Category Archives: Media

The mouse that roared unconvincingly

by Zia Ahmad

 

An American friend recently sent a youtube clip featuring the uberPakistani sensation with the red beret circa 2007/8 Zaid Hamid/Zaman.

The clip appears to have been made around the time of the Osama killing and offers nothing new. Its yet another final warning to India, Amreeka and the zionists. What is more noticeable about this clip is the amateur nature of the video. The often repetitious monologue does not benefit from the uneven audibility of  Mr Zaman’s voice. Keeping the same bland facial expressions his voice goes oscillates between borderline thunderous to very much a whimper.

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The Nation has always been a bit of an oddity amongst the English language newspapers in Pakistan. A sister concern of the vehemently conservative Urdu daily Nawa-e-Waqt, The Nation has inherited the responsibility to play the custodian of the Two Nation Theory for the English paper readership in Pakistan. Apparently 1971 never happened in Nawa-e-Waqt’s version of history.

In the wake of slippery circumstances for the armed forces and the premier intelligence agency that unfolded since the May 2 raid on Abbotabad and the subsequent justifiable criticism at the Khakis has propelled their uber patriotic defenders to have their say. The critics are admonished for raising fingers at the top brass. Relying conveniently on narratives that have run past their expiry dates to the point of turning into a cringe worthy cliché’, the disapproval at the recent performance (or therefore lack of) of the armed forces is largely seen as yet another attempt by the heathen western powers that be to malign our proud and glimmering reputation.

Consider this article published in The Nation recently curiously titled Dreams of Colonels’ Coup!. The following article is dreamy in a bad way alright but not the way its writer may have intended it to be. Authored by Farooq Hameed Khan, the gentleman opines, “In the aftermath of the Abbottabad and Mehran fiascos, the American and British media spearheaded a well coordinated vilification campaign against the Pak Army and ISI. A wave of articles and reports from Washington, New York and London churn out plenty of disinformation against them almost on a daily basis.”

It is tempting to imagine that a considerable number of what constitutes the writer’s ilk is frozen in a time capsule where endless reruns of Alpha Bravo Charly (A recruitment drive by ISPR guised as a popular PTV drama serial in the mid 90s) and the macho sensational espionage fiction from Tariq Ismael Saghar informs the intellect. Pakistan is the last true bastion of Islam (no less with nuclear capabilities) and that invites the perpetual scheming and wrath of amreeka, yookay, israeel, dastardly turncoat afghans and our next door favorite neighbours with a penchant for haldeeram.

Now honestly, aren’t you fed up and don’t you get supremely riled up every time some genius starts blaming the foreign hand whenever there’s a disaster small or large, manmade or natural. Yet, all the frustration and anger amounts to little when considering a significant part of our populace, held captive by state mandated Pak Studies curriculum, does buy in to this insulting mentality.

In the same article the writer adds, “The Americans seem desperate to isolate and malign the Pak Army and ISI because these institutions stand as the biggest hurdles in the CIA’s evil designs against Pakistan’s nuclear programme; resist uncontrolled America’s penetration in the nation; fight Indo-US nexus aimed to create anarchy and lawlessness on our soil, and finally because Army Chief General Kayani and DG ISI General Pasha refused to bow to US dictates and appear determined not to compromise the country’s supreme interests. So, USA’s plan to destabilise the military and weaken Pakistan, in collusion with the international media and certain quarters of the Pakistani intelligentsia media and a few politicians, has manifested on multiple fronts.”

Had the biggest hurdles to CIA’s infernal designs been not busy with the property estate business, running housing societies and bakeries, making cereals and fertilizer, our Khakis would have had surely put up a formidable front and who knows they just might have had won us a war in our checkered past. As for the DG and the Chief not bowing down to US dictates it is clear that the writer and indeed The Nation have not heard of wikileaks and even if they have, it is most likely seen as Mussad’s public relation cell.

