Friday, December 12, 2008

Mumbai Attacks: Big tragedy, large holes in the story

Look at the two pictures of the alleged sole surviving perpetrator of Mumbai attacks. Do these faces match? NO.

Why should we trust the police? Ajmal Kasab's father is talking, but he does not know how, when, and in what circumstances his son was captured by the police.

Photo on left, courtesy of Reuters
Photo on right, courtesy of

Friday, October 31, 2008

Noshi Gilani Now Taken

Famous Pakistani poetess Noshi Gilani got married to Australia based poet Saeed Khan on October 25. The wedding took place in Bahawalpur, Pakistan. Valima is scheduled to be held on November 2 in Khanpur, Hazara district. That leaves Noshi Gilani’s fans wondering if the couple would settle in Sydney, California (Gilani’s adopted home), or in Pakistan.

[Photo courtesy of Saeed Khan.]
Sponsorship from hell: Osama endorses Obama


It has only been twelve hours since the bombshell audio tape was handed to Aljazeera TV’s office in Peshawar, Pakistan, but the tremors generated by the recording are being felt across the length and breadth of the American political landscape, if not across the globe. Osama Bin Laden has struck again. In his latest audio message, the world’s most wanted man has endorsed Barack Obama in the US presidential elections, addressing the erstwhile favorite as Barack Hussein and calling Obama his 'Akhi' (brother in Arabic). How would Osama's support of Obama play out on November 4 is open to speculation, but one thing is for sure: the race that till yesterday appeared lifeless because of its predictability is very much alive now.

As played on CNN, Bin Laden’s seven minute audio speech is full of outrageous material, albeit delivered in a calm tone. The rant has the trademark Bin Laden stuff: historical background to prove that the Muslim world is under siege, call for Muslims to unite and wage jihad against the West, etc. but the most relevant part is in the last two minutes when Bin Laden delves into the American politics. Making his inclinations very clear in the recording, Osama speaks with fondness for Obama and berates the Republicans. He calls McCain evil and says if he were around in 1973 he would have bought McCain from the North Vietnamese.

In fact, the content of the latest Bin Laden audio tape is so outlandish that the Obama campaign appears nonplus in dealing with it. Eight hours after the tape was played on CNN Obama’s staff still had to come up with an official response to the endorsement from hell. The out of the blue sponsorship has thrown Obama’s camp in disarray with some members trying to come up with a cogent response and others trying to fit a conspiracy theory--McCain’s secret ties with Al-Qaeda, GOP’s bribe to Al-Jazeera TV--to the “plot.” But talking privately to the reporters campaign staff expressed its disbelief and dejection on this latest development. One Obama staffer who did not want to reveal his identity in the press said, “This endorsement has surely derailed our (Obama’s) political juggernaut. It is almost as if the Titanic hit the iceberg.”

Bin Laden’s last videotape appeared in October 2004. Though another Bin Laden video was released in 2007, many experts believe it was recorded back in 2004. Lately, Al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden’s right hand man, has been more active in issuing statements to the media. The latest message from Bin Laden is being critically analyzed by experts for its authenticity. But the damage done by the tape to the Obama campaign is already measurable. The latest Zogby tracking poll results show Sen. John McCain leading Sen. Barack Obama 49% to 42% in Colorado. The poll has a 3% margin of error. Pundits are predicting similar shift in voters’ loyalties in the other eight battleground states--Washington, New Mexico, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.

Though Obama campaign may not be ready yet to issue a statement on Bin Laden’s endorsement of its leader, other prominent Democrats are talking. Speaking to a small crowd outside a Washington DC shopping center, Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee said, “We will not let terrorists decide the political future of the US.” And Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi told the reporters, “This is not 2004. American voters are much more intelligent and resolute this time. People who are going to vote for Obama are unfazed by the message from a terrorist. They are still going to vote for Obama.”

Whereas Bin Laden’s taped message has sent Democrats scrambling for reassurances to the voters, Republicans are undoubtedly joyful by the latest development. Sen. John McCain, 72, still has to formulate an official message for the American public, but his staff members are finding it hard to hide their jubilation. McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds told the reporters, “A man is known by his associations. The American public understands it should not be voting for someone so adored by our enemies." Talking to the media another McCain staffer called Bin Laden’s endorsement heavier than Collin Powel's, “in fact, so heavy that it would sink the ship.”

Ben Porritt, a spokesman for Sarah Palin, told a group of journalists in New Hampshire, “It is the miracle Palin talked about just days ago. We are going to win. It is now pretty much written on the wall.”

And Republicans are not the only ones visibly amused by the latest turn of the events. Bin Laden’s endorsement of Obama has given reasons for Hillary Clinton’s supporters to rejoice as well. Though Clinton herself has not issued an official statement, a close associate told reporters Hillary 2012 was now “a strong possibility.”

(A.H. Cemendtaur in California and Angelina Matriati in London contributed to this report)

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Pop Singer With Failed Kidneys

Being a perennial skeptical about email money appeals, a message about Alamgir’s health and plea to wire transfer money to a bank account made me decide to check the veracity of the news. I looked up Alamgir’s telephone number in Georgia and called him up. Luck was with me, I was able to talk directly to Alamgir in quite detail. Here is what I gathered from our telephone conversation.

In 2004, Alamgir was diagnosed with failing kidneys. At that time his kidneys were operating at 50% of their capacity. The kidneys kept deteriorating in their performance and by now they are almost useless. Alamgir needs a kidney transplant, but till he finds new kidneys he would have to go through dialysis, the process of machine-cleaning the blood. For the dialysis to start he went through a surgery on Monday, October 6, at Gwinnett Medical Center, Lawrenceville. In that surgery Alamgir was fitted with a dialysis catheter. Once the surgical wound is dried up, Alamgir’s dialysis through the catheter would start. Since Alamgir has permanent renal failure, he would go through another surgery in which he would be fitted with surgically created arteriovenous fistula, a preferred approach for dialysis. Surgically created arteriovenous fistula is apparently a more involved surgery and is hence delayed till the patient is in better health through dialysis made possible through catheter.

The main reason Alamgir landed in financial trouble is because he was not carrying any health insurance. Although he sounded fatigued Alamgir spoke with optimism.
He said many Pakistani doctors currently living in the US were studying at either Sindh or Dow Medical College when he was at the peak of his career. They were his friends and he was happy to see them coming to his help. Just a day ago he received a call from Ishrat-Ul-Ibad, Governor of Sindh, who extended his support to Alamgir especially if Alamgir would come to Pakistan for further treatment. Alamgir said he is consulting his doctors for the best approach to take. Currently he is being helped by his wife; Alamgir’s son is studying in Virginia.

So, yes the news about Alamgir’s ailment and the appeal for financial help are authentic. Money should be sent directly to Alamgir's bank account as given in the email message.

Alamgir’s photo, courtesy of

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Pentagon conversation

1. Pakistan needs $100B for its economic survival.

2. Well, money is tight right now. Everybody is asking for bailout.
What would happen if we don't provide $100B assistance to Pakistan?

1. Pakistan is a key ally in the War on Terror. If we don't help her,
the country will destabilize and go in chaos.

2. What do these things mean? Destabilization and chaos.

1. It would mean Pakistan would not be able to pay for the salaries of
government employees including the armed forces. And that would mean
many militarily trained people on the loose. Without immediate
financial assistance Pakistan would not be able to import oil, the
main force running the economy. There would be economic meltdown.
The Rupee would have a free fall. Qualified people would be leaving
the country; business would come to a halt.

2. Yes, one can see all that. But how does it hurt us?

1. There can be discontent. People can join Al-Qaida.

2. How much would it cost to seal the borders, so that no matter who
joins who no undesirable people can come out to hurt us or other
western interests?

1. That cost can be calculated. But what about the gems? What if in
the ensuing chaos, Al-Qaida gets Pakistan's gems?

2. OK. So, that is the main blackmailing point for the Pakistanis:
help us or else there would be instability and Al-Qaida would grab the
nuclear weapons. Uhmm. What can we do to neutralize Pakistani
nuclear weapons? How much would it cost to do that? It must be a lot
less than $100B Pakistan is asking for.

Pentagon photo, courtesy of

Monday, September 22, 2008

Let me start with an extra-large disclaimer. The purpose of this post is not to exonerate the Pakistan Army or the government of Pakistan from its follies and the misguided policies. It is not to say that whatever is happening in Pakistan’s northern areas is either right or is needed. The sole purpose of this message is to make people think, to not blindly accept any statement, to question the credibility of any 'news' report.

