US Democracy Copies Pakistan

US Democracy Copies Pakistan. By Ryan Grim.

The Pakistani military invited the owners of the country’s major media organizations to Islamabad this week for a secret meeting to discuss coverage of the ongoing political and constitutional crisis, Pakistani journalists familiar with the gathering told The Intercept. The invitation was not one that could be refused, and the message was equally direct: Cease all coverage of former Prime Minister Imran Khan amid his ongoing clash with the military. …

An inspection of Pakistani media sites reveals a stark change. Earlier this week and every day for years before, Khan was a leading subject of coverage. He has effectively vanished from the news. …

The recent crisis began when Khan was hit with corruption charges, which he and supporters of his political party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or PTI, claim to be a political exercise aimed at excluding him from politics.

Khan, a former cricket player and philanthropist, has become Pakistan’s most popular politician by galvanizing public anger against the country’s dynastic political parties. He served as prime minister from 2018 to 2022, when he was removed from office by a coalition of opposition parties.


Back in July 2019, when both led their countries.


In Pakistan, there is no bigger story than the battle between Khan and the military, which has played out in spectacular fashion, including the extrajudicial arrest of Khan from inside a courtroom, sparking nationwide protests and, eventually, a Supreme Court order to free him. Khan is also the No. 1 driver of ratings and web traffic to news organizations — until Thursday, when he virtually disappeared from the national news media.

In the wake of the military’s imposed blackout over Pakistani media, Khan has taken to Western press and social media platforms like Twitter to try and get his message out. Even these platforms have not escaped censorship: Many Pakistani social media users have reported being contacted by the military over their posts and asked to remove them, lest they find themselves in prison as thousands of other supporters of Khan’s party have over the past several weeks.

Thousands of Khan’s loyalists have been imprisoned in recent weeks, and most of his party leadership has similarly been jailed, released only on the condition they publicly resign from the party.

A popular figure enters politics late in life to represent the common man against the corrupt elite. He is elected leader and rules for a few years. But the elite remove him from office by underhand means, then try to jail him with bogus charges to prevent him from re-emerging.

Pakistan then totally banned media coverage of Khan, to make him “disappear”. Will that be the next step in the Democrat’s war on Trump and the people he represents?