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Pakistan and world media

Published May 29, 2013 05:05am


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A WHOLE generation of young people in the US enrolled in journalism schools in the wake of the Nixon impeachment because they observed the power of journalism when it brought down someone as mighty as an American president. Bob Woodward should rightly be credited for this. That said somehow the international media disappoints those who look up to it, hoping to find news and reporting devoid of bias and laden with reality-based arguments.

The Economist magazine’s recent issue has an article about Iran and the elections there four years ago. There is an explicit mention of rigging done in those elections in a roughshod manner by the incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

That might rightly claim veracity. However, just a few days ago there were elections in Pakistan.

The people there are left disappointed because of being convinced of massive rigging in the elections. Despite unprecedented turnout in the history of Pakistan, the conduct of the elections proved to be not really unprecedented. The saviours of interests were very much active.

Pakistan, otherwise a centre of focus in the international media, failed to make any controversial news this time regarding the issue of rigging.

The Economist wrote of Nawaz Sharif as being the clear winner and also mentioned Imran Khan as being the other favourite candidate.

That’s all there is about him in the article. There is no mention of rigging at all. The rigging in Iran is mentioned as being believed by millions of people in Iran. The same standard is not applied to Pakistan.

In today’s world of journalism it does matter what is said, but what equally matters is what is not said. Everyone I know in the US knows Malala Yousufzai as much as they know Brad Pitt because the news gets mentioned. I won’t be surprised if a documentary about her will be released which will depict Pakistan as the most dangerous place.

Interestingly, rigging doesn’t qualify to become an international issue. Rigging translates in crude language as robbing the people of their right to choose who will rule. It also means that they will be forced to live in the old rotten system they voted against.

Kinship-based parties and politics can get away with any kind of corruption in Pakistan. That’s the very reason the people went out to vote despite the scorching heat. The desire to change the government for the greater good overwhelmed the fear of being killed in a bomb blast. Sadly, the people lost. As a regular reader of international newspapers and magazines, I find it difficult to continue reading them because they have lost the reason why I never missed any of their issues – the truth.

IMRAN JAN Houston, Texas, USA


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Comments (9) Closed

HNY2013 May 29, 2013 07:04am
Please start reading Urdu newspapers. May be you want to read what you believe. All the best. And the international media just lost a fan. Tch tch....what a loss
Manghat May 29, 2013 08:04am
You said the Economist did not mention anything about rigging and Nawaz Sharif was the clear winner. Surely, isn't it the way US wanted the outcome of the results to be this time?
Irfan Baloch May 29, 2013 09:14am
dont feel bitter my dear the war was not won on the first battle. to free the stranglehold of the feudal & Industrial political dynasties one needs to find the people who actually want to be free. you and I can shed all the tears we want but crying and complaining alone will not help those poor people who are told who to vote and mostly they dont even get the chance to vote. people will need to make these dynasties irrelevant well before the elections to rid the Pakistanis of rigging and intimidation are the people really ready? it wont be an easy path, using the vote as a voice doesnt cut it in third world country, it will demand a lot of hardship and risk to life because the political fiends wont let go their victims that easy
Shah May 29, 2013 10:39am
Media is, among others, a pillar of government. As long as it suits the government of USA to prop up Prime Ministers of their choice then there will be no media coverage of rigging. In the case of Iran a regime change is wanted by Washington, Israel and major European countries.
Siddique Malik May 29, 2013 02:27pm
Just because the media don't pay attention to matters that you think are more important than all other matters doesn't mean that the media are avoiding truth. How are you sure that massive rigging took place in the May 11 elections in Pakistan? Its it possibly that you think so because your favorite candidates lost? Everybody knows and it as it was reported by the media -- that rigging did take place at some places, but even the EU monitors reported that overall the elections happened smoothly. You contradict yourself when you say, "As a regular reader of international newspapers and magazines, I find it difficult to continue reading them because they have lost the reason why I never missed any of their issues
Adelaide May 29, 2013 04:07pm
I am 56 years old, as as far as I remember, this is always the slogan of the losers. They only want to accept what they have in their heads. Look the way they treat the Talibans, not ready to accept anything against them. They never want to accept the reality, rather they try to cover up their rejection by undermining the process. It shows maturity on part of PPP & ANP to accept the mandate of the people. As far as, JI is concerned it never majority in any election , and they always cry foul.
Sara May 29, 2013 05:24pm
So true! In fact, just read a biased article in the Dawn the other day, by Omar Waraich, and it revolved around the elections and he too was mum on the rigging. And similarly when it comes to good news, like the recent conquest of Everest by Samina Baigh, the first Pakistani woman to do so, the foreign media was silent. But when it comes to all the negative news about women in Pakistan, that will be shown ad nauseam. At times, half truths can be more misleading and dangerous than lies.
YMMIR May 29, 2013 09:12pm
Sunnyboy May 30, 2013 01:44am
Pakistan has made itself an insignificant player in the region except making troubles for its neighbours and exporting terrorism to the world. Any news from Pakistan has no positive impact on rest of the world. Elections in Pakistan are its internal matter and will not affect the world one way or the other. On the other hand Iran is strong and independent country with large oil reserves and it can block the oil flow by blocking the entrance to Persian Gulf. It also has influence in the region with backing of Russia. Iranian elections impact world oil prices and the regional politics. Pakistan has no friends but list of self made enemies around its borders and the region. Whoever is elected in Pakistan will be subservient to the West where Iranian regime challenges the Western Powers and earn respect from Muslim masses and also from its enemies. Just at the end asking a simple question that rigging election in a so called Muslim country where everyone is pure (Pak) and honest is unimaginable.