Watch this video.

It is also here:

Whatever this journalist is saying is very alarming for an ordinary Pakistani. The man on the phone is Hamid Mir, a prolific print and TV Pakistani journalist. He is allegedly calling from Bannu. He is speaking in a sensational, emotional tone--hardly a tone to use for serious journalism. In the studio are two people who are taking Mir’s words as gospel and are not ready to ask him any challenging questions.

Questions like: Mr. Hamid Mir, when you say that the country’s writ does not exist between Bannu and Kohat, what exactly do you mean? Mr. Mir, You are obviously using a telephone. Are you paying your phone bill to the Taliban? Are you telling us that there are no government offices left in that area? Or, if there are such offices, the Taliban are now paying everybody's salary? And what about UET, Bannu and Bannu Medical College? Are the Taliban paying the salaries of the staff there too?

Hamid Mir’s credibility has been in question for a long time. In late 2001 Mir claimed he met Bin Laden shortly after 911...and Hamid Mir had sensational news from that meeting. He told the world Al-Qaida already had nuclear bombs. Mir had met a man who lost one eye while a nuclear device was being tested by Al-Qaida. Mr. Mir told us some of the Al-Qaida nuclear bombs were already sent to the west, to be activated at the right moment. Obviously the right moment has not come yet. [But the news that Al-Qaida was armed with nuclear weapons made it to world headlines and Mr. Mir reached stardom.]

After Musharraf’s resignation, I am told, Hamid Mir wrote a long column about how Musharraf spent his first day after leaving the highest office. Reading it, I am told, you would believe Mir was with Musharraf all that time. Well, Mir was not. But the general’s son was with his father. And the son told me that whatever Mir wrote in that column was straight out of Mir’s imagination, there was no truth to it.

How much can you trust Hamid Mir?

Bottom line: The message in the video is plausible but the messenger is not credible. We need verification from other sources.

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, September 18, 2008

First the story:

An Indian Lady went to Sabzi Mandi ( Scarborough) to shop for grocerie. She was buying Bhindies & as A Good Shopper she was checking each bhindies carefully & of course trying to get the best ones from the bottom of the Box. Little later she noticed some blood on her finger & not making a big deal out of it she sucked out the blood putting the finger in the mouth. Couple minutes later she fainted & of course the paramedics were called but unfortunately she did not survive. Upon the autopsy they revealed that she had died of the snake bite/poison. Everyone was shocked that how could in this part of the world she would
have died of snake poison. After the investigation they found that a small GREEN snake had come along
with the Bhindi's & of course had gone unnoticed . This small green snake is one of the most dangerous
& poisonous snake in the world. So people please be careful when buying the Bhindi's.

And now my comments:

This baseless story has existed for various Desi-grocery-stores/Subzi-Mandis in different geographical areas and around various vegetables and fruits.

Here it is being discussed by many:

Please keep the Internet free of spam.

Okra photo courtesy of Iowa State University

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sad but Untrue

The forwarded email message reads:

Hi, my name is Amirtha

I am 7-years old, and I have severe lung cancer ... I also have a large tumor in my brain, from repeated beatings. Doctors say I will die soon if this isn't fixed, and my family can't pay the bills.

The Make A Wish Foundation has agreed to donate 7 cents for every time this message is sent on.

For those of you who send this along, I thank you so much, but for those who don't send it, what goes around comes around.Have a Heart, please send this.

Please, if you are a kind person, send this on. PLEASE HIT FORWARD BUTTON NOT REPLY BUTTON.



A sad story, a stolen picture of a young innocent face, a recognizable charity's name used in the message, and thousands of people get easily fooled into forwarding this spam. Please don't.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

My friend JD speaks with a thick Filipino accent. Long time ago he shared with me a wisdom that has been hard to erase from memory. Discussing office politics one day, JD waved his pointed forefinger in the manner pastors and politicians do when they are saying something important, and confided in me, "Ip you cannot be trusted for smaller things then you cannot be trusted for bigger things." In watching Zardari win the recent presidential elections JD’s aphorism keeps clashing in my head with the observation that over their lifetimes people go through a lot of transitions…and many a times they become better human beings. It would be to the advantage of over 160 million people if in President Zardari JD's maxim proves wrong.

Photo courtesy of AFP.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Disappeared in Pakistan, hysterical screams heard in Afghanistan, and now appearing in a New York court

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, the MIT graduate of Pakistani descent, who the US FBI claims to be an Al-Qaeda affiliate disappeared in Karachi on March 30, 2003. At the time of her disappearance Siddiqui was with her three children, aged 9 years through six months; the four of them were in a taxi headed for the Karachi airport. It was believed that Aafia (Afia) siddiqui was kidnapped by the Pakistani intelligence agencies and was later handed over to the US FBI. For the last five years both Pakistani and the US authorities denied having any knowledge of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui or her three young children. Earlier in July 2008, British journalist Yvonee Ridley held a press conference in Islamabad where she claimed Aafia Siddiqui was being held by the Americans at Bagram airport base near Kabul. Two days ago Siddiqui’s American lawyer got confirmation from the FBI that Siddiqui was indeed in the US custody—Siddiqui’s location was still not disclosed. And now the Department of Justice has issued this press release today:
According to this press release Aafia Siddiqui will be presented before a United States Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, tomorrow (August 5). Siddiqui will be tried for attempted murder of US officers and employees, in Afghanistan.
So now there are two versions of this story. According to the FBI version, that agency had no knowledge of Aafia Siddiqui till July 17, 2008 when she was arrested outside Ghazni governor's compound, in Afghanistan. This version implies that on March 30, 2003 Aafia Siddiqui ran away from Karachi to join Taliban/Al-Qaeda. Then, according to this official version, on July 18, Siddiqui tried to kill American soldiers by grabbing a rifle left near her by mistake, and that she would be tried in a New York court on the charges of attempted murder.
And then you have the Karachi-street version according to which Pakistani intelligence agencies kidnapped Aafia Siddiqui on March 30, 2003 and handed her over to the US FBI. The FBI kept Siddiqui at the detention center at Bagram airport base in Afghanistan. Because of the recent uproar after Yvonne Ridley’s press conference the FBI had no choice but to produce Aafia Siddiqui and come up with a "fabricated" official story.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Media barons ready to paint Obama blacker

What was the hottest news story this Father’s Day? It was Obama’s visit to a new church--after his fallout with preacher Michael Pfleger--and his comments on black fathers acting irresponsibly.
It is hard to miss the sinister angle of media exposure Obama received this father’s day. Is it not a strategy to project Obama as a 100% Afro-American man? To press upon the masses that Obama is a black man who goes to black churches and advises black men, and in making this point suggest that Obama’s scope is really narrow, that he cannot be trusted to become the leader of the whole nation, that his blackness precludes him from associating with other segments of the society.
Do you see it?

Photo courtesy of Associated Press (Alex Brandon)
Spammers are now creating secured web sites to phish your information

PS. 'Wachovia' in the URL is missing 'h'! Terrible!

Dear Wachovia client,

You have received this email because you or someone had used your account from different locations.For security purpose, we are required to open an investigation into this matter.

In order to safeguard your account, we require that you confirm your banking details.

The help speeed up to this process, please access the following link so we ca complete the verification of your Wachovia Online Banking Account registration information.

If we do no receive the appropriate account verification within 48 hours, then we will assume this Wachovia account is fraudulent and will be suspended.

The purpose of this verification is to ensure that your bank account has not been fraudulently used and to combat the fraud from our community. We appreciate your support and understanding and thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Don't agree with everything he writes, but here is Mr. Hafman's short piece on Pakistan's judicial crisis.

PS. Allen's mother is married to a Pakistani guy—so that makes him an expert on Pakistani politics!

Why Zardari's logic about constitutional reform of judiciary is flawed

Allen Hafman

PPP head honcho Asif Ali Zardari says he has been a victim of politicized judiciary, that politically motivated judges kept him behind bars on baseless charges. Zardari claims he wants to reform judiciary through a constitutional amendment, so that others would not have to suffer like he did. Not sure who Zardari is trying to fool with such convoluted logic. Zardari was a victim of a subservient judiciary, judges who acted under the duress of the ruler of the land. Contrary to his stated logic, an independent judiciary would have been more fair to him. That is why Zardari should be doing his part in making Pakistani judiciary independent, free of any executive pressure. But Zardari will not do that. And there is a good reason why he won’t. Zardari has rows after rows of skeletons hidden in his closet. He does not want to put independent-minded judges in the Supreme Court who may decide to open suo moto cases against him, a judiciary that may ask Zardari to explain how he, from being a co-owner of a small family business in Karachi in 1987, became a multi-millionaire during a short span of 3 years--coincidentally his wife was the Prime Minister of Pakistan during that time.

