WASHINGTON: The WikiLeaks flood has left numerous red, some even charcoal black, faces but the worst casualty has been the establishment, with the Pakistan Army and ISI taking direct hits. The damage thus to the military establishment has been much more than the wily politicians who, in any case, have thick skins and who are never trusted or accepted at their face value, specially people who make and break promises keeping their evening or night schedules in view. Yet the overall picture that emerges from the US Embassy cables is that for months Islamabad has been passing through a period of immense distrust, palace intrigues, survival strategies, moves and counter-moves almost in all the important centres of political and military power. These power struggles were the subject of many comments, analyses and situationers, which were written, spoken and discussed in the media, many by me, during these months of internal turmoil. These insightful writings were subjected to heaps of abuse. What has also been established now is that the power players knew fully well that the views and opinions, as well as information given in these articles, were true, but they attacked us, the messengers, calling us all sorts of names — political actors, political jokers, peddlers of wishes as news — and so on. REFERENCE: The Pakileaks after the WikiLeaks By Shaheen Sehbai Monday, December 06, 2010 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=2489&Cat=13 Monday, December 06, 2010, Zilhajj 29, 1431 A.H
Group Editor "Shaheeh Sehbai" who is "praising" Wikileaks now in his above "Opinion" had himself said this about "Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani"
WASHINGTON: The latest book by journalist Bob Woodward remarkably paints Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and President Asif Ali Zardari as two divergent personalities, one a brave and strong nerved soldier who was standing up against every key US demand and the other a spoilt politician who knows nothing about governance. The book is credible because it quotes top US officials and what they think about these two important personalities of Pakistan and repeatedly recalls and emphasizes on the political weakness of President Zardari. It is not Woodward who has given these descriptions but he quotes written letters, memos and diplomats, none of which has so far been denied. What has happened to Nato supplies is also a clear indicator. These descriptions include one by outgoing US Ambassador in Islamabad Anne Patterson. On Page 136 Woodward recalls a meeting between recently retired National Security Adviser of President Obama Jim Jones and Ms Patterson in Islamabad.
He writes: “A small, forthright woman, she gave a candid private assessment of the situation. “I worry that all of this is just going to blow up. Zardari doesn’t know anything about governing. He will never get out from being Mr Benazir Bhutto, but he’s basically on our side.” Jones met next afternoon with President Zardari, and I (Woodward) joined them for the last 15 minutes. “Zardari sat between two photographs of his late wife —- one of her campaigning, the other a pensive close-up. His black hair was pomaded to his scalp and his suit had the smart cut of an expensive tailor. He beamed with a wide smile that appeared whenever I asked troubling questions. Zardari acknowledged the influence of the Taliban in Pakistan and said, “It is a thin line to walk with the Taliban. We must walk in small steps.”
On relations with India, he took pride in what he deemed a significant liberalising moment. “I’ve allowed Indian movies for the first time.” Woodward then gives the assessment of what the Americans thought about Zardari. On Page 137 he writes: “Afterward, Jones and his staff debated whether they should worry more about Pakistan or Afghanistan. Several members of his staff said the chief problem was Pakistan — Zardari’s political vulnerability, the continuing dominance of the country’s military-intelligence complex, its nuclear weapons, the persistent presence of al-Qaeda training camps in the ungoverned regions, and the possibility of a misstep with the CIA drone attacks that could dramatically shift the political calculus.” In another revealing account of what the US officials think about Pakistan under Zardari, Woodward writes on Page 208: Later, that day at 3.30 PM, Obama gathered his team for a three-hour review and discussion of Pakistan. “Lavoy began by summarizing the intelligence picture. Pakistan suffered from the enduring we’re-with-you, we’re-not-with-you schizophrenia, the continuing dominance of the military-intelligence complex, and President Zardari’s political weakness.
