Monday, October 4, 2010

How Pathetically Low Can You Go? (Updated)

A picture has been doing the rounds on email purporting to show the debauchery of Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani. It shows a smiling Raisani with his head on the shoulders of a young, T-shirt clad girl. The picture has actually been culled from the Facebook page of Express News, where it was posted - for what exact news reason we do not know - on October 1. The poster of the photograph (we are not sure whether from within Express News or one of its 'community') claims it was taken at a party in Islamabad, the obvious implication being that Raisani was drunk and coming on to the girl.

As of now there are over 700 comments beneath the photograph which mostly range from downright abusive of Raisani (and generally all "ayyash" [debauched] politicians) to calls to "kill the lech." Most are unprintable. But even worse are the comments reserved for the girl, whose moral character was openly questioned, whose body language was sleazily analyzed and who, thanks to one commenting woman (!), was immediately and conclusively dubbed a "call girl."

We too were forwarded the photograph and link but decided there was no reason to carry such an obviously salacious piece of character assassination. No matter what one might think of Raisani and his political antics, this was clearly, we figured, none of our business... Until we received an anguished email from a friend of the girl, with proof, to set the record straight.

So guess what that poor, poor girl's name is: Aana Hassan Raisani. Yes, she is Aslam Raisani's own teenage daughter, who attends school in Islamabad. And the photograph of a father expressing innocent affection for his daughter was apparently taken at their home. Seeing how such an innocent (and private) moment was twisted and presented as one of alleged depravity by no-doubt the most depraved of people themselves, made me almost sick to my stomach. And I have a fairly strong stomach. Then the outrage took over.

In addition to Aana's friend who emailed us, a bunch of her other friends and classmates are now taking on the commenting sad fucks on the Facebook page itself. According to the friend who emailed us, Aana herself has been so severely traumatised by this event and the venom spewed about her and her father, that she has gone incommunicado. Nevertheless students from three schools in Islamabad plan to protest on Tuesday against this amazingly sleazy episode.

We have consciously decided not to republish the photograph. But if you have the stomach, read the comments under the photograph again to see how sick, perverted and corrupted the minds of the people in this country have become. To heap abuse on and defame someone without a shred of evidence or even a modicum of common decency, to be ready to draw the most perverted of inferences without a second thought, really, what can one say about such sad excuses for human beings? But what it also indicates is how quickly Pakistanis are willing to believe the worst about political figures, a function, I would submit, more of the environment we have all had a hand in creating than of anything the politicians themselves have done or do.

As for Express News, which ultimately bears responsibility for the content on its page, well may be it should just take its onanistic being and go screw itself.

: : : UPDATES : : :

So, that possesser of high journalistic standards, the Islamabad daily Jinnah, had actually published the photograph on its front page as well yesterday, certainly without any fact checking but also without any sense of decency. After Aslam Raisani apparently threatened the paper with legal action, unless it published a retraction today, the paper has published the following front-page grovelling apology (translated here from the Urdu):

"It Was a Father-Daughter Photograph"

"Islamabad (Special Report): Yesterday we had published on this front page a photograph of Nawab Aslam Raisani with the following caption: "This is a photograph... which people have been sharing on the internet (Facebook) for the last two days. If this photograph is real, it is a remarkable picture...But if it is the product of the computer and Photoshop, then from a technical point of view, the person who made it should be praised [for their skills]... From a moral point of view, however, the person should be severely condemned. And if this picture is of this person's relative and someone has misused it by bringing it on the internet, that is also worthy of being condemned. But if this picture is correct, then, the judgement is for our readers to make.

The details that have emerged regarding this photograph, according to them, this is a picture of a father-daughter. It was indeed immoral to bring it on to the internet and Facebook. The people who did this should be arrested. Daily Jinnah requests the Cyber Wing of the FIA [Federal Investigation Agency] to conduct an impartial investigation into this [matter] and undertake a legal investigation about how this picture appeared on the internet.

Jinnah Administration"

Notice how Jinnah feels no contrition about its own standards of journalism - for publishing a photograph taken off the net without any fact checking and obviously only for salacious reasons -  and passes the blame entirely on to 'the internet' and 'Facebook'. Note also the weasely way it claims it had distanced itself from the photograph in the first place. In fact, I had seen the October 3 epaper earlier and I am not even certain the reference to the possibility of the 'misuse of a picture of a relative' was in the original caption (I don't recall it). It certainly exists now in the October 3 epaper version but the only way to confirm that the paper has not tampered with the original caption would be to check it against the actual print copy of the paper. Regardless of whether the original caption is true or not, daily Jinnah deserves as much condemnation as Express News. Perhaps the newpaper bodies All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) should also issue a condemnation of their member publication.

