Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Israeli offensive in Ghaza and its effects on Middle East

Truce between Hamas and Israel was over a couple of days back. Gaza has seen the worst kind of violence and aggression since then by the brutal and uncharacteristic aggressive attacks by Israel. These attacks seems to be in connection by Bush's policy of preemptive doctrine, which did no good to the US of A and will do the same to the Israel and will not bring good and healthy sentiments for Zionism.


This latest attacks are also decremental to the jews living outside Israel as they are finding it quite difficult to support such barbaric acts. It is ironic to notice the role of international media, the so called champion of democracy are giving it a blind eye and taking it lightly as some drone attack on Mars.

The timing in this recent escalation by Israel just before the oath taking ceremony of Barrack Obama seems the tough time his administration will have to face in dealing with their spoiled child. One wonder if this is the change the new US president offered to the US people, "wiping the mankind other then Jews in middle east".

This latest assault has virtually crippled the life in Gaza and the boasting of a Palestinian state is now down in ashes. What kind of state can allow such kind of aggression and do nothing then to let the attackers kill their people as mercilessly as the, "made in US of A" bombs used by the Israel are doing in Gaza.

If anyone thinks this is a battle between Islam and Jews he or she is sadly mistaken, as Zionism was never the part of Jews but now they have scummed to it as the Hindus have to RSS and other militants organizations.

There is a dire need to establish some close link between Jerusalem and Philistine to avoid more blood shed and there is a need that the international brokers of peace set in fast to keep Israel from ethnic cleansing of the entire population. The time for politics is over and time for action is what is the need of the hr and God help us if people like Mr Tony Blair are there to solve the process.

What is needed is the independent reporting from the international media and finding out the people who gave orders to start just a genocide and then giving them the punishments so that so one else dares to even think on these lines in future.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Islamabad Blogger's Meet up Follow Up

It was a tremendous setup, although i was a bit late due to the office constraints and the never ending traffic. The presentation by Badar Kahshnood was in full swing and the audience were all glued to him and were keen in expressing themselves and asking questions time and again.

It was the right forum for the person(s) who wants to set up a new blog and if i take my own perspective i was greatly benefited by this meet up.

Many queries were raised that quenched the thirst of the first time blogger, cause some time it is hard to ask a silly question when you are sitting amongst the professionals.

This meet up gave us the new comers an insight into the blogging world and how to choose a path to purse our passion.

The panel that came in the end to answers the question and share their success stories was great as well. They not even once laughed at the very basic questions asked by the audience and were patient and went all the way to satisfy most of the audience.

Bravo and well done Google and its team for putting up such an informative and warm show in the chilling weather of Islamabad

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Islamabad Blogger's Meet up

Event: ISLAMABAD BLOGGERS MEETUP
Date/Time: 5~8pm; Monday, Dec 29, 2008

Reference:
PCP, Islamabad

Event Page:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=46342471430

Register Here:
Since we have limited seats, PLEASE register here (registration is FREE!):
http://tinyurl.com/isloo-bloggers-meetup OR https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?key=pw33ACoJeTaVhhpXGnt4vMA&hl=en

Who Can Benefit From Blogging?
Students: Discover how you can earn your own pocket money
Housewives: Learn how you can earn & support your family while staying at home
Professionals: See how you can enjoy a second income while still doing a full-time job
Small Business / NGOs: Explore how you can amplify your voice to the whole world with blogging
Everybody: Other than the monetary perspective, learn how to share your thoughts/opinions with the world

Would you like to be featured?
Are u based in Islamabad and do u feel an avg Internet user can learn from your online success? Have you made a mark online by generating high traffic, creating an influential blog, make a living online, etc.

If u r the one we are hunting for -- wait no more and email us with ur success story NOW!

Event Summary:
The idea is to encourage Internet users & bloggers to meet offline as well. Senior bloggers get a chance to share knowledge & experience. New wanna-be bloggers can learn from the local success stories and network with leaders & professionals in this field.

Another perspective is to introduce blogging as one of the simplest ways to make a living online in these tough times.