“The consensus inside the intelligence community was that Afghanistan would not get straightened out until there was a stable relationship between Pakistan and India. A more mature and less combustible relationship between the two long time adversaries was more important than building Afghanistan, Lavoy said. Lavoy revisited the Bush years. “We had engaged Musharraf as though he was Pakistan, which he was.” But with Musharraf out of office and living in London, the US still had not done enough to build relations with other political entities. Deep Pakistani mistrust of American intentions persisted.” “Mullen pointed out that the robust military-to-military programmes with Pakistan had grown to nearly $2 billion a year for training, equipment and other enterprises. Relations were getting better. The admiral was spending a lot of time with General Kayani, improving trust between the countries.” Woodward also reveals that a three-page trip report signed by Jim Jones was given to President Obama. “It contained a pessimistic summary, noting first the gap between the civilian and military authority in Pakistan.” “The US was getting nowhere fast with these guys, talking with Zardari, who could deliver nothing. On the other hand, Kayani had the power to deliver, but he refused to do much. Nobody could tell him otherwise. The bottom line was depressing: This had been a charade. Jones said he was once again alarmed that success in Afghanistan was tied to what the Pakistanis would or would not do. The White House was almost right back to where it had started with Pakistan in 2009.” Tomorrow: What the US knows about supply lines. REFERENCE: General Kayani blocking every key US move By Shaheen Sehbai Monday, October 11, 2010 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=1234&Cat=13
Read what the Senior Correspondent "Kamran Khan" of the very same Jang Group, who also think that he is an "Investigative Journalist", says
RAWALPINDI: In his introductory remarks, Kamran Khan in the Geo News programme ‘Aaj Kamran Khan Key Sath’ on Tuesday smelled a rat in the attempts to make Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani controversial. He was of the view that no country had undergone through such a large-scale destruction as faced by Pakistan through the massive deluge of Wikileaks. There had been 18,000 documents related to Pakistan that were dispatched by the American embassies to Washington with regard to the regional situation and political conditions in Pakistan. Dozens of them had surfaced, but it remains anybody’s guess as to why others are yet to see the light of the day, he said. Through the documents so far released, an effort has been made to make the Pakistan Army, the otherwise respectable institution, and the COAS controversial, along with making more controversial certain disputed people. Through the dispatches, an effort has been made to depict General Kayani as an irresponsible a person, who he never cares whether Zardari continues as president of the country or not or Faryal Talpur replaces him. It is also attributed to him that he may dismiss Zardari and Asfandyar Wali may be brought in to replace him. The exercise simply appears an attempt to make a respected person disputed, Kamran Khan said. A broader outlook also reveals that the COAS neither likes Zardari nor Nawaz. He is branded as a man who damns cares affairs related to Pakistan or foreign policy.
The documents related to the army and its COAS must be seen in the background of the extended talks that were held in the month of October 2009 in Washington on Pak-US relations and attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, some other members of the Pakistan cabinet and the COAS. As part of the dialogue an important meeting was also held at the White House wherein suddenly President Obama had appeared.
The meeting was significant in its nature, as during the parleys, Kayani had directly presented to Obama a 12-paper document based on a summary of the Pak-US relationship and issues being confronted. In the brief, Kayani had pointed out that neither US appreciates nor recognises Pakistan’s policies. He has criticised US policies of extending no cooperation in the resolution of Pakistan-India disputes. In unequivocal terms, Gen Kayani had pointed out that US gave no weight to Pakistan but asked to offer sacrifices only. He also conveyed reservations of the people of Pakistan in this regard. Kamran Khan pointed out that two documents released by the Wikileaks are important about making the Pakistan Army and its COAS controversial. One of them pertains to March 10 that refers to the US ambassador Anne W Patterson who according to it had written that Kayani had told her that the issue of restoration of the judges might turn as very serious. In that case, he may ask Zardari to resign and the name of Asfandyar Wali may come up subsequently.
The second dispatch also pertains to her meeting with President Zardari in March in Karachi wherein she was told that he had asked Bilawal to nominate Faryal Talpur as PPP president in case he (Zardari) is killed. She may be appointed president of the country, the US envoy quoted Zardari. Kamran Khan insists that Gen Kayani had salvaged the system in the country when he quotes the head of the US forces Mike Mullen in his interview with the Times Magazine as saying that Kayani is a leader who knows well his objective. Taking part in the programme senior analyst Shafqat Mahmood said there had to be no role of the troops in the democratic set-up. But it had appeared as an important engine of the set up in view of its political history. The News Group Editor Shaheen Sehbai said whatever disclosures had appeared with reference to Wikileaks had already been made available to important institutions the world over. However confidential password was restricted saying that they will be released along with the documents. REFERENCE: Kamran sees plot to make Kayani controversial News Desk Friday, December 03, 2010 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=2449&Cat=13
As per a noted Media Observer "Cafe Pyala"
Basically, my point is that either completely dismissing the contents of the leaked information as fake or having blind trust that nobody is feeding them to Wikileaks for their own purposes are both logically untenable positions. But then we have Mr Kamran Khan on his Geo programme, Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Saath, deciding to embrace both positions. His programme tonight (December 2) was a marvel of double-speak and chutzpah. But before I come to tonight's programme, let me also run you through the recent history of this programme since the current Wikileaks saga broke, which I have been following and been amazed by every day.
