For decades, rabid, right-wing media groups like JANG/GEO groups served as hand maidens for the perennial establishment in Pakistan. JANG (=literally translates to as War) runs as a corrupt Feudal estate with ownership vested in the Rahman clan.
The Jang group specialized in mud slinging against the weak; specifically against PPP and the Bhuttos. In the 2000s and the 2010s, Jang paid its corrupted mouthpieces like Najam Sethi, Hamid Mir etc lavishly while denying salary and basic benefits to the staff who did the work.
JANG was instrumental in providing unchallenged platforms to hate mongering Takfiri groups like Sipah Sahaba. Jang enjoyed Western sponsorship money for useless liberal groups like #AmanKiAsha while also providing media support to Takfiri groups that damaged relations between India and Pakistan.
In the last decade, JANG’s opportunism and corruption reached a peak. They lead the way in promoting and protecting corrupt, compromised and Pro Taliban judges like Iftikhar Chaudhry and Ramday. These corrupt judges were being presented as messiahs when in fact they derailed PPP’s legislative efforts to improve Pakistan’s crumbling judiciary.
JANG’s enduring partnership and patronage by the corrupt Nawaz Sharif dynasty damaged Pakistan. They received billions in ad revenues from PML N lead governments whose media wing they served as. While Pakistanis were enduring harsh times, the Rahman dynasty was throwing destination weddings in expensive Gulf locations with elite Bollywood guests.
This corrupt media wing lectured the average Pakistani about corruption and selectively slandered PPP while promoting terrorists, corrupt judges and PML N. At the same time, JANG was avoiding sales tax and getting exemptions and stays from a corrupted judiciary also beholden to this powerful media corporation’s support.
For the last decade, JANG and DAWN (under hacks like Zaffar Abbas) ran media campaigns against PPP. When NAB filed politically motivated charges against PPP, JANG and DAWN did not act as objective media. They acted as judge, jury and executioner and slandered PPP as guilty in cases we now know were politically motivated and largely baseless. But since PML N was behind these witch hunts, JANG and DAWN were fully on board.
These compromised media conglomerates are now getting a comeuppance from the same forces whose dirty work they did for decades.
Do they deserve our sympathy under the guise of press freedom?? PPP gave these corrupted and deceitful media groups full press freedom and how did JANG and DAWN respond?
They falsely slandered Zardari as being the protector of Rao Anwar. During the last year when Zardari was being detained by NAB without any convictions, Rao Anwar was still free.
So whose man was Rao Anwar??
This is just one of the several instances where JANG and DAWN have acted more as PML N apparatchiks than as independent media. JANG was always a slimy and corrupted organisation but DAWN’s real decline began once stalwarts like Asmi were no longer the chief editors. Since the last two chief editors at DAWN, the line between ownership and the editorial lobby has declined to the point where it does not exist anymore.
And that is bad news for journalism. When corrupt and backstabbing hacks face accountability as Mir Shakeel Ur Rahman is facing now, it is not the same as media being suppressed.
JANG has been an establishment mouthpiece for decades under the power Rahman clan now in their third generation. Their corrupt deals with PML N are not an assault on press freedom. More like Karma.
Pakistan’s media will be better off from being free of grubby and corrupt media dons.