Original Articles

Fragile democracy and 64-channels media cottage industry – by Chaudhry Ahmed Khan

President Zardari(Dawn)

I recently came across a comment by the President and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, which really struck me for its succinct and bold portrayal of the Pakistani media. The President was countering one of the many false impressions created by a media industry that has clearly lost any semblance of objectivity. He said, “This impression is again created by the 64-channel strong cottage industry surviving on one young democracy.”(Source)

In its efforts to please the establishment, the media has clearly gone overboard in defending terrorists and a Judiciary that has lost all respect for the Constitution of Pakistan. Pro Establishment channels like GEO, AAJ and ARY have several Islamist extremist anchors who are hell bent in egging on the Judiciary to dismiss an elected Government. Some of these anchors like creepy and wild-eyed Javed Chaudhary even write for Jihadi rags under pseudonyms like Yasir Ahmed Khan.

Lately, their slander against the elected PPP-lead government has reached new levels and after being continually exposed for their lies, the Pakistani media is like the boy who cried wolf – utterly devoid of any credibility!

The media recently highlighted a billion rupee monument that wasn’t and a murder plot against the Facebook-banning, anti-Hindu Jamaati bigot who is also the Lahore High Court Chief Justice that could not even garner the signature of the security staff who allegedly authored it.

It railed on and on about how the Pakistan embassy in New York bungled an hour slot provided by NASDAQ only to be exposed once again on coming up with a totally bogus claim. All the while, our media, continues to froth at the mouth against democracy, secularism, progressiveness and an alternative pluralistic narrative and has made no secret of its malafide intent against the PPP and President Zardari.

The sole purpose of the media “cottage industry” is to supply the “opiate” that can be utilized by the non-elected bureaucrats, the business tycoons and an elitist professional class that feels that the only Pakistan that is worth having is one where the oppressed masses can go to hell and they can continue within their elitist bubble while those outside remain in misery!

The media and journalist community of Pakistan consists largely of sellouts who spewed poison against Bhutto when he was alive. The continued this tradition with Benazir and after shedding a few crocodile tears for her, they have resumed with President Zardari.

The annals of history will always associate this “cottage industry” with infamy and cowardice; the more they lied, the more they exposed the deep jealousy that that their class and benefactors have for the ZAB, BB and their legacy.

As we remember Benazir, I could not help but recall the lyrics to “Pride”; that wonderful song by U2.
“Free at last, they took your life, They could not take your pride”

President Asif Ali Zardari Interview Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 .

About the author

Ali Arqam

20 Comments

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  • anchors like creepy and wild-eyed Javed Chaudhary even write for Jihadi rags under pseudonyms like Yasir Ahmed Khan.
    =========
    He is not “Jihadi” but a showpiece owned by Former Senator Sultan Ali Lakhani [Owner of Lakson Group and Express News] and Lakhani is also very chummy with Senior Zardari and Pir Pagara as well, more in this:) Real & Ugly Face of Express News Group & GEO/Jang. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2010/10/real-ugly-face-of-express-news-group.html

  • Very well written, Chaudhry Ahmed Khan.

    “The media and journalist community of Pakistan consists largely of sellouts who spewed poison against Bhutto when he was alive. The continued this tradition with Benazir and after shedding a few crocodile tears for her, they have resumed with President Zardari.”

    May I also add that these sell-outs also include the majority (yes majority) of greedy, short-sighted urban class, educated people who want to rule the very people they despise and ridicule to their core.

  • Javed Chaudhry was “lecturing” on The Rise and Fall of Islam whereas Express News is full of Hot shot jet set Female Producers [Foreign Educated] roaming around in Smoking Hot Clothes and the rest I am censoring.

  • Let us build Pakistan.?
    I thought this was what this place was about..but ofcourse not..ofcourse not..here we sit and heap adulations upon political leaders and pour insults on all others who dare to opine differently..seriously though, i do not have anything against Asif ali zardari..infact, i’m all for political stability in this country..but when grown men sit and spend considerable amounts of time trying to smear every single libel in sight, normal people like us find something amiss.. agreed that Geo is practically whoring itself out..but what are you people up to?..throughout history, leaders, great or not, have had slander thrown in their faces…i even agree that ofcourse, the followers of those leader have all the right to defend them.. but why go down just as low as your smart mouthed best friends?…ofcourse..my comment would not even get past the moderator..shows the balls you people have..but why?..why this self absorption and fight over how the media is destroying everything?
    i see names here..people who can do something..actually do something for those of us who do not have the connections to be of much significance..why the single minded obsession about clearing clearing clearing zardari?…