Monday, November 29: On the day when 'Cablegate' was the top story in the entire world, the first cables having been released late the night before (according to Pakistan Time), guess how much coverage was given to them in Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Saath. None. Zero. Zilch. Cipher. Instead, Kamran Khan devoted the entire programme to an extended promotional interview of Malik Riaz, the controversial billionaire owner of Bahria Town construction, said also to have recently invested heavily in ARY. The only explanation I could come up with for this remarkable detour was that either Khan now had a home in Bahria Town or that Riaz has now invested in Geo as well.
Tuesday, November 30: Kamran Khan grudgingly does a segment on the Wikileaks expose, mainly focusing on those related to Saudi King Abdullah's perceptions of President Asif Zardari but seems still to be unsure about the news-worthiness of the story. Seems inclined to believe it's not really credible information until Professor Hasan Abbas from Washington tells him nobody's really questioning the authenticity of the cables. Manages to use the New York Times misquote about Abdullah calling Zardari "an obstacle to Pakistan's progress" and adding in "because he is not sincere to the country" of his own accord.
Wednesday, December 1: Finally realizing that 'Cablegate' is worth more than just a segment, leads his programme with the statement that the cables have caused a storm ("bhonchal") in the politics of the country. Continues to use the misquoted story and focuses almost entirely on cables related to Zardari. No mention of cables implicating General Kayani in domestic politics or ISI chief General Pasha in talks with Israel or of the alleged involvement of Arab countries in Pakistan's affairs or their instigations to the US to attack Iran, which would obviously have serious implications for Pakistan. No mention also of cables giving the lie to Nawaz Sharif's claims about his interactions with the Saudis.
Which brings us to Thursday, December 2: In an amazing display of whatever you want to call it, the first part of Kamran Khan's show was devoted to decrying the manipulation behind the leaked cables and casting doubt on their credibility. Why? Well, because they had 'tried to besmirch the good name and reputation of the Pakistan army and its well-respected leader General Kayani.' Incidentally, according to Kamran Khan, the army is "a totally uncontroversial institution." He concluded that there is a sinister game afoot to undermine Pakistan's interests through the 'selective' release of these cables. He then proceeded to 'contextualize' General Kayani's positions through "new information received", that shows how "brave" and upright the general is, which incidentally is the same 'information' presented by Syed Talat Hussain in Dawn today. (Hmmm, I wonder where both could possibly have received the information from...) The second part of the show, on the other hand, was devoted to praising the credibility of and insight given by the leaked cables which have "documented everything" and "not one single word of which has been denied by anyone or cast into doubt." Why? Well, because they showed what a scumbag and how beholden to US interests President Zardari was. "What are the poor, powerless 170 million people of this nation to do?" cries Kamran Khan.
If that's not called having your cake and eating it too, I don't know what is.
