Bribed journalists exposed in SC
The Supreme Court of Pakistan made public on Monday a list of eminent intellectuals, journalists, writers, anchorperson and news-agencies that were paid by the previous PPP Information Ministry through its secret fund. The Supreme Court list contains itemized particulars of those expenditures for which the information ministry now does not claim privilege or secrecy. The list of disbursements, totaling up to 1.7 billion rupees, was uploaded on the apex court’s website in accordance to its directive issued earlier during the day.
The official document given to the Supreme Court of Pakistan exposes more lies of the PPP Information Ministry. In days to come, more lies, betrayals and follies of the PPP government and its minister will continue to surface. No matter how far the lies of the PPP are buried under the secret bribes that the previous regime used to hire some of the media ‘gurus’. The then media darling the Federal Information Minister Qamaruzzaman Kiara often used to the ‘hired media dons’ to befool, belittle and ridicule his opponents on the TV channels’ screens.
There is no provision of secret funds in the Constitution of Pakistan or in any other law around the world. Yet the practice of misusing the state funds collected from the cruelly taxed money pops up more often than not–especially in states notorious for bad governance. Of course, the Pakistan Peoples’ Party government, unfortunately, is one of them. No the time has come to fix looting and plundering or misuse of the states resources. Every single beneficiary of the secret funds should be exposed without any exception and relaxation. Mostly the PPP government misused the funds for pro-government news agencies, newspapers and TV channels for its publicity and hiding the facts.
The payments had been made under the head of advertisement and direct cash payments, however, are very rare that may provide a window for the former rulers to get off the hook. The aspect, hopefully, will be guarded against and looked after properly. Regardless of the response of journalists named in the list, the Supreme Court of Pakistan should go one step ahead in exposing all black sheep amongst the severing or the retired judges, generals and journalists. For ages, the allegation of corruption against these three communities are making headlines but being the sacred cows they have never been questioned in the past. Now the Supreme Court of Pakistan has initiated the process of accountability starting from the journalists. These bribed media-owners, editors, reporters, anchorpersons, politicians and bureaucrats should be taken to the task. Rightly, the court had frozen the funds of the information ministry.
The last day heroic of former Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf of sanctioning a summary for the payment of Rs 1.32 billion for media campaigns–should also be thoroughly probed and a detailed audit of the accounts of the ministries concerned be carried out. The media is one of the pillars of the state and media practitioners are the non-governmental ameens of the state and the rights of the countrymen to the extent that the people with clear conscience including the former US president Thomas Jefferson preferred to live in a country where no government but the free press is firmly in place. Solution to all problems of Pakistan too lies in having free, fair and independent press.
Thus much desired and long-standing demand of the nation of cleansing the media industry too should be taken far more seriously. The corruption, abuse of powers and misuse of the state funds for personal gains or in the name of the ‘national interests’ can only be stopped forth with provided the abusers and the beneficiaries are thrown out of the fray. Just political rhetoric has neither born fruit in the past nor will it do any good for the future of the country. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has taken cognizance on number of issues ranging from corruption to law and order situation in the country.
The cases are either pending or yet to produce desired results to the nation for one reason or other. The apex court should come down hard on the latest revelations of the PPP government ‘s bid of corrupting media houses and the workers there in. All those involved in the process should be brought to book immediately. The real across the board accountability–not mere the political rhetoric–the country needs the most. Otherwise, the opportunists, one way or the other, would continue to tarnish the image of the country at home and abroad.
Source: Frontier Post