Friday, January 11, 2013

pak india water dispute

File:Indus river.svg

LAHORE - Water expert engineer Suleman Najib Khan on Wednesday said that the long-standing water dispute between Pakistan and India can be resolved in an amicable manner through the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), if India understands the significance Pakistan being the lower riparian and unable to control its water supplies.
He expressed these views at a seminar on Pak-India Water and Trade arranged by India-Pakistan Soldiers Initiative for Peace (IPSI) at Gymkhana Club. Khan expressed the concern that India had built dams on Pakistani river waters emanating from Indian side of Kashmir including Chenab, Indus and Jehlum Rivers in violation of the IWT. “We have no feature on Chenab to build a dam but you (India) are operating dams, thus having full control to hold Pakistani water even for a month, and this matter needs serious attention of the Indian government,” he said.
He said since India had been the upper riparian, it had the full control and advantage of water than the lower riparian, Pakistan. He stressed upon India to share equitably, fairly, amicably and honestly the waters of the three rivers upon which Pakistan had perpetual right under Indus Water Treaty, signed between the two countries in 1960.
Khan said Pakistan could not build more reservoirs, as most of Pakistan’s financial resources were directed at curbing terrorism and extremism. Furthermore, he said that Pakistan’s population has now increased up to three times since 1974, while, its water storage capacity has reduced to a mere 8 percent while the ground water level is lowering due to global warming. 
Moreover, he said that Pakistan has been losing hydropower worth 60 billion dollars following spoilage of water in the absence of reservoirs every year.
He said, “you (India) share with us the boundaries of Indus Basin to keep Pakistan’s agriculture alive. You may go further with trade and technology but if you just give us a space in agriculture, it will eliminate terrorism and extremism from Pakistan.
Later, the Indian delegation head Muti Dhaar said India wanted total stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan, adding that India was financially assisting Afghanistan for development of its sectors of education, health, power and infrastructure.
Muti Dhaar said that though India has constructed dams on Pakistani waters, it has ensured that water was not held during cultivation season in Pakistan. However, he said, “I assure you, we will do what can be possible for us for better and strong relations between the two neighboring countries.”

Water Dispute Increases India-Pakistan Tension

Kuni Takahashi for The New York Times
The Kishenganga dam project in Kashmir is a crucial part of India’s plans to feed its rapidly growing but power-starved economy.

BANDIPORE, Kashmir — In this high Himalayan valley on the Indian-controlled side of Kashmir, the latest battle line between India and Pakistan has been drawn.


Kuni Takahashi for The New York Times
Laborers who work long hours in Bandipore said the work is not merely a matter of electricity. National pride is at stake, they said.
This time it is not the ground underfoot, which has been disputed since the bloody partition of British India in 1947, but the water hurtling from mountain glaciers to parched farmers’ fields in Pakistan’s agricultural heartland.
Indian workers here are racing to build an expensive hydroelectric dam in a remote valley near here, one of several India plans to build over the next decade to feed its rapidly growing but power-starved economy.
In Pakistan, the project raises fears that India, its archrival and the upriver nation, would have the power to manipulate the water flowing to its agriculture industry — a quarter of its economy and employer of half its population. In May it filed a case with the international arbitration court to stop it.
Water has become a growing source of tension in many parts of the world between nations striving for growth. Several African countries are arguing over water rights to the Nile. Israel and Jordan have competing claims to the Jordan River. Across the Himalayas, China’s own dam projects have piqued India, a rival for regional, and even global, power.

With their populations rapidly expanding, water is critical to both nations. Pakistan contains the world’s largest contiguous irrigation system, water experts say. It has also become an increasingly fertile recruiting ground for militant groups, who play on a lack of opportunity and abundant anti-India sentiment. The rivers that traverse Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province and the heart of its agriculture industry, are the country’s lifeline, and the dispute over their use goes to the heart of its fears about its larger, stronger neighbor.
For India, the hydroprojects are vital to harnessing Himalayan water to fill in the serious energy shortfalls that crimp its economy. About 40 percent of India’s population is off the power grid, and lack of electricity has hampered industry. The Kishenganga project is a crucial part of India’s plans to close that gap.

if the Kishenganga dam is allowed under the treaty, the dispute is over how it should be built and the timely release of water. Pakistan contends that having the drainage at the very base of the dam will allow India to manipulate the water flow when it wants, for example, during a crucial period of a planting season.
“It makes Pakistan very vulnerable,” said a lawyer who has worked on past water cases for Pakistan. “You can’t just tell us, ‘Hey, you should trust us.’ We don’t. That’s why we have a treaty.
India has rejected any suggestion that it has violated the treaty or tried to steal water. In a speech on June 13, India’s foreign secretary, Nirupama Rao, called such allegations “breast-beating propaganda,” adding “the myth of water theft does not stand the test of rational scrutiny or reason.”
Water experts concur, but say Pakistan does have a legitimate cause for concern. The real issue is timing. If India chooses to fill its dams at a crucial time for Pakistan, it has the potential to ruin a crop. Mr. Briscoe estimates that if India builds all its planned projects, it could have the capacity of holding up about a month’s worth of river flow during Pakistan’s critical dry season, enough to wreck an entire planting season.

