Posts Tagged ‘Hamid Gul’

Media Under Siege

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

On Monday’s Capital Talk, Hamid Mir reviewed a clip from the Difa-e-Pakistan Council’s rally in Karachi on Sunday. At issue was something that has become a troubling trend in Pakistan – threats to journalists.

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For those who do not understand Urdu, please allow me to explain. The clip that Hamid Mir played shows Qari Sheikh Yaqoob speaking from the Difa-e-Pakistan Council stage. Yaqoob is leader of Tehrik-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool, a spinoff group of Jamaat-ud-Dawa that called for the death of Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer. Here is what he said on Sunday:

I am announcing this with extreme sadness that media is working extremely coldly and this decorating of cameras here is merely an attempt to fool the Difa council. And, know this that masters should listen also that if you can show full coverage of anti-state powers, you will have to give full coverage to the patriots here or else this ground will be made into the media graveyard.

Hamid Mir expresses serious concern about this threat. Some have tried to downplay Qari Sheikh Yaqoob’s comments by saying that he was just asking the media to give equal airtime to the views of DPC. But Yaqoob’s threats are taken seriously, and this one was accompanied by another incident earlier the same weekend.

On Saturday, Wajahat S Khan interviewed former DG ISI Lt Gen Hameed Gul who has been involved with DPC and attended its rallies. Wajahat was pressuring Gen Saheb about the involvement of ‘outlaw groups’ in DPC.

For the first time in the interview, around 10 minutes in, Gul struggled, outright rejecting the claim that Malik Ishaq was at the Multan rally. As we tend to do in our show, evidence was promptly presented. A screen shot of The Express Tribune, with Ishaq in living colour at the Multan stage, was displayed on our monitor, and Gul struggled some more. Doing what he does best, Gul upped the ante, claiming that the Tribune’s pics were doctored. I challenged him, defending the Tribune’s reporting standards. He counter-challenged, and said it was not the paper, rather the reporter who was lying. I rebutted, and hence we moved on. Around this part of the show’s broadcast, the call came.

He didn’t say hello. He knew my name and my address. He kept it short, and told me exactly what he would do to my body parts when he was done detaching them. He then hung up. That was caller one.

But that was just the bad cop routine. The good cops, several of them, came knocking with a flurry of text messages. One of them started off by asking why I was siding with India. My reply was that I was not siding with any collective, and in fact had brought up the disturbing statistic of India’s arms expenditures with Gul, asking the former ISI chief what he and the DPC were doing besides screaming murder about matching the $100 billion dollars that the Indians plan on weapons procurement spending over the next decade. He pinged back after a few minutes, concentrating his grammar on the imaginings between my mother and some animals. The other good cops started in similar vein, one of them asking me whether I had learnt my English in America. Seeing where this could lead to, I didn’t respond. That action further lit up my afternoon, as references to pre-Islamic debauchery, disasters and disease continued to flash on my phone. No names were offered, but when my address and location was confirmed, again and again, I pressed the panic button.

The international NGO Committee to Protect Journalists has taken notice of threats, but ultimately they can only bring attention to the issue. They cannot defend journalists who find themselves out of favour with militants.

In the case of Wajahat Khan, he was advised to “move for the night” and asked if could “handle a weapon”. A truly free media does not require journalist to take up arms to defend themselves. That’s a media under siege.

Is American preparing war against Pakistan? Latest conspiracy theory in The News

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

The News (Jang Group)This has been an inauspicious year for Pakistan. Governor of Punjab and a Cabinet Minister assassinated. World’s most wanted terrorist discovered living in Abbottabad. PNS Mehran attacked by Taliban militants. Karachi enflamed by target killings. Clearly this all points to one possible outcome…war with America? That’s right. According to Aijaz Zaka Syed, Pakistan is the next front in America’s war.

In a piece published by The News (Jang Group), Aijaz Zaka claims that all signs point to an imminent attack on Pakistan by American forces.

Only two months ago, Aijaz was singing a different tune. After Osama bin Laden was killed in the Abbottabad opertion, Aijaz wrote a piece for The News that started by denying that Osama was responsible (even though Osama himself confessed to the attack), and then said that now American President Barack Obama has an opportunity to “turn the page” and start fresh with the Islamic world.

