Category Archives: Activism

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Pakistan: Are Urban Women’s Growing Baking & Sewing Interests Problematic?

It’s increasingly being considered as a good thing from economic perspective. However, restricting women only to a few skills such as sewing and backing could yield long term economic depressions with no foreseeable equal participation of women in workforce.

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Why should you volunteer?

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Facebook makes you waste a lot of your time, right? But it also gives you ideas, motivation, inspiration just when you need them the most. Yes, it does sadden you when you are already enough vulnerable but let’s focus on positivity for the sake of this post, shall we?

One of my Facebook friends shared a meme which reminded me of a post I was supposed to write back in February.

volunteer

The image above shows a public mindset that’s prevalent in the society of Pakistan – I cannot be sure about other developing countries; it is though quite sought-after for a Pakistani youngster to yearn for a government job while having condescending views about the Read the rest of this entry

FinFisher Commercializing Digital Spying – How You can be a Victim?

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FinFisher is surveillance software by Gamma International UK Ltd marketing the surveillance solutions to government security officials through exploiting security lapses in anti-virus programs. It is basically a spyware suite designed to allow someone to spy on a computer or mobile device. Described by the company as “Governmental IT Intrusion and Remote Monitoring Solutions”, FinFisher has its command and control servers installed in around 36 countries globally, according to a report and analysis by Citizen Lab. Pakistan is one of those countries, and Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) owns the network where FinFisher server is found.

The FinSpy malware – tool of FinFisher intrusion kit – was often injected in the potential victims’ machines by sending them malicious email. In the analysis, Citizen Lab found that email addresses which were used to send these emails were on the names of some popular Read the rest of this entry

افغانستان و پاکستان کا مشترقہ بلاگ : پڑوسی کو سمجھنا

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اپنے پڑوسیوں کو تو ہم نہیں بدل سکتے، مگر اپنے برتاؤ اور پڑوسیوں کے ساتھ اپنے ناتے کو ضرور بہتر کر سکتے ہیں. یہی مقصد ہے جرمن سیاسی فاؤنڈیشن فیڈرش-ایبرٹ-سٹیفنگ (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung) کے ٢ مرحلوں پہ مبنی اس پروجیکٹ کا جس کا نام “افغان-پاک صحافی تبادلہ پروگرام: پڑوسی کو سمجھو” ہے۔
اس فیلو شپ پروگرام میں افغانستان اور پاکستان کے تقریباً ٢٢ صحافی دو مرتبہ اکٹھا ہوئے: پہلی بار اسلام آباد میں اور پھر کابل میں.اسلام آباد کے علاقے بارہ گلی میں ہونے والی ملاقات کے بعد ڈیورنڈ لائن کے دونوں جانب کے نوجوان صحافیوں نے ایک بلاگ شروع کیا. اس بلاگ کے تعارفی حصے “پڑوسی کو سمجھو” میں لکھا ہے:

یہ بلاگ ہم سب کی ایک مشترقہ کوشش ہے جس سے ہم رابطے میں رہیں گے اور اپنے پڑوسی کو بہتر طور پر سمجھ سکیں گے. ایک ساتھ مل کر ہم آپس کی سارے شگافوں کو مٹائیں گے اور ان دیواروں کی مرمت کریں گے جو ہمیں ایک دوسرے سے دور رکھتی ہیں۔

af-pak journalists

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“A facebook status can get you arrested faster than killing someone now”

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In India, the largest democracy on Earth, 21-year old Shaheen Dhada was arrested for posting a status update on Facebook questioning the complete shutdown of cities for Bal Thackeray’s (rightwing leader notorious for inciting religious hatred and violence) funeral on Sunday, 18th November. Her friend Renu Srinivas was also arrested for “liking” the update which reportedly read: “People like Thackeray are born and die daily and one should not observe a ‘bandh’ [shutdown] for that.“

The girls were arrested under section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for “hurting the religious sentiments of others” and section 66 (a) of the Information Technology Act, 2000, after the complaint was made by a local Sena leader in Palghar police station, reported NDTV.
66A of the Indian IT act deals with communication made via computer or other devices which may be “grossly offensive,” have a “menacing character,” or even cause “annoyance or inconvenience”. This draconian law had been severely criticized for being authoritarian and stifling freedom of expression.

