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Archive for category PAKISTAN’S CORRUPT MEDIA

Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan: A New Age Dawns or More of the Same?

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Nawaz Sharif is back. And back with a big enough chunk of parliament that he won’t have to form a coalition government. After a record number of Pakistanis showed up at the polls and dumped the delinquent Pakistan People’s Party out of power, many Pakistanis have rejoiced with hope that their country is on the brink of a new period of prosperity.

We don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade but we don’t share that optimism. Not so long ago Nawaz Sharif wasn’t much more than a corrupt thief, like many of his colleagues in the Pakistani civilian political elite. He and his party have visible links to some very nasty groups of sectarian militants, especially in the Punjab, a PML-N stronghold. Pakistan’s deep state, where the real power lies, doesn’t seem likely to let Sharif do more with his time in office than take the blame for the government’s inevitable failures and economic setbacks.

Sharif will get blamed for all the potholes on Pakistan’s terrible streets, all the hours when the electricity isn’t running, all the schools that aren’t open and all the jobs that aren’t being created. And as ever, the parliamentary majority is for sale and doesn’t represent a coherent political force, except when it comes to fighting for spoils and graft.

Pakistan is on the brink of a new era but only in the sense that one group of corrupt politicians have been dumped out of office in exchange for another group of equally corrupt civilians. The country still faces the same problems it faced five years ago and will likely face five years from today.

This article was written before the Pakistan Election and is proving to be prophetic. Well done Russel Meade!

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Huma Yusuf : Mapping Digital Media: Pakistan

Mapping Digital Media: Pakistan
 
by Huma Yusuf   
July 2013   
 
 
The Mapping Digital Media project examines the global opportunities and risks created by the transition from traditional to digital media. Covering 60 countries, the project examines how these changes affect the core democratic service that any media system should provide: news about political, economic, and social affairs.
 
Pakistan has long suffered from high inflation, led by soaring food prices, which has increased poverty levels. According to the United Nations’ 2011 Human Development Report, half the population suffers deprivations of all types. Only half is literate. Even then there are only 12 million television sets (surely a desirable medium for those who cannot read)—one for every 14 people.
 
This means a lot of communal watching of mostly state-owned channels of the Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV). At present, the only other terrestrial television channel is the privately owned ATV, in which PTV and the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation are majority (80 percent) shareholders. The sameness is deafening.
 
However, urban Pakistanis are getting richer and spending money on alternatives. Thus PTV has ceded ground to more than 20 privately owned broadcasters with 89 domestic and 26 foreign channels, with national television viewing split evenly between terrestrial on the one hand, and cable and satellite on the other.
 
This proliferation of channels has enabled Pakistani media to wield more influence over politics and public discourse than ever before. With this growing influence comes, however, a corresponding increase in attempts by the government to control media outlets. Indeed, state coercion and increasing censorship are among the greatest pressures on the media industry.
 

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NAWAZ SHARIF’S THEFT OF PAKISTAN’S WEALTH

Sharifs may land in thick soup due to Ishaq Dar
 
 
Amir Mir
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 
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LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided in principle to revive all the corruption references pending against Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and other members of their family which had been adjourned indefinitely in December 2000 after the Sharifs signed an exile deal with the Musharraf regime and left Pakistan for Saudi Arabia.

 

According to well-informed NAB officials, of the three corruption references currently pending against Nawaz Sharif and his family members, NAB would first take up the case titled ‘State Vs Hudabiya Paper Mills (Pvt) Ltd’ in which nine members of the Sharif family are accused of committing money laundering to the tune of Rs642.743 million.

 

According to the NAB findings, the Sharif family members allegedly deposited ill-gotten money in fake accounts which were opened in other persons’ names and used the money from these accounts to pay off loans of the defaulting Sharif companies. Mian Muhammad Sharif, Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Mian Abbas Sharif, Hussain Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz, Mrs Shamim Akhtar (mother of Nawaz Sharif), Mrs Sabiha Abbas, Mrs Maryam Safdar (daughter of Nawaz Sharif) and the former finance minister of the Sharif cabinet, Ishaq Dar, are the main accused in the Hudabiya Paper Mills reference.

