People support owner of Marriott hotel Sadaruddin Hashwani as he visits the site of explosion Sept. 20, 2008. A massive truck bomb devastated the heavily guarded Marriott Hotel in Islamabad killing at least 53 people and wounding at least 250 more.
I am pleased to announce that I will be a colleague and a co-worker with some of you very soon in my capacity of ‘CEO and President’ for an upcoming Media Group. Mr. Sadruddin Hashwani leads this consortium of giants from the Middle East and Europe.
This Group, is a Media House that will bring out quality TV channels, Dailies and Periodicals besides establishing of Media University of international standard. But honestly none of this would really have been possible, if there was not a Group behind my dream.
In the forefront of this initiative is the man leading this Global consortium, whom I must thank for his having agreed to venture in this media enterprise. Mr. Sadruddin Hashwani a name you are all familiar with. Someone we have all come to respect as a man whose patriotism makes us proud, whose resolve makes us believe more in our own selves. A role model to have risen above the rest as a self made man who now wishes to set a precedence in media, reinventing, reinvigorating and reviving our industry bogged down by lethargy.
“I must admit that this introduction to Mr. Hashwani or the international consortium is no justice. And I fail in introducing them to the hilt that they deserve an introduction, but I do intend on introducing them in more details that I shall share with all of you soon….It is history in the making, it is a hard task. And I know. I am embarking upon a journey to redefine Media History in Pakistan as we know it. Never before, had a working professional in Media could dream of being a stake holder in equity in a big Media Group before, I am to set the precedence.”
Dr. Shahid Masood
President & CEO
Pearl Communications (PVT) Ltd
Shalimar 5 Agha Khan Road Islamabad
Sadruddin Hashwani is the Chairman of Hashoo Group (Established 1960), a diversified industrial groups in Pakistan with interests across tourism, travel, real-estate development, pharmaceuticals, IT, and oil and gas. Also, the Hashoo Group of Companies has in its fold, as owners and operators, the Pearl Continental Hotels and Marriott Hotels brands with presence in all major cities of Pakistan and Ocean Pakistan Limited, an Oil and Gas exploration and production company.
The Hashwani-CIA Connection
اس نئے میڈیا گروپ کو سمجھنسے کے لیے ہمیں سب سے پہلے اس گروپ پر سرمایہ کاری کرنے والوں کو سمجھنا ہوگا
اگر میری یادداشت زیادہ کمزور نہیں ہے تو یہ ہاشوانی گروپ وہی ہے جو اسلام آباد میریٹ ہوٹل کا مالک ہے اور جس نے اپنے ہوٹل میں امریکی فوجیوں کو اڈے قایم کرنے کی اجازت دے رکھی تھی اور اس ہوٹل کو طالبان نے بارود سے اڑا دیا گیا تھا جسمیں سینکڑوں پاکستان شہید اور کچھ امریکی فوجی مارے گئے تھے
کیا ان بے گناہ پاکستانیوں کا خون اس گروپ کے ہاتھوں پر نہیں ہے جس نے امریکی فوجیوں کو وہاں اڈے قایم کرنے کی اجازت دی
Hashwani also happens to be a good friend of Hamid Mir although he later retracted the agency-made ‘news’ which he leaked to Mir:
ISLAMABAD, September 16, 2009 (Balochistan Times): Top Hotelier and Chairman of Hashoo Group and Marriott Chain of hotels, Sadruddin Hashwani has termed as incorrect and baseless the impression that he was shifting abroad due to President Asif Ali Zardaris pressure. It is wrong that I am shifting abroad due to pressure of President Zardari. There is neither any pressure on me from the President nor there has been any talk between them in this connection. It may be pointed out that a couple of days back when President Zardari hosted Iftar dinner for journalists, prominent Anchorpersons Hamid Mir told the President that Sadruddin Hashwani was propagating that he left the country because of the President. The President described this impression and Propaganda as baseless. At this the President asked his staffers to connect him with Hashwani in Dubai but the staff could not succeed. Then President Zardari asked the security personnel to bring in the mobile set of Hamid Mir and asked him to get him connected with Sadruddin Hashwani. When Hashwani came on line, he informed the President that there was no truth in the report that he(Hashwani) left the country because of President Zardari. At this the President handed over the set to Hamid Mir who also spoke with Hashwani on the occasion. It may be recalled that Sadruddin Hashwani along with his family shifted to Dubai last month. During this period he had been giving impression to important political leaders and elites that he shifted abroad due to pressure from Aiwan-e-Sadr but now he is denying this impression.