Express Tribune's web editor has written to us and claims the Facebook page is not an official page run by the Express Media Group, is bogus and has been reported to Facebook for copyright infringement. The text of his clarification follows:

"To clarify this issue, The Express News Facebook page which put up the photo of Chief Minister Raisani is not run by the Express Media group (or unofficially by any of its employees to the extent that we have investigated) and has already been reported to Facebook for copyright infringement. The matter is pending Facebook's response.

The act of sharing this photo is condemnable and would never be allowed. 

The only official Facebook pages for The Express Media Group are the Express Interactive and Tribune Facebook pages.

Best regards and will keep you up to date on when Facebook shuts down this bogus page. "

We appreciate the clarification and apologize for our strong words based on the assumption that this was an officially sanctioned Facebook page. However, we do wish this matter of copyright infringement had been taken seriously and dealt with before the current scandal broke. The Facebook page has been in existence for quite some time now (it has over 40,000 'fans'), displays the Express News logo prominently and also carries regular updates from Express News. We hope, in the interest of transparency, the Express Media Group shares publicly whatever legal action it does take against against those who infringed its copyright and scandalized the organization.

So Express Media Group has finally managed to have Facebook shut down that page masquerading as Express News today (6 October). Confirmation of the shut down was received by EMG and forwarded to us. In addition they have informed us that EMG has also filed for an investigation into the matter with the FIA's Cyber Crime Wing. The Express Tribune and the Daily Express also carried clarifications on their back pages today dissociating themselves from the fake Facebook page. With regard to the lapse in taking the offending page to task before it caused damage to EMG's credibility, Jahanzaib Haque, the web editor, wrote to us to say that:

"The copyright infringement did not come to our attention till this issue surfaced, which is really unfortunate (we also noticed that the page had existed for a really long time), but better late than never."

We thank EMG for taking swift action in the matter and also for transparently sharing their details in the matter. It is much appreciated.


Shahid said...

I didn't come to know that hse was his daughter until now, but I think I was decent enough not to pas judgments over the girl and neither on Raisani's antics.

I'm going to cap the page just because Express News deserve to be taken to task for this.

Judgmental, self-righteous moralists.

Ahsan said...

Wasn't the Taseer family also targeted like this a couple of years ago?

Shahid said...

Comment by Express News page itself :نواب اسلم صاحب فوٹو بھی فوٹو ہوتی ہے اصلی ہو یا نکلی

Shahid said...

@Ahsan: The Taseer's were targeted and it was pathetic, but was far from a father-daughter picture being twisted to portray a story of drunken sexual escapades.

Anonymous said...

the moment i saw the photo on CP, i thought that is probably his daughter, which was only confirmed as i read on. so WHAT THE FUCK is the problem with the people??? party in Islamabad? I can't imagine how low Express can sink


vics said...

It is absolutely tragic that the lady in the photo is Raisani's daughter. I can't imagine what she'd be going through right now. All of a sudden, trauma seems to be a small word.

I saw the picture today, posted by a friend on his wall, just moments before I was informed of this post by @cpyala's tweet. The photo that my friend had shared was hosted by a facebook page titled "Pakistan Khappay" and its caption suggested that a woman whether young or old is still a woman (aurat/larki 18 saal ki ho ya 45 saal ki, aurat/larki hi hoti hai) followed by the description Pyala has mentioned. I thought what the framing of the suggestive caption wanted me to think but my reaction was one of indifference.

I'm sure, after reading Pyala's post, many like me will come forward and say this is absolutely abhorrent and disgusting but what if the girl wasn't Raisani's daughter? what then? We would simply go on degrading her. Calling her names, maybe even more than Raisani because in our heads, we already "know" that he's a corrupt politician. The girl would be our new clown to laugh at. Calling her a whore would be so gratifying to our self-proclaimed sense of superior morality. Sad and deplorable excuses for human beings we are, indeed.

I think those of us who like to get these cheap thrills off our politicians' photos and videos, are people who are either indifferent about politics or feel powerless about the Pakistani political situation and the political class. Our moment of satisfaction comes in cursing them in the comments section under such photos. Pyala is right in saying that we are responsible for this ourselves.

Muhammad said...

