Martial law

The case against conduct of electronic media in Pakistan

Posted on November 17, 2007. Filed under: Chief Justice of Pakistan, Electronic media in Pakistan, Lal Masjid, Martial law |

Cable news just got unplugged in Pakistan. I for one am supporting the government here and will shed no tears for the likes of Talat Hussain, Mushtaq Minhas, Hamid Mir, or Shahid Masood.

I will point out a few instances where, I as a viewer was disturbed by the partisanship, unprofessional attitudes, and loose ethics of the cable news industry in Pakistan. I shouldn’t say ‘in Pakistan’, because these channels were being run from the UAE where they could escape Pakistan’s taxation system. They like to profit from our country but would rather not pay taxes. Ok, I am getting side tracked here. My complaints follow:

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I told you so – imposition of martial law in Pakistan

Posted on November 7, 2007. Filed under: Chief Justice of Pakistan, Electronic media in Pakistan, Enlightened Moderation My Ass, Martial law, Politics |

I am not bragging but I did forsee this one coming. The imposition of martial law seemed imminent even two months ago.  Actually, fellow chai-lover Harris called it first in private conversation with me. We were talking after the Bhagwandas led bench had restored Ch. Iftikhar to the head of the apex court about the possible scenarios developing after that. He thought the CJ was going to over estimate his power on the street and go after Musharraf with a vengeance. That would have forced Musharraf to take stronger measures, read: martial law, to restore the pecking order. His argument was that Pakistanis as a whole are a people given to abusing power. Your age, gender, education, socio-economic background, political leanings, field of influence, …. none of that matters. They will abuse power for personal agendas.

And that is what Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and his merry court did for months. The ran amok. They put thousands of existing cases on the back burner and decided to become a thorn in Musharraf’s side. Their interests spanned all issues of media interest. If a story was on the news media one day, the court was taking suo moto notice of it on the second day. Be it the flooding and consequent traffic jams on Karachi roads after heavy rainstorms, price of tomatoes, shutting down of terrorist breeding madrassas, and what not. If cable news thought an issue was inflammatory enough, the court thought it was worthy of their interest. The court was infact trying to be popular with the ignorant masses who are swayed by these media hyped issues. I will go in detail of this false hype in the next posting. Seeking popularity by activism is the domain of the politician, not the court.

That president Musharraf ward it off for as long as he did is credit to him. That the ex-Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, brazenly led his motley crew of judges down the path of direct confrontation with the president shows his foolhardiness. Still, I think the president is not without blame in this year of crisis. He has managed to go back on too many promises and estranged too many of us in the silent majority who supported him through the last eight years. We have sat on the sidelines and wondered what exactly kept him from doing the needfull to move the country towards his promised land. Defeats and back paddling on one issue after the other has confused and disheartened the moderate majority of Pakistanis who want a prosperring and peacefull Pakistan. The biggest blow came with the ill advised attempt at removing the CJ. It has been a downward spiral since then. Again, I will compile these issues in a detailed chargesheet against Musharraf here in a post to follow.

And here we are. Two wrongs have made a massive wrong. Sadly, it seems there is not one person of honor and integrity left in the higher echlons of Pakistan. What we have is either dumb asses at best, or manipulative opportunists at worst. Oh, and I told you so.

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