Media can play effective role to improve PakIndia relations
HTML clipboard NEW DELHI, April 15 (APP): Media has attained utmost importance and its power can be used to improve relations between Pakistan and India.

This was the consensus developed in a panel discussion held here on Wednesday by the Foundation for Media Professionals, an NGO.

Four Pakistani journalists—Rahimullah Yusufzai, Saeed Minhas, Beena Sarwar and Muniba Kamal—participated in the discussions along with Indian journalists.

The Indians journalists included Amit Baruah, Bharat Bhushan, Naqvi, Arundhati Roy, Swapan Gupta and  Nirupama Subramanian, correspondent of Indian daily The Hindu based in Islamabad.

A large number of other media people as well as academicians also participated in the panel discussion.

It was noted in the discussion that in the aftermath of Mumbai attacks a section of media, particularly electronic media in India aired such programmes and news which were against the basic ethics of journalism. The facts were not verified and sensational leads were aired which impacted the common man. Most of the programmes and news were focused on Pakistan in those days.

This section of media was considered to be an extension of Indian Ministry of Information and broadcasting which vitiated the atmosphere, they said.

So ‑called experts on Taliban emerged in the programmes which had no knowledge of Taliban politics at all. A trust deficit was another cause of irresponsible journalism.

Commercialism, unhealthy competition, playing in the hands of vested interests were the factors behind fanning jingoism, it was stressed by the participants.

Pakistan media after watching the attitude of Indian media towards Pakistan reacted to it, the panelists said.

Rahimullah Yusufzai said people of both the countries do not want war and they want to live in peace. Negativism in media and irresponsible attitude misguides the people and creates disorder in the society.

Arundhati Roy said there is need for accountability in the media. Events should be covered in true perspective including the situation in Kashmir.

Muniba Kamal said initially attitude of Pakistan media was different but when it witnessed an onslaught on Pakistan by Indian media, it reacted to that. Facts and fiction should be separated.

Events should be covered honestly and rationally.

Bharat Bhushan said media does shape opinion but serious media did not support sensationalism during tense moments between both the countries.

Saeed Minhas said some times breaking news become “breaking impartiality.”

Nirupma Subramanian said media should not feel pleasure in sensationalism. It should adopt a policy of moderation.

Amit Baruah said events should be taken in true perspective.

Pakistanis feel proud about their country and they want to be recognised as self‑ respecting and sovereign state. This is reality which should be reflected in the coverage of events, he said.