And who does not remember November 1997 when Nawaz Sharif being in power sent hoodlums to raid the Supreme Court and deal with an independent-minded judge? Presently Sharif appears to be the wise man who has a high regard for an independent judiciary. In reality Nawaz Sharif is only driven by a strong desire for revenge; he wants to get even with Pervez Musharraf, the evil man who removed Sharif from his advantageous position of pilferage.

Pakistanis must also ask why in January 2000 Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry took oath under the provisional constitutional order of General Pervez Musharraf, but not in 2007? The answer is, the oath in 2000 was to Chaudhry’s benefit—he was getting promoted because his seniors being more principled than Chaudhry had refused to accept the legality of the military coup. In 2007 Chaudhry was already the top man in the Supreme Court and taking a fresh oath did not make any sense; moreover, his friend Aitzaz Ahsan had told him how much glory Chaudhry would earn by challenging Pervez Musharraf.

Pakistanis must understand that each player they are currently dealing with has his own flaws, but these characters must be made, nay FORCED to go through the motions, to act on principled stands that are universal. With free press, independent judiciary, and strong democratic institutions, Pakistanis would ultimately be able to reform their system.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Trump University, the truth

In the Forbe’s list of the wealthiest people of the world Donald Trump is a nobody.

But Trump has been pushing himself on TV--to the extent that a lot of ignorant TV watchers think of him as the only billionaire in the country. And now, after creating an image of being America’s wealthiest person, Donald Trump wants to teach you how to get rich:

Well, we all know that the easiest way to make money is to claim to teach people how to make wealth. So who would the Trump University make richer? At least one person, and that would be Donald. He needs your money to climb up on the Forbe’s list.

In Goa, it was 15

It is way past midnight. A 15-year old drugged British girl walks in a bar in Goa. There are predators in the bar who see an opportunity…the rest is a couple of months old bad news—it is called the Scarlett Keeling rape and murder case.

Scarlett Keeling’s case has many dimensions to it. A 15-year old girl, a minor, let loose by her parents; this minor girl high on drugs and booze, a fact that highlights the lively drug culture and underage drinking in Goa that the local police condones; Goan police initially insisting Scarlett died of drowning in the sea; an Indian postmortem in which, allegedly, Scarlett’s several organs were removed.

What a sad way for a 15-year old girl to die! It was not just Scarlett who got raped in Goa, it was the ultimate humiliation of a pervert culture that tells people that the best thing they can do in life is to get high on LSD.

The case is open and a few punishments are in order. Along with the rapists, Scarlett's parents too need to be punished for doing a terrible job in bringing up a child and making her vulnerable for rape and death.

[Photo courtesy of]

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Monkey business all the way

For the personal sacrifices he has made in striving for the rule of law in Pakistan, I have great respect for Aitzaz Ahsan, but it was disconcerting to see him on TV yesterday repeating ad nauseam that Pervez Musharraf was responsible for the latest turmoil. Well, Pervez Musharraf WAS responsible for a lot of things in the past, but the past is no more. Pervez Musharraf is nobody in the new game. He is a sitting duck--clipped, cornered, waiting to be slaughtered. He has relinquished his army post and has lost the support of the legislative bodies. He is a man sitting high with nothing to support him--his fall is inevitable. Musharraf's political demise is only one assembly-session away where a two-third majority should curb his powers and ultimately remove him from the post of the President. To blame Musharraf for the current mess, which amounts to accusing him for the manhandling incidents of Arbab Rahim and Sher Afgan, is the proverbial red herring--it is nothing but a chance for Mr. Ahsan to squander the goodwill he has gathered.

It is time that the new government own up the mess. The elected leaders who purportedly understand the concepts of 'democracy', 'rule of law', 'justice' must sit down with their uncouth disciples and teach them that these wonderful ideas must be grasped at levels far deeper than glib, parroting slogans.

The fear is that with the monkey business continuing Pervez Musharraf would ultimately, in the course of history, come out to be an 'illustrious' ruler. The perennial irony of Pakistan lies in every vilified government being exonerated through the clownery of the follower.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Shame on you Pakistani political party workers and lawyers!

First Arbab Ghulam Rahim manhandled by PPP workers and now Sher Afgan beaten up by lawyers. Shame on you Pakistani political party workers and lawyers! With this assault on Sher Afghan the so-called lawyers' movement has nosedived into filth. Disgusting! The truth is, there was no lawyers' movement, it was just a mob--a couple of months back the mob was chanting the right slogans, saying things we liked to hear. Peel away that thin veneer of rightspeak and you would find an unruly, savage crowd that never had any respect for rule of law. It is a depressing reality to cope with.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Muslim Chain letter Spammers Galore

Read the following that appeared in my mailbox:

Aslmo alaikum Wa Rahamatullahi Wa Barakatuhu
I pray that this finds you well and in the best of health and spirits. May ALLAH grant you all good and success in this life and the next.

Dear brothers and sisters, It has been brought to my attention that
there will be an awful film appearing soon in America which depicts
our Beloved Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
as a homosexual, just when we thought these people could not stoop any
lower! Our beloved prophet was one of the greatest men, and this is
just a mockery of his life, we have a responsibility as Muslims to do
something about this... so act now, all you have to do is sign your
names below this email was sent to me by a Christian friend, what are
Muslim people doing about this horrendous thing? Remember Allah SWT is
all knowing and all aware, this is our Deen that is being attacked we
have a responsibility to stop it!!! Please don't just forward it!!
Please copy this message and paste the text in a new e-mail, then add
your name to the list and send it to everyone you know.

