Media Math

Which political party is richest? That depends on which newspaper you read. Front page of The News reported ‘PML-N richest, PML-Z poorest political party‘.

The News report on political parties wealth

Same day, Daily Times reported ‘PPP richest, PML-Z poorest political party‘.

Daily Times report on political parties wealth

The error appears to belong to The News whose report says ‘Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is the richest party with assets worth Rs88.7 million, followed by the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) with assets of Rs190.17 million’. Last time I checked, 190 was still more than 88. But in Pakistani media, who knows!

Our soldiers deserve better

Recent statements of Jamaat-i-Islami amir Munawar Hassan that Pakistani soldiers are not martyrs if they die battling jihadi terrorists resulted in outrage as is expected by any sane person who recognises the sacrifice of our brave soldiers. Unfortunately, this is not the only insult that our soliders are facing such as the treatment of their sacrifice by media.

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Media Must Unite To Defend Itself From Attacks

2nd December attack on Express office Karachi

Pakistan’s media freedom is the subject of frequent conversation. Whether one is of the opinion that deregulation provided fertile ground for conspiracy theories and other sensationalism, or that a truly independent media is the only institution capable of keeping a check on vested interests – whether political, military, or judicial – most agree that free media has a positive influence on the country. For a small minority, though, free media is seen as a threat, and lately, that minority has been waging a war on media freedom.

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Freedom of expression – the voices that need to be heard are ignored and even silenced

killed for telling the truth

The following statement by Asian Human Rights Commission was released on 28th November 2013. The original is available at the AHRC website here:

With the successive governments the reality of freedom of expression grows thinner and thinner as the right guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan is further constricted. Apart from blatant interference by the government, freedom of expression is also being squeezed by non-state actors without any hindrance from the authorities.

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Media Watch: Ghulam Nabi Fai Not Acquitted

Ghulam Nabi Fai

Ghulam Nabi Fai is an American citizen of Kashmiri descent who was arrested by the FBI and pled guilty to charges of conspiracy in 2011 for secretly taking $3.5 million in ISI funding to lobby the US government on Kashmir. On Friday, Geo reported that Ghulam Nabi Fai ‘has been acquitted by a US court‘. This is incorrect: Fai was not acquitted by any court, only he was released a few months early after US government attorneys petitioned the court. The US judge agreed to release Fai early noting that “the defendant has rendered substantial assistance to the [US] government“.

“Upon consideration of the government’s motion for reduction of sentence and the court, after reviewing the record and hearing the arguments of counsel and having found that the defendant has rendered substantial assistance to the government, it is accordingly ordered that the government’s motion for reduction of sentence is granted,” District Judge Liarn O’Gra said in an order issued on Friday.


Express Tribune also reported Fai’s release and did not incorrectly report that he was ‘acquitted’. However, Express Tribune left out the important detail that Fai earned his early release by giving the US government ‘substantial assistance’.

What information Ghulam Nabi Fai gave to the US government in order to earn his early release from prison is not known.