Metaphorical Devices in Political cartoons with Reference to Political Confrontation in Pakistan after Panama Leaks.
Cartooning is not merely a passive reflection of the public spirit, but rather contributes to building that public spirit in powerful ways. It is where the political imagination is created (Vovelle, 1991, p.22).
Several scholars observed that metaphors are one of the popular symbolic devices depicting political scenarios and interpreting political situations in political cartoons (Seymour-Ure, 1986; Bostdorff, 1987; El Refaie, 2003) because El Refaie (2003) argued, "metaphors convey a complex message in a much more immediate and condensed fashion than language" (p. 87). Being a significant tool in political cartooning, it is pertinent to define metaphors first.
Metaphor is a symbolic way to express the hidden message in both verbal (e.g. Jamieson, 1980; Polio, 1996; Kress, 1994, 2000) and visual form of text (e.g., Bostdorff, 1987; Edwards, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2001; El Refaie, 2003; Morris, 1993). It has been assumed that metaphor is perceived as a linguistic device. It is a way of thinking and a technique of interpreting the circumstances and experiences of surroundings. As McVittie (2009) added "the notion of metaphor as primarily a linguistic phenomenon is replaced with an understanding that considers it as present in all forms of expression; signs, gestures, behavior etc". It is also argued "the mechanisms underlying metaphor exist in the mind independently of language" (El Refaie, 2003, p. 76).
As a diverse phenomenon, visual metaphors have been a focus of communication scholars in different disciplines, for instance, advertising (Forceville, 1994, 1995), films (Carroll, 1996), cartoons (Kennedy, 1993; Morris, 1993) and visual demonstrations for strategic and control purposes (Dent- Read, et al., 1994). Therefore, metaphors are defined in different ways respectively. El-Refaie (2003) stated, "visual metaphors are pictorial expression of a metaphorical way of thinking" (p.75) but the message conveyed through visual metaphors is not as simple as it seems "because the boundaries between the literal and the metaphorical are fuzzy and highly context dependent. This means that metaphors must always be studied within their socio-political context" (p.75).
As far as political cartoons are concerned, metaphors are the devices that may define and comprehend key players, circumstances or issues (Bostdorff, 1987; Seymour-Ure, 1986). Moreover, Bostdorff (1987) described the effectiveness of metaphor in political cartoons and stated "by labeling something that which it is not, metaphor makes use of perspective by incongruity; our perception of the object/person is altered by its incongruous pairing with some other name. In this way, metaphor provides insight" (p. 48). Similarly, Eko (2007) also added "political cartoons are usually couched in easily recognizable metaphors, which delimit their content, form meaning and interpretation (p.222). In addition, Ricoeur (1975) argued that political cartoons include "linguistic metaphors (words) and esthetic metaphors (image)" (p.137). In other words, visual, verbal and sometimes, both visual and verbal metaphors are commonly used in political cartoons to make the meaningful meaning.
Literature depicts that political cartoonists use visual and verbal metaphorical devices in political cartoons for the following purposes.
1. Metaphorical representation in political cartoons builds image of politicians with reference to different political events (Edwards, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2001; Speedling, 2004). Edward (2001) observed that there are two forms of metaphors used in political cartoons to define and redefine the images of politicians, i.e. situational metaphor and embodying metaphor. Situational metaphor is "directed at redefining an existing situation" while the embodying metaphor is "directed at redefining person" (p.2142). Both forms of metaphors depict the media ideology and perception about politicians and political events (Edwards, 2001). While examining the enmity and aggression during the Gulf War in political cartoon, Edwards (1993) also argued "metaphor is a key tool of political cartoonists used in defining terms and issues. The visual depictions presented by political cartoons give metaphorical definitions a concreteness that affirms the 'reality' of their meaning" (p. 66)
2. Metaphorical devices in political cartoons are used to express "a visual analogue to political power" by focusing on physical characteristics and strength (Sena, 1985). But for this purpose, it is necessary that distorted and exaggerated physical characteristics of politicians must have some relation with reality to make them recognizable (Medhurst and DeSousa, 1981). For instance, if the politician's face with any animal's body is depicted in a political cartoon, it would be a zoomorphic metaphor that builds the image of that politician with reference to the particular animal and its characteristics. The characteristics of animal denotes to a visual analogue to political power. Similarly, "metaphor of diminishment" is another example, depicting a candidate as a child in order to convey the message as he is not suitable candidate to lead government (Edwards, 1995).
