Talking Pakistan: My Anniversary Post

Posted on June 12, 2007
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, About ATP
Total Views: 23234

Owais Mughal

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.

32 responses to “Talking Pakistan: My Anniversary Post”

  1. ayesha sajid says:


    many congratulations on the completion of the first year.
    brilliant work on the site.
    first hit and i was hooked !!

  2. Adnan Ahmad says:

    Free_judiciary, As you may gather this is not a news website and people running it have full time jobs just like the rest of the us.

    On a tangent MQM seems to be fighting with the rest of pakistan at the moment. There ways, however, have not changed. Here is what they are doing to the poor man who stood up against them.

  3. Adnan Ahmad says:

    MQ and PMA, Bravo!

  4. Free_judiciary says:

    Congrats! Good work by you Adil and the rest of the team.

    I do have a few words of criticism, I hope you can take it without getting defensive. You guys started out quite well on the crisis in Pakistan. There were good blogs by you, Adil and others. Sometimes you guys would even post videos (Musharraf’s interview) and start a new discussion. However I feel that ATP has been gagged recently, and I suspect it is self-imposed censorship.

    By acting in this timid manner and by avoiding the current crisis you are loosing credibility as a bold and an independent minded blog.

    But please be open to objective discussions on this subject.

  5. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:

    MQ: I am involved in a project similar to yours and we are having similar problems. These problems are tackled to some degree by expanding your program from purley educational to social and economical program. I know it is an undertaking but the socio-economic interests of the parents and teachers have to be considered as well to make your project a success. For teachers the job at your school has to be the best job they will get any where else and for parents; they have to be freed from the need of the meager income they would get from the labor of their child. And then there have to be regular visits to the homes of the students to ‘educate’ the parents about the virtues and long term benefits of education.

    Education of the poor is an involved and a complex process but not the one that could not be done. I commend you for your efforts. My disdain for the rich and the self preserving upper middle class Pakistanis come from the fact that they are least bothered by the miseries of the poorest of the poor. They will talk about ‘Allah and Rasool’ all day long and when tired with a dry throat will tell their ‘house servant boy’ to go fetch them a glass of water from the fridge. It never concerns them that this twelve year old should be in school and not fetching glass of cold water for them.

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