  • @Javeriah, We can understand and appreciate your point of view. Ideally we should not be focused on clearing one person’s name. The way that person, who is not just the head of PPP but the Head of Pakistan is targeted, maligned, humiliated, do you ever hear him coming out with a venomous reply? he remains calm and cool! As far as we are concerned, we are ideologically inclined towards the PPP. When they target the person of ZAB, then BB and now Zardari, they dont target the person only. They target the party. We are here to present the alternative and hopefully factual information for readers. As far as media is concerned, tell me are you happy with what they are doing? I for one am suffering work and business wise because of all the speculation and their frenzy!

    @Chaudhry Sahab, excellent writing! Good to have you back

  • @Javeriah
    Thanks for your comprehensive comments,
    First, you have asked about ‘Let Us Build Pakistan’. We are here to defend all the political forces, who are striving to make Pakistan a secular, progressive and pluralist country and all this will come through strengtheing democracy and democratic traditions. We have not disguised ourselves or claimed to be impartial, we are opinionated and its clear from the very name and URL. 2 nd, You have told that Media is whoring itself, then why objecting us, if we point out to this bias and subjectiveness. Third, Defending Zardari, when the whole cottage industry, the Lahore centred SMS compaign is  trying to attack and insult him, why not he should be defended?

  • @Javeriah, the media does not have the interests of the Pakistani people at heart; their job is not to inform but to misinform and work for the dark forces of the establishment. Civil society may have abdicated its civic responsibility but I will do whatever little I can to stand up to the propaganda spread by our media. It is sad to see our youth so misinformed and prejudiced in their way of thinking.

  • @ Ch. Ahmed Khan, if you read through my comment, you would notice that i am not exactly a fan of the direction our media has taken up and the evident enjoyment it seems to be getting out of making a spectacle out of the fledgling state of our democracy..
    let me tell you a story..a week or so ago, i grabbed the Daily Jang from my doorstep while on my way to the university, so i could read it during breaks between classes..glancing at the front page, my attention was caught by a notice of sorts. it started out with informing the public that it was the basic right of all to have open and equal access to information and god knows what else..i forget the exact words but im sure you get the gist of what im saying..it turned out, that this self-important piece of crap was an “advertisement” by Geo, asking the public to call a number if they found that their cable operator had put Geo among the last few channels on the list.
    I was utterly AMAZED ..not to say disgusted, at this act of self-centeredness. there are so many issues, so many struggles that the “real” people go through, and these bunch of rich entrepreneurs sit behind closed glass doors and rant. just the fact that something so stupid and childish could be presented on the front page of one of our most popular dailies has opened my eyes to the role that this so called “evangelist of the freedom of expression” has taken in trying to shake up democracy in this country.
    and as for your opinion sir, about how the youth is misinformed and prejudiced…well, you seem to have very little faith in us…goes to show that you really do not understand the concept of mortality…WE will be here long after some of you have become indisposed and not exactly all of us are as stupid as you think..in my opinion, what i learn through research and my own ability to understand will be what i stand most firmly by…
    Most importantly, if you claim that your sole purpose in all of this is trying to clear up the propaganda that media has created, your most probable and strongest allies would be the youth..people who can think and see whats right and wrong without you having to preach to them…and if you think that we are so beyond the reach of redress, who are you preaching to?

  • @aliarqam, you wanted to know the reason why i think all of you should not sit here and defend zardari and PPP.. well the reason for that is simple enough..If you put up a well-written and concrete piece of argument every once in a while, defending the policies and practices of your government, a lot of people like me will take you much more seriously..mentioning “people like me”, I mean to point out the relitively unbiased memebers of the youth who want to see some form of progressive politics being practiced in this country..but from what i see here, i am forced to point out that you are no different from the media… putting up article after article, besmirching the names of prominent TV personalities, doing exactly as they do, creating pointless propaganda that the poor people of this country can do without..it is not the act, but the principle behind the act which worries me…
    I stumbled across your page yesterday, and I believe that you could actually do something good here. I know that my suggeston or point of view will have very little impact as there are a large number of PPP jeeyalay here and only poor little me to defend my opinion. I came to the conclusion that Geo is spewing forth utter garbage, not due to any one else’s preaching..but because my OBSERVATION pointed it out to me..similarly, anyone like me- and rest assured there are a large number of people like me who feel the anxiety of being inable to do anything- will also feel that you are no different from the media by observing your actions..
    i would think of your agenda in much more serious terms if i see some sort of magnanimity in your actions..and only through focusing on the POSITIVE will you be able to make your actions magnanimous and increase your popularity with the masses.. sitting here and throwing Geo’s cheap shots back at them will not help your cause.

