Monday, September 28, 2009

Why I threw the shoe - Muntazer al-Zaidi

Why I threw the shoe

I am no hero. I just acted as an Iraqi who witnessed the pain and bloodshed of too many innocents

I am free. But my country is still a prisoner of war. There has been a lot of talk about the action and about the person who took it, and about the hero and the heroic act, and the symbol and the symbolic act. But, simply, I answer: what compelled me to act is the injustice that befell my people, and how the occupation wanted to humiliate my homeland by putting it under its boot.
Over recent years, more than a million martyrs have fallen by the bullets of the occupation and Iraq is now filled with more than five million orphans, a million widows and hundreds of thousands of maimed. Many millions are homeless inside and outside the country.
We used to be a nation in which the Arab would share with the Turkman and the Kurd and the Assyrian and the Sabean and the Yazid his daily bread. And the Shia would pray with the Sunni in one line. And the Muslim would celebrate with the Christian the birthday of Christ. This despite the fact that we shared hunger under sanctions for more than a decade.
Our patience and our solidarity did not make us forget the oppression. But the invasion divided brother from brother, neighbour from neighbour. It turned our homes into funeral tents.
I am not a hero. But I have a point of view. I have a stance. It humiliated me to see my country humiliated; and to see my Baghdad burned, my people killed. Thousands of tragic pictures remained in my head, pushing me towards the path of confrontation. The scandal of Abu Ghraib. The massacre of Falluja, Najaf, Haditha, Sadr City, Basra, Diyala, Mosul, Tal Afar, and every inch of our wounded land. I travelled through my burning land and saw with my own eyes the pain of the victims, and heard with my own ears the screams of the orphans and the bereaved. And a feeling of shame haunted me like an ugly name because I was powerless.
As soon as I finished my professional duties in reporting the daily tragedies, while I washed away the remains of the debris of the ruined Iraqi houses, or the blood that stained my clothes, I would clench my teeth and make a pledge to our victims, a pledge of vengeance.
The opportunity came, and I took it.
I took it out of loyalty to every drop of innocent blood that has been shed through the occupation or because of it, every scream of a bereaved mother, every moan of an orphan, the sorrow of a rape victim, the teardrop of an orphan.
I say to those who reproach me: do you know how many broken homes that shoe which I threw had entered? How many times it had trodden over the blood of innocent victims? Maybe that shoe was the appropriate response when all values were violated.
When I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, George Bush, I wanted to express my rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people. My rejection of his plundering the wealth of my country, and destroying its infrastructure. And casting out its sons into a diaspora.
If I have wronged journalism without intention, because of the professional embarrassment I caused the establishment, I apologise. All that I meant to do was express with a living conscience the feelings of a citizen who sees his homeland desecrated every day. The professionalism mourned by some under the auspices of the occupation should not have a voice louder than the voice of patriotism. And if patriotism needs to speak out, then professionalism should be allied with it.
I didn't do this so my name would enter history or for material gains. All I wanted was to defend my country.
Muntazer al-Zaidi is an Iraqi reporter who was freed this week after serving nine months in prison for throwing his shoe at former US president George Bush at a press conference. This edited statement was translated by McClatchy Newspapers correspondent Sahar Issa


Invite your mail contacts to join your friends list with Windows Live Spaces. It's easy! Try it!

Prohibited bore licences issued to US security firm

Prohibited bore licences issued to US security firm

Daily Times Monitor

LAHORE: The government has issued 86 licences for banned weapons to a security company, contracted by the US embassy in Islamabad, a private TV channel reported on Thursday.

A source in the Interior Ministry told the channel that the licences had been issued to Inter Risk following Prime Minister Gilani's approval. US ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson had held meetings with PM Gilani and the Interior Minister Rehman Malik in this regard, it said.

The channel said the weapons had been imported from the US and each weapon was worth Rs 800,000.

The security company had signed a contract with the embassy in April. A US embassy spokesman told the channel that it was no secret that the embassy had hired Inter Risk for security.\09\18\story_18-9-2009_pg7_19

See all the ways you can stay connected to friends and family

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Should we be congratulating our leadership for these achievements?

Husain Haqqani To ISI: Let Blackwater In


Mr. Haqqani's assertion that deporting Americans found involved in suspicious activity and denying them entry is hurting Pakistan's image, is idiotic at best and treason at worst.  PKKH requests the Pakistan Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence to take note of Mr. Haqqani's attempt to undermine Pakistan's national security – and at the very least, immediately put him under surveillance if not on a lamppost in Islamabad.


Dan Qayyum |

Sunday, 13 September 2009.





ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Pakistan's Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani has written to the foreign secretary and ISI Chief, warning them that harassing Americans or denying them visas hurts the country's image and can have severe consequences.


According to reports published in several media outlets, Haqqani's letter, dated July 28, 2009, reveals that Pakistan has a blacklist of US journalists and non-government organizations (NGO) that are critical of Islamabad.  The ambassador has warned that Pakistan risked hearings in the US Congress and potential restrictions on aid and military sales if US citizens were harassed or intimidated.  The letter listed instances where US institutions or journalists were denied visas, harassed or put under surveillance.  Mr. Haqqani has demanded explanations for these actions and a copy of the blacklisted American groups and organizations.


