TORONTO: It is indeed very sad news that the very popular, respected and
seasoned Pakistani diplomat, Ghalib Iqbal, who has made Pakistan and the
Pakistani community really proud and respectable by his tremendous
services, contribution and true leadership, would be leaving Canada in the
first quarter of 2007. This would really be a great setback for the
Ghalib Iqbal, who deserves and earned respect and tribute on numerous
occasions as 'The Finest Consul General of Pakistan in Toronto', would be
missed very much. He always tries his best to do excellently the most
difficult job---to keep the community united, educated, updated and on the
march with full preparation and determination towards the destined
goals---mainstream, respect and recognition.
is how he won the trust and confidence of the people and various
communities and the great respect he enjoys in Canada. His efforts paid.
People hope that the new Consul General and his team would follow policies
of Ghalib Iqbal and help the community face bravely and sensibly the
crises and challenges. Ghalib has set good examples and made the job easy
for the new Consul General and his trusted team.
DEADLY KISS OF MEDIA: The Pakistani community indeed is in crisis these
days. Due to some irresponsible and negative elements, it is in the grip
of senseless infighting and serious allegations and accusations. This is
very disturbing and bringing bad name to the community and Pakistan. Now,
the newsy arena is Mississauga. Rightly, the mainstream media has given
this game a name 'Dirty Tricks'. As a result, allegedly even other hollow
news is splashed in an exploding, exploitive and damaging manner.
looks that for Muslims, particularly Canadians of Pakistani Origins,
perhaps ethics and rules are set aside and negative propaganda tactics
used. Unfortunately, even the innocents are allegedly projected as guilty
and criminals. Statements and comments are twisted, distorted and
exaggerated. This seems to be the rules of some of the media play. Such
media play and rules have badly disappointed and hurt the people.
LAUNCHING: On the other hand, the South Asian media is ineffective,
remains tight-lipped and badly shaken, as if very scared on seeing a
ghost. The reason---Mostly non-professionals are running the affairs, are
incompetent and completely incapable of handling any situation, leave
alone the delicate ones. It is said that those who find hard to
adjust and want to do something mostly think of doing two easy
things---drive cab or launch journal. The internet has made the job very
easy for them. Now even illiterates daringly come with proposals to launch
newspapers and to become publishers and editors.
Those involved in dirty tricks and politics and criminal and anti-social
activities must surely be discouraged, fully exposed, strongly condemned
and strictly punished. This is what they deserve and this is how the good
society and system could be protected and maintained. The Pakistani
community fully realizes this and always remains active in helping the
government, all the people and communities. The sincerity, integrity,
efforts and contribution of the community in this matter should never be
elements are always found in every community and society. This is normal.
The whole community must never be targeted and projected and promoted as
irresponsible, guilty and criminals. Unfortunately, some media projection
and policies create a wrong impression and promote hatred. No need to ask,
the news and display explain all.
STAR: The Toronto Star is a widely circulated, read and highly respected
daily newspaper of Canada. It is published from Toronto. It is also my
happened really shocked me. I never expected such coverage and display
from the highly talented and experienced news team of Toronto Star.
San Grewal, Staff Reporter, is covering the 'Dirty Tricks' stories of
Mississauga City Council elections. His first story in this matter, titled
'Candidate charged', was published very prominently (as First Lead) on
page 1 in the Wednesday, October 18, 2006, issue. The picture display was
massive and explosive. Although based on mere allegations, it looked as if
he was proven guilty and a criminal. What was meant to portray and
target---The person or image of the Pakistani community? I am not
disputing the exclusive story or defending the accused persons but only
questioning and defining the story and picture display. Being part of the
community, I am hurt too.
exclusive story of San Grewal, titled 'Parrish levels new allegation of
dirty tricks', published in Thursday, October 19, 2006, issue with a large
picture of Carolyn clearly favoured Parrish and was damaging for Matanat
Khan, her rival. Such was the display. Policy aside, the intent
seemed not good.
