It's not about you!

While we are growing up, we learn to take everything personally. It's always about us. Consequently, when we are adults, we usually take criticism or rejection very personally. When someone tells us 'you are … (fill in the blank)', we may take it as the truth. But actually, it's not about us.

The other day, I read a story about a saint and his follower going down a jungle. While they were trying to find a shelter in the heavy rain; they saw a snake under a tree - whirled up and fainted because of the rain. Pitying the helpless creature, the saint went up to it and picked it up in his arms. Anxiously, his student asked, 'Sir what are u doing? It's a fatal animal. It will bite you'. The saint replied smiling, 'It's God's creature too, if I would leave it like that, it would die'. He tried finding a good shelter for it. As the rain stopped, the snake came about and as soon as he did, he bit on saint's arm. Even then the saint found a safe tree and nicely placed the animal under it. His student said, 'Sir I told u it's a fatal animal'. The saint replied, 'it was just his way of saying thank you'.

When people make insulting or vicious remarks about you, it's a reflection of what's going on inside them. It is about them and their perception of you and has nothing to do with who you really are. You are simply the target at the moment. Taking things personally makes you an easy prey for their emotional poison. They can hook you easily with their little opinion, and feed you all their poison. When you take it personally, you eat it up, and now it becomes your poison. But if you don't take it personally, you are immune to their poison.

So nothing that other people think about you is really about you; it is about them. They are in a completely different world from the one you live in and have a different belief system from yours. When someone gets mad at you, it is because he/she are dealing with themselves. You are just an excuse for them to get mad.

After you understand this, the next step is to give others what you want to receive from them. If you want others to be less critical and vicious about you, then you must be considerate of their feelings and recognize their self respect. We are usually quite miser, when it comes to giving others their credit or appreciating them for the good things they do. Also, we all say things at times that we wouldn't want others to say to us. We get impatient and forget that it took us time to learn the very things we're expecting others to perform perfectly right away.

Bushra Naz

Published on 17 January 2010

The e-paper

Killing the green eyed monster

Once, a green eyed monster assailed a realm. The giant monster would eat hundreds of men in a day and still would look for more. In due course, people became so afraid of the monster that they couldn’t even dare coming in front of him. The more people he would scare, the bigger and stronger he would become. The king issued a decree whoever kills the green eyed monster would get as reward whatever he wants. Knights and wrestlers from all over the country came to kill the giant but in vain. The moment they would face the giant, it would get ever bigger. Soon he was considered as invincible. One day, a skinny young man turned up and claimed he could kill the monster. While people were still laughing at his dare, he went up to the monster and said heroically: ‘Come out; I am here to kill you’. Furiously, the monster came out yelling: ‘I would eat you alive’. The young man didn’t move an inch back. He replied looking back into his eyes ‘I’m not afraid of you’. Listening that, the giant started to shrink smaller and smaller until he was vanished.

The story tells us how to conquer our fears. It holds true for all forms of fear and ‘Jealousy’ is one of them. Yes, Jealousy is basically our embedded fear. Looking jealousy in a more rational way, we feel jealous when we have an underlying fear of losing something or someone. But just like our other fears, if we look this one in the eye, we can kill it. Accept the fact that everybody is free to make their own choices and we cannot control other people. What we can control are our own feelings and actions. Believe in yourself. Know your own strengths and uniqueness. Take some time to appreciate your self, count your strengths and forgive yourself on your weaknesses. Love your self - because if you won’t, nobody else will.

Good communication can also resolve the problem. Communicate your feelings to others in a healthy way, without hurting them. Ask candid questions, the things that make us jealous are often just our assumptions. When we feel jealous we are holding the wrong beliefs or assumptions about things; I am not good enough for getting as good a job as of him. This is a wrong belief. Nobody is born with all the best skills in the world to get a good job. We learn it in due course of time. You can learn to become as good as the other person is. You encounter this person you’re feeling jealous of; to give you a drive - to work harder, to develop your self and to achieve the thing you value - a good job for instance. If not, your destiny could be to achieve something beyond this point. Something that was better for you but you were not aware of that.

Jealousy is not a bad feeling. It basically is a healthy feeling that actually helps us to identify the things that matter to us. The things we feel jealous about are basically things that carry more importance in our lives. It usually gives us a drive to pursue what we truly want.

Bushra Naz

Published on 19 January 2010, Daily Mail

Cyber crimes – is there a solution?

In today’s world we use computers for everything; searching the internet, online shopping, accessing bank accounts, emailing, and online gaming as some examples. Communication is faster and more reliable. Where we are becoming more dependent on computers; we have also become more vulnerable. Today street crimes are becoming something of the past. It is not to say that they don’t occur but computer crime is more convenient. There are individuals that hack into computers and your personal or sensitive data can be stolen, destroyed or misused.

