Terrorism and media’s role | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Terrorism and media’s role

Pakistan Press Foundation

YOUR editorial ‘Woeful inadequacy’ (March 5) misses an important point. Rather than enumerate a catalogue of previous mistakes and make gloomy forecasts, it must champion the public right to be able to go about its daily duties and responsibilities without injury or death.

The loss of 12 lives, with so many injured, grieves me beyond words. What concerns me even more is the media coverage of such shocking events. These are almost always designated ‘acts of terrorism’ much in the same way as natural disasters. It is as if they were unexpected and, therefore, somehow unpreventable.

Thus they serve to sensitise the public so much that deaths that occur as a result of these ‘acts’ appear accepted as part of the prevailing volatile scenario.

I cannot help getting a sense that individuals who perpetrate these senseless acts of killing are glamorised as ‘terrorists’ translated in many impressible minds as heroes struggling for a cause. Airtime is given to people who spew ignorant and crass points of view. It is time to say it as it is — these are horrendous crimes committed on innocent men, women and children, who were unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. These are premeditated, cowardly murders, punishable by the due processes of the judicial system.

It is time the media held the government up for scrutiny, rather than mournfully asking ‘Will the interior ministry ever learn?’ If it has identified the problem, solutions should also be clearly articulated to the public. They should be shown effective ways of holding their elected politicians to account.

The media now must make the interior minister quake every time he picks up a newspaper or switches on the TV, to avenge needless deaths and assuage the pain of the bereaved families.

Zeba Arif


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