BBC reports Bahawalnagar Incident: Pakistan is the new target of Western rule-based Disorder

DND Thought CenterBBC reports Bahawalnagar Incident: Pakistan is the new target of Western rule-based...

By Shazia Anwer Cheema

During and after the Cold War western powers indoctrinate the self-serving narrative of True Democracy, Rule Based Order, Human Rights, Freedom of Expression, and Global Citizenship.


The idea was and still is heavily dependent upon the Western definition of democracy and rule-based order resulting in any other form of governance becoming anti-democratic and destructive. This narrative helped the West in several regime changes, prompting Russophobia and now the idea of containing China.

The Western narrative of self-righteousness gives room to the idea that the only right way is their way, the rest is autocratic, inhuman, purging of human rights, etc. though in reality, Western-defined rule-based order is a prime source of disorder and chaos in the world.

The contemporary political history testifies that the lethal soft-power of Western doctrine is the Western media that has been designed as a soft-power weapon and this weapon is used practically against states, countries, and societies well before the hard weapons (the military weapons) are used. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Yugoslavia, Libya, Haiti, and Afghanistan are instant examples

Every country has its dynamics and cannot afford a corporate-funded war economy and AIPAC-driven so-called democracy that is actually a mockery of a democracy that does not allow an ongoing genocide to stop like in Gaza, which cannot prevent the Ukraine proxy war but that allows Western powers and media to meddle in other countries reiterating the age-old mantra of true democracy and rule-based order which can be deciphered through MacKenzieism (Neoconservatism). Neo-Liberals and Neo-Cons are rushing to be relevant by demonstrating bullying tactics around the globe.

The contemporary political history since the early 90s testifies that the lethal soft-power of Western doctrine is the Western media that has been designed as a soft-power weapon. This weapon is used practically against states, countries, and societies well before the hard weapons (the military weapons) are used. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Yugoslavia, Libya, Haiti, and Afghanistan are instant examples.

Nearly three decades ago, American political scientist Joseph Nye said that beyond using military power “to do things and control others, the West uses its noncoercive power that is immeasurable and lethal. “We can count the number of missiles and tanks and troops but what is the content of Western soft power?, impossible to measure the attacks in three dimensions:–cultural, ideological, and institutional,” commented Nye. He further explains that soft power promotes the Western narrative of liberal democratic politics, free market economics, and fundamental values such as human rights.

The lethal tool for propagating the narrative is strong media that helps the West to attack militarily by providing justifications for attack stating that this and that country has weapons of mass destruction, dirty bombs, subjugating its citizens, chemical weapons, denying rights to women and children, and is not democratic enough, etc. Russian think tanks claim that this Media Crop is commanded by CNN, BBC, Sky, Fox, Reuters, AFP, AP, and thousands such greater names.

If we try to understand the Western propaganda in the light of the above-mentioned facts, we can well understand why the Western media is concerned about Pakistan not having a true democracy and Rule-based order (according to their loaded version). The question arises as to why the West is so interested in installing their self-serving version of democracy in Pakistan. The answer is simple that the current democratic set-up is serving Pakistan’s interest first instead of rallying the Western hegemonic agenda. Pakistan is at the cross-road of a world geopolitical tug of war that can not be allowed by the West to function independently, to the huge theatre from central Asia, Afghanistan, and Iran to China, India, and the Gulf needs to be controlled either for the sake of introducing true democracy or to regulate rule-based order but democracy must be dictated by the West and rules-based order must be defined by Neo-Cons.

One important factor West is missing in current time and space is the level of redundancy of their hypocritical, failed ideology. An ideology which frequently used to convince the Western population to support all the war-mongering, though fortunately, even the Western population now is suspicious of their defined democracy and rule-based order, because they have seen many regime changes under the pretense of installing true democracy that resulted in mass scale destruction funded by western taxpayer so now when any western media out-let publish an article stating the same clichéd farce about Pakistanis it is obvious that their only interest is to destabilize the country and get maximum control over it.

History testifies that to destabilize a country its armed forces must be targeted and an environment must be created in which public opinion can be swayed, a recent incident of police corruption raiding a soldier’s house is presented as the Pakistan Army is the sole culprit, and must be contained, the irony of the situation is western media tend to forget due to memory loss that their techniques of targeting state institutions for personal cynical agendas are a thing of past.

BBC being one of the oldest and most popular among colonized states of the British Raj is the most powerful tool for propagating Western narratives. However, the excessive use of old-fashioned propaganda is creating embarrassment for the BBC once known as a “credible” source of information.

Have a look at some of BBC stories in the recent past which compelled BBC to face embarrassment or to submit apologies.

In January 2017, the Russian parliamentarians claimed that BBC’s documentary about the US President (that time he was President-elect) and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “Kremlin candidate” was a deep conspiracy against Trump.

Russian parliamentarians claimed that the BBC’s Panorama documentary “Kremlin Candidate” was nothing just a tailor-made version of distortion of facts about US Presidential elections.

In June 2019, BBC once again found itself in hot water over an interview by BBC News Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg with Boris Johnson. Laura Kuenssberg interviewed Boris Johnson with a main focus on Brexit; however, her evident rigidity and biasedness about the former’s verbal scuffle with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds didn’t go unnoticed as well. BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg faced backlash over a biased interview with Boris Johnson. As per the UK Daily Newspaper “Express”, Boris Johnson’s interview with Laura Kuenssberg sparked a furious backlash on social media, with people condemning BBC News’ political editor for her “biased” and “unnecessarily haughty” line of questioning.

In March 2019, BBC had to apologize to the former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, and paid the damage money. “We apologise to Mr Poroshenko for any distress caused and have agreed to pay him damages, and legal costs and have participated in a joint statement in open court,” the BBC said.