Surprisingly, the story based on only a mysterious blocked call by an
unknown caller was given such great importance and a byline to the staff
reporter. It was not a solid but hollow story (lacking facts and probe),
hurriedly prepared in a one-sided manner in the professional sense.
standard and quality of Toronto Star fallen to such low? Please have some
pity on Toronto Star readers. What is Toronto Star trying to achieve? How
can such a weak story be allowed to become the First Lead on that page?
This is not true professionalism or journalism. Keeping in view the good
reputation of the newspaper, promote only objective reporting, which is
always welcomed by all.
People are curious, wondering and asking as to how the leading and
experienced staff reporter of Toronto Star, San Grewal, and the editorial
staff could miss very important points and facts, when preparing and
finalizing the exclusive story about Carolyn Parrish and Matanat Khan:
The incident took place in late September, 2006. Why the highly
experienced politician and former MP, Carolyn Parrish, did not immediately
trace the unknown number, which she could have done very easily, and
reported the same to the police?
Why the incident, which took place in late September, 2006, was
delayed for such a long time and raised hurriedly right on the second day
(October 19, 2006) after the story about Adnan Hashmi in Toronto Star on
October 18, 2006? San Grewal filed both the exclusive stories.
Surprisingly, why the very bold Carolyn Parrish preferred silence
for so long and now chose this time to make the crank call an issue and
reportedly involved the police?
Does Carolyn Parrish have any solid proof that Matanat Khan
demanded $2500 (a very
small amount for such important deal) as bribe to move out of the race?
some negative elements are trying to create serious differences between
Carolyn Parrish and Matanat Khan, highly respectable, influential and
sensible personalities. It is hoped that they would realize the sensitive
situation, understand the game and avoid any clash and controversy. People
All sorts of rumours are circulating because of the negative impact of the
stories on the Pakistani community. Credibility of Toronto Star is
at stake. There is a rumour that San Grewal, Staff Reporter of Toronto
Star, allegedly has links with RAW (Indian Intelligence) and that is why
he wants to harm the Pakistani community. This is the level of doubt,
suspicion and anger of the community.
is also being circulated that Adnan Hashmi is a relative of Shahid Hashmi,
a highly respectable and distinguished personality of the community.
Shahid Hashmi completely quashed the rumour: "No way. I have no
relationship, friendship or any connection with Adnan Hashmi. It is the
name Hashmi, which is creating confusion. I keep a good distance from all
such people and controversies."
incidents and happenings in Mississauga and their explosive, exploitive
and damaging coverage by the mainstream media has really stunned, shocked
and angered the South Asian community, particularly Canadians of Pakistani
origin. They are strongly condemning the dirty tricks, acts and politics
and the bad elements involved. Some say that it's still hard to
believe this could happen. Others allege that in order to remove the
rivals and win anyhow, some can stoop to any lows and do anything to harm
them---even try to trap and frame them and level serious allegations.
The City of Mississauga is becoming a powerful vote bank of South Asians
and, therefore, the chances of winning are very good. South Asians want
their true leadership representation from here for all people of the area.
However, it is alleged that attempts are being made, with the help of
rotten eggs of the South Asian community, to check and balance the
increasing power and influence. The fast rising population of South Asians
is reportedly becoming a cause of concern for many.
in Mississauga there are very good opportunities. Most of the South Asian
community members are peaceful, educated, civilized, responsible and
respectable and remain involved in their jobs and businesses. They are
happy and have no time for dirty politics or unnecessary activities.
the few rotten eggs of the community allegedly took advantage of this free
hand situation and started playing their dirty tricks and politics. Being
cunning, exploiters and opportunists, they are wealthy and powerful.
Allegedly, they have links with feudal mafia of back home and are expert
in conspiracies, exploitation and cruelties. It is because of their
dirty tricks and politics, the South Asian community is getting bad name
and badly suffering. Only promotion of true leadership can prove helpful.