Please hit 'Report This Photo' option on the facebook page.

No way should a teenage girl have to go through this much embarrassment. Also do write to Express News and ask them to remove it even though I think the damage has been done. We will be seeing this picture for many years to come unfortunately

Mackers said...

"Onanistic being" - you get an award for excellence in innovation with the term wanker

Magnum said...

Oh, God. All these madarchodhs who are masturbating all over the TV and orgasming with chants like Aafia 'qaum ki beti,' jumped the gun by calling raisani's real daughter as call girl??

Mind my French, yeh salay behenchodhs with beards in thier tummies just can't get it up other than by looking at such crap on the internet.

Express News should issue an immidiate apology to the man and his daughetr. Shame. Utter shame.

The Old Man said...

Good post. This shows the level of journalism in Pakistan! In our times, an editor, like Khan Sab at Dawn, used to be an institution, which has been destroyed. Now editorship has become a fight among the street-smarts... it has become a sheer PR-job! Just see this eyeopener I got in my email:

October 4, 2010 would be remembered as a "black day" for journalism in Pakistan as amid hushing, ZaffarAbbas, accused of criminal offenses, takes over as Editor Dawn - the newspaper founded by the founder of
the country, Mr M.A. Jinnah.

Accused Zaffar is a member of the influential "Abbas Brothers". His eldest brother, Maj-Gen Athar Abbas is the chief spokesperson of the Pakistan Army. Mazhar Abbas is an executive at the ARY TV and a behind-the-doors-player at the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ). Azhar Abbas is a boss at the Geo TV, accused of the tension between the PPP-led government and the top media group.

Zaffar's wife runs an NGO - Uks network in Islamabad. Criminal inquiry sought:

Rumi said...

My Dear Old Man, this is in NO way about Zaffar. Kindly keep your grudge with the changing times at Dawn for another time and place.

For all I know, he is a well respected journalist and just like Abbas, he too will go on to make Dawn even better.

Now, sticking to the topic. What can one say?

Fine Express can be taken to the cleaners with this, but what about the 70 odd assholes commenting?

We as a society are neck-deep in all the shit about moralism and religion. You are right, Pyala. How more low can we fall.

Yet another sad day for the Pakistani media and awam.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it time to demand accountability of the Generals who made the policy of spreading extremism and hatred in our society? Aslam Beg, Hameed Gul, Durrani are walking around openly.
What we are witnessing are the effects of that policy. What about those who caused it?

Ali K Chishti said...

I am gutted and although I knew that something is terribly wrong with the picture to start with – on a personal level, I want to share my sympathies to the chief minister and his daughter.
Having said that, I am shocked by the sheer hypocrisy. I was recently in Mastung a ‘a-area’ of Baluchistan where Chief Minister Raisani resides and what is branded clearly as his, ‘domain’ only. There’s on military school/college and the rest f the area is deliberately put on ‘hold’ in 1950’s. There’s absolutely no development what-so ever so its understandable that the Raisani’s would send there daughters to elites colleges because back home, these folks kill women on honor and use/abuse them.

AI said...

We are an extremely intolerant people and sleazy to the core. Sad. Extremely sad.
There has to be a sort of check on facebook. It is playing havoc with people's lives.

Moign Khawaja said...

The editors at Cafe Pyala...

It is commendable that you came up with this post to denounce the moral depravity of people who left hurtful and humiliating comments on Mr. Raisani's pic on forums where it was published. However, you're failing to look into the complete picture...

First of all, not many people would have uttered such disgraceful comments had they knew who he's sat with which is his daughter. So clearly, there is a failure on part of the media that published the photograph without finding out who the person sat next to him is. Even if they knew who it was, they decided not to mention it in order to give a twist to the photograph. This is extremely condemnable and I blame Pakistani media for this misrepresentation.

Secondly, have a look at the comments and you'll find out that it is the people's frustration that is speaking. Politicians like Raisani have become such hate figures that the masses will utter extreme non-sense laced with expletives. Their hearts are filled with rage and we journalists have to understand this. Not only do we have to understand and analyse it but also communicate this to the ruling elite and warn them of the consequences.

It is true that many Pakistanis are self-righteous and propagandists but understanding their mentality is an important factor to curb it. The common man on the street, many like the people who commented on his photograph, see no opportunities of a decent life. They see that with their money, in shape of taxes, these politicians are busy enjoying their lives and indulge in extravagance that one can only dream of. I don't need to elaborate more as I'm sure you have an idea of their lifestyle.

