Pictures of the Day: Spreading Lies

Posted on September 10, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, People, Photo of the Day
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Adil Najam

I do not like being taken for a fool. Especially, when the trick being pulled off is offensive as well as stupid. That is why I am feeling really angry at these emails people have been sending me.

Over the last many hours I have now received five different copies of (a much forwarded) email with the title “House of Akbar Bugti.” One of them from a Pakistani blogger who asks that we “MUST put these pictures on ATP to expose the lies of Bugti supporters” and that “these pictures prove he was only interested in his own comfort and not the Baluchi people.” Other versions of the email simply has long, very long, strings of email addresses of hundreds, possibly thousands, of people it has already been forwarded to (which is itself bad Internet etiquette) and then carries a string of photographs, including the ones below.

Did you really think we woudl fall for something as imbicile as this!

We have already had a long and open discussion on ATP on Nawab Akbar Bugti’s killing, how it was done, what it meant, and his political career. People are most welcome to hold whatever opinion they wish. But please do not try to make a fool out of other people.

Of course, the idea is to convey the image that Mr. Bugti was living in great luxury in the caves (which he may well have been) and, therefore, somehow (but I fail to see how) his killing was justified!

The problem is that a half-wit with only half of his wits handy would be able to tell that these pictures are not from Mr. Bugti’s caves. These are publicity pictures from a hotel. (A real picture of Mr. Bugti in the mountains is at the top of the post).

For Heaven’s sake, look at that dining room and bathroom; yes, these were in the same email! You really think we was the kind of guy who would serve meals to his tribesmen there in those crystal glasses. Just how stupid do you think we Pakistanis are!

Indeed, the stunt is so very lame that it took me less than 15 minutes to find out where they are from. These pictures are from a luxury hotel (although not 7-star!) the Cappadocia Cave Hotel in Turkey. My first thought had been that it might be a hotel in Petra, Jordon since I had stayed in something like this there.

I do not know who came up with this idea. If it was some zealot intelligence agency wallah, then it is particularly un-intelligent, even for our intelligence agencies. Or, maybe, it was just another super-patriot thinking that this will somehow help Pakistan; think again, you just made us all look not just needlessly violent, but abjectly dumb. Well done!

As you can see I am deeply angry and offended. Not just because this has wasted my time, gotten on my nerves, distracted me from better things, and is such a cheap trick to defame and misinform. Much more so, because whoever pulled this stunt believed that ordinary Pakistanis would fall for this; and – tragically – there are some out there who actually did!

29 Comments on “Pictures of the Day: Spreading Lies”

  1. Owais Mughal says:
    September 10th, 2006 1:53 pm

    Thanks for this article Adil. I agree with you.

  2. Raza Rumi says:
    September 10th, 2006 2:00 pm

    Dear AN,
    Thanks for this post. Indeed, this is a foolish web of lies and so silly that one can only laugh – notwithstanding your rage.. a clear manifestation of abusing the internet for making a nonsensical point. Even if late Bugti and his associates were living in a lavish cave, would that condone an extra-judicial process of law enforcement?

  3. September 10th, 2006 2:20 pm

    AoA

    I had also recieved such mail but had not opened due to slow connection.Thanks you saved me.

    About these pics,well I want to meet the architect!!!!!!!!!

  4. Shabir Alam says:
    September 10th, 2006 3:25 pm

    Yeah, seems like someone is running a psyop here. Bugti did have a lavish life in relative terms. Hamid Mir of Geo TV did an interview with him not so long ago at his “ranch” which didn’t show any signs of poverty or humbleness. Plus if I recall it correctly he owned a few recreational horses etc.

    Regardless, this is a nice hotel and extra-judicial killings based on lavish life is probably not the point people are trying to make. I think they are refering to how he enjoyed the Govt. royalties and never invested in his own people. But this picture stunt is very foolish and destroys the credibility of whoever is going to use this as their bases.

