Talat Hussain makes a $640 Million Mistake

Oct 30th, 2009 | By | Category: Uncategorized

If anyone needs evidence that Pakistan’s most popular TV anchors just reel off nonsense without checking facts, please watch the interview given by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to a group of Pakistani anchors.

Talat Hussain of Aaj TV, who often speaks as if he knows everything, wanted to embarrass Hillary by “proving” that the U.S, does not give Pakistan enough. In his recent shows he has been mouthing off against the “insulting language” in the Kerry-Lugar-Berman aid bill, which triples non-military assistance to Pakistan to $ 1.5 billion per year for five years.

Talat claimed that the U.S. was paying Kyrgyzstan $ 700 million as rent for a military base in that country. Hillary corrected the arrogant and self-righteous Aaj TV anchor and said the rent was not that high but was in the range of $ 50 million. Not one to ever digest facts, especially those that prove him wrong, Talat Hussain continued on to say that must be the rent “per month.” The US Secretary of State remained polite and left the Kyrgyzstan base rent figure unresolved.

None of the other “famous and popular” anchors, including Moeed Pirzada, Nasim Zehra, Naveen Naqvi, Mubashir Luqman and others, knew the figure themselves to be able to step in and correct their colleague.

So, what does a simple google search reveal to be the fact?

The US agreed in June 2009 to triple the rent of its base in Manas, Kyrgyzstan to $ 60 million, up from $ 17 million, PER YEAR.

The US also agreed to pay an additional $ 37 million to Kyrgyzstan to build new aircraft parking slots and storage areas, plus another $30 million for new navigation systems. That adds up to a grand total of $ 127 million in the first year and a recurrent payment per year of still $ 60 million only!

Here’s the link to a CBS news story one of many stories on the subject available on the internet, beyond the crazy right-wing dominated Pakistani blogs.

Where did Talat Hussain of Aaj get his figure of $ 700 million per year? Nobody knows. Maybe from his friends Shireen Mazari or Ahmed Quraishi—all purveyors of anti-US opinions with little regard for facts.

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  1. Excellent post, and a fantastic blog. Can’t believe it’s been around for a few months and I missed it! Keep up the good work. In the cesspool that is the Pakistani blogosphere (and the media), we need blogs like this for some perspective.

  2. Zardari needs to do more

    Muhammad Ahsan Yatu

    President Zardari is the coolest person in Pakistan. In a million degree political blaze fuelled by ethnicity and militancy, only a man of brave mettle would not melt down. That he is trying to reduce the hell shying heat has made him a target of unlimited and usually unfounded criticism. Let us begin with what he did after assuming political responsibility.

    Benazir Bhutto’s assassination was a kind of shock that could shake Pakistan for years. Zardari acting fast gathered up his shattered self and the PPP, and brought normalcy to the situation. On assuming political responsibility he gave a vision different from and better than that of others. He spoke the bitter truth that India had never been an existentialist threat to Pakistan. No other ruler could dare to say so. Not only that, he unlike his predecessors refused to accept the militants as the strategic assets: And could our army launch so big an operation without the political support whose nucleus is none but the President.

    Zardari brought about as much political harmony among various, and warring, diversities as none of his predecessors did and as is possible under present circumstances. On economic front where trade deficit of $ 21 billion and other deficits demanded speedy intervention, he took unpopular decisions and saved the country from a certain default. His added courageous job was to maintain a balance between the electricity generation and storage of water for the crops during a period when there was 33% water shortage due to natural reasons and India storing water in Baglihar Dam. The strategy, though abhorred by the people for load shedding, resulted in a record breaking bumper wheat crop.

    On external front his performance is no less impressive. After the terrorist had attacked Bombay, he did not let the tension escalate to that degree where war could become a possibility. Moreover, the pledge of help of six billion dollars from the friends of Pakistan is no small a feat. Nor is 1.5 billion dollar annual aid for ten years from the US an ordinary achievement. Nor can we ignore the three billion dollar US aid for the army. And from France the good news is that we will get nuclear help for energy sector. President’s recent achievement is ensuring availability of gas for twenty five years from Iran.

