Every time Pakistan is passing through a critical stage, it seems media is the first institution, which has to pay the price. I am definitely referring to the arrest of a journalist from Peshawar, regarding a news item he published. This time around though, situation is pretty gloomy. I say this because not only the establishment, but the TTP has opened its own frontier on this small community, in regards to the recent warnings issues to the media person.
It seems that “operation silence” has really become the best tool, when it comes to reporting. But in this globalized world, where the real war is won through media before it starts in the battle field, our establishment seems to have totally ignored this fact. So what is the best deal or the ideal way? Its pretty natural that when you try to cover up or hide something, more and more effort will be made to reveal it, in any case we see. It’s the trust and understanding which can bring both parties on the same path. If the media is given a clear line of action, and the establishment is also following a clear policy, there will be no confusion at all.
In the past, especially after Mumbai Attacks, we all have to admit that it was Pakistani media, which emerged as the most transparent and responsible institution, as compared to the other(yet we had a few instances that we must admit were blunders). We give the example of the West when it comes to the freedom of expression, and we must give the devil’s its due for keeping the freedom of expression honored. The establishment can do more from the traditional back stabbing of the media, which has always been there. Just for an example, Prince Harry was to be in Afghanistan for the active duty. This leak could have been a great risk to his life and duty. The Royals invited the office bearer and requested for a cover. The editors in UK voluntarily agreed and this remained a secret for 6 months until a German newspaper revealed it.
That is the trust and recognition we require from our establishment.