Zoha Waseem

Zoha Waseem

A masters graduate from King’s College London who blogs for khudipakistan.com

A dummy’s guide for journalists in Pakistan

Two years ago, I took a course in war reporting. In one year, we learned what we could about embedding within the military, media effects, propaganda, and censorship, amongst other things. Most importantly, we learned the basics of all basics: the nine principles of journalism. We were asked to memorise, interpret, scrutinise, and above all apply them in context. In Pakistan, the media has taken on various roles, often acting as analyst, policy maker and even judge.  At times it has lost the entire notion of censorship and theconcept of contextual objectivity (as difficult as that may be). Over the past ...

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Saleem Shahzad: When journalists bite the dust

I hope we live to see the day when journalists in Pakistan boast about a prosperous economy, medical breakthroughs, and life security. I hope most of us never see the day when things are actually worse than how newspapers make them out to be. Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistan Bureau Chief of Asia Times Online (a Hong Kong-based news website), disappeared from Islamabad on May 29, 2011, just days after publishing an article for the Asia Times which implicated that officials in the Pakistani Navy had links with al Qaeda (The second part of Saleem Shahzad’s report, ‘Recruitment and training of ...

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PNS Mehran attack: Countering terrorism and conspiracies

In 2002, after the attacks on the French naval engineer’s bus, the suicide bombing on the US Consulate, and the beheading of Daniel Pearl, Karachi unfortunately received the title of ‘the Terrorism Capital of Pakistan.’ Eventually, the terror campaign moved upcountry and Karachi fell out of the limelight. Nevertheless, it remained an economic hub for terrorists who took advantage of the city’s multicultural demographics and economy for financial gains and networking. It also became a port of arrival and departure to and from the country for local and foreign militants. Karachi, therefore, remained vulnerable to terrorist violence, as was ...

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The battle of ideas: Reform the militant

One is not born a terrorist. One doesn’t wake up on a Thursday morning with an epiphany of being the next Mullah Omar or Khalid Sheikh Mohammad. A desire to resort to terrorism doesn’t take place overnight. It is a process of indoctrination; a change of thought and mindset. And all changes can be reversed when there is a plan. Today, what’s important for Pakistan is the need to devise a strategy of de-radicalising, rehabilitating and reintegrating militants back into society. I don’t mean to undermine military measures being taken against violent extremists, but the military alone cannot eradicate a group of ideological ...

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Inqilaab-e-Pakistan: Revolt if you are confused

The orchestrators of Inqilaab-e-Pakistan on Facebook and Twitter are urging Pakistanis to “retake their land” on March 23. They demand the resignation of the “US puppet regime in Pakistan”, protection of our sovereignty, end of the feudal system, and the implementation of Islamic law according to the constitution of Pakistan. Currently, the social network groups have over 10,000 confirmed attendees. They plan on protesting in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and other cities. What these ardent followers don’t realise is that they are being exposed to ideological confusion and propagandist material. Pakistan doesn’t need a revolution. Here’s why: 1) Democracy is not the enemy The Egyptian ...

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