Reporting Afghanistan Mapping Afghan conflict in Pakistani media: by Intermedia -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Reporting Afghanistan Mapping Afghan conflict in Pakistani media: by Intermedia

November 2012

Reporting Afghanistan Mapping Afghan conflict in Pakistani media

A media monitoring report analyzing news content from April to August 2012

Author: Sadaf Baig
Editor: Aurangzaib Khan

This report is part of an ongoing project to monitor various types of conflicts as covered by select samples of media in Pakistan, including
newspapers and TV channels.

In this report, the focus is on Afghan conflict and related issues as reported by Pakistani media. The report contains in depth content
analysis of news coverage of Afghan conflict and related issues in three newspapers and three TV news channels, over the period of five months
v i.e. from May1, 2012 to August 31, 2012.

The report has been prepared by Intermedia Pakistan, a Pakistani media development organization focusing on advocacy, research and training on media issues.

About INTERMEDIA Pakistan

Intermedia is a registered not-for-profit Pakistani independent media development and __À_o}‰u_všA _}uuµv]__š]}vA }ŒP_v]Ì_š]}vXA/vš_Œu__]_[A À]]}vAš_š_u_všA _]uA_šA µ‰‰}Œš]vPA freedom of expression, access to information and citizens making informed opinions and decisions as a means of promoting an informed, democratic and tolerant society.

/vš_Œu__]_[A‰Œ]v_]‰_oA__š]À]š]_A_Œ_A__vš_Œ__A}vA_µ]o_]vPAš__Zv]__oA_v_A‰Œ}(_]}v_oA__‰__]š]_A
and competencies of media organizations, including TV channels, radio stations and newspapers, and media rights bodies through trainings; promoting free media in Pakistan through fair media laws and reforms; and carrying out research, advocacy and analysis on
democracy and media-related issues.

Intermedia Pakistan also focuses on building communications capacities of development organizations to help them improve their outreach. Intermedia focuses on improving the quality of civic and thematic dialogue and development communications critical to an open, pluralistic and democratic society by working with civil society groups and development sector organizations in improving their communications capacities in a dynamically evolving media sector.

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
5
Contents
PAGE
1
Foreword
PAGE
5
Executive summary
PAGE
9
News demographics: Newspaper coverage
PAGE 17
News demographics: Television coverage
PAGE 23
Coverage of terrorism in Afghanistan
PAGE 31
Coverage of cross-border incursions
PAGE 37
Coverage of drone strikes
PAGE 45
Coverage of NATO supply issue
PAGE 49
Coverage of NATO pullout and Afghan peace process
PAGE 55
Perceptions: Is it important to report Afghanistan?
PAGE 56
Afghanistan coverage: Survey with Pakistani journalists
PAGE 63
Afghanistan coverage: Survey with Afghan journalists
PAGE 69
Recommendations
PAGE 73
Annexure 1: Research methodology
PAGE 75
Annexure 2: Focus Group Discussion
PAGE 82
Annexure 3: FGD questionnaire
PAGE 84
Annexure 4: FGD participants list
PAGE 85
Annexure 5: Survey questionnaire for Pakistani journalists
PAGE 87
Annexure 6: Survey questionnaire for Pakistani journalists

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
1
It is impossible to overestimate the importance of the Afghanistan-Pakistan relationship.
W_l]š_v[A‰}o]_ÇAtowards Afghanistan _}_v[šAiµšAaffect its relations with its volatile Western
neighbor; it also Z_A_AZ__ÀÇA]v(oµ_v__A}vAW_l]š_v[A}À_Œ_ooA(}Œ_]PvA‰}o]_ÇUAincluding its relations
Á]šZA hv]š__A ^š_š_XA W_l]š_v[A ___o]vPA Á]šZA _(PZ_v]š_vA Z_À_A Z}À_Œ__A __šÁeen tense and
volatile for the last two decades. Following the 9/11 attacks and the start of the global war
against terrorism, this relationship has taken on new and delicate dimensions.
Keeping the importance of this relationship in mind, it is important to look how the Afghan
conflict is covered in the Pakistani Media. This report is all about how Afghanistan and issues
relating to the conflict going on there are monitored and reported by mainstream media in
Pakistan.
C}À_Œ_P_A }(A ZšZ_A Afghan conflict[ in the Pakistani Media is a complex theme to tackle. The
ongoing war in Afghanistan, the beginning of NATO[ pullout, the aspirations of the Afghan
Peace Process and every security or political development in Afghanistan have an obvious and
long term impact on Pakistan. Terrorism in Afghanistan and in the areas of its border with
Pakistan are ardently linked together both by the law enforcement of either side or the media.
D]o]š_všA(Œ}uA___ZA]__A}(AšZ_A_}Œ__ŒAµ_AšZ_A}šZ_Œ[Ao_v_A_AŒ_(µP_A_v_A_Œ}A_order raids and
attacks are commonplace. It is almost impossible to meaningfully discuss the cause and effect
of violent conflict on one side of the Durand Line without taking into account realities and
conditions on the other.
Cross border infiltration between Pakistan and Afghanistan is not limited to militants. The
presence of U.S. and NATO bases in Afghanistan and the continuing war on terror have had
serious and often tragic consequences for Pakistan. The Salala Attack by NATO forces is just one
example of NATO forces in Afghanistan perceiving Pakistani grounds as fair game.
While the Salala incident provoked a severe reaction from Pakistani leaders, NATO intrusions
into Pakistan from Afghanistan are extremely common. In fact, unmanned drones flying from
U.
S.
bases in Afghanistan have carried out more than 250 attacks inside Pakistan since 2005.
These drone strikes clearly demonstrate how closely linked Pakistan is with the conflict in
Afghanistan.
Foreword

2
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
As the 2014 deadline for NATO[ pullout approaches, Afghanistan and Pakistan are poised to
enter another yet another uncertain phase in their relationship. Given the long-standing levels
}(Au]šŒµšAšZ_šA_Æ]šA__šÁ__vAšZ_AšÁ}A_}µvšŒ]_A~__‰]š_A_A______A^Á}Œl]vPAš}P_šZ_Œ_A]vAšZ_A
larger war on terror, a lot will depend on what unfolds in post-NATO Afghanistan.
In this situation, it is extremely important to take a look at how the media in Pakistan perceives
and reports on Afghanistan t not just about internal conflicts within Afghanistan – but also what
those conflicts mean for Pakistan.
As the NATO pullout deadline approaches, it becomes extremely important to increase public
understanding of the Afghan conflict, so as to ensure that Pakistan is able to engage with post-
NATO Afghanistan in the best way possible. This analysis of media content on Afghanistan has
been conducted with hopes that it will help media indulge in a bit of self reflection and work
out the issues it currently faces while reporting on Afghanistan.
We recognize the logistical and practical issues that Pakistani journalists face while reporting on
_(PZ_v]š_vA_v_AZ}‰_AšZ_šA_ÇAZ]PZo]PZš]vPAšZ_Au_]vA_v_Au]]vPA_o_u_všA}(AW_l]š_v]AD__]_[A
coverage of Afghanistan we will be able to generate a clear picture of the positive and negative
aspects of Afghan coverage in Pakistani Media.
This report documents and analyzes coverage of the Afghan Conflict and related issues in six
mainstream Pakistani news outlets.
The following sub-themes have been tracked for
monitoring and analysis:
Terrorism in Afghanistan t One of the key indicators of the security and stability
situation in Afghanistan is the frequency of terrorism incidents. The fact that so many incidents
_}vš]vµ_Aš}A}__µŒA__‰]š_AÇ__ŒA}(AE_dK[A‰Œ__v__UAu__vAšZ]AšZ_ÇA_Œ_Ao]l_oy to continue to
be a significant issue once the NATO pullout is complete.
Drone Strikes t Even though drone strikes are primarily a political issue between Pakistan
and the United States, they emanate from Afghanistan. They are also a part of the larger fight
against terrorism – the backbone of the Afghan Conflict. Another aspect of the drone strikes
that connects both Pakistan and Afghanistan are the links between Pakistani and Afghan
militants.
Cross Border Attacks and Incursions t The border between Pakistan and
Afghanistan remains porous and dangerous for both sides. Afghan militants have crossed the
border on numerous occasions to stage violent attacks on Pakistani soil. The cross border
infiltrations are not limited to militants and non state elements alone. Government military and
security forces on both sides of the border have frequently engaged with each other. There
have been incidents of cross border fire, NATO gunships crossing over and shooting targets
(Œ}uA W_l]š_v[A _]Œ‰___XA A These myriad cross border incursions reflect how Pakistan and its
border areas can be affected by an unstable Afghanistan.

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
3
NATO Supply Lines t Afghanistan is a land locked country; goods and supplies to
Afghanistan must pass through a transit route from another country. NATO forces have been
using multiple routes in Pakistan for the delivery of non-lethal equipment to Afghanistan. The
NATO supply lines in Pakistan have been a matter of controversy, trucks carrying NATO
containers have been attacked and the government has faced criticism from most right wing
parties on allowing the transit despite continuing drone strikes. __Œo]_ŒA šZ]A Ç__ŒUA W_l]š_v[A
suspension of NATO supply lines through its territory highlighted a further inter-weaving of
issues and impacts involving Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States. Pakistan suspended
the movement of NATO supplies and material across its border with Afghanistan to protest
infringements of its territorial sovereignty by the U.S. The NATO Supply line issue was a hot
topic during the monitoring period and remains a key issue relative to W_l]š_v[A Œ}o_A ]vA the
Afghan conflict.
NATO Pullout and Afghan Peace Process t NATO[ pullout from Afghanistan is
scheduled to be completed next year.
And the international community[A v_ÆšA u}À_A ]vA
Afghanistan are not entirely clear.
Nor is the impact the pullout will have on the security
environment or the Afghan Government. All of these issues also have potentially serious
implications for Pakistan, so this has also been closely monitored and analyzed.
Pak-Afghan and Pak U.S. Relationship t The relationships between Pakistan,
Afghanistan and the United States are extremely interdependent. Perceptions of Pakistan inside
_(PZ_v]š_vA_Œ_AZ__À]oÇA]u‰__š__A_ÇAW_l]š_v[A‰_Œ__]À__AŒ}o_A_A_vA_ooÇA]vAšZ_A^Á_ŒA}vAš_ŒŒ}Œ_UA
and by the support it extends to the U-S military and NATO for their operations inside
Afghanistan. This can in turn shape the actions and policies of both the Afghan Government and
militants directed back at Pakistan.
There are also open questions about how bilateral
relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan will unfold folloÁ]vPAE_dK[AîìíïAÁ]šZ_Œ_Á_oX
__________________________________________________

4
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
5
Historically, relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been far from ideal. But despite
the political and social tensions between the two countries, these oft conflicting neighbours
have also shared a historical bond. Pakistan was a key player during the Afghan resistance to
Soviet forces and decades later, Pakistan still is home to millions of Afghan refugees. The shared
border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is also a testament to the shared cultural and tribal
bonds. Tribes on either side of the Durand Line enjoy a common history and share similar
cultural and sociological perspectives.
C}v]__ŒA šZ_A ]vš_ŒÁ}À_vA Œ_o_š]}vA __šÁ__vA šZ_A _]š]Ì_vA ]vA W_l]š_v[A šŒ]__oA __ošA _v_A _(PZ_vA
border areas add the geo-political situation of the post-9/11 world and view these with the lens
of the ongoing armed conflict in which Pakistan features as a key player and the significance of
the Afghan conflict and its impact on Pakistan becomes clear. In this report, we have attempted
to establish whether the media in Pakistan is according any significance to the Afghan conflict
and how the news narrative about the conflict is structured.
The data gathered during the course of this research makes one thing very clear; the Afghan
conflict features often in Pakistani media, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, most of the news items
refer to or are linked to the Afghan conflict only indirectly. Amongst the conflict sub themes
that featured most prominently in Pakistani media are drone attacks, NATO supply line, NATO
pullout and Afghan peace process and cross-border insurgency.

Pak-Afghan relations are vastly underreported. The dynamics of relations
between Pakistan and Afghanistan are vastly underreported and only 3% of the
news pieces about Afghanistan that appeared in the monitored newspapers
from April to August 2012 focused on Pak-Afghan relationship. The pattern is
slightly different on TV and 8% of the Afghanistan-related news items in the 9
o[_o}_lA_µoo_š]vA}(AšZ_Au}v]š}Œ__A_Z_vv_oAu___AW_l-Afghan relations the key
focus of the story.

NATO supply line is treated as a priority news subject by newspapers and TV.
NATO supply line and cross-border insurgency from Afghanistan were given
importance of both TV and newspapers v 23% of the related news on TV and
18
% in newspapers were about NATO supply. The news about suspension of the
supply from Pakistan, the escalating tensions amongst Pakistan, Afghanistan and
United States over this issue and the eventual resumption of the supply were
widely discussed and analyzed by all the monitored media outlets. Some 21% of
Executive summary

6
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
the newspaper coverage on NATO supply route consisted of opinion and
editorial pieces.

A significant number of opinion and analytical pieces are published on Afghan
conflict. In newspapers, 76% of the published articles were news stories while
24
% were opinion, analysis or editorial pieces. The ratio of news vs. opinion is
reasonably high. The frequency with which opinion pieces on the Afghan conflict
were
published
is
an
indication of
the fact
that
editors are according
considerable importance to the topic.

Afghan peace process is not reported frequently, but, when reported, it is
discussed analytically. Even though NATO pullout and Afghan peace process was
the news focus of only 16% of the total number of published stories, 16% of
these stories were opinion or analytical pieces, which, in effect, resulted in a
detailed and in-depth coverage of the theme.

AFP, local and foreign correspondents of newspapers are most frequently used
sources. More than half of the stories i.e. 53% of the stories on Afghan conflict
were sourced to local correspondents of the newspapers and 13% to foreign
correspondents. The rest were sourced to different news agencies. Both English
newspapers seem to favor French wire service AFP when it comes to Afghan
conflict news, and 18% of the news stories about Afghanistan were from AFP.

Terror incidents in Afghanistan are not prioritized by newspapers and TV
channels. A total of 371 casualties were reported in different terrorism incidents
in Afghanistan. News about terror incidents in Afghanistan was not given much
priority. Multiple incidents were grouped together into a single news item
without much of a detail offered.

Pakistan features prominently in one-tenth of news items reporting terrorism
in Afghanistan. Media identifies the need for a joint anti-terrorism strategy and
identifies the Haqqani Network as one of the most potent groups involved.
However, ,_‹‹_v][Ao]vlAÁ]šZAu]o]š_v_ÇA]vA_(PZ_v]š_vAZas been reported only
through quotes from American officials; the media has avoided linking the two
together directly.

While reporting Green-on-Blue killings NATO officers have been given a heroic
frame and have been referred š}A_AZt_š_Œv_ŒAZ_o‰]vPA_(PZ_v]š_vAcounter
religious _ÆšŒ_u]š[X

Cross-border incursions from Afghanistan are given ample news space. A total
of 17 cross-border incursions were reported in the monitored period. Tribal
region Bajaur
Agency
and
Upper
Dir
District
of
northwestern
Khyber

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
7
Pakhtunkhwa along the border with Afghanistan were reported as being most
vulnerable to cross-border incursions from Afghanistan. Thirty-three Pakistani
soldiers and law enforcers were reported dead in these incursions. Over a dozen
tribesmen and over 100 militants were also reported to be killed. In the opinion
pieces published on the theme of cross-border incursions multiple analysts and
writers made a reference to the safe-havens Pakistan-based outlawed militant
outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has apparently found in Afghanistan.

ISAF and NATO forces have been mentioned in 33% of the news stories about
cross-border incursions. The media seems to harbor a deep mistrust of the ISAF
and American forces in Afghanistan; most opinion pieces commenting on the
forces have framed them in a manipulative and deceitful role.

Reporting about drone attacks is incomplete; disparities in casualty figures
reported by different newspapers are common. Drone attacks ]vA W_l]š_v[A
tribal areas were also monitored. A total of 23 drone attacks were reported by
the media from April to August 2012.

Different newspapers gave different casualty figures in drone strikes and other
details in the news stories also varied. A few disparities were also found in the
reported number of drone strike casualties in local newspapers and International
news sources; however, the difference was not very significant. Some positive
and a number of negative aspects of the drone strategy have been discussed in
the monitored papers; the conclusion after these arguments has been largely on
the negative side.

Pakistani media largely sees šZ_A _Œ}v_A šŒ_š_PÇA _A _A À]}o_š]}vA }(A W_l]š_v[A
sovereignty and international laws. The United States has been portrayed as a
bully with no regard for human life or for moral and legal obligations. The
Pakistani government has been portrayed as either incompetent or sly playing a
double-game on the drone issue.

Media coverage was neither overtly for or against the suspension of NATO
supplies routes. The resumption of the NATO supplies through Pakistan was
welcomed by the media; however, misgivings and questions about the United
^š_š_[A_šš]šµ__A}À_ŒAšZ_A]µ_AŒ_u_]v__XA

Pakistani media does not believe that the Afghan security forces are ready or
capable of managing the extremist and terrorist element in Afghanistan after
NATO pullout. Media coverage also reflects the fear that Pakistan stands to
suffer a violent blowback from Afghanistan once the NATO forces have pulled
out.

8
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan

The media portrays Afghanistan and the Haqqanis as detrimental factors that
Á}µo_A__(]v_AW_l]š_v[AŒ_o_š]}vAÁ]šZAšZ_AhX^XA The media identifies a need to
redefine Pak-Afghan relationship so that both governments can help each other
counter terrorist elements after the NATO pullout.

dZ_Œ_A]A _A _o__ŒA o__lA }(AšŒµšA]vA šZ_A _(PZ_vAP}À_Œvu_vš[A__‰__]o]šÇ to handle
the volatile situation in Afghanistan and the media remains deeply fearful of a
rise in Taliban influence within the government post-NATO pullout.
_‰_ŒšA(Œ}uAv_ÁAu}v]š}Œ]vPUAšZ]AŒ___Œ_ZA_o}Aš_l_A_Ao}}lA_šA_(PZ_vA_v_AW_l]š_v]Ai}µŒv_o]š[A
perception of the coverage of Afghan conflict in Pakistani media. A group of Pakistani
journalists who have reported actively on Afghanistan participated in a short survey and 93% of
them said that media has a role to play in improving relations between Pakistan and
Afghanistan.

