Original Articles

Internet hoax about Asif Zardari’s marriage

Dr Shahid Qureshi of The London Post (aka Earthman, International Professor) is a Jamaat-e-Islami worker and Sipah-e-Sahaba affiliate.

Currently a hoax is in circulation about President Asif Ali Zardari’s alleged marriage to a PPP worker in the USA. Apparently the Zardari phobes of Islamist and urban middle class backgrounds are making use of yet another ‘opportunity’ to bash Zardari in their own ways.

While a senior PPP official who would remain unnamed has categorically denied about any such development, there are some obvious elements in the said report (hoax) which are worthy of consideration:

1. According to the report, Zardari was married according to Muslim Shiyat Bylaws in Dubai. The term “Shiyat Bylaws in Dubai” clearly indicates the sectarian mind (the Sipah-e-Sahaba/Taliban/Jamaat-e-Islami mindset) behind the hoax. Google this term yourself “Shiyat Bylaws in Dubai” to verify that this term has never been used on the internet except in this report. Such anti-Shia and sectarian element is clearly reminiscent of ‘reports’ and ‘analyses’ by douches such as Dr Shahid Qureshi, Abdidullah Jan, Syed Adeeb, Moin Ansari, Earthman International Professor etc.

2. The report claims that the “President of Pakistan Mr. Asif Ali Zardari (widower of Benazir Bhutto) just updated his status to ‘JUST MARRIED’.” Was this status updated in the Mansoora Registry of Jamaat-e-Islami?

3. According to the report “The event was supposed to be an undisclosed sentinel secret, but it is released through a fashion designer company by a UAE news agency.” Which UAE news agency? Which fashion designer?

4. The report claims “President Zardari made a good deal to marry an American citizen, since next time he would not go to a prison. He will be pulled out by her to Manhattan.” Good joke.

5. The report further claims “It is presumed that the couple will officially announce the marriage at the end of his political Presidency term. Obviously which is not until after the next elections.” Marriage or no marriage, the Zardari-phobes will not wait until after the next election to desist from spreading lies and baseless propaganda against him.

6. It may be noted that the said hoax is not the first of the baseless propaganda against the PPP leaders. Previously misleading and baseless reports have been ‘successfully’ spread against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (casting doubts about his religion) and also against Nusrat Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto (attacking their personal character). Usually such reports have emanated from Mansoora (headquarters of the Islamo-fascist Jamaat-e-Islami in Lahore).

This instance is no exception. According to another source (who contacted us on condition of anonymity), the said hoax has been crafted and spread by Dr Shahid Qureshi, a notorious internet agent of the forces of darkness and Islamo-fascism, editor of a fake newspaper The London Post.

According to a facebook group, the London Post website is run by Jamaat-e-Islami from Mansoora.

http://w3spy.net/site/thelondonpost.net

This is a website report about thelondonpost.net. The site is currently hosted in , Pakistan on a server with the IP 203.128.6.133 which is hosted by ISP . The organization linked to this IP address is . thelondonpost.net currently has a pagerank 0 and we estimate it receives about 2,476 unique visitors per day. This report was last updated 386 days ago.

THELONDONPOST.NET’S GENERAL INFORMATION

Domain: thelondonpost.net
Our Estimate Value: $5,274 USD and makes $7 USD a day
Estimate Visits Per Day 2,476
Hosting Location: in Pakistan
Website IP: 203.128.6.133
Website Organization: l
Website ISP:
Alexa Rank: #341,467
History:

Related articles:

Internet Crime Alert: Watch Dr. Shahid Qureshi of The London Post

Internet Crime Alert, USA and UK: The IP trail of Dr Shahid Qureshi aka The London Post aka Earthman International Professor

Internet Crime Unit Alert: Watch Abidullah Jan and the Dictatorshipwatch.com – a hate site

Internet Crime Alert: Watch “Earthman, International Professor”

ISI’s investment in Pakistani blogsphere: Moin Ansari and Ahmed Quraishi exposed

Critical article on ‘Let us build Pakistan’ – by Syed Adeeb

Let Us Build Pakistan (LUBP) exposed – by Earthman, International Professor

Update:The Jang Group’s Connection

It has now emerged that notorious Jang Group (Jang/The News/Geo TV) is a part of this campaign. While the Fake Civil Society (FCS) is currently working very hard to convince Pakistani readers and viewers that the Jang Group and Geo TV have reformed themselves after hiring a new political advisor (Najam Sethi), it would appear that Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman (CEO of Jang Group) has no intention to desist from his own standards and pattern of yellow journalism, and that Mr Sethi too has been hired to accomplish the unfulfilled aims of Mir Shakil, Dr Shahid Masood and their masters.

In this specific instance, Shaheen Sehbai, the Group Editor of The News is found to have liaised with Dr Shahid Qureshi of The London Post to fabricate and spread the hoax about Zardari’s marriage.

While the hoax was fabricated by an unknown internet rag, The London Post, Shaheen Sehabi (under the advice of Mir Shakil and Najam Sethi) ensured that it gets widely circulated through The News. Here is what Sehbai describes as “the first interview of Pakistan’s prospective First Lady.”

Dr Tanveer Zamani, a practicing surgeon and a PPP activist in the US, commented on a flood of reports and blogs on the Internet which refer to the possibility that Mr Zardari may have secretly married again.

The Sindh Medical College graduate, in her late 40s, who did her PhD in political science from Ireland in 1996, before moving to US for practicing is of Mediterranean descent and reportedly lives in Gramercy Park, Manhattan, New York. Many websites claim that she owns estates in London, Dubai, Islamabad and Manhattan.

