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PAKISTAN: Is ISI Behind Media Assault?

AUSTIN SZABO WRITES –  For years,  news anchor and journalist Hamid Mir has been fighting for the cause of a free press in Pakistan. Now he’s fighting for his own life. Still recovering from an unsolved assassination attempt April 19, Mir, undaunted, issued a statement accusing the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of being behind the attack. […]

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PAKISTAN: Taliban’s PR Blitz Divides and Conquers

AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – The Pakistani wing of the Taliban wants to do the seemingly impossible: Win public sympathy through improved PR. Surprisingly, it’s working. Since the election of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last year, the Taliban has retooled its communications ops to project the image of an embattled and misunderstood political party. Despite its […]

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POVERTY PROJECT: Media Coverage Aids Severe Pakistani Drought Relief

EMILY GOLDSBOROUGH WRITES – A drought that reportedly killed 238 people in Tharparkar District finally received attention from the Pakistani government, but only after extensive media coverage. Tharparkar, located in the rural south of Pakistan, experiences drought every few years, but this year’s drought has led to malnutrition, disease, and death. Children and pregnant women […]

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INDIA & PAKISTAN: Female Journalists Face Sexual Assault and Mistreatment at Work and on the Streets

AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – Though they’ve reported on floods, bombings, wars, and protests in some of the most dangerous places in the world, female journalists in Pakistan and India are still threatened and mistreated at home. Despite repeated calls for change from groups ranging from the United Nations to the Women’s Media Center Pakistan, female journalists […]

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PAKISTAN: Malala’s Book Banned in Schools

AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – Pakistani student and education activist Malala Yousafzai’s autobiography has been well received everywhere, it seems, but in her own country. On November 11, The Guardian reported that nationwide, Pakistani private schools had banned her book, I Am Malala, from being studied or read. Education officials point to the activist’s supposed lack […]

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PAKISTAN: Action Movie Paints India as the Bad Guy

AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – With explosions and non-stop action, Pakistan’s first action blockbuster, Waar, is making waves. Indians are less excited: they are the bad guys. Reuters offered a summary of the movie: “Indian villains team up with Islamist militants to plot spectacular attacks across Pakistan. Pakistani security forces jump in and save the day.” “Like […]

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PAKISTAN: First Gay Pakistani Site Blocked

AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – The front page of Pakistan’s only LGBT support website, Queer Pakistan, reads “Don’t Hate Us, Know Us!” The Pakistani government said no. In another attempt to impede social progress in Pakistan, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (the PTA) censored the website, saying “Surf Safely! This website is not accessible. The site you […]

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