Therefore, different researchers observe that these metaphorical devices are usually used to lampoon and attack political candidates in order to build or distort their image during the election campaigns (Edwards, 2001; Koetzle and Brunell, 1996).
3. Metaphorical devices are also used in catch lines and phrases as Speedling (2004) argued,"political cartoons, utilizing metaphor, symbol, and other figurative and rhetorical devices, can be interpreted as part of a broader pattern of "symbolic contests" for which the media provide an arena" (p.15). According to Gamson and Stuart (1992), "symbolic contests are waged with metaphors, catch phrases, and other symbolic devices that mutually support an interpretive package for making sense of an ongoing stream of events as they relate to a particular issue" (p. 59). Therefore, while looking into the significance of using metaphorical devices in image representation through political cartoons, this paper is an effort to explore the political confrontation in Pakistan between the ruling party Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) and opposition parties with reference to Panama leaks in political cartoons.
The major objective is to examine the significance and power of cartooning in image construction of different political players involved in Panama Leaks within Pakistani political discourse.
2.0. Panama Leaks and Political Confrontation in Pakistan: An Overview
Panama Leaks are mega scandal, floated on news media surface on April 3, 2016, when the German newspaper named as Suddeutsche Zeitung, through an unidentified source, leaked 11.5 million files that comprise the data from 1970 to 2016. The newspaper later exchanged these papers with International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) from where various international and national media houses obtained certain details of offshore companies. These documents belong to a well-known company, Mossack Fonseca, located in Panama City, hence known as Panama papers. The company sells offshore companies that enable the owners to hide their money and can escape from the taxes (Bloom, 2016, April 3).
Those named in Panama papers were quite famous figures in Pakistan, ranging from politicians, businessmen, Judges, retired officers, celebrities and traders among these 495 Pakistani nationals. The leaks revealed 214,488 offshore companies, out of these, 8 companies belong to the family of Pakistan's seasoned politician and ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif (Cheema, 2018, December 24). Sharif family owns three British Virgin Islands-based companies Nielsen Enterprises Ltd, Nescoll Ltd, and Hangon Property Holdings Ltd, which were reportedly established in 1993, 1994 and 2007 respectively. These companies kept receiving foreign capital but avoided to pay due tax. ("Panama Papers....", 2016, April 5).
After the Panama leaks, it became a major concern and lead story for all media outlets for more than a year in Pakistan. Opposition parties started accusing Nawaz Sharif for suspected corruption. After the criticism by the opposition, on April 5, 2016, Nawaz addressed the nation and presented himself for the accountability, although, he claimed the innocence of himself and his family. After that, for almost 5 months, this matter hanged between the conflict of government and opposition especially Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) on the issue of terms of references and they were not reaching on a common point. At the end of August 2016, Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) filed two different petitions in Supreme Court regarding the matter of Panama papers. Supreme Court accepted their petitions on October 20, 2016, formed a larger bench on October 28, 2016, and started hearing the case on November 1, 2016.
During the proceedings, Nawaz Sharif's sons, Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz submitted their statements on corruption charges along with a letter by the Prince of Qatar as money trail for the apartments in London. The opposition also submitted proofs to the Supreme Court. The five-member bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa heard the case. After the arguments of defense and prosecution, the court reserved its verdict on February 23, 2017. Finally, the verdict was announced on April 20, 2017, which stated that two judges agreed on a point that Nawaz should not hold the position of Prime Minister, as he is not a truthful person while the other three judges felt the need of more investigation on this issue. They ordered to form a joint investigation team (JIT) on this issue which would dig out the missing points of this probe.
Nawaz Sharif, his sons Hassan and Hussain, daughter Maryam, son in law Muhammad Safdar Awan, Brother Shahbaz Sharif and Minister Ishaq Dar appeared in front of JIT and record their statements. On July 10, 2017, JIT submitted their report. After four hearings; the court reserved its final verdict on July 21, 2017. The Panama papers' case is completed in 273 days and on July 28, 2017, the Supreme Court announced its final verdict in which all the 5 judges agreed on the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif and also ordered to open the corruption cases against Sharif family in trial courts (Cheema, 2018, December 24). After the Panama verdict, Nawaz Sharif left the Prime Minister Office.
On one side, after the disqualification as Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif kept believing that he got disqualified on minor charges and never got punished on what was actually framed in the petitions. On the other side, on September 13, 2017, NAB began the proceedings against the Sharif family and Ishaq Dar in the references of four cases. The three of them against the Sharif family were related to the Flagship Investment Ltd, the Avenfield (London) properties and Jeddah-based Al-Azizia Company and Hill Metal Establishment. The fourth reference filed against Ishaq Dar pertains to the charge of possessing assets beyond one's known sources of income. Finally on July 06, 2017, the accountability court announced the guilty judgment against the Sharif Family in Avenfield Corruption scandal. Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to prison for 10 years for owning assets beyond his known sources of income. His daughter Maryam Nawaz was handed to jail for 7 years for helping his father to purchase the high-end properties in London.
Nawaz's son-in-law Captain Safdar was given 1 year jail time for not cooperating with NAB. Captain Safdar was arrested on July 8, 2017 while Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were in London for looking after of Kalsoom Nawaz (Nawaz's wife was on ventilator).
They returned on July 13, 2017 to face the jail time and were arrested on their arrival at Lahore airport (Cheema, 2018, December 24).
The punishment and the guilty judgment against the Sharif family is not the scope of the paper. This paper only focuses upon the Panama leaks and the long probe against the Sharif family when they were in power.
3.0. Semiotics as a Theoretical Thirst and Research Methodology for the Metaphorical Image Representation in Political Cartoons
Semiotics is the theoretical gist of this paper to observe the metaphorical devices used to depict Panama Leaks in political cartoons of Pakistan because metaphors as explained earlier is the blend of signs and symbols.Within this tradition of signs and symbols, this study is focused on the Barthes' model. According to Barthes (1957), semiotics' inquiry "will not teach us what meaning must be definitively attributed to work, it will not provide or even discover a meaning but will describe the logic according to which meanings are endangered"(p.63).
To examine the political confrontation and image building of government and opposition parties of Pakistan regarding Panama Leaks through sign and symbols in the selected political cartoons, two research methods, quantitative content analysis and semiotic are used. All the political cartoons related to Panama Leaks published in three mainstream English newspapers Dawn, The Nation and Express Tribune from April 4, 2016 to July 29, 2017 are selected. Feica in Dawn, Maxim in The Nation and Sabir Nazar in Express Tribune are selected because of the two following reasons:
1. They all three belong to those mainstream English newspapers who have the highest circulation in Pakistan.
2. They all have more than 25 years of experience in the field of political cartooning of Pakistan.
4.0. Findings and Interpretation
This section of paper discusses the findings and analysis of the selected political cartoons regarding Panama issue that are published in mainstream English newspapers of Pakistan in two sections. In the first section, the findings of quantitative content analysis are discussed while in the second section; the findings of semiotics through thematic analysis are interpreted.
4.1. Categorization of Political Cartoons
The results of quantitative content analysis aregiven in the following table:
Table 01 Frequency and Qualitative analysis of political cartoons related to Panama issue
###Name of###Government###Political###Issues###Government###Total###Total Political
Sr. Newspapers and their (PMLN)###Parties in###based###Vs.###Cartoons on
###Political Cartoonists###Opposition###Cartoons###Opposition###Panama Issue
###in all three
Table 1 illustrates that there are 76 political cartoons of Sabir Nazar in Express Tribune published on Panama Leaks. It highlights that Sabir Nazar predominantly represented opposition leaders more in his political cartoon than government officials as he depicted 21 political cartoons mainly portrayed opposition leaders of political parties and only 4 political cartoons depicted government. It indicates that other than opposition leaders, there are 31 political cartoons of Sabir Nazar in which he compared both sides overwhelmingly and predominantly.