Organizers:
CIO Pakistan [ http://www.ciopakistan.com/ ]
in association with Google Pakistan [ http://www.google.com.pk/ ]

Host:
IEEE Chapter, Bahria University, Islamabad
[ http://tinyurl.com/bahria-uni-map ; Login with ur Gmail to see the street map ]

Supporting Bodies:
PASHA
TIE
Bloggers.Pk

Event Partners:
Wateen

Official Drink:
Red Bull

Requests:
- Please help spread the word in any way you can
- Islamabad Bloggers: please help post about it on your blogs, twitter, FB, Digg, Stumbleupon, etc.
- You may bring your laptops as we hope to have WiFi connectivity there; Enjoy live blogging, Tweeting, etc.
- Please DON'T be shy to ask questions; the idea is to learn & share!

Regards,

Badar Khushnood (بدر خوشنود)
Pakistan Country Consultant
Google Inc.

M: +92.300.8486070
E: badar@google.com
E: badar@badar.com.pk

http://www.linkedin.com/in/badar
http://picasaweb.google.com/badar.khushnood
http://tinyurl.com/badar-khushnood

Road Trip Contd...

The next part of my journey took me to interior Sindh, that is Sehwan and Hyderabad. We started off early in the morning and reached the famous old and historic city of Sehwan in 3 hrs and 40 mins. The road is quite remarkable especially from Jamshoro to Sehwan.

Road is double between Karachi and Jamshoro, called as Super Highway,it was fun to drive on it. All the heavy traffic moving up country moves through this road, so one must keep in mind to respect these "big guys" otherwise trouble is not far off.

As we left the highway and turned left towards Jamshoro, i was appalled to see the sight of so many universities all around. Our guide told us that there were around five universities in total in this tiny place, WOW.

As we sped past the town there was a sight i will never forget. There is a big power generation unit along the road just on the outskirts of Jamshoro. The steam that was coming out was so thick that it engulfed the entire area along with the huge chimneys that were there beside the plant. It was a scene out of a sci fiction movie, simply amazing.

The road here is single but is in excellent condition, there is not much to see around less some small cities and and a massive area of barren and semi stony area all around.

The main towns en route are Sun and Amri. If someone remembers the Sindhi nationalist leader GM Sayed, well he hails from this town, we were fortunate enough to see a little glimpse of his ancestral home (havali). The family has given a small portion of their building to the bank and we had tea and snacks at the bank before some of the parts of this historic building was shown to us.

There is a famous fort there as well, but as it was few kms down the dirt track, so we regretted the offer and went ahead towards Sehwan.

The other fascinating place was "air conditioned mahjid", sounds strange, it did to me as well. This is a small masjid built at the mouth of a large cave and and is cooled by the icy winds that come through the cave and make you feel as if one has entered an air conditioned room. This part is famous for its ultra high temperatures exceeding 60 degrees during summers, and such cool atmosphere in the middle of the scorching heat attracts flocks of crowds mostly truck drivers and bus passengers who stay there cool off a bit and move on to their destination.

The next destination was the shrine of Lal Shebaz Qalander. It is is situated in the heart of the city and one has to travel through crowded and narrow roads and streets to get to it. But it is beautiful place to be at, there are many other personalities that are burried along the Qalander.

The trip to the shrine complex was great, first we went to the main shrine, there the person at the grave hit me with a peacock feather, then gave me a shawl, we went outside there was another grave there, there the procedure was to move from counter clockwise direction for the visit, we did that.

Came out in the open space where the "dhaml" was going on. "Dhamal" is a dance done along the beat of a drum and the dancer(s) move in circles to the tune of the beat and this is really a sight to watch. It can be best described as a final moment of a cricket, football or a NFL match, where the decision can go either way.

After witnessing that upbeat performance, we beg leave and started back to our journey to yet another old but beautiful city that is Hyderabad.

It is situated along river Indus and is a beautiful city, but alas a missmanaged city now. We were there by noon and after having a little rest went out to explore the city.

There is a famous market known as "resham gali" or silk street, very romantic name but totally opposite ion appearance. Next stop was the two forts in the city now totally inhibited by the locals and no tourist can have a in depth visit, just a broad brush.

