Taking a leaf from itsdirty playbook, the UKseems to have started an unprecedentedassault on Pakistan – this time on the country’s Armed Forces – through its veritable arm: the British Broadcasting Corporation or BBC. In a piece published by BBC Urdu on 26 November and written by Shahzad Malik, we hear a desperate father’s plea to Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa to order the release of his son allegedly “picked” up by the security forces in 2016. The article also contains a copy of the father’s letter to the COAS. The father, we are told, is an ex-army officer who is being represented before the Pakistani courts by another ex-army officer. The army versus army narrative combined with the innuendoand reckless reporting in the article make it a “gripping” read. Afterall, this could be the BBC’s best bet to rope in Pakistani readership and muddy the local populace’s perceptions about the country’s Armed Forces. Whilsthoping that BBC’s media lawfare will inflict a “reputational casualty” on Pakistan’s Armed Forces, the unintended consequences for the UK could be dire:negatively impactits diplomatic relations with Pakistan -akey ally which is the gateway to Afghanistan andsituated smack in the middle of a volatile neighborhood. So, what has the BBC done which could unimaginably rankle Pakistan and upend relations between the two countries. Given the broad mandate enjoyed by the Pakistanimedia under the umbrella of”freedom of expression”, lately there have been unsubstantiated attacks on the country’s Armed Forces as well as – most recently – its judiciary. Whilst the judiciary hastaken contempt of court proceedings against journalists (a credible deterrent against unfounded media adventurism), Pakistan’s Armed forces – specially its military – havetheir hands tied due to the falseperception in the Western media that the Pakistan Army is responsible for resurrecting the Taliban back into power. As the saying goes: perception is reality. In this backdrop, BBC’s irresponsible piece about Pakistan’s Armed Forces could have a force multiplier effect once it gets picked by global and Pakistani local media. In the face of this assault, the Pakistani statecannot be expected to sit back and watch the carnage unfold. Let’s turn to the article. Itmeanders through a winding road as it paints the picture of a hapless father left to the mercy of the country’s COAS in his unending quest for justice. Interestingly, the article itself mentions that the father has had recourse to the country’s courts,going so far as to get an audience before the Peshawar High Court, upon whose order, the military was ordered to arrange for the family’s meeting with the the incarcerated son. The article ends with a rather obvious conclusion shared by the military sources interviewed by the author: that the incarcerated person’s father has had resource to the courts of Pakistanthat are aware of his incarceration; that the Pakistani courts are judicially independent and have the constitutional power to summon the Armed Forces on matters relating to incarceration of citizens; and, that the matter is being needly made controversialdespite judicial intervention and the award of a suitable judicial remedy. One is left wondering about the purpose behind the article and how it would benefit a common Pakistani reader. Worse, bereft of any purpose and logic, this irresponsible, incomplete and shoddily written Urdu article can have dangerous consequences for Pakistan’s vital national security interests. A common Pakistani reader, loyal to global brands such as the BBC, would take the BBC’s word at face value without looking for nuance. This does not bode well for Pakistan. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that BBC has ventured down this road. The legions skewered by the BBC include earlierflagrant attempts at evoking controversy about the country’s Armed Forces. On 29 October, the same author writing for BBC Urdu published an article on the military court sentence awarded to a computer engineer (the son of an ex-army officer) for evoking mutiny in the Armed Forcesthroughhis letter to the COAS and other army generals. Taken at face value, the article which has a photo of the COAS on top, appears to suggestthat the computer engineer’s sentence is due to the COAS’s personal intervention or interest in his sentencing. Like the other article, this article, too, paints the country’s Armed Forces in a dark light by resorting to half-baked stories, narrating opinions as facts, and by reaching unsubstantiated conclusions. Pakistani media landscape is full of “journalists for hire” like Shahzad Malik who are the front for launching attacks at the behest of others. Authors like him get mileage by tagging the COAS or Pakistan’s Armed Forces for their sponsors who, in turn, do them heavy favors for propagating their stories and furthering their agendas. The modus operandi of such authors is to spin off stories by giving them a palatable twist to reach a wider audience. If space continues to be given to such journalists by BBC to pen their nonsensical diatribes, then this will not only constitute a violation of the journalistic code of ethics but would also end up eating into the good will that exists between UK and Pakistan. The growing perception in the Pakistani circles is that these BBC articles are being published with the obvious ulterior motive to malign Pakistan and its Armed Forces. It is a known fact that Pakistan has never interfered in UK’s internal affairs. Despite wrinkles in this relationship that may have emerged from time to time, such as when the English Cricket Team cancelled its Pakistan tour at the last minute, Pakistan did not use the English media to voice its protest. On the contrary, the BBC is now being used to shamelessly attack Pakistan’s Armed Forces – a dangerous trend that would not be taken lightly by the Pakistani state. The UK needs to realize and put an end to this dangerous and sinister lawfare before it mushrooms into a larger and unavoidable diplomatic crisis between two allies.