    Despite President Zardari’s reasonable working, our media is not only not acknowledging his services, but also acting terribly hostile. The contradiction needs investigation.

    When it is about nations, making history is politicians’ job. Journalism is about writing that history in pieces. In Pakistan it is difficult to separate journalism and statism. Our journalists have not been doing journalism only; they have been patronised by the permanent side of the state — military-civil bureaucrats and agencies — to influence history as well.

    During the election campaign of the seventies the rightist journalists, that almost all of us were and still are, were writing things such as ‘Sacred fountains of love are flowing’. Imagine when almost all the East Pakistanis were struggling for freedom from the West Pakistan, we were being told through the radio, newspapers and the digests that barring a few thousand activists, the Bengalis were in favour of Pakistan. The leftist journalists, there were not many left pure, were also producing irrelevant stuff. Their analysis was that the industrialisation had created a middle class in the East Pakistan, which was demanding independence.

    The fact of the matter was that the Ayub era had created a few hundred rich families and all others were living below or on the poverty line. However, the Bengalis, rural Sindhis, Baloch and Pukhtoon were the poorest. There were no economic classes. The truth is that one way the other almost all journalists were justifying the statism, the racism; exploitation of the Bengalis and other deprived ethnic minorities by the Punjabi and Urdu speaking elites. The outcome of the denial and discrimination was that (united) Pakistan is history.

    A good number of those writers are still alive, some are in their sixties, some in seventies and some even much older. They have not changed. Neither have most of the military-civil bureaucrats. Together they have also transferred their genes to their generations. The race in the dress of religion — ethno-religiosity — is what has been occupying the thinking space in their minds. The ethno-religiosity gave birth to separatist tendencies and religious extremism.

    No one has learnt lessons from the separation of East Pakistan and the birth of Mujahideen and Taliban. No one wants to accept that the instability lies in the way that we have chosen to make and write history. Most among writers are not ready to part with the ethno-religiosity. These days they are working only on one job, criticise Zardari. The president is the threat to racism and religious extremism; hence he has become the target. He is on a history making path; hence he is under constant bombardment. Had he been an Urdu or Punjabi speaking politician, he would have been hailed as a hero for all that he has done so far for this nation which was left floating in the seas of miseries and militancy by Musharraf and Shaukat through their eight years of ‘free for all’ rule. They escaped the wrath because they ruled under the umbrellas of the army and the MQM.

    Had a PPP leader owned the massacre of May 12, 2007 as his strength, he would have been given a punishment severer than the hanging. And the interior Sindh would have faced a certain police action also. Had a PPP leader given the call, as PML (N) leaders did, for civil disobedience and threatened the administration with dire consequences in case it obeyed the orders of the governor, he would have been languishing in jail if not hanged. Had the PPP chosen to make both the prime minister and president from Sindh or from any other province other than Punjab, the PPP government would have been sitting at the exit gate by now. What crime has PPP done?

    The PPP might have committed all crimes that are mentioned in the law books. It might have committed even such crimes that are not mentioned anywhere. One crime that it did not commit is that it is not a racist party. PPP’s strength that it is the only national party has made it suffer all too often. The cool person in Zardari is not only saving him from becoming a victim, it has also strengthened his will to decide and act positively and bravely. He has prevailed and will continue to prevail over his orthodox opposition.

    That Zardari is not giving a damn about what is being written and said about him is not only due to his cool person, he has a clear vision too. He knows that not many in the establishment support him. He knows that even that support can vanish. Yet, he is steadfast. Yet, he is fighting. He is trying to give a gift to our generations — militancy free Pakistan.

    However, he has to take a start on his system changing promise. We need a militancy free Pakistan. We need a civilised Pakistan. We need a corruption free Pakistan. We need a thoroughly enlightened Pakistan. It can be done only when Pakistan changes from a security state to a social democratic state. President Zardari is linked to the Socialist International. All that he has to do is to convert his theoretical link into a practical one. Alongside reviving economy and attacking militancy, he must start working for social and economic justice. Yes, what Zardari has to do fast is to improve governance.

