October 7, 2011

The Express Tribune — where is journalistic integrity ?

The Terrorland Report

BEFORE talking about The Express Tribune, let's tell you that a previous post, US-Pakistan tense standoff — what next?, has been appreciated by both the readers of The Terrorland and policymakers.

However, as usual, besides the normal words of appreciation, some people have again criticized Habib Sulemani in harsher words. The abusive language and allegations are not new to the readers. We're firm believers in freedom of thought and freedom of expression. Therefore, instead of direct and indirect threats, please, write your feeling and let's have an honest dialogue on any and every subject under the sun.

In a message, Hamza Shan says: "u are a terrorist, not pakistan. ur pathetic properganda is full of lies and goes against the interest of common people of earth promotes only American agenda."

In the meanwhile, The Express Tribune, a partner of The New York Times Company in Pakistan, wanted to publish the post. Faria Syed of the newspaper had sent the following email to Mr. Sulemani:

From: Faria Syed <faria.syed@tribune.com.pk>
To: habib.sulemani@yahoo.com
Sent: Monday, September 26, 2011 6:58 AM
Subject: Cross-POst request (Express Tribune)

Dear Mr Suleimani,

I came across your piece on the US Pakistan stand off on the Terrorland and wondered if you would be okay with us sharing the piece on The Express Tribune Blogs? All we need is a photo and short bio.

Thanks a lot,

Faria Syed

Mr. Sulemani had forwarded it to The Terrorland Team so a team member responded to Ms Sayed on September 27, 2011:

Dear Ms Syed,

I'm a member of The Terrorland Team that runs The Terrorland group blogs. You can cross-post any desired article, but, please, don't forget citing us as it has been expressed in an earlier post:
Writing for 'The Terrorland' needs a legendary braveheart.

As for Habib Sulemani, you can read about him in our blogs: posts and poems etc. He has worked for the Jang and Dawn media groups in three cities for over 15 years. After attacks on his life, he is living in solitary confinement at his home in Rawalpindi for the last 18 months. He sought help from the government and his employers at Dawn Media Group, but no one has come to his rescue so far. 


The Terrorland group blogs

Then there was the following response from Ms Syed on the same day:

Dear Admin,

Thank you for your response. We have receive another piece on the same issue by an internal staffer so will be publishing that one for now – but we will continue to check out your blog for interesting content.

Best Regards,  


And now, a source within The Express Tribune, has informed about the latest incident of intellectual dishonesty. Our last post, Abolish death penalty — don’t kill Mumtaz Qadri, had shocked some people but had made others to think about a serious issue on humanitarian grounds. The critical point of the post has compelled the media managers of the regime to act in their traditional way... 

This time an unknown blogger, according to the source, was given the task to act. "So Abira Ashfaq published a post in backdate on her blog and the ET (The Express Tribune) published it today (October 7, 2011). You know they had never ever lifted any post from her blog or had revealed her blog identity..."  

It is not new for The Terrorland!
Bilal Ali Lakhani

Earlier, The Express Tribune had sought Rs. 10 million in alleged damages from Mr. Sulemani as a series of posts had exposed the "criminal elements" within the editorial team of this just-one-year-old newspaper.

The newspaper had published a malicious article – a historic example of intellectual dishonesty – about Mr. Sulemani. The Terrorland exposed the people behind it in an investigative report: Dawn's yellow blood transfuses to The Express Tribune.

The Terrorland had requested Justice (retired) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, an ombudsman for The Express Tribune, and the Yale-educated publisher Bilal Lakhani, to take notice of the intellectual terrorism within this new organization. But it fell on deaf ears!! 

Like The New York Times, for the first time, a newspaper in Pakistan had appointed an ombudsman. But that office has proved cosmetic. The spirit and prestige of the Times is currently seen nowhere at The Express Tribune and the “yellow blood” of Dawn seems dominating... This is a bad omen!

Mr. Lakhani, do you really care about The Express Tribune? If so then take action against the "criminal minds" within your organization's editorial management. Consider this post a formal application... Thanks! 


  1. Abira's article appeared on her blog on Oct 3rd. I know because I linked to it on my facebook the very same day. ET has published at least 5 articles by her.
    There is much more depth in her write up than yours so there is hardly a question of plagiarism from her side.

  2. Lol... if you are right then why are you commenting Annonimously ????????????????

    Dal main kuch to kala hay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hats off, Terrorland. They can steal your ideas but can't walk free.......

    Every one is watching them................................

  3. How you Abira wrote it before you (October 3) and you still accuse her of plagiarism? Your article appeared on October 5. So may be you "got inspired" :-p

  4. @Anon,

    "Abira published it in backdate" so it's a theft-case. Re-read the post.


    Do u think that kid Bilal Lakhani will take action against the babas, accused as "criminal minds" .... i mean Muhammad Ziauddin and Farman Ali.....?

    In IslamabaD these babas r known as "power-brokers" with the Abpara...!

  5. Lol... the "depth" in Abira's article and Faria's selection is obvious... ET publisher has declared it "a waste of perfectly good webspace"......!!!!!!!

  6. The Tribune did not publish my comment about this cheating.

  7. @Khan, as a regular visitor i know The Terrorland has published their comment but they can't...

    By the way "lurking in ambush" has changed its blog title as "oil is opium" since the scam... but the owner's name is still "karachi feminist" not "Abira Ashfaq." The blog is now green and the 11,000 page visits, since Feb 2010, can't be seen anymore...


  8. @Anonymous October 8, 2011 12:17 PM

    1) Why don't you let us know about your facebook account and link?

    2) ET has published 5 articles by Abira Ashfaq but not a single had been taken from her "anonymous" blog earlier. See: http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/496/abira-ashfaq

    3) Yes, there is hardly a question of plagiarism from her side "it's actually a theft of idea" from the ET side that, according to insiders, had commissioned Abira to write on the "idea, after publication of The Terroland post, and was told to publish it in the backdate so that the ET could lift it..." denying credit to The Terrorland.

    @Anonymous, October 8, 2011 1:06 PM

    No one from The Terrorland Team had ever heard about the lurkinginambush.blogspot.com or its owner. The same has been said many others. Not even read her posts at the ET blogs, which has become notorious for its "childish" posts... However, it was a source in the ET that informed The Terrorland about the intellectual dishonesty and the story of Faria Syed...


    Thanks for the comments.


    Agreed. Thanks.


    We never block any comment, negative or positive, we let it go... thanks anyway.

    @Anonymous October 18, 2011 2:00 PM

    Thanks for the research. The common readers, like you, are our sources and strength. Many reveal their identity but request not to be named.