Obama has a momentous opportunity to turn the page on America’s disastrous decade and make a fresh start with the Muslim world. He has repeatedly talked about seeking “a new way forward” with the Islamic world. It’s time to show he means it. The so-called Islamic extremism as represented by the likes of Bin Laden is merely a symptom of a far serious disease. And the source of the disease lies elsewhere – in the Middle East. Obama would drive home this message when he hosts Israel’s Netanyahu later this month, if he really believes in what he says.

It should be noted here that Obama did exactly as Aijaz wished, telling Israel’s Netanyahu that he should pull back to the 1967 borders. The American president even went further stating clearly that “The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.”

Aijaz Zaka SyedIn light of these facts, we might expect Aijaz Zaka to praise Obama! But actually Obama is not mentioned in his latest piece at all. Rather, Aijaz reaches back in time to dust off the relic of “Bush’s Crusaders”. Nevermind the facts, though, they are inconvenient to this “crazy, outrageous idea” that Aijaz has concocted in his mind.

And this isn’t the only inconsistency in Aijaz’s analysis. In May he wrote that “the departure of one long isolated and ailing figure changes nothing”. Today, Aijaz sees the raid on Osama’s compound in a much more sinister light.

The US military-industrial establishment, the Israeli lobby and Muslim-bashers on the Hill have been looking for an excuse to take the war to Pakistan, the only Muslim state with a nuclear arsenal. And they got it when Osama bin Laden was conveniently discovered, not in a cold cave along the Afghan frontier but living cheek-by-jowl with Pakistan’s elite military academy.

That’s right – the OBL raid was a precursor to a war on Pakistan! Nevermind that the raid was months ago and since then America actually has less personnel in Pakistan. According to Aijaz, a war has been in the works for some time. Further evidence for this can be found in the US withholding $800 Million in military aid and Adm Mullen accusing ISI of being in cahoots with terrorists.

Only, there are a few problems here also.

First, if the OBL raid was just an excuse to invade Pakistan…why haven’t the Americans invaded? In fact, ever since that day American officials including President Obama and Adm Mullen have gone out of their way to praise Pakistan and say that there is no evidence of complicity.

Second, the Americans continue to say that the $800 Million is only on hold – not cut – until the trainings that the money was meant to pay for resume. Otherwise the rest of the the $2.7 Billion is still flowing to Pakistan military. Are we to believe that the US is funding the Army it is preparing to fight?

Third, despite the sensational newspaper headlines, Amd Mullen never blamed ISI for killing Saleem Shahzad. Though it remains a mystery to many journalists, the fact is that American officials post unedited transcripts of their statements on government websites – a very helpful tool for fact checkers and something editors may want to start actually using. In this case, we can look at what Adm Mullen actually said about Saleem Shahzad

Q: Admiral Mullen, you said, I haven’t seen anything to disabuse those reports. Which reports? The reports that the – the journalist killed, or the reports that the ISI was involved?

ADM. MULLEN: The reports that – the reports that the – that he was killed and that there were government officials who sanctioned that.

Q: Actually, the reports said that the ISI did it. Is that what you’re talking about?

ADM. MULLEN: The – this is the – The New York Times report?

Q: Just this Times story a couple of days ago – the ISI effectively murdered him.

ADM. MULLEN: Yeah. And I haven’t – I haven’t seen anything where I could confirm that.

Q: (Wait a minute ?).

MODERATOR: That it was the ISI?

ADM. MULLEN: That it was the ISI.

Q: You haven’t seen anything that can confirm that?

ADM. MULLEN: Yeah.

Q: But you said – but you had said, now you couldn’t disabuse the report.

ADM. MULLEN: I – in specifically identifying who did it, you know, I just – I just don’t have that. I haven’t seen anything –

Q: But it was the – but it was the government.

ADM. MULLEN: Yeah, that it was sanctioned by the government, yeah.

Q: So your answer do that is that you can’t – OK. It’s the opposite of whatever I said originally.

ADM. MULLEN: No, no, no, no. I mean, they did – I have not seen anything to disabuse the report that the government knew about this. I cannot – you know, I would not be able to walk in and say, you know, here’s the string of evidence I have to confirm it.

Further, Adm Mullen’s statements about ISI were that he told Dawn, “It is fairly well known that ISI had a relationship with the Haqqani network”. This is certainly different that how it was sensationalised by Aijaz Zaka. Also, here is a photo of formder DG ISI Gen Hamid Gul with Jalaluddin Haqqani.

Jalaluddin Haqqani and Gen Hamid Gul

ISPR recently reported that present DG ISI Gen Pasha visited the US and reported that relations between the two powers are improving despite media sensationalism.

He said a range of issues was discussed in a congenial environment to improve mutual understanding between the two sides. Contrary to the speculative reporting in a section of the press, the USPR DG said neither doubts were raised nor aspersions cast on the functioning of the ISI and both sides focused on the way forward.

Aijaz also suggests that the arrest of Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai this week “is part of the plot”. According to Aijaz Khan, Dr Fai was arrested “for lobbying for the Pakistani government in a city where every other guy is a lobbyist”. Actually, according to Dawn, Dr Fai was arrested for acting as a front organisation for the ISI. Whether or not we are sympathetic with Dr Fai, do we really expect the Americans to allow foreign agents to operate in their capital? Imagine if someone was caught running a CIA front organisation in Islamabad. Would Aijaz Khan be so forgiving then?

It appears that Aijaz Khan is twisting the facts in order to present the Americans as a bogey. Ironically, turning to the Business page of the same newspaper that features Aijaz Khan’s latest screed, readers will see the following headline: ‘United States top trading partner of Pakistan. Let me tell you, this is a strange way to prepare for war.

Aijaz concludes his piece by saying that, “I’m no sucker for conspiracy theories, but I wish for once this was merely a conspiracy theory of idle pundits.”

Sir, your wish is granted.

Visas, Conspiracy Theories, and Propaganda Rings

Friday, March 4th, 2011

When the US under President George Bush decided to invade Iraq, a well documented propaganda campaign was undertaken in which the American people were convinced that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11 attacks – a piece of misinformation that was necessary to justify the invasion of Iraq. The propaganda tactic used was a simple one – repeat the misinformation enough, even after it is disproven – and enough people will either believe the lie or be confused about the issue that space will be available to promote a political agenda.

Ahmed Quraishi’s latest column for The News uses this same neocon propaganda tactic of repeating a claim even after it has been disproven.

A third issue is the role of President Zardari, his interior minister and his Washington envoy in facilitating the entry of hundreds of US operatives into Pakistan over the past months. It is clear that the US government and CIA rely on proxies to further its agenda in Pakistan. This must come to an end. The personal interests of individuals in the Pakistani government must never trump national interest. The Oman meeting indicates the goal now is to sweep all these urgent issues under the carpet in the name of saving Pak-US relationship.

This is a continuation of visa conspiracy that was disproven a few weeks ago when Ambassador to USA Husain Haqqani opened the books and revealed to legitimate journalists that there was no conspiracy and that all visas were issued following the proper protocols.

But Ahmed Quraishi does not stop with simply repeating disproven conspiracy theories, he goes a step further by making unfounded smears against unnamed government officials. Suggesting that “individuals in the Pakistani government” are putting personal interests above national interest is a straw man type of argument. If Ahmed Quraishi has some evidence of a government official putting personal interest above national interest, why does he not name the individual and the instance so that it can be investigated? Actually, this appears to be nothing but an attempt to smear the names of individuals while side-stepping liability for defamation lawsuits.

Ahmed Quraishi is not the only person repeating this misinformation. The claim is also repeated by Dr Raja Muhammad Khan in a piece that was published in both Pak Observer and Daily Mail on the same day. But this “Dr Khan” does not even get his facts right from the first two sentences. According to Dr Khan’s column, Raymond Davis, “now works for Xe, commonly known as the Blackwater”. This is false. It has been reported that Raymond Davis was once a special forces soldier who then worked for Xe and left some time ago. He now works for Hyperion Protective Consultants.

But this is not the only error in Dr Khan’s column. He raises the common talking point that the Embassy in Washington issued 400 visas to US nationals in two days, but he does not explain that the majority of these visas were issued for a state visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staff and security before a July 2010 visit. According to the Embassy, these American officials were only in Pakistan for 2-3 days.

Dr Khan quotes the number per the Embassy that “approximately 3,555 U.S. diplomats, military officials and employees of allied agencies were issued visas in 2010”, but as it was explained last month, most of the US officials and contractors were only in the country for three months each, so the total number of US nationals in Pakistan would be 1/4 to 1/3 of the total number of visas issues during the year. This means that at any given moment there are probably 1,000 or fewer US officials in Pakistan.

This number should also be viewed in context. Since the 1980s the number of US diplomatic visas has been roughly the same. During the Cold War when the CIA and ISI were working together to support the Afghan mujahideen, the largest CIA station in the world was in Pakistan. During this time under Gen. Zia, as many as 780 US diplomats were listed in the Islamabad Diplomatic List. Dr Khan claims that “there have been no worthwhile voices on these expansionist designs of US in Pakistan from various circles”, but the truth is that there are no signs of expansionist designs.

In addition to the factual errors of Dr Khan, it is also curious that he concludes his article with the same smear that Ahmed Quraishi uses. Dr Khan says, “The broad criterion should be that, our personal relations and personal gains should not govern the national interests of Pakistan.” Was this some mere coincidence that both Ahmed Quraishi and Dr Khan are writing the same smears, or is this a case of talking points being provided to guide the writers?

It seems there is even more to the story. After some additional searching based on phrases used by Dr Khan, some very curious facts came to light.

On 28 February 2011 at 1:10PM the following comment was posted to an article on the website of Express Tribune by someone named ‘Abdul Rauf Hashmi’:

Who is Spying on Whom?
Let there be end to the era of special protocol for US spying network in Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan must investigate all those responsible for the flaws in the visa issuance process and reprimand them on their act. The broad criterion should be that, our personal relations and personal gains should not govern the national interests of Pakistan. The sovereignty, integrity and national pride of Pakistan should be kept in the forefront, while developing our relationship across the national frontiers.

The exact same paragraph appears in the column by Dr Khan today.

Let there be end to the era of special protocol for US spying network in Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan must investigate all those responsible for the flaws in the visa issuance process and reprimand them on their act. The broad criterion should be that, our personal relations and personal gains should not govern the national interests of Pakistan. The sovereignty, integrity and national pride of Pakistan should be kept in the forefront, while developing our relationship across the national frontiers.

Further searching reveals that this same article by ‘Dr Raja Muhammad Khan’ first appeared on the website Opinion-Maker.org, the website of “virtual Think Tank” named ‘O.M. Center for Policy Studies’ which chaired by Major Raja Ghulam Mujtaba.

Major Raja MujtadaMajor Mujtaba also serves as Islamabad Editor for VeteransToday.com, which is the website of one Mr “Gordon Duff”. Mr. Duff describes Major Mujtaba’s relations with the ISI in an interview of September 2010.

Well, I only knew one group in the world that I could con into reading (chuckling) 90,000 pages of documents. So, I called our editor in Islamabad, Major Raja Mujtaba and had him forward my request to Brigadier General Asif Haroon Raja who forwarded it to the head of Pakistan’s ISI, and the ISI assigned a group of analysts who, going through the 69,000 pages of documents — I would almost rather have Brigadier Raja on the phone with us here — and that can be arranged and probably should.

Another connection to propaganda and intelligence agencies is the fact that former ISI chief Gen. Hamid Gul is on the Editorial Board of Directors of this website VeteransToday.com which Major Mujtaba is also an editor.

But one does not even have to go that far. Just look at the Board of Advisors for Major Mujtaba’s own ‘Think Tank’ called “Opinion Maker Center for Policy Studies.”

  • Dr Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema of National Defense University who founded Defense & Strategic Studies department in Quaid-i-Azam University
  • Mr Tarik Jan author of books including Universalizing the Abrahamic Tradition, Towards the Universal Islamic State, and the editor of Pakistan’s Security and the Nuclear Option
  • Dr Tahir Amin of Quaid-i-Azam University
  • Brig Asif Haroon Raja
  • Maj Gen Parvez Akmal (Retd)
  • Maj General Muhammad Tahir (Retd)
  • Dr S. M. Rahman is Secretary General FRIENDS founded by General Mirza Aslam Beg
  • Mansoor Malik who worked on F-16 Aircraft Weapons System for PAF
  • Col Bakhtiar Hakeem
  • Air Commodore Khalid Iqbal

Also, who else should show up on the ‘About Us’ page of Opinion-Maker.org but Ahmed Quraishi himself. Perhaps there is no coincidence that he and Dr Khan have reached the same conclusion?

According to his bio on this website, Mr Quraishi “has been commissioned for public policy outreach projects as a consultant, serving mostly government clients in the larger Middle East region”.

UNKNOWNBut all of this information only raises further questions. Who is this “Dr Raja Muhammad Khan”? His bio on the Opinion-Maker.org website says he is Associate Professor with National Defence University Islamanad. Now he is also writing for websites with links to military and intelligence officers. Was this investigated by Jang Group when they published over 20 stories by him since 2009? The same question must be asked of The Nation which has published columns by him as well. Why did these newspapers not inform their readers of the author’s associations?

It also raises the question whether journalism has become the favourite retirement hobby for our military and intelligence officers. It seems that there is virtually no end to the number of “Think Tanks” that are paying retired officers to write ‘analysis’ that ends up spread in newspapers and websites. Also, who is funding all of these websites and newspapers that are proliferating throughout the country? Surely all of these Generals are not donating their time for free.

Unfortunately, the answers to these questions must wait until another day. But one thing is clear, Pakistani media is infested not only with conspiracy theories, but with propaganda rings that seek not to inform but to manipulate. As long as this is the case, media freedom is only an illusion.

Facilitating Fascism

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Reading Nadeem Paracha’s column yesterday, I was immediately reminded of a video clip from Shahid Masood’s TV programme that was recently posted on the blog Let Us Build Pakistan. The clip features a conversation between Shahid Masood and Zakir Naik, and purports, in Zakir’s way, to “prove scientifically” that non-Muslims should not be allowed to openly practise their religions in Islamic countries but the Muslims should be going into non-Muslim countries to promote Islam. What was most interesting about this clip was Shahid Masood’s reaction to Zakir Naik’s statements: nothing.

Here is the clip from Shahid Masood’s conversation with Zakir Naik:

Of course, this is not the first time that Shahid Masood has invited controversial figures to his show. Not long ago he got “both sides” from Hamid Gul and Bharat Verma on his show, Merey Mutabiq.

But does an argument between Hamid Gul and Bharat Verma really represent “both sides” of anything? These are both quite extreme voices in their respective countries. Neither represents a large segment of the population, so what Shahid Masood has done, really, is create a Circus of Extremism. This might make for entertaining TV, but what does it mean for the country?

With this question in mind, let’s read an excerpt from Nadeem Paracha:

Many Pakistanis routinely continue to deny the fact that the monsters behind all ‘faithful’ barbarism cutting this country into bits are the mutant products of what our own state and society have been up to in the past 30 years or so. For years a convoluted narrative has been circulated by the state, the clerics, schools and now the electronic media: Pakistan was made in the name of Islam (read, a theocratic state).

Thus, only Muslims (mainly orthodox Sunnis, shall we say?) have the right to rule, run and benefit from this country. ‘Minority’ religions and ‘heretical’ sects living as Pakistani citizens are not to be trusted. They need to be constitutionally, socially and culturally isolated. Parliamentary democracy can’t be trusted either. It unleashes ethnic forces, ‘corruption’ and undermines the role of the military and that of Islam in the state’s make-up. It threatens the ‘unity’ of the country — a unity based on an unrealistically homogeneous understanding of Islam (mainly concocted by the state and its right-wing allies). Most of our political, economic and social ills are due to the diabolical conspiracies hatched by our many enemies (especially India, Israel and the West).

The bad news is that such beliefs are symptomatic of a society that has started to respond enthusiastically to the major symptoms of fascist thought. Symptoms such as a xenophobic exhibition of nationalism; disdain for recognition of human rights; identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause; supremacy of the military (might); obsession with national security; intertwining of religion and government; disdain for intellectual thought and the arts, and an obsession with crime and punishment.

Have not many Pakistanis willingly allowed themselves to be captured in all the macho and paranoid trappings of the mentioned symptoms? Does this not point at a country ripening and readying itself for an all-round fascist scenario?

Certainly there will  be some who say that Shahid Masood does the right thing by not injecting himself into the discussions as much and being combative. But the question must be asked what the influence is when Shahid Masood chooses to give airtime to guests who represent extremist ideologies.

Nadeem Paracha makes an excellent point:

We call ourselves ‘moderate Muslims’, and yet applaud or quietly tolerate the hate-spewing claptrap that pours out from our mosques and TV screens. We cheer about the fact that Pakistan is one of the very few democratic Muslim countries with a constitution, and yet we will not speak a word about clauses and sections in the same constitution that have triggered violence and repression against women and sanctioned a religious apartheid that only allows an orthodox, pious Muslim democratic rights to rule the country or run in an election.

Does it matter whether or not Shahid Masood himself says that non-Muslims should be forced to practise their religion in hiding? Or is it enough that he provides a platform for these views to be spoken? Are we really going to find a path to peace from a discussion between Hamid Gul and Bharat Verma? Or is that discussion set up for failure?

One does not have to be an extremist to be a facilitator of extremism. Our media is free to choose what guests will appear and what messages will be aired to the mass audience. With this freedom comes some responsibility, though. As Nadeem Paracha correctly says,

We do not debate. We react and then huddle up behind our flimsy and lopsided historical and national narratives about what being a Pakistani and Muslim is all about, cursing the world for our ills, looking out for infidels and heretics among us, or for scapegoats in the shape of media-constructed punching bags.

It’s time for the media to end this Circus of Extremism, and to use its incredible ability to promote a message of rational discussion. That doesn’t mean it has to take one side or another, but it needs to be factual and it needs to be fair. Right now, its failing at both.

Pakistan's New Media Dictionary

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

The esteemed and very witty Nadeem Paracha has posted a satire of Pakistan’s media worthy of the greatest rewards on the Dawn blog. In case you haven’t seen it, here it is for your enlightenment. We only recommend that you do not try to read while drinking your chai, otherwise you may spill it on your computer while you are laughing!

Advertising:
A very important phenomenon in the Pakistani electronic media, where little, irritating films about fairness creams and mobile phone connections become the lifeline of big, irritating seths running really irritating TV channels. Also, the constant source of that wonderfully poignant line, ‘choti si break,’ which, however, may last as long as a military dictatorship in Pakistan.

Asif Ali Zardari:
A custom-made punching bag with prominent teeth for talk show hosts to practice theirjihadi judo chops and passionate, ‘anti-corruption’ missionary positions on.

Aamir Liaquat:
Name of a special Pilgrimage Package offered by Peo Travels (Pvt.) Ltd. to specifically attract fitnahs to go for Haj and get God’s approval of their meaningful hatred of sub-humans (such as Jews, Ahmadiyyas, Hindus, liberals and swine flu carriers). Also the name of a hyperbolic over-actor masquerading as a ‘religious scholar’ on a TV drama masquerading as a ‘religious advice show’ on a gossip channel masquerading as a ‘news channel.’

Aishwarya Rai:
Famous Indian tree-hugger (especially on mangals), who is also a favourite of rabid anti-Hindu Pakistanis who will let her go (along with her tree, but not her husband), when they conquer India during the Ghazwa-ul-Hind in 2012 AD and slaughter all the Hindus of the world with their nuclear-powered laser-swords and bad TV shows, such as Muhammad Bin Iqbal Saladin Qasim Ka Pakistan.

Aaj TV:
A TV channel you’d rather leave for kal (as in yesterday).

Aag TV:
The favourite music channel of freckled, teenaged fascists.

ARY News:
A TV channel set up by jewellers. Get the picture?

Bobby Master:
Some guy who serves tea at a famous Pakistani TV channel. Most probably the most intelligent fellow there.

Conspiracy Theory:
A theory that is not a theory at all but a hard fact on Pakistani TV channels. Anyone disagreeing with the hard and loud factoids (conspiratorially called conspiracy theorists), is a Mossad/CIA/RAW/NASA/KFC agent and a possible swine flu carrier who would be lined up against the walls of Delhi’s Red Fort and shot dead during the Ghazwa-ul-Hind in 2012 AD.

Dr. Danish:
A dentist.

Duniya TV:

A channel on which Sohail Warraich tries to be funny, and Najam Sethi, serious.

Dawn.Com: 
A place where tiny worthless dots gather at dawn to receive handouts from the many myriad enemies of Pakistan –  such as, Indians, Americans, Israelites and Tellytubbies – so that they can use cyberspace to spread their anti-Islam, anti-Pakistan, anti-Shan propaganda through anti-Islam, anti-Pakistan, anti-Tigar Balm writers, columnists, subeditors, reporters, accountants, tea boys and gymnasts. Just what this article is doing on this site, I have no idea. All I know is it’s a conspiracy because Rana Naveedul Hassan said so.

DawnNews:
A groovy hang out where pleasant young men and women practice and sharpen their newly acquired American accents by toning their frequently mobile jaws. Here, cops become ‘caaps,’ jobs become ‘jaabs,’ Pakistan becomes ‘Pai-khis-tan,’ and Karachi becomes LA.

Dr. Shahid Masood:
A TV hakeem famous for his tangy concoctions and cocktails made from the equally famous witch-doctor Harun Yahya’s recipes of Vulcan stew, Martian soup, and other out-of-space (and out-of-mind) delicacies. If you look closely, you will notice that the good doctor also has a moustache, which many believe was gifted to him by Hamid Gul on his second birthday in 377 BC, during the first Ghazwa-ul-Hind.

