We were all hacked…

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Losing the means to communicate with the outside world, in Jehan Ara’s words, made her “feel invaded… and traumatized” when her email accounts were locked temporarily.

That post accurately displays the total set of emotions that a lot of us may be feeling for being locked out of their right of speech, right to hold expressive opinion, and the right to hear and read another’s opinion.

We have all been hacked. How do we deal with it?

I have a policy to not delve into current affairs in my posts but today I make an exception.

Can we come to terms with the fact that a piece of paper basically strips a nation out of basic civil and human liberties? Is stealing freedom at the excuse of ensuring security for us justified if you dont ask permission before snatching my liberties?

I dont think anyone can take our freedom – our deaths are certain atleast once in our life, but until that happens what no one can steal from us is the principles on which we chose to stand with our breath. They cannot steal our passion, they cannot steal what we stood for.

And they cannot steal away our own choice to be fair and just to the people that WE meet, and who WE affect, despite all the injustice we may get in return.

It is just far too easy to excuse oneself by saying that no one was just to us — but those are the moments that define how we will die.

Lets make these moments count.

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14 Comments

  • Dear Osama

    Living in this country require that we take what destiny, fate and our combined stupidity and greed throw our way, in our stride and move on.

    I have now been a thinking state resident of Pakistan for about 20 years. My earliest recoverable memories are from school days; getting on G-3 at Regal Chowk to get back home. An open, clean city without complications for a class 9th student.

    From that the next core dump that I have is the burning Karachi of 87-98 with the rangers, the corpses in bories, the ethnic killing, the extra-judicial encounters, the checkposts, the random security stops, murders, the daily rising body count, and the strikes that brought this city to standstill. I remember being stopped at every occassion, I remember questioning, is this really home?

    We survived that. We lived and worked and delivered with no electricity, no transport and close to zero resources. We beat companies in and outside the region that had all of the above. And we still did it cheaper, better, faster.

    I don’t remember the war of 1971 or fall of Dhaka or the misery that preceeded 16 December 1971. I was just a few months old. My father and his generation does.

    So if we survived partition, surivived 71, survive the 80’s and 90’s and the sanctions in 1998 and are around as a nation with a credible presence, there must be something here, in our water, in our genes, in our people that allows us to keep our chin up when lesser nations would have give up long ago.

    You have put it right. What happened last night felt like a betrayal and a violation. We were all hacked. But we have been hacked before and lived to tell the tale. It is part of our destiny, a strength and a weakness.

    This is my home, no one should be able to run me out of it on account of their short sightedness. And if they do, how will I ensure that I do whatever little I can to ensure a better future for my children here (not outside).

    Chin up and as you said, lets move on. We have work to do.

  • The hacking of my account doesn’t compare with what all of us feel today. It is like being stopped in your tracks and not knowing what to do next – or if one should do anything at all.

    But this paralysis lasted only a few seconds because, as Jawwad says, we all know that no matter what anyone does to this country – many of our politicians have done their worst over the years and will continue to do so – we will survive it. We have overcome a lot of challenges over the years. Somehow we have not become bitter. We are stronger, we are more determined that we will prevail.

  • Beautiful words of both truth and hope! I think we as a nation have been prepared to face anything and expect “Predictable Stupidities” coming our way. Everything that happened since few months, the media had been telling us openly and we are doing the blah blah routine. When and how we can put a stop to all this. Finally, our industry is getting some motion and some recognition, how can we insure that it will stay on course.

    Yesterday! I was informed by this state of Emergency by one of my client in Saudi. As I was calling him around 4 PM, he told me “Dude! are you guys safe? Looks like your country is again entering an emergency state. Aren’t you supposed to be home with your family rather than calling me from your office”. And I was speechless!

  • Just a thought …

    I am at web 2.0 expo in Berlin right now and was at Flock web browser demo which was demoing a feature with google news. Anyway, it had Pakistan on the top with the emergency news.

    Not too good for any Pakistani firm!

  • Surviving is no big deal, even a dog can survive off of garbage cans, and chase after female dogs and cats and the odd kid and pretend everything is dandy.

    we will survive yes! but we wont be better for it, we wont come out stronger or more wise. we will loose reputation, money, time and a lot of hard work.

    Is this really my country? I did not choose it?

  • @chirand, this country is not holding any hostages so if you don’t like it you can easily move on to US, UK or Australia or any other western country you like, if you have the skills they are accepting.
    Leave us the crazy types here.

  • Hey lets not pick fights – it is always a hard time to face restrictions on basic human liberties so a little venting is understandable.

  • Hi people,

    Looking at all the events in the country for past few months from outside the country I have a few thoughts (I am just thinking out loud and trying to think a different perspective, don’t mean to offend anyone):

    1. If there are 30 suicide attacks in the country, isn’t emergency justified?

    2. In recent times, the “extremists” arrested by the law enforcing agencies have been released on the orders of the judiciary; so isn’t that quite an interference in the affairs? I mean yes there should be law of the land, but sometimes under extra ordinary circumstances, extra-ordinary measures need to be taken, no?

    Just a thought, Pakistan isn’t going through a regular period in time. I mean looking back, if Muasharaf hadn’t been an ally with US war on terrorism, we’d be worst off, and now being an ally we are targets of the so-called extremists; so either way we were in for trouble. Isn’t that so?

    Regarding media freedom, if the media promotes unrest in the population, isn’t it better to just put them off-air. Okay, free speech should be there, but at what cost?

    Come to think of it, what does Muasharaf gain by all of this? Power? Money? Doesn’t he already have it? IS he afraid to lose it? With so many suicide attacks on his life, wouldn’t it be better to leave the seat anyway? So why is he doing all of this? Is there a better way out? Can (or will) our politicians fight extremists in a different way? Will there be any fewer suicide attacks? With them in power or with Musharaf out of power, will the american’s war on terror be over?

    Do we really need freedom of speech amongst all other things?

    I say we need more foreign exchange, more economic development, more firms like iScrybe, more forums like greenwhite, and more people like Osama and Jawwad and others comming back to Pakistan so that we can progress economically.

    So tell me why should I think differently?

  • @Ali – I’d really like to know, in your opinion, “why is he doing all of this”. Altruism, you think? Love of Country?

    Oh .. and, yes. I need freedom of speech. So may I have the liberty of asking for it … it was guaranteed by the constitution, I think.

  • There is more freedom of speech in PK than in most western countries. Anyone can say anything. However, I wish more of us had worthwhile things to say.

    As to the emergency and it’s impact on the tech business, the latter half is all I care about:

    http://techlahore.wordpress.com/2007/11/06/the-emergency-a-non-event/

  • Tech Lahore’s post says it all.

    By the way, today while coming to the expo, in the subway I noticed a newspaper with a BIG front page news item on Pakistan. An interview with the ex-PM who says the conditions are very chaotic in Pakistan and it’s very critical etc…

    @zakintosh, you can have your constitution but may I ask your suggestions to what should we answer when our customers, potential customers ask about conditions in Pakistan (practically EVERYONE!)?

  • Really good and really interesting post. I expect (and other readers maybe :)) new useful posts from you!
    Good luck and successes in blogging!

  • So they shut down one news channel – big deal!

    I really don’t see how you’re civil rights have been damaged…why all the crazy talk?

  • …sos…sos…sos…free.open.dowloads.http;//pqc.homelinux.com…help…help…help…free…free…

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