 

As per law, the NAB will have to file an application before the accountability court for reopening of the corruption references, which is set to open a Pandora’s box for the Sharif brothers, in view of a 43-page hand-written statement recorded by Senator Ishaq Dar and accusing the Sharifs of involvement in money laundering.

 

As per the statement which Ishaq Dar had recorded before a Lahore district magistrate on April 25, 2000, the Sharif brothers used the Hudaibya Paper Mills as cover for money laundering during the late 1990s. Dar’s statement was recorded as part of the Musharraf regime’s plans to file a money laundering reference against Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif. However, the reference was shelved after the Sharif family opted for self exile in 2000, once they came to know that their trusted Ishaq Dar has turned approver against them.

 

Ishaq Dar’s confessional statement against the Sharif brothers was reportedly recorded before a district magistrate in Lahore, after he was brought to the court from a jail by Basharat Shahzad, then serving as assistant director in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

 

NAB circles say Ishaq Dar’s deposition is an irrevocable statement because it had been recorded under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Ishaq Dar now happens to be high-profile PML-N leader who has always been considered close to the Sharif brothers. Senator Ishaq Dar’s son, Ali Dar, is married to Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, Asma Nawaz.

 

Dar had confessed in his 43-page statement: “I opened two foreign currency accounts in the name of Sikandara Masood Qazi and Talat Masood Qazi with the foreign currency funds provided by the Sharif family in the Bank of America by signing as Sikandara Masood Qazi and Talat Masood Qazi. All instructions to the bank in the name of these two persons were signed by me under the orders of original depositors, namely Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif. The foreign currency accounts of Nuzhat Gohar and Kashif Masood Qazi were opened in Bank of America by Naeem Mehmood under my instructions (based on the directives of the Sharifs) by signing the same as Nuzhat Gohar and Kashif Masood Qazi”.

 

According to Dar’s confessional statement, besides these foreign currency accounts, a previously opened foreign currency account of Saeed Ahmed, a former director of First Hajvari Modaraba Company and close friend of Dar, and of Mussa Ghani, the nephew of Dar’s wife, were also used to deposit huge foreign currency funds provided by the Sharif family to offer them as collateral to obtain different direct and indirect credit lines. Dar had further conceded that the Bank of America, Citibank, Atlas Investment Bank, Al Barka Bank and Al Towfeek Investment Bank were used under the directives of the Sharif family. Interestingly enough, Dar also implicated himself by confessing before the district magistrate that he – along with his friends Kamal Qureshi and Naeem Mehmood – had opened fake foreign currency accounts in different international banks.

 

The News made frantic efforts to approach Ishaq Dar and after making several phone calls the brief response received from Mr Dar stated: “This is all rubbish. The Hudabiya Paper Mills case is nothing but trash. The matter is sub judice in the High Court and facts would be known to public in due course. All transactions were duly reported to the State Bank of Pakistan as per law of the land”.

 

However, a senior PML-N leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the credibility of a confessional statement recorded under pressure and coercion, and that too by the officials of a military regime, will always be doubtful and remain questionable.

 

Interior Minister Rehman Malik has already taken up the same money laundering case at a press conference in Islamabad on Saturday. Giving details about the scam, he said the Hudabiya Paper Mills Limited, owned by the Sharif family, entered into a leasing contract with M/s Al Towfeek Company for investment funds under the laws of the Cayman Islands on February 15, 1995 for lease of paper manufacturing machinery. The leasing price was $12.046 million. Rehman Malik said Shahbaz Sharif and Abbas Sharif and another, provided guarantee in writing to pay jointly and severally to the leasing company, all sums due against the Hudabiya Paper Mills under any agreement up to a maximum of $10 million with all profits and charges. On February 15, 1995, Shahbaz Sharif provided a further guarantee to pay on demand to the leasing company any such due against the Hudabiya Paper Mills up to a maximum of $12.046 million together with all profits and charges.