She is also is a known Democrat and supported Obama’s 2008 election campaign. She actively participated in Obama’s Health Care reform bill to make it a law.

Talking to me on Thursday morning when I called her on her toll free phone, she responded to my questions in a rather roundabout way.

I confirmed twice that she was Dr Zamani. Her voice was the same as in many U-Tube videos. I introduced myself and asked her one simple question: “There is a lot of buzz on the Internet about a personal matter about you, would you like to confirm or deny it.” I did not mention the subject. Dr Zamani said she would not say anything but she had sought legal advice on the matter. I then asked directly that this was about her alleged link to Mr Zardari and a very personal matter, so what was illegal about it and why she had sought legal advice?

She said: “Personal matters are a very low priority. We have to handle the Egypt situation, the prices situation (in Pakistan), introduce Bilawal as the PPP leader, and many other issues. Personal issues come very low on my priority.”

After this strange response, I asked her again: “Are you Mrs Zardari.” She said: “I would not comment on it.” I again said was it anything illegal that she had done. She said I have sought legal advice on how to handle the situation. “So you would not deny or confirm,” I asked. She said: No comment. I thanked her, wondering whether I had just completed the first interview of Pakistan’s prospective First Lady.

Reports circulating widely on the numerous blogs say recently she has been prohibited to attend public political meetings due to her security issues. In one such report it has been alleged that President Zardari in a meeting with Obama on 1/14/11 in DC, requested his help in acquiring security for Dr Zamani. No one would confirm this information.

Source: The News


My question to Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman, his political advisor Najam Sethi and Group Editor Shaheen Sehabi:

Is this the standard of journalism that you are promoting in Pakistan? Is it ethical to harass a woman by intruding into her privacy, forcing her to respond to questions she does not want to answer (most probably to avoid misrepresentation) and then to publish a twisted version of the conversation to reinforce a hoax which has been vehemently denied by the PPP officials and the Presidents’ spokesperson?

PPP condemns Zardari’s re-marriage rumours

As rumours about President Asif Ali Zardari remarrying refused to die down 24 hours after it began circulating on the Internet, the Pakistan Peoples Party came out with a strong statement late on Thursday night to condemn what it described as a “vicious and unethical tirade” against the party’s co-chairman.

“Such personal attacks from anonymous sources can only be launched by those suffering from diseased minds and sickly souls,’’ the statement said. According to the President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar, the latest tirade based on lies shows how low Mr. Zardari’s detractors can stoop and “how much they are consumed by their hatred’’. (Source)

I wonder if the the Fake Civil Society (FCS) wallas will care to write an open letter to Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman and his political advisor Najam Sethi to refrain from yellow journalism and to purge their media group from known liars such as Azhar Abbas, known murderers such as Hamid Mir, known blackmailers such as Ansar Abbasi, and known propagandists such as Shaheen Sehbai?

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Abdul Nishapuri

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  • You forgot Ansar Abbasi and Samad Khurram. They are as Zarari haters as Dr. Shahid Quraishi.

  • Jeay Samad Khurrum, Jeay Jamaat Islami. We are all united (civil society, Jamaat Islami, Judiciary, media and armed forces) to kick you PPP wallas out; you are just too blind to see it.

  • Both civil society and molvis using this hoax to have a go at the President. This one from Tweeter by Samad Khurram (the USA phobe guy)

    AsifZardari420 Asif Zardari
    by samadk
    It’s not true, you idiots. If I got re-married, I’d have to take down all the BB pictures in the President’s house. Too much work, sorry.

  • Zardari marriage rumours rebuffed by the PPP

    Published: February 04, 2011

    ISLAMABAD – The Presidency has not only rebutted but also condemned what it termed baseless propaganda against President Asif Ali Zardari regarding his personal life.
    Spokesperson of the President Farhatullah Babar has issued the following statement: “The Pakistan People’s Party deplores and condemns the launch of a vicious and unethical tirade on the net against Co-Chairman PPP President Asif Ali Zardari insinuating that the President had recently remarried secretly.

    Monitoring Desk adds: Pakistan’s ambassador to US, Hussain Haqqani, has contradicted reports about marriage between Zardari and Dr Tanveer Zamani, a Pakistani doctor based in Boston. “With due respect, this is utter nonsense”, said Ambassador Haqqani’s statement, forwarded by a friend to Wichaar.

    http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/04-Feb-2011/Zardari-marriage-rumours-rebuffed

  • Najam Sethi joins Geo/Jang Group

    Friday, January 07, 2011

    KARACHI: Renowned editor, political analyst and anchor Najam Sethi has joined the Geo/Jang Group as group adviser political affairs.

    Najam Sethi will host three weekly shows on Geo TV and write regular news analyses and commentary for Jang Group of Newspapers, including The News. Najam Sethi is the recipient of three international press freedom awards, including the Golden Pen in 2009 from the World Editors Forum representing 17,000 of the world’s leading newspapers. He was awarded the Hilal-e-Pakistan, Pakistan’s highest civil award, in 2010.

    Najam Sethi was educated at Government College Lahore and Clare College, Cambridge University, UK. He was declared Alumnus of the Year 2011 by Cambridge University and appointed Eric Lane Fellow of Clare College, a first for a Pakistani.

    Newsweek International described him in 1999 as a “Crusading Editor” for exposing and fighting against corruption in high office. He was imprisoned in 1975 by the regime of ZA Bhutto, by the regime of General Ziaul Haq in 1984, and by the government of Nawaz Sharif in 1999 for opposing their policies. His forthcoming book series to be published in 2011 is titled: ìFrom Plunderland to Blunderland: Pakistan under Benazir, Nawaz, Musharraf and Zardari, 1988-2010î.

