Journalists are biggest terrorists: Pakistani President Zardari
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has had many run-ins with journalists with his flip-flops and now he has blamed them for the all the problems in Pakistan and had told a group of businessmen that journalists were the biggest terrorists in Pakistan.
In the recent times Mr Zardari and his ruling government have come under intense criticism by media outlets due to their shoddy handling of the situation in the wake of Mumbai terror attacks. Pakistani media has often accused president Zardari for falling to fulfil promises and agreements made with Nawaz Sharif's party.
Members of the delegation of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI), which met the president on January 15, quoted him as saying that journalists misreported things and presented the situation in a non-objective manner. They said the president felt the media should be careful in its handling of sensitive issues.
“Journalists are the biggest terrorists,” President Zardari is said to have remarked while talking about the issue of terrorism in NWFP and Fata. In his view the journalists were bigger terrorists than even the terrorists.
Requesting anonymity, some of the delegation members told The News that they were surprised by the Zardari’s remark as it was made out of context. They said no example of misreporting or distortion of facts by the media was given to justify the remark about journalists being terrorists.
“It came out of the blue. There was intensity of emotion when that statement was made,” a senior Peshawar businessman recalled. A PPP leader, who for obvious reasons wished not to be named, confirmed that the president did make the statement about journalists being terrorists.
A source, close to the Presidency, asserted that the president could not declare journalists as terrorists. He said the president holds journalists in great respect. He said Zardari had many journalist friends in the past and at present too he enjoyed good relations with mediamen. He insisted that many a time in his presence the president praised the journalist community.