Archive for May, 2010

One Facebook, Two Faces

Posted: May 28, 2010 in Pakistan, World

Courtesy: Saad Mustafa Warraich, Karachi – Pakistan


I had been banned from Facebook and my account had been disabled a night before Facebook was banned in Pakistan. Before all this happened, I visited the blasphemous page “Draw Muhammad Day” and the content on the page hurt me badly.

Once again a certain group of westerners called it the “freedom of expression” and went on to show extremism – something they always verbally disassociate themselves from.

As a response to this lunacy, I thought it best to find out how they respond to others’ right of freedom of expression – I created an Adolf Hitler page right away and it read, “To all those who think they can ridicule Islam in the name of freedom of expression and yet punish those who speak of the genius of Hitler”.

The comment on the wall read, “Let’s hit them where it hurts them the most”. Further I added some photos of the Fuhrer, Nazi Party and the Italian Footballer Paolo Di Canio who was banned and fined by FIFA two years ago for performing the “controversial” Roman Salute which according to him gave him a sense of belonging to his people.
Within an hour tens of people joined the Hitler page which was named “H | T L E R”. The very next time I tried to log in I found out that my profile had been disabled for ‘violation of Facebook Regulations’.
facebook  ban1 One Facebook, Two Faces [One is Real Ugly]
Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge


Facebook’s reply for my inquiry was as following (also shown in above screenshot):

Hi Saad,

After reviewing your situation, we have determined that you violated our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. One of Facebook’s main priorities is the comfort and safety of our users.

We do not tolerate hate speech. Targeting people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or disease is a serious violation of our standards and has resulted in the permanent loss of your account.
We will not be able to reactivate your account for any reason.  This decision is final.

Kimmie
User Operations,
Facebook

Now how is it that Hitler is termed as the most evil person in the history of mankind while those that bomb Muslims, commit heinous crimes in their countries, ridicule their Prophet and Quran and as a result hurt the sentiments of 1.2 billion Muslims are hailed as heroes? And I wonder why the victims of Holocaust are more important than victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Despite the protest of a large number of Muslims, Facebook has not removed the blasphemous page from the website.
According the statement issued by Facebook their policy is to withhold such content in countries where it is controversial. The statement specifically says that we do not remove Nazi content from Facebook because it is illegal only in a few countries. As two-faced statements go, this one takes the prize. Perhaps before issuing the statement the Facebook did not realise that words like “Adolf Hitler”, “Sieg Heil” and “Nazi” are not allowed to be used on Facebook to create new pages.

And if all this and the removal of Hitler page and the permanent deactivation of my profile isn’t enough, here is a testament to Facebook’s vile hypocrisy. The statement issued by Facebook on 20 May says, “We strongly believe that Facebook users have the freedom to express their opinions, and we don’t typically take down content, groups or pages that speak out against countries, religions, political entities, or ideas.”
While, in another instance, Facebook replied me in entirely different way. Excerpt and screenshot is given above.

Now these two conflicting statements speak volumes about the discrimination by the Facebook. It simply means that Facebook through its official statement to global media wants the world to believe that they are the torchbearers of freedom of expression and allow everyone to speak their minds out. On the other hand the face that individuals like me get to see is a much horrible one. It talks about hate and intolerance and all forms of so-called equality and unshakable resolve. While Facebook is portraying itself as the silent and innocent onlooker for the entire world, I wonder what gives them the right to remove a major chunk of my life from the web.

I don’t think Facebook should come up with any clarification statements for the Muslim world over what happened. It is clearer than crystal that as long as we are labelled as extremists, we are not going to enjoy the equal rights in this world. And those that are trying to play God love to label us that. While reporting the Facebook ban in Pakistan in different articles, guardian.co.uk mentions the brutality of Pakistan Army in Swat whileYahoo thinks it’s necessary to unveil Al-Qaida’s plans of attacks on Danish and Dutch football teams. It is a blatant attempt to criticize Pakistan for placing the ban, link the country to extremism and terrorism and thereby justifying this sacrilegious act of Facebook users.

– A well-designed story of corruption (Minster Mr. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Ahmed Kamal his sub-servant)

Courtesy: Basit Ali basit.ali.hunza@gmail.com

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The water level at the artificial lake at Hunza River at Attaabad in constantly raising now reached more than 390 feet. Why, it was being raised up to this level and not breached?  This is as per mala-fide design of one of member NDMA to turn this tragedy to grab money and open avenues of corruption for his masters.