You can watch the relevant portions of the programme below:
Having His Cake:
Aaj kamran khan ke saath - 2nd december 2010 part 1
And Eating It:
Aaj kamran khan ke saath - 2nd december 2010 part 3
REFERENCE: Have Cake, Will Eat Too FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2010 http://cafepyala.blogspot.com/2010/12/have-cake-will-eat-too.html
If that was not enough read what another "Genius" i.e. Mr Ansar Abbasi who is alegedly an Editor Investigations for The News International says, [Mr. Kamran Khan! Were you sleeping when you filed that "Pamphlet" you call news, above]
No less shocking is the way the Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has been opening his heart and mind before the Americans, including the US ambassador. Otherwise giving the impression of being a man of few words, the Army chief spoke before the Americans against President Zardari and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, and also talked of getting resignation from the president and tailoring democracy to his sweet choice. He also hinted at supporting Asfandyar Wali Khan, the leader of the Awami National Party, as the new president. Kayani even made it clear to Ms Patterson, the former US ambassador, that regardless of how much he disliked Zardari, he distrusted Nawaz even more. Such hobnobbing of the military chief with any foreign diplomat or official, what to talk of Americans, is undoubtedly a violation of discipline and breach of his oath. Unluckily, we have a tainted president, tainted prime minister and tainted political leaders otherwise this is a fit case of seeking explanation from the Army chief. With such leadership, both political and military, Pakistan’s future is really bleak. Whom should we trust? Who is free from the US influence? Can we become a sovereign nation? Can we take our own decisions? Why do we have more faith in Washington than in God? How could we save Pakistan from being destabilised after reading what our president, prime minister, political leaders and Army chief have said to a minnow American — Anne Patterson? With such leadership, how can we tackle the problem of terrorism? Who would save us from disgrace and shame? REFERENCE: After the WikiLeaks deluge By Ansar Abbasi Thursday, December 02, 2010 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=2415&Cat=13 Reversing the crossed red lines is imperative By Ansar Abbasi Monday, December 06, 2010 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=2487&Cat=13 Monday, December 06, 2010, Zilhajj 29, 1431 A.H
If that wasn't enough another and a very genuine journalist Mr. Umar Cheema has to say or file this [Mr. Kamran Khan! Were you sleeping when you filed that "Pamphlet" you call news, above]
ISLAMABAD: DG ISI Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, during an in-camera briefing to parliamentarians, appreciated the drone strikes in tribal belt and also defended the Pak-US relationship. He made a ‘good-faith effort’ to portray US activities as ‘positive’, revealed a diplomatic cable, also disclosing that his briefing failed to impress the parliamentarians. The cable of October 13, 2008 further said Pasha accused India, UAE, and Russia of funding and arming the Baloch nationalists. It has also been disclosed that Maj Gen (R) Mehmood Durrani, then National Security Adviser, quietly handed a draft of the presentation given to the parliamentarians in the secret session, to the US Embassy. The draft said Pakistan has not given green signal to US for cross-border operations but that it uses the border area as a launching pad to attack the presence of foreign militants and their violations of Pakistani sovereignty. Pasha’s briefing failed to impress the parliamentarians who later mentioned their thoughts in this respect to the US diplomat during a dinner hosted by the Embassy on October 10, a day after this secret briefing. The reason for their disappointment: the briefing didn’t add any information to what the lawmakers already knew. Regarding drone strikes, the cable quoting a lawmaker as source says: “xxxxxxxxxxxx said Pasha briefed members on what he termed USG (US Government) drone incursions and missile strikes. According to xxxxxxxxxxxx, Pasha praised the U.S. for its support through these methods and showed statistics to parliamentarians that demonstrated the vast majority of those killed in these attacks were either foreign fighters or Taliban. xxxxxxxxxxxx believed that the military had made a good-faith effort to portray USG activities as positive. According to xxxxxxxxxxxx Pasha barely mentioned the threat from local Taliban leader, Baitullah Mehsud.” REFERENCE: Pasha failed to impress MPs By Umar Cheema Monday, December 06, 2010 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=2494&Cat=13 Monday, December 06, 2010, Zilhajj 29, 1431 A.H http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/dec2010-daily/06-12-2010/main2.htm
Cafe Pyala Observes
Whatever else the merits of the Wikileaks expose may be, one thing is for sure: it is a DISASTER for some of Pakistan's media. The huge information dump has resulted, annoyingly for our journos, in having to actually read things properly and double check facts, and far, far too much temptation to make laughing stocks of themselves. Thanks to @sohaibgulbadan who pointed this out, here is The News' version of one on the released cables. Breathlessly, The News' reporter Umar Cheema tells us on the paper's front page:
Pakistan, a private nightmare for Obama Tuesday, November 30, 2010 By Umar Cheema
"ISLAMABAD: US President Barack Obama considers Pakistan as his “private nightmare”, a front-line ally in the war against terrorism that could surprise the whole world waking up one morning to hear that the country had been taken over by the extremists.
A diplomatic cable leaked by Wikileaks reveals that Pakistan is one of the major causes behind the US decision of not attacking Iran, amid fears that any strike against this neighbouring Muslim country could further fuel the militancy in Pakistan. Nevertheless, the US president understands that avoiding confrontation with Iran has portrayed his country as a weak superpower.
Obama, however, believes attacking North Korea would earn less criticism and also teach a good lesson to the countries harbouring nuclear-ambition. “He described Pakistan as his ‘private nightmare,’ suggesting the world might wake up one morning ‘with everything changed’ following a potential Islamic extremist takeover,” disclosed a cable. Obama expressed concerns about Pakistan in two consecutive meetings with ranking US Senator Codel Casey and Congressman Ackerman of the House’s Foreign Relations Committee before their visit to Israel for a meeting with defence minister Ehud Barak last year.
