Tariq Butt's latest column – Is this reporting?

Jul 13th, 2010 | By | Category: Jang, The News

The News today features a top story by Tariq Butt that hardly qualifies as serious journalism. The article, “Fortress NAB shuts all doors and windows” is nothing but a polemic intended to smear NAB officials and is supported by no facts or evidence other than the supposed statements of a nameless “ex-official”.

Tariq Butt’s rhetoric is over-the-top, and betrays an obvious bias against the NAB officials. The author begins his article by describing top NAB officials as “handpicked loyalists of the ruling party” and claims that the agency has “shut itself into a cocoon, with all doors and windows closed to keep a lid on its actions and secret plans”.

The reporter then acts shocked when the agency’s acting chairman and prosecutor general do not take his calls on their personal mobile phones. It is interesting to note that harassing individuals on their personal mobile phones is on the same day condemned by another journalist, Mr Kamran Shafi, who complains of this behavior by members of the intelligence agencies. Have Jang reporters begun acting like rogue intelligence agents?

Tariq Butt’s claims are supposedly backed by the statements of yet another one of Jang’s super secret and anonymous “ex-officials” who, of course, no longer works for the agency that he is supposedly giving confidential information about.

This anonymous source, if he even exists, supposedly told Tariq Butt that “all the officers and staffers, who were still with the NAB, were under strict surveillance by an intelligence agency on the orders of the government to know who tries to leak out any information about whatever was being planned inside the NAB.”

But Tariq Butt admits that his alleged source does not even work for NAB, so how would this person be privy to such information? In fact, he wouldn’t.

But Mr Butt does not let that stop him from making the most hysterical and slanderous accusations. He concludes his article by accusing that NAB “is now engaged in devising ways and means to serve a particular set of corrupt people”. For all the complaints about MNAs allegedly lying about their degrees, I wonder when Jang will begin to hold their own employees accountable for the scandalous behaviour that appears on the front page of their own newspaper.

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