Sunday, February 27, 2011

Use of Secret Fund in Pakistani Journalism. the trial of Ayub’s Information Secretary Altaf Gauhar in 1972, a disclosure was made that quite a few members of the Press succumbed to the corruptive influences of the dictatorial regimes of Ayub and Yahyah. It was revealed that some members of the Fourth Estate were in the pay of various official agencies, doing assignments of purely political character, more often outside the ambit of the institutions they belonged to. Their role was part of the corrupt and unjust dispensation that had to be suffered all these years. Unfortunately, the names of the beneficiaries were expunged from the Court Proceedings. The National Press Trust was a brainchild of Altaf Gauhar. To those who were brazen enough to present the naked dictatorship as ‘democracy’, it presented no problem to advertise the scheme for putting a number of important papers under the official thumb, as an enlightened attempt by private “philanthropists” to “raise the standard of journalism and editorial policy”. An official compendium of Ayub’s “achievement”, Twenty Years of Pakistan, compiled under the supervision of Altaf Gauhar. [REFERENCE: The Press in Chains by late. Zamir Niazi]

[hazrat_QU_shahab[1].JPG]The Press and Publications Ordinance, 1960, was promulgated when Qudratullah Shahab, a super-bureaucrat, was Ayub’s Information Secretary. During his tenure as the Secretary, Ministry of Information, the Progressive Papers Limited had been taken over. The day these papers “turned a new leaf”, the editorial was written by himself claiming that “distant orbits and alien horizons- far from territorial and ideological boundaries of Pakistan- exercised a progressively increasing charm on the tone and policies of this newspaper (Pakistan Times). Which gradually began to look like a stranger in the house….”. The decision to establish the National Press Trust had been taken, which was implemented by his successor. Shahab’s masterstroke was the creation of the Writers’ Guild. He himself was its first Secretary-General, while another Intellectual- Bureaucrat, Jamiluddin Aali Three leading business houses of Karachi- Adamjees, Dawoods and Habibs-were marshalled to award “cash prizes” to “deserving writers” in order to “buy and corrupt their loyalties”. [REFERENCE: The Press in Chains by late. Zamir Niazi]

Apna Gareban -Secret Funds of Information Ministry Pakistan for Journalists-Part-1


[915874817_f903fe304e.jpg]Ayub during his last days, though a sick, lonely and broken man, did not forget Gauhar’s devotion and services to him. His final deed before vacating the President’s House was to hold a private investiture ceremony to pin a medal on Gauhar. Like his predecessor, Gauhar, since his removal from the corridors of power, has used every available platform to parade himself as the champion of the freedom of the Press as well as the man who had “nothing whatsoever to do” with the curbs on it. Soon after joining Dawn as its Chief Editor, it “dawned” upon him that the “curtailment of Press liberty has done immense harm to the country”. [REFERENCE: The Press in Chains by late. Zamir Niazi]

During Altaf Gauhar’s sojourn behind the bars during the times of Bhutto, another realization “dawned” upon him, that of Maulana Abul Ala Maududi’s “profound understanding of Quran, the life of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and Islamic History”, the same Maulana he had maligned full blast, when he was occupying a posh room in the Islamabad Secretariat. The Bureau of National Research and Reference, under the Ministry of Information, during the 1964 elections, produced tons of literature against Jamat-e-Islami. Khalid Hassan, at that time Assistant Director (Projection) of the Bureau, writes:

“It is a bit ironic that the Jamat-e-Islami which Gauhar was to intellectually embrace during and after his internment in the Bhutto years appeared to be the main subject of ‘research’ at the Bureau. I think practically everything written, published and distributed against the Jamat-e-Islami in those days was produced either directly by the Bureau or at its instances elsewhere”. [REFERENCE: The Press in Chains by late. Zamir Niazi]

