Even the most rash and disgruntled adversary of President General Musharraf is unable to dispute the fact that under his regime the press and electronic media have never been as free as they are now to express whatever views they wish to report whatever facts they find, sometimes correct and sometimes utterly wrong.
The tolerance shown by Musharraf administration is exemplary and commendable. Programs like ‘Hum sub umeed say hien’ on GEO, and ‘Channel 4’ of AAJ TV ridiculed in an extreme fashion every government and opposition official, but never we have heard anything like ban upon them. All the private tv channels are littered with talk shows, discussions and fact finding programs. GEO, Aaj, ARYOne world and others are enjoying a unique sense of freedom.
But due to some unknown reasons, black spots are starting to appear on this freedom. First attack on GEO, then ban on some programs, then the temporary stoppage of broadcast by some channels, and threats to journalists are contrary what we have become accustomed to. There have been a couple of unlucky and silly incidents on the way in which freedom has been temporarily checked in the name of national interest.
Without any doubt, credit to this government, in this era, the electronic media has flourished and blossomed. Private channels have appeared like mushrooms over the span of last 7 years and enjoying a level playing field.
The freedom of media tells the story of state of progress in any society. The liberated channels and publications gives an aura of nice feelings. A free and fair media is a strong symbol of rule of law and the quality of governance. One can hope that this great example set by this government will stay here and will only flourish.