Who Is Really Insulting Pakistan Armed Forces? CNN…or…

DG ISPR Maj Gen Asim Bajwa

During an interview with CNN, DG ISPR was asked whether Pakistan military was capable of going after every terrorist in Pakistan. The Army spokesman responded in force: “I would say this is an insult to the Pakistani people and Pakistani forces if you ask this kind of question. When I say we’re very clear and we are capable of dealing with them.” Let us take the Major General Asim Bajwa at his word. Who are we to doubt Army’s insincerity? But let us ask the question whether the insult was coming from CNN or from somewhere else

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Shooting the Messenger

We are repeatedly told that no effort is being spared in the fight against militants across all the country. What is the reality? A new report by ARY News has found a shocking lapse in the national security.

An investigative team was able to easily smuggle weapons and bomb making materials without being detected by Railways Police. When they arrived, the reporters opened the packages and revealed the materials so they could be confiscated. So what happened next?

On viewing the dangerous contents of the package, the on duty Pakistan Railways personnel arrested Asif Shehzad and took all the items in their possession. An FIR number 197/14 was registered against Asif in which he was charged with sections 13/20/65, 9A CNSA, 3/14 and 109 of PPC for possession of illegal arms, narcotics trafficking and connivance/aid in crime. Two other ARY men were also nominated in the FIR.

GM has said that it will be up to the Court the fate of the arrested journalists. If there is any justice, they will be given a medal.

Miracle or Hoax? Why not try reason…

Flying horse in Saudi Arabia

“Miracle or Hoax?” That was the headline of Dunya News that reported the viral video supposedly showing a black horse flying in circles above Jeddah. At least this reporting floated the possibility that the video is not authentic, but it is only the latest example of reporting ‘miracles’ at the expense of rational thinking.

Who can forget Agha Waqar’s ‘water kit’ from a few years ago. Media spread the report of this miraculous invention without the least amount of critical thinking, only to have it soundly disproven by actual scientists. Same is true for HAARP which was projected by media as America’s weather controlling weapon. Once again, the claim was proven to be a hoax.

Some will term such hoaxes as harmless entertainment, but actually they are very dangerous. When media projects scientifically unsound stories such as reports of flying horses and water cars, the people become conditioned to accept anything no matter how ridiculous. This conditioning bears dangerous fruit when exploited by extremists who tell people that polio vaccine is ‘dangerous to health and against Islam’.

Dunya’s report on the flying horse viral video tries to keep a balance by noting that some people do not believe the video is authentic and that ‘there is a shop in Jeddah that sells horse-shaped balloons for children’, but in the case of supposed miracles especially, is ‘balance’ really necessary? Shouldn’t the burden of proof fall on the person claiming a miracle?

Time and again we allow ourselves to be duped by hoaxes that denigrate Pakistan in the eyes of the world. Instead of spreading this kind of sensational stories, media could be promoting science and reason, explaining the health benefits of vaccines and debunking hoaxes. This would strengthen the nation by building strong critical thinking skills that would help us solve our present problems like polio epidemic and avoid future problems as well.

Media Its Own Worst Enemy

Mubashir Luqman PTI dharna

Raza Rumi’s latest piece is a must read for anyone concerned with the direction of the country, particularly those who believe that a free and independent media is a fundamental necessity. He begins with a troubling report on the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent in North America (APPNA) convention held in Washington, DC where wealthy Pakistani-American professionals and journalists trashed democracy and even recommended Pakistan to join an Islamic Caliphate (all while they live comfortably in America, no doubt). But this is an issue for another post. First let us deal with the issue of journalists trashing democracy and blurring the lines between reporting on events and influencing events.

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Azadi March: Is Media Only Capable Of Destroying?

media panic

The Nation today has called on Nawaz to address the public and correct Imran Khan’s incorrect claims regarding elections.

Nawaz Sharif must come out of the ministerial veil and tell people his side of the story. Unlike Khan, he is lucky to have facts on his side. With so much at stake here, there can be no half measures. The Prime Minister must address the public on national television. His speech must identify the massive loopholes in Imran’s narrative. People should be told that the government has no control over the functions of the Election Commission. That the Election Tribunals have already dealt with 73% of the cases lodged. That no reform or ‘change’ can be achieved through abrupt mid-term elections, especially since they will be conducted under the same system Imran claims to be crusading against. 

This recommendation has one major problem, though, which is that people are unlikely to take the Prime Minister seriously. Most likely, he will be seen as saying whatever is necessary to protect his own job. The Nation does raise an important point however which is that much of what Imran Khan is saying is factually incorrect.

My question is, if a major politician is giving incorrect statements, isn’t it the job of media to correct them?

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