  5. September 10th, 2006 5:23 pm

    These picture stunt shows how some people are itching to find an evil enemy figurehead to throw stones at, and to justify all their wrong doings.

    I am reminded of a comment by Faqeer on the Bugti post where he discussed the similarities between the US publicity stunts in liu of their crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan. They used Osama and then Saddam Husain as the figureheads representing all things evil, and our government has tried to use Bugti. Amazing, and sickening.

    I don’t care what Bugti stood for, because for all I know he never said anything or did anything that made a positive difference in the lives of the people of Balochistan. The question is what good did the Pakistan government get by murdering an opposition leader whom they had themselves erected as a don who would protect their gas reserves/pipelines, and oppress a poverty-stricken people at the same time. Where were the good faiths of the military commanders when he was one of “the good guys”, and was touted as among the valiant leaders of Balochistan? Where are the officials who authorized cheques worth hundreds of millions of dollars to be written in one man’s name? They all hide today, and call themselves patriots. Shameless!

  6. Eidee Man says:
    September 10th, 2006 5:56 pm

    Well, spam like that is very common….I seriously doubt that it is a targeted effort by a governmental organization. Maybe posting it here gives it more press…this email probably better left to the spam folder :D ?

  7. Rabia Bashir says:
    September 10th, 2006 11:10 pm

    Bugti’s assissination also seems a hotch potch of these type of concocted and fabricated stories spread by the advocates of establishing “Writ of the government”.

  8. Asma says:
    September 11th, 2006 1:54 am

    Oh .. I thought who knows what can happen in Pakistan … But an eye-opening post …!

    Keep up with true journalism :)

  9. September 11th, 2006 2:03 am

    Ths post was needed.

  10. Pakpics says:
    September 11th, 2006 4:06 am

    Thanks for this artical. I recieved these pics via mail too & i was not sure about these pics but now my eyes are opened.

  11. Naveed says:
    September 11th, 2006 12:24 pm

    What gave away this fraud is that living room has expensive sofa/chairs whereas typically mr. bugti had a “farshee” arrangement (floor seating)… if i am not mistaken this is a hotel in western africa

  12. Adnan says:
    September 11th, 2006 1:29 pm

    Good that you exposed such falsehoods. I was surprised when many Pakistanis on the net were justifying the killing of Bugti.
    Really, how people living in cities are taken in by propaganda. Being an Indian, I don’t know much about the ground situation but the rural population and tribal are neglected in Pakistan just like Bangladeshis were, there is no doubt about that.
    Some software experts, some professionals, some businessmen and some celebrites can’t change Pakistan. The whole country needs to develop. Just Karachi and Lahore can’t be the whole Pakistan. Like in India, where metros keep prospering and the rural India is ignored.

  13. Suleman says:
    September 11th, 2006 2:01 pm

    Good post Adil, I’ve been to Cappadocia, Turkey, but wouldn’t have caught it. :)

  14. September 11th, 2006 11:33 pm

    As Friedman and others always say, just dont believe something cos you read it on the internet.

    Also, kind of makes us realize how to trust the content on the net and blogs.

  15. brommel says:
    September 12th, 2006 4:15 am

    at least we got a holiday destination now!

    cheers from the Philippines,

    brommel

  16. September 12th, 2006 12:05 pm

    Great job I was also going to make a post stating its falsehood but was unable to track down the originating hotel pics.

    Thank you for clearing the air up GOOD JOB – great to have a professional journalist like you on the job

  17. Khadija Amjad says:
    September 12th, 2006 2:23 pm

    When I see Pakistanis being defensive about what happened to Mr. Bugti, I have to wonder if they’re looking at the bigger picture…how do they really feel about a Pakistani being treated like this in his own country? What kind of precedent is this setting? Implications for the long run?

    Extremely distressing and plain disgusting. This is not about lavish lifestyles…if that were a metric, there’d be plenty of super-rich tax-evader types running for cover in the major cities.
    Thanks for the well-reasearched post.

  18. Mast Qalandar says:
    September 12th, 2006 4:56 pm

    Clearly, this disinformation was the work of some “unintelligent” people.

  19. September 14th, 2006 2:21 pm

    According to the blog The Glasshouse, the hotel site mentioned above is not opening in Pakistan. The blog asks: “Not surely blocked I hope?”

    readers in Pakistan, could you please confirm if indeed that site is available or not.

    If not is not, then try here: Cappadocia Cave Hotel.

  20. Adeel Siddiqui says:
    September 14th, 2006 6:35 pm

    Chill out folks. So what! if some genious took liberty of utilizing internet fad and played on some popular public perception? How does it hurt any cause or creed other than ending up as another one of the zillionth spam? Why is Adil and piped up followers getting so emotional and needlessly edgy on this issue? Answer: “Typical Pakistaniat”.

    People who can make an impact on public perception and public policy have enough sense to see through the hoaxes. People who can’t, are discounted in their effects on society anyways. Their beliveing in this hoax would not change the face we see on the Rupee. So why be so much up in arms about this? Relax and focus on what best you intellectuals do. Build castles for future!
    Regards,
    Adeel

  21. Dakter says:
    September 14th, 2006 10:55 pm

    A couple of people have suggested that this is just ‘spam’ and therefore we should just laugh off this lie. I hope it IS a bad joke by some idiot who is too smart for his own good.

    If it is really ‘spam’ in the classical sense then that this more worrisome. Spam is unsolicited, as this was. Spam is usually about fraud and lies. This was. Spam is also, typically, about falsification for the purpose of profit or tangible benefit. So, the question has to be, ‘who benefits from this?’ There is no viagra being sold here, no bank transfers being promised. The only people who might somehow ‘benefit’ are those who would somehow want to villify the Baloch leader and justify his murder. Of course, this may not be the only lie spread about him recently.

  22. Umair Hoodbhoy says:
    September 18th, 2006 4:31 pm

    Thanks for posting the link to that hotel. That gives credence to your post. With all the different opinions out there, it’s nice that someone actually backs there’s with facts. Thanks again.

  23. Baqar says:
    September 19th, 2006 10:14 pm

    To start with, I received these pictures through a forum and believing them to be true, copied them into one of my folders. Thanks God someone has put us wise on the matter. Before making these remarks, I opened the website of the hotel mentioned therein and ensured for myself that this I am not fooled. I found many of the photographs (given above) over there. If some has created the website of a fake hotel to prove his point, well then ………

    GOD HELP US ALL. LONG LIVE PAKISTAN. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

  24. gallian says:
    October 29th, 2007 8:55 am

    Goo job Adil, keep it up. By the way CONGRATULATIONS on being one of the recepients of Noble Prize!!! (just saw your clip on Geo) we r proud of you. Pakistan Zindabad

  25. Meer bahad Baloch says:
    March 29th, 2008 8:51 am

    Great Work..
    Nawab Akbar khan bugti was a great Leader. he was a respected baloch leader. Committed person. this was just a Propaganda against his personality…

  26. fahad says:
    April 20th, 2009 9:24 am

    Why are you guyz defending a person who was a feudal, and who took up arms against the pakistani state

    Everyone knows how these feudals treat their women and their people

    Pseudo intellectuals like you supporting a wadera!

    As a rule, anyone taking up arms against the pakistani state is a traitor

  27. fahad says:
    April 20th, 2009 9:29 am

    Just look at the life of an average balochi and how he has been treated by these Baloch waderas……Same goes for sindh as well. You can’t even open a school in their area. They should all be killed.

  28. Kamran says:
    July 12th, 2010 12:56 am

    the picture named as akbar bugti house are pictures of Cappadocia cave hotel Turkey
    one can search easily on the google or any other search engine

    it is mere propaganda against a person

  29. HarOON says:
    November 28th, 2010 11:51 am

    Just saw this post from long ago. Still impressed. Amazing how unintelligent the intelligence people think we are!

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