When the list you sign reaches 550 names, please send it to: -
1. Waseema Taliep
2. Tayyib Moodley
3. Ra-iq Moodley
4. Na-fi Moodley
5. Sedick Taliep
6. Shaheena Taliep
7. Munthir Taliep
8. RayaanTaliep
9. Mufeedah Taliep
10. Sara Royal
11. Mariam Royal
12. Adiel Royal
13. Roshan Taliep
14. Samieg Adams
15. Waseema Martin
16. Sayeeda Hassfan
17. Shamiela Essa
18. Moegamad Raushan Salie
19. Ridah Naidoo
20. Muniba Dienie
22. Tasneem Wise
23. Nabeelah Wise
24. Mahir Du Toit
25. Zarif Kahn
26. Saliem Kahn
27. Nesha Kahn
28. Tahira Kahn
29. Yaghyah Kahn
30. Shaida Kahn
31. Ameer Kahn
32. Seema Kah
33. Gafsa Abrahams
34. Abdul Aziz Cassim
35. Zubair Karolia
36. Fazel Esakjee
37. Aysha Bangie
38. Deen Naidoo
39. Junaid Kikia
40. Ebrahim Halim
41. Anwary Motalib
42. Ziyaad Subjee
43. Rookshana Goolam
44. Sumaiyah Essop
45. Aneesah Salejee
46. Hawa Valli
47. Khanita Thomas
48. Kaashifah Thomas
49. Azeezah Valli
50. Ebrahim Rajah
51.Niezaar Moola
52.Fatima Moola
53.Aadil Mahamed
54. Muaazam Mahamed
55. Abdullah Mahamed
56.Yesmeen Mahamed
57.Shahista Ismail
58.Sadia Ismail
59. Saajida Ismail
60. Shaheed Ismail
61. Tasneem Mooideen
62. Fatima Abdoola
63. Asif Ahmed
64. Suhail Ally
65.Sameera ally
66. Sabeeha Ally
67.Shezaad Ali
68. Sajidah Ali
69.Farnaz Ali
70.IQbal Ally
71.Mumtaz Akhalwaya
72.Mahmood Akhalwaya
73. Hasina Ally
74.Shaheed Ebrahim
75. Amina Khan
76.Ziyaad Ebrahim
77Raeesa Ebrahim
78.Nishaat Sallie
79. Ahmed Laher
80 Sadiyya Makda
81 Fatima Makda
82. Zubair Bux
83. Zaibaa Shaik Husein
84. Hoosen Younus Suleman
85. Zakhiyya Khan
86. Sumaya Kader
87. Razia Kader
88.Razeena Moolla
90. Saiid Naseem Sattar
91. Zubeida Matthews
92. Raeesa Mansoor
93. Ziad Mangera
94 Ebrahim Nabi
95. Shakiera Scott
96 Nizaam Samaai
97 Asa Scott
98 Shaakir Scott
99 Rushaana Kabley
100 Ansahr Jardine
101 Lamees Jardine
102 Saleem badurally
103 Farhanah Badurally Adam
104 Dulmeer Resha
105 Yasmyn
106. HASNA (
107 Ameena
108 sumera
110 Sofia M
111 Zaara
112 Nahid
113. Shazia
114. Reena
115. Kalam
116 Roshid
117 Noor Ali
118 Mohammed Ali
119 Shakeel Ahmed
120 Abdus Salam
121 Sofina Robbani
122 Diana Atanasova
123 Ayesha Basit
124 Basit Maqbool
145 Jurga Vilimaite
146 Jurgita Azhar
147 Simona Daugnoraite
148 Amatullah Abdullah
149 Nadia Touzani
150 Nora Touzani
151 Karima Touzani
152 Fatima Touzani
153 Soumaya Touzani
154 Sakinah Touzani
155 Mehdi Touzani
156 Khadija Laalali
157 Said Chaoui El Goure
158 Nizar Chaoui El Goure
159 Zouhair Chaoui El Goure
160 Hicham Chaoui El Goure
161 Amina Chaoui El Goure
162 Rajaa Chaoui El Goure
163 B bint Muhammad
164 Umm Abdur Rahman
165 Umm Baby Choudhury
166 Akbar Ali
167 Fateha Majid
168 Mohammed Saiful Hussain
169 H Zafar
170 Lil H
171 Murrium Khan
172 Nagina Nasim
173 Sobia Nasim
174 Shanaz Nasim
175 Azim Nasim
176 Wasim Nasim
177 Shumaila
178 Nasim Mirza
179 Qumar Nassa
180 Taibah Abbas
181 Syyab bin abdul khaiq rahi
182 wish
183 Hina
184 Tania Ahmer
185 Meshal khan
186 Khushboo
187 Asif Sehgal
188 Jawad Shafkat
189 Engr. Bilal Anwar
190. Izza Anwer
191.Ummul Baneen
192. Muhammad Usman Habib
193. Asif Akbar Qadri
194. Muhammad Farhan Akhtar
195. Muhammad Tauseef Iqbal
196. Kamran Elahi
197. Suleman Saleem
198. Khurram Shahzad
199. Aasim Waheed
200. Ahmad Nawaz
201. Asif Anjum
202. Faheem Dar
204. Ejaz Hussain Malik
205. Faheem Imdad
207. Arzoo Zahid
208.Afshan Yakoob
209. Ambreen Nafees
210 Muhammad Amir
211 Wajahat Ahmad
212 Danish Noorani
213 Azhar Hasani
214 Tauseef Ahmed
215 Mohammad Amir Atiq
216 M Sarfraz Munir
217 Hirra Badar
218 Ambreen Aftab
219 Mohammad Adeel Mushtaq
220 Qurat Ul Ain
221 Sana Qureshi
222 Sarah Abid
223 Nadia
224 Haleema
225 Asma Farid
226 Asifa Munir
227 Raza Ul Aleem
228 Babar Habib
229 Zaffar Hameed
230 Shumaila Kanwal
231 Adeela Kanwal
232 Muhammad Asif Rashid
233 Mohsin Yaseen
224 Farhan Qamar
225 Salman Ahmad Khan
226 Abdul Basit
227 M Kamran Maqbool
228 Muhammad Hamza
229 Muhammad Imran Afzal
230 Mati ur Rehman
231 Saqlain Haider
232 Syed Alireza
233 Syed Asjad Ali
234 Syed Kamran Haider Zaidi
235 Mohammad Azam
236 Muhammad Adnan Mohsin
237 Muhammad Atif Jauhar
238 Muhammad Kashif Jauhar
239 Perveaz Akhtar
240 Kamran Afzal Khan
241 Atif Haroon Abbasi
242 Muhammad Arif
243 waqas Muhammad younus
244 Qasim Shaikh
245 Anver Abbas
246 Nimra Mahru Nisa
247 Kiran Majeed
248 Muhammad Ali Shah Hashmi
249 Tariq Nawaz
250 Uzma Haider
251 Asif Ijaz
252 Khuram Iqbal Butt
253 Ahsan Saeed
254 Asma Ahsan
255 Kulsoom Afridi
256 H.M Aamir
257 M. Amir
258 Shammy Khatoon
259 Imran ul Aziz
260 Rizwan Mahmood Qureshi
262 Junaid Ali Syed
264 Jamil Akhtar
265 Mubashar Azam
266 Syed Zeeshan Ali Shah
267 Adnan Ali Nawaz
268 Faisal Shafiq
270 Mairay Ko Nasir Boltay Hein
273 Zishan Farooq Khan
276 Nouman Khan
277 Khurram Akhtrar
278 Adiba Akhtar
279 Joodi Kizilwarda
280 Jareesh Roozbeh

Thanks & Regards,-
Best Regards,
Nouman Khan
+92 321 5007177
Fax 92 51 5563940


Do not forward such a message to anyone.

1. There is no such movie in the making.
2. Messages of this nature have been circulating over the Internet for a very long time. A comparable message on Christ-depicted-as-homosexual movie is here:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The following email messages tell you how ignorant Muslims are. They pass on messages without checking their veracity. If Muhammad PBUH were around he would have slapped these people very hard and would have said, "You idiots! You do all this in my name. You are my greatest enemy, STUPID."

First email message, being circulated in Muslim mail groups.

> Assalamualaikum
> You all heard what that magazine in Denmark has published. It's making fun of our beloved PROPHET MUHAMMAD (PBUH) by drawing pictures of him and describing him as a terrorist.
> Moreover they refused to apologize because they considered it a practice of freedom and democracy. I ask you all to put your hands with other MUSLIMS and boycott the Denmark 's products. 1.6 billion Muslim could really slap the economy in Denmark .
> I got very good tip for identifying the products to boycott. Every bar Coded product in the market contains its country code included in barcode digits. Please check the barcode of any product before you buy.
> Check the first 3 digits from the LEFT.
> Example, an Israeli product will have barcode like: 729 3453459070
> The following list is given according the priority as the worst at top and then second worst is next.
> 729 Israel
> 570 - 579 Denmark (i.e. 570, 571... 579)
> 870 - 879 Netherlands (i.e. 870,871... 879)
> 300 - 379 France
> 700 - 709 Norway
> 400 - 440 German
> Please copy this text and forward this text to as many Muslims as possible Via Email via SMS Via Scrap.....I ask all of u, Muslims...Cant u spare one hour in order to spread this message among Muslims ...ASAP?
> Allah Hafiz

And a second message. This one even has the name and tel number of a bozo.

> > Dear All
> >
> > Please read it care fully and forward to all the Muslims.
> >
> > You heard what that magazine in Denmark has published. It's making fun of our beloved PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SAW) by drawing pictures of him and describing him as a terrorist. Moreover they refused to apologize because they considered it a practice of freedom and democracy. I ask you all to put your hands with other MUSLIMS and boycott the Denmark's products. 1.6 billion Muslims could really slap the economy in Denmark.
> >
> > Please copy this text and forward this text to as many Muslims as possible Via Email via SMS Via Scrap..... I ask u,as a Muslims... Can't u spare 15 minutes in order to spread this message among Muslims ...ASAP? REMEMBER THE PROPHET (SAW) MIGHT ASK YOU ONE DAY,' WHAT YOU DID WHEN THEY MADE FUN OF ME? HOW DID YOU DEFEND ME?????'
> >
> > 7up drinks-LEGO -cadburry chocolates -Hall Chewgums any product with barcode no. start with 57 plz convince all Muslims to do so..
> >
> > Thanks
> >
> >
> > Regards
> >
> > Muhammad Jahanzaib
> > 03463602220
> > 03332956471

----------------PLEASE DON'T FORWARD SPAM--------------------

Whoever started this spam, and others who are blindly forwarding it to others, never bothered to compare UPC barcodes of a couple of products--and they are too busy making runs to mosques to have time to read, or do any research.


