Is Jang Group Paying Former CIA Officials?

Apr 19th, 2011 | By | Category: Jang, The News

The News (Jang Group)

The News (Jang Group) on Saturday selectively quoted a foreign newspaper as the basis for an article making unsupported claims that President Zardari allowed US to boost drone strikes. Today, Jang Group repeated this misleading practice in a front page article that appeared in both The News and Daily Jang. Only this time, the article was actually written by a former CIA official.

The article appearing in both The News and Daily Jang bears a bold headline that Zardari has accused Army of playing double game. However, if readers read the full article they will find that there is no evidence of such an accusation except for one sentence from an article in the US magazine Newsweek by Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer.

Even Pakistan’s own president, Asif Ali Zardari, has accused the Army of playing both sides of the war on terror—distressingly, an abundance of evidence backs him up. Take Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terror group that attacked the Indian financial capital of Mumbai in 2008, killing 164 people.

The article by former CIA officer Bruce Riedel mentions Zardari exactly two times. Once is the claim that Zardari accused the Army. This was picked by Jang Group for the headline. The other mention of Zardari though praises him for wanting to improve relations with India and end terrorism.

The trick, for everyone involved, is to help strengthen those forces in Pakistan that want to get out of the endless rivalry with India. Then, end Pakistan’s dance with terror. For all his faults, Zardari is one of those who want a different approach.

Why this was not picked as the headline: ‘Zardari wants to improve relations with India, end terror’ which is equally supported by the article?

If you have not read the full Newsweek article and these sentences by the former CIA officer sound very familiar, it is because the same words will be found in both The News and Daily Jang also. Actually, Jang Group has re-printed the Newsweek article word for word in its entirety.

Therefore, the question must be asked whether Jang Group plaigarised the article from Newsweek. I would not want to accuse Jang Group of plaigarism, so perhaps it is the alternative that Jang Group is paying former CIA officers to write their articles.

Actually, the case is much simpler. It appears that once again Jang Group ‘investigative journalists’ are only investigating ways to embarrass the president for political points rather than performing the task of producing factual reporting to inform readers about events affecting the country. On Saturday, The News took a quote from a foreign newspaper out of context to embarrass the president. Today they appear to have lifted an entire article from the foreign press. The point that is being missed however is that, in their attempts to embarrass the president, Jang Group is only embarrassing themselves.

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