Media’s power and responsibility
By Momin Iftikhar
The month of May has turned out to be truly atrocious in terms of highly traumatic incidents occurring within its span, whose enormity and impact has sent the country reeling in their wake.
The fateful month saw the nation buffet not only by the landing of US boots on grounds in Abbottabad, but also had to absorb the painful shock of terrorists’ attack on PNS Mehran, which houses the aviation assets of Pakistan Navy. In case of the former, the US commandos had violated our sovereignty by evading the national vigil by dint of superior military technology; whereas in case of the latter, the internal threat posed by terrorism had breached the inviolable wall of security erected around a sensitive defence installation. Both incidents exposed our vulnerabilities and the brutal murder of Saleem Shahzad, an eminent journalist, at the hands of unknown assassins has further added to a pervasive sense of gloom.
As we grapple to attain a modicum of balance and stabilise the situation, inimical forces take vicious swipes at Pakistan’s image, seeking to delve deep into the national morale and degrade the will to resist and fight back. A maelstrom of propaganda in the foreign media, particularly in the US and India, sullying Pakistan’s image and heaping accusations at its armed forces and the intelligence agency, ISI, has turned into a prime time issue, which is only gathering strength with the passage of time. A not too subtle campaign is going full steam ahead in the foreign media to cut these institutions to size, which now, more than any other time of our turbulent history, constitute the national centre of gravity.
Various doomsday scenarios involving the issues of security of Pakistan’s nuclear capability, the monolithic loyalty and commitment of its armed forces to fight and defeat the forces of obscurantism, and the amity of civil-military relations are some of the issues that are being assailed by our detractors. In such a situation, our national media has its job cut out for it. It has to take up the cudgels on behalf of Pakistan, not only by bringing out the truth and demanding accountability on the internal scene, but also by defeating the foreign design by projecting its version of the realities at the international podium. If the foreign media wants to dent Pakistan’s image and resolve, our own media must rise to defend what can be termed as its vital interests and shore up public morale.
Source: The Nation