Pakistan’s image problem and Western propaganda BY ANSAR M BHATTI


The British Broadcasting Corporation on June 02, 2019 published a news report about Pakistan military’s operation in tribal areas giving an impression as if Pakistan Army were committing “atrocities” in the region. The report also accused the armed forces of Pakistan of ‘violating’ human rights and suppressing the voice of the local people. Pakistan Army came up with a matching response with complete facts and figures and later sent a detailed dossier to the BBC and the British regulator asking the organization to tender apology.

While the broadcasting house is yet to comply with the demands made in the dossier, the Pakistan government is mulling various other options that how to proceed further in case the apology is not made to the satisfaction of the aggrieved party.

Skewed media reporting and spreading of propaganda against the armed forces of Pakistan in fact appears to be at the top of the Western media and establishments. Peace in tribal areas is hard to digest for those forces who want instability in the region as they can only wield influence when the region is fragmented and bruised and governance system in a shambles. Now when peace has returned to the area – thanks to Pakistan’s valiant armed forces – the enemies are left with no option but to mourn their defeat and lick wounds.

While there is no denying the fact that many families may have been adversely affected as a result of the operation against anti-social elements but then it is something normal during such clandestine operations.  The armed forces did their best to avoid any collateral damages and provide maximum possible relief to those affected by clean up drive. As we can see, a handful of tribals presumably fed by alien forces, attacked military posts and even inflicted huge losses. Our security agencies had a right to respond and bring to justice such elements.

The Western media ostensibly maneuvered by Western security establishments takes pride in dancing to the tunes of their masters when it is asked to do so. What happened in Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction but Western media created hype and provided allied forces with an excuse to attack Iraq and overthrow a government elected by people of Iraq.

In March 2010 Bob Geldof confronted Andrew Marr on a BBC report claiming the Ethiopian government used money raised for the famine to pay for weapons. Geldof and the Band Aid Trust reported the BBC to Ofcom over the incident. The BBC initially announced that it was standing by its report and claimed to have evidence to back up its stance. The BBC was forced to broadcast a series of apologies in November 2010 after realising that it did not have enough evidence that any money was spent on weapons, basing much of the unfounded claims on a CIA report it had failed to question.

The BBC News at Six reporting of the American bombing raid on Libya outraged Thatcher and Conservative Party Chairman Norman Tebbit because they believed it accepted the Libyan government’s propaganda about civilian casualties and because it gave no airtime to American or British spokesmen to explain their government’s stance.  Tebbit ordered Conservative Central Office to compile a dossier on the BBC’s reporting and then to hand it to the lawyer Lord Goodman for a critique. Goodman’s critique largely agreed with the dossier’s findings and on 30 October Tebbit submitted it to Lord Barnett, saying that the BBC’s coverage was “a mixture of news, views, speculations, error and uncritical carriage of Libyan propaganda which does serious damage to the reputation of the BBC”.

Likewise, a BBC Radio 4 documentary in 2005 claimed that it had evidence that a radio newsreader inserted the word “exactly” into a midnight time check one summer night in 1953, a code word to the Shah of Iran that Britain supported his plans for a coup. The shah had selected the word, the documentary said, and the BBC broadcast the word at the request of the government.

—-To be Continued