Pervez Mushharraf is leaving his Islamabad residence amid tight security. His plane has taxied from runway from where he will fly to Karachi. Awesome news for the nation, isn’t it?
You have a bad news sense if you are not interested in this latest development. But wait. If you have instead tuned in to Geo News to keep yourself updated on the armed attack on Hamid Mir, your taste of news really sucks, dare I say.
“Allah be praised” is an expression often used in a derogatory way by Ayaz Amir—the old guy from Chakwal who was recently at loggerheads with this wounded journo over an ideological issue in a style that is both literary and sweet. Amir uses this expression just before highlighting the sorry affairs of the state.
Allow me to repeat his words before describing you as being ‘out-of-your-mind’ if you have an interest in an armed attack on Hamid Mir. In fact it’s not me but some Pakistani media outlets that think you are. They are convinced that the journey of ‘very famous’ Musharraf with a ‘heart disease’ holds much more importance for viewers than very ‘little known’ Hamid Mir lying in hospital bed with ‘only six’ bullets lodged into his body.
What follows is a series of talk shows in connection with Hamid Mir, not out of sympathy but because of Bugz-e-Muaavia. Why? Because they had got hold of a controversy emerging from the statement of Hamid Mir’s brother.
The media outlets in general showed almost no interest in the shooting of a senior journalist but opened all their guns at one media group.
I will not go into details about Amir Mir’s remarks but what an irony of fate Mir didn’t get as much coverage by TV channels as he deserved.
You must have witnessed that the poor Kashmiri chap had always raised his strong voice whenever a Pakistani journalist, no matter which channel he belonged to, fell in the line of duty somewhere in the mountains of Waziristan, the land of five rivers or the city of lights.
This journalist cum anchorperson never harbored any prejudice. He never discriminated. He always spoke for the members of his fraternity. He always spoke for the oppressed.
From the attacks on Raza Rumi and Hamid Mir, we can safely conclude that it is no longer the juniors as even the veteran journalists and anchor persons have now started to face the heat. Let the PEMRA decide what it decides but the kind of reaction shown by other media organizations is not going to be even in their own favour in the long run.
Due to their apathetic approach, the assassination attempt took a backseat and their viewers only came to know about the assault when the channels began capitalizing on the controversy to lambaste one outlet.
Perhaps, these channels forgot they work in a country which has yet to eliminate the insurgency that killed almost 50,000 people, and they are as much vulnerable to the prevailing threats as Hamid Mir. I have no doubt in my mind that a bonafide journalist like Hamid Mir would have stood by anyone who would have been in his place.
Much will be said about the attack. Condemnations will continue to pour in. But, this is high time our seasoned journalists sat together to chalk out a future line of action which could force all the media organizations to treat all the journos equally when it comes to the excesses meted out to them in the line of duty.
If the media organizations refuse to accept their demands they should no longer stand by their employers in this coup-prone country.
And no need to worry too much viz a viz the livelihood, because Rozi Roti Allah Kay Hath main Hai.
Abdul Hafeez can be followed on Twitter @hafeezazad