Thursday, November 8, 2007

Media activities and new developments


Two channels are come back on air, CNBC-Pakistan & Business Plus. All the other news channels are still off air via cable, although those with satellite get all the broadcasts. Apparently satellite dishes have been selling like hot cakes. People were also crowding around lectronics shops with televisions outside broadcasting through satellites.Today there was an order banning their sale (in Karachi at least).
The Washington Post reported that the ISI had picked up Mir Shakilur Rehman, the owner of the largest media group, Jang – In the Heart of Pakistan, a Deep Sense of Anxiety, By Emily Wax - – (a senior management person I asked about this says that 'they did talk to him and advised him re: the coverage. Later an email was received saying that if the group wrote anything against the army he & his family would be hunted down like rats. Also, yesterday we received a letter, supposedly sent by the Taliban, threatening to blow up Jang & Geo offices. But as u can see, we are holding steady"). It's a good piece anyway.

PTV DETERMINEDLY OPTIMISTIC - TALKED TO NAWAZ SHARIF, ASKING WHY HIS PML-N WEREN'T PART OF ARD mtg at which BB announced a rally in Pindi on the 9 th and a long march on the 13th. (both of which the govt has said they will not allow)… PTV also talked to Amin Fahim of PPP - they've clearly come a long way since the time no opposition was allowed on air. But the divisions are obvious (which obviously is the design).

Nuzhat Ahmad writes: "The NYT and the Post have been plastered with Pakistan news. Today's op-ed page in NYT is almost all about Pakistan. I request everyone to start an organized "letters to the editor" campaign. It does not matter whether they get published or not. The point is to have the newspaper receive hundreds of letters urging support for the people of Pakistan in their struggle.I have already started this in Philadelphia, and have approached Pakistanis as well as non-Pakistanis, and most have complied. Please keep the letters short, to the point, and avoid a rant. The e-mail addresses are as follows: &" (P.S. I would add, please post copies of the letters to the Emergency Wiki page -


In Lahore LUMS students staged another protest, despite their campus being surrounded by police. EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: PLEASE BLUR ALL PICTURES BEFORE YOU SPREAD THEM!
15 LUMS students have been identified and are being demanded for detention
A group of citizens presented several bouquets of flowers to Sindh Chief Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed at his residence today. Police vans on either end of his lane blocked cars from going through so the citizens parked on the main road and walked down the lane without any obstructions.
Another group of about 40 did a brief demonstration in Karachi.
An activist who attended two protests in Islamabad today says they were both very good - "the one in front of the kacheri was typical of the civil society - about 150 ppl... it was very peaceful - policemen said they were there to safeguard us ehhehehhe. The one in the evening in front of parliament was huge by Islamabad standards - but quite political in nature – of course - 500 or so - and police released tear gas when ppl tried to break through the barricades. And they had speakers the size of me with faiz's poem blaring and people dancing in the lights of cars." This is the first protest in Pakistan that has NOT been broken up by the police

According to PTV News, the protest in front of Parliament was called by the PPP. There was brief footage of the demonstration. According to the report, protestors tried to break through the barricades, the police used tear gas and arrested a few people – but these visuals were not shown.
Boston is getting activated for a protest, so is Chicago.


Meanwhile, in the PTV news the newscaster sounds terribly self-congratulatory on behalf of the government. But they can't hide the fact that the parliamentary session they are showing is half empty and totally lackluster. Shaukat Aziz just said congratulated the house for being the first to complete its term, and stressed that democracy has been brought to Pakistan!

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