Tag Archives: press

Death of Collective Wisdom

Another exclusive post from Ahmad Nadeem for PTH – comments are welcome (Raza Rumi)

“Is there a competition going on in Pakistan between institution to earn shame and notoriety for their nation?” my colleague asked me casually while we were having some drinks and watching a news television. “We are on that path for last 40years”, I answered stubbornly. Can there anything such shameful to force you behave that stubborn over your national pride? There is, hold your breath, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, the top body of media and custodian of ‘freedom of speech and civil liberties’, in a press release issued by its Secretary General, Mr Shamsul Islam Naz, has “officially’ appreciated the blocking of the Facebook Website.

This was followed by the Lahore High Court orders of a blanket ban on entire social media website depriving 2.5 million Pakistani’s an access to major internet services.  Just because there was ‘one page’ out of millions, set by a silly American kid to make cartoons of  Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The same could have been blocked instead, but things work differently in Pakistan. A decision has to be popular rather than sane, the illiterate bearded men on streets with sticks and guns ought to be satisfied. Continue reading


Filed under Judiciary, Justice, Media, Pakistan

Farewell Haqqani Saheb – forgive your peers and colleagues

Raza Rumi

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.


Filed under journalism, Media, Urdu

Arundhati Roy at Karachi Press Club

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Filed under Pakistan

Pakistan’s media opinion – the column industry

Raza Rumi

On the flourishing ‘column’ industry despite the slow growth of readership’

What is so peculiar about the Pakistani media opinion factories churning out problems and solutions products day after day? Frankly, they are self perpetuating oligarchies and boring at best. The slightly discerning mortals who browse the daily newspapers in English and vernacular languages or bother to engage with the electronic media discussions are struck by certain repetitive trends. Let me map them out before rambling any further. On a note of caution, there is no intention of making generalisations here. Exceptions, they say, prove the rule!

The curse of self-importance

Nowhere else would you find brazen references to the importance of a writers’ opinion particularly among the Urdu language newspaper columnists. Despite the slow growth of readership, the ‘kalam-navees’ industry is flourishing. A few years ago, a new Urdu newspaper with a hefty advertising budget, ensured that a few big names in the column industry were under its wings. Continue reading


Filed under Activism, journalism, Languages, Media, Pakistan, Society