Surprisingly, the subjects for translation from Maudoodi’s Tafhim, chosen by Gauhar were “justice, accountability, repentance, tolerance etc”. After a decade, he made another disclosure. Debunking the “religious obscurantists forces”, Gauhar said he translated the Tafhim because “I was sent to prison where I had the Tafhim-ul-Quran not as a matter of choice. It was simply there, the only thing available to me in jail”. Since he had nothing to do he translated it. It had nothing to do with his convictions. On the distribution of Secret Funds is described by no other than Former Director of the Public Relations, Khwaja Tasawwur Ali Hyder. Agitated by Gauhar’s interview published in the Hindustan Times in 1981, in which the former Secretary had said:

“In Pakistan journalism had not really developed the wayit should have. There was a heavy parochial and partisan bias”. The interview had been reproduced in Nawa-e-Waqt. Khwaja Hyder in his long rejoinder writes:

“In 1967, when I was the D.P.R., stationed in Lahore, Gauhar came to the provincial capital and visited my office…. I was surprised when he asked me to accompany him to the lawns of the office. He was my superior and there were no informal relations between us. While strolling across the lawns, I came to know that he had planted his men in various newspapers, Nawa-e-Waqt and Chattan, the two opposition papers, Gauhar told me we must know the inside working of these papers. For this purpose we should try to ‘hire’ some journalists in these organizations. I was taken aback by his words because I always considered that the PID was a different organization from that of the intelligence agency. Gauhar being an intelligent man himself, felt what was going on in my mind. He politely told me that the ‘hired people’ would be paid from the secret fund. He also told me that a senior staffer in Nawa-e-Waqt was supplying the needed information. After that meeting he visited Lahore twice, broached the subject and came to the conclusion that I could not deliver the goods. Suddenly, on April 14, 1967, I was demoted and transferred to Rawalpindi as the Deputy Principal Information Officer”. [REFERENCE: The Press in Chains by late. Zamir Niazi]

Apna Gareban -Secret Funds of Information Ministry Pakistan for Journalists-Part-2

URL: Group has a staff of intelligent, well trained reporters and commentators that regularly produce useful reporting on local and national events. Why they continue to soil their reputation by falling prey to internet hoaxes, petty gossips, and political skulduggery is a question that Mr Rahman would do well to consider. Perhaps there is some personal animosity among some of their reporters, or perhaps it is simply the attempt to be the first to ‘scoop’ a juicy story. Whatever the cause, though, being the media group to take the latest internet hoax and run with it may cost them quite dearly. REFERENCE: Jang Group’s $100 Million ‘Scoop’ Guardian editor C.P. Scott observed that “comment is free, but facts are sacred”. Pakistani journalists must ask themselves: are they disseminating the whole truth or nothing but the truth, or merely presenting their own version of the truth? (Courtesy: Journalism or artistry? Hajrah Mumtaz (9 hours ago) Today

I found the answer in a book called Secrets of the Press, in a 1999 essay ‘Dumbing up’ by British writer and broadcaster Peregrine Worsthorne, who retired from journalism as the editor of the Sunday Telegraph. He starts the essay talking about when he joined the profession, shortly after the Second World War. For the entire two years of that first job, he wasn’t allowed to write a single line, and was instead expected to content himself with subbing the writing of others, correcting grammar, fact-checking, etc. For an aspiring writer such as himself, this was frustrating in the extreme. He likens it to expecting a future virtuoso pianist to concern himself with misprints in the concert’s programme. This essay was written at the end of his career, however, and after decades of experience here is how he put the difference between then and now: “The most important qualification for being a journalist when I began 50 years ago was not an ability to write. That was even a disadvantage or a liability, since literary facility could so easily tempt a journalist into embroidering the tale which needed, above all else, to be told plainly and unvarnished.” Worsthorne writes that in that age, raking up muck was considered unworthy of a quality press, for “an adversarial stance, while being the easiest to take, might not always be the right one”. REFERENCE: Journalism or artistry? Hajrah Mumtaz (9 hours ago) Today




