Merey Mutabiq Presents One-Sided Discussion of NRO, Fails to Include Constitutional Experts

Nov 23rd, 2009 | By | Category: Merey Mutabiq

Shahid Masood on Merey MutabiqShahid Masood has once again tried to brew a storm in a tea cup in his latest episode of Merey Mutabiq. With a string of guests including well known right wing media militants, Masood has tried to stir up feelings of anger and disenchantment over the NRO, choosing political attacks rather than reasoned debate.

That Masood’s program was only about destabilizing politics and not about reasoned debate was evident from the discussion. Rather than provide a balanced discussion that presented differing points of view, Masood promoted only one point of view, creating the illusion that this is the only or correct line of thought on issues.

For example, Masood failed to mention that, following years under military dictatorship and the abuse of the legal system that came with it, NRO paved the way for democracy in the country. Millions of people received Benazir Bhutto at Karachi Airport on Oct 18, 2007 despite knowing the pros and cons of NRO.

In fact, even the typically anti-government newspaper The Nation reported recently that “there is a sharp divide in the constitutional experts on the fate of the cases withdrawn under the NRO, and most of them are of the view that the relief given under the ordinance could not be withdrawn even after the lapse of the ordinance on November 28.” Certainly this side of the debate was not represented on Masood’s show.

Asking why President Zardari hasn’t visited armed forces engaged in South Waziristan and Swat is not only beyond the scope of a proper discussion of NRO, it betrays an anti-government bias so strong that the speakers at one point actually advocate placing the President in a war zone.

Pakistan is a ravaged by attacks from militants while the government continues working to unravel years of undemocratic rule. While there is certainly a place for debate about issues, it is important that these discussions follow rational lines of thought and are not used to promote political gamesmanship. The least media personalities and TV anchors like Shahid Masood could do is present a reasoned and unbiased discussion of important issues.

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