Malik rubbishes documentary as ‘yellow journalism’
LONDON: BBC’s controversial two parts series ‘Secret Pakistan’ drew flaks on Friday from the Pakistanis in Britain and their organisations, who rubbished the documentary a “peddling propaganda” at the behest of anti-Pakistan elements.
Individuals, organisations and officials have been writing to the public-funded British Broadcasting Corporation, after the first part of the documentary was aired on BBC 2 on Wednesday in which a number of middle-ranking Taliban commanders were shown detailing what they described as an extensive Pakistani support for them.
Pakistan has already rejected the contents of the documentary, including allegations that its military and the main intelligence outfit supplied and protected the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Speaking angrily against the documentary in London on Thursday night, Interior Minister Rehman Malik rejected the findings of the BBC and condemned the “yellow journalism” that tarnishes an ally like Pakistan.
The minister mocked the BBC for compromising its editorial standards for the sake of appeasing those who have an agenda. He questioned the credibility of those interviewed and ridiculed the British broadcaster for taking the word of criminals for a fact.
Malik said the BBC was duped into it by the Taliban, who were trying to create a wedge among the allies in the war against terrorism by making baseless allegations. He asked the West to come to its senses and see the track record of Pakistan.
“We have lost over 35,000 innocent people. We live with this war on daily basis but when we are doubted it hurts us. If these criminals who appeared in BBC film were given to us, they would make similar and even worse claims against anyone, such people cannot be trusted,” Malik said.
The News is aware that a delegation from Pakistan High Commission has already met BBC officials and registered their concern by telling them that the documentary was like “hitting below the belt”.
Leading Pakistani student and youth organisations have also raised the issue with the BBC, terming ‘Secret Pakistan’ yet “another jab of betrayal delivered in the backs of the Pakistanis by our so-called allies”.
Media Spokesperson of the National Union of Pakistani Students and Alumni Sundas Malik said Pakistan was never involved in any terrorist attacks against America.
“For more than a decade we are supporting USA in its war against terror, but we are blamed for double-crossing.”
Kamran Ishtiaq, Chairman of the British Pakistani Youth Council, said it was not clear why this blame game started and when is it going to end. “Forty thousand Pakistanis have lost their lives since the war on terror started, and yet we are blamed for being unfaithful.”
He said Pakistanis all over the world felt humiliated by these allegations. “We have been blamed to be allies of Taliban, but it was the US, who supported them in the war against the Soviet Union.”
Saad Sultan, President of the Pakistan Youth Foundation, told The News that documentaries such as this one raised questions about the credibility of the witnesses. “(It) is going to do nothing else but (to) create more and more distrust among the Pakistanis towards the USA.”
The BBC, meanwhile, conceded on Friday that the allegations made in the programme were not new and had been reported extensively but said: “The Afghan conflict, which has seen British soldiers lose their lives, is of significant interest to British audiences.”
Source: The News