Sensationalism at its worst – Geo & ARY Zindabad

As soon as I reached home, I heard my brother say, “President Zardari ko joota mara gaya!”. Turning on  Geo TV, and waiting for the 11 pm news bulletin, I was surprised to see the reporting. Murtaza Ali Shah, who has been reporting sensationally the ongoing trip of the President to UK was telling his newscasters that “according to sources” a baba jee threw shoes at the President Zardari in Birmingham.

Off course, there is still nothing confirmed whether such an incident happened or not, but the fact is that Geo TV has once again managed to move focus to an event which probably has never happened.

Had shoes been hurled on the President, then all other channels would have been running the story as Breaking News. ARY (who’s head is now Dr. Shahid Masood)  has just now started relaying the “news”. Impact of rumor based senationalism is that websites controlled by anti-PPP elements are echoing with “wishes” that the President should be hit with shoes!

Please read the news published on Geo website:

Man hurled shoes towards President Zardari: Eyewitness

BIRMINGHAM: A man threw two shoes towards President Asif Ali Zardari when the latter was delivering a speech at Pakistan People’s Party’s convention here on Saturday, an eyewitness said.

However, the shoes failed to reach the stage, sources said.

President Zardari was addressing a gathering of PPP workers at a convention here when a man – apparently a PPP worker – stood up and threw something in direction of the President as he (the man) criticized the latter for the UK trip, the sources said.

An eyewitness who was present at the convention said ‘the man threw two shoes one after another towards the President when he was giving speech.’ Security personnel present there sprung to action and took the man into custody and took him outside, the eyewitness added.

This led the President to stop his address and immediately leave the place in a security cordon in his car waiting for him outside.

However, Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar rubbished the above report, saying there is no substance in it as he was himself present at the convention and no such incident took place during the President’s speech.

“I was sitting in the front row and I can confidently say that nobody threw anything,” Farhatullah Babar said while talking to Geo News.

On the other hand, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira confirming the incident said that ‘highlighting a wrong act of a person would not be a right thing to do’ and added that the incident will be investigated.

President Zardari is presently in UK on a trip which was widely criticized due to his leaving the country at a time when people in Pakistan are facing unprecedented floods that has killed over 1000 people and displaced millions.

Dr. Shahid Masood’s ARY News reported on their website:

Shoe hurled at Zardari in Birmingham
Updated :   Saturday  August  7 , 2010  9:21:46 PM

BIRMINGHAM: A middle-aged man hurled shoe at President Asif Ali Zardari when the later arrived to address a party conference here in International Convention Center, ARY NEWS reports Saturday.

Reports said a man, probably Pakistani-national, threw his two shoes one after the other towards the unpopular president when he came to deliver speech in Pakistan Peoples Party’s conference in city’s convention center.

However, the shoes missed the president and landed near him.

The shoe-thrower, who has not been identifies so far, was captured and taken away by security men. The president also left the hall afterwards amid strict security.

President Zardari is on his visit to Europe amid row and scathing criticism from Pakistani people and European media as well over his absence in Pakistan at times when the country is facing worst ever flood which has killed more than 16,00 and displaced millions.

Earlier, some four hundred people from the Pakistani community gathered outside the conference hall and staged protest demonstration against President Zardari.

They chanted “Go Zardari Go” slogans, demanding relief for millions of Pakistani people affected by the flood in Pakistan.

Hundreds of people belonging to PML-N and other opposition parties and the civil society participated in the demonstrations.

Nearly 10,000 members of the party live in Europe, most of them in Britain.

Zardari is currently in Birmingham. He visited Britain this week for talks overshadowed by a row over remarks by British Prime Minister David Cameron alleging Islamabad was not doing enough to fight terrorism. The remarks caused a diplomatic row.

The Pakistani leader during his visit traveled to London from Paris, where he held talks with President Nicholas Sarkozy on ‘security and economic issues’ as part of a three-day visit.

Pakistan is one of Britain’s most important allies in fighting terrorism. Nearly 1 million people of Pakistani origin live in Britain.



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