Pakistan Just Got Its Own Version of Kindle
General Musings, READUP / January 4, 2018

Most of the world had switched to digital books nearly a decade ago. Pakistan, on the other hand, stayed with traditional books and stuck with a publishing industry which is a collection of glorified printing houses. Expensive imported books, way too easy piracy, high reliance on textbooks and little to no support for local authors, there was barely any avenue for new writers to showcase their work or for publications to make the books digitally available. With ReadUp, it is about to change. ReadUp is a digital publishing platform and an ebook marketplace, founder by Digital Saeen (Wasio Abbasi), Jamaluddin, M. Waqas Pervaiz and Muhammad Usman. Its purpose is to make available digital books to local readers at cost effective price, give more reach to the authors and promote literature in both urban and rural areas. ProPakistani just covered the startup today.

Journey That Could Not Be
General Musings / October 8, 2015

It has been a while and I am certain an explanation is required for the absence of several months. Apart from some of the personal challenges of life, I had taken a new step with regards to my future and that consumed my time and efforts since May of this year. In a shift of profession and direction, after long and careful discussion with close friends and colleagues, I had applied for MA in Creative Writing program at University of Southampton, United Kingdom. The detail that most people are unaware of, is that I don’t only write book reviews or long-winded articles on society, politics and religion. I write stories as well … short stories, flash fiction etc. A few of those are published on my personal blog as well. As a requirement for the program I submitted creative work that included a flash fiction, a letter and a short story that totaled to 5,000 words. Pessimist that I am, I believed there would be criticism or even a bit of laughter at the paltry attempt of writing stories. No one had ever taught me to write; there are barely any writers among friends and family, and this is something…

Soft launch of Pakistan’s first Citizen Journalism Platform
General Musings / October 8, 2015

Press Release Since a couple of years, we have been hearing about change and how change has eventually hit the alienated planet Pakistan. Yes, Pakistan seems like an alienated planet to which things get time to reach particularly if they are coming all the way from the civilized earth. This may make little sense, but a website is gradually spreading right to free speech awareness to the masses through the country’s first and only Citizen Journalism website that exists in Pakistan as of today. PotDrum has its own unique fan base that is interested to know about stories that go missing from the mainstream media, commonly known as electronic and print media. The website houses a list of contributors that report on fronts that may be taboo or lack interest of big pocketed media houses. In the digital age, a lot of news is scattered on the Internet, blog and social media. At PotDrum contributors and public at large are free to send in their stories. The aim of the website is to collect verify and publish news story. PotDrum does not at any instance report any news story. It may publish opinion articles and research material but with news…

One Law To Imprison Them All
General Musings / April 11, 2015

How is the picture on the right? Cute, isn’t it? Would you share it on Facebook? Twitter? WattsApp? Blog? Under the new Cyber Crime Bill that is about to be presented in Pakistan’s parliament, as bad as the SOPA and PIPA acts proposed in US few years ago, you will be jailed for 2 years and/or fined Rs. 1 million (10 lacs) for doing so. Why? Because it can be designated “Vulgar” by those whose faces are added (or if reported to agencies by others) and that is a punishable offence (Cyber Stalking). Note: A copy of the proposed bill as well as initial analysis done by Bolo Bhi can be found at the bottom of this post. What else falls into this offence? You use, intend to use or indicate to use cuss words (Yaar tum kitnay *%&@*# ho) Any obscene suggestion or proposal (Kia aap mujh sai frandship kareingi?)  Threat of any kind (Agar ab internet theek nahi chala to main Wateen walon ka sar phar donga) And since there is no indication of what exactly is ‘vulgar’, everyone can have their own interpretation … sharing of political satire (Geo News program Hum Sab Umeed Say Hain) can…