Eye on Pakistan

Urdu media previously pro-Taliban, now anti-Taliban?

Posted in Domestic Affairs by onpakistan on June 7, 2009

Only four weeks ago most Urdu television channels were acting as cheerleaders for the Taliban. Most Urdu columnists in newspapers were presenting the Pakistani Taliban as the reincarnation of early Muslim warriors. Now in a rare consensus they are all clamouring for an all-out war against them.

The head of the BBC’s Urdu Service is claiming that Urdu newspapers and television channels were all sympathetic to the Pakistani Taliban, yet have now turned against them –  largely because of the flogging video. Could this be true?? Is he implying that the English press were always much less pro-Taliban? Are not Urdu and English newspapers and tv channels’ positions on the Taliban determined by their political/ideological positions?

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2 Responses

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  1. IZ said, on June 8, 2009 at 6:53 am

    There has been a massive shift in the TV media – Aaj, Geo, Express, Dunya and One have all become majorly anti-Taliban (Samaa and Dawn News always were to an extent) – the pro-PPP channels (Business Plus) and the Sindhi channels have all become pro-army since the operation.

    I personally think it has more to do with Taliban attacks in Punjab rather than the flogging video. A major tactical mistake by them. The Punjabi middle class has turned against them.

  2. onpakistan said, on June 8, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Yes, I think the significance of the attacks in Punjab is underplayed in the western media. As in for example the recent interview with and op-ed piece on Zardari in the FT, which once again cites the flogging video for a transformation in attitude. I will reproduce these articles in full soon.

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