NOTE: On August 9, 1990, another one of the country’s short-lived experiments with democracy came to an end. While “The Empire Strikes Back” published in the August 1990 issue of the Herald describes the events that took place on the day of Benazir Bhutto’s ouster, “The Invisible War (See Herald Monthly Issue of January 2008, page 87), printed in the same issue, provides an analysis of the factors that led to the sacking of her government. [Courtesy Monthly Herald Pakistan January 2008, page 84-85-86]

Side by side with the rehabilitation of its image, the army (with ammunition provided by the antics of the PPP government itself) set about destroying the populist aura of the PPP and succeeded in making corruption the most talked about subject in the country. The army was aided in this endeavor, of course, by the blundering Johnny-come- latelies who came to represent the public face of the PPP. It is clear that a great deal of homework was done, in gathering as well as fabricating evidence against prominent PPP members and the Prime Minister’s husband. Mush of this information and disinformation was handed over mainly to the right-wing journalists belonging to some key papers and periodicals, who saw themselves as the natural allies of the army, having enjoyed close ties with the Zia Regime. At least three people were assigned to feed corruption stories to the foreign media. The DG, MI also adopted an increasingly high-profile role. Although traditionally the DG, MI is hardly someone, given the sensitivity of his assignment, to come before newsmen, the balding Durrani is understood to have personally briefed more than one journalist about the lack of sincerity on the part of the PPP in handling the Sindh situation. This same officer reportedly maintained contact with dissident PPP members of parliament and dictated strategy to them. Similarly, in Karachi, where the MI had grown to many hundreds-strong since the early 80s, Brigadier Jamil and a couple of other officers personally briefed a select band of newsmen time and again, offering them “evidence” of corrupt and criminal activities of the government. While in Hyderabad these stories were leaked by a Colonel Ayub, in Lahore the main channel of contact with the media was a top aide to fromer Chief Minister, Nawaz Sharif, who coordinated closely with a group of Pro-Estbalishment Right Wing Journalists planted in different papers and periodicals.

Apna Gareban -Secret Funds of Information Ministry Pakistan for Journalists-Part-3


JOURNALISTS: Sohail Ilyas, Mujeebur Rehman Shami, Abdul Ghani Ch, Zia Shahid, Rukhsana Saulat Saleem, Mohammad Anwar Khalil, Abdul Wadood Qureshi, Mian Ghaffar Ahmed, Rana Tahir Mahmood, Malik Abdul Rehman Hur, Nadeem Fazil Khan, Hamad Raza Shami, Farooq Ahmed, Rana Assar Ali Chohan, Azeem Chaudhry, Aslam Khan, Mohammad Naeem Chaudhry, Mohammad Aniq Zafar, Abdul Saeed Khan Qamar, Mohammad Dilshaad Khan, Naveed Miraj, Tahir Masood Ikram, Sultan Mohammad Sabir, Saghir Khalid, Mazhar Barlas, Maqbool Elahi Malik, Mohammad Arshad Yousuf, Javed Iqbal Qureshi, Haroon Rashid, Malik Shakeelur Rehman Hur, Wajid Rasool, Ashfaq Ahmed, Mohammad Zahid Jhangvi, Tahir Khalil, Khalid Azeem Ch, Mian Khursheeduzaman, Abdul Mohi Shah, Hilal Ahmed, Khalid Sial, Amir Iyas Rana, Zamir Hussain Shah, Aziz Ahmed Alvi, Ahmed Hussain, Rafaqat Ali, Syed Najamul Islam Rizvi, Mohsin Raza Khan, Irfan Ahmed Qureshi, Syed Ibrar Hussain Shah Kunwal, Nasir Aslam Raja, Mohammad Arshad, Ch Iylas Mohammad, Ghazanfar Ali Zaidi, Fazeela Gul, Iftikar Shakeel, Syed Ejaz Shah, Mohammad Ayub Nasir, Mohammad Saleem and Tariq Aziz. REFERENCES: New list of plot beneficiaries presented in Senate Saturday, January 16, 2010 By our correspondent Journalist and Plots, read page 4 of Daily Jang Friday, January 15, 2010, Muharram 28, 1431 A.H The News Senate gets list of judges, bureaucrats who got two plots each Friday, January 15, 2010 By Rauf Klasra


Friday, November 26, 2010, Zilhajj 19, 1431 A.H

Apna Gareban -Secret Funds of Information Ministry Pakistan for Journalists-Part-4


Black Sheeps in Pakistani Media.

A total of 172 journalists were also allotted plots in keeping with government policy in G-13 and G-14. The policy stipulated that only those journalists who did not have a house in Islamabad nor had a plot allotted to them in the past could apply. Of the 650 journalists who applied in 2004 for G-14, only 172 could get plots after due process. Meanwhile, as a list of 172 journalists is lying before the PAC, a new one of 35 journalists has surfaced. These journalists were also given plots in G-8 Markaz in 1996 during Benazir Bhutto’s second term. Some of the prominent journalists allotted plots for construction of flats in G-8 Markaz were Ayaz Amir, Hamid Mir, Aroosa Alam, Ehtashamul Haq, Nusrat Javed, Ishaq Chaudhary, and Nasir Malick. Mir, Haq and Alam have already sold their flats at a premium, after paying approximately Rs800,000 to the government. Many journalists had then applied for a second plot in G-13 and G-14. Some succeeded in getting them despite receiving a plot from the Bhutto government in 1996 as well. For a complete list of beneficiaries from the bureaucracy and to read earlier stories on the allotment issue, click here. REFERENCES: Generous bonanza : One plot, two plot Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2010.

List of journalists given plots in Islamabad

Public Accounts Committee is in possession of list of 172 journalists who were given plots in Islamabad.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is in possession of a list of 172 journalists who were given plots in the federal capital in line with their two per cent quota in G-13 and G-14 sectors. The names of journalists who were given plots against payments were:
Sarwar Munir Rao
Sohail Iqbal
Ayesha Haroon
Syed Fahd Hussain
Shakeel Ahmed Turabi
M Najeeb
Sarmad Salik
Sheikh Zamir Ahmed Qadri
Rana Qaiser
Absar Alam (he later returned the plot)
Hanif Sabir
Muhammad Malick
Nazir Naji
Shoaib Bhutta
Mustansar Javed
Kh Sharif Ahmed
Sami H Zubari
Aslam Javed
M. Ziauddin
Zafar Rashid
Muhammad Ilyas Bhatti
Noor Faizi
Khan Zaman Malik
Shaukat Ali
Syed M Qasim
Tahir Khan
Ikram Hoti
Syed Qamar Abbas
Shamim Sherrei Sardar
Shakil Sheikh
Abdul Aziz Muhammad
Abrar Ali Saeed
Syed Farhan Bokhari
Muhammad Ashraf
Muhammad Ishaq
Ch. Muhammad Ilyas
Rashida Begum Butt
Iftikhar Nazar
Muhammad Sarwar Awan
Muhammad Afzal Nadeem
Aqeel Ahmed
Ejaz Malik
Muhammad Fayyaz
Altaf Hussain Bhatti
Muhammad Ehsan Elahi
Ali Raza
Shahid Mahmood Malik
Zafar Malik
Wajih Siddiqi
Farman Ali
Muhammad Bilal
Arif Rana
Syed Itrat Hussain
Rana Ghulam Qadir
Saleem Khilji
Abdul Saleem
Safdar Hussain
Imran Nallam Ahmed
Abdur Rauf
Masood Majid Syed
Zahid Khawaja
Muhammad Akram
Syed Zargoon Shah
Kunwar Rashid Habib
Anis Ahmed
Waseem Akthar
Rao Khalid
Abdul Manan Haid
Jehangir Raja
Shaukat Rehman Malik
Muhammad Javed Akhtar
Akthar Munir
Muhammad Javed
Muhammad Nawal
Nasir Chishti
Malik Safdar
Abrar Mustafa
Muhammad Latif
Suleman Hidyat
Murad Shaz Khattack
Attaur Rehman Tahir
Maqsood Mehdi
Muhammad Jamil Khan
Kh Javed Bhatti
Kaleem Ahsan Shah
Khadim Husain
Muhammad Javed Iqbal Khakwani
Mazhar Ali Khan
Syed Qasir Sherazi
Karim Madad
Ghulam Hussain
Zia Shahid
Azam Ahmed Khan
Khalid Awan
Khalid Mahmood
Tanveer Shahzad
Seema Mir
Najumul Islam Usmani
Khalid Mustafa
Saleem Usmani