As we, all knows that initially, the volume of lake was very small. When Army Engineer and other experts reached in 3rd week of January, they have unanimously decided to breach the lake. Later on request of Government of Pakistan, a special team from China arrived in early February. The team spent two days at site, examined the landslide and briefed the then Chairman NDMA General Farooq. Peculiar nature of disaster has forced Chairman NMDA to call on Federal Flood Commission of Pakistan (FCC) for technical assistance. FCC working under Ministry of Water and Power(MOWP) as per mandate and being apex body to supervising Tarbela Dam watershed management.

The minister for Water and Power of Pakistan, Mr. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf who has been under serious criticism because having serious corruption charges over Rental Power Scam, deputed Mr. Ahmed Kamal an official of MOWP (FCC) to assist NMDA.

After joining as Member (technical) Mr. Ahmed Kamal, immediately order FWO (Army Engineers deputed to make spillway). In addition, at he started negotiation with Chinese team for making breach of lake as a Mega project to mint money for bunch of corrupt Minister and other cronies. The Chinese team categorically told Ahmed Kamal and other officials in a meeting at Islamabad the technical assistance would purely on humanitarian ground. The Chinese team further told Government of China would not claim any single penny against this job and purpose of help is to rehabilitate the affected area of Attabad and Karakoram Highway, as soon as possible.

The Karakoram Highway is a trade as well as strategic link between two countries.  Karakoram Highway also link Arabian Sea with Tajikistan, China, and other Central Asian states and Russia also.

This is the inside authentic story narrated by patriotic, loyal official of NDMA, who had closely watched witnessed the whole deal of Ahmed Kamal.  Now, it is duty of Media, independent Judiciary and Pak Army to investigate why Ahmad Kamal did this? Is it part of international conspiracy to cut Gilgit-Baltistan from Pakistan or whole lake was not breached to grab foreign Aids and other funds.

Full marks to Mr. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf for selecting Mr. Ahmed Kamal, who has all capabilities and fame for well-designed and engineered corruption.

In past, he had successful plea bargain with National Accountability Bureau (NAB) when he was held responsible for massive corruption. Record can be obtained from NAB authorities.

Mr. Corruption of Ahmed Kamal is always use innovative method for corruption when   Japan (JICA) offered technical and financial support to mitigate flood hazard in Rawalpindi. He jumped as project manger and Rs.360 Million project cost was ruined due to ineptness and corruption of Ahmed Kamal. As Project Manager, he was responsible of all financial embezzlement. The equipment purchased against the project could not installed at different or purchase having inferior specification. Prime Minister Inspection team with some senior judge of Supreme Court can set an inquiry and physical verification of equipment purchased and installed.

In financial year 2007-8 he had spoiled Rs.52.535 million against Emergent Flood program executed under PSDP 2007-8, the detail is given as under

  • He is also directing responsible of serious misappropriation and financial embezzlement of amount Rs.14.5 million a flood protection project “Protection Bund at Gahkuch Silpi Sand, Sultanabad, Yasin and Ghizer District.
  • Protective bund having cost Rs.7.135 million at Usmanabad Basin Gilgit
  • Flood Protective and River training work for Daral/ Tangir valley in District Diamer having cost amount Rs. 30.90 million.

Mr. Ahmed Kamal has linked with top civil bureaucracy and  close link with influential Members of National Assembly(MNA) and Senators.

In 2009, four MNAs spent seven days in Thailand and Ahmed Kamal sponsored the whole trip excluding personal shopping.

The Modus-Operandi of Ahmed Kamal in corrupt practices is unique. Instead of establishing and developing real-estate assents, he is importing Gold and doing currency business since last 15 years. In year, 2003, When NAB started investigation to probe his corruption; authority had only confiscated 3.5 KG Gold and did not file any case against him.

We the People of Pakistan demand for a fair and judicious trail of Ahmed Kamal for

  • Delaying the breech of lake for his own vested interest
  • Demand for investigation and expose the story of  kickback from Chinese team
  • We also demand that all looted money by him as Chief Engineer FFC Ministry of Water and power must be recovered.

Do you feel that you’ve gone as far as you can with your current employer? Despite knowing that you have much more potential, is there a limit to where “people like you” can go in your organization?

If so, you’ve hit what’s known as the “glass ceiling.” This is the point at which you can clearly see the next level of promotion – yet, despite your best effort, an invisible barrier seems to stop you from proceeding.

Traditionally, the glass ceiling was a concept applied to women and some minorities. It was very hard, if not impossible, for them to reach upper management positions. No matter how qualified or experienced, they simply were not given opportunities to further advance their careers.

Today, there are many more women and minorities in powerful positions. However, the glass ceiling is still very real. And it’s not always limited to gender or race.

Have you been pushed up against a glass ceiling? This can happen for many different reasons. Are you too much the champion of change? Do you have difficulty communicating your ideas? Are you quieter and less outgoing than the people who get promotions?

Whatever the reason, you have a choice. You can accept your situation and be happy with looking up and not being able to touch what you see… or you can smash the glass with purpose and determination.

If you do, indeed, want to break through that glass, here are some steps to take.

Identify the Key Competencies within Your Organization

Key competencies are the common skills and attributes of the people in your company’s upper levels. These skills are often tied closely to the organization’s culture and vision.

Companies that value innovation and strive to be leaders will probably promote individuals who are outgoing, risk takers, and not afraid to “tell it like it is.” However, if you work for a conservative company (such as a publicly-owned utility) chances are that top management are analytical thinkers, with a reputation for avoiding risk and making careful decisions.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the values of your organization?
  • What behaviors does your company value and reward?
  • What type of person is promoted?

Understand what sets your company and its leaders apart. This is the first step toward discovering how to position yourself for a top leadership role.

Tip:
Two universal competencies for top management are effective leadership and effective communication. Each of these is complex.

  • Read everything you can about leadership styles, skills, and attributes.
  • Communication skills will help you, regardless of the level you want to reach in your career.

Set Objectives to Align Your Competencies with Top Management

Once you know your target, set goals to get there. You’re responsible for determining your own career direction. Be proactive and go after what you want, because it probably won’t be handed to you.

Do the following:

  • Let your boss know that you want to work toward a higher-level position.
  • Ask your boss what skill areas you need to develop.
  • Work together with your boss to set goals and objectives, then monitor and measure your performance.

Remember to concentrate on areas of performance that you can improve. Don’t set a goal to achieve a certain position by a certain time: This can be discouraging if it doesn’t happen. For example, set a goal to consistently demonstrate assertive and clear communication. If you achieve that goal, no matter what job title you have, you’ve succeeded!

Build Your Network

You should also build relationships with other people in your organization. You never know who may be in a position to help you or provide you with valuable information.

It’s important to network in all areas and levels of your company. Many people tend to think it’s best to make friends at the top. However, to be effective and actually make it to the top, you’ll need the support of colleagues at other levels as well.

Try these tips:

  • Reach out to new people on a regular basis.
  • Get involved with cross-functional teams.
  • Expand your professional network outside of your organization. If you can’t break the glass ceiling in your company, you may have to look elsewhere for opportunities.

Use the climate in your organization to your advantage. While “politicking” is often seen as negative, you can help your career by understanding and using the political networks in your company.

Find a Mentor

Having a mentor is a powerful way to break through the glass ceiling. The barriers that you face have likely been there for a long time. Past practices, biases and stereotypes, and old ideas are often long established at the top of many organizations.

Is upper management reluctant to work with certain types of individuals? Do they exclude certain people from important communications? A mentor can help you learn how to get connected to the information and people who can help you. A mentor can also be a great source of ideas for your professional development and growth.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is there someone in upper management you can approach to help you?
  • Will your boss be able to provide mentoring support?
  • Are there people with strong political power who can offer you assistance?

Build Your Reputation

Ultimately, the way to get ahead is to get noticed. You want people to see your leadership abilities, communication skills, technical knowledge, and any other competencies that are typical of people at the top.

Develop your skills and network with people so that your name becomes associated with top management potential. To do this, you need to build a reputation as the kind of person who fits the description of top management. Visibility is very important. Remember, while you can see up, those at the top can see down. Make sure that what they see is you!

Follow these guidelines:

  • Seek high-profile projects.
  • Speak up and contribute in meetings.
  • Share ideas with peers as well as people in higher positions.

Identify places where your reputation is not what you want it to be, and develop plans to change them.

Know Your Rights

Finally, watch for discriminatory behavior. Sometimes biases and stereotyping can cross the line into discrimination. It’s unfortunate for both you and your organization when situations like this occur.

Don’t just accept frustration and failure. Know that you’re doing everything right, and arm yourself with a good understanding of your rights regarding official company policies and local laws.

Key Points

To get ahead and reach the leadership level you want, you need to champion and market yourself. That means proactively managing every step of your career. If you can’t seem to break through a glass ceiling, you might have to work harder than others.

We can’t all be exactly the type of upper management person our company wants. What we can do is develop the skills that the company values. Arm yourself with a development plan as well as the help of your boss, a strong network, and, hopefully, a mentor. You can then build and showcase the skills that will help you climb the corporate ladder. Push yourself beyond your comfort zone, and you may find new zones of opportunity.

Apply This to Your Life

If you’re frustrated with your career advancement, consider the following:

  • Do you have a career plan in place? If you don’t, now is the time to make one!
  • Does your boss, or anyone in your organization, know what your goals are? Unless people know what you want, they may keep you in the same position and assume you’re happy there.
  • Do you feel alone and unsupported in your career goals? If so, who can help you change that? We all need to make our own success, but most people don’t succeed all on their own. Ask for support and assistance – this is a sign of strength, not weakness.
  • What areas for skill development have been pointed out to you in the past? Are you making improvements?
  • Are you facing a glass ceiling? Recognizing that the ceiling exists is the first step… the ceiling won’t be removed unless you do something about it. Apply some of the ideas in this article, and monitor your progress.

The article is supported in the Career Excellence Club by Club Facilitator, Dianna Podmoroff. Dianna is keen to hear from readers who’re facing this issue, and those who have successfully overcome it.

Courtesy: http://www.mindtools.com/PressRoom/OverviewCXC.htm

A facebook page/event has been set up for May the 20th, and this event has been called draw Muhammad day. So as a response, this page has been created, for Muslims to come and defend the honour of Muhammad peace be upon him. The way we shall respond is not by violence, or threats, or insults. No, we shall respond back with wisdom, and with the most important tool we have, the truth.
The prophet Muhammad himself stated that the strong Muslim was the one who could control his anger, and control his emotions, therefore all Muslims should follow this example.
Responding with threats does not defend the prophet, rather it simply feeds the propaganda, and makes them say ‘look! You see , we are right, the Muslims are violent!’ Therefore as Muslims we should be better.
On May 20th we shall release our own video, a video which shall compile some of the greatest examples of the prophet Muhammad. You to can take part, by posting several Islamic narrations that showed the kindness, mercy, humbleness, generosity, and sincerity of the prophet Muhammad. If you choose to do more, and want to make your own video, then do so!
Let us show everyone what a great man Muhammad (S.A.W) was, and rather than mocking him, he should be praised and given the utmost respect. So join up, and forward this group to your friends, so they join as well.
So come, let us defend the honour of Muhammad peace be upon him, and let us do this with dignity, respect, and wisdom
:: Join & invite your friends to [ Honour The Prophet Muhammad Campaign ] ::

I feel stressed when …..

Posted: May 13, 2010 in Unsorted

Dear PYRians,

We are pleased to inform you that our PYR MEMBER and LEAD ORGANIZER of our “Thalassemia Free Pakistan” campaign, Miss Ayesha Mehmood has been invited by GEO NEWS, Lahore as a guest to talk on Thalassemia on the occasion of World Thalassemia Day.

She will be on GEO NEWS live at 10:00 AM till 10:30 AM on May 8, 2010 (Today).

We wish her all the best.

For and on behalf of the entire PYR Team,

Abdul Hameed Kath

The more responsibility you assume, the more successful you’ll become.

Some people look at a difficult situation and say, “that’s not my concern.”

Others look at the same situation and say, “I’ll make it my concern, and I’ll do something about it.”

Guess who ends up being more successful?

There are plenty of perfectly reasonable and legitimate reasons to avoid responsibility.

So why would anyone choose to assume responsibility?

Because choosing to take responsibility means choosing to achieve, choosing to succeed, choosing to make a truly positive difference.

You can get by fairly well without assuming much responsibility. But is
that really what you want – just to get by?

The next time you see people running away from responsibility, make the choice to get yourself running towards it.

Make the choice that will bring you success and achievement.

Choose to take responsibility, and you’ll be choosing to succeed.

Dedicated to our dedicated members of PYR.

By Ethan Casey

SAN DIEGO, May 4 – As I write this, the news that the man arrested for trying to blow up Times Square is a U.S. citizen of Pakistani origin has only begun to sink in. What is this going to mean for other U.S. citizens of Pakistani origin – and for me, as their friend?

This article’s headline is an ironic allusion to something people used to say to disavow bigotry: “Some of my best friends are Jews.” It’s also a straight statement of fact: some of my best friends are Pakistanis. And I want the world to know that, especially in these times and at this moment, because I think it’s very important for us to remember that not all U.S. citizens of Pakistani origin blow stuff up.

Assuming we’re being told the truth about 30-year-old Faisal Shahzad of Bridgeport, Connecticut, it might be fair to ask: With friends like these, who needs enemies? But it’s precisely because of the horrific misguidedness of a dangerous few that we need to stay calm and remind ourselves and each other that we’re all in this together. I said exactly this, in fact, on Sunday when I spoke in support of The Citizens Foundation (www.tcfusa.org) at the South Asian American Arts Festival put on by Zanbeel Art at the Santa Monica Art Studios. I’ll say it again tonight, when I speak to the Pakistani Students Association at UC-San Diego.

The Citizens Foundation is one of several well-run nonprofits supported by the largely very suburban and middle-class Pakistani-American community that are quietly doing the most urgently necessary work: providing education, and thereby hope and self-respect, to the burgeoning young generation of the Pakistani poor. Too quietly: groups like TCF-USA must start tooting their own horns more assertively to the American public. I would go so far as to say that countering the impression of Pakistanis conveyed by the likes of Faisal Shahzad is not only an opportunity for the Pakistani-American community, but an obligation.

I’m not saying that Pakistani Americans have to prove that they’re not terrorists. The rest of us must remember that there is no such thing as collective guilt, and that the presumption of innocence is a basic American principle. I am saying that the existing institutions of Pakistani America need to move – now – beyond inviting each other to the existing endless round of charity fundraisers, worthy and useful as those are. Pakistani Americans are a remarkably talented and resourceful community who pay a lot of money to the U.S. Treasury in taxes and contribute very substantially to American society as physicians, engineers, teachers and business people. For better or worse, Americans listen to people who insist on being heard, and if you don’t toot your own horn, nobody else is gonna toot it for you.

My writing and public speaking are all about emphasizing to Americans the humanity of Pakistanis, their experience of and views on contemporary history, the complexity of their political and geographical situation, and the enjoyable and interesting apects of my own experience of Pakistan, dating back to 1995. As my friend Todd Shea (www.shinehumanity.org) likes to say, Americans hear 2% of Pakistan’s story 98% of the time. I feel very fortunate to have experienced Pakistan directly at a relatively innocent time both in history and in my own life, before the country’s name became a dirty word in the West. We can’t go back to that time, but we can remember it – and we can and should take a deep breath, reach out to each other as allies, and work together to do what needs to be done.

What needs to be done? Young Pakistanis need to be given hope and self-respect by way of education and jobs. This is already being done by The Citizens Foundation, by Developments in Literacy (www.dil.org) – at whose San Diego fundraiser I’ll be speaking this Saturday, May 8 – by the Human Development Foundation (www.hdf.com), by Pakistani pop star Shehzad Roy’s Zindagi Trust (www.zindagitrust.org), and famously by Greg Mortenson.

But why is Greg Mortenson’s the only one of these efforts that’s well known? Part of the answer, of course, is that he’s white: church ladies and Oprah watchers can relate to him as a virtual nephew or brother-in-law. This is fine. But we need to get beyond the toxic supposition that America is primarily a “white” and/or Christian country. It’s not, anymore, and that’s a good thing.

So the other thing that needs to be done is that the Pakistani community needs to ratchet up both its involvement in American society and politics and its visibility. Call up your local schools and churches, invite your neighbors to your home, all that good stuff, and by all means enlist me, Todd Shea, and Greg Mortenson as envoys. But also support Pakistani-American and other Muslm candidates for public office; insist on meetings with existing officeholders, not only but especially those you consider hostile to Muslims or Pakistan; and support and expand the lobbying work of groups like the Pakistani American Leadership Center (www.pal-c.org) and the Council of Pakistan American Affairs (www.councilofpakistanamericanaffairs.org). Get in the American public’s face, as fellow Americans, and help us all begin having a more honest conversation about Pakistan, America, terrorism, and where our countries and world are headed.

And I ask two things of my fellow non-Pakistani Americans: Go to the trouble of educating yourselves about Pakistan – my books and inviting me to speak are, indeed, good places to start. And, when you see pictures of Faisal Shahzad over the coming days, keep in mind that, except for the buzz cut, Tim McVeigh looked a lot like me.

ETHAN CASEY is the author of the travel books Alive and Well in Pakistan: A Human Journey in a Dangerous Time (2004) and Overtaken By Events:

A Pakistan Road Trip (2010).

They are available online at http://www.aliveandwellinpakistan.com/books http://www.facebook.com/ethancaseyfans, and he can be emailed at ethan@ethancasey.com

His Bio: http://ethancasey.blogspot.com/2008/12/ethan-caseys-bio.html

 

Courtesy: Amin H. Karim MD kardiodoc@yahoo.com