Pakistani-Americans in Silicon Valley and wider San Francisco Bay Area celebrated Pakistan’s 69th Independence Day this year (Aug 14 2015) with several events in different cities and communities in the region. I (Riaz Haq) was invited to speak at Pakistan Flag Raising event at Milpitas City Hall. The event was organized by Pakistani-American Cultural Center. It was attended by the city mayor, a city councilwoman and hundreds of Pakistani-Americans, including women and children. In addition to speeches, the event featured Pakistani music, poetry, food and colorful outfits with a lot of green visible everywhere.
Talk4Pak is a media platform that connects the sane voices of South Asia. At Talk4Pak we look at the world from a global point of view.
Talk4Pak is funded by iKolachi, a California non-profit corporation.
Talk4Pak projects include:
Viewpoint from Overseas, a weekly webcast currently available on our side and YouTube. The program covers current affairs, with a particular focus on Pakistan, India, and the South & Central Asian region. The program is conducted in the vernacular of the region, Urdu (mutually intelligible with Hindi). The program is hosted by Talk4Pak principal Faraz Darvesh, with principals Ali Hasan Cemendtaur, Misbah Azam, and Riaz Haq as regular discussants. A range of guests also provide their input on a regular basis.
Wide Angle on Pakistan, a documentary on the War on Terror, produced and directed by iKolachi principal Faraz Darvesh. It can be watched in its entirety on YouTube.
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Faraz Darvesh is a journalist and talk show host who covers political and social issues. Faraz has over eight years of experience in field reporting, producing documentaries, and hosting political talk shows. Faraz has interviewed various politicians in Pakistan on the topic of War on Terror. His documentary “Wide Angle on Pakistan” covers common Pakistanis’ views on the never ending War on Terror and the causes of failure in the war. Faraz is considered a left leaning journalist who supports true democracy, rule of law, religious tolerance, and peace between India and Pakistan.
Faraz was born in Karachi, Pakistan and has been living in San Francisco, California for over 16 years. His documentary ‘Wide Angle on Pakistan’ has been screened at various universities in the US to highlight public anger and confusion among common Pakistanis on the War on Terror. His documentary highlights the fact that in the absence of a well-developed public opinion against extremism, public sympathy for the extremists and confusion about the war are growing; the growing right wing religious mindset is becoming a cause of failure in combating extremism.
Faraz along with his team has been hosting “ViewPoint from Overseas”, a TV talk show that covers overseas Pakistanis’ view on issues Pakistan is facing; he vocally speaks on the failed government policy to counter extremism in Pakistan. Faraz is an avid voice against the rapidly growing radical mindset in Pakistan and the lacking political will to counter radicalization of the country. “ViewPiont from Overseas” has highlighted Pakistan’s water crisis, energy crisis, and its failed foreign policy; discussions in the show also provide comprehensive solutions that need to be implemented to avoid Pakistan’s slow descent into chaos.
Riaz Haq is the Founder and President of PakAlumni Worldwide, a global social network for Pakistanis, South Asians and their friends.
Mr. Haq served as Chairman of the NEDians Convention 2007.
In addition to being a South Asia watcher, an investor, business consultant and avid follower of the world financial markets, He has more than 25 years experience in the hi-tech industry and has been on the faculties of Rutgers University and NED Engineering University and cofounded two high-tech startups, Cautella, Inc. and DynArray Corp and managed multi-million dollar P&Ls. Riaz Haq is a pioneer of the PC and mobile businesses and has held senior management positions in hardware and software development of Intel’s microprocessor product line from 8086 to Pentium processors. Mr. Haq’s experience includes senior roles in marketing, engineering and business management. He was recognized as “Person of the Year” by PC Magazine for my contribution to 80386 program.
Riaz Haq has an MS degree in Electrical Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Bachelors’ in Electrical Engineering from NED University in Karachi, Pakistan.
Online, Riaz Haq can be found at:
Misbah U. Azam, Ph.D.
Misbah Azam was born in Karachi, Pakistan. He completed his primary and secondary education from a small town in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Haripur Hazara. After completing his 10th grade he went to DJ Science College Karachi and then he went to NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi from where he completed his Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Electrical Engineering.
After completing the BE, he started working for the Telegraph and Telephone (T&T) Department, Pakistan, where he was posted to the Satellite Earth Station in Malach (near Islamabad). He worked there for 8 months as Assistant Divisional Engineer then he resigned T&T and went to United States and joined University of Nevada, Las Vegas to do his Master of Science (MS) in Electrical Engineering. Once he completed the degree he joined the Drexel University at Philadelphia, PA, where he worked as a Research Associate for the Neural Net Based Flight Control project, which was funded by Navel-Air Development Centre (NADC). He worked there towards his Ph.D. for two years then due to the loss of funding of the project he had to move out from the Drexel University and went to Arizona State University (ASU), Tempe AZ where he completed his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering. After graduating from ASU, he joined the Research & Development (R&D) group at Motorola Inc. in Mesa AZ. He was also involved in teaching advance level post graduate course in semiconductor devices at Arizona State University, as a visiting faculty. In 2010, he moved to Silicon Valley and he is now working for a high tech. semiconductor company as a Senior Staff Scientist/Designer in the R&D group.
During his years in DJ Science College, where he lived in the New Mitha Ram Hostel near Pakistan Chowk, Karachi, he was exposed to some experiences which gave him the reason to start thinking about the realities around him. He started to write short articles which he used to read on Radio Pakistan Karachi for which he used to get Rs. 20.00 per article. In 1980s, when he was in NED University and living in NED hostels, time and again he was influenced and directly affected by the volatile political situation of Pakistan. That period gave him the understanding of Pakistani grass root culture and their grievances. When he moved to the Drexel University, he joined the team which was running the University News Paper and formally start writing about the local and national issues. There he also joined a small debate group which talks and discuss the problem of Bosnian war which was at its peak.
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, he started reading and understanding Pakistan, its history, the socio-cultural and political red lines and he started to realize the deep rooted problems Pakistan was facing. To learn more, he made contacts with some Pakistani newly born private media’s voices. A famous media anchor person, who was running a political Forum on the internet, offered him to write and be a part of the Forum. He was writing there for two years but the coordinator accepted some position in the Middle East and he closed down the Forum.
Before moving to Silicon Valley, he wrote regularly in the Pakistan Link and time to time his letters and short articles were published in The Daily Dawn, The Daily Times, Frontier Post, Khaleej Times and some other websites. Now-a-days, he has his own website “politicsinpakistan.com” and he writes political blogs regularly on “saach.tv”. He is a member of the think tank iKolachi and a regular panelist in the iKolachi/WBT-TV weekly presentation Viewpoint From Overseas. He has a website politicsinpakistan.com
Misbah’s wife is Mechanical Engineer and she works in a multi-national company in the San Francisco Bay Area. They have two children, one boy and one girl.
Ali Hasan Cemendtaur was born and raised in Karachi. He has been writing regularly since 1993. He has written for the Daily Jang, the Daily Dawn, the News, the weekly Pakistan & Gulf Economist, the quarterly Wildlife & Environment, the weekly Pakistan Link, the weekly Pakistan Times, and the weekly US Urdu News.
His audio segment “Aik Khayal” aired from ABN-Chicago Radio.
Cemendtaur’s published work includes “Rasta jo manzil hai” (The Journey that is the destination), Urdu novel. 1997; “Khayal Bari” (A Shower of Thoughts), Urdu essays. 1998; “Khushk-o-tar Mulk-wa-Loag” (Barren and Fertile, People and Places), Urdu travelogue. 1998; “Thoughts and Travels“, a collection of articles and travelogues in English. 1998; “Aag Hawa Mattee Paanee” (Fire, Air, Earth, Water), Urdu travelogue. 2001; “Rio 47 Din Late” (Rio, 47 Days Late), Urdu travelogue. 2001; and The Green Ibn Battuta, an English travelogue.
His published audio CDs include “Mulaqaat“, “Atom Bomb“, “Bangalee kee Dokan” “Khushbuon kay Rastay” (with Bhashwati Sengupta).
Most of Cemendtaur’s books and CDS are available at Amazon and other online retailers.
Cemendtaur’s main English blog is at:
and the Urdu blog is at: