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Archive for the ‘Free Speech’ Category

The Good News About The Bad News In Pakistan

Posted by imrananwar on April 7, 2009

An old adage is that bad news sells. But there comes a stage in societies and countries, as well as the minds of news-readers and TV-viewers, when they just get sick of bad news.

I think it is no exaggeration to say that Pakistanis in general have gotten used to bad news, negative publicity, adverse editorial opinion and just general anti-Pakistan sentiment every day, everywhere, from New Delhi to New York.

That is why it was such a happy occasion to see the current Administration of Pakistan, opposition leaders, the military as well as the Chief Justice of Pakistan doing their part to literally bring Pakistan back from the brink of total chaos.

The reinstatement of the Chief Justice, as well as other political institutions and Punjab government, were also much awaited good news for Pakistanis. You could feel and hear the actual sense both of pride and hope in the eyes and voices of Pakistanis of all walks of life, from Karachi to California.

Obviously this was not detracting critics of Pakistan, as well as Indians and their lobbyists, in addition to Pakistan-bashers in general from continuing their attacks on Pakistan.

It even seems that American Administration officials, in particular the military men responsible for Afghanistan and Pakistan, also have a vested interest in giving the impression of an unstable Pakistan almost on the verge of total collapse.

I don’t know if that would be to give them the excuses to continue with their missile strikes or for some other nefarious purpose. Or just to make themselves look like heroes when things get better in 6-12 months.

One can understand their fear, that nuclear-armed Pakistan, with internal strife, daily terror attacks, especially with a perceived internal support for the Taliban among certain government agencies, could become a nuclear nightmare for the United States. But, their own pronouncements have the risk of becoming self-fulfilling prophecies.

However, their pseudo-intellectual analysis of Pakistan being on the verge of collapsing as a country within six months is hardly the way to go about expecting positive change in Pakistan, or Pakistanis attitudes towards America and its representatives here. Nor is it helping bring about economic prosperity, or at least stability, when that is most needed to ensure a prosperous future for Pakistan and Pakistanis.

Keep in mind that any criticism of Pakistan also has a multiplication factor of actions by the Taliban as well as Al Qaeda, which seems to have made parts of Pakistan their head office. Throw in the general fear, mistrust and perhaps even sheer hatred for the concept of militant Islam and Muslims, and you can see why Pakistan gets perceived even worse by Western media, politicians and the public in general.

Sadly, it is supposedly our fellow “Muslims”, whether they are brainwashed or willing hell-bound murderers, who take away the brief moments of joy and good news that Pakistanis begin to enjoy.

To make matters worse they kill and maim innocent people, destroy families and malign, damage and even insult Islam by carrying out the most despicable, dastardly and disgusting acts of horror. They blow themselves up in mosques, even in funeral processions, where the only thoughts most people have in their mind at that time are of God and of the day when we all have to return to Him.

I believe that the word suicide bomber is totally insufficient to describe these forces of Evil, these representatives of Satan, these worshippers of Lucifer, these children of Shaitan.

I believe we Pakistanis, and Muslims, as well as the media have to start calling them by their real name. they are not “jihadis“. They are not suicide bombers. They should be referred to as “jahanummi qaatil kuffar” – because that is what they are – hell-bound murderer infidels.

And, we need scholars of Islam, religious leaders and decent Imams and Ulema to give fatwas against every jahanummi qaatil kuffar who carries out such attacks.

Let the ones following them know that they will not go to heaven with 72 virgins waiting for them. Let them hear they will go to hell, with the entire Ummah spitting on their names and dead bodies with 7200 curses lashing their souls for eternity.

The recent events and terror attacks in the last few days have left no doubt in my mind that these are the worst enemies of Islam and Pakistan. And the sooner Muslims and Pakistanis unite t exterminate these vermin, the better off Islam, Muslims, Pakistan and the world will be.