 

As the Hudabiya Paper Mills Limited failed to pay back the amount, M/s Al Towfeek Company served a demand on the Sharif family members on July 31, 1998 to repay the sum. However, all the three guarantors failed to honour their guarantees and to make payment on behalf of their company. Subsequently, on March 18, 1999, the High Court of Justice, Queens Bench Division (London) ordered the Sharifs to jointly pay a sum of $32.5 million (around Rs1.7 billion) to Al-Towfeek Company for Funds Ltd, the investment company from which they had taken a loan for Hudabiya Paper Mills Ltd. The London High Court passed the ex-parte order as the defendants – Hudabiya Paper Mills Ltd, Mian Mohammad Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, and Abbas Sharif – had not defended themselves in the court.

 

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Hamid Maker: Straight Talk – Of Broken Promises and Shattered Dreams

For the last six decades, Pakistan has been traveling down the River Of No Return, without a paddle or a rudder, heading for the Niagara Falls and the rocks Unknown-15 

Therefore, if we want to save Pakistan, we will have to take ownership of our country and step into the world of hunger, squalor, disease, despair and death and share their grief and sorrow and try to fulfill their broken promises. If we fail to establish a just and honest system of governance, then neither the drones, nor the mightiest army nor our nukes will stop the March of the Taliban.

 

And to achieve this, we need an honest and sincere leader and a government that is free from corruption and dishonest parlimantarians. And this can only be achieved if the corrupt parliamentarians are disqualified by ECP and prevented from participating in the coming election.

 

Unfortunately, Fakhru Bhai and his four-member team are being put under tremendous pressure from those in government, who are trying to sabotage the workings of ECP, by accusing its shameless members of ‘witch hunting’ and defaming the politicians. But then, as the late Ardeshir Cowasgee, God bless his soul, had asked,‘How do you shame the shameless’?

 

As such, if we wish to save Pakistan, we, who have the most to lose, must stand up and be counted and come to the aid of the Election Commission of Pakistan. In this connection, Citizens For Fair Election are organizing a series of peaceful demonstrations in front of the ECP office, (opposite the passport office in Saddar), on Monday 25th at 12pm and request all citizens to participate in the demonstrations.

 

And if we fail to do so, then as Shakespeare had written: ‘The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings’ and the bells that tool, will be for us.

Hamid Maker. (Email: trust@helplinetrust.org).

 

 

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$50 Million Buys Pakistani Media to Defeat Imran Khan: Stealth Programs Pressititutes on ARY, AAJ, Dunya, Express, Waqt, GEO

$50 Million Buys Pakistani Media & Ex-PTI Opportunists to Demonize Imran Khan  

By Jehangir Khan Orakzai

 

Unknown-2Imran Khan should NEVER come to power in Pakistan’s upcoming elections. That is the key objective of NATO, Western Think Tanks and Feudal/Industrialist/Military entente in Pakistan. A populist leader cannot rule Pakistan. He/she needs to be eliminated, because he/she will not serve the interests of Western Powers. Pakistan’s history tells us that populist leaders had a short life span in a country like Pakistan. Liaquat Ali Khan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and even Murtaza Bhutto were eliminated mysteriously. Not a single of these assassination were ever investigated by neutral observers or commissions. Populist leadership in Pakistan is either eliminated physically or by political assassination and intrigues. The belief of a common Pakistani that his nation has been hijacked by foreign powers has a kernel of truth to it.

