Peshawar, Jan 19: Journalists are the biggest terrorists in Pakistan, declared Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari. Unhappy with the Pakistan media, Zardari told that journalists misreport the things and presented the situation in a non-objective manner.
He was addressing members of the delegation of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), which met Zardari on January 15, Thursday. President felt the media should be careful in its handling of sensitive issues, The News reported.
'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 said that they were surprised by 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.
There are reasons for President Zardari to be angry with the media and journalists. The president and the PPP-led federal government have come under growing criticism by most of the media due to their handling of the situation in the wake of Mumbai attacks.