When asked if the use of force on Iran might backfire with moderate Muslims in Pakistan, thereby exacerbating the situation, “Barak acknowledged Iran and Pakistan are interconnected, but disagreed with a causal chain.” To the contrary, Obama argued that if the United States had directly confronted North Korea in recent years, others would be less inclined to pursue nuclear weapons programmes. “By avoiding confrontation with Iran, Barak argued, the US faces a perception of weakness in the region.”
Contrary to King Abdullah’s opinion of Zardari, the UAE rulers had very positive views of former President Musharraf, disclosed a cable narrating meeting of the US diplomats with the UAE Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander Mohammad bin Zayed, after the latter returned from a visit of Pakistan where he met Musharraf in 2005. First, he congratulated Washington for its decision to allow the US firm to bid for contracts to provide F-16s and other defence technology to Pakistan. “He said it was important to support Musharraf as he battled the terrorists. There was no alternative leader in sight,” said the cable. He also questioned the US suspicions that Pakistani authorities had deliberately delayed the news of the arrest of Abu Faraj al Libbi, negating the wrong perception towards Pakistan."
Here is the actual cable. The operative part reads: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/209599
"11. (C) Barak reinforced his message regarding Pakistan in both meetings. He described Pakistan as his "private nightmare," suggesting the world might wake up one morning "with everything changed" following a potential Islamic extremist takeover. When asked if the use of force on Iran might backfire with moderate Muslims in Pakistan, thereby exacerbating the situation, Barak acknowledged Iran and Pakistan are interconnected, but disagreed with a causal chain. To the contrary, he argued that if the United States had directly confronted North Korea in recent years, others would be less inclined to pursue nuclear weapons programs. By avoiding confrontation with Iran, Barak argued, the U.S. faces a perception of weakness in the region." end
If you haven't figured it out yet, the person being quoted is former Israeli Prime Minister and then Defence Minister Ehud Barak, not Barrack Obama. The cable is from the US embassy in Tel Aviv. Had Mr. Cheema and his editors at The News given it just a little bit of thought, by the way, why the hell would an American foreign mission be quoting their own president's views to the State Department? A little bit of thought though seems far from some of the reporting going on. REFERENCE: Back to Kindergarten for the Lot of You TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2010 http://cafepyala.blogspot.com/2010/11/back-to-kindergarten-for-lot-of-you.html
TAIL-PIECE "EXCLUSIVELY" FOR THE JANG GROUP OF NEWSPAPERS & GEO TV.
ISLAMABAD: Allegations against two senior journalists, The News Editor Investigation Ansar Abbasi and Geo TV Senior Anchor Kamran Khan, of being agents of CIA and Indian agency RAW by senior PPP leader Raja Riaz and other MPs have been widely denounced by all political parties and members of civil society including stalwarts of the PPP. The PPP leadership in the Punjab Assembly continued spewing venom against the Jang Group and Geo News, and its senior members allegedly for targeting the Presidency. The PPP leaders termed senior journalists, attached with the Jang Group and Geo News, Indian agents and enemies of democracy. -
RAWALPINDI: Senior Journalist Hamid Mir while expressing his views in Geo News programme "Aaj Kamran Khan Kay Saath" said the PPP has forgotten the ideology of Benazir Bhutto Shaheed. He recalled that Benazir Bhutto in her book had condemned the attack on Geo offices. He said Benazir Bhutto also described the role of journalists and Geo in restoration of democracy in Pakistan. However, he lamented that the PPP had even forgotten the book written by its slain leader. Hamid Mir said he often search Pervez Musharraf and Saifur Rehman in the PPP because the allegations levelled against Geo and Jang are not new. He said same allegations were levelled against Jang and Geo in 1998 by Saifur Rehman after which same kind of inquiries were conducted and press conferences were held. He said in 2007 Musharraf's ministers also billed the group as agent of India and CIA. He said in fact the PPP has waged a war against its leader Benazir Bhutto rather than against media or the judiciary. He recalled that Benazir Bhutto had declared in the Judges Colony that judges' restoration was her mission. "Nowadays whosoever supports the judges, becomes the enemy of the PPP," he said. Hamid Mir said he attended a big function at a foreign embassy where the diplomats of all countries were present. He said all the diplomats were very much concerned about the situation in Pakistan and were of the view that the country had no internal or external threat but the government was the biggest enemy of itself. He said several diplomats are of the view that "This is a category 5 government". Hamid Mir said many PPP leaders, who are fed up with the party leadership, are sending him messages and apologies that they are not involved in this mess. REFERENCE: PPP allegations against newsmen slammed by all By Usman Manzoor Wednesday, October 20, 2010 Zi Qad 11, 1431 A.H. http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=1428&Cat=13&dt=12/27/2010 After failing to nab killers, govt finds Indian agents: Kamran News Desk Wednesday, October 20, 2010 Zi Qad 11, 1431 A.H. http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=1426&Cat=13&dt=2/4/2011
GEO TV colloborates with the Voice of America, which is an official news arm of the government of the United States. Yet, GEO claims to be indpendent and objective.
