Impact of Social Media in Pakistan

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم

اَللّٰھُمَّ صَلِّ عَلٰی مُحَمَّدٍ وَّعَلٰٓی اٰلِ مُحَمَّدٍ


By Syeda Qudsiya Mashhadi

Not many years ago Facebook and other social networking sites were looked down upon as activities of the frivolous and idle youth. Online ‘chatting’ was the new evil and parents discouraged the use of internet in their homes. The scenario today has changed quite a bit. Facebook and Twitter are not just tools to pass time and find friends on the net; they have become modern tools of expression of personal opinion and social gathering in the hands of social media activists, analysts, celebrities and journalists. Besides Social Media activists, there are hacktivists [hackers who hack for a cause] who excel at attacking websites of their rival countries. It is a fact that the exponential increase in the influence of Social Media is a horrific nightmare for governments who want to have a firm control on what is accessible to the public, as well as for the news and print media who give news in accordance to the agenda of their sponsors. I want to bring forth the negative as well as positive aspects of Social Media in our lives.

Negative Impact of Social Media

  • ·         In today’s world of information technology, when people spent most of their time on social networking sites, it has become easier to gather information about any individual. Facebook is a dream come true for intelligence agencies like CIA as people willingly share all their information. The contact information on Facebook includes:

1.   1.emails, websites
2. phone and cell phone numbers,
3. even their home addresses,
4. business/ job info,
5. school / colleges / universities
6. their home towns and current location.

  • ·         Like all mediums of media, SM too can be used for spreading of vulgarity, immodesty and illegal activities. As a Muslim, we are constantly reminded in Quran and Hadith about the importance of Haya [Modesty] and how Emaan and Haya are interconnected. If one goes, the other leaves as well. It is painful to see that unbridled youth of today involved in immoral activities on SM and also spreading to and sharing it with others. It is definitely the responsibility of parents to monitor the activities of their children on internet and particularly on SM because it can have great repercussions. Just last month, a 13 year old boy in Karachi was kidnapped by the elder brother of a ‘friend’ he made on Facebook. SM is obviously not for children as they don’t have the prudence or experience to make proper judgements.
  • ·         Another annoying aspect of SM, especially Facebook is of the fake ids. People do it for various reasons; sometimes it is just boys posing to be girls in order to interact with other females on Facebook. But mainly it is done for greater more nefarious reasons, basically for spying and psy-ops. In this way, many unwanted people are added in your ‘friend list’ and they can easily monitor your activities by posing to have the same likes and affiliations as yourself. This method is being employed by intelligence agencies, especially CIA and RAW, to spy on their rivals and also to sow seeds of dissent amongst their enemies. Highlighting Shia-Sunni differences amongst Muslims and spitting venom about different sects on Facebook, Twitter and other SM sites is also a result of such fake ids.
  • ·         The advent of SM has also seen a decline in the sanctity of an individual’s privacy. Internet giants like Google monitor every activity of internet users and provide this data to intl. agencies. To have some idea about how people are being tracked on internet and SM, enter the name of any person you know, in Google Search, whether a friend or a family member and you are instantly going to get information about all their activities in the Cyber World:

1.   1. their comments on different Facebook Groups.
2. their comments on different blogs.
3. pictures that they have uploaded on social networking sites or other websites.
4. their info on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus that they have made public.

  • ·         Another dis-advantage of SM is psychological in nature. The excessive use of SM makes human beings quite anti-social and they shy away from actually spending time with friends and family. Reading books is the one of the best hobbies and it too has suffered as the attention of the youth is wholly consumed by the SM.
  • ·         Elections 2013 in Pakistan saw the phenomenon of Social Media reaching its Zenith. In fact its ugly face was more obvious than its pretty side. The Social Media teams of various political parties crossed all boundaries of etiquette and ethics when it came to maligning the opponents. Mudslinging of highest level was seen during election campaign on Facebook and Twitter and personal lives of politicians were broadcasted to entire public. It is the right of the public to know about the lives of their leaders, but truth should always prevail. Making cock and bull stories, name calling and spreading fake photos modified by Photoshop, is immoral and decadent.

Positive aspects of Social Media:

Positive aspects of Social Media are not easily perceived or understood by an average layman who uses his Facebook just to share his picture having his dinner or update his status about how he is feeling that day. The greater impact of SM is recognized by highly motivated SM activists and social analysts. They know full well the power they have of moulding and forming public opinions through SM. If used to achieve a greater goal for a sublime purpose and for reasons that are morally and ethically sound, SM can play an extremely positive role.