To: The Hashwani Group
HOW MUCH DOES YOUR STAY AT THE PEARL CONTINENTAL COST YOU?
Because the workers who clean the rooms, make the meals and run the hotel only get Rs. 7800 per month for nine hour shifts each day. And, when they tried to organize a union to fight for their rights, some were fired and others thrown in secret prison on false charges. 150 of them are now occupying the basement of the Pearl Continental Hotel to demand that its owners, the Hashwani Group, abide by the law. This is following an attempt by the PC to fire four workers, all union activists. Food has become scarce while they have been on strike and management has refused to allow outside deliveries to be made.
The current Human Resources Director at the PC is a retired Major Zia Jan who came to the PC after busting a union at the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC). Major Zia recently told the striking workers that they ought to be ashamed of themselves for fighting the PC.
The workers are being filmed and monitored by security. They are afraid that they will soon be subject to Ranger or police brutality. The families of the workers who protested outside the hotel in solidarity have already been baton-charged by the police.
We, the undersigned, demand that the PC Hotel abide by the law and accept the workers’ demands, which are as follows:
1. GIVE US OUR JOBS BACK!
Firing of union activists while negotiations are ongoing is illegal.
2. RECOGNIZE OUR UNION!
The courts already do. Itâ€™s time for the PC to abide by the law.
3. COME TO THE NEGOTIATING TABLE!
The PC refuses to negotiate the charter of demands. The 2002 and 2006 demands are still pending.
For more details and updates as they become available, please see: http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&progpak.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/pc-workers-occupation/
The Hashwani-CIA connection
ہوٹل میں امریکی فوجیوں کا پراسرار آپریشن! کیا حملہ ان فوجیوں پر تھا؟
اسلام آباد(انصار عباسی) ہفتے کی شام جب میریٹ ہوٹل پر حملہ کیاگیا تو کیا اس وقت وہاں امریکی میرین فوجیوں کا کوئی خفیہ آپریشن جاری تھا۔ اگرچہ کوئی بھی شخص اس کی تصدیق نہیں کرتا لیکن ایسے بہت سے واقعاتی شواہد ہیں جن کی بناء پر یہ کہاجا سکتا ہے۔پیپلزپارٹی کے بہت سے ارکان قومی اسمبلی اور انکے دوستوں کی شہادت کے مطابق امریکی سفارتخانے کے ایک بہت بڑے سفید ٹرک سے فولادی بکس اتارے گئے اور انہیں میریٹ ہوٹل کے اندر منتقل کر دیا گیا ، یہ واقعہ اسی رات پیش آیا تھا جب امریکی ایڈمرل مائیک میولن وزیر اعظم یوسف رضاگیلانی اور دیگر سے ملے تھے۔ ہوٹل کے دونوں مرکزی دروازے بند کردیئے گئے تھے اور امریکی میرینز کے علاوہ کسی کو ٹرک کے قریب جانے کی اجازت نہیں تھی ۔یہ فولادی بکس ان اسکینرز سے بھی نہیں گزارے گئے تھے جو کہ ہوٹل کی لابی کے داخلی راستے پر نصب تھے ، مبنیہ طور پر ان بکسوں کو ہوٹل کی چوتھی اور پانچویں منزل پر منتقل کر دیا گیا۔ پیپلزپارٹی کے دیگر بہت سے ارکان پارلیمنٹ کے علاوہ رکن قومی اسمبلی ممتاز عالم گیلانی بھی اپنے دو دستوں سجاد چوہدری ،پیپلزپارٹی کے ایک رہنما اور بشیر ندیم نے پراسرار سرگرمی کو دیکھا اور اس پر انہوں نے اعتراض اور احتجاج بھی کیا۔ایک ذریعے نے دی نیوز کو بتایا ہے کہ نادیہ ریسٹورنٹ میں ضیافت کے بعد آدھی رات کو اپنے دوستوں کے ہمراہ ہوٹل سے روانہ ہورہے تھے تو انہوں نے امریکی سفارتخانے کا ٹرک ہوٹل کے مرکزی گیٹ کے سامنے کھڑا ہوا دیکھا، ہوٹل کے اپنی سیکورٹی سمیت کسی شخص کو ٹرک کے قریب جانے کی اجازت نہیں دی گئی، ہ ہی ان سے اتارے جانے والے اسٹیل باکسز کو ہوٹل کے اندر لے جانے کیلئے اسکینرز سے گزارنے کی اجازت دی گئی۔