Guilty or innocent ? only time will tell ? but its a shame that New York Times had to do the story about a Pakistani company when we have hundreds of media houses with-in the country to report on various matters including Information Technology. I am such a reporter who works on the Pakistani ICT sector and I accept my incompetency and inability for not knowing the whole matter until I saw the NYT report. Axact is an Individual Company, not a Country, not Pakistan Guilty or innocent, let?s not make this case about Pakistan. Its about an individual company that had offices in Pakistan, and in other countries. I see people trying to spin it as a nationalist issue and saying it?s a ?conspiracy? but that?s all hilariously pathetic. Axact is not a national treasure, it?s a company run for profit and if there is any misappropriation, then a case should be registered against the company and they should be prosecuted as a usual business. Shoaib Sheikh, CEO Axact, has welcomed the investigation by saying that he supports inquiry, which is a positive thing. But at the same time, those who think that authorities should spare Axact because it will bring bad name to Pakistan, then it won?t. Axact is not anywhere near to Satyam of India ? in terms of size, revenues etc. ? still it was investigated when reports about manipulation of its accounts surfaced. Yes, Indian repute was put at stake but it didn?t stop Indian authorities to prosecute and investigate a business firm and it didn?t harm Indian IT industry. Axact Case, its Investigation and Media Reporting is Motivated Accept it or not, GEO, Express, ARY, Dunya or any other media house would benefit if Axact is proven guilty. Media houses have vested interest in reporting on the matter and this is probably why no one is raising questions over FIA?s illegal raid, inability of FBR for not tracing Axact?s activities in advance. Again, I am not against investigating Axact but biased reporting can influence the outcome of the investigation and it?s alarming. Its a bad precedent. Media houses are pretty much rubbing their hands in glee at the chance to take a competitor out of the game and journalistic integrity, which was already in short supply, has all but disappeared in this case. Axact?s Response on Matter Didn?t Address the Real Issues Axact is widely circulating its response, mainly its CEO?s speech that aims to respond NYT?s report. Shoaib Sheikh, who seems to be a good speaker, did well by playing Pakistan card and shifting the blame to rival media houses by brining in motivation factor, but he failed in addressing the real allegations. While he rightly said that its NYT that has to prove the claims, but he could take the community into trust by either telling us about their clients that make them millions of dollars in revenues, or some insight about the products that they sell. He could be more rational by explaining his source of revenues instead of just bashing rival groups. Playing on the emotions and spinning it as a conspiracy does not make him or the company look less guilty. Collecting Evidence Against Axact isn?t Hard Since courts haven?t been moved against Axact yet, we can write about the case itself. It is no rocket science to find out if Axact was involved in fake degrees or not. Some simple tacert commands can determine you that all reported bogus universities? and Axact and BOL?s website reside with-in same data center. Even worse, majority of these websites were hosted on same server back in 2013, one can find out through checking IP history of these websites. Then all these websites were moved from one hosting service to another ? in a bulk ? all together hinting that either Axact manages these bogus websites directly or their clients own these websites. While its not black and white proof against Axact, but webmasters and those in hosting business know it well that Exact, Bol Network and these bogus universities? websites residing with-in same host can?t just be a coincidence. One way or the other, creating a link here would be a fifth grader?s play. So determining if Axact is guilty or not isn?t going to be a tough job at all. Conclusion: The Axact case will have important ramifications, there is no doubt about that. In our opinion, there is too much smoke for there not to be a fire. If the company is found guilty, huge question marks will be raised. For independent publishers like us, for the media houses that have budgets in the millions, for investigative journalists and mostly, for government authorities who were by all indication clueless. And above all, those Pakistanis who take the short routes to make quick bucks. You must stop and think of legitimate, halal ways of earning money. Or we will keep coming across similar cases in future too.