Cafe Jhangvi and Lashkar-e-Jang

Pakistan’s “Principled” and “Independent” Media

Now that Pakistan’s notorious televangelist, anti-Ahmadi bigot has returned to (the equally notorious) Jang group, one should re-evaluate Café Pyala’s defense and hero-ization of those Jang Group journalists who were upset at the return of Aamir Liaquat Hussain.  As someone pointed out  on Twitter, the Jang Group translates to War Group. It would not be inaccurate to extrapolate further and call them Lashkar-e-Jang.  Certainly the comparisons between this powerful media group and the Judiciary-protected and ISI-backed Shia killing militia known as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi are not off the mark given their shared alignements.

On July 1st, this is what Cafe Pyala said:

Well, it seems a full blown revolt has now erupted within Geo’s editorial management over this. Among the people said to be extremely unhappy with this turn of events are Managing Director Geo News Azhar Abbas, Director Content Development Muaaz Ghamdi and star anchors such as Sana Bucha (Lekin), Najam Sethi (Aapas Ki Baat) and Iftikhar Ahmed (Jawaabdeyh). Many others have also signed an internal petition being circulated against Mr Jeem’s reappointment. While it is not clear if anyone else has offered their resignations, Sana Bucha refused to conduct her programme on Friday and Saturday, leading to Meray Mutabiq’s  Maria Memon being drafted in as a stop-gap arrangement, while the official explanation given was that Ms Bucha was busy in “personal engagements.” Our sources tell us that Ms Bucha has indeed tendered her resignation at the return of the charlatan preacher and that the resignation has now been accepted. According to our sources, she had been explicitly promised that, if Mr Jeem were ever to return to Geo, she would be free to refuse to continue. Some sources claim she even had it written into her contract though we cannot verify this.

Fact is that both Najam Sethi and Sana Bucha are still conducting their shows without even a statement of protest. After a  few days off air, Sana Bucha is back from her holiday. (Previously we saw another fake hero Nasim Zehra cancelling her resignation to Dunya TV in the aftermath of the Lucman-Meher fiasco.)  Aamir Liaquat is actually being promoted during the commercial breaks of Ms. Bucha’s programme at Geo TV.  So much for being hailed as principled and liberal champions of truth!

Earlier, after mocking a protest rally in Karachi by Shias after yet another atrocity against them, Café Pyala got tagged as Café Jhangvi. On more than one occasions, Cafe Payala has shown its anti-Barelvis anti-Shia prejudice.  In jumping towards the defense of its “liberal” champions, Cafe Pyala should realize that these journalists opted to join and continue to ally themselves with the Jang Group aka Laskhar-e-Jang.  Expecting them to take a principled stand is not just naïve, it is disingenuous given their past record.  And no one represents this fraud mentality more than Najam Sethi – the Don of Pakistan’s “liberal” elites.

What is going to be said next will raise howls of protest from his partisans who cheer and applaud his show.  A show that is the epitome of double-speak and represents the peddling of pro-establishment gossip.  Recently blogs have highlighted how Najam Sethi has suffered for his allegeldy bold journalism.  They refer to his alleged incarceration between 1975 to 1977; supposedly by the late Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

During the time that he was allegedly incarcerated, Najam Sethi was flying around in a military helicopter. Exactly like Malik Ishaq, the leader of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Being in jail (ask the last Prime Minister or the current President) means being caged and tortured.  On the contrary, both Najam Sethi and Malik Ishaq were flying around in military helicopters during the time they were in supposed to be in jail.  Najam Sethi was free as the birds that feed him his nightly gossip. Maulana Masood Azhar was giving firebrand speeches of bigotry during the time that he was supposed to be under house arrest.  Imran Khan was jumping walls during his brief alleged incarceration and enjoying a healthy diet of fruits during his “hunger strike”. This is the dishonest pattern on which the military establishment works in protecting its civilian assets like Malik Ishaq and Najam Sethi.

Najam Sethi continues to maintain his chauvinist grudge against PPP while staying clear of any solid criticism of PML N (which arrested and manhandled him in the 1990s).  By virtue of heading the Punjab government, PML  governs 60% of Pakistan today.

Café Pyala’s article is another example of the deluded self-promotion and self-congratulation that Pakistan’s “liberal” elites do for one another.  This is exactly why Pakistan’s mainstream media (of which Lashkar-e-Jang is the dominant part) cannot be trusted for reliability by the international community.  From drones to Shia Genocide to Ahmadi persecution to the one-sided attack on an elected government, this pathetic, corrupt media has failed completely.

Post Script: That Aamir Liaquat is an Anti-Ahmadi bigot and deserves no place on TV is without question. However, the way in which he was exposed did more harm than good while also revealing the anti-Shia, anti-Barelvi sectarian bias and selective morality of his detractors.  In that infamous clip (most probably produced by SSP-ASWJ propagandists), whose distribution was spear-headed by Café Pyala, Aamir Liaquat was placed in danger by highlighting his Barelvi Sunni beliefs in opposition to those of the militant Deobandi-Salafi views.  Similarly, both GEO and other channels have also given air time to virulent anti-Shia  Ludhianvi of SSP-ASWJ.  This includes Najam Sethi’s own show.

The problem with selective morality is that it often backfires. By limiting their protest to bigots like Aamir Liaquat while staying silent on others (Zakir Naik, Dr. Israr, Ludhianvi etc), Café Pyala and its liberal followers set themselves up for failure. Today, Aamir Liaquat is back and all set to spew his bigotry once again. And those “liberals” who protested his reinstatement……

Video: Geo to aisey – Aamir Liaqat returns to Geo TV



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