court in the country.

Those people who stole my creative works and made a plot to kill me along with my family members in a systemic way (on which the secret agencies had worked for about 18 months) as punishment for writing on taboo subjects, are enjoying life. Now they're spreading their traditional "schizophrenic" and "paranoid" propaganda more effectively than Dr. Goebbels did during the World War II. Who knows these criminal minds are offspring of the Nazi propaganda minister! Whatsoever, the persecution of me and my family at the hands of some powerful people is not the story of a helpless journalist only but is also the story of a helpless Pakistan in the 21st century!

In such a miserable situation came Eidul Fitr, the most awaited Islamic celebration of joy after a month of fasting. Thanks God my mother had sent me Rs35,000 from her savings otherwise I was literally penniless.

“Eid mubarak to you and your family. Our struggle for justice in Pakistan will go on!”

I sent this SMS to my relatives, friends and colleagues on the occasion of Eid (September 11, 2010). Like my family, a major part of our country is also facing crisis after the monsoon floods, which has affected about 20 million people. Instead of helping the flood victims, the corrupt government and criminal establishment are busy in the ongoing power-struggle, trying to use the natural calamity to get benefit. Chutzpah!

Joys are for the rich and powerful in our country. To be frank, happiness has never ever touched the common people since our independence in 1947. Whenever people seek their basic rights, the ruling class, military and civilian, creates an engineered conflict in the country and starts repeating the same mantra: Pakistan is in danger! Yes even being a nuclear power! People have nothing to eat but still they're told to smile to the TV cameras, sing patriotic songs and pretend being happy in the Islamic Republic! We’re forced to do so! We fake everything including human emotions in the Land of the Pure. What a human dilemma! (I’ve written this somewhere—and I want to quote myself as the secret agencies are leaking my stolen work in the media through their plagiarizers -- journalists and intellectuals on payroll. My friends are collecting data in this regard).

If there was something good on the Eid day that was messages and calls from family members and friends. My cell phone remained a little busy as our landline phone remained dead for about two weeks, I don't know why? After receiving a felicitation message from a Hindu friend, I made him a call, inviting him to my home. I told him that instead of helping to register a case against the culprits and provide me security, the Dawn Media Group had given the culprits further promotions while stopping my salary.

“We can’t afford meat but can provide a vegetarian like you enough food to fill his stomach,” I told him amid laughter.

A relative caught between the devil and the deep blue sea—has written a message, which I liked the most! He writes: “Eid mubarak 2 u beta (son). I’m praying for u and all family. It’s the mater of all family and we are with u. My best wishes and regards are always with you. Best of luck.”

Thank you uncle Amirullah Baig for your prayers, and my niece Sania Hussain and her siblings for their best wishes. Thank you Rashid Waheed and Saeed Akhtar Abid, Aziz Ali, Wali Nagri, Ali Raza, Rehan Sab, Yasir, Inam, Waris, Kapil, Khalil, Sher Karim, Israr, M. Rahim, Karim Bahar, Aziz Karim and many others responded to my text message. 

“A very few people have dare and will to tell and write the truth, but regrets their voices suppressed in the name of religions and larger interest of fewer people,” writes a victim of the Dawn Media Group in his message.

Another victim says: “Thanx a lot, habib sb. I m with u in this struggle against the institutional injustice.”

On this Eid, surprisingly, I missed the message and calls of some very close friends. The events before and after the attack on my sister at the Karakoram International University in Gilgit, and the three attempts on my life in Rawalpindi, are very interesting!!

Anyway, Mehboob Sada, for the first time, didn’t call me on this Eid! Last time he had called me at the night on March 28, 2010. I had promised him to visit his office the next day but later on that night I came under attack and since then I’m confined to the walls of my cottage. I had sent him messages, emails, but he didn’t answer for a long time. However, surprisingly he called me months later and suggested solving the issue without going to the court. I refused, saying that I've full faith in our judicial system and since then he has never contacted me again!

Mehboob-ur-Rehman Tanoli, a former colleague, had visited me at office on the day my sister came under attack: March 22, 2010. While taking coffee, he discussed with me how I had been tortured in the profession! After that he didn’t reply to my emails for a long time. But when his name appeared in one of my blogs, then he called me in a “changed" mood and since then is silent again. Didn’t reply to my Eid message even.

My friend in Australia, Ghulam Ahmed’s mysterious calls (I had mentioned in my blogs) have stopped long ago! It seems as if in those days, someone had held any of his family members at gun-point in Pakistan and he was being forced to talk to me like that as a part of the psychological warfare!

