Pak media suffers a meltdown on blacklisted Azhar
Stop the press: Masood Azhar
The Pakistani electronic media downplayed the UN sanctions against Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) Chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist after China was compelled to lift its hold to blacklist him in the Security Council.
After India scored a huge diplomatic victory on Wednesday, a peevish Pakistan’s ‘independent’ electronic media looked the other way. A blackout of the big international news on JeM’s head initially occurred before apologetic coverage on the man and his terrorist outfits were initiated.
The UN has listed Azhar on being associated with Al-Qaeda for "participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of", "supplying, selling or transferring arms and related material to", "recruiting for", "otherwise supporting acts or activities of", and "other acts or activities indicating association with" the JeM.
As the move by UN is hailed across India and the world, the Pakistani media, like a proverbial pigeon, have shut its eyes, and avoided reporting this stark reality. Being always in a denial mode, the Pakistan establishment and their press have not yet accepted the enormity of the development.
Hamid Mir, the face of Geo TV, who had interviewed Osama bin Laden and been a target of terrorist attacks, was conspicuous by his absence on this ‘eventful’ evening. Another popular news channel of Pakistan, Samaa TV made headlines of the news of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ‘slip of tongue’ while addressing Bilawal Bhutto in the Parliament and unleashed a full-throated debate on the insignificant issue.
However, Dawn TV, in its program NewsWise, sent alarming signals to the nation on the developments. While reporting that the issue was taken to UN after Pulwama terrorist strike, the channel talked about the repercussions Pakistan would have to face at international level and an increase in global pressure to act decisively against these terror ‘tanzeems’ (organisations).
The news analyst cautioned the nation about the impending action by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) against Pakistan in designating the country in its blacklist, which can lead the country to plunge into financial crisis. Pakistan remains under the cloud of illicit financial watchdog. However, the TV discussions tried to interpret the whole development as Pakistan’s victory, that China, on the insistence of Pakistan, was able to expunge off the references of Pulwama attack, effected by JeM, from UN’s mention.
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