In another incident, BBC aired clips from the 1976 box-office hit ‘Kabhi Kabhie’ with actors Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor in song sequences when referencing the death of actor Shashi Kapoor.

In April 2018, the BBC apologized for mistakenly referring to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a live news broadcast of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) last night. The Sri Lankan President was seen disembarking from his car at the entrance of Buckingham Palace to join the other heads of government for the CHOGM launch hosted by Queen Elizabeth II when the BBC host said Modi, “the Prime Minister of India since May 2014 arriving at Buckingham Palace”. According to reports, the news presenter on duty was given incorrect information which she went out to read out on air.

In June 2019, the Pakistan Army also criticized BBC’s credibility, and officially challenged the British Broadcasting Corporation to come up with facts and contested its story published on June 2, 2019, terming it a “pack of lies and in violation of journalistic ethos”.

According to complaint number 1(i)/2019-DGEP, lodged by the External Publicity Wing (EP Wing) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of Pakistan, BBC even manipulated the response of Pakistan’s military media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) to a BBC email, and the BBC Correspondent ran a story based on cooked, loaded, fabricated and contested information.

The BBC story titled “Uncovering Pakistan’s Secret Human Rights Abuses” dated June 2, 2019, was strongly challenged by the ISPR on the same day when it was published, and then consequently Pakistani government challenged the credibility of the story with information shared with BBC comprising of over 3000 words.

Propagation tools of Western media are now losing their power because of the awareness in public that the Western world first uses soft power (media) to destroy nations before launching hard power (the military).

This was not the first time that a BBC story had been contested and challenged rather BBC has been facing this situation often now in Europe where laws are tough and the BBC is not allowed to play havoc with others with its fabricated stories, lack of knowledge, and absence of understanding with events.

In June 2022, the BBC agreed to pay a “significant sum” to the former Panorama journalist Mark Killick, who was sacked after raising concerns over Martin Bashir’s 1995 interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, and had apologized “unreservedly”. Killick, who was a senior producer and reporter on the program, first alerted his former employer to the existence of forged bank statements used to convince the late Princess of Wales to give the interview.

The survival of Bashar al-Assad, Fidel Castro, Nicolás Maduro, and Vladimir Putin confirms that Western media can be mitigated if nations resolve to defeat the enemies

An overall view given above indicates that the credibility of BBC had been in question whenever the aggrieved party took the stand against wrong information. Since Pakistan has always been a target of Western media therefore authorities dealing with state media management should be careful and should contest whenever information contrary to facts is published by the BBC. In its recent story that appeared in BBC Urdu regarding the Bahawalnagar incident, the BBC weaved a story that is far from reality. In this story, the BBC writer tries to make the Punjab Police a victim of brutality allegedly committed by the Pakistan Army. The writer artfully overlooked and avoided talking about policing as torture and police abuses in Pakistan and portrayed the Punjab Police as a force that operates according to the book and provides justice to the poor and weak strata of society.

I had firsthand experience documenting policing in Punjab as one of my assignments was about the semiotics of First Information Report (FIR) for my degree at Aarhus University Denmark. I can bet that no normal mind can understand what kind of abuse a weak and poor person usually receives from the Punjab Police if he/she is unfortunate enough to appear in a police station. Everybody except the BBC writer knows what kind of treatment Bahawalnagar Police gave to an aged woman and her family on April 8, 2024, when Madrasa Police Station officials violated their legal limits by illegally raiding a farmer’s family of Chak Sarkari only to collect a bribe. The men and women of the house, including the son of Anwar Jutt resisted the illegal entrance of police into his home and misbehaved with his elderly mother. The family overpowered the police raiding party and tied them up in the room. (There is a video of all this). Then a heavy police force came and physically tortured the farmer’s family, and took them to the police station. Anwar Jatt and his family members and relatives (around 23 persons in number) along with elderly women were brutally tortured in the police station. The farmer’s family was not presented before a magistrate for police remand but rather was transferred to another police station where SHO refused to submit them for their medical checkup. Strangely BBC writer looks shy to highlight these facts that are now known to almost everybody in Pakistan who follows mainstream media or social media.

The writer in this article gives only the version and narration of police officials, mostly those who committed torture on the Anwer Jutt family. The question arises as to why a BBC writer only promoted a version of police officials who were culprits of inhuman behavior with a family of a poor farmer, the answers are many but I believe that this is just another attempt to discredit the Pakistan Army, to portray it as barbaric, a force against human rights, and an Army that does not follow the rule-based order. This is not the first article of such a narrative nor the last one because Western media is a soft power and the victims are Pakistan Iraq, Syria, Libya and other countries already mentioned above.

Those who understand the mechanism of Western propagation can understand that the Pakistan Army that is the sole instrument of Pakistan to protect the country of 225 million people is being treated as Western media has been treating Ho Chi Minh, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar al-Assad, Fidel Castro, Nicolás Maduro and Vladimir Putin. All, according to Western media were/are human rights abusers, denying democracy and using excessive state power against the public.  The real side of the story is that the majority of personalities mentioned above fought to save their countries from Western hegemony and disintegration. Some of them survived but most of them were purged with the fatal tool of Western media well before the launching hard power of the military.

I believe that propagation tools of Western media are now losing their power because of the awareness in the public that the Western world first uses soft power (media) to destroy nations before launching hard power (the military). The survival of Bashar al-Assad, Fidel Castro, Nicolás Maduro, and Vladimir Putin confirms that Western media can be mitigated if nations resolve to defeat the enemies.

Shazia Anwer Cheema is an author, and analyst and writes articles for national and international media outlets. She did her M.Phil in Cognitive Semiotics from Aarhus University Denmark and is completing her Ph.D. in Semiotics and Philosophy of Communication at Charles University Prague.


The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk News

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