Mazhar Hussain, another former colleague who had left the police department and joined journalism, was also silent on this Eid. When I came under attack and was worried about my family, he sent me Sania Mirza jokes without showing any sympathy! No more calls from the “tout” of secret agencies, as some colleagues used to call him with love at office.

Before the criminal attacks, the strange phone call of my former colleague, Akram Saleem, had surprised me—since then he is also silent! Nisar had visited my home on that day with another person (someone said he was an ISI operative). I had taken them to the Food Street on the Double Road. He was also silent!

In July, another former colleague, Masood Abdulrahim called and surprisingly offered me a paid visit to Gilgit-Baltistan with a foreign team—I told him whose suggestion was it anyway: ISI or MI? Since then he is also silent. 

I’ve nothing bad for anybody in my mind. Because, as a journalist and writer, I know the criminal minds very well—I also know their style of operation—they can twist anyone’s arm and turn him/her into a "player" even a suicide bomber without taking the blame!

Our legal fight against the masterminds of heinous crimes and the brains behind the Taliban and Al Qaeda will go on! However, if something happens to me or any member of my family, then Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt-Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha will be responsible for it.

A copy of Mr Sulemani's letter to the government was also sent to the Chief Justice of Pakistan, seeking protection. Copies were also posted to the President and Army Chief besides the Prime Minister. Facsimile of the official Pakistan Post receipts are also given above (To read it clearly see archive April 2010: Journalist seeks protection). 

RELATED BLOG: Journalist seeks protection

September 25, 2010

Pakistan fears another coup d'état — Gen. Kayani! Stay away.



PRESIDENT Zardari (left) in a meeting with Prime Minister Gilani, Foreign Minister Qureshi, Army Chief Gen. Kayani and ISI head Lt-Gen. Pasha at the President House Islamabad. The body language of the gentlemen in this official file photo says a lot about the relationship of the government and establishment, especially absence of the spymaster's cap—which means “no salute, no respect” to the elected (no matter how corrupt) civilian leadership!  
Keeping silence is no more an answer to miseries at the hands of the powerful! The internet especially the social media is revolutionizing our society. This would bring changes in the country not further military takeovers.

It's not the era of heavy boots or colonels and generals in educational institutions and politics! Those who are advising the army chief for adventurism are not his friends but worst foes. General Kayani should get rid of these cunning people. No "revolution" would succeed with the help of some dishonest media managers, greedy owners of media outlets and some criminal journalists! The world is watching!

September 21, 2010

An innocent woman not allowed to go university since March 22, 2010

By Nasira Parveen

KIU: ISI nursery for a new brand of militants 
Being a woman is a big challenge in Pakistan! I came to know it at university. It's six months since I’m not being allowed to attend classes at the Karakoram International University (KIU) in Gilgit. I've missed the last semester of my four-year BS (Hons).

It's a tragedy. A criminal act to punish my elder brother (Habib R. Sulemani) for writing (The Terrorland) against the engineered Islamic extremism and Talibanization of our society -- part of an evil strategic policy!

I’ve written about it in my previous blogs (see archive). I got direct response from many readers. There were some written comments on The Terrorland website as well. I respect all commentators, no matter their remarks are positive or negative. I value every written and spoken word.

Some people may think that I’m very harsh about the powerful secret agencies: Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI). But I'm right in doing so. Because they've criminals and mercenaries in their ranks who have brought a bad name to our armed forces and damaged the reputation of our country in the world. Pakistan was neither founded by the mullahs nor the military but by a liberal Muslim leader of the 20th century: Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

The guys, we've pointed out in our blogs here, are the ones who use their power and influence to commit crimes without being held responsible for them... We've solid evidences of their crimes otherwise who dares to challenge them in the land of the pure! We're waiting! Whenever we're provided security and the restrictions are removed, and we get access to a court of law, then the evidences would be presented to the honorable judges.

The criminal minds have brought an end to our education system and institutions in the country. A university like the KIU has become a nursery to breed a new generation of the Taliban with western appearance! Those, who are playing this dirty game, are the ones who have made Pakistan a sick nation state in the world today otherwise we've everything to be among the global leaders.

In my blogs, I had named some of the unscrupulous and criminal officials in our society. Any person can do so as a service to our country. Keeping silence is no more an answer to miseries at the hands of the powerful! The internet especially the social media is revolutionizing our society. This would bring changes in the country not further military takeovers. It's not the era of heavy boots or colonels and generals in educational institutions and politics! Those who are advising the army chief for adventurism are not his friends but worst foes. General Kayani should get rid of these cunning people. No "revolution" would succeed with the help of some dishonest media managers, greedy owners of media outlets and some criminal journalists! The world is watching!
 