    Since we are in a state of emergency due to the war on terror, it will be difficult at least for two to three years to divert most of the state money, a large part of which comes through borrowing and goes to defence, towards productive and social development sectors. What can be done is to save as much capital as possible by reducing the awesome comforts that the civil-military bureaucrats and the politicians enjoy using state facilities. And at least fifty billion rupees can be saved by attacking corruption and ending useless projects. The money thus collected can be put into a programme similar to ‘Income support programme’.

    On the social justice side the basis of working is simple. The government through administration delivers about 99.99 % justice. The judges deliver the rest, the 0.01 percent. It is how civilised nations work. An executive order is needed from the PPP government to the administrators/bureaucrats reading that all jobs should be done without discrimination and within time. Its implementation would silence those who are apparently begging for change but are actually against change. What would change us is not different from what had changed the west. A majority of common Pakistanis want a kind of governance that the westerners have.

  3. Ghairat Brigade and Talat Hussain.

    Yesterday Mr. Talat Hussain [LIE with Talat] also wrote an article in Express Newspaper and declared that some people have been targeting him with a nick name “Ghairat Brigade”, and he wrote whatever may come, he {Talat} will not be in “Bayghairat Brigade”. Ok, agreed, very well.

    Let me refresh the memory of Ghairat Mand Talat Hussain and his cohorts. Talat after quitting PTV had approached ARY TV and joined ARY TV as a Host and Anchor 2003/2004. One cannot imagine that Talat being a “Seasoned” Current Affair Journalist wouldn’t have remembered the below mentioned case of ARY. 159. Asif Ali Zardari ex-MNA (Received kickbacks from SGS PSI Company, Grant of license to ARY Gold) The accused and accusations Sunday, November 22, 2009 http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=25713
    He wrote for Express News. Talat is so “Ghairatmand” that he almost “forgot” to remember this as well:

    11 – Sultan Ali Lakhani & family Pakistan [courtesy Teeth Maestro http://teeth.com.pk/blog/ ]

    Ranking: 9 (tied at 9) Worth: £400m ($800) Industry: Businessman
    The Lakhanis are currently having a hard time at the hands of NAB. Sultan Lakhani and his three brothers run this prestigious group and the chain of McDonald’s restaurants in Pakistan. NAB has alleged the Lakhanis of having created phoney companies through worthless directors and raised massive loans from various banks and financial institutions. Sultan is currently abroad after having served a jail term with younger sibling Amin, though the latter was released much earlier. NAB had reportedly demanded Rs 7 billion from Lakhanis, but later agreed they pay only Rs 1.5 billion over a 10-year period.

    Lakhani brothers in NAB hands

    Legal notice to Sultan Lakhani for publishing concocted stories Wednesday, October 11, 2006 News Desk http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=3585

    NAB in tight corner as businessmen refuse to pay dues By Kamran Khan

  4. Syed Talat Hussain [AAJ TV] Praising Musharraf in 1999 and justifying the Military Coup, watch the video


  5. Aamir,
    Where does Talat justify the military coup? I saw the part where he says that he was an elite commando, and then the part at the end where he says that Musharraf was a good negotiator who did well in difficult situations. I Your claim is different from what I saw him say in this video (unless I missed that part of the video).

  6. Amir Mughal, why dont you take Talat to a court of law if has done anything beyond his rights in terms of journalism.

    Oh wait.. you might not like Ch. Justice & have a lot him too… hahahahah

    oh wait.. you should contact ‘Mohammad Ahsan Yatu’ who can introduce you to zardari & then, both of you can plan something for Talat. You know what i mean;) lol

  7. […] Hillary Clinton remained polite and did not pursue the whole debate further but as it turns out, Talat was incorrect and had little regard for […]

  8. So Google is your source of information? :-/ Come up with something worthy next time.

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