Posts Tagged ‘PEMRA’
Disclaimer: What follows is a work of pure fiction and not foresight. The views expressed are just a creative piece or writing and nothing more.
It’s January 21st, 2008. Geo is back on air, stronger than ever. the PCO has been done away with and PEMRA’s objectives and role distorted. Oh and, I almost forgot: Musharraf is dead. Yes, he had been asassinated. An EMP destroyed all the remote jammers, leading the way for a detonator to blow up his car: A bomb secretly planted inside the bonnet of his car by his driver who had been coerced, threatened, bribed and everything possible by the so-called democratic leaders of Pakistan. Once again, Pakistan finds itself in ruins, quite like ancient Moenjodaro, except, people are still alive. The media and telecommunications sector is booming more than ever, catering to the zombified minds of Pakistanis and Talibans alike. Each Provincial Capital is a state within a state. Life goes on as if nothing happened; monotonous, mechanical.
The Chief Justice has unfortunately died of a heart attack as it is now clear, however, during Musharraf’s regime some illicit drugs were planted in his office and closet along with supposed records of phone conversations with members of the Anti-Narcotics Force who had been providing him with drugs. The Musharraf regime claimed that he had overdosed on Cocaine and traces of alcohol were found in his system. All this to defame the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Chaudry.
Nawaz Sharif has gotten rid of his wig and is back with rigour. Benazir Bhutto and Sharif have amalmagated parties to multiply their profits and power over the Pakistani Federal Reserve and the people, respectively. A new mind warfare game plan developed by the military had leaked whereby the Pakistani citizens’ minds have been effectively brainwashed. They now carry on about their business as the political premieres discuss deals with Washington, the Koreans and the Taliban about how to make more money. In their heart of hearts they plot against each other, leading the world to mutually assured destruction, an idea coined initially under the Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado.
The stock markets have stayed pretty stable, fluctuating ocassionally, the exchange rate too. All of this is unpredictable however, since a big hole in the vault of Pakistan’s reserve building has allowed a few rats to sneak in, steal a bit of the money which has blood scent all over it – apparently something only the rats can smell… and enjoy – and many a times come back with I.O.U’s or the equal amount of reserve money.
The nuke reserves have been relocated, half of them under the military’s control, a quarter dismantled and the uranium sold to the highest bidder, the remainder hidden somewhere in the Cayman Islands inside a large underwater cave. Who owns this, or how it got there, no one knows.
Indian officials come to Pakistan more frequently sharing drinks on national television with prominent figures, from musicians aiming to improve their self-image by working for World Peace and government officials trying to find more political entertainment. But they’re just looking out for their own benefits: I call this Mutual Hypocratic Facade.
Kashmir has been forgotten about by Pakistan, the attention of the people that matter has been diverted to international political power. India seems to be conducting some non-nuclear missle tests (they do not want to feel the effects of radiation ofcourse) and military training near the borders of Kashmir – perhaps where the takeover will begin from. Something says that there is a love-triangle here: America has vested interest in the economic gain India will receive when it takes over, and so to cash in, has offered a couple of high grade military equipment disguised under a large shipment from Ford Motors to India as it sets up its business there. The Ford Motors representatives have flown into India with sensitive equipment – something they say could not have been shipped along with the rest of the cargo since the rugged conditions would cause terrible damage to their investment. They are actually high-ranking officials from the U.S. military in engineering who are going to run a standards test on the Indian arsenal.
China seems to have sided with Pakistan, trying to work for its own benefit regardless of who runs Pakistan. The Gwadar port is where China has kept its eye on: Provide cheap equipment for the port; everything from construction, maintenance to surveillance equipment, logistics and freight. The Silk Route is seeing considerable capital expenditure to improve its state for the influx of all the machinery. China has estimated atleast $200 billion dollar gross profit in finalizing and running the Gwadar port. For some odd reason, the Taliban are nowhere to be seen here and extensive manpower has been deployed from government-independent security forces (mainly operated under the names of retired CIA and U.S. Military officials).
What happens next?
(Part 2 follows soon).
I noticed something very interesting recently. I went to the Geo website and it had a link to the Jang website which was covering the Geo TV shutdown and what the international media was saying. It also had a bulletin about Geo Super. I do have to agree that shutting down the Geo TV entertainment channels such as Geo Super is not really fair. I also noticed that Geo had cross linked to The Jang and its various other services (Jang Multimedia, Jang Searchable, Jang Blog) and The News.
I am happy to see this solidarity between all the media giants in Pakistan and how they are all together. Not something we see often. Just an observation. Also, for the cricket scores, Dawn’s website has them live as far as I can tell at the bottom of the navigation bar. Interesting.
Stay strong, Pakistan, we’re only reaching the eye of the storm.
“Gulf News has reported that Pakistan’s Geo TV has said it has been given the go-ahead to recommence hourly news bulletins on its entertainment channel in the Middle East, the UK and the US, but not in Pakistan. It is unclear if the permission for the broadcasts has come from the Pakistani government…”
“Al Rustamani said both GEO and ARY were respected business partners in Dubai. “Our relationship with them has been strong and friendly. We are in discussion with them in regard to the telecast of their news components and we are confident we will resolve this matter in the best way possible to protect their interests and those of the UAE” she told Wam.”
Geo TV has been shut down by Pakistani President, Pervez Musharraf at 1:00 a.m. according to Geo TV’s website.Geo said, “Pervez Musharraf himself intervened to stop all GEO news transmissions from Dubai…“
“Popular news anchors came on Geo News around midnight Pakistan time to announce that their channel had been ordered to go off the air as result of the continued deadlock between the Pakistani authorities and the media channels, following the imposition of the emergency in the country.”
To understand what happened in Pakistan roughly Sixty One hours ago, one needs to take a look at and understand the sociology and workings of the media. This article is not meant to be a critical analysis of the situation. The author is not directly involved. This article is also not meant to be one of scholarly stature.
The independent media, as we now know it, came to Pakistan roughly 10 years ago. Along with broadcasters and news channels, came a wave of employment, talent and economic progress. The independent media was allowed in by the government, but was funded by private institutions. Whereas the exact location of the funding is not known, there is no doubt that a lot of the funding may come from political institutions or “parties” as we know them in Pakistan. Just as in the west, CNN and Fox News have completely differing opinions and views, so does the same thing happen in Pakistan. The reason for different views are the investors. If a party or institution invests in the media, they want to see their own views reflected. This is what happens in the west: one news channel is for the Republicans, whereas the other is for the Conservatives (for sake of argument). This is one reason why the Pakistani media has been so leftist. The views reflected are not necessarily of the public, nor of the employees, rather, the views of those who pay wages to these employees, in turn shaping not only their view, but also the public.
A lot of the times, the media resorts to sensationalism. What is sensationalism? Dog bites Man. This is old news. We already know the outcome. Man bites Dog. Hold on: rewind. What was that? Man bites Dog. This is sensationalism: it immediately stirs the listener’s mind and is the cause for great hype. I hear this news, call up a friend and tell him what the media is showing in turn setting off a chain reaction of television sets being turned on. This leads to profit: The sole motive of any privately run institution. In context of what is happening currently in Pakistan, then, the dramatic background music, images of clashes between security officials and civilians, and riots all form a part of sensationalism, enticing the viewer to turn on the television set. Whatever the truth, does not matter, television is selling, making money and that is the true motive. This adds to the leftist tilt.
Many on occasions, the media will side with the viewer to give them what they want to see and hear. In the context of Pakistan, a lot of people side with one of the political parties such as PPP, MQM, and PML-N. The presidents of these parties hold either spiritual or tribal hierarchical significance. The followers – or “underlings” for lack of words – of these leaders then side with the party that they represent. So, if I was to consider Mr. Altaf Hussain as my “pir,” to incur his goodwill, I would also side with his party, the MQM. As a result, a large majority of the populace sides with one particular view, usually that of the party leader. To have the party leaders (who may or may not finance the television broadcasters) views reflected, along with the crowd, the media rakes in more ratings and approval. Never mind if the views these stations reflect are very leftist, it brings in more money and higher ratings. This partly answers the question: “so are all the T.V. channels lying?” They are just being businessmen.
With reference to Geo, a highly popular news channel, I would like to draw attention to what it did wrong. Over my examination of the archival footage from Geo, I noticed that when anchormen are in phone conversations with prominent figures and correspondents, note how when there is a hint of something being said which is contrary to the view held by the station, the anchormen cuts the individual off and asks another question. An example was when a spokesperson for the Pakistan Human Civil Rights Association was discussing the conditions of the seventy odd members who were arrested. The question asked was about the size of the jail being too small to fit so many individuals. As the spokesperson went on to say that she did not think the size was too small, the anchormen interrupted, asking her another question.
Over years, especially in Canada, there have been independent institutions which govern and judge the media’s actions, both private and state-owned. For a brief period, there were new broadcasting acts and amendments to these acts every year. For the record, Canada is a country which is has existed since about the mid 1500’s. Pakistan’s media, having not even reached adolescence, has a lot left to be desired. In his conference, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said that there are rules that need to be followed, the media needs to be sensitive to people and that all of this is fair. Anyone of rational thought would agree that an organization breaks down if there are no set laws or policies governing the institution. The Prime Minister mentioned that criticism, especially constructive criticism is always welcome. I would like to add, however, that bashing, culminating hatred, and maligning government institutions is equal to treason. The PEMRA ordinances are just like the broadcasting acts in Canada in context of social and political sphere. The media needs to come to the table to sort out an understanding.
Dr. Shahid Masood, a very well respected man of high integrity stated on national television that their job as the media was to show a balanced account of what was happening, to show that in society and politics, there are two edges. However, no one from the Musharraf Regime was coming forth to the media to discuss and explain even if over the phone, as to why certain actions were taken. I believe this is a genuine problem, and I laud Dr. Shahid Masood for stating this. Discourse and debate needs to take place for the citizens of Pakistan to gain a better understanding. Note however, Dr. Shahid Masood said the above on Geo TV with whom he does not have any direct ties, and consequently, may not reflect Geo’s or its financial backers’ opinion. Constantly, there were calls from individuals of all stature condemning what is happening in our country except those from the current government giving food for thought for the general masses, trying to take them into confidence. Were the calls being filtered out, not being made by the Geo staff for comment is something that may well be under speculation. Note also, that breaking the laws imposed by the government, Geo still broadcasts to Pakistan albeit on the web.
We have to understand that our history is not a pleasant one. We have gained independence while being burnt at the stake, brutally murdered, beaten and made victims of many other gory acts. As such, we as Pakistanis think with our hearts not with our brains. We do not try to analyze the situation, rather attack on what the media feeds to us. Given, what happened should not have, but we have to ask ourselves, if that is purely the current administration’s fault. Did we as individuals, and as society as a whole have any role in the events that unfolded? Did our rage and impatience help at all? What happened was not a good thing, but was necessary. We as bastard children of the media do not understand the importance of functional government, especially since we have rarely ever been part of a democracy, if at all. However, we need to take action, not by coming to the streets and chanting spells of hatred, rather use wit and intellect to overcome the situation: we need to look forward to what can be done, as opposed to fight about what happened and why.
In the end I would like to express my own personal opinion: I support the President Pervez Musharraf and his administration fully, Dr. Shahid Masood an individual I hold in high esteem and regards and the Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. All the while I hope and pray for the country’s salvation, and for the Lord to grant us understanding, patience, love and humility.