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Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani President Musharraf After 9/11
Unformatted Document Text:  Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani President Musharraf After 9/11 3 examine the way the three most influential American newsmagazines – Newsweek, Time and U.S. World & News Report – framed the role of the dictator Pervez Musharraf after the September 11 attacks. Determinants of the coverage of Pakistan in the U.S. press Pakistan and the United States For a long period of time, Pakistan has been considered a potentially important American ally in South Asia, but the partnership has been unstable ever since its beginning in the 1950s. The interest of the United States in Pakistan has always been moderate and largely determined by the relationship with Pakistan’s larger neighbor, India, which was almost continuously considered to be a more important U.S. partner in the region (Kux, 2001; Rahman, 1982) Throughout the 1990s, Pakistan changed governments several times. In 1997, the government of Navaz Sharif was reelected to replace Benazir Bhutto, who was discredited by corruption scandals. 3 On October 12, 1999, Pervez Musharraf, then the Pakistani Army Chief of Staff, was returning to Karachi on a commercial flight when Sharif’s government suddenly announced Musharraf’s dismissal. The Karachi airport tower was instructed by Sharif not to allow the plane to land but to divert it elsewhere, even though it was low on fuel. It was then, in the air, when Musharraf organized a military coup that ended in Sharif’s imprisonment and Musharraf taking over Pakistan. At that time, Musharraf was known to global public as the author of the failed Kargil plan in May 1999, when a large number of Pakistani-supported insurgents had crossed the line of control in the far north of Kashmir to occupy 15,000-foot positions near the town of Kargil. After failing to gain support

Authors: Obad, Orlanda.
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Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani
President Musharraf After 9/11
3
examine the way the three most influential American newsmagazines – Newsweek, Time
and U.S. World & News Report – framed the role of the dictator Pervez Musharraf after
the September 11 attacks.
Determinants of the coverage of Pakistan in the U.S. press
Pakistan and the United States
For a long period of time, Pakistan has been considered a potentially important
American ally in South Asia, but the partnership has been unstable ever since its
beginning in the 1950s. The interest of the United States in Pakistan has always been
moderate and largely determined by the relationship with Pakistan’s larger neighbor,
India, which was almost continuously considered to be a more important U.S. partner in
the region (Kux, 2001; Rahman, 1982) Throughout the 1990s, Pakistan changed
governments several times. In 1997, the government of Navaz Sharif was reelected to
replace Benazir Bhutto, who was discredited by corruption scandals.
3
On October 12, 1999, Pervez Musharraf, then the Pakistani Army Chief of Staff,
was returning to Karachi on a commercial flight when Sharif’s government suddenly
announced Musharraf’s dismissal. The Karachi airport tower was instructed by Sharif not
to allow the plane to land but to divert it elsewhere, even though it was low on fuel. It
was then, in the air, when Musharraf organized a military coup that ended in Sharif’s
imprisonment and Musharraf taking over Pakistan. At that time, Musharraf was known to
global public as the author of the failed Kargil plan in May 1999, when a large number of
Pakistani-supported insurgents had crossed the line of control in the far north of Kashmir
to occupy 15,000-foot positions near the town of Kargil. After failing to gain support


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