VC Dr. Najma Najam (left), Registrar Dr. Ahsanullah

I want to inform the world that the Islam, which I've been taught since my childhood, is really a religion of peace. But then why our country is known for violence?

I think it's due to the unscrupulous secret agencies, corrupt government officers, dishonest journalists and others partners in crimes. They altogether play bloody games in the name of religion, race and nationalism to make dirty money and live a lavish life abroad (read the west) after retirement. Yes, like former dictator General Pervez Musharraf. Such people have been damaging and disgracing our country since long.

Now it’s time to stop the real faces who are behind every incident of terrorism not only in our country but also abroad. How would our country be a part of the global community and progress in the 21st century if these criminals of humanity in the guise of government officers and journalists remain at large?

A question comes to my mind: why the government is hesitating to put a hand on the criminals my family has pointed out in appeals to the government? It appears that the criminal minds are stronger than the elected government. Otherwise I would have been allowed to complete my education.

Also, President Asif Zardari (who is the chancellor of the KIU as well) and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani would have taken action at least against the administration of the Karakoram International University especially Vice-Chancellor Dr. Najma Najam, Registrar Dr. Ahsanullah Mir, Dr. Salma Durrani, assistant professors Manzoor Ali, Dr. Mohammad Ramazan and campus security chief Karim Khan, if not against the accused officers of the ISI, MI and the gang in Islamabad. Isn’t there a sham democracy in Pakistan?

(Photos courtesy: Rawaan Dawaan)

September 19, 2010

Tricky ways to cut lifeline in oppression & tyranny

By Ghulam Rehman

After two weeks, the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has restored our landline phone but the broadband internet service is still not working. Despite my complaints of a million times, the officials are still “hesitating” to restore the lifeline in oppression and tyranny!

“Our staff will come to clear the problem today,” said a customer service officer on the helpline 1218. And this is being repeated every time. My complaint (No 164) with the PTCL proved just a formality! No-one came to us for a longtime.

If I would not have gone for searching the lineman, the phone would have been dead so far. The broadband internet service had been not working properly since August 30, 2010 but after the publication of my brother’s last blog on September 6 (The art of looting people in misery), it was first cut off. However, after publication of a news item in this regard, the officials have started playing a trickiest game:

In the records of the PTCL, our broadband internet service is okay. But at home we’re unable to use the facility for which we pay the company as a fixed rate per month.

The PTCL connection speed shows 100 Mbps (duration 00:03.50). The packets sent is often 277 which sometimes reaches to over 1000 but the received packets is in between 260 and 1000 mostly. Pages open rarely and selectively. Facebook, The Terrorland group blog and emails have been blocked.

We often get such errors: address not found, the page cannot be displayed, internet explorer could not open the page, network timeout, the server at login facebook.com is taking too long to respond, the requested site did not respond to a connection request and the browser has stopped waiting for a reply, try again later etc.

Regarding my third complaint (No 88) about the DSL, Mr. Samad, an official of the PTCL, made the following correction in my computer connectivity.

I.P address: 192.168.1.70
Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
Default gateway: 192.168.1.1
Preferred DNS Server: 203.99.163.240
Alternate DNS Server: 203.99.163.240

Even then it didn’t work.

“You’ve some problem with your internet explorer,” said the official. I immediately installed another explorer. The result was the same. “Firebox address not found, Firefox can't find the server at en-us.start2.mozilla.com.”

The strike of PTCL employees and Eid holidays passed but we're still facing the problem. “The underground cables have broken in your area therefore the lines are disturbed,” said a lineman.

“Format your PC and reinstall Windows,” advised Mr. Shahid, another official of the PTCL. I reinstalled the Windows but again faced the same problem. Then, according to the given advice, I changed the modem and adopter but it also went in vain.

Mr. Aamir, yet another official, was clueless about the fault we’re facing. He referred me to a wiser colleague of his, Mr. Adnan, who said: “May be there is some fault with your PC.”

I changed the system but still my broadband internet is not working. My current complaint number is 265. Let’s see what new reason the helpless PTCL officials give this time! We know it’s a tricky punishment of the secret agencies who are trying their best to stop us from writing blogs. But, according to the laws, we will fight for our basic rights in the lawless Pakistan.

