MQM and the BBC


Sir: Daily Times is a reputable newspaper and people do not expect it to carry a biased editorial. Such practices are against journalistic norms. In the editorial, “MQM and the BBC”, published on February 3, it is said that Owen Benett-Jones has always followed BBC’s standard of impartiality and objectivity. Does this also mean that you endorse Owen’s book The Eye of the Storm, in which he has raised a finger against Pakistan’s army and has blamed the institution for various problems inflicting the country? He has compared the Pakistan army to Lord Shiva, being both the preserver and destroyer of the country. He has accused the ISI and the military leadership for providing support and protecting Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. BBC has a history of false reporting and airing unsubstantiated documentaries. Among many such documentaries is the one made on Pakistan with the name of Secret Pakistan: Double Cross that accuses the Pakistan army of supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan. 
If the London Metropolitan Police during its raid on Altaf Hussain’s residence had found a large amount of unexplained money, why has the police not charged Altaf Hussain with the offence? MQM is cooperating with the police at every level. It is not MQM but Owen Bennett-Jones who is trying to influence the investigation process. Saying that the MQM does not care about the citizens of Karachi is a biased statement. Historically, it is only the MQM which has developed Karachi and has served its people. No party is as committed as the MQM to the cause and development of Sindh generally and Karachi particularly. The election results of the recently held by-elections have proved that the people of Karachi still support the MQM. 
Do you really think that the documentary made by Owen Bennett-Jones in which he has claimed that the two men who have killed Dr Imran Farooq in London had been picked up by the intelligence agencies of Pakistan as soon as they landed there, is reliable? The story has been rejected by the Home Secretary UK Theresa May and by the former Interior Minister of Pakistan Rehman Malik. You have also said that the internal affairs of the MQM have fallen into disarray. Which party doesn’t have internal rifts? Did not PPP go through a similar experience when Zulfikar Mirza accused all the senior leaders of the PPP including Rehman Malik and Zardari for misconduct in public? What about the rift between the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and the PTI? 
You have correctly said that Dr Imran Farooq had no personal enemies. But you accused MQM of mistreating its dissidents. What about MQM’s treatment to Amir Khan, Aminul Haq and others? They were taken back into the party with open arms when they decided to return. The party not only accepted them with an open heart but also assigned them on higher designations. 
Finally, if Owen Bennett-Jones can analyze MQM’s position in Karachi sitting thousands of miles away from Pakistan, the MQM reserves the right to show its political strength by gathering millions of people under one flag on any given day. Do not forget that the entire cadre of MQM leadership got united on one call in a matter of no time.
Farheen Rizvi
Via Email 

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