Pakistani Bloggers to be watched?

May 15, 2007

I, a while ago was checking blogstats. Came across a comment whose IP address said pie(.)net(.)pk. PIE is a state run authority to monitor cyber activities across Pakistan. On searching further, I came across following information.

IP Address belongs to Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited.
Domain as mentioned earlier is pie(.)net(.)pk
City is Karachi
Region is Sindh
Country is Pakistan

I suspect that I am personally being very pessimist but as always, one should also consider darker side of things as well.

Yesterday, GEO News website was hacked by some persons and was filled with nasty and filthy remarks for President Parvez Musharraf.

Today, when I came back home after dropping my family members, I sat down with my father outside main door of my house on a cement bench, and started reading newspaper, like I do, almost daily. On the last page of Lahore’s Jang, I saw a news that Government has now decided to watch News Websites of Newspapers & TV Channels.

The same day, some one from Pakistan Internet Exchange has visited my blog – which for sure rings a bell. I don’t know but I am sensing something is going to happen to such blogs, websites which utter things that are not acceptable to our Government and sooner or later there is going to be a crack down on such bloggers, writers, hosts etc.

I again & again tried to go through my blog that I shouldn’t leave any contact information which can be traced to my location. Thanks to my company that I am not using Pakistan’s Internet Services so that I can not be tracked with IP address.

Is it just my fear or something is in the air?


Bomb Blast in Peshawar

May 15, 2007

BBC Reports a bomb blast in Provincial Capital of NWFP Peshawar’s Hotel Marhaba on Naz Cinema Road. Atleast 15 have died and severals are injured. Blast took place near centuries old mosque Masjid Mahabat Khan.

 Eye Witnesses say that more than dozens have injured. Naz Cinema Road is one of the most busiest economic center of Peshawar.

French News Agency has reported 17 casualities. AFP Reports that 6 are injured.

News Courtesy : BBC Urdu Service

Update 1

Atleast 24 are now confirmed dead and 30+ are injured.


Court News from Pakistan

May 15, 2007

News related to court matters gathered through various sources are below.

Petition against Parvez Elahi & Sheikh Rasheed submitted in Lahore High Court

A petition against Chaudhary Parvez Elahi (Chief Minister Punjab) and Sheikh Rasheed (Minister of Railways) has been filed in Lahore High Court. Both of them addressed a rally in Islamabad on 12-May-2007 and specifically targetted their voices against Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary. Supplicant has written in his petition that Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhar is still the Chief Justice of Pakistan and as per constitution no one is allowed to directly address Chief Justice of Pakistan.  Both Mr. Elahi & Mr. Rasheed have been accused of Contempt of Court.

Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani sworn in as Acting CJ of Sindh High Court

Senior Judge of Sindh High Court, Mr. Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani has been sworn in as Acting Chief Justice of Sindh High Court in Karachi. Chief Justice of Sindh High Court, Mr. Justice Sabeeh ud Din Ahmed is on a foreign tour of 1 week.

Proceeding of Suo Moto Action of Hammad Raza’s Murder

Supreme Court of Pakistan, yesterday took suo moto action over murder of Mr. Hammad Raza, Additional Registrar of Supreme Court of Pakistan. Mr. Hammad Raza was killed in his home yesterday early morning.

Full Court Bench of Supreme Court to start its proceedings today

Full Court Bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan would start its proceedings on 23+ petitions filed against the filing of reference against Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary. Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary is also amongst the persons who have filed such petition. President and Army Chief of Pakistan, General Parvez Musharraf sent this reference to Supreme Judicial Council on 9th March, 2007. Its pity that in our country – Chief Justice is asking for Justice and Chief of Army Staff is insecure. 

Some more news from Supreme Court of Pakistan

Full Court Bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan has upheld the stay order issued by a bench earlier constituted to halt Supreme Judicial Council. Full Court Bench has issued an order that unless there is a decision of CJP’s petition is announced – SJC is advised to stop its proceedings.

Supreme Court has also said that apex court itself is monitoring the investigations of the murder of Hammad Raza.


How do astronauts use toilets in space?

May 15, 2007

An interesting read sent to me by a colleague. I always thought that instead of taking normal food, astronauts/cosmonauts consume some sort of special food, may it be multivitamins et al.

Courtesy : BBC News

A tour of a space facility in the US apparently prompted Prince Philip to ask how astronauts deal with “natural functions” in space. So how exactly do they go to the toilet (or should that be the loo)?

It’s all to do with air flow. On earth, in the West at least, your standard toilet is a water-flush affair, that takes waste and washes it down a pipe.

The lack of gravity on the shuttle and the space station mean a water-flush system is not an option. You don’t need a particularly vivid imagination to see the potential problems.

Instead, on the shuttle, urine and faeces are carried away by rapid flow of air.

The unisex toilet resembles a conventional loo, but with straps over the feet and bars over the thighs to make sure that the astronauts don’t drift off mid-go. The seat is designed so the astronaut’s bottom can be perfectly flush to make a good seal.

The good news for fans of convenience is that, on the shuttle at least, urinating standing up is possible. A funnel-on-a-hose contraption is included so that astronauts – both male and female – can urinate standing up. Or sitting down if they prefer. They just attach it to the toilet using a pivoting bracket.