Washington, D.C. - The Voice of America (VOA) will launch Beyond the Headlines-its new television program in Urdu-on Monday, Nov. 14. The half-hour program will air on GEO TV in Pakistan at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and on selected international satellites, including AsiaSat (Virtual Channel 409) and IOR (Virtual Channel 420). Beyond the Headlines (Khabron se Aage), a fast-paced, contemporary production designed with young and urban Pakistanis in mind, will continue VOA's 63-year tradition of broadcasting accurate and balanced information. Programs will examine international developments, technology, politics, social issues, education, religion, sports, and entertainment. "We look forward to opening this important new channel of communication between the American people and Pakistan," said Steven J. Simmons, a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees all United States international radio and television services. Simmons is chairman of the BBG's Voice of America Committee, and has played a key role in increasing radio and TV service to Pakistan, including Beyond the Headlines. "We're particularly delighted with our partnership with GEO TV, the leading cable/satellite broadcaster in the Urdu language," Simmons added. "This new program, together with our expanded radio service, demonstrates our growing commitment to reach the people of Pakistan with new, engaging programs on both radio and TV." "The links between Pakistan and the United States are strong and growing, and our new show is a reflection of that," said VOA Director David S. Jackson. "Beyond the Headlines will focus not only on the big issues of the day, but also on features, business, and culture stories that illuminate the world we live in. For example, we'll show how Pakistanis live and work and go to school in the U.S. We want to provide a unique mix of stories that viewers can't find anywhere else."
Farah Ispahani is the managing editor and executive producer for Beyond the Headlines. She joined VOA earlier this year, bringing more than 20 years of experience in print and television media at such news organizations as CNN, ABC, and NBC. Before she joined VOA, Ispahani, who is a fluent Urdu speaker, was instrumental in the launch of CNN's Paula Zahn Now and Anderson Cooper 360. Anchoring Beyond the Headlines will be Aneka Osman. A familiar face to Pakistanis, Osman worked as an English language news anchor on Pakistan Television. She has covered regional and national security issues, Pakistan-India relations, the conflict in the Middle East, and Pakistan's general elections. She has also worked on Prime Television, the UK-based Pakistani channel, and on the Business Plus Channel.
