Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Musharraf the Mendacious

During his televised address to the nation on Tuesday night Musharraf, referring to the conflict in Balochistan, said:

"No action is under way now, only Frontier Corps will act in self-defence and deal with the anti-development elements."
Someone should ask him: Since when have helicopter gunships, air force fighter bombers, heavy artillery and mortars been handed over to the Frontier Constabulary?


The reasons for Musharraf’s blatant mendacity are plain to see.

The fact is the military regime really couldn’t give a flying hoot (within certain given limits, of course) what the so-called English-speaking elite read in the Dawn, Nation, Daily Times and The News et al.

It is the vernacular press (Jang, Nawae-Waqt, etc) and those that read it, who are critical for Musharraf’s continued hold on power. What the ‘English-speaking elite’ probably fails to realise is that the vernacular press is kept firmly on a tight leash and continually fed with the regime’s version of events in Balochistan. By continually denying military action in Balochistan Musharraf is playing to the gallery of the millions of ordinary Pakistanis who, he hopes, will fall for the one-sided view that is constantly being presented before them.


Hafeez Jamali said...

I cannot agree more with you on this. It is disheartening to see the Urdu press, especially in Punjab, repeating the government propaganda on Balochistan ad nauseam. Except for a a couple of Baloch-owned Urdu dailies like Asaap and Intekhaab, Urdu newspapers have no qualms over toeing the government line. This abdication of responsibility by the media has widened the gulf between the Punjab and other provinces, especially Balochistan. Apparently, most readers of vernacular press in the Punjab have the impression that it is business as usual in Balochistan with occasional, isolated activities against what the government calls "miscreants". Incidentally, the vernacular press had adopted a similar attitude when the government was taking "action" against Bengali "miscreants" in 1971. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is also ironic that while our pundits and TV talk show hosts are lamenting over the treatment of Bengalis in 1971, they keep tight-lipped about a similar situation in Balochistan that is developing right under their noses. Thank you for highlinghting the real situation in Balochistan on your Blog.

hcg said...

Oh wow, this got every one going - fascinating input mixed with a good read.