Same Language – Different Story


Although Mr. Friedman may claim that the world is flat, we may not be quite there yet.  Take a recent BBC article that cites one of Pakistan’s most prominent pro-democracy leaders claiming a senior British diplomat cut a deal with President Musharraf that guaranteed his immunity if he resigned.  It is a fairly straight forward story with a claim and counter-claim while the journalist maintains a neutral position on the topic.

One of Pakistan’s most prominent pro-democracy leaders, Aitzaz Ahsan, has accused a senior British diplomat of undermining his country’s rule of law. Sir Mark Lyall Grant was in Pakistan recently and reportedly urged the government to give President Musharraf immunity if he resigned…

The British foreign office has responded to Mr Ahsan’s statement by issuing a statement saying it had not prescribed a specific solution to Pakistan’s political crisis.

Then compare it to an article written for “Dawn”, an on-line Pakistani English language paper which uses extensive quotes from the BBC article but leads with the title “Britain Admits Having Played a Role in Resignation”.  Although the author uses material from the BBC and cites his sources he fails to present a balanced picture of the situation and mistakely makes allegations into facts.

Shaw once quipped that, “England and America are two countries separated by a common language.”  The same now might be said of England and the rest of the world.