Ayaz Gul is VOA Urdu's Chief Reporter and Pakistan Coverage Coordinator for Radio Aap ki Dunyaa (Your World Radio), VOA's Urdu radio service, and Beyond the Headlines. Gul, who is based in Pakistan, has been filing on-the-scene reports in Urdu and English for VOA since 1996, and his reports are translated into numerous languages throughout VOA. Prior to joining VOA, he worked for the Japanese network NHK and for the German news agency DPA as a reporter specializing in Pakistan's foreign and domestic news. VOA's Urdu Service broadcasts 12 hours a day of news and information to millions of Pakistanis and other Urdu speakers on Radio Aap ki Dunyaa. The program is distributed by medium wave at 972 kHz, digital audio satellite, the Internet and a three-hour shortwave broadcast. The launch of Beyond the Headlines adds two-and-half hours of television to the Urdu Service's weekly broadcast schedule. The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages. REFERENCE: PRESS RELEASES VOA Launches Urdu TV For Pakistan 11/13/2005 For more information, call VOA’s Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959 or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org http://islamabad.usembassy.gov/pakistan/h05111301.html
MORE IN THESE DECLASSIFIED US GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS: Documentation on Early Cold War
U.S. Propaganda Activities in the Middle East http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB78/docs.htm
ISLAMABAD: Allegations against two senior journalists, The News Editor Investigation Ansar Abbasi and Geo TV Senior Anchor Kamran Khan, of being agents of CIA and Indian agency RAW by senior PPP leader Raja Riaz and other MPs have been widely denounced by all political parties and members of civil society including stalwarts of the PPP. The MQM said in a statement that to criticise was part of democracy. "Had the PPP alleged that a few journalists are running a negative campaign against the government, no Pakistani along with the MQM would have objected, but calling someone RAW and CIA agent is condemnable." "The PPP should avoid this sort of allegations otherwise confrontation might reach the point of no return," the statement said. PML-Q spokesman Kamil Ali Agha said it was below his level to comment on an allegation hurled by Raja Riaz of the PPP. "First Raja Riaz should himself clarify about his character and then hurl allegations on journalists who expose corruption," he added. Pervaiz Shaukat, president of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, while condemning the allegations hurled by PPP leaders, said anybody could differ with the news published by a journalist, but calling someone an agent of RAW and CIA did not suit to any government. REFERENCE: PPP allegations against newsmen slammed by all By Usman Manzoor Wednesday, October 20, 2010 Zi Qad 11, 1431 A.H. http://www.thenews.com.pk/20-10-2010/Top-Story/1428.htm
Hamid Mir and GEO TV had said that Pakistan has lost it Territory:)
Capital Talk Sheikh Rasheed Fight With Hamid Mir
Capital Talk Hamid Mir Exposed by Sheikh Rasheed.
In an unprecedented move, Punjab Assembly unanimously ratified a motion, placed before the House by PML-N member Sanaullah Masti Khel, against media on Friday, according to reports. Interestingly, no assembly member opposed the said motion. The assembly also condemned the programmes being aired casting aspersions on the MPAs. Earlier, some members of the assembly including the female members delivered fiery speeches in the House blaming generals- judges-journalists nexus conspiring against the democratic dispensation. On the other hand, the media persons, sitting in the gallery, immediately left Punjab Assembly and boycotted the proceedings. Later, the journalists held a peaceful demonstration outside the assembly. The journalists raised slogans against this gang up of the lawmakers against the media, set ablaze copies of resolution in protest and chanted slogans in front of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and members of Punjab assembly. REFERENCE: Why media is being targeted? http://www.thenews.com.pk/blog/blog_details.asp?id=713
GEO News report proves Ajmal Kasab is Pakistani
Truth about Ajmal Kasab
RAWALPINDI: In the Geo News programme 'Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Saath,' the host Kamran Khan has expressed surprise that after having failed to nab killers of thousands of people, the government had identified Indian agents in the country. And it was Senior Minister in the Punjab cabinet Raja Riaz who had made the disclosure. He claimed that it was a conspiracy against democracy and also against the party that had been confronting the establishment, he said. Kamran Khan, however, reminded that in Pakistan establishment means Army. And according to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani the government not only enjoyed best of relations with it but also had been moving ahead with it shoulder to shoulder. Gilani had made these claims while addressing the nation the other day and during those moments he was accompanied at the dais by important members of the PPP. Kamran Khan reminded that Raja Riaz, contrary to Gilani, claims from the floor of the Punjab Assembly that PPP had been confronting the establishment or the Army. Raja Riaz's views with regard to Army are well known. On December 24, 2009 he had told the media that PPP had never succumbed to dictators or the Generals. It's difficult to digest as whether PPP had become anti-state or the Jang Group and Geo, Kamran Khan said. He said the Jang Group and Geo had been pin pointing as to who had plundered the national wealth and where it had taken place? Where merit had been flouted and where poor people are being killed just because of the incompetent government. He said it was a well-thought and well-conceived plan and Jang and Geo had fallen victim to it. REFERENCE: After failing to nab killers, govt finds Indian agents: Kamran News Desk Wednesday, October 20, 2010 Zi Qad 11, 1431 A.H. http://www.thenews.com.pk/20-10-2010/Top-Story/1426.htm
Credibility of Ansar Abbasi and Sources of Ansar Abbasi is being revealed by his own colleague i.e. Nazir Naji.
