Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Interview with an ISP Manager in Pakistan

Tariq Mustafa, Senior Manager, Core Networks, with one of the largest ISPs in Pakistan is a techie I have learned to respect and like--even though he was several years my junior at college. He's done a lot of things on the Internet over the years. He runs about the oldest mailing list there is for alumni of our common alma mater. You can read his own blog at

Here's an excerpt from a conversation I had with TM, as he is known in Pakistani technical circles, on Wednesday morning, Karachi time. Their offices are situated, together with other telecommunications providers that are part of their corporate group, in a highrise building near my parents' home in Karachi. There had been a tremor in this southern Pakistani city overnight.
we couldn't sleep last night
the 4.0 that hit Karachi?
apparently, my mother slept through it
but it were the rumors that made a louder noice
i was following it on the Karachi Metroblog
i got this call from my 24X7 team at [our] office (Hasan Center)
they panicked out of the building
i'd forgotten you have a 24x7 team reporting to you
that must have been "fun"
no..i was just wondering that god forbits if anything happens, how wholesomely would *I* be affected
imagining the tower housing so many communication stuff [a cellphone provider, a payphone company, etc.] coming down
do you have any technical reports on how sound that building is vis-a-vis earthquakes?
but that is the most scary part
do you intend to try and get something now?
as a manager, it seems like it would now be laazim [Urdu for obligatory] on you to do that
we've already started finding things out
but this email [about what to do in the case of an earthquake]
that come this morning from the admin
was the worst way of starting a day
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