Putting the nation first is the last thing that is on the minds of some of our media and celebrities. Following the disclosures of David Headley in the current trial of Tawahur Rana CNN-IBN was the first to scroll through the day ‘CNN-IBN was the first to expose the ISI links to 26/11 in July 2010’! Sure, we all remember that. We also remember Rajdeep Sardesai was the first man on the moon, don’t we? The race to claim being the first to break something or being the one to reveal some story even where it concerns national interests is the most shameful part of our media. Not to be left behind NDTV pulls out Mahesh Bhatt for his comments on Headley’s testimony. Hmmm wait! Mahesh Bhatt? The guy whose son was linked to this same Headley?
As the worst terrorist attack on Pakistani soil, at PNS Mehran, concluded the Tawahur Rana trial was under way. A message to CNN-IBN : any idiot in India knew the ISI and Pakistan are connected to the 26/11 attacks and many previous terrorist attacks. We don’t need the wisdom of CNN-IBN to educate us on this. These events follow the discovery and killing of Osama Bin Laden in a mansion near Islamabad. I suppose CNN-IBN knew Osama’s hideout too but for reasons of security must have suppressed the info. They are very conscientious. After all CNN-IBN showed the same concern in suppressing the cash-for-votes tapes in 2008. Remember that?
Anyway, now that Pakistan stands thoroughly and undeniably exposed some of our people need to hang their heads in shame. Shahrukh Khan, Mahesh Bhatt, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Barkha Dutt, Salman Khan, Mani Shankar Aiyar and, of course, Times Of India. Collectively these entities form the ‘Friends of Pakistan’ club in India. I am quite certain Shahrukh Khan would love to have Pakis around his house and as his neighbours. It would bring him great joy to see bombs falling all around or on his house every second day. That must be a thrill. What about Times of India? The earliest media outlet to back out on its promise “we will never forget” about 26/11. In just a year since 26/11 they came out with that crap called ‘Aman Ki Asha’. Song and dance with Pakistanis, a few awards here and there, a few matrimonial ads in their columns from across the border and TOI has proved it has strong memories of the 26/11 atrocities.
One of the worst mistakes Atal Behari Vajpayee ever made was to invite that war criminal Musharraf to a summit in July 2001. This was after Kargil. Few months after the failed summit, our parliament was attacked by terrorists. Since then our media has a great fascination for frequently having this war criminal lecturing on every issue concerning Pakistan and India. He is in exile from his own country and there is a warrant against him. NDTV alone has a long history of nurturing this war criminal as if he was some spiritual leader. (Read the post ‘Tainted? Have a chat with Barkha’) India does not need anymore nonsense from this has-been who should still be treated as a war criminal. There are others like India Today and Hindustan Times who have hosted this war criminal in various seminars.
Another favourite of our media is Hamid Gul. He is a former head of the ISI and is known to have links with Al Qaeeda and the Taliban. The USA has even declared him wanted for terrorist links. Yet our media frequently hosts this man as if there are no other sensible voices in Pakistan at all. It is time our media, if any concern for the nation is left, stopped hosting such crooks and anti-India people.
I am in no way suggesting voices from Pakistan must be censored. Not at all. Democracy must allow all kinds of views to be aired, even those that hurt us. But democracy also means putting the country first. The media has the responsibility of not allowing known criminals to air their views and indirectly be used for some agenda setting. The Musharrafs and Hamid Guls are criminals who should not be allowed any airtime now that Pakistan has been proved to be what it is beyond the slightest doubt. There are journalists and other officials in Pakistan who can be allowed that freedom. Let me add that in many respects the Pak media is at least is a lot more independent than its Indian counterpart. We have more poodles.
There is this man called Shuja Pasha, the head of ISI. Following the killing of Osama he disappeared for a while. Then he surfaces to shoot out threatening messages to India. That any misadventure by India will have serious consequences and so on. There is a saying for fools like him. “Mian giraa magar tangdi oonchi hai” ! (Miyan has fallen but still has his feet up!) Bravo! Maybe PNS Mehran will remind him that India is not the threat.
As for the Mahesh Bhatts, Shahrukh Khans and some of their Bollywood clan, they would do well to embrace this new Pakistan. Pakistan may be our enemy but cleansing our own country would do us no harm. On most of those that firmly believe in the ‘Good Neighbour’ philosophy, you can rest assured it doesn’t come from any reason or reality other than religion or business considerations.