The US media's (biased) version of the NATO attack

The US media has defended the NATO attack incident with its biased reporting, ignoring Pakistan's narrative.

Gulfam Mustafa November 28, 2011
While the Pakistani media paid serious attention to NATO strikes on a check-post near the Afghan border, the US media seemed to defend the incident with its biased reporting.

A blog on the TIME magazine website rejected the concept of a proper border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The post states that:
"there is no well-defined difference between the Pakistani military and anti-American insurgents crowded along (the) rugged frontier."

The report by Mark Thompson concludes that the American forces mistook Pakistani forces as Taliban militants by accident and were confused about the border demarcation between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Perhaps Thompson does not know that the attacks were conducted through gunship helicopters and jets which are fully equipped with GPS and can easily distinguish between the borders of two countries. The author also conveniently forgot to mention what would have happened if a similar 'mistake' was made by Pakistani forces on NATO troops.

Another American newspaper The Washington Post also called the Pak-Afghan border poorly patrolled and ill-marked and claimed that it was the central sore point in Pak-US relations. The report linked the incident with US military officials’ claims that Pakistani intelligence has supported al-Qaeda and Taliban across the border. The Washington Post report tries to prove the existence of Taliban inside Pakistani territory near Afghan border.

It states:
“During previous exchanges of ground fire across the border, Pakistani officials have said that any firing from their side came from insurgents, not Pakistani troops.”

However, no specific reference to any statement of this kind by Pakistani officials was provided by the newspaper.

In a report published by New York Times, it is indicated that United States forces in eastern Afghanistan have taken more mortar and rocket fire from positions at, or near active Pakistani military posts in recent months, despite complaints to Pakistan about it. The report also reinforces the view that Pakistan has done nothing to respond to United States’ demands to do more against al-Qaeda and Haqqani network which allegedly operate from Pakistan.

American news network CNN's headline read  “NATO admits fault in Pakistan attack”. However, while commenting on the NATO spokesperson’s statement, the channel said that there are insurgents living across the Afghan border in the Pakistani territory who frequently cross the border and attack US troops. However, another report, it included the statement of ISPR spokesperson Major General Athar Abbas:
“"There is no confusion about the locations of these check-posts. They are well inside the border, they are clearly marked and NATO has their location on their maps. There are no more safe heavens in Mohmand. We have cleared them. They would have nowhere to hide.”

While reporting the news about Pakistan’s review of relations with USA, the anchor labelled it as “punishment for USA rather than review”. According to Peter Begen, CNN National Security Analyst, the actions taken by Pakistan are not new. He said that Pakistan pressurizes USA in this way for ensuring that such actions don’t transpire another time. The analysts also mentioned previous incidents of Raymond Davis, Abbotabad operation, killing of security personnel by NATO etc., and hoped that the situation will become plain very soon.

USA Today reported:
“Much of the violence in Afghanistan is carried out by insurgents that are based just across the border in Pakistan. Coalition forces are not allowed to cross the frontier to attack the militants. The militants, however, sometimes fire artillery and rockets across the line, reportedly from locations close to Pakistani army posts.”

With reference to American officials, it accused Pakistani forces of turning a blind eye to militants who use Pakistani territory for cross-border attacks. The newspaper termed the border as the biggest source of tension between Islamabad and Washington.

ABC News also published a similar story, supplemented by Associated Press reports:
"Coalition forces are not allowed to cross the frontier to attack the militants. However, the militants sometimes fire artillery and rockets across the line, reportedly from locations close to Pakistani army posts."

It is a frequent practice of American media to present one side of the picture. They don’t highlight Pakistan's concerns on its sovereignty and the impact of drone attacks. As a result, the American public believes that Pakistan supports terrorism, despite the facts that Pakistan has experienced the greatest number of causalities in the war against terrorism.

It is the need of the hour that Pakistan’s Ministry of Information as well as Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be strong enough to influence the international media for propagating our views and contributions towards a peaceful world.
Gulfam Mustafa Editor of the Weekly Mission who tweets @egulfam
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Tahir Alit | 10 years ago | Reply @Just another observer: You did not complete the quoted news item. Let me complete for you, " He did not comment on how he had been treated, simply saying he was keen to return to Kashmir to complete his mission". This sentence substantiates my point of view. Firstly, he was non-committal about the treatment meted out to him in Pakistan because, naturally, he could not praise Pakistanis. And secondly, at that time he was absolutely healthy as he showed his keenness to return to Kashmir to complete his mission. Its only after his interrogation that things changed for him. Any ways. Nachiketa said in the CNN video that he had learnt to reconcile. So good luck to him and to you also.
Just another observer | 10 years ago | Reply @Tahir Alit: If my need was to just go about spreading propaganda, i would not have put in the disclaimer along with Nachiketa's video. And ur statement: "deprived of being a privileged fighter pilot and permitted to fly transport plane only. That is the reason we never heard about him." does not make sense. As in if he was still a fighter pilot u would have heard of him?!! how?!! why? Again, using common sense, if the army had ill treated him, he does not have any reason to be still serving in the army. During that time the Indian sky was opening up to a lot of private passenger airlines and they did employee lot of ex-army pilots who had retired after serving in the Short Service commission. And more so him being a 'war hero' for Indians those private airlines would have latched him up in a jiffy because it would have added to their brand value. The flying of a fighter plane requires a lot of physical fitness to withstand the gravitational forces exerted on the body. He would have injured his back during ejection and/or crash landing which would have made him incapable of flying those jets again withstanding the levels of G forces. Also why would the Indian army torture him and then still keep him in service? and why torture/ill-treat him in the first place, you make it seem as if he was a spy who defected into the enemy side!!! You have not given any proofs of ur claims and are just harping about him being ill treated just to counter my pointing out that the Pakistan army gave up on its own people in Kargil, which has enough proof available, and if u are a truth seeker urself, it should not be too hard to find: In A.H Amin's words: "Karnal Sher Khan was fighting till August 1999 as the plate below his picture at a Pakistan Army mess indicates.This means that these indomitable warriors were fighting like Lions while their shameless opportunist commander Musharraf had abandoned them in July 1999 to die fighting without ammunition and rations What can one conclude ! It was the human heart that failed in Kargil and this heart which failed was housed in the ribcage of men sitting in the GHQ and not on the rocky pinnacles of Kargil ! Once the supply lines were closed under Indian threat of a counter attack , these brave men all Pakistan Army regulars were abandoned to die , pounded by artillery fire , bayoneted by overwhelming numbers , weakened by starvation ! Who can hear their cries ! Our ears are covered with heaps of lies ! Truth died at Kargil ! What remains is a body guard of lies!"
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