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Pakistani TV: Then and Now



Dear friends,

We have dozens of private TV channels in Pakistan producing political talk shows and entertainment programs. For comparison purposes I would like to share with you clips from a television show that I used to host from Peshawar between 1994 and1996.

Awami Jirga was a Pashto language investigative journalism program where we tried to expose corruption and unfairness. Different government ministers, even the chief minister would participate in the program and would face the heat from the public. Our program would go on air unedited and uncensored. The above attached clips are about a show where a former PPP provincial minister Syed Qamar Abbas and I along with a team of journalist made a surprise visit to a police post at Attock on the border of the Khyber PukhtunKhawa and Punjab provinces. We had caught the Punjab Police red-handed while they used fake police men to collect bribes from passengers. The notorious check post was abolished after our program. Credit should be given to PTV and the then PPP government which allowed us to produce and present such a program in the larger public interest. Qamar Abbas was killed in a terrorist attack in 2007.

Best Regards

Shiraz Paracha

About the author

Shiraz Paracha

Mr. Paracha has worked as a journalist, with newspapers, television, radio and online companies in Britain, Central Asia and Pakistan. Between 1995 and1996, hosted and presented very popular television programs (Awami Forum and Awami Jirga) in Pakistan. His former employers include the BBC and Press TV among other notable names. Mr. Paracha is also a journalism professor and has taught journalism and communication courses at international universities outside Pakistan.

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