While the airwaves have been saturated with news of political pomp and partisan point-scoring, the conflict at Pakistan’s border regions continues unabated. Away from the limelight, the armed forces have been fighting foreign-backed non-state actors on one front, a low-level border skirmish on the other, and terror groups between these two lines on the map.
The Correspondent met with Omer Malik, Chairman Voice of Pakistan – a non-political group focusing on instilling positivity in the Pakistani youth and diaspora – to talk about the direction and priories of Pakistani media in the current political climate.
“Media houses may ignore the right issues from time to time, but political parties actively focus on the wrong issues and are not hesitant in causing damage to the country in pursuit of their own objectives.,” Omer Malik told The Correspondent. “For some political parties will defame the armed forces of the country for quick popularity with their voters, forgetting that the institution is always going to be here, and it is always going to be needed for the protection of Pakistan.” He added, “ultimately the people of Pakistan are damaged, Pakistan is damaged.”
There has been a steady uptick in attacks; the latest being two separate attacks in Balochistan’s Gwadar district and the North Waziristan tribal district, during which thirteen security personnel and seven private guards were martyred. Such vicious attacks – and the forces that have sponsored them – should be a subject of national concern, but in the cacophony of today’s politics these issues are drowned out.
He explained how politicians in other countries, even when they are criticizing the government, are careful not to target important state institutions and traditions, because those are shared by the nation and its people. Be it the police force, the judiciary, the bureaucracy or any other state institution; world leaders do not damage the standing of their own state bodies.
“Our parties are cutting off the nose to spite the face.”
“We should all be painfully aware of where we stand in the global comity of nations, and the dire challenges we face to out very existence. While pursing political goals we must always keep an eye on all the consequences of our words, he further said.”
Talking about media houses Mr Malik said, “they must not let political parties define their talking points, but should talk about the real issues of the country, and ask political parties to come on those talking points.”
“Everyone must think like a Pakistani first, other identities come second.”