Pak-India journalism: Inciting hatred or promoting peace?

Published: November 26, 2013

Both media countries are more concerned about their ratings instead of the messages they're sending. PHOTO: Publicity

Yesterday, at a seminar titled ‘Pakistan-India relations: What can media do?’, Mumbai Press Club’s President Gurbir Singh reportedly urged the Indian as well as Pakistani media to stop airing Television Rating Point (TRP)-grossing talk shows that negatively affect peace prospects between the two nations. This statement comes as a remarkable affirmation of a commitment to peace that needs to be strengthened by the media fraternity on both sides of the border.

It comes close on the heels with Kamal Siddiqi’s recent piece titled ‘Talk peace, be damned’, where he laments that war-mongering brings ratings but at the expense of the dividends that peace can bring. He goes on to say,

“In my view as a journalist, possibly the role of the media… is more important than we think it is. We need to give both sides of the story, something that we have not been honestly doing.”

 As I read on, I found it refreshing to come across a journalist who is willing to take responsibility for the role of the media in influencing the relations between the two South Asian neighbours. We desperately need more journalists to do the same so that their power can be channelized to offer alternative images and perspectives that challenge and break down hostilities in the minds of people in both countries. However, the assumption here is that journalists think of themselves as stakeholders in peace building.

I do not get to see Pakistani news channels, so I cannot comment on their reportage. However, when I look at media coverage related to Pakistan on Indian news channels, I begin to feel nauseous. When journalists interview politicians on primetime talk shows, they often use language designed to provoke these politicians into making hostile statements about Pakistan. It seems as if to feel good about one’s identity as an Indian, one is required to speak ill of Pakistan.

That is plain immature.

There are very few positive images of Pakistan available in mainstream Indian news media. We hardly get to read about the tremendous work that is happening in various parts of Pakistan in terms of mobile libraries for children from low-income families, youth activism for interfaith harmony, or literature, art and film festivals around the country.

Our newspapers and television screens do not show us the streets of Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad or Peshawar. We do not get to see common people. We only get to see the likes of Atif AslamVeena MalikGhulam AliNawaz Sharif, Hina Rabbani Khar, Imran Khan, Bilawal Bhutto, Hafiz Saeed and Ajmal Kasab. Imagine having a whole country being represented only by politicians, terrorists, actors and musicians. Of course, Malala Yousafzai lies outside these categories.

Journalists in India may argue that it is not their job to seek and showcase positive images of Pakistan. Last year, when I participated in a conflict transformation workshop in Delhi that brought together Indians, Pakistanis and Kashmiris from both sides of the Line of Control, a senior TV journalist who was part of a panel discussion on ‘peace journalism’ laughed at the very idea of ‘peace journalism’. She went on to say,

“Helping to make peace between India and Pakistan is not my job. My job is to report.”

When I protested saying,

“But everyone is a stakeholder in peace,”

I received a smirk in response.

Even if we buy the argument that a journalist’s job is only to report, it is worth examining what gets reported.

Why do cross-border firings get reported and not student exchange programmes, youth festivals, reciprocal visits of peace delegations, or the movement of pilgrims from both countries who visit shrines in the other country?

The answer perhaps lies in Siddiqi’s argument about ratings. It is unfortunate when one sees journalists pick up stories through which they can whip up nationalist sentiments instead of researching stories that could possibly help Indians think of Pakistanis as people like themselves.

The way Indians imagine Pakistan is also seriously limited because Indians do not get to watch films and television shows from Pakistan. This is quite unlike what Pakistanis get to access from India. During my time in Lahore and Islamabad, I have heard Bollywood songs playing in restaurants, taxis, homes and street corners. ‘Saas-bahu’ (mother-in-law and daughter-in-law) serials from India are hugely popular in Pakistan. School and college students I have met in Pakistan love talking about Indian movie stars.

Through the films and television shows that they feast on, Pakistanis get to experience slices of India. However, Indians do not have the same opportunities. Pakistani television channels are not broadcasted in India. Of course, there are Indians who are able to watch Pakistani dramas through the internet and they are quite riveted by what they have seen, thanks partly to the substandard quality of what is available on Indian television these days.

In the absence of mainstream avenues to experience what lies on the other side, young people in India and Pakistan are turning to alternative spaces such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs and online magazines. The interactions that are happening here are quite valuable. In their own humble way, these interactions are helping to break barriers.

I agree with Siddiqi when he says that talking peace between India and Pakistan is a thankless job. However, it is a job that needs to be done. There is no alternative to hope.

We cannot give up. We simply cannot.

