A letter to the editor Time Magazine – By Mr. Tony Lazaro

Posted: January 24, 2012 in Karachi, Pakistan, World
Tags: , , , , , ,

Dear Followers,

This is in continuation to my previous post “A disturbing article in Time magazine – “Karachi is doomed. Karachi is indestructible”.

I am pleased to reproduce a letter to the Editor, Time Magazine written by Mr. Tony Lazaro who is the Managing Director of Rising Stars Management Group after his kind permission, for that I am very thankful to him.

This letter has not been published by Time Magazine so far (I didn’t find it in its issue of 30-Jan-12), but I found it worthy of posting on to my blog while thinking that we must show the world the positive side of Karachi as well as our country, Pakistan, because unfortunately, every media be it foreign or local is trying to bully us and showing only negativity about Pakistan or maybe they have got only one eye that sees negativity all around but nothing else.

I am reproducing below the letter with a request to you all to please send your comments and feedback, thanks:

The Editor, Time Magazine
Dear Editor,

I recently returned from a charitable trip to Pakistan, whereby I visited both Karachi and Islamabad. I spoke with several universities, key businesses, prominent business leaders and several religious people from all generations….

On the day I returned to the office, someone had placed your magazine (January 16, 2012), on my desk. I read with interest your article on Karachi and the city in doom. For a person to have just returned from the very same place that your magazine described was somewhat bizarre, so I read with great detail your writer (Andrew Marshall’s) account.

Let me begin by saying that I often flick through your magazine and find the articles of great interest, but on this particular day and this particular article, I found certain comments to be both one sided and indeed very negative. I say that because I saw a different Pakistan to what was portrayed in your article. I do not and will not comment on the political or religious problems that the country faces, but I will go so far as to say that not everything is as bad as the image that your magazine paints.

Sure there are deaths in the cities. Please show me a city in the world, that is free from political fighting and unrest.

Sure there are differences in the political party opinions. Please show me a country in the world where the political parties agree.

Sure the innocent are suffering. Please show me a country in the world where wealth and power is equal and the innocent don’t suffer.

Sure corruption is in Pakistan. Please show me a country in the world that is corruption free.

My list could go on, but my point is that Pakistan does have problems…but so does every other country in the world in some way or another. However, in the case of ALL other nations, there are often good things to report and the media goes out of its way to promote these good things across the globe, whenever possible. The ridiculous amount of shootings in the USA are balanced off by the success of Google, Microsoft and Apple. The financial dilemmas of Greece are lost in the marketing of the Greek Islands as a holiday destination of choice. The child slave industry of India, is brushed under the carpet in favour of the nation’s growth in the global software boom. What I am trying to say, is that someone needs to look further into Pakistan and see that there are millions of great stories to write about, which would portray the country in a different light, to that what is being portrayed by your article.

When I was in Pakistan, I visited a towel manufacturing company (Alkaram Towels). They produced some $60million in export in 2011 and are aiming at $85million in 2012. A substantial increase in sales…in a recession I would remind you. The company was started by the current Chairman, Mr. Mehtab Chawla, at the tender age of nine, after his father passed away. Today the very man employs 3000 staff. Now that’s a story.

I visited universities of NED, Hamdard, Karachi, Szabist and NUST. The students are unbelievably intelligent. They spend their spare time developing APPS for android and apple. They are involved in cutting edge technology and no one in the world knows this. Why not send a reporter to Pakistan to look into this. Why not research good things in this nation, rather than just the bad things. At NUST (National Institution for Science and Technology – Islamabad)) there were 38,000 applications for medicine. There are only 83 seats for the medicine course on offer. The competition is unbelievable. In short it pushes the best to be even better. But the world doesn’t know this. Why ? Because no one wants to report on it, or no one knows about it…or both !!

Please do not get me wrong. I understand that news is news, but it is high time that the western world stopped promoting these terrorists and political wars in Pakistan and started to write something that would help the nation. Something positive. If we really care about global partnerships and economic growth, then I suggest we try and give Pakistan a helping hand. There are 180 million people in Pakistan, 65% are under the age of 25. The youth of Pakistan is its strength.. it is like a sleeping giant. If you think that India is a booming nation. I suggest you stop a second and look at Pakistan. Given a little help from the western world, Pakistan can become a dominant economy. She doesn’t want aid and she doesn’t need money… she just wants the chance to be seen in a different light. I believe we have a fundamental obligation to assist. The only question is, who will reach out first.

