Senior Journalists Jump BOL as Pakistan Seeks FBI Help in Axact Probe (See Reports)
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  • About The Author

    Nafisa Hoodbhoy was staff reporter for the English daily Dawn newspaper from 1984-2000. As the only woman reporter under Gen Zia in Karachi, Pakistan, she went on to write thousands of news reports and lead articles on the nation’s transition to democracy, alternately spear-headed by civilian leaders Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. During this period, she researched and featured in video films on women..... Read More

  • About The Book

    The Present is the living sum-total of the whole Past.
      ~Thomas Carlyle, Characteristics

    This website gives a glimpse into my motivation for writing ‘Aboard the Democracy Train’ – on why millions of people in Pakistan have been thwarted from bringing about meaningful change inside the country. As the only woman reporter in Pakistan’s leading newspaper, Dawn ....
    See welcome comments for website insideRead More

BOL studios (Credit: journalismpakistan.com)

KARACHI, May 24: As the scandal surrounding Axact’s fake degree empire roiled the country, several senior journalists announced on Saturday that they were leaving the Bol Network, a sister concern of the controversial IT company. Those who quit Bol included the network’s two top executives, Kamran Khan and Azhar Abbas. “Charges against Axact are far from having been proved in court …

Axact’s immensely profitable empire is centered on its network of hundreds of websites. The stars are the sites for fictitious high schools and universities — some have names and details evoking the appearance of American or British schools, others of Persian Gulf-region institutions. Critical support for the scheme comes from a host of dedicated Internet search portals, and a smaller …

Pak media (Credit: pakdestiny.com)

To say that the exposé done by the New York Times on a Pakistan-based IT company, Axact’s shady business practices has caused ripples in the Pakistani media industry would be an understatement. The way it has divided opinions among the working journalists, be it senior or those still learning the ropes, is even more startling. The NYT story had detailed …

Police Raid on Axact (Credit: Khaleejtimes.com)

It is clarified that NYT in Pakistan is partnered with Express Media Group to publish International NYT in Pakistan and receive earnings from the group. Express Group was under a restraining order and contempt of court proceedings by Sind High Court for publishing a defamatory news item and further from publishing anything detrimental to Axact’s reputation. (Click here to view …

Axact chief Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh (Credit: techjuice.pk)

It is hard to believe that the Pakistani government was unaware of a major scam orchestrated by Axact, a software company based in Karachi that operates a global network of fake online schools that sell bogus diplomas. But ignorant or not, the government, which raided Axact’s offices on Tuesday, had little choice but to act after a report by Declan …

Axact-DHA meeting (Credit: dawn.com)

Seen from the Internet, it is a vast education empire: hundreds of universities and high schools, with elegant names and smiling professors at sun-dappled American campuses. Their websites, glossy and assured, offer online degrees in dozens of disciplines, like nursing and civil engineering. There are glowing endorsements on the CNN iReport website, enthusiastic video testimonials, and State Department authentication certificates …

Dr Bernadette Dean (Credit: dawn.com)

The coercion worked. Fearing for her life, Dr Bernadette Dean, an eminent Pakistani educationist and one of the 12 members of the Government of Sindh’s advisory committee on school curricula reform, has fled the country. She is a victim of a decades-long effort by religious extremists to control our education system. The driving force behind the campaign against her has …

Ismailis attacked (Credit: nbcnews.com)

KARACHI, May 13  - Gunmen on motorcycles boarded a bus and opened fire on commuters in Pakistan’s volatile southern city of Karachi on Wednesday, killing at least 43, police said, and militants affiliated with Islamic State claimed responsibility. The pink bus was pockmarked with bullet holes and blood saturated the seats and dripped out of the doors on to the …

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  • Cover Reviews

    "A powerful and courageous voice that represents the best of Pakistan’s emerging journalism… The first insider view of developments in...

    Shuja Nawaz
    Author and Director South Asia Center

    "It was her fierce independence and commitment to her country that inspired [Hoodbhoy’s] decision to become a newspaper reporter –...

    Frances Stead Sellers
    Deputy National Editor, Health, Science and the Environment, The Washington Post

    "Nafisa Hoodbhoy’s detailed reporting helped me look at the complex world of Pakistani politics differently. Hoodbhoy’s proximity to key players...

    Karen Frillmann
    Managing Editor - Newsroom, New York Public Radio

    "A story of a courageous journalist who defied conventional norms during times when very few other women were in this...

    Hassan Abbas
    Author and Quaid-i-Azam Chair Professor

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