  • @Javeriah
    Am pleased to have a meaningful discussion here with you, Ch. Ahmed Khan sb and other friends.
    We already know our limitations as here in Pakistan, a very few people have access to the web thus restricting the impact we have as a whole. LUBP is political blog and a simple study to a political blog can help you understand the role LUBP is playing.
    A parallel and comparative study with other blogs and news sites in Pakistan can also help you know what is meant by a politically opinionated blog with clearly showing its inclination.
    A quickview of LUBp archives will also help you know the scope of LUBP. The current row of articles against GEO and its cronies is just because of their extreme prpaganda tactics, and this BIAS is mentioned in various posts not only at PPP but other blogs like Cafe Pyala, Pakteahouse and Pakistan Media Watch. Though most of them have nothing to do with the ruling PPP.

    And if you want to compare the level of debate other blogs, like PKpolitics(a PML-N mouthpiece), Teethmaestro(PTI mouthpiece) and some others, you will never find any piece opposing their respective political parties. LUBP is critical even to its own party also.

  • WELL, IT IS TRUE THAT MEDIA IS MAKING TARGET AT ASIF ALI ZARDARI,AND IT IS THE WISH OF THIS MEDIA TO FINISH THIS GOVERNMENT BY THE COURT ORDER ; BUT QUESTION IS THIS IF PPP GOVERNMENT WILL BE DISMISSED BY THE SO CALLED SUPREME COURT, HOW PPP WORKERS WILL REACT. DO THE PPP HAS A COURAGE TO BRING MILLLION OF PEOPLE ON THE ROADS JUST FOR 3 DAYS, THE NO ONE WILL HAVE A COURAGE TO TOPPLE PPP GOVERNMENT IN THE FUTURE, OTHERWISE IT WILL HAPPEN AGINST PPP AGAIN AND AGAIN.

  • LOL @ “creepy and wild-eyed Javed Chaudhary

    I’ld like to know what the source is on him writing as Yasir Ahmed Khan.

  • @TLF
    It is a well known fact in Karachi Jihadi circles, he started writing for ” Zarb-E-Momin” with this pseudonym. It was mostly about the conspiracies of the west, America, Hindu and Jews, A book of his articles also was published and was popular among the religious circles….

  • These thugs in the guise of journalists are fed by Establishment. So, do not tell me that they are pleasing Establishment. They are on the payrolls of Establishment.
    Why, we do not speak the truth?

  • There is a strong need to develop standard operating procedures for the media personnel in Pakistan, but of course with their consultation. Regulations that favor democracy will be suitable for all the stakeholders in this country of ours.

  • @Javeriah

    Your attempts to portray yourself “poor little me” vs. “large number of PPP jeeyalay” is rather comical considering that the LUBP is a free forum and all your comments have been posted. Maybe you look at things differently but for many of us, the existential issues faced by Pakistan are far more important than trying to come across as another aunty-uncle, “civil society” type blog that expresses impotent rage at a selective group of elected representatives but lack both the moral courage and the integrity to ever hold into account the various bureaucrats, judges, generals and fascists that have done so much damage to Pakistan.

    As for holding the media to account, this is an essential function of a progressive and democratic society that aspires for a secular and moderate polity for the future of Pakistan. This is done in the US (Jon Stewart, Politico, HuffPost, Colbert Report), UK, Canada and pretty much all modern and prosperous nations. It is a matter of pride that the LUBP says it as it is and along with Pakistan Media Watch and Café Piyala, is not afraid to call out the Jihadi Islamist fanatical hypocrities who incite violence and murder against Pakistan’s ethnic, sectarian and religious minorities. It is also sad that this list is not a long one and the rest of the Pakistani blogsphere consists of hacks and opportunists who hide their pro-establishment and pro Taliban views behind a false veneer of neutrality when their writings and associations are anything but objective.

    Javeriah, if you really want to do something constructive why don’t you write about the politization of the Judiciary. Why don’t you write about how the entire premise of “good governance” is entirely flawed given that non-elected institutions hold all the power in this country. Why don’t you write about how the media fabricates stories to exclusively attack the PPP while providing a clear berth to MQM, the army and the judges!