Are sections of Pakistani media destabilising democracy?

Bilal Qureshi has contributed this piece for PTH. We do not necessarily agree with all the contents of this article but the issue is important enough to be debated. (RR – ed PTH)

Journalism 101, that is, the very first lesson of journalism is impartiality. In other words, journalists, at least in civilized societies don’t take any position on issues. And editors make sure that personal opinion don’t seep into the work that the journalists are assigned. This is common practice, and even in India, if you read the papers or watch their talk shows, it is impossible to associate journalists with any particular political party. So, in this light, it is utterly nauseating to see media in Pakistan, both electronic and print (especially Urdu media) engage in efforts to destabilize a democratically elected government. Especially, a channel backed up a by large paper is maliciously attacking everything that the government does day after day in print, and night after night on television.

This must be stopped.

No, this level of journalistic activism can never be defended or worse, tolerated. Zardari did the right thing when he spoke clearly and aggressively against the conspiracy theorists when he addressed a rally in Karachi.

Now, the government must come out swinging against the types of immoral, unethical, and extremely biased anchors that we see in Pakistan today.

I am not suggesting censorship, and neither am I asking the government to exert pressure on any media group with one exception. And we all know that particular channel responsible for spreading, fear and hatred and I want the government to confront the lies that this particular channel is presenting as facts.

Media, as I understand is not the answer for everything. Yes, no doubt that the media can play a very constructive role in helping societies progress and move in the right direction. However, it is with great regret that I note that the media in Pakistan, as I have observed during my extended stay in Pakistan, has become a mouth piece for those who were decisively rejected by the electorate in the last election. Worse yet, the media in Pakistan has become an apologist and an unofficial spokesmen for the Taliban. Therefore, in this extremely poisonous political environment, it is the duty of the government to strike back hard, demand explanation for the derogatory remarks and corruptions charges casually thrown around by these so-called journalists, both in print and on television.

Today, the elected government, a government that is full of people who fought not one, but two dictators, a government full of people who rejected of the offers of signing confessions and in return moving to plush ‘exiles’ in foreign countries. Today, this government is made to look like a corrupt and incompetent government, thanks to the right wing pro Taliban anchors and ‘experts and analysts’. This is simply unacceptable, period. So, on behalf of progressive, objective and non-conspiracy theorists, I ask the government to fight back, and fight back really hard, fight for your political life. Otherwise, the constant drip drip of corruption is going to stick and the people in Pakistan are going to buy into this notion that the government is actually corrupt and incompetent. I ask the government in Pakistan to take on the militant and pro Taliban right wing anti democracy, anti progress and hateful people who are trying to destroy the country by presenting the horrible Taliban as heroic fighters, which they certainly are not. And there are plenty of people in the media across Pakistan who can be persuaded to join the government in this effort to root out useless talking heads from the television. But first, the government has to aggressively hit back.

Mr. Gilllani, are you ready to save the future of Pakistan? Are you ready to stop kissing up to Nawaz Sharif and take a bold stand to defend your party, your president and your people? Are you?

55 Comments

Filed under Democracy, Media

55 responses to “Are sections of Pakistani media destabilising democracy?

  1. Junaid

    In other words, Pakis cannot handle freedom.

  2. Milind Kher

    Today, it is critical for the journalists in Pakistan to throw their weight behind the effort to eradicate the Taliban.

    I am sure that it must be very difficult for either the Pak Army or the Zardari government to keep up their morale when a substantial section of the media is working against it.

    It is sad to see people sabotaging their own cause and nation.

  3. Natasha

    Crap.

    lol @ the unofficial spokesman of the taliban.The writer has forgotten that it was this very media that pressurized the govt/army to launch an operation in Swat.

    And I would love to know what LIES is that ‘one particular channel’ spreading to destabilize democracy?If they’re lieing , sue them.What stops you from confronting them LEGALLY?What’s with giving death threats and banning the program?

    This particular channel that you are afraid to talk about OPENLY is going to be the worst casualty if the democratic set up is disturbed.Why would they invite trouble for themselves?Please have some courage to take their name.

