Mubashir Lucman (weird spelling) is a very strange figure in term of political affiliation, his sympathies and criticism, his praise and hunt for various political figures.
He was part of General Musharraf’s interim cabinet and unlike his other friends, he still is a fan of him, he’s an admirer of MQM and its leader Altaf bhai, he also wrote in support of President Zardari and has also shown his appreciations for Benazir Bhutto.
One thing is for sure, he has utter dislike for Mian brothers of Lahore. He has shown it umpteen times, and has conducted shows with Rehmat Shah Afridi, the Frontier Post editor and shows on Mian Shahbaz Sharif’s style of administration, the police state of Punjab, the fake encounters by the Punjab police.
He also has a strange relations with the Ahl-e-Hadith scholar Ibtisam Elahi Zahir, who is the most frequent visitor of his shows.
But all these strange mixes were left behind when he invited Safdar Abbasi in his talk-show, Point Blank, via telephone.
The show was about Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, one of the most debated political murders in Pakistan’s history.
BB’s assassination tragedy has two narratives, one is the narrative of the Pakistan Peoples Party leadership and its workers, which is also shared by neutral defence and political analysts of Pakistan and the world; it was also endorsed by the UN fact finding commission via its report submitted to the UN Secretary General.
Another is the Pakistan’s military establishment’s narrative described by General Musharraf, ISPR, retired Army generals, ex-ambassadors and beaurocrats and their subsidiaries in political parties and the media.
This whole narrative revolves around the sun-roof lever of BB’s vehicle, black mercedes, BB’s Blackberry, hers will and other similar things.
Now coming back to the Point Blank, I mean Lucman’s show.
The way he was investigating the Mr Abbasi was to prove the establishment’s narrative to hold BB responsible for breaching the security by exposing herself to the shooter by appearing through the sun roof, and very weirdly blamed Mr Abbasi and others with BB in the vehicle for allowing her to appear through the sun roof.
He invited Safdar Abbasi to talk on what happened on the fateful day. Mr Abbasi was in that bulletproof Land Cruiser BB was travelling in. He described details of the whole incident. He has nothing new to tell the viewers, but his account of the whole story was missing some details and he failed to answer some questions regarding these details.
As Mr Abbasi was asked who opened the hetch of the sun-roof, he for some unknown reasons refrained to name or perhaps he forgot as he said in the programme, but the fierce anchor was running a “No Mercy” episode. He grilled him for his inability to answer the simple question. He also held him responsible for slowing down the vehicle and gathering of workers around the vehicle as Mr Abbasi was shouting slogans on the megaphone and the workers around were answering these slogans, and BB appeared through the sun-roof to laud the workers and as a result, suffered the fatal bullet injuries.
Mr Lucman was very aggressive in this whole episode. Mr Abbasi was a bit defensive, giving the impression that he was upset with Lucman’s style of grilling.
The episode as expected was liked by the audience and the TV channel decided to show carefully selected parts of it in the hourly and half hourly news bulletins the whole day, and telecasted the episode more than once. An article also appeared in the newspaper of the same media group to further propagate that narrative. A few PPP workers also liked it for its grilling of Mr Abbasi.
Mubashir vs Mubashir; What are they up to?
Another channel (TV One) in their programme, interestingly by another Mubashir (Prime Time with Rana Mubashir), provided Mr and Mrs Abbasi an opportunity to rebuild their dented image and to answer the unanswered questions. Mr and Mrs Abbasi suggested that an FIR coulkd be lodged against them if anyone has a doubt about their involvement.
Now what was the aim of this collaborated effort by the Mubashirs duo and the couple, Mr and Mrs Abbasi?
If our readers have watched the show, the target was not Mr Abbasi. The target was the UN report. The anchor repeatedly was calling it a useless practice and urging that if Mr Abbasi should be handed over to the Punjab Police to tell the whole truth. (Mr Lucman has conducted various shows on the atrocities of Punjab Police.)
In the whole episode, he did not mention the contents of UN report and the alleged involvement of the Military Intelligence and ISI. He also very foolishly blamed Mrs Naheed Khan of preventing the police from the post-mortem, ignoring a very simple fact that in criminal cases, state itself is the party and it does not need approval for any necessary steps taken, which can help the investigation. But unfortunately here the state and its spy agencies are a party, which has in fact impeded the investigation. The UN commission report has described that several obstacles and hurdles were put in their investigations.
But the macho-man, Mr Lucman carefully ignored all such aspects, and instead promoted a new conspiracy theory. Therefore, Rana Mubashir has to be brought in for ‘damage control’ because Mr and Mrs Abbasi have not yet lost their attraction for the circles who have been investing on them to be used in their anti PPP plots, although not unlike their other counterpart Mr Aitzaz Ahsan, they too have failed miserably.