Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No shit, Sherlock!

Pakistan's Minister for Information and Broadcasting is requesting that electronic media avoid live coverage of the attacks because it depresses the masses.

Is this really news to any of us? I mean who gets a warm fuzzy feeling when watching a news coverage of an area ripped apart by bomb blasts. But I don't see how preventing news media to provide live coverage of these incidents is beneficial for the Pakistani people. Ignorance may be bliss, but not in this case. The public needs to be aware of the ugly reality of these attacks  in order to fully comprehend the threat that Al-Qaeda affiliated groups like Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) pose to this nation. And live media coverages of such attacks play an important role in this. In fact, these coverages have been pivotal in shifting public opinion against the Taliban.

So why would the Pakistani government want to limit these coverages?

 Its actually very simple.

The widespread carnage over the last two weeks which has been covered live by the media has created dissatisfaction (to put it mildly) among the masses about the capability of this government to stand up to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and its ilk. Unlike these elected officials, the majority of Pakistanis cannot afford round the clock security. It doesn't help that all of our politicians (and I mean all, regardless of who is in power and who is not) have spent their time hiding out in their barricaded houses under tight security and have done nothing to comfort the public which has to go deal with this violence on a regular basis. Zardari has made no public appearances. He has not visited the soldiers who are fighting in the front lines. He has not met with the relatives of those who have died in the latest Peshawar attacks.

By trying to prevent the masses from seeing the aftermath of these attacks, the government has chosen to save its own political skin instead of reassuring the public. And that is the real tragedy of this situation

Peshawar Blast-Coverage

I'm trying to upload coverages from as many networks as possible not only to provide the widest range of information possible, but to also show how these sources differ from each other in their coverage of these attacks.

Associated press reports from the scene

Coverage from ITN News (UK)

NBC's coverage

Fox News (I know, they're not exactly a news network)

Samaa TV (another Pakistani Network) showing the confusion at the scene

Express 24/7; an Pakistani News Network-English

Sky News (British)

Peshawar Blasts-Updated

A car bomb exploded in Peepal Mandi, a crowded marketplace in Peshawar killing 95 and injuring more than 213 people in one of the deadliest attacks in recent history.
It was a car bomb. Some people are still trapped in a building. We are trying to rescue them,’ bomb disposal official Shafqat Malik told reporters.
These attacks come just hours after US secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Islamabad to meet with political and military leaders.



Murtaza Razvi from "Attacking our way of life". I agree with every word

US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton responds below. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi-the violence will not break the will of the Pakistani people.

Security expert: Peshawar attack demonstrates arrogance of Taliban-CNN

According to the Huffington post, no one has taken responsibility for these attacks as of yet

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Canon  condemns attacks

British Foreign Secretary David Milliband condemns attacks

UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon: "Outraged over loss of so many lives"

New York Times: images from attack site