Role of the Media in Pak-India Peace Process

Never before has the ideologies of newspapers been so clear! The slant and bias of different publications has been brought to light with the issue of Pak-India relations.

There is no doubting the relationship between Pakistan and India is a shaky one. Its past has been alternately aggressive and hopeful. Today, we see both nations entering the world stage in terms of development and economy and we are reminded again of the importance of regional peace. Some in the media support the idea of a stable South Asia, where nations co-exist in an atmosphere of respect and partnership. Others, however, push hawkish attitudes and refuse to even consider the idea of peace.

Let us take a moment to compare and contrast “The Jang Group” and “The Nation.”

The “News International,” the newspaper for The Jang Group, has been working on a project whose end result hopes to be peace and prosperity in the region. This project is called “Aman Ki Asha” and is actually teaming up with The Times of India to campaign for peace. Here we have something truly exceptional. The two largest media groups of their respective nations will work to discuss issues in contention.

The initiative, launched January 1st, 2010 hopes to see much progress and results in the new year. The press release, reads: “We have held detailed consultations with many stakeholders, including the government, the establishment, major political parties, the civil society and a large number of businessmen and corporate leaders. We have been delighted and encouraged by the endorsement and support we have received from all these quarters.”

The outpouring of support for Aman Ki Asha is evidence that the Pakistani and Indian public are enthusiastic and excited for peace and realize this will lead to a better world. After all, we share a common past and have common hopes for our nations.

Sadly, there are actors in our nations that will fight such ideas for harmony. Now I ask you to examine yesterday’s opinion piece in “The Nation.” The piece focuses on the Kashmir issue and with steadfast nastiness, consistently disparages India.

Perhaps the scariest things about this piece are the concluding sentences: “There have been three major wars but the next confrontation between the two states that are now nuclear armed could be disastrous. Future prospect for South Asian peace seems bleak.”

What a doomsday vision for our nations! The idea that the only way to truly gain peace is the resolution of the Kashmir issue, and to thereafter argue a nuclear war is imminent illustrates the bias of “The Nation.” This in no way reflects the peaceful Pakistani people and their wishes. We all wish to see multiple issues resolved in a pragmatic, thoughtful fashion.

The hope and the dream for peace must continue, and we must rise above the seething viciousness of anti-peace actors.

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