It further highlights that in Dawn, total 58 political cartoons were published during the selected period directly or indirectly related to Panama Leaks. Among 58, 16 political cartoons mainly depicted government officials while only 5 cartoons portrayed opposition political leaders. It was observed that Feica's main focus of depiction was the role and stance of government and opposition political parties together in Panama Leaks because Dawn published 24 political cartoons in which both sides are depicted overwhelmingly and it is maximum number of depiction as compared to Express Tribune and the Nation.
Table 01 also indicates that The Nation published 86 political cartoons on panama issue from April 2016 to July 29, 2017. Among 86 cartoons, 32 political cartoons depicted only Prime Ministers and government officials involved directly or concerned indirectly about Panama Leaks while 36 political cartoons were related to Panama issue and only 10 political cartoons portrayed opposition leaders of all political parties.
4.2. Common Images of the Political Confrontation with Reference to Panama Leaks trail in Political Cartoons of Pakistan
As mentioned above, there were 116 political cartoons on Panama Leaks published in the selected newspapers. Several following themes for the presentation of political conformation were extracted by identifying the major signifiers in all selected political cartoons. In the following discussion, the most prototypical examples based upon the visibility and prominence of political confrontation between ruling party and opposition parties with reference to panama leaks from the sample of 116 political cartoons are discussed under the light of Barthes' model of signification. For Barthes model of connotation and denotation, only those cartoons are selected which framed the sitting government and opposition leaders on Panama issue from April 4, 2016 to July 29, 2017.
4.2.1. Common Metaphorical Images in the Express Tribune
It was observed that most of the cartoons sketched by Sabir Nazar were based upon three major themes that are:
1. The real sufferer is Pakistan
2. Political orchestra
3. Nawaz is powerless and perplexed
1. The Real Sufferer is Pakistan: The major theme that was predominantly depicted in the cartoons of Sabir Nazar is 'politicians are busy in the Panama confrontation and they have nothing to do with the real issues of Pakistani public'. For instance, sample C1, two men are sitting on the opposite sides on a table and playing chess. One of them is wearing a cap labeled with "Opp" which denotes to the opposition political parties while the other is wearing cap labeled "govt" that refers to the government (ruling political party PMLN). Both look serious and are sitting in the gesture, as they are seriously involved in the game while a man is holding the table on his shoulders and bearing the weight of their game. Pakistani flag's motif is drawn on his cap, which signifies him as Pakistani nation. This man's facial expression is as he is very much tired and worried. He is looking at a list of other problems on a paper, which includes load-shedding, honor killing, etc.
The caption of the cartoon confirms it relation with Panama Leaks because there was an intense dispute between the government and opposition political parties over the terms of references for probing the Panama scandal and accountability of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Several political analysts and intellectuals predicted that the longer the dispute persisted and the more it would become intense and this situation would worse Pakistan's internal issues.
Similarly, there is another example where Pakistani public is depicted in a miserable situation due to over emphasize of all Pakistani political actors on Panama scandal. The sample C 2 portrays a television channel labeled as 'Panama' while all the scary stuff including knife, punches, skeleton skull are bombarded out of the television screen towards the sitting sofa but no one is sitting there. On the other side, a man is hiding behind that sofa. He is reading the Tribune newspaper with his scary and worried facial expressions.
2. Opposition as a 'Political Orchestra': It was observed that another predominantly used metaphor for opposition political parties especially for Imran Khan in political cartoons of Sabir Nazar was 'political orchestra'. There were number of cartoons where either Imran Khan alone or with the prominent political leaders of opposition parties play different musical instruments. The literal meaning of 'Orchestra' is a group of instrumentalists who play classical instruments on a stage. This metaphor actually denotes to the fact that opposition is chanting the same song of Panama Leaks and corruption in every political happening.
