LUBP agenda, visitor stats and the way forward

by admin

Dear LUBPians,

First of all, a big THANK YOU for your ongoing support to the LUBP project. Here is an update on LUBP visitor statistics which you may find reassuring.

In the last two months alone (Oct-Nov 2010), we have received about 100,000 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, Canada, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Australia, Germany

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.

It was on 9 November 2009 when Shaheryar Ali very generously wrote:

1) This blog took an early and bold stand against Talibanization and sectarianism

2) This blog took a conscientious stand on rights of Pakistani minorities

3) This blog showed a remarkable strength of conviction and conscience when it supported the restoration of judiciary against wishes of many in the Party whom they support. [I for example who is writing this article to support Let Us Build Pakistan was and am critical of lawyers’ movement and judiciary but this never came in way of either me or Let Us Build Pakistan]

4) This blog is pioneer in “Media Criticism” and has frequently demonstrated the “ideological biases” of Pakistani media hence upheld the fundamental right of people of Pakistan to unbiased and/or alternative news and opinions

5) This blog has taken a democratic stand in support of marginalized groups and nationalities of Pakistan

6) This blog has covered the silent anti-Shia genocide taking place in Pakistan which finds no coverage anywhere

What do we stand for?

Let us take a stock of what we have been up to in the last one year.

To summarize:

  1. We have continued to cover militancy, militarisation and the military establishment’s brutal operations, evasive tactics and tacit and institutional support for jihadi and sectarian terrorists. In this regard, we have covered sufferings of civilians, extra-judicial killings, abductions and political assassinations in Pakistan particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
  2. Instead of a qualified condemnation of an unknown enemy, we have named and condemned the enemy as well as it apologists in bold terms, i.e., extremist Deobandis of the Taliban and Sipah-e-Sahaba, extremist Salafis of the Laskar-e-Taiba / Jamatud-Dawa, the Taliban ISI Alliance, the Taliban apologists (Friends of Taliban) (including Imran Khan, Munawar Hasan, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, General Hamid Gul, Roedad Khan, General Aslam Beg, General Asad Durrani), the current protectors and promoters of good Taliban (General Kayani and General Pasha), ISI’s agents in Pakistani media (Pakistani Taliban Union of Journalists) (Haroon-ur-Rashid, Talat Hussain, Mosharraf Zaidi, Ansar Abbasi, Shaheen Sehbai etc) and also some refined ‘holy cows’ in Pakistani blogs who in the main keep recycling and reinforcing the official narratives of the (Punjabi and Muhajir urban middle-class dominated) military and civil establishment.
  3. We have paid special attention to voices from Balochistan to highlight the Baloch nationalist perspective which is often ignored by Pakistan’s mainstream media and ‘civil society’ blogs. We have not only highlighted the state (army) violence against Baloch nationalists but also covered the target killing of Punjabi settlers by Baloch extremists and the target killing of the Shia and Hazara population by extremist Deobandis and the ISI.
  4. We have provided unflinching support to other progressive websites in their hour of need. For example, we boldly declared our support for the progressive on line newspaper Baloch Hal when their website was banned by the military establishment of Pakistan, whereas almost all bloggers and media persons chose to ignore the ban. Previously we have shown a similar support for Iranian bloggers who are facing an oppressive regime in their own country.
  5. While exposing the extra judicial killings of Pakistan Army in Swat, based on widely circulated video evidence, our post on condemnation of that act of brutality was BLOCKED as per the directives of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. Previously our website was witch-hunted by Geo TV’s Hamid Mir and Ansar Abbasi (in Capital Talk), however, we have refused to give in to such tactics of harassment.
  6. We have covered topics which remain in the main ignored by other blogs and newspapers, for example, the blockade of Shias of Parachinar (Kurram Agency) by the Taliban and Pakistan Army, the silent genocide of Shias by extremist Deobandis of Sipah-e-Sahaba and Taliban, and the systemic persecution of other minority groups including Ahmadis and Christians.
  7. We have criticized the national security state narratives (sponsored and promoted by Pakistan Army through its agents in Pakistan’s mainstream and alternative media), the strategic depth theory (focused on treating Afghanistan as Pakistan’s own backyard), the hate India policy (focused on legitimizing the ever increasing military budget and influence in Pakistan), the good Taliban theory (focused on protecting and propagating the menace of the proxy jihadis of Taliban and Sipah-e-Sahaba), and other strategic follies.
  8. We have supported national institutions such as parliament, judiciary and the army to work in their constitutional framework. In particular, we have urged the security establishment (army and its agencies) to stick to their job instead of posing as the guardian of the so called ideological boundaries, as it is the job of intellectuals, politicians and other sections of society specialized in it to define our ideological goals and objectives.
  9. We have covered events and declarations of various progressive and human rights organizations, such as Muslim Canadian Congress, Amn Tehreek, Baloch Human Rights, SAFMA, IndividualLand, and the groups working for free media and the rights of Shia, Ahmadi and Christian Pakistanis.
  10. We have been consistently and explicitly highlighting the continued, illegal interference of the military establishment in Pakistani politics and media, and have been confronting their known and subtle agents in Pakistan’s mainstream and alternative media.
  11. As a result of of our strategy to expose the depoliticized chattering classes and civil society outlets and blogs, we have been criticized harshly by the middle class, English speaking revolutionaries of the ‘civil society, and our coeditors suffered personal attacks. We suspect that some of the seemingly secular and progressive blogs are working on an agenda to create confusion in progressive discourse, whereas some neutral and apolitical blogs are in fact simmering in their hatred of the PPP and the people of Pakistan. We will therefore continue to be critical on blogs to judge them on their own declared ideologies especially those “progressive” ones who witch-hunt leftist writers and critical opinions.

Our values

  • In the main, LUBP remains committed to a democratic, progressive and secular Pakistan.
  • We remain opposed to all forms of violence, particularly in the shape of terrorism, sectarianism and ethnofascism.
  • We remain opposed to discriminatory laws related to individual faith, gender and ethnicity.
  • We remain committed to peace and harmony in South Asia and the entire world.
  • We will keep supporting all progressive voices, literary personalities, poets, writers and intellectuals of Pakistan and the region.

We are a blog-zine

LUBP is a blog-zine. It comprises authors, contributors and visitors of diverse political and ideological affiliations who have a firm commitment to values of democracy, diversity, social justice, tolerance and religious freedom.

However, within this commitment, there is a heterogeneity of ideas and approaches, which is frequently reflected in various articles we write and publish at LUBP. We are multiple voices not one voice, nor do we intend to enforce a ‘one voice policy’ at this blog.

We are being heard

Overall, the above mentioned visitors statistics suggest that our voices and perspectives are being read and heard by a sizeable number of individuals within and outside Pakistan. These statistics have been continuously improving in the last few months.

Our modest influence is clearly reflected in at least some of the topics that have recently started emerging in Pakistan’s mainstream and alternative media, e.g. with regards to the accountability of media, the Taliban ISI Alliance, Shia genocide by extremist Deobandis, Baloch nationalist perspective, persecution of Christians and Ahmadis etc.

However, on a macro-level, these statistics are still very small in a country of more than 160 million people. Therefore, there is a need to think of ways to expand our outreach, particularly to Urdu speaking visitors within Pakistan.

Way forward

We need to pay more attention to our Urdu section. Our technical administrator is currently working on that project.

We need to be more proactive in publicizing and promoting the LUBP as a reliable platform for critical and reflective discourses on Pakistan politics.

As we have times and again stated, while we are transparent in our support of the Pakistan Peoples Party (because what we feel is the promise and potential of the PPP as currently the only political force that respects and represents the plural traditions of Pakistan), we are receptive to rational articles and discourses from all sides of the ideological and political divide.

Facebook and Twitter

In particular, our facebook and twitter accounts are responsible for only 5% and 4% traffic respectively. This area needs improvement.

