Symonds, Lara & Jayasuriya to play Pakistan Premier League

Pakistani cricket authorities confirmed that pakistan’s very own t20 league will happen soon in near future. According to pakistan cricket board chairman Zaka Ashraf said:

“most probably t20 league will be held in october 2012 in the same format of IPL,BPL and Big Bash. The name of proposed league is yet to be decided but it will not be Pakistan premier league because we are not coping any thing from India.”

He also confirmed that board is in contact with foreign players to make t20 league successful and many players wants to come to pakistan. He also hinted that Andrew Symonds of Australia,Brain Lara of WestIndies and Jayasuria of SriLanka will feature in pakistani t20 league. courtesy: Dr Owais Karni’s Blog

Pakistan’s senior journalist Murtaza Razvi (DAWN) assassinated !

Murtza Razvi, senior  journalist and magazine editor of  daily Dawn, Pakistan’s leading English language newspaper.

Murtza Razvi, senior journalist and magazine editor of daily Dawn, Pakistan’s leading English language newspaper.

Murtaza Razvi, a senior assistant editor and head of magazines at Dawn, was murdered in the early hours on Thursday, in Karachi.

According to police, Razvi’s body was found from an office apartment in the Defence Housing Authority area. His hands were tied and his body bore torture marks and he had apparently been strangled to death. However, the real cause of his death will be established after the postmortem has been performed, police said.

The late journalist’s family has said that he did not have any personal enmity with anyone. They have requested the media not to speculate until the police apprehend his killer(s).

Murtaza Razvi was one of the most highly-qualified journalists, with over two decades of experience. He had worked at a number of renowned publications before joining the Dawn Media Group, where he also held the post of Dawn‘s Resident Editor in Lahore.

Later on, he had moved to Karachi to take over as Dawn’s magazines editor.

He is survived by his widow and three daughters.

He also authored two books, ‘Musharraf: the years in power’, a political biography of former president Parvez Musharraf, as well as ‘Ordinary People’ which comprised interviews with ordinary citizens of Pakistan about history, society and culture.

Razvi held a master’s degrees in Ancient Indian and Islamic History from the University of Punjab, Lahore and Political Science & International Relations from the US.

THE MEADOW says ‘India, A State Sponsoring Terrorism’

Catherine Scott-Clark declare India- A State Sponsoring Terrorism.

Review of Book “The Meadow: Kashmir 1995 — Where the Terror Began”

A Srinagar based human rights group has requested the region’s State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to investigate the circumstances surrounding the kidnapping and subsequent killing of four western tourists by a militant group in 1995 in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

The journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark in their book put on sale from 1st May 2012 “The Meadow: Kashmir 1995 — Where the Terror Began”  claim that the four Westerners were murdered by a group of Kashmiri militants who worked for the Indian Army. They came to the conclusion after their investigations based on the interviews with police officials then investigating the case. The book was released on March 29 in England.

The book contains blow-by-blow descriptions of the negotiations for the hostages’ release between an inspector and the kidnappers, which seemed to be nearly completed several times, only to be blown apart when the agreed terms of the negotiations were leaked to newspapers, including the Hindustan Times, infuriating the kidnappers. At times when the Indian government claimed the kidnappers and their hostages were untraceable, the book said, they were being watched and photographed by an Indian Army helicopter.

Rather than working for the hostages’ release, the Indian government, Indian intelligence agencies and Indian military prolonged their capture and sabotaged negotiations with the kidnappers, a new non-fiction book called “The Meadow” alleges. Indian officials’ actions were part of a larger plan to present Pakistan, and the Pakistan-backed insurgency in Kashmir, in as harsh a light as possible to the world at large, the book says. Ultimately, the men were killed by a second group, funded and controlled by the Indian government, the book alleges.

“All the time New Delhi said it was trying to crack Al Faran, a group within intelligence and the STF (Special Task Force, an Indian Police division) was letting them dangle, happy to let the militants portray themselves as savage criminals,” one police detective who worked on the case tells the authors.

Quoting the Kashmir police’s crime branch squad, the two authors write that the investigators had been convinced that the Government-controlled renegades had the control of four Westerners after Al Faran dropped them.