Mr. Haqqani's plea to the Pakistani intelligence agencies comes at a time when there effectively is a quiet occupation of Pakistan taking place by Americans arriving in one form or the other to the country in fulfillment of US strategic plans.  There have been confirmed reports of over 200 houses being rented by US citizens and groups linked to the US government all over Islamabad.  Many of them are easily identifiable because of the barricades surrounding them.  There are also 300 plus 'military trainers' setting up shop in Tarbela, a few kilometers away from Islamabad.  There are reports that new facilities are being granted to the notorious 'Blackwater' – now with a new name, Xe Worldwide – in parts of Sindh, and the rather obvious CIA front, Creative Associates International Inc (CAII) operating not only in Peshawar but also in Islamabad.


This is what renowned Scholar and Defense Analyst Dr. Shireen Mazari revealed a few days back:


"Ordinary officials at Pakistani airports have also been muttering their concerns over chartered flights flying in Americans whose entry is not recorded – even the flight crews are not checked for visas and so there is now no record-keeping of exactly how many Americans are coming into or going out of Pakistan. Incidentally the CAII's (CIA/Blackwater) Craig Davis who was deported has now returned to Peshawar! And let us not be fooled by the cry that numbers reflect friendship since we know what numbers meant to Soviet satellites."


Since these reports first surfaced last month, the chartered flights have stopped and a number of suspected CIA and Xe employees – posing as 'journalists', aid workers and employees of certain NGOs – have been denied visas and entry into Pakistan.  Existing US consulate personnel and employees of CAII as well as a number of other US citizens have been put under surveillance for suspected involvement in anti-state activity.


It is the duty of Inter-Services Intelligence to defend Pakistan's borders and block any covert attempts to trample Pakistan's sovereignty. Mr. Haqqani's assertion that deporting Americans found involved in suspicious activity and denying them entry is hurting Pakistan's image, is idiotic at best and treason at worst.


PKKH requests the Pakistan Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence to take note of Mr. Haqqani's attempt to undermine Pakistan's national security – and at the very least, immediately put him under surveillance if not on a lamppost in Islamabad.


Dan Qayyum is the editor of PakistanKaKhudaHafiz, where this report is posted.  It is reproduced here under special arrangement. Mr. Qayyum can be reached at

Friday, September 11, 2009

Verify NADRA CNIC Through SMS

Verify NADRA CNIC Through SMS

In the race of technology, NADRA hits another achievement while it launches a very useful service for verifying CNIC details. Now you don't need to visit NADRA offices to get someone's details verified or to get some details regarding this..

It has become very easy now to verify anyone if you are going to have dealing or are hiring him/her.

Simply verify their CNIC by sending an SMS to 7000.

Write CNIC Number without dashes and send it to 7000. In response you will get name and father's name of that particular CNIC number holder (in urdu fonts).

Example: write 3740149922830 and send to 7000

Charges: Rs. 10 plus tax per Message (Around Rs. 12 including taxes)

At the moment this service is available for Mobilink, Telenor and Warid customers while Ufone and Zong are in process to get listed.

One may think that this is a privacy loop hole, however, as it does not provide any contact details of the CNIC holder and only reveals the name and father's name – so it is acceptable and helpful in many means..

Talking about benefits, this service will really help the public in there general as well as special matters as you can easily verify someone's details to check the scam or fake ones, these credentials can really help out in business deals as well as personal contracts where you need to be sure about the real person.

This service will also be helpful to law-enforcement agencies as they may be able to get more details as compared to public because there is another special number for them. They can get CNIC information by sending the number at 7001.

Subscribers will get details through cellular companies which would collect data in real time communication from NADRA National Data Warehouse. This is thought be a secure data transfer as service numbers are labeled as "Special Numbers".

NADRA is also supporting law-enforcement agencies and govt. to implement and cope up with prevailing law and order situation. This step is regarded as a good initiative as it will support telecom infrastructure as a big advancement and will led others to bring these kinda changes and revolutions. A lot of thing are on their way but still a BIG job is to be done


Now India's turn to expand its embassy

Now India's turn to expand its embassy
LAHORE - After giving 58 acres of land to the US Embassy, the Indian Embassy in Islamabad has also been allotted 10-acre land for its expansion, it was learnt on Tuesday.
The Indian Embassy will construct more offices as well as residences on the land, provided to it in the Diplomatic Enclave. Besides that, Indian commandos and security guards would be deployed at the Embassy for security purpose.

It has been learnt that the land has been given after a request by New Delhi.

However, a government department had made provision of land conditional to some steps.

Highly-placed government sources said it is not an unusual thing. Keeping in view modern day requirements, the Indian request was accepted and "we are well aware of the situation", they said.

It has been learnt that construction work has been started for expansion of the Indian Embassy.
On the other hand, some circles in Islamabad are expressing their reservations over the allotment of land to the Indian and US embassies, besides raising questions regarding the purpose of providing land to these embassies.

