2. To portray Taliban as a true representative of Islam;
“I, Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, do hereby tender an unconditional apology to the hon’ble court in relation to the contents of the story that appeared in daily The News/daily Jang on June 11, 2007.
“I have been directed by the hon’ble court to submit any proof in relations to the contents of the said items. I would humbly submit that I have no proof whatsoever in relation to the matter discussed in the said story.
“I keep this hon’ble court in the highest esteem and respect. I can never ever think of bringing about a bad name to the hon’ble court or to any learned judge of the hon’able court. I would submit that I can never think of committing contempt of this hon’ble court.
“I undertake to be careful in future and am ashamed for the publication of the story. I would humbly seek pardon in relation to the grievous lapse. “I pray to the hon’ble court that no further action may kindly be proceeded in relation to the matter. I would entreat that my unconditional apology may graciously be accepted.”
Letters to the Editor: Is talking to militants an option?
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
I write this in reference to “We must go for talks, not war” (Nov 2) by Ansar Abbasi. It is really easy to call for holding talks with militants while sitting in Islamabad. At a time when our brave jawans and officers of the Pakistan army are fighting a full-scale battle in the tribal areas against all odds, we should stand united beside them as a nation. Mr Abbasi should visit Peshawar at least which is apparently under siege for the last one month, especially after the recent bombing in the Meena Bazaar where the majority of the victims were innocent women and children, to know how barbarous these militants are. It is time every Pakistani stood with the army and fought against militancy.
I think the suggestion of having talks with people like Hakimullah, Baitullah, Fazlullah or Muslim Khan is a total non-option, for our gallant sons have laid down their lives fighting against the same miscreants. I have no doubt in my mind that war and only war against these beasts is the final option now.
This is with reference to the news analysis “We must go for talks, not war” by Ansar Abbasi (Nov 2). I would like to ask the learned writer as to what we can offer these terrorists, whom he is calling Pakistani, and what we can demand in return?
This is in connection with the news analyses by Mohammad Malick and Ansar Abbasi published in your newspaper on Nov 2. I believe that in the ongoing war against terrorism we the people of Pakistan must stand by our army. The rhetoric that this is not our war must be ended. Initially it might not have been our war but now it has become our war.
The people of Swat, Mingora, Bajaur, Waziristan and adjacent areas are going through the worst times of their life. Their innocent children and women are dying everyday. If any madressahs have become sanctuaries for terrorists then they must be eliminated.
Nabeel Anwar Dhakku
This is with reference to Ansar Abbasi’s news analysis “We must go for talks, not war” (Nov 2). The Pakistan army first had to fight against miscreants in Swat and Malakand and now it is busy fighting foreign Uzbek terrorists and their local aides hiding in South Waziristan. It is crystal-clear that Pakistanis do not have any option other than to fight the terrorists. It means our soldiers have to sacrifice their lives – and we should stand by them. After witnessing numerous suicide attacks and subversive activities, it’s amazing that Mr Abbasi still feels that terrorists should be negotiated with. The matter is not that simple as he is portraying. These terrorists are playing in the hands of foreign elements and they consider us Pakistanis and the Pakistan army as their enemy.
On the contrary, I found the comments by Muhammad Malik (Nov 2) quite reasonable as he suggested that the only way to curb terrorism is to eliminate the militants from our country. Instead of doubting the will of the army, the political leadership, parliament and the media should come forward and join hands with the armed forces to get the motherland out of this menace.
Saima Iqbal Hasan
War or talks?
Thursday, November 05, 2009
This refers to the write-ups of Mohammad Malick and Ansaar Abbasi published in your newspaper on Nov 2. The debate initiated by your newspaper is worthwhile, especially from the point of view of the ordinary people. As asserted rightly by Mr Malick, Pakistan is at war, a war of its very survival. Anyone denying this fact is suffering from self-deception and, in my view, is a ‘closet Taliban’. Whatever the history, reasons and background of this conflict are, it is now our war against the enemies of the country. The terrorists are not only targeting government offices and armed forces establishments, but also they are murdering innocent civilians. We, as a nation, need to rise up to this challenge and face the terrorists with all our might, resolute determination and resources to save the country from this impending catastrophe.