We will appreciate if our valued visitors and authors could help us spread the word. Please encourage all of your friends and acquaintances to visit the LUBP and also subscribe to our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Let-Us-Build-Pakistan/265291019560

Twitter:
http://twitter.com/letusbuildpak

Other subscription options:

Via RSS:
https://pakistanblogzine.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/lubp-anas-logo1.jpgfeed

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

Feedback

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

In solidarity,
LUBP Team

Acknowledgement: I am grateful to Shaheryar Ali, Ali Arqam, Ali Abbas and Farhad Jarral for some of their extremely valuable reflections and inputs used in this post.

Tags: ,

23 Comments to “LUBP agenda, visitor stats and the way forward”

  1. @Abdul
    Congratulations and heartening to know that the message of LUBP is reaching wider and farther audience.
    LUBP has indeed established itself as a reliable platform for the sane voices for Pakistan.

  2. well done ! Congratulation to All LUBP TEAM its truly great achievement !keep it up !

  3. A great achievement ,Congratulation to all LUBP team .this site discuss specially the core issues which our media always hesitate ,also exposing media’s dada .

  4. LUBP is a ray of hope in the dark tunnel that is Pakistan. It is astonishing to read the daily decline of intellectual standards in Pakistan and how easy it is for Islamofascism to find respectability and traction among the country’s urban elites.

    In the midst of this sorry state of affairs, the LUBP and its team of fine men and women remind me of a time in the 1950s and 60s when it was rare to find the likes of Zaid Hamid even in the most ultra-orthodox mosque or rightwing ultra-nationalist political arena.

    Thank God for LUBP and its web-magazine, there is some sense of sanity in the political discourse of Pakistan.

    Khush raho aur sada abaad raho!

  5. You are doing very well. Continue your war against the forces of darkness. We all are with you and fully support you. I congratulate you on your success in such a short span of time.

  6. May be place live site visit stats in the site side panel.

  7. It is nice to discuss and share views in this blog.

  8. This site is a very good reminder of this fact that we,Pakistanis, as people would go for democracy and secularism whenever we get an opportunity.

    PPP Leadership, Workers and the LUBP – Guest post by Naseer Ahmed (Destiny)
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/3649

  9. ‘Why do we need LUBP’ can be explained by a most recent event: the release of Wikileaks cables and the way some of the cables implicating Pakistan Army are being ignored or twisted in the media and blogs.

    Yesterday, I watched ARY TV’s Off the Record with Kashif. All three guests in that programme (Sheikh Rasheed, Haroon-ur-Rasheed, Syed Talat Hussain) were univocal on a one point agenda, i.e., to defend their masters in khaki. In fact, Talat Hussain said words to this effect: “us din say yeh siasatdan darain jis din koi ArmyLeaks release ho gai” (Pakistani politicians should thank God that there is no ArmyLeaks.)

    It is therefore important for us at LUBP to keep exposing and confronting the official narratives of Pakistan army which are frequently recycled by our newspapers, TV channels and most blogs.

    Today, it was so refreshing to read the following analysis by XYZ at CafePyala:

    But then we have Mr Kamran Khan on his Geo programme, Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Saath, deciding to embrace both positions. His programme tonight (December 2) was a marvel of double-speak and chutzpah. But before I come to tonight’s programme, let me also run you through the recent history of this programme since the current Wikileaks saga broke, since I have been following and been amazed by it every day.

    Monday, November 29: On the day when ‘Cablegate’ was the top story in the entire world, the first cables having been released late the night before (according to Pakistan Time), guess how much coverage was given to them in Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Saath. None. Zero. Zilch. Cipher. Instead, Kamran Khan devoted the entire programme to an extended promotional interview of Malik Riaz, the controversial billionaire owner of Bahria Town construction, said also to have recently invested heavily in ARY. The only explanation I could come up with this remarkable detour was that either Khan now had a home in Bahria Town or that Riaz has now invested in Geo as well.

    Tuesday, November 30: Kamran Khan grudgingly does a segment on the Wikileaks expose, mainly focusing on those related to Saudi King Abdullah’s perceptions of President Asif Zardari but seems still to be unsure about the news-worthiness of the story. Seems inclined to believe it’s not really credible information until Professor Hasan Abbas from Washington tells him nobody’s really questioning the authenticity of the cables. Manages to use the New York Times misquote about Abdullah calling Zardari “an obstacle to Pakistan’s progress” and adding in “because he is not sincere to the country” of his own accord.

    Wednesday, December 1: Finally realizing that Cablegate is worth more than just a segment, leads his programme with the statement that the cables have caused a storm (“bhonchal”) in the politics of the country. Continues to use the misquoted story and focuses almost entirely on cables related to Zardari. No mention of cables implicating General Kayani in domestic politics or ISI chief General Pasha in talks with Israel or of the alleged involvement of Arab countries in Pakistan’s affairs or their instigations to the US to attack Iran, which would obviously have serious implications for Pakistan. No mention also of cables giving the lie to Nawaz Sharif’s claims about his interactions with the Saudis.

    Which brings us to Thursday, December 2: In an amazing display of whatever you want to call it, the first part of Kamran Khan’s show was devoted to decrying the manipulation behind the leaked cables and casting doubt on their credibility. Why? Well, because they had ‘tried to besmirch the good name and reputation of the Pakistan army and its well-respected leader General Kayani.’ Incidentally, according to Kamran Khan, the army is “a totally uncontroversial institution.” He concluded that there is a sinister game afoot to undermine Pakistan’s interests through the ‘selective’ release of these cables. He then proceeded to ‘contextualize’ General Kayani’s positions through “new information received”, that shows how “brave” and upright the general is, which incidentally is the same ‘information’ presented by Syed Talat Hussain in Dawn today. (Hmmm, I wonder where both could possibly have received the information from…)

    The second part of the show, on the other hand, was devoted to praising the credibility and insight given by the leaked cables which have “documented everything” and “not one single word of which has been denied by anyone or cast into doubt.” Why? Well, because they showed what a scumbag and how beholden to US interests President Zardari was. “What are the poor, powerless 170 million people of this nation to do?” cries Kamran Khan.

    If that’s not called having your cake and eating it too, I don’t know what is.

    http://cafepyala.blogspot.com/2010/12/have-cake-will-eat-too.html

  10. @ All friends

    Thank you for your very reassuring comments and appreciation.

    In particular, I would like to thank Tarek Fatah sahib. Sir, we may disagree on one or two points but there is no dispute to the fact that LUBP draws inspiration from progressive and daring individuals such as yourself.

    Together we will fight the menace of Islamofascism as well as the confused ramblings of the middle class civil society types.

  11. یہ سائٹ ان حقیقتوں کو بیان کرتی ہے جنھیں ہمارا میڈیا ڈسکس نہیں کرتا اور ضیاء الحق طبقہ جو باتیں میڈیا کے ذریے عوام کے ذہنوں میں ڈالنا چاہتا ہے ان نظریات کا یہ سائٹ ان کا مقابلہ کرتی ہے اور تصویر کا دوسرا رخ پیش کرتی ہے
    ملک میں بڑھتی ہوئے مذہبی انتہا پسندی اور فرقہ واریت کو ہمارا میڈیا یا سیاست دان اڈریس نہیں کرتے اور اخبارات میں بس “دو گروہوں میں تصادم لکھا ہوتا ہے ” ان باتوں کو نظر انداز کیا جاتا ہے پر یہ مذہبی انتہا پسندی کا زہر ہماری نسوں میں سرایت کر چکا ہے اور ایک کینسر بن گیا ہے .جماعت اسلامی ،دیوبند مدارس ،جہادی تنظیمیں اور دوسرے مذہبی جماعتیں جو دشتگردی , فرقہ واریت اور نفرت پیلا رہی ہیں انہیں کوئی بھی میڈیا چلینج نہیں کرتا ہے
    ایک خاص ذھن کے طالبان سپورٹر ہمارے میڈیا پر حاوی ہیں .
    وکی لیکس پر جب حمید گل کے گل کھلے اور طالبان اور القاعدہ کی سپورٹ اور خودکش دھماکے کروانے کے ثبوت ملے تو میڈیا میں بیٹھی طالبان مافیا نے یہ بات بلکل اگنور کر دی اور عوام تک یہ بات پونھچی ہی نہیں اور حمید گل نے اسے جھوٹ کا پلانڈ قرار دے دیا ،پر یہی وکی لیکس نے سیاست دنوں کا پول کھولا تو یہی میڈیا اسے خوب اچھال رہا ہے اور اپنی ہیڈ لائن بنا رہا ہے ، میڈیا جس کا کوئی اپنا اجینڈا ہو یا دوسرے کسی خاص اجنڈے پر کام کر رہا ہو ملک اور قوم کے لئے انتہائی خطرناک ہے .
    یہ سائٹ اپنی تھوڑی بہت کوشش کر رہی ہے ،مگر ضیاء الحق مافیا کے کارکن حامد میر ،انصار عباسی ،عرفان صدیقی ،ہارون رشید ،شاہد مسعود وغیرہ آج بھی میڈیا میں ہیرو ہیں کیوں کے انہیں میڈیا سے باھر غیر سیاسی عناصر کی سپورٹ حاصل ہے