For instance, in the sample C3, C4, C5, depicting prominent politicians in all opposition parties are sitting together like a musical band and playing their instruments but all the instruments are producing the same beat of 'panama', 'corruption', 'Modi', 'Raiwand'. All these words have connotations with PM Nawaz's links with Panama Leaks, corruption and his relations with Indian Prime Minister Modi (the historical rival country of Pakistan). 'Raiwand' is the name of the residential area of PM Nawaz Sharif.
3. Nawaz Sharifis Powerless and Perplexed Prime Minister: The third metaphor in political cartoons of Sabir Nazar, where opposition parties are predominantly criticized, portrayed PM Nawaz Sharif as a powerless and perplexed Prime Minister. It was observed that using one or combining the following symbolic patterns constructed the image of Nawaz Sharif as a powerless and perplexed prime minister:
The most prominent metaphor "powerful opposition versus powerless Nawaz and his team" was constructed through depicting Nawaz as a small in body size, bent and weak in body gestures with frightening and confusing facial expressions while portraying opposition as a giant in body size, determined and firm in body gestures with relaxed and smiling facial expression (see sample C 6, 7, 8). Butera (2008) argued, the association of power with height is a socially constructed phenomenon; therefore, taller bodies are institutionally and discursively imbued with power (p. 02). He further argued that "by using the Barthes' concept of myth, within the mythology of tallness, the tall body functions as a signifier of a constellation of traits: wealth, leadership and power" (p.11).
4.2.2. Common Metaphorical Images in the Dawn
It was found that most of the cartoons sketched by Feica were based upon three major themes that are:
1. Nawaz Sharif is in trouble and facing music
2. Panama is a complex puzzle for Public
1. Nawaz is in trouble and facing music: One of the major images of Nawaz Sharif was built in the Dawn as PM stuck in the Panama Leaks badly and facing music. Different metaphors were identified in Feica's cartoons to depict Nawaz but one of the common metaphors was'stuck in maze and solving puzzle'. For instance, in the sample C 9, Nawaz with his sons Hassan and Hussein are stuck in a maze and they are trying to find a way to get out of a network of long paths and hedges designed as a puzzle. Similarly, in Sample C10, Nawaz Sharif is arranging a puzzle that is labeled as Panama Inquiry commission. He has made a body with puzzling cards but could not make the head. This refers to the tough decision for a sitting Prime Minister to form an inquiry commission for probing Panama leaks against him.
To depict Nawaz Sharif in trouble, there are several other metaphors were used. For instance, in sample C 11, Nawaz Sharif is walking a tightrope while carrying his sons on his shoulders and holding a stick in his hands. His facial expressions are as he is sacred. The idiomatic expression of walking tightrope denotes to the Panama's tough situation where Nawaz Sharif had to be very cautious for his and his family's politics. Similarly, in sample C 12, there are so many voices of 'Panama' around Nawaz Sharif and he is covering his both ears with his hands as he does not want to listen this voice. Covering ears with hands usually refers to the nervousness of a person. It also denotes to an unpleasant situation when someone does not like to listen or see.
Similarly, another cartoon Sample C13 shows a crying lion whose tail is under a big rock of 'Panamagate'. Lion is a party sign of PML (N) and 'crying lion' signifies the trouble of the leader of the PML (N) because of Panama. This cartoon was published when the PTI's spokesperson told the press that they are giving three more evidences of corruption to the JIT against Nawaz Sharif.
2. Panama is a complex puzzle for Public: Most of the cartoons in the daily Dawn drawn by Feica were focused upon the public's sentiments towards Panama trial. Therefore, another predominantly observed theme in Feica's political cartoons was "Panama is a complex puzzled for public'. Sample C14, C15 and C15are three examples of several cartoons by Feica which depict the Panama Leaks as a complexed matter. In Sample C14, the strings of the two 'Panama kites' are badly riddled while a man and a women are looking at them anxiously as those kites' threads would never be untangled while in the sample 15, there is a big snail with its long coiled shell which is labelled as 'Panama Probe'. A man and a child with confused faces and anxious body language looking at the snail. In contemporary discourse, the expression of 'a snail's pace' often refers to a very slow and inefficient process. Therefore, it indicates that Panama probe is a very slow and a matter of long patience.