Pakistanis say they have reason to be worried. In 1948, a year after Pakistan and India were established as states, an administrator in India shut off the water supply to a number of canals in Pakistani Punjab. Indian authorities later said it was a bureaucratic mix-up, but in Pakistan, the memory lingers.

A genuine water shortage in Pakistan, and the country’s inability to store large quantities of water, has only made matters worse, exposing it to any small variation in rainfall or river flow. Pakistan is about to slip into a category of country the United Nations defines as “water scarce.”
“They are confronting a very serious water issue,” said a senior American official in Islamabad. “There’s a high amount of anxiety, and it’s not misplaced.”
The design of the dam requires that much of the water in the Kishenganga River be diverted for much of the year. That will kill off fish and harm the livelihoods of the people living in the Pakistan-administered side of Kashmir, Pakistani officials say.
In a country where summer temperatures reach 120 degrees, as much as 40 percent of Pakistan’s water is lost before even reaching the roots of the plants, experts say.

Hari Kumar contributed reporting from New Delhi.,8599,2111601,00.html

Water Wars: Why India and Pakistan Are Squaring Off Over Their Rivers

Construction work under progress on the bank of Tawi River in the northern Indian city of Jammu, the winter capital of Kashmir on 21 February 2011
India's Wular Lake, a popular picnic and tourist spot nestled in the Kashmir Valley, is an unlikely site for conflict. But India's plan to build a structure on the Jhelum River at the mouth of the lake that will allow it to release water during the river's lean winter months has outraged neighboring Pakistan, which believes the project will give India the power to control how much water flows downstream to its farmers. After two and a half decades of deadlock and 15 marathon rounds of bilateral talks — the most recent occurring in late March — the countries appear a long way from finding common ground.

The countries' early leaders anticipated this fierce rivalry over the waters that straddle their volatile border. Following protracted and painstaking negotiations, they signed an accord in 1960 called the Indus Waters Treaty that determined exactly how the region's rivers are to be divided. In the treaty, control over the three "eastern" rivers — the Beas, Ravi and Sutlej — was given to India and the three "western" rivers — the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum — to Pakistan. More controversial, however, were the provisions on how the waters were to be shared. Since Pakistan's rivers flow through India first, the treaty allowed India to use them for irrigation, transport and power generation, while laying down precise do's and don'ts for Indian building projects along the way.

The treaty has been widely hailed as a success, having survived three post-independence wars between the hostile nuclear neighbors. But its resilience is increasingly being tested by challenges thrown up by the 21st century. For one, Pakistan is on the brink of water scarcity. Its once-lush agricultural fields, which employ half of all Pakistanis and account for a quarter of its GDP, are now frequently parched. In Pakistan, which is deeply distrustful of its larger and more powerful neighbor, the country's crippling water shortage is seen as a direct result of India's upstream dams and water projects.
Indeed, India has ramped up its hydroelectricity projects in recent years to try to boost its woefully inadequate power supplies. The government has a total of 45 projects either already completed or in the proposal stage on the western rivers, some as large as 1000 megawatt and many as small as 2 and 3 megawatt. This expansion has irked Islamabad. "India is putting more and more restrictions and constrictions on Pakistan's waters," Kamal Majidulla, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani's special assistant on water resources and agriculture, tells TIME.

The countries have already been embroiled in two high-profile legal fights over water. In 2005, Pakistan challenged India's 450-megawatt Baglihar dam before a World Bank-appointed neutral expert and lost. And last year, the countries went head to head at the International Court of Arbitration over India's 330-megawatt Kishanganga project in Jammu and Kashmir. The court has ordered India to temporarily stop some constructions on the dam while assessments are being made. Pakistan is also considering arbitration to iron out differences over another dam — the Nimoo Bazgo — on the Indus.
Few believe India and Pakistan will actually go to war over the disputes, but one thing is for certain: water is making it harder for the long-time rivals to put their enmity behind them.