“The squad reported some of its thoughts to its seniors, using these kinds of words, ‘Sikander’s men handed over Paul, Dirk, Keith and Don to Alpha’s renegades in the third of fourth week of November, around the time when the final sightings dried up. Sikander has given up. Al Faran is finished. Embarrassingly, India controls the renegades.’”

Adrian Levy told in a interview to NYT that “We also determined the exact route taken by the kidnappers, and followed that route, through Anantnag, and over in Kishtwar and the Warwan Valley, interviewing hundreds of villagers over the years, staying in Sukhnoi where we learned from villagers, and then the IB and the J&K police, the hostages had been deliberately penned in for 11 weeks approximately, while they were observed in detail and near daily, by an Indian helicopter.”

Inspector General Rajinder Tikoo (who led the negotiations with the kidnappers) confirmed it to Adrian that the sabotaging of the talks and that intelligence did not want there to be a resolution. He resigned as a result from the inquiry. He then had no part to play and does not express a view of the ending.

A member of the Crime Branch team who worked on the case describes the “dawning realization that their desire to solve the crime was at odds with the goals of some senior figures in the military and the intelligence services, who could have saved the hostages but chose not to.” Authors claim that “The kidnapping was a boon that enabled the Indian intelligence fraternity to clearly demonstrate Pakistan backed terror and demonize Kashmiri aspirations.”

“Right from the beginning the strings were being pulled from New Delhi,” said Altaf Ahmed, a police security official who worked with the security adviser to the government of Kashmir.“Those of us dealing with the hostage-taking on the ground in Srinigar were not in control.”

On Christmas Eve, 1995, the four remaining hostages were walked into heavy, deep snow behind the lower village of Mati Gawran, shot and buried, an eyewitness to the killings said, the book reports.

“There was only one end for them, and we all knew it,” he said. “No one could risk the hostages being released and complaining of collusion, having seen uniforms and STF jeeps,” he said. (STF is the Special Task Force of police in Kashmir).

The book’s claims echo some of the darkest fears brewing in the international intelligence community after the hostages, or their bodies, failed to surface month after month.

Almost a year after they were taken, the fate of the hostages was still uncertain, despite diplomatic appeals and secret military operations from the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, The New York Times reported.

The journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark an award-winning investigative journalist in their book comprising 500 pages put on sale from 1st May 2012 “The Meadow: Kashmir 1995 — Where the Terror Began”  claim the Westerners were murdered by a group of Kashmiri militants who worked for the Indian Army. The book was released on March 29 in England .

The  adventurers and nature lovers across the globe, envy to see Kashmir a paradise on earth. But for one group of travellers in 1995, a trip to the Meadow became a nightmare that none of them could possibly have imagined. These men – two Americans, two Britons, a German and a Norwegian – journeyed to Kashmir in search of nature and humanity – but became entangled in a hostage drama that lasted for six months before they vanished from the face of the earth leaving their loved ones and family in agony for rest of their life. The conclusions in the book are drawn through investigations based on the interviews with police officials then investigating the case and the wives and girlfriends of the missing men. It  reveals how the Kashmir hostage crisis was an opening shot in the war on terror; what these terrorists did to a group of western adventurers and set them on a cold-hearted path to terrorise the West.

A review of the book “In the Meadow, A chilling alternate view of the 1995 Kashmiri kidnappings” published in NY Times discussed the kidnappings of six foreign tourists in a meadow in Kashmir by a group calling itself Al Faran. The Indian government, Indian Intelligence agencies and Indian Military prolonged their capture and sabotaged negotiations with the kidnappers which resulted in the killing of the hostages. This was later discovered that it was an Indian conspiracy to put the blame on Pakistan and its intelligence agencies afterwards for the killing and kidnapping of the tourists. However, upon investigation it was learned that the men were killed by another group, funded and controlled by the Indian government(See salients from the book below). However, India has always tried to deceive its own people, region/neighbors and the world as a whole .The  TRUTH can only be blurred but never hidden. Few examples from recent history are as under:-

Own people:

