Journalists under fire
July 27, 2012
There is no second opinion about the fact that journalism is a sacred profession. It is sacred because journalism is a most important weapon in the war between good and evil, which has been going on since creation of the universe and which will continue till the Doomsday.
Whether it is the ancient wars fought with armors and spears or violent wars of today’s age fought using laser guided missiles, with regard to its effects and results, the war fought with pen and paper has got more weight as compared to other wars.
It is a war in which there is no massacre and no destruction of the cultivated fields. Parts of the human body do not rise in the air nor the cries of orphans and widows make the environment depression-laden. It is a war in which heads and necks are not removed from the body, but still hearts and minds are won in a very uncaring manner. That is why an intellectual said that pen is mightier than the sword.
The power of pen, which figures prominently through journalism instead of other sources, has also been acknowledged as the fourth pillar of state. For this reason, the role of journalism or in the language of today, the role of media is a basic element in the way of social revolution. For evidence or instance, we can see the results of wars of this age in which half of the war is won through media instead of showering bombs, or the results of polls are settled before opening of the ballot box.
No doubt Freedom of speech is a basic human right, which distinguishes civilized human society from barbarians. Expressing right thing at right place without any fear and hesitation is called freedom of speech and emergence of conflict of thoughts is obvious by exercising this right, resultantly new dimensions of thoughts and wisdoms emerge in this way, which helps in creation of human nature.
In modern world Journalism is considered as a primary source of communication for the exchange of ideas and thoughts .
Revolutionary changes occurred in the filed of communication during past decades changed the mode of communications rapidly as it had started from news paper then , radio, Television , Fax , Internet and reached upto Satellite communications increasing the value and power of idea and news and the ruling class always fear from new ideas.
It is easy to rule people who are living like goats but fears factor is still present in the heart of the ruler as they fear from the new ideas.
During the reign of military dictator Pervez Musharraf who sabotaged democracy in Balochistan. The worst example being Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed along with his 35 comrades in a military action on August 26, 2006 in the mountainous Bhamboor Range near Kohlu and Bugti tribal territory following a two-day battle.
The journalists are virtually in hot waters in the war-torn area but target killings will not stop journalists from doing their job. They were receiving threats from various organisations. The provincial government and institutions had failed to provide security to journalists. After Afghanistan and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Balochistan had become an extremely difficult place for journalists and asked the government to provide security to journalists.
There is as yet no true acknowledgment of the dangers to journalists in Balochistan. Since last many years journalists in Balochistan are facing tough times. This is so painfully true of Balochistan.
Allegations about how journalists there are labelled as part of resistance groups, the instances where an agency, a political party or a sectarian or nationalist militant group places restrictions on reporters, cause the truth to be leaked even if the real events are concealed. This is precisely why the number of affected journalists in the province is disputed. Quite often, there is an exchange of heated arguments over whether a victim was a journalist or a troublemaker working under cover.
The areas including Pashin, Lora Lai, Qila Abdullah, Qila Saif Allah, Mosa Khel, and Zhob are no go areas for journalists as they are the center points of Taliban and Al-Qaeeda media in this regard.
Most journalists have lost their lives in the trouble belts. The total number is always the opposite when reports are confirmed.
The coast line where separatists and the army are fighting a war is the place where most numbers of journalists are killed. Miscreants have claimed of killing many FC men however the FC only confirms the death of one or two of their men, Journalists cannot report the number of killing sin any incident until nod from the FC even if they know the actual number from hospitals.
Government installations in Jaffarabad, Dera Bugti, Sibbi, and Bolan are regularly attacked but journalist cannot report such incidents until militants don’t pressurise the administration. International media also supports those groups who raise their voices for freedom. Due to mental pressures of on going militancy in Balochistan, pressure of FC and cort orders news editor of Daily Jan Quetta could not take the pressure and suffered a fatal heart attack. After which the journalists sitting in Quetta Press club say that instead of dieing a death at the hands of armed militants it is better to spend 6 months in jail.
On July 21, 2012 spokesperson of banned Balochistan Liberation Front Basham Baloch talking to a news agency taking responsibility for the attack on Gawadar coast guard in Pashgan and announcing boycott over the biased attitude of BBC Urdu service Quetta correspondent Ayub TArin said that we inform the BBC Urdu authorities to take action against their biased correspondent otherwise we would be force to take strict action.
Senior Journalist Ayub Tarin in this regard said that from media reports he has learnt that BLF has complaints against him. He said BLF as well as other militant organisations contact him from time to time and he tries his bets to make public their news, But he does not understand what BLF means by dubbing him as biased. This is not the first incident that Ayub Tarin has been threatened
For journalists working in Balochistan the biggest obstacle for them is the Baloch Separatist movement. The separatists demand that in the news it should be told that they are responsible for so and so incident and if its not done they become annoyed. On the other secret agencies pressurise journalists into not reporting the incident at all and even if it has to be filed it should not contain the name of separatists
In Balochistan all journalists irrespective of whether they are working for national or international media are carrying out their responsibility in an efficient manner and due to their unbiased reporting the issue of Balochistan has been highlighted at the world for a.
Separatists, political, religious and government institutes are always pressuring the journalists to mould the news to their liking but despite this the working journalists keeping in mind rules and ethics of journalism try their best to give equal coverage to all organisations. In view of this the journalists face extreme difficulties. But still the journalists of Balochistan are working digilantly against all odds to carry out their responsibilities.