After August 5, 2019 (when Modi government amended Article 370, repealed Article 35-A of the Indian Constitution and converted the State of J&K into two Union Territories, which all triggered humanitarian crises in the form of prolonged lock-down of the Kashmir valley and political storm in Pakistan due to alleged ‘annexation’ of J&K by India) I became interested in knowing what Pakistan feels and thinks about this matter. Hence since then I am watching daily the panel discussions on about 8 TV channels of Pakistan through their videos available on youtube.
Obviously other than said Kashmir issue other issues (important for Pakistan) have also been discussed on these TV Channels which presents before me the inextricable conclusion that TV Channels of Pakistan are also failing their country as they are doing in India as explained below:-
(1)- In contemporary world in any democracy the TV news channels are very important part of media, the fourth-State. To be fair to Pak TV Channels they have not reduced their panel discussions to the level of fish market [as is the case with English & Hindi TV channels of India which I watch where viewers can’t understand what panelists are talking about because every panelist is allowed to speak at the same time and even accusation of anti-nation, unpatriotic, pro-Pakistan etc are hurled (not only by other panelists but even by anchors without realizing that in democracy the patriotism of the citizens is never questioned) against those panelists who do not toe the government line and very harsh language is used during these panel discussion on most of the TV channels in India]. I think the better (civilized) language & treatment on Pak TV Channels are due to two factors (a)- Urdu language which is rightly termed as ‘sheerini zuban’ (sweet language) and (b)- Islam, which makes the Muslim humble and imparts ‘adab’ (sense of respect & politeness) to its followers.
(2)- The purpose of media is to provide news and views to the people in such a way that the people can take informed decision about rectifying and improving the matters of the State and governments of their country. But Pak TV Channels are failing in this duty which is evident from five important issues which are presently being discussed on Pak TV Channels namely (A)- Kashmir issue (B)- Azadi-march of Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, ( C)- Impartiality of ‘National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of Pakistan’ (D)- Deteriorating economy of Pakistan (regarding unemployment, inflation etc). (E)- ‘Financial Action Task Force’ (FATF) sanctions against Pakistan. The sixth issue of facilitation by PM Imran Khan of talks between Iran, Saudi Arabia and USA has no practical meaning hence can easily be taken out of this discussion.
(3) As far Kashmir issue, like India the Pak TV Channels are also irresponsible as they are not enlightening their viewers that:-
(i)- Due to ‘hinsak pravatti’ (violent predilections) of most of the people of India and Pakistan not only the gory & chronic Kashmir problem has not been solved during last 72 years but many wars (full-fledged, mini, proxy etc) have also been fought between India and Pakistan The Kashmir problem can easily be solved by plebiscite as mandated by Instrument of Accession (IoA) and also by UN Resolution 1948 but Pakistan is not serious about it.
(ii)- The human rights of Kashmiris can also be got restored immediately if people of Pakistan side of J&K cross LoC (in presence of international media) in a peace-march to Srinagar to offer arrest before Indian authorities. (demanding restoration of human rights of Kashmiris and not demanding Kashmir solution during this peace-march)
(iii)- The Kashmir solution can easily be achieved if Pakistan (including its establishment) can mobilizes some people of J&K on Indian side for moving writ petition in J&K High Court / SCI and memorandum to President of India.
(4)- As far Azadi-march of Maulana (along with other opposition parties) there is storm in tea cup in Pakistan over this issue. The Pak TV Channels are not enlightening their readers that:-
(i)- Through demonstrations the government in democracy can be asked to surrender its office only on martial and criminal matters namely of, defense / military (like Kashmir issue where Maulana and opposition parties are alleging ‘Kashmir-ka-sauda’ the sell-out of Kashmir, rigged elections, large scale unchecked corruption of the government and similar matters but NOT on civilian matters (including economy). Because in principle, if people naively & irresponsibly have elected an incompetent government then as a punishment let them suffer (otherwise in future too they will continue to behave naively & irresponsibly) for few years and then during next election people can elect good government.
(ii)- Legal practices in Pakistan are similar to India due to British background. Hence there must be laws in Pakistan too for granting permission for marches, processions, demonstrations, public meetings etc where ‘permission giving authority’ (PGA) will see to it that permission is granted only after ensuring that there is adequate place for accommodating people for these programs, traffic rules are followed, proper facilities for drinking water, mobile toilets / urinals, first aid facilities, exit passages in case of stampede, no participant having arms and ammunitions including ‘Dandas’, as being shown in media, with Razakars in Peshawar [though they can do so in their private programs as is done by RSS too (as discussed also by Pak media) in India], name of office bearers of the organization (carrying out such programs) responsible for carrying out such programs in accordance with law etc etc . It is surprising that Pak TV Channels have not shown any such PGA (all along the routes of Maulana’s Azadi-march and place of Dharna, Jalsa etc) being questioned as to what type of permissions have been sought by Maulana and what types of permissions have been granted by PGAs to Maulana.
(5)- As far impartiality of NAB the Pak TV Channels are showing that the corruption of the ministers of PTI governments at Centre, Punjab and KPK have been brought in the notice of PM Imran Khan & NAB but they are not taking any legally expected action (in contrast to what has been taken against opposition leaders including Shariffs, Zardari etc). It is surprising that Pak TV Channels are not enlightening its viewers that in such case a writ petition should be filed in High Court / Supreme Court of Pakistan to constrain NAB for taking legally expected action against allegedly said corrupt Ministers of PTI too.
(6)- As far economic problems of Pakistan, of-course these will be solved only if Imran government endeavors for the solution competently and seriously but at-least Pak TV Channels can enlighten their viewers that global legal loot of public money (effecting Pakistan too through unbridled public debts / interest and fake currency) should be stopped.
(7)- As far FATF, the problem being faced by Pakistan is mainly due to the reason that Pakistan has not demanded from world community (including UN) to define terrorism. The Pak TV Channels have not enlightened their viewers that:-
(i)- Only the killing of civilians (like 9/11 at New York, 26/11 at Mumbai etc) is terrorism whereas killing of security forces (as at Pulwama, Uri, Pathankot etc in India) is not terrorism because only civilians can be terrorized and not the security forces.
(ii)- All the societies and their States have two forces for sanctioned physical coercion namely military and police but Islam has three that is one more, the Jihadis. If Christianity, Hinduism etc do not have such third force then it is not the fault of Islam.
It is hoped Pakistan media (especially Pak TV Channels) will make course correction in the interest of enabling the people to take informed decision about rectifying and improving the matters of the State and governments of Pakistan which is passing through the most critical phase ever since its dismemberment in 1971.
Hem Raj Jain
(Author of ‘Betrayal of Americanism’)
Shakopee, MN, USA.