Do we have enough security mechanisms in Pakistan to prevent cyber crime? Daily Mail has asked some questions from Amir Nazir, Forensic Officer in Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

DM: Please tell our readers, being a Law Enforcement Agency, what is your organisation doing to help fighting Cyber Crimes?
FIA has a dedicated wing named as ‘National Response Centre for Cyber Crime’ (NR3C). This wing comprises of a team of technical experts and Investigation officers and has its dedicated Police Stations and Forensic Labs to deal with cyber crimes. After receiving complaints regarding cyber crimes, FIA conducts investigations and proceed towards arrest and prosecution of culprits. Our job doesn’t start only after a crime is committed, instead we are involved even when the information about an expected crime is received and the crime is in the process of commission.

DM: What could have been the consequences of hacking and using people’s intellectual properties without their consent according to the provisions of cyber law in Pakistan?
As defined in the law, gaining or attempting to gain unauthorised access to any electronic system, data or information is a criminal offence in Pakistan and the punishment of it is imprisonment up to 07 years plus fine for committing such offence. Similarly, law also makes it an offence to damage, alter or misuse people’s personal data without authorisation. The punishment for this offence defined in the law is also imprisonment up to 07 years with additional fine.

DM: Another newly emerged cyber crime these days is youngsters hacking people’s e-mail accounts, Facebook or Orkut IDs etc. and using them to send inappropriate and often obscene messages…sometimes the pictures are edited with some x-rated images very skilfully and then disseminated to the contact list of the hacked person from an anonymous ID. How could your department help catching these anonymous culprits?
We are already dealing with such complaints and have arrested culprits as well. If anyone is victim of such crime then he or she can lodge their complaint to:
National Response Centre for Cyber Crimes (NR3C), FIA Headquarters, Islamabad; E-mail:; Telephone +92-51-9266656; Cell +92-3366006060; and Fax: 051-9266435.
It is advised to the complainants to write their application in simple English or in Urdu, narrate your complete problem, provide as much evidences and details as they can and in the end mention their names, contact numbers and addresses.

DM: In Pakistan, we have a culture that people shy away from reporting such incidents because of their concerns about defamation? What does your organization do about it? Is the confidentiality of these cases maintained?
All information about complainants or victims is kept confidential during inquiries and investigations conducted by FIA and only few concerned officers have knowledge of the case so there is no need to shy away from reporting such incidents. Reporting a crime is actually helping government to catch criminals and prevent such crimes in future by the same criminal.

DM: What problems do you usually face in the process of investigation?
AN: The problems we usually face during cyber crime investigations are mostly related to cross border jurisdiction. Internet has become a virtual borderless world so criminals enjoy the facility to launch their attacks from anywhere in the world. The crime in Pakistan may not be a crime in some other country. Therefore during investigations, timely obtaining tracking information from other countries, arresting foreign criminals and examining computer systems outside Pakistan may not be possible due to many reasons. The solution is International Law for Cyber Crimes, which unfortunately doesn’t exist yet.

DM: Public awareness is very crucial to prevent Cyber Crimes and in Pakistan the awareness of Cyber Laws and its prevention is equal to nothing. Could you please tell our readers what is FIA doing for that?
Cyber Crime awareness among public and private sector organisations is one of our main objectives. As part of our public awareness campaign, we have focused on university students and conducted several seminars in different universities of Pakistan because most of the internet users in Pakistan are our young generation. Moreover, FIA also release news in the press and media whenever criminals are caught. This is also helping us to spread awareness among general public. Besides universities, NR3C wing of FIA has conducted many awareness seminars and trainings for Banking Industry, IT Industry, Police officers, Judiciary, and other law enforcement & Intelligence agencies.

DM: What could be done further to improve the cyber security in our country?
The emergence of internet in its known form is just nearly 20 years old and so are the related threats. Majority of internet users including many public and private sector organizations are not well aware of cyber laws in Pakistan and security mechanisms to prevent them. Education and awareness at the government and higher management level is the key factor that can contribute towards improving cyber security. Government needs to take initiative to start degree level courses in information security in all major universities. Government should also take steps to have provision for information security staff and controls for all important information repositories. Private sector should also come forward and contribute in Research and Development of information security.

As we can see, even though cyber crime is still a problem, we have mechanisms in place in Pakistan to fight them. The way to protect it is for everyone - individuals, institutions, and government should all have awareness to take preventive measures. When you see such crimes happening around report them and show the criminals that we have no tolerance for these crimes. If everyone does their part, not only will they be safer but it will be setting an example for others as well as making it more difficult for hackers to cause damage.

Bushra Naz

Published on 13 January 2010, Daily Mail

The e-paper