Earlier this month the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, chaired a meeting for the heads of all allies of his political party, the Pakistan People’s Party. People may be left with two different impressions of how the meeting actually went depending on which Pakistani newspaper they read the following morning.
In The Dawn, one of the most prominent newspapers in Pakistan, it was reported that the meeting concluded in a “kumbaya” fashion, with both Farooq Sattar of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Asfandyar Wali of the Awami National Party vowing their respective parties allegiances to Zardari and the PPP. The Dawn caught the optimism of Wali in quoting his statement: “Reconciliatory policy of the government has strengthened the democracy.”
Unfortunately, the same vibrant tone couldn’t be found in the competing Pakistani newspaper The News. After a brief opening sentence about the parties supporting the President, the newspaper reported detail after detail regarding the disputes over who should be nominated to Deputy Chairman. The article concluded, rather inconclusively, “Coalition partners decided that the decision would be made by President Zardari.”
There may not be big-time headline news from the meeting, yet it appears that The Dawn may be bigger fans of Zardari and the PPP than The News, which turned what had been described as an accomplished meeting into a seemingly tumultuous one.
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