Shireen Mazari: Ann Coulter of Pakistan

Dec 25th, 2009 | By | Category: Uncategorized

The coming article about Shireen Mazari is a real eye-opener. “Slander: Meet the Ann Coulter of Pakistan”, paints a quite unflattering picture of a friendless, bitter, paranoid old woman who sees spies and enemies everywhere.  People like this are not uncommon. We see them in markets every day. Shireen Mazari is different, though, because she has a platform in the national media.

Here’s a sneak peek:

IN LATE AUGUST, a couple of weeks after a U.S. drone strike incinerated Baitullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistani Taliban, the country’s most popular televised chat show, “Capital Talk,” hosted a panel to discuss national security. Among the guests was a squat, middle-aged woman with short black hair, streaked with silver dye, named Shireen Mazari. A defense analyst and public intellectual, Mazari is known for her hawkish nationalism–and deep suspicions of India and the United States. Her presence in the studio suggested that, despite the enormous threat her country faced from homegrown terrorists, the conversation that night wouldn’t center around Mehsud or the Pakistani Taliban.

Instead, over the course of the next half hour, the panel discussed reports that Blackwater, the North Carolina-based defense contractor that recently changed its name to Xe Services, was operating in Pakistan. Hamid Mir, the host of “Capital Talk,” showed video footage of Islamabad’s most expensive neighborhoods, featuring multi-story villas with high walls and satellite dishes. The homes looked like any other on the street. But red arrows, superimposed on the screen, pointed to allegedly incriminating electrical generators and surveillance cameras perched atop the walls. “American undercover people are coming,” Mazari said. “They are renting homes, and Blackwater is providing security, running death squads and assassination squads … It is an occupation, by default.”

Mazari’s hunt for American spies and undercover defense contractors was only getting started. In September, she was named editor of The Nation, an English-language daily often described as “Fox News in Pakistan.” (Earlier this year, one columnist dubbed Mazari the “Ann Coulter of Pakistan.”) Throughout the fall, The Nation has published multiple front-page stories on the location of new “Blackwater dens” around Islamabad. It featured a news story last month titled “MYSTERIOUS US NATIONALS,” which described “two suspicious foreigners wandering in the guise of journalists … [who] seemingly belonged to the US spy agency CIA.” The proof? That they “were driven towards the US Consulate.” (The “mysterious US nationals” turned out to be an English freelance photographer and an Australian photographer who works for Getty.)

Later in the article, even Mazari’s fellow journalists say that she had gone over the edge and that since she has become editor of The Nation, the reporting in that newspaper has gone crazy. How crazy? So much that Taliban is using it as propaganda.

In the end, this article is really quite sad. Mazari is exposed as a pathetic figure. A paranoid woman filled with delusional fantasies that just never quite seem to work out when people check the facts. All Americans are spies. Anyone who disagrees with her is working for the spies. In fact, it is easy to come away from this article an imagine Shireen Mazari locked in her own kitchen with the lights off, having thrown out the cook for being a spy. Perhaps the rice was overcooked a bit too much. Is it a secret plot against her?

Stay tuned, dear readers, as this story unfolds. It promises to be quite juicy!

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