Eeeeek!
A common female vocal response after watching Dr. Masood’s moustache fall every time someone mentions ‘PTV’ or something about him having a Canadian passport.
‘Me? No. (Plop!) Oops.’
‘Eeeek …!’

Express News:
An express-ion connoting something half-baked, done in a hurry. Example: ‘All pace and no substance makes Jack an Express News.’

Geo TV:
A Mongolian TV brand that can be watched on horseback while triumphantly marching into Hindustan during the Ghazwa-ul-Hind, Holi,Dewali, and Filmfare Awards. Shows programs hosted by hard, loud factoids bred on prime Vulcan stew and Hilal ki Ding Dong Bubblegum.

Ghazwa-ul-Hind: 
A forthcoming Lollywood science-fiction blockbuster directed by Zaid Hamid, produced by Dr. Shahid Masood, and staring Maria B., Ali Azmat, Hamid Gul, Irfan Siddiqui, and Yoda.

Hamid Mir:
A wrestler.

Hamid Gul:
The guy who gave Shahid Masood his moustache and the man Masood hasn’t stopped thanking. ‘Thank you, Hamid Gul sahib, for coming on the show…’ ‘Thank you, Hamid Gulsahib, for coming on the show…’ ‘Thank you, Hamid Gul sahib, for coming on the show…’ ‘Thank you, Hamid Gul sahib, for coming on the show…’ Why can’t his show just be called The Gul-Masood Show?

Indus News:

A news channels watched on the banks of the River Indus. By fish.

Iqbal Ka Pakistan:
The show that makes the great allama roll in his grave each week.

Imran Khan:
A man who still thinks the Taliban is a brand name for a series of chubby, cuddly teddy bears.

Kashif Abbasi:
A TV anchor whose eyes turned green after he’s had a bit too much of Dr. Masood’s Vulcan stew.

Kamran Khan:
A very dry man.

Maria B.
A fashion designer who is a fan of Zaid Hamid and thus keeps getting a ‘C’ in politics. She should actually be called Maria C., or Maria Z. Or better, Maria GHB (Maria Ghuzwa-ul-Hind B).

Munawar Hussain:

A guy who believes the Taliban are bigger than Elvis.

Mushtaq Minhas:
A very strange man.

Nusrat Javed:
Another very strange man.

Nadeem F. Paracha:
An abomination brought to life by the Elders of Zion and the illuminati to misguide innocent young Pakistani patriots and mohib-e-watan-Ghazwa-ul-Hind warriors with the help of CIA money, NASA spacesuits, and KFC Zinger Burgers. Most probably has ancient Dravidian Hindu blood running in his veins and is certainly out to destroy the super-duper Muslim master-race.

Nadia Khan:
A woman who grew up watching too many Hasina Moin plays.

Nawaz Sharif:
The ‘N’ in PML-N, some of whose starlets are still trying to put an ‘N’ in the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as well. Example: PTT-N. Likely to be disappointed.

PTV:

The channel only Rehman Malik and Bilawal Bhutto watch.

Qazi Hussain Ahmed:
A very old man.

Taliban: 
Very hairy people who, in spite of being extremely obvious and ubiquitous, are still treated as ghosts by many TV hosts and their guests. They’d rather believe Elvis is alive than agree that it is the Taliban who are blowing themselves up in markets and mosques every now and then.
Example:
News Item: Taliban take responsibility for Pindi mosque blast.
Host: Who are these men?
News Item: Taliban take responsibility for Pindi mosque blast.
Host: Who can these terrorists be?
News Item: TALIBAN TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR PINDI MOSQUE BLAST!!!
Host: Who can do such a thing? Is it the Indians? Israel? CIA? Elvis?

Zaid Hamid:
A fast-talking rap artiste who stole Ali Azmat’s soul (and guitar), and turned Aag TV into the official Ghazwa-ul-Hind music channel. His biggest hits are ‘Let’s march on Delhi, y’all!’ ‘Hindus are insects, y’all,’ ‘I love wars, y’all,’ ‘M. B. Qasim is ma man, y’all,’ ‘So is Maria B, y’all,’ ‘Even though she’s a woman, y’all.’ Recently, Zaid also claimed that Ali Azmat’s tind is a UFO landing site. Ali was thrilled.