Yesterday ATP completed its firsr year. A year, that went past very fast and a year that I thoroughly enjoyed. My association with ATP started in late June of 2006; when I received an introductory email from a friend who was very impressed by the infant ATP site. In my first visit to the site, I immediately noticed that ATP was different from any other Pakistani web site I had ever come across. The difference was in the quality of material that was (and is) posted here as well as the unbiased views of its editor Adil Najam. From that day onwards, I was hooked on to this blog, whenever I got chance. Sometimes it was several times a day. Soon I joined the team of ATP editors along with Bilal. I must admit that Adil laid the foundations and did all the initial hard work wheras I joined ATP when it was time to reap the fruit of his hard work.
In the last one year we have made a conscious effort to keep up with our standard of research and homework that goes behind the scenes for anything we post here. We have views on things, as do our readers and we do not hide them. But above all we want to be fair. This is ‘All Things Pakistan’ and it is also ‘All Views Pakistan’ as long as they are presented in a decent manner that also respects alternative viewpoints.
We like Pakistan, we like Pakistanis and we like talking about Pakistan. But this is NOT a propaganda site. When we see something good we want to say it is good. When something is bad that should be improved we want to say that too. Ignoring things that should be improved will be as wrong as ignoring things that deserve to be praised.
Above all we have tried to keep up the tone of our posts simple. We want them to be like the way Pakistanis talk about common things that connect them to Pakistan. Long-time readers will remember that in teh early days the Header used to say “Speaking about Pakistan the way Pakistanis talk about Pakistan.” We still believe in that. As an example I want to present our discussions on tea, fountain pens, cap styles, coins, highways, politics etc which is just the way these things are discussed by common people in Pakistan in drawing rooms and streets. We have also made a conscious effort to mix-and-match our posts across a wide range of topic so that everyone gets to read their topics of interest.
Another thing that attracts me to ATP is the total freedom of choosing a topic here. I’ve been writing here for almost a year and Adil or Bilal have never directed me on any topic to which I should write about. We have tried to give teh same freedom to our many guest writers. As long as it is about Pakistan. We try to write from the heart and so far it has been making connection with our readership who also write their comments from the heart.
Now to talk about the disappointments. One big disappointment for me is that we are still learning the etiquettes of a ‘majlis’ while leaving comments. Sometimes it seems like people are shouting at each other instead of reasoning. Many people who used to write comments in our earlier days are now shying away on fear of being shouted at by those who do not agree with them. I guess we need to evolve as a community on how to be respectful and how to disagree without being disagreeable.
Before keying-off I also want to thank my dear wife who has always supported me in my writings. She herself being very busy with her schedule, has always made sure that I get enough time on my own to write. I also want to welcome Darwaish as our new addition to the team.
Thank you, all, for your continued support. ATP is your own website. Come here often and continue to leave your valuable comments.