The barcode has 12 digits. The first one, to the very left, small in size, tells you the nature of the product. For example, all grocery items start with digit '0'. The next three digits tell you the name of the company AND NOT THE COUNTRY of origin. For example, all 'Post' brand cereals (owned by Kraft Foods Company) would have digits '430' after the first '0' designating it as a food item.

Photo courtesy of
If only spammers could write better...they would have been a lot more successful in fooling people.

From The Official Co-ordinator
UN/AiR U.S Visa Green Card Lottery Program 2008.
KPN Tower 195 Wireless Road Panthumwam Bangkok Thailand.

Case Number:- MM-2008XZX923800

Congratulations,you have been selected as one of the lucky winners of our U.S Visa through our internet email extracting and screening machine, your application was applied and processed by our internet email extracting and screening machine which randomly extracts 6.3 million Email addresses during our 15-days extraction period that ran from 12.00 AM on March 10h, 2008 until midnight, March 25th, 2008.

All extracted email addresses were assigned to different ticket numbers for representation and privacy for final selection through computer draw system and your email address attached to ticket number 56602-188 drew the lucky numbers which subsequently won you the U.S visa and we are sending the winning notification through the selected email addresses which means that, if you receive the notification in your mail box you have been selected among the lucky winners.

The aims and objectives of the program is to give free visa's to citizens of developing countries around the world who wishes to travel to U.S and start a new life and work. The green card Lottery is a matter of huge benefits for those who want to try themselves abroad.

Your visa duration is 10 years multiple entries to the U.S, it is renewable upon expiration and it permits you to travel to U.S with your family. The visas have been apportioned among six geographic regions with a maximum of seven percent available to persons born in any single country. Our visa processing agents had been apportioned among the six geographic regions.

Visa claim application (step 1)
Your visa winning details falls within our Asia/pacific booklet representative office as indicated in the draw system and we have forwarded your winning details to our Asia/Pacific office for the processing of your visa acknowledgement Certificates, therefore, FOR YOUR VISA FORM, REQUIREMENTS AND FURTHER DETAILS, contact our Asia/pacific agent with the below contact details;

PHONE:+ 66-802 885 324
FAX: + 66-243 630 90

Approximately 255 lucky selected winners had been notified through their selected winning email addresses including you today (Wed 26-3-2008) all selected lucky winners will need to act on their claims applications quickly before the expiration of the visa claim deadline which is on the (15th of April 2008)

Advanced question.
How do I make the claim of my visa?
You will obtain your visa through the U.S Consular officer in your home country or any U.S Embassy nearest to you with your Visa Acknowledgement Certificates that will be processed and send to you by our Asia/pacific agent. U. S. embassies and consulates will not be able to provide a list of winners until their Green Card acknowledgement certificates are processed with their case numbers and placed on the U.S Immigration Network Database.

Visa Processing Fee.
Dual-$1,420USD (Family)

What is processing fee?
The processing fee pays for the accuracy preparation of your documents that will enable you to obtain your visa through the U.S Consular officer in your home country or country of your present residence. Green card experts charges a nominal fee to cover administrative and processing costs incurred in conjunction with the careful processing of every document. According to J.Stevenson Wilson, Author of Visa Lottery services Report, the total average fee charged by green card lottery services ($1195USD) for one person,there is no correlation between the fee charged and the quality of services provided and its benefits.

Winners will get FREE Airline Ticket to the USA.
People that win this Lottery will get the constant legal status of the US inhabitant, an opportunity of free country entrance and departure, the right to be working in the USA legally and getting American salary. You may have any job in America, whether it is a government, public or private job. A permanent residence visa (as well as American work visa) eases your life. In addition to permanent legal residence Green Card holders also receive health, education, retirement, taxation, social security and other benefits.

Please retain this letter and take it with you to your visa interview centre when directed.
Do not reply back to this notification email (busy)

Please read and follow all the enclosed instructions very carefully.

Sincerely yours,
Mr. Rapheal Briggs (LLB)
UniAir SouthEast Asia Zonal office Bangkok, Thailand.

I could not resist writing the following in response to the above spam:

This news made my day. I am chosen to immigrate to the US, to ultimately become a US citizen, the highest honor for any human being in this world! I am truly ecstatic. What do I need to do next? What is my approximate arrival date in the US? How should I do my packing, what clothes should be with me? Is it going to be very cold there?
Waiting for information,

PS. I have always cursed my stars for making me born in Pakistan, a developing country. But now I see my stars regrouping themselves. Wonderful!
PPS. I have read the Privacy statement. Don't worry, this communication will remain between you and me, till I reach the US soil. I'll then surprise all family members and friends with a phone call. I'll say, "Hello, You. I am here in the US OF A. Are you still rotting in that cesspool? Ha, ha, ha."

Friday, March 14, 2008

How to identify a spam message?

There are viruses, there are phishing scams, and then there are insidious messages like the following where the originator of the message gets kicks knowing people are blindly forwarding his creation. Please don't forward spam. How do you identify forward-spam? Look closely at the language. It does not give any specific information ["at a Local hospital"; which hospital?]; and it does not give any contact information. It appeals to your conscience by asking you to forward the message to others. And poor your gullibility you end up wasting your friends' time.

If you Google the first line of this message, you will find that this post has been in circulation for quite some time. You wonder how come Salma is not dead yet.

In short,
There is no Parveen, and no 12-year daughter named Salma battling for life at a local hospital. Somewhere out there, there is a smart aleck happy to see his spam reaching so many people (and wasting their time). PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD SPAM.

An Appeal from a sister

Asslamualaikum, My daughter Salma, who is just 12 years old is battling for life at a Local hospital, she is suffering from cancer and is presently in the last stage. The doctors have given up all hope but then I have trust in ALLAH and in the power of dua. therefore as a helpless mother of a dying child I beg all of you to pray for my daughter,please include her as a part of each and every dua of yours. Please pray to ALLAH that He should give her body the strength to respond to the medication, that He should somehow miraculously heal her of this disease and Inshallah grant her a healthy and long life (AMEEN) Please, please pass this message on to as many brothers and Sisters as you can.

If even ten percent of you would remember to pray for my daughter then it would mean a lot for us. Your duas and Allah's mercy is our ONLY hope.

Thank You,


Please don't forget,,,before you close this message Please fwd. ALLAH ap sab

ko apni amaan mein rakhay... Please Please apni Duaoo'n mein Yad Rakhiyiaga.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pakistani- Americans Observe Anniversary of Illegal Sacking of Chief Justice of Pakistan

March 9, 2008

SAN JOSE , CA , March 9, 2008—A small crowd gathered outside the Superior Court of Santa Clara County to observe the first anniversary of March 9, 2007. On that day, Pakistan ’s military ruler General Pervez Musharraf had illegally removed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Choudhry on made-up charges of corruption. Sunday’s rally was organized by Friends of South Asia (, a group of Pakistani and Indian activists of the San Francisco Bay Area. The group commemorating March 9 noted with gratitude that just a day earlier PPP and PML-N leadership had agreed to reinstate judges deposed on November 3, 2007. The participants of the protest held the conviction that an independent judiciary, along with independent media, would ensure continuous accountability of the Pakistani government.

Prominent Pakistani-American attorney Javed Ellahie provided a brief historical background of the Pakistani situation and praised Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Choudhry for standing up to the military ruler. Ellahie said that because of the Chief Justice’s principled stance “a new dawn has risen in Pakistan . Pakistan ’s civil society has come forward and said enough is enough.” He showed to the protesters a petition of treason recently filed in Pakistan against General Pervez Musharraf.

Dr. Khawaja Ashraf, President of Pakistani-American Congress (PAC) informed people that PAC had declared 2008 the year of independence of parliament and judiciary in Pakistan . He demanded that General Pervez Musharraf step down and constitution be rolled back to its November 2, 2007 status.

Sabahat Ashraf (iFaqeer), a founding member of FOSA, said that the Pakistani civil society must keep up the pressure on the newly-elected Pakistani government for complete reinstatement of deposed judges. He said that the major political parties of Pakistan including PML, PPP, and MQM did not have a good track record in respecting an independent judiciary.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Admitting its mistake, Pakistan gives Kashmir to India

[Photo courtesy of]

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Senator Obama's dark side

Obama practices a religion that is a mixture of Christianity, Islam, and Shamanism. Every night followers of this religion gather around a fire and do some chanting (reading from the Bible); then they do a clockwise dance around the fire. The service ends with everybody facing towards Mecca; a doll resembling Christopher Columbus is passed around and each member gets to poke a needle in the doll. The doll is then thrown in the fire and the congregation yells in unison, "Hallelujah. Death to Romans. Death to terrorists. Death to intruders."

