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Of ringmasters and circuses



Pakistani political philosophy has been reduced to just televisions and newspapers. Technological advances in communication have ended political discourse from streets, neighborhoods and arenas to arguments on television shows and statements printed in newspapers.

Malik Asim Dogar Profile Malik Asim Dogar

The ubiquitous cell phones in our hands have brought breaking news, latest developments and statements to us in less time that we could have ever imagined.

In the fifteen years I have been associated with the news industry, I have watched times change, studied their effects and reviewed what I have learned. In the olden days, when the 9 o’clock news bulletin on PTV ended television time for the day, curbsides, drawing rooms, baithaks and deras came alive as political discussions extended long into the night. The discourse stemmed from personal experiences, anecdotal evidences and private studies. There was individuality; analysis was tinged with the hue of ethnic identity and cultural characteristics. An unwritten rule was respect for opposing views and differences of opinions.

All that changed when General (retd) Pervez Musharraf took over the country and gave permits to private television channels. A new phenomenon was introduced, i.e. the race for breaking news. From 8:00 pm till 10:00 pm, talk shows reigned supreme.

Our process of watching, analyzing and understanding news was changed completely. Lightning fast breaking news, analysis and reviews robbed us of our ability to think for ourselves. The ordinary man’s understanding of the system that governed his life went through a metamorphosis. How did this happen? Let us review.

Political reporting, which takes up a major chunk of news, requires a deep understanding of the topic and as complete information as can be provided. Once the news is out, follow ups require research, time and effort. But now, the basis of evaluating news channels is how fast they brought the news to the audience, how quickly they beat their competitors, how far ahead they are of their peers. Comprehensive and correct information is no longer the benchmark for analyzing content. Switch on any channel and asses how most of them present the occurrence of a development as complete news, not the facts, policies and ideas that are linked to it. Here too, sensationalism takes precedence over all else. Another factor are our political talk shows, presented mostly be people who have no experience of field reporting yet are called senior journalists. They take up pre-established positions and ignore real journalism.

This divide is now quite prominent. People switch on television only to watch the show that broadcasts views that their own preferences align with. Bereft of their own opinions, viewers have stopped discussing politics within their circles. The end result is low tolerance for opposing viewpoints and promotion of self-interest. A good talk show now is one where there is plenty of emotional argument, where matters escalate from disagreement to ferocious anger or even physical blows. On such nights, both the anchors and the producers of the shows expect high ratings.

And so, media now constitutes itself basically not on news but on presenting a riot for its viewers. The media is now a major player of this capitalistic system. Questions that must be asked are being ignored for the sake of remaining a power player. As for the anchors whose faces we see plastered on billboards and whose slick promos present alternate realities, well, their own lifestyles now have removed them very far from the life of an ordinary citizen. If you do not believe me, watch the circus. You’ll spot the ringmasters easily enough.

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Notification of medicines’ price challenged in LHC

The citizen took the stand that the caretaker government issued a notification against the law to fix the prices of medicines.

Published by Noor Fatima



Lahore: The notification for fixing the prices of medicines has been challenged in the Lahore High Court (LHC).

According to the details, a petition has been filed by a citizen named Muhammad Aslam, in which the federal government and others have been made parties.

The citizen took the stand in the petition that the caretaker government issued a notification against the law to fix the prices of medicines, after the notification the prices of medicines will increase.

The petition further stated that the government is removing the section of fixing the prices of medicines from the drug act. The caretaker government does not have this power, rather the democratic government is forming which can take this step.

It has also been pleaded by the petitioner that the present notification is against the constitution and law. The court should order suspension of the notification till the final decision of the petition.

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PTI, JI agrees to work against elections’ results

According to the details, PTI’s delegation met with Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman in Karachi.

Published by Qurrat Tul Ain



Karachi: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat Islami (JI) have agreed to work together against elections’ results.

According to the details, PTI’s delegation met with Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman in Karachi. In this delegation, Haleem Adil Sheikh, Ali Muhammad Pala, Raja Azhar and Alamgir Khan were included.

Spokesperson of JI stated that a joint committee has been formed to collect the form-45 from the candidates. In that committee, Raja Arif Sultan, Qazi Sadar-ud-din and PTI’s Raja Azhar and Mubashir Hassan will be included.

Hafiz Naeem said that Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) did not get even 5,000 votes in provincial assembly’s seat. He further said that he does not accept the fake results of form-47. The results should be given according to form-45.

PTI’s leader Haleem Adil remarked that the country’s constitution and democracy have crumbled in general elections’ results. To make MQM and Pakistan Peoples party (PPP) won in elections’ results, it is no more except than a joke with democracy.   

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IHC rejects DC Islamabad unconditional apology's plea

According to the details, Justice Babar Sattar heard this case against Irfan Nawaz.

Published by Qurrat Tul Ain



Islamabad: Islamabad High Court (IHC) has rejected the plea of  unconditional apology of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Islamabad Irfan Nawaz Memon in contempt of court case.

According to the details, Justice Babar Sattar heard this case against Irfan Nawaz.

DC stated that 18 hearings have done in this case and he was not absent in any hearing. He surrendered in the court.

Babar Sattar scolded Irfan and inquired that do you consider this a joke. He remarked that the you are under contempt of court case. You have issued 69 Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) for 970 days.

He questioned that does they not have children and don’t they want to go for Umrah. He said that he issued a show cause notice and verdict will be given till February 26.

Irfan’s lawyer Raja Rizwan said to Babar Sattar that he is furious now. He requested to pause this case for a while.

Justice stated that this case could be completed yesterday but just because of you it could not be completed till now.

He asked from Memon that don’t you know about the court order.

Irfan replied that he could not think to disvalue of the court order. Sattar inquired that now the benches will be making on your will.

Lawyer Raja Rizwan read the context of the case on DC Islamabad and argued that the contempt of court is of three types. Civil, Criminal and Judicial. This contempt of court case has been started amid having barriers in taking justice.  

He requested from the court that this contempt of court case was not eligible on the merit of section six. The 3MPO was rejected on court’s order after that a new MPO order which has been issued by the district magistrate of Rawalpindi.

He further said that the DC Islamabad did not make any contempt of court but the DC Rawalpindi did it. The court needs to see the whole situation of this case. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) party leader was arrested on August 5. May 9 case is also in front of everyone.

I am not here to die anyone in this case, the lawyer added.

Intelligence Bureau (IB) have informed the court about the agitation and law and order situation in Islamabad.

It should be noted that the court issued the arrest warrant of DC Islamabad yesterday.

The court further issued a show cause notice to Irfan Nawaz on the request of not appearing in the IHC and ordered to include the name of DC in Exit Control List (ECL) list.

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