From their actions aiming to kill worshippers in a house of God, to the shameless, spineless, disgusting torture and whipping or public flogging of a young woman (regardless of whether the video was made recently or months ago), they show themselves to be the animals that they are.

They are even worse than the pagan Arabs that our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) made it his mission in life to try to first show the light of true Islam and later to defeat in battle. Fighting these true enemies of Islam is true Jihad.

How shameful that these people, whom even the Quresh tribe of pagan Arabia would spit upon, are the ones claiming to do what they do in the name of God, religion and Islam.

But like many Pakistanis, and many Americans, who believe that the future is always going to be bright, I refuse to give in and give up hope. Even in these terrible, and dark, days I see good news.

I felt proud to be part of the Pakistani media, both through the pages of the magazine and newspaper chain that carry my outspoken opinions, to my own blog and new media, as well as the TV channels that I also appear on. Each one of them went above and beyond to expose the evil, dastardly, cowardly, woman-flogging Taliban for the vile scum that they are.

I am proud of my fellow Pakistanis, here in Pakistan or living abroad, doing their bit to spread the word of this heinous crime – using every tool available to them, from e-mail to Twitter, FaceBook, etc.

I felt pride in the Chief Justice of Pakistan taking notice of this grave injustice and jumping into action. I am even appreciative of usually spineless, two-faced, politicians who spoke up against this cruelty.

In all these things I feel Pakistan and Pakistanis have turned yet another positive corner. I see this as yet another positive sign. I see even more light at the end of the tunnel than before.

I see a nation not falling apart in six months. I see a newly rejuvenated nation. I see Pakistan coming together closer, more united, with greater faith and higher discipline than ever before.

I see a new willingness in the psyche of formerly apathetic Pakistanis finally starting to speak up. Much that I would like to take credit for having written the article asking people not to be silent anymore, in reality my recent article was written knowing in my heart of hearts how great a future we all want for Pakistan.

I know in my heart, mind, body and soul exactly what greatness lies within the hearts, minds and souls of my fellow Muslims and Pakistani people.

Pakistanis taking a stand, and speaking against the evil-doers and the bad news, is the good news, even the best news, we have heard all year.

==
Imran Anwar is a New York and Miami based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com and imran@imran.com . You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/imrananwar

© IMRAN 2009
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Posted in 2009, Afghanistan, AlQaeda, America, Clerics, Criminals, Democracy, Economy, Free Speech, Freedom, Imran, ImranAnwar, Islam, Media, Muslims, New York, Newspapers, Nuclear Weapons, Pakistan, Politics, Prophet, Suicide, Taliban, Terrorism, Terrorists, War, Washington | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hoping For Good Luck, On Friday The 13th

Posted by imrananwar on March 23, 2009

This has been quite an eventful week in New York. The previous few weeks of economic decline, bad financial news, increasing unemployment numbers and other news of global distress had been pushing the New York Stock Exchange consistently and constantly lower and lower.

Things were so bad that people would have preferred a return of the stress-filled yo-yo stock market days, where one at least had a 50-50 chance of making or losing money!

From a high of almost 13,000 the NYSE reached 6500 and there was talk of it even heading lower. There were fears that it might even fall below 6000 before all is said and done.

This decline continued while the flood of bad news also continued unabated. The only silver lining one could see around these ominous dark clouds was that most companies were choosing to do greater layoffs than they need and reducing costs as much as they can.

Even though each job lost is something that can mean the destruction of dreams of a family, sadly, for big businesses it is all a numbers game. Companies generally prefer to dish out all their bad news in one lump rather than dish it out piecemeal. It is generally easier to recover from a massive jolt and negative dip in stock prices over a few weeks or months. It is harder to get over the malaise that can cripple a company’s stock price if the bad news, no matter how small, just keeps coming every few weeks.