Dhada quickly removed the comment and apologized for it but that didn’t stop this hostility. Some 3,000 party activists of extreme right- Read the rest of this entry

Salman Taseer – NATION’s DEATH – Hope Dies!

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Yesterday was my first day at workplace after finishing my graduation last month. I was all very excited until I read the horrible tweet about gunshots on Punjab Governor Salman Taseer[details]. Shocking as expected it was a news but more than that it was the end of hope for many youngsters like myself.

During the late office hours, news started coming about the killer accepting the crime in front of media bravely claiming that Salman Taseer deserved it because he(the governor) has been talking against the well-known Blasphemy Laws. Kudos!

But the day turned out to be even more torturing when few of my so-called EDUCATED, liberal friends started praising the murderer. wOw! Here we go, we are the MUSLIMS who are supposed to be the most tolerant humans on the face of Mother Earth. We are the PAKISTANIS, whose baba-e-quom said on 11th August, 1947:

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to ANY RELIGION or caste or creed that has NOTHING to do with the business of the State.”

We the chanters of Humanity, organizers of patriotic events, WE the same YOUNGSTERS are letting it happen and leading it to even worse situation and still we blame our elders who failed the state economy and supported Zia. Are we different from Zia ? YES! We’re even more violent, more devastating and unfortunately more spirited in our own senses.

The genes have sure passed along in a more educated, patriotic, liberal ways leading to even more blasphemous nation – Lets get some time machine and persuade Dear Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah to not worry about this nation and lead his life somewhere in Leeds without getting ill because of us, THE PAKISTANIS!

For me[including all the like-minded youngsters] Salman Taseer is not only a state loss, political stab and a thumbs down from JI like parties, it’s the END OF HOPE for us, end of everything good which we had ever dreamt of for this Not-So-Pure-Green-Land.

Governor Sahab’s last tweet before his murder was

“Mera azm itna bulund hae Parae sholon se dar nahin. Read the rest of this entry

Dear FACEBOOK please let us be real humans!

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Right now at 00:35PST, 24th September Twenty Ten I’m writing this blog to channel my frustrations. Frustrations mainly caused by my dear Facebook err. From last half an hour it’s acting like some khatara rickshaw without petrol [rickshaw uses petrol as fuel, right ??] and during all these seconds I was considering one thing: What if it gets banned again [remember the blasphemous May Ban ?] and before my nerves would go off track, proxies rushed into my mind and I got bit settled 🙂

But apart from all this upheaval I just realized that Facebook Ban is like having no internet connection at all. I thought about searching something for my assignment [yes! I’m still a poor student 😦 ] and it came to me that net isn’t working [though it is]. Dah My bad! Thanks to the Tweetdeck which is letting us using our new beloved twitter with more of some software application feel than the typical Internet Website look.

Hahaha someone just tweeted the suggestion to “breathe deeply … straighten up the desk … walk around the building” to let the facebook-less feeling go away but nothing is working :/

Wait! Let me refresh it again. Hope it works (*Prayers*).

Nah 😦

So continuing it with the pros and cons of this social network: ummm many good things like being connected with all the oldies/newly found friends/relationships, passing time, never getting bored, getting all the ‘breaking news’ at the instant from your newsy friends, keeping up with all the newly discovered underground bands, all the music, events, food, retailers, summer sale announcements and what not 😮 I just realized it’s simply a heaven dude!

But the biggest trade-off of this Dear Blessing is ‘fading real life relationships’!  Yes! It happens and I’m suffering from this right now 😦 Was thinking to deactivate my facebook/twitter accounts (should I go for it ?? Suggestions please!), but when I can’t live with this one-hour blackout how am I gonna survive with the clean bold ahh why life becomes so painful sometimes.

Bingo! IT’S WORKING! yayyyyyyy 😀 So I’m leaving y’all here. And yeah please don’t be aliens, dear humans. Your tweets about #facebookDied are killing me now 😦

And if facebook isn’t still working at your side then please contact the local conspiracy theorists of your area, they’ll tell you about the e-mujahideen who have taken the revenge of Qom ky beti Afia ky conviction ka badla .. So keep on protesting for this single qom ky beti and let me be from the left-wing 😉

Have a great Jumma with JI, PTI protesting for the sister of Betullah Mehsud [send me some #FFs too ;)]!

P.S. Don’t blame me for any insanity please. Like you all I too am suffering from this facebook-less disease phew!