GINGER: The rotten eggs are allegedly those who have come to Canada but
their minds are still corrupt and influenced by the feudal mafia of back
home. They have always looted and harmed Pakistan, destroyed institutions,
the good system and society, promoted corruption at all levels and in all
sectors and are now harming the Pakistani community throughout the world
including Canada. Just because of them, the helpless and poor people
in Pakistan are suffering badly and leading a miserable life.
and their vested interests they can do anything and stoop to any lows,
irrespective of what happens to the people. Just think if we can do any
such thing here: According to a report published in Daily Dawn of
Pakistan, ginger is imported in Pakistan. In order to increase the weight
and make money, it is being soaked in sulphuric acid and illegally openly
sold in the market throughout the country. After soaked in sulphuric
acid in big factories made for only this purpose, the weight of one pound
of ginger becomes five pounds. Just to make money, they are harming and
killing thousands of innocent people. Just imagine the situation. The
government is finding it very difficult but still trying hard to crush the
powerful mafia involved in this dirty and deadly business.
Gen Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz are trying their best
to improve the situation, system and society in Pakistan. They are facing
great problems and many hurdles but are determined and achieving
remarkable success and progress. They want to change the face of Pakistan
and make it very prosperous and progressive.
On the other
hand, the feudal mafia, corrupt elements and extremists want to remove at
any cost both President Gen Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat
Aziz. The whole world knows that several attempts were made on their
lives. This shows how powerful and dangerous the feudal mafia is.
bad elements in every community. In Canada, recently it was reported by
the media that even dead people were made members of a political group.
Fortunately, the Canadian system is very good. It deals fairly and
squarely and provides true justice. It took prompt action against
rotten eggs too would be traced, exposed and punished. They will not be
allowed to deprive the South Asian community of true leadership. It is the
responsibility and duty of all to keep an eye on all such elements and to
stop them. The media must help, instead of targeting the people and
FOLLOW JINNAH: Ghalib Iqbal, Pakistan's Consul General in Toronto, in a
very clear and strongly worded message asked all those contesting the
municipal elections to stop talking about Pakistan during their campaign
and activities. "You are in Canada and are Canadians so remain as
such and only talk about Canada. You do whatever you want as Canadians but
don't harm the reputation and image of Pakistan. Don't bring bad name to
Pakistan. Take none action which brings bad name to Pakistan. If you
want to do something then follow the principles of Founder of Pakistan,
Mohammad Ali Jinnah," he said.
Ghalib Iqbal stated this while addressing the audience during a
reception-cum-dinner organized by the Pakistan Consulate in honour of a
high-powered Senate delegation led by Chairman of the Senate in Pakistan,
Mohammadmian Soomro. The delegation included Senators Ahmed Ali and
Chaudahry Anwar Bhinder. The reception was held at the Maple Banquet Hall
on October 19, 2006. The hall was packed with large number of dignitaries
including Harinder Thakar, MPP and Minister, Wajid Ali Khan, MP, Shafiq
Qadri, MPP, and Jim Karygiannis, MP. They all too addressed the audience.
Tributes were paid to Ghalib.
Senate Chairman Mohammadmian Soomro highlighted the progress made by
Pakistan and said:
are problems but the situation has improved a lot. The progress is
remarkable. There are very good business and investment opportunities.
Canadians must visit Pakistan and avail the opportunities."
tour of the delegation proved highly successful. Meetings and discussions
were held with various high officials in Ottawa and Toronto including the
Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Premier of Ontario and Speaker of the
Parliament in Ontario.
It was announced on the occasion that the Premier of Ontario, Dalton
McGuinty, would lead a high-powered delegation to Pakistan in January,
2007. Harinder Thakar would also be in the delegation.
WINNER OF FREE EXPRESSION AWARD 2006
Zaheer (Masters in International Relations), Canadian of Pakistani Origin
(CPO), Professional Freelance Journalist, Veteran Active Member (VAM)
of Toronto Press Club, Member of The Ontario Club, Member of National
Ethnic Press & Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC), Council Member of
Karachi Press Club (Pakistan), served as Senior Sub-Editor of one of the
world's reputed and Pakistan's leading English Daily DAWN (1986-1999).
Associated with Journalism Profession since 1974 and believes in fierce
and free expression. Address: 1709-35 Thorncliffe Park Drive,
Toronto, Ontario, M4H 1J3, Canada. Tel # (416) 696-0981.Email: