Pak television channels 'glamorising' Taliban, spewing venom against minorities: Report

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Washington, June 24 (ANI): Amidst the expanding hatred and violence against minorities in the country, Pakistani television channels, particularly the news channels, are fanning hostility against the marginalized sections of society.

Promoting anti-US sentiments and minority bashing appears to have become favourite subjects, which are being discussed during talk shows on different television channels these days.

Dozens of private cable channels sprouted during the early 2000s under the rule of former President General Pervez Musharraf, who liberalized the country's strict media laws, and now these channels are apparently working on an agenda of backing the extremists instead of demonising them.

"These (programs) need to be looked at and reviewed. Instead of demonizing the Taliban, they glamorize them," The Christian Science Monitor quoted former Information Minister Sherry Rehman, as saying.

There are a number of celebrated Pakistani TV hosts at present who have risen to great heights through a belligerent attack on minorities on their shows.

Televangelists such as Amir Liaquat Hussain, Hamid Mir and Zaid Hamid can often been seen spewing venom against the US and the minorities on their chat shows.

Out of the three 'firebrands', Zaid Hamid, has perhaps the largest youth following with some 58,000 fans on Facebook, the report said.

He has also advocated the Pakistani conquest of India as a solution to poor Indo-Pak relations.

"One of the reasons why he is beloved is because he's someone who helps absolve self-reflection. His insistence is that we were destined by greatness but we were robbed by America, by the Jews and the Hindus," said a popular radio-show host and columnist Fasi Zaka.

While Hamid generally reserves his venom for what he perceives as Pakistan's external enemies, others, like Amir Liaquat Hussain openly call for violence against Pakistan's minorities, it added.

In 2008, during his show Hussain, post of minister of state for religious affairs in the Musharraf regime, said it was incumbent on all true-believers to kill Ahmadis.

Within two days, a prominent Ahmadi doctor and an Ahmadi rice trader were shot dead in Sindh province, the report added. (ANI)

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