September 16, 2010

Mr. Sulemani's case being monitored, says CPJ

By Ms. M. Khan

Recently I left a message on the Facebook page of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which is a renowned organization of journalists in the world. Like many other readers of The Terrorland blogs, I was also perturbed by the apathy of the government of Pakistan and rights groups. So I left this message on the page of the CPJ.

"Why are journalist bodies especially the Committee to Protect Journalists silent about the 5-month solitary confinement of journalist Habib R. Sulemani who is being punished for writing a novel, The Terrorland, against the Taliban-friendly officials and media persons in Pakistan http://nblo.gs/7jLcE"

The first response was from one Karen Petersen. She kindly gave me some guidance. She wrote: "‎Ms. M. Khan Dunno. Call CPJ and ask. 212-465-1004 http://www.cpj.org"

And then there was a response from the Committee to Protect Journalists itself.

"‎Ms M. Khan. Our Asia program staff is monitoring the case of Habib R. Sulemani, who has been confined to his house due to threats to his life. Sulemani had been working on a novel, The Terrorland, for several years," said CPJ.

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=150265541665101&id=132713960081258#!/committeetoprotectjournalists?v=wall&story_fbid=109918632398393&ref=notif¬if_t=share_reply

September 15, 2010

Gangsters rule in Pakistan

By Ghulam Rehman

Crises, crises and more crises make Pakistan a country! The issue of fake degrees of parliamentarians has badly affected the image of our country globally. It’s a bad omen for democracy. The question is: why the concerned authorities and agencies didn’t check the degrees of the candidates when the election process was going on? Why now?

Yes, it’s a crime to get a fake degree and represent people in the parliament – senate, national and provincial assemblies. But in a country where an educational institution, Karakoram International University Gilgit, is run by some rogue officers of intelligence agencies, there who cares about the real and fake degrees of parliamentarians, civil and military bureaucrats?

So the Chief Minister of Balochistan was correct in saying that a degree is a degree no matter real or fake! We’re being ruled by fake, rogue, corrupt and criminal people. The rule of law is just a slogan. Nothing else. See the story of my family's sufferings. We've a lawlessness country.

Due to terrorism and corruption, our resources and opportunities for survival have been minimized dangerously in the country. The price hike has further deteriorated the sufferings of the common people. But the political setup and the establishment both are fighting to get maximum power without caring for the sufferings of the common people.

Leadership matters much but we’ve no leader in the country. Everything from top to bottom has become fake! Military dictatorships and the indirect military rule are responsible for the current catastrophic situation of our country. Since independence we’ve faced three long periods of martial laws. Out of the 63 years, we’ve suffered for 36 years under military dictators.

Unfortunately, some civilian governments also performed like dictators and the result is history! The common citizens are suffering badly today but instead of the problems of the people, the engineered cold war of the military establishment and civilian government is dominating our "cartel-media"!

Politicians, generals, bureaucrats and now some journalists have become billionaires in Pakistan while the majority of the people are trying hard to make both ends meet. Whenever the people in misery raise their voice, they’re silenced forever. What a gangster rule we've in Pakistan!

September 11, 2010

Mr. Sulemani’s phone, internet service cut off; life in danger

The landline phone and internet service of journalist Habib R. Sulemani – who is confined to his home for over five months after the assassination attempts – has been cut off after publication of his last blog: The art of looting people in misery.

Mr. Sulemani's life is really in danger. According to sources, one of the accused was heard saying on phone that Mr. Sulemani’s death would cost little than his writings. “Give his family a million rupee and everything would be forgotten in the name of Allah!

“If any investigation goes on—its result would be nothing! No-one cares for Benazir Bhutto (assassinated ex-prime minister and spouse of Mr. Zardari, the president of Pakistan), who cares for this isolated traitor (Mr. Sulemani).”

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) is criminally silent because Adeel Raza (one of the accused in the assassination plot of Mr. Sulemani and his family) is the nephew of PFUJ president Pervez Shaukat.

In the same way, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is silent because one of its top officials, I.A. Rehman is also a columnist of the daily Dawn while his son is resident editor of the newspaper in Lahore.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other journalistic and human rights bodies should take notice of the situation as the government of Pakistan is still silent for unknown reasons.

September 6, 2010

The art of looting people in misery

By Habib R. Sulemani

PRESTIGE is no more a claim at Dawn.
Charity begins at home. But the Dawn Media Group has totally ignored it and is running a so-called relief campaign for the flood victims in Pakistan while one of its workers, this blogger, is being denied all rights under the law.