پیپلزپارٹی سے تعلق رکھنے والے ان تین دوستوں نے جو پریشانی کی حالت میں مرکزی دروازے کے سامنے کھڑے تھے نے معاملے کی بابت دریافت کیا تو انہیں بتایا گیا کہ مشکوک قسم کے بکس ہوٹل میں لے جائے جارہے ہیں اور انہیں ہوٹل کی چوتھی اور پانچویں منزل میں منقتل کیاجارہا ہے۔ ممتاز عالم کو امریکی میرینز اور ہوٹل کی سیکورٹی دونوں پر غصہ آرہاتھا نہ صرف اسلئے کہ انہیں باہر نکلنے میں تاخیر ہورہی تھی بلکہ سیکورٹی کی ان خامیوں کی وجہ سے بھی جو کہ انہیں نظر آرہی تھیں۔ ان کے احتجاج پر امریکی میرینز نے کوئی توجہ نہیں دی اور ہوٹل کی سیکورٹی کے وہ لوگ جن سے انہوں نے رابطہ کیاوہ بے بس نظر آرہے تھے۔ ممتاز عالم نے ہوٹل کے سیکورٹی عہدیداروں سے کہا کہ وہ ہوٹل اور اسکی سیکورٹی کو خطرے میں ڈال رہے ہیں۔ انہیں یہ کہتے بھی سنا گیا کہ وہ آئندہ کبھی اس ہوٹل میں نہیں آئیں گے۔ انہوں نے اس معاملے کو پارلیمنٹ میں اٹھانے کی دھمکی بھی دی۔کسی کو یہ تو معلوم نہیں کہ آیا پیپلزپارٹی کے اس رکن قومی اسمبلی نے اس پراسرار رات کے بعد پھر ہوٹل کا دورہ کیا یا نہیں لیکن ان کے بھائی امتیاز عالم جو کہ ایک سینئر صحافی ہیں وہ دھماکے کے وقت اسی ہوٹل میں تھے۔امتیاز عالم خوش قسمت تھے کہ اس دھماکے سے بچنے میں کامیاب ہوگئے اور مشکل سے ہی سہی لیکن بھرپورتاریکی میں ہوٹل سے باہر نکل آئے۔ ایک لفٹ جسے وہ استعمال کر رہے تھے وہ اس وقت زمین پر آگری جب انہوں نے زور لگا کر چوتھی منزل پر دروازہ کھولنے کی کوشش کی او ر وہ اس سے نکل آئے۔
Pakistan’s Geo TV aired security camera video showing how the attackers struck the Pearl Continental hotel in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday. After armed militants fired at security guards, a car and a truck loaded with explosives sped towards the hotel. In the bright flash after the explosion, the militants could be seen at the perimeter of the complex.
As a colleague here at The Times points out, the Pearl Continental hotel in Peshawar, Pakistan, which was partly destroyed on Tuesday by a massive car bomb, is well known locally as a meeting point for not just wealthy Pakistanis, foreign aid workers and journalists but also intelligence agents. In other words, it is the sort of place a modern-day Graham Greene novel might be set, with security so tight that even the lifeguards at the hotel pool are armed with AK-47s.
Given that reputation, the hotel was an obvious target for militants — even before a report surfaced two weeks ago that the United States was planning to buy the hotel as part of a plan to greatly expand its diplomatic presence in the city. As the Press Trust of India reported on Tuesday, the Pearl Continental is currently owned by Sadruddin Hashwani, who also owns the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, which was bombed last September, resulting in more than 50 deaths.
According to a report by Saeed Shah and Warren P. Strobel of McClatchy Newspapers, the hotel was apparently at the center of an American plan to establish a long-term presence in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province:
A senior State Department official confirmed that the U.S. plan for the consulate in Peshawar involves the purchase of the luxury Pearl Continental hotel. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. […]
Peshawar is an important station for gathering intelligence on the tribal area that surrounds the city on three sides and is a base for al Qaida and the Taliban. The area also will be a focus for expanded U.S. aid programs, and the American mission in Peshawar has already expanded from three U.S. diplomats to several dozen.