    Mr.President only made a fool out of himself by venting out his frustration against the media.He’s such an insecure person.

    PPP is to be blamed for whatever it is going through.They dont need conspiracies to destroy them.They are making things easy for others themselves.

    Having said that , I dont agree that ALL the media men are milkwashed.Some do have particular agendas but singling out one group and blaming them for everything is not right.

    And please dont talk about PPP fighting dictators.Zardari’s no less than a dictator.There’s only one section that is creating trouble for everyone in the country.The section that is busy in Zardari’s bootlicking and those who are silently watching this ‘tamasha’.

  4. Natasha

    Junaid ,

    The word is Pakistani. And we are LEARNING how to handle freedom.The media got independent only a few years back.Expect them to make mistakes.Nobody’s perfect.

  5. Natasha

    Milind Kher,

    The media is the driving force behind the operation against the taliban.Dont go by what this ‘online jyala’ has written in support of his party of losers.

  6. The ideal that journalists are impartial is followed in the breach.True, there are some who are above partisan reporting.Again it is not the journalists alone to take the blame;publishers are equally responsible .In fact proprietors dictate editorial and news policy,
    The premise that Indian news papers are impartial is a myth.Only difference from other countries is that the Fourth Estate is more subtle.For instance a popular National News Channel, which also has a very good market share is so parochial and slanted in reporting that it would even attack the ruling paty at the centre, but send a comment about Sonia Gandhi,it will be promptly removed.So much for Free Media in India.(This is not to say that there are no impartial press in India).
    This issue apart, the presumption that Zardari government is not corrupt and the press is out to embarrass the Govt. is so blatantly untrue even from the eyes of Indians, that it is laughable..
    At times Pakistani Media seems to go overboard,anchor and participants for they have ir is the only forum to discuss, to give vent to their feelings and views.
    The flip flap of Zardari on Indian planes intruding into Pak air space;Gilani’s faux paus on Kasab’s nativity and you can go on.You can not take the blame from them and pin it on the media.
    Taliban is true,terrorism is true,corruption is true, Geo TV attack is true,gagging the press is true,double talk on Kashmir is true,same double talk on Us true,economic mess is true, Pakistan as a country is in danger of sliding into anarchy is true.
    When the media reports it,it becomes untrue!?
    Where is democracy in Pakistan to destabilize it?

  7. Pingback: Are sections of Pakistani media destabilising democracy? « Ramanan50's Blog

  8. wajid

    BQ – Right on!!

  9. AZW

    Bilal, I am sorry that the prescribed medication is in your article is quite ill advised and will worsen the disease in the long run.

    We can all agree that the sections of media are indeed quite biased against the government. Some of them have been indeed following an irresponsible form of journalism, and rather than reporting are putting their personal views on the front pages in the garb of breaking news.

    Journalistic standards in Pakistan leave much to desire. Aside from Dawn, I am hard pressed to find any English newspaper that has been reporting in a calm and even handed manner. Urdu newspapers are simply a chaotic sea of words where news and views indistinguishably swim together.

    Yet taking selective actions against the newspapers in the name of greater good (read stability) is not a lot more different than the autocratic actions that the previous rulers have tried to do; against the media as well as against the institutions that were even weak form of checks and balances against the rulers (read judiciary, opposition leaders and movements). All those mensch rulers are gone now, but the damage they did to the institutions that guarantee the stability of Pakistan in the long run were left severely weakened.

    For the starters, I do not believe at all that the government is blame free here. There has been a marked increase in corruption across the country. The instability that invariably follows the confusion when a Party Chairman becomes the President of Pakistan and clashes with the Parliament and his own party’s nominated Prime Minister is severely ffecting the national decision making. It is fool hardy to think that Pakistan Army has learnt its lessons and will sit quietly and let things work out by themselves. Things never work out by themselves, and if Pakistan Peoples Party does not cater to the broken promises of repealing 17th Amendment and reducing the President’s powers, grumblings will continue to grow. Given Pakistan’s sordid history, we are a nation that seeks to solve the problems with short term solutions, since the normal channels and mechanisms that work in other democratic countries often stop working here.

    PPP has to take the lead here in resolving the massive fog that a Party Chairman has brought to the table by becoming a powerful President in a Parliamentary democracy. A lot of media criticism is quite valid here. The rule of Law in a democratic society starts from the top, and Mr. Zardari has to realize that he is becoming part of the problem by not following up on his promises.

    Regarding the irresponsible journalism, the worst the Government can do is to selectively strike at newspapers and TV channels. There is no way the government can assure the population of its objectivity in acting against the journalists. One solution here is to increase the powers of the Media industry watch dog that comprises of the media industry representatives themselves.

    But at the end of the day, the source of all the turmoil is coming from a rather simple phenomenon, called the lack of rule of law. A democracy cannot function without the complete and fair rule of law. Misapprehensions run abound when there are perceptions of inappropriateness, when it comes to Government dealings, as well as when it comes to newspapers’ impartiality. A Government that is indulging in perceived abuse of power at the top should not be able to keep doing that in the presence of strong Parliament and Judiciary. Similarly irresponsible journalism more often than not results in inviting libel actions, and a successful prosecution of journalists who maliciously tar people’s images gives a stern message to the next pygmy journalists.

    But we are still quite far from there as a nation. In our chaotic society, Rule of Law probably sounds a nice clichéd term, yet is seldom worth implementing.

    It is my view that (every thing else being equal) a Government perceived to be abusing its power is a lot bigger problem than an independent press being prone to irresponsible journalism.

    I do believe that PPP is one of the better political parties in Pakistan, enjoys mass support across all provinces and if it gets its act together can be the agent of a better change for our blighted nation. If PPP does not learn from the past, they will keep on having a fractured and uneven future marred by military adventures interspersed with a few democratic rules where PPP will have some role.

    Who says Pakistan is ever a simple country.

  10. Milind Kher

    @Natasha,

    If the media is supporting the operations against the Taliban, then it needs to highlight big time whatever success the Pak army achieves.

    This is important in order to make a dent in the Taliban which currently is riding high on all the terrorist bombings it has carried out.

  11. Mustafa Shaban

    Agreeed with Natasha

  12. wajid

    @ Natasha:

    And please dont talk about PPP fighting dictators.Zardari’s no less than a dictator.There’s only one section that is creating trouble for everyone in the country.The section that is busy in Zardari’s bootlicking and those who are silently watching this ‘tamasha’.

    Could you elaborate this point, and support it with some facts?

  13. Milind Kher

    I don’t know whether Zardari is a dictator.

    At the moment he seems the best bet that Pakistan has because he is the only one pushing so hard against the Taliban forces.

  14. @bilal
    what others are saying leave it on them, as for as the problem faced by the common man, the mango peoples….what is PPP performance in this reagard
    They have almost half of their terms spent in issues which are worth discussed at the drawing rooms…..But where do the “aam janta” exist in the rhetorics….Forget Islamabad…But do U know the place whom Bhutto has promised to make it Paris…
    It is Liyari….Go ask the people of Liyari…the stronghold of PPP
    PPP is doing nothing except pressurizing national establishment through the foriegn ones to let them run the show….but why do they fear if their 10 million voters are here…..
    Man! do something in favor of we the mango peoples…will see who interupt U in doing so….Ham Mazdoor Kisan Khud Nipat Lain gey

  15. @Natasha
    I am amazed how someone living here and watching Pakistani Channels can claim that media has forced the Govt to start the operations….They are against the Monsters from the day Ist….While covering the operations…they have used appropriate words for the dead ones from the monsters or the sodiers fighting them…..Do they cover how the peoples have suffered in the initial two or three phases of the operations
    Do they ask the people who returned home after the operations and found their homes same as they have left it before leaving….Do they ask them what happened to those whose homes were used by the secuirity personnels for living or taking positions….
    Anything from imported blankets, cosmetics n perfumes, wall clocks, DVD players were on the same place….
    Do they dare to ask the mighty ones…what the peoples of Balouchistan are thinking…Tell them Balouchistan do not only exist in Queta…..
    And one last questions Is their any other country where News channels have most of the advertisements from the talk shows….

  16. Ummi

    haahahaa

    Coward PPP president hiding in a bunker and roaring(infact frowning).

    Why left wing community is so coward?

  17. @Ummi
    Hahaha….what rubbish
    Where the hell Ur heroes
    Hikmatyaar, Usama n Co, TTP wallahs are hiding??

  18. Milind Kher

    @Aliarqam,

    The last laugh will be had by those who win the war. The Pak Army will surely defeat the terrorists.

  19. Natasha

    Milind ,

    The media IS highlighting the issue.It’s been playing a key role in boosting the morale of the Pak army.Those who follow the media know what it’s upto.Start following it to know what role the media is playing.Dont go by what mr.writer has to say.

  20. Natasha

    Wajid,

    If you’re aware of the current political scenario , you wont need my clarification.No one’s naive here.Not even jyalas.

  21. Mustafa Shaban

    @Milind Kher: It is not Zardari that is pushing hard against the Taliban forces it is General Ashfaque Kayani who has made the decision to increase the offensive. Also anybody in Zardari’s place would be pushing hard against the terrorists, as they are a huge internal security problem. So this dusnt exactly make him special.

    @Natasha: totally agree with you.

  22. Natasha

    //@Natasha
    I am amazed how someone living here and watching Pakistani Channels can claim that media has forced the Govt to start the operations….They are against the Monsters from the day Ist….While covering the operations…they have used appropriate words for the dead ones from the monsters or the sodiers fighting them…..Do they cover how the peoples have suffered in the initial two or three phases of the operations
    Do they ask the people who returned home after the operations and found their homes same as they have left it before leaving….Do they ask them what happened to those whose homes were used by the secuirity personnels for living or taking positions….
    Anything from imported blankets, cosmetics n perfumes, wall clocks, DVD players were on the same place….
    Do they dare to ask the mighty ones…what the peoples of Balouchistan are thinking…Tell them Balouchistan do not only exist in Queta…..
    And one last questions Is their any other country where News channels have most of the advertisements from the talk shows….//


    Ali arqam ,

    Are you AGAINST the operation?Im sorry I dont get your point.

    And about Balochistan – theyve given coverage to even traitors like Harbayar Marri.Although I agree they need to highlight more about the common Baloch.

  23. Mustafa Shaban

    @Milind Kher: What I meant to say was that Zardari may be pushin hard against the Taliban bu that is what anyone should be doing in his place and it is good that they are taking steps to elimanate the Taliban. But the credit goes to the army chief whose leadership brought sucess to these operations.

  24. Milind Kher

    @Mustafa Shaban,

    There were people before Zardari too. However, they did not push quite as hard. This is not to deny the fact that there really isn’t much of a choice any more.

    The moot point is whether General Kayani would have launched such a major offensive on his own steam or whether the encouragement from Zardari has played a major role.

    @Natasha,

    Despite all the media focus there are still people who believe that there is no Taliban, and that they are all RAW agents!

  25. Mustafa Shaban

    @Milind Kher: You are right, but I think that the push came more from the generals side than Zardari’s. Also some people like me belive that there are TTP attacking Pakistan but that the leadership is being funded by RAW. With or without the knowledge of the lower levels of the TTP.

    RAW support of TTP and BLA and BRA has been proven by army chief and intellegence. Unfortunately I do not understand why Rehman Malik is holding it back, the evidence should be made public!

  26. Milind Kher

    @Mustafa Shaban,

    There is a logical problem here. Would Hakimullah Mehsud, a diehard Islamist, accept aid from a Non Muslim country against his fellow Muslims.

    Would RAW fund an organisation that had vowed to fight a jihad against India?

    There are many conspiracy theories afoot, but we need to be able to judge for ourselves..

  27. Mustafa Shaban

    @Milind Kher:

    1. Hakimuallah Mehsud claims to be a die hard islamist. People claim many things but deep down inside many people are just out there for personal benefit.

    2. TTP has not vowed to fight against India, infact the TTP has called kafir all the kashmir mujhadeen and those who fight against India.

    3. Israel and US have been backing many Islamic movements even those who shout anti US and Israeli slogans. This is because they need public to think that there are a lot of anti american and anti israeli groups in the world that would liketo attack the West and hence US politicians claim that ”we have to fight them over there so that they cannot come here”. Ofcourse this is al nonsense. There is only war profiteering, oil profiteering and geopolitics involved. Same goes for India. They want to incite panic, and claim that Pak nuclear weapons will fall into the hands of extremists, this will force the US to take control of Pakistans nuclear capability. There is much more to things then what you can see on the surface in the media, things are not as simple as people think.

  28. Natasha

    Milind,

    Nobody denies the existence of TTP – RAW comes into picture when we talk about who’s pulling their strings.And please dont call Hakimullah an Islamist.DIE HARD Islamists dont blow up fellow believers.They are terrorists and India’s involvement has been proven.It’s not a conspiracy theory.Youve not built 50 + consulates along Pak-Afghan border to strengthen democracy in Pakistan for God’s sake!There are evidences of how India’s been funding these leeches.

    //but we need to be able to judge for ourselves..//

    I would ask you to apply that on yourself as well.

  29. Natasha

    //Rehman Malik is holding it back, the evidence should be made public!//

    That’s what pisses people off about this man.He’s no good.

    I wrote something about the issue sometime back.

    http://natashasuleman.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/telling-india-to-shut-up/

    P.s I am not a war- monger but there has to be some ‘action’ from our side – on the diplomatic front.

  30. Natasha

    //There were people before Zardari too. However, they did not push quite as hard.//

    Things were not as bad as they are during his tenure.However PPP should be given credit for dealing with the refugee problem.

  31. Milind Kher

    @Natasha and Mustafa,

    I have called Hakimullah an Islamist, i.e. follower of Islamism and not Islam, Islamism being the violent and militant brand that passes itself off for Islam.

    I do remember reading in the TOI that the Taliban in Pakistan had vowed to fight a jihad against India if India invaded. Isn’t Taliban and TTP (Tehrike Taliban Pakistan) the same.

    India really does not need to have instability in Pakistan. It surely does not need to see the Taliban at Wagah.

    If there were indeed proof of Indian involvement, what prevents Rehman Malik from getting it published for all to know?

  32. Mustafa Shaban

    @Milind Kher: Afghan Taliban and TTP are not the same, Mullah Omer has denounced the TTP and said that if they were true muslims they would fight US in Afghanistan and not thier ally Pakistan. Those two groups are totally different and so are thier stances towards India.

    I think it is extremely stupid of Rehman Malik to withold the evidence. PPP has not defended Pakistans interests and has alwayz taken a weak stance.

  33. Milind Kher

    @Mustafa Shaban,

    I know the Afghan Taliban and TTP are different. I was talking about what has been broadly referred to as “Taliban’ in the Pakistani context.

    What is the difference in the stand towards India of the Afghan Taliban and the TTP?

  34. vajra

    @Mustafa Shaban
    @Natasha

    Just some partial evidence, since both of you are evidently allergic to it and depend on TV channels for your opinions:

    1. Regarding Baitullah Mehsud and the TTP being close to the Taliban and practically the same.

    (a)He has taken an oath of allegiance to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. He is close to al Qaeda’s top leadership in the Af-Pak border region and to Qari Tahir Yaldashev, leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. He is also well-connected to the Punjabi militant groups that have long been operating in Indian-occupied Kashmir. And he maintains cordial ties with the Haqqani network, widely considered by Western officials to be one of the most dangerous groups of veteran jihadists in the region and the bridge between the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban movements.
    www dot foreignpolicy dot com slash articles slash 2009 slash 07 slash 09 slash pakistans_bin_laden?page=0,2

    (b)Baitullah is close to the Afghan Taliban, having fought with them in the 1990s, and remains a major commander of the current Afghan insurgency, according to the US military. Although a Pakistani, he has publicly declared his allegiance to Mullah Omar, the self-styled emir al-muminin (commander of the faithful) of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

    There is little reliable information about Baitullah’s relations with the Arab jihadists affiliated to Al-Qaeda. However, Al-Qaeda would almost certainly have wanted to befriend him so that they could use his swathe of territory as a sanctuary. Indeed, Abu Laith al-Libi, an Al-Qaeda commander, was reportedly killed on his way to a meeting with Baitullah.

    As the most powerful militant commander in Pakistan’s tribal areas, Baitullah was an obvious choice to head a new coalition of pro-Taliban groups. The formation of the Taliban Movement of Pakistan (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan: TTP) was announced on 14 December 2007 from groups of all seven of the Pakistan’s tribal agencies, as well as several districts of the North West Frontier Province.
    www dot janes dot com slash news slash security slash terrorism slash jtsm slash jtsm080212_1_n.shtml

    About Baitullah’s successor Hakimullah:

    (c)He had served as a spokesman for Baitullah and led Taliban militants in the Khyber and Orakzai tribal agencies, where he imposed the infamous jiziya (tax) on Sikhs, forcing them to flee the area.

    Hakimullah has good contacts with Lashkari Jhangvi, a fanatic Sunni outfit. He has good contacts in Punjab and Sindh and has trained a large number of Punjabi Taliban militants in South Waziristan.

    news dot rediff dot com slash slide-show slash 2009 slash nov slash 03 slash slide-show-1-why-is-pakistan-burning dot htm

    @Natasha

    India’s involvement has been proven.It’s not a conspiracy theory.

    And your saying so is proof? How has it been proven? And please don’t quote that tired and discredited canard about 50 – 50! – Indian consulates in Afghanistan. None of the spreaders of this weird story can even name the places. They know that naming a specific location means any reporter worth his salt can reach the spot and make nonsense of these fanciful claims.

    That applies to your claim of evidence of Indian financing of these leeches.

    What is truly amazing is that the entire government of Pakistan, and its hyperactive ISI (or perhaps I shouldn’t separate the two; after all, sometimes it seems that the ISI is the government of Pakistan) haven’t been able to find evidence, but you seem to have it. Why don’t you hand it over?

    Could we get some sensible input from other than Zaid Hamid groupies?

  35. wajid

    Natasha, that’s a lame response. Your points are just accusations coupled with your own fantacies and fear, then.
    Try not to fall for people like KK, Dr Shahid Masood and their conspiracy theories.

  36. Milind Kher

    @Wajid,

    This really spooks me. On a site frequented by some exceptionally educated and enlightened people (YLH, BC, AZW, Raza Rumi etc to name a couple of the Pakistanis), there are people who buy conspiracy theories like this.

    If that is the case here, what about the rest of the country? I think every right thinking Pakistani has got his or her work cut out in ensuring that the Pakistani community at large retains its balance and perspective.

  37. wajid

    MK: There’s a reason, most of them tend to follow people who present themselves as saviors but actually are politically, intellectually corrupt and dishonest.

    Logically, its understandable as the country was under military rule – and as soon as the democratic process gets a chance to mature, things might change – but what’s more frightening is that none of these conspiracy theory followers countercheck illogical facts. The just believe what they are told.

  38. vajra

    @wajid

    I think you’ve got it dead wrong. This is the tweeter/instant mob generation. They can’t read, except TV captions; they wouldn’t recognise a fact if it butted them in the belly.

    They have no choice but to believe what they’re told; not what they read, nor what they see, but what they’re told.

  39. Natasha

    Wajid,

    I pity you for being a blind follower.Time to wake up.And no I dont need to follow Shahid Masood.I dont watch his program.

    Milind,

    For people like you , anyone who’s against what YOU want to believe is a buyer of consipiracy theories.India is milkwashed in your lalaland only.

  40. Natasha

    And for all those crying PROOF and CONSPIRACY THEORIES :

    http://www. dawn.com /wps /wcm /connect /dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan /13+proof+of+indian+hand+south+ waziristan+ army-za-02

  41. Natasha

    And for all those crying PROOF and CONSPIRACY THEORIES :

    http : // www. dawn. com / wps / wcm / connect / dawn – content – library / dawn / news / pakistan / 13+ proof+ of+ indian+ hand+ south+ waziristan+ army – za – 02

    remove the spaces.