    Najam Sethi writes op-ed columns for various international newspapers, including Wall Street Journal, is a frequent speaker at international conferences and is the chairman of the Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers. Najam Sethi is also an international Trustee of the Asia Society, New York, and Leaders Project, Washington DC.

    The Geo/Jang Group said it was delighted to have such an eminent and popular media personality on its platform. “He will add depth, balance, objectivity and neutrality to the wide spectrum of views available on our platform,” said a spokesman for Geo TV.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=3168&Cat=13&dt=1/7/2011

  • I seriously doubt that Zar’s report is correct but I object on this report which is targeting one faction of society… as ur report is based on false statistics…

    1. the IP u published is not with the same domain…
    2. w3spy doesnt have credibility of their statistics…

    read this report on domaintools.net which is internationally well acclaimed…

    domain: THELONDONPOST.NET
    owner-c: AI-123322
    admin-c: AI-123322
    tech-c: AI-300624
    bill-c: AI-300624
    nserver: ns1.lcn.com 195.82.107.156
    nserver: ns0.lcn.com 94.126.40.3
    created: 2007-07-09 16:14:12
    expires: 2011-07-09 16:14:12
    changed: 2010-10-11 09:35:22

    contact-handle: AI-123322
    contact: Dr Shahid Qureshi
    organisation: SQ and Co
    address: 27 Gloucester Street
    address: London
    address: London
    address: WC1N 3XX
    address: GB
    phone: +44.7764184908
    fax:
    email:

    contact-handle: AI-300624
    contact: Hostmaster
    address: Units H, J, K
    address: Gateway 1000
    address: Whittle Way
    address: Stevenage
    address: England
    address: SG1 2FP
    address: GB
    phone: +44.1438342490
    fax: +44.1438300137
    email:

  • Ladies and Gentlemen,
    After all the financial corruption allegations failed to remove the govt, such things are being orchestrated by the fiction writer Shaheen Sehbai, Ansar Abbasi and Saleh Zaafir to attack the president’s personal life. It is in sheer desperation. If people remember, in 1996 immediately after Murtaza Bhutto’s death, there were rumors that Asif Zardari has married Brig. Aslam Qureshi’s daughter. Brig Qureshi was a Secretary Commerce then.

    Now something of a personal experience. I have talked to this zamani lady, quite a nut case she is. I talked with her in 2009 December. She was desperate to somehow get her message across to the president. She was also campaigning for removal of Hussain Haqqani as ambassador and self appointment.

    I feel sad that public are so gullible that they accept anything and everything.

  • Jang Group quote New York Time for Islamic Revolution in Pakistan: http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/feb2011-daily/04-02-2011/u61594.htm

    But New York Times also says:)

    Would Mr. Shaheen Sehbai, Mr. Hamid Mir and last but not the least like to explain as to who did this?

    Umar Cheema, 34, a reporter for The News, was kidnapped and beaten on the outskirts of Islamabad on Sept. 4 after having written several articles that were critical of the Pakistani Army. ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — An investigative reporter for a major Pakistani newspaper was on his way home from dinner here on a recent night when men in black commando garb stopped his car, blindfolded him and drove him to a house on the outskirts of town. There, he says, he was beaten and stripped naked. His head and eyebrows were shaved, and he was videotaped in humiliating positions by assailants who he and other journalists believe were affiliated with the country’s powerful spy agency. At one point, while he lay face down on the floor with his hands cuffed behind him, his captors made clear why he had been singled out for punishment: for writing against the government. “If you can’t avoid rape,” one taunted him, “enjoy it.” The reporter, Umar Cheema, 34, had written several articles for The News that were critical of the Pakistani Army in the months preceding the attack. His ordeal was not uncommon for a journalist or politician who crossed the interests of the military and intelligence agencies, the centers of power even in the current era of civilian government, reporters and politicians said. “I have suspicions and every journalist has suspicions that all fingers point to the ISI,” Mr. Cheema said, using the acronym for the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, the institution that the C.I.A. works with closely in Pakistan to hunt militants. The ISI is an integral part of the Pakistani Army; its head, Gen. Shuja Ahmed Pasha, reports to the army chief of staff, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

    Officials at the American Embassy said they interviewed Mr. Cheema this week, and sent a report of his account to the State Department. In response to an e-mail for comment, a spokesman for the ISI said, “They are nothing but allegations with no substance or truth.” Mr. Cheema had won a Daniel Pearl Journalism Fellowship to train foreign journalists in 2008 and worked in The New York Times newsroom for six months at that time. He has worked at The News since 2007. The attack was believed at the time to be unpopular in the army ranks because many soldiers were reluctant to fire on fellow Muslims. Moreover, courts-martial are rarely mentioned in the Pakistani news media, and reporters have been warned not to write about them. In his article, Mr. Cheema reported that two members of the Special Services Group, an elite commando squad, were being denied fair justice during the court-martial proceedings. In another article, Mr. Cheema wrote that the suspects in a major terrorist attack against a bus carrying ISI employees were acquitted because of the “mishandling” of the court case by the intelligence agency. In an article in early August, the reporter described how Army House, the residence of the chief of army staff, was protected by 400 city police officers and not by soldiers, as required by law. In January, in Islamabad, the home of Azaz Syed, a reporter for Dawn, the main English-language daily, was attacked by unknown assailants days after he was threatened by supposed ISI agents over an investigative article he was researching related to the military.

