Thu, May 25, 2017 | updated 08:40 AM IST

Pakistan's media is manipulated says ex- UNDP country chief

Updated: Aug 31, 2016 15:32 IST      
Pakistan's media is manipulated says ex- UNDP country chief

Islamabad[Pakistan], Aug. 31 (ANI):Highlighting that media should be one of the pillars of democracy, Marc-Andre Franche, the former country director for United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan, has pointed out that Pakistani media is manipulated.

Franche, who had been the UNDP country director for the last four years, bid farewell to Pakistan to take up the position of Chief of Financing at the United Nations Peace building Fund.

He made the remarks during an interview to a Pakistan daily shortly before his departure.

"Media is of course a business. But a business that does not contribute to the public good has very little utility. It is important that the media makes money, but the media is one of the pillars of democracy and the media has to educate the public. Unfortunately, the level of dependence of the government on military authorities, and the degree by which a lot of media in this country is manipulated by powerful sources, are sources of erosion of democracy and erosion of the institutions that are the foundations of this country, " Franche said.

His reply was based on the question about UNDP's engagement being checked by limited economic discourse in the media.

On being asked if he would recommend his successor to develop a programme for nudging the media towards setting the economic agenda, he replied, "We wouldn't do a special programme on that. But as part of our different programmes, such as climate change, poverty, etcetera; we have a lot of emphasis on engaging the media."

He pointed out that a critical change Pakistan can happen only when the elite, the politicians and the wealthy sections of society sacrifice their short term goals and stop abusing their power to enrich themselves, or favour their friends and extended families.

He asserted that the apartheid of opportunities in Pakistan is horrible and the country needs more opportunities.

"The apartheid of opportunities in Pakistan is horrible, which is why so many young people are trying to leave the country," he said

He added that Pakistan will not be able to survive with gated communities where you are completely isolated from the societies, where you are creating ghettos at one end and big huge malls for the rich at the other end.

He said the political and economic elite must also try to build a consensus so that Islamabad progresses.

"You cannot have a political class in this country that uses its power to enrich itself, and to favour its friends and families. This fundamental flaw needs to be corrected if Pakistanis to transform into a modern, progressive developed country. The political and economic elite must also try to build a consensus," he added.

Asserting that it is not his role to say what Pakistan should or should not do, he, however, pointed out that the basic human rights of the minorities, women and the people of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are not respected.

"The fact that even in 2016, Pakistanhas 38 percent poverty; it has districts that live like sub-Saharan Africa; that the basic human rights of minorities, women and the people of FATA are not respected; that this country has not been able to get its act together and hold a census, or that it has not been able to push for reforms in FATA, an area that is institutionally living in the 17th century," he said.

Franche also said that it was also frustrating for him to see that people are so capable and intelligent but not making more progress than they should in terms of poverty reduction, inequalit y, modernising the state and functioning institutions.(ANI)

London [UK], May 25 (ANI): British Prime Minister Theresa May will confront United States President Donald Trump over leak of information about the Manchester Arena attack from the investigation when she meets him at a NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday.

Full Story >>

Taiwan's top court paves way to legalise same-sex marriage

Updated: May 25, 2017 06:57 IST     

Taipei [Taiwan], May 25 (ANI): In an historic decision, the constitutional court in Taiwan, which is country's top most court, has ruled that current law defining marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman was 'unconstitutional', thus paving way for the first same-sex marriage law in Asia.

Full Story >>

Donald Trump arrives in Brussels to attend NATO summit

Updated: May 25, 2017 06:53 IST     

Brussels [Belgium], May 25 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump arrived in Brussels on the fourth leg of his first foreign trip since taking office after visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Vatican City.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 25 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has submitted documents consisting of 205 pages to the House and Senate intelligence committees this week in relation to the ongoing investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Full Story >>

Seventh person arrested in Manchester Arena attack

Updated: May 25, 2017 05:04 IST     

London [UK], May 25 (ANI): A man in Nuneaton, Warwickshire has been arrested by the British Police in connection with the Manchester Arena terror attack in which 22 people were killed and several others injured.