While the write-up by Mr Malick was rational, objective and logical, unfortunately Mr Abbasi’s was full of US bashing. For no less than 12 times, Mr Abbasi criticised Washington in his relatively small piece. Mr Abbasi branded Pervez Musharraf as ‘Washington’s poodle’, which he probably was, however, one wonders as to in whose lap Mr Abbasi is being cuddled now? While condemning the US for drone attacks and the killing of citizens of Pakistan, why did Mr Abbasi conveniently ignore the daily murderous attacks, suicide bombings and decapitations of innocent civilians by the insane Taliban terrorists?
M S Hasan
In my view, the question posed by Ansar Abbasi (Nov 2) is closed-ended in its nature and therefore may not provide the respondents with a chance to come up with any creative and novel solution to this highly complex problem. A simple yes or no does not seem to be the right answer. We have to be clear about the objectives to be achieved through this war. Obviously the armed forces cannot stay in South Waziristan for an indefinite period. The top most priority should be to ensure that the area is cleansed from the extremists and the writ of the government is established.
However, it is a fact that the miscreants and terrorists can never be wiped out once and for all. The history of the area bears testimony to the fact that they will re-group and re-emerge in future as well, even if they are defeated by the armed forces for now. The feasible strategy in these circumstances appears to be that after acquiring the control of the area, the government should negotiate with the political and religious leaders to ensure that no activities relating to terrorism are tolerated in exchange of peace, justice and economic development of the area.
The militia, the police and the Frontier Constabulary should be strengthened and trained to deal with the extremists when the armed forces have completed their mission. An agreement on terms acceptable to both the parties is difficult to achieve, but perhaps this is the only solution.
Dr Najeeb A Khan
Lagay Raho, Media Bhai
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
By By Sadiq Saleem
On Monday, November 2, thirty-five innocent Pakistanis lost their lives to a terrorist attack. These were ordinary people, standing in line at a bank to receive their monthly salary. They must have gone there with plans of spending that money on their parents, wives, children, brothers and sisters. But for the Pakistani media, especially the TV anchors who have now become the arbiters of what is important and what is not, the death of these poor people was not important. With their usual cast of characters from —Jamaat-e-Islami to Imran Khan to the two Muslim Leagues— the electronic media that day was exclusively focused on the so-called NRO issue.
For years at least some of our anchors have claimed that the Mehsud militants are backed by foreign enemies of Pakistan. But neither the war in Waziristan nor the terrorist attacks in Rawalpindi have received the kind of attention that befits them. For the overzealous TV anchors, the real issue is how to embarrass President Zardari. Some of them claim they have the establishments backing in doing so.
Those striving for a Constitutional knockout of President Zardari need to reconsider whether they will accomplish anything even if they succeed.
The media, especially its electronic manifestation, seems like a bunch of quacks (fake doctors) that keep generating campaign after campaign against someone they dislike (President Zardari). It is time the people fight back and say let there be some sanity in the country. Let priorities be priorities.
Like the title of the Hindi movie Lagay Raho Munna Bhai, we need to learn to ignore the TV anchors and say Lagay Raho media Bhai and pay attention to the lives of people instead of the artificial politics of talk shows. If the talk show crowd has evidence of corruption, let them take it to the independent judiciary, which they claim they got restored. If there is an issue that requires Parliamentary attention, let Parliament vote on it. It is time for real action, not media campaigns.
For twenty-four hours after a tragedy like the Rawalpindi terrorist attack, the nation should be allowed to grieve and sympathize with the victims. The media and the establishment some anchors so frequently quote should give the people a break.
The electronic media’s coverage of terrorist attacks has often left much to be desired. The not-so-thin line between reporting the news and wallowing in sensationalism has been crossed repeatedly, and the distinction between fact and speculation lost in situations that call for composure and clarity.
Some anchors and reporters caught up in such settings are known to have become hysterical, throwing perspective to the wind. During the first attack on the Manawan police training centre, for instance, the casualty figure was initially inflated ten-fold before someone somewhere acknowledged that it was too early to tell what was happening on the ground. Imagine the impact such ‘reporting’ might have had on family members whose relatives were trapped in the training centre at the time. Consider the wider panic whipped up by the media, wholly unnecessarily, in these days of unprecedented fear and loathing.