In October 2001, a report in Time magazine described how the Pearl Continental fit into the cloak-and-dagger atmosphere of Peshawar, the city “where the terrorists meet, form cells and deploy — and where access to the closed world of the Taliban begins. Bin Laden’s foot soldiers regularly slip through the walled enclaves and jostling bazaars to recruit jihadis or send out instructions. Taliban fighters float through to spy and resupply. Every Afghan faction has its representative in some dim house. Intelligence agents linger in the lobby of the Pearl Continental Hotel, where the phones are tapped and drivers let fall scraps of information.”
As with the attack on the headquarters of the Pakistani intelligence service in Lahore on May 27, the bombing on Tuesday seems to have taken place at a site that militants knew to be central to the operations of the intelligence agencies fighting to defeat them.
Remember after the Marriott blash, Hashwani, the owner of Marriott and the PC Hotel chain in Pakistan, was all over the TV channels and his picture splashed in all the newspapers. But after last night’s blast at PC Peshawar, there is no sign of him. Curious isn’t it?
Is it because he is NOT the owner any more? Reports are PC, Peshawar was “sold” to the Americans some time back and is the center for their intelligence agencies for the whole area. It was reported by at least one channel (SAMAA TV) that the 3rd and 4th floors WERE completely under American control (just like Marriott where it was the 6th and 7th floors). Further credence is given to the report by the fact that a “tender notice” has already been issued for another PC in Peshawar (Hayatabad). Now why does a smaller city like Peshawar need TWO PC hotels when much bigger cities like Karachi and Lahore have only one?
According to that earlier report, plans were for complete take over of the current PC by the Americans in the coming days, leaving Peshawar with out one. Hence the plans for constructing a new one….
So suggesting this was “a random act of violence” is completely preposterous. PC being the “US Intelligence Headquarters” was common knowledge in Peshawar so an attack there was all but expected sooner or later. The blame for civilian deaths and injuries falls squarely on the government for allowing Americans to set up a base there despite having the example of Marriott before them.
BTW: Americans knew something was up. The following is from last week:
P.S. The story being spun by the media is that the foreigners there were all UN or NGO workers who were there to help the IDPs. Hogwash, I say. I am sure this is true of a few but I say shame on them for wasting all that money on their stay in a five-star hotel when that money could be better spent on the IDPs.
UPDATE #1: Hashwani has finally shown up talking tough and claiming: “Despite the losses, I will make the (Pearl Continental) operational in two months just as I reopened the Marriott in three months.” Well, sure he “reopened” Marriott but I am told no one goes there (except his old clients perhaps.) The same will be the case will this one. Only foreigners will be there and it will continue to be a target. Wonder just how much bigger the “no-go area” would be around the hotel now. Kind of kills the will to go there anyways. So I guess the new owners will have it all to themselves sooner than planned. Or was this the plan in the first place??
(I still believe Hashwani has handed it over to the Americans and they “own” it, just like they own him….)
A senior State Department official confirmed that the US plan for the consulate in Peshawar involves the purchase of the luxury Pearl Continental hotel. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
The Pearl Contintental is the city’s only five-star hotel, set in its own expansive grounds, with a swimming pool. It’s owned by Pakistani tycoon Sadruddin Hashwani.
Peshawar is an important station for gathering intelligence on the tribal area that surrounds the city on three sides and is a base for Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The area also will be a focus for expanded US aid programs, and the American mission in Peshawar has already expanded from three US diplomats to several dozen.
In all, the administration requested $806 million for diplomatic construction and security in Pakistan.
“For the strong commitment the US is making in the country of Pakistan, we need the necessary platform to fulfill our diplomatic mission,” said Jonathan Blyth of the State Department’s Overseas Buildings Operations bureau. “The embassy is in need of upgrading and expansion to meet our future mission requirements.”
A senior Pakistani official said the expansion has been under discussion for three years. “Pakistanis understand the need for having diplomatic missions expanding and the Americans always have had an enclave in Islamabad,” said the official, who requested anonymity, because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly. “Will some people exploit it? They will.”
Note: DO pay special attention to the statements:
“$736 million to build a new US embassy in Islamabad…The scale of the projects rivals the giant US Embassy in Baghdad, which was completed last year after construction delays at a cost of $740 million.”
AND “The embassy is in need of upgrading and expansion to meet our future mission requirements.”
So you know what’s coming….
And this DOES CONFIRM the statement made by me earlier i.e. that:
PC HAD ALREADY BEEN SOLD TO THE AMERICANS
PC IS THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS