Why is a fauji propaganda site registered to Moeed Pirzada?

fake news‘Fake News’ is an old business in Pakistan. From the front pages of Dawn itself in 1971 to today, the powers that be have been obsessed with using media in attempts to redefine facts instead of using facts to understand reality. Over time, there have been several reports that have exposed these operations including the famous ‘connecting the dots‘ by Cafe Pyala and most recently the excellent piece by Umer Ali. Along the way, though, there have also been those who have been willing participants in this fake news circus. People like Ahmed Quraishi and Faraz Karamat. Now questions are being raised about another media personality, Dunya TV host Moeed Pirzada.

A little known website ‘Global Village Space’ was quietly launched in 2016 and promotes the writings of well-known ‘perception management’ operators such as Brig Gen (r) Asif Haroon Raja who is regularly featured on other propaganda websites such as the infamous ‘Veterans Today‘ which was a special project of Hamid Gul and more recently Russian propaganda websites. Also featured on ‘Global Village Space’ is Syed Haider Mehdi, another former military officer who is featured on ‘Command Eleven‘. ‘Global Village Space’ also features personalities from Russian propaganda operations.

None of this is very surprising as such operations have been exposed for years. However what makes this case interesting is that according to public records, the website ‘Global Village Space’ is registered to none other than Moeed Pirzada.

Imagine my shock when I saw the Director of Eurasia Future, Adam Garrie sharing these stories on Twitter, exclaiming: “Make Pakistan Sovereign Again”. In another tweet, he wished Pakistan could get rid of Nawaz Sharif. Several individuals involved with Eurasia Future are also regular contributors for Sputnik International and Russia Today (RT).

Mr. Garrie also writes for Global Village Spaces, a well-known pro-establishment Pakistani news and analysis website registered under Moeed Pirzada’s name. Is it a mere coincidence then that he was the first news anchor in Pakistan to take up this fabricated news story on his TV show?

Shocked, we decided to check this claim and found it was confirmed by the website hosting records.

Moeed Pirzada has never pretended to be unaware of this website. Actually, he is listed as an ‘author‘ (but not the owner) where he posts conspiracy theories and praise for Army. He also regularly ‘re-Tweets’ its anti-government posts and conspiracy theories from his own account.

This all raises fresh questions about whether Moeed Pirzada is a ‘journalist’ or a planted mouth piece? Are the rumours of his close relationship with the establishment more than just rumours? Obviously, Dunya needs to investigate whether their star anchor is secretly working behind the scenes as part of a propaganda scheme. Rumours are mere rumours, but Moeed Pirzada’s ownership of a fauji propaganda site have become a proven fact.

Return of Memogate: There Are Better Ways For SC To Generate Media Headlines

Husain Haqqani outside court

Supreme Court has resumed the decaying corpse of memo gate case for one last flogging. Announced on Thursday that SC has issued arrest warrants for the ex-Ambassador and a request has been delivered to Interpol for ‘red warrants’ against him. This is nothing new as the same performance was given in 2012 also. This time, however, the script writers seem to be setting the Supreme Court up to play the fool.

First, just consider how this case has managed to be dragged up again:

More recently, Haqqani’s name had echoed in the apex court while a three-judge bench heard a set of petitions moved by PTI chief Imran Khan and a group of citizens in connection with the right of overseas Pakistanis to participate in the democratic process.

The case had reminded the chief justice of Haqqani.

“Should we also give him the right to vote?” the chief justice had wondered.

“Why don’t we issue him [Haqqani] a notice and summon him to face the Memogate case,” the chief justice had then said.

Later, while reviewing previous progress on the case, the bench had observed that, following his resignation, Haqqani had left the country on the assurance that he would return, but never did.

So we are told that whole case was completely forgotten by the Chief Justice like an aging, absent minded uncle until listening about voting rights of overseas Pakistanis? Is this what will be explained to Interpol when they ask why there is a new request after five years? We forgot? And Interpol will take this seriously?

Actually, there is already a problem with Interpol taking our requests seriously, isn’t there? Already last year Interpol rejected FIA’s request for a ‘red warrant’ against Altaf Hussain. Next Interpol rejected FIA’s request for a ‘red warrant’ against Brahumdagh Bugti.

It should also be noted that Interpol has rejected FIA’s request for a ‘red warrant’ against Gen. Musharraf. Actually, Interpol rejected this request not once – but three separate timesSpeaking of Musharraf, has the Court forgotten about him upon suddenly remembering Haqqani? Is it that our Justices are only able to remember one case at a time?

The futility of requesting ‘red warrants’ against political opponents is obviously no secret. International law experts have also already noted that it is impossible to legally force Haqqani to return against his will. If not, why doesn’t the government appeal to US authorities for mutual assistance? Legal experts have explained that “A request for mutual assistance between law enforcement authorities will, in any case, have to go through a U.S. court where the Pakistan government will need to prove that a crime has been committed,” adding that “Even if Haqqani is belatedly charged with something other than treason, his lawyers in the U.S. or any other country will claim that the charge is ‘a relative political offence'”. Whatever narrative they have tried to create within Pakistan, the rest of the world simply doesn’t buy it.

So what is the point of the SC’s latest action unless it is only to generate breaking news tickers for Pakistani media? And why have our Justices suddenly remembered this forgotten affair? Could it be because we are once again facing serious threats of international isolation? Is it purely by coincidence that this announcement is made soon after it is reported that US, UK, Germany and France have moved to place Pakistan on the global terrorist-funding watch list? Perhaps our esteemed Justices could do some good for the country and remember another forgotten case – the case of Ehsanullah Ehsan, an actual traitor who has actually waged war against Pakistan and is responsible for killing actual Pakistanis.

I promise, they will get some headlines from remembering this, too!

Choosing Sides, Choosing Isolation

Two important news stories have been reported in the international media that point to a digging in of entrenched positions that are further isolating Pakistan in the world community.

First was the story reported in The New York Times that US is considering withholding $255 Million in military aid due to ‘dissatisfaction with Pakistan’s broader intransigence toward confronting the terrorist networks that operate there’. Specifically, the Americans are frustrated because Pakistani agencies refuse to let them talk to a Haqqani Network militant captured in the raid that freed American hostages earlier this year.

It is a very interesting question why our agencies don’t want the Americans to talk to a Haqqani Network militant, even after he was captured in a raid with foreign hostages. Are they afraid of what he might tell them about receiving support from certain elements within the establishment? Even if this is all a conspiracy theory, isn’t it true that preventing him from speaking to American law enforcement only makes the establishment look more guilty?

The second story comes from a recent appearance of Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan Walid Abu Ali on stage at a Difa-e-Pakistan rally standing next to none other than Hafiz Saeed who was freed once again a few weeks ago. Ironically the Jamaatud Dawah chief was set free after “a senior finance ministry official failed to convince the board that the release of Saeed would bring diplomatic and financial problems”. Diplomatic problems have certainly come into play, however, as Palestine has recalled its Ambassador due to his appearance with Hafiz Saeed on the DPC stage.

According to a statement by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, “The State of Palestine highly appreciates India’s support in its tireless efforts to end the Israeli occupation” and terms attendees of the rally in Rawalpindi as “individuals accused of supporting terrorism”.

Blind and deaf to the diplomatic disaster that had broken, our own Foreign Office issued its own statement defending the recalled Ambassador and defending Hafiz Saeed.

In these two highly sensitive matters, it appears the state has chosen to side with the controversial militants rather than foreign governments. In this case both the US and Palestine. In the case of the Americans, even our own frustration with their unreliability does not explain what we gain from hiding a captured militant and looking guilty of their accusations. The case of Palestine is even more puzzling. By all appearances we have simply decided that these militant groups are more important diplomatic allies than world powers or oppressed Muslims.

Finally, it must be noted with some additional irony that in one report on these stories, Dawn termed Husain Haqqani as ‘disgraced ambassador’. While Pakistan receives multiple black eyes from internationally blacklisted militants, petty journalists continue peddling personal jealousies and prejudices instead of educating the nation about the very dangerous path that these stories show we are heading down. As one international analyst noted on Twitter, far from ‘disgraced,’ these stories appear to have ‘vindicated‘ Husain Haqqani and what he has been trying to warn us about since long.