What’s that suggests to me, and keep in mind that I’m no financial adviser, is that most companies may be gearing up to have better than expected results at the end of the March quarter. Or, at least results that are less terrible than the market anticipates. Either one of these could potentially mean a rise in stock prices in April.

Even before the end of the quarter, a few pieces of good news have come out. One of them was that Citibank has been profitable for the last two months. This is the giant global behemoth that is one of those banks considered too large to be allowed to fail. This news came shortly after the bank’s stock was trading at as low as one Dollar per share, a far cry from nearly $60 per share it used to be.

Anybody who bought those shares at the ridiculously low price of one Dollar literally made a profit of 35% in one day, as investors suddenly found their greed outweighing their fear.

Financial company stocks in general benefited from this uptick in the stock market. Most major stocks have been rising consistently for the last few days, though I expect some drops as profit-taking starts again.

Even though it is far too early to claim that the market will not plumb new lows, but more than likely, one year from now economists and other so-called experts will analyse and say that the recovery had begun at an anaemic but measurable rate in these weeks.

President Barack Obama and his team have had most of their focus on the American economy – as well as the global recession that still imperils the world. But in the meantime other serious matters of the world continue to demand attention.

As is consistent with Pakistan and its self-destructive ways, once again American media and Pakistan bashers have gotten ample opportunity to raise the specter of Pakistani nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists – should the country spill further into anarchy.

The recent blatant and brazen terrorist attacks in the metropolitan city of Lahore, the despicable attempts to kill the Sri Lankan Cricket team and the evil murder of police officers and innocent bystanders there showed how almost no part of Pakistan is safe. This was an attack obviously not carried out by Taleban type thugs but by some well-organised but equally evil professionally trained gang of killers.

The Taleban continue to remain in the news, especially Pakistan ceding control of Swat and other regions to what are perceived as extremist groups. American drone and missile strikes continue to kill Pakistanis, innocent or otherwise, with disturbing regularity. India continues to rattle its sabers in the guise of demanding justice for the Mumbai attacks. In other words, there is no possible threat, internal or external, military, economic, political or social that Pakistan does not face.

Yet our shameless, spineless, gutless, clueless and witless politicians continue to fight over who sits at the head of the table – while this ship of state is rapidly sinking. Unlike even the Titanic, Pakistan is like a ship whose captain has been aiming it at every single iceberg he can see. On top of that, the ship has been torpedoed from behind. Its own crew is setting fire to cabins and furniture while others are busy looting what they can.

It is no wonder therefore that foreign powers, including America, find that the only way to control Pakistan, even to keep it from self-destructing, is to manage it not as friends but as masters. And, Pakistani politicians are quite OK with that.

From politicians, I want to shift to lawyers. Every country in the world has its share of lawyer jokes. For the last one year, and once again this month, it happens to be Pakistan’s lawyers and barristers, who have taken up the challenge to restore democracy and justice.

A profession that relies not on regular salaries but on almost daily work in the courthouse has once again stepped up, at great cost to its self, economically, professionally, personally. Today I must salute the lawyers and other professionals of Pakistan, not just for bringing down one dictator, but for ensuring that Pakistanis as a nation see that they can choose and control what the government can or cannot do when an elected person tries to act as a dictator.

Will democracy rule or will Pakistan sink into the abyss of chaos and anarchy?

The fact that things have come to this stage in itself is a tragedy. For the first time in more than 60 years we had an opportunity to establish state institutions. This was a historic opportunity because so many forces lined up in a once in a century series of events. The sacrifice of Benazir Bhutto, the professionalism of General Kayani, the sensibility of some political leaders and the great courage of Chief Justice Iftikhar Choudhry and fellow judges. Rarely had so many forces lined up to restore true democracy to Pakistan. And, sadly, rarely have historic opportunities of such greatness been grasped in Pakistan.

As I am writing these lines in New York – on this 13th of March – I am hoping for some good luck for Pakistan. The only positive news is that some sort of compromise may be in the works in Islamabad. I, like millions of Pakistanis, can only hope and pray for that miracle and some Good Luck, today, on Friday The 13th.