Chintan Modi

Chintan Modi

An independent educator, writer and researcher based in Mumbai, India. He recently visited Pakistan to participate in a panel discussion on peace education at the Children’s Literature Festival in Lahore. He tweets as @chintan_connect (twitter.com/chintan_connect)

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

  • gp65

    If you cannot see Pakistani channels on your TV screen, you can easily see it on youtube. It is a mixed bag. SOme are level headed – many are not. Same as with newspapers – Dawn and The Nation are on the exact opposite side. Same is true about Indian media.

    One difference though. While Indian media may escalate some existing issue or keep reinforcing it – it does not make stuff up nor does it take up issues that happened in Pakistan to Hindus or destruction of temples in Pakistan which do not impact India to drum up hate within India.

    In Pakistan there are some people who actually lie to drum up hatred. One perfect example is the lie that India is stealing Pakistan’s water even though India has honored the Indus Water Treaty even during wars. http://tribune.com.pk/story/588840/water-warriors/

    Also I challenge your notion that Indians do not get to access Pakistan but Pakistanis access slice of life based on the limited premise that they see Indian serials but we don’t see Pakistani serials on TV. After all Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Atif Aslam etc. sing in Indian movies and also perform in Indian cities as does Ghulam Ali. Ali Zafar works in Indian movies. India Pakistan play cricket. Furthermore, India has 180 million Muslims so people in India do not have some strange ideas about Muslims unlike Pakistanis who have some weird ideas about Indians whom they think are all Hindus based on what they were taught about Pakistan in their school.Recommend

  • Patriotic Pakistani

    I think everyone including the author is completely aware that it is Indian media that has always incited hatred against Pakistan. Indian media has always overplayed every issue in order to gain TRPs. I am 100% sure that the Indian will try their best to negate this statement but if you check the websites of Indian newspapers or television channels, you will see nothing but hatred [not criticism] toward Pakistan. Pakistan has moved on but India is still stuck in anti-Pakistan issues.Recommend

  • Dr Dang

    I don’t think even Pakistanis get anything more than Terrorism, Taliban, Drones, Coke studio from Pakistani channels.When Pakistanis are themselves flocking to Indian channels for entertainment how can you expect Indians to watch what Pakistanis have discarded. I appreciate your sentiments but your argument is baseless.Recommend

  • grandmasti

    Pakistan is very dangerous country to visit specially for indians.I was reading about experience of 12 guys who visited pakistan just few month ago under youth exchange program.Except lahore or to some extent Islambad all other cities r not safe enough for outsider in peshawar ,when one of the guy was tired,he sat on a seat before burqua clad woman in a colored bus in pakistan.He was badly thrashed by both men and women in the bus till he was able to tell them that he is a hindustani.From there ,they were told by their guide to do not reveal they r indians and Hindu most of the time to shopkeepers and at the hotels. Though they admired hospitality of pakistani people but trip was scary for them coz of that incident.So yes ,Media job is to report and to report true picture of country.Recommend

  • Adil Uddin

    Quite impressive blog
    I personally think that media needs to give as much coverage to societies across the border as possible. There are some right wing elements in mainstream as well as social media of both the nations who condemn private channels and outlets for giving any sort of space to culture or actors from the neighbouring nation.
    For Pakistani custodians of faith and patriotism, I often see shared materials on my Facebook wall where different media outlets, and their magazines and channels are scrutinized and shown as traitor and anti-Islamic elements. I have seen their Indian counterparts too on YouTube and elsewhere who target mainstream news channels of their nation calling the latter pseudo-seculars and traitors. And such analysts from both the nations pretend as if they are suppressed and external powers/lobbies are funding the traitor channels of their (respective) nations.

    I as a Pakistani feel really hurt and offended when watch hateful and abusive remarks against Pakistan on Indian websites and newspapers (I guess I don’t have to disclose about the environment, and there are certain readers who come here and other websites posting only negative, hateful and insulting remarks against Pakistan. But the point is that I don’t like to judge every Indian based on these comments since I personally have interacted with many Indians and while living in Canada have got Indian colleagues and friends too.
    What I assume is that there are certain elements in media of both the nations who always support mainstream prejudice and stereotypes. In Pakistan and on Indian side there are also such elements, and both continue to brainwash their respective nations in their own way. For instance, many Indians are unaware of the fact that Jammu & Kashmir is considered a Disputed Territory throughout the world and call whole of J&K an integral part of India. And when (Late) Muammar Qaddafi said in United Nations that Kashmir Dispute must be settled then I remember how certain Indian channels accused him of spitting venom against India, and sadly many Indians bought it without consulting any other newspaper from anywhere else . And I remember many Indians even cheered when Qaddafi was brutally assassinated since they considered him an enemy of India.Recommend

  • abhi0978

    “I have heard Bollywood songs playing in restaurants, taxis, homes and street corners. ‘Saas-bahu’ (mother-in-law and daughter-in-law) serials from India are hugely popular in Pakistan.” Even if pakistan bans films and serials as an indian I will be more than happy. India doesn’t need any relations with pakistan at all in first place.Recommend

  • Satesh Kumar

    Know what.. actually media cannot do anything. Because what media should have done was actually done by Google in the “Reunion” video, so we cannot expect anything positive from BIASED media..Recommend

  • jssidhoo

    You forgot 26/11Recommend

  • BlackJack

    While it may be nice to give a well-rounded picture of Pakistan to Indians and vice-versa (the reason that many of us visit this site, for example), the fact remains that our interactions are linked to the situation on the border, and as long as we do not see improvement there, it is unreasonable to expect Indians to start feeling differently about Pakistan. What these talks shows do is to broadly amplify existing sentiment among viewers and not to create emotions that did not exist before. Same goes for Pakistan, where talk shows about Indians generally boils down into Hindu-name calling or a reference to one of many conspiracy theories by at least one of the panelists. Further, we don’t find reports on the streets of any foreign city and scanty coverage of cultural or social exchanges with any other country, so why single out Pakistan as a recipient of your special attention? Note: I also find your reference to ‘Indians, Pakistanis and Kashmiris from both sides of the line of control’ to be an example of your desire to curry favor with Pakistani readers.Recommend

  • antanu

    spot on….it is indeed sad that while paki media tirelessly gives space for a better relations with india…our media has been very negative. we need journos like the author to change the attitude.and the author is right when he says that in our country…displaying hate for pakis is the only benchmark to show our love for india.and irony is that with such attitude we aspire to become a part of UN security council.think of it.Recommend

  • 123xyz

    pakistan has nothing positive happening in their country. its not our fault.Recommend

  • Guest

    Paksitani soaps/dramas are being aired in arabic in the middle east, and have greater popularity in Pakistan than Indian soaps.

    There is a lot that we discard, but there is more that we Pakistanis (and others) absorb enthusiastically.. of which you are apparently ignorant.Recommend

  • Necromancer

    Please read your(Indians) newspapers to see who is actually spreading hatred. We Pakistanis are not angel true but you indians are no lesser devils………..both are two sides of a same coinRecommend

  • gp65

    Yes today is the 5th anniversary Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    Dear Author,

    a very good article. To be honest, there was a time in my life where I was very much for Indian-Pakistani friendship. But after looking at hostile journalism in India, I developed Indian hatred with time. It can be the same for Indians as well.
    The point is you provoke a Pakistani/Indian on the TV obviously the whole country gets angry.
    Its also important what kind of picture is shown.
    Journalist these days have forgotten that there Job is to report, but to report the truth and not choosing articles to promote their ratings and hatred.
    Nevertheless I am happy that they are still people across the border who wants peace. :)
    Excellent article…..

    RegardsRecommend

  • Dev

    Just watch Waqt news!Recommend

  • Dev

    You must have stopped watching Waqt!Recommend

  • Patriotic Pakistani

    Dr Jee, if you do not have any knowledge about the popularity of Pakistani dramas, then please don’t comment. On the other hand, if you have time, ask some NRI about Pakistani dramas like Humsafar, Ankahi, and Tanhaiyan. Or may be you can ask some older Indian generation about Moin Akhtar and Umar Shareef.Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    Nobody watches Indian channels any more. Please stop reading TOI for news on Pakistan. Nowadays most people don’t notice if their cable operators have discarded Indian channels. Same goes for you abhi.Recommend

  • jssidhoo

    Qaddafi is no EdhiRecommend

  • Patriotic Pakistani

    I have just watched Waqt News, I would suggest you to to go read the website of the Times of India.Recommend

  • goggi (Lahore)

    On sunday I had my lunch with two friends. One is a handsome clean-shaved Sikh man from Haryana and the other a very witty Hindu man from Ahmedabad. We ate from the same plates. Sukhi had brought especially for me tasty Pakore from his Gurdwara.

    The tens of thousands of years history of our Subcontinent is written from a few divine humans and dozens of inhuman rascals. Only a small minority follows the peaceful footsteps of our divine ancestors whereas the majority is a blind hangers-on of the feral hate-and-violence consciousness which constantly needs an outlet valve……in thoughts, words and actions.Recommend

  • Komal S

    @Patriotic Pakistani says
    ‘Pakistan has moved on but India is still stuck in anti-Pakistan issues.’

