By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –
There are wars and battles which a country like Pakistan cannot fight with nuclear bombs, tanks, guns and jets and that is called narrative shaping wars and battles in psychological warfare launched against Pakistan. The mushrooming and unplanned growth of media has created a state of anxiety and panic not only in the society but also among the media persons.
The breaking news culture and high pitch shouting of the anchors and presenters is not only deafening but also making people switch off. Some Pakistani electronic media is disrespecting guests and members of public by holding a cheap mic and recording with mobile phones. That shows the commitment of the owners and it is not the fault of the reporter who is providing ‘free services’.
There is no such thing as ‘free lunch’. Say for example if someone volunteer to do cooking in your house, will you accept the offer? If you do allow that free and unpaid cook in your house, he can easily poison your food and put your and your family’s life in danger?
Major General. Asif Ghafoor (DG ISPR) official spokesman of the Pakistani armed forces was briefing British Pakistani media persons about his experiences with the media in Pakistan. He was speaking at the Pakistan High Commission in an off camera and off the record briefing. He did say that however, ‘I leave it to your judgement to report whatever you see fit’.
I must admire him that he took almost over 20 questions and responded them well in two and half hour’s interaction. Now in media one requires at least 4 pages of A4 papers worth of writing to speak for two and half minutes. One can do the calculations as how much information was exchanged. Now the key question is after 20 questions and 2 and hours information imparting. What was the outcome and what was achieved with this exercise? The people he was trying to educate are probably so thick and rigid who can never be on Pakistan’s side. They are part of the RAW’s Kulbhushan media network brigade. They are good at scoring their own goals. What they are doing is brilliantly explained by Lord Nelson: “If you cannot baffle them with brilliance than dazzle them with bullshit”.
Obviously as a General his vision and strategic thinking put him on the highest pedestal in Trafalgar Square in London.
As psychologists says: your questions speak your state of mind. Here are some questions sounding of Kulbhushan Brigade:
A reporter from City 44 TV Channel question to the visiting President of Azad Kashmir few months ago something like: Your protest was not so successful and why the Indian Held Kashmiris did not participate in the protest they are over 70.000 in the UK?
The High Commissioner responded: “They have their problems (What high commissioner meant was they have families back home in Indian occupied Kashmir and their lives could be at risk. In those days Indian atrocities were at its peak and still are)
SAMA Reporter to Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan: Why did you meet with the individuals from the banned outfits and allowed them to have a gathering / meeting in Islamabad?
A defensive Interior minister Nisar Ali Khan replied to the question appropriately as it was district administration in Islamabad which allowed and there was no untoward incident.
Now why would a reporter sitting in London asking a question which is out of his territory and beat? That was an appropriate question for a reporter in Islamabad? Same evening Shala Raza PPP leader and deputy speaker of the Sind Provincial Assembly asked the same question in Pakistan. Is it some mafia or secret government at work which is shaping the narrative of Pakistan and demonising the officials and ministers of Pakistan?
A reporter question to DG ISPR was again about banned outfits (for example Hafiz Saeed detention)
Obviously, there was self-explanatory response to say the General has already given in his tweet sometimes ago: “it was the decision of the state of Pakistan”.
Now how relevant this question is for a reporter sitting in London as it is beyond his territorial jurisdiction as the briefing was to tell Pakistani media about the interactions of Pakistani Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa with the British hosts and his speeches at think tanks IISS and RUSI as well as other meetings.
SAMA reporter question about the appointment of General Raheel Sharif as Commander of Muslim Forces Alliance. The interesting part was about the visiting operational formation of the Pakistan Army Brigade i.e. will ‘certain sounding names’ going to be removed from joining the Muslim Forces Alliance. The insinuation was that “if people from Shia back ground will be dropped from the Brigade”?
The General quite directly responded by saying: It does not work like that in the Army. ’There will be no change in the formation. It will be an intact formation beyond religious beliefs as per discipline.
Many people did raise their eye brows with these types of questions directed to the Pakistani officials and ministers consistently by low paid, non-paid or free-lance reporters. Why this minority group want to take over Pakistani media as whole and London specifically? The above examples are self-explanatory and need full attention of the agencies before it goes totally out of hand as kindness of the larger community should not be abused and taken as weakens.
With regards to appointment, Saudis requested to Government of Pakistan for General Raheel Sharif while he was the army Chief to head the Muslim Forces Alliance. Government of Pakistan allowed him to go now when he is retired. It is a matter of great honour but not for Kulbhushans Media Brigade.
A million-dollar question is who need the answers to these questions and who is telling Pakistan we are watching you?
Internet criminals Ali Abbas Taj, so called editor of LUBP and his co-editor (fake name) Abdul Nishapuri real name Prof Dr Jawad Syed, these two individuals has close links to the LUMS (Lahore University of Management Sciences) in Pakistan. They have caused enormous damage to Pakistan due to the anti-Pakistan and Shia sectarian views.
Sadly, journalists don’t have guns, tanks, and jets to fight and on top of that media owners don’t pay them. That is the dark side of it. Some media groups which are being run by the former reporters, they are doing the same.
A young journalist committed suicide in Lahore when he was not paid for over three months. When he went to the Chief editor’s son asking to be paid: he abused him and reportedly said to him: ‘You have so many sisters and you don’t even need to work’. The poor boy killed himself.
A newly converted to Islam Hindu businessman in north of England sent his manager to buy locks for his factory. The manager to save money got him cheap locks. The wise businessman told his manager: I have spent over a million pound on my factory and that is apart from material in the stock and you got me £10 locks. This is exactly happening with Pakistan it is in the hands of cheap and easily breakables.
This is a serious matter for the media groups to think that these kinds of individuals and line of questioning is not suitable for the environment in London specially. The reason GEO network got away with Army and ISI bashing was due to complacency and complicity of the Government which resulted in more serious ‘Dawn Leaks’ and this is being watched and monitored by the world think tanks and policy makers. This Kulbhushan Network in Pakistani Media must be checked out before it goes out of hand.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Kazakhstan 2015 and 2016 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ also studied Law at a British University. He also speaks at Cambridge University)
Views expressed are not of The London Post