The media onslaught
Dr Muhammad Khan
Over the years, media has assumed for itself a very significant role at the level of state as well as at international level. In Pakistan, the military ruler, General Pervaiz Musharaf gets the credit of allowing dozens of electronic channels with total freedom. Though later, he himself became a prey to this media freedom, the way he was exploited by media houses, following the declaration of November 3, 2007 ‘Act of Emergency’. In reality, all media houses; electronic as well as print media should be thankful to a military dictator for such an oneness and freedom, it never enjoyed before.
Unfortunately, it has become a fashion to criticise and degrade Army and ISI either by mainstream electronic and print media as well as the social media. In Pakistan today, the rating of media houses and breaking news is done through their anti-Army or anti-ISI news, which in 99% cases proves wrong, once investigated. However, such headlines and news items provides enough grounds to hostile Indian media and other international media to campaign against the military and premium national intelligence network of Pakistan.
Just a few days ago, Hameed Haroon, Chief Executive Officer of Dawn Group was interviewed live by BBC’s Stephen Sackur. Hameed Haroon, tried to portray in interview that, Media in Pakistan is facing worst kind of intimidation at the hands military (deep state). He further accused the military establishment for supporting the friendly politicians, endangering the democracy. Indeed, his entire interview was based on the anti-Army and anti-ISI theme. In his argument, media is being dictated by Army and ISI, thus there is no freedom for media and there is no hope for democracy to flourish in Pakistan.
But, he was taken aback, once Stephen Sackur asked him about any evidence. Indeed, he had no evidence to support his assertions, thus, felt helpless and embraced himself, rather making a case against the national institutions of Pakistan. Throughout the interview, his evidence against Army and ISI was revolving around; “I think, i believe, i heard, social media and so on.” In the entire hard-talk, Stephan Sackur kept on asking, ‘where is your evidence of Pak army involvement in supporting one political party or pressurizing media’.
Indeed, Mr Haroon had no other answer except saying that, ISI trolls on social media are targeting DAWN Journalists and that Nawaz Sharif is being trapped. Very funny on the part of CEO of Dawn Group who is also President of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), the standard of journalism, he has demonstrated in Hardtalk of BBC. How could he made a case against Army and ISI, once his own media group, ‘Dawn’ is constantly smearing Military in its news items as well as in editorial pages, where its columnists like Cyril Almeida are making headlines against Army (deep state) since last two years.
It was Dawn Newspaper which published an article entitled; “Exclusive: Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tell military” on October 6, 2016 and later, on May 12, 2018; “For Nawaz, it’s not over till it’s over”, both by Dawn’s columnist, Cyril Almeida. Had this media house and its newspaper really under threat by Army establishment or at war with the Army and ISI? Hameed Haroon, once questioned by host; “your Dawn group is now seen supportive and sympathetic to convicted Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz”, had no answer again except banking on Social media and guess work. This was indeed a great insult, Haroon brought for him and other media houses of Pakistan from the BBC, Hardtalk.
An analysis of media campaign against Army and ISI shows that, it is in fact, individual specific or related to few media houses; Dawn Group and the Jang Group, having their anti-Army sentiments agendas since decades just for gaining distinguish position in media houses or else for the vested interests, better served outside the Pakistani frontiers. Such media house and their CEOs must realize that, by campaigning against their national institutions; Army and ISI, they are pleasing the anti-Pakistan forces, who use and through them like tissue paper in garbage. This was quite evident from the interview of Hameed Haroon, who shared all odds against his national institutions and got a shut-up call by host at the end of his interview.
This interview should serve as an example and a clear message for all those, who defame and malign their national institutions for their vested interests. Indeed, international establishment use such peddlers and kick them later on a strong conviction; ‘if you are not loyal to your motherland, which gave you so much, how can you be loyal to them’. “Nothing is nobler, nothing more venerable, than loyalty.” Let’s understand the international conspiracies against an ideological and nuclear Pakistan and respect the armed forces and ISI, being the sole guarantor of our security and sovereignty of Pakistan.