[Photo courtesy of]

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pakistan's attempt to block access to YouTube

Pakistan did the most stupid thing while trying to block YouTube web site. Pakistanis wanted the YouTube connection requests to go nowhere so they created a dead-end (a black hole) where requests made to connect to YouTube would end up. Pakistan Telecom was connected to routers in Hong Kong, so Hong Kong thought (electronically--all of this was done electronically) that the route Pakistan Telecom was telling them (electronically) was the shortest/fastest way to connect to YouTube. Pretty soon the whole world was directing its traffic to YouTube to Pakistan Telecom (through Hong Kong) for faster connection to that web site. And of course Pakistan was terminating all this traffic in a black hole, which meant that a lot of people all over the world were not getting access to YouTube. [I believe creating a balckhole for an IP address gives the false impression of a very fast service because requests are handled right away. You can think of getting latte at Starbucks; if they really fulfill your order it would take them some time to satisfy you, but if they just push you in a black hole then it is super fast service. After pushing you in the black hole, they yell, 'Next' and the next person shows up, they push her too in the black hole, and are now on to the next customer. This line#1 is moving very fast, so people standing in line#2 at the next counter see that they would be served much faster in line#1; everybody starts queuing up in line #1, and everybody ends up in the same black hole.] But this game can only be played once. The world electronic community now realizes who is this jerk they need to watch out. Pakistan never misses a chance to lose its credibility to the world.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How Hina Jilani made a fool of herself

Now that the results of the recent Pakistan elections have been, by and large, accepted by all, it is time to look back at the predictions made by pundits in the run up to the elections. First the experts who claimed there won't be any elections and came up with various theories on how political assassinations and other scenarios would be staged to postpone the polls. We know how much their expert opinion should mean to us in the future.

And then we should look at our other darlings.

It was one thing for opposition to doubt if elections would be fair, and completely another for Hina Jilani to assure the US Congress that sending independent observers to Pakistan was totally unnecessary because the elections had already been rigged.

We should thank Sheila Jackson Lee for ignoring Jilani's advice. The real question is, who were those fools who made Hina Jilani a UN envoy?

Question #2: Is Imran Khan regretting his boycott decision?

[Photo courtesy of BBC]

Thursday, February 14, 2008

For whatever it is worth, here is Allen Hafman's review.

A film with the President’s son—a review of “A dinner with the President”

Allen Hafman

“A dinner with the President: a nation's journey” is a timely documentary film released in a charged atmosphere when nearly all have ganged up on President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan. The movie is an attempt to show the humane part of Musharraf, for example, as a son who at a dinner table listens amusedly to his mother talking about how worried she was of his future when as a child Musharraf would not do too well in school; the film tries to show the world that Musharraf still enjoys popularity among certain people (though one can argue that that part of the film was shot before Musharraf imposed Martial Law, in November 2007). But whereas the film leaves a favorable impression of Pervez Musharraf, with the director’s easy access to the General--a total of four encounters in the film--and missing shoots of hard-core critics of the present regime, the pic looks more like a propaganda movie.
“A dinner with the President” is an expository film. Director Sabiha Sumar embarks on a journey to understand what true democracy would mean for Pakistan. But the film quickly forgets its purpose and becomes a reconnaissance mission for Pervez Musharraf. Sabiha Sumar is interviewing people on the streets and then filling in Musharraf on her findings.
The viewer does not have to go too far in the movie to discover the director’s narcissist tendencies. She HAS to be there in every other scene. If an important TV newsreel has to be shown, the shoot of the TV set has to be past her earlobe. There are other irrelevant characters too in the movie. We frequently see a middle-aged man accompanying the director—one would guess he is director’s husband. If that is true then the question is, why not other family members: aunts, uncles, cousins, and all?
The film has English subtitles whenever the conversation is carried out in Urdu. The quality of translation is generally good save for a few misinterpretations here and there. [For example, when a man calls the director an ‘azad musalman’, it is translated as a 'free Muslim' whereas, in the context that term was used, a more appropriate translation would have been 'carefree Muslim.']
For foreign audience “A dinner with the President” might prove to be somewhat informative, but the film does not add much to the knowledge bank of the Pakistanis--except to reassure them that Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain is indeed as non-coherent as everybody believes him to be.
Why the title ‘A film with the President’s son’? Because when “A dinner with the President” was screened at Stanford University on February 12, Bilal Musharraf, a Stanford alumnus, was in the audience and at the end of the film, on organizer’s request, came on to the stage and expressed his views about the film and carried on to answer questions about his father’s government. This soft-spoken 6’-2” tall 35-year old is a natural speaker, even when he categorizes himself an introvert. And therein lies the irony. Whereas Musharraf’s critics would paint Musharraf as a cruel, power-hungry, cunning man, in his demeanor the General appears compassionate, sincere, and speaking from the heart. His son too has that sort of benignant air about him.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Save Parviz Kambakhsh

According to news reports, the 23-year old man shown in the picture above has been sentenced to death in Afghanistan. Why? Because he wrote things which some people did not like and conveniently termed un-Islamic--whatever that means.
Why is the Bush administration keeping mum about this case? Because the trial took place in Afghanistan under a government loyal to the US. If a witch hunt case like this would have surfaced in Iran, this administration would have been jumping up and down telling us how evil the Iranians are.

Look around you. I am sure you would find many who are 23-year old or thereabouts. It could be your brother, your sister, your son, or a nephew. Ask yourself how would you feel seeing one of your young loved ones being sentenced to death for writing something others don't like.

Ask yourself what you can do to save the life of Parviz Kambakhsh.

[Photo courtesy of]

Friday, February 08, 2008

Have you received a friendship request from a Lilly Uddin, on Facebook?

Don't bother. It is a fake profile. There is no Lilly Uddin--probably a Lallu Uddin, a jerk who has used model Mariyah Moten's picture to create a profile, and is probably getting kicks watching men eager to befriend a bikini-clad bimbo.
Read about Mariyah Moten here:

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Dear Manager, Microsoft Lottery,
I won the Microsoft email lottery! Hurray!
I knew I would get it--even when I am not sure what I have done to get it. I was told big money would come my way from an unexpected source. And then came this email message. You guys are angels!
And rest assured no matter how many times my Windows crashed, I never had anything bad to say about Bill Gates.
Can this prize be delivered to me in annuities? I am living a rather austere life, so $60,000/year would keep me afloat and my relatives won't know about my windfall either.
Can it be done?
Looking forward to further communication with you and Bill.

The above response was written in reply to the following.

----- Original Message ----
Sent: Sunday, February 3, 2008 4:48:23 PM





[Photo courtesy of]

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Review of Olympus VN-4100PC

The following review is not a comparison of VN-4100 PC with comparable models by other manufacturers.
Olympus VN-4100 PC was my Christmas gift to myself. This digital voice recorder--my first pocket size recorder--is an amazing productivity-enhancement tool. We know how fiction-writers zip through the field of ideas--often not able to catch even 10% of things they think about. With this recorder it would be possible for writers to pick and capture most of, if not all, the ideas that race through their minds.
In VN-4100 you store recordings in files--every time you start a new recording, a new file is created--and you can arrange things among four (4) folders. So, I am thinking of having folder A for short story ideas; folder B for audio notes as I go through the day; folder C for translation; and folder D for everything else. Imagine waiting at the airport for a connecting flight, feeling not too spunky to power up your laptop and work on it, but still wanting to use your time productively. No worries. Just turn on this voice recorder, select any of the four folders and start creating audio files capturing whatever you think of. You can later transfer these wav format files to your PC through a USB cable. If you are too busy now to write down things listening to the audio files you have created, you can just keep them stored for a much later time when either you would have the spare time to transcribe, or the financial resources to pay someone to do it for you, or the voice recognition technology would be so advanced, prevalent, and accurate that you would play the recording to a voice recognition software and it would faithfully write down everything for you. Voila!
In VN-4100 erasing a recording is easy, but there is no recycle bin. Whatever you erase will be gone forever; though the product has a built-in security feature. When you press the ‘Erase’ button on the recorder (or if it gets pressed accidentally), by default 'No' is highlighted among the 'Yes, No' options that appear on the screen. If you really want to erase a file you would have to use the arrow button on your module to move to ‘Yes’ and then press Enter (Play) button.
Two AAA batteries are the only power source for this little genie. Recording time of 144 hours (I have not verified that claim yet) means you would probably run out of batteries before you would fill up the memory of the recorder. To prolong battery life, keep the unit turned off when not using. You would probably be able to conserve batteries by not playing back the files on your recorder.
VN-4100 PC is very small and very light. That means it is easy to carry, but you would have to be careful not to lose it.
I am always amazed by prolific writers who lived before the technological advances of the last 100 years, and especially by those who wrote before the age of computers. How could they write so much with only pen and paper to their disposal? Imagine what Tolstoy could do with a computer and an Olympus VP-4100PC!