Then there are several beautiful markets and shopping arcades in the down town called as "sadar". The best "rabri" is available there and the mention of hyderabad will be incomplete without mentioning the famous, Bombay bakers. I went there on demand, but honestly i was so thrilled once i entered the shop but all that went down the drain once i saw it from the inside. All my imagination just came shattering down as it was not the shop that every one told me about, but then as the tradition goes i also got a chocolate cake from there and went out in dismay.

Last but not the least, the big attraction for the night was the dinner at hyderabad gymkhana. It is located just in the center of all the mess but the place itself is beautiful, and the we had the best they had to offer.My persoanl favourite was chiken wings and mutton brown and the icing on the cake was fruit triffle.


That was the end of the trip and i don't remember that i woke up for a single second till the moment the car stopped at the hotel in Karachi.


The next adventure point is Coastal Highway, so stay tuned for the adventure there as well.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Road Trip

The recent absence from the internet is due to the trip that i undertook, it was a long trip that started off from Islamabad, Karachi, Sehwan, Hyderabad, Coastal Highway and ended up after i landed in Islamabad.

Beside the business aspect this trip had much more in it, from the majestic and breath taking view os the coastal highway to the modern high rises of Karachi, shrine of Lal Shabaz Qalander. It will be prudent to mention the most exotic foods that we had in all the places that we visited.

In the recent past the road along the sea side often called as sea view has improved much. It is now a pleasure driving along the sea, and if one has a desire to witness much cleaner waters then the closest place are the two beaches, sand's spit and the hawk's bay. These two beaches are an hr away from the main city, the road along the beaches are in shambles and one has to move through heavy, disoriented and rough traffic to get to these beautiful places.

The point to note is that you got top have a hut booked well in advance to enjoy the beach and relax, many companies offer such facilities to their employees or clients and if you are not associated with any of such organization, it is better to make some prior arrangements to make the stay more comfortable.

Coming onto the social places, there are many clubs of good repute and standard in Karachi.
Few of them are Marina Club, Creek Club, Golf Club, Yotch Club, Area 51 etc. The recent and a nice addition is the Arena Club that has opened on the Karcaz Road just adjacent to the Naval Museum. This is a cool hang out place and caters for a wide range of the users, from the early teens to post 50. The attractions that are offered there are

Paint Ball
Rock Climbing
Ice Skating
Bowling
Mini Golf
Gym

Beside all these fun activities there is a wide variety in food is also available from the formal restaurant to the snack hall to drinks counter. If one is young and energetic then rock climbing is the best test to gauge your mettle. Pain ball brings out the real killer in you and all other sports are a good time pass as well. Remember that the Ice skating is done on real ice so if u fall well some part of your body will be swollen to remind of the "great fall".

Coming onto my personal favorite, food. Well leaving aside the chic places like copper kettle, zook or nando's there are many local places that will flavor your outing with some mouth watering cuisines. I personally like to go to the local places that enables me to get the real taste of the city or the place.

Best mutton karhai is served at "Shenwari Resturant" in mari pur trucking station, if the mood is a little somber and negotiating that heavy traffic is not a thing on the table the second best is served in Gulasitan-e-johar, near the many marriage halls right on the main road. For all the real taste of the continental food "Bakra Hotels" is the place to be at, they are located near tower in sadar and the spicy variety can make your nose running as Michele Johnson.

If the mood is of a long drive and a little adventure then “Al habib” restaurant on the super highway near Malir is the place to be at. And if one is too down and lazy and is living in Clifton or the defense area and needs a snack( a whole meal for many), the best solution lies at “Khadda Market” where the world’s best “Roll Paratha” are served with the best mayo sauce.

The mentioning of spice is incomplete without the touch of sweet. The best “cheeko shake” is available near bundu khan at tariq road, the best “falooda” is on the main highway at Gulistan-e-Johar, remember despite of stern warning I managed to spill it on my dress so be carefull and watch full and do not take the big glass lightly. The icing on the cake after such delicious food items is “paan” un doubtly the best in town is available at the base of the PIDC bridge just at a walking distance from the Sheraton and on a few minuets drive from all the best hotels in town.

Along with all this activity routine work also continued but I guess I will not bore you with that.