The system separates solid and liquid waste. Solids are compressed and remain on-board to be unloaded after landing. Liquids are released into space. Nasa hopes one day to recycle waste productively.

Researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada have said such recycling will be key to tackling any future mission to Mars in order to feed the astronauts.

The air used in the space shuttle’s toilet system has to be filtered to get rid of the smell and bacteria before it is returned to the living area.

Incinerated waste

On the International Space Station, the fundamental principle is similar. The fan-powered air-flow toilet system stores waste. Urine is sucked up and stored in 20 litre containers which are dumped into the Progress resupply craft. The ship is later ejected into the atmosphere, where it burns up.

For solid waste, a plastic bag covered in holes is placed inside the toilet. Air is sucked through the holes so everything ends up in the bag. The elasticised top closes and the bag is pushed into a metal container. A new bag is popped in for the next visitor. Again the waste heads off to Progress.

Space toilets have come a long way. In the book The Right Stuff and its film adaptation, an astronaut on an early mission feels the need to urinate during a massively delayed take-off. With no facilities provided – and no adult nappies, as used today during take-off and landing – he is eventually allowed to urinate in his suit, causing his sensors to go haywire.

And Prince Philip is among good company in wondering how astronauts attend to their bodily functions.

A spokesman for Nasa confirms it is a question much asked by children and journalists alike.


Microsoft, Google Battle on

May 15, 2007

Received this in a daily e-newsletter.

Gartner: Microsoft after Google’s advertising jugular
[Linda Tucci, Senior News Writer]
ltucci(at)techtarget(dot)com

The battle between Microsoft and Google Inc. took a lively turn last
week, when reports surfaced and then were quickly batted down that
Microsoft was once again in merger talks with search firm Yahoo Inc.

Whether the discussions are happening or not, any doubts that
Microsoft — not Google — is the company on the offensive can be
dismissed, said David Mitchell Smith, an analyst at Gartner Inc. in
Stamford, Conn.

“Microsoft is clearly going after Google’s core business,
advertising,” Smith said. “Google is trying to distract Microsoft, so
a company with its resources can’t apply 100% of its focus on the
attack.”

The chatter in recent months has been that Google is going after
Microsoft where it hurts — in the realm of work. Last year’s
acquisition of Writely by Google shows that office applications —
albeit Web-based, free and available at the click of a mouse — are
of interest to the Mountain View, Calif.-based search engine firm.

Continue reading on Tech Target


Hammad Raza – Target Killing?

May 15, 2007

Widow of Hammad Raza, the deceased additional registrar of Supreme Court of Pakistan, has said that his husband is a victim of target killing by the state. Shabana Hammad told BBC that 2 persons entered their house in Sector G-10/2 of Islamabad and were looking for Hammad Raza.

She has categorically rejected that persons entered were dacoit. Killers knocked at the bedroom, when door was opened they instantally killed Hammad Raza and within a minute or two they were gone.

Hammad Raza belonged to the District Management Group (DMG) of Civil Services of Pakistan. Hammad Raza was one of the main persons who were interrogated by agencies to find any evidence to support the notorious reference against Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary.

Shabana Hammad, who is british nationlist have also sought help from British High Commission in Islamabad.

Justice (R) Tariq Mehmood, a lawyer representing Chief Justice of Pakistan, has said that Hammad Raza was an important cogent evidence of Chief Justice of Pakistan. He also said that government agencies were pressurising Hammad Raza to say anything that goes against Chief Justice of Pakistan but he refused to do so.

Last night, Hammad was buried in graveyard of Lahore.

Courtesy: BBC Urdu Service


Police was not weaponized on Bloody Saturday

May 15, 2007

Various reports and inside information have now proved that Police wasn’t weaponized on Last Saturday in Karachi – A Saturday, when MQM had to play its filthy game, it was ordered that police should not be equipped with any weapons.

A plan made by Karachi Police for May 12, 2007 suggests that it was feared that on 12th May 2007, city can face suicide bombing, bomb blasts, firing and even attacks on political leaders. Astonishingly it was ordered that Police would not be given any type of weapon.

Such a security plan was sent by Karachi Police’s chief Azhar Farooqi with signatures of SSP Security Karachi, Dr. Muhammad Amin Yousaf Zai. It was distributed to all TPOs, Police Stations, SHOs. BBC holds a copy of the plan.

In the plan, it was instructed that police should hold its position as early as 5 AM on 12-May-2007. BUT, POLICE would only be given bamboo sticks along with rifles which can only fire tear gas. It is written in the security plan that police wouldn’t be given any wepaon what so ever. However, it was advised to the Town Police Officers that wherever they feel it necessary they should bear utmost care in providing weapons to Police. But its worth mentioning that when city was burning, roads were blocked and filled with deadbodies – Town Police Officers didn’t feel it necessary to provide any weapon.

News Courtesy : BBC Urdu Service

However, BBC doesn’t mention that if such instructions were also given to Rangers or not – Rangers are the paramilitary forces. Rangers were also deployed alongwith police to safeguard the city.