    Kamran Shafi, a leading columnist and himself a former army officer who writes critically of the military, was harassed and his house was attacked last December by “elements linked to the security establishment,” according to his own account. In the last several years, journalists in the tribal areas, where the army is fighting the Taliban, have faced special risks and found it increasingly difficult to work for fear of offending either side. In September two journalists were killed in or near the tribal areas, under circumstances that remain unclear. Pakistan has developed a rambunctious news media spearheaded by round the clock television news channels in the last decade. The military and the ISI are treated with respect by the powerful television anchors, and by newspaper reporters who extol the deeds of the army in battling the Taliban. The ISI is rarely mentioned by name but referred to as “intelligence agencies.” One reason for the deference, according to a Pakistani intelligence official who has worked with the media cell of the ISI, is that the agency keeps many journalists on its payroll. Unspoken rules about covering the military and its intelligence branches are eagerly enforced, Babar Sattar, a Harvard-trained lawyer, said. A journalist who trespasses over the line is told to behave, Mr. Sattar said. Earlier this year, Mr. Cheema said he was called to a coffee shop in Islamabad by an ISI officer and warned to fall into line. At a journalists’ seminar in Lahore, the editor of a weekly newspaper, Najam Sethi, said it was up to the ISI to declare who had attacked Mr. Cheema. “If the ISI hasn’t done it, they should tell us who did it because they’re supposed to know,” Mr. Sethi said. “If they don’t tell, the presumption remains they did it.” But in a column titled “Surprise Surprise” in Dawn, Mr. Shafi said, “We will never find out what happened to poor Umar Cheema because the Deep State does not want us to find out.” EDITORIAL Who Attacked Umar Cheema? A version of this editorial appeared in print on September 29, 2010, on page A30 of the New York edition. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/29/opinion/29wed4.htmlPublished: September 28, 2010 After Pakistani Journalist Speaks Out About an Attack, Eyes Turn to the Military By JANE PERLEZ Published: September 24, 2010 A version of this article appeared in print on September 25, 2010, on page A7 of the New York edition.http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/world/asia/25cheema.html?_r=4&ref=nfhttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/world/asia/25cheema.html

  • Jang Group quote New York Time for Islamic Revolution in Pakistan: http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/feb2011-daily/04-02-2011/u61594.htm

    BUT

    Video Hints at Executions by Pakistanis By JANE PERLEZ
    Published: September 29, 2010 A version of this article appeared in print on September 30, 2010, on page A1 of the New York edition. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/world/asia/30pstan.html?_r=1&src=un&feedurl=http://json8.nytimes.com/pages/world/asia/index.jsonp http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/world/asia/30pstan.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&src=un&feedurl=http://json8.nytimes.com/pages/world/asia/index.jsonp

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — An Internet video showing men in Pakistani military uniforms executing six young men in civilian clothes has heightened concerns about unlawful killings by Pakistani soldiers supported by the United States, American officials said.

    The authenticity of the five-and-a-half-minute video, which shows the killing of the six men — some of whom appear to be teenagers, blindfolded, with their hands bound behind their backs — has not been formally verified by the American government. The Pakistani military said it was faked by militants.

    But American officials, who did not want to be identified because of the explosive nature of the video, said it appeared to be credible, as did retired American military officers and intelligence analysts who have viewed it.

    After viewing the graphic video on Wednesday, an administration official said: “There are things you can fake, and things you can’t fake. You can’t fake this.”

    The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon E. Panetta, who was in Islamabad on Wednesday on a previously scheduled visit, was expected to raise the subject of the video with the chief of the Pakistani Army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and the head of the Pakistani spy agency, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, American officials said.

    The video adds to reports under review at the State Department and the Pentagon that Pakistani Army units have summarily executed prisoners and civilians in areas where they have opened offensives against the Taliban, administration officials said.

    The video appears to have been taken in the Swat Valley, where the Pakistani military opened a campaign last year to push back Taliban insurgents. The effort was widely praised by American officials and financed in large part by the United States.

    The reports could have serious implications for relations between the militaries. American law requires that the United States cut off financing to units of foreign militaries that are found to have committed gross violations of human rights.

    But never has that law been applied to so strategic a partner as Pakistan, whose military has received more than $10 billion in American support since 2001 for its cooperation in fighting militants from the Taliban and Al Qaeda based inside the country.

    The State Department spokesman, Philip J. Crowley, called the images “horrifying.” He said the American ambassador, Anne W. Patterson, had raised the issue with the Pakistani government and was awaiting a response. “We are determined to investigate it,” he said.

    The spokesman for the Pakistani Army, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, dismissed the video as part of a propaganda campaign by jihadists to defame the Pakistani Army. “No Pakistan Army soldier or officer has been involved in activity of this sort,” he said.

    A senior Pakistani intelligence officer, who declined to be named, dismissed the video as a staged “drama.”

    The Pakistani military came under strong pressure from the United States to make the drive into the Swat region. Having since expanded operations to South Waziristan, the military has found itself in a counterinsurgency campaign in which it has struggled to maintain local support and weed out insurgents and their sympathizers from the population.

    The video, apparently taken surreptitiously with a cellphone, shows six young men being lined up near an abandoned building surrounded by foliage. As the soldiers prepare to shoot, one soldier asks the commander, a heavily bearded man with the short hair typical of a military haircut: “One by one, or together?” He replies, “Together.”

    A burst of gunfire erupts. The young men crumple to the ground. Some, still alive and wounded, groan. Then a soldier approaches the heap of bodies, and fires rounds into each man at short range to finish the job.

    The men doing the shooting wear Pakistani Army uniforms and appear to be using G-3 rifles, standard issue for the Pakistani Army and rarely used by insurgents, according to several Pakistanis who watched the video.