  • ·         Being a Muslim, the first and foremost advantage I see in SM is the sharing and spreading of Islamic knowledge. Constant reminders from Quran, Hadith and majestic words of great minds from our glorious history are a source of inspiration and help in our personal development. If one really wants, one can use SM to contribute to the society in a productive way. 
  • ·         News that is not shared with the public by the electronic and print media is now accessible through SM. Many dictatorial regimes and even democracies that want to hide their actions from the public eye, keep a tight lid over their media but have no control over SM and hence the people who are active on SM are more aware of what is happening nationally and internationally. The media is actually not ‘free’ even when they claim so because they have to serve the interests of their pay-masters. Unfortunately, in Pakistan we see that Pakistani media is heavily funded by the USA and India, former a wolf in sheep’s clothing and the latter, a sworn enemy of Pakistan. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to see that anti-state elements like BLA and TTP are given maximum coverage on Pakistan’s private News Channels while the sacrifices of the Pakistan Army are brushed aside. Questions are being raised about Two Nations Theory and the founding fathers of the nation by Liberal Fascists to stir up controversy. In fact, in the recent years, Pakistani media has actually become anti-Pakistan and anti-Pak Army which is nothing short of treachery. In this scenario, SM is playing a very positive role and encouraging people to use their mind and not be a blind slave of whatever the media tells them to be true. There are many Facebook pages with huge fan following that are invigorating the sacred ideology of Pakistan.
  • ·         In an Islamic perspective, clear rules and guidelines have been given for interaction between males and females. Limits of Mahram and Na-Mahram have been defined and as a Muslim, it should always be in our minds to follow Shariat. The one worthy thing that I have observed on SM is that there are boys and girls and even mature men and house wives, who are essentially on SM for doing beneficial work for the society that is in bounds of our moral values and religion. A female can in point of fact communicate with a male without having to meet him and or talk to him. Facebook and Twitter are used as means of communication for doing community work and conveying valuable information and this can easily be achieved remaining in the bounds of Shariat. Not the majority of public, but quite a few individuals in Pakistan are very focused on their work and mission.
  • ·         Just as SM can be used for propaganda [which is one of its negative aspect], in the same way it can also be used for keeping the public informed. There are many issues which would not have reached to the public loud and clear if the SM was not highlighting them. Whether it is the Palestinian Intifada, Kashmir’s struggle for freedom or the massacre of Burmese Muslims, the SM activists raised their voices on Facebook and Twitter on such burning issues and spread awareness.

In short, we see that SM is just another medium like our TV or Computer and is not an evil in itself. It depends upon the person using it whether he makes good use of it and serves his country and fellow men, or chooses to become a nuisance for others. Let us be the light that others follow and not the dark pits of Hades where others fall.


BrassTacks September Newsletter

Energy Crisis and Food Security – BrassTacks Security Review

A glimpse of Quaid’s vision for Pakistan

By Syeda Qudsiya Mashhadi

Recently some enemies of Pakistan [read SAFMA] have started questioning the Two-Nation Theory that was the base for the creation of Pakistan. They are outrageous liars and through their falsehoods, they want to prove that Jinnah wanted a secular state.

There are hundreds of speeches of Quaid-e-Azam that can be slapped across their Zionist faces, but quoting here just some of them to revive the memory of Pakistani youth.

Our true hero, Jinnah

Our true hero, Jinnah

“Happily there is a solution in the enforcement of the Law of Islam and its further development in the light of modern ideas. After a long and careful study of Islamic Law I have come to the conclusion that if this system of Law is properly understood and applied, at last the right to subsistence is secured to everybody. But the enforcement and development of the Shariat of Islam is impossible in this country without a free Muslim state or states.”  Iqbal’s letter to Quaid, 28th May, 1937.

“The Congress President has denied the political existence of Muslims in no unmistakable terms. The other Hindu political body, i.e., the Mahasabha, whom I regard as the real representative of the masses of the Hindus, has declared more than once that a united Hindu-Muslim nation is impossible in India. In these circumstances it is obvious that the only way to a peaceful India is redistribution of the country on the lines of racial, religious and linguistic affinities.” Iqbal to Quaid, June 1937.

