IS IT FREEDOM OF PRESS????
Posted on July 31st, 2020

ALI SUKHANVER

Immature eagerness rather urgency makes things horrible particularly when matters are directly linked with the credibility of a nation and security of a country. A few days back when a renowned Pakistani journalist was allegedly kidnapped from a very busy road of Pakistan’s federal capital Islamabad, some media-men from national and international media groups started pointing their fingers towards the security agencies of Pakistan without any proof and without any investigation. Whosoever was behind this heinous act must be taken to task but after thorough investigation. Blaming abruptly simply mars the facts; moreover such type of ‘blame-game’ defames and discredits not only the working of our security agencies but the whole country and the whole nation. Today countless Indians are sarcastically asking on social media ‘What were the security agencies of Pakistan doing when that journalist was being kidnapped from that busy road of the federal capital.’

 It is the professional responsibility of all media-men to file their stories after complete investigation and certainly they must provide proofs in support of their investigative reports. As far as the kidnapping incident from Islamabad’s busy road is concerned, there had been countless incidents of the same kind in US, UK and so many countries hundred times more advanced in resources and available technology. The security agencies must stop such type of incidents and they no doubt do everywhere as much as is possible for them. In most of the cases they try to keep a vigilant eye on nefarious activities but they have no power of performing miracles; they cannot stop things which are in the minds of the planners.

Recently another example of this immature eagerness was observed in different national and international newspapers when a news-report on unfreezing of the bank accounts of five leaders of (defunct) Jama’at-ud-Da’wah and Lashkar -e-Taiba was published in a Pakistani paper. The news-report said that Pakistan has restored their bank accounts. The report said, All of them are UNSC’s enlisted terrorists though and currently facing sentences ranging 1 to 5 years in Lahore jail for terror financing cases filed against them by the Punjab Counter Terrorism Department.’ According to the details narrated in the news-report the defunct JUD leaders had forwarded an appeal to the government of Pakistan for restoring their bank accounts so that they could run their family affairs. They also mentioned about their financial income and sources of earning. A copy of this application was sent to the UNSC also for final approval. It means that the UNSC was the final authority which could restore their accounts. The government of Pakistan simply acted upon the directions given by the United Nations; there was no personal interest or will of the government in restoring their bank-accounts.

Keeping the facts and figures aside, unfortunately, some analysts tried to convince their audience that this restoration of accounts was the result of that ‘soft corner’ somewhere hidden in the heart of the government of Pakistan. They tried to misguide the world around that this restoration of bank-accounts was independently done by the government of Pakistan. The facts are altogether otherwise; Pakistan has never encouraged any kind of terrorism as Pakistan itself has been the worst victim to this menace. Restoration of the bank accounts of all these leaders has nothing to do with the ‘will and desire’ of the government of Pakistan; it was simply done on the direction of UNSC.

Dragging Pakistan into a new blame game is in fact an attempt to defame the whole nation in the international community and to weaken the very foundation of the country already facing a lot of problems. As per tradition the Indian media took full benefit of the situation and exploited the news published in Pakistani newspapers in the most negative way. It was also propagated that at the initial stage, Pakistan had restored the bank accounts of the ‘terrorists’, at some later stage, arrangements would be done for their release. The South Asia Monitor said focusing on that news report, The report raised eyebrows over Pakistan’s actions on ground and claims on papers in front of the global community and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), where it has claimed to seize all assets, offices and bank accounts of the JUD and its affiliate individuals.”

The ball was never in the court of the government of Pakistan; the applicants sent their applications for the restoration of their bank accounts to the government of Pakistan and forwarded the same to the UNSC. It was not the government of Pakistan but the United Nations Sanctions Committee responsible for unfreezing of these accounts. The Committee looked thoroughly into all details, followed all rules and regulations, approved the application and then directed the government of Pakistan to take necessary action.

Anyone who misreported the facts and figures in fact violated all moral and ethical values. Blaming someone for the thing he has not done is a crime and this crime becomes an act of terrorism when our own people get involved into it. While reporting on some issue of a sensitive nature or analyzing some sensitive situation of national importance, we all must keep in mind that words become more poisonous and more disastrous than nuclear weapons if not carefully used.

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