کیا پاکستانی قومی سلامتی کو سوشل میڈیا سے خطرہ ہے ؟


رفیع عامر

گزشتہ برس جب پاکستانی وفاقی حکومت نے سائبر کرائم بل پیش کیا تو اس کی چند شقوں پر خاصی تنقید کی گئی – کہا گیا کہ یہ شقیں بہت مبہم ہیں اور ان کی غیر متعین حدود کی وجہ سے ان کے بے جا استعمال کا اندیشہ ہے – یہ بھی تنبیہہ کی گئی کہ بعید نہیں کہ مستقبل میں اس قانون کو حکومت کی اپنی پارٹی اور اس کے حامیوں کے خلاف استعمال کیا جائے – بدقسمتی سے ان اندیشوں کو سچ ہوتے زیادہ دیر نہیں لگی

رواں سال کے آغاز میں سوشل میڈیا ایکٹوسٹس کی پکڑ دھکڑ کا جو عمل شروع ہوا وہ ابھی تک جاری ہے -حالیہ دنوں میں اس کاروائی کا مرکزی نشانہ حکومتی پارٹی کے حامی ہیں – جن افراد کے خلاف یہ کاروائی کی گئی ان پر حکومتی ، فوجی اور عدالتی اداروں کے خلاف قابل اعتراض مواد پھیلا کر معاشرے میں انتشار پھیلانے کا الزام لگایا گیا – ان الزامات میں نہ تو معاشرے میں اس مبینہ انتشار کی کوئی متعین نشاندہی کی گئی اور نہ ہی یہ بتایا گیا کہ وہ قابل اعتراض مواد تھا کیا – بظاہر ایسا محسوس ہوتا ہے جیسے کچھ خاص اداروں کے کردار پر تنقید ہی قابل اعتراض اور قابل گرفت ٹھہرا دیا گیا ہے

اداروں کا احترام پاکستان میں ایک عجیب و غریب سی اصطلاح بن چکی ہے – پاکستان میں ان گنت ادارے ہیں اور ان پر مسلسل تنقید کی جاتی ہے – مثال کے طور پر پولیس کے ادارے پر تنقید شائد قومی مشغلہ بن چکا ہے – پولیس کا ادارہ تو مین سٹریم میڈیا پر مزاحیہ پروگراموں تک کا موضوع بنتا رہتا ہے لیکن آج تک اس پر تنقید کے خلاف کسی قانون سازی کی ضرورت محسوس نہیں کی گئی – اور تو اور، پارلیمان، جو کہ ایک آئینی جمہوریت کا سب سے معزز ادارہ ہوتا ہے، ایسی تنقید سے بالا نہیں – اسے ڈاکوؤں کی مجلس تک کہہ دیا گیا لیکن اس پر کبھی کوئی کاروائی نہیں کی گئی تو پھر ایسا کیوں ہے کہ صرف دو ہی ادارے ہیں جنہیں بالائے تنقید رکھنا ضروری سمجھا جاتا ہے؟ کہیں ایسا تو نہیں کہ اس طرح ان اداروں کو بلا خوف تنقید من مانی کی اجازت دینا مقصود ہے ؟

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Trump is obviously wrong…But so are we


US President Donald Trump announced America’s new Afghanistan policy today, which sounded very familiarly like America’s old Afghanistan policy. What has received the most attention, though, are his claims about our policy.

“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations,” he said, warning that vital aid could be cut.

“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” he said. “That will have to change and that will change immediately.”

The response from official quarters has been quick and strong. Politicians of all stripes  raced to the microphone to respond and remind the American President of how much Pakistan has suffered at the hands of terrorists, and some, like PTI’s Shireen Mazari, added empty threats of ‘a befitting response’.

The most honest and important reply actually came before Trump’s speech. Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor told reporters, referring to theh possibility that Trump would take a hard line against Pakistan, “Even if it comes…Pakistan shall do whatever is best in the national interest.” In other words, no change on our part. We will keep doing what we have always done.

Unfortunately, what we have always done is a failure. Despite the pleasing words from official sources, we have seen the state declare victory of Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad, only to see the same ‘defeated’ terrorists carry out massive attacks against innocent citizens. We have heard pleasing words about abandoning ‘good Taliban’ policies and support for so-called ‘pro-Pakistan’ militants, only to see the same militants announce that they are now preparing to enter the National Assembly.

America may be out of ideas in Afghanistan, but we are the ones suffering from our own failure to accept new ideas and new policies. We hold tightly to the same old failed policies like an anchor that is dragging us to the bottom of the ocean. Blaming Donald Trump and the Americans is easy and convenient. They may be wrong, after all. But we are victims of our own policies, and we have only ourselves to blame. It’s too bad none of our so-called leaders have the guts to say it.