Saving the best for the last the article says, ” Another mischievous theme relates to the possibility of lower ranking officers, and men with pro-Islamic leanings within the army /ISI, gaining access to the nuclear arsenal. In this context, Fareed Zakaria, the sworn Pakistan hater, in his recent article, The radicalisation of Pakistan’s military, in The Washington Post on June 22, 2011 grossly lies: “But the evidence is now overwhelming that it (Pak Army) has been infiltrated at all levels by ‘violent’ Islamists, including Taliban and Al-Qaeda sympathisers.”

This piece was published on the 29th of June. Two days later all the leading papers including The Nation carried this little something about the naval authorities informing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence that the PNS Mehran attackers did indeed get help from the inside. Never mind that it took the concerned authorities more than a month to get to this obvious conclusion and that a Brigadier and other officials within the army ranks had been rounded up over the last couple of weeks, it would be interesting to hear the writer’s comments which I guess is asking for too much. In all probability this turn of event will also be seen as orchestrated by the CIA.

Link to The Nation post is http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Opinions/Columns/29-Jun-2011/Dreams-of–colonels-coup

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Meher Bukhari has Salman Taseer’s blood on her hands as well

The brutal assassination Salman Taseer has opened a can of worms in an already contiminated social landscape of Pakistan which is struggling with modernity in the second decade of the 21st century. The odious adulation over the extrimist security turned homicidal goon Qadri is as disturbing as it is, the media was also not far behind in scoring senesationalist ratings on the Taseer/Asia Bibi fiasco. Below are two clips from Mehat Bukhari’s show on Samaa TV where she interviewed the late Goverener on the 25th of November 2010. Observe the rabid antics of the above mentioned TV anchor and her uber-provocative assault on Mr Taseer. This is a fine point as any for the media faces to draw a line on their point scoring, foming behaviour and a call for the said TV anchor to take a fraction for inciting hate against Salman Taseer and pandering to the radical conservatives.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STxxAIuVP00&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2fe7sCf27g&feature=related

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Filed under liberal Pakistan, Media, Pakistan, Punjab, Society

Pakistan has to make a choice

Bilal Qureshi

For my mental health, I never watch Pakistani television, be it state run or the so-called ‘private’ channels.  And if I am forced for whatever reason to put up with it for an hour or so, it is, and I am not exaggerating here, the most painful experience; an experience I find difficult to explain in language that is utterly unacceptable in any civilised society.

Personally, I am convinced that as soon as the media became independent in Pakistan, it has been a race to the bottom by these anchors and other personalities on T.V.  And except for one or perhaps two voices of reason, majority of the talk show hosts in Pakistan are narrow minded, one dimensional,  Zardari hating, Osama worshiping, illiterate gangsters who are determined to destroy logical and analytical thinking in Pakistan by constantly airing pro-Taliban and anti American views.

This madness has to stop.

Continue reading

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Impoverished Journalism and Impious Mullahs

Amaad Ahmad’s exclusive piece for PTH.

On June 16th 2010, Ulema of different religious parties appeared on the popular show Point Blank hosted by Mubashir Lucman of Express News for a discussion on the case of Ahmadis. The ‘scholarly’ panel launched unwarranted and slanderous attacks on the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian and his followers. Compromising all journalistic ethos, no hearing was given by Mr. Lucman to those being denounced as the infidels. Image the reaction if Sunni beliefs were analyzed by Shia Ayatollahs on Point Blank instead.

This was not a discussion between two points of view since no Ahmadi scholar was invited to rebut or reply to the pronouncements of the Ulema. Rather it was only an affirmation of the alleged heresy of Ahmadis. Contrast this with when the Ahmadiyya Jamaat’s spokesperson was brought on the same show only days earlier for expressing his community’s reaction to May 28th atrocity. The spokesman’s limited airtime was generously gifted by Mr. Lucman to the ideological opponents of the movement. So much for the notion of fair and balanced discussion.

