VOA – Covers Pakistani Bloggers

VOA%20logo.gifVoice of America Urdu did a one-hour round table telephonic discussion between four Pakistani bloggers of which two were Karachi based bloggers and coincidentally both were KMB Bloggers (Ramla A & Myself).

The guests on the show were Adil Najam calling in form Washington, DC of Pakistaniat.com fame, Ramla Akhtar who is an old KMB blogger and blogs presently at Next> by Ramla, the third guest was Hakim who has recently started blogging at micropakistan.org while I wrapped up the quartet (Dr. Awab Alvi found at Teeth Maestro).

The round table discussion was hosted by Murtaza Solangi and the discussion was on blogging in Pakistan, slowly moving to cover the censorship issue in a little detail and wrapped it up with the impact of Blogging on the CJP crisis. I was able to plug KMB a few times in the discussion also. I feel there is little doubt that at least in the recent few days blogging has received some serious attention from the print and electronic media, an example can also be a great story on the censorship which appeared in the Saturday issue of Daily Times it was handsomely placed in the bottom half of the Karachi section.

To hear the entire interview you can head over to either VOA Urdu website or listen to the mp3 hosted on my blog, you must keep in mind it is a whole hour long discussion so if you care to download it as an mp3, a link is also provided on my blog (I apologize for not being able to post the direct live audio link here as it cannot be added to KMB)

In other news more importantly for the readers in the US (Chicago), I have been invited to call into a radio show to talk about blogging / censorship & CJP issues by an Urdu radio show ABNChicago (ironically this website is blocked in Pakistan) it is scheduled to air on Sunday afternoon today on March 18th @ 12:00pm

32 Comments so far

  1. wasiq (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 5:15 am

    Hey guys i watched the remix version of Atif’s Doorie song few hours ago and i think it is not politically correct to call it a remix so what should i call it Revitalized ot Rejuvenated…???

  2. anon_again (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 5:46 am

    just classic, Wasiq:) i also listened to this song today and really like it. did not worry a whole lot abut the genre though

  3. Sufi (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 6:01 am

    TM, I thought you were older than you sounded :D

    Ramla, I didn’t expect you to speak the urdu you spoke.

    Adil Najam sahab, just what I imagined about him.

    Nice interview overall..

  4. MB (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 9:31 am

    All guys, great work. Excellent work. Covered all topics.

    From A to Z all topics were covered.

    My detail comments later.

    Hakim sahab thora khamosh lagey, khair toh hey ?

  5. Dee (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 9:47 am

    Congratulations all of you.Keep up the good work.

  6. d0ct0r (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

    congrats on covering this issue on main stream media…

  7. ASH (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 1:27 pm

    well done kmb guys

  8. adnan (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 5:08 pm

    keep it up guys !!

  9. UZi (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 5:09 pm

    YAYYYYYYYYY!!! : ) All hail DT for bringing the issue up, and all hail KMB for sticking to their guns! : )

  10. Cecil (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 5:58 pm

    Hey doc, jes a correction to the link posted to the DT article


    A pleasure talking to u the other day. jes got in today and saw ur mail. will be in touch.

  11. Asian Broadcasting Network (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 7:41 pm

    Dear All ,

    Asian Broadcasting Network Chicago, a non-profit urdu talk radio show will be airing a live Talk show hour on CJP issue where Dr.Awab will also be there to discuss his Proud-Pakistani movement and other issues.

    All listerners all more than welcome to call in during the show.

    Here is the updated link for the ethnic radio station which airs our program. Do tune it at the time mentioned:

    Go to http://www.1590wonx.com/ on Sunday at 10pm Pakistan Time / 12pm US Central Time / 5pm UK Time.

    Dr.Awab Alvi and the CJP issue will be discussed in the second hour of the show.

    I would everyone to listen to our complete show if possible.

    We will have two hours of talk show on this issue. This is really going to be an INQUILABI show since garnished with couplets of Faiz the great revolutionary poet.

    Here is this week’s program format:

    1st Hour youth show : Songs request, of course Faiz ghazals keeping in view of the theme of the next hour. World Cup fiasco discussion.

    2nd Hour : Awab and discussion on CJP issue. Callers call in.

    3rd Hour ; Discusion , Mujalla containing Faiz and Ibne Insha and Cemendtaur’s Aik Khayal (an audio blog) on the recent crisis.

    Studio phone numbers (US) : (1) 847-475-1555, 56 and 57.

    Share your thoughts on the issue that Pakistan is facing by calling in during our show.

  12. MB (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 9:39 pm


  13. MB (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 9:42 pm

    @Cecil J. Chen
    Havn’t had any intro about you. Do you have a profile listed anywhere ?

  14. Ramla A. (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 10:23 pm

    Thank you. I hope we were able to validate the art and science of blogging in Pakistan!

    @ Sufi: Do you mean it was better than you imagined? Well, I have been practicing in Geo.

    Though, my teacher Zia Mohyeddin would be very disappointed if he heard me mixing English in Urdu. Well… next time!

    P.S. I think our languages of Pakistan need validation too. *I* thought it was a good idea of the Pak Cricket Team mgmt to ask players to speak in Urdu. Alas, though, our team won’t be getting much podium time I see. Oh, heartache!

  15. omar r. quraishi (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 10:31 pm


    Editorial, The News, March 18, 2007

    Dealing with dissent

    One would have thought that going by the tumultuous events of Friday and the general response of the nation to them, on Saturday the police would have been ordered to be a little more circumspect in their dealing with those protesting the ‘suspension’ of the chief justice. On Saturday, the ‘action’, so to speak, seems to have shifted to Lahore, with dozens of lawyers arrested, manhandled and lathi-charged by the trigger-happy Punjab police. And while the chief justice’s lawyers are now claiming that the tight security cordon around him has been relaxed, it should be remembered that this has happened (pending independent corroboration) only after the Supreme Judicial Council made it clear on Friday that there were no restrictions on the movement of Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. As for Saturday’s actions by the police, they were mostly unprovoked again, this time beginning when lawyers were prevented by the police from going inside the premises of the LHC to attend an all-Pakistan convention organised by the Lahore High Court Bar Association. The police lathi-charged the lawyers and fired tear gas shells and this rash action eventually snow-balled into a full-fledged street battle between the unarmed lawyers and the Punjab police constabulary.

    The question that one would like to ask is why cannot the government let the lawyers meet if they want, why cannot it be okay with people protesting whatever it is they wish to protest against, provided it is peaceful and does not disturb public order. Surely by now, it should have realised that an all-out confrontation with either the lawyers’ community or the media is going to be a futile if not downright negative exercise in that it will only serve to further exacerbate an already tense situation and that this heightening of tension will only damage the government’s own credibility and lower its image in the eyes of Pakistanis in general as well as the outside world. As for the attack on the office of The News and Geo TV on Friday, the government has reportedly suspended 14 policemen who allegedly took part in the raid. A judicial inquiry has been promised as well one can only hope that it succeeds in unearthing the real perpetrators of this naked assault on press and media freedom. Again, it is worth reiterating that it defies common sense and logic to believe that junior-level policemen on their own would attack and ransack the offices of a national newspaper and a news channel in the heart of Islamabad, a stone’s throw from the Parliament House, the Prime Minister’s Secretariat and the Presidency.

    The best way forward for the government would be to allow peaceful forms of protest. As it has already said, the matter is now before the SJC and the directives of this body should be followed. One of them relates to the coverage of the SJC’s proceedings and of the hearing of the reference. Here, as directed by the SJC print and electronic media have reported only the press release detailing Friday’s proceedings. The government, and especially the electronic media regulator PEMRA, should not seek to unnecessarily extend this directive, as has been done so far, to order newspapers and TV channels not to cover the events and incidents arising out of Justice Iftikhar’s suspension and to desist from giving him any coverage.

    Such a blanket prohibition impedes the people’s right to be informed on all matters related to the chief justice’s ‘suspension’ except of course those that are sub-judice, i.e. the contents of the reference against Justice Iftikhar and the proceedings of the SJC to examine it. Also, by prohibiting any coverage of the issue, a situation may well arise in which, because of absence of any information, rumours begin to gain currency and that only serves to destabilise things further. As a first step, the government should call off the police on the lawyers and permit them to exercise their democratic right to register a peaceful protest and this should be applicable for civil society in general. As has already been pointed out by some commentators, those at the helm of affairs should realise that the rise of the information age, characterised particularly by the coming of age of the country’s electronic media (and to some extent of the Internet, especially blogs and so on), has changed everything. Clamping down on the flow of information and on dissent is next to impossible and only counter-productive. Ban a TV channel and one will find the information on the Internet or on a blog, blackout a newspaper and get the story on a web forum. The dictum that the Internet is perhaps the biggest encourager of a democratic mindset (and certainly a facilitator of a level-playing field in terms of who controls and provides information) has never been as true as now in Pakistan’s case. Now only if the country’s polity was as democratic, with its head of state and head of government, both accountable solely to the people.