Full Story >>

London [UK], May 25 (ANI): The UK Government has expressed its anger after a U.S. newspaper published photos apparently showing the scene of the Manchester Arena attack that left 22 dead and several others injured.

Full Story >>

Police arrests sixth person in Manchester Arena attack

Updated: May 25, 2017 03:37 IST     

London [UK], May 25 (ANI): A woman has been arrested by the British Police in connection with the Manchester Arena terror attack that left 22 people dead and several others injured.

Full Story >>

London [UK], May 25 (ANI): Campaigning for the general election in United Kingdom will resume on Friday after it was suspended following the terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena that claimed 22 lives.

Full Story >>

Manchester attack: Father, brother of Abedi arrested

Updated: May 24, 2017 23:22 IST     

Tripoli/London [World] May 24 (ANI): The brother and father of Manchester attack bomber have been arrested in Libya. British Police have also arrested one more person in connection with the attack.

Full Story >>

Twin blasts in Indonesia , three killed

Updated: May 24, 2017 22:58 IST     

Jakarta [Indonesia], May 24(ANI): At least three people were killed and several injured after two powerful blasts took place at a bus terminal in East Jakarta on Wednesday night.

Full Story >>

Trump terms Kim Jong -Un as 'Madman with nuclear weapons'

Updated: May 24, 2017 21:53 IST     

Moscow[Russia], May24 (ANI): U.S. President Donald Trump held a private telephonic conversation with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during which he labeled North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a "madman with nuclear weapons."

Full Story >>

Trump discussed terrorism, climate change with Pope

Updated: May 24, 2017 21:22 IST     

New York [U.S.], May 24 (ANI) : Pope Francis appears to have left his mark on U.S. President Donald Trump as they had their first face-to-face meeting at the Vatican on Wednesday.

Full Story >>

New York [U.S.], May 24 (ANI) : James Comey's friend on Tuesday said if he were in place of President Donald Trump he would be scared of the former FBI Director's testimony in public , which he has agreed to give after Memorial Day .

Full Story >>

India will achieve SDG-3 targets in health sector: Nadda

Updated: May 24, 2017 19:45 IST     

Geneva [Switzerland], May 24 (ANI) :Congratulating Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a former Ethiopian health minister for becoming the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Union Minister J.P. Nadda said India looks forward to working with him to build a strong, resilient health system, especially in developing countries, and to mitigate any vulnerability to health crisis.

Full Story >>

Philippines may impose nationwide martial law to tackle IS

Updated: May 24, 2017 19:44 IST     

Manila [The Philippines], May 24 (ANI): The Philippines may be put under martial law to tackle the threat of Islamic State, said President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday.

Full Story >>

Ex-ISI official admits Kulbhushan Jadhav captured from Iran

Updated: May 24, 2017 18:03 IST     

Lahore [Pakistan], May 24 (ANI) : Amjad Shoaib, an ex-ISI official and a retired Lieutenant General of the Pakistan Army, has acknowledged India's claim that Kulbhushan Jadhav was captured from Iran.

Full Story >>

Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal resigns

Updated: May 24, 2017 17:08 IST     

Kathmandu [Nepal], May 24 (ANI) : Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal reportedly submitted his resignation to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on Wednesday, thus paving the way for Nepali Congress Chief Sher Bahadur Deuba to become the next premier as per an understanding the two leaders had reached in August 2016.

Full Story >>

Two Chinese nationals kidnapped at gunpoint from Quetta

Updated: May 24, 2017 17:02 IST     

Lahore [Pakistan], May 24 (ANI) :Two Chinese nationals were reportedly kidnapped on Wednesday from the Jinnah town area of Quetta,the provincial capital of Balochistan.

Full Story >>

London [U.K.], May 24 (ANI) : Britain's internal intelligence outfit MI5 and the police are now engaged in trying to establish whether Manchester terror attack suicide bomber Salman Abedi worked alone or was part of wider network that helped him to acquire the bomb.

Full Story >>

Security actions breaching sovereignty unacceptable: Putin

Updated: May 24, 2017 15:27 IST     

Moscow [Russia], May 24 (ANI) : At the eighth high-level international security conference in Russia, President Vladimir Putin emphasized that regional and global security issues should be addressed without actions breaching sovereign interests.

Full Story >>