Tuesday, 5 February 2013


“Media is more powerful then nuclear devices”


I believe above quote is worth taking. Jawed Jabbar who worked for PEMRA has quoted well. The electronic media has touched every sphere of the human aspect. In the present times, information and technology are interwoven with the society’s economic progress. The evolution of electronic media has had an overwhelming impact on the society. The Opportunities of communication have broken all barriers across national boundaries and have led to the germination of new ideas through the cross pollination of cultures.


The role of media especially the electronic media in Pakistani society is tri- dimensional; that is informing the public, educating the unknowledgeable and providing entertainment. It can be termed as Fourth pillar of the state. It has recorded tremendous growth in a limited time period in Pakistan.


The electronic media in Pakistan has made rapid progress. Only three or four decades ago, radio and state owned TV was considered to be the main sources of information. Today, we have more than 77 Satellite TV Channels, 2346 cable operators, 28 landing TV Channels from abroad like BBC, CNN, Sky, Star etc. and more than 129 FM Stations (on air and in some cases licenses issued) including 46 Radio Channels.

The media can give direction to social change, and positively guide the society towards the desired goals. The electronic media may be successful in stimulating the change in the tightly held ideas and rigid attitudes to bring desired change. It is also used by the state / society /organizations to promote educational activity. AIOU uses media for education. Mainly it serves the public agenda. Media has given voice to the public.


Along with this we have seen the Pakistani electronic media have made some progress towards the area of consumer awareness, especially in the case of television, there are movements underway to enable the television viewers to beam a mere educated and more aware and critical user of programming with the help of radio and television discussion programs, talk shows, morning shows, where a progressive discussions have been took place on such subjects as death, violence, drugs , morality, human relationship, the women liberation movement, politics, religion and culture.


Mobilization of public opinion in support of a cause is the prominently known feature of the electronic media in Pakistan as we saw in Cheif Justice Iftikhar Ahmed Chaudhry's termination by the former President Musharraf, created a storm in media scene as well, the media supported the movement and played a vital role in creating a favorable public opinion for the movement, they mark this struggle for the sake of democracy and reinstatement of Cheif Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.


The electronic Media was primarily and popularly used by our previous regimes as tool of self propaganda, the quality of news poor, unreliable and un-imaginative presentation of events and stories, ultimately losing the confidence of general public. Introduction of Satellite TV, Cable and Private Channels and Dish widened the scope of awareness of people. The Government of Pakistan realized the sensitivity and potential of private electronic media which could not be avoided through State controlled TV only. The governmental policies regarding electronic media took a different direction, to regulate this sector.

The objectivity of media is becoming increasingly questionable, the coverage of issues of national interest demand care and restraint. The media in Pakistan is devoid of objectivity, and just telecast such incidents that sometime are not factual. In order to improve their ratings and enhance viewership, the tool of sensationalism is used.  What is important is to think as to what is being done to own sensibilities and social and moral values.


Moreover, Media has taken away the sense of hope from the masses and has made them over sensitive to their surroundings. A moral Vacuum has been created through the dramas, programs etc shown on media which glamorize everything they depict and our younger generation is going away from religious, social values. It has not shown native genius in innovation, it is applying Indian model of entertainment and a western model. Our country lacks a defined policy to promote national image through media.

We remain fixed to TV screens at the cost osocialization. We cut short our social activities just to watch some favorite program on TV. We are not undertaking socialization / giving time to our kids, parents, etc because we are glued to TV etc. This is developing a generation gap.


Pakistani media is following the saying, ‘We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art; we have no obligation to make a positive statement, to make money is our only objective.


We are a highly polarized society, segmented along ethnic, sectarian, ideological and gender issues. Without achieving economic solvency and the promise of a better future, our national cohesion will remain under stress. We need to launch a sustained media campaign to bring this pressure down. This is one area in which media can play a pivotal and non-partisan role”. 

The Pakistani society is in transition so the electronic media should help to develop a harmonious society, bridge gap between reality and the distortions. The media should project objective analysis of the events. The media should present the events by avoiding biases, prejudices and negative perceptions of various groups operating in the society.

“The electronic media is to provide, not to create” and media is playing this role to a great extent.

Friday, 1 February 2013

India PakistAan Diplomatic Relations- New Era New Demands

When one talks about India and Pakistan the immediate reaction click in our mind says the two cocks fighting with each other. Why is that so? Why we are still reluctant to see India’s progress and why India got envious of the Pakistan being more powerful nuclear power. This is all because of our mindset which is not ready to accept each other. Whether it is India or Pakistan, both have recognized each other as rivals. Why it seems impossible to straighten out the complexities.


There is much more to say. India Pakistan diplomatic relations are so wide in a way that we can hold endless talks on it. Problem is everywhere, but matter resolves somehow but why India Pak issues are still pending? Does no one want to settle it out? Or are there other elements that create barrier in smooth ongoing relations. May be they are afraid that if Indian and Pakistani patch up, their combined power would be stronger than the rest of the world.


Japan and US are today strategic partners even after Hiroshima and Nagasaki disaster.  Even Europeans fought deadly wars many times, but they are on a stage which is little more matured. France, Italy, England and Germany are now working together in cooperation for the mutual development of the region and hence Europe in turn, despite of being involved in world wars against each other.


It’s not like that both countries are reluctant to solve their differences. Instead in past many bilateral talks were held even US served as a mediator. Bhutto’s first government took steps to normalize relations with India. Nawaz Sharif’s most significant step towards bilateral rapprochement came during his second tenure when he signed the Lahore declaration with his Indian counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee in which both the countries agreed to intensify their efforts to resolve all issues including the issue of Kashmir.


As with Bhutto’s, Sharif’s efforts to make peace with India were scuttled as the Kargil War broke out in May 1999 which left all over unsolved. However Musharraf also played key role in maintaining the peaceful relations. Whereas The PPP’s efforts to resume the composite dialogues came to an abrupt halt following the 26 November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. Mumbai attacks marked the seething anger among both the countries. In reaction of which India put an immediate stop to all goodwill gestures, trade links and political dialogue with Pakistan. This was clearly no time for niceties. However charged Ajmal Qasab has now been hanged in India’s jail. Can we hope this chapter will close onwards? I guess no as India wants complete terrorism wipe out.


Nevertheless Kashmir is the basis of all enmity between both the countries. Both are spending huge sums over this issue which could be better utilized elsewhere. Although we have many problems but we want the issue to settle out. The word compromise seems good on a paper to make Kashmir independent as what the Kasmiris and most of Pakistanis want. But it’s highly impractical because of the complex and volatile politics of this region and because of the fact that neither India, nor Pakistan would be prepared to give up one square inch of Kashmiri land. Anyhow Pakistan wants the bone of contention to resolve but India doesn’t even bother about it as it has complete army control over it. It’s high time for the egos to put down, to face the facts and find a reasonable solution to the problem.


There has also been taken numerous non-governmental efforts to normalize relations. Launched by two leading Indian and Pakistani media enterprises in January 2010, The Times of India and The Jang Group respectively, the Aman ke Asha (Hope for Peace) initiative promotes a range of activities including cultural programs such as concerts and literary shows which has the potential to boost the relations.


On a 3-day visit of Pakistan, The Indian Foreign Minister S.M.Krishna with her counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar signed a much awaited visa accord. The liberalization of visa constitutes an important facet of any bilateral relationship as it facilitates movement of people, encourages exchange of views, and most importantly, contributes to lowering of the walls of distrust.


Moreover both the countries have recognized the core value of Trade between each other which is seen as a ray of hope. “Trade Diplomacy” will probably play a large part in the future development of the Indo-Pak relationship and that’s very well considering the economic situation in Pakistan. Major advantages for the Pakistani as well as the Indian economy include cheaper transportation costs due to shorter distances, making it unnecessary for the industries to carry large inventories of raw materials and intermediate goods, thus reducing operation costs. The normalization of Trade relations with India would “open a hitherto stalled growth node for the Pakistani economy”, said political economist Asad Sayeed.


Water issue is very contentious between both the countries which was somehow resolved through UN with the treaty signed “Indus Water Treaty” (IWT). Afterwards India constructed as many hydro projects as she could and are made as such which effect the Pakistan’s IWT- guaranteed access to water. The manipulation of IWT provisions by India and growing water scarcity in Pakistan can lead both the countries toward an armed conflict. However improved economic ties and the resultant easing of tensions would provide more conducive environment to work towards resolving water disputes. Simultaneously both the countries should make a regular practice to free each other’s prisoners time to time which will ultimately result in strengthening of peaceful relations.


India’s most polarizing rightwing politician Bal Thakrey whose visceral hatred of Pakistan matched his adulation of Adolf Hitler died from the lung ailment. We can hope that anti Pakistan and anti Muslim legacy will finish and hostility will die with the burial of Bal Thakrey and the new leadership of his party will diminish Muslim animosity and endeavor better relations between India Pakistan.


In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. Anything is possible if our thinking is optimistic. Because pessimistic minds lead no where but to misunderstandings and problems. We can hope for the best that both the neighbors one day, in the distant future, may meet at destination peace.