Capital Talk - Ansar Abbasi vs Nazir Naji
LAHORE: Following some heated arguments between the PML-N and the PPP MPAs over corruption scandals, the PPP parliamentary leader and Senior Minister Raja Riaz, speaking on a point of order, started criticising Daily Jang, Geo News and its senior reporters including Kamran Khan and Ansar Abbasi. The PPP minister claimed that Kamran Khan, the famous Geo TV anchorperson, presented 560 news stories solely on President Asif Zardari, mainly to target him. He alleged that Ansar Abbasi was also working on the same agenda, i.e. to weaken democracy in Pakistan. He termed both the senior journalists ‘Indian agents’. He said for the last two-and-a-half years, the PPP leadership was being targeted by the media and these journalists, though the coalition government wanted to strengthen democracy. At this point, no one from the house, especially from the PML-N, rose to defend the Jang Group, Geo News and senior journalists. Raja Riaz also claimed that the PPP leaders were ready to appear before the courts whether they are summoned in the morning, afternoon or in the evening. The entire PPP camp comprising Punjab Finance Minister Tanvir Ashraf Kaira, IT Minister Farooq Ghurki, Revenue Minister Haji Ishaq and all other members thumped desk in support of Raja Riaz’ remarks against Jang and Geo. REFERENCE: PPP rulers catch journalist agents of America, India! Updated at: 0931 PST, Tuesday, October 19, 2010 http://geo.tv/10-19-2010/73082.htm
PPP's Leadership About Indian Agent - 19 October 2010 - 1
As per a note blogger "Cafe Pyala"
Guess who was spotted on November 9 in Washington D.C. at a reception for American and Pakistani media personnel thrown by US AfPak ambassador Richard Holbrooke's media assistant Ashley Bommer? Mir Ibrahim Rehman, scion of the house of Jang and CEO of the Geo TV Network. He walked in with The Friday Times editor and Dunya TV's Najam Sethi but stayed long after Sethi left the party.
Mir Ibrahim Rehman (c) at his master's convocation earlier this year
Mir Ibrahim (MIR) apparently jetted in for a mysterious three-day visit to the US, during which, our sources say, the main objective was to convince the US administration that Geo was neither anti-US nor anti-democracy, the line being peddled by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government. MIR also wished to gather official American support for the Jang Groupagainst the PPP boycott of the group as an instance of an assault on freedom of the media.
Our sources claim that MIR did not find too much traction among US officials against the idea of a media boycott, perhaps because the Obama administration itself has a similar boycott against Fox News (albeit without the shoe-throwing rent-a-demos and vile grafitti scrawlsagainst Fox News owners). However, what is particularly interesting about the Jang Group's attempts to woo the American establishment is the fact that there has been apparently a lot of discussion within the US government about whether it should support and even subsidize a media group that has no qualms about running shrill propaganda against the US, and sometimes even promoting a pro-Taliban line. In particular, Hamid Mir's contribution to whipping up Blackwater hysteria in Pakistan, Ansar Abbasi's rants about Western puppets, and the space given to nutjobs such as Zaid Hamid (Aag TV) and Ahmad Quraishi (Aag TV and The News) have apparently raised quite a few eyebrows in the US administration.
The Americans have reason to be upset with the Jang Group, and MIR has reasons to find their upset unsettling. The running of the banal American propaganda Voice of America (VoA) programme Khabron Se Aagay[Beyond the Headlines] as an 'advertorial' on Geo since 2005 has netted the Jang Group and its owners, by some accounts, millions of US taxpayer dollars. Although the exact 'compensation package' doled out to Geo by the US government is still secret, it should be noted that the deal between Geo and VoA was mediated during the Bush-Musharraf era by the then Information Secretary Anwar Mahmood and advertising whiz-kid Asif Salahuddin, the latter of whom is reputed not to touch 'small' deals. Apparently, part of MIR's discussions with the US administration included those on the future of the Geo-VoA deal.
Incidentally, while Najam Sethi was ostensibly in the US for medical check-ups and may have been present at the Bommer reception only coincidentally, as we have reported in the past, he too has been trying to persuade American-backed NGOs to fund a new 'liberal' channel to be headed by him.
Coming back to MIR, it seems that more than American upset, a potential threat of withdrawal of lucrative financial support may be the trigger for a panic at the Jang Group. As they say, bullshit may walk but it's money that talks. I have a strong feeling that you may well see the (media) house line shifting very soon. If you suddenly begin to miss the casual anti-US vitriol in the group's publications and on Geo, you'll know why. REFERENCE: Money Talks TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2010 http://cafepyala.blogspot.com/2010/11/money-talks.html