22/06: Pakistan qualifies for Wimbledon 2007

I recently read about Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan qualifying for Wimbledon 2007 and feel great pride in this achievement. While tennis does not has the following in Pakistan similar to that of mainstream and popular sports like cricket, it still has a decent following.


Another picture can be seen here.

His name is listed at the fourth position in this list on the Wimbledon site.

Here is an APP news article [copyright for the article lies with APP] I found regarding the qualifying round:

Pakistan’s top tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi on Thursday created history by becoming the only Pakistani to enter Wimbledon through the qualifying rounds of the professional tennis.

Aisam hit the limelight after winning third and final qualifying round against Canadian No. 1 Frank Dancevic in a four set thriller lasting for 2 hours and 50 minutes with a score line of 4-6, 7-6 (11/9), 6-2, 7-6 (7/4).

The Canadian has been playing very well for the last three years and broke into top 100 in the world. He has been playing Wimbledon main draw also regularly. Frank was the 4th seed of the Wimbledon Qualifying draw and a favourite to qualify today but Pakistan star had other plans and managed to defeat him, said a facsimile message made available to APP here.

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20/06: The OLPC Project - call for localization

I recently attended Microsoft's Pakistan Developer Conference which attracted IT experts from all over Pakistan alongside various other government officials.


There, I met Dr. Habib Khan, who is working for the OLPC [One Laptop Per Child] project in Pakistan. We had a brief conversation about the project when he was leaving and he requested that all those who can help should come forth for localizing OLPC for Pakistan. This will ultimately benefit the poor people in Pakistan who don't know English language and for whom the currently English-based OLPC project is useless since they have no familiarity with the English language. He sent me a couple of links for those who are interested:

OLPC current events

For those software developers; Pakistan-based or otherwise, who are interested in localizing OLPC project to Urdu and other local languages, please post what you can contribute in this thread on Linux Pakistan site. Once there are a few people interested, I will direct Dr. Habib to the thread/site so interested people can interact with him and he can then further guide them.

I request all those interested in this to step forward for the betterment of the cause of OSS and the very people of Pakistan who will use this OLPC project for gaining knowledge and ultimately improving their lives.

For those who can do it, please forward this information to other communities and forums too where people might be interested to help.

10/06: P2P networks; a blessing or menace?

File sharing is a rather old concept. It has evolved over time to the current P2P and torrent networks. Napster and Kazaa were very popular file sharing services at the turn of this century. Millions of internet users use file sharing predominantly for downloading pirated software, movies and music amongst many other things. This illegal sharing dominates the volume of legal sharing like that of open source software including Linux based distributions. By some estimates, 35% of internet traffic today is caused by BitTorrent alone!

The world’s population is around 6.5 billion out of which 1.115 billion have access to the internet. 35% of 1.115 billion is 390.25 million people. The total internet users indulging in file sharing constitute a larger number of users than 390.25 million since BitTorrent is just one of the ways for file sharing. If you are providing web hosting services or running a popular website, imagine a healthy percentage of more than 400 to 600 million (a rather conservative estimate) hits in a short period of time. Welcome to the world of DDOS (Distributed Denial Of Service) attacks!

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07/06: 21st Century Lullaby

Symphony of cries that shook the sky,
Let sleep take you O sweetie before I end my lullaby,
Sleep before Bush invades our home,
And sets us with Saddam into a treason trial,
Let sleep take you O sugar before I end my lullaby,
Get unconscious or the next knock on the door,
Would bring in Bush with lust for the oil and eyes on our floor,
Let sleep take you O honey before I end my lullaby,
Force yourself in a midst of a soothing dream,
Or Bush will have us for 9/11 rage,
A holy war he fights, huh a loser’s try,
Let sleep take you O darling before I end my lullaby,
Now close your eyes or sweet mama would die,
I have heard Uncle Bush riding a bomber Stealth,
And guiding the ghostly Toma Hawk,
Would ‘bomb us into stone ages’ as he passes by,
For the love of Jesus kid you sleep,
The roses on Papa’s grave didn’t yet dry.

© Faraz Arshad

06/06: Salman Ahmad and the MQM experience

Recently, Salman Ahmad, a former band member of a musical group, Junoon, which is South Asia's biggest and most senior rock band, made some public statements which are reproduced below. Formerly, he was also a part of another popular musical group named Vital Signs. He is a doctor, a music artist and an actor.

I hope this statement by him helps MQM supporters make a sensible choice in the next elections.

Altaf Hussain and his murdering accomplices deserve to be tried for their crimes against Pakistan. I’ve been threatened by them on many occasions in the past 15 years. One particular time was when I refused to perform at Altaf’s marriage function in Karachi and London where all the other artists, including Ali Azmat, were browbeaten to go and perform for his “Majesty’s” pleasure. The man who threatened me was called “Khalid bin Walid” who was a known terrorist and a murderer. He told me that Altaf Hussain, “his Quaid” had especially demanded me to appear with Junoon to perform at their ceremony function.

Salman Ahmad - Picture courtesy Wiipedia

When I refused to comply he called up my staff and my sound company guy, Ishtiaq Ahmed,and threatened them with dire consequences if I didn’t go. Ishtiaq pleaded with me to go and perform or risk being killed,and all this OVER REFUSING TO PLAY AT A MARRIAGE FUNCTION!

As fate would have it,I’m still alive, but Mr. Walid was killed a few weeks later in a shoot-out in Karachi with Haqiqi activists. (Those who live by the sword die by the sword).

In 1992,they also threatened to abduct my wife and children if I didn’t show up at an MQM rally and welcome their leader Azim Tariq. I still live happily with respect and dignity but alas Azim Tariq was also was killed in a mob feud. My friends, Junaid Jamshed and Sajid Hassan worried for my safety told me that I’m putting my family at risk every time I refuse to obey these goons and on every occasion I told him that if I give into their terror tactics I can not call myself a Muslim.

Allah (SWT) is our protector and He has commanded us to stand up against injustice and that is why I applaud Imran Khan for speaking the truth about Altaf Hussain and his goon squad. I think the time has come for all Pakistanis to stand up and be counted. Do you want to live as a citizen of a country with dignity and all your rights protected or as a slave in someone’s fiefdom?

“Baad-e-mukhalif sey na ghabra aye uqaab
yeh to chalti hai terey oonchi uraan kay liye” -Iqbal

(Don’t be afraid of flying against the wind, oh Falcon,
this wind only blows to help you fly higher)

Allah (SWT) hu Akbar!

Salman Ahmad

There is also a Q&A session with Salman Ahmad below. I first read about this here.

Q1: You recently stated in the press that MQM leader Altaf Hussain has threatened you on a number of occasions. Have you ever taken a legal action against him? If not, why? If yes, what happened?

Salman Ahmad: Altaf Hussain is not courageous enough to threaten me directly…he gets his goons to do the dirty work.The first time I was threatened by the MQM was in the early 1990’s when their armed activists told me to go on stage and welcome their then local leader Azeem Tariq at the KMC sports complex. When i refused they threatened to abduct my wife and children. Then they called my house repeatedly and told my father and wife that they will shoot me if I continue to perform in Karachi. I took the threat very seriously and called the Sindh police who sent officers to protect my family residence. I didn’t make it a public issue then because the media was also intimidated by the MQM unlike the Pakistani media now which is strong and independent.

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