The map shown by all; certain people zero in on Geo | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

The map shown by all; certain people zero in on Geo

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD: The map of the Jammu and Kashmir region has always been subject to errors – and these errors are mostly, if not always, unintentional, clerical mistakes and not part of a “greater agenda” as some quarters in the media are continuously propagating, said Shahzeb Khanzada in his programme on Geo News on Monday night.

These mistakes have been committed by a number of media houses, a number of times – but they cannot be made the basis of judging anyone’s patriotism, said Khanzada, replying to a campaign launched against him by certain quarters in the media, particularly ARY News, regarding a map shown inadvertently on his show last week.

The map, used on May 27’s show, showed all of Kashmir as a disputed territory. ARY News has for the last few days used this to propagate that this was part of a “greater agenda” by Khanzada and Geo News against Kashmir and Pakistan.

In reply to this charge, Khanzada showed on screen examples from various channels and publications in which an erroneous map of Kashmir was shown – in some cases all of Kashmir being shown as part of India and in some the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region shown as a part of India. According to the official map used by the Survey of Pakistan, the Jammu and Kashmir region is to be shown as a disputed territory, not a part of India.

Khanzada further stressed that even ARY News itself has made this mistake repeatedly – showing specific examples on screen. In fact, he showed, the exact same map used by his show last week on which ARY News had created an issue was used by ARY News itself – a map lifted from an independent website on the China-Pak Economic Corridor.

He also went on to point out that another anchor, Ahmed Qureshi, on his show on Express News, questioned the motives behind showing the map in Khanzada’s show – but Qureshi himself had shown an incorrect Kashmir map last just a few days before that – and even accepted this mistake on Twitter. He then showed that even Jamaat-e-Islami had mistakenly shown a map that showed Indian Occupied Kashmir as part of India.

However, Khanzada stressed, this does not mean that the people who made this mistake are a part of a greater conspiracy or that their patriotism can be questioned. These mistakes are just that: Mistakes. He said he would defend them if anyone made any allegations against them in this regard – and would even defend ARY’s news production team and anchors on this matter.

In any case, Khanzada said that if this entire controversy had hurt the sentiments of Pakistanis, he was apologetic – but he urged his fellow countrymen to differentiate between a mistake and “treason” and to recognise the propaganda being spread by self-serving elements who benefit from calling into question everyone’s patriotism. He welcomed feedback from all his viewers and thanked them for this and said he would continue listening to their voice.

Khanzada lashed out at those who hand out certificates of patriotism and freely label whomever they wish “traitors.” He also addressed the campaign launched against Geo News regarding them being “against Kashmir’s freedom.” Khanzada showed video clips from a period of 12 years, stressing that no channel had done more to highlight the cause of the Kashmiris and the atrocities committed by India in the region. He challenged anyone to show if any channel had produced even half of the content that Geo News had.

He put forward four questions – one, can the owner of a television channel determine who is a traitor and who is a patriot? Two, does a TV anchor have the right to hand out certificates of patriotism? Three, can those on social media create scales of patriotism? And four, can any social pressure groups determine such questions to suit their interests?

At the end of the show, Khanzada criticised ARY News’ top management for thinking they could question his patriotism, pointing out the various financial cases and scams they had been, and continue to be, involved in, including fraudulently filing for bankruptcy in the UK twice, should have a look at themselves before judging others.

The News