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‘Hawked-eye reader’

March 15, 2019


APROPOS the article ‘Hawk-eyed reader’ (March 13). One agrees “diction and punctuation” are important up to a point. But there is more to it. All credit to Dawn for abiding by a self-imposed rigid legal and ethical framework, whose contours keep shifting like sand-dunes in Pakistan.

Understandably, publishing an independent newspaper in our land is no easier than trudging through land-mines. Yet, that’s no reason why a newspaper should be timid of investigative reporting. Such reporting is no less ‘dangerous’ in the UK, America and even India.

With its immaculate protection of its sources of information, Dawn could dig deeper without being unduly venturesome or vainglorious. Take The Hindu. With all its brutal might, the Modi government fell prostrate before this newspaper.

On March 6, the attorney general of India told the Supreme Court that ‘secret’ documents published by The Hindu on the purchase of 36 Rafale jets were ‘stolen’ from the defence ministry, probably by former employees. On March 8, he told Press Trust of India that what he meant in his submission before the Supreme Court was that the petitioners in the application had used ‘photocopies of the original papers, deemed secret by the government’.

Kuldip Nayar pulled down Indira Gandhi’s government for emergency period atrocities. Praveen Swami rummaged through government gazettes to report Kalbushan Jhadhav’s commissioning date, residential addresses, postings, without any evidence of retirement notification.

Ram Jethmalani made the Indian government cut a sorry figure through his ten questions printed in the Indian Express. And last but not least, the Pulwama attacker used a car not a jeep as reported in most newspapers.

Dawn reports are accurate and reliable, but septuagenarian readers like me lisp their thirsty lips for more. Let it begin its investigative journey from say, government hospitals. Investigative reporting --of late-- is the missing chapter in our country’s journalism.

Amjed Jaaved

Published in Dawn, March 15th, 2019