Friday, February 22, 2013

Media Trials

Image by Majid Tamoor
I am deeply disturbed by a televised sting operation conducted by a TV anchor on a massage centre in Punjab Society in Lahore. If I feel that drug smuggling or prostitution is happening near my house - can I conduct an on-camera raid there?
Firstly, a police raid shouldn't be televised because the accused and the arrested can be proven innocent. Secondly, a television anchor cannot lead a raid instead of the police. The woman anchor accused the staff at the centre of running a "sex centre" several times, interrogated them, and even searched their private property.
In what capacity did the television anchor do this? Legally, only the police can search my property and that too with a search warrant. Why should I be violated on camera, interrogated and accused before I even get a lawyer to defend myself? Will any cameraman barge into my house today and question why I have a condom or a pregnancy test kit, and search for my passport and professional licenses?
The women were foreigners, shocked and unwilling to come on camera, and couldn't even speak English or Urdu. Being foreigners they can legally buy alcohol. Merely possessing a condom or a pregnancy test kit doesn't make anyone a prostitute or adulterer. A drug inspector was named and accused for coming to this centre as a "client" and seeking a "monthly". This was open defamation of the drug inspector.
Police officers, the workers' parents and the clients were speaking to the anchor. Instead, they should have questioned the legal authority of this moral policewoman armed with a mike.
The entire country was shocked when a woman in Swat was flogged by the Taliban. How is this televised raid any different?
PEMRA did not take any action against a similar TV show in which the anchor harassed young people in a park and accused them of immorality.
I strongly recommend that this channel should be fined and the show should be discontinued immediately. I also expect PEMRA to ensure that our right to privacy is protected.
This letter was first published in the Friday Times. 

Let's send chocolates to LeJ

Lashkar-e-Janghvi must accept my heart-felt best wishes for successfully killing 84 Hazaras in Quetta within 40 days of January 10th, when almost 100 Hazaras were killed. This couldn’t have been achieved without the full cooperation of the Pakistani media, politicians, establishment and the civil society of course. Hopefully, they will also accept my accolades.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Malaysia bracing for change

It was January 12. The Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur was swarmed by thousands of Malaysians in yellow, green and blue shirts---waving flags. The rally was called by the Opposition to protest against the ‘illiberal and undemocratic coalition government’.
The ruling party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO)---in power since 1954---has become a symbol of corruption, oppression and censorship. The rally, on the contrary, mirrors the reality that Malaysia is on the threshold of change. 

Exploding the myths: Truth about gays

This sounds quite ridiculous but gays are often imagined to be promiscuous, irreligious, lacking any commitment, sense of responsibility and family values. Nothing could be far from the truth
There are many anti-gay myths prevalent in Pakistan. Following are just a few of them. Substantial evidence, empirical data and scientific studies also suggest that these myths are ill-founded.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Hide your condoms, Dr Maria is coming

My name is Dr. Khan and I am a morality terrorist. I drop into massage centers with a microphone and the police following me like a puppy. I am so convinced in my pants that I can single-handedly interrogate people who are apparently running a “sex” centre. Don’t you dare tell me that you don’t know what a pregnancy test is because I am a medical doctor, certified to be rude!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

When Junaid met Aamir

Junaid Jamshed, singer turned maverick televangelist, went to perform Hajj (Pilgrimage to  Mecca) last year along with his Tablighi mentor, Maulana Tariq Jameel. And the team Karachi ran into none other than Bollywood’s cerebral Khan- Aamir Khan. You can hear the effect this meeting had on Junaid Jamshed in this video:
And Read More:

"Censorship is an obsession in Malaysia"

Steven Gan is a renowned Malaysian journalist and co-founder and editor-in-chief of the political news website Malaysiakini, Malaysia’s first independent news source and one of the first online news magazines in the world. In 2000, he was awarded the International Press Freedom Award of the CPJ for braving the Malaysian censorship and authorities. The website is now subscription-based and a model for journalists in conflict zones and authoritarian regimes. Following is what he shared with TNS.


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