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
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.


  1. People often ask: who will watch the watchman committing crimes?

    The answer may be: other watchmen!

    We're fighting against intellectual terrorism. We want freedom of thought and expression, and rule of law in Pakistan.

    The Terrorland is ready to publish comments or statements of the Dawn Media Group or anyone else without any prejudice.

    Anyways, thank you very much, Mr. Mughal.

  2. don worry, dawn is not going to sink. the isi is pumping in money from the cricket bookies.