Subdued coverage in Pakistan

The controversy involving Union minister Shashi Tharoor and a Pakistani journalist as well as the sudden death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar on Saturday got subdued coverage in newspapers and TV channels in Pakistan.

Almost all dailies carried the news of Pushkar’s death, but it was buried in inside pages or the back page. Many of them carried only a single-column report.

The Daily Times, whose former journalist Mehr Tarar is at the centre of controversy for an alleged affair with the minister, carried a report of Pushkar’s death. However, it left out the name of the 45-year-old Pakistani journalist.

The newspapers, with the exception of Dawn, The Express Tribune and The News, used reports from foreign wire services.

The most prominent coverage was in The News, which carried a report on page five headlined “Pak journalist maligned in mysterious death of Tharoor’s wife”. It carried another report about Pushkar and the IPL scandal. Geo News, which belongs to the same media group as The News, was the only channel that gave extensive coverage to the controversy.

It spoke to some journalists in India and aired an interview with Tarar, who denied the charges against her. Most news channels, which are otherwise quick to play up any story that has an Indian angle, did not give it much coverage. The news bulletins featured short capsules on Pushkar’s death.

Social media was more active, with many Pakistanis on Twitter sympathising with the three individuals involved.

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