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Media's National Responsibility... By Col.(r) Riaz

05 December, 2012

Our media is quite vibrant and probably the most independent one in the region yet, I think, there is a scope for it to learn a little to acquit itself of its responsibilities dutifully and maturely. One of the uppermost obligations of the media is to educate the people also apart from providing them with the latest information and news.

Presently our both electronic and print media seem to be more concerned about their ratings and increased circulation rather than their obligation towards nation building. Catchy sensational news, conflicts between the institutions, crime, rape, lawlessness, terrorism and other negativity of the sorts take precedence over the good deeds and achievements of the people which are either not reflected or not given due importance.

For example; there was no mention of the three students of a Grammar School of Lahore who returned victorious from Delhi after winning all the prizes in an English debate competition there. Simil arly, though sad yet a very important event from the national cohesion and unity point of view was ignored by the media. On 7th of Muharram about 47 people had lost their lives in a bomb explosion at Dhok Syddaan, Rawalpindi. Media reported the bomb explosion but not what happened afterwards. While most of the dead were taken to the surrounding villages for burial, a joint mass funeral prayer was held for remaining 17 dead at the site of the explosion at Dhok Syddaan.

Now, listen my dear country men, among these 17 martyrs there were Shias and Sunnis and the relatives of all these deceased unanimously agreed to hold a single joint prayer for their near and dear ones led by a single imam. What a momentous and significant an occasion it was where rows after rows of Sunnis and Shia were offering the prayers standing shoulder to shoulder together. Some with folded arms and others with open arms! What a wonderful sight it presented depicting the natio nal unity and sectarian harmony that our media missed to highlight. It would have certainly sent a strong message to our adversaries that nothing can divide us – not even the bombs - as a nation.

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
Rawalpindi

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