Warmest regards,

Tony Lazaro
Managing Director
Rising Stars Management Group
Tel: 02 8824 7000
Fax: 02 8824 7766

  1. Samreen Ayaz Padela says:

    Awesome indeed:) This nation just lacks leaders like you…

  2. Anjum says:

    I think the writer’s comments are somewhat enlightens a part of the story in Pakistan but still we see the a very big majority in Pakistan live miserable life.

    • ahkath says:

      Yes… there is no denial to the facts but our point is that why all the negativity in each and every coverage?
      Why don’t they change their lenses and see all the positive aspects?

  3. Aadii. says:

    I have been talking on this from some years now; western media always producing an image as if the only product Pakistan has is “Terrorism”. However its a different scenario all together for people living in the country, the nation holds a strong bonding within each individual in the neighborhood, in times of distress we back our each other; we are up for work, any initiative is always welcomed within masses. Friendly oriented people, who believe in peace and harmony, respect our neighbors.

    Its high time, western media should realize that its not that dark & the country has the potential to spark out, given the privilege we deserve.


  4. mubasyra says:

    very pleasing to read this account on behalf of a foreigner, thankyou dear! and this is lesson for our desiliberals too to keep an eye on positive side as well instead of presenting negative image of pakistan to foriegn journalists,

  5. Respect and love from Pakistan! 🙂

  6. Maria Yousuf says:

    I am speechless and Grinning… I feel proud! 😀
    The letter states the obvious fact, the world (the west in particular) exhibits Pakistan the way it wants it to be seen. If I begin questioning, I’ll question WHY?
    Why Pakistan? Why would you want people to see just THAT image.
    Like Tony Lazaro mentioned above, name ONE country with none of all that, name ONE!
    Yet the west chooses Pakistan to slather with grime. If i further question why, would it be because Pakistan chooses to TAKE its problem Global? Or the leaders act as if they owe nothing, and it means nothing?
    Either way, this letter infuriates me yet makes me proud. One among the throng recognized us.
    Among the midst of dust saw our shine. 😀
    If one saw it, surely there will be more who reflect his recognition of Pakistan.

    I love Pakistan. Love how he mentioned our Unis.. Love that he wrote this letter. waiting for it to be published

  7. Tony Lazaro says:

    Hi everyone,
    Firstly thank you to all of you for the very warm comments and acknowledgements. I am not sure how this small article has become such an interest to every Pakistani throughout the world, but what I am learning very quickly is that everyone is grateful and humble in their comments to me.

    Some of you believe that change is necessary, (which of course it is), some of you beleive that change is impossible (which of course it is not). However change will take time. I liken fundamental changes to that of loosing body weight. We put weight on over time, say three years. When we decide to loose wieght, we try and do so in three months. All that happens is we loose water from our bodies but not the weight, so we get a false reading. Its called a quick fix, but NOT a solution.

    Pakistan can have a quick fix, but fundamentally, to have solution it needs to consider the weight loss theory, if Pakistan has become “dark” over 20 years. We must allow 20 years for it to recover properly….THAT IS A SOLUTION…not a quick fix.

    However in order to start a 20 year process, that is what we need to do. Or should I say that is what Pakistan needs to do. She needs a START A 20 YEAR PLAN…… to recover socially, educationally and industrial wise. That way economic growth will be guaranteed…as will prospertity and a better life style for all.

    It is possible…but everyone needs to get on the same page.
    Good luck…I will watch with interest.


    • ahkath says:

      Dear Mr. Tony,
      Thank you so very much for your such an encouraging and supporting comments.
      An yes, you are 100% right that this country needs not a ‘quick fix’ but a solution to its permanent stability at all levels.
      We all want to see a ‘change’ in this country and we are sure that only the Youth of Pakistan i.e. more than 60% of the total population can bring this change.

