You can disagree with Cyril Almeida’s journalistic values and you can disagree with his stories, but what you can’t deny is how fast his career has progressed in a short span of time. This is the second time in a few months that his story shook the country. You are free to make a judgement about his patriotism and his intentions, but you have to admit that the guy knows how to sell a story.
Yesterday on a covert operation “mission impossible 2”, Almeida was flown to Multan airport from abroad to take the interview of the three times prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz sharif. Though Nawaz has been notorious for giving interviews to only his chosen journalists, the fact that he specifically chose Almeida for this interview holds a strong rationale behind it. In this interview you would notice that although Cyril Almeida asked different questions, Nawaz kept on answering different. In response to one question where Almeida asked about the reason of his ouster from the office, Nawaz deflected the question and started talking about how Pakistan shouldn’t be sponsoring terrorists, and how we shouldn’t have allowed the killing of 150 people in Mumbai attack. He also mocked courts of Pakistan for delaying the Mumbai attack case.
Number of rebuttal arguments have surfaced after this interview and some of them are following.
- Cyril Almeida or the paper distorted what Nawaz said.
- Nawaz is saying the truth and we need to learn from our past mistakes and set our paths straight.
In my humble opinion here are the reasons why all of these rebuttals are false:
You can verify by listening to the views of anchors like Tallat Hussain and others that Nawaz sharif only gives interviews to the journalists with whom he is most comfortable with. So to say that his chosen paper and his chosen journalist distorted his statement is just a joke.
Comfort is not the only reason behind choosing Cyril Almeida for the interview. Nawaz strongly believes that the players behind the curtains are the reason for his ouster from the premiership. He wants to lead a campaign against the aliens –as he calls the military- and utilize all means necessary at his disposal to weaken them. He has already presented his rhetoric in front of masses and now with this interview he wished to create an outside pressure on the military. And who would be a better candidate than Cyril Almeida, the infamous dawn leaks reporter -who has a projecting anti-establishment stance- for this interview. Coupled with the fact that Nawaz said this in response to a totally different question, it is not a good argument to say that this was merely a misrepresenting of facts or for self-realization and setting the path straight. In fact it was a thoroughly planned plot against the military. Without considering the impact on the country, Nawaz wants foreign pressure on the military so that he could leverage that pressure to open his own gate to power again.
It is a little hard to believe that at time when Moodi is the prime minister of India, whose whole election campaign was –and still is- fought on his rhetoric against Pakistan. At times when India is desperately interfering in Baluchistan through Kulbushan Jadev and other like him, at times when India is trying to malign Pakistan on the international forums through her propaganda about surgical strikes, at times when Indian atrocities have crossed all the limits in Kashmira, at times when our army officers are being attacked on daily bases on the LOC and at times when Pakistan is on the brink of being black listed, Nawaz sharif would give such a statement just for the correction of course.