Vi­o­lence and the me­dia

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

higher ed­u­ca­tion. When the coun­try faced mor­tal dan­ger I of­fered my ser­vices to Mr Bhutto, who re­quested me to re­turn to Pak­istan and start our nu­clear pro­gramme. It is thanks to Mr Bhutto and my KRL team that Pak­istan is safe to­day from ex­ter­nal threats.

How­ever, the in­ter­nal threats cre­ated by our lead­ers and politi­cians are a dif­fer­ent mat­ter and this has al­most de­stroyed the coun­try. My heart bleeds at the pre­vail­ing sit­u­a­tion in Karachi. My mother, three broth­ers, a niece and my older brother’s grand­son are buried there. My two sis­ters and one re­main­ing brother, with their fam­i­lies, all live there. I visit Karachi reg­u­larly as a mem­ber of the board of gov­er­nors of three uni­ver­si­ties and am fa­mil­iar with the sit­u­a­tion. I also have many good friends (in­dus­tri­al­ists, pro­fes­sors, en­gi­neers, politi­cians, etc.) there.

I was in Karachi on Oc­to­ber 19 as chief guest at a func­tion or­gan­ised by the Bazme-Ki­ran So­ci­ety at the De­fence Cen­tral Li­brary Au­di­to­rium. The pres­i­dent of this or­gan­i­sa­tion, Mr Za­far Iqbal, is a good friend and a great so­cial and lit­er­ary worker. The so­ci­ety is en­gaged in the erad­i­ca­tion of way­ward­ness and other so­cial evils in our so­ci­ety. Dear friend, great phi­lan­thropist and top in­dus­tri­al­ist S M Muneer presided over the func­tion.

The au­di­to­rium was filled to ca­pac­ity with hun­dreds of par­tic­i­pants out­side on the lawn to hear the pro­ceed­ings. All those who spoke have been good friends for decades and are all well-known Pak­ista­nis. Fa­mous in­dus­tri­al­ist Mr Me­htabud­din Chawla also ad­dressed the gath­er­ing. Mr Khalid Al-Aziz or­gan­ised the func­tion and Col Athar Ali Khan, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the so­ci­ety, gave a re­view of its com­mend­able ac­tiv­i­ties.

This was an im­por­tant func­tion and all the speak­ers ex­pressed their reser­va­tions and wor­ries about way­ward­ness in so­ci­ety, ex­trem­ism, ter­ror­ism and ex­tor­tion and the not-so-pos­i­tive role the me­dia is play­ing in this. All were unan­i­mous in their anal­y­sis that TV, in par­tic­u­lar, was over­ac­tive in show­ing and prop­a­gat­ing vi­o­lent news scenes.

A bomb ex­plo­sion is not only re­ported but be­comes “break­ing news” for the whole day with the same scenes be­ing shown over and over again, and lit­tle else. Even worse is the promi­nence given to in­de­cent In­dian pro­grammes, events and per­son­al­i­ties. The mar­riage of Saif and Ka­rina, the birthday of Amitabh Bachchan, the death of Yash Cho­pra and fash­ion shows are all elab­o­rated upon.

While the das­tardly at­tack on Malala (or a Hindu or Chris­tian girl) was jus­tifi-

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