 

At present, Imran Khan is a thorn on the side of its ISAF allies and US. There is a concerted effort to remove him from the political scene by demonizing his character. Presstitutes like GEO, ARY, AAJ, and Dunya, plus several popular newspaper have received millions of rupees in funds from the Western embassies, among them are US, UK, Netherland, France, Norway, UAE, Saudi Arabia and others in Islamabad. Many members of Pakistan Tehrik Insaf are enticed with financial and commercial incentives to leave the party. These are the stealthily corrupt individuals, who came into the PTI to ride the tide of its popularity. An in depth searches of these individuals’ background reveals their feudal or Jagirdarana roots. These opportunists had a choke hold on Pakistan’s politics and they are back in action to claim, which they consider is rightfully their inheritance: an inherent right to rule Pakistan and steal whatever is left in the country. Spearheading this movement is a nexus of strange bedfellows, PML (N)-PPP-US Interests in Pakistan, represented by Jagirdars, Waderas, Industrialists, and fifth columnists in the Pakistan Media, led by GEO, AAJ, ARY, and Dunya. The scions of the Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman family represent the media business interests, who put their own financial interests above that of the nation.

 

How does this propaganda work? As election strategies progress, so is the use of political campaigning.

 

1.  Direct personal attacks on TV, opposed to surrogates doing the attacking

 

Result: The effects it can have on “someone who is uneducated,” like the majority of electorate or voting public in Pakistan. Historically speaking, even in the US Elections, “Name-calling and invective are themselves nothing new in American political life. Washington was called a “Whore Master” and would-be-monarch; Jefferson a coward and atheist; Lincoln, a “rail-splitting baboon.” Franklin O. Roosevelt, Jr., as a surrogate for John Kennedy in the West Virginia primary in 1960, declared Hubert Humphrey was a draft dodger.

2. Bribe media owners, commentators (exceptions are Talat Hussain, Shahzeb Khanzada, Iftikhar Ahmed and a handful of others) and reporters. A Report from London Institute of South Asia (2) described these activities in details below:

Results:

Pakistan Media Corrupted

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Starting 2010 the Obama administration made plans to spend nearly $50 million on Pakistani media to reverse anti-American sentiments. This has done wonders as one sees the erstwhile hostile (anti US policy) TV anchors changed like chameleon changes its colors. In the perception of many Pakistanis, the card being played right now by US establishment and its allied media is to weaken the only institution left intact in Pakistan; its military. Pakistani media that has immature anchors, journalists and some of the opportunist politicians who are trying to settle their score with the military establishment is reinforcing the military-bashing campaign

 

 

 

 

Imran Khan

Only in Pakistan do the media champion the cause and lionize traitors and terrorists that act against their country. Would the British media have acted in the same way in the case of IRA or the Spanish for ETA or the Indians for the Kashmiris, Sikhs and Naxalite?

The media is ideally perceived as the fourth pillar of the state (alongside the judicial, legislative and executive powers), but in Pakistan, most people have come to distrust the media and those who practice journalism. Presently, Pakistanis are demanding that star anchors of various current affairs programmes and other journalists be held accountable for their actions.

US- Afghanistan-Pakistan

The war in Af- Pak did not progress as planned by the US. The US – Pakistan standoff over a range of issues worsened the situation where Pakistan is well placed to extract maximum leverage from US towards a Taliban friendly dispensation backed and dominated by Pakistan.  However this may not be forthcoming because of weakened establishment and a corrupt and pliant government in Pakistan. The dirty picture emerging in Af- Pak has US fighting for influence with major stakeholders such as China backed Pakistan and Iran. Both these countries can be instrumental in finding a face saving formula for the US to resolve the crisis and affect a graceful exit.

In his article ‘The Lost War’ Patrick Cockburn writes that it is an extraordinary turn-around that in a decade the Americans are departing and the Taliban are back in business. A leaked NATO report on interrogations of 4,000 captured Taliban, Al-Qaeda, foreign fighters and civilian shows that Taliban prisoners are in a confident mood. They believe their popular support is growing, Afghan government officials secretly collaborate with them, and, once foreign troops are gone, they believe they are going to win.

Afghans like to bet on winners, and the US action will convince many that these are increasingly likely to be the Taliban and Pakistan rather than the Afghan government. No wonder NATO officials looked as anxious as they pretended that the US action had not come as a nasty surprise.

