“The politicians that come to power on foreign crutches can never bring respect to the state or the people. On the contrary, they become a cause for humiliation. Pakistan’s history is replete with such eras.” Raja Mujtaba
By S. M. Hali
It has become a cliché that “Pakistan is passing through the most critical and testing times of its history”. In fact, each passing day pushes Pakistan in the abyss of despair. The primary reasons being that external forces are operating unbridled, in an effort to exploit Pakistan’s basic weaknesses of political instability, poor governance, incompetent leadership, menace of terrorism and scourge of corruption. The detractors of Pakistan find it expedient to take advantage of the negative milieu in an effort to further their heinous agenda. Foreign hostile forces especially India and its infamous intelligence agency RAW are trying to reap benefits from Pakistan’s weaknesses. To supplement their odious design, the inimical spooks are launching negative propaganda against Pakistan. In this regard, their media and foreign office are operating in tandem and speak the same kind of antagonistic language. The key slogans to give Pakistan a bad name are that “Pakistan is the epicenter of terrorism and is exporting it to other countries.” While launching their malicious tirade, the propagandists specifically target Pakistan Army, its Intelligence Agencies and other Law Enforcing Agencies (LEAs).
Even an innocent bystander would be surprised that seemingly positive confidence building measures are also exploited to achieve the hideous ends of the enemy. Recent accusations made by Indian Union Minister Shashi Tharoor in his video address to an Indo-Pak Young Entrepreneurs Bilateral Meet, who were discussing ways and means for promoting peace, trade and economic relations between India and Pakistan, incriminating Government of Pakistan and its Army for firing across the LoC and transporting terrorism to India, is a case in point.
The sad aspect is that on the contrary Pakistani leadership, media, analysts and intellectuals appear to have adopted an over apologetic and defensive stance in their approach instead of maintaining a dignified and assertive posture to respond to such allegations. Consequently hostile propaganda is finding its way into our hearts and minds and twisted hostile message are getting internalized into own mental perspective. This is extremely frustrating and demoralizing as Pakistan is not sponsoring terrorism and Indian allegations are totally fake and unfounded. Unfortunately there is an upsurge in hostile divisive communications directed against Pakistani audience. The aim is to create a chasm of mistrust between leaders and the masses while encouraging speculative conflicts between different segments of society.
A more depressing outcome is that some elements of our own media have been rather influenced by the enemy propaganda and are toeing the same line in their analyses and reports.
The need of the hour is that local media should aggressively counter the malicious propaganda being spread with impunity by hostile elements. Media managers should aim to project that terrorism in Pakistan is being nurtured by external forces and their intelligence agencies are deeply involved in promoting terrorism inside Pakistan. So far Pakistan has been the main victim of terrorism and no other country in South Asia has suffered the level of causalities, damage and bloodshed as has been borne by Pakistan.
To avoid presenting an over apologetic and under confident response, own media managers should educate the spokespersons and analysts the true extent of the machinations of the enemy. Knowledge is power and equipped with this background information, our leaders, media analysts, intellectual and opinion builders will be able to counter enemy propaganda with self-assurance and poise. Once we adopt a remorseful posture others lend credence to the enemy’s accusations against Pakistan. The best way to counter a lie is to confront it head on with logic and reasoning and belie the insinuations with confidence.
Unfortunately hostile divisive arguments and urging have been intrusively effective in creating fissures in our social order, fundamental composition, perceptions and proclivity of thought process.
Media should take into consideration some of the evidence available, e.g. twenty three TTP militant commanders arrested by Pak Army during Operation Rah-e-Rast in Swat, confessed before a Joint Investigation team that secret departments of India were involved through RAW and Afghan NDS in supporting militants in Pakistan to conduct target killings, bomb blasts, suicide attacks, assaults on civil and military installations and forced abductions including ethnic and sectarian violence.
If we are to survive this onslaught and preserve our unity and independence, we need to take the bull by the horns, nail the lie being spread against Pakistan and set the record straight. We ourselves are the biggest victims of terror and we need international support and encouragement for being a bulwark against terrorism and not be subjected to abject criticism.