[Review written for
Photo courtesy of]

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

In his recent European tour General (retired) Perverz Musharraf was dogged about the emergency he had imposed in Pakistan and his dismissal of judiciary. Someone in his entourage came up with the brilliant idea of creating a document summarizing how inept and corrupt Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Choudhry really was. Allegedly that white paper was handed out during subsequent press conferences. No surprise that the document made it back to Pakistan and to CJ himself. Here is CJ's rejoinder to that charge sheet.


His Excellency
The President of the European Parliament,

His Excellency
The President of France,

His Excellency
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,

Her Excellency
Ms. Condaleeza Rice,
Secretary of State,
United States of America,
Washington D.C.

Professor Klaus Schwab,
World Economic Forum,

All through their respective Ambassodors, High Commissioners and representatives.


I am the Chief Justice of Pakistan presently detained in my residence since November 3, 2007 pursuant to some verbal, and unspecified, order passed by General Musharraf.

I have found it necessary to write to you, and others, because during his recent visits to Brussels, Paris, Davos and London General Musharraf has slandered me, and my colleagues, with impunity in press conferences and other addresses and meetings. In addition he has widely distributed, among those whom he has met, a slanderous document (hereinafter the Document) entitled: "PROFILE OF THE FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE OF PAKISTAN". I might have let this go unresponded but the Document, unfortunately, is such an outrage that, with respect, it is surprising that a person claiming to be head of state should fall to such depths as to circulate such calumny against the Chief Justice of his own country.

In view of these circumstances I have no option but to join issue with General Musharraf and to put the record straight. Since he has voiced his views on several public occasions so as to reach out to the public at large, I also am constrained to address your excellencies in an Open Letter to rebut the allegations against me.

At the outset you may be wondering why I have used the words "claiming to be the head of state". That is quite deliberate. General Musharraf's constitutional term ended on November 15, 2007. His claim to a further term thereafter is the subject of active controversy before the Supreme Court of Pakistan. It was while this claim was under adjudication before a Bench of eleven learned judges of the Supreme Court that the General arrested a majority of those judges in addition to me on November 3, 2007. He thus himself subverted the judicial process which remains frozen at that point. Besides arresting the Chief Justice and judges (can there have been a greater outrage?) he also purported to suspend the Constitution and to purge the entire judiciary (even the High Courts) of all independent judges. Now only his hand-picked and compliant judges remain willing to "validate" whatever he demands. And all this is also contrary to an express and earlier order passed by the Supreme Court on November 3, 2007.

Meantime I and my colleagues remain in illegal detention. With me are also detained my wife and three of my young children, all school-going and one a special child. Such are the conditions of our detention that we cannot even step out on to the lawn for the winter sun because that space is occupied by police pickets. Barbed wire barricades surround the residence and all phone lines are cut. Even the water connection to my residence has been periodically turned off. I am being persuaded to resign and to forego my office, which is what I am not prepared to do.

I request you to seek first hand information of the barricades and of my detention, as that of my children, from your Ambassador/High Commissioner/representative in Pakistan. You will get a report of such circumstances as have never prevailed even in medieval times. And these are conditions put in place, in the twenty-first century, by a Government that you support.

Needless to say that the Constitution of Pakistan contains no provision for its suspension, and certainly not by the Chief of Army Staff. Nor can it be amended except in accordance with Articles 238 and 239 which is by Parliament and not an executive or military order. As such all actions taken by General Musharraf on and after November 3 are illegal and ultra vires the Constitution. That is why it is no illusion when I describe myself as the Chief Justice even though I am physically and forcibly incapacitated by the state apparatus under the command of the General. I am confident that as a consequence of the brave and unrelenting struggle continued by the lawyers and the civil society, the Constitution will prevail.

However, in the meantime, General Musharraf has launched upon a vigourous initiative to defame and slander me. Failing to obtain my willing abdication he has become desperate. The eight-page Document is the latest in this feverish drive.
Before I take up the Document itself let me recall that the General first ousted me from the Supreme Court on March 9 last year while filing an indictment (in the form of a Reference under Article 209 of the Constitution) against me. According to the General the Reference had been prepared after a thorough investigation and comprehensively contained all the charges against me. I had challenged that Reference and my ouster before the Supreme Court. On July 20 a thirteen member Bench unanimously struck down the action of the General as illegal and unconstitutional. I was honourably reinstated.

The Reference was thus wholly shattered and all the charges contained therein trashed. These cannot now be regurgitated except in contempt of the Supreme Court. Any way, since the Document has been circulated by no less a person than him I am constrained to submit the following for your kind consideration in rebuttal thereof:

The Document is divided into several heads but the allegations contained in it can essentially be divided into two categories: those allegations that were contained in the Reference and those that were not.

Quite obviously, those that are a repeat from the Reference hold no water as these have already been held by the Supreme Court to not be worth the ink they were written in. In fact, the Supreme Court found that the evidence submitted against me by the Government was so obviously fabricated and incorrect, that the bench took the unprecedented step of fining the Government Rs. 100,000 (a relatively small amount in dollar terms, but an unheard of sum with respect to Court Sanction in Pakistan) for filing clearly false and malicious documents, as well as revoking the license to practice of the Advocate on Record for filing false documents. Indeed, faced with the prospect of having filed clearly falsified documents against me, the Government's attorneys, including the Attorney General, took a most dishonorable but telling approach. Each one, in turn, stood before the Supreme Court and disowned the Government's Reference, and stated they had not reviewed the evidence against me before filing it with Court. They then filed a formal request to the Court to withdraw the purported evidence, and tendered an unconditional apology for filing such a scandalous and false documents. So baseless and egregious were the claims made by General Musharraf that on July 20th, 2007, the full Supreme Court for the first time in Pakistan's history, ruled unanimously against a sitting military ruler and reinstated me honorably to my post.

Despite having faced these charges in open court, must I now be slandered with those same charges by General Musharraf in world capitals, while I remain a prisoner and unable to speak in my defense?

There are, of course, a second set of charges. These were not contained in the Reference and are now being bandied around by the General at every opportunity.

I forcefully and vigorously deny every single one of them. The truth of these "new" allegations can be judged from the fact that they all ostensibly date to the period before the reference was filed against me last March, yet none of them was listed in the already bogus charge sheet.

If there were any truth to these manufactured charges, the Government should have included them in the reference against me. God knows they threw in everything including the kitchen sink into that scurrilous 450 page document, only to have it thrown out by the entire Supreme Court after a 3 month open trial.

The charges against me are so transparently baseless that General Musharraf's regime has banned the discussion of my situation and the charges in the broadcast media. This is because the ridiculous and flimsy nature of the charges is self-evident whenever an opportunity is provided to actually refute them.

Instead, the General only likes to recite his libel list from a rostrum or in gathering where there is no opportunity for anyone to respond. Incidentally, the General maligns me in the worst possible way at every opportunity. That is the basis for the Document he has distributed. But he has not just deposed me from the Judiciary. He has also fired more than half of the Superior Judiciary of Pakistan – nearly 50 judges in all -- together with me. They have also been arrested and detained.
What are the charges against them? Why should they be fired and arrested if I am the corrupt judge? Moreover even my attorneys Aitzaz Ahsan, Munir Malik, Tariq Mahmood and Ali Ahmed Kurd were also arrested on November 3. Malik alone has been released but only because both his kidneys collapsed as a result of prison torture.

Finally, as to the Document, it also contains some further allegations described as "Post-Reference Conduct" that is attributed to me under various heads. This would mean only those allegedly 'illegal' actions claimed to have been taken by me after March 9, 2007. These are under the heads given below and replied to as under:

1. "Participation in SJC (Supreme Judicial Council) Proceedings":

(a) Retaining 'political lawyers': Aitzaz Ahsan and Zammurrad Khan:

It is alleged that I gave a political colour to my defence by engaging political lawyers Aitzaz Ahsan and Zamurrad Khan both Pakistan Peoples' Party Members of the National Assembly. The answer is simple.

