By Maria Satti
Ups and downs are constant aspects of any relation. Similarly in context of relations among states, up rises and down falls are normal. In normalization or enhancement of any crises or downfall, the role played by media is very important.
Media is one of the most important institution in any state after Executive, Legislature and Judiciary whose role could not be neglected or underestimated in any way. In context of South Asia, India and Pakistan, both are the neighbouring states which have hostile relations since their independence. Both the states have nuclear power. With this nuclear power they have full-on capability to bring disaster in South Asia. As both the states are neighbouring states and neighbours could not be changed, so both the countries have to realize the importance of peace in continent. And misunderstanding or mishap could destroy the peace which would also badly effect the other countries in sub-continent and international atmosphere. But problem is that whenever any incident happen in any of these countries I-e India & Pakistan, media of both sides start blaming each other even without any evidence. As media has unimaginable power and traits with which, they could make mind-set, ideas of common people. After happening of any incident, the news channels reports, newspapers headlines, and radio transmissions of both states becomes full of hatred, which give rise to negative sentiments of people of both nations.
There is a list of incidents I-e Kargil crises 1999, Mumbai parliament attack 2002, Mumbai Taj Hotel attack 2008, Army Public School/Peshawar School attack 2014, Uri attack 2016, Shah Noorani Dargah Baluchistan 2016 etc. after which media of both countries started blaming each other in their first hand reports, even without any investigation or evidences. Such reports and news casting is very dangerous for both the nations which further worsen the atmosphere which is already chaotic. This is still confusing or questionable that whether media want to inform people/ keep people aware of condition, or they are just working for increasing TRP or is this a race of giving ‘breaking news’ first!
Media should realise its importance and value, and especially effect of their reporting on society and on the relations of both states. They should not blame each other without any confirmation or evidence. If media plays positive role it would result in normalization of any bad situation. Otherwise its negative approach towards any crises or downfall will result in enhancement of already chaotic condition. Media centres like news channels, newspapers etc. has to realise their responsibility and duty. They have to decide that what they want whether to resolve issues, normalise chaotic atmosphere or they want to increase tension and hatred for neighbouring country.
Maria Satti is studying International Relations at Bahria University in Islamabad, Pakistan