Online petition and GIA demo against invasive TV show

GIA demo in Karachi (file photo): Human beings must be treated equally, regardless of gender or sexual orientation

GIA demo in Karachi (file photo): Human beings must be treated equally, regardless of gender or sexual orientation

The Gender Interactive Alliance (GIA) has called for a demonstration against Abb Takk TV’s show Khufia for its gross invasion of privacy and human rights, to be held today, Monday Dec 30, at 4:00 pm at the Karachi Press Club. If you’re in Karachi, please show your solidarity by joining them. Also please read and sign this online petition “Act against AbbTakk TV for violating privacy and human rights

Media/Pakistan: Worse than Maya Khan. The vigil-aunty TV moral brigade strikes again

Abb Takk Khufia

A still from the offending show – it was difficult to find one that didn’t reveal the victims’ faces.

As if there aren’t enough human rights violations in Pakistan, sections of the media have joined the ranks of the violators, accosting individuals on the streets, barging into private homes, accusing people of being gay or bullying them to prove otherwise. The show, part of a vigilante series sensationally titled Khufia (Secret), was broadcast on Dec 15 on a new channel called Abb Takk – here is the programme link (if you can bear to watch). These vigil-aunties can do this because the people they target are poor and resourceless, with no armed security guards. (Here’s the link to the PEMRA feedback form and the Abb Takk email address: md@abbtakk.tv if you want to register your complaint. Please do share a copy with Citizens for Free and Responsible Media, at this link). My article on the issue in The News, Pakistan and Hardnews, India. More below.
Continue reading

Dunya TV, jawab do, badtameezi ka hisab do – Citizens for Free and Responsible Media

CFRM logo
Letter from Citizens for Free and responsible Media, Pakistan, emailed to top executives of Dunya TV News, Mr. Mian Amer Mahmood, Mr Naveed Kashif, and Mr Sami Abrahim, signed by prominent journalists, academics, and professionals in support of Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy

Dunya TV screenshot

Screenshot from the show

Dear Dunya News,

We are writing to express our concern about the shameful incident at your TV channel on Oct 26, 2013, in which the anchor Kamran Shahid allowed his guest Prof. Pervez Hoodbhoy to be abused and shouted at by another guest, violating Dunya News’ own code of conduct for anchors that is supposed to be monitored by a three-member editorial Board. Continue reading

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

Justice Katju appeals to the media to exercise restraint, avoid fanning communal hatred

Justice Markandey KatjuThe following Press Note from Justice Markandey Katju, Chairman, Press Council of India, dated 6.3.2013, sent for publication to this blog, is also relevant to other countries, including Pakistan:

Re: False implication of Muslims in cases of Bomb Blasts, etc.

I have today received the following letter of Mr. Wajahat Habibullah, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities, New Delhi: Continue reading

‘My years with WAF’ – Zohra Yusuf on the Pakistani women’s movement

Below, an article by Zohra Yusuf, my first editor, with whom I worked at The Star Weekend in 1981-82, outlining the birth of the women’s movement in Pakistan

Lahore, Feb 12, 1983: Police brutality on the women's demonstration against the 'Law of Evidence' catapulted the nascent women's movement into the limelight. Photo: Rahat Ali Dar

Lahore, Feb 12, 1983: Police brutality on the women’s demonstration against the ‘Law of Evidence’ catapulted the nascent women’s movement into the limelight. Photo: Rahat Ali Dar

“My years with WAF” 

By Zohra Yusuf | Article written for a souvenir on WAF’s 25th anniversary, Oct 2006

Certain memories are etched on the mind. The birth of Women’s Action Forum is, for me, surely among them. It was on an afternoon in September 1981 that Aban Marker (Shirkatgah) called. She told me about the distressed call she had just received from Najma Sadeque (another SG founding member) regarding the case of Fehmida-Allah Bux. Pakistan’s first sentence of death by stoning and public whipping handed down to a couple under the Zina Ordinance of 1979. We had all read about the sentence and in our individual capacities felt deeply disturbed. After a bit of discussion, we decided to call a meeting of all women’s organizations at Aban’s place. The rest, as they say, is history. Continue reading

RIP Ayesha Haroon: Clear-sighted courage, grace and laughter

Ayesha Haroon at a friend's wedding some 20 years ago in Lahore

Ayesha Haroon at a friend’s wedding some 20 years ago in Lahore

My obituary of Ayesha Haroon, published in The News on Feb 4, 2013. As one of our friends pointed out, this is the third woman from our lot in The Frontier Post we’ve lost within a year – Maria Del Nevo, Cass Balchin and now, Ayesha.

RIP Ayesha Haroon: Clear-sighted courage, grace and laughter

By Beena Sarwar

Ayesha Haroon, the lively, gutsy former editor of The News Lahore, fought a brave fight for over four years with bone-marrow cancer, succumbing to it on Saturday night in New York. She was just 46. News of her demise has been met with grief and shock by her many friends and colleagues as well as those who only knew her through her clear-headed, courageous columns. Continue reading

MEDIA/Pakistan: Protect whistleblowers, act against corrupt anchors

To All TV Channels of Pakistan: Protect whistleblowers, act against corrupt anchors
 Sign the online petition:

The behind-the-scenes footage leaked from Dunya TV’s ‘interview’ of Malik Riaz conducted by Meher Bokhari and Mubashir Lucman on June 13, 2012 has exposed the corruption of these so-called journalists. Their clear connivance with the interviewee in order to make themselves look blameless is a disgrace to the profession. We commend the whistleblower who leaked this footage and exposed their reality, which is all the more shocking given their self-righteous public stands.We demand: 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 ***
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