  12. Great going guys! Keep the candle alit!

  13. LUBP has been been developed into a very effective platform to express and share freedom of thought, without unnecessary Moderation and Censorship.
    A friend in Islamabad told me that Most of TV Anchors and Parliamentarians collect material to run their show from the LUBP website.
    This forum, being a liberal, democratic and free of religious fanaticism, provides more appealing picture about the current affairs.

  14. Well done, LUBP, for being the boldest and most transparent voice of educated Pakistanis.

    Along with LUBP’s wonderful work, I also want to mention Hasan Zaidi and Omar R. Quraishi of Cafe Pyala. They too are an emerging, commendable voice against GHQ’s domination within their own ranks (journos).

  15. Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi
    Personal Experience: If stuck in a political (or ideological) debate, if the right wing-internet Jihadis (and ‘wanna-be’ Jihadis) need a reality check, over the years, theres only blog that you search and rub it on their faces.

    Keep up the …hard work, please. Not for yourselves, for the cause that we all need to resonate.

    Ali Arqam Thanks mate,

    Ayaz Ahmed
    Thanks Ali Arqam. Good job buddy.

    Saad Mansoor
    A great job indeed… with a long road ahead..

    Shabnam Gul
    Thanks Ali ,and all of you contributing to this blog which is the voice of sanity and common sense . We all appreciate your efforts for pointing out the historical mistakes of Pakistan ‘s security agencies and Mullah +Military Alliance which ultimately took the country to the verge of collapse. Thanks for speaking against the Hudood , blasphemy ,and other repressive laws created by the Pakistani State to oppress women and religious minorities.

    Yadvendra Mehra
    here is a space which inspires the concerned to look inwards , thus paving way to undo the difficult situation now prevailing in Pakistan and make the country and its people at par with rest of the happy and prograssive world.

    And I see the …voice of struggling middle class of Pakistan more honestly represented here on LUBP then any other pink shit blog 🙂

    regards.

    Ale Natiq
    Kudos to LUBP team for the hard work you guys have been doing for a long time. Its tough to keep the blog active and that is one quality of LUBP which needs a lot of appreciation.

    AMong the things that need to be imporved: The user interface…/ design of the blog and more emphasis on the Urdu section (as you already pointed out).See more

    Ali Arqam
    Thanks Ayaz, Yadu, Shabnam Khor and Ale for your words of encouragement. We need a lot of improvements, and hope your encouragement will boost our morale. Ale, Urdu section will be made better in the coming days,

    Omar Ali

    Great Job! keep it up.

    Sabahat Ashraf

    Will pay more attention to the twitter account

  16. Blackout continues in the media:

    بلوچستان میں گزشتہ کئی برسوں سے پرتشدد کارروائیاں جاری ہیں اور پچھلے اڑتالیس گھنٹوں میں بارہ سے زیادہ بلوچ سیاسی کارکن اور سکیورٹی اہلکار مارے گئے ہیں، جس میں سابق وزیراعلیٰ اختر مینگل کے دو ماموں زاد بھائی بھی شامل ہیں۔

    ء 3 دسمبر 2010

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2010/12/101203_dcc_pak_wikileaks_rh.shtml

  17. @ Gulmina Bilal Ahmed

    Thanks for appreciating LUBP work.

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