The very first post on ATP came online at 1:18:49PM on June 11, 2006. This current post marks the completion of exactly one year of this blog. It has been quite a ride.
I had never expected this to become anything more than a vehicle for some catharsis on Pakistan and Pakistani issues that would be read, maybe, by a few friends. Instead, I have been amazed at how fast word spread on the web and how many new friends we have made on that way. I just checked our stats meter and found that over this year we have had well over one million (1,000,000) page views and and just under half a million separate visits. We have had over 600 posts, some 17,000 comments, and contributions from 44 authors. A rather amusing manifestation of this success is that even though we are quite clearly not a news site, Google News now considers us to be a news site and reglarly highlights our posts in its Pakistan news section!
The surprise and sentiments that I had expressed at ATP’s grwhen we reached our 100th post, and then again in our ‘moving forward’ post when we turned this into a team blog, and yet again in the post announcing our new domain name (Pakistaniat.com), and finally in our 6-month anniversary post still remain true today; only more so.
For all the support from all the people who have made this blog their regular visiting ground, I say ‘Thank You.’ Its been quite a ride. But a fun ride (mostly!). The work has grown tremendously and the sometimes as one has to baby-sit childish anger bursts in the comments section and clean up the mess of misbehavior of some commenters, one does feel a little down. But the ‘up’ moments have been far more numerous and far more fullfiling then then the ‘down’ moments. For all those ‘up’ moments; thank you.
But now it is time to move on.
As of today, we are making some significant changes in ATP management. My colleague Owais Mughal will take over from me as the Managing Editor of ATP. I hope that you will all afford the same support to him that you have to me and am confident that the blog will become ever better and more popular under his management. Please join me, all, in welcoming him to this position. May this be as enjoyable for him as it has been for me!
This does not mean that I will disappear (unfortaunetly for some!). I will be around (I do not think I am capable of cutting myself from this) and will write probably as often as I now do, but the day to day leadership will shift to Owais. I have always thought that institutions, even insignificant ones like ATP, should not be tied to individuals. Unfortunately in Pakistan we do not have a tradition of founders of anything ever moving on and giving the helm to others. In a (very) small way, we at Pakistaniat want to demonstrate otherwise.
I will join Bilal Zuberi as a Contributing Editor and also joining Bilal and me in that capacity will be our young friend Darwaish, from Lahore, whose posts you have all already become familiar with. Thank you Darwaish. And welcome!
So with that, let me – yet again – thank you all for making ATP a stop in your web-hopping. I never imagined that it will become this big a party. But I am glad it did. So, friends in Pakistaniat, party on!