  • On night between February 17-18, 2007 at least 68 people, mostly Pakistanis, were killed in a series of explosions and a resultant fire on Pakistan-bound train in the northern Indian state of Haryana, near Panipat, about 80km north of Delhi. Initial investigations blamed the Pakistan-based LeT (Lashkar-e-Tayaba) and JeM (Jaish-e-Muhammad), so much so a Pakistan national, Azmat Ali, was also arrested in this connection…Later it was found by the police that right-wing Hindu activists and an Indian army officer Colonel Prohit had a significant role in not only the Samjhauta Express bombing but also in the Malegaon and other similar terrorist incidents. The confessions of Swami Aseemanand have now further confirmed the Hindutvaradicals’ role in terrorism.
  • In the Makkah Masjid blast on May 18, 2007, 14 people were killed and as a reaction around 80 Muslims were initially rounded up by the police. The bombs are believed to have contained a deadly mix of RDX and TNT, in proportions often used by the Indian army.” CBI director Ashwani Kumar told the media that an activist named Sunil Joshi“played a key role in orchestrating the Ajmer blast and a set of mobile SIM cards that had been used in activation of the bomb-triggers in the Makka Masjid blast was used again in the Ajmer blast. ..India’s National Investigating Agency (NIA) filed a case in a court accusing 11 Hindus and members of the ultra-right-wing Sanathan Sanstha, of masterminding and executing the October 2009 Margao blast.
  • In Ajmer Sharif  Blast on October 11, 2007 ,3 people died. In 2010, Rajasthan ATS arrests Devendra Gupta, Chandrashekhar and Vishnu Prasad. Initial arrests of Abdul Hafiz Shamim, Khushibur Rahman, Imran Ali linked  to  HuJI, LeT could not be proved.  Again in Malegaon 2nd Blasts in September  2008 in which 7 died   Pragya Singh Thakur, Lt Col Srikant Purohit and Swami Amritanand Dev were found involved.

This shows a glimpse of investigation handling in India however more can be understood by a statement of Mumbai advocate Mihir who said: “It is believed that CBI is seeking directions from the home ministry to see the Ajmer, Makkah Masjid, Malegaon and other blasts in conjunction, after there has been no conclusive evidence of the involvement of Islamic groups”.

Source: This is how India shine, read here

Region/Neighbours:

  • India has always had hegemonic approach towards its neighbours and its goodwill gestures have mostly concluded with economic or militarily strangulating projects for the neighbours. May it be the construction of a barrage at Farakka, near the border with Bangladesh or Wullhar Barrage over River Jhelum to dry up the water resources for its neighbours.
  • Pakistan is locked in other territorial disputes with India such as the Siachen Glacier, Sir Creek and construction of dams including Baglihar Dam built over the River Chenab in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Similarly China, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka all have host of problems leading to mistrust in neighbours relationship.
  • India has redrafted its military doctrine on building border infrastructure as a force multiplier in a real war situation. Indian Army Chief’s statement of taking on both Pakistan and China simultaneously through its cold start doctrine is an announced policy.

Source: Who is attacking Balochistan?Read here

The world as a whole:

  • One of the Worlds biggest Glacier reservoir are depleting fast.  Blaming only global warming for rapid defrosting is a false impression being created deliberately by India with a view to covering up the serious and catastrophic environmental crime its army is committing. It leaves not even an iota of doubt that the rapid shrinkage of the Siachen Glacier is due to chemical and explosive storage and cutting of glacial ice by the Indian army and not by global warming.
  • Indian troops are involved in dumping of chemicals, metals, organic and human waste, and daily leakages of 2,000 gallons of kerosene oil. This oil passes through 250 kilometre of a plastic pipeline, laid by the Indian army across the glacier.
  • The global environment and human rights experts and activists may realise one day that they have stains of this blood on their ignorance and not putting enough pressure on Pakistan and India to demilitarise the glacier.
  • The glimpse of misguided investigation handling by India quoted above is worth noting. Wendy Sherman  US Under Secretary of state announced in New Delhi on April 02,2012  that the US had put a bounty of US $10 million on Hafiz Muhammad Saeed a leader of Pakistan based social welfare organization Jama’at-ud-Da’wah(JuD) to please India.. Despite India’s investigation record and fact that Pakistani courts has acquitted Hafiz Saeed on many occasions and in many cases due to lack of evidences against him. On October 12, 2009, the Lahore High Court quashed all cases against Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and set him free. The court also notified that Jama’at-ud-Da’wah is not a banned organization and can work freely in Pakistan. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, one of two judges hearing the case, observed “In the name of terrorism we cannot brutalise the law. But somehow india has succeeded in hiding reality.