Majority of Pakistani journalists find Afghan conflict coverage inadequate. Over
83
% of these journalists termed the coverage of Afghan conflict as being
inadequate. The majority of these journalists said that a lack of interest in the
Afghan conflict in Pakistani media organizations is the main reason for this
inadequate coverage. Some 67% of the journalists termed Afghan coverage in
newspapers overtly negative, while 60% also termed the coverage on TV as
being overtly negative.

Majority of Afghan journalists also find Afghan conflict coverage inadequate. A
group of journalists from Afghanistan also took part in a survey regarding
coverage of Afghan conflict in Pakistani media. Nearly 86% of the Afghan
journalists found the coverage to be inadequate and ôò9A_o}Aš_Œu__A]šAZ}À_ŒšoÇA
v_P_š]À_[XA_ooAšZ_AAfghan respondents said that media has an important role in
improving relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Suggesting ways to
improve the current media coverage, 85% of the Afghan journalists indicated the
need to bring out Afghan voices in the Pakistani media.
__________________________________________________

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
9
News gathering and production becomes a daunting prospect on occasions when news and
developments happen out of the country, especially thematic, in-depth coverage. Even though
this report focuses on thematic coverage of the Afghan conflict and related issues, the theme
gets its fair share of coverage in Pakistan, comparable to that in Afghanistan itself or in the
United States.
In the first section of news analysis, we will focus on three basic quantitative indicators of news
coverage: The focus, type and source of the news story.
The Afghan conflict is complex. When it comes to news, it throws up multi-dimensional and
multi-layered stories. Monitoring this theme often means monitoring news items that do not
make a direct mention of the conflict in Afghanistan but are a direct result of the war brewing
in Afghanistan. The Afghan conflict also features as a microcosm of the global war against terror
in that it symbolizes, at least for the present, a focused theatre of the war when it comes to the
news audience worldwide.
For Pakistan, of course, the impending NATO pullout from
Afghanistan has direct consequences.
Monitoring the Afghan conflict in Pakistani media also means that elements of the conflict that
have a direct impact and relevance on this side of the border receive vastly more coverage. So,
while terrorism in Afghanistan and the Afghan peace process have had their share of news
stories in newspapers and on TV, it is the NATO supply line, cross-border incursions and drone
strikes that have generated the largest chunk of news content. Unexpectedly, a good
percentage of the news content consists of news commentary, analysis and opinion pieces.
While both English newspapers i.e. Dawn and The Express Tribune show similar trends in basic
cov_Œ_P_A]v_]__š}ŒUAšZ_AhŒ_µAv_Á‰_‰_ŒA:_vP[A_}À_Œ_P_AZ_A___vAo]PZšoÇA_]((_Œ_všXA
News focus
Drone strikes in Pakistan and cross-border insurgency remained the most covered themes in all
monitored newspapers. Among the 602 published news pieces, 19% were about drone strikes
in FATA, 17% were about the NATO supply line issue, 15% about cross-border insurgency from
Afghanistan, 16% related to NATO pullout in 2014 and Afghan peace process, 13% reported on
terrorism incidents in Afghanistan while 12% related to Pak-Afghan or Pak-U.S. relations in
context of Afghan conflict.
News demographics: Newspaper coverage

10
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
News focus of stories published in monitored newspapers
NATO pullout in 2014 and the Afghan peace process were covered in detail in both Dawn and
The Express Tribune with 21% stories in The Express Tribune and 14% stories in Dawn dedicated
to these themes. In Jang, however, only 6% of the stories on Afghan conflict focused on NATO
pullout or Afghan peace process. Among other popular themes were NATO Supply and drone
attacks. In Dawn, the NATO supply line was a significant focus with 16% of the Afghan conflict
coverage dedicated to the theme.
In The Express Tribune, the second most popular theme was drone strikes with 19% of total
Afghanistan-related coverage dedicated to drone strikes. Drone strikes also generated the
highest number of news stories in Jang, with 29% of the total news stories related to Afghan
conflict focusing on drone strikes and related issues or statements.
Both NATO supply and drone strikes highlight the deep impact that the Afghan crisis has on
Pakistan. It also points out the crucial role that Pakistan has to play in the context of the
transformation of the Afghan conflict. Below is a graphical look at the key themes relating to
Afghan conflict that the three monitored newspapers covered from April to August 2012.
Terrorism in
Afghanistan
13%
Cross-border
insurgency
15%
Drone strikes
19%
NATO supply
17%
NATO pullout
16%
Pak-U.S.
relations
9%
Pak-Afghan
relations
3%
Others
8%

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
11
News focus in Jang
News focus in Dawn
13%
2%
7%
6%
26%
29%
13%
2%
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
Others
Pak-Afghan relations
Pak-U.S. relations
NATO pullout
NATO supply
Drone strikes
Cross-border insurgency
Terrorism in Afghanistan
10%
3%
12%
15%
16%
15%
14%
13%
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
Others
Pak-Afghan relations
Pak-U.S. relations
NATO pullout
NATO supply
Drone strikes
Cross Border insurgency
Terrorism in Afghanistan

12
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
News focus in The Express Tribune
News content type
With a theme as complex and intertwined with the peace in the region, it is a given that a
significant percentage of the total news content relating to the Afghan conflict would consist of
opinion pieces in the form of news analysis, editorials, columns, opinion editorials and even
letters to the editor. The monitoring establishes that it really is so. Among the 602 articles
published in the monitored newspapers from April to August 2012, as many as 143 were
opinion pieces i.e. 24% of the total coverage was of analytical nature.
Type of news content published
5%
3%
6%
21%
15%
19%
16%
12%
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
Others
Pak-Afghan relations
Pak-U.S. relations
NATO pullout
NATO supply
Drone strikes
Crossborder insurgency
Terrorism in Afghanistan
Opinion
24%
News
76%

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
13
The Express Tribune published the highest percentage of opinion pieces with 26% of the entire
news content on Afghan conflict consisting of opinion pieces. In thematic news content that
appeared in Dawn, 25% consisted of opinion pieces while Jang had the lowest percentage of
opinion pieces with only 14% of the published content on Afghan conflict being opinion and
editorial pieces.
Ratio of news and opinion pieces
The NATO pullout in 2014 and the Afghan peace process remained the most widely discussed
theme in opinion pieces with 27% of them discussing this theme.
Themes of opinion pieces
News
News
News
Opinion
Opinion
Opinion
0
50
100
150
200
250
Dawn
The Express Tribune
Jang
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
Others
Pak-Afghan & Pak-U.S. relations
NATO pullout
NATO supply
Drone strikes
Cross-Border incursions
Terrorism in Afghanistan

14
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
News sources
The knotty, and often controversial, issue of the Afghan conflict necessitates diverse opinion
and arguments to establish the truth. The credibility of news, therefore, is a factor of news
sources that newspapers use to generate news content. An underlying assumption with a
theme based in a foreign land would be that the local correspondents would not be generating
the larger chunk of the news content for reasons of access, if nothing else. However, since the
Afghan conflict is so closely intertwined with P_l]š_vUA __‰_v__v_ÇA }vA _A Z(}Œ_]Pv[Av_ÁA ___A
factor to stay informed about developments in Afghanistan does not come into play much.
In fact, the data gathered during the monitoring process shows that local correspondents
generated as much as 53% of the total news content published in the monitored newspapers.
Both
Dawn
and
the Tribune
attributed
a good
number of
stories to
their foreign
correspondents. AFP has been the most widely used news agency for both Dawn and Tribune
with 19% Afghanistan related stories in Dawn and 21% Afghanistan related stories in the
Tribune attributed to AFP. The Urdu newspaper Jang, however, showed a preference for the
Online news agency with 15% of Afghanistan related content attributed to Online and only 11%
attributed to AFP preferred by both English newspapers.
News sources for Afghan conflict coverage
The comparison between the news sources being used by the monitored newspapers is quite
interesting.
AFP
18%
AP
3%
APP
1%
Online
3%
Sana
1%
Reuters
1%
Multiple news
agencies
7%
Local
correspondent
53%
Foreign
correspondent
13%

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
15
News sources used by monitored newspapers
AFP, 19%
AFP, 11%
AFP, 20%
AP, 7%
AP, 0
AP, 1%
APP, 0%
APP, 5%
APP, 1%
Online, 0
Online, 15%
Online, 0
Sana, 0
Sana, 6%
Sana, 0
Reuters, 0
Reuters, 2%
Reuters, 0.50%
Multiple agencies, 3%
Multiple agencies, 0
Multiple agencies, 7%
Local correspondent,
51%
Local correspondent,
40%
Local correspondent,
58%
Foreign
correspondent, 18%
Foreign
correspondent, 3%
Foreign
correspondent, 10%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
Dawn
Jang
The Express Tribune

16
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
B}šZA u_]všŒ__uA _vPo]ZAv_Á‰_‰_ŒA_‰‰_Œ_všoÇAŒ_oÇA }vAšZ_A _u_Av_ÁA }µŒ__A _v_A Z_À_v[šA
published a single story from two local agencies preferred by Jang i.e. Online and Sana.
Comparison: News sources in Dawn and The Express Tribune
__________________________________________________
Dawn
Dawn
Dawn
Dawn
Dawn
Dawn
Dawn
The Express
Tribune
The Express
Tribune
The Express
Tribune
The Express
Tribune
The Express
Tribune
The Express
Tribune
The Express
Tribune
AFP
AP
APP
Reuters
Multiple news
agencies
Local correspondent
Foreign
correspondent
0
20
40
60
80
100
120

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
17
In a country like Pakistan where the percentage of illiterate people far exceeds those with the
ability to read and write, television is a true mass medium. For the last 12 years, since the
current crisis in Afghanistan in the wake of American intervention in post-2001, the impact,
relevance and outreach of television has grown along with the conflict in the region. TV news
and talk shows have become primetime entertainment for a nation deeply affected by the
conflict in the region deeply connected to that in Afghanistan. TV has emerged and remains as
one of the key mediums that influence and mould the public opinion in Pakistan.
Even though the reach and impact of the television is greater than that of newspapers, with the
benefit of regular updates, this report only takes into account the coverage of the Afghan
conflict in the most watched news bulletin of the day v šZ_AõA}[_o}_l news. This restriction was
dictated by cost and logistical constraints as monitoring TV through the cycle of news and
updates can be an expensive and time-consuming undertaking.
The data presented here is,
thus, reflective only of the hour-long bulletin _šA õA }[_o}_lA v the longest and the most
comprehensive of the day, compared to on-the-Z}µŒA_µoo_š]vA_v_Aµ‰__š_AšZ_šA_}v[šA_Æ____A
10 minutes at the most v and not of the collective coverage of Afghan conflict in the news
bulletins through the day on the monitored TV channels.
Given the limitations of TV coverage monitoring, this report aims to determine the significance
and importance given to Afghan conflict-Œ_o_š__Av_ÁA]vAšZ_AõA}[A_o}_lA_µoo_š]vA}(AdsA_Z_vv_oXA
From April to August 2012, the three monitored channels aired a total of 71 stories about the
Afghan conflict. Amongst these 71 were straight news stories, seven were beepers (live-cross
between the reporter and the news presenter) and three were news packages.
News focus
Like newspapers, TV channels also dedicated most of the airtime to drone strikes, NATO supply
and cross-border insurgency when it comes to coverage of the Afghan conflict. Drone strikes
remained the most widely covered theme with 28% of the coverage dedicated to drone strikes,
NATO supply bagged 23% of the related coverage, while cross-border attacks and insurgency
related news items made up for 15% of the related news coverage.
News demographics: Television coverage

18
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
News focus of stories aired on monitored TV channels
Unlike the newspapers, the monitored TV news content does not include much coverage of
terrorism related incidents in Afghanistan. Only 7% of the Afghan conflict coverage on TV
focuses on terrorism in Afghanistan as opposed to the 13% coverage in monitored newspapers.
The Pakistan-U.S. relations in context of Afghan conflict have generated 10% of the thematic
news content, but NATO pullout and Afghan peace process does not seem to be a preferred
theme for TV news channels and only 6% of the thematic coverage focuses on the pullout and
peace process.
The reason for this might be the fact that this data reflects only the 9pm news bulletin content
that due to time constraint allows only coverage of the important news items, not analysis as
done in the current affairs programms and talk shows.
The comparison between Geo News, Waqt News and Samaa News shows that there are
similarities between news policies when it comes to the coverage of Afghan conflict.
Terrorism in
Afghanistan
7%
Cross-border
insurgency
15%
Drone strikes
28%
NATO supply
23%
NATO pullout
6%
Pak-U.S.
relations
10%
Pak-Afghan
relations
8%
Others
3%

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
19
Comparison between focus of Afghan conflict related news
on Geo News, Waqt News and Samaa News
Type of news item
Given the news coverage trends in Pakistani TV where bulletins are almost entirely composed
of straight news stories, it does not come as a surprise that a significant number of the
monitored news items consist of event reporting. Among the items aired by the monitored
channels, 86% were simple news stories in OC-VO or OC t VO t SOT format. Only 5% of the
1
stories were aired as Beepers and only 1% of the thematic news content consisted of news
packages. All the news items aired were reactionary in tone. The lack of detailed reporting on
the theme in this regard seems more a factor of time constraint that the 9 }[clock bulletin faces
than lack of interest in the theme on part of the news channel.
News priority
The priority given to any news item can be determined by the airing slot allotted to that
particular news item while deciding the running order news in a bulletin v the most important
news in terms of impact, relevance, proximity etc. takes precedence over the less important.
While important news items are aired in earlier slots, these news items are usually aired in
1
OC-VO refers to On-Camera and Voice Over, a common TV news format which consists of the news anchor
reading the lead on camera and then switching to pre-recorded visuals for the rest of the voice over. OC-VO-SOT is
the basic OC-sKAÁ]šZA_vA___]š]}vA}(AZ^}µnd-on-d_‰_[A_o]‰AÁZ]_ZAZ}ÁA_A‰Œ_-recorded clip of someone from the
field giving a quote on camera.
Ge
o
,
16%
Geo
,
41
%
Ge
o
,
19%
Ge
o
,
8%
Ge
o
,
11%
Ge
o
,
5%
Waqt
,
20%
Waqt
,
15%
Waqt
,
15%
Waqt
,
25%
Waqt
,
5%
Waqt
,
20%
Waqt
,
10%
S
am
aa,
6%
S
am
aa,
20%
S
am
aa,
13%
S
am
aa,
26%
S
am
aa,
6%
S
am
aa,
13%
S
am
aa,
15%
0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.3
0.35
0.4
0.45
Terrorism in
Afghanistan
Cross-Border
incursions
Drone
strikes
NATO supply
NATO
pullout
Pak-U.S.
relations
Pak-Afghan
relations
Others

20
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
blocks of similar themes so determination of airing time does not exactly portray the
importance that a particular news item has for the rundown producer. Certain news themes
demand lengthier coverage and the duration of each news item obviously has a bearing on the
time that other news items in the rundown would air at.
To get an estimation of how the rundown producer conceived the news items in terms of
importance, we decided to simply check whether news related to the Afghan conflict has been
aired among the first 10 news items of the bulletin.
It is interesting to note that more than 46% of the total Afghan conflict stories were aired
among the first 10 items of the news bulletins v 15% of the stories aired among the first 10
news items of the bulletin were either beepers or packages. Most of the prioritized news items
focused on drone attacks.
Prioritized themes in news
News significance
Another factor determining the importance given to the theme is the duration of the stories
aired. Since the 9 }[_o}_lA _µoo_š]vA}vA dsA_Z_vv_oA_]uAš}A]v_oµ__AšZ_A ]u‰}Œš_všA v_ÁA}(A šZ_A
day, it is usually difficult to squeeze in lengthy news items. However, as much as 44% of the
news stories aired on the Afghan conflict were over one minute in duration showing that TV
stations are dedicating a significant amount of time to stories about the Afghan conflict.
6%
21%
40%
24%
3%
3%
3%
Terrorism in
Afghanistan
Cross-Border
insurgency
Drone strikes
NATO supply
NATO pullout
Pak-U.S.
relations
Pak-Afghan
relations

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
21
Duration of stories aired on Afghan conflict
Focus of news items over one minute
1

2 minutes
36%
Less than a
minute
54%
More than 2
minutes
8%
Nato supply
Cross-border
incursions
Drone strikes
NATO supply
NATO pullout
Pak-U.S.
relations
Pak-Afghan
relations
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

22
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
When it comes to airing stories longer than a minute, Waqt News has taken the lead v airing
53
% of the long stories.
Over one-minute long stories on monitored channels
While the percentage of lengthy stories on the monitored theme might not be very high given
šZ_A š]u_A o]u]š_š]}vA ]vA šZ_A õA }[_o}_lA _µoo_š]vUA šZ_A Œ_o_š]À_oÇA Z]PZA ‰_Œ__vš_P_A Z}ÁA šZ_šA šZ_A
monitored channels are giving both priority and significance to the Afghan conflict in their main
news bulletin.
__________________________________________________
Geo, 26%
Waqt, 53%
Samaa, 20%
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
23
Context
The bleak security and political situation in Afghanistan is a secret to none. With the NATO
pullout drawing near, the political, economic and security situation
in Afghanistan is
continuously a matter of deep concern for all global actors. The Afghan government is seen as
weak and ineffective, while the Taliban violence seems to have no end. Terrorism incidents in
Afghanistan are common place and varied. From suicide blasts affecting mostly civilians to
targeted bomb attacks and ambushes of the NATO forces, the violence rages all over the
country. A recent surge in Afghan law enforcement personnel turning on their foreign
counterparts has been alarming. The fact of the matter is; so varied and numerous are these
incidents of terrorism in Afghanistan, that Pakistani media is only covering only the most gory,
the most disastrous of these attacks. The question is: Is a more detailed coverage of terrorism
in Afghanistan even important or necessary?
Coverage of terrorism in Afghanistan
KEY
FINDINGS

12
% of the news pieces on terrorism in Afghanistan
mention Pakistan; all these articles mention Pakistani non-
state actors and half of them also mention Pakistani state
actors.

Media
identifies the
need
for
a
joint
anti-terrorism
strategy.

Three quarters of the stories that mention Pakistan in
context of terrorism in Afghanistan have identified the
Haqqani Network as the possible link.

,_‹‹_v][A o]vlA Á]šZA u]o]š_v_ÇA ]vA _(PZ_v]š_vA Z_A ___vA
reported only through quotes from American officials; the
media has avoided linking the two together directly.

Wherever action against the Haqqanis has been discussed,
only
the
security
forces have
been
mentioned.
The
political government has not been mentioned even once,
indicating that the media does not believe that the
political administration has a part to play in this regard.

While reporting Green-on-Blue killings, NATO officers have
been given a heroic frame and have been referred to as
Zt_š_Œv_ŒA
Z_o‰]vPA
_(PZ_v]š_vA
_}µvš_ŒA
Œ_o]P]}µA
_ÆšŒ_u]š[XA

24
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
D_vš]}vA}(AšZ_AZW_l]š_vAl]vl[A
Kv_A__vAZ_Œ_oÇA__vÇAW_l]š_v[A__š]À_AŒ}o_A_v_A]u‰__šA}vA_(PZ_v]š_v[A]vš_Œv_oA]šµ_š]}vXA_vA
analysis of all news items published on the theme of terrorism in Afghanistan reveals that 12%
of the total news items on the conflict theme mention either Pakistan or a group originating
from Pakistan.
While at a glance, 12% might not seem like a large percentage, but, it is important to note that
nearly half of the news items reporting terrorism attacks in the Pak-Afghan border area
reported a link to Pakistan. An important factor of the coverage is that in 60% of the news items
that reported a link between Pakistan and terrorism in Afghanistan, the alleged link or lack
thereof was mentioned in the headline.
A headline in The Express Tribune on August 13, 2012 says ZPakistan-o]vl__[A _šš__lA }vA <__µoA
foiled[; _v}šZ_ŒA __ŒŒ]_AšZ_A ‰Œ_š_ÆšA ZdZ_A ,_‹‹_v]A C}vv__š]}v[; another in Jang quotes Sherry
RehmanUAW_l]š_v[A_u____}ŒA]vAhX^XUA_A saying, Z_}v[šA‰}]všA(]vP_ŒA_šAW_l]š_vA]vA_}vv__š]}vA
with attacks in Kabul.[ The newspapers have also quoted Afghan officials freely, even when they
are directly accusing Pakistan of being involved in supporting the terrorist, anti-government
forces. A news piece published on 29
th
July 2012 quotes Eklil Hakimi, Afghan Ambassador to the
U.S
.,
š_š]vPAšZ_šAZšZ_A}‰‰}]š]}vA(}Œ__A]vA_(PZ_v]š_vAŒ___]À_Au}v_ÇUAšŒ_]v]vPA_v_A_‹µ]‰u_všA
from the other side of the Durand Line.[ This data shows that Pakistani media outlets are
actively reporting the alleged links between terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan or Pakistan-
based militant outfits.
Mention of state and non-state actors from Pakistan
All of the articles that mention Pakistan in context of Terrorism in Afghanistan have mentioned
the involvement of non-state actors, particularly the Haqqani Network. However, half of these
_Œš]_o_A_o}A__ooAµ‰}vAšZ_Aš_š_[A(_]oµŒ_Aš}A__šA_P_]všAšZ__A_o_u_všXA
Total articles on the theme
78
Mentioned Pakistan
12%
Mentioned Pakistani state actors
6%
Mentioned Pakistani non-state actors
12%
KvoÇA }v_A }(A šZ_A v_ÁA ]š_uA _}vš_]v__A }voÇA _A Œ_(_Œ_v__A š}A W_l]š_v[A š_š_A __š}Œ[ v i.e.
Pakistani intelligence agencies[ v involvement in a sectarian attack in Kabul. The news
published in The Express Tribune on June 20, 2012 quotes Afghan Attorney General Mohammad
__‹A_š_lVA^/šA~‰o_vAš}A__ŒŒÇA_A__š_Œ]_vA_šš__lA]vA_(PZ_v]š_vAÁ_Aš_Œš__A(Œ}uAW_Z_Á_ŒA_v_A
this (attack) was administered by our v_]PZ_}Œ[ ]vš_oo]P_v__A}ŒP_vX_A
However, this news piece is an exception rather than norm v among all the news items that
mention the Pakistan link to terrorism in Afghanistan, this is the only one that contains an
allegation about W_l]š_v[A_]Œ__šAo]vlAš}A_vA_šš__lAÁ]šZ}µšA_A_}µvš_Œ-statement from Pakistani
officials.

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
25
Tone of media coverage linking state elements to terrorism in
Afghanistan
Almost one-tenth of the total coverage on terrorism in Afghanistan consisted of opinion and
__]š}Œ]_oA ‰]___A _v_A _ooA šZ__A u_vš]}vA W_l]š_v[A ‰}]_o_A o]vlXA dZ_A š}v_A }(A u}šA
opinion/editorial pieces reflects a reproach towards state elements for failing to act against
militant groups operating in the region. However, this is true in only two English newspapers
Dawn and The Express Tribune. Jang, the only Urdu newspaper monitored for this research, did
not publish any editorials or opinion pieces that linked Pakistan to terrorism in Afghanistan.
Multiple opinion/editorial pieces in the English language press also draw comparisons between
the suffering of Afghan and Pakistani people at the hand of terrorists while calling for a joint
strategy against the menace of terrorism. An op-ed in Dawn, translated from Pashto language
newspaper Daily Khabroona š_š_VA^/šA]A_Au_šš_ŒA}(A_}v__ŒvA(}ŒA_}šZAW_l]š_vA_v_A_(PZ_v]š_vA
that
terrorists
have
been
targeting
law-enforcement
agencies, sensitive
government
installations and stat_A (µv_š]}v_Œ]_YXX/šA ]A v___A }(A šZ_A Z}µŒA (}ŒA _}šZA _}µvšŒ]_A š}A _Z__lA šZ_A
u}À_u_všA}(Aµ_ZA‰_}‰o_UA}AšZ_šAšZ_Au_v___A}(Aš_ŒŒ}Œ]uA__vA__A_}všŒ}oo__X_
2
Other editorials/opinion pieces in Dawn and The Express Tribune reflect similar sentiment.
From this, one can deduce that the English language press in Pakistan does not deny the reality
of Pakistan-based terrorist outfits operating in Afghanistan. The monitored papers have not
only reported on these links whenever they have come to light, they have also expressed
dissatisfaction over the manner the government and the military are responding to this threat.
Haqqani Network in news about Afghanistan
More than three quarters of the news stories that mentioned Pakistani non-state actors in
connection with terrorist attacks in Afghanistan made a direct reference to the Haqqani
Network. The remaining quarter of the stories mentioned Taliban supporters in Pakistan.
Percentage of News stories referring to the Haqqani Network
2
Menace of terrorism, Dawn – http://dawn.com/2012/07/20/menace-of-terrorism-3/
No mention of
Pakistan link, 88%
Pakistan state actors
mentioned, 6%
Haqqani
Network
mentioned,
10%
Haqqani
Network
not
mentioned
2%
Pakistani non-
state actors
mentioned
12%

26
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
Framing of the Haqqani Network
A close look at all the articles that mention the Haqqani Network reveals that neither the news
pieces nor the editorials have mentioned their link to terrorism in Afghanistan directly; all the
news pieces have carefully framed sentences saying that it is the United States that is placing
the blame on Haqqani Network.
Even when the security establishment is being taken to task for not conducting an operation
against the Haqqanis, the framing of the sentences is very careful; for example, an editorial
š_š_AZ]šA]AšZ_Aperception that Pakistan sees the Haqqani Network _A_vA__šX_A
An opinion piece in Dawn š_š_VA^t_AÁ]ooA__A]vAšZ_Av_ÆšA(_ÁA__ǐUA_A‰_š_A}(Aleaked reports
claiming šZ_šAšZ_A_šš__lAÁ_AšZ_AZ_v_]Á}ŒlA}(AšZ_A,_‹‹_v]X_AKšZ_ŒA}‰]v]}vA‰]___Aµ_A‹µ}š_A
from U.S. officials to establish a link between Haqqanis and terrorism in Afghanistan. The same
trend is present in the news items; from quotes of the Afghan ambassador to U.S. to U.S.
Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, the newspapers have left it to the Americans to lay accusations
on the network.
This shows a _]šA}(A _(_A ‰o_Ç]vPA }vA šZ_A u__]_[A ]__XA E}šA _A ]vPo_A v_ÁA }ŒA }‰]v]}vA ‰]___A Z_A
mentioned the alleged link without mentioning that the original accusation comes from the
United States. The media seems to be carefully avoiding taking a direct stance against the
network.
Another reason for this trend might simply be the lack of direct information regarding the
Haqqani Network. The network operates in areas that are nearly impossible and highly
dangerous. Journalists from that area are constantly under threat from both militants and
security forces, which means that they have to carefully tailor their message to avoid putting
their lives at risk.
Perhaps, the practice of mentioning the network only through official quotes is a way to avoid
publication of unconfirmed information while simultaneously ensuring that the journalists do
not face an additional threat.
Reporting of Haqqani Network _v_AW_l]š_v[Asecurity f}Œ__[Astrategy
Nearly 67% of the stories that mentioned Haqqani Network _o}Au_vš]}v__AW_l]š_v[A__µŒ]šÇA
forces. Around three-fifths }(A šZ__A š_olA }(A šZ_A W_l]š_v[A (_]oµŒ_A š}A __šA _P_]všA šZ_A u]o]š_všA
group while the rest mentioned that these alleged links between Pakistan security forces and
Haqqanis might simply be a pressure tactic to get the operation in North Waziristan started.

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
27
Ratio of news linking Haqqani Network and Pakistani security forces
In almost half of the articles the tone used to describe the Pakistan security f}Œ__[A_šš]šµ__A
towards the Haqqani Network is quite harsh. An editorial published on June 25, 2012, in The
Express Tribune š_š_VA^W_ŒšA}(AšZ_A_o_u_A~(}ŒA_vA_šš__lA}µš]__A<__µoAZ_Aš}AP}Aš}AW_l]š_vXA
The U.S. has blamed Pakistan-based Haqqani Network for the attack. The Pakistan military has
repeatedly refused to take action against it; making up what some would say are excuses for
why it cannot do so. There is also a perception that Pakistan sees the Haqqani Network as an
asset that will help maintain influence in post-Á_ŒA_(PZ_v]š_vX_A
3
_v}šZ_ŒA __]š}Œ]_oA Œ___VA ^BÇA l__‰]vPA šZ_A Haqqani Network operational, it (Pakistan) thinks it
can both counteract Indian influence in Afghanistan and get a seat in the post-U.S. Afghan
government that it expects to be dominated by the Taliban. We need to realize how unwise this
‰o_vA]X_
4
The criticism directed towards Pakistani security agencies is not limited to opinion pieces; a
news piece about a security forum in Aspen quotes Admiral Mullen[ statement on the Haqqani
Network calling the Haqqani Network Z_A À_Œ]š__o_A _ŒuA }f šZ_A /^/X[A A /vš_Œ_š]vPoÇUA ÁZ]o_A šZe
security forces are mentioned in most of the articles referring to the Haqqani Network, the
Pakistan government has not been mentioned even once. These trends can be indicative of two
things;
1.
The media does not believe that the civilian government holds the authority to take
policy decisions regarding a crackdown/operation against the Haqqani Network.
2.
_A šZ_A u__]_A ]A PŒ}Á]vPUA šZ_A Z__Œ__A _}Á[A }(A šZ_A Ç}Œ_A _Œ_A __]vPA _Œ}µPZšA into the
limelight. It would have been quite difficult for the media to openly criticize the security
forces a few years back, but now, the forces are being questioned openly in the media.
3
Editorial: Attack outside Kabul t The Express Tribune – http : //tribune.com.pk/story/398592/attack-outside-kabul/
4
Our interests in Afghanistan t The Express Tribune – http://tribune.com.pk/story/390780/our-interests-in-
afghanistan/
Pakistani security
forces mentioned,
67%
Pakistani security
forces not
mentioned,
33%
News refering to
Haqqani
Network

28
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
,}Á_À_ŒUAv}šA_ooAšZ_A_Œš]_o_AšZ_šAu_vš]}vAW_l]š_v[A__µŒ]šÇA(}Œ__A_Œ_A_Œ]š]__l of the aŒuÇ[A
reluctance to start an operation against the Haqqani Network. In fact, in a number of pieces,
the writers suggest that the constant linking of terrorism in Afghanistan with the Haqqani
Network might simply be a ploy to build pressure on Pakistan to conduct the operation.
While both the monitored English newspapers present both critical and skeptical views over
security forces strategy towards the Haqqanis, the Urdu newspaper Jang is once again
noticeable for its silence over this matter. Not a single opinion piece in Jang discusses the
Haqqani Network, their possible link to terror attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan security
(}Œ__[A‰}o]_ÇAš}Á_Œ_AšZ_uX
This leads one to conclude that while the English language press is open to publishing diverse
views on potentially controversial themes, the Urdu language press is not too keen on doing
that, yet.
Reporting the Green-On-Blue Killings
Given the significance of Green-on-Blue killings and their possible implication on post-NATO
Afghanistan, it is surprising that Pakistani media has not discussed these incidents in detail.
From April to August 2012, the monitored newspapers reported a total of nine incidents of
Green-on-Blue shootings; three features and two articles were also published. None went into
much detail about what this trend means for Pakistan and how Pakistan stands to be affected
_ÇAšZ_AZ__(o__š}Œ[A]vA_(PZ_vA_ŒuÇA_(š_ŒAîìíðX
Framing of Green-on-Blue incidents
Most of the news articles reporting Green-on-Blue incidents have framed the NATO troops as
Zt_š_ŒvA (}Œ__A Z_o‰]vPA <__µoA (]PZšA šZ_A d_o]__v[XA dZ_A E_dKA šŒ}}‰A have been given a rather
heroic frame and their 10-year long presence in Afghanistan has been described in positive
terms. The news articles perpetuate the impression that NATO troops are being wronged by
their Afghan colleagues.
C}v]__ŒAšZ]A_Æ_u‰o_VA^An increasing number of Afghan soldiers have turned their weapons
against NATO troops who are helping Kabul fight a decade long insurgency by hard-line Taliban
/o_u]šX_
5
Another news item u_vš]}vVA ^dZ_A Z}}š]vPA µv__Œ_}Œ__A šZ_A _]((]_µoš]_A (__]vPA
NATO troops as they work alongside and train Afghan f}Œ__X_
These sentences reflect how the NATO and Afghan forces have been framed in almost all the
news items reporting Green-on-Blue killings. While framing the green-on-blue killings, cultural
differences have been quoted more often than possible Taliban insurgency as a reason behind
the increase in these incidents.
5
Afghan soldier kills US colleague, Dawn, 12 May 2012 – http://dawn.com/2012/05/12/afghan-soldier-kills-us-
colleague/

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
29
Projected impact of Green-on-Blue killings on NATO pullout and
Afghan peace process
Half of the news and opinion pieces on NATO Green-on-Blue killings express concern over the
possible impact of this trend on NATO pullout and news coverage remains divided over the
possible reasons for the increase in attacks. However, multiple news items have expressed
alarm over possible Taliban infiltration in the Afghan forces.
The media has not made any direct projections about the impact of these killings on the NATO
pullout and Afghan peace process, but the following questions have been raised in multiple
articles;

The issue of trust between NATO and Afghan forces

The implications of heavy Taliban infiltration in Afghan Army post NATO pullout

The fear that these killings might be used as an excuse for extended or residual
American presence in the region post the pullout.
In all the articles, these points have been posed only as questions and no clear deductions have
been drawn. For a media known for being opinionated, this reluctance in drawing any clear
conclusions is interesting.
Only two opinion pieces on the theme were published in the monitored papers; both of these
also refrain from making any direct projections regarding the impact of Green-on-Blue killings.
However, the possible impact on Pakistan has been discussed in both these articles. However,
the writer is less concerned with the possibility that these killings may indicate a Taliban
insurgency within the ranks of the Afghan National Army; rather the key point of concern is that
the United States might opt to continue residual presence in Afghanistan after 2014. This might
be indicative of an inlaid bias against the American troops in the region, which is propelling the
writers to perceive them as more potent threats than Taliban insurgents in the guise of Afghan
National Army.
__________________________________________________

30
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
31
Context
W_l]š_v[A_}Œ__ŒAÁ]šZA_(PZ_v]š_vAZ_A___vAµvš__o_A(}ŒA_AÁZ]o_Av}ÁUA_µšAthe ongoing conflict
in Afghanistan has made this porous border more dangerous than ever before. Pakistani forces
and civilians on this side of the border are threatened and at times targeted by both Afghan
militants and ISAF forces. The Salala air raid remains one of the harrowing examples of cross-
border incursions by the ISAF/NATO forces.
The incursions by militants have been no less violent. From attacking civilians, ambushing of
Pakistan Army check-posts, crossing the border in dozens to wreak havoc and, in one instance,
even kidnapping a local shepherd and impounding his cattle, cross-border incursions have
ceased to be an inconvenience and have turned into a major menace.
In this section, this report takes a look at the reporting of cross-border incursions from April to
_µPµšAîìíîA_v_Au__]_[A_}À_Œ_P_A}(AšZ__A]v_]__všX
Coverage of cross-border incursions

There are slight disparities in reported casualty figures in
cross-border incursions in Dawn and The Express Tribune;
Jang has mostly refrained from quoting exact casualty
figures.

ISAF and NATO forces have been referred in 33% of the
news stories about cross-border incursions v the
references have been made even in news pieces
reporting incursions from militants.

Statements on cross-border incursions from Afghan and
Pakistani officials have been given equal new space.

The media seems to harbor a deep mistrust of the ISAF
and American forces in Afghanistan; most opinion pieces
commenting on the forces have framed them in a
manipulative and deceitful role.

