Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha was offered a historic third term as DG ISI last year. As the end of his appointment once again draws near, rumours and speculation have begun to run rampant about what is next for the ISI chief. At times like these, people look to the media to inform them of what is happening in current events. Once again, though, people can have two very different perspectives based on where they are getting their news.
On the front page of Pakistan Today, readers were told that Gen Pasha is likely to move Strategic Plans Division – the institution that controls the nation’s nuclear assets.
On the front page of The Nation, readers were told that Gen Pasha is likely to receive an unheard of fourth term as head of ISI.
Which is true? There can only be one person who knows for certain – the PM himself – and he is not talking about the matter. With that known, how is it that two newspapers can carry contradictory front page headlines about the same issue? It’s very simple, actually, since neither newspaper knows for sure. What determines their position, then? Is is wishful thinking? Are anonymous sources with their own agendas giving statements to journalists in order to build a media narrative one way or the other?
The only thing that is known for certain is that where Gen Pasha lands after his current term expires will not be known until an announcement. Then it will be news. Now, it is speculation only.