    Pakistan has moved on to what. You still send Jihadis, you still have LeT roaming your streets and getting stronger by the day, whose primary aim is militancy against India. You still are not serious about punishing Mumbai planners. Your leaders have gone back to talking with no meaningful progress on the ground. India is in no mood to engage unless it can see enough evidence of sincerity.
    Being the victim of Kargil war, Mumbai and other countless terrorists acts originating from Pakistan we are bound to be extra-careful.Recommend

  • gp65

    Dhoop Kinaare, Anahi and Tanhaiyan were wonderful serials. I had seen thin on VCRs in the 1980s while I was still in India. They were quite the rage in Delhi then. Haseena Moin was a very talented woman indeed.

    There is certainly no dearth of talent in Pakistan.Recommend

  • gp65

    First of all you really need to stop pretending to be an Indian. Secondly, indeed there are some very level headed and high quality anchors in Pakistan butIndia you are telling me that anchors like Mubashir Luqman, Meher Bokhari and frequent guests like Hamid Gul, Orya Maqbool Jan, newspapers like The Nation are creating space for dialog then you are just wrong.

    Also as I stated, Indian news papers may reinforce what has happened. But they did not do 26/11, they did not force Shahbaz Sharif to budget funds for JuD, they did not ambish and kill the 5 soldiers on LoC in August, behead the soldier in January. They are indeed reporting facts.

    On the other hand many Pakistani anchors create hate based on lies such as Indi a is stealing our water, TTP is a RAW agent (except of course when they are stakeholders)Recommend

  • gp65

    False equivalence. If Pakistan is aggressive (kills our people and funds the people who are doing so) and Indian press reports these facts, it cannot be compared to Pakistani media who just makes up facts about India’s aggression based on nothing.Recommend

  • gp65

    Please read The Nation. The actual contents not the comments because that is what media is and tell me that is comparable to ToI.Recommend

  • rashid zaidi

    That’s the right approach, there is always a better way!Recommend

  • Parvez

    Liked what you said……..liked the way you said it.
    Across the board responsible journalism is very hard to come by, anywhere. So the responsibility falls on the reader to use his / her God given common sense and try glean the truth.
    Nice quote on this : Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see…..Ben FranklinRecommend

  • PokerFace

    @d1bb882c204effe993d1a2c43984b843:disqus
    “Situation on the border” …appalling you say that, and how do you suppose one objectively gauges this “situation” without the media’s involvement. I am pretty sure when you said that , you weren’t manning a check post at the LOC yourself with a pair of binoculars fixated to your face.
    It is absurd to state that normalization of any “situation” must dictate our opinion of each other, because its all a media projection always with elements of falsehood attached to it. The only real measure is personal, ironically, much like religion which ought to be a private affair, Indians and Pakistanis must judge each other dictated by their personal experiences on “how they’ve felt” when meeting one another. Empirical evidence, period!Recommend

  • Dev

    I never said India media is full of saints. My only contention was to remind you of the true nature of many Pakistanis. Just yesterdays assignment episode was full of crap about India.Recommend

  • Nero

    Its “fun” to read the views of the “educated” regarding this topic. So status quo for atleast one more decade! China and USA/NATO strategists must be laughing crazy everyday. No lessons learnt from history and no vision for future.Recommend

  • PiS

    You are on a Pakistani blog. Why would you waste your time if you are not interested? Actions speaks louder than words my friend.Recommend

  • IndianKashmiri

    What about indian channels, portraying their muslim nationals as pakistanis??? What about hindu nationalist parties engaging in combat with non hindus ??? Most commentators here are indians, they are tought to hate muslims and non hindus by their political parties. I suggest you stop lying.Recommend

  • Indiankashmiri

    Strongly agree. Not just the media hates on pakistan, they spread hatred against muslims of india and Kashmiris calling us traitor and they don’t even report on the crimes committed by hindu nationalist parties against us !!!!!! Recommend

  • Loyalists

    Is the hindu news is blocked in india ???? Most are coming to this pakistani site just to spread negativity and hate,,, you have your answer,Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Actually I admit that I was unclear; the issue is not just the border but cross-border terrorism which may have an impact far from the border/ LoC. Just as I was not at the check post, neither were you, which makes it impossible for you to say that there is any element of falsehood attached to a media report – unless you mistrust others as a rule. People who can only use personal experiences to develop opinions are fated to remain frogs in tiny wells – this is an age of information, and rationale beings can sift and compare content to arrive as close to the truth as possible. Media reports on border issues only when something actually happens, like the Mumbai attacks or the beheading of Indian soldiers, and at such times, can be sensationalist in its content and delivery. However, there are terrorists crossing the LoC every couple of days – am I supposed to blame the media that reports an incident or the country that these terrorists come from?Recommend

  • Indiankashmiri

    The only indian telling truth here… Im indian and whole heartedly agree.. Not only pakistan, hindu nationalist parties now targeting all non hindus and media doesn’t care to report. Modi has sworn to wipe off all non hindus here !!!!