This article was in client publications on Friday the 13th, 2009.

Imran Anwar is a New York based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com and imran@imran.com . You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/imrananwar

Posted in 2009, America, Americans, Army, Asif Zardari, Assassination, Bailout, Bank, Banking, Barack Obama, Benazir, Benazir Bhutto, Bhutto, Constitution, Democracy, Dictatorship, Economic Recovery, Economy, Elections, Free Speech, Freedom, Future, General, Hypocrisy, Imran, Imran Anwar, IMRAN.TV, ImranAnwar, In My Humble Opinion, Justice, Musharaff, Nawaz Sharif, New York, News, Newspapers, Pakistan, President, Stocks, Supreme Court, Terrorism, Washington | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

In Defense Of Self Defense & Supreme Court Shooting Down DC Gun Laws

Posted by imrananwar on June 26, 2008

It was a split decision, but at least the Supreme Court of the United States has taken a stand on the American Constitution.

Sadly, it has not had much to say on violations of the Constitution carried out by the Bush regime, nor taken any stand on the daily decline in our constitutionally protected rights.

More important to them than the Constitution being torn to shreds were Washington, DC (District of Columbia) gun laws that ban legal ownership of guns by DC citizens.

Mind you, DC, among other cities, has often vied for the Murder Capital of the World title. So, I can see the local law enforcement’s logic in trying to ban guns (for the last 32 years). But, both as someone born in Pakistan and having been taught to handle my father’s favorite Webley & Scott revolver, and now as an American with an affinity for Smith & Wesson/Walther devices, I fully support the right of Americans to bear arms.

Of course, the NRA, of which I should be a member but am not, would probably disagree with my contention that there do have to be some limits on the types, and possibly even number, of guns we can or should be allowed to own.

I support the right to bear arms for several reasons.

My interest in owning weapons includes having them for target shooting, self-defence and all that the Constitution intended as good reasons to bear arms.

However, I also do not think we, or any non-law-enforcement citizen, need some sort of 3000 rounds per minute assault rifle or machine gun to do all of the things above.

We live in unsafe times. Security of the homeland means protecting ourselves not just from would be suicide-bombers but also from armed home invaders, drug dealers, road-rage-warriors, thugs, muggers, petty criminals, gang members, and so many other types of vile scum that can easily snuff out our lives for a few Dollars, or on a whim.

So, I do support the Supreme Court decision shooting down the DC gun laws, but I also hope for two more things.

The Supreme Court, and American courts in general, should also not hobble American law-enforcement from coming down hard on hard core criminals who often brazenly conduct their business better armed than our Police officers.

Of course, it would also be nice if the Supreme Court actually did something more to protect the whole Constitution itself from our increasingly fascist dictatorial executive branch and lame, crippled Congress, and spineless Senate, and not just try to address one particular aspect of the Constitution. What do you think?

Posted in America, Assault, Bush, Business, Congress, Constitution, Crime, Criminals, Dictator, Dictatorship, Fascism, Fascist, Free Speech, Freedom, History, Judges, Justice, Law, Legal, Pakistan, Police, Politics, Rights, Security, Self Defense, Senate | 4 Comments »

Be All You Can Be – Because America Is The Land Of Opportunity

Posted by imrananwar on June 24, 2008

Forbes.com, the online service of Forbes magazine, has a very interesting article about America not really being the proverbial land of opportunity.

It suggests that America is not as great a land of opportunity as Americans like to believe. It makes many interesting points, but I had a strong counterpoint that I wrote for Forbes.com but am sharing with you here.

You all know how openly and boldly I do criticize American social flaws, excessively liberal coddling of society, the evil regime of neo-conservative George Bush and Dick Cheney, and its foolish, self-defeating and unfair foreign policy in the Middle-East and towards Palestine. But, that does not mean I do not love America and all that it, and its real people, and values, stand for.

