By: Rashid Sami

It’s festivity galore on televisions—celebrating the nation’s independence, the first anniversary of PTV World and the official settlement version on the Kargil issue.

We start with the Kargil Show marking the first anniversary of PTV World. One can only wonder what kept the media masters in Islamabad from putting up the morale booster earlier. It was an impressive and concentric show with character and emotions. Kwaja Najmul Hasan should be given full marks for the production and for not missing out on any emotional queues. However, there were mixed sentiments about the treatment of the programme as viewers objected to the folk dances and pop music. The Urdu press is pouring out condemning statements. On the other hand the inhabitants of the country’s northern areas, specially Baltistan, staged demonstrations in Skardu against PTV for neglecting the local artistes and their representation in the programme. It must be noted that Baltistan and other areas are subjected to direct aggression and immense agony due to the Kargil war at its borders with India. PTV, even the speakers at the occasion including the two federal ministers, mentioned all other parts of Pakistan except Baltistan.

One precious lesson that our powerful men in Islamabad have learnt from the Kargil issue is that the failure of using the media as an effective tool to project our image and cause to the outside world can pay dearly. While our authorities were busy in the tussle between the bald and the beautiful arguing whether Ali Azmat and Ali Tim should or should not be allowed on the mini-screen, Iffat Rahim and Gia Ali be censored for not vovering their heads or ban Atiqa Odhol for life, television, on the other side of the border, was given a free hand and full support by their authorities to project their wrongdoings in the region as a legitimate act. Ironic, but the fact is that they succeeded in labellign us as the ghus bathiye (Hindi for intruders) owing mainly to the fallure of our information/ media masters in Islamabad. The Kargil Show on PTV World’s first anniversary came a bit late.

Coming back to the regular programming on television, the much-pubilcized Khawateen Hour is about to start its news quarter with new programming. One talk show that needs mentioning is Robin Behter Zindagi to be aired on Monday mornings with its repeat telecast on Tuesdays at 6.30 pm on PTV World (Teleworld.) With Salma Baig as its host, this programme has interesting and interactive titles including Rishta matlood hai. Bahu bamugabala bahu. TV, film our ghar, etc. This programme includes investigative stories relating to both the urban and rural women of Pakistan.

NTM has been renamed Channel 3 and Shahid Iqbal Pasha is its programming. PTV will be catering to the prime time programming on Channel 3 six days a week, except Mondays which is for NTM. Two drama serials worth mentioning are Manoos Ajnabi produced by Iqbal lateef and Wapsi ke bood. Other programmes on this channel include tak shows, comedy and musical programmes produced by PTV and private producers. Independence Day celebrations have also brought work to the PTV producers who are usually not that busy throughout the year.

One fresh entry to the mini-screen drama circuit is Mera ghar ek whirlpool, produced and directed by Yasir Akhtar. Based on a simple story line and family ties, the