By Sethi Mushtaq

Today in Pakistan pick up your newspaper or switch on your television sets and scan through the news channels and the print .And tell, how many of you have found any positive thing about Pakistan between two news intervals, how many of you can proudly claim to present any good about Pakistan to the world, how many of you are happy with this kind of imaging of Pakistan to the rest of the world ?.

Undeniably and without any dispute in this present technically advanced age and times, the media is the most important and powerful source and tool, which reflects the image of the society.It builds consent of the nation for which the nation advances and cultivates in its intellect, culture and dynamism. In recent times the Pakistani media presents themselves with such a disbeliever image that it is  to understand the reasons about certain irresponsibly,sensationalizing News being published and aired by few….

A commonly feeling is, that it is the media which is responsible for all what happen in the country in terms of creating opinions and views of the people on any issue.

They can make and break the news.However it is not the only the fault of the media alone,but some what the public is also responsible, because due to their interest the News channels are showing those type of news which scandalizes,creates a hype and rumors.Importantly it must be must realized that publishing or broadcasting unconfirmed and unauthenticated news,especially on national security issues is not going to be helpful, rather it is going to prove detrimental to the security interest of our country ! Therefore they should understand their responsibility well, in order to create harmony and valuable news

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It is a fact that most countries around the world monitor foreign media takeovers or alliances, to ensure that national security is not compromised by foreign indoctrination. 

For instance in the US, foreign national are allowed to own a TV network.The same rule created difficulties for the Australian billionaire TV magnate Rupert Murdoch,who wanted to start his now famous right wing Fox TV Channel in the US.Thus in order to bypass the rule the billionaire applied for a US citizenship which he got and brought the Fox Channel to the US. Even starting a homegrown channel for broadcast on cable is difficult in the US if it doesn’t conform to the mainstream American values. This can be adjudged from the story of the Muslim TV network called Bridges TV which had to find 10,000 cable customers willing to subscribe to it before such a channel could be aired…

Just recall, how strict the US is in monitoring and restricting their media from not airing or publishing issue which could compromise the national security or interest…In the past their former Ambassador to Pakistan,even went to the extent of going after the scalps of our media personnel’s for having voiced contents which in their opinion could possibly harm their interest and security!…

Actually to be completely honest, I am quite perplexed with the foreign country’s leaders and media’s unusual focus on a developing country like our,Pakistan. A single death occurrence of a journalist,or a domestic violence and criminal incident etc, grabbed extraordinary attention from them. Whence on the contrary they remained completely aloof and oblivious of the 35,000 civilian lives and 10,000 security personnel’s martyrdom in Pakistan!…

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I feel it is time that we and the media learns to differentiate between a single incident and an issue…The former is a solitary once in a blue moon kind of an event and the latter a continuous process over a period of time…The point is that a incident should be treated as a stray event and should not be hyped into reflecting as an issue which generalizes and drags a whole intuitions, community, society, nation or religion on trial…For instance we all agree that all Muslims Christians or Hindus etc are not terrorist,just because a few of them strayed and committed a wrongful act ?..

How many of you would agree with me that a  particular event of a young man who got killed in a incident sometime back in Karachi-Pakistan by a rangers patrol party, was a random standalone incident and not a regular issue, such as being confronted regularly by the whole nation? For instance the ones pertaining to the deteriorating law and order situation, terrorism wave, energy and other economic crisis, which indeed can be termed as an issue to the extent that the whole institution should be put to trial ?….

It is public knowledge and I am certain that you are aware that the Kerry Luger Bill earmarked 50 million dollars just for buying media influence in Pakistan. Many Pakistani analysts have been given “grants” to study in the US and do “fellowships” in US think-tanks including govt. funded institutions like the US -Institute for Peace…

Don’t you feel that Pakistan should also have some laws and regulations which limit and deny such foreign acquisitions/interference in critical areas like oil companies, essential mineral resources and more importantly the media, thereby ensuring Pakistani media is free of foreign interests and solely dedicated to the welfare of the Pakistani nation? It is also important that our government take strict notice of such dole-outs which are designed to curtail the freedom of media in Pakistan ? .

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