KARACHI - President Asif Ali Zardari's address to the nation hours after a deadly bomb blast at the Islamabad Marriott hotel had shaken the whole country on September 20, reflected the strong resolve of the nation not to be intimidated by terrorists activities. However, even in this hour of national grief, the state-owned Pakistan Television (PTV) appeared unable to display professionalism. The President's address was extremely important for its content and context. The Islamabad attack came the same day on which an elected President had addressed the joint session of the Parliament first time in a decade. Seen in the backdrop of the President's address and the broad public consensus against terrorism, the Islamabad attack could be described as a show of strength by the terrorists. The President's decision to address the nation hours after the attack communicated strong resolve of the country that such cowardly acts could not intimidate the nation. Soon after the President's decision to address the nation, the Information Ministry directed the PTV authorities to make arrangements for the speech. Once the PTV team reached the Presidency, it was decided that the President's speech would be recorded rather than broadcast live and clear instructions were provided to the PTV Chairman and MD Dr Shahid Masood to organise recording equipment accordingly. After approving the draft of the address, the President, as a part of the routine exercise, took a few minutes to rehearse the speech. The PTV cameras and recording systems were activated to monitor the rehearsal. The President's rehearsal was telecast live by the PTV and this live feed was picked by two other private networks. Dr Shahid Masood was present on the scene all through the episode. "Dr Shahid Masood was clearly directed that the speech would be recorded and the President did not wish a live broadcast," said a source at the Presidency. "The fact that despite strict instructions by the Presidency and the Information Ministry, PTV Chairman and MD organised live telecast and the state media even provided clean feed to two other channels demonstrated the length to which Dr Masood could go to damage the government?" The recording of the President's speech was telecast at around 2:10am on September 21. Upon learning of the mishap concerning his address, the President ordered the Minister of Information and Broadcasting to initiate an inquiry into the incident. The Information Ministry has constituted a committee to investigate into the matter. Dr Shahid Masood, who was to accompany the President on his trip to New York to attend the UN General Assembly session was ordered to stay back in Pakistan till the inquiry into the incident was completed. When this scribe contacted Additional Information Secretary A S Abbasi confirmed that a high-level committee had been constituted to investigate into the matter. "The committee will submit its report to the authorities when the President returns from New York later this week," said Mr Abbasi. Two months back, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's address to the nation was also messed up by the PTV, turning the PM's first communication to the nation into an extremely unnecessary controversy.