“To my mind the new constitution with its ides of a single Indian federation is completely hopeless. A separate federation of Muslim provinces reformed on the lines I have suggested above, is the only course by which we can secure a peaceful India and save Muslims from the domination of non-Muslims. Why should not the Muslims of North-West India and Bengal be considered as nation entitled to Self-determination just as other nation as in India and outside India are?” Iqbal to Quaid, June 1937.

“The Palestine question is very much agitating the minds of the Muslims. I have no doubt that the League will pass a strong resolution on this question and also by holding a private conference of the leaders. Personally I would not mind going to jail on an issue which affects both Islam and India. The formation of a Western base on the very gates of the East is a menace to both.” Iqbal to Quaid, 1937.

“ Pakistan not only means freedom and independence, but also the Muslim Ideology that has to be preserved that has come to us as a precious gift and treasure.” Quaid-e-Azam, Chittagong, March,1948.

“In Pakistan lie our deliverance, defence and honour. If we fail, we perish and there will be no signs and symptoms of Muslims or Islam left in the sub-continent.” Quaid-e-Azam, Pakistan Day, March, 1945.

“The Constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed——-I am sure it will be of a democratic type embodying the essential principles of Islam. Today, they are as applicable in modern times, as these were 1300 years ago———in any case, Pakistan is NOT going to be a Theocratic State——-to be ruled by the priests with a Divine mission.”  Quaid-e-Azam, broadcast to the U.S.A. February,1948.

“Islam is not merely confined to the spiritual tenets and doctrine, rituals and ceremonies. It is a complete code regulating the whole Muslim Society, every department of life collectively and individually.” Quaid-e-Azam, Eid Massage, September, 1945.

“In Islam, ultimate obedience belongs to God alone. The only way to follow this guidance is through the Holy Quran. Islam does not preach obedience to a king, parliament, person or institution. The Islamic Govt. means rule of the Quran. And how can you establish the rule of the Quran without an independent state?” Quaid-e-Azam, address to the students of the Usmania University, Deccan, India, August, 1941.

“Come forward as servants of Islam, organise the people economically, socially, educationally and politically and I am sure that you will be a power that will be accepted by everybody.” Quaid-e-Azam, Presidential Address at the All India Muslim League, Lahore March 23, 1940.

“The vital contest in which we are engaged is not only for the material gain but also the very existence of the soul of Muslim nation, Hence I have said often that it is a matter of life and death to the Musalmans and is not a counter for bargaining.”
Quaid-e-Azam, Presidential Address delivered at the Special Pakistan Session of the Punjab Muslim Students Federation, March 2, 1941

“You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy, Islamic social justice and the equality of manhood in your own native soil. With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.” Quaid-e-Azam, address to the officers and men of the 5th Heavy and 6th Light  Regiments in Malir, Karachi, February 21, 1948.

“We should have a State in which we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own lights and culture and where principles of Islamic social justice could find free play.” Quaid-e-Azam, address to Civil, Naval, Military and Air Force Officers of Pakistan Government, Karachi, October 11, 1947.

“We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind”. Quaid-e-Azam’s speech at the opening ceremony of State Bank of Pakistan, Karachi, July 1, 1948.

Long live Islamic Republic of Pakistan!

Death to its enemies!

Ameer-e-Millat on Quaid-e-Azam M. A. Jinnah


Establishment of All India Sunni Conference

The leading Sunni ulema at the meeting at Jami’ah Na’imiah, Muradabad on March 16-19, 1925 set up an organization by the name of Jamiyyat-e-Aliyah-al Markaziah commonly known as All India Sunni Conference (AISC). At its inaugural session, Syed Jamaat Ali Shah was elected its president and the convener of the meeting, Maulana Nazimuddin Muradabadi its Nazim-e-AIa (General Secretary)

The aim and objectives of AISC were:

a) To unite the Sunni majority of India on one platform;

b) To establish Islamic organizations in every corner of India and link them with AISC;

c) To organize missionary activities and to open special seminaries for this purpose;

d) To provide religious education to the western educated Muslims and open night schools for the working classes.

e) To improve social conditions of the Muslims by encouraging them to invest in trade and business; and

f) To fulfil the daily needs of the Muslims by providing them jobs and making them free from the clutches of loans.

The presidential address of Syed Jamaat Ali Shah, which he delivered at the first annual AISC session, holds historical significance. He not only surveyed the political, social and religious problems of the Muslims in the Indian sub-continent, but also highlighted the contemporary issues of the Muslim world. For instance, commenting on the politics of the then Arabia, he condemned the massacre of innocent Muslims in Hijaz carried out by the descendants of King Saud. In addition, he vehemently criticized the fundamental doctrines of Wahabism, which were fast spreading in India, and were attractive to a considerable section of the Muslim population. In a likewise manner, he also condemned the emergence of other minor sects in Indian Islam. Moreover, he shed light on the calamity of apostasy while upholding the truthfulness of Islam. He also brought to the forefront anti-Islamic customs in the Muslim society and how to avoid them, need for brotherhood among the Muslims and the role and work of the leaders of Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat in the preaching of Islam. In addition, he also stressed need for acquiring modern education for Muslims. This first All India Sunni Conference was attended by three hundred ulema, Mashiakh (Sufi pirs) coming from all over India.

The Second All India Sunni Conference was held in Badaun in October 1935 under the presidentship of Jamaat Ali Shah. He was re-elected as its President. In his Presidential address, he highlighted the need for unity among the ulema and common Muslims and the role/responsibilities of ulema in Masjid Shaheed Ganj Movement. While criticizing Ibn-e-Saud’s policies in Arabia, he demanded to respect the sacred places of the Muslims.

The Third All India Sunni Conference was held on 27-30 April 1946 at Benaras under the presidentship of Syed Jamaat Ali Shah which was attended by five hundred Mashaikh, seven hundred ulema and some two Iakh people.

There were reports that some Congress agents conspired to disrupt the meeting. They prepared a resolution according to which Mr. Jinnah was to be denounced as infidel and apostate from the platform of AISC. Moreover, it was demanded of Jamaat Ali Shah to retract his high praise for Mr. Jinnah, or resign from the presidentship of the conference, It is important to mention here that many nationalist Muslim leaders and nationalist Muslim groups such as Ahrar condemned Muslim League, and denounced its prominent leaders such as Muhammad Ali Jinnah for his westernized and un-Islamic way of life. Now denouncing Jinnah from the platform of AISC and particularly from Syed Jamaat Ali Shah was planned by pro-Congress leaders within AISC. Since Jamaat Ali had a large following among the Punjabi Muslims, the ulterior motive behind the move was to discredit Jinnah among them.

Pir Sahib got wind of the plan but remained cool and calm. When he stood up to deliver Presidential address, he said:

“People dub Jinnah as infidel, but, I call him a saint, people express their own opinion but I say it in the light of Quran and Hadiths. Those who believe in their Allah and obey Him Allah creates love and reverence f or them in the hearts of people’ (Quran). Now is there anybody other than Jinnah who is loved and respected by ten crore Muslims of India. Therefore, you may call him infidel, but in my eyes he is a Saint”.

After these arguments, nobody dared to pressurize him to change his stance.

In the same meeting, a resolution was also passed, whereby the leaders of the AISC and other prominent leaders present in the meeting pledged to support the demand for Pakistan.


Modesty where art thou?

By Syeda Qudsiya Mashhadi

The Prophet [PBUH] said, “Emaan [faith] and Haya [modesty] are two things that stay together; if one leaves, so does the other.”

All hell has broken loose as the social networking and video hosting sites on internet have been burning for last two days with the leaked behind-the-scenes video of the renowned Islamic scholar [?] and host of Islamic programs, Dr. Amir Liaquat Hussain. This is a tremendously shocking discovery for people like me who knew Dr. Amir as a respected and ‘Islamic’ minded person, someone who loved reciting naats in his shows.

Everyone is still reeling in shock and anger. Pakistanis around the world are feeling betrayed and it is no wonder. This is the man they had become used to spending their Ramazan with. Especially, it is most painful for women who had come to think of him as a champion of their rights.

The most painful thing for me is the horror that our daughters and sisters had to bear while watching [read ‘hearing‘] this leaked video. This increase in their vocabulary was totally uncalled for. As if this torture was not enough, the filthy sentences uttered by Dr. sahib have become the catch phrases and latest hot jokes in the males who are insensitively repeating that garbage on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Everyone has heard of Sadqa-e-Jariya, but I am sorry to say that Dr. Amir takes the credit of this Gunah-e-Jariya. Who knows what kind of language men use when no females are around! But there always had been a ‘hijab’ and now I see that hijab badly shaken. Astaghfirullah!

The public in general, is very critical of men with beard and women wearing ‘burqas’; they are ready to pounce on the tiniest of faults of ‘Islamic’ people. “Daikho zara, bara naik banta hai!” And what to say if that ‘Islamic’ person also happens to be a famous scholar!! Then his responsibilities increase hundred times!