This is my response to Forbes.


I was born into a good life – in a comfortable, upscale, professional, educated, well-off, well-known, respected and popular, loving and devoted family in Pakistan.

I had hardly any need to walk away from an established public/media identity (fame?), successful career (fortune?), family and comfort just for the sake of “Coming to America”.

But that is what I did in January, 1989.

I arrived with the total US$1000 that Pakistanis were allowed to leave with, and came to Manhattan to attend Columbia Business School for my MBA. Despite my delusions of greatness and brilliance, most of my friends will tell me I am neither brilliant, nor overly hard-working.

Yet, it was because I was in America that I COULD be whatever I wanted to be. I started my MBA studies in 1989, working with a Pakistani newspaper chain to help them establish and publish simultaneously a multi-city newspaper in 1991, and helping the Pakistani Embassy in the USA start a computerization effort.

I also started a small consulting service, a media-syndication business serving media clients in global markets from NYC, AND went on to become pioneer and founder of Internet email, as well as cofounder of the top level .PK domain for Pakistan. Soon thereafter I was also the one to bring MasterCard credit cards to Pakistan.

I had a challenging 1996 (when 90% of my six-figure income from two global clients dried up within 2 months) but was fortunate to join first a start-up, then a Fortune 50 NY-based company for a few years, and then back to being CEO of my own startup.

I am proud of my Pakistani heritage, but I am even more proud of being an American for just a few years and already living the American Dream far more, and far better, than many of my fellow American even dare to dream.

I am NOT rich by any stretch of the imagination – but even as a mere “technology professional” and “media expert” I have everything any Billionaire in the USA can have. From oceanfront homes in NY and FL, to flying small planes, to having a small “fleet” of boats from 23-40 feet in two states, I probably enjoy an incredible life more than I can even tell people for fear of being accused of showing off.

I can meet, see, date, love, marry (if I was not Happily Single!), befriend, or associate with anyone, of any race, religion or country.

I can (and do) say and write anything positive or critical that I want about anyone (even about the American government or its policies) on my blogs as well as on radio and TV, from CNN to Fox News. I can charge hundreds of Dollars per hour for my time as a business consultant, or work in child welfare or any other cause that I choose.

Despite all this, yes, I am nowhere near my fullest potential. And, that is because I need to be more focused, not because America does not offer ample opportunity to everyone. It is because I am in America that I do still have the opportunity to pursue my 100 other dreams.

Yes, I AM behind in publishing the books and screenplays I have partly written. I do have to be more diligent about hunting venture (not vulture) capital for my small portfolio of Web 2.0 startups that help monetize social networking and content online.

I still have to make time to play Tennis and learn to ski and swim (yes, it’s shameful, I can barely swim despite my flying/boating passions). I only half-joke when I say that my list of pending Things To Do is 7-10 years long. And, on top of all that, I do need to finish up the patent drawings and claims to file the 22 patent applications I have pending for different products.

America is surely not perfect, but even people who complains about it do not, and would not, choose any other country to live, work, play or even dream in. Thank you America.

Imran Anwar
http://imran.com


I would love to hear from native born Americans, immigrants living in America and non-Americans who dream of coming to America (as long as they speak English 😉 and will not come to burden society and raise my taxes 🙂 ).

So, “Dare to Dream, Dare to Speak, Dare to Be All You Can Be”.

Imran

Posted in America, Aviation, Billionaire, Boat, Boating, Books, Business, CEO, Columbia, Education, Entrepreneur, Equalty, Flying, Free Speech, Freedom, Globalization, History, In My Humble Opinion, Inclusion, Internet, Invention, Love, Manhattan, Marriage, Marry, MBA, Millionaire, Opportunity, Pakistan, Passion, Publishing, USA, Venture Capital, Wealth, Web 2.0, Writing | 2 Comments »

 
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