Ansar Abbasi’s Continued Politicking

Jan 7th, 2011 | By | Category: Jang, The News

Ansar AbbasiAnsar Abbasi is not missing the opportunity of recent events and has been using his column as a space for brazen politicking rather than reporting. Two articles this week are so clearly politically motivated that they stand out.

On Tuesday, The News featured a front page story by Ansar Abbasi titled, “What PML-N can and should do now”. As you read the opening paragraph, you can sense the excitement of Ansar Abbasi who sees an opportunity as MQM pulled from the coalition to promote PML-N.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is in a perfect position to get through the agenda of institutional and structural reforms from the otherwise fragile minority government of Prime Minister Gilani by setting a deadline for the regime to do the needful. Otherwise, it also has the option of joining the greater opposition alliance to topple the government but with the same condition of national agenda.

The problem is, this is not a news article but Ansar Abbasi giving political advice to PML-N which raises the question why is it published on the front page of The News?

The second article which is featured on the front page today claims that “Punjab set to throw PPP out by 10th”. In this article, Abbasi reports that “PML-N has decided to push the Pakistan Peopleís Party (PPP) out of the coalition in the Punjab on January 10 if Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani does not say yes to implement the charter of PML-N demands for institutional and structural reforms by February 20, 2011.”

Among these reforms is the withdrawal of increase in petrol prices, which the government has already agreed to. Abbasi claims that this was done to release pressure from ANP who Abbasi prematurely terms “the only ally left in the minority coalition”. However, ANP is not the only ally in the coalition as MQM has announced that it will return to the government.

What is more troublesome, though, is that in an article supposedly about negotiations between PML-N and PPP leaders over institutional and structural reforms, Abbasi takes the opportunity to make a stab at PPP over the assassination of Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer.

There is no indication as yet from the Gilani government if it is keen to seek the support of the PML-N in return for implementing the charter of demands. However, following Taseer’s murder, the PPP has politicised the case and is shifting the onus on the PML-N leadership for the murder, citing a security lapse.

The second sentence of the paragraph is what is known as a non sequiter which is Latin for “it does not follow” meaning that the second sentence has no relationship with the first. This appears to be a case of Ansar Abbasi unable to resist making a political attack.

Ansar Abbasi can support PML-N from morning until night. In a democratic system this is his right. He even has the right to provide his favourite politicians with his own advice for how they should manage their politics. But none of this belongs on the front page of a newspaper.

It’s hard to believe that Jang Group cannot find more actual news events to fill the space on the front page of their newspaper, more fact based reporting that can inform and enlighten the masses. So why do they continue to publish such political commentary in place of real news?

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