Posted on March 5th, 2020


Right to information or freedom of expression, if suppressed, simply demolishes the whole structure of a society. If a society is filled with all lively activities including business, trade, politics, arts, and sports, it means it is a flourishing society. When we analyze the society of Pakistan particularly in present days, we find all these elements at their best which reflect the liveliness, sparkle, and vigour of the whole nation. Just to blame and defame Pakistan, it is a routine practice rather a tradition of the hostile forces to make hue and cry that there is no freedom of expression in Pakistan. Particularly for the last few months, there has been a notable rise in the propaganda move against Pakistan with reference to the media freedom. Different mouthpieces are doing all their best to vomit out their dirt-inside against Pakistan’s political government, Pakistan’s Armed forces and even against Pakistan’s Foreign policy; their only purpose is to please their pay-masters.

Just to make the already present media norms more effective the government of Pakistan has decided to introduce a new law comprising of a code of conduct for print, electronic and social media. Pakistan Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) is busy giving the final shape to the rules and regulations in this context. Apprehending the expected check and balance on media, the ‘well-wishers’ have started expressing their unease and agony. Recently some ‘unknown’ type of writer penned down an article in some ‘unknown’ type of newspaper in which he blamed that the expected code of conduct for media would simply be misused as a tool against the mainstream media.  With the help of this new Code of Conduct, the PEMRA would simply threaten, browbeat and gag the voices ready to explode against the alleged ‘ineligibility’ of Imran Khan’s government. The writer has expressed his fear that the new law in the making would push offline or prosecute media for non­ compliance with strict “codes of conduct” in the context of the fifth-generation warfare. It is also blamed in the article that the government of Pakistan has banned all the news regarding the anguish of the near and dear ones of “missing” or “disappeared”   persons.  In short, the above-mentioned article is simply a misguiding piece of writing.

The actual situation is altogether different. There is no ban on any news item in Pakistan; media persons are free to say whatever they want to say in their writings and in their TV programs. However, the PEMRA never allows any of the media men to spread hatred against the ideology of Pakistan. No country all over the world allows anyone to spread hatred against its own existence; it is a common practice. In the name of liberty and freedom of expression no country ever permits anyone to dig up its roots; the same does Pakistan.

The freedom of media, the liberty of expression could be estimated by the financial prosperity of the media houses which are running different TV channels and newspapers. Media has become a very lucrative industry in Pakistan. People invest in this industry and then their investments are multiplied many times. If the media were not free in Pakistan, this progress could never have taken place. The basic difference between the days gone and the present time is that of the philosophy. Just ten or fifteen years back media houses were not run in a businesslike manner as they are being run today. Moreover, it is the basic right of media house owners to take steps necessary for the survival and progress of their business. They would say what people desire to hear; if people do not want to hear anything which could be harmful to the country; the media houses would never say that. However, the proposed Code of Conduct for media would simply regularize and channelize the things. Ultimately in media, there would remain no place for those whose real business is to spread bogus news and to bring a bad name to Pakistan. And this is the basic target of the proposed Code of Conduct.

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