So I'd like to request you to be balanced in your opinion next time you publish such story. The other side of the story is more important than the story itself. According to Confucius, if rulers ruled with virtue and example, subjects would fill the land with love and peace.

Moign Khawaja

Anonymous said...

Oldman, you sound sick, you need to consult a doctor immediately before its too late. I don't think that Pyala is a place for venting personal hatred against individuals. Zaffar is one of the finest journalists in this country.

Alpha Za said...

What a complete load of crap, I can't even imagine what his poor daughter must be going through right now.

As much as I'd like to laud the poor girls friends from gathering and protesting, I'm not sure what they are protesting about? The mentality of the common populace? Facebook? or Express Tribune. Atleast we have some form of democratic protest in action.

@ Old Man Aka Mr. Suleimani, you're a rather persistent spammer aren't you?

Anonymous said...

the very shithole we are in is all because of these feudals and nawabs

frankly, I have no sympathies for the feudal lord and his born-to-rule daughter
do you guys realize that how they have forced Baluchistan to live in stone ages and deny poor of education so that they can maintain their hold

Faris said...

@ Anon 3:45
Finally, one owns up. Ladies and gentlemen, meet one of the 70 cunts who jerked off on the pic.

Nice way to justify your utter sleaze, fuckhead.

Faris said...

Also, I would have had respected you had you called feudals and nawabs shitholes WITHOUT sucking dick of reactionary and sleazy facebook mullahs.

Get the hairy thing out of your mouth before you point fingers. Ass.

Moign Khawaja said...


Totally agree with you mate. This Raisani and his daughter will play the role of being a victim while his goons humiliate countless poor women in Balochistan in the name of counter-insurgency operations.


What a colourful use of language. What a way to disagree with someones opinion. While you loathe the facebook mullahs, see yourself in the mirror for a second or two. you won't see a lot of difference...your comments are also objectionable and disrespectful! Hope you disown them and show some humility and respect to the readers of this good blog...

Anonymous said...

how much do theses lords and nawabs care about the common man ? why should I care about them ?

these wadares and sardars of south Punjab, Baluchistan and rural sindh treat common people in their kingdom like slaves and killing/torturing their subjects is no big deal for them ..of-course their kids and no different they are the torch bearers of same customs

and this baluchistan assembly where everyone is a minister, there is no opposition and the moronic 'father' boosts that a degree is a degree no matter fake or real
so hell yes, a picture is a picture

Swaleha said...

@Anon 5:20: Perhaps you wouldn't care if someone claimed your father had screwed your sister either. Because, you know MAYBE he did, how do we know? And why should we care if it's true or not? And a claim, like yours, is, hell yes, a claim.

afia said...

I am just as disgusted at the comments on the picture as I am at the reaction posted on cp.
It was bad journalism to post the picture as it signifies malicious intent. Public figures may forfeit the right to private life, but that girl is not a public figure and her picture should not have appeared, no matter who she was seen with.
As for Old Man... seems like it is true what they say about old age and senility.
How, may I know, is it a crime for members of the same family to distinguish themselves professionally?
Athar Abbas has risen up the ranks to become a general. Zaffar and Mazhar and Azhar have been through the mill of journalism right from the stage of being reporters, and reached where they are today on their professional skills. And Mazhar hasn't been behind the scenes anywhere... he has always been in the forefront of the struggle of journalists throughout his career.
As for Zaffar's wife who runs an NGO.. is that too a crime? Since when? It is a well respected NGO dedicated to combating exactly what we are discussing......... the negative portrayal of women in media.......... so Old Man... go investigate that!

Moign Khawaja said...


I'm amazed at the way people launch personal attacks on other people with such ease. 'anonymous' is trying to make a point, albeit in a wrong way but he has got a point. spend one hour with the brats of these politicians and they don't consider commoners like us to be humans. and you're accusing his family, whom you don't know at all, of heinous act of incest?

your comment has shamed readers like me who do not try to bring family honour into disrepute of someone with whom we don't agree.


valid points again my friend. take the honour of being the last person to speak truth on this planet than being the first person to claim rewards for telling a lie.

Hassan Ahmed said...

To best of my Knowledge the page mentioned in your blog is an unofficial web page of express news. Express News officially owns and operates two pages under the name of "Express Interactive" and "Express Tribune" on social network site called "Facebook". As a responsible journalist you should at least investigate and quote official sources before blaming any party. In short, stop misleading the masses.

qwww said...

