Saturday 28 April 2012

The Adventures of "Aabpara Boys"


Mr. Hamid Meer, who has been peddling the case of the Pakistani Intelligence Agencies for most of his career, has finally gotten to his senses and is vying for a cause in which he is supported by the progressive forces in Pakistan. He has been questioning the authority of the Deep State in the last few months. This has not gone well with some of the infamous “Aabpara Boys” and no wonder they have started taking him on, using social media networks.

After the drama of holding the government accountable day in and day out, it seems that the top TV anchors of Pakistan are out to get each other. If this debate was about principles, public interest or setting the facts correct, than it would be of immense value. However, the new Tamasha engineered by one self-styled judge and prosecutor, is trying to defame an experienced reporter/ TV Journalist. The allegations are one-sided, aired without evidence.

What is the fault of Hamid Meer? 
(Please consider that I do not belong to the Hamid Meer Fan Club)

All the “Aabpara boys” are ganging up on Hamid Meer because at a critical juncture, Hamid Meer switched sides and backed the elected over the un elected, rights of balochs and missing persons, over the excesses of the Deep State.

Hamid Meer needs to be supported at this crucial time of Pakistan’s history and we hope that he is not brow beaten into siding with his former friends and mentors!

Thanks to the the vibrant blogosphere, the known faux pas and lack of professionalism by supposedly experienced journalists have been exposed in Public. Following is a brief summary of the “Kartoot” of the “Pasha Boys” compiled by diligent blog, Pakistan Media Watch.
  1. Mubashar Luqman

    *After he did a show with Mukhtaran Mai, Blogger Sana Saleem wrote an open letter to Mr.Mubashar Luqman, stating,“It is people like you and attitudes such as yours that feed the vicious cycle of prejudice against rape victims, making the fight for justice harder. It is appalling that you would allow your guests to hurl allegations on Mai, call her rape fictitious without any substantial evidence and in the presence of a Supreme Court judgment.It was appalling to witness you cross-question Mai, while ignoring the plight of hundreds of women who have suffered at the hands of these illegal jirgas. Not once in your programme did you mention the innumerous decisions made by these notorious jirgas, from burying women alive to feeding them to the dogs.  Your attitude in the program and your approach to the case is an insult to the plight of the 2,903 women who were raped in 2010 alone and may never get justice.”

    *Mubashar Luqman tried to spread the news of “Bird Flu epidemic” in Punjab, which was NEVER confirmed and ended up causing losses to so many innocent poultry farmers.
    *Pakistan Media Watch, on 15th Januart 2012,  wrote the following about Mubashar luqman,
    “A few months ago we warned Shahid Masood and Azeem Mian that Mubasher Lucman had entered the race for PTI Media Advisor and taken the contest to a whole new level. It seems that with the government’s troubles and PTI’s rising popularity, Mr lucman has stepped up his campaign using a popular PTI format – social media.
    Mubasher Lucman is “not in politics” in so far as he has never been elected by anyone to anything. But he has also clearly inserted himself into politics by actively campaigning for his selected favourites and terming anyone he disagrees with (or just doesn’t like) as “corrupt”. That’s what political operatives do. It’s not journalism.”

    *After the Bhoja Air Crash Tragedy, Mubashar Luqman’s conduct was less than exempelary,
    “The most gruesome, however, was the way some elements of the media jumped on the opportunity to turn the tragedy into an opportunity for cheap political point scoring. Dunya TV anchor Mubasher Lucman bizarrely criticised Rehman Malik for quickly responding to the crash “when he is not asked”, as if the Interior Minister should wait to be asked before responding to such a tragedy.”
*There is still no explanation on how Mubashir Luqman’s twitter followers increased from 6092 followers to 103,595 followers overnight?

*To top this behaviour up, Mubashar Luqman’s allegations in Noor’s Morning Show against Najam Sethi were horrible and out of the context. This issue was discussed in detail here.

2.Shaheen Sehbai:-
Regarding the ‘exploits’ of Mr Shaheen Sehbai,

*On 23rd March, 2011, Pakistan Media Watch wrote,
“In his latest column for The News (Jang Group), Shaheen Sehbai holds a ‘funhouse mirror’ to the president’s speech and comes up with a curious 10-point list of what the president did not say in his address to the National Assembly on Tuesday. Sehbai’s column is purely editorial, though it is labeled as ‘News Analysis’ so that it can appear on the front page and not properly the opinion page.
This 10-point list of Shaheen Sehbai is not ‘analysis’ it is political attacks only. And these attacks are not even based in reality, but it Shaheen Sehbai’s own willful ignoring of facts.
Just because you label something ‘analysis’ does not make it so. This column could have been used to provide analysis of some of the serious issues facing the nation and made some recommendations for how the government and opposition leaders can work together to pass solutions for the good of the country. Instead, readers of The News were presented with yet another political attack consisting of misleading accusations devoid of context and reason.”

*It was reported on 5th February 2011,
“In response to Jang Group’s publishing the internet hoax of president Zardari secretly marrying a Pakistani-American doctor, the Zardari family has sent legal notice to Jang Group specifically Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and Shaheen Sehbai demanding immediate retraction and apology otherwise they will face legal action

“…for libel, malicious publication and intentional infliction of emotional distress in all jurisdictions where your newspaper is published, as well as any jurisdiction in which your paper has assets. This lawsuit will seek in excess of $100 million, which the Bhutto-Zardari family would donate to the victims of the 2010 floods in Pakistan."

*On 3rd April 2011, Pakistan Media Watch opined,

“Shaheen Sehbai’s front page story included no facts or investigative reporting, and was nothing but a baseless attack on the government in what appears to be another thinly veiled attempt to incite a war between the executive and judiciary.
In fact, Shaheen Sehbai does not even bother pretending to have ‘informed sources’, offering only his own insults and accusations. This is considered reporting by Jang Group?”

* On 15 October 2011, we came to know,
Shaheen Sehbai has been suffering humiliation for over three years now since Asif Zardari was elected to the presidency and not immediately booted out, as Sehbai incorrectly predicted. During these years, he has penned a number of pieces based in little more than rumor and speculation, and that appear to be aimed at pitting the civilians and the military against each other. His blatantly selective reading of Mansoor Ijaz’s opinion piece for FT is only the latest strike in this sad campaign.”

*On 6th March 2012, it was reported,
“Actually, Sehbai’s latest conspiracy is just the latest version of Shaheen Sehbai’s worn out anti-Zardari script. If you remember, when the present government was first elected, Shaheen Sehbai was part of a vocal group of Zardari haters whose personal animosity for the president was so strong that they declared the government a failure before it even began. With each passing event, the Zardari Haters Club predicted the imminent fall of the government, and each time they were proven wrong.”

*On 13th March, 2012, the old links between Shaheen Sehbai and Manzoor Ijaz were traced,
“Shaheen Sehbai was one of the the first Pakistani journalists to promote Ijaz – not after the famous Financial Times op-ed, but over a decade beforehand. While he was Dawn‘s Washington correspondent in the mid-1990s, Shaheen Sehbai wrote several stories promoting the American businessman. In 1995, Sehbai filed a story, ‘Dateline Washington : A blueprint Pakistan cannot ignore’ that described Mansoor Ijaz as the manager of a billion dollar investment firm who is the secret hand writing US policy. Actually, Sehabi’s description from 1995 sounds strangely familiar.”

Hamain Sab hai yaad Zara Zara, Tumhain Yaad ho kay na Yaad ho.

Madam Ayesha Siddiqa does not agree with this article, but I rest my case.

P.S This post has not been "sponsored" in any way by Mr. Najam Sethi. In your face, ML.

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