Similarly, in sample C 16, there is a big lock of 'Terms of references' on the table and a man and a child are looking at it with very confusing and frightening facial expressions and body language. That very big lock denotes to the big deadlock between government and opposition over the matter of terms of references for Panama trail of Nawaz Sharif because both rejected each other's' TORs and both had also refused to sit on the table to negotiate. Confusing man and child refer to the confusing situation for the public who are confused for how to 'unlock this big deadlock'.
4.2.3. Common Metaphorical Images in the Nation
It was observed that political cartoons of the Nation drawn by Maxim reflected the clear policy to dislike Nawaz Sharif and support the stance of Opposition especially Imran Khan on Panama trail. Therefore, it was found that most of the political cartoons in the daily Nation featured Nawaz Sharif based on the following major themes.
1. Nawaz Sharif is immoral, careless and non-serious person/Prime Minister
2. Nawaz is in danger as Qadri-Imran shakes hands against his regime.
3. Nawaz Sharif on Cusps of power
4. Panama issue will never settled
1. Nawaz Sharif is immoral, careless and non-serious person/Prime Minister: It was found that most of the cartoons by Maxim create meanings with the captions or dialogues. For instance, Sample C 17 and 18, dialogues create image of Nawaz Sharif as a Prime Minister who is immoral and non-serious. Sample C17 portrays a statement of opposition parties soon after Panama Leaks that 'PM has lost moral authority to stay in power" but PM is asking his party ministers 'Pervaiz Rashid' and 'Daniyal Aziz' 'what is moral?' while both are pretending as they do not know the meaning. Daniyal Aziz is holding a dictionary of their party 'PML N'.
So if they do not have this word in their dictionary that means, they are immoral by all means. Sample C18 also portrays a news when Korean President Park Geun-Hye was sacked by the court over a wide ranging corruption scandal on March 10, 2017 and in Pakistan, both the defense and prosecution completed their arguments on Panama Leaks but the Supreme Court reserved its verdict on the Panama Leaks. This cartoon depicts a very happy Nawaz Sharif who is jumping with joy and victory signs while the captions says that he is happy because he is Prime Minister, not the president. President was sacked not the Prime Minister.
Similarly, in another cartoon Sample C19, Nawaz Sharif wearing like a king's coat is sitting in a big royal chair with crossed feet and saying 'No tension' while looking at a mail box where he can see 'JIT report'. His image with his body language and words depicting him as a king who is carefree and has no tension regarding any judgment or statement of the commission against him.
2. Nawaz is in danger as Qadri-Imran shakes hands against his regime: Another image of Nawaz was built when Dr. Tahir ul Qadri (Chairman Pakistan Awami Tehreek) joined Imran Khan (Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf) for Islamabad siege to make Nawaz Sharif step down after Model Town massacre and Panama Leaks in October 2016.Though the discussion of Model Town massacre is not the scope of this paper yet it was a violent clash between the Punjab Police and Pakistan Awami Tehreek activists on June 17, 2014 resulting in several protesters being killed by the police gunfire. This rally was to support all parties' grand alliance against Nawaz Sharif and his government.
Sample C 20 and 21 are two example of several political cartoons which depict Nawaz Sharif in trouble because of the union of Dr. Tahir ul Qadri and Imran Khan. In Sample C 20, the idiomatic metaphor is used where Nawaz is stuck between two undesirable situations and both alternatives are dangerous. He is stuck between a very big devil of 'Panama Leaks' and the deep blue sea of Model Town Massacre. Similarly, in Sample C21, the badly ill Nawaz Sharif is on the hospital bed and using artificial oxygen to survive while holding a newspaper which shows the headline "Qadri joins Imran". Being ill, hospitalized, using artificial oxygen to survive all situations reflect that Nawaz Sharif and his power is in trouble after this union against his government.
