Agha Iqrar Haroon
An independent media ensures the supremacy of democracy, therefore, those who do not like Democracy always express their displeasure towards professional journalists who usually believe that Parliament, Constitution, and Democracy are needed for a free and healthy society.
The unceremonious departure of former President Gen Musharraf from power triggered a debate in the country about how much percentage of media should be professional and how much new media could be formed and could be injected into journalism. Faces who had never been journalists for a single day landed on television screens as anchors and within the shortest possible time, they became senior experts, senior analysts, and social scientists. This new cadre that I call “paratroopers” swiftly replaced professional and seasoned journalists who reached television studios through a long process and journey through newspapers newsrooms or reporting rooms. Soon these paratroopers became mouthpieces of different power grids.
The second phase started after the 2018 General Elections when vloggers were born out of the wombs of “demand and Supply”. Within months, the names of senior journalists were replaced with vloggers and bloggers on the official lists of the ministry of information, President House, Prime Minister House, Chief Minister Houses, Governor Houses, etc. Even some bloggers and vloggers were imported or were incorporated from abroad. Unknown websites having no physical addresses and credible names were launched to establish paratroopers as “credible writers”. There is a list of experiments that should not be discussed in detail for some reasons. The criteria were simple—- he/she must be followed by thousands of people on their social media pages, should be pro-government, and should have no respect for parliament and constitution. Unfortunate to say this cadre is now leading in spreading dangerous and damaging dis-information campaigns about alleged divisions within institutions and they are blatantly criticizing sensitive institutions and blaming the voting out of former prime minister Imran Khan as planned by certain institutions.
Unfortunately, they are writing and speaking what a sane, professional, and practicing journalist could never ever had thought despite having differences with institutions because professional journalists were grown in a system that injects respect for institutions and sensitivity for larger interests of the state. This situation is of course not healthy and acceptable for the state of Pakistan because we know our enemies around us would definitely use the material provided by these paratroopers to poison our youth in the future.
People like me who spent their 30 plus years in journalism but were thrown away from mainstream media by the new cloning system are standing outside the arena with worried faces about how long this scene would be on stage? Many like me who are entering their retirement age have a question to the state why unnatural experiments were inevitable and could appropriate results not get without a disastrous arrangement?
In the end, I request those who were behind all experimentations that please do not go for further experiments and please sit with bona fide and professional cadre of journalists and ask them what is the way out to control this Jiny that has come out of the bottle unexpectedly (for me it was expected)?
We must not forget what happened to Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan where state institutions were targeted and broken then anarchy was injected. No country can survive long without strong state institutions.
The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk News Agency.