  42. Milind Kher

    @Natasha,

    Just so you know, it is not my lalaland. Nobody buys those conspiracy theories. The US is not buying them, for sure.

    Even your fellow Pakistanis on this board are not buying them.

    Of course, if castigating me provides you a cathartic experience, indulge yourself🙂

  43. Natasha

    http : // www . nation . com . pk / pakistan – news – newspaper – daily – english – online / Politics / 23 – Nov – 2009 / India – fuelling – terrorism – in – Pakistan – Qureshi

    Latest official statement about Indian involvement.No Shahid Masood.

  44. wajid

    Vajra: I didn’t say they read: (that would be a whole different case) – but i did say that they just believe what they are told.

    Thanks for pointing out the TV crawls and Tweeter.

  45. Milind Kher

    @Natasha,

    I understand and appreciate your feelings for your country. But, in all fairness, why not wait for these people who have been talking about proof to actually furnish it?

    If an unbiased international forum indicts India, I will respect its opinion. But, let us see if that happens..

  46. vajra

    @natasha

    You do have problems, don’t you? That’s not evidence, just a statement from a member of a government who started somewhere else one year ago and has step by step come to a situation of admitting some of the aspects of the situation they had denied stoutly all along. Now they manufacture conspiracies out of thin air, and we’re supposed to believe them?

    There’s thick volumes of recordings and transcripts of these been handed over to the government of Pakistan, to no avail. And then we get in return a statement to a newspaper that you’re being tanned.

  47. Milind Kher

    @Natasha,

    Hakimullah Mehsud and Osama Bin Laden are Indian agents, are they? Aren’t they the blokes operating in all those territories? Who else is on the Indian payroll? Hafiz Saeed? I remember reading only today that he was aghast at the Mumbai massacres.

  48. wajid

    Interestingly, this is the first time that a ‘corrupt’ politician has refused to pay a sum of money to a media giant.
    Now if he’s still 10 pc or more, he won’t mind throwing few bucks at them to keep them on his side – but he didn’t. Either the price is too high this time or the media giant itself is guilty of something. In both cases – all is fishy.
    If things get more serious, the fear is that military and media will win over President, which doesn’t affect Zardari (as his reputation is already in drain), but the political system.

  49. vajra

    @Wajid
    @Milind Kher

    I suggest it is a waste of time to try and educate these blog-kiddies. There is a serious, critical problem facing us; you in Pakistan, immediate, dirty and bloody; we in India, just as dirty and bloody, merely slightly amateur, slightly inept, slightly further away from the efficient, industrial grade terror that you face. There’s enough to be done.

  50. Natasha

    vajra,

    You didnt go through the first link did you?

    Milind kher ,

    Indian agent thing , I dont know.All Im trying to say is that india IS feuelling terrorism.I hate the word ‘agent’.Flana agent timkana agent.

  51. Natasha

    Wajid,

    Let’s not talk about that particular media giant.

    What do you think about Kashif Abbasi , Talat Hussain ,Naseem Zehra etc.?

  52. I totally agree with what the writer said!!
    Media in Pakistan reeks of sheer hypocrisy when it comes to taking positions on issues, which it does and does over and over again! And not only does it take positions, it switches them regularly with the tide of time. In recent times, the stances of popular mainstream media on issues of Talibans is clear – those who say media persuaded the war on Talibans must be reminded well of the fact that just before that, media anchors were busy convincing people that it’s the drone attacks and not Talibans that are a far greater threat to Pakistan. Similar saga of shamelessness made it’s way into Pakistani media’s reporting through the Lal Masjid episode.
    The problem indeed is with our media that it does indeed act at the whim of individuals or personnel, or have strategies or stances in favor or against every political party – to cite an example, Nawai Waqt is well known for it’s pro-Sharif policies and pro-right reporting. While taking an ideological stance is nothing wrong, backing or opposing a party or person just on the basis of that is indeed wrong.
    And this certainly should stop!