3. Nawaz Sharif on Cusps of power: The third theme which was identified in the political cartoons of the Nation was "Nawaz Sharif on cusps of power". Different metaphors were used. One of them was the sinking boat, worried facial expressions of Nawaz and his words 'Leaks Ya Allah' to seek help from God for his survival portrayed in Sample C 22. Similarly, in Sample C23, the long path on which Nawaz Sharif is walking while pulling a cart is also finished, He looks too sad and worried through his facial expressions. The end of the path refers to the end of his power and the cart which he is puling denotes to his politics.
4. Panama Issue will never be settled: Another theme on Panama trail was about its long and lazy process of decision. This is exactly the same which was built by Dawn but in the Nation, the metaphor of 'Kashmir issue' was commonly used in several cartoons because Kashmir is an enduring conflict between India and Pakistan. Countless efforts have been made since the inception of the issue but it has never been resolved. Therefore, in sample C24, an old woman sees the future in the globe and is telling the person sitting in front of her that Panama case will be resolved after the settlement of Kashmir issue. Similarly, in the Sample C25, a woman is holding a scale of Justice and showing that Panama issue and Kashmir Issue are equal in weight and caption shows that they both are jugular veins to Pakistan.
The same image was also built with the metaphor of age. In the same C26, a very old and feeble man with long beard is sitting on a bench while holding a walking stick while his grandson is asking him "when will this case be over dadajee". The old grandfather is replying "when you will be of my age and your grandson will ask the same question". Similarly, in sample C27, the dead body who was born in 2010, 6 years before the Panama Leaks and died in 2095, is asking his son from his grave, "Has the Panama verdict arrived son?" This long age and dead body refer to the long and enduring wait for Panama decision.
To put into the nutshell, metaphorical devices in political cartoons are one of the key weapons of cartoonists' armory. These devices are used to attack on the candidates and contribute to the image and character building. It was found that all the selected political cartoonists used different forms of metaphors including situational metaphors and embodying metaphors. Not only the physical stature but also the debates and their activities were depicted metaphorically in the cartoons that create the scenario of comparison between the cartoons and their real political confrontation. It was examined that both forms of metaphors shed light on cartoonist's perception and newspaper's policy about political candidates, political parties and particular events.
It is observed from the findings that Maxim published more number of cartoons on Panama leaks than the other cartoonists. Cartoons of Maxim mostly focused upon the government (PML N)as compared to the opposition leaders but it was also concluded that cartoons of Maxim used different metaphors to portray the PML (N) negatively which clearly depict the policy of the Nation. After Maxim, Sabir Nazar in the Express Tribune published more number of cartoons. Like Maxim; he also highlighted the significance and shortcomings of issue rather than framing the leaders. But unlike Maxim, he was more focused on the framing of opposition leaders than the government leaders. His cartoons portrayed the negative role of opposition in Panama leaks as compared to the PML (N). His major emphasis was the depiction of Imran Khan in his cartoons. As discussed above, he depicted Imran and his party negatively which also reflected his policy.
On the other hand, in Dawn Feica's tilt was also towards the Panama issue as a whole and PML (N). He mostly depicted Nawaz Sharif in trouble and Panama trial is an enduring case which would never be solved.
The semiotic analysis indicates that, the selected cartoonists describe the issue of Panama through captions, the electoral signs of the political parties and different symbols. Their cartoons are based on the day to day news. They used signs and symbols which are indicating that both opposition and government leaders of Pakistan are corrupt and stands on the same level.It was concluded that some of the cartoons represent that Nawaz Sharif is positive and fighting with the opposition with great zeal, the connotative meaning of some cartoons are donating that Nawaz Sharif is trapped in the Panama leaks case and facing tough time while more number of cartoons describes that opposition is negative and focusing on this issue to gain personal benefits
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|Publication:||Journal of Pakistan Vision|
|Date:||Jun 20, 2019|
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