Friday, August 27, 2010


* I sent this to Dawn in November last year. No prizes for guessing it's level of success. I have also since realised he isn't the only raving fanatic they indulge. Oh yes, and I didn't hear from them other than the automated message.

I have recently become an avid reader of Dawn news. It was the first newspaper i started to read. The newspaper itself had a look of respectability and sophistication enhanced, of course, with the emblem on the front page proclaiming it to be founded by the Quaid-e-Azam. I started following the TV channel when it started, because of the absolute three-ring circus that all the other channels had become. It was good to see that Dawn maintained its dignity and remained somewhat objective.

So, logically, when I moved abroad for work, I relied heavily on the Dawn website for news from home. This is when I came across articles by a certain Mr. Nadeem F. Paracha. I fail to understand why Dawn would provide a forum for the rantings of a pompous, semi-literate, "liberal fanatic" such as Mr. Paracha.

I have yet to read an article in which he was able to present a sound logical argument and augment it with any sort of facts at all. His writing is sloppy, his claims childish, and his narcissism unbearable. He takes great pleasure in dreaming up weak arguments and defeating them. He is neither insightful nor amusing, and I suspect a lot of his rants are thrown together after briefly rushing through wikipedia articles. To be completely honest, I feel a man possessing his level of analytical and argumentative skills would be annihilated if he was ever to come up against any school team on the Pakistan debating circuit.

His frequent attacks on conspiracy theorists such as Zaid Hamid, with whom he has decided to start a personal vendetta, have never been backed up with the slightest of fact or logical argument. I am no fan of Zaid Hamid, I suspect the veracity of a lot of his claims, but I dont need Mr. Paracha to sit and make fun of his hat or his followers. In the three or four articles that Mr. Paracha has devoted to condemning the man, I have yet to see any point at which he was able to refute the claims of Zaid Hamid. All NFP is capable of is childish name-calling.

Considering the fact that the Mr. Paracha has only one subject to write about, I have serious reservations about his ability and qualification to do that. His claims that all sorts of conspiracy theories are childish and ridiculous are stated with no backing evidence. So, his audience is then expected to take his word for it. If this is the case, what are his qualifications and what are his sources, why does Dawn cater to providing him with a platform for his beliefs?

The idea that there are imperialist designs in the policies of the United States is not entirely unique to the bourgeoisie, conservative classes of Pakistan, as he likes to refer to them (a term that no doubt makes him feel educated), it has a history associated with it, and is a view held in a large part of the world. I will not get into the details in the hope that you are aware of what I am referring to, but the point is, if someone is going to stand up and refute these claims, I would like to see some evidence.

Just saying the same thing every week, and calling anybody who disagrees an idiot does not make it so. These are the antics of what Mr. Paracha claims to "expose". It is the practice of demagogues. I am not a mullah, I have no sympathies with the more conservative or religious sections of society, but I appreciate their existence and the diversity in our society. NFP, unfortunately, is a divisive force, and not a very eloquent or sophisticated one. He is a pseudo-intellectual who preys on the minds of the young and impressionable with his 'oh-so-cool' display picture and his 'no-nonsense hard-hitting' language. Unfortunately without the required facts and argumentative skills, the result is just drivel from an attention-starved quasi-social commentator who is trying to make a niche for himself in the Pakistani media by serving as a Western apologist (I'm sure NFP would have been in contortions with joy at the structure of the last sentence).

I have long been hoping to write this, but only now have I gotten around to it. I implore you to remove the ridiculous segment from Mr. Nadeem F. Paracha, to maintain the intellectual journalistic integrity of Dawn. If this cannot be done, and I am completely wrong about Mr. Paracha, I am hoping someone will write to me to explain the wisdom of his words (Or at least to acknowledge that my feedback has been read!)

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