India's new dams threaten Pakistan's farming sector

What has happened since to create a situation that verges on disaster? In the original treaty, India retained the right to construct hydro-electric power generating projects on the western rivers. Even though those rivers were allocated to Pakistan, the theory was that hydro-electric generation would not materially affect the flow of water. However, mindful of the fact that India could manipulate the timing of the flow of water, the original treaty restricted the amount of "live storage" - the water stored in a reservoir that can affect the river's flow.
Crucially, spillway gates were prohibited on all of India's projects on the western rivers, which could control the timing of the flow of water. Then in the 1990s, India proposed the Baglihar Hydroelectric Power Project in the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Baglihar dam straddled the Chenab River and Pakistan objected on the grounds that, among other things, the project violated the 1960 treaty because it included spillway gates. India's very reasonable counter-argument was that the dam would silt up without these gates.
The World Bank, which had been a party to the original treaty, appointed a Swiss civil engineer to arbitrate the technical aspects. In 2007, the engineer released his findings. While modifying some of the project's design, he found technically that India's argument was sound and ruled in its favour as far as the spillway gates were concerned. As a result, Pakistan lost its single assurance that India would not manipulate the flow of water. And, now that it had the capability, India used it. To quote a recent article by John Briscoe, a former senior adviser to the World Bank who has worked on water issues on the subcontinent for 35 years: "This vulnerability was driven home when India chose to fill Baglihar exactly at the time when it would impose maximum harm on farmers in downstream Pakistan."
As the article War or peace on the Indus pointed out, by manipulating the flow of water earlier this year, India adversely affected Pakistan's summer crop. What is more, this is not the only dam under construction in Indian Kashmir or the rest of India on the western rivers of Jehlum and Chenab. Kishanganga, Sawalkot, Pakuldul, Bursar, Dal Huste, Gyspa - the list of dam projects goes on and on. "The cumulative live storage will be large, giving India an unquestioned capacity to have major impact on the timing of flows into Pakistan," Mr Briscoe writes. "If, God forbid, India so chose, it could use this cumulative live storage to impose major reductions on water availability in Pakistan during the critical planting season."
Given an ideal situation, I agree with Mr Briscoe that the treaty between the two countries is still workable. But now Pakistan is entirely dependent on Indian good will. Already the water shortage in the Chenab during the planting season this year forced Pakistani Punjab to seek to re-route the Indus River water to ensure full agricultural production. The province of Sindh disagreed and, since in the domestic division of water between the provinces of Pakistan Sindh has primacy over the waters of Indus, Punjab had to give in.
 there is a strong case for Pakistan to urgently re-negotiate the entire Indus Water Treaty. At the minimum, the agreement should include international monitoring systems as safeguards against misuse of the dam modifications that are now permitted to India.
In an ideal world, we would hope India would not deliberately cause Pakistan's agriculture any unnecessary harm. No one, however, could argue that India and Pakistan's relations are ideal in any way. Brig Shaukat Qadir is a retired Pakistani infantry officer.

Dr. Ijaz Hussain
November 24, 2012

Pakistani President Mohammad Ayub Khan and Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru sign the Indus Water Treaty, September 16, 1960
The Treaty worked more or less satisfactorily over the years, even during the 1965 and 1971 wars. However, since its rise as an economic power, India has started to flex its muscle and begun abusing the Treaty by planning huge dam-like structures on the Western Rivers. It has already built one on the Chenab River called the Baglihar dam and is currently building another one on the Jhelum River called the Kishanganga dam.

  Pakistan’s concern about the issue is evident from the fact that according to the Strategic Foresight Group, an Indian think tank, every proposal that Pakistan has made since 1999 in the two-track diplomacy has focused on water as a matter of pivotal concern to that country. The gravity of the situation can be gauged from the fact that in March 2009, a group of more than 20 different UN bodies warned that given the rising tension over the water issue between Pakistan and India, the world could be perilously close to its first water war. 
The question arises: why is India bent upon building these dams? Is it doing so merely to generate electricity or is there some hidden agenda behind it as well? From all the available evidence, it is clear that India is trying to acquire capability to control the waters of the Western Rivers in order to release them to inundate Pakistani territory or withhold them to render it dry at an opportune moment. Independent and neutral observers tend to agree with Pakistan’s assessment. For example, this is what John Brisco, Professor of Environmental Engineering at the Harvard University, who has worked on the issue for quite some time, has to say in the matter:          
“[There] is a veritable caravan of Indian projects-Kishanganga, Sawalkot, Pakuldul, Bursar, Dal Huste, Gypsa. The cumulative live storage would be large, giving India an unquestioned capacity to have major impact on the timing of flows into Pakistan… [Calculations suggest] that once it has constructed all of the hydropower plants on the Chenab, India will have ability to effect major damage on Pakistan.”
Incidentally, if India is trying to control the flow of the Western Rivers, its attitude has been no different towards its other South Asian neighbours. It has succeeded in imposing unfair water treaties like the Mahakali and Tanakpur Agreements on Nepal and the Ganges Agreement of 1996 on Bangladesh. Additionally, it has plans to interlink Brahmaputra, Ganges and Meghna rivers by transferring water from surplus to deficient rivers which would hit Bangladesh hard as it would deprive the latter of water which it has historically used. In this backdrop, the Indian intentions vis-a-vis Pakistan through vast dam-building plans become clear. It is not only to steal waters which rightfully belong to Pakistan but also to use them as a weapon to reduce Pakistan to the status of Nepal or Bangladesh. India is doing so because it is a hegemonistic power which is bent upon imposing its version of the Monroe doctrine on South Asia. It is making a strategic use of water to subdue Pakistan which is the last line of resistance against India’s quest for supremacy in South Asia.

India's dam plans anger Pakistan, symbolise global water woes


Ben Doherty

ITS three great basins - the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra - are the most densely populated area in the world. The Ganges alone supports half a billion people.
Seventy per cent of South Asia's 1.5 billion people live in farming families, and depend on the water of those basins for their survival. That number grows by 25 million every year.
For generations the rivers have watered the bread basket of the Punjab, the cotton plants and fruit trees of the Sindh, and the rice paddies of Bangladesh, and grown this region faster than anywhere else.

The issue of water in this part of the world is back in the spotlight with a case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration this week between Pakistan and India.
Pakistan claims a new hydroelectric plant India is building on the Kishanganga River

A security report from the US Director of National Intelligence released this year says that over the next decade ''many countries … will experience water problems - shortages, poor water quality, or floods - that will risk instability and state failure''.
''As a result of demographic and economic development pressures, North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia will face major challenges coping with water problems.''

Last year, Pakistani newspaper Nawa-i-Waqt urged the government: ''Pakistan should convey to India that a war is possible on the issue of water and this time war will be a nuclear one.''
Most experts argue a declared war between nations in the near future is unlikely, but as pressure grows, smaller conflicts will flare across the region.