    No media can be worse than indian media hating on even indiansRecommend

  • gp65

    Canot speak for @BlackJAck but speaking for myself, I have liked almost every Pakistani that I have worked with or met socially. I also condemn the Pakistani establishment which has a vested interest in keeping the conflict alive and which has attacked my country multiple times. It is not just I who say so. Please listen to what your own Air Marshal (R) Asghar Khan who set up PAF says.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=73654&Cat=6

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K57q_914QAU

    So while I invite Pakistanis to eat in my home and gladly accept invitation to dine in their homes, I still want the Indian government to not get complacent and do what it takes to protect Indian land and people. As someone who was born and raised in Mumbai and where my parents still live, today on the 5th anniversary of 26/11 I would want the Indian government to move forward on the basis of ‘Trust but verify’ nsted of be blinded by sweet talk when actions do not match the words.Recommend

  • Truthprevails

    Oh really! Why does RAW have several offices in Afghanistan when its people don’t have food or toilet facilities ??? It is more interested in war with pakistan. India was attacked once, pakistan is attacked everyday Meanwhile, the poor cries for toilet facilities !!!!!Recommend

  • Jabbar

    Thanks Mr Chintan Modi this really beautiful and well informed column. In pakistan media s volume is huge and they are opinion maker to large extent. Your atticle will help many in media to understand the media current repercussions. Hope see more by you.Recommend

  • Junaid

    I think the point that the author was trying to make is the very one you are proving exists. The so called “mixed bag” issue is not uncommon to India either, as you so rightly put. Not enough is being done by the media on either side to represent the opinions of ordinary people. They focus on extraordinary events which result in the creation of negative sentiments.

    The fact is, the Indian press has also had an effect on you. You suggest that it is a “lie” that India is stealing Pakistan’s water, however you have no clue about the case except what you read in the news. Given that the news is biased, your opinions become biased. Read the result of the Partial award: http://www.pca-cpa.org/showfile.asp?fil_id=2104

    To translate it for you, India MUST, under all circumstances, maintain a certain level of water for Pakistan’s consumption, a level that shall be assessed and submitted by Pakistan for judgement by the court. In other words, India is allowed to continue with the project as long as they don’t steal water from Pakistan. Make of it what you will…

    Additionally, you suggest that Pakistani Muslims have some ill-conceived notions about Indian Hindu’s. How do you even know this? Have you studied in a Pakistani school? Do you know what Pakistani children are taught about India? Probably NOT. You write with such gusto and certainty. Just searching through youtube and watching some anchors and news persons representing a minority view does not count as research. Neither is it valid to suggest that exposure to a handful of entertainers and intellectuals counts as exposure to the mind of an average Pakistani. This applies to Pakistani’s too. It’s not your fault though, the media has failed at providing you with any useful information about Pakistan. This is what the author is suggesting needs to change.

    Pakistani’s don’t presume to know everything about India just because of the movies. More enlightened Pakistani’s know that they are a gross misrepresentation of ground realities – but they’re meant to entertain, which they do. There is no shame in admitting that. A lot of Pakistani’s adore the products of Bollywood.

    As such, it is important that we work towards peace, so that we can get to a place where Indian’s can form an opinion about Pakistani’s FIRST HAND and vice versa.Recommend

  • Patriotic Pakistani

    “Pakistan has moved on to what.”

    Pakistan has moved on because in our 2013 elections, the political parties did
    not get vote on the basis of India-bashing while in Indian, anti-Pakistan
    sentiment is still the major point on which people give vote to political
    parties including the BJP. For us, our major issues are energy crisis,
    terrorism, and lack of education which is not the case in India.

    “India is in no mood to engage unless it can see enough evidence of
    sincerity.”

    Same here, Pakistan too, is no mood to become engaged in “Aman ki Asha” until we see sincerity in finding
    out culprits of the Samjhota Express and Babri mosque.

    “you still have LeT roaming your streets and getting stronger by the day,
    whose primary aim is militancy against India”

    What about the Indian embassies established near the Pakistan-Afghanistan
    border and whose sole aim is to create insurgency in Balochistan.

