Monday, March 23, 2009

Terrorist attacks: How Pakistan wins the news cycle

Terrorist attacks: How Pakistan wins the news cycle


Ramesh Chander

WHATEVER ONE may say about Pakistani politicians, they always win the news cycle throughout the world. Something the Indian politicians are just too incompetent or too lazy to do.

Some of the secrets Pakistan knows about world news are:

1. Get any statement out to the wires (Reuters/AP etc) and it will be spread through out the world. The information being accurate is very optional.
2. Act fast. Whenever there is big news like a terrorist attack - people will read all news that comes out in the first day. The interest will diminish the second day; fade the third day and so on.
3. Always be ready to give a counter-statement. Always be at hand to deny any accusations.
4. America is the center of the world with respect to news information. Notice that after the Mumbai terrorist attack; New York Times had a widely read article penned by Zardari. (Hello, it was Mumbai that was attacked and Mumbai is in India. Where are our Indian politicians?)
5. People (especially abroad) generally do not follow news on weekends. So even if you admit to any terrorist attack or you want to release a terrorist or appease one, do it over a weekend.

Take the current Lahore attack. A ‘minister of shipping’ got word out to agencies that the terrorists may have come from boat from India. This was among the first news that was published throughout the world. The agencies just published it,

Now many news agencies are reporting, "Pakistan sees India hand" because of some vague accusations from people. It follows the principles, just get some news out, accurate or not. A week later you can deny that. Nobody would read those articles anyway.

Compare this with the Mumbai attack. As soon as the involvement of Pakistan hit the wires, Pakistan denied it. So the news was something to the effect of "Indian accused Pakistan. Pakistan denies the attack. India usually accuses Pakistan for all its terrorists attack"

When will our politicians and diplomats wake up? Can they ever become as competent as the Pakistanis? If they want Pakistan to be declared a terrorist state, it is not just important to smooch with World diplomats, it is more important to win the hearts and minds of people everywhere, because ultimately, the world diplomats follow the hearts and minds of their citizens. The only way to win the hearts and minds of people everywhere is to dominate the world news cycle.

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