Desk: A BBC news presenter, Philippa Thomas, shut down Christine Fair, a prominent South Asia and political-military affairs analyst, during a news programme and did not give her time to present her views on Afghanistan when she started speaking against Pakistan’s role.
The incident has come under fire from the social media users and many are now criticising and questioning BBC’s open bias towards Pakistan and Islamic extremists.
Kyle Orton remarked: “Quite gross from @BBCNews: our “impartiality” doctrine was used to basically shut down @CChristineFair when she explained #Pakistan’s jihad policy in #Afghanistan that has brought us all to this catastrophe — an issue on which there is no “balance” or “other side”, factually.”
C Uday Bhaskar, director, Society for Policy Studies, commented that he was disappointed with BBC World, but was not surprised.
Theo Farrell, Professor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), University of Wollongong too said: “Really disappointing. @BBCWorld shutting down @CChristineFair as she tries to advance a cogent critique of Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan. This is poor journalism; not what you expect from the Beeb.”
Mariam Amini, a Graduate student, observed: “Shame on @bbcworldservice for not letting Georgetown University Prof. @CChristineFair finish answering the question. This is an example how if BBC censors Afghanistan analysis. It is a fact Pakistan supports Taliban, the Taliban leaders have Pakistani passports & work with ISI.”
In India too analysts, experts and social media users have severely criticised BBC’s open defence of Pakistan’s terror tactics.
Vikram Sampath, well-known author and historian, observed: “What a shameful act by @PhilippaBBC & @BBCWorld to invite a reputed academic like @CChristineFair & then shut her down so gracelessly only because she didn’t read their propaganda script. But who ever expects the BBC to be fair in anything they do!”
BBC is known for its openly anti-India and pro-Pakistan stance on political, cultural and security issues. It has been criticised severely in the past for having provided platform to openly anti-India forces including those advocating for Kashmiri militant and separatists organisations.
Lord Indarjit Singh of Wimbledon, had left the BBC Radio’s Today program after having served them for 35 years. He claimed that the BBC had tried to stop him from broadcasting a script on Guru Teg Bahadur ji just on the grounds that that would offend muslims.