Karachi Target Killing

Towards understanding the Real Game in Karachi

How about Najam Sethi and how did he rather surprisingly end up on Geo?

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The second part of the question is rather very interesting. Najam Sethi was an employee of the late Salman Taseer who to many was a front-man of Zardari. He was specifically useful to Zardari during his incarceration in jail in terms of managing his ill-gotten finances, investing them as a front man, etc. Najam Sethi was the editor of evidently PPP-leaning Daily Times for long, which is owned by Salman Taseer, which essentially means owned by Zardari. So one can fairly well understand why publications in Daily Times annoyed Nawaz Sharif to the extent that he had Sethi arrested, from his bedroom in the dark of the night, and tortured before being released. So he has dual reasons for being loyal to PPP and Zardari – one, he has been their paid employee and two, PPP’s opponents have also been not too kind on him.

Now to the second part and more important part of the question – what brought him to Geo given that Geo was dead-opposed to Zardari and now has given an unquestionable Zardari loyalist a full hour of prime-time thrice a week? If you have watched his programs on Geo, or before on another channel, he very tactfully defends the interests of Zardari; he understands that if he were to appear on the program and portray Zardari as the most honest and upright individual, he would be immediately taken as a phony and fraud and no one will believe him. So he uses a very intelligent approach to defend Zardari; he argues that yes, Zardari is corrupt but so is everyone else including Nawaz Sharif and others. Then he also very tactfully presents high-moral reasoning for some key Zardari interests like the need for the current government to complete its term, which Zardari wants to do at all costs for various reasons. He also tactfully paints the Supreme Court as being biased to PPP and Zardari. And in regards toKarachiunrest, he tries to portray that the MQM uses violence inKarachito bargain for its interests when the reality is the exact opposite that it is the PPP, which orchestrates bouts of violence thru different proxy forces to blackmail the MQM to stay in government or be ready to face the music.

Now to the question as to what brought him to Geo?  I believe Zardari and cohorts realized that the advent of electronic media has pretty diluted the influence of newspaper medium and therefore he was catapulted towards the news television. Immediate entry to Geo was not possible as he had no background of television anchoring and therefore initially he joined a different channel, Dunya news. Now with Geo, Najam Sethi is essentially a freelancer subject to no editorial restrictions or limitations of Geo. This is how he creates impressions that are diametrically opposite to the impression Geo wishes to create. For instance, Geo is dead-opposed to Zardari and utterly pro-Supreme court whereas, as already mentioned above, Najam Sethi takes the exactly opposite viewpoint to this. All other programs on Geo, its news and even the beeper analysis taken live ensure that there is no violation of Geo’s editorial policy except for just one program, which pretty much drafts its own policy. Is this because the program has very high rating? No, in fact with the new program of Shahid Masood on Express news, these ratings are expected to further go down. The primary reason is a background deal between Zardari government and Geo on pending tax evasion cases against the Jang/Geo group. As already explained elsewhere in this site, these cases are more of an open and shut nature and if prosecuted, Geo will certainly end up being decreed to pay billions in taxes (primarily at-source sales tax deductions), loans from a nationalized bank and a hefty penalty. And Zardari has used this bargaining chip to strike a deal with Geo whereby Zardari has assured that his government will not prosecute Geo’s cases in return for a few favors including giving unregulated airtime to Najam Sethi, the Wali Khan Babar murder conspiracy (explained in detail on this site), publishing of JIT confessional reports, etc.


Written by karachitargetkilling

July 29, 2011 at 11:39 am

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