The News Attacks Imran Khan

Dec 16th, 2011 | By | Category: The News

The News (Jang Group)An article of Mariana Baabar of The News on Friday continues Jang Group‘s bad habit of lobbing senseless attacks against politicians based on nothing but personal animosity and political bias. The article in question, ‘Imran meets Munter, Raphel at PTII secretariat’, discusses a private meeting between Chairman PTI Imran Khan and American Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter and senior adviser to Mark Grossman, Special Representative of US President on Pakistan-Afghanistan, Robin Raphel. But rather than report on the facts of the meeting, Mariana Baabar instead takes the opportunity to insult the PTI chief and inject an air of conspiracy about the meeting.

According to the report, Imran Khan was “extremely insecure” and acted in “dictatorial fashion” simply because he met with the American officials privately. The reporter compares Imran Khan’s behaviour to former dictator Gen Musharraf saying that “there is no record anywhere about his various meetings with the world leaders as he kept everyone out, including the note taker” without considering the statement of PTI Information Secretary Shafqat Mehmood that even though he was unaware of the meeting maybe it was the case that Imran Khan did not have time to gather a team. Instead, the reporter quotes Shireen Mazari saying that she asked to attend but was told by Imran Khan that it was a private meeting between himself and the Americans, but the reporter did not note that Shireen Mazari has been unhappy with PTI for some time.

Baabar goes on to ask “will Pakistanis now have to rely on WikiLeaks to know what transpired at the PTI central secretariat on Thursday?” Why should anyone rely on WikiLeaks to know what transpired? Why doesn’t the reporter simply call Imran Khan and his spokesman and ask for a briefing. Or is the reporter, without even trying to learn the facts, already assuming that Imran Khan is a liar?

Whether Imran Khan chooses to take his senior advisors to a meeting or whether he chooses to go alone is a party matter. It may be newsworthy that the PTI chief is holding secret meetings with American officials, but the responsibility of a journalist covering such a story is to carry out careful fact checking and investigative work to get to the bottom of a story, not attack the politician and create an aura of conspiracy.

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