PPP accuses Jang Group of one-sided campaign
By Syed Bukhar Shah
PESHAWAR: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has decided to approach the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and international bodies of journalists to register complaints against what it termed one-sided and baseless stories, analysis and editorials against the PPP government, its leaders and workers by the Jang Group of Publications.
“We will seek their guidance as to whether the ongoing one-sided and biased journalism is correct and useful for democracy and the country,” said Adviser to Prime Minister Asma Alamgir, while addressing a press conference at her residence on Sunday.
The PPP leaders, including Syed Ayub Shah, and women’s wing office-bearers, were also present on the occasion. Asma said that her party had decided to boycott the Jang Group after tolerating it for two-and-a-half year.
She said that her party had rendered great sacrifices for democracy, independent judiciary and press freedom, and would continue the struggle in the future, but now PPP office-bearers and workers would boycott the Jang Group after addressing press conferences against it in all the four provinces from today (Sunday).
Asma Alamgir, who is also provincial president of PPP women’s wing, complained that current journalism was not fair, accusing it of following someone else’s agenda. She said her party, leaders, workers and Jiyalas had rendered exemplary sacrifices during their struggle for democracy, independent judiciary more than any one else, but this group was constantly pressurising 180 million Pakistanis through its talk shows, reporting and analysis for the reasons best known to them.
Presenting details of the one-year programmes of Geo TV, she said Geo TV telecast 605 anti-PPP and anti-Asif Ali Zardari programmes out of 615 shows, but the record showed that only four programmes were presented against the PML-N. Similarly, she said, Geo TV repeated 300 times the cases against President Zardari, wherein he had already put behind bars for 12 years, but not a single case proved against him. The Jang Group, she alleged, published 85 percent stories against the president of Pakistan in 485 news published in the daily Jang.
The daily Jang, she said, published 567 editorials wherein 480 were against her party and its president. She said out of a total of 4,569 new reports published by The News, 2613 were against the PPP and Asif Zardari. “Out of a total of 1,421 columns, 1,255 were against the PPP and the president. Out of the total 782 editorials published by The News in one year, 701 were against the PPP and Zardari.”
She said 70 analysis published by its group editor, Shaheen Sehbai, were not only against Asif Zardari but the writer used uncivilised language against her party’s leader. Similarly, out of the total 479 write-ups of Ansar Abbasi, 458 were against the PPP and Zardari. “Tariq Butt’s 380 out of 394 published write-ups in one year were against the PPP. Kamran Khan telecast 114 programmes and 110 were against her party and its co-chairperson Zardari. Out of the total 132 programmes of Hamid Mir, 112 were against PPP and Zardari.”
She said the same was the case with the daily Jang’s writers. “Out of a total of 179 columns of Irfan Siddiqui 164 were against the PPP, and 98 out of the total 109 columns of Haroonur Rashid were against her party,” she added.
She said that the Jang Group had been predicting fall of the government, highlighting baseless differences between the president, prime minister and the chief of the army staff, and it was no service to the country and democracy.
Asked as to why her party does not file cases against Jang Group in the court of law, she said the PPP would also knock the door of courts and expect justice from them. She said that by boycotting the Jang Group, her party wanted to register political protests and tell the nation it believed in independence of press and judiciary.
Our Kasur correspondent adds: Federal Education Minister Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali criticised Jang Group for its policies and claimed the same group was hatching failed conspiracies against the PPP-led government. It tried to entangle President Zardari, PM Gilani and the army chief, he added. International law provides immunity to Zardari and the opening of Swiss cases against him is out of question, he added.
The minister was talking to workers and villagers at the inauguration of a free eye camp at Allah Abad Qasba here on Sunday. The Editorial Board of Jang Group declaring all charges as lies said that response to these allegations would be given at an appropriate time.
Source: The News