You will find a lot about my suffering on this website. But let me tell you something about the criminal activities in the name of social service. According to insiders, the ongoing Dawn Relief campaign is actually a means to earn some "dirty money" in the form of donations from international donor agencies to support the sinking boat, Dawn News channel.

"The Abbas brothers destroyed Dawn, which was the dream of any journalist in Pakistan," said a perturbed employee. "Under a conspiracy, Azhar Abbas started the white elephant (Dawn News) and left it in the middle.

"After looting Dawn, he (Azhar Abbas) joined the Jang Group (Geo TV) at a salary of 4.3 million monthly. But after creating differences between the government and the group, now he is going to join the BBC. The pride of the Brits is going to fall from grace like Dawn!

"Zaffar Abbas is here to close down our newspaper," the source said. "You know, after the failure of the criminal attack on you, Zaffar is unable to use his name as editor in the print-line of Dawn (Abbas Nasir's name still being abused). He comes to office like a thief. The soul of Ahmed Ali Khan (late editor-in-chief) would be crying in the heavens seeing this ghost in his seat."

The employee predicted that Zaffar Abbas "will take over as group editor of The News after the total collapse of Dawn. Keep this in mind. I know the brothers of destruction very well!" Similar sentiments have been expressed by many other employees in the past as well. "Racist, sexist and sectarian bent of mind people are playing key role in Dawn's downfall."

DECEPTION: This ad collected millions for Dawn in 2005.
“What a catastrophic downfall,” says an official of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), a representative body of working journalists, in a post to The Terrorland Google Group.

Personally, I don’t know Hameed Haroon, the Harvard-educated chief executive of the Dawn Media Group. However, PFUJ secretary-general Shamsul Islam Naz says that Mr. Haroon is a known perpetual violator of legitimate rights of workers, who along with other media tycoons has formed cartel of newspaper owners against workers, "extending inhuman and callous treatment to workers, evading government taxes and levies, and securing undue benefits from the government”.

When people see the Dawn newspaper, Herald magazine, watch Dawn News or listen to FM89 radio, they think that the groups is a "clean" organization in the dirt! But those who got the chance to go near the people working at Dawn especially in Islamabad, they got the shock of their lives. Some employees could not bear the culture-shock. They died after seeing the hidden ugly face behind the beauty (it's worth a separate blog!). That’s what Mr. M. A. Jinnah’s founded Dawn and Pakistan have become over the years. 

The Dawn Relief drama started in 2005 when the devastating earthquake killed about 75,000 people in the northern part of the country. The Creative Unit of the group made innovative advertisements to mobilize donations, which compelled international donor agencies and common people equally to contribute millions to the so-called relief fund.

“In search of baby Asghar” was an attractive ad for which Dawn won the International Newspaper Marketing Association's first award (community service category) in 2006. But what happened to baby Asghar and the relief activities in the “cluster of villages” in Hattian area of Kashmir?

"Ah! That is a shameful story," said a person involved in the "relief" activities. 

"Where the millions went, collected for the quake victims?"

"No-one knows except the bigwigs at Dawn," the source said.

OPPORTUNISM: Trying to cash natural calamity again.
"There has never been an independent audit of the relief funds. The donations in kind especially food, cloths and blankets were provided to some affected people but a lot of it was also plundered and then made an excuse that rainwater destroyed the collected relief goods in Karachi. Similarly, the promise of shelter to the 8,000 people could not be fulfilled. The materials to built safe houses are still dumped outside Dawn's offices in Islamabad. No-one has touched them for the last five years."

On August 29, 2010 Dawn Islamabad Metropolitan published a news item: “Earthquake donations still undelivered.” The newspaper is surprised at the discovery of thousands of blankets and quilts dumped in a government store in Gujar Khan. But it’s not bothered by the dumped perforated houses for the quake victims just beneath its nose! That's the style of journalism at Dawn. The articles being published on democracy and human rights in Dawn are nothing but deception. Criminals and spies rule the roost.

“The sheets are so huge and could not be transported to the mountainous region,” said a representative of Dawn administration when I had asked before the attacks on my life.

"Then why the donations was wasted on them?" was my question.

"Sir jee, this is Pakistan," he said with a smile, "such things happen at every level. It's quite normal."

Zaffar Abbas
“Media organizations especially mainstream newspapers are violating the labor laws criminally although they paint themselves as vanguards of the law in Pakistan. Refusing implementation of the Wage Board Award under the Constitution is an example of lawlessness in the country. No-one can put hand on media tycoons. Some outlets even promote child labor as school-going children work in the canteens and printing presses of many newspapers. In a shocking incident at the daily Dawn Islamabad, one such labor lost both of his hands under the paper cutting machine. Unfortunately, the administration didn’t pay his family even a penny. However, the employees could gather few thousands for the poor daily-wager.”

