PTV and Mr Khan

The days when people in Pakistan sat glued to their television sets watching 'Waris' on PTV have given way to moribund 'broiler chicken' productions lacking the punch to hold viewer interest through even one full run. Salahuddin Tino might have won an award for his acting skills at the 12th PTV awards held last October but his performance or that of his counterpart Farha Nadeem was not good enough to up the consistently falling viewer interest in PTV. Even a survival attempt by PTV to launch PTV World could not wean the viewer – the content lacked originality. While the famed 'family dramas' on PTV have lost their lustre to the host of new channels airing game shows ('Maal Ka Sawaal´ on Indus Vision), entertainment shows ('Hum Sab Umeed Say Hain' on GEO), current affairs programmes (´Question Time Pakistan´ on BBC World) and even drama serials ('Umrao Jan Ada' on GEO), the AQ Khan apology earlier this month on television was a clincher all the way. It was the mother of all reality-TV shows for Pakistan, only this time PTV got lucky.

"I have much to answer for. The investigations have established that many of the reported activities did occur and these were inevitably initiated at my behest…I was confronted with the evidence and findings and I have voluntarily admitted that much of it is true and accurate…I have chosen to appear before you to offer my deepest regrets and unqualified apologies to a traumatised nation", said Khan. This was followed by a presidential pardon on the recommendation of the cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali.

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