I sought to engage the best legal team in the country. Mr. Ahsan is of course an MNA (MP), but he is also the top lawyer in Pakistan. For that reference may be made simply to the ranking of Chambers and Partners Global. Such is his respect in Pakistan's legal landscape that he was elected President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan by one of the widest margins in the Association's history.

All high profile personalities have placed their trust in his talents. He has thus been the attorney for Prime Ministers Bhutto and Sharif, (even though he was an opponent of the latter) Presidential candidate (against Musharraf) Justice Wajihuddin, sports star and politician Imran Khan, former Speakers, Ministers, Governors, victims of political vendetta, and also the internationally acclaimed gang-rape victim Mukhtar Mai, to mention only a few.

Equally important, Barrister Ahsan is a man of integrity who is known to withstand all pressures and enticements. That is a crucial factor in enaging an attorney when one's prosecutor is the sitting military ruler, with enourmous monetary and coercive resources at his disposal.

Mr. Zamurrad Khan is also a recognized professional lawyer, a former Secretary of the District Bar Rawalpindi, and was retained by Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan to assist him in the case. Mr. Khan has been a leading light of the Lawyers' Movement for the restoration of the deposed judiciary and has bravely faced all threats and vilification.

Finally, surely I am entitled to my choice of lawyers and not that of the General.

(b) "Riding in Mr. Zafarullah Jamali (former Prime Minister)'s car":

How much the Document tries to deceive is apparent from the allegation that I willingly rode in Mr. Jamali's car for the first hearing of the case against me on March 13 (as if that alone is an offence). Actually the Government should have been ashamed of itself for creating the circumstances that forced me to take that ride.

Having been stripped of official transport on the 9th March (my vehicles were removed from my house by the use of fork lifters), I decided to walk the one-mile to the Supreme Court. Along the way I was molested and manhandled, my hair was pulled and neck craned in the full blaze of the media, by a posse of policemen under the supervision of the Inspector General of Police. (A judicial inquiry, while I was still deposed, established this fact). In order to escape the physical assault I took refuge with Mr. Jamali and went the rest of the journey on his car. Instead of taking action against the police officials for manhandling the Chief Justice it is complained that I was on the wrong!
(c) "Creating a political atmosphere":

Never did I instigate or invite any "political atmosphere". I never addressed the press or any political rally. I kept my lips sealed even under extreme provocation from the General and his ministers who were reviling me on a daily basis. I maintained a strict judicial silence. I petitioned the Supreme Court and won. That was my vindication.

2. "Country wide touring and Politicising the Issue":

The Constitution guarantees to all citizens free movement throughout Pakistan. How can this then be a complaint?

By orders dated March 9 and 15 (both of which were found to be without lawful authority by the Court) I had been sent of "forced leave". I could neither perform any judicial or administrative functions as the Chief Justice of Pakistan. I was prevented not only from sitting in court but also from access to my own chamber by the force of arms under orders of the General. (All my papers were removed, even private documents).

The only function as 'a judge on forced leave' that I could perform was to address and deliver lectures to various Bar Associations. I accepted their invitations. They are peppered all over Pakistan. I had to drive to these towns as all these are not linked by air. On the way the people of Pakistan did, indeed, turn out in their millions, often waiting from dawn to dusk or from dusk to dawn, to greet me. But I never addressed them even when they insisted that I do. I never spoke to the press. I sat quietly in my vehicle without uttering a word. All this is on the record as most journeys were covered by the media live and throughout.

I spoke only to deliver lectures on professional and constitutional issues to the Bar Associations. Transcripts of every single one of my addresses are available. Every single word uttered by me in those addresses conforms to the stature, conduct and non-political nature of the office of the Chief Justice. There was no politics in these whatsoever. I did not even mention my present status or the controversy or the proceedings before the Council or the Court, not even the Reference. Not even once.
All the persons named in the Document under this head are lawyers and were members of the reception committees in various towns and Bar Associations.

3. Political Leaders Calling on CJP residence:

It is alleged that I received political leaders while I was deposed. It is on the record of the Supreme Judicial Council itself that I was detained after being deposed on March 9. The only persons allowed to meet me were those cleared by the Government. One was a senior political leader. None else was allowed to see me, initially not even my lawyers. How can I be blamed for whomsoever comes to my residence?

Had I wanted to politicize the issue I would have gone to the Press or invited the media. I did not. I had recourse to the judicial process for my reinstatement and won. The General lost miserably in a fair and straight contest. That is my only fault.

4. "Conclusion":

Hence the conclusion drawn by the General that charges had been proved against me 'beyond doubt' is absolutely contrary to the facts and wide off the mark. It is a self-serving justification of the eminently illegal action of firing and arresting judges of superior courts under the garb of an Emergency (read Martial Law) when the Constitution was 'suspended' and then 'restored' later with drastic and illegal 'amendments' grafted into it.

The Constitution cannot be amended except by the two Houses of Parliament and by a two-thirds majority in each House. That is the letter of the law. How can one man presume or arrogate to himself that power?
Unfortunately the General is grievously economical with the truth (I refrain from using the word 'lies') when he says that the charges against me were 'investigated and verified beyond doubt'. As explained above, these had in fact been rubbished by the Full Court Bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan against which judgment the government filed no application for review.

What the General has done has serious implications for Pakistan and the world. In squashing the judiciary for his own personal advantage and nothing else he has usurped the space of civil and civilized society. If civilized norms of justice will not be allowed to operate then that space will, inevitably, be occupied by those who believe in more brutal and instant justice: the extremists in the wings. Those are the very elements the world seems to be pitted against. Those are the very elements the actions of the General are making way for.

Some western governments are emphasizing the unfolding of the democratic process in Pakistan. That is welcome, if it will be fair. But, and in any case, can there be democracy if there is no independent judiciary?
Remember, independent judges and judicial processes preceded full franchise by several hundred years. Moreover, which judge in Pakistan today can be independent who has before his eyes the fate and example of his own Chief Justice: detained for three months along with his young children. What is the children's crime, after all?

There can be no democracy without an independent judiciary, and there can be no independent judge in Pakistan until the action of November 3 is reversed. Whatever the will of some desperate men the struggle of the valiant lawyers and civil society of Pakistan will bear fruit. They are not giving up.

Let me also assure you that I would not have written this letter without the General's unbecoming onslaught. That has compelled me to clarify although, as my past will testify, I am not given into entering into public, even private, disputes. But the allegations against me have been so wild, so wrong and so contrary to judicial record, that I have been left with no option but to put the record straight. After all, a prisoner must also have his say. And if the General's hand-picked judges, some living next door to my prison home, have not had the courage to invoke the power of 'habeas corpus' these last three months, what other option do I have? Many leaders of the world and the media may choose to brush the situation under the carpet out of love of the General. But that will not be.

Nevertheless, let me also reassure you that I continue in my resolve not to preside any Bench which will be seized of matters pertaining to the personal interests of General Musharraf after the restoration of the Constitution and the judges, which, God willing, will be soon.

Finally, I leave you with the question: Is there a precedent in history, all history, of 60 judges, including three Chief Justices (of the Supreme Court and two of Pakistan's four High Courts), being dismissed, arrested and detained at the whim of one man? I have failed to discover any such even in medieval times under any emperor, king, or sultan, or even when a dictator has had full military sway over any country in more recent times. But this incredible outrage has happened in the 21st century at the hands of an extremist General out on a 'charm offensive' of western capitals and one whom the west supports.

I am grateful for your attention. I have no other purpose than to clear my name and to save the country (and perhaps others as well) from the calamity that stares us in the face. We can still rescue it from all kinds of extremism: praetorian and dogmatic. After all, the edifice of an independent judicial system alone stands on the middle ground between these two extremes. If the edifice is destroyed by the one, the ground may be taken over by the other. That is what is happening in Pakistan. Practitioners of rough and brutal justice will be welcomed in spaces from where the practitioners of more refined norms of justice and balance have been made to abdicate.

I have enormous faith that the Constitution and justice will soon prevail.
Yours truly,

Iftikhar Mohammad Choudhry,
Chief Justice of Pakistan,
imprisoned in the Chief Justice's House,

[Letter courtesy of]
[Photo courtesy of Attock News]