We are posting this article by Azeem Daultana. PTH does not necessarily agree with the contents of this post.
Apropos “Information Minister vs journalists” by Usman Manzoor published in The News International of May 27, 2010, the reporter has desperately tried to use the space of this newspaper to establish the now controversial credentials of its Group Editor, Mr. Shaheen Sehbai. Why he felt the need to do so may actually speak volumes for the difficult situation that the journalist in question is currently facing to justify his spate of unverified, unattributed, highly biased, and explicitly venomous opinions that he has been writing in this newspaper for the last two years under various slugs to attack the Democratic Government and its elected leadership.
To begin with, the headline of this story is misleading, as it does not correspond with its contents. The use of the term ‘journalists’ in plural for one person – in this case Shaheen Sehbai – gives the impression as if the Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting is up against many journalists. If that were the case, which of course it is not, why did the reporter not quote any other journalist, or analyze their stories to justify his report’s headline? It looks as if headlines in The News are now being written before the content of a piece.
The reporter has listed a few stories by Mr. Sehbai to prove a point that the journalist in question files authentic stories, which never bounce back. But the readers of The News now know that reality is quite otherwise. They are well aware of both the subject and the use of words that the writer usually employs to express his sheer bias against one personality in the name of ‘viewpoint’, ‘news analysis’, ‘comment’, and ‘situationer’ on Pakistani politics and current state of affairs. Continue reading
PTH supports the cause of Pakistani journalists whose employers – big, powerful, political and corporate magnates – keep their critical workforce underpaid and thus open to manipulation and vulnerable to economic needs. It is time that an independent Supreme Court provides complete justice to this group. Raza Rumi
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned to
learn of a new effort by Pakistan’s newspaper owners to secure a
judicial order that declares the law on wages and working conditions
in the industry contradicts constitutional freedoms.
According to reports received from the Pakistan Federal Union of
Journalists (PFUJ), an IFJ affiliate, a bench of the High Court of
Sindh in Karachi held one hearing of the petition brought before it
by the All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS) and the Herald
Newspapers group yesterday and will resume hearings tomorrow. Continue reading
A personal favourite, Irshad Ahmad Haqqani is dead. This is a huge loss to Urdu journalism as he was the last of sane voices in the vernacular industry. I often disagreed with his centre-right views but his tone was measured and he remained a staunch supporter of democracy. May God bless his soul.
I stumbled on this post at Cafe Piyala that also talks about Haqqani but the best part of it was what Haqqani’s peers and junior collegaues had to say about him. I think some of the comments were so shameful that I could not even laugh with an easy conscience. I am quoting the last part of that post here that also is quite a treat:
Whatever they might say about him, he did invent the modern Urdu column, which is half analytical drivel, half dinner menus. Only during the last week, for example, Jang columnist Haroon-ur-Rashid (according to his column) demanded and got desi murghi from the Azad Kashmir prime minister, and Hamid Mir (according to his column) discovered new insights into judicial activism over a Kashmiri dish. I forget the name of the dish but according to Jang / Geo’s brightest star, it is made of mooli and shaljam and served with rice. The host was the Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khwaja Sharif.
Ahmad Nadeem Gehla
Over the last weeks, television screens have broadcasted the growing and angry media sentiment against government over ban on a talk show of a private TV channel by Dubai authorities. Freedom of expression denotes not only freedom of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and delivering information or ideas. Freedom of expression is closely related to the concept of freedom of conscience and freedom of thought. Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan gives powers to the state to restrict the freedom of expression in interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defense of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, or incitement to an offense.
It is the jurisdiction of the judiciary, which itself has been under strong influence of establishment to decide what restrictions may be placed on freedom of expression. Although these restrictions are not strictly enforced by the judiciary but religious conservative groups in the population enforce these restrictions at will followed by the heavy-handed tactics of the police, the army and the intelligence services to intimidate journalists perceived to cross the ‘limits’. The history and influence of religious extremists in media dates back to the process of the politicization and militarization of religious groups initiated both by national and international actors during cold war. Continue reading
Thursday, November 12, 2009 (The News)
Journalists lead dangerous lives in Pakistan. They are targeted by the terrorists whose actions they report and by politicians and bureaucrats whose failings and indiscretions they expose. All this is to be expected. What a working journalist may not expect, however, is to be stabbed in the back by one of his own, as has recently happened to Matthew Rosenberg, a journalist working for the Wall Street Journal. Mr Rosenberg has been accused in a local newspaper of having links to the CIA and Mossad and of acting in some undefined way as an agent of Blackwater. As if this were not enough to blight his life and career, he is further accused of having ‘secret’ meetings with Secretary Law and Order FATA Secretariat, Tariq Hayat Khan, and Additional Chief Secretary FATA, Habib Khan. Both are said to have ‘fed’ documents to Mr Rosenberg, thereby implicating them in his alleged espionage activities. The story is based upon information from a nameless source and has no supporting evidence. Mr Rosenberg has had to leave the country and is unlikely to be working here in the foreseeable future. Continue reading
by Shaheryar Azhar
Many journalists in Pakistan are out there saying how this war is not ours but America’s. Other journalists accuse America as a matter of course of following anti-Pakistan policies. Here are few snippets that show a house divided, rather badly.
Ahmad Quraishi in his article “Against Pakistan”, which appeared in The News on Oct 14, 2008 said that Pakistan has no interest in eliminating the Afghan Taliban. America is least concerned about protecting Pakistan’s back in Afghanistan. Why should Pakistan reciprocate? Continue reading
We are bringing for our readers a selection from the various tributes to late Khalid Hasan that we’ve received over the past two days. We were lucky to have been alive in the era of Khalid Hasan’s pen. May the torch pass on to the worthy. PakTeaHouse Continue reading