Syed Ali Nasir Jaffiri
Shahid Butt
Zulfikar Ghuman
Abdul Razak
Ali Imran
Syed Raza Shah
Muhammad Aslam
Shabir Khamid Bukhtawari
Shagufta Jabeen
Bashir Ahmed Shad
Syed Aswad Ulfat
Agha Mahrooz Haider
Nasir Iqbal
Masood Abdul Raheem
Raja Mahmood Bashir Usmani
Muhammad Ilyas Khan
Muhammad Mushtaq Ghuman
Mashkoor Hussain Shah
M Taimur
Masroor Mohsin Gilani
M Ibrahim Khan
M Shahbaz Khan
Amir Sajjad
Mumtaz Alvi
Azhar Jamal
Shakil Awan
Tanveer Alam
Habibur Rehman
Naveed Akram
Syed Azhar Hussain
Mubashir Raza
Arif Hussain
Jabbar Zakriya
Muhammad Farooq Khan
Rahat Naseem
Saeed Murad
Ali Imran Javed
Ejaz Khan
Munir Aziz
Muhammad Riyaz Akhtar
Rahat Munir
Muhamamd Afzal Malik
Afzal Nadeem
Muhammad Jameel Mirza
Abdul Mateen Khan
Hamidur Rehman
Saadat Bashir
Akhtar Ali Khan
Abdul Jabbar Khan
Khalid Mahmood
Muhammad Rizwan Khan
Rafiq Hussain Khan
Malik Muhammad Ilyas
Sohail Nashir
Uzair Khan
Zahid Hussain Hashwani
Four journalists Rauf Klasra, Amir Mateen, Khaleeq Kiani and Javed Ch were given plots in light of the Lahore High Court decision of 2006 in their favour after their names were deleted from the final list on the orders of the then prime minister Shaukat Aziz. The list also contains the names of PTV employees who were given plots. They include Nazir Tabsum, Qamar Mohiuddin, Nisar Baloch, Syed Javed Ali, Khalid Iqbal Warriach, Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Ayub Minhas, Asmatullah Khan Niazi, Muzamil Ahmed Khan, Majeed Afzal Khan (Sajan Khan), Awaid Butt, Rashid Baig, Ramzan Khalid, Muhammad Arshad Saleem, Muhammad Zakariya, Musadiq Kaleem, Arif Mahmood. Reference: List of journalists given plots in Islamabad

Apna Gareban -Secret Funds of Information Ministry Pakistan for Journalists-Part-5


Individualland Pakistan Executive Director Gulmina Bilal said that transparency in governance not only improved goodwill of the government but all its functionaries. Governance is not just limited to politics but economic governance is of great importance as well. Economy of a country decides moods of the population, because their welfare depends solely on this important factor, she said. Gulmina said that Pakistan being a democracy also had this legislation as an integral part of its constitution. However, its implementation was still not up to the mark. At the end it was agreed that better understanding of governance, especially economic governance and transparency are important aspects of successful governments. It was also agreed that consensus between different stakeholders on increasing transparency could only be ensured by proper implementation of the right to information legislation. REFERENCE: Access to information stressed to ensure transparency, good governance Staff Report Saturday, November 27, 2010\11\27\story_27-11-2010_pg7_32

Freedom of Information Legislation in Pakistan - Civil Society Recommendations Drafted by: Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) and ActionAid Pakistan Islamabad December 2009

1 comment:

unknown said...

well done .A good post .shame how this state if it can be called one is being run .Is it a state ? I doubt ! Yes ,it is an army with a state.

Also do read my remarks on a hogwash interview about afghanistan mughal sahib:--

with highest professional regards