'CIA trying to make inroads into Pakistani media'?
1) Who leaked these pictures, and why? If the cunning plan was to subtly imply the journalists featured collaborate with the evil Americans (see heading "CIA Hosts Drinks and Dance Party for Pakistani Journalists at US Embassy Islamabad" and subheading "CIA Public Relations at Work?" for examples of aforementioned subtlety), that’s a fail.
Secret agents apparently don't need secret rendezvous any more
Nobody of reasonably sound mind would be convinced that Pinky, Tinky, Dinky, Minky etc are the spawn of Satan, lovers of Lucifer or buttmonkeys of Beelzebub after looking at a couple of relatively innocuous shots of them with an American or two at an officially sanctioned gathering. Especially when other guests include Asma Shirazi of the ARY Network who, if memory serves correctly, told Hilary Clinton during her last visit to Pakistan that America needed to bugger off home pronto, that the war on terror was not our war, and that using 9/11 as a justification for anything didn’t cut it in a nation where 9/11s happened every day.
If the point was to make the two female anchors featured prominently in most pics – Samaa TV's Meher Bokhari and DawnNews' Saima Mohsin- look stupid, that’s an even bigger fail. Anyone of reasonably sound mind who has seen their shows already knows that they are well capable of achieving that look by themselves. See the episode of Newseye in which the dominatrix of rhetorical obfuscation Ms. Shireen Mazari teaches Saima a little something about humiliation, and the interview in which PM Gillani stuns Meher into silence by asking her to identify anybody who opposes the Kerry Lugar bill (good thing he didn’t ask her to name the four provinces), for examples of why I think so.
If the point of the story, however, was to give the clearly already crazed inhabitants of the Zaid Hamid / Ahmed Quraishi blogosphere - whence these pictures originated and continue to be distributed - a little somethin’ somethin’ to look at, I completely understand. Haters have rights too. Especially Master Bators. Sorry. I meant Master Haters. (Interestingly, all the pics initially proudly bore the 'PKKH' - short for the Pakistan Ka Khuda Hafiz blog run by acolytes of the aformentioned gentlemen and quite possibly themselves - logo and stamp, which was subsequently removed on second thought!)
Saima Mohsin's Freemason handshake?
2) What are the current rules of engagement for local journalists when it comes to networking with people or entities they might not particularly wish to hang out with but have to anyway because if they don’t have access they don’t have anything? If they are uber-nationalistic, should they accept invites to receptions in honor of the ambassadors of countries they secretly wish would explode? If they are Muslim, should they attend Christmas parties at foreign missions? If they do, should they refuse to shake hands with female dignitaries if male and avoid physical contact with male dignitaries if female? Should they wash their hands (and so on and so forth) if such contact occurs? Should they walk out if alcohol is being served? Or should they make sure they drink or dance (if indeed dancing and not the incredibly convoluted Freemason handshake is what Ms. Mohsin was doing) where cameras cannot capture them like so many other ‘good Muslims’ do?
Meher Bokhari aroused great, er, ire from the commentariat...
3) Why are we so darn racist? Incredible ire was provoked in the comments on the post by the fact that two of the anchors were posing with "blacks" or "kalas", with most deciding to completely ignore the CIA/ anti-Islamic bait and advocate the shaming/ stoning/ killing of the women for their proximity to "negros." One monsieur ‘Khan’ expressed it best perhaps when he wrote of Meher Bokhari:
"…appears to be drunk and drowned in love of the blackman hugging (or attempting to do so) her in every picture. BTW she is real hotty. Why no Pakistani makes her to feel cool? Afterall what’s bad in her? But that ugly blacky, I curse her choice. May be, she know far better and far deep or have a specific taste."
...but for some reason this guy did not
That makes it twice in one day that rapidly circulating items (see Imran Khan in Ilford clip below) illustrate how deeply embedded prejudice is in our national psyche. Is it a reflection of some deep rooted insecurity on the part of our mard hazraat, or are some of us just taking ‘beware of Blackwater!’ too literally?