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Four years of LUBP in Pakistan social media

Dear LUBPians,

Once again, a big THANK YOU for your ongoing support to the LUBP project. This post marks LUBP foundation day (21 May 2008).

Four years ago, on 21 May 2008, I was approached by a couple of impassioned, critical, independent supporters of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) who complained that their voices were being suppressed or banned by various (at that time dominant) Pakistani websites.

In 2008 and previous years, I too had been observing the relative absence of the PPP and other progressive voices in Pakistan’s social media. There was clearly a need to establish an interactive, transparent, pro-progressive website to provide a level playing field to pro-PPP bloggers as well as those critical of the PPP policies.

That’s when I decided to create “Let Us Build Pakistan” (LUBP) as a meaningful contribution to the socio-political blog-sphere in Pakistan. The aim was to provide critical, non-mainstream reflections on Pakistani politics and media.

While there were quite a few websites managed or dominated by pro-right-wing or “seemingly liberal” elites, their bias against and hatred of the PPP was a common factor. Pro-PPP or pro-progressive voices were routinely bullied, suppressed or banned from Pakistani blogs and websites.

Between a rabid-right wing and pseudo-liberal dominated media and blogsphere, there was literally no presence of a critical voice of those who supported the PPP. Aside from static websites that did not extend beyond sloganeering and de-contextualized reporting, PPP did not have a platform on cyberspace to take on the daily abuse, vitriol and smear campaigns by the (mostly Urdu media) right-wing and the (mostly English media) pseudo-liberal elites.

Aside from very few isolated voices, there was no one to challenge the dominant hypernationalist discourse that complimented the de-politisized discourse of the pseudo-liberal elites. Similarly, right-wing websites were busy in propagating pro-Jihadist or Islamo-fascist views.

LUBP has done its best to fill in that role and provided a much needed reality check to the hyper-inflated egos of a deeply biased and basically incompetent media.

Right from start, LUBP has never claimed to be neutral. We clearly stated that we are a bunch of critical supporters of secular and left-wing parties in Pakistan, particularly the PPP. At the same time, we are sympathetic to the more inclusive Sufi tradition of Islam. We, however, endeavour to maintain a balance in our critique and analysis of various social and political issues and news items pertaining to Pakistan. We wanted to build a credible source of critical and non-right wing news items and analyses. Over years, our humble contributions have been acknowledged and appreciated by various visitors who have provided feedback to us through emails and comments.

We note that Pakistan’s mainstream media and mainstream affected blogs have done their best to obfuscate and dilute the daily sufferings of Pakistan’s disenfranchised ethnic, sectarian and religious groups. Whether it is the Christian, Ahmadiyya Muslims, Shia Muslim or Baloch, Pashtun, Balti, Sariaki, Sindhi or the moderate Barelvi/Deobandi Sunni Muslims, all are suffering directly at the hands of the military establishment dominated State and its various proxies and affiliates.

Before LUBP, many PPP supporters had to rely on the token and cosmetic discourse of those who balanced their mild criticism of the State with far more unwarranted and unfair criticism of the PPP. Today, PPP supporters and other progressive Pakistanis have LUBP as a resource to both use and to contribute and develop as their own voice. It is a diverse platform that believes that there is no one voice in Pakistan but a plurality that must be celebrated not suppressed.

LUBP has positioned itself as a think tank resource for the PPP supporters without any formal or financial support from the party and it has not been harassed for any criticism of PPP by the PPP leadership.  Our research has been quoted by international rights groups and media and in spite of the best efforts of the pseudo-liberal media elites to block our circulation, we continue to grow.

In wresting a space and trying to work on these parameters, LUBP writers, editors and contributers have been abused and harassed continuously from the most unlikeliest of sources, the pseudo-liberal elite. However, overall our family has enormously grown. Today, we receive scores of original posts from all over the world. Total number of non-mainstream, voluntary, reasonable quality original posts published on LUBP is higher than any other Pakistani blog. Similarly, in terms of visitor traffic, we are far ahead of most Pakistani blogs (except websites hosting videos of Pakistani talkshows).

Our traffic and circulation continues to break new records. In these four years, we have changed our domain twice and since the last time, we have gone from 0 to nearly 10,000 facebook likes in less than 2 years. Given our non-mainstream, hard to digest discourse, this is no less an achievement. The Alexa statistics suggest we are now ahead of pkpolitics.com, a popular pro-right wing, TV Talkshow hosting website.

In the last two months alone (May-June 2012), we have received about 150,000 absolute unique visitors to our website. The total number of visits is much higher than this figure.

Top ten countries in terms of traffic: Pakistan, US, UK, India, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Canada, Australia, China and France.

Interestingly, quite a few visitors in China and France are reading our posts after auto-translating them into Chinese and French. The effect is evident in the way our discourse has started reflecting in certain reports on Pakistan by Xinhua, France 24 and other media outlets.

We have received numerous comments and private messages from renowned intellectuals, columnists, critics and politicians, who have in the main appreciated our work in terms of its aims and the quality and diversity of content.

Other links:

For a detailed discussion of LUBP values, scope and agenda, read this post (December 2010):  https://lubpak.net/archives/31493

The following archive comprises LUBP policy articles: http://criticalppp.com/archives/tag/lubp-policy

We have never hesitated to publish criticism on LUBP: https://lubpak.net/archives/tag/criticism-of-lubp

Facebook and Twitter

LUBP has a very active presence on Facebook and Twitter which helps us in confronting and denting the mainstream discourses.

Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/LetUsBuildPakistan

Twitter:
http://twitter.com/criticalppp

Subscription options:

Via RSS:
https://lubpak.net/feed

Via email:
http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=lubp&loc=en_US

Feedback

As always, we welcome your feedback and also invite you to write for LUBP.

In solidarity,

Abdul Nishapuir
on behalf of LUBP Team

editor@lubpak.com

Acknowledgement: I thank two LUBP editors who enormously contributed to the writing of this post. On their request, their names remain anonymous.

About the author

Abdul Nishapuri

15 Comments

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  • Abdul Nishapuri,
    What makes LUBP stand out from all the “neutral” websites is that we are no at all neutral. We can hate the PPP but we will vote and support it for it stands apart from rest of politically bisexual groups in the country.
    LUBP has also done a great job in unmasking the demi-gods of Pakistan like Iftikhar Chaudhry and his right wing judges, the media barons especially the Jang group and the holy cows of the military.
    Thank you for creating a space for us to have an alternative viewpoint.

  • As a Shia Hazara Musim, I thank LUBP for introducing the Shia genocide discourse in Pakistani and international media. Your services for persecuted communities will be remembered, always.

  • From Twitter:

    Karrar ‏@KarrarrHussain
    Four years, and the march goes on. LUBP, I honestly admit, I became a critical reader after following your blog

    Karrar ‏@KarrarrHussain
    @AbdulNishapuri Accept my felicitations sir. LUBP, despite the fierce criticism and propaganda campaign against it, remains most worthy blog

    Ali Taj ‏@AliAbbasTaj
    @AbdulNishapuri Let us make LUBP even better. Congrats to you and salute your hard work.

    Ali Afzal ‏@Ali502
    @AbdulNishapuri I started reading #LUBP 3 years ago,A good effort to present a point of view not visible in Electronic and Print media..

  • Rubbish blog by rabid PPP Jiyalas, Qadianis, Shia, Baloch, Indian agents, atheists.

  • It is the best thing happened to secularist and progressive people of pakistan. Rightly put that it is a PPP voice but then who else in Pakistan stand for progressive voices other than PPP.

  • Supporting the PPP on social media would have been a much harder task without LUBP. Let’s also not forget the services of this Blogzine in unmasking the two-faced urban-origin fake liberals and their political and ideological reality vis a vis their ‘support’ for the PPP or their ‘reporting’ of human rights violations, for instance.

    Mr Abdul Nishapuri does deserve a great deal of credit for initiating this forum for PPP supporters (and even critics). His independent editorial policy, whereby posts that are critical of even the LUBP are published here, is equally laudable.

  • Creating a new website without having to be a tech savvy professional sounds like a winning situation for many of us!

  • Abdul Nishapuri is obsesses with the rights of Iranian agents (Shia), RAW agents (Hindus), Qadian lobby, Baloch CIA blah blah blah. Ever seen him say anything for the rights of Hamid Mir, Ejaz Haider, Ansar Abbasi and Najam Sethi who are repeatedly criticised by these paid employees of Zardari!

  • Abdul Nishapuri
    Thnks for update.It is really heartening to know all that.We, the Godless, are with you.

  • This forum is a joke. You require my permission to talk. Benazir Bhutto got a fitting end. All of you deserve the same. I will spam every conversation that you traiters have. You pollute Pakistan.

  • ”CHEERS” Congratulations for keeping great values of true journalism,your website is very impressive and courageous,keep up the good work.>:)

  • Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and
    gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed
    the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside
    and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!

    LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell
    someone!