See detailed study  here

Conclusion:

It is very much evident from the facts revealed in the book and above mentioned facts that in order to get psychological benefits, India has always remained indulged in dirty games. Either this benefited India or not but it gave a massive blow to humanity. India contributes in making future of this world bleak. Therefore it is the responsibility of analysts, social workers and environmentalists to take notice of these psychological wars that India has waged against not just its neighbors but against the whole world .


‘Jack of All’.. Pakistan Army to setup “Apna Pakistan” amidst protest

” jack of all trades and master of none..”

I am an Indirect financier of all the Projects run by Our Army. I am a Tax payer of Pakistan.I have every right to ask why Tax Payer’s money is spent like that .
When my 16 percent of the salary is deduced and i came to know that radio channels, housing schemes, private universities and colleges are going to be financed by Pakistan Army which in turn getting this money from Gov on the name of defence and that is actually my money and I am a Tax payer and i have every valid right to raise my voice. If they could spent out of their own pockets then i have no right.
All i want is some professionalism in our Army. There should be a Difference in a Warrior and a Businessman. Army Officials dont need to become Jack of All trades and Master of None. Be a Master of Defence and that is what Pakistanis want.

asks a pakistani citizen Jawas Jutt, on Pakistan Army’s ambitious project to set up countrywide radio network ‘apna pakistan’ to expand media outreach throughout Pakistan. Objections are also raised in media about this radio project which is will be parallel to Radio Pakistan and PTV aiming to create what the Pakistan Army calls ‘social harmonisation’ and to propagate ‘state vision’ in a ‘vibrant manner.’

After the successful execution of FM radio projects in militancy-hit areas of Swat, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Balochistan, a nationwide network of FM radios with a proposed name ‘Apna Pakistan’ is on the cards.

The network will run under the banner of 96 International Radio Network, with the military pulling the strings from behind the scene. Though most of the employees working with the network are civilians, a serving army officer will be the chief executive officer (CEO).

Taliban militants had set up their own network after having destroyed the state media network in Malakand. When the army moved in, it uprooted the militant network and established FM96 Radio Swat which has now been renamed FM96 Radio Pakhtoonkhwa.

Headed by a serving colonel of Pakistan Army, the network has continued to extend its outreach further and another station with coverage in Waziristan and Fata was later established which is now working as FM96 Pakhtoonzar. Yet another one was established for Balochistan named FM96 Vash Noori.

Equipped with state-of-the-art digital technology, the first of its kind in Pakistan, these radio networks are running ‘infotainment’ programmes – mainly local and Indian music – to counter ‘anti-state’ propaganda, officials said. Set up on February 24, 2009, the network initially used the studios of PBC/Radio Pakistan and the satellite facilities of PTV, but it now has a separate set-up in Islamabad and goes under the name of ‘Nine Six Media House’ where the latest studio facilities are available.

The only common question aired against setting up ‘apna pakistan’ is:

What is going on in Pakistan. Where is Professionalism. There are many media personals for this job. An Active duty officer have no right to run a broadcast network. After Defence Housing Authority, seting up private universities and colleges and many commercial projects now they are stepping into media business as well. So much for the Professionalism of Our Army.
We should learn from our Neighbor India is some aspects where An Army officer is only responsible to protect the borders of a country and they are not allowed to indulge in any other duty except to be a Professional Soldier and a defender of a country in the hour of need.

The army is already directing the entire media behind the scenes and now running Radio network parallel to civilian government? At a time when we want to push them back to purely military functions from running housing colonies, banks, airlines, universities, fertilizer and cement plants and other civil setups like NADRA etc. Another great business idea by Military Inc. Bloody Civilians, please get ready to pay for another 1000 employees from your taxes.

India,Pakistan,Brazil fail test on journalist murders

Brazil, Pakistan, and India–three nations with high numbers of unsolved journalist murders–failed an important test last month in fighting the scourge of impunity. Delegates from the three countries took the lead in raising objections to a U.N. plan that would strengthen international efforts to combat deadly, anti-press violence.

INDIA # 12

With six unsolved murders, India retains its 12 th place on the index. All of the victims were print journalists who reported on crime, corruption, or politics. Despite India’s status as the world’s largest democracy and its tradition of having vibrant news media, its leaders have shown little political will to address impunity in attacks on news media. In March, India led opposition to the U.N. journalist safety plan that included anti-impunity efforts.

Impunity Index Rating: 0.005 unsolved journalist murders per million inhabitants
Last year: Ranked 13th with a rating of 0.006

More than 560 journalists have been murdered with impunity worldwide over the past two decades, CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists) research shows. Already this year, eight journalists have been murdered across the globe. Pakistan, Brazil and India all have among the highest rates of unsolved journalist murders per capita in the world, CPJ’s Impunity Index shows.

Delegates from the three countries took the lead in raising objections to a U.N. plan that would strengthen international efforts to combat deadly, anti-press violence.

Meeting in Paris, delegates of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for Development of Communication were expected to endorse the U.N. Inter-Agency Plan of Action for the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. But a debate that was scheduled for two hours raged for nearly two days, ending without the 39-state council’s endorsement.

(courtesy: Elisabeth Witchel/CPJ Impunity Campaign Consultant. CPJ’s Impunity Index is compiled as part of the organization’s Global Campaign Against Impunity, which is supported by the Adessium Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and the Open Society Foundations. read full report : http://cpj.org/blog/2012/04/brazil-pakistan-india-fail-impunity-journalist-murders.php)

Pak media constantly under threats & mental stress !

Expressing concerns over the killing of journalists in the country, media practitioners in Pakistan recently called for better security measures for their colleagues.

“(Pakistani) Journalists were working in an environment of rising intolerance and growing ethnic and sectarian extremism. Staff and leaders of the city`s newsrooms receive all kinds of threats by SMS, email and telephone calls, putting them under serious mental stress.”,

says a Media Commission Pakistan`s report entitled “Attacks on Journalists and Media Freedom” released recently at the Karachi Press Club. The 96-page report has been prepared in collaboration with the South Asia Free Media Association (Safma), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ), ATJ and the KPC.

The report noted that journalists were not provided adequate security by their corporate managers, especially when operating in the conflict zone. It said that journalists should be provided risk and life insurance coverage by the government and the media employers besides ensuring training in conflict reporting.

Urging the state actors to follow a code of conduct that ensures respect for freedom of expression and the right to know in their relations with the media, it also stressed upon the media to observe a code of ethics in reporting conflict.

While calling for a “balance between secrecy and accountability” in the conduct of intelligence gathering, the commission emphasises that “important agencies (ISI and IB) be made more law-abiding, through a statutory framework carefully outlining their respective mandates and roles.” It also recommends that “all agencies be made more accountable through effective and suitably tailored mechanism of internal administrative review, parliamentary oversight, and judicial redressal of citizen`s grievances against them”.

The speakers supported the commission in its call to parliament and the armed forces for implementing remedial measures by intelligence agencies and parliament to help improve relations between the media persons, citizens and security agencies.

About reports of multiple threats to journalists` security in Sindh, particularly in Karachi, the report chronicled the murder of Wali Babar, Altaf Chandio and several other incidents.

It has noted that a TV anchor hosting a programme on extortion was axed by his employer, and sadly enough, the journalist is not prepared to disclose the political party which robbed him of his job and access to information to the general public, because of fear. It has noted that gunmen open fire on media vehicles while reporters and cameramen are attacked and beaten up in the city.

 

Modest Kohli says, scaling “Paji”‘s century of ton, a “mission impossible” !!

“It is mission impossible”

At 23 years, Virat Kohli is burdened with the passing of the baton. He is expected to fill in for Rahul Dravid in Tests and simultaneously be the team’s momentum dispenser during tight chases under lights. After his 183 stunned Pakistan, Kohli addressed the press with a fine blend of an old man’s diplomacy and a youngster’s sense of wonder.

A Pakistani scribe asked him: “Your celebrations after getting the hundred said something, did anything happen on the field?” Kohli’s answer was seconds away from being an explosive breaking news item but he played with a straight bat. “Ah nothing really, haven’t performed well in my previous matches against Pakistan, so I was keen to do well. There was nothing on the field. Yes in international matches, teams compete hard but I have friends in the Pakistan team too,” he said.

