Ahmed Quraishi, Most 'Weird' Pakistani Journalist, Takes Propaganda to New Lows – Turns Computer Glitch at WH into Conspiracy Theory

Oct 17th, 2010 | By | Category: Uncategorized

Ahmed QuraishiAhmed Quraishi seems to have an unnatural obsession with Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani. It seems that Quraishi pays attention to little except following the Ambassador’s every move and trying to invent some conspiracy of one form or another. In his latest attempt, Quraishi distorts a computer error at the White House by suggesting that Haqqani was “denied entry” and “abandoned at the gate”. Legitimate news reports about the incident, however, tell a different story.

According to reports on CNN, the incident was caused by a data processing error that was sorted that evening.

The White House has another party protocol problem on its hands after as many as 30 diplomats were stopped at the White House gate and not allowed into a Tuesday evening party being held in the diplomats’ honor.

As many as 30 senior diplomats were denied entry initially, CNN was told.

Several ambassadors who spoke to CNN after the reception said they were barred from entering the reception for Chiefs of Mission and Charges d’Affaires because the information on their identification didn’t match the names and dates of birth on the check-in list. The ambassadors asked not to be named to preserve relations between their countries and the White House.

The party, an annual White House diplomatic reception, is a “must-attend” on the Washington diplomatic social calendar.

White House spokesman Ben Chang acknowledged that “a few” guests were delayed at the entrance to the White House due to “an error in processing their personal data.”

Ahmed Quraishi claims in his article that Haqqani was “denied entry to the White House” because he is not well connected in Washington. This is simply not supported by the facts of this story.

First, one must recognize that Haqqani was not denied entry. Actually, there were 30 Ambassadors who were asked to wait while the data error was sorted. Are we to believe that all of these diplomats are not well connected – including the Ambassadors from Russia and Saudi Arabia? It defies common sense to believe such a thing.

Also, according to the influential newspaper Foreign Policy, while the complete list of nations is not known, the error appears to have been related to the alphabetical order of the countries affected.

Ambassadors from Oman, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, and several other countries were held at the door, while European diplomats from France and Finland were allowed in. This led several ambassadors to speculate that it was an alphabetical problem — countries with names in the latter half of the alphabet were somehow affected by a registration error. Neither the administration nor the State Department would provide a full list of the countries affected by the SNAFU.

One should also consider that having his entry to the event delayed, Husain Haqqani left. I fully expected someone like Ahmed Quraishi to praise the Ambassador for standing up for the nation’s honor? Surely if the Ambassador had stayed put like many of the other diplomats, Quraishi would have condemned him for allowing Pakistan to be insulted?

Furthermore, this latest conspiracy theory is actually a direct contradiction of one of Ahmed Quraishi’s usual themes which is that Haqqani is a US agent. Surely if Husain Haqqani was US agent, he would have been able to skip the usual protocols and avoid the problem altogether.

It seems that this is another situation in which an official is ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’, and political opportunists posing as journalists are standing in the wings ready to make whatever argument serves their agenda, facts be damned.

What makes the story even more weird is Quraishi’s apparent obsession with the Ambassador. In the past, Ahmed Quraishi tried to peddle the ridiculous idea that Haqqani gave a visa to American bin Laden hunter Gary Faulkner because he believed the man was an agent of CIA. He also accused Haqqani of providing lavish accomodations for the Foreign Minister on a trip to New York City, only to be shamed when it was discovered that the poor man was in Pakistan attending to his own mother’s funeral.

In fact, Ahmed Quraishi has been publicly embarrassed before when the influential newspaper Foreign Policy reported that Quraishi’s article of 2009 that claimed Haqqani was to be fired was a misrepresentation of the facts.

In the Nation article, however, writer Ahmed Quraishi, shown at right, states without evidence that the Pakistani source was “close to Ambassador Haqqani,” and states without evidence that Haqqani is “contemplating going public with embarrassing Pakistani official documents.” Neither allegation was part of the article in The Cable.

The title of Quraishi’s article goes even further in misrepresenting the reporting in The Cable, and reads, “If fired, Haqqani threatens to unveil ‘reams’ of Pakistan’s secrets.”

(Quraishi also mislabeled the author of The Cable as “Bill” Rogin; not sure where he got that one.)

Ahmed Quraishi’s obsession with creating conspiracy theories around Husain Haqqani is even more bizarre when one realizes that in the past Quraishi has called Haqqani “one of the best” Ambassadors in the world.

It’s time for political operatives to stop pretending to be journalists in order to hawk their insults, rumours, and conspiracy theories. It is especially ironic that these people who are always itching to humiliate Pakistan’s leaders are the same who claim to be self-appointed nationalists. One might ask that if they really love their country so much, would they please stick to the facts and stop peddling conspiracies invented only to insult the nation’s officials. That is not journalism, it is only political propaganda.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave Comment

?>