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Pakistan media full of WikiLeaks discussion

By Reza Sayah, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The News: "Pakistan's future is really bleak"
  • One newsman says the cables haven't revealed anything new
  • Anchor questions how democratic Pakistan really is

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- No matter what daily newspaper you picked up in Pakistan on Thursday, the headline was on the fallout from the WikiLeaks cables.

"WikiLeaks throws tons of dirt, shame on Pak players," read the front page of the English daily The News.

The headline on Dawn news said: "WikiLeaks bombs rock Islamabad."

Pakistani newspapers devoted much of their coverage to the leaked cables that revealed intense mistrust between Washington and Islamabad and deep rifts among Pakistan's most powerful figures, whose statements behind closed doors didn't always match what they said in public.

"These intimate details reveal that relations between Pakistan and the US on the one hand and between top politicians of the country on the other hand are based on total hypocrisy and shamelessness and no one is sincere to any one, neither can anyone be trusted, whether speaking publicly or privately," read a column in The News.

A column in Dawn news said this: "That the former top American diplomat in Pakistan thinks the US policy towards this country risks destabilizing` the Pakistani state is, quite frankly, extraordinary. It goes to the heart of the tensions between the two countries, where Pakistan has, sometimes legitimately, though often unfairly, been labeled as a duplicitous and unreliable partner."

"With such leadership, both political and military, Pakistan's future is really bleak. Whom should we trust? Who is free from the US influence? Can we become a sovereign nation? Can we take our own decisions? Why do we have more faith in Washington than in God?" read another column in The News.

If Pakistanis ran out of columns to read about the leaked cables, there was plenty of television to watch. Coverage of the WikiLeaks dumps dominated Pakistan's dozens of news channels where anchors unleashed sneers and jeers.

"What kind of a democratic government is this where all the decisions are made by either the US or the military?" asked anchor Meher Bukhari on her show on Urdu language Samaa TV.

On his show on GEO TV, Pakistan's most well known TV anchor Hamid Mir said: "Look at our military chief General Kayani. He seems to be the top politician in the country."

Azhar Abbas, the managing director of Karachi based GEO News, told CNN the leaked cables didn't reveal anything Pakistanis didn't know.

It was the backroom details that made it good TV, he said.

"It's a good, juicy story. Everyone loves conspiracy theories in Pakistan and they love to know what's happening behind close doors."