Information: our priority
Our fast-growing media claims to keep the viewers engrossed as well as being the first to bring the news and it is rightly so, media has undergone a revolution in the first decade of 21st century in Pakistan. At the same time, it is unfortunate that most of the exclusive reports are neither filed by the media staffers nor local agencies’ correspondents, rather the lead is still in the hands of foreign news agencies like AFP, Reuters, AP, etc. Foreign news agencies seem to have access to terrorists, personal contact numbers and location information of, say, Hakimullah and comrades.
It is obvious while reading a news report that if the AFP correspondent quotes Asmat Muawiya talking to “from an unidentified location”, which is understandably traceable even through mobile phone trackers, then our security agencies’ personnel, who are supposedly more equipped, can also have access. AP’s September 9 report, filed by its Islamabad correspondent Kathy Gannon was no less than shocking with the headline “Post-withdrawal Afghanistan war set to shift to Punjab”.
Some TV channels seem to have more access to inside North Waziristan or any other war zone than the security agencies themselves. Likewise a drone strike kills whom, how many and exactly where – no local source, news agency, staff correspondent reports indigenously but the real information comes from Washington with a days’ delay. Then we come to know that the strike “has killed al-Qaeda or Taliban’s HVT (high value target)”. The question is why have we so far failed to establish our own information network, even after a decade of war? Isn’t it our first and foremost responsibility?