By Shaikh Moazzam Khan
International media reporting remains biased or somehow negative regarding Pakistan. It has been observed in last couple of months that on the issue of media freedom, blasphemy and various other, international media reporting is not in the interest of Pakistan. This biasedness of international media is against the norms of journalism. Some of the media outlets are going all out to accuse Pakistani intelligence agencies and Armed Forces of controlling and feeding media houses and targeting journalists especially those who are critical of government and Army’s policies. These accusations are mere myths and beyond the reality. This callous attitude of international media needs to be changed.
Every state has its grip on media houses. These states are supposed to protect the national interest and people of the country. Unfortunately, media is not playing its due to role in the projection of positivity in society. Media houses wants more crispy and negative stories for their ratings. When should not forget the basic norms of journalism while reporting. They should keep in mind the sensitivities of that state. But, unfortunately, regarding Pakistan their approach is no so good. There are so many practical examples of international media biasedness towards Pakistan. The leading international outlets provides spaces in their newspapers to Pakistani dissidents who writes against government and armed forces.
A recent practical demonstration of anti-Pakistan is the missing of Pakistani journalist Sajid Hussein, who went missing in Sweden a few weeks ago. A few international and Indian media outlets, without investigating, accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of kidnapping the journalist due to his critical views about the establishment. Though, Pakistan government and intelligence agencies have no role in the abduction of journalist. A baseless fuss was created by international media over the abduction.
On May 1, Swedish police claimed to have found the dead body of Pakistani journalist Sajid Hussein. Same day, BBC News reported that Sajid Hussain, the editor of an ethnic Baloch news website, fled Pakistan in 2012 after getting death threats and was granted political asylum in Sweden. The British newspapers also reported that a press freedom charity had suggested Pakistani intelligence was behind Sajid Hussain’s disappearance in early March. But, thanks to the Swedish police for denouncing anti-Pakistan propaganda and fake international media claims. A Swedish police spokesman said that their initial investigation did not suggest any foul play in the death.
BBC News demonstrated that Sajid Hussein was to collect the keys to a new flat but he did not get off the train in Uppsala area of Sweden. Reporters without Borders maintained that it was possible he had been abducted at the behest of a Pakistani intelligence agency. These are serious allegations levelled against any state and its intelligence agencies without any evidence or any other link. Media shouldn’t publish kind of content against any state. As Swedish police refuted all claims, who is responsible for maligning Pakistani agencies? Where are these so called media organizations? Why they are silent on the criminal acts of some media houses, why they committed on the behest of anti-Pakistan actors? These are the questions which should be addressed by international media house and organizations.
As I said earlier, every state has control over media houses. From India to Europe and USA, media is following the lines of their respective states to accomplish their political, economic and strategic interests. It kept pivotal place in state’s affairs. In that way, it shouldn’t cross the red lines of any states while reporting. In every state there are missing persons. Like in India, thousands of people are under the illegal detention of Indian Forces. Why media is not showing that? Why they are not blaming Indian agencies and armed forces for their brutalities against the civilians? They should expose these kind of barbaric designs rather to accuse any state or its institutions over flimsy grounds.
Pakistani armed forces are sacrificing their lives of soldiers and officers to protect their homeland and eradicating terrorism, extremism from its soil. Pakistan is paying the price of other countries’ blunders, which they have committed to achieve their strategic interests. Instead of praising Pakistani armed forces and government, some countries and media houses are speaking against the country. This must be stopped. On the issue of BBC’s reporting against Pakistan, British government should look into this matter and asked the media organizations to verify their claims before giving them space in their newspapers. These distorted facts are damaging Pakistan’s image and national interests.
There are many other examples where state used its power to stop dissidents from speaking up. The war in Afghanistan by US-led NATO collation is before us. Americans have killed thousands of civilians in Afghanistan while targeting the Taliban. Why media is not creating fuss over this issue? Afghan people kept away from the basic necessities. Why there is no debate in international media? So one shouldn’t view Pakistan through the prism of human rights and accused its agencies of rights violations. Pakistani forces are fighting for a cause. The cause which is for the entire world. The media should support its efforts by giving positive space not negative. The leading international channels and newspapers must play positive role while reporting about the Pakistani point of view on various issues.