The Strategic Foresight Group has postulated the idea of an ''arc of hydro insecurity'', stretching from Vietnam through China, South Asia, to Iran, Iraq and other Middle East countries, through to Egypt and Kenya in East Africa.
Scarce water will drive up food prices, destabilise governments and spark mass migrations.
A Dutch study found that by the middle of this century, shrinking glaciers will reduce the flow of water to the Indus by 8 per cent.

Environmental author B. G. Verghese told The Age : ''Water, and the energy that comes from water, affects every household. If you have a 12-hour blackout, children cannot do their homework, factories cannot operate. If the well is empty and the women have to walk to the next village for water, mini water-wars break out between villages, fighting over the last bucket.
''More people will be killed by insanitary water than by all the sum total of all the wars and all the insurgencies that might be fought.''

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Palestine map tells the story


The truth is that far from being the poor victim it likes to portray itself as, Israel is in fact the most aggressive and belligerent nation in the region, having invaded pretty much everyone it shares a border with.
The following maps show just who is wiping who off of the map!
The above map is Israel as it was first created by UN declaration in 1947. The blue portion is Israel, the rest is all Arab lands. Note that Jerusalem was completely within Arab lands and Israel was much smaller than it is today. Note also that there is NO Israeli presence inside the area surrounding Jerusalem. No settlements, certainly no IDF. 
The red square outlines the approximate region shown in the map to the right.
This is Israel as it is today. Note that the western border of Palestine has been pushed up to Jerusalem. Such a land grab is NOT the result of a defensive act, but of an invasion to bring Jerusalem under Israeli control, even though Jerusalem was not originally part of Israel. The maps clearly tell the story of an Israel conquering lands which do not belong to it. Since Sharon took office, Israel has built more illegal Jewish Settlements on Palestinian land. Note on the above map that the majority of the lands which were originally Arab lands when Israel was created, are now under complete (dark blue) or partial (green) Israeli control. Only the black areas remain to the Palestinians, and those are shrinking by the minute. 
How does a defensive action result in the total conquest of someone else's lands? The answer is that it does not. Israel is the aggressor. The maps of Israel then and now prove it. 

Stop buying into what Sharon claims Israel "has to do" and look at what Israel has actually done. The maps tell the story of a nation eager to conquer lands which do not belong to it. Israel has invaded virtually every nation it shares borders with, including Syria and Lebanon, and as the map above shows has almost conquered Palestine and is ready to "ethnically cleanse" the region. Far from being the poor victimized society desperately defending itself Israel likes to pretend it is in order to wrest more money from Americans, Israel is in fact the most militarily aggressive nation in the region. 
Israel has ALWAYS portrayed non-Israelis as animals, in order to make it easier for the American tax payers who pay for the weapons accept their killing. And Israel has always resorted to staged terror bombings to further its agenda, such as the Lavon affair and more recently when a supposed suicide bomber turned out to be a known Israeli collaborator. In one recent case photos showed that what was reported as a suicide bomb in Jerusalem was actually a car bomb
Even now, the Israeli media admits that nobody (other than the purported bomber) was actually hurt in this latest bombing. Now, would a real anti-Israel suicide bomber, obviously able to select where and when the bomb is to go off, really choose to detonate the bomb when there is nobody around, damaging ONLY buildings?
So, if you are being lied to about the Jerusalem bombings, and with Israel's past use of, indeed PRIDE of, deception as a tool to be used against friend and enemy alike, it's time to take another hard look at the fact that every other nation on Earth except the United States is opposed to what Israel is doing.
You know, if the United States REALLY wanted peace in Palestine, all they have to do is stop signing the checks that pay for Israel's war machine.

"Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it."

-- Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Population by region and pyramid

Population by region

Six of Earth's seven continents are permanently inhabited on a large scale. Asia is the most populous continent, with its 4.2 billion inhabitants accounting for over 60% of the world population. The world's two most-populated countries alone, China and India, together constitute about 37% of the world's population. Africa is the second-most-populated continent, with around 1 billion people, or 15% of the world's population. Europe's 733 million people make up 11% of the world's population, while the Latin American and Caribbean regions are home to around 600 million (9%). Northern America, primarily consisting of the United States and Canada, has a population of around 352 million (5%), and Oceania, the least-populated region, has about 35 million inhabitants (0.5%).[16] Though it is not permanently inhabited by any fixed population, Antarctica has a small, fluctuating international population, based mainly in polar science stations. This population tends to rise in the summer months and decrease significantly in winter, as visiting researchers return to their home countries.[17]

Sunday, January 6, 2013

essay - Role of Media

Media in Pakistan:-

"When complaints are freely heard, deeply considered, and speedily reformed, then is the utmost bound of civil liberty attained, that wise men look for."-- Milton

No power on this earth can block the truth as it is God who, being the truth Himself, guards it. Nowhere in history could the truth ever be suppressed, it always revealed itself in some other form and with dangerous consequences.

British philosopher John Stuart Mill underlined the need for free speech mainly for three reasons. He believed that freedom to read or write is an important element to expose and reveal the truth, to ensure self-development and self-fulfillment of citizens and to help ensure participation of the citizens in a democracy.