Do we really now need overly sentimental teen dramas over this issue? Ok, I'm all for human rights, gender equality, law and order and fuck not but in today's world, once up on internet, pictures just become doped-up orphan chicks ready to be abused and violated. You need to suck it up. Look at all the mud slinging caricatures of Jesus fucking Christ and Prophet Mohammad endure on regular basis. lol But I'm sure most of the poeple who posted their comments here are all good souls who have never laughed at a joke made at the expense of a race/ethnicity or jacked off to barely legal porn.

Jahanzaib Haque said...

Hi, this is Jahanzaib Haque, Web Editor, The Express Tribune here.

To clarify this issue, The Express News Facebook page which put up the photo of Chief Minister Raisani is not run by the Express Media group (or unofficially by any of its employees to the extent that we have investigated) and has already been reported to Facebook for copyright infringement. The matter is pending Facebook's response.

The act of sharing this photo is condemnable and would never be allowed.

The only official Facebook pages for The Express Media Group are the Express Interactive and Tribune Facebook pages.

Best regards and will keep you up to date on when Facebook shuts down this bogus page.

Paak Nawab said...

@ qwww
"Look at all the mud slinging caricatures of Jesus fucking Christ and Prophet Mohammad..."

Bohath achey, bhai. Jesus F**king Christ, but simple Prophet Muhammad?

If you had to write Prophet Muhammad, then why not simply write Jesus Christ?

I tell you, this nation is going psychotic. Really is.

And look at these two gung-hos up there, Khwaja Sahib and some Anon, attacking 'nawabs' and what not. Arey bhai, aap Allah Mian hein?

What right has anybody to exploit one's reputition in the disgusting manner that Jinnah newspaper and the Express facebook page did?

And tell me, exactly how clean and paak are YOU to not have the same done to you or your loved ones?

Bhai, mana kay you are entitled to your opinions, par aik ghatiya harkat koh justify toh na karo.


XYZ said...

The post has been updated with Express Media Group's dissociation from the Express News Facebook page.

Just a quick note to all:

1. Please do not respond to Mr Suleimani's post (OldMan) regarding Zaffar Abbas. The only reason we have left it up there is because a couple of people have responded to it. He has been guilty of spamming this blog for quite sometime and we have already warned him that such off-topic spam will be deleted.

2. Any further unfounded (i.e. not backed up by any relevant evidence)/ tangential personal attacks, particularly on non-public figures such as children will be deleted.

3. Please do try and remain civil to each other. I understand the outrage of some people at some of the comments but it would be far better to counter someone's point of view with a more balanced response.

Naeem Ahmed said...


How do you say The Old Man is Mr Sulemani, any proof?

Anonymous said...

we all know old man is sulemani, as perhaps is naeem ahmed, who, like sulemani often does, asks for 'proof'. silly senile bugger :)

Anonymous said...

CP u r exposed by now fully, believe me!

Anand said...

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the pic was- There is absolutely nothing salacious about this. There was an inkling that this could be a father and child posing for a picture, and little did I know it was indeed true (as I scrolled down to read more of your piece). I doubt if the bile spewed at the Raisanis on FB would have been any less intense had the daughter been dressed in a "modest garb." Seems like these monkeys just needed an excuse to fling poo, as is evident from not a single person retracting his/her statement. Hope Aana's friends shame them into oblivion.

Anonymous said...

Since this bloggar is trying to blame people for something they didn't know. Whoever posted this picture at first place is the one should be blamed. If this picture has been posted without Raisani's knowledge the poster should be sued penalised. There was no need to post this picture even if the girl was not Raisani's daughter.

Also have a look at the following page against Mr Raisani there is more to view!

Anonymous said...

^ What's the big deal? Raisani is a politician, he is expected to mingle with members of a foreign delegation. There's nothing wrong with the picture, but something is obviously wrong in that dirty, dirty mind of yours.

SJ said...

I am absolutely sick of the Pakistani mentality. Racism, sexism, perverts, sick-minded freaks.

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Anonymous said...

Notes to a Scandal: She is not the real daughter of Aslam Raisani, He has married Aana's mother recently and have given her, his name. I feel sorry for the young lady though.

Akhtar Rind said...

I am reading Cafe Pyala since long time. I am very happy with the way Pyala dealt with that issue. Its because of you that damn facebook page was forced to shut down and other paper ask for apology. Great work.

Anonymous said...

simple answer to everyone concerned......Aslam Raisani....only has two sons no daughter at all...