Five Rupees has a very good post on how respectable western media sometimes reports pieces of fictions in the garb of factual reports and then later on, different media release the same news and after a while it becomes a fact because everyone is saying it.
Anyway, this post is about Dr. Aurangzeb Hafi from Pakistan winning Global Thematic Merit Icon of the Decade prize that got reported in our local newspaper and simultaneously by its English sister publication. The news, as it turned out, was total crap but what makes it worth your while are the comments on the English paper’s website.
Below is what the local paper Express reported
The English version in Express Tribune (which is produced in collaboration with International Herald Tribune) reproduced a shorter translation of the above news here:
Pakistani scientist Professor Aurangzeb Hafi has been named one of the ten Global Thematic Merit Icons of the Decade.
According to a press release by PRweb UK, His inclusion in the high profile list was due to:
Multi-disciplinary research eruditions coupled with philosophical transcendentalism along with an unswerving conviction and solidarity towards the child-disability centered issues, extensively endorsed in Tsunami catastrophic management services.
Dr Hafi had earned great honour for Pakistan by developing ‘Magneto-Agricultural Development Model and Sectorial Magnetic Model’ which would have an impact on the fields of agriculture, environmental and medical sciences, space biology, magnetobotanics, magnetohydrodynamics and multidisciplinary sciences.
Hafi along with psychologist Stephen Soldz have also been nominated as the Thematic Merit “Persons of the Decade”.
The list has been released by The Decade Merit Scrutinum, endorsed by The Sovereign Military Order Of Malta. The full list includes:
1- Psychologist Stephen Soldz
2- Prince Charles
3- Julian Assange
4- Nelson Mandela
5- Professor Emeritus Michel Chossudovsky
6- Professor Ali Shalal
7- Professor Auarangzeb Hafi
8- Lt Cmdr Charles Swift
9- Dr Guy Peter Manners(Late)
10- Dr Leonid Mikhailovich Roshal
The press release in its entirety is available on Yahoo.
One of the readers of Tribune wrote to the awarding institution and got back this in reply which he posted in comments section:
Dear Mr Khan,
Thank you very much for sending me this link.
As you correctly wrote, this has nothing to do with the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
We will take immediate action to understand who is behind this.
Thank you once again.
Eugenio Ajroldi di Robbiate
Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Via Condotti, 68 – 00187 Rome
After this episode, probably the newspaper decided to their own fact verification, and posted the similar email as an update as this update was not there when I first read the email in the comments section.
More importantly, the Express Tribune website still hosts the telephone interview of the Doctor Aurangzeb Hafi that their news team took during their live news coverage
But we Pakistanis are sometimes so desperate for good news from our country that we accept any hoax hook, line and sinker. Below are a few choice comments from Express Tribune website
I salute to this great pakistani & his victory
Hats off to Prof Dr. HAFI. At least one Pakistani has earned fame in these days of all kinds of bankruptcy.
this iz him nation needs not mumtaz qadri!
great! such news are sooooooooooo rare. it is so good to hear something good about Pakistan. i almost dreaded that i would never hear one.
This is how a Muslim bearded guy act like. A proud Muslim and Pakistan.
And then our so called Elite class whine that Mullahs just sit in Madrassahs. Good job Mr. Hafi. It’s indeed a shock for those who are suffering from Mullah phobia
I have to admit that when I first read the news, I could not get it. So googled his name but nothing came up except for one blog/website by the name of Pakistani Housewife and reading it was like reading a fan page of Dr. Aurangzeb Hafi. Some selected items
In 2004 Dr Aurangzeb hafi was contesting or the prestigious international title “Man of the Year 2003 in Interdisciplinary Sciences” has rejected the “unofficial” offer that he accept British citizenship to be a winner. He also turned down the offer of two million pounds sterling (or Rs210 million) for providing the original manuscript of his magnetosectorial model, on the basis of which he has joined the race, saying the invention was a trust of his country which he would not like to barter for personal gains.
And then she reproduced some eulogies that I reproduce below:
“Dr. Hafi is to be acknowledged as a pioneer in Magnetohydrodynamics. His contributions for the advancement of Biomagnetism speak for themselves. Little wonder that we would regard Pakistan as the center of excellence in Biomagnetics Congratulations for being so far sighted for the advancement of Biomagnetism.”
(M.F. Barnothy ——–Chief: Biomagnetic Research Center. Director: World Biomagnetics Association, University of Illinois————-New York)
“Most senior scholars I have met usually specialize in one particular area. Sir Aurangzeb Hafi, however, has developed expertise in almost every area.”
(H.M Khurshid———-Ph.D., Ex. Senior Research Methodologist: The United Nations University)
“Prof. Hafi is the most dedicated researcher, one who would hammer at a point and make you accept it.”
(Richard F. Bakemeier ——- Ph.D., D. Psych———-USA)
This was a hoax but who benefited and how I could not fathom. Some commentators on Express Tribune website were pointing towards the hoax but in their desire for good news from Pakistan, most people were not heeding to it. One of those comments where the commentator refuses to believe the such news could be fake:
there are also some other people in this award, not only aurangzeb hafi. I do not know about dr Hafi but i surely know about prince charles, stephen soldz, nelson madndela, julian asange,
if hafi is fake all other must be fake also.
so be wise and stop propaganda against people of great honor and spent your time in healthy activities.
Someone also tried to create a fake wikipedia entry of him and this is what the wikipedia website says
This article is about a living person and appears to have no references. If no references are found and added within a ten-day grace period it may be deleted. This is to help prevent incorrect material remaining.
Dr. Hafi has a website Sir Aurangzeb (I wonder who awarded him the title Sir) and he has also uploaded a CV on it. Apart from the English mistakes that such a learned person has made in his CV one thing that stands out in his carrier [sic] related activities:
Director Retarded Children Guild Research Syndicate Berbly, Sri Lanka
Who uses “retarded” anymore and then use it in the name of a research syndicate whatever that means.
Anyway, I had a good laugh and I hope you did too.