Anjum Niaz Makes Up Story, The News Prints It

Mar 7th, 2010 | By | Category: The News

Another excellent media watch post from “Let Us Build Pakistan” blog, this time taking to task right-wing journalist Anjum Niaz famous for her remarks about “Jew York Times.” It seems in her latest reporting on the VIP protocol granted to Raza Rabbini. Anjum was outraged about this VIP treatment in her article, as is the fashion currently. Unfortunately, there was one problem. It appears that she made the whole thing up.

Now, referring back to Anjum Niaz’s article about the VIP vice in Pakistan in which she narrates a ‘first-hand’ account of Raza Rabbani’s VIP reception at a Pakistani airport, it turned out that the whole story was a piece of irresponsible journalism written with the sole aim of tarnishing the image of the PPP’s leadership. In fact Raza Rabbani was no where to be seen on the flight that Anjum Niaz is fantasizing about. Actually, Rabbani did not travel on that day at all.

The LUBP has learnt that Raza Rabbani has strongly protested with the Editors of The News on this fraudulent story by Anjum Niaz.

Anjum’s column published yesterday admits her mistake, taking care (of course) to do so only in passing as she essentially publishes the same article about Senate Chairman Farooq Naek, who, she claims, was actually the person receiving the VIP protocol. Anjum, of course, believes that the Senate Chairman is not worthy of VIP status. I don’t intend to argue this point, but will leave that to Abdul Nishapuri to do on his own.

For the purposes of this blog, it is important to point out that, once again, a ‘prominent’ journalist has not only written, but a major newspaper has published a scathing attack on someone without even checking their facts. It is common practice for the editor of a news publication or TV show to require evidence before a factual claim is to be made. Did this happen here at all?

How hard would it have been for the editor of The News to call and verify that Raza Rabbani was actually on the flight? It also raises the question of whether or not Anjum Niaz was even there herself, or if she is embellishing the claim based on rumours that have been passed onto her by someone else.

Either way, there is no excuse for this poor journalism. The facts in this case would have been simply to verify. One phone call is all it took. Instead, The News allowed Anjum Niaz to make up a story and then they printed her false accusations making no attempts to verify the facts. Congratulations to Let Us Build Pakistan blog on another investigative job well done.

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  1. She also appear on NEWSONE [Pakistani Private TV Channel] as a host for a program Diplomatic Enclave. She is very well connected in Pakistan Tobacco. Back in 2007 in the Daily Dawn she had written:

    “QUOTE”

    At my age it’s not appropriate to compromise with the military and seek a PPP ticket for the 2008 elections. But my loyalty to the PPP will remain grounded. It’s my national duty he tells me when I ask him whether he would like to serve BB again. Benazir showed respect when addressing her interior minister. She and the General Sahib liked to engage in intellectual dialogue. Unlike other cabinet ministers, I never saw Babar cringe before his young prime minister. He was in the centre of investigations when Benazirs two brothers were killed. I went to South of France when Shahnawaz died in July 1985. I know exactly what happened and who killed him. Why, then, has he not revealed the identity of Shahnawaz’s killers? Because I was advised not to go beyond the drawn line, he says. The substance that killed Shahnawaz was used by very few countries. The FBI and the French authorities investigated independently but kept their findings secret because of certain international sensitivities. Whodunnit? By Anjum Niaz October 28, 2007 [Dawn Magazine]

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    Now in 2010 she writes in the same Dawn Magazine.

    “QUOTE”

    But one sad incident clearly stays in his memory of those bucolic days; the untimely death of Shahnawaz Bhutto. Marker sketches the details of the tragedy as though it happened yesterday. Begum Nusrat Bhutto lived in Cannes, in the French Riviera. The lodgings were loaned to her by the then French minister of justice. The minister was a good friend of the Bhuttos as was President Gaddafi of Libya. Gaddafi had given large sums of money to the Bhuttos. One evening during dinner in a restaurant, the two boys — Murtaza and Shahnawaz — entered into an argument over the division of the money. “Benazir tried to calm them down but she didn’t succeed,” remembers Marker. In the end she took her mother and sister back to their home, while Murtaza followed Shahnawaz to his flat. The fight turned ugly. At some point the French police came to arrest the inmates. By that time Shahnawaz was unconscious. He had taken an overdose of drugs. The police could not arrest Murtaza because he had a Syrian diplomatic passport. Later that night the younger brother passed away. The police arrested his Afghan wife for “not coming to the aid of a dying man.” She hired a lawyer but the case was quashed by the bereaved family when she threatened to spill the beans. “The whole affair was so sordid; so grim; so grisly,” says Marker who was given all the details by the head of the French intelligence police. But General Naseerullah Babar, who was later Benazir’s interior minister, claims that General Zia had a hand in the murder. He had sent a death squad to eliminate the younger son. Babar says Shahnawaz was poisoned, I ask Marker: “No, that’s not true at all. Zia had nothing to do with it.” No Spinzone: Interview with history By Anjum Niaz
    Sunday, 07 Mar, 2010 http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/columnists/anjum-niaz-interview-with-history-730

    “UNQUOTE”

    Why these Journalists don’t investigate before opening their mouths.

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