When this paragraph was published here in The Terrorland blogs recently, it shocked the whole world. The global community should take notice of the pathetic enviornment in media outlets in Pakistan beceasue it is directly effecting global peace. Intellectual dishonesty is increasing terrorism. The brains of the Taliban and Al Qaeda along with secret agencies are now in our media outlets. Brigades of them are busy in the cyberspace. Make it sure: the terrorist organizations are just puppets. But, unfortunately, in Pakistan, intellectual terrorism is being ignored due to ignorance and fear of secret agencies. But enough is enough!

Farman Ali
Kamran Shafi in his column has quoted a former Taliban leader: “Pakistan, which plays a key role in Asia, is so famous for treachery that it is said they can get milk from a bull. They have two tongues in one mouth, and two faces on one head so they can speak everybody’s language; they use everybody, deceive everybody. They deceive the Arabs under the guise of Islamic nuclear power, saying that they are defending Islam and Islamic countries. They milk America and Europe in the alliance against terrorism, and they have been deceiving Pakistani and other Muslims around the world in the name of the Kashmiri jihad. But behind the curtain they have been betraying everyone.”

Mr. Shafi! What about the administration of Dawn? The plunder of aid is going on unabated while the victims of floods are crying for relief like the earthquake victims. I know you can write on this issue—but it would never get any space in the newspaper! Yes. Because I know the editorial policy of the criminal gang at Dawn. I faced the most inhumane treatment at Dawn during the last five years. But I was not sure of it that the criminal minds would make a plan to physically eliminate me along with my family members in a systematic way (Please see blog archive for details).

DOUBLE standards: Dawn published photo of the undelivered cloths (left) but ignored its dumped housing material being publised here by The Terrorland Team. 

Today I'm facing the same problems in solitary confinement which I faced years ago. Here I’m reproducing an email to the editor, dated January 5, 2006. 

Dear Sir,

I’m working with this newspaper as a Sub-editor since September 2005. On the invitation of Dawn Islamabad’s edition in-charge, Mr Farman Ali, I joined this newspaper after resigning from the Jang Group, where I served for almost nine years.

Due to shortage of newsroom staff at Dawn, I worked without any break for the first two months. Now, this is my fifth working-month. And unfortunately, yet I have not received my appointment letter despite promises.

My Eidul Fitr was without a salary and now Eidul Azha is knocking at my empty door! All of my colleagues have received Eid-advances and I’m the only worker who is being denied salary and other facilities under the law. This kind of injustice, I think, may not have ever happened in the history of this great newspaper. It is painful and frustrating – not only for my family and me, but also damaging the reputation and grace of Dawn, which was founded by Mr Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan.

Therefore, it is requested to grant me appointment letter before Eid, due on January 10, 2006, so that I, with my family members, can also take part in the great Islamic fiesta.

Yours truly,

Habib R. Sulemani
(Sub-editor)
Dawn, Islamabad.

TRYING to reclaim the longlost founder.
There was no positive response, unfortunately. So I wrote this email to the editor on January 16, 2006.

Dear Sir,

With due respect I want to say that yet I haven’t received my appointment letter or salary. Like Eidul Fitr, my family couldn’t celebrate Eidul Azha as well. This was a great dilemma! Many years ago I came across a couplet of famous Urdu poet Akbar Allabadi and only now I could understand it:

Mazhab nay pukara ay Akbar, Allah nahi to kuch bhi nahi
Yarron nay kaha yeah qawl ghalat, tankha nahi to kuch bhi nahi

(Religion called: “O’Akbar! Without Allah the world is empty.” Friends replied: “It is not true—without salary there is nothing.”)

Sir! I’m here in the business of writing by choice. In the past, as a freelancer, I have written widely appreciated pieces for Dawn; as an employee I’ll try my best to protect the rich traditions of this great newspaper. I consider Dawn the conscience of Pakistan.

Therefore, it is requested again to grant me appointment letter as a sub-editor so that ambiguities go to an end. I’ll never forget this act of kindness.

Yours sincerely,

Habib R. Sulemani

Yes. Today I'm facing the same situation again as Eidul Fitr is fast approaching. Again I request the PFUJ and its bodies including the Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ), All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation (APNEC) to raise their voice against the injustices I'm facing. I also request the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan to break its silence in this regard. The mafia at Dawn is, no doubt, very influential but it's not above the law. I hope international journalitic and human rights bodies will also take notice of the situation.

September 4, 2010

Hard winter may play havoc with displaced persons in Gilgit-Baltistan

By Ghulam Rehman

STRANDED: "I saw death from a very close range," says
Hassanullah Baig.—Photo by Karimullah Baig
Structural damages during the monsoon floods in Pakistan have been estimated at $4 billion and wheat crop damages over $500 million while official estimate of the total economic impact is  $43 billion.

Our country needs a huge amount to rehabilitate the 20 million affected people. To get the huge amount is a Herculean task especially when our country's reputation is not good in the global community!

Like other provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan has also been affected by the floods but it is not dominating the media currently. About 180 people were killed and 15,000 were displaced by the recent floods. Major roads, bridges, crops, orchards and a large number of government and private properties have been destroyed in the scattered mountainous region. 

“There is shortage of edible items in the markets,” complained a woman from Ali Abad on the telephone. “Prices are beyond the reach of the poor. The fare of public transports from Hunza to Gilgit city has gone up from Rs150 to Rs500 per passenger. What will we do now?”

Like the Atabad landslide, the floods have also been turned into a manmade disaster due to the inefficiency of the authorities. This has increased the sufferings of the people, and has enraged the new generation that speaks freely whenever it sees any disorder in the society. This has shocked the bureaucrats who rule the region like despot kings since independence (the political setup with a so-called chief minister and governor is just cosmetic).

“The basic infrastructure has been damaged badly in the region,” says a student from Chilas, Diamer district who lives in Rawalpindi. “Roads and bridges are out of order everywhere in Gilgit-Baltistan. There is a famine-like situation in the region but the authorities are doing nothing,” added another student from Skardu. 

In the capital city Gilgit there is shortage of flour, fuel and other daily-use items. “Some profiteers had stocked food items and now they’re selling them at exorbitant rates,” said Syed Iqbal who traveled for 42 hours and changed six vehicles to reach Islamabad from Gilgit. “I waited almost for a week to get flight to Islamabad but failed. The PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) gives preference to military officers and their family members,” he added.

The floods hit Baltistan and Ghizar regions hard. There are some areas, according to locals, where aid has not reached so far.

Over 200 internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Atabad, Hunza, are suffering at Altit village in camp. The locals and some NGOs are providing them foods and cloths while the government is reportedly acting as a silent spectator. The suffering of these helpless people is increasing with the passage of time as a hard winter is approaching fast!

In winter temperature reaches up to minus 10 degree Celsius in the region. “The government should arrange alternate residences for the IDPs. There is greater risk at the camps especially for the elderly and children in the coming cold season,” said an official of an NGO.

A VIEW of the Hunza artificial dam from the
Atabad village.—Photo by Muhammad Ali
The local administration has failed to provide relief to the stranded 25,000 people in Gojal, which has been cut off rest of the country when the landslide blocked the Hunza River and the Karakoram Highway on January 4, 2010.

Six villages have turned into an artificial dam spreading over 40 kilometers of area. The floods further increased the difficulties for people living in Gojal that borders China. Through boats (mostly outdated) people reach Gojal. Recently a man died when he fell into the dam from a boat.

“I saw death from a very close range,” said Hassanullah Baig. He along with other 19 people including foreigners was going to Gulmit, the headquarters of Gojal tehsil when the boat got trapped in the middle of the lake.

“The boat was overloaded. Besides 20 passengers, there were 50 drums of charcoal and luggage of passengers,” said Karimullah Baig, a passenger. “At around 7pm the boat suddenly stopped moving forward. It had been entangled in an inundated power pylon. However, fortunately, we were rescued after four hours."

People of Gojal have demanded of the government to release the dam water without any further delay, "open the land link to the region but before that there should be safe means of travel”.

(The Terrorland Team is deeply indebted to the photo contributors)

September 2, 2010

War between peace & terror in Pakistan

By Habib R. Sulemani

After the Ahmedi and Barelvi sects, last night the terror-gamers played havoc with a mourning procession of Shias in Lahore. About 30 innocent people died and almost 200 were injured in suicide blasts outside Karbala Gamay Shah – a shrine which is the heart of Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslims in the cultural capital of Pakistan.

In the 1990s, when I was in Lahore, I used to go to the shrine along with my Shia friends. I still remember the crowd of the faithful, the humble imam, muezzin (a stout man from Baltistan who led the call for prayers), and the Muharam lectures of renowned poet Mohsin Naqvi, who was later tragically killed in a terror attack.