The Pakistani media is an enthusiastic member of the new warrior clan of the 21st century and despite belonging to war-torn country, is playing active role in keeping with the demands of the modern times. By airing divergent views and engaging in cross questioning on significant national and social issues the media reflects and informs public opinion and practically shares the task of the parliament. Investigative reporting and live discussions can undermine the spell of many a magicians.

This has facilitated public access to the hitherto unseen workings of the political and bureaucratic set-up while simultaneously highlighting the injustices suffered by the common man as a result of the shady practices of the elite.

After a significant role of media in restoring the judicial crisis, media has an unprecedented ability to act as a catalyst in civil society efforts to strengthen democratic polity.

The fundamental ingredient making democracy possible is the flow of information. The media (plural of medium )electronic, print, cyber and internet ensures this flow of information. If restricted, censored or hindered in any way the people will remain ignorant, ignorant of events, ignorant of their rights, their duty to the State, their needs and the role that they can play for the betterment of the society they live in and the country as a whole.

Macaulay called the Press as Fourth Estate of the government, but the advent of technology the media has gained new dimension, great strength and very sharp transforming the present age into information explosion.

The media plays an extremely important role in transmitting the claims of social, economic and political movements to the decision-makers and the public. A free press and electronic media is an essential attribute today of a democratic polity because only these sources of information can keep not only information flowing freely but also help maintain a constant dialogue between the policy makers and the masses.

How did TV Channels Emerged in Pakistan:

Surprisingly, the free electronic media in Pakistan was initiated by a dictator General Musharraf, though he had his own interests to present himself as a democrat President before the West.

Growth of Satellite system facilitated it technical side. President Musharraf to project Enlightened Moderation and democratic image.

Multinationals’ advertisements provided huge income to make the business viable.

The peoples’ interest in watching their issues instead of traditional dramas and movies.

The world after 9/11 and talk shows got the attention of the Pakistanis and the Muslim world. Talented anchor persons became the voice of the people.

Less readership and more viewer ship due to busy life spread the culture of watching.

Availability of TV sets due to China imports and cheap manufacturing in Pakistan.

New local government system in 2001 and 2002 the urgency to provide electronic media at the grass-roots level.

Allowing media freedom was not a choice for Pakistan’s establishments. It was their compulsion. During the Kargil conflict the Pakistani establishment had learnt the bitter lesson that PTV commanded only a limited audience. People watched Zee News and other Indian channels to get the other side of the story.

In this backdrop it was decided the Pakistan needed its own independent electronic media channels.

Western Media and need for local Media:

The Western Media Cover Iraq, or Afghanistan, WMD. A.Q. Khan, London bombings, Pope’s remarks about Islam or Islamabad agreement with tribal elders in South Waziristan, but with its own comments and showing one as Hero and other as Villain. The world is in the grip of War of Media.

Johann Galtung, a distinguished journalist, maintains that media projects violence without analyzing its causes for unresolved issues portrays one side as’ ‘Evil’ and the other as ‘Liberator.’ Kevin Doyle quotes the theory of ‘Propaganda Model’ and explains that the modern Media promotes the division within the global village which is enhancing insecurity.

The US controlled western media, is blaming Islam and Muslims as terrorists. If some Muslims are terrorists, it does not prove over a billion Muslims are terrorists. Former President CBS News, Richard Salient reveals,

“Our job is to give people not what they want, but we decide they ought to have.”

Miracles of Electronic Media:

Modern-day electronic media, on the other hand, has employed advanced technology to wage a bloodless war in the form of investigative reporting and live debates.

The combined usage of auditory and visual sensory perceptions by the electronic media can succeed in stimulating deep emotions and sensations. 

Televised news is the most powerful medium today, especially in Pakistan where the literacy rate is extremely low. Due to impact of TV channels, the people are more informed. The electronic media, along with the print media, often criticize the government for going against the spirit of the constitution, violating democratic traditions and being unaccountable to the public at large for inflation, unemployment, poverty, deterioration of the law and order situation and highhandedness against opposition.

It can be used as a motivational force to bring consensus on vital issues like education and health. The truth is that the significance of the media as a medium of interconnectedness of human affairs cannot be undermined in an age of rapid globalization.

It seems to have overtaken the press in forms of impact on the target population in as much as it reproduces events and characters on the screen directly and promptly. The advent of independent TV channels in the country substantially transformed our culture and political discourse. Television is far more effective pervasive, intensive and graphic than print media. Its impact on the public mind is substantially higher than that of the print media. Live coverage on television not only provides us with the most up-to-date information about events but also engages the viewer in a way that print media cannot do the in the same way.

It is usually claimed that the job of the media is the dispassionate presentation of facts. The fact is that the job of the media person is not to serve as a post office but more importantly to educate the public through informed reporting so as to facilitate as objective an opinion formation as possible. A free media that works conscientiously can serve as the collective conscience at the national and international level. This, however, is often easier said than done.

The reporter or journalist is after all human and endowed with biases and in some cases prejudices and as with all power bases the media too is vulnerable to the corruption of the absolute power. There will always be those in their ranks who can be bought with cash or perks or promises of paradise. But then there will always be those who are not purchasable because they know that their reporting can make or break individuals, communities and nations -- a heavy burden indeed.

Positive Effects:

Political Analysis:

The skilled and bold personality of anchor person raises people’s voice and clearly asks the real point of the crisis.

They analyze government actions, either in favor or against the masses and develop the opinions of the experts.

Media is serving as true democratic notion of people’s participation. The general peoples’ criticism, analysis, and comments are added. which also act as a catharsis.

The ruling feel shame while speaking bluff in live shows before the millions of the citizens.

Media successfully informs the whole world against any injustice and shows world’ criticism which compel the government to change its autocratic orders.

Economic Debate

Shows government’s projects internationally to get foreign investment by projecting the benefits of the enterprise.

Advertising to maintain competition among various companies which facilitates the public. Like, mobile phones and their lowering prices.

It represents new business trends going in the world and offering the new opportunities for the investors.

Performance of stock exchange keeps update the investors.

Spreads technical education to learn the working of the machinery.

Social Awareness:

Bring the world at doorstep
with its various trends, colors and life styles.

Changes moods and behavior of people from conservative to liberal.

Bold topics through dramas and talk shows to purify the society from superstitions, evils and fake stories.

New household styles to upgrade the living standards.

Guides the youth for new opportunities and to compete with the world in all fields of life.

Creates civic sense.

Religion Clarifications:

Authentic information by the competent scholars instead of narrow minded and ignorant clerics who have changed the world into hell.

Solutions of answers of publics’ questions which remain unheared and unexplained.

Highlights religious events like Mohram, Eid, Mairaj and the holy ramazan.

Sectarian harmony is minimized by putting forward the views of competent and enlightened Ulamas.

Negative Effects:

Political gimmick:

Blackmailing by the media persons to get personal gains as now practically, media is not answerable before any institution.

Sensationalism of news to get cheap popularity.

To show one as Evil and other as Liberator by continuously repeating the comments or visuals.

Social Evils:

Vulgarity due to inflow of foreign culture. The English and Indian channels are affecting the moral of the youth.

Time wastage due to constant watching the dramas.

More materialism by diminishing simplicity.

Generation gap is increasing on account of fast approach towards life.

Religious impressions:

Weakening religious impressions due to foreign culture and time wastage.

Challenges to Media:

The violence stricken areas like FATA, Balochistan, the journalists are terribly vulnerable. In 2008, almost 12 journalists were killed and 6 in 2009. It has curbed the free flow of information.

Pakistan is facing conflict of ideologies between conservative and secular approaches. Therefore media is cautious in debating on such sensitive issues

The government indirectly restricts media by withholding advertisements.

Media monopoly by big groups is also obstructing the expansion of smaller channels

PAMERA have frequently threatened to cancel the license. Also other government agencies pressurize.

The political issues are so debated that other social, religious and psycholoigical aspects are not properly addressed.

Though the media as an institution enjoys enormous power and influence, media organizations are not charity houses: they operate as businesses and have commercial interests. There is a natural tendency to indulge in corruption and malpractice when an institution enjoys absolute power, particularly in the absence of a strong system of accountability.

The Government verses Media

Our country is rapidly drifting towards destruction due to the ever-increasing corruption and poor governance.

Since independence, corruption and mismanagement have become common norms. Now media has to work hard to sweep the dirt. As a result, the government considers it as humiliation and defeat. The anchors like Kamran khan, Dr Shahid Masood, Hamid Mir, luqman Mubasher, Talat Hussain etc. have successfully criticized missing people, steel mills case, Kerry Lugar bill, NRO, rental projectors, victimization by members of the assemblies and the inside stories of DEALS with each other.

This government has no ability or a morally upright resource to take cognisance of it; our attorney-general has resigned due to corruption charges, the minister for parliamentary affairs has been named in a corruption case involving tens of million rupees and it is needless to mention the conduct of our ex-chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar. 

The banning of Meray Mutabiq is unacceptable to 170 million Pakistanis who believe in the freedom of speech. This is an attack on free speech and the media by the current regime which must be resisted. Dr Shahid Masood has been bringing the facts before the nation. He is a professional journalist and must be allowed to continue his show.

PEMRA and Freedom of Media

The Authority is responsible for facilitating and regulating the establishment and operation of all broadcast media and distribution services in Pakistan. The mandate of PEMRA is ensure accountability, transparency and good governance by optimization the free flow of information. But the ex-President Mushraf issued orders’ “To seize broadcast equipment or seal the premises.” When journalist refused to be overawed by indirect threats, a draconian law in the form of the Pemra (Amendment) Ordinance, 2007, was promulgated. This law is on its face contrary to Article 19 to the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973, which guarantees freedom of speech, expression and the press…. To raise the fine of violations tenfold and if required to suspend the lincense.”

Sensationalism in the Media:

What is sensationalism? Dog bites Man. This is old news. We already know the outcome. Man bites Dog. This is sensationalism: it immediately stirs the listener’s mind and is the cause for great hype.

The dramatic background music, images of clashes between security officials and civilians, and riots all form a part of sensationalism, enticing the viewer to turn on the television set. Whatever the truth, does not matter, television is selling, making money and that is the true motive.
On the other hand the growing trend in broadcast media for attracting anchors on heavy remunerations, anchors who possess skills of creating sensationalism and who spice news with hypothesis, is an example of how media channels are departing from objectivity and balanced reporting.
Furthermore, the frequent switching of anchors from one channel to another mainly for economic gains in utter disregard of the basic ethos of the journalistic profession also supports the argument that broadcast media in Pakistan is headed for over-commercialization.

These channels sometimes most of the time have been guilty of over-doing things with their moment-by-moment commentary. Give them some time (a decade at least!), they’ll mature over time.

Also they would just cut anybody, a politician would be there talking and they will cut him in the middle saying buhat buhat shukriya app ka

During the Lal masjid episode she even once said to DG ISPR app qaum ko koi pegham dena chahin ge. he said, BB main yahan apni duty de raha hoon, qaum ko pegham dene nahin aya.

The claim of Sub se pehley has started a mad race.

The media has realized its power and ability to penetrate an innocent mind and they are exercising it so savagely.

The private channels are owned by big investors with a purpose to enhance business. They have to afford massive expenses, so, competition to excel others makes them irresponsible. In order to attract more view ship and resultantly more commercials-they even sometimes forget the damage caused to national interest.

A bold and blunt anchor person undermines the set standards. The petty events are heightened. Tiny is made mighty and vice versa-on the grounds of personal grudges or at the behest of the owners.

Moreover still, the mood of the public is not as mature as in the strong democracies due to lack of education and weak sociopolitical and cultural norms.

Causes of Controlled Media:

The imperial heritage has been hallmark about politics. In Pakistan, not only the dictators but also the civilians rulers took unconstitutional steps, covered their own corruption along with their associates. Internal corruption of judiciary all were only possible with a curbed media.

Narrow minded religious parties once the blue eyed boys of the military restricted media freedom.

Media has been the fear of every general after taking over the government.

The illiterate masses have been exerting zero pressure on the policy makers.

The reason for different views are the investors. If a party or institution invests in the media, they want to see their own views reflected. The views reflected are not necessarily of the public, nor of the employees, rather, the views of those who pay wages to these employees, in turn shaping not only their view, but also the public.

Corporate barons who own a large chunk of the Pakistani Media obeyed the official orders to get monetary benefits.

Pakistan has failed to spawn a free and fair political culture attuned to the expectations of its people. Journalists have been intimated and humiliated by the denizens of power and their agents. The vigilantes of the political parties, too-especially the religion-oriented ones-also contribute generously to making the lives of journalists miserable. Everyone wants the journalists to obey their orders.


The media as an institution and fourth estate is accountable to the public and responsible for its actions. Media practitioners should stop thinking they are above the law. Let the media introduce an internal scheme of checks and balances. Undoubtedly, this is an uphill task.

Accountability of the media is not possible under the disputed regulatory regime. Media organizations and civil society should jointly constitute a commission for this task. The recent coming together of several leading TV channels to frame rules for terrorism coverage is a step in the right direction. This move may help purge the elements abusing the power of the media in violation of the public mandate.

The aim of media activism should be to strengthen the weak and vulnerable segments of society. It is they who need our support, activism is not merely reporting but it involves deep passion and research.

While covering a big story, especially in the war zones, the human sides of a conflict are often ignored by the general media. Here media activism can play its true role in reminding the world of the miseries and sufferings of the ignored segments of society.

In the same context the NRO has made even the highest office of the country questionable. In such an environment it is the honest and straight-forwarded media which can make some difference by acting as a pressure group and the recent action of the government amounts to treason.

First and foremost, media must help in stabilizing the national institutions and national socio-economic, political and administrative structure by pointing out the flow and appreciating any rod work done by the Government or State institutions and organizations in private sector. Serving the country honestly and sincerely must be projected.

The need to strengthen our socio-cultural and ideological foundations was never so great as it is today. There is cultural invasion from the West and Indian TV channels and Cable TV networks. Our values are being attacked and are in danger. Media must build our confidence and faith in our values.

We as viewer should mend ourselves, so that we may not be carried away with the media hype. We should know when t o stop viewing the repeated hysterics.

Media going through a turbulent transition, with a new found liberties. It is hoped they will settle to a saner posture in due course.

It must create a pride in our glorious past, our culture and our way of living. Pakistan is the seventh atomic power in the world and the only Muslim country, which has achieved this status. This is a matter of great pride and prestige. We have mat beautiful normative and social value structure, which needs to be preserved, promoted and strengthened. 

Media must help sustain confidence in our national institutions such as parliament, armed forces and our social structure. Erosion of such confidence in our institutional set-up can be dangerous. All problems and issues such as relating to functioning of our institutional framework have to be explained effectively to the people so that they develop a positive opinion and attitude.

At present, we are living in a world, which is moving too fast. And in the ensuing din and noise masses must be helped by the mass media to see things clearly so that they are not misled.

The prime objective of media must be national stability in all its dimensions. A social and political climate needs to be created in which people could engage-themselves in positive and healthy activities and could contribute to the overall national development.

The feelings of despondency, frustration and deviant tendencies need to be neutralized. Only an effective media, can do this. 

This also places far greater responsibility on the shoulders of those running its affairs. The nature of their functions is such that all those involved in the process including reporters, analysts, anchors, editorial staff and the management are required to make difficult choice every day. It is essential for their credibility that they remain visibly impartial, evenhanded and demand from the passions of the moment.

A system of journalistic accountability, both internal and external, is in place on the news side, which leads to more responsible reporting and editing.

