Internet traffic in Pakistan is very controlled as more than 90% of it is routed through Pakistan Internet Exchange (PIE).
One IP blocked on PIE would block the accessibility of the site for most ISPs throughout the country. Same happened with blogspot.com, when Supreme court of Pakistan ordered Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to block few websites which carried notorious cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This action resulted in the blockage of this blogging site used by many Pakistani bloggers. I remember few months back a Washington based Pakistani newspaper South Asia Tribune would write a lot against President Musharraf and Pakistan Army and upon orders from the President House the IP was blocked on PIE making it inaccessible in Pakistan. In case of blogspot.com, I had been keeping a close check on the accessibility and last night it seems that it is back in Pakistani cyberspace. It was strange though. My DSL in office doesn’t open it. A dialup connection in office also fails to access it and here in suburbs of Islamabad where I live and use a different ISP, the website is coming up perfectly alright without using any annonymizers.
President Bush is in Pakistan since last night and it is very difficult to stand all the laughingstock and obnoxious claims made from the both sides. Interestingly, President Bush is so insecure in this country that he didn’t even stayed at any government facility or hotel. He preferred to stay in US Embassy in Islamabad. When he arrived he had three options to get transferred from airport to US Embassy. Two different convoys of 14 cars each and/or by cobra helicopter. Nobody knows so far that which option he picked. His itinerary in Pakistan is secret. They just can’t tell that where he will be and for which meeting. About an hour ago he was officially welcomed at President House for bilateral talks and now he is moving back to safety. Hilarious of all is closing all shopping areas, offices and educational institutions in Islamabad. Few politicians who wanted to demonstrate against his visit has been arrested and these arrests include famous cricketer cum social activist turn politician Imran Khan. He had to lead a massive procession this morning.
As I pointed out earlier that the fate of WSF in Pakistan rests a lot upon Bush’s visit really. I knew that his visit will bring lots of violence and problems in the country. If you were following news, there were two massive bomb blasts in Karachi day before yesterday, killed 4 people out of which two were US embassy employees including one American. This morning there was another hoax of bomb in a foreign bank adjacent to US Embassy in Karachi. The bank had to be evacuated and authorities are still searching for the bomb. Though I sincerely wish that WSF happens in Karachi as per schedule but I don’t think it will be trouble free. Looking at current law and order situation, it will be very difficult for Government of Pakistan and City Government Karachi to allow this huge international gathering. It is only very unsafe for these delegates.
It is so scary and mindboggling that how one or two people can put a country at stake and the lives and livelihoods of millions in jeopardy. The kind of blind, deaf and dumb democracy we have in this country, people have no right to raise their voices against the rulers. Above all there is nothing sacred more than Pakistan Army in this country. Army the real rulers of this country. Frankly, word terrorist is so cheap in this country and very unfortunately, the rulers can pick anyone calling them terrorists and then fate is unknown for that person.
All this is making the world only more insecure and miserable place.
God help us.