Interview with Blogger Abdul of ‘Let us build Pakistan’
Abdul, Sarah and Ahmer Asif are the three brains behind the “Let us build Pakistan” blog. The Pakistani Spectator invited Abdul for an interview on behalf of their blog.
Abdul is a research student in the field of social policy at a university in Lahore. Before that, and after his graduation, he worked as a waiter at a hotel in Islamabad. According to Abdul, “My father is a politician in Pakistan; he kicked me out of the house while I was 18 because of what I term as my non-conformist ideas and attitude.” Abdul joined the ‘Let us build Pakistan’ team in May 2008.
We are so happy to present this interesting as well as insightful interview to the TPS readers.
Could you tell us what made you decide to blog, and what was the inspiration behind it?
“Let us build Pakistan” was more an accidental than a planned project. One of our co-bloggers started this blog as a non-serious blog, kinda joke. Over time, he realized that some visitors were taking this joke seriously, and that there was considerable traffic. That’s when we decided to build upon this project as a meaningful contribution to the socio-political blog-sphere in Pakistan. The main inspiration was to provide critical, non-mainstream reflections on Pakistani politics and media.
What do you think sets Your blog apart from other blogs?
“Let us build Pakistan” does not claim to be neutral. We are a bunch of critical supporters of secular and left-wing parties in Pakistan, particularly the Pakistan People’s Party. At the same time, we are sympathetic to the more inclusive Sufi tradition of Islam. We however endeavour to maintain a balance in our critique and analysis of various social and political issues and news items pertaining to Pakistan. We believe that our blog offers a credible source of critical and non-right wing news items and analyses. This has been confirmed by various visitors who have provided feedback to us through emails and comments.
If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?
Personally, I have yet to meet something I might call ’success’ in my life. I can’t say this on behalf of my co-bloggers, who are much more successful in life I must say.
What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?
The happiest moment is when I am with my family members. The gloomiest is…I am pretty optimistic generally, however, remembering a regrettable event of the past may be saddening once in a while.
Urdu Blogs have got huge potential, when do you think they will really take on the online horizon in Pakistan?
I don’t know much about Urdu blogs except only a few. However, I have immense respect for all Urdu bloggers. I think they are pursuing a very important and challenging project, a great service to Pakistan and the Urdu language.
If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it’s paid for – what would your top 3 choices be?
Moon (if we consider it a part of our world);
Almost all countries in the Middle East;
What is your favorite book and why?
Divan-e-Ghalib; the best piece of Urdu poetry and philosophy.
What is your favorite meal, dress, and sport?
Aaloo Qeema; sports gear; squash.
What’s the first thing you notice about a person (whether you know them or not)?
The face, I think.
Whose Future is more bright in Pakistan; English blogs or Urdu Blogs?
Both have a long way to go, in my view.
How Pakistani bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?
Not sure. Our blog has not explored this option yet.
Do you think Pakistani bloggers tend to remain somewhat self-centered and really don’t go out of their shells? Is it the oriental style of blogging, or they are still unsure about it?
I don’t know much about the word ‘oriental’. However, by virtue of its very design, a blog seems to represent one’s true-self. I think bloggers should be commended for being brave enough to expose at least a part of their inner shell to the outer space.
What do you think where the Pakistani blogosphere is right now?
Still budding; tightly superordinated by certain powerful mafia in the cyberspace. I will keep my further comments reserved.
Who are your top five favourite bloggers in Pakistan?
All those bloggers whose perspectives are closer to “Let us build Pakistan” are my favourites. Names such as Shaheryar Ali and Rabia Shakoor come to mind.
Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger in Pakistani blogosphere?
Many of them are unique in certain ways.
What is the future of blogging in Pakistan?
Will depend upon the capacity as well as commitment of Pakistani bloggers.
You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?
I take blogging as a break from my professional life. My personal life remains unaffected.
What are your future plans?
I would like to forge an influential network of secular bloggers in Pakistan.
Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?
Try to visit “Let us build Pakistan” once in a while. If you are a blogger, do consider providing a link to this blog on your blog roll.