The sudden boom in the media has led to severe shortages of trained manpower, so that people can be appointed to positions that require more journalistic experience than they really have.

The print and broadcast media must make every effort to ensure that their coverage is factual, balanced and informed. Live pictures must be responsibly broadcast.


To summarize, media can help stabilize and strengthen the country by playing educational and informative role and by imparting knowledge to the masses as knowledge is power and only a well-informed society can develop a positive approach towards fife.

The objective of media freedom can be realized only when public trust and confidence reposed in the media is respected and protected by the media itself by acting as a true watchdog, keeping an eye on the government on behalf of the public.

“Freedom of conscience, of education, of speech, of assembly, is among the very fundamentals of democracy and all of them would be nullified if freedom of the press be successfully challenged,” maintained US president Roosevelt.

This is an era of satellite televisions, internet connectivity, and mobile telephony. US constitution categorically forbids: “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of press.”

Read more:

The Role of Media 

What is “The Media?”
The word media means different things depending on how it is used.
Media is the plural form of the word medium. A medium is a method of
communicating information, entertainment, or other messages. Television
is one popular medium. Radio, the internet, and cell phones are all
examples of commonly used media. The term mass media refers to
methods of communicating with large numbers of people. A lot of media
exists purely for entertainment, such as movies and television sitcoms.
But when you hear the phrase “the media,” usually it is referring to the
sources of our news and information about current events. Paying
attention to the media is how we stay informed about what’s going on in
the world around us and what our government is doing.
The Media as Gatekeeper
A gatekeeper stands guard at a gate and decides who gets to pass
through and who doesn’t. In its role as gatekeeper, the media decides
which stories and issues are important enough to receive public
attention—and which aren’t. As a citizen, it is important for you to realize
there are many serious events and issues you will never hear about on
the evening news. Each news outlet has its own criteria for deciding
which stories get through the gate and into the public eye. To understand
why, you need to understand two things: the media is a business, and the
media is almost always biased.

Gatekeeper: “B” is for Business
Most people get their news from television, radio, or a newspaper (either print or
online). With the exception of PBS, the Public Broadcasting System, most are
commercial or for-profit sources. They make money by selling time or space to
advertisers. But advertisers won’t pay for ads nobody will see, so for-profit media
must make the news as exciting as possible to attract lots of viewers.
But let’s face it: News programs are not always as exciting as, say, action films.
In order to survive in today’s culture, television news must keep things short, fast
paced, and exciting. On-the-hour radio news is even shorter. Stories most likely
to get through the gate are those that are the most gripping (ever wonder why
the “news” is full of car crashes and house fires?) or that affect the most number
of people. If a story can’t be told in a quick, 15-second sound bite, it’s likely to
be left outside the gate.
Gatekeeper: “B” is for Biased
Biased means favoring one view over another. As a human being, it is
impossible to be completely unbiased even if you try. The media is made up
of human beings; therefore, even when media outlets try to be unbiased,
they’re not always successful. Bias may cause the media to open the gate to
some stories instead of others or to report stories in a way that is weighted
toward one side. There are many causes of bias. The most common among
media sources is being more politically liberal (leaning toward the
Democrats) or conservative (leaning toward the Republicans). 

The Media as Agenda-Setter
Because of its role as gatekeeper, the media is largely responsible for
deciding what issues society discusses in the public sphere. That means
the media also determines which issues are on the public agenda, which is
the to-do list of issues the public agrees are a priority. An issue won’t get
on the public agenda unless it is being discussed in the public sphere, and
it won’t be discussed in the public sphere if nobody has heard about it.
The Media as Watchdog
A real watchdog stands as a guard and barks loudly to
alert the owner if there is something wrong. In its role
as watchdog, the media keeps watch on the
government and others in power. It speaks out to alert
the public if something happens that shouldn’t. Local
news stations often have a segment in which they
investigate problems for people. Entire, hour-long
news shows are devoted to exposés, which are
stories designed to expose wrongdoing. Government
officials who engage in bad behavior know they will be
on every news show and newspaper in the country if
they are caught.
Although a watchdog will bark when there is something wrong, most of the time the watchdog just
watches. Thanks to the media, we live in a world where we can turn on the television and watch our
government in action at any given moment. Stations such as C-SPAN broadcast activity directly from the
floor of Congress for everyone to see. Simply reporting information is playing watchdog, too. Without the
media, we would not know what is happening behind closed doors.
The Media’s Audience: You
A watchdog doesn’t do any good if nobody is paying attention. The
public sphere and the public agenda both depend on the same thing—
the public, which is made up of people like you. If the media reported
an event and nobody watched or responded, it would have no influence
at all. In the same way, the public influences the media because the
media can’t function without peoples’ attention. How people respond to
the media’s reporting can affect which stories get through the gate.
The media’s role as agenda-setter is controversial. Some people don’t
think for-profit corporations should set our public agenda. They worry
that many important issues will never get public attention. Some issues
just aren’t exciting enough to compete with entertainment. Others are
too complex to fit into a short sound bite. Although the public decides
which issues to care about, the media only tells the public about a few
of the issues that exist. Therefore, people worry that the public does
not really have much of a choice about what issues are important.
People also worry that because the media is biased, it influences the
public agenda toward one way of thinking over another.


Former President CBS News, Richard Salient reveals,

“Our job is to give people not what they want, but we decide they ought to have.”