Geo and Jang Group a torch-bearer, national pride | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Geo and Jang Group a torch-bearer, national pride

Pakistan Press Foundation

In 1950s the UK government appointed a commission to survey British newspapers. The commission wrote in its report that the daily ‘London Times’, because of its lofty ideals and principles, is not only a trustworthy newspaper but also a symbol of national pride.

No doubt, in today’s Pakistan the Geo/Jang Group commands the same position. This media house is torch-bearer and symbol of national dignity and identity. Those who lobbed six bullets in the body of Hamid Mir are now clandestinely financing and supervising a campaign against Geo and Jang. These elements do not realise that their actions will be detrimental to the interests of the country. Those responsible for murderous attack on Hamid Mir must be brought to book.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif deserves all praise for his courageous appointment of a judicial commission to probe the attack on Hamid Mir. We should pray that the commission, irrespective of any pressure or bias, brings the culprits to justice.

The world today is a global village. One can see strong voices coming in support of Geo and Jang from the UK, USA and other model democracies of the civilised world. These voices cannot be ignored, and if any heed was not paid to them the ruling people will have to face the music.

We should be grateful that now we have an independent judiciary and a free media – thanks to lawyers, media and civil society movement — and sooner or later the situation will diffuse and the truth will prevail.

In the 1980s the same elements in Pakistan intervened in Afghanistan and were out to seek strategic depth in that country without realising the reactions that would follow the actions. Today we are harvesting the terrible consequences of that adventure.

In 1996 the Afghan Taliban were raised to topple Dr Najib. The Afghan Taliban did the job but at the same time they created Pakistani Taliban. These Pakistani Taliban or say the terrorists have by now, killed more than seventy thousands innocent Pakistanis men, women and children, and the massacre still continues. These terrorists are now a big threat to the country’s sovereignty.

The Geo/ Jang Group has provided a platform to some of the leading opinion-maker and opinion-creator journalists who played an important role during the period following March 9, 2007 when Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was sacked by the dictatorial regime of General Musharraf. But the chief justice and other judges of the apex court of the country ruled against Musharraf’s order which led to a movement by lawyers, media, civil society, and the common man also joined it latter.

The media played a role that was unprecedented in the history of the country. Minute to minute reports of the events and commentary on them were reaching the people. This led to an organised resistance against the regime which made Musharraf finally succumb.

The reinstatement of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as the chief justice by the democratic government of the Pakistan People’s Party was a great victory and the foundation for the independence of judiciary in the country.

The revolutionary emergence of new judiciary and unbiased free media gives the millions downtrodden, hunger-stricken, shelter-less and jobless a ray of hope of justice, equality and merit. The major basic contribution for this achievement was by the Geo and Jang. The Group stood by Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry against the dictator.

Names of the valiant journalists, who played their role in motivating people, will be written in the history in golden words. They are indeed our national heroes.

It is a good luck for Pakistan that in the present hostile internal and external situation, Geo and Jang Group is there, serving as a beacon. The news and views compiled by it journalists are always based on facts and figures, full of knowledge and information. And in a controversy, they always give version of both sides. Rest of country’s media has hardly any comparison with the Geo and Jang Group.

About eight years back, with the cooperation of Times of India, the Jang Group embarked on an historical track to pave way for friendship between the 1.6 billion people of Pakistan and India. People of both countries are of the same origin. If European countries can form a union, why not a union of Saarc countries — Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives. Cynics, as usual, argue to fight with India dubbing it as an archrival. The wars do not always solve the issues but the talks almost do. Let the media play its part to bring the two peoples closer so that there could be harmony and peace in this region of the world.

The author is a resident of AJK

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