At least one gas-cylinder blast has been reported as a bomb explosion. Clearly, facts were not checked before being presented as news. Not too long ago, the movement of rescue commandos was splashed across television screens, potentially leaking vital information to the hostage-takers via their associates on the outside. Anyone with access to a television set — and that includes children — has been bombarded with gruesome, gory images of both the victims and perpetrators of terrorism. That wasn’t diligent journalism, and added nothing to the viewers’ understanding of the news. What it did was further terrify an already brutalised nation. Conversely, it may have also desensitised people who may come to conflate tragedy with routine. It happens all the time in Pakistan, what else is new. How many dead, what was the ‘score’ this time? No child or young adult should grow up thinking that way.
Shahid Masood is the biggest liar…. an opportunist… who sold his soul to the devil whom he now is trying to criticise….. listen to his interview in Jawabdeh… this liar is totally exposed by Iftikhar…
Aamir Mughal said: Irfan Siddiqui was once a regular contributor for Weekly Takbeer [Allegedly an Islamic Weekly whose Founder Editor Syed Salahuddin [favourite of Shaheen Sehbai] was murdered in 90s. Details: Ethnic Hatred – Mawdudi, Jamat-e-Islami & Islami Jamiat Talaba
Irfan Siddiqui used to be PRO in President House of Pakistan, and I wonder did he serve Tummandar Farooq Laghari.
In the words of Sadiq Saleem: Watching American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton interact with university students in Lahore was a sad spectacle. Sadder still was to see our most influential TV anchors and columnists betray their limited knowledge of facts while trying to impress their audience with their solid nationalist credentials…The most glaring error of fact by a Pakistani came during Ms Clinton’s interview with Pakistani TV anchors. One gentleman (Talat Hussain) tried to make the point that the US does not provide enough assistance to Pakistan and that Pakistan’s leaders sell the country cheap. He said that the US paid Kyrgyzstan $700 million in rent for just one airbase. Hillary tried to correct him and said the actual amount of rent was around $50 million. Our anchor-columnist was unfazed and insisted that must be the figure per month. But anyone with access to the internet can find out that as of June this year the US pays Kyrgyzstan $60 million per year as rent for the Manas air force base. Until June the rent was only $17 million.
Hillary was closer to the facts while the anchor-columnist was off by at least $640 million. His hostility towards the US, not facts, defined his question and none of his anchor colleagues were better acquainted with facts to help correct him.
Dr Shahid Masood of GEO fame – was appointed as the PTV chairman, through the Establishment Division letter No 1/64/2008-E-6, dated May 31 2008.He was given the additional charge of the MD through the letter No 1/64/2008-E-6, dated June 21 2008. Here is his pay package.
After his appointment as MD PTV, Dr. Shahid Masood has been seen appeasing President Musharraf and endorsing the President’s views. See the video here.
It is the same President Musharraf who was termed as an unpopular Shah of Pakistan, by Dr. Shahid Masood in one of his degrading programs of ‘Meray Mutabik’ where he painted a picture of similarity between Shah Iran and President Musharraf – predicting that soon President Musharraf will have no place to hide. Does Shahid Masood have any shame left? Does he have the moral courage to face the public and offer apology over his twisting programs and exploiting the nation’s emotions?
Does anyone remember Dr Shahid Masood’s encounter with Iftikhar Ahmed in Jawabdeh and further post-mortem by Kamran Khan the next evening? It is a must watch.
Najam Sethi rightly points out in his editorial in the Friday Times:
1- The Pakistani “free media”, with its religious-nationalist mindset, is singularly responsible for misleading the people and creating a huge wave of sympathy for the Taliban and hostility for the government and army that want to fight them.
2- This “free media” created a wave of sympathy and support for the Lal Masjid terrorists (portrayed as some sort of medieval heroes for defying America and the army) in the heart of Islamabad and put the army and government on the back foot.
3- This media also made this war America’s war exclusively by propagating the false notion that if America were to walk away from this region the Taliban and Al-Qaeda would melt away into thin air and all would be peaceful again.
4- Ultimately, this “free media” drummed up support for all the dangerous peace deals between the Taliban and the army or government, especially the last one in Swat on February 28, and enabled the Taliban to exploit the political space and public support to seize large areas of the Frontier.
God help Pakistan – if these blackmailers and Taliban mind-set journalists are what we earned by ‘Freedom of Media’ !