    The soldiers also speak Urdu, the language of the Pakistani Army, and use the word “Sahib” when addressing their commander, a polite form for Mr., which is uncommon among the Taliban.

    The question of extrajudicial killings is particularly sensitive for Pentagon officials, who have tried in visits to Pakistan and through increased financing to improve their often-tense relationship with the Pakistani Army.

    But growing word of such incidents in recent months has led to an internal debate at the State Department and the Pentagon over whether the reports are credible enough to warrant cutting off funds to Pakistani Army units, American officials said.

    Not least of the concerns is keeping the Pakistani Army as an ally. Pentagon officials, already frustrated at Pakistan’s refusal to take on Taliban militants who cross into Afghanistan to fight American forces, fear that raising the question of human rights will sour the relationship.

    “What if the Pakistanis walk away — is there any option?” was a question uppermost at the Pentagon, a senior administration official involved in the debate said.

    Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and sponsor of the law that would require withholding money, said Wednesday that anyone who had seen the video would “be shocked.”

    If the video was found to be authentic, the law could be imposed, he said.

    Currently, the United States spends about $2 billion a year on the Pakistani military, including funds specifically designated for antiterrorism operations, which the Pentagon has said it would like the Pakistanis to expand.

    The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, raised the reports of extrajudicial killings with the head of the Pakistani Army, General Kayani, in meetings this year, a senior administration official said.

    One unresolved question, the official said, was how seriously General Kayani took the killings, and whether he was willing to punish the soldiers involved.

    Some reports, particularly from Waziristan, that the State Department was reviewing were increasingly specific and credible, the senior official said.

    “There is a particular set of incidents that have been investigated with great accuracy, and, we believe, lead to a pattern,” the official said.

    The State Department briefed members of the Senate about the issue this summer, and was set to do so again next month, an indication of the rising concern on Capitol Hill, according to one Congressional staff member.

    The episode in the video may be just the most glaring to surface. The Pakistani military is believed to have detained as many as 3,000 people in makeshift prisons in the region of its operations. Reluctant to turn them over to Pakistan’s undependable courts or to grant them amnesty, the problem of what to do with the detainees has grown pressing.

    The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in June that 282 extrajudicial killings by the army had taken place in the Swat region in the past year.

    A Pakistani intelligence official, who did not want to be identified discussing the issue, said he had seen other such videos and heard reports of executions larger than the one in the video, which was posted on the Facebook page of a group that calls itself the Pashtuns’ International Association.

    Two retired Pakistani senior army officers said they believed that the video was credible.

    “It’s authentic,” said Javed Hussain, a former Special Forces brigadier. “They are soldiers in Swat. The victims appear to be militants or their sympathizers.” The executioners were infantry soldiers, he said. “It’s shocking, not expected of a professional, disciplined force.”

    A retired lieutenant general, Talat Masood, also said the video seemed credible. “It will have a serious setback in the effort for winning the hearts and minds so crucial in this type of warfare,” he said.

  • Wedding Or Not, The Jang Group Gets Served
    http://cafepyala.blogspot.com/2011/02/wedding-or-not-jang-group-gets-served.html

    We had internally decided to steer clear of commenting on the rumours circulating on the internet – apparently for a few months now though they seem to have got more notice in the last few days – about President Asif Zardari’s alleged secret marriage to a Pakistani-American physician Dr. Tanveer Zamani. The reasons for this were rather simple: in the absence of any credible evidence (even the blogs asserting this information admitted that they had no real evidence and were basing their claims on hearsay), any comment would be mere speculation and not a lot different from tabloid sleaze.

    Secondly, there’s a tricky line here between ‘public interest’ and using someone’s entirely private life to somehow discredit them in the eyes of some. Although it can be argued that Zardari re-marrying could impact national politics and thus be of ‘public interest’, until that information is confirmed, it remains within the realm of the millions of unverified rumours circulating in cyberspace that don’t necessarily deserve the attention of responsible media. To be absolutely truthful, we were wary also of this being some sort of orchestrated smear campaign, and since we could neither confirm or deny the rumours, we thought it best to not to indulge in wild speculation.

    Of course, no such qualms for The News’ Group Editor Shaheen Sehbai, who decided to append his name to a curiously full-of-innuendo-but-short-of-anything-definite story in the paper today (an Urdu version also appeared in Jang). Most of it was lifted straight from the questionable blogs (all of which carry the same story in the same words and which Pakistan Media Watch has also commented on) but his one value addition was that he spoke to the lady in question, who bizarrely remained non-committal in her answers. Of course, with the story appearing in a mainstream publication, this has only opened the floodgates to further speculation, now with other blogs and even international news agencies feeling it kosher to jump on to the bandwagon.

    We still do not have any credible evidence either way and do not wish to be drawn to comment on the authenticity of the story. All we have been able to glean about Dr. Zamani’s background is that she joined one of the three factions of the terribly fractured Pakistan People’s Party in the US in 2009, that she quite obviously has tried to model her appearance on the late Benazir Bhutto and is reputed to be a bit of an attention-seeker.

    However, what we can confirm is that Dr. Tanveer Zamani has sent the following email directly to the press, from her own email address, in response to Sehbai’s story:

    “I have never met President Zardari and the only reason I have refrained from commenting on an internet hoax involving me is because I deemed it beneath my dignity to respond to such a hoax. Bloggers and journalists do not have the right to make up stories and disrupt the lives of people. I explicitly and clearly deny being married or being subject to a proposal or notion of being married to the Pakistani President, whom I hold in high esteem.”