His eyes brightened when asked about a probable 200. “To be honest, it did cross my mind once. And I thought ‘no, this can’t be real’ and I just concentrated on the ball,” Kohli said. His best line was reserved for the last as he said: “It is mission impossible.” It was a reply lost in laughter after a journalist asked him whether he is dreaming about scaling Tendulkar’s century of tons!

The mirror that cracked

The media manifests itself in many ways. Usually it is a mirror that reflects truth but when the glass is distorted, reality acquires other shades. It happened in the manner in which a few television channels handled the Saeed Ajmal issue.

The controversy started perhaps with the Men in Blue’s machinations that led to a story being planted among the Indian scribes: Ajmal’s action has been questioned and an informal complaint has been lodged with the International Cricket Council officials.

On a wretched day when no one would come on record except for team manager Arindam Ganguly’s line about the issue being discussed, it was all about clutching at straws. The ICC also slipped in to denial-mode, as conveniently the august body had not received anything in writing.

Like an open secret that no one will acknowledge, the speculation hung uneasy in the air. Soon the man in question – Ajmal – was asked about his reaction to the whisper-campaign. The Pakistan off-spinner initially declined to talk but gradually opened up and said that his action has been cleared by the ICC and when asked about Sachin Tendulkar, he graciously and in a very respectful tone said: “He is a Sir. He is nearing the end of his career but he is still a very big player.”

Within minutes, a few television channels ran the story: Ajmal mocks at Tendulkar. The tweaker’s Punjabi drawl was misinterpreted as sarcasm and it proved to be a needless attempt to trigger tension between the rival camps ahead of the expected Indo-Pak final. The cricketing gods were obviously miffed and once Bangladesh trumped Sri Lanka and qualified for the summit clash, the talk about Ajmal died down but the damage was done.

One man, many moods

Mahela Jayawardene has a boyish charm and a quaint Sinhalese accent that often masks the intense competitor, who resides within him. During the course of a forgettable Asia Cup for him and Sri Lanka, the man displayed varied emotions ranging from anger to exasperation.

At a press conference, a sports hack from Colombo, repeatedly asked Jayawardene about the losing spree that started from the Commonwealth Bank Series finals in Australia. The Sri Lankan skipper answered patiently but once the media interaction concluded, he stepped down from the podium and had a heated exchange of words in Sinhala with the concerned scribe. Later it was gathered that Jayawardene had told his interrogator that the team is trying its best and questions that ‘mock’ the squad is not in good taste.

More was to follow once Sri Lanka crashed out following the defeat against Bangladesh. A Pakistani journalist bluntly asked Jayawardene about whether his men’s performance was a reflection of ‘poor captaincy.’ A bemused skipper said: “Amazing isn’t it, two weeks of cricket does that to you, eh? Well I don’t know, it is tough to answer that question. I have been beaten five times in a row before so I probably was in the dumps then! We played Australia in the (CB Series) finals and I can’t be a bad captain overnight. A captain is as good as his team and there are no secrets to it, just that he handles certain situations. We haven’t played good cricket, there are excuses for that. We were up against some quality teams – India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – and we haven’t played good cricket and that happens but we will move on.”

That Indian restaurant…

The yearning for home food forced a bunch of sports correspondents to race around town in an auto-rickshaw that presumed Dhaka’s packed roads were indeed F1 tracks! Muttering prayers and holding their hearts in their mouth, the hacks finally stepped in to a restaurant named ‘X-Indian.’ It was the biggest blooper of the tour. The food joint turned out to be a Chinese and Thai outlet. The misleading nomenclature was raised with the waiters and one said:

“Well its Xindian, meaning China!” And then the tired bunch of pen pushers cracked weak jokes like ‘Yeah, it is actually ex-Indian so it makes sense that they don’t serve our food.’ Finally hunger triumphed and a mix of soups and noodles were ordered in haste.