They say that at least the Parliament should have been taken into confidence over this sensitive matter.

These circles also are of the view that a question arises whether Pakistan's friendly countries, including Saudi Arabia, China, and other Muslim states have land equal to that of the US and Indian embassies' and as to why these countries did not feel need to expand their missions and take extra security steps.

Moreover, China's protest over unnecessary expansion of the US mission as well as extra security measures and later its denial is being discussed in the government and diplomatic circles. It is being said reservations of friendly countries over the issue should not be neglected, because this would isolate Pakistan at the international level.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

US Hummers Enter Pakistan, Undercover American Soldiers In Islamabad


Picture Alert: US Hummers Enter Pakistan, Undercover American Soldiers In Islamabad

A large number of US armored carriers have arrived at Port Qasim.  Here are the first exclusive pictures.  This adds to increased activity of armed US 'diplomats' in the two cities of Islamabad and Peshawar and the construction of the world's largest US embassy in Islamabad close to sensitive federal government departments.  The PPP government and other Pakistani politicians are silently encouraging this expanded American role to counterbalance a powerful Pakistani military.


Monday, 31 August 2009.



ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Undercover armed Americans are swarming the Pakistani capital in the latest sign that the elected government has allowed Washington to dispatch what is believed to be a large number of American special operations agents and contractual security guards, including the infamous Blackwater private militia.


This comes at a time when whistleblowers within the government and the military are reporting the arrival of a large number of US Marines in Pakistan.  Some reports put the figure at 1,000 US soldiers, much of whom are thought to be arriving as part of the massive expansion of the US Embassy and four consulates across the country.  While the US embassy continues to deny this, new buildings are under construction to house security teams.  The expanded US embassy is supposed to become the largest US embassy in the world.


Above is an exclusive picture taken by a source at the entrance of Port Qasim near Karachi, showing US Hummers being transported out of the facility.  According to the source, the shipment was not destined for Afghanistan.  The picture was taken on Aug. 19, 2009 and being released here for the first time.


The latest evidence of the growing American military presence in the Pakistani capital is the arrest of four Americans carrying automatic weapons in a part of the Pakistani capital that foreigners seldom visit.


The four were arrested in Sector G-9 of Islamabad in the evening of Saturday, Aug. 29.


A police picket stopped two cars carrying the four Americans who refused to explain why they were carrying sophisticated automatic weapons in the capital city.  Diplomats are not supposed to carry weapons because their security is the responsibility of the host government, and security guards are  not supposed to be carrying weapons outside the embassy except during official assignments.  The four were taken to a police station for interrogation but were released when two retired Pakistani army officers showed up and threatened police officers of dire consequences.

The police established that the four Americans carried diplomatic status and were part of the US embassy staff.


When I called today US embassy spokesperson Richard Snelsire about the incident, he refused to comment and referred me to the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pakistani police.


"Do US diplomats normally carry weapons?"  I asked.


Mr. Snelsire's reply was, "Only if they are permitted" to do so by the Pakistani government.  But he avoided commenting on the incident or explaining whether the four were diplomats.


The spokesman's reaction confirms suspicions that private US security guards are active in Pakistan.  For obvious reasons these guards do not come under the cover of US Department of State employees in Pakistan.  This could be one reason why US embassy spokesperson declined comment on the story since the presence and the activities of the four armed men might be beyond the purview of the US embassy in Islamabad.



Blackwater Commandos in Peshawar


There is strong evidence that the private US mercenary army, Blackwater, has also established office in the Pakistani capital.  Authorities have received several complaints of ill mannered military-type westerners misbehaving or recklessly driving by.


The Pakistani capital was the scene of at least two incidents recently where armed American diplomats verbally and physically assaulted Pakistani police officers.  In one case, newspapers called for expelling an armed US diplomat who cursed and swore at the host country.  The Pakistani government, which is known to be pro-American, refused to take action.



The Americans appear to have recruited a large number of retired Pakistani army officers, in addition to quietly hiring Pakistani civil servants without making any of this public.  A famous government university professor in Islamabad who is active in US media campaigns against Pakistan's nuclear program has also been hired as a consultant.  Government employees cannot offer their services to foreign governments but this is happening now under an increasingly weak Pakistani state and government.


Who Is Inviting US Military

To Pakistan


There are indications that the PPP government and some other politicians, like Nawaz Sharif, are encouraging the Americans to get involved in domestic issues especially as a hedge against a powerful Pakistani military.  Politicians are aware they have led the country to a national failure on all fronts since the general elections in February 2008.  The public mood is gradually turning against them.  This has stoked the rumor mill about disgruntlement within the Pakistani military regarding the failures of the politicians.


Washington is spending nearly one billion dollars to expand its Islamabad embassy.  On completion, the US embassy in Islamabad will become the largest in the world.  Interestingly, both the government, led by President Zardari, and the opposition, led by Nawaz Sharif, refuse to question why Washington has been granted exceptional concessions to construct an imperial-size embassy and how at least 18 acres of the most expensive real state in the capital has been handed over to the Americans for this purpose at throwaway prices.


With Windows Live, you can organize, edit, and share your photos.