Very few people know that inside the shrine is also the grave of a pillar of Urdu literature—Maulana Muhammad Hussain Azad (1830-1910). I’ve always admired my Shia friends for their literary taste. From childhood, they attend the mourning processions of Hazrat Imam Hussain (which has become a major part of the faith over the centuries) where regular poetic homage is paid to the martyred grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his family members. This ritual develops their literary taste to a great extent. That is why arts especially Urdu literature in the Indian Subcontinent is deeply indebted to many geniuses who were born to Shia families but served the whole of humanity.

What would you call the terror attack on these peaceful people? Think for a moment without any traditional prejudice—don’t generalize if someone having the Shia faith had hurt you in life or you don’t agree with the Shia clergy rule in Iran or the philosophy of Hezbollah in Lebanon—I’m sure you would call it an attack on civilization!

I fear the mastermind of such attacks may now hit any Deobandi centre so that "analysts" discuss the issue in an “intellectual” way in the media—hiding the real face of the culprits!

The latest incident is not the traditional Shia-Sunni issue—rather it’s a war between peace and terror in Pakistan. Peace is blessed with pen while terror is equipped with lethal weapons!

Many of the terror-hit people have accused the government and security agencies for the terror attacks in Lahore. Besides rogue elements within secret agencies, people openly accuse some ministers having relations with terrorist groups.

Recently I got an emailed article which claims that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been declared at the top of 10 best intelligence agencies in the world. Okay. But why it has failed to control terrorism in Pakistan? Why are people accusing it for playing double game? Why its officers are involved in crimes against humanity—cases of missing persons and the attacks on me and my family members are just few examples.

Only a fool would believe that the Pakistan Army can’t defeat the Taliban, Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups some of them it created along with the CIA. It’s time to change our bloody “jihad” strategy. Get rid of General Hamid Gul-like "warmongers" who plundered billions and still act as chief of the ISI.

Gentlemen! Enough is enough! Now let democracy work in Pakistan.

***

A discussion on The Terrorland Facebook edition is reproduced here. It's very interesting and needs attention of the people who have the “real” power in our country not those who are confined to the President, Prime Minister, Governors and Chief Ministers’ houses—as I’m confined to my cottage for the last five months after three attempts on my life.

THE TERRORLAND: It's time to clear the dirt of years so that Pakistan becomes a global leader! Intentions—a relative thing—intentions could be "pure" for the majority of the people who have been suffering for years but it could be "impure" for those who have been a part of the "dirt" or benefiting from it generation after generation...

GILBERT: What would help is if they stop double-side playing, and decide if they are on the side of freedom or the side of tyranny.

THE TERRORLAND: We don't need any bloody revolution or coup d'état in Pakistan as the mouth-pieces of the secret agencies are advocating for... let democracy develop as a social behavior in our terror-hit country. And the corrupt and criminal elements in politics, civil and military bureaucracy, and other pillars of the state including the media, should be brought to justice. There should be rule of law and the Constitution should be respected. We need evolution not a revolution!

GILBERT: Here! Here! or Hear! Hear! Very well said, and believe you are correct.

THE TERRORLAND: Thank you, Gilbert.

FAIZAN: The current government is claimed to be democratically elected, right? And we all know what a great job its doing. So even if democracy is sustained for another two years till the elections, we still have to pick from the same filthy pile of parties. Where's the good in this, now? If you don't consider the current government as democratic, then the first question becomes "when is true democracy reached and how will we know?" instead...

THE TERRORLAND: Wow Faizan! Very good question. Let me think about it, okay? May be anyone else answers your question correctly in the meanwhile—but, but what to do then, man? We can't select our representatives from the ranks of the military especially the ISI and MI! We have to improve the system through the process of evolution. What do you say?

FAIZAN: I have no idea. I would support democracy and evolution of society if there was a decent party in sight, but there doesn't seem to be one. And that is why my own brother is an advocate of military dictatorship. The mindlessly obvious solution would be for us - the very criticizers of the govt. and the educated elite - to form a party. But who will do it? And who will do it right? We ourselves not only have our own set of flaws but also a big disconnect from the masses. Our faction has existed along with Pakistan for 60+ years but I, at least, am not aware of any party coming out from us. All the parties seem to come from rich but uneducated, unintelligent, archaic places. So I have no idea!

THE TERRORLAND: Anyways, I think in these tumultuous times, we are living in, democracy is the only solution!