I try my best not to read The News, as it is an anti government, pro-PML-N, pro-military and pro-CJ newspaper. Whenever I do, there is one reason or the other to write something about it. In The News, of 31st January, 2012, an advertisement in the form of an APPEAL addressed to “Before the Honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry” appears on the front page. The advertisement is not attributed to anyone meaning it’s an anonymously published piece. The end of the advertisement says “Sir who can we turn to if not you?”. Here’s how the ad looks like:
I have checked Jang Karachi and Dawn just to see if this has been published elsewhere today or not. As expected, it has not been published in the two most established newspapers of our country. This itself is an indication that this is yet another attempt to provide CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry with a next frontier to harass the government. In various other judgments/orders, The News’ stories have been cited as basis for investigation and action. The 1st December judgment on the now almost dead “Memogate” cited The News’ reports.
So can we expect this advertisement to be used as a basis to talk about “krupshion” and “bad governance” in the country? Expect fireworks with a Suo Moto notice being taken in the next few days. The pattern is similar, as soon as the government gets respite from one front, open another.
One must also ask The News if the code of conduct allows them to publish such advertisements without naming sponsor? As far as one knows, even for publication of an obituary notice, which costs around Rs. 3000-4000, they require CNIC copies and want to see the original CNIC before it could be approved for publication. Such an advertisement on the front page can easily cost Rs. 70000-100,000 to the advertiser.
The appeal’s premises are on innuendo as well as un-provable points like “State Bank printing of Rs. 200 crores of notes causing hyper inflation”. Do they even know what hyper inflation is? Another point is “Unemployment is at records”. What records they are talking about, are not proven by facts.
It seems that the advertisement has been published at the behest of those who didn’t win the tender of the projects that the appeal mentions. It is also possible that those who may not have received the kickbacks (if any) at the FBR may have prompted such an appeal.
The funniest aspect remains “Sir who can we turn to if not you?”. Are we now looking for sweeping statements and marching orders being given by the apex judge? Expect a lot more in the upcoming days. I also hope to see a program by Kamran Khan with Ansar Abbasi as a guest in a day or so on the topic.