    “Being the victim of Kargil war, Mumbai and other countless terrorists

    acts originating from Pakistan we are bound to be extra-careful”

    I have seen victims of the Indian shelling on the LoC. I have seen families
    who lost their loved ones in Samjhota Express incident. I have seen Pakistani
    soldiers who have received martyrdom while defensing their homeland against
    Indian aggression. If according to you, all terrorist acts are originated form
    Pakistan, then what is the Indian intelligence agency doing?

    Try to refrain from Pakistan’s
    internal issues.Recommend

  • Patriotic Pakistani

    “Pakistan has moved on to what.”

    Pakistan has moved on because in our 2013 elections, the political parties did
    not get vote on the basis of India-bashing while in Indian, anti-Pakistan
    sentiment is still the major point on which people give vote to political
    parties including the BJP. For us, our major issues are energy crisis,
    terrorism, and lack of education which is not the case in India.

    “India is in no mood to engage unless it can see enough evidence of
    sincerity.”

    Same here, Pakistan too, is no mood to become engaged in “Aman ki Asha”
    or should i say “Aman ka Tamasha” until we see sincerity in finding
    out culprits of the Samjhota Express and Babri mosque.

    “you still have LeT roaming your streets and getting stronger by the day,
    whose primary aim is militancy against India”

    What about the Indian embassies established near the Pakistan-Afghanistan
    border and whose sole aim is to create insurgency in Balochistan.

    “Being the victim of Kargil war, Mumbai and other countless terrorists

    acts originating from Pakistan we are bound to be extra-careful”

    I have seen victims of the Indian shelling on the LoC. I have seen families
    who lost their loved ones in Samjhota Express incident. I have seen Pakistani
    soldiers who have received martyrdom while defensing their homeland against
    Indian aggression. If according to you, all terrorist acts are originated form
    Pakistan, then what is the Indian intelligence agency doing?

    You can be as careful as you want but try to refrain from Pakistan’s
    internal issues.Recommend

  • gp65

    Thank you for a polite rebuttal. Appreciate that.

    If it was only the Indian news that said India was not responsible for stealing water, I would think there was merit in your statement. But here are 2 articles from respected Pakistani sources.
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/588840/water-warriors/
    http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta3/tft/article.php?issue=20121130&page=3
    Please read it with an open mind and then tell me what you think.

    Also while I am saying that neither media is a saint, the author is saying that the Pakistani media is more responsible than the Indian one and I do not see the evidence. Also as I mentioned, Indian media may reinforce some existing issues but they do not manufacture facts.Recommend

  • gp65

    Interesting that you talk about several offices of Raw. If it went around opening ‘offices’ it would be a pretty pathetic intelligence gathering organization. No my friend, the accusation made by people that India has several consulates (21/53/102 – pick a number) which were used by India for nefarious purposes. The fact is India has 1 embassy and 4 consulates in Afghanistan in the exact same cities that Pakistan has its embassy and 4 consulates. A simple google search should help you o find hat. If anyone says India has a 5th consulate let alone 51 consulates, I would ask please provide address for t hese consulates because consulates cannot be hidden. They need an address.Recommend

  • Vikram

    Real problem is Pakistani Army/ISI and Mullah Inc. Journalists play a very insignificant role in this whole game. Pakistani media rarely talks about killings in Baluchistan.Recommend

  • x

    Pakistanis have moved on. We have rejected Indian dramas which btw portray sexist stereotypes, saas bahu pettiness, issues of the good girl and the vamp vying for the bad boy turned good for the ‘sharif larki’, overdone makeup and hair, emotional crap and tears galore. We enjoy Turkish dramas such as the period drama ‘mera sultan’ (beautifully shot, great actors and subtle rather than in your face in tackling war and issues of life at court) and even their soaps such as Ishq e memnu have subtly and shades of grey rather than hackneyed storylines and ill conceived characters. The popularity of Turkish dramas is not due to Turkey being a Muslim nation but a progressive, liberal society which is what most Pakistanis aspire to rather than the stereotypes and mentality present in South Asian culture, India and Pakistan both.Recommend

  • x

    Thank you for compliment on Pakistan’s talent :) Much appreciated. If you enjoyed these classics and were disappointed by the low quality, sexist, over emotional crap our tv produced in subsequent decades, you should see dramas such as ‘Doraha’, ‘Daam’, ‘Vasl’ (all produced by Mehreen Jabbar who is supremely talented), Also the ligh hearted series ‘Azar ki ayegi baraat’, ‘Dolly ki ayegi baraat’ and ‘Takay ki ayegi baraat’ (they portray Punjabi and Karachi urban stereotypes to perfection, very well made drama). Lastly, ‘Dastaan’ is not to be missed, related to partition but not anti Indian or anti Pakistan. Refreshingly subtle and beautifully depicted, it has been penned by a writer from the times when we produced quality literature :(Recommend

  • x

    Vested interests exist in most media houses, journalists, politicians, etc. However, I think the people who feed on these lies and harbor anti Indian feelings are those who read urdu newspapers. Majority of us ‘English speaking, English private school educated’ lot (yeah that sounds totally patronizing but anyway) have nough sense generally to sift and see the nuances, especially us younger lot. Even the illiterate such as the servnats we get from our villages show more wisdom, insight and astuteness than the ones who receive low quality education and upbringing of hating others to love yourself. Bad education is worse than no education. Media is not obliged to work as Pakistan’s agent and propagate love your neighbour specifically neither is Pakistani media but honest reporting, investigative journalism needs to be the norm without any biases or protecting interests or under coercion of any kind. Society needs to teach kids to appreciate differences, be tolerant and kind, wise and astute, that is all.
    I hope one day to open a school where children get the best education not in terms of grades and books but also education of the mind and heart.Recommend

  • x

    Ignore Patriotic Pakistani. What is the point? I am a Pakistani and a Muslim,( I ADORE my land and would never move out even if its to marry a settled abroad earning in dollars tom cruise look alike hehe) but I do not consider Indians or Hindus as bad, in fact ive been told by my grandmother that our ancestors were Sikhs who concerrted and our ancestral village is still in india. Bashing Times of India, which is a biased paper, won’t make up for our biased papers and channels. So let’s as people of the nation with no vested interests and no ulterior motives, not bash each other but just think that neighbours need to be loved and respected, differences need to be accepted and we need to be tolerant. Shift towards Turkish dramas shows not that we love it because it is a Muslim country but rather, how Pakistani society accepts a progressive, liberal society where women are not subjected to inferior roles and bracketed in roles where they have to e the ‘shareef virgin’ while men are their masters. So infuriating I found these dramas in both India and Pakistan.Recommend

  • x

    Spot on!Recommend

  • grandmasti

    you talk of hindu nationalist,muslim jihadi first need to accept numerous crime committed by them upon entire humanityRecommend

  • Junaid

    Thank you, I don’t believe anything can be discussed with a view to arrive at a solution if the parties involved in the discussion are close minded.

    I read both of these articles a long time ago. I am, I must admit, a lot closer to this case than most people. The truth is, the term “stealing” must be defined. Additionally, I don’t want to get into the same old arguments about Jamaat Ali Shah as it detracts from the present reality. Lastly, I am assuming that you are referring to the statement made by Shah Mehmood Qureshi in the FT article, which I will talk about at the end.

    The issue which Shahzad Chaudhry outlines is very true, figures and facts have been distorted by the media through misinformation to incite opinion based on existing sentiment, rather than presenting reality. As such, Chaudhry’s analysis on pondage levels must also be looked at. Chaudhry outlines ‘average’ figures from multiple unverified sources. As I’m sure you know, water levels vary from month to month and year to year depending entirely on environmental factors such as temperature, rainfall and snowfall. One year could experience very high water levels, while other months have very low water levels. Therefore, one cannot aggregate figures as it blurs the reality of the image. It had been found that the ponds used for storage by India maintained similar levels through all seasons which resulted in a considerable water shortfall to Pakistan in low months. This is why Pakistan challenged the construction. The ICA upheld Pakistan’s concerns in their 2013 verdict. The media is wrong, but so is Shahzad Chaudhry.

    As for Shah Mehmood Qureshi, he was no more qualified than Jamaat Ali Shah to pontificate about the legality of the dams. It would be important to point out that while the construction of dams is not illegal, it is a requirement to mention all dam construction projects to the opposing country beforehand so that any issues can be discussed through appropriate channels. Jamaat Ali Shah did not challenge many of the constructions because he was highly unqualified (my opinion) (indeed, some rumours suggest that he was paid to nod his head at all proposed projects). It is more important to note that JAS did not return to Pakistan to face trial in spite of the fact that he said he would. A guilty conscience perhaps? Interpret that one yourself…

    My point is, don’t believe everything you read – no matter how seemingly “reputable” the newspapers or writers are. Try to listen/watch/read the statements made by the individuals that were directly involved in the case rather than reading the opinions of a couple of disgruntled journalists/ex-dignitaries. Which takes us back to what the author said, the media needs to be more responsible – the facts in the opinion piece published in the ET were entirely contrived to suit an opinion. This needs to be checked and stopped.Recommend

  • Patriotic Pakistani

    You have all the right to ignore me or anyone who talks crap about Pakistan. But before criticizing Pakistani media, kindly remember the hype created by Indian media on issues like the LoC firing (in which Pakistani soldiers were killed ). Pakistan wants to live peacefully with neighboring countries including India but the peace efforts made by Pakistan have never been reciprocated by India.

    PS I am not a Pakistani settled abroad earning in dollars neither i have married a Tom Cruise look alike ;)Recommend

  • vinod

    Whether it is a blog from indian or pakistani on dawn u always see the same pakis are gud fair enough and indians else where.Recommend

  • infamous_80

    maybe you should forget it too. not having a peace process will not bring solace to anyone, so there is no point in bringing this up every time anyone mentions the possibility of reconciliation.

    Ajmal Kasab was mentioned in the article, btw.Recommend

  • gp65

    Junaid, Thank you for your detailed fact based response. Definitely it was informative, What you are referring to is a legitimate legal dispute that is in the arbitration process. Since India has complied with interim tribunal rulings thus far, one should expect the same in future – should the decision favor Pakistan. This however cannot be characterized as ‘stealing water’ as many hot heads do.Recommend

  • abhi

    I think what you are asking is creating a make believe world. The things you are counting as positive is nothing but usual stuff which happens between any two sane countries. Cross border firing is something unusual so it is reported. If anything which is unusual positive, that will also get reported for example Hafeez Saeed asking for peace, or Pakistan actually prosecuting any 26 11 criminals. But you also know that it is not going to happen.Recommend

  • gp65

    I do not know which TV channels portray Indian Muslims as Pakistanis? So according to it APJ Kalam who got a Bharat Ratna and became Indian President is a Pakistani? Same with our present CJ who is Muslim? The cricketers, film stars, top notch Hindustani classical music maestros, business tycoons like Azim Premji, Habib Khorakiwalla are all Pakistanis?Certainly no mainstream channels does that. If any sidey channel has done that it should not. That issue is not a question of being unfair to Pakistan but being unfair to a fellow Indian merely because of their religion. That is surely unacceptable – not just to me but most Indians I know. I just have not seen any such thing or heard about it. Would you be good enough to provide such a snippet?

    In any case given that such anchors or their views are not mainstream, they do not fit within the hypothesis of this blog.Recommend

  • gp65

    Thank you for the recommendations. If these are available on ou tube, I will surely check them out,Recommend

  • gp65

    agree with you in terms of how you defined your role. Good luck with your dream of running such a school.Recommend

  • khan of quetta

    one man terrorist (mukti bahini,LET ) is another man freedom fighterRecommend

  • khan of quetta

    bhai hamaray pas 14 lakh afghani bhe hain un ka kia karien? we need consulatesRecommend

  • Junaid

    Agreed. Terming this issue as a ‘theft’ shows high ignorance of the facts. The trial process at the Hague was quite dignified on both sides, hopefully these issues don’t need to progress to arbitration courts in the future as it costs each country too many valuable resources.

    Thanks for the pleasant discussion.Recommend

  • gp65

    Just one more point. As you rightly pointed out, I have not studied in a Pakistani school. I was relying on this article http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-129643-Pakistan-Studies-a-concoction-of-half-truths-and-distorted-facts

    and many others like it which appear to have specific details on the poison filled against kafirs in general and Hindus in specific. Since this article appeared in a Pakistani newspaper and has very specific examples, I had no reason to doubt it.

    I did not therefore conclude that ALL Pakistani Muslims believe that, nor did I make any such claims. My point was that besides the media there are other sources to create and maintain hate.

    I have mentioned earlier that Pakistan has some great anchors and have no problem admitting that India has some questionable ones. Every country has both good and bad anchors. But there is no systematic effort led by establishment to create deliberate hatred and no manufactured facts are used on the Indian side. That was my only point.Recommend

  • x

    Haha. Sad about not getting the tom cruise look alike, one day my friend, one day iA. Yes but biased elements exist in Indian and Pakistani media. At the end of the day, its a busienss which needs to please certain parties and even in developed countries, media does lie and patriotism and protection of national image often trumps truth. BUT. We, the public, shoudl remain aware, well informed and discerning as well as open minded. Also, instead of criticizing indian media for its faults, we should criticize Pakistani media because improved systems in Pakistan benefit us more and we need to clean up our own house before criticizing others. Cheers.Recommend