  16. MB (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 11:38 pm

    @Hey DOC, did you recognize me ?>

    Hey i just called on the show and talked to DR AWAB & others

    Great feeling, The guy MUNIB was me

  17. Teeth Maestro (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 11:49 pm

    LOL – I sure did – calling from California yea right ;)

  18. wasiq (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 11:51 pm

    yo harry potter kids its time for me to sign out and its bed time for you as always so before i go here’s an update from the PAUPER AND THE PRINCE story we grow up with…..

    while i’ll be watching the shahrukh’s KBC on star plus and STARS IN THEIR EYES on BBC prime…His Royal Highness Prince CHARLES may be watching PTV Global yeah kya hai…..


    Ps: thanks for praying for me…..and remember WAR is always unfair to LOVE

  19. Cecil (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 1:29 am

    @ Munib from Karachifornia
    no. no profile. i just drop in every now and then.

  20. UZi (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 1:37 am

    Cecil’s our graphics designer (at DT). He also reports from time to time (when we manage to bully him enough). And he’s one of my oldest, bestest fwends! :D

  21. Cecil (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 1:44 am

    ooh.. ‘Graphics Designer “SLASH” desk editor’
    yes.. and add colleague and saath saath pagalpanaficators as well

  22. MB (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 2:17 am

    @DOC , @Cecil
    What else i could do over VoIP. I was calling from office & calls are recorded…..lolzzz
    There is no way i could say anything other than California (thats where my USA office is) because they would be amazed to know a USA number showing up with a person saying he is calling from KARACHI….


  23. Sufi (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 5:45 am

    Ramla, better urdu than I imagined.

    As for the cricket team speaking in Urdu, masla to ye hai ko unn ko urdu bhi theek say nahi aati 8)

  24. Sufi (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 5:47 am

    Oh & btw, one of my friends who was listening to the interview with me asked me to ask you if you are the same Ramla from Beacon House School *your sister went to Cambridge/oxford* cant remember??

  25. Obi Wan Kenobi (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 9:30 am

    We now atleast now know the real name of MB. I listened to first few minutes of radio show but it sounded too boring. Drawing room talks :-).

  26. SELF (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 10:26 am

    Pakistani Bloggers Category on Wiki;


    Feel free to add someone.

  27. Ramla A. (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

    @ Sufi:

    I would trip my sister if she dared beat me to Cambridge/Oxford (I love the *architecture* more than the education, though.). Lucky for my sister, I have none. :)

  28. original-anon (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 1:10 am

    Ah, Obi Wan Kenobi – you are my only hope :)
    I agree, boring – I could only listen to a few minutes but what was really sad was that no one could speak a complete sentence in Urdu. English words, phrases, half sentences were used all the time.

  29. Dee (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 11:18 am

    @ those who were interviewed by Voice of America Urdu……..>There was a mention of some one who made about $6000 fraduantly, i am just wondering if you guys planing to take any actions or more importantly if you are legally entitled to claim *Defmation* atleast.

  30. MB (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

    “$6000 fraduantly” ???

    I have no clue what this is about. I joined the program a little later, & instantly called.

  31. Dee (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 7:39 pm

    @MB…> Hmmm it was the interview where TM, Pakistaniat person,Ramla and Hakim were present.I beleive it was TM who mentioned that someone made hay wrongfully :).Well, the lady made a fuss about her blog got banned due to cencorship and for that she got so many hits on her blog that she made about that much money.

  32. Teeth Maestro (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 7:55 pm

    Yes – it was this lady in Oregon (i think) the ad clicks were astonishing plus she had the local TV and radio stations run shows about her being blocked in Pakistan and she was an overnight hero in that town. To an extent that I was emailed by reporters and TV crews for my reaction – I naturally refrained from making any comment as I knew it only helps her cause if I say anything for or against her. So after much thought I declined to comment at all. I say that we let the grave settle down on its own, no need to reawaken her and serve her with another few hundred dollars

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