Five anti-Pakistan Arnab Goswami moments that prove he needs to visit Pakistan first!

Published: February 28, 2016

Arnab Goswami didn’t even spare Imran Khan’s ex-wife, Reham Khan. The topic back in October 2014 was ceasefire violations. Hardly had she begun speaking that he alleged that she was part of the military establishment and was narrating ISI’s point of view. PHOTO: THE INDIA TODAY GROUP VIA GETTY IMAGES

There is no doubt that he is flamboyant and aggressive to a fault. That is indeed what draws the viewers in. It’s not his fault. It is how the world of television news operates. He is merely the personification of ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’ of news channels or perhaps the manifestation of television news at its best. For what else is news media about if not an indulgence in hyperbole, an engagement with trifle, and the desire to project whatever that is being shown as meaningful.

Many have fallen victim to the Arnab Goswami attack; a barrage of verbosity. When panellists sit on his show, their awry smiles or blank stares cannot hide the utter fear that lurks beneath. They wait hesitantly for their turn to the slaughterhouse. When the turn does come, they open their mouths but shut them as quickly, for Arnab doesn’t let anyone speak for longer than thirty seconds, except perhaps his favourite guests, Major General (retd) GD Bakshi and Maroof Raza. The others verily hold their tongues longing earnestly for a moment of redemption or for a right to be heard. But that right is never granted, for it would erode Arnab’s authority.

The man specialises in ridiculing and insulting his Pakistani guests on his show, The Newshour, a live debate anchored by him. Be it Major General (retd) Rashid Qureshi or Fawad Chaudhry, all have taken a beating from him and also given it back in some measure, but hardly any Pakistani guest has emerged unscathed from his attacks.

Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri was one of Goswami’s first Pakistani interviewees. He interviewed the gentleman in Pakistan’s Delhi Consulate right after the Samjhauta Express attack. The interview was forcibly terminated mid – session because Arnab was not giving the Pakistani Foreign Minister enough respect, whatever that means. That must have left him more than a little begrudged against Pakistan.

The hot-headed Qamar Zaman Kaira was also a guest on the highly rated show back in September, 2014. The whole time, he was endlessly defending his party chairman Bilawal’s hogwash rhetoric on Kashmir, pleading or rather scolding Goswami to ‘be patient and let him answer’. But of course, Goswami being Goswami would never let him finish. Kaira eventually walked out of the show.

One of the only times Arnab has been left speechless was when Zafar Hilaly was sitting on the other side. He asked the ambassador a few pointed questions about ISI’s funding of Dr Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai. Hilaly simply replied that it was a ‘great thing’, and he wished that ISI had financed Dr Fai even more. All Goswami could retort with was the usual,

“You haven’t answered my question.”

Arnab Goswami didn’t even spare Imran Khan’s ex-wife, Reham Khan. The topic, back in October 2014, was ceasefire violations. Hardly had she began speaking that he alleged that she was part of the military establishment and was narrating ISI’s point of view. Reham was obviously amused and bemoaned that he was showing lack of respect for a fellow journalist, which of course had no effect on Goswami. He ended the show by saying that Pakistan would be pulverised by India.

Arnab’s best Pakistani encounter came in January 2013, and perhaps the one that he would most like to forget. It would not be incorrect to say that General (retd) Pervez Musharraf bludgeoned him. The topic was Siachen beheadings, and while Goswami had the upper hand morally, he quickly squandered that by being belligerent as always. That got Musharraf all riled up, and he of course is an ex-commando; when he gets bellicose, all bets are off.

It may be that all these encounters solidified his morbidly anti-Pakistani views or perhaps the dislike has been ingrained in him from way before – his father after all was a colonel in the Indian Army.

How can we turn him around though?

The solution is simple.

He has to visit Pakistan.

Barkha Dutt, whom I met with last September, was a similar case. But she readily changed. She claimed on Hamid Mir’s show, Capital Talk that after visiting Pakistan, she had morphed from an anti-Pakistan hawk to a dove.

How beautiful!

Shajeel Zaidi

Shajeel Zaidi

The author is a cynical patriot studying finance at NYU Stern, whose fascination with Pakistani history and politics knows no bounds. He tweets as @shajboi (twitter.com/shajboi)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Bigcohones

    Shajeel: Not only should Arnab visit Pakistan, he should remain there permanently.
    I can guarantee the Indians would consider that as a Confidence Building Measure (CBM).Recommend

  • Swaadhin

    How do you learn such crap as history, its a rare art mate.Recommend

  • Vijaykumar R

    Can not disagree with the author , would appreciate if he informs about Pakistani TV news channel anchors.They are pathetic not about India only (which is understandable) but about issues concerning Pakistan. It is really fun watching their comedy shows .Recommend

  • Kushal

    Forgot to take your daily dose of medicines?Recommend

  • kartikey

    Arnav is the best real journalist of india ….every journalist should be like him……Recommend

  • kartikey

    Pakistanis are not able to understand his English properly that’s why they don’t like him….Recommend

  • Rajiv

    Why Pakistan does not have any Arnab?Recommend

  • Milind A

    “after the 2008 mumbai attacks he suddenly decided to become extremely anti Pakistan”

    Why blame him… Everybody here became anti-Pakistan after that outrage on our soil.. Everybody in the West becomes anti-Pakistan after finding a Pakistani connection to an outrage on their soil.. Unlike you, the world doesn’t celebrate murder & mayhem..Recommend

  • Owais Khan

    well said Indians obsession with us never endsRecommend

  • Nouman Ahmed

    No, it wasn’t. Until you or Arnab provide me evidence proving otherwise.Recommend

  • Nouman Ahmed

    Yeah you are the only people in the world who practice humanity, especially when you beat students and minorities.Recommend

  • Nouman Ahmed

    Let me counter you with fact. Arnab accused Reham Khan of being a part of military establishment just after she started voicing her opinion. Now if you insist on facts, I would like to see the evidence. Otherwise it is you who just knows how to follow anti-Pakistan agenda without any research.Recommend

  • Nouman Ahmed

    “The very fact that Jinnah tried to divide the legislative assembly on religious lines”

    Ever heard of affirmative action? No, then maybe you should google it. Muslims were a minority then. It was Jinnah’s effort to eradicate the sense of marginalization from the Muslim community. A lot of democracies around the world have reserved seats for women. This edge is given to women because in such countries women are marginalized. Now are these countries are being sexist by reserving seats for women only? Certainly not. They are just trying to help lifting up a marginalized segment of society.

    Start reading.Recommend

  • Rohan

    Yea because he said about the 1000 yr war the sane thing which Bhutto and Pakistani terrorists said beforeRecommend

  • LS

    First of all India is NOT America. in India affirmative action is invoked for educational and employment opportunities.

    Even if we go by AMERICAN definition…

    “institution or organization actively engages in efforts to improve opportunities for historically excluded groups in American society”

    the lines below does NOT apply to MUSLIMS in any case.. The people who were responsible for Mass culling ruling over large swaths of lands in the north and in the Deccan area, oppressing people, enforcing exorbitant amount of taxes on non-Muslims.. These people need Affirmative action? Really?

    As I said before — Start Understanding, once you read.Recommend

  • LS

    Plucking a few words from my comment to prove your point is all you could do?

    I also said that “Of course there would never be a overt proof of that but it looked too obvious…”

    Apart from your this article on FT there were countless Pakistani Talk shows talking about them… like I said before… there would NEVER be an overt proof out in the open for you and I to see and make a judgement. Have you ever seen a proof out in the open in any criminal or conspiracy case? What ever comes out comes through media.. which is what I am quoting. Of course it does not fit your version national narrative and you would deny it. Adios buddy you have nothing profound to tell me besides same old Pakistani version of conspiracy theories…Recommend

  • Bana Post

    how did u handle lal masjid caseRecommend

  • KnowTheTruth

    I watched the show on 30th March, and I must say that the Pakistani major generals were bludgeoned by the Baloch representatives (and not by Arnab). It was so unfortunate that the Pakistani guests were incorrectly referring to them as “Balochis” instead of “Baloch”. The Baloch guests naturally did not take this lightly and lambasted the Pakistani Major General. There were many instances when the Pakistani guests were speechless. One key instance was when the “definition” of ‘Baloch’ as provided in Pakistani textbooks was read out in the show. I could see the Pakistani guests had no place to hide their face. It is true that Arnab speaks loudly, but there is no refuting the facts that came out in the show about Baluch oppression and the general perception/disrespect about Baloch folks among wealthy Pakistanis.Recommend