      Let’s see … fingers crossed.

  8. A Rehman says:

    Good to read a balanced perspective. We already know this, but it’s great someone outside the country and outside the media community has taken the time and trouble to bring a saner perspective.

    How did you learn of this letter and reproduce it if hasn’t been published yet?

    • ahkath says:

      Dear A. Rehman,
      Thanks very much for your kind and encouraging comments.
      In fact, this letter was sent by one of my friends….but upon receiving it, I contacted the writer, Mr. Tony for his permission to reproduce it to my blog. In fact, as he mentioned to me he has received a call from Time and they said that they are going to publish it soon. I am glad that Mr. Tony has also commented here.

  9. aijaz says:

    I am just curious, where did you find this unpublished letter?

    • ahkath says:

      Well, please don’t be my dear friend. I have taken the permission from Mr. Tony Lazaro and I am glad that Mr. Tony has also commented here.
      In fact, as he mentioned to me he has received a call from Time and they have said that they are going to publish it.
      However, my point was just to show positive side of our country to the entire world in contrary to all the negativities.

  10. Danish Ishtiaq says:

    Amazing article Tony. Hope the the western and local media stop spreading negativity about Pakisatn. Hope to see this country progress in future.

  11. Saghir Ahmed says:

    Dates : 25th Jan2012

    I read the letter to the Editor, Time Magazine by Mr. Tony Lazaro, MD of Rising Stars Management Group (unpublished), which was posted on AHKath’s Blog on 24th January 2012 with utmost interest, and was relieved to know that someone of Australian origin from down under has recently visited Karachi, Pakistan, and has made a firsthand assessment of the events here.

    Contrary to the advisory which is issued by the respective western governments to their citizens to keep indoors well away from the common Pakistani in the street, Tony visited some of the inaccessible areas of the city and most of the Colleges and Universities to gain firsthand knowledge and formed a matter of fact opinion.

    Surprisingly the picture portrayed by the Time Magazine has been drawn up by someone (Mr. Andrew Marshall) who may have stayed indoors in Karachi/ Islamabad for fear of getting hurt by a stray bullet. Such distortions and gross inexactitudes are written on the express instructions of his superior otherwise the reporter would lose his job.

    Some senior staff members of the Times Magazine hail from Indo Pakistan, but do not display enough courage to correct the reports that are being published.

    An occasional word of praise in favor of Pakistan would not diminish the artificial boost that is being given to its next door neighbor. Don’t forget that half of Bombay sleeps on the pavement as opposed to Karachi.

    Sagheer Ahmed,

  12. drzsu says:

    I started to compile my experiences here to show the true colors of Karachi
    part 1

    part 2

    part 3

    I hope you guys help to circulate these videos and see how others on the world are coming out in support of you
    This from Willie from Finland

  13. drzsu says:

    This is my answer to the TIME magazin answer

  14. Things are bad but not as bad as they are portrayed. We have to focus on the positives around us, learn from our mistakes and move on.

  15. Ayyaz says:

    Really true , no doubt . West is helping secret handedly to the crooks and killers and thugs in pakistan

  16. Rebecca dean says:

    I would be interested to know what the editor replies back. You are absolutely just I’m sending this letter as media tends to only project the negativity of some countries as dictated by the political network involved. My nephews who are so smart are struggling to find an opportunity to succeed in Karachi, they just need a chance. Pls do post when you do get a reply. Thank you again on behalf of all Pakistanis

    • ahkath says:

      Hi Rebecca,
      I hope you have seen the response to Mr. Tony by TIME Magazine that I have shared hereunder.
      Thanks for all your kind comments and feedback.

  17. Mujtaba Mahsham says:

    Media being misused is revealed again!! Biased opinions are the only things bringing down this particular future power! & I totally agree with Mr. Tony Lazaro. Well said Sir.

    Its high time people should realize the potential in our countries! Asia will surely be the land of future super powers! Be it China, India or Pakistan! Its about being fair & just. The media should understand that people look to it for ‘real’ news & info. It should not indulge in such ‘false’ & ‘fake’ news just to get their sales going & their TRPs booming! Doing such cheap thrills will be as good as not being honest to their profession!

  18. ahkath says:

    Many would be surprised to hear that Karachi is the “Philanthropic Capital of the World”, with the highest per capita donation and charity. Pakistan has Edhi, the largest social charity organisation in the world. Writer strongly urges everyone to find the time to stand up against one-sided negative publicity of the nation.

  19. Naazim Mohammed says:

    Its a known fact that the western media is over-zealously biased & try to project the Islamic nations in low light. This has been the habitual presentation of the west. Its better to ignore & move forward than getting stuck into the lop-sided views, which do not make any sense. Its also fact that Islamic nations are able to stand & thrive on their own. They do not need any western help for the same. Yet they can, survive as have been for many centuries in the past. The world looks at Islamic nations & their people as terrorists, which is not true. As the TIME magazine as never ever projected America, which is one country in the world promoting & pampering Christian terror, bullying the weak Islamic nations. America also is the largest seller of ‘arms & ammunition’ in the world. Has anyone read about this in TIME??! Certainly not!! That’s how the real story is & will stay till our media is strong enough to compete them & tell them our side of the ‘real’ story!

  20. Kuddos!
    We all must try our level best to let the world know what great things are happening in our country. We (every single Pakistani) are the marketers and its our job to market our product well, the product we call PAKISTAN!

  21. najia says:

    Dear Mr. Lazaro

    I m extremly grateful to you for using such nice words for my country, of which i have always been proud of , n will always remain one. problem doesnt lie merely with the foreign media, rather our own media n many journalists, whom i used to follow (but now have unfollowed because the only message they impart is of depression and creating sense of worthlessness amongst those who hang on to every word they say) also bang the same hammer all the time. but like you portrayed, i have a firm belief in my country, its people, especially the youth. i m sure we will rise above this very soon In Sha Allah. my regrads to you and your family. may Allah bless you for speaking out the truth.


    Najia ( a humble n proud pakistani)

  22. SIddique says:

    No doubt, Pakistan have its share of problems but do we need foreigners to counter the false propaganda!

    Heaven’s sake, much of our tax goes in running embassies in foreign states and a whole brigade of foreign office!
    They seems to be sleeping since last few years.

  23. Hiba Moeen says:

    It’s interesting how a foreigner sees our country through a decent perspective amidst all the negativity prevailing internationally. It’s useless to expect politicians to try to re-position Pakistan because it’s us, the actual representatives who can do something as the real face of the unrecognised potential.

  24. I just wonder why western world always keep on looking at the negativities found in our country. Anyways You may shoot me, with your words. You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefullness, But Still, like Air I will Rise.. Yes Still I Rise. You may write me down in history with your Bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt, But Still, like Dust, I will RISE. “I am PAKISTAN”

  25. ahkath says:

    I am highly elated to have received another letter, a response from Mr. Tony Lazaro to the Editor, TIME Magazine. I am excited to share the same with you all who are following this blog.:

    Dear Editor,

    I recently wrote an email to your offices, in response to your article, Karachi (Pakistan) – A doomed city (edition 16 Jan 2012). The actual email is detailed below…

    Someone from your Hong Kong offices, then called me on the 19th January to advise me that your magazine wanted to publish my email in the next edition.
    This is what was published in your magazine on 6th February 2012:

    Of Pakistan’s 180 million people, more than half are under the age of 25. The youth of Pakistan is its strength. If you think that India is a booming nation, I suggest you stop a second and look at Pakistan. Given a little help from the Western world, Pakistan can become a dominant economy.
    Tony Lazaro,

    Firstly, what you published is both inaccurate and non reflective of the email that I sent to your magazine. Not only have you doctored the words you have chosen to print, but you have published less than 50 words (three sentences)….of the email that I sent to you. That is complete nonsense.
    At best, your attempt to publish my words can only be seen as “an insult” ……. at worst it can be deemed as a “complete disgrace” .
    A disgrace to your company, a disgrace to your industry and a disgrace to the role of editor that you occupy.