Multiple opinion pieces and editorials link the increase in
cross-border incursions š}AšZ_AhX^[A__]Œ_A(}ŒA_vA
operation against the Haqqani Network.
KEY
FINDINGS

32
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
Casualties in cross-border incursions
On August 26 2012, more than a 100 Afghan militants crossed over into Bajaur and ambushed a
,
Pakistan Army check post; the resulting fight between the militants and the security forces
lasted nearly five days. In the five months before this incident, Pakistani media had reported at
least 17 other incidents of cross-border violations by both Afghan militants and security forces
in Afghanistan.
Given the frequency of these incidents, it is no surprise that news about cross-border
insurgency incidents constitute over 15% of the total coverage both on TV and newspapers.
New stories about these incidents were more detailed and lengthy than other (even local) news
coming or originating from the Pak-Afghan border.
However, Jang did not report these incidents in as much detail as The Express Tribune and
Dawn. The casualty figures of civilians and Pakistani security agencies in the monitored English
newspapers were very specific, but in Jang, the casualties were mentioned in vague terms with
multiple news items simply Œ_‰}Œš]vPAZu_vÇ[A}ŒAZuµoš]‰o_[A__µ_oš]_XA_A_}u‰_Œ]}vA}(A__µ_ošÇA
figures in six randomly selected incidents shows slight disparity in Dawn and Tribune reports.
Date
Tribune
Dawn
22

May
1
1
25

June
6
10
3

July
2
0
26

Aug
4
4
28

Aug
2
3
30

Aug
9
6
Disparities in reported casualties in six cross border incursions
1
6
2
4
2
9
1
10
0
4
3
6
Tribune
Dawn

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
33
A closer look at news items reporting cross-border incursions reveals that both Dawn and
Tribune rely more heavily on their own correspondents than Jang. Some 93% of the stories in
Dawn and 79% of the stories in Tribune were credited to the v_Á‰_‰_Œ[ own correspondents,
while in Jang }voÇAðí9A}(AšZ_Aš}Œ]_AÁ_Œ_AŒ_‰}Œš__A_ÇAšZ_A‰_‰_Œ[A}ÁvA_}ŒŒ_‰}v__všAÁZ]o_A
the rest were credited to agencies.
Perhaps, it is the English ‰_‰_Œ[AŒ_o]_v__A}vAšZ_]ŒA}ÁvA_}ŒŒ_‰}v__všAšZ_šAZ_A_oo}Á__AšZ_uA
to quote exact casualty figures in these incidents.
Referencing ISAF, NATO, Afghan National Army and Taliban
It is easy to identify the main players in cross-border incursions. The news stories on the theme
mention Afghan militants, ISAF/NATO or American forces, Afghan Border Force, Afghan
National Army and Taliban frequently. The reported incidents are blamed mostly on Afghan
militants or Taliban but ISAF/NATO and the Afghan National Army have also been blamed in
multiple instances.
Reference to key elements involved in cross-border incursions
Both Afghan Taliban and TTP have been mentioned in these news stories. News stories in which
the invading militants have not been specified as the Taliban have used šZ_A š_ŒuA Z_(PZ_vA
m]o]š_vš[Ato describe them.
Around 90% of the stories report intrusions by Afghan militants or Taliban who are said to have
found a safe haven in Afghanistan. The rest of the stories are either about raids or shelling by
Afghan Border Force or ISAF and NATO forces or statements by Pakistani, Afghan, American or
ISAF officials regarding the issue of cross border attacks.
Taliban, 45%
ISAF/NATO, 33%
Total stories
Afghan gov., 22%
Afghan border
force, 21%
Reference to
key elements

34
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
Interestingly, in the news stories, both Pakistani and Afghan authorities and security agencies
Z_À_A ___vA P]À_vA _vA _ou}šA _‹µ_oA _u}µvšA }(A v_ÁA ‰___XA ^Z_ŒŒÇA Z_Zu_vUA W_l]š_v[A
ambassador to the United States, is the only political personality whose statements on the issue
have appeared more than once; most of the reported official positions have been taken by the
security/military leadership.
Framing of ISAF, NATO and American forces in opinion pieces
More than 41% of the opinion pieces and editorials on the theme of cross-border incursions
have discussed the role of ISAF, NATO or American forces, specifically intrusions from the forces
and
their failure
or reluctance to
secure
the porous border. The
majority of
the
opinion/editorial pieces that mention ISAF, NATO and American forces in Afghanistan have
framed them with mistrust about their role and intentions.
Bear in mind that most of these opinion pieces were written before the formal apology about
the Salala incident, and the bitter framing of the forces might be a result of that incident. The
f}Œ__[A Œ_oµ_š_v__A š}A š_l_A _}v_Œ_š_A __š]}vA _P_]všA šZ_A ddW[A _oo_P__A Z_(_A Z__À_v[A ]vA
Afghanistan and their failure to secure the border has been extensively discussed and the
discourse is marked by a complete deficit of trust towards the forces.
As an
example,
consider this statement;
^Y/^_&A _}uu_v__ŒA _Œ_A šŒÇ]vPA š}A affect
a
rapprochement with Pakistan through serious parleys and a new series of aggressive acts has
been launched against Islamabad through absconding local militants X_AA
6
Another editorial in Dawn š_š_VA ^YXW_l]š_v]A __µŒ]šÇA _š__o]Zu_všUA ~ÁZ]_ZA __o]_À_A šZ_šA
Afghan and American forces in Afghanistan have either looked the other way or not done
enough to stop the attacks into Pakistan. It is an entirely plausible accusation and one that
neither the Afghan government nor the Americans have done much too credibly distance
šZ_u_oÀ_A(Œ}uX_
7
In another opinion piece commenting upon a statement from US-ISAF commander General
:}ZvA_oo_vUAšZ_AÁŒ]š_ŒAš_š_VA^_oo_v[Aš_š_u_všA_vš_]oA_Avµu__ŒA}(A‹µ_tions; was the general
speaking off the cuff or consciously conveying a message to his counterparts in Rawalpindi?
t_A Z_A Œ__ooÇA _Œ]}µA ÁZ_vA š_ol]vPA __}µšA ^_ÆšŒ_A }ŒA µ((]_]_všA _šš_vš]}v_A ]vA ___A W_l]š_vA
unleashed an operation in North Waziristan, or warn]vPAšZ_šAW_l]š_v[AŒ_(µ_oAš}AP}A_(š_ŒAšZ_AAl
Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network Á]ooA_}vš]vµ_Aš}A]vÀ]š_A_PPŒ_]}vA(Œ}uA__Œ}AšZ_A_}Œ__ŒM_
8
6
Afghan aggression in Pakistan, Dawn via daily Bulekha t 14 July 2012 – http://dawn.com/2012/07/14/afghan-
aggression-in-pakistan/
7
Cross-border attacks, Dawn t 30 July 2012 – http://dawn.com/2012/07/30/cross-border-attacks-2/comment-
page-1/
8
The issue of border attacks t Imtiaz Gul t The Express Tribune t 26 July 2012 –
http://tribune.com.pk/story/412931/the- i ssue-of-border-attacks/

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
35
These three statements reflect the tone that the media has used for ISAF and American forces
in Afghanistan. The media seems to harbor a deep mistrust about the forces and the opinion
and editorial pieces give the impression that the journalists believe that the incursions from
Afghanistan have partial if not complete support from the international forces in Afghanistan.
The ISAF, NATO and American forces have been framed in a manipulative and deceitful role,
and multiple journalists have indicated that the increase in cross-border incursions might be
their way to force Pakistan Army to launch an operation in North Waziristan against the
Haqqani Network.
No opinion pieces written during April to August 2012 comment specifically on air-space
violations and cross-border shelling by Afghan Border Force of ISAF and NATO forces.
Coverage of incursions from Pakistan
In the monitored time period, no physical incursions from Pakistan were reported. There were
a few incidents of cross-border firing and only one incident of heavy cross-border firing which
led to the dismissal of two Afghan ministers. However, none of these incidents drew enough
media coverage to allow a trend mapping or content analysis.
__________________________________________________

36
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
37
Context
One might question the direct relevance of drone strikes with the Afghan conflict v the fact
remains that drone strikes in Pakistan have been so easily possible simply because of the U.S.
and ISAF presence in Afghanistan. According to South Asia Terrorism Portal
9
as many as 2371
people have been killed in 251 drone strikes carried out in the last seven years. This year
alone
10
at least 35 drone strikes have resulted in over 250 deaths. The Pakistani media
obviously reports drone strikes seriously. However, the very nature of these strikes makes them
a hard subject to report.
9
South Asia Terrorism Portal, Drone Strikes in Pakistan –
http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/database/Droneattack.htm
10
Statistics reflect data till September 8, 2012.
Coverage of drone strikes

There are slight disparities in the reported number of drone
strike casualties in the monitored newspapers.

A few disparities were also found in the reported number of
drone
strike
casualties
in
local
newspapers
and
an
international news source; however the difference was not
very significant.

Some positive and a number of negative aspects of the drone
strategy have been discussed in the monitored papers; the
conclusion after these arguments has been largely on the
negative side.

Pakistani media largely sees the drone strategy as a violation
}(AW_l]š_v[A}À_Œ_]PvšÇA_v_Ainternational laws.

The u_i}Œ]šÇA }(A Zletters to the e_]š}Œ[A }vA šZ_A _Œ}v_A Á_Œ(_Œ_A
appear to be pro-drones.

The United States has been portrayed as a bully with no
regard for human life or for moral and legal obligations.

The Pakistani government has been portrayed as either
incompetent or sly playing a double game on the drone issue.

The role of security establishment in Pakistan has not been
discussed in detail and only subtle references have been
made.
KEY
FINDINGS

38
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
Disparities among reported casualties
It is imperative to note that although the drone strikes are reported regularly, the coverage is
often incomplete. A look at the monitored data reveals that all three newspapers have often
mentioned different figures when reporting casualties in drone strikes.
Here is a comparative look at some of the incidents as reported by all three papers;
In general, Jang has quoted higher casualty figures as compared to Dawn and The Express
Tribune.
Disparities among reported casualties in drone strikes
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
4/29/2012
5/29/2012
6/29/2012
7/29/2012
Tribune
Dawn
Jang
Date
Casualties
reported in
Tribune
Casualties
reported in
Dawn
Casualties
reported in
Jang
1
May 29, 2012
4
3
4
3
May 24, 2012
3
3
5
4
June 3, 2012
4
5
5
5
June 4, 2012
15
15
16
6
June 26, 2012
6
5
6
7
Aug 18, 2012
6
6
12
8
Aug 19, 2012
4
6
7
9
Aug 19, 2012
3
2
3
10
Aug 22, 2012
9
6
4

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
39
While the disparities in reported casualties are small, the difference in the number of reported
injuries is often larger. Jang has mostly refrained from quoting the exact number of injured and
Z_Aµ__AZ_}Ì_vA]viµŒ__[A]vAuµoš]‰o_Av_ÁA‰]___XA
Comparison with an international source
The casualty stats quoted in Pakistani news outlets are often deemed suspect; to see how these
figures compare with a neutral news source, the same set of figures used to analyze disparities
in reported casualties in local press, were compared with an international information source,
the South Asia Terrorism Portal, SATP. The SATP is one of the most current and extensive
databases tracking drone strikes in Pakistan as and when they occur.
Comparison of reported casualty figures with SATP
This comparison shows that on average the casualty figures reported by Pakistani media in the
reporting period are either the same or less than those reported in the South Asia Terrorism
Portal. There is only one instance in which SATP reported a smaller number of casualties.
Comparison of reported casualty figures with SATP
11
This column reflects the average number of casualties reported i.e. sum of casualties reported in Dawn, The
Express Tribune and Jang divided by 3 and rounded off to the closest whole number.
4
4
5
15
6
8
6
3
6
4
8
10
15
5
6
13
0
5
May
May
June
June
June
Aug.
Aug.
Aug.
Aug.
Reported
casualties in local
newspapers
Reported
casualties in SATP
Date
Reported
casualties in
local
newspapers
11
Casualties
reported in
South Asia
Terrorism Portal
1
May 29,2012
4
4
3
May 24,2012
4
8
4
June 3, 2012
5
10
5
June 4,2012
15
15
6
June 26,2012
6
5
7
Aug 18, 2912
8
6
8
Aug 19, 2012
6
13
9
Aug 19, 2012
3
0
10
Aug 22, 2012
6
5

40
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
Looking at this chart makes one thing obvious; the differences in the number of reported
casualties are not very drastic. We can only assume that the disparities in reported casualty
figures in multiple news outlets are a result of a lack of access to direct information.
However, a significant difference is noticed in the way that local newspapers and SATP are
referring to drone casualties;
News source
Drone targets referred to as;
Dawn & The Express Tribune
Suspected militants
Jang
People (Afraad)
South Asia Terrorism Portal
Militants
This difference in how the casualties are referred can be seen in most of the news items
whether they are included in the small 10 strikes sample analyzed above or not. This shows that
the Pakistani media ]A v}šA __Z_Œ]vPA š}A šZ_A ‰Œ__š]__A }(A _µš}u_š]__ooÇA _µu]vPA šZ_A Zu]o]š_vš[A
status of anyone targeted in a drone strike.
Portrayal of the drone strategy
dZ_A hv]š__A ^š_š_[A _Œ}v_A ‰}o]_ÇA ]vA W_l]š_vA Z_A ___vA ___u__A _ÆšŒ_u_oÇA _}všŒ}À_Œ]_oA _šA _A
global level. The recently released and highly acclaimed report ZLiving under the DronesU[
researched and published by NYU and Stanford University, Zpresents evidence of the damaging
and counterproductive effects of current U.S. _Œ}v_AšŒ]l_A‰}o]_]_X[A
12
With the global press and
research institutes waking up to the counterproductive impact of the drone strategy, it is no
surprise that there is an increasingly negative portrayal of the drone policy in Pakistani press.
What is surprising, however, is the fact that a large percentage of opinion and editorial pieces
analyzed for this report contained references to both positive and negative aspects of the
drone strategy.
Reference to different aspects of drone strategy in opinion / editorial pieces
12
Living Under the Drones, Executive summary and Recommendations v Stanford Law School –
http://livingunderdrones.org/report/
Only negative
62%
Only positive
9%
Both positive and
negative
28%
Drone Strategy: Aspects referred to

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
41
The very few pieces that actually termed the drone policy as positive were actually letters to
the editor; three quarters of the letters published on drones were pro-drones while the
minority contained either direct condemnation or mixed opinions about the policy.
The only exception again, is Jang,in which all the opinion and editorial pieces on drone strategy
have focused only on the negative aspects and not a single positive aspect has been mentioned
even in passing.
Positive aspects of the drone strategy as discussed in monitored
sources
Only two positive aspects of the drones have been referred to by the newspapers; the high
level targets that have been terminated and the potential support that drones can offer to
ground troops. However, the reference has been fleeting and is mostly folloÁ__A_ÇA_AZ_µš[AšZ_šA
negates the value of the possible positive aspects.
A couple of articles however, have actually sought to build up a case for drones. Consider this
example; ^_Œ}v_AZ_À_Au_v_P__Aš}Al]ooAu}Œ_A_v_u]_A}(A_}šZAšZ_Ah.S. and Pakistan than what
ground offensives or any other strategy attempted since 9/11 would have managed to
_o]u]v_š_XA C}v]__Œ]vPA šZ_Aš__š]__oA _‰__šUA _Œ}v_A µ]šA W_l]š_vA u]o]š_Œ]oÇUA š}}UA _A šZ_A Z_v_uÇ[A
had confined itself to remote and virtually non-accessible positions in North Waziristan and its
bordering agencies. For example, any Pakistani ground offensive aimed at finishing off Baitullah
Mehsud would have cost hundreds of the Pakistan Army soldiers their lives and would have
probably led to more civilian casualties than a precise drone strike_
13
The article goes on to argue that drones have helped the Pakistani security establishment
Z_}v(]v_AšZ_A_v_uÇ[XA
_v}šZ_ŒA_Œš]_o_Aš_š_VA^šZ_Aš_ŒŒ}Œ]šA_Œ_Av}šAšZ_Œ_A____µ_A}(A_Œ}v_A strikes but precisely the
opposite is the case: drone strikes continue (legally or illegally) because of these homicidal
(_v_š]_XAdZ_Œ_A]Av}šZ]vPAšZ_šAÇ}µA__vA_}Aš}AZv}š[A‰Œ}À}l_AšZ_uUAšZ_ÇAÁ_všAš}A__A‰Œ}À}l__UA_v_A
]vA(__šAšZ_ÇA_Œ_A_oŒ___ÇA‰Œ}À}l__X_
14
But, this approach to drones is an exception, not the norm. Multiple articles and editorials have
admitted that the drones have managed to take out some heavy targets but most draw the
conclusion that the civilian casualties and the backlash make drone strikes more harmful than
beneficial.
13
Rethinking drone wars t Ali K. Chishti t The Express Tribune – http://tribune.com.pk/story/419272/rethinking-
drone-wars/
14
The Drones Club t Saroop Ijaz t The Express Tribune – http://tribune.com.pk/story/381357/the-drones-club/

42
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
Negative aspects of the drone strategy as discussed in monitored
sources
The arguments terming the drone policy negative are better defined and discussed in greater
detail. While only two positive aspects were referred to by the media, the key arguments
against the drone policy are various;