Given a free run by their host, the panelists competed for uttering the uglier and professing the more profane. Telling half-truths and full lies, they distorted facts and abused history in a way only Mullahs know best. Given their background, they did not fail in portraying a false and misleading picture of the claims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The only disappointment was the unbecoming conduct of Mubashir Lucman who joined in the chorus with vulgar laughs, cheap appeasement and suggestion of the divine punishment awaiting Ahmadis. It was troubling to see the depth to which Mr. Lucman has fallen. Continue reading

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Filed under journalism, Media, Taliban

The national narrative

Salman Tarik Kureshi         Daily Times, June 12, 2010

What happened through the 1950s was the piecemeal articulation of a national narrative for the new state. Jinnah’s liberal, inclusive vision was converted into a faux Islamic exclusivism. Conformity was imposed on political pluralism and a unitary state, belying the Quaid’s crusades for provincial autonomy, was created

Pakistan, we learn, is rated among the five most unstable countries in the Global Peace Index. Scarcely surprising, given the ongoing civil war with half-savage bands of highly organised, well-financed and heavily armed insurgents, and the accompanying terrorist bombings and violent mayhem across the land. This is not to mention the internecine not-so-civil war between major state institutions, the bizarre conspiracy theories aired over the media, the bigotry trumpeted in pulpits across the land and the genocidal sectarian frenzies that are leading us ineluctably to national and civilisational suicide. The most unstable list includes Iraq, Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan, in addition to our beloved homeland. Continue reading

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Filed under Army, civil service, Colonialism, Constitution, Democracy, History, Judiciary, Media, Pakistan, state

Our Wonderful Hosts

by Amaar Ahmad
In the aftermath of the carnage in Lahore against Ahmadis, life returned to normal. Our prime minister gazed at the wonders on display at another art gallery, our law minister spoke to TV channels highlighting the great efforts of Punjab police in striking down the terror cells, our mullahs ranted fatwas against infidels and the hosts of our television shows switched to their favorite topic of the failings of the PPP government.

The scale of the tragedy in Lahore on May 28 must have been enormous. After all, how can you explain why our television anchors felt obliged to parade Allama after Allama for delivering words of condemnation that night. No sooner did the Ulema utter words of commiseration than sermons on the context and pretext of why and how a terrorist does what he does were offered. Never mind that some of the erudite scholars also consider the Ahmadis (Qadiyanis) to be ‘wajib-ul-qatal’ who deserve to be either put down or put out. The soothing words of our Ulema are indeed a nice combination of what should really be done to these infidels as well as a condolence for the infidels when it is actually done.

The TV hosts also wanted to quickly move on to discussing the hopeless inefficiency of the Punjab police in protecting the life of citizens. The anchors decided to analyze this issue ad nauseam – a valuable use of public airtime. The citizens need to be constantly reminded of the fact that they should not be expecting any protection and ought to make alternative arrangements.

Our anchors also bring people on their shows who analyze social evils through slogans. One such slogan is ‘terrorists have no religion’. That members of religious groups are committing these acts of violence should not be a concern. That with  indoctrination so many of our madressas are mass producing murderers is not worrisome. That pamphlets are being distributed which declare open season on the life and property of Kafirs (read Ahmadis, Shias and Christians) should not disturb our sleep. That banners are openly displayed even now advertising the famous convert-or-be-killed option for Ahmadis should not make us anxious either. After all, terrorists have no religion.//

Our anchors love humanity. Oppression of fellow Muslims disturbs them even if the event happens on Pluto. When Israelis hunt down humanitarian workers on the flotilla, our hosts lose their peace of mind and grant their entire airtime to the atrocity. These troubling events also agitate our religious parties so much that they start running amok on the streets and screaming cries of anguish. Surely, our national generosity demands that Pakistan’s problems should wait.

This brings us back to the carnage in Lahore. When our TV hosts devote their valuable time to discuss the troubles of our country, they must never commit one folly. They must never allow the Ahmadis on their show. Otherwise the world would know a dirty little secret kept hidden from public since 1974. Pakistani public must never discover about the deliberate police inaction at the killings of Ahmadis in broad daylight, the government prohibition on their public gatherings, the regular imprisonment for their crimes such as declaring the Muslim Kalima, for saying the Azaan and for the cardinal sin of considering themselves Muslims.

Anchors of Pakistan! You must never let the Ahmadi explain his position on your show even if a hundred members of his community are murdered during the act of worship before Allah. Put Ulema of all breeds on your shows instead.

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