    I have tried to keep an open mind about Pakistan, both from a professional and non-judgemental point of view. The Pakistani people are constantly reminding me that the media in the Western world, will not print anything good about the country. But I chose to ignore them… and in sending your magazine my email, I gave YOU the opportunity to prove every Pakistani wrong. Instead you have done the opposite. You have proved each and every Pakistani is right. The Western world will not print anything nice about their country.

    I would like to say that I am disappointed, but being from the Western world myself, I am nothing less than embarrassed by what you have done. You have taken my email and butchered the very soul of what I was trying to say…and in doing so you have let me and every Western person down. You had the opportunity to be seen as the media to reach out…. and instead you turned a blind eye.

    I really believed that Time Magazine, was above the rest of the (run of the mill) magazines and that it prided itself on reporting real events and real stories. I have grown up thinking that your magazine provides insight into what is truth, what is justice and basically what is fair. But today, everything has changed. Today, I have cancelled my subscription. Today I will seek an alternative method to give a helping hand to Pakistan, as it is blatantly obvious that Time Magazine, doesn’t want to.

    With utmost disappointment, yours

    Tony Lazaro
    Managing Director
    Rising Stars Management Group
    Tel: 02 8824 7000
    Fax: 02 8824 7766

  26. ahkath says:

    Dear Mr. Tony,

    I am highly elated to have received a copy of your another letter addressed to the Editor, TIME Magazine and am very much grateful to you for your trying the best in portraying the right and positive image of Pakistan to the entire World.

    Here I would like to mention that I totally agree with Mr. Farrukh I. Khan who mentioned that :
    “They never ever see anything good in us but magnify and shout out loud about all negativities about us.. and yet they blame us of hating them.. everybody knows what they have done with Iraq & Afghanistan.. Now Pakistan is their turn, so what they are doing is just looking for the right moment to cash it, Evidence is the other way round … its them who are the haters not us …
    & Again Hats off to Sir Tony Lazaro , who at least stood up against wrong people & shit Magazines who actually do black business by hiding truth & enlighting false stories, Now from today I am too going to unsubscribe that SHIT TIME MAGAZINE & will ask everyone to do this.”

    Here I would also like to mention that I also stand side by you all and will unsubscribe from that SHIT TIME MAGAZINE & will ask all my friends to do so immediately.

    I am very much excited to mention here that on reproduction of your first letter to my blog, I received a great amount of response from people all around and they’ve appreciated the efforts but in by you. I am now reproducing this letter under the comments as well for all my followers to see the real face of the TIME magazine and their management.
    This is the link to my my blog: http://tinyurl.com/7ojpt75

    Thank you once again dear Tony and look forward to meeting you here in Karachi soon.

    A.H. Kath

  27. Ajmalshah says:

    An unbiased , positive & true picture of Pakistan objective realities. All friends to spread this message on all social media sites.

  28. Parvez says:

    We in Pakistan will survive thru this lean period. Thanks for reporting the positive side of our nation

  29. Mueen Sehdi says:

    Remarkable letter. Thank you. I would love to seek attention from our home media channels in Pakistan as well. They should portray positive picture more than that of negative ones. Nation, via media, may get helping hands, encouraging words, motivating thoughts and appealing urge to excel… not the mind polluting talk shows etc. Pak – India open trade only can change the whole picture.

  30. Zed says:

    I Spoke to Tony very recently too when I came across this piece of letter. Time Magazine has always been a pet of US nation since the dawn of time (pun intended) that is why some people prefer Newsweek.

    I was very happy to learn that Tony wrote back to Time, however, if it had been me, I would have called them and given them a lecture, especially that stupid, lying journalist because he is very obviously doing a bad job. If I was in US, i would sue him for malpractice and ten different things because as Tony himself put it, this is rubbish, absolute rubbish! I have always hated Time magazine and i’m not even 25 yet.

    I love my country and there is no where else i’d rather live no matter what.


  31. Anum says:

    Very well said by sir Tony Lazaro.. wise words 🙂

  32. Pak Soul says:

    Wonderful. Thanks for sharing. I will quote information you shared in my upcoming book about Pakistan.

  33. I salute to Mr Tony Lazaro on this fect finding post based on hundred percent truth.

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