Ideological Representation of Political Voice in the Headlines of Pakistani English Newspapers on Asghar Khan Case


  • Arshad Mehmood Department of English, NUML, Islamabad
  • Shamim Ali Department of English, AIOU, Islamabad


Critical Discourse Analysis,Ideology, Discursivity, Political voice, PPP, PML-N


In order to create awareness in the global social arenas, media studies have attained considerable attention in exploring ideological representation of political voice. The reason for this significance is the language of media that is treated non- critically, and believed as transparent and impartial by the general masses. Therefore, it is viewed independent and free from any bias on certain issues (Sultan, 2000). However, instead of producing factual information, media discourses are ideological and serve the purpose of manipulating the ideas of the readership. In this regard, data has been obtained from widely circulated twoPakistani English newspapers (Dawn and The Nation). This study examines the manipulation of the orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan on Asghar Khan Case. Asghar Khan is a Pakistani citizen who filed a case against Nawaz Sharif and other Pakistani politicians who were alleged to receive handsome amount from Pakistani Intelligence Agency to win the elections in the year 1990 against the most popular leader of the day, Benazir Bhutto. Therefore, the study aims at exploring the discursive strategies used by the selected Pakistani English newspapers. To answer the question of ideological representation of political voice in media discourse, the study uses Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to investigate the representation of politicians in front page headlines of the newspapers from 20th October 2012 to 31 December, 2012 very significant pre-election period. The analysis examines firstly, both discursive and social practices related to constructing political discourse in relation to the process of news construction, political parties and the regimes. Secondly, the news headlines are analyzed linguistically in terms of metaphor, metonymy, transitivity, modality, lexical choices and nominalization. Moreover, the news headlines are analyzed at broader social and political level in order to find ideological underpinnings incorporated in political discourse using Fairclough’s model of Critical Discourse Analysis.