The civilian casualties and its impact on the war against terrorism

The illegality of these strikes

The suspect manner in which targets are chosen (all adult males in a certain
region)

dZ_AAšZŒ__šAš}AW_l]š_v[A}À_Œ_]PvšÇ

And the lack of evidence that the drones have actually helped
The civilian casualties remain the topmost argument against drone strikes. Multiple articles
have expressed the fear that civilian deaths might be even more than currently believed as the
_u_Œ]__vA __u]v]šŒ_š]}vA ]A Œ_‰}Œš__A š}A _}v]__ŒA ^_ooA u]o]š_ŒÇ-age males in a strike zone as
_}u__š_vš_X
15
dZ_A‰Œ}i__š__A]u‰__šA}(AšZ__A__µ_oš]_A]v_oµ__AZšZ_A‰_Œ]š_všA_ŒPµu_všAšZ_šA___šZA__µ__A
by drone strikes, especially the civilian deaths, have actually helped Al Qaeda and the Taliban to
Œ__Œµ]šAu}Œ_AÀ}oµvš__ŒX[
16
Multiple articles have dealt extensively with the legal standing of the drone warfare and termed
them illegal in both local and international laws.
All in all, it is fair to say that the monitored newspapers have discussed both negative and
positive aspects of the drone warfare in detail and have arrived at a conclusion that the drone
strikes in Pakistan are illegal and are doing more harm than good.
Portrayal of the United States
17
In the context of the continuing drone strikes United States has been framed as a powerful
bully that is using all possible tactics to get its way regardless of international laws and
obligations. /vA uµoš]‰o_A _Œš]_o_A šZ_A hv]š__A ^š_š_[A __}oµš_A Œ_(µ_oA š}A š}‰A }ŒA _À_vA š_l_A
Pakistani security establishment on board has been scorned. Nadir Hussain writing for The
Express Tribune ___lAšZ_A_vš]u_všAšZ_šAZšZ_Ah.S. is a wanton aggressor that has no regard for
15
Drone Buzz t Tanvir Ahmad Khan t The Express Tribune – http://tribune.com.pk/story/411742/drone-buzz/
16
Drone Buzz t Tanvir Ahmad Khan t The Express Tribune – http://tribune.com.pk/story/411742/drone-buzz/
17
Reflects the portrayal of the United States only in opinion, analysis and editorial pieces

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
43
Zµu_vA o](_[A _v_A š_š_A šZ_šVA ^dZ_A h.S., however, in an inversion of all morality, has already
___o_Œ__A_À_ŒÇ}v_APµ]ošÇA__(}Œ_A_o_š]vPAšZ_uAš}A___šZX_
18
This portrayal of the U.S. as a force with no regard for human life has been repeated in multiple
articles. An editorial in Jang š_š_VA^dZ_Ahv]š__A^š_š_A_v_AE_dKA_Œ_A}‰_Œ_š]vPA]vA&_d_AÁ]šZAv}A
Œ_P_Œ_A(}ŒAu}Œ_oA}ŒAo_P_oA_šZ]_X_ An article in Dawn highlights the illegality of the drone warfare
by stating, ^]A W_l]š_vA iµš](]__A ]vA }_i__š]vPA š}A _u_Œ]__vA drone attacks? Clearly, it has not
attacked the U.S. nor has the Security Council approved drone attacksX_
19
Interestingly, however, the newspapers are much harsher towards the Pakistani government
than they are about the United States.
_À_vAÁZ]o_Ao_u_vš]vPA__}µšAZ}ÁAW_l]š_v[A‰o__A(}ŒA_vA_v_Aš}AšZ_A_Œ}v_AÁ_Œ(_Œ_A(_ooA}vA___(A
ears, the Pakistani government is given more of the blame than the United States, which as the
v_Á‰_‰_ŒA ‰µšA ]šA Z]u‰oÇA _}_A v}šA šŒµšA W_l]š_vX[A In another piece the writer refers to the
W_l]š_vA_ŒuÇ[A]v__š]}vA_P_]všAšZ_A,_‹‹_v]A_v_Aš_š_AšZ_šVAZdZ_AhX^XAZ_A___vA forced into
increasing the number of drone attacks in the counšŒÇX[
All in all, the newspapers have largely portrayed the United States as a force that is not listening
to reason, but the brunt of the blame for the U.S. attitude has been placed with the Pakistani
government and security establishment.
Portrayal of the Pakistani government
20
In the context of the continuing drone strikes the Pakistani government has been treated in two
different frames;

As a sly policy maker, playing a double game with the public

_A_AZ_o‰o_A}vo}}l_ŒAšZ_šA]v[šA}ŒA__v[šA_}A_v}µPZAš}A__šµ_ooÇA]u‰o_u_všAšZ_A
p_Œo]_u_vš[A___]]}vAš}Aforcefully demand an end to the drone warfare
C}v]__ŒA šZ__A š_š_u_všVA ^it should now be clear that the government is involved in a
charade, as futile complaints to the Americans allow the government to maintain plausible
deniability even as it seems that both the civilians and military have resigned themselves to the
reality of drone attacksX_A
21
_v}šZ_ŒA__]š}Œ]_oA_o_]uAšZ_šA^dZ_AP}À_Œvu_vš[A‰Œ]À_š_Aš_v__A}vA_Œ}v_A_}_Au_l_A_Au}_l_ŒÇA
}(AšZ_A‰_Œo]_u_vš[AŒ__}uu_v__š]}vA}vAŒ__šš]vPAš]_AÁ]šZAšZ_AhX^X_A
22
18
Boycott the U.S. Government t Nadir Hussain t The Express Tribune –
http://tribune.com.pk/story/417091/boycott-the-us-government/
19
Not a redundant concept t Niaz Murtaza t Dawn – http://dawn.com/2012/06/08/not-a-redundant-concept/
20
Reflects the portrayal of the United States only in opinion, analysis and editorial pieces
21
Season of drones t The Express Tribune – http://tribune.com.pk/story/426123/season-of-drones/
22
Another drone strike t The Express Tribune – http://tribune.com.pk/story/405394/another-drone-strike-2/

44
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Intermedia Pakistan
Similar sentiments have been expressed in multiple other articles on the theme, however, here
again; Jang takes a slightly different route. Where both the English papers appear to be placing
a significant part of the blame with the government, Jang portrays the government as a
helpless onlooker whose efforts to ensure an end to the drone warfare _Œ_v[šA P_šš]vPA
anywhere. An editorial in Jang š_š_VA^W_l]š_v[AP}À_Œvu_všUA‰_Œo]_u_všA_v_A‰}o]š]__oA‰}Á_ŒA
are constantly trying to convince the United States that drone attacks are resulting in an
]v_Œ___A]vAu]o]š_v_ÇX_AAKvAšZ_A}šZ_ŒAZ_v_, we have the English papers making statements like;
^dZ_Adrone attacks have created distrust between government and people as the later believe
šZ_šAšZ_AŒµo_ŒA_Œ_A(µooÇA]vÀ}oÀ__X_A
However subtle, one can easily deduce the slight difference in the way that the government
and its role in the drone warfare is being perceived and portrayed by the English and the Urdu
press.
Portrayal of the Pakistani security establishment
23
There have been multiple news items regarding the aŒuÇA _v_A šZ_A __µŒ]šÇA _š__o]Zu_vš[A
contact with the United States and the NATO forces on the issue of drone warfare. However,
the role of the army and the security establishment has not been debated much in the opinion
and editorial pieces.
The army/security establishment has been mentioned in only 30% of the opinion pieces and
that too only fleetingly. It is difficult to draw a clear conclusion about how exactly the security
establishment have been portrayed as no clear trend can be seen emerging in the few articles
that do make a reference to them. The only common element that has been repeated in
multiple articles making a reference to the army or security establishment is a reference their
inaction against the Haqqanis, which is significant because, as the newspapers put it, ^our
complaints (about drone strikes) are sure to fall on deaf ears as long as we refuse to tackle the
_Z_oo_vP_A‰}__A_ÇAšZ_A,_‹‹_v]X_
Is the media placing some of the blame for continuing drone attacks on the security
establishment by linking them with the lack of action against Haqqanis? Perhaps yes, but it is
doing so in a subtle and indirect manner.
__________________________________________________
23
Reflects the portrayal of the United States only in opinion, analysis and editorial pieces

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
45
Context
dZ_A E_dKA µ‰‰oÇA o]v_A ]A _šA šZ_A _}Œ_A }(A W_l]š_v[A (}Œu_oA _vP_P_u_všA Á]šZA šZ_A hv]š__A ^š_š_A
over the war against terrorism continuing in Afghanistan. NATO trucks have been using the
supply routes in Khyber Agency and Balochistan to supply U.S. and international forces fighting
in Afghanistan. The supply line links Pakistan closely to the strategic side of the Afghan conflict
_v_A ]A _o}A __šŒ]u_vš_oA ]vA šZ_A (}Œu_š]}vA }(A ‰µ_o]_A }‰]v]}vA __}µšA W_l]š_v[A policies both at
home and in Afghanistan. The supply line refers to the transit route given to NATO for the
transmission of innumerable containers of supplies for NATO forces deployed in Afghanistan.
The content of these containers have been a subject of controversy since the start and more
Œ___všoÇAZ_À_A___vA(}Œu_ooÇAo]u]š__A}voÇAš}AZ_]‰o}u_š]_Aµ‰‰o]_[XA
After the unfortunate attack at Salala, the supply line was closed for months. During the
monitored period i.e. April to August 2012, the suspension and restoration of the NATO Supply
generated a huge amount of news content.
Coverage of NATO supply issue

Media coverage was neither overtly for or against
the suspension of NATO supplies routes.

The resumption of the NATO supplies through
Pakistan was welcomed by the media; however,
u]P]À]vPA_v_A‹µ_š]}vA__}µšAšZ_Ahv]š__A^š_š_[A
attitude over the issue remained.

The media remained distrustful of the United
States in the NATO supply issue coverage; the U.S.
was portrayed as a bullying political force not
Á]oo]vPAš}Aš_l_AW_l]š_v[A]vš_Œ_šA_v_A__u_v_A
into account.
KEY
FINDINGS

46
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
Tone of news coverage on the suspension of NATO supply routes
D__]_[A_}À_Œ_P_A}(AšZ_A__vA}vAE_dKAsupply line is complicated; the tone of the coverage on
NATO supply suspension cannot be classified as either positive or negative. In most of the news
items and opinion pieces, it is obvious that media realizes and reports on the potentially
harmful impact of the __vA}vAW_l]š_v[A]vš_Œv_š]}v_oAš_v_]vPXA
At the same time, the media also gives a nod to the message that the authorities are trying to
send through the suspension of NATO supplies through Pakistan.
_vA_((}ŒšAš}A‹µ_vš](ÇAu__]_[Aš}v_A}À_ŒAšZ_A]µ_AÁas not successful v both news items and
opinion/editorial content seem to largely understand the notion behind the initial suspension
of NATO supply routes, but also stressed the need to resolve the issue.
Tone of news coverage on the resumption of NATO supply routes
Unlike the suspension of NATO supply routes, the media largely welcomed the resumption.
Three quarters of the opinion and editorial pieces written after the resumption of the NATO
supply line welcomed the development. The remaining quarter admitted that the resumption
was necessary but lamented over American disregard for the conditions that Pakistan has
proposed.
A total of 9 news items reported protests on the resumption of NATO supply routes. Difa-e-
Pakistan Council, Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf and Pakistan
Muslim League-Nawaz were reported to have protested the resumption of the NATO supplies.
However, these news articles did not show any apparent bias of the media. Only one editorial
Á_A ‰µ_o]Z__A _}uu_vš]vPA µ‰}vA šZ_A ‰}o]š]__oA ‰_Œš]_[ protests of the resumption, and even
that is critical of the conduct of political parties in this regard. The editorial states, ^tZ_šA]A}((-
putting is the spectacle of the parliamentary opposition trying to gain electoral mileage from
the NATO Œ}µš_A_((_]ŒX_
24
/A šZ]A _vš]u_všA Œ_(o__š]À_A }(A u__]_[A _}oo__š]À_A _‰‰Œ}ach towards the parties protesting the
resumption? Not really. But, the fact that no articles or editorials have been written to
sympathize with the protesters[ point of view can be an indicator of the fact that the protests
do not enjoy much support from the media.
On the other hand, multiple opinion and editorial pieces have hailed the resumption as a
Z‰}]š]À_A]Pv[ . Even Jang, that has been marked for its anti-American stance has published an
25
_Œš]_o_AÁ]šZAšZ_Ao___VA^dZ_AP}}_Av_ÁA]AW_l]š_v[A_]À]o-military rulers have made the principle
___]]}vAš}Av_P}š]_š_AÁ]šZAšZ_Ahv]š__A^š_š_A(}ŒAšZ_AŒ_µu‰š]}vA}(AšZ_AE_dKAµ‰‰oÇAŒ}µš_X_A
24
The Aftermath of NATO supplies resumption t The Express Tribune – http://tribune.com.pk/story/405020/the-
aftermath-of-nato-supplies-resumption/
25
Positive signs t Dawn – http://dawn.com/2012/05/16/positive-s i gns/

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
47
The media also reported on the positive impact of the resumption on the locals whose
livelihood has been tied to the transit route for almost a decade.
All in all, the tone of coverage of resumption of NATO supply route was positive and welcoming.
Projected impact on Pak-U.S. relations
The media coverage on the suspension and resumption of the NATO supply route takes very
definitive stands on Pak-U.S. relationship. The United States has been framed once again as a
bullying superpower, unwilling to issue an apology for authorizing a raid within Pakistan that
claimed lives of Pakistani soldiers. The United States has also been framed as a rigid political
force loath to agree to _vÇA}(AW_l]š_v[A_}v_]š]}vXA
Even after the resumption the overriding impression that one gets from the opinion and
editorial pieces on the issue is that Pakistan has been short-changed by the U.S. The apology
}((_Œ__A _ÇA šZ_A hv]š__A ^š_š_A Z_A ___vA š_Œu__A ZZ_o(-Z__Œš__[; an opinion piece frames the
_‰}o}PÇA_AZ_A(_ÁA__Œ_(µooÇA_o__š__A_‰}o}P_š]_AÁ}Œ_.[
26
The U.S. decision to conduct multiple
drone strikes right after the resumption was announced
27
could be the reason behind the
u__]_[A_‰‰_Œ_všA_]šš_Œv_Aš}Á_Œ_AšZ_Aµ‰_Œ‰}Á_ŒXA
Jang, in an editorial, refers to drone strike and states, ^_(š_ŒAšZ_Ao}A}f lives and the economic
loss that Pakistan has suffered, the United States has decided to pay us back bombing and
targeting peace-o}À]vPA_]À]o]_vA]vA}µŒAšŒ]__oAŒ_P]}vX_AdZ_A__]š}ŒAP}_A}vAš}AÁ}v__ŒAÁZ_šZ_ŒAšZ_A
United States would pay any heed to Pakistan[A_}v_]š]}vA(}ŒAŒ_}‰_v]vPAšZ_Aµ‰‰oÇAŒ}µš_X
In conclusion, the media has given utmost importance to the impact of the suspension and
resumption of the NATO supply route on Pak-U.S. relationship. However, even though the
resumption has been (seen?) _AZ_ ‰}]š]À_A_v_AZ}‰_(µoA__À_o}‰u_vš[A(}ŒAW_l-U.S. relations, the
overriding impression of the coverage is that a lot more needs to be done both by Pakistan and
the U.S. to get this relationship back on track.
__________________________________________________
26
Why it took so long for NATO supplies to reopen t Raza Rumi t The Express Tribune –
http://tribune.com.pk/story/403629/why-it-took-so-long-for-nato-supplies-to-reopen/
27
Another drone strike v Dawn http://tribune.com.pk/story/405394/another-drone-strike-2/

48
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Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
49
Context
Afghanistan and Pakistan have historically shared a relationship that can only be categorized as
complicated. With the NATO invasion in Afghanistan, the porous borders and the militant links
]vAW_l]š_v[A šŒ]__oA _Œ__UA šZ_A Œ_o_š]}vZ]‰A __šÁ__vA šZ_A šÁ}A _}µvšŒ]_A š}}lA }vA _}µvšo_A v_ÁA
dimensions. Pakistan became an ally of the U.S. against its neighbor and the regional security
paradigm shifted forever. As the NATO forces in Afghanistan continue the pullout and look for a
complete evacuation by 2014, Pak-Afghan relations continue to develop in complex ways.
W_l]š_v[A_vP_P_u_všA]vAšZ_AAfghan peace process is a must and this very engagement defines
šZ_A ‰_Œ_u_š_ŒA }(A v}šA }voÇA W_l]š_vA _v_A _(PZ_v]š_vA Œ_o_š]}vA _µšA _o}A _]_š_š_A W_l]š_v[A
relations with the U.S.
The key areas covered under NATO pullout and Afghan peace process are the NATO summit in
Chicago, Pak-U.S. engagement over Afghanistan, Pak-_(PZ_vAŒ_o_š]}vZ]‰A_v_Au__]_[A_}À_Œ_P_A
of the Afghan government.
Coverage of NATO pullout and Afghan peace
process

More than two thirds of the headlines on Chicago Summit news
items contained negative connotations.

The media remains unconvinced of the practical impact of
Chicago summit and coverage reflects the perception that not
much could be achieved during the summit.

The media does not seem to believe that the Afghan security
forces are ready or capable of managing the extremist and
terrorist element in Afghanistan after NATO pullout.

Media coverage reflects the fear that Pakistan stands to suffer a
violent blowback from Afghanistan.

Media coverage regarding the NATO pullout is laced with fear of
residual American presence in the border area; the media in
Pakistan harbours various doubts regarding the American policy.

The
media
portrays Afghanistan and
the
Haqqanis
as the
__šŒ]u_vš_oA (__š}ŒA šZ_šA Á}µo_A __(]v_A W_l]š_v[A Œ_o_š]}vA Á]šZA
the United States after the NATO pullout.

The media in Pakistan identifies a need to redefine Pak-Afghan
relationship so that both governments can help each other
counter terrorist elements after the NATO pullout.
The media in Pakistan does not appear to hold the Karzai
Government in high esteem and there is a clear lack of trust in
the governments
KEY
FINDINGS

50
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
Coverage of Chicago Summit
The number of news items and opinion pieces focusing primarily on the Chicago Summit was
fairly low. Less than a fourth of the total coverage consisted of editorial and opinion pieces so it
is difficult to draw trends from those few pieces. In order to gauge the tone of the news
coverage of the Chicago Summit, the headlines of the news items were checked for negative
and positive connotations.
Positive and negative connotations in headlines
of news items pertaining to Chicago Summit
The opinion and editorial pieces published on the NATO summit in Chicago also reflect the
doubtful tone that is apparent in news headlines. A writer claims ^without a regional
component, this much-ballyhooed NATO extravaganza is flirting with disaster v in the form of
yešA_v}šZ_ŒAu_i}ŒA]vš_Œv_š]}v_oA_}v(_Œ_v__AšZ_šAÇ]_o_A(_ÁAµ_š_vš]À_AŒ_µošX_
28
_v}šZ_ŒA ÁŒ]š_VA ^WŒ_]__všA K__u_A __vA _}vPŒ_šµo_š_A Z]u_o(A }vA Z_À]vPA ‰Œ_]___A µ___(µooÇA
over the largest NATO gathering ever arranged and on having won an endorsement for the
Z]ŒŒ_À_Œ]_o_[A __‰_ŒšµŒ_A }(A _ooA NATO troops from Afghanistan by Dec 31, 2014, and for the
cessation of active combat operations by NATO forces after July 2013. Beyond this what was
achieved? No firm commitments or pledges were made by the NATO members for funding the
¨ðXí_vAšZ_šAšZ_A_(PZ_vAE_š]}v_oA^__µŒ]šÇA&}Œ__A~_E^&AÁ]ooAv___A_vvµ_ooÇA(}ŒA_A______X_
29
28
A tale of too many non-attendees t Michael Kugelman t The Express Tribune –
http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/11620/nato-conference-a-tale-of-too-many-non-attendees/
29
NATO Summit: What Next t Najamuddin A. Sheikh t Dawn – http://dawn.com/2012/05/23/nato-summit-what-
next/
Contains
negative
connotation
67%
Contains
positive
connotations
33%

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
51
Another reads, ^W_l]š_vA_v_AhX^XA_‰‰__ŒAš}AZ_À_Ao}šAšZ_]ŒA]vP_vµ]šÇA_v_A]u_P]v_š]}vUAfrozen in
mutual recriminations, while oblivious to the looming dangers in post-îìíðA_(PZ_v]š_vX_A
30
Similar sentiments can be seen in the rest of the opinion and editorial pieces as the media has
persistently questioned the practical impact of this high level huddle in Chicago.
Projections on the NATO pullout
The NATO pullout and the Afghan peace process was the subject of the highest percentage of
opinion and editorial pieces published on the Afghan conflict. Studying these opinion pieces
shows that the media remains convinced that there would be a heavy NATO pullout in 2014;
however, a few doubts plague this projection;
a.
Afghan National Army is not ready to face the challenge that Taliban and
other extremist elements will present post-NATO pullout t Almost all the
opinion pieces on the expected NATO pullout have expressed a fear that Afghanistan
will become even more destabilized after 2014. There is the fear that the Afghan
government and the Afghan National Army are not ready to fight the extremist
_o_u_všA ]vA _(PZ_v]š_vXA&}ŒA _Æ_u‰o_UA_vA _Œš]_o_A Œ___VA ^E_dKAuµšAl__‰A ‰µuu_o]vPA
the Taliban but it will also take a lot more effort to get the Afghans ready to continue
this fight on their own. Right now they are dependent on NATO for planning,
management, air support and logistics, Thousands of officer slots are empty because of
problems finding literate, qualified candidates,_A dZ] statement has been repeated in
different words in multiple opinion pieces lending support to the conclusion that the
Pakistani media does not believe that the Afghan security forces are ready or capable of
managing the extremist and terrorist element in Afghanistan after NATO pullout.
b.
Pakistan stands to suffer the blowback from Afghanistan t There is also the
fear that Afghanistan u]PZšAv}šAo}}lAÀ_ŒÇAl]v_oÇAµ‰}vAW_l]š_v[AŒ}o_A]vAšZ_AÁ_ŒA_P_]všA
terror. This fear is, of course, fuelled by the assumption that Afghanistan would be an
unstable entity with more than just the government authorities commanding power. An
article on the AfPZ_vA_Œ_Á_}ÁvAŒ___VA^dZ_Œ_A]A_A(__ŒAšZ_vA}v__AšZ_A(}Œ_]PvA(}Œ__A_Æ]šUA
the country will fall into civil war with Al Qaeda elements in Pakistan unleashing
_ÆšŒ_u]šA š}A __š__]o]Ì_A šZ_A Œ_P]}vUA šZ_A o_šš_Œ[A Œ}o_A ]vA __Z]_À]vPA Œ_P]}v_oA š__]o]šÇA
cannot be un__Œš_š__X_A
31
Similar statements have been made in nearly two thirds of
the opinion pieces and editorials and one can thus say that media coverage reflects the
fear that Pakistan stands to suffer a violent blowback from Afghanistan once the NATO
forces have pulled out.
30
ChicaP}[A_}Œ___Œ_At Tariq Fatemi t The Express Tribune – http://tribune.com.pk/story/385776/chicagos-
scorecard/
31
Before the Afghan drawdown t Razeshta Sethna t Dawn – http://dawn.com/2012/04/17/before-the-afghan-
drawdown/

52
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
c.
Doubts about residual American presence in Afghanistan v Multiple news
items and opinion pieces indicate the fear that the United States will maintain some sort
of residual presence in Afghanistan, particularly in the Pak-Afghan border areas even
after the NATO/ISAF forces have pulled out of Afghanistan. The focus on border areas is
deemed important in a post-NATO context. For example, consider this statement, ^šZ_A
US is likely to enhance its troop presence and bases on the eastern Pakistan-Afghanistan
border. We are likely to see an intensification of drone strikes in North and South
Waziristan, and even an expansion of the strike coverage to Kurram and Mohmand
agencies._
Similar projections have been made in some other articles as well. There is a notion that
the agreement with Afghanistan does not mean that, ^dZ_A _u_Œ]__vA (}Œ__A ]vA
Afghanistan post-2014 will not continue counter-terrorism operations within and
}µš]__A _(PZ_v]š_vX_
32
While the percentage of the articles projecting a residual
American presence is less than 20%, other writers have also commented upon the
ambiguity of the American plan and wondered about its implications for Pakistan. In
conclusion, it is fair to say that the media in Pakistan harbors various doubts regarding
the American policy in post-NATO pullout.
How the media links NATO pullout and Pak-U.S. relationship
Pak-U.S. relations have been mentioned in nearly 80% of the opinion and editorial pieces on the
theme. There is a resounding consensus in the monitored newspapers that Pakistan and United
States need to quickly reformulate their relations for the sake of stability in the region.
Opinion and editorial pieces in all monitored newspapers are of the view that for at least the
v_ÆšA ______UA W_l]š_v[A Œ_o_š]}vA Á]šZA šZ_A hv]š__A ^š_š_A Á]ooA __A Z__š_Œu]v__A _ÇA _u_Œ]__vA
‰_Œ__‰š]}vA}(AW_l]š_v[A_}}‰_Œ_š]}vA]vA_(PZ_v]š_vX_
33
At the base of projected Pak-U.S. relations in post-E_dKA _(PZ_v]š_vA ]A W_l]š_v[A _šš]šµ__A
towards the Haqqani Network. The majority of articles focusing on Pak-U.S. relations have
mentioned the Haqqani Network as the definitive link. In this regard, the media holds Pakistan
_A šZ_A Pµ]ošÇA ‰_ŒšÇUA v}šA šZ_A hv]š__A ^_š_XA dZ_A hv]š__A ^š_š_[A (ŒµšŒ_š]}vA }À_ŒA W_l]š_vA
^_}vš]vµ]vPA š}A µ‰‰}ŒšA šZ_A Haqqani Network_
34
has been mentioned in various articles. The
need to rethink this policy has been stressed and re-stressed by the media. An article warns,
^hvo_A W_l]š_vA __ŒšA ]šA ]vš_Œ_šA _v_A ‰Œ]}Œ]š]_UA ]šA ]A o]l_oÇA š}A µ((_ŒA (µŒšZ_ŒA šŒ_š_P]_A
Œ_À_Œ_oX_A
35
32
NATO summit: What next t Najamuddin A. Shaikh t Dawn – http://dawn.com/2012/05/23/nato-summit-what-
next/
33
Moving beyond a thaw t Tariq Fatemi t The Express Tribune – http://tribune.com.pk/story/422056/moving-
beyond-a-thaw/
34
CZ]__P}[Au__P_At Tariq Fatemi t The Express Tribune – http://tribune.com.pk/story/382626/chicagos-
message/
35
Future of ties with the U.S. t Munir Akram t Dawn – http://dawn.com/2012/04/29/future-of-ties-with-the-us/

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Intermedia Pakistan
53
In conclusion, the media portrays Afghanistan and the Haqqanis as the detrimental factors that
Á}µo_A__(]v_AW_l]š_v[AŒ_o_š]}vAÁ]šZAšZ_Ahv]š__A^š_š_A_(š_ŒAšZ_AE_dKA‰µoo}µšA_v_Ao_ǐAšŒ_A
on the need for Pakistan to redefine its policy towards both Afghanistan and the Haqqani
Network.
How the media links NATO pullout and Pak-Afghan relationship
Not much has been written about the direction Pak-Afghan relations could take after the NATO
pullout. However, in the few articles that have focused on the theme, the importance of
redefining the dynamics of the relationUA‰__](]__ooÇA_]__Œ_]vPAšZ_AZšŒ_š_P]_A__‰šZ[A_‰‰Œ}__ZA
has been highlighted.
There are no clear trends that can be seen emerging apart from the stress on the need for
improved relations built on mutual trust. Among the few elements mentioned in multiple
articles is the notion that Pakistan needs to ^help Kabul develop a meaningful dialogue with the
Taliban and other insurgent entities._
36
dZ_A}voÇA_o__ŒA_}v_oµ]}vAšZ_šA__vA__A_Œ_ÁvA__}µšAu__]_[A‰}ŒšŒ_Ç_oA}(AW_l-Afghan relations
post-NATO pullout is that the media identifies an urgent need to rethink and clearly define the
Afghan policy on lines that ensure that both governments can help each other counter the
terrorist elements operating on either side of the border.
Portrayal of Afghan government
In a research survey conducted with a group of Afghan journalists as part of this research
report, a majority of journalists were shown to be of the opinion that the Pakistani media is
pro-Taliban and does not hold the Afghan government in much regard. The impression among
the Afghan journalists seems to suggest that Pakistani media deems the Karzai administration
š}A __A _A Z‰µ‰‰_šA P}À_Œvu_vš[XA However, a detailed analysis of all the opinion and editorial
pieces on the issue of NATO pullout and Afghan peace process did not reveal one instance in
ÁZ]_ZAšZ_A_(PZ_vAP}À_Œvu_všAZ_A___vAš_Œu__AZ_A‰µ‰‰_šAP}À_Œvu_vš[; only two statements
come close to asserting that notion. A. G. Noorani, writing for Dawn states, ^dZ_A__µŒ]šÇA‰__šA
]Pv__A_ÇAK__u_A_v_A<_ŒÌ_]A Œ__µ__A _(PZ_v]š_vA š}A _A ‰Œ}š__š}Œ_š_A }(AšZ_AhX^X_A
37
In another
article, the writer has ‹µ}š__Ad_o]__vA‰}l_u_vAš_š]vPAšZ_šA^<_ŒÌ_]A]Av}Au}Œ_AšZ_vA_Aš}}P_A
}(AšZ_A_u_Œ]__vX_A
38
That said, while the bulk of articles mentioning the Afghan government do not imply that
<_ŒÌ_][A]A_A‰µ‰‰_šAŒ_P]u_UAšZ_Œ_A]A_A_Œ]}µAo__lA}(AšŒµšAŒ_(o__š__A]vAšZ_Au__]_XAdZ_Au__]_A
converge paints the Afghan government as being incompetent and incapable of taking care of
affairs once NATO has left the fort.
36
Our Afghan policy t Tanvir Ahmed Khan t Dawn – http://dawn.com/2012/07/17/our-afghan-policy/
37
Afghan pride at risk t A.G. Noorani t Dawn – http://dawn.com/2012/05/19/afghan-pride-at-risk/
38
Taliban ready to talk? Najamuddin A. Shaikh t Dawn – http://dawn.com/2012/07/18/taliban-ready-to-talk/

54
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dZ_AP}À_Œvu_vš[AŒ}o_AZ_A___vAu_vš]}v__Abarely in a third of the opinion and editorial pieces
on the sub theme and almost everywhere the government has been portrayed as largely inept
and laden with corruption. Dµoš]‰o_A_Œš]_o_AZ_À_Au_vš]}v__A}ŒAZ]vš__A_šAšZ_Av}š]}vAšZ_šA^<_ŒÌ_]A
government has not been able to win the confidence of people due to pervasive corruption,
‰}}ŒAP}À_Œv_v__A_v_A(_oo]vPA__µŒ]šÇX_
39
Given these trends, one can conclude that the media in Pakistan does not hold the Karzai
P}À_Œvu_všA]vAZ]PZA_š__uA_v_AšZ_Œ_A]A_A_o__ŒAo__lA}(AšŒµšA]vAšZ_AP}À_Œvu_vš[A__‰__]o]šÇAš}A
handle the volatile situation in Afghanistan.
On the issue of being pro-Taliban, the media seems convinced that there would be a heavy
Taliban influence in the government once the pullout is complete. Perhaps, this is the reason
why Afghan journalists perceive the Pakistani media to be pro-Taliban. However, a closer look
at Z}ÁA šZ_A ‰Œ}‰__šA }(A d_o]__vA P_]v]vPA _}všŒ}oA _P_]vA Z_A ___vA ‰}ŒšŒ_Ç__A Z}ÁA šZ_šA ]šA ]v[šA
sympathy for Taliban, rather a fearful anticipation that is being conveyed.
__________________________________________________
39
Beyond Chicago t Talat Masood t The Express Tribune – http://tribune.com.pk/story/382141/beyond-chicago/

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
55
Context
W_l]š_v[Au__]_Ao_ndscape has gone through serious and rapid transition in the way Pakistani
media operates. The advent of private news channels, the inclusion of industrialists and seths
into the journalistic arena and the resulting pluralrity in media outlets has been the subject of
numerous studies; as media researchers the pace and direction of media development in
Pakistan has been fascinating to us, but while exciting, the direction the media is heading
toward is also quite alarming. In a situation when Pakistani media has a long way to go before
_À_vA_}À_Œ]vPAšZ_A_}µvšŒÇ[A}ÁvA]µ_A‰roperly, is it really even important to cover another
country like Afghanistan?
Is it actually essential for media practitioners in Pakistan to try and understand the complexities
of the Afghan conflict and cover them properly? To answer these questions, we approached
two groups of journalists from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
We have seen earlier that at least 80% of the stories about Afghanistan have been sourced to
international news agencies. In the current media and economic climate, the need to rely on
news agencies for a topic that originates in a different country is of course understandable. But
when it comes to the Pak-Afghan situation, the situation becomes slightly more complex. The
conflict in Afghanistan is not just a conflict brewing in a neighboring country. It is a conflict that
affects and is being affected by Pakistan in uncountable ways.
As the NATO pullout draws nearer, the links between Pakistan and Afghanistan grow even more
complex and potentially dangerous. In such a situation, the me_]_[AŒ}o_A]vAŒ_‰}Œš]vPAšZ_AAfghan
conflict becomes even more important.
To see whether media practitioners in Pakistan and Afghanistan recognize the importance of
Afghan
conflict
coverage, we surveyed two
groups of journalists from Pakistan
40
and
Afghanistan .
41
Afghan conflict in Pakistani media:
40
Survey Questionnaire for Pakistani Journalists t Annexure 5
41
Survey Questionnaire for Afghan Journalists t Annexure 6
Perceptions:
Is it important to cover Afghan conflict?

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Pakistani j}µŒv_o]š[Aperceptions
To gauge how important Pakistani journalists view the Afghan conflict, an online survey was
circulated among a group of journalists who had experience of reporting on Afghanistan v the
survey was distributed among 25 journalists mostly based in border areas (FATA, Balochistan
and Peshawar). However, only 15 journalists responded, while others excused themselves on
the pretext that despite having reported on Afghanistan, they did not consider themselves to
be well aware of the context and importance of the theme. A brief analysis of the survey and
responses follows.
Respondent demographics
A total number of 15 journalists with varying degrees of experience and belonging to different
news organizations took part in this survey. The majority of respondents were mid-career with
5

10 years of experience. The respondents belong to both mainstream and smaller news
organizations from all over Pakistan.
Journalistic experience of respondents
Z_‰}v__vš[A}rganizations
S.
No
Organizations
1.
Dawn News
2.
The Nation
3.
Daily Nada-e-Khalq
4.
BBC Urdu
5.
Khyber News TV
6.
The Frontier Post
7.
Frontier Post v Peshawar
8.
The News
9.
The Express Tribune
10.
Daily Times
11.
Dunya News
12.
Express Media Group
13.
The Friday Times
14.
Central Asia Online
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
1

2 years
2

5 years
5

10 years
More than 10 years
6.7%
20%
40%
6.7%

Reporting Afghanistan
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57
One of the respondents was reporting as a freelance reporter in multiple new organizations. As
can be seen in the table the respondents represent a total of nine newspapers and four TV
channels.
Adequacy and tone of Afghan coverage
A majority of respondents agreed that Pakistani media ]v[šA_}À_Œ]vPA_(PZ_v]š_vA___‹µ_š_oÇXA
As many as 83.3% of the respondents said that the Afghan conflict coverage was inadequate.
Perceived adequacy of Afghan conflict coverage
There was a slight difference in the perceived adequacy on Afghan conflict coverage in print
and electronic media. Afghan conflict coverage on TV was called inadequate by 93% of the
respondents as opposed to 73% who found the print coverage inadequate.
Perceived adequacy of Afghan conflict coverage on TV and newspapers
Inadequate
, 83.30%
Adequate,
16%
TV, 6%
TV, 93%
Print, 26%
Print, 73%
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
Adequate
Inadequate

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The respondents were further asked to identify the main reasons for inadequate coverage of
the Afghan conflictXA_Au_i}Œ]šÇA}(AšZ_uA_o_u__Ao__lA}(A]vš_Œ_šA}vAu__]_[A‰_ŒšA_v_A_Æš_Œval
pressures for the lack of in-depth coverage of the conflict. Another reason identified by a
majority of the respondents was lack of reliable sources for reporting on Afghanistan.
Reasons for inadequate coverage of Afghan conflict
A respondent from Quetta pointed out that one of the reasons for inadequate coverage on
A(PZ_v]š_vA]AšZ_A(__šAšZ_šA^E}-one pays the local media for their Afghan c}À_Œ_P_X_
Another respondent, referring to the fact that only some key themes are reported from
_(PZ_v]š_vA v}š__A šZ_šA ^D}šA i}µŒv_o]šA šZ]vlA šZ_šA }voÇA š_ŒŒ}Œ]uA u_l_A v_ÁA (Œ}uA
_(PZ_v]š_vX_AdZ]A‰_Œ__‰š]}vA}vAšZ_A‰_ŒšA}(AšZ_Ai}µŒv_o]šA]Ao___]vPAš}A_A___ŒšZA}(Anews items
on other Afghan issues like the impact of Afghan conflict on development, youth, culture and
internal Afghan politics etc.
One of the respondents pointed out that Pakistani media reports from its ideological
š_v_‰}]všXA ,_A _]_UA ^(Pakistani) Media is presenting opinion as news. Due to sheer laziness,
most reporters do not bother to look up views alternate to Pakistani security establishmentsX_
dZ]AZo_Ì]v_[A_AŒ_(_ŒŒ__Aš}A_ÇAšZ_AŒ_‰}v__vš leads to an influx of news items carrying similar
themes and presenting similar tones. Not only is plurality missing when it comes to reporting
the Afghan conflict, but perhaps, important news items are also missed because they might not
seem that important through the security _š__o]Zu_vš[AŒ___ŒXA
dZ]AÀ_ŒÇA]µ_A]A‰_ŒZ_‰A__Z]v_AšZ_AŒ_‰}v__vš[A__u_všAšZ_šAu}šA}(AšZ_AAfghan conflict
related coverage of TV and newspapers is overtly negative.
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
Outside pressures
Sensitive nature of news
Lack of sources
Lack of interest among reporters
Lack of interest among media orgs.
Lack of infrastructure

Reporting Afghanistan
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59
Tone of Afghan conflict coverage
Main sources of information
The lack of sources was identified as one of the reasons for inadequate coverage of Afghan
conflict. The respondents were further asked to identify the three main sources they use when
reporting Afghanistan. The majority of reporters identified international news agencies,
western media and internet as main sources of information on Afghanistan.
Key news sources for Reporting Afghanistan
Afghanistan related themes in media
TV, 0
TV, 60%
TV, 40%
Print, 0
Print, 67%
Print, 33%
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
Overtly positive
Overtly negative
Neutral
86%
73%
60%
20%
20%
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Int. news agencies
Western media
Internet
NATO sources
Pak Army sources

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Reporting Afghanistan
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The respondents were asked to identify the most frequently reported and the most under-
reported themes from and about Afghanistan. Foreign military presence in Afghanistan and
Afghan conflict were identified as the key topic of discussion in the media while democracy in
Afghanistan and development were identified as the most under-reported themes.
Key themes about Afghanistan covered by media
There seems to be confusion amongst respondents about the theme of politics in Afghanistan.
While 80% of them identified politics as one of the key themes reported about Afghanistan, the
same percentage i.e. 80% of them also identified democracy and parliament in Afghanistan
amongst the most under reported themes. Perhaps the political themes reporters identify as
being covered frequently relate only to political relations with U.S. and other countries, while
internal political development is thought to be under-reported.
Most under-reported themes from Afghanistan
Quality of coverage
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
Business
Military presence
Afghan conflict
Politics
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Culture
Youth
Development
Business & economy
Women
Democracy

Reporting Afghanistan
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61
The majority of respondents of this survey are of the opinion that the quality of media content
currently being generated on the theme of Afghan conflict is bad. Not a single respondent
found the quality of coverage to be good and around 33% respondents rated Afghan conflict
content as average.
Quality on news content on Afghan conflict
D__]_[Arole in improving Pak-Afghan relations
The majority of respondents believe that the media has a role to play in improving relations
between Pakistan and Afghanistan v more than 93% o(AšZ_AŒ_‰}v__všAŒ__}Pv]Ì__Au__]_[A
role in this regard and expressed the hope that media can be a part of improving relations
between the two countries. The journalists have identified a number of steps that in their
opinion will help Pakistani media play a positive role in Pak-Afghan relations and increasing
public understanding of the Afghan conflict.
According to one of the respondents, the coverage and understanding of Afghan conflict can be
]u‰Œ}À__A _ÇA ^š_‰‰]vPA Œ_}µŒ__A (Œ}uA ]l_AšZ_A‰Œ}À_Œ_]_oAZŒ__o[AW_l]š_vUAšZ_Œ_A]v[šA_vÇA}v_AŒ__o]šÇAš}AšZ_AAfghan conflict.
Yet, journalists reporting on Afghan conflict need to develop a basic understanding
of the Afghan conflict, especially how even the internal conflict in Afghanistan has
possible ramifications for Pakistan. Since a small group of people are reporting on
the Afghan conflict locally, it is advisable to conduct thematic trainings for them.

Adding the human element
Be it drone attacks, cross border intrusions or the fallout of suspending NATO supply
line on local investors, the real human element of the news happenings have been
largely ignored by the media. Bringing the human cost of the conflict to light would
not only make the news relevant to the public but would also help people
understand the issues better. As mentioned by journalists from Pakistan and
Afghanistan, the current regional scenario makes it is extremely important to further
understanding about the Afghan conflict.
Recommendations

70
Reporting Afghanistan
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Reporting in-depth
On the whole there have been a good many news features and opinion pieces
published on various aspects of the Afghan conflict. However, most of the reporting
and analysis has been driven by political statements and strategic developments and
thus cater to only one aspect of the news while ignoring multiple dimensions and
impacts. There is a need for media practitioners to take a deeper look into the
impacts of conflict and include social impacts in their stories.

Using Afghan journalists as sources
The lack of firsthand sources in Afghanistan has resulted in an influx of Z_P_v_ÇA
_Œ]À_v[A u__]_A _}vš_všXA tZ]o_A international news agencies do produce quality
content, they are not in a position to cater to the unique needs of Pakistani media
and media audience. Networking with Afghan media practitioners will help local
i}µŒv_o]š[A____A_Œ__]_o_A}µŒ__A}(A]v(}Œu_tion

Giving news space to Afghan journalists
One of the easiest and the most cost effective ways to include the Afghan
perspective in Pakistani media is giving some news space in papers to Afghan
journalists. Printing news items from Afghan journalists is also tricky; the issues of
national interest might arise, but with proper editorial control exercised by the
newspapers, it should not be difficult to give some space in papers to the Afghan
journalists. It is important to have a clear idea of the Afghan perspective on the
conflict as their own perceptions and interest would ultimately affect the Pak-
Afghan relations, thus making that point of view very relevant for the Pakistani
audience.

Joint reporting ventures
As suggested by multiple journalists, joint reporting ventures on the conflict,
combining the expertise of both Pakistani and Afghan journalists could help the
media present a more diverse and holistic picture of the conflict. It is apparent that
the Afghan conflict ]A]vš_ŒšÁ]v__A]vAÀ_Œ]}µAÁ_ǐAÁ]šZAW_l]š_v[A}ÁvA_}v(o]_šA_v_Aš}A
be able to present a complete picture featuring both sides of the news story would
be a great step towards quality and detailed journalism.

Need for further research
In the research survey conducted, a majority of both Pakistani and Afghan journalists
termed the Afghan conflict coverage as being overtly negative. There is a need to do
further research on what exactly is forming these opinions, what the journalists
specifically have in mind when they term the coverage negative and what needs to
be done to remove the negative tinge from the news content.
__________________________________________________

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
71
Annexures
Mapping Afghan conflict in Pakistani
Media

72
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
73
This research report, through clearly defined categories and indicators, aims to bring clarity
about the u__]_[AŒ_‰}v_Aš}AšZ_AAfghan conflictUAW_l]š_v[AŒ}o_A]vAAfghan peace process and
the impact of Afghan situation on Pakistan. What emerges is a picture portraying the linkages
amongst Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States in the context of the ongoing war and
conflict in Afghanistan.
dZ]AŒ_‰}ŒšA_o}A_šš_u‰šAš}A_Œ]vPA(}ŒšZAšZ_Av_Áu_l_Œ[A‰_Œ‰__š]À_A}vAšZ_A_(PZ_vA_}À_Œ_P_A
by analyzing responses to multiple online surveys regarding Afghan coverage in Pakistani media
taken by both Pakistani
43
and Afghan
44
journalists.
For the purpose of thematic analyses of content being published and aired, a select sample of
news media was monitored for terrorism related news from April 2012 to May 2012. Three
Á]__oÇA_]Œ_µo_š__Av_Á‰_‰_ŒA_v_AšZ_AõA}[_o}_lA_µoo_š]vA}(AšZŒ__A‰}‰µo_ŒAv_ÁA_Z_vv_oAÁ_Œ_A
monitored and analyzed on a daily basis for five months.
MONITORING SAMPLE
Newspapers
Jang
Dawn
Express Tribune
News Channels
Geo News
Samaa TV
Waqt News
The monitored media outlets were selected because they enjoy considerable popularity and
influence over their audience. Geo News is the most popular and highly rated news channel of
all. Jang and Dawn are among the highly circulated Urdu and English newspapers in the
country. All news outlets monitored are considered fairly influential in shaping up public
opinion.
The selection of TV channels was made to ensure that TV stations from different ends of
spectrum had a representation. Geo News is the top rated news channel in Pakistan, Samaa TV
enjoys ratings that place it at 2
nd
to 4
th
u}šA ‰}‰µo_ŒA ÁZ]o_A t_‹šA v_ÁA _}_v[šA _vi}ÇA P}}_A
ratings but represents a rather right wing, staunch ideological stance, aligning it with an
important segment of the Pakistani society.
43
Annexure 5 t Survey Questionnaire for Pakistani Journalists
44
Annexure 6 t Survey Questionnaire for Afghan Journalists
Annexure 1
Research methodology

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Reporting Afghanistan
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For quantitative analysis of print media coverage the focus, the type and the source of the news
piece appearing in the monitored sources were noted. Since the news regarding Afghan conflict
caters to a very diverse scope of information, there were no other data categories that were
monitored across the complete selection of news. News items were further categorized on the
basis of their key focus. The following are the key categories identified as main news focus of
the monitored stories;

Terrorism in Afghanistan

Cross-border insurgency

Drone attacks

NATO supply

NATO pullout from Afghanistan and Afghan peace process

Pak-Afghan and Pak-U.S. relations in post-NATO Afghanistan

Others
News items in each focus category were further divided into news and opinion pieces to
determine which themes attract the maximum amount of commentary from Pakistani
journalists. A timeline for reported events in relevant themes has also been developed.
The news coverage in Dawn and The Express Tribune has also been cross checked on the online
databases on their websites; however, Jang[A_}À_Œ_P_AZ_Av}šA___vA_Œ}A_Z__l__A}vo]v_A_µ_A
to technical issues with the website.
It should be noted that while the selected newspapers were monitored in totality, the TV news
coverage monitoring was restricted to one main, hour long news bulletin. The 9 }[_lock
bulletins of the selected TV channels have been recorded and monitored for all news related to
Afghanistan and the news has been categorized in terms of focus, priority, significance, type
and tone.
d}A __š_Œu]v_A i}µŒv_o]š[A }ÁvA ‰_Œ__‰š]}vA }(A _}À_Œ_P_A }(A Afghan conflict in Pakistani media,
Pakistani journalists who have reported on Afghanistan were invited to take part in a brief
online survey
45
š]šo__A^,}ÁAPakistani media reports Afghan conflict_XAdZ_Asurvey questionnaire
was developed to identify the key sources reporters engage for coverage of Afghan conflict, the
main hurdles they face when reporting on Afghanistan and their own impressions about Afghan
conflict coverage and its importance.
Another online survey was developed for Afghan journalists who enjoy an understanding of
Pakistani mediaXAdZ]AµŒÀ_ÇAš]šo__A^Afghan conflict in Pakistani media_
46
was taken by a small
number of Afghan journalists to gauge how the Afghan media rates and perceives the coverage
of Afghan conflict in Pakistani media outlets.
45
Annexure 5 t Survey Questionnaire for Pakistani Journalists
46
Annexure 6 t Survey Questionnaire for Afghan Journalists

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
75
By Aurangzaib Khan
47
It has already been established that journalists in both Paksitan and Afghanistan realize the
importance of in-depth, substantial reporting of Afghan conflict. The survey results have
brought forth valuable data, but since the survey technique is not ideal for in-depth answers,
Intermedia also conducted a brief focus group discussion in the provincial capital Peshawar of
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on coverage of Afghan issues in Pakistan media. In an informal, open
discussion
48
, 10 journalists with varying level of experience expressed views about how they
view Afghanistan, the geo-strategic and economic relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan,
the changes and developments in the neighbouring country and where exactly media in
Pakistan stands on these.
Afghanistan, as portrayed in Pakistani media
In the first part of the FGD, the participants were _l__A _A À_ŒÇA]u‰o_A‹µ_š]}vUA ^tZ_šA_}_A
Pakistani media think of Afghanistan today? The gist of the discussion that ensued after this
question, follows;
Future directions; where Afghanistan is headed
Afghanistan is not going in the right direction. For šŒ_š_P]_A Œ__}vUA /v_]_[A ‰Œ__v__A ]vA
_(PZ_v]š_vA_v_AšZ_A_u_Œ]__v[A_}ÌÇ]vPAµ‰Aš}A/v_]_AšZŒ}µPZA_Avµ_o__ŒA___oAZ_A_šA}µšA_A‰_šZA
for proxy war after the U.S. leaves Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is divided between regions that are controlled by Karzai and others under the
TalibanXA dZ_A __všŒ_[A ÁŒ]šA ]A Œ_šŒ]_š__A š}A <__µoXA _A À_šA u_i}Œ]šÇA ]vA _(PZ_v]š_vA __o]_À_A šZ_šA
after the hasty U.S. withdrawal, the Taliban will come down from the mountain and there will
be no stability. Even when there is trouble along the border, some of the places like Kunar and
Nooristan provinces are fairly developed.
The participants believed that despite the withdrawal plans, there would not be complete
withdrawal of the American forces and American bases would sustain in Afghanistan even after
the 2014 NATO pullout.
47
Aurangzaib Khan is the Director Media development with Intermedia Pakistan
48
Questions directing the discussion included in Annexure 3
Annexure 2
Focus Group Discussion

76
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
There are a number of factors at play in countries affected by a conflict: For a long time, it was
the Afghan refugees coming to Pakistan and there are still some 1.2m in Pakistan, most of them
seasonal or economic immigrants. But over the last decade or so, there has been a new trend
v every month some five thousand Pakistanis leave for Afghanistan for jobs through visa
received from the Peshawar and Quetta consulates.
Human cost; how conflict is affecting the Afghan people
Afghan people are fed up with the war. Ordinary people want peace and say they have suffered
a lot. There are some six million girls back to school and the number of women availing
scholarships far exceeds that of men. Likewise, some 80% skilled people are returning from
abroad to work at home v obviously, they expect the situation to change for the better post
20
14
.
The annual growth rate of 14% may be unrealistic or bloated, but there are certainly
areas in which the country has shown remarkable progress such as building up the Afghan army
v high on the nationalism sentiment.
Despite insurgency v when compared to that in Pakistan v the destruction ratio of Afghan
schools is much less than that in Pakistan. The Taliban routinely target the NATO troops but not
schools.
The mindset; what Afghans think?
The Hizb Islami and the Afghan Taliban suspect that the Americans want to continue stay under
the guise of fighting the insurgency. May be the U.S. will not win the war but the Hizb wants
that America should be given face saving so that it leaves the region. The Karzai administration
has assured the world that the Afghan land would not be used against anyone including
Americans. The Afghanistan of 80s when the resistance/jihad was against Soviet occupation and
later under the civil war and Taliban when there was internal fighting is much different from
Afghanistan today where there is inµŒP_v_ÇA_µšA]šA_}_v[šAZ_À_A_AÁ]__ŒAµ‰‰}ŒšA(Œ}uA_(PZ_vUA
little involvement on part of ordinary Afghans fed up with war and suffering. There is little
support for Taliban. And it is obvious from the fact that resistance against foreign forces is not
as organized as it was in the 80s and 90s. It is certainly not as widespread. It is a guerilla war,
waged in pockets v ]vA}u_AÁ_ǐA]__vš]__oAš}AÁZ_š[AZ_‰‰_v]vPA]vAW_l]š_vXA
The resistance in the 80s and 90s was supported by the U.S. and the Saudis, respectively. The
Saudi involvement in Afghanistan has been exposed over the years and later its support for the
Taliban and the elements that propped it has disabused the Afghan people of the supposedly
positive Saudi role in local affairs, a hangover from jihad years when it armed the Mujahideen
against Soviet invasion. As things stand now, they blame Pakistan v not Americans, not Saudis
or Iran v for their troubles. Despite international presence and occupation, people now want
to move towards reconciliation.
Politics and economy: Where would Afghanistan go from here?
Earlier, there was no constitution, no constituency for political forces or the legal contract with
people. As a consequence, nationalism among the people is on the rise and there is a collective

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
77
sense of moving on and ahead. In the rural swathes of Afghanistan, the influence from the
centre has been historically minimal, with the local tribes stronger than the central
government. The elements in the periphery are so strong in fact that they care little for the
centre. With the NATO-American presence, the forces in the periphery are quiet but as soon as
the withdrawal happens, th_A _}µvšŒÇ[A }À_Œ_]PvšÇA Á}µo_A __A šZŒ__š_v__A _ÇA _o_u_všA šZ_šA
support the forces on the periphery.
The economy of Afghanistan is sustained by foreign funding. If the assistance is withdrawn, it
will crumble because there are no local mechanisms taxes, production or trade to tide it over
transition.
Likewise, in the 36 provinces, security is largely provided by foreign forces and if and when they
exit, things will revert to bedlam because the Afghan National Army is not trained or equipped
enough to take over security operations all over the country. Even when there are foreign
forces, the likes of Fazlullah and Faqir Mohammad find sanctuaries there. What will happen if
NATO and Americans leave?
Two kinds of mindsets exist v one, the informed one, want the U.S. to stay well until
Afghanistan is strong enough to fight Saudi and Pakistani designs; the other want the U.S. to
leave only after there are guarantees that Pakistan, Iran and Saudi interference will be met with
force.
The agriculture sector has grown considerably. Until recently Afghanistan depended on
agricultural import but last year Pakistan imported onions, tomatoes, even wheat from
Afghanistan. There is need for promoting trade to overcome food insecurity.
Global interest in Afghanistan
/š[s not just the NATO/ Americans that are interested in Afghanistan but there is interest in its
vast resources from all over the world. Its mineral wealth amounts to $3 trillion, with some 20
companies vying for exploration, including Chinese.
Violent conflict in Afghanistan
Attacks on security forces in Afghanistan are met with organized search and destroy operations.
These counter-insurgency operations are much successful there than here in Pakistan. Under
NATO guidance and support, the Afghan forces operational capacity is commendable and they
are proving themselves to be up to the challenge cut out for them.
Helpless in Pakistan: the issue of Afghan refugees
Last year, the rate of repatriation was high compared to this year. Afghan refugees keep
returning due to insecurity in Afghanistan. One of the untold stories is that Afghans depend for
healthcare on Pakistan v 80% of the Peshawar-based Z_Zu_vAD__]__oA/vš]šµš_[A‰_š]_všA_Œ_A
Afghans, and it is the leading healthcare institution in Pakistan where medical staff is Afghan or
speaks Dari and notices are translated in Dari.

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Intermedia Pakistan
The refugees are harassed by the local police. Leading politicians and district officials give
irresponsible statements about eviction of refugees that prompt police to harass them, ask for
bribes or stop electricity supply to the localities where they live.
Impression of Pakistanis in Afghanistan is extremely negative especially that of people from
Punjab, the state policy and that of the police.
Portrayal of Afghanistan: positive or negative?
The coverage of Afghanistan, the group agreed, is negative. Local media focus on conflict and
military presence inside Afghanistan. There is a trust deficit between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In December last year, a well known Pakistani journalist met the governor of Kunar and
mentioned that Pakistan blames Afghanistan for providing sanctuaries to warlords like Fazlullah
and Faqir Mohammad and is it true that they are both in Afghanistan. To which the governor
said, ^zes, it is true thašAšZ_ÇA_Œ_AZ_Œ_A_µšAÁ_A_}v[šA‰Œ}š__šA}ŒA‰_šŒ}v]Ì_AšZ_uXAdZ_ÇAZ]__A_o}vPA
the border. When we move against them, they cross over to the other side. When the Pakistani
authorities hound them, they move into Afghan territory._
Orakzai, a former governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said there were 19 Indian consulates in
Afghanistan when there are actually only four v in Herat, Kabul, Mazar and Kandahar. If
someone so high up as Orakzai is so ill-informed then who can blame the likes of Hamid Zaid
who say negative things about Afghanistan, a view that is then accepted and shared by people
and media alike.
The Afghan consulate in Peshawar receives 200 applications daily from Pakistanis seeking jobs
in Afghanistan. There is little known about the contribution and condition of Pakistani workers
]vA_(PZ_v]š_vA ____µ_AšZ_AW_l]š_v]A š_š_[A v_ŒŒ_š]À_A v _v_A Z_v__A u__]_[A v is focused on
geo-strategic relations, not geo-economic.
For this reason precisely, even though some five million Afghans have lived and worked in
Pakistan over the years compared to mere thousands in India, Afghans still treat Pakistan as an
enemy and India a friend.
Besides a negative portrayal of Afghanistan in Pakistani media, there are a number of militant
magazines aimed at local and Afghan population in Pakistan that promotes a negative and
militaristic view of developments in Afghanistan. A journalist narrated a story of a desk editor at
a Karachi-based vernacular daily that received news of 15 Afghan National Army soldiers dying
]vA_vA]vµŒP_všA_šš__lXA^,_Al]oo__A_A(oÇA}vAšZ_Aš__o_A_v_A_]_AÇ}µA_}µo_A___AšZ_šAš}AšZ_Avµu__ŒUA
implying that the life of an Afghan soldier is no more valuable than that of a fly. The newspaper
reported that 26 Afghan National Army soldiers died ]vAšZ_A_šš__lX_
A local journalist who works for a foreign wire service said that he got the news that Taliban
and Hizb-e-Islami had killed 10 NATO soldiers and the wire service wanted him to verify. He

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
79
called around but no-one knew of it because there are no Pakistani journalists in the border
areas of Afghanistan. The next day a leading Urdu daily carried the news with a byline. The
journalist did his own investigation and found out that there was no military presence of NATO
soldiers or equipment in the area where the attacks and deaths were reported to have
happened.
Afghan politics and reconciliation efforts are not covered in Pakistani media adequately. The
information that comes through is mostly based on research and surveys by western think-
tanks and Pakistani media lacks the capacity to turn them into news and analysis.
Another issue with Pakistani media coverage is that it continues to be mired in the narrative
that Pakistan helped defeat the Soviets v essentially promoting a jihad mindset even though
there are journalists that think that such a policy could prove costly for the nation.
Jihadist publications are widely available as well as Afghan newspapers in English, Dari and
Pashto that are locally published and sent to Afghanistan. Such publications published here and
sent to Afghanistan find their way back also such as the journal Tora Bora.
While the jihad media is openly available v CDs, multimedia formats for copying on USB etc v
the Afghanistan electronic media is banned by PEMRA that says they have no landing rights. On
the other hand when Tulle dsA_l__A(}ŒA]šUA]šAÁ_v[šAP]À_vA_vÇXAAAW_l]š_vA__vv__AKhabaryal.com
v an U.K.-based news website run by Afghans and known for fair coverage and breaking news.
Its account of the attack on Salala post that blamed Pakistan for incursions invoked the wrath of
Pakistani authorities.
The problem with such coverage of Afghanistan by certain jihadist journals and media is that
when viewed by people outside Pakistan or Peshawar, they form the impression that it reflects
popular sentiment here, like suggesting Peshawar is Talibanized even though the dominant
view among journalists is radically different from that.






The media needs to move away from the state narrative and embrace the geo-economic
narrative rather than the geo-strategic one. As long as the state is not held accountable, we
cannot hope for change or make it change its obsession with Zstrategic depth[. While media
Z_]š_š_Aš}A_Z_oo_vP_AšZ_AšŒ_š_P]_Av_ŒŒ_š]À_A(}ŒA^(__ŒA}(A__]vPAl]oo___UAšZ_AšŒ_š_P]_A_ŒPµu_všA
will eventually kill everyone anyway.





The militancy related activities are kept under wraps and conspiracy theories are allowed on
media. This deters public
empowerment. If
negotiations, reconciliation, reporting and
information exchange is not allowed, people stay in the dark and confused. If media on both
sides is active and interacts, people would know where the Taliban, the Americans, the

80
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
Pakistanis or the Karzai Administration stand on issues of mutual interest, who to support and
what games the state and non-state actors play, the spoilers and facilitators of peace. The
‰_}‰o_[A v_ŒŒ_š]À_A A Á]ooA Á__l_vA šZ_A š_š_A v_ŒŒ_š]À_A v Pakistan, U.S., Afghan and others v
because they are part of the problem, because people are not allowed to see, know, speak and
decide what should be and how.
There is certainly interest among people on both sides to get to know each other better but
that is not reflected in media and initiatives that bring people together and their voices are not
reported in media.
Sources of information for reporting Afghan conflict
In Afghanistan today, there is a concentration of international media. Half of the news and
analyses about Afghanistan carried in Pakistani media comes from foreign journalists and news
services. But for all the interest and discussion of Afghanistan in local media, there are no
Pakistani reporters in Afghanistan except Khyber TV. Similarly, the media scene in Afghanistan
is vibrant, with more radio stations than there are in Pakistan and they manage to reach into
W_l]š_vA ]vA šZ_A _}Œ__ŒA _Œ__A _v_A __Ç}v_A _µšA Á_A _}v[šA _Œ__š_A }ŒA P_v_Œ_š_A _vÇA }(A }µŒA }ÁvA
independent local content and narrative on Afghanistan.




_v}šZ_ŒAŒ_‰}Œš_ŒA_]_UA^/, as a reporter, cannot go to Bara in Khyber Agency. How can I go to
Kunar?_ implying that military presence in Afghanistan and hostility against Pakistanis makes it
really difficult for Pakistani journalists to report on Afghanistan.





Rahimullah Yousafzai is considered an authority on Afghanistan. When was the last time he was
there?





The media in Pakistan is strong and covers local news extensively and openly. But when it
comes to AfgZ_v]š_vUAšZ_Au__]_A_}_v[šAšŒÇA_v_AšZ_Aš_š_A_}_v[šA_oo}ÁA‰_}‰o_Aš}A‰__lUA}ŒA
_}_v[šA_Œ}____šA(}ŒA_(PZ_v]š_vX





The Public Information Department in Pakistan and Afghan authorities have recently signed an
MoU which may allow TV on local cable and facilitate journalists to cover developments in the
two countries.







Most of the news about Afghanistan in Pakistani media comes from foreign media and
i}µŒv_o]šXA^/šA]AšZ_]ŒAv_ŒŒ_š]À_XAKµŒA]vš_Œ_šAŒ_o_š__Aš}A__µŒ]šÇA_v_Areconstruction process in
Afghanistan are v}šAŒ_(o__š__XAt_A_}v[šAZ_À_A]v__‰_v__všA_v_oǐ]A____µ_Av_]šZ_ŒAu__]_Av}ŒA
the Pakistani government is interested even when Afghanistan is the biggest and direct focus of

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
81
our trade and commerce activities today (in 2005-2006, our exports to Afghanistan amounted
to $5 billion). About how much the local economy is driven by trade with Afghanistan, a
reporter said when the export of poultry to Afghanistan was recently banned, the price fell by
Rs30 locally. A laborer earns Rs300 as wage in Pakistan whereas in Afghanistan, a Pakistani
laborer can earn Rs2000. Local tailors keep revising the prices upwards because their workers
are forever tempted to go and work in Afghanistan where they can earn more.






The trade is there but it is a kind of black market economy at work which is in the interest of
the Pakistani state because it helps support the non-state actors. It is not in the interest of the
state to allow economic activities to flourish formally v it certainly is not making any effort
through official talks to open channels for such ties.
________________________________________________

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Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
1.
Do Pakistani newspapers cover Afghanistan adequately?
a.
yes
b. no
Briefly discuss reasons for each
2.
Is this print media coverage:
a.
overtly positive
b. overtly negative
c. neutral
Briefly discuss reasons for each
3.
Do Pakistani TV channels cover Afghanistan adequately?
a.
yes
b. no
Briefly discuss reasons for each
4.
Is this electronic media coverage:
a.
overtly positive
b. overtly negative
c. neutral
Briefly discuss reasons for each
5.
What are the key topics of discussion in Pakistani media about Afghanistan?
a.
politics
b. conflict
c. foreign military presence in Afghanistan
d. social issues
e.
business
f. culture
g. others (please explain)
Briefly discuss each topic for professional content, adequacy, relevance, usefulness
Annexure 3
Questions for Focus Group Discussion

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
83
5.
What are the main sources of information used by Pakistani media on coverage about
Afghanistan?
a.
Western news agencies
b. Western media (newspapers, TV, radio)
c. Internet
d. Afghan news sources (news agencies and private media’s own reporting)
e.
Pakistani news sources (news agencies and private media’s own sources)
f. Afghan government
g. Pakistani government
h. Afghan military
i. Pakistani military
j.
NATO/American military sources
k. others (please mention)
Briefly discuss each
6.
Can media in Pakistan play a role in improving relations between Pakistan and
Afghanistan?
a.
yes
b. no
7.
If yes, briefly discuss steps (some examples below) that Pakistani media can take to play a
positive role
a.
reporting about Afghan society v not just “official Afghanistan”
b. bringing out local Afghan voices v more human interest stories
c. promoting individual and institutional collaboration with Afghan journalists
d. investing in joint/collaborative reporting ventures
e.
exchange of information/stories among media on both sides
f. giving news space to Afghan journalists
g. others (please mention)
8.
How can human interest stories from Afghanistan be given more space in Pakistani media?
Discuss briefly.
9.
Pakistan has about $1.5bn a year in formal trade with Afghanistan. The informal trade is
twice as large. Why is there so little reporting on business issues in Pakistani and Afghan
media about business issues?
Discuss briefly.
________________________________________________

84
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
1.
Dilawar Jan
Reporter, The News
2
.
Shamim Shahid
Bureau Chief, Pakistan Today
3.
Tehsinullah
Reporter, Afghan Islamic Press
4.
Ghulam Dastageer
Reporter, Herald
5.
Yousaf Ali
Reporter, The News
6.
Robina Rehman
Researcher, Intermedia
7
.
Khalid Khan
Reporter, Mashal Radio
8.
Aqeel Yousafzai
Reporter, DPA
9.
Syed Irfan Ashraf
Teacher, Journalism Department, University of Peshawar
________________________________________________
Annexure 4
Focus Group Discussion participants

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
85
1.
Do Pakistani newspapers cover Afghanistan adequately?
a.
yes
b. no
2.
Is this print media coverage:
a.
overtly positive
b. overtly negative
c. neutral
3.
Do Pakistani TV channels cover Afghanistan adequately?
a.
yes
b. no
4.
Is this electronic media coverage:
a.
overtly positive
b. overtly negative
c. neutral
5.
What are the key topics of discussion in Pakistani media about Afghanistan?
a.
politics
b. conflict
c. foreign military presence in Afghanistan
d. social issues
e.
business
f. culture
g. others (please explain)
6.
Which of the following themes about Afghanistan are most under-reported in Pakistani
media? [Select 3 key themes]
a.
democracy / parliament in Afghanistan
b. Afghan women
c. business and economy in Afghanistan
d. development in Afghanistan
e.
Afghan youth
f. Afghan culture
g. Others (please explain)
Annexure 5
Questionnaire for Pakistani journalists

86
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
7.
How would you rate the coverage of Pakistani media about Afghan conflict? [Select one]
a.
bad
b.
good
c.
average
8.
If Pakistani media is not reporting the Afghan conflict adequately, what do you think are
the main reasons [Select 3 themes]
a.
lack of interest in media organizations
b. lack of interest in working journalists
c. lack of information sources
d. lack of infrastructure
e.
outside pressures / sensitive nature of news
f. others (please explain)
9.
What are the main sources of information used by Pakistani media on coverage about
Afghanistan?
a.
Western news agencies
b. Western media (newspapers, TV, radio)
c. Internet
d. Afghan news sources (news agencies and private media’s own reporting)
e.
Pakistani news sources (news agencies and private media’s own sources)
f. Afghan government
g.
Pakistani government
h. Afghan military
i. Pakistani military
j.
NATO/American military sources
k. others (please mention)
10
.
Can media in Pakistan play a role in improving relations between Pakistan and
Afghanistan?
a.
yes
b. no
11
.
If yes, briefly discuss steps (some examples below) that Pakistani media can take to play a
positive role
a.
reporting about Afghan society v not just “official Afghanistan”
b. bringing out local Afghan voices v more human interest stories
c. promoting individual and institutional collaboration with Afghan journalists
d. investing in joint/collaborative reporting ventures
e.
exchange of information/stories among media on both sides
f. giving news space to Afghan journalists
g. others (please mention)

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
87
1.
Have you ever read Pakistani newspapers or seen Pakistani news channels on TV?
a.
yes
b.
no
2.
If yes, then have you noticed any coverage about Afghanistan and conflict in
Afghanistan
a.
yes
b.
no
3.
In your opinion is Pakistani media giving adequate coverage to Afghanistan?
a.
yes
b.
no
c.
d}v[šAlv}Á
4.
How would you classify the nature of Afghanistan related coverage in Pakistani media
a.
overall positive
b.
overall negative
c.
neutral
5.
In your opinion, is it important for media/ journalists in Pakistan to give adequate
coverage to Afghanistan?
a.
yes
b.
no
6.
If yes, please explain in a few sentences, why you think it is important.
7.
In your opinion can media in Pakistan play a role in improving relations between
Pakistan and Afghanistan?
a.
yes
b.
no
Annexure 6
Questionnaire for Afghan journalists

88
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
8.
If yes, then what in your opinion would be the most important steps that Pakistani
media can take to play a positive role? (Tick 3 most relevant)
a.
reporting about Afghan society
b.
bringing out Afghan voices
c.
promoting collaborations with Afghan journalists
d.
investing in joint reporting ventures
e.
publishing / broadcasting proactive reports about Afghanistan
f.
giving news space to Afghan journalists
g.
any other (please explain)
9.
In your opinion does the Afghan media give adequate coverage to Pakistan?
a.
yes
b.
no
10.
In your opinion, is it important for the Afghan media to report issues related to
Pakistan?
a.
yes
b.
no
11.
If yes, and then please explain why.
12.
Any additional comments on how the Pakistani media reports / should report
Afghanistan related Issues.
________________________________________________

Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
1
About the author
Sadaf Baig has been associated with journalism for the last 10 years; she has spent the better
part of her journalistic career in newsrooms of different TV channels. Over the course of the
last 10 years Ms. Baig has worked on almost all the rungs of the production ladder. Starting
from the tickers desk and leaving as a Senior Producer, she has had the chance to produce news
packages, bulletins, daily/ weekly shows, and documentaries. She has also been associated with
CNN International, Atlanta as an ICFG fellow on Pakistan-United Sates Professional Partnership
on Journalism. She is currently associated with Intermedia Pakistan as Director Research and
Communications and is involved in various research and monitoring projects over journalism
and state of media and is also involved in a key effort to promote journalist safety in Pakistan.
She is currently ]vA _Z_ŒP_A }(A W_l]š_v[A (]ŒšA Á__]š_A ___]__š__A š}A i}µŒv_o]šA _(_šÇA issues
www.journalistsafety.org. You can write to her at sadaf.baig03@gmail.com or connect via
twitter @nuqsh

2
Reporting Afghanistan
Intermedia Pakistan
Contact us
Email: outreach@intermedia.pk
Twitter: @IntermediaPak
www.intermedia.pk


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