The US has failed in Afghanistan and the Taliban will become stronger. But it is unlikely they can win a total victory. The non-Pashtun communities, a majority of the population, will resist them. Reconciliation will be very difficult in a country as deeply divided as Afghanistan. In the foreseeable future the war may soon be over for the Americans, but not for Pakistanis and certainly not for the Afghans.

India Getting Trapped

In the new Cold War between US and China, India is being groomed to play the role Pakistan played as a US ally in the cold war with Russia. (And look what happened to Pakistan.) Many of those columnists and “strategic analysts” who are playing up the hostilities between India and China, can be traced back directly or indirectly to the Indo-American think tanks and foundations. India must understand and learn from Pakistan’s case that being a “strategic partner” of the US   means collaboration (interference) at every level. It means hosting US Special Forces on Indian soil (a Pentagon Commander recently confirmed this to the BBC). It means sharing intelligence, altering agriculture and energy policies, opening up the health and education sectors to global investment. It means opening up retail. It means an unequal partnership in which India is being held close in a bear hug and waltzed around the floor by a partner who will dump her the moment she refuses to dance.

There is certainly more of the smell of war in the air around the Persian Gulf this year than any other year in recent times. This is driven by fear that Iran is inching ever closer to actually getting its hands on the bomb and that its window of vulnerability to an Israeli attack may be closing rapidly. The prospect of an Iranian nuclear bomb is not so much an existential threat to Israel as an end to Israeli nuclear hegemony and full-spectrum dominance over all other countries in the Middle East.

India has good relations with Iran based on shared trade and security interests. Iran supplies about 12 percent of India’s oil imports. Delhi has also had a long-standing interest in building a gas pipeline from Iran to India, but that would have to run through Pakistan. US pressure on India to cut its reliance on Iran oil and gas has created a complex situation for India. India has to balance a complex array of interests in the region. Some Indian independent strategists are of the view that there has been an equally long-standing convergence of strategic interests with Iran in Afghanistan and Pakistan that will outlast the Western military involvement in Afghanistan.

Supreme Court a Forlorn hope of hapless Pakistanis

It appears that the Supreme Court of Pakistan has inadvertently fallen prey to these schemes as the timings of hearing the Mehran Bank scandal suggests. Since the hearing of this case was commenced by the Supreme Court the media went berserk in a relentless attack on the institution of the Army and ISI. Never in the history of Pakistan or for that matter any nation in the world, the local media and politicians have maligned, humiliated and insulted their own armed forces with no holds barred.

An independent judiciary would pose a threat to the corrupt. The picture looked promising when an independent judiciary (Supreme Court) was reinstated after a truly memorable struggle and thus the expectations were high.  In the perception of many its judgments are slow and it has failed to enforce its own judgments. Ikram Sehgal, a journalist with high integrity and repute writes: All cases are pending for unknown reasons! The nation is losing confidence in the judiciary. “Justice delayed is justice denied “.

Agreed, The Supreme Court did not have guns or armored divisions or special service group to force subservience to its edicts. But, it had a surfeit of moral authority and the active public support to back it if the need for that ever arose. Ikram Sehgal goes to the extent of saying that the Supreme Court should have been able to call on all institutions including the instrument of last resort, the armed forces. Pakistan government and its Prime Minister and The President take pride in its open and willful defiance /disobedience of the judiciary. Most Pakistanis subscribe to the view that there were countless opportunities for the judiciary to assert its authority through a combination of issuing expeditious judgments and following up on their implementation through the use of constitutional powers vested in it. It is on both these fronts that the judiciary has been found wanting. As a consequence of this failing, the proponents of the corrupt status quo have become more daunting in their misdemeanors, thus adding to the woes of a beleaguered people most of whom are incessantly fighting for a few miserly morsels every day.

When President Zardari and his son Bilawal openly attacked the Supreme Court (specifically the Chief Justice of Pakistan) and the Army, only then perhaps His Lordship understood the game plan and stated that he shall not allow anyone to defame the Armed Forces or the Judiciary of Pakistan. Too late too little My Lord, the damage has been done and may we have the audacity to suggest that such comments are unnecessary and meaningless coming from the highest judicial officer unless they are translated in appropriate timely judgment that court has the will and wherewithal to implement.

Pakistan- Besieged or Held on Ransom?

Raoof Hassan befittingly remarks in his article in the News International that Pakistan is a besieged country in the hands of its leadership and their crude machinations solely crafted for their vile advancement.

Pakistan’s misery can be traced to the incompetence, woeful lack of sincerity, an inherent defiance of the rule of law and deep-rooted corruption of its rulers who have adorned its throne playing out a ghastly sequence of masquerades. Exploiting an economically captive electorate is rather easy to bring forth a coterie of people who control their purse strings. Is this democracy by any stretch of imagination? Crimes are being perpetrated in the name of democracy and religion while the relatively clean higher judiciary and the Army are sitting placidly watching this sordid drama of plunder and loot.

A Ray of Hope

Imran Khan has emerged in Pakistan as a light at the end of tunnel. A survey conducted by the institution   in the urban center revealed that 80% of educated elite would support him in future election. However, well over 55% conceded that winning at polls is different ball game. Whereas the current rulers PPP along with a very friendly opposition of PML (N) would easily exploit an economically captive electorate in towns and rural areas fully supported by the feudal lords in Punjab and Sindh and the warlords /Sardars of Balochistan would capture enough seats.

 

Many suggest the only way out for Pakistanis is to come out in the streets and launch a people’s movement to Islamabad to topple the masquerading plunderers of this hapless country. Imran has the ability and charisma to start this movement for restoration of true democracy in Pakistan. He need not worry about the establishment. This time around there is little chance of telephone call from General Kayani to call off the march to Islamabad as he did during the long march (for restoration of the superior judiciary).

3. Pakistani Newspapers Banned in Afghanistan by ISAF and at India’s Insistence

Afghanistan has issued a nationwide ban against Pakistani newspapers to stop what security officials consider anti-government propaganda aimed at Kabul.

Ihsanuddin Taheri, a government spokesman, told the Reuters news agency on Saturday that Pakistani newspapers are often “misleading” in their reporting of the Afghan administration and wrongly accuses NATO-led forces of “occupying” the country, rather than offering security support.

He added that some papers have also published speeches by Taliban leaders, hampering the government’s effort to bring the Taliban into peace talks aimed at ending the country’s 11-year conflict.

“We totally reject these statements and the ban is to show them this,” Taheri said.

Afghan border police have been ordered to sweep shops in the eastern provinces of Nuristan, Kunar and Nangarhar near the Pakistan border to seize copies of Pakistani papers, he said.

The east of the country has been the focus for foreign and Afghan security operations against fighters over the summer months ahead of a NATO pullout of most combat troops by 2014.

Ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been strained by months of cross-border shelling which officials in Kabul have blamed on Pakistan’s military.

Islamabad accuses Afghanistan of failing to stop anti-government fighters operating from mountain havens on Kabul’s side of the border.

On Thursday, the Afghan foreign minister told the UN Security Council in New York that diplomatic ties with Pakistan were under threat.

The newspaper ban, which is likely to worsen already tense cross-border ties, could only be reversed by a ministerial decree.

4.How Propaganda is used as a Tool to Influence nations like Pakistan. Fortunately for Pakistanis with less than 58 percent literacy rate, these cutting edge propaganda tools fail miserably. You cannot win hearts and minds of people by sophisticated marketing deception or propaganda.

 

References

http://www.lisauk.com/view.php?i=86&em=1

http://tribune.com.pk/story/442395/education-endowment-pakistans-literacy-rate-needs-to-improve/

http://www.beyondintractability.org/bi-essay/propaganda

 
 

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