Stories about Pakistani media

Not all Indians are rapists just like not all Pakistanis are terrorists

As a Pakistani, I always thought of the Indian media as anti-Pakistani and excessively nationalistic. So when I recently got the opportunity to work with Indian journalists, I was not sure what to expect. I was on my way to London for the Chevening/South Asia Journalism Fellowship. The program brought 17 leading journalists from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Maldives to live and work together in London for two months. Getting off the plane at Heathrow Airport, I wondered what it would be like to have a frank conversation with an Indian journalist. India is almost four times the size of Pakistan, yet their news media seem to be obsessed ...

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Azhar Ali: A captain in deep waters

After a humdinger of a Test match series that consisted of wild swings in favour of either sides; Pakistan have been brutally crushed under the resilience and sheer willpower of the English team in the One Day format. After a humdinger of a Test match series that consisted of wild swings in favours of either sides. Photo: Reuters It would not be a belittling statement to say that it wasn’t deserved, but the manner in which the team has metamorphosed from a warrior mentality unit to one that needs help psychologically – is quite bemusing. Our team ...

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Does the National Action Plan not apply to Pakistani Ahmadis?

A recent report by the Hudson Institute paints a damning portrait of Pakistan as a country where its Ahmadi community is arrested for propagating their faith, has its places of worship destroyed over allegations of blasphemy, has its businesses and products boycotted, and its deceased’s’ graves desecrated with impunity. This is a Pakistan where police officers are frequently complicit to violence against Ahmadis, the school curriculum panders to prejudice, and it feels like every few weeks new names are added to the list of Ahmadis murdered at the hands of misguided psychopaths who are brainwashed and influenced by Pakistan’s irresponsible, vast ...

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How far is the state willing to go to police the internet in Pakistan?

It is unfortunate that every time activists engage the government in a discussion regarding the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill (PECB), with the aim of protecting civil liberties in cyberspace, the government in turn makes the law more complex and open to multiple interpretations. In recent days, an extensive round of deliberation was carried out with the senate’s standing committee and sub-committee on information technology. This time, digital rights organisations somehow managed to push legislators through, with the help of a few sane voices, in the senate for removing and/or improving the sections contravening the essence of democracy vis-à-vis civil liberties. Pakistan has ...

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We’re celebrating the 250th Press Freedom Day but is the Pakistani media really free?

You know, therefore you are. And we know because of the press. Be it print or broadcast, media is what keeps you updated. It provides us with information because it is our right to know, and it is the press’ right to relay that information. The press, or a more relevant term today might be the media (that includes products of both print as well as broadcast and digital journalism) relay that information to you. But, if you are a Pakistani and have never been a part of the media, never seen the workings of a newsroom and have never been a ...

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Why is domestic abuse the selling point of Pakistani dramas?

The drama industry in Pakistan has grown exponentially and is a very valuable export of ours. These dramas have turned Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan into household names. For Pakistanis living abroad, they serve as a potent link to life back home and provide a much needed break from reality. However, there is still room for improvement. One particular thing that really irks me is the propensity to show violence against women on screen. There have been numerous incidents where a young member of my own family might be playing with a toy and they are suddenly transfixed to the TV screen, ...

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Depression cannot be cured by eating spinach, Zubaida apa!

In Pakistan, issues related to mental health are often stigmatised. Often ridiculed and frequently dismissed, conditions such as clinical depression are rarely addressed with the sensitivity and respect they rightfully deserve. This cavalier attitude is perhaps most obvious in the manner with which our media tackles the issue of mental health. Case in point; a recent episode of the Nadia Khan Show aimed to shed some light on the emotional and physical wellbeing of married women. In line with the pattern of most morning shows, Nadia Khan invited a few guests to discuss the topic at hand. Amongst those invited was Zubaida Tariq, fondly referred ...

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Mann Mayal is teaching our society some horrendously wrong things!

Mannu: “Amma, amma. Please mujhay jaaney dain. Main unkay baghair marr jaun gee. Main nahin reh paaun gee. Please mujhay jaaney dain.”  (Mother, mother. Please let me go. I will die without him. I won’t be able to live. Please, let me go) Dad: “ Jaaney do issaay.” (Let her go) Mom: “Yeh kya keh rahay hain aap?” (What are you saying?) Dad: “Jaaney do issaay!” (Let her go!) Mannu runs towards her father who signals her to stop. “‘Jao. Khari kyun ho? Raasta khula hai. Tumhain ab koi nahin rokay gaa.” (Go. Why are you standing? Your path is clear. Nobody will stop you.) Mannu: “Aisa ...

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What a perfect Pakistan Super League could be like

Pakistan Super League (PSL) gets rolling in February next year. PSL promises to be a great Pakistani sporting spectacle, with competitive cricket and the entire sixes-for-fun (T20) aura. However, one may think that Qatar’s Doha is not the ideal venue for PSL, due to it’bs lack of knowledge on cricket. PSL filling our stadia in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Peshawar would have been fascinating indeed. However, our misleading global image prevents the likes of Warners and Gayles from touring Pakistan. Keeping reality in sight, which includes the unavailability of grounds in UAE in February, we would have to be content with Qatar for starters. ...

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Sharmila Farooqi’s Disney wedding and Pakistan’s plight

The coverage of Sharmila Farooqi’s nuptials on national media and the hype associated with it had all the hallmarks relevant for a royal fairy tale wedding. The glorification of the ceremony, pictures of opulence and extravagance, and a happy couple starting a new phase – the event represented everything good in life. Unfortunately, these were pictures of beautiful dresses and lavish feasts set in the backdrop of an impoverished country. Photo: Aysha Saleem This is not the first political wedding on which the national media went gaga. A couple of months ago, we had the Imran and Reham Khan wedding madness, that ...

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