Judiciary, media freedom not absolute without definite feudal, army roles
ISLAMABAD: Independence of the judiciary and media could not be utilised at its full potential, unless the roles of feudals, clerics and the army could not be defined, Abid Hassan Manto said. Manto, a veteran Marxist leader and a renowned lawyer was speaking at a Meet-the-Press, organised by the National Press Club (NPC) on Sunday.
Manto began the lecture with an analysation of the past dictatorial regimes of Field Marshal Ayub Khan and General Ziaul Haq, when he said that everything was under the possession of the army and freedom of expression was curbed, and people were beheaded publicly, while flogging incidents of innocent people were routine. He said what happened in the last 60 years in the country for the independence of the judiciary and media, “is playing a phenomenal role these days”. “The struggle for judiciary was not initiated in recent years but it has a long history track, but yes, the 2007 lawyers’ movement brought a revolutionary change in the political system of the country, when the CJP defied General Musharraf ”, Manto said.
Manto, who has rendered notable services to the country’s journalists community, said the visible difference “in the past and the present is the role of media”. “At that time, there was only a state-run TV channel and all events of suppression and terror were curtailed through media, with only the rulers’ projection… but now although the media is commercialised, yet everything is exposed,Â” he said. “Now nothing is unfolded in front of the media, be it ISI involvement, US conspiracy, or the executive’s corruption. Now the media is fast and the masses are conscious,” Manto said. However, he said he regretted that on many an occasion “anchors conducting programmes on the judicial crisis, were not even aware of the articles of the constitutions on which they were talking”.
Source: Daily Times