I only wish that, even if Dr. Amir was in the habit of using this vulgar language, he should have had given some thought to his public persona and adapted accordingly. It would have been wise to change himself according to his Islamic image.Some people are still in disbelief, so much so that they have called the video fake even after the media gurus have given verdict about its authenticity. I am not surprised at their disbelief, though. This is the same mouth from which naats and durood came out.

A question comes to mind; “If the video was fake, why in the hell was Geo TV removing it from Youtube with Copyrights claim with lightening speed??

Another ugly aspect of this whole affair is the role of Jew TV. Jew TV was well aware of this truth. Why did they wait so long to expose this so-called Islamic scholar? Were they sleeping before, or is it because Dr. Amir works for another TV network now? Or is it because they have sold themselves to the Devil and give a hoot about character-building of the Nation??

We should learn lessons from this whole affair and improve ourselves as a Nation, inshaAllah.

To sum up, I will quote a hadees about Ulma-e-Su:

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “There will appear in the end times, people who seek the Dunya with religion. In front of the people they wear clothes made of wool to give the impression of their humility, their speeches are sweeter than sugar, but their hearts are the hearts of wolves (very fond of wealth and position). Allah says, ‘Are you fooled by Me (the mercy and opportunities I give) or that you dare towards Me? By My Self, I swear. I will send down disasters from among their own on those who turn decent people into confusion so they are not able to get away from it.’” [Tirmidhi]

CIA chief Panetta leaves without deal

By Baqir Sajjad Syed

ISLAMABAD: Leon Panetta, chief of the Central Intelligence Agency, left Islamabad on Saturday morning after a meeting with Chief of the Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI head Gen Shuja Pasha, but without a deal on resetting the relationship between the spy agencies.

Mr Panetta, who arrived on Friday evening, did not meet anyone other than the Kayani-Pasha duo who he met at the Army House over dinner and discussed what was described by the ISPR as “framework for future intelligence sharing”.

Mr Panetta’s departure without routine calls on President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was seen by observers here as a sign of stalemate in his discussions with the military leadership. According to sources, Mr Panetta was surprised by the rigidity shown by the military, which went to the extent of even declining an offer by Washington of security assistance.

But government officials insisted that unlike in the past this time he was not scheduled to meet anyone else.

While Gen Kayani had even before his visit made it clear that the Army would not allow the CIA to carry out independent operations and that any future intelligence cooperation would be reciprocal and transparent, Mr Panetta did little to pacify Pakistani generals and instead confronted them with “evidence of collusion with Taliban militants”.

This, a source claimed, would further sour the relationship which had already been under strain since the start of this year and got worse after the May 2 Abbottabd raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.

According to US media reports, Mr Panetta shared with the military leadership video and satellite imagery of militants leaving two bomb-making factories in Waziristan after allegedly having been tipped off about a raid.

The US reportedly shared the information with Pakistan last week, asking it to take action against the two sites. But Mr Panetta alleged at the meeting that the information was leaked within 24 hours of sharing and by the time the raiding teams reached those places, the militants had melted away.

A defense source said the CIA chief, who is set to take over as the next US defense secretary, reportedly used this as an instance to tell the army and intelligence chiefs why America distrusted Pakistani military establishment and needed to have its own independent operations inside the country to deal with Al Qaeda and Taliban.

Efforts to get a version from official sources in Islamabad did not bear fruit.


Mr Panetta, during his visit, reportedly tried to convince the Pakistanis to allow some critical CIA operations to continue after the agency was asked to cut down its footprint. He also asked for some CIA operatives to be given visas to enable them to enter the country and work independently.

Gen Kayani and Gen Pasha are reported to have insisted on joint operations and intelligence sharing, but no independent operations. They said that a recently-constituted joint task force for coordination of intelligence activities should be the nerve centre of any future ISI-CIA collaboration.

Reuters adds: The army and intelligence chiefs told Mr Panetta that they were not willing to reverse a decision to cut the number of US troops allowed in their country, Pakistani military officials said on Saturday.

“He (Panetta) expressed concern over the reduction of trainers and operatives. We told him very clearly ‘no boots on our soil is acceptable’,” said a military official.

“We told him (Panetta) that we are clear. We don’t want their people. Intelligence sharing is fine and we are ready for that,” said another military official. “Any action against the militants will be taken by our forces alone but we will share intelligence on militants actively.”

A US embassy spokesman said he had no information on Panetta’s talks.