International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Portrayal of United States in Pakistani Print Media after Osama Bin Laden’s Killing (May - July 2011)
Savera Shami

Pakistan is a ‘front line ally’ in U.S. led ‘war on terror’ in Afghanistan. The second and unannounced phase of this ‘war on terror’ is rapidly at dispersal in Pakistan due to detection and killing of some important Al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan. Since long, United State is indulging Pakistan into the state of war by exploiting through various financial aid packages and magnifying the intended terrorist threats from Al-Qaida. Though, the public opinion is anti-American, but the leadership of Pakistan seems under immense pressure of United States. American Drone attacks to kill undercover Afghan terrorists and undue interference in the sovereignty of Pakistan are major points of conflict. The tension between U.S. and Pakistan peaked up when U.S. Navy Seals killed Osama Bin Laden in a secret operation at Abottabad on May 2, 2011. The conduct of ‘Operation Abottabad’ raised many questions on Americans as well as Pakistani Forces. As, in this situation Media can change or reinforce public perception so it has been observed that after this operation, media has portrayed America negatively, considering that this kind of activity cannot be conducted by any friendly country or ally. Thus, present study is an attempt to gauge the portrayal of U.S. in Pakistani newspapers The News and Dawn, by applying ‘Content Analysis’ to examine the news and editorial content from May 3, 2011 to July 2011. The findings have revealed that both the newspapers published more unfavorable or negative news and editorials regarding U.S. than favorable or positive. Both newspapers were found critical towards American policies and actions in the region and portrayed United States in anti-American tone. This pattern of anti-American framing of news and editorial seems to be the reflection of wide spread protests and anti-war aggression by the general masses and political parties across the nation during the post Osama period understudy. The newspapers, resultantly, exerted pressures on foreign policy making, Pakistan government and army by representing anti-war and anti-American public sentiments.

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