  53. Ali Abbas

    @Vajra,

    The Pakistani “civil society” elites just won the gold medal for mental gymnastics and conspiracy theories. You cannot win any arguement with them as they can manufacture presuppositions faster than you Indians can manufacture electronics. You see before the operation in Swat, the urban bourgeoise and the civil society elites had painted the Taliban as “Pushtoon-Nationalist”, “Marxist guerillas”, “anti-Feudal” and “anti-imperalist resistance” even as these Taliban were massacring and beheading hundreds of Shia Pushtoons and the secular ANP leaders (remember them, the actual Pushtoon nationalists) and destroying the centuries old symbols of Pushtoon culture (Buddhist relics in Swat, Sufi shrines in Peshawar). Before 9/11, when they were massacring Shias, Christains, Brehlvi Sunnis and Ahmadis, these civil society types just ignored the mayhem. However, after 9/11, when the US pooped on ISI’s strategic depth party in Afghanistan, the spin became more pronounced than a Shane Warne delivery!
    Everytime Shias were masscred in Quetta in batches of 50-100, the Indians were blamed. When sucide bombs are being going off all over Pakistan, the clandestine firm of Goldberg, Prashad and Brown is blamed for everything. You see, if the Taliban are killing us, they are Jewish-Hindu and Christain agents. When they kill you guys in Mumbai, they are heros who can fight with our army anytime. Its really that simple; you cannot beat the “logic”.

    Now, Blackwater/Xe has taken over Islamabad instead of the Taliban and the place is literally crawling with thousands of Teutons who want to steal our nukes as well as our Jinns who have made billions of megawatts of energy that is hidden in the lower intestine vaults of our ghazis to prevent Zardari from stealing them; at the appropriate time (after the PPP elected Govt. is overthrown ofcourse), these “ghazis” will come forth and in one glorious fart, bless Pakistan with unlimited energy and ofcourse, stink you guys out of Kashmir, the Red Fort and all the cool places. Our media has been democratically elected in the mess halls of the ISI and while Talat Hussain/Nasim Zehra/Kamran Abbasi are slightly weak in arithmatic, logic, truth, integrity, objectivity, honesty, research, character, they are damn fine journalists! Where else can you find journalists who can equalize $700 million with $50 million. When you want to fudge and spin the truth, Glenn Beck is no match for these guys! Just please leave these guys and their multi-million monthly ruppee contracts alone and don’t question their alleged links with the security establishment; after all, they are not here to inform them public but to mantain an establishment that has Pakistan as a fortress of Islam; not a nation state as envisioned by its founder.

  54. vajra

    @Ali Abbas

    Your delightful essay. I was in splits of laughter. Thank you for brightening up a gloomy winter’s evening.

    On a duller note, I assure you we are afflicted with a media bunch with as vivid a set of imaginations as your lot; it is not accidental that these media mavens get along famously when they meet. I am now beginning to understand why my daughter firmly rejected her five years of journalism two years ago, and turned to another profession, on the grounds of the moral bankruptcy of the electronic media, where she worked.

    Secondly, we have as many spooks as you, but for reasons not clear to me, they don’t seem to be very good, which is a matter that we can both thank ourselves for; I hope that thirty or forty years later, it turns out from documents released from secrecy that today’s spooks on your side are as ineffective as ours.

    For the rest, after getting my second wind and reading your evaluation of the situation again, I stepped out of the house and got myself some clothes pegs. It appears that the weapons of mass destruction that you foresee being used will be terribly potent, and may penetrate even Calcutta’s justly famed smog all the way from Kashmir and Delhi.

    I shall now watch avidly for more from your pen; please. Kinkminos seems to have abandoned us, perhaps because the response to his last piece was disappointingly tame.

  55. Milind Kher

    @Ali Abbas,

    I salute you for a thoroughly entertaining piece. The pathos underlying the comedy is that what you are saying is so true – some part (essentially the fanatical right wing) of the media IS really screwed up.

    Mature people will need to take the lead in seeing that transparency in journalism is promoted, and conclusions are based on facts, not theories.