On Baloch killings

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This is in response to the silence of the media over the activities of the military and the agencies in Balochistan. Ignoring such a grave issue and such blatant breach of human rights raises a very pertinent question regarding the state of media in Pakistan today.

Apparently, Pakistan has one of the most open and free media in the entire world. It has succeeded in creating awareness and stirring public opinion.

As is evident by the voter’s poll in the past few years, political participation has increased and there is increased tolerance for political pluralism.

However, the democracy in Pakistan is still not very mature and so the media while making bold sweeping statements needs to take that into consideration.

The Baloch issue has highlighted this paradox. Whereas the media is free, it is still faced with considerable external pressures while reporting on certain sensitive issues.

So even with so much apparent media freedom, the media is faced with many external threats encroaching upon its right of speech and expression. These limitations have been witnessed in the media’s silence