Sunday, October 10, 2010

Who's Afraid of Pervez Musharraf?

I'm no supporter of Pervez Musharraf the politician but the reaction to his announcement to formally re-enter politics is really bordering on the absurd now. Are the Jang Group and the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) really so scared of his potential impact on electoral politics that they are going out of their way to attack him? I mean, it's one thing to make fun of his idea of Facebook hordes sweeping him to victory, quite another to start frothing at the mouth and devote half a news bulletin every hour to undermine him. One would have thought that he would be considered as politically irrelevant as all ex-army chiefs before him, but the juvenile manner in which he is being targeted is probably giving him a far greater political stature than he deserves at the moment.

The prime example of this juvenility was Geo's edit of his speech in Birmingham, where two obviously unrelated strands of thought - "main...jhoot bolne se..." [ lying..] and "...main... mujhe dar nahin lagta.." [I am not one to be  afraid] - were taken out of context and presented as if Musharraf was admitting to not being afraid of lying.

Even in the edit, it's obvious that Musharraf had broken his train of thought and said something unrelated to the first part. Yet it was presented as a Freudian admission of a character flaw. It's the sort of thing video editors would have a chuckle over in their spare time, hardly the kind of thing worthy of mainstream television news. But even more incredibly, people like Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar, PML(N) Spokespersons Pervez Rashid and Ahson Iqbal kept referring to that silly edit as if it was a statement of fact in all seriousness.

When a media group refers to someone as 'Crazy', 'Hypocrite' and 'Coward' in the news headlines of its papers and further goes on to wildly exaggerate the dissent at his rally and label him 'anti-Islam'  (all in the first three days of his launching his political party), you know there's some curious agenda at play. The point is not that people - and particularly certain political victims of General Musharraf's reign - cannot have strong opinions about him and express them. The point is whether a media house and journalists have any business passing such incendiary judgements outside the opinion and editorial pages.

But today even the limits of strong political opinion have been crossed. Today we have Talal Bugti, indolent son of slain Baloch sardar Nawab Akbar Bugti, openly proclaiming Musharraf as "wajib-ul-qatl" [condemned to be killed] and offering a bounty of one billion rupees and 1000 acres of land to anyone who would behead him! News of the press conference, conducted jointly with the PML(N)'s Sardar Yaqoob Nasir, and where this offer was made, was carried without any cautionary editorial remarks by Geo. (Would Geo be so indulgent if, for example, the Taliban had called for General Kayani to be murdered? How about if someone had placed a bounty on Mir Shakil's head?)

Talal Bugti with PML(N)'s Raja Zafarul Haq in 2008: aiding and abetting?

Talal Bugti claims that Musharraf is condemned to death because a) he had subverted the constitution by overthrowing the elected government in 1999 and b) had killed his father. Of course, not for him the niceties of an actual trial in a court of law to determine guilt. Probably believing that the rest of the world operates under the same set of rules with which Bugti sardars govern their lands, he has not only found Musharraf guilty but pronounced the sentence and called upon any random person to carry it out. This is pure criminality, contempt of the law of the land and open incitement to murder.

Talal Bugti deserves to be arrested and tried himself. And those who aided and abetted the announcement of the bounty and carried the news of the incitement to murder without calling it as such, also deserve to be taken to task. Somehow I don't think either Geo or the PML(N) is going to be calling for the Supreme Court to take suo moto notice of this.


Magnum said...

No Mushy fan either, but I agree Geo's lost it completely.

Fox News now looks like a pussycat in front of Geo.

Mushy, Zardari, and before than BB ... Geo has clearly become the mouthpiece of the PML-N. And the fuckers, whome we should thank for giving us such hate spouting and venomous bastards like Shahid Masood, Amir Liaqat, Kamran Khan, Ansar Abbasi et al, keep glorifying itself as a brave, honest channel. Ha!

Anyone who has worked the Jang Group knows exactly how 'brave' it is. It is place of blackmailing, intrigue and utter corruption!

And have you noticed how this bastion of 'honesty' and 'bravery' does not speak a word against the Taliban, or for that matter, Altaf Hussain.

Something has to give. This group has to be confronted. It is the WORST thing that has happened to 'journalism' in Pakistan.

mcphisto said...

I dont expect geo and pml N to be apologetic about this at all, but i would like to see, and urge every other media house / politicians who could for once stand up against these incredulous antics!

i am not musharraf fan by any stretch of imagination, but for heaven's sake, how many people does geo have a problem with!

they talk about jamhooriyat, let a RETIRED army man enter politics in a jamhoori manner.

KKL said...

The irony of thye century: Geo aur jamhooriat. LOL!

Do you think tax cheating tyrants like MSR and his chanchas give a flying fuck about jamhooriat?

As someone rightly said to me from Geo, MSR is betting all his horses on PML-N and the CJP. For what? Well, what would an amoral, greedy media tyrant be interested in?

Power and good ol' big bucks.

md said...

I seriously beleive that Geo and Jang have single handed done more damage to Pakistan than Musharraf. From being neutral, I see myself slowly changing positions to being pro-Musharraf. Reactions from the anchor persons and politicos are absolutely absurd. Now that they have heard rebuttals in their own language they have gone nuts. GEO takes the cake in biasness. Unfortunately, the citizens are being taken for a joyride!

Anonymous said...

geo ko band karo aur hamay jeenay do :)

XYZ said...

Reposting comments on this post mistakenly posted elsewhere:

From Raza:

"When a media group refers to someone as 'Crazy', 'Hypocrite' and 'Coward' in the news headlines of its papers and further goes on to wildly exaggerate the dissent at his rally and label him 'anti-Islam' (all in the first three days of his launching his political party), you know there's some curious agenda at play."

Which is?

October 10, 2010 11:12 PM

XYZ said...

Reposting comments on this post mistakenly posted elsewhere:

From Anon:

Well I don't like the Amanda ki Asha channel but if u go back to post nov 3 2007, mushi shut them down for almost 5 months. They lost a lot of money. Don't think n e more needs to b said.

October 11, 2010 12:04 AM

XYZ said...

Reposting comments on this post mistakenly posted elsewhere:

From Anon:

5 months lost revenue should legitimise incitement for murder?
lol, come on! This is typical mir shakeel and co.

October 11, 2010 1:02 AM

Anonymous said...

Comprehension is essential Anon, u didnt comprehend my post. I said I think the reason for their severe reporting on mushi is probably bcuz he completely shut their channel down after nov 07 and they lost a great deal of revenue and actually lost money. And I did say in my post i dont like the AMAN KI ASHA channel. But equally I despise mushi, he aint coming to Pakistan, as stupid as he is, he wont dare come to Pakistan.

Alpha Za said...

GEO has either lost the plot or have gotten themselves a shit load of free advertising and garnered enough good will from Mushi's enemies to last several dozen news cycles.

I think the masses will buy it, GEO is the biggest news channel in Pakistan and like it or not, they are the most watched. It's like Fox News, it may not be news, but it's entertaining...eventually it subverts even when we know better.

I do think it's stupid on a credibility stand point. Sad thing is that odds are that other channels will follow suit.

Rafay Alam said...

Where the hell is Talal Bugti going to get 1000 acres of arable land in Baluchistan?

Anonymous said...

Mr Bugti is a politician. The 1000 acres of arable land exist only in his imagination. Our politicians have very active imagination if they say they can make Lahore into next Paris than whats to stop them from converting desert into arable land.