    We can also confirm through our sources that the Jang Group has been served a legal notice by the “Bhutto-Zardari” family through their representative Mark Siegel and the legal firm of LockeLordBissell&Liddell. The notice demands of the Jang Group to immediately publish a “retraction and apology” for the “libelous” article, which it terms based on “a complete lie that was fostered by an internet hoax.” The letter states:

    “Publication of such a non-sourced fabrication was not only reckless, it was malicious. President Zardari has never met Dr. Zamani, and Dr. Zamani has confirmed such to Mr. Siegel.”

    The notice further says that in case such a retraction and apology is not immediately published, legal action will be initiated…

    “…for libel, malicious publication and intentional infliction of emotional distress in all jurisdictions where your newspaper is published, as well as any jurisdiction in which your paper has assets. This lawsuit will seek in excess of $100 million, which the Bhutto-Zardari family would donate to the victims of the 2010 floods in Pakistan.”

    A copy of the legal notice with some initial mistakes (Shaheen Sehbai’s name, his email address, date of publication of the story, supposedly subsequently corrected) is reproduced below:

    Readers may draw their conclusions whether journalistic ethics demanded that Shaheen Sehbai and the Jang Group gather some more evidence before publishing the story. It would do well to recall that under libel laws, the defence that you are merely repeating what has been said by someone else or published elsewhere, is no defence at all.

  • Bachola Shaheen Sehabi

    Despite several requests, we had not intended to address the rumours of a secret Zardari wedding that have been floated around the internet because we felt that these were so obviously attempts to invent a scandal from thin air that they did not warrant even the most basic acknowledgement. Our hand was forced, however, when we opened The News this morning to find that Shaheen Sehbai has changed his profession from psychic to matchmaker.

    The rumours appeared on a couple of questionable (at best) blogs and included absolutely no actual evidence of anything except the childish imaginations of the writer named ‘Haroon’. This is even admitted by the writer who admits that “Many media analyst are still trying to find an evidence before they jump into this leak”. Neither ‘Haroon’ nor his gossip colleague Shaheen Sehbai find the need to wait for evidence, however, jumping head first into the rumour without a moment’s thought.

    ‘Haroon’ then justifies publishing this nonsense by writing, “The fact is none of the parties have denied this leaked news yet”, a curious bit of backwards logic.

    Here are some more “facts” of this type:

    1. ‘Haroon’ has not denied that he beats his wife.

    2. ‘Haroon’ has not denied that he is a drunkard.

    3. ‘Haroon’ has not denied that his article is a plant.

    Of course, the fact that ‘Haroon’ has not denied these things doesn’t make them true or not true. Actually, it doesn’t mean anything.

    There is a Latin phrase, “Semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit”, which means, “The necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges”. In other words, if you are going to make an accusation against someone, it is your responsibility to provide proof. The accused is not obligated to disprove some charge that you have no evidence for. This is common sense. If society operated on the logic of Haroon, everyone would be guilt of everything unless they could prove otherwise. It’s simply ridiculous.

    Unfortunately, this basic rule of evidence continues to be ignored by many in our media who prefer to peddle in juicy gossips rather than facts. Indeed facts do not appear to matter to Shaheen Sehbai who saw the gossip and ran to the telephone, placing an overseas call to harass Dr Tanveer Zamani about the rumours. Worst, Shaheen Sehabi was so cheap that he would not even pay for the charges to harass this woman but “called her on her toll free phone” ensuring that she would not only be harassed but then be made to pay for the insult as well!

    Upon being harassed by bachola Shaheen Sehbai, Dr Tanveer Zamani replied that she would not comment and had sought a lawyer to deal with the rumour. At this point, most civilized people would leave the poor woman alone. Unfortunately, she had Shaheen Sehbai on the line and he began harassing her even more. When the doctor refused to play his game, Shaheen Sehbai decided says he wondered “whether I had just completed the first interview of Pakistan’s prospective First Lady.”

    By comparison, even Daily Express reported that the rumours were baseless and had “been started by sick and dirty minds”.

    This is not only a spectacularly infantile waste of time, it is shameful behaviour by a man who carries the title ‘Group Editor’ at The News. If this is an example of how The News is being edited, is it any wonder there continue to be most ridiculous rumours included in its reporting? It is embarrassing that The News would even agree to publish such nonsense.

    http://pakistanmediawatch.com/2011/02/04/bachola-shaheen-sehabi/

  • Once I had read a quote “my politeness should not be construed that I am a weak person”. Politeness of Asif Ali Zardari was taken for granted by Jang Group team as his weakness and, therefore, no holds barred for them.

    Legal notice also claimed that if Jung group does not publish the unqualified apology for this disinformation that caused mental trauma to the Bhutto family, they would file a libel/defamation case in a court of law for a damage claim of Rs.9 billion under Torts Law.

  • Zardari family threatens to sue Jang group over wedding report

    A US legal firm representing the Bhutto-Zardari family has threatened to file a lawsuit seeking over $100 million in damages if Pakistan’s Jang media group does not apologise for a report about President Asif Ali Zardari’s purported marriage to a doctor named Tanveer Zamani. Locke Lord Bissell and

    Liddell, the legal firm in New York, served notice on Friday on the Jang group for publishing a libellous article about Zardari.
    The notice was issued on behalf of Mark Siegel, the publicist of slain former premier Benazir Bhutto, and the Bhutto-Zardari family.

    The notice said Zamani had confirmed to Siegel that she had “never met” Zardari.

