Media (un)ethics, “Malala-phobia” and Dr Hoodbhoy

hoodbhoymalala-yousafzaiSad to see the polarisation and vitriol that passes for journalism in Pakistan. It may be so elsewhere too, but the manipulation and attempted humiliation of Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy in the name of religion and patriotism — for his defense of Malala Yusufzai — is low by any standards. Scroll down for his account about how the TV host withheld from him the identities of the other guests, the theme of the show and in the end, turned off his audio.

Regardless of Dr Hoodbhoy’s terming the Dunya TV anchor Kamran Shahid and his guest as liars, what’s clear is that Shahid smirkingly ‘allowed’ a guest on his show to shout down and abuse Dr Hoodbhoy, clearly enjoying the situation. In the end he announced (falsely) that Dr Hoodbhoy had ‘left’ the show. Not surprising. Shahid has a history of   untruths as well as encouraging such abusive exchanges (it’s all about ratings, innit?). Here’s something about his show on Express TV last year, that was (like this one) not only unbefitting to any respectable current affairs programme, but also fanning the flames of conflict in already-burning Balochistan. Continue reading

Update to the ‘coffin protest’ in Pakistan

Photo tweeted by Haider Changezi @Aushpaz: Dear #Pakistan U all came in protest but Gov is deaf, hasn't announced #ActionAgainstLeJ #WeAreAllHazara

Photo tweeted by Haider Changezi @Aushpaz: Dear #Pakistan U all came in protest but Gov is deaf, hasn’t announced #ActionAgainstLeJ #WeAreAllHazara

A quick note on the current situation: The past two days and nights have seen inspiring massive, ongoing peaceful protests all across Pakistan in solidarity with the ‘coffin protesters’ at Alamdar Road in Quetta who are refusing to bury their dead until their demands for security are met. The protests finally pushed the PPP government to action – the Balochistan provincial government has been dismissed and Governor Rule imposed in the province, one of the demands of the protestors. Continue reading

Quetta Youth Festival 2012: Winds of change?

Who says there’s no positive news coming out of Pakistan?

“Looking at the videos really changed my perception of the youth of Balochistan. Such brilliant young men and women, sitting together for a cause, enjoying, eating, singing, dancing and spreading the message of love” - Ali Rahman, on the First Quetta Youth Conference 2012

Continue reading

CFRM letter to editors The News and Jang re: an unethical, false and irresponsible report

The Citizens for Free and Responsible Media, Pakistan, has sent an email to the Editors of The News and Jang regarding an unethical, false and irresponsible report about Ali Dayan’s testimony before the US congressional hearing on Balochistan, in response to a private member’s proposed resolution in the House of Representatives. Text of the email posted in a Note in the CFRM facebook page; also copy-pasted below. (Note: Contrary to the impression given in some sections of the media in Pakistan, the U.S. has not passed any ‘bill’ on Balochistan; even if such a bill does pass, it will have no legally binding status unless it is debated and presented for a vote in the form of a bill that would need to pass through both the lower house and the senate).  Continue reading

Kamran Shahid’s threat to CFRM signatories…

Blog post Feb 21, 2012Kamran Shahid of Express TV sent the following email to Citizens for Free and Responsible Media in response to CFRM’s letter on the Pakistani media and Balochistan that was also emailed to him. Both are posted on the CFRM facebook page. I do wonder what about the letter he found “factually incorrect and harassing” and on what basis he has threatened legal action. Many of the names provided in the letter are well known public figures, should be easy enough to find their addresses if he really wants to.

> From: kamran shahid <kamran.shahid@expressnews.tv>
> Date: Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 12:37 AM
> Subject: Re: Citizens for Free and Responsible Media statement on the media and Balochistan
> To: C4FRM Pakistan <c4frmpk@gmail.com>
> Kindly send your Names and addresses, so that on the basis of your factually incorrect and rather harassing mail, a legal notice will be served > to you in 24 hours.
> *** This Message Has Been Sent Using BlackBerry Internet Service from Mobilink ***

Pakistan: Media and Balochistan – Citizens for Free and Responsible Media statement

Tuesday February 21, 2012: 

Citizens for Free and Responsible Media statement on the Media and Balochistan

To: All TV channel heads, producers and directors, newspaper editors, DG PEMRA, Minister of Information, Prime Minister Pakistan

Summary:
1. We urge the Government to facilitate dialogue by lifting curbs on the media in Balochistan.

2. We call upon the media in Pakistan to address the situation in Balochistan with sensitivity, empathy and fairness and to facilitate a civil discourse.

3. We demand a public apology from Kamran Shahid, the producers of Frontline, Express TV, Barrister Saif and APML and all channels to boycott Mr Saif until he apologises publicly for his remarks. We also urge the APML as a responsible political party to apologise for his excesses.

Continue reading

PMA condemns colleague’s murder | Dr Baqir Shah

The Pakistan Medical Association, Karachi has strongly condemned the brutal murder of Dr. Baqir Shah, Police Surgeon, Quetta… The reason for his killing is obvious: that he was the key witness of the Kharotabad incident. He had conducted the post-mortem examination of the victims and had given the factual version that the victims had died due to the indiscriminate firing of the LEAs and not due to an explosion… PMA condemns colleague’s murder | Dr Baqir Shah.

Baloch Hal Editorial: War Against Baloch Doctors

It is an outrage and a violation of freedom of expression that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) continues to block Baloch Hal in Pakistan at a time when this voice needs to be heard across the country now, more than ever.  Reproduced below, BH editorial pegged on the target killing of Dr Baqir Shah (emphasis added):

Editorial: War Against Baloch Doctors

Balochistan: Doctors sit in protest at the murder of their colleagues. Photo: Baloch Hal

The late police surgeon was somewhat an easy target for terrorists for a host of reasons. His situation could enable any murderer to immediately vanish in thin air because of the circumstances that shrouded the late doctor. He gained enormous national and international media attention after conducting the postmortem of five foreigners who were killed on May 17 in what is now remembered as the infamous and tragic Kharotabad incident. Continue reading

Who Was Dr. Baqir Shah?

Since the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) continues to block Baloch Hal in Pakistan, I’m posting these news items from their website here. The saga of Pakistan’s ‘enlightenment’ martyrs continues…

Who Was Dr. Baqir Shah?

The Baloch Hal News

QUETTA: Dr. Baqir Shah, a police surgeon, had conducted the postmortem of the five foreigners, including three women who were brutally killed by the firing of security forces in Kharotabad area on May 17 this year. He had come up with a report that the victims were killed by the bullets that contradicted to the claims of security forces that the foreigners were killed due to explosion Continue reading

“We want to attend universities, not funerals” – Young Women of Balochistan

HRCP activist lit candles on Dec 10, Human Rights Day, that they dedicated to Balochistan. But the killings and disappearances continue - as the photos on the wall testify. Photo: Reuters

Below please see a letter from Young Women of Balochistan, forwarded by a friend who received it via email on Dec 10, 2011, Human Rights Day – a day commemorated around the country and dedicated to the people of Balochistan by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (See this report by Rabia Ali). Ironically and tragically, that very day, a young Baloch human rights activist, 35-year old Faisal Mengal, was gunned down in Karachi (details in this report). As Rabia Ali reports, from July 2010 to November 2011, around 300 dead bodies were found — some even of 14-year-olds, according to Tahir Hussain, Vice Chairperson of the HRCP’s Balochistan chapter. Those killed include two HRCP activists, while the number of people missing range from 5,000 to 6,000.  Read on for this brief appeal by the Young Women of Balochistan… Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 457 other followers

%d bloggers like this: