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Friday, July 11, 2008

They Move in Flocks: Lal Musjid Anniversary - No Hard Questions, No Easy Answers

The Lal Musjid "action" commenced July 03, 2008.

All the earnest sounding anchors in Pakistan are devoting time to it. Madam Umme Hassaam, wife of Abdul Aziz is making her rounds.

The "interviews" run along predictable "he-said she-said" lines. AND, they tend to focus on the SSG (commando) actions, negotiations, the promises made and betrayed.

I wish the earnest, knowledgeable and informed anchors would have also dwelt on the background to this.

Their failure to deal with the background shows either their incompetency or their inherent bias or both.



I would have highlighted the following in a five minute backgrounder and then talked with hosts over the issues raised in the subsequent 25 - 45 minutes

* Land grab under the guise of mosque/madrasa building (it never fails to amuse me that Hamid Mir even now brings up that ONE 110 year old mosque in Islamabad that was razed down while ignoring hundred and thousands of mosques built illegally on stolen lands all over the country)

* Who finances these madrasas?
* Is there transparency in their books?
* What syllabus do they follow?
* Do they fall under Wafaq ul Madaris?
* Do they imbibe hatred of other sects?


* Why Shujaat, Haq, and others have not been hauled before the courts for alleged promises of safety and safe conduct they gave to the students and Abdul Aziz and Ghazi?
* Why an "Atomic Power" could not have flushed out alive a few thousand activists in its capital city?
* Why the need for SSG action? (when a fly-swatter would do why use a sledge-hammer?)
* How many were indeed killed and what happened to their bodies?
* The role of ISI (and other agencies) in this.
* The role of the minions and the politicians and the "ulemas" and the promises they threw left right and centre. (including one wanted 'aalim' who was magically produced to negotiate and later let go)
* The role of Presidency. (and Tariq Aziz)


Don't hold your breadth. The media is enamoured of itself.


Blogger Riaz Haq said...

I agree with your assessment of the media performance in general. Instead of informing the public with in-depth programs covering all aspects of the story, they tend to pander to the people by talking up baseless conspiracy theories and sensational coverage of events. I am hopeful, though, that our media will mature over time and learn to do a better job. If it fails to do, it will be difficult to have the informed public necessary for a democracy to function.

July 11, 2008 12:26 AM  

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