    The Jang group, which has been running a campaign against Zardari since last year, had reported extensively on a rumour posted on several hitherto unheard of blogs and websites that the President had “secretly” married Zamani, a New York-based physician and PPP activist.

    “Unless such a retraction and apology is issued immediately, Locke Lord Bissell and Liddell LLP will initiate legal action on behalf of the Bhutto-Zardari family for libel, malicious publication and intentional infliction of emotional distress in all jurisdictions where your newspaper has assets,” said the notice.

    “This lawsuit will seek in excess of $100 million, which the Bhutto-Zardari family will donate to the victims of the 2010 floods in Pakistan,” the notice said.

    The notice said the news report about the purported marriage was a “complete lie that was fostered by an Internet hoax that has been ongoing for several weeks”.

    “Publication of such a non-sourced fabrication was not only reckless, it was malicious. President Zardari has never met Dr Zamani, and Dr Zamani has confirmed such to Mr Siegel,” the notice further said.

    “By publishing such an outright lie, the Jang group, its publisher and author of this article have caused severe emotional distress to the Bhutto-Zardari family, especially President Zardari’s three children who are still mourning the murder of their mother,” it added.

    The notice warned that legal action will be taken by the firm against the Jang group, its publisher and the author of the article concerning Zardari unless “a retraction and apology are issued immediately”.

    There was no word on the development from the Jang group though The News, the group’s English newspaper, posted a denial of the wedding by Zamani on its website.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/Zardari-family-threatens-to-sue-Jang-group-over-wedding-report/Article1-658888.aspx

  • Shame on Jang Group. Shame on Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, his advisor Najam Sethi and Group Editor Shaheen Sehabi.

    Instead of admitting their mistake, they are playing as victims, claiming that “The Jang Group emphasises that in dealing with these stories, complete professionalism was used, all norms of ethics were observed, all versions were prominently printed and frivolous details which had been circulating for days and weeks were ignored. There was absolutely no malice and ill-intention but to bring out the truth about the whole issue which concerned a duly elected President of Pakistan.”

    The Jang Group further claims that publishing the hoax was in great public interest “It may not be out of place to mention that public office holders, elected politicians and celebrities continue to remain a subject of great public interest.”

    The Jang Group then chooses to re-publish the same hoax and crappy reporting as an evidence of its high professional and ethical standards. Shame!

    …………

    A clear case of isolating and targeting the Jang Group

    News Desk
    Sunday, February 06, 2011

    KARACHI: A spokesman for the Jang Group of newspapers on Friday expressed deep sorrow and regret over the release of a legal notice, said to have been issued by the authorities against the Group, a copy of which has not yet been officially delivered, but it has been made public on TV channels and media within the country and worldwide.

    The spokesman said the notice appeared to be part of a trend to gain cheap, free publicity and claim innocence without pursuing the case in any court of law. Previously also the authorities had resorted to the same tactics by issuing notices against the Group when reports filed among others by Kamran Khan, a senior journalist of the Group, which were never followed up with action. The spokesman said it was interesting to note that the government had not reacted to hundreds of reports and stories about the corruption, loot and plunder of the rulers to prove its innocence but it had taken up a matter of huge public interest to target the Jang Group, as part of its continued policy to inflict financial losses to the Group. It would have been a matter of satisfaction if such prompt notice had been taken against reports of loot and plunder.

    It was observed by the spokesman that the Jang Group has again been singled out while the same public interest story was already being widely circulated in the media worldwide, on websites and internet blogs and no one took any notice. It would be seen now whether only the Jang Group is targeted or others also are served with similar notices. What the Jang Group had done was to make an honest attempt to quash these widely circulating rumours and stories and had followed the strict principles of professional ethics by not only very prominently highlighting the denials issued by the spokesman of the President’s House and personal aide of the President Farahnaz Ispahani but had also approached the lady concerned, as it should be done in all such cases, by calling her and talking to her directly so that complete facts could come out once for all.

    It should also be noted that the headlines of the Jang Group stories focused on proving that these rumours and web-stories were incorrect. Two particular headlines read as follows: “Presidency rejects Zardari’s marriage reports” (The News, Feb 4, 2011) and “Dr Zamani denies wedding Zardari”, Says she never met the president (The News, Feb 5, 2011). These reports did not reproduce any of the material which was circulating on dozens of web sites including many specific details. The numerous videos and speeches of Dr Zamani, available on the U-Tube and Internet containing many emotional references to President Zardari and “Son” Bilawal were also not used in any of the stories.

    It is unfortunate that Dr Zamani, when contacted by Group Editor Mr Shaheen Sehbai, refused to deny or confirm the truth of the story. Her evasiveness gave rise to more questions as in such personal matters a simple no could have ended the matter there and then. That Dr Zamani was evasive even on the second day was confirmed when another senior journalist of the Jang Group, Mr Azim M Mian, who knows her personally, tried to contact her and get her viewpoint. She was again evasive and after a lot of persuasion, and later intervention by some Pakistani officials, she ultimately gave her version. It was also reproduced prominently in the Jang Group.

    The Jang Group emphasises that in dealing with these stories, complete professionalism was used, all norms of ethics were observed, all versions were prominently printed and frivolous details which had been circulating for days and weeks were ignored. There was absolutely no malice and ill-intention but to bring out the truth about the whole issue which concerned a duly elected President of Pakistan. It may not be out of place to mention that public office holders, elected politicians and celebrities continue to remain a subject of great public interest round the world and there are numerous examples, from President Bill Clinton, to President Sarkozi to Lady Diana, to Prime Minister Berlusconi, and many such world figures, who have come under media scrutiny on matters of their personal life. Just two weeks ago Italy’s prime minister faced a prostitution investigation in Milan over a teenaged nightclub dancer who attended parties at his private residence. All these reports do not mean that the media is targeting any leader for personal malice or deliberately slandering him or her.

    The Jang Group believes that the case is just the reverse when targeting the Group by the Presidency is concerned. There have been many attempts to stifle the voice of this Group by various government tactics and we had to seek the ultimate justice from the Supreme Court of Pakistan to get our rights in the World Cup rights case recently. It should be noticed that while several media outlets and newspapers have published the same stories with great details, notices have only been issued to the Jang Group. It is a clear case of using this subject to victimize the Group for reasons other than this particular issue, including the fact that the Group has relentlessly exposed corruption and bad governance of the present rulers.

    The latest notice is also a part of that vicious campaign to try to inflict losses on the Group. While there is absolutely no reason to object to the stories published in the Group newspapers, as these were balanced, professionally handled, objective and true, the issuance of the notice asking for $100 million (Over Rs8 billion) is nothing but another show of contempt and hatred against the Group and its dedicated professionals who have done a remarkable job of exposing corruption at the highest level and have brought numerous cases to light, in many cases forcing the corrupt politicians and officials to pay back billions to the national exchequer.

    People should remember that during the tenure of military dictator Pervez Musharraf the Jang Group and its professionals exposed his wrongdoings. In consequence the Jang Group was targeted by dictator Musharraf causing loss of billions of rupees to the Group. The Jang Group, however, refused to submit to the dictator’s pressure. As always, Jang Group is today committed to stand against the wrongdoing of anyone whatever high status he may enjoy. This has tremendously increased the respect and credibility of the Group among the people.

    The Group is proud of its highly professional journalists who have shown remarkable courage and commitment despite the use of high-handedness and at times brute use of force to silence them. The Group spokesman said some people in the Presidency would gain no benefit by using those media elements who had remained their business partners and one of whom fled the country because he was wanted by NAB (National Accountability Bureau). To let our readers make their own independent judgment on the two stories on the subject of Mr Zardari and Dr Zamani, we are hereby reproducing the full text of both the stories so that anyone who has not read them can judge whether there is any intention to slander or cause damage to any one’s reputation:

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=3814&Cat=13&dt=2/6/2011

  • فَتور ھے طاغوت کا نھیں کچھ بھی حقیقت

    اِ بلیس کا چیلا ہے یہ رکھتا ھے کدُورت

    صحافت کا تُو ناسُور ہے اؤ“جنگ“ کے بانی

    عوام کا دُشمن ہے تُو، جمہُور کی زحمت

    بھٹو یا بینظیر ہو زرداری یا نُصرت

    تُہمت لگے عظمت کو جہاں میں ھے روایت۔۔۔

    !

  • Shorter ‘Abdul Nishapuri’: “I don’t actually know who is behind this alleged hoax but I am going to go off on an unhinged rant on how everyone I dislike is part of a vast conspiracy to defame the blameless Zardari”

  • THE LAST WORD

    Not Married to President Zardari

    An interview with Dr. Tanveer ZamaniFrom the Feb. 21, 2011, issue

    No Credit

    Forget the cabinet reshuffle and the airports shutting down. For most of the past few weeks, water-cooler conversations in Pakistan have been obsessed with a single question: Who is Tanveer Zamani? The 47-year-old, U.S.-based doctor made headlines after the local press bought into Internet rumors that she had married President Asif Ali Zardari. She is not married to Zardari, and he did not offer a small menagerie in sacrifice. Zardari’s lawyers are suing two Pakistani newspapers for lapping up and laundering the lie. Newsweek Pakistan’s Jahanzeb Aslam spoke to Zamani recently. Excerpts:

    So you’re not married then.

    No, I have never even met the president in person.

    How did this rumor get started?

    I have been a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party since birth, but I didn’t start campaigning for it until about a year ago. The North America chapter of the PPP had become stagnant, it wasn’t accomplishing anything. So I tried to breathe new life into it. But a certain mafia within the party felt threatened by my enthusiasm. Other, nonparty people joined the bandwagon and started this vicious campaign against me. These weren’t just attacks on me; these were attacks on the president, the Bhutto name, and Pakistan itself. These people targeted me because I am a woman.

    Who’s part of this “mafia” within the party?

    There are some people, and I would not care to take their names, who assumed that my campaigning for the party was an attempt to win an ambassadorship or be appointed as Pakistan’s permanent representative to the U.N. These people felt threatened by me, and they might have tried to malign me in this manner.

    What is your position in the PPP?

    I’m running for president of the party’s U.S. chapter.

    Has the media given you a fair shake?

    It’s been very disappointing. When these malicious rumors started on the Internet, I sought legal counsel. I was told to stay quiet and not comment. When [Group Editor of The News] Shaheen Sehbai called me, I was in the trauma ward. His first question was about how much dowry I had received from the president. I was so taken aback, I couldn’t respond properly to any of his questions. I heard about women journalists holding forth on Pakistani TV channels claiming to have interviewed me and citing my calling Bilawal Bhutto Zardari “son” as proof of marriage! This is ridiculous. As Benazir Bhutto’s child, he is the nation’s son. Rather than highlight my efforts for Pakistan in the U.S., the media chose to waste time on this smear campaign instead.

    Do you see yourself in Parliament?

    I do not want any reserved seat. I think it is beneath a woman’s dignity to accept a place in Parliament like a beggar. Every day, when I say my morning prayers, my heart tells me to return to my country. I’m confident that when I return, I will be able to make a difference.

    http://newsweekpakistan.com/the-take/245

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