My next trip was to Sehwan and Hyderabad

Thursday, December 18, 2008

shoe at bush

Well well well!



This incident although a small one, marks the significance of the anti Bush (note not anti US) sentiments that are there in the world due to the policies of the present US regime. We wonder that what happened to the US of A that was once the symbol of the free world and the choice of every man and women in the planet that wanted to have their dream come true.

There is no dispute to the fact that what happened on sep the 11th was wrong and outrageous, but as two wrongs do not make a right. Events that happened after 9/11 and are still going on does not make the extreme reactions justified as well.

Recent past has seen a brain wave in the US and it allies of talking with the terrorists(Talibans) in Afghanistan. The axis of evil (Iran and Syria) are also looped into mediating and talks. If talking and mediation is the last resort then why was such a massive killing went on for such a long time.

The shoe that was hurled at the US president is the symbol of the hatred that is there in the country that US claimed of freeing from the shackles of a dictator. But the real shock was the reaction it generated across the world including the US itself. It showed that the world said NO to the current policies undertook by the lone super power to tackle the issues at hand and want a definite change in them.

The time is right for a real change, cause a new president will b in chair shortly and as per his campaign slogan he is the right man to get the US out of this bogged down situation and mend the fences, with the world in general and American people in particular.

We all hope that the change will not be superficial but real and long lasting, that will make this world a more safer place to live for the generations to come

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Planned oil cuts

The recent news of likely drastic oil production cuts, with KSA likely to cut 2mbarrel will effect the market badly. In the dwelling economic situation this is not a news that is welcomed by any corner of the world. We are still aware of the recent scare that recent surge in the oil prices did to the world economy.

The world has seen many wars over oil , from the oil crises of 70s, conflict between Iran and Iraq, Iraq Kuwait conflict that led the region into a smoldering volcano, turmoil in oil rich Nigeria making the country unstable and prone to violence thus making the world oil prices unpredictable . Till today there is no stability in the oil rich region, and now the looming clouds of war over Iran are not at all a good sign for maintaining a stable price.

Wars and conspiracies over this essential commodity(oil) that is running the modern day world can and will define future recessions or growth in the world markets. Till the time there are no vital and viable alternate energy solutions, we are all prey to oil. Our lives are linked and dependent on this vital commodity.

It is time that we all in the business and finance sector sit together and along with the OPEC countries solve the price issue in order to have a steady price hike over a period of time and thus creating more stable economies and growth rates round the world.

And please do comment on the price we have to pay for the oils, shall it be US dollars or euros.....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mumbai Attack

Saga of Mumbai and the hype that was created by the Indian media and their stunned government (as it failed to react for quite some time to the persons occupying taj hotel), led to make ripples in the world politics. With all the big guns backing the Indian claim of a Pakistani hand, the "peace loving forces" of the world mounted an assault on already crumbling Pakistani government.

The word crumbling is used, not because our government is politically weak or have the axe of 52-B on their heads, but because till today they have remained totally clueless to the events happening in Pakistan in particular, and all the incidents unfolding in the world in general.
Some examples of this allofness and the susequent reaction are, admitting to permit US air attacks and then denying them, making and breaking deals with Taliban, long power outbreaks and loud claims of eradicating it in few months (as if the power generation units can be installed in a matter of hrs). The icing on the cake was the mess created by our national spokes men and women over the reaction they showed in the wake of Indian criticism and following absurd demands.

Warm feelings extended by our naive leadership and the cold response by our neighbor, blaming us directly for the attacks and our utter inability to come up with one decent response, sending off DG ISI to India and after fearing a back lash from the masses changing the decision in the middle the night ( this makes me remember the fiasco our proud PCB made out of Asif and Shoaib and the latest of giving the ISI under the umbrella of interior ministry, both steps hastily taken and retracked in the most unbecoming way).

So if anyone who has followed the sequence of events, the latest incursions were inevitable and will increase with the time if we will give the usual "strong message", as was given by our president to an American show in which mediation was resorted to in the wake of an Indian aggression.

A bully will keep on hitting and cornering you until you don't stand up and defend yourself. This is high time that we give the bully a shut up call and stand for our country and give a response that is in accordance with our sovereignty and national needs.