Understanding Pakistan Project Team May 29th, 2007
1. The Nature of Discourse
In line with its objectives, Understanding Pakistan Project (UPP) seeks to create an awareness among Pakistani citizens and interested international audiences about the history of Pakistan. It is desired that the contributed pieces and the comments will raise the level of debate within the society on a host of political, constitutional, social, and economic issues. In order to do so, we seek an, open, educated, informed, and civil conversation.
2. The Spirit of Discussion
Although there are no right or wrong answers to Pakistan’s historical dilemmas, there are (perhaps) right or wrong ways to discuss these. We encourage you to comment in the spirit of “informing the debate” rather than repeatedly arguing your case to “convince the unconvincible”. The former is best achieved by writing concise and to-the-point comments stating your position and providing supporting data (along with evidence and appropriate citations), wherever possible. Remember, the purpose is not to force your colleagues to change their minds but rather to inform and be informed and, in the process, carry out a more comprehensive and unbiased discussion of Pakistan’s history.
In return, Understanding Pakistan makes the commitment to keep the dialogue free and open. There are no ideological frontiers that may not be crossed or “no-go” areas that can’t be discussed, as long as comments are relevant and are supported by solid evidence.
The discussion area is, however, moderated to ensure a quality discourse. Moderation seeks to achieve two objectives:
a. In order to promote the spirit of ”informing the debate” rather than “convincing the unconvincible” and to encourage thoughtful rather than hasty comments, UPP reserves the right to enforce a one-comment-per-day per participant policy. It is, therefore, best and most productive that you carefully read what you want to comment on and formulate your reply after careful reflection.
b. To block comments and discussions that are indecent, inflammatory, slanderous, uncivil or irrelevant to the discussion itself. If all you wish to do is to pick a fight, please do it elsewhere. If you want to have a reasoned, reasonable and civil discussion, you are most welcome. We will also monitor for personal attacks and abusive language. Blatant and obvious misrepresentations will also be edited out.
As with most journalistic mediums, the UPP retains the right to edit or block submissions considered dishonest, inappropriate, inflammatory, uncivil or exhibiting and/or enticing religious, sectarian, or ethnic prejudice. Although publicly open, this is a privately-run blog and UPP reserves the right to remove entire comments or portions of comments that do not meet these policies.
4. A Discussion Forum for Pakistanis
Finally, and most importantly, Understanding Pakistan is a project about Pakistan, by Pakistanis, and for Pakistanis. While we welcome constructive comments from our well-informed international audience, we would like to emphasize that this blog is designed to provide on opportunity for self-reflection for Pakistanis. UPP, therefore, reserves the right not to publish comments that are deemed contrary to that aspiration.
5. Repeat Offenders
A “Third Strike without Warning” Law applies to all comments on this blog and Repeat Offenders will be barred from posting any further comments on the website.
6. Appeals Policy
UPP is moderated by humans–sometimes busy humans–who can make mistakes. We will reconsider our decisions and attempt to rectify, if warranted. However, UPP reserves the right to enterain an appeal on its moderation policy. Most appeals will be decided on the merits of the petitioner’s post rather than “(s)he did that too” type of reasoning. In order to appeal a particular action, please send an email to email@example.com with the word “APPEAL” in the subject heading and carefully describing the circumstances of the action and why you think you have been wrongfully judged. Please also include the text of your comment, if possible.
7. Read, Enjoy, and Learn!
P.S. We realize that some issues ignite passions. If they do, we suggest that you (a) write the post, (b) take a deep breath 10 times, (c) drink a glass of cold water, (d) re-read your post and edit out any inappropriate language, and then (e) post your comments This will spare you the embarrassment and us the effort of having to blank out offensive words from your post, or the entire post, or blocking you.