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Posts Tagged ‘pakistani’

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Shireen M Mazari

To learn firsthand how reality loses its relevancy in the media-spin age has been an experience which explains why so many news reports eventually reveal themselves as having not an iota of reality about them. For me the reports on the APC called by Prime Minister Gilani were an interesting study on how what really happened can be totally lost sight of if the government can offer a fast spin and has compliant listeners in the media. Not that that helps the government’s cause in the long run since it creates more distrust and makes it difficult for the government to replay the exercise the next time round. As someone who was present throughout the deliberations – which clearly did not seem to be off the record as may have been understood at the time – the final outcome reflected the non-consensus on the military operation with the leaders divided over the timing, the use of the option itself except as a last resort and so on. However, since the die had already been cast, all that most leaders could do was not to rubber-stamp this decision of the government – and that included the PML-N. So it was surprising to find one newspaper declaring that once the PML-N had endorsed the military operation all opposition voices were silenced! Nothing could have been farther from the truth and if the resolution had simply been the starting point of understanding what really happened in the APC, the truth would have been visible only too clearly. In any case, the APC itself was a welcome move because it allowed the government to put its case forward and also to hear different viewpoints, including the strong consensus that Balochistan was continuing to be neglected at great peril. This column is not intended to repeat the APC proceedings which have been covered extensively, one way or another, in the media already.

Nor is it the intent to clarify one’s position that doubting the efficacy of a military operation, especially one taking place in a political policy void as the present one – since the APC meeting did reveal the lack of a political strategy that would follow when the military operation ended (that in itself is presently open-ended) – does not mean supporting the criminals and militants being targeted by the state.

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