Weak smiles, wet eyes

Bangladesh’s dream run that concluded in a so-close-yet-so-far despair evoked a standing ovation from the press corps when a shattered coach Stuart Law and captain Mushfiqur Rahim walked in for the post-final media session. It was a moment that reflected the duo’s fierce self-belief and also revealed that even hardened journalists can at times forget their brief about being lizards on the wall and occasionally allow their hearts to dictate their responses. Law and Rahim kept nodding their heads with tired smiles and moist eyes at a time when Bangladesh had truly turned a corner.

Shocking images of ‘poverty chic’ in fashion advertising campaigns leaves a bad taste in the mouth

One would think that poverty chic would someday go out of style, like most things in fashion.

But the fashion world’s obsession with juxtaposing the extremely poor with the fashionably rich continues to stare at us shamelessly.

Pakistani designer duo Sana-Safinaz offered a distasteful ad campaign of a model posing with Louis Vuitton luggage alongside poor coolies recently.

It is now Bangalore-based designer Deepika Govind’s invite for the unveiling of her spring/summer 2012 collection that has the same pattern of styling – and which has attracted the same sort of opprobrium.

The invitation to see Govind’s summer 2012 collection carries a picture of a model standing tall in wedge heels and wearing an ensemble made of traditional textiles.

She is posing next to two poor farmers who are looking on in bewilderment.

The only plausible explanation for this is that the designer is encouraging Indian textiles and promoting the livelihood of the farmers.

But making the model stand tall while the farmers look up to her only highlights the unbridgeable gap between the two worlds – those behind the product and those who will eventually be able to afford it.

The unbridgeable gap between the two worlds is highlighted in many fashion shootsDistasteful: The unbridgeable gap between the two worlds is highlighted in many fashion shoots, including this one from Pakistani designer duo Sana-Safinaz

 

Deepika Govind's invitation has attracted controversy

This kind of usage of poor, famished-looking people as props for fashion labels they will never be able to afford, even with a lifetime of earnings also came under the scanner in 2008.

Back then a similar shoot appeared on the pages of fashion’s self appointed ‘bible’ Vogue India.

More recently, social networking sites Twitter and Facebook were abuzz when Pakistani designers Sana-Safinaz similarly juxtaposed luxury and extreme poverty.

They received a lot of flak for it.

While fashion loves controversy, one can only hope that, in the process, it doesn’t exploit those who aren’t even aware of being part of a bigger debate.

(courtesy: NIMERTA CHAWLA & mailonline India)

Pakistan is home to the highest number of ‘harmful’ channels

Satellite TV channels from most of India’s neighbours figure in a list of ‘harmful’ channels compiled by Indian security forces, according to information provided to the Rajya Sabha by the government this week.

Not surprisingly, Pakistan is home to the highest number of ‘harmful’ channels, as determined by Indian security agencies.

Also interesting is the inclusion of channels from India’s other neighbours, one identified as ‘Nepal’ (presumably Nepal TV), Kantipur and ‘Bhutan Broadcasting Service‘.

Also in the list is ‘Saudi TV’ and nearly all private and government-run news channels in Pakistan.

China and Sri Lanka are among the neighbours whose channels don’t figure in the list (reproduced below.)

“Security agencies have identified a list of 25 illegal foreign channels and observed that the contents of some of these channels are not conducive to the security environment in the country and pose a potential security hazard,” the government said, in reply to a question.

The Ministry said it does not directly take action against cable networks that retransmit these channels. “..the action thereunder as per the Act primarily remains in the domain of authorized [local body] officers,” it clarified.

It may also be noted that Al-Jazeera News is currently licensed to broadcast to and operate in India.

The full list:

1. Al-Jazeera News
2. Saudi TV
3. TV Maldives
4. Peace TV (Dubai)
5. Madni TV(Pakistan)
6. ARY TV
7. PTV
8. PTV Home
9. PTV World
10. GeoTV(Pakistan)
11. Dawn (Pakistan)
12. Express(Pakistan)
13. Waqat (Pakistan)
14. NoorTV(Pakistan)
15. HadiTV(Pakistan)
16. Aaj (Pakistan)
17. NTV Bangladesh)
18. XYZ TV
19. Nepal
20. Filmax (Pakistan)
21. STV (Pakistan)
22. Kantipur (Nepal)
23. Q TV (Pakistan)
24. Ahmedia Channel (U.K. Based)
25. Bhutan Broadcasting Service