Thursday, March 17, 2011

The War Within Geo

If you thought Pakistani society was polarized, take a look at the open warfare going on under the same media house roof.

The issue being discussed was, of course, the sudden release of the man known as Raymond Davis from jail after the payment of diyat or 'blood money' to the relatives of the deceased. What better time than that, thought Geo's analysts with wildly divergent points of view, to attack each other in the most personalized manner possible?

First up, Geo's Capital Talk programme, where host Hamid Mir assembled a long list of panelists and commentators he knew (or hoped) would raise a hue and cry about the release, among them the odious Irfan Siddiqui, the slippery Mohammad Mallick, the dissenting lawyer for the victims' families and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. But star attraction was of course the once journalist-now-self-righteous turd known as Ansar Abbasi. Abbasi had made his contempt for the result of the case known earlier during Geo's news bulletins but had basically tied himself up in knots over the fact that 'Davis'' release had come about through the application of the Islamic Qissas and Diyat Laws - which have been often criticised for allowing the rich to get away with murder - laws that Abbasi can't bring himself to critique. That and the fact that ostensibly all of his former idols and regular sources, the ISI, the Sharif brothers and the judiciary were complicit in allowing 'Davis' to get away, seemed to have truly left him bewildered, though unfortunately not at a loss for words.

In today's programme, which went on air at 8pm PST, Abbasi made a number of remarkable claims, such as his opinion (presented as the gospel truth) that the case was one of 'fisaad fil arz' [spreading division in the land] rather than a double murder and therefore making diyat inapplicable. He further added that all terrorism should now solely be blamed on the military establishment, the federal government of the PPP and the Punjab government of the PMLN for letting 'Davis' go. Not for nothing is Abbasi known as an apologist for the religious extremists who might actually be carrying out the acts of terror.

But Abbasi decided this was also the time to vent his considerable frustration at fellow Geo analysts who had presented an analysis entirely opposite to his. So, without naming names but making it abundantly clear who he meant, he called Najam Sethi (who had also presented his analysis on earlier Geo bulletins) "an American agent." As proof he cited Sethi claiming to know what discussions were being held between the Pakistan government and the Americans. You can see what he said in the following clip, between 10:00 and 10:35...




It has to be mentioned that Hamid Mir had, in fact, begun his programme with a soliloquy also directed very much at Najam Sethi, criticising those who were gloating over their predictions having come true and blaming the media for misleading the public while supposedly not mentioning how the Americans had been proved wrong.

All it took was another two hours for the reply, in Aapas Ki Baat, Geo's 11pm PST programme featuring Najam Sethi. The opening intro by host Munib Farooq immediately set the tone for the programme as seemingly a reply to Mir and Abbasi. But by the end of the programme, Sethi had managed, also without naming names but making it abundantly clear who he meant, to call Ansar Abbasi and Mir brainless twits and journalists "jo apnay aap ko phannay khan samajhtay hain lekin ander se bilkul phuss hain" [who think the world of themselves but who are as empty as deflated balloons]. You can see and hear what he said between 0:00 and about 4:45 in the following clip:




Don't you just love Geo's tolerance of diversity? Or should one say glasnost?

Knowing the vindictive natures of both Abbasi and Mir, however, expect more sparks to fly in the pages of the Jang Group's publications. This is going to get very ugly unless the Jang Group clamps down now.

14 comments:

Said said...

Najam Sethi is a bad ass!!

Anonymous said...

Go Team Sethi!!

Anonymous said...

Remember the last time this happened? It was Ansar Abbasi (who else) again, using his most faithful 'chhota' Ahmed Noorani to wage war against fellow The News reporter Rauf Klasra. The latter finally left the group in disgust. Wonder if Sethi will be forced to do the same. Hope not, if only because his show brings a refreshing balance to Geo these days.

TightDhoti said...

Nauseating. This is as "Fair and Balanced" as Fox News

TLW said...

I concur with Anon 4:36. Keeping in mind Hamid Mir's poisonous history, and Ansar Abbasi's lack of sense in knowing when to stop the attack, I would recommend Mr Sethi to hunker down for an attack. Preferably, knowing how Mir and Abbasi are in the habit of overplaying their hands, have some litigitaory counter attack ready in hand as well.

It hasn't even been 10 months since the Khalid Khwaja affair so we know what poisonous treachery Hamid Mir is capable off. And Ansar Abbasi acted as a conduit for those 55 American names to be leaked into the public. Jang Group must put its foot down, and Mr Sethi must prepare medium artillery to keep those Jasoosi Pithoos at bay. Mr Sethi is a bit of a veteran in tangling against Pakistan intelligence's agents.

This should be fun, but it would be better to see Mr Sethi continue unscathed on Geo News.

Anonymous said...

It was fun to see Ansar Abbasi's 'singeing pubic hair' :)

Imran said...

Bravo Najam Sethi Sb and am being decent would say Mir/Abbasi LAMBs don't ever take panga with Papa Sethi!

Magnum said...

Najam is Geo's saving grace. And I disagree with your concern. Who else by Sethi can once and for all take to task unchallanged vermon like Ansar and Mir.

I would encourage this battle. Sethi has come on as man who knows what's he talking about. And chutiyas like Ansar, Mir and Kamran Khan know this. They now look and sound like idiots.

Well done Sethi sahib. Carry on!

Agnostic Monk said...

Brilliant! I watched the Sethi program a couple hours ago, then read this blog post. And now watching the Hamid Mir show.

Anonymous said...

NS has his opinion, and the experience under his belt..........bt does dat mean watever comes from his mouth holds significance........his opinion abt raymond reflects only 1 guy dat posted this article.....lets get it clear is our govt good at any thing except begging? the vacuum was given by them humbly so that an action, or a disgrace of nation level could occur as we saw last evening........
mir and a.a, i m sure they are on a payroll but what they said yesterday was absolutely rite.......the judiciary, men in uniform, the grabbers of power corridors in islamabad and lahore have betrayed every dam soul; which is tagged as pakistani.........

desi said...

Please reconsider for a second guys.
Why not give this credit to Jang group for showing both sides of the coin? Hats off to them for they are showing the public both sides. Being the largest media organization in the country they have a larger responsibility on themselves and they are doing it well. I think Ansar Abbasi and Najam Sethi both are respected journalists and express their opinions very well. Its fun to watch them both but in the end ordinary Pakistanis must use their own minds and deside what is wrong and what is best for them.

KH said...

"in the end ordinary Pakistanis must use their own minds and deside what is wrong and what is best for them."

Yes, that would spell "the end" of it all for sure!

Anonymous said...

Although you have shown an impeccable grasp on the English vocab, but with true honestly i do not see an inch of productivity in your commentary. These kind of writings can be found every single day in newspaper columns. After you wrote this document, you should have thought for a second that what am i creating for my country that would benefit anyone?
Nothing, is the answer if you are still wondering.
Not that i am a fan of any above mentioned names but for God sake, try to discuss the solutions not problems. Most of us knew or had an educated guesstimate that Davis will be gone, no matter by paying the Diyat or not. Hillary has even admitted that US hasn't paid a dime for the deal. All i want to convey is that let's put our brains, if they are still out there, together and seek solutions for these issues so our coming generations or even ourselves wouldn't face them again. Terrorism, corruption, education, and the list can go on and on;let's talk about solutions for these issues. Forget about Mirs, Sethis, and Abbassis, these guys get paid to do this act just as an actor and if you have not determined it yet then my friend you are in a dreamland.

Asjad said...

good observations – I guess this is first collision among ‘Gharat brigade’ rationalist Najam Sethi – now it remains to see the next episode of that….