Restricting media

The instable political scenario in Pakistan has forever victimised the media. The notions of liberal and un-pressurised media are hypothetical in the country. Media has often faced suppression one way or another, either by the democratic governments or the dictators for their self gains. Recently news channels were off-aired by PEMRA during Faizabad operation. The action was taken under the cover of national interest, which had dire consequences. Off-airing channels provoked insecurity among the masses. Since social media sites were also temporarily shutdown, people were left helpless as they had no alternative source to know about what was going on. Thus panic and confusion erupted. Many empathised media which was once more a victim of instable politics. They began to nurture anger towards the government which periodically proved itself incompetent to resolve the issues peacefully. Moreover, a concept emerged that media was curbed by the government to avoid exposure of its plans against the protestors. During this period, government along with PEMRA not only exploited their authority over private media channels but also deprived masses of their right to information. The decision was poorly timed and entirely unnecessary. The present government along with the future governments must understand that problems require solutions from the roots. This is the 21st Century and nothing can last in the shadows forever. Instead of depriving people of their rights and media of its duties, government should work to find effective solution to deal with the intense situation. The entire episode has shattered public’s trust in PEMRA and the government. Perhaps now institutions need to apprehend the consequences before taking the action.
SADIA KHAN
Islamabad

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