Media terrorism through yellow journalism

Afshain Afzal

INDIAN Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a balanced speech at the BRICS Summit at Goa, where while highlighting issues ranging from development, economic prosperity, trade, tourism, environment, energy, sports and entertainment, he stressed on the importance of security and counter-terrorism cooperation to secure BRICS countries. He said, “Our response to terrorism must, therefore, be nothing less than comprehensive and we need to act both individually and collectively.
Selective approach to terrorist individuals and organizations will not only be futile but also counter-productive. There must be no distinction based on artificial and self-serving grounds. Criminality should be the only basis for punitive action against the individuals and organizations responsible for carrying out terrorist acts. Terrorist funding, their weapons supply, training and political support must be systematically cut off”. While stressing on need to deepen the security cooperation, he said, “Early adoption of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism will be an expression of our resolve to fight this menace”.
On the contrary the Indian and International Medias were found speaking an entirely different language, which has neither any record nor foundation. No doubt, irresponsible reporting and yellow journalism can be best judged by coverage of BRICS summit of 16 October 2016 by news agencies and media outlets of repute. Reuters’s giving coverage to meeting of leaders from the BRICS, which include Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa published a report titled, “PM Modi, at summit, calls Pakistan “mother-ship of terrorism”. Douglas Busvine and Denis Pinchuk reported that Indian Prime Minister Modi branded Pakistan a “mother-ship of terrorism” at a summit of the BRICS nations on Sunday, testing the cohesion of a group whose heavyweight member China is a close ally of India’s arch-rival. The story highlights that in a series of tweets of Prime Minister Modi’s remarks issued by the Foreign Ministry.
The Guardian in its report titled, “Narendra Modi labels Pakistan ‘mothership of terrorism’” writes, “Tragically the mothership of terrorism is a country in India’s neighbourhood,” Modi told a gathering in India of the heads of governments of the BRICS countries. In his address to BIMSTEC, PM Modi said, “This country in India’s neighbourhood embraces and radiates terrorism. Terrorism has become its favourite child, and the child has come to define the character and nature of parent”. Vasudevan Sridharan of International Business Times in its report titled. “Narendra Modi labels Pakistan ‘mothership of terror’ at BRICS summit”, writes, “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi castigated neighbour Pakistan calling it the “mothership of terror” during his speech at the BRICS summit in Goa”.
NDTV aired a report titled, “Terror Is Pak’s ‘Favourite Child’, PM Modi Says In Goa”. The report claimed that without naming Pakistan, he said terror was its favourite child, escalating India’s diplomatic drive to isolate the neighbouring country. The Indian Express, in its report titled, Pakistan terror mothership, need decisive action to defeat menace: PM Modi at BRICS Summit 2016 said, “Terror modules around the world are linked to this mothership. This country shelters not just terrorists. It nurtures a mindset.” The Times of India in its report titled, “Mothership of terrorism’: PM Modi’s fresh attack on Pakistan at BRICS Summit”.
The Pakistani newspapers published stories in reaction of Indian Prime Minister’s speech at the BRICS summit in Goa. Dawn it its report titled, “Take action against ‘mothership’ of terrorism’, Modi tells BRICS leaders” writes, highlighted that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a meeting with fellow BRICS leaders on Sunday in Goa urged them to take a strong united stand against the “mothership of terrorism” in the South Asian region, in a thinly veiled reference to Pakistan. Pakistan Today in its report titled, “Take action against ‘mothership of terrorism’, Modi tells BRICS leaders” noted that Analysts, however, are sceptical of India’s chances of securing a joint BRICS condemnation given China’s strong diplomatic support for Pakistan and Russia’s efforts to forge closer defence ties with Islamabad. The Nation in its report titled, “Modi asks BRICS leaders to take action against ‘mothership of terrorism’” highlighted that “The Indian Prime Minister has been using the BRICS summit as an attempt to isolate Pakistan following a surge in tension between two countries.”
Generally speaking, the Indian Medias is engaged in stirring up negative sentiments against Pakistan by highlighting baseless hype to create hatred and enmity between Pakistan and other countries of the world. As the media environment has reached to a stage of no return and immediate reformation is required. Media outlets are free to air and publish distorted reports, baseless stories and unfounded news without any authenticity. However, one seldom heard about any fine, public warning for banning the publication or broadcasting.
Despite Press Council of India’s clear directives in the shapes of “Norms of Journalistic Conduct”, the Indian media is openly violating these laws. Although, it has been provided that media will not publish / telecast inaccurate, baseless, graceless, misleading or distorted material or attempt to jeopardize friendly bilateral relations, Indian media is even misleading foreign journalists. It is a high time that the regulating bodies must take action against violators and motivate media personnel to contribute for peace.
— The writer is a political analyst based in Islamabad.

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