The story goes that the Commando General (along with a handful of powerful subordinates) reportedly subjected the boss of Geo/Jang Group to 2 ½ hour verbal battering via conference telephone, after which the gentleman is rumoured to have emerged a sweating, gibbering wreck.
And so, shortly afterwards, on 19th March Musharraf got his moment on Kamran Khan’s TV show. It is widely believed that Kamran Khan was under severe editorial limitations as to what he could ask Musharraf and what he could not. Taking this view into account, it not surprising that the interview turned into a voluble Musharraf talk fest.
The interview highlights include the following:
Musharraf insisted that Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry had not been summoned on March 9 – the day the general supposedly sent a reference against him to the Supreme Judicial Council – saying: “He actually called on me.
Musharraf also said that had been dressed in his army uniform because he was at work – “Should I have been in a sports kit?”, he asked.
The General also revealed that Sharifuddin Pirzada was the first person to complain against the chief justice, saying: “He advised us on the constitutional and legal aspects of the reference. He has offered a technical excuse on why he cannot represent the state against the chief justice in the SJC. But he is part of the game”.
To your Blogger his use of the word “game” for the manner in which the chief justice had been suspended was highly revealing.
The next day Dawn rightly panned the show in a front page article titled "Not very convincing, Mr President". The newspaper accused the General of being glib, evasive and unconvincing, but then the newspaper made the mistake of criticising the already harassed Kamran Khan with the comment:
Many fundamental questions were left unanswered and, more crucially, unasked in the TV interview
In retaliation Kamran Khan sent a sharp emailed rejoinder to Dawn’s Editor Abbas Nasir criticising the newspaper’s front page interview of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. This email was widely disseminated among the journalistic community (and through further distribution a copy managed to reach even your Blogger today.)
My humble advice to these two senior journalists is to kindly lay down their swords. Unity among senior members of the press is a must in present conditions.
Vanity of Vanities
Some weeks ago I chanced upon a senior member of PTV who made a very interesting admission.
Actually the confession came as a result of some polite teasing on my part about PTV News and how it was largely a Mush & Shortcut show.
The PTV senior staffer then revealed to me how closely Shaukat Aziz monitored his appearances on PTV News.
Aziz, it seems, regularly contacts PTV complaining about mundane trivialities like ‘Why didn’t the cameraman point out to me that my tie knot was slightly askew?’ or ‘Why did they shoot me with the lights at an incorrect angle?’ I gather he even lets them know if the any tickertape news about him at the bottom of the screen needs minor editing.
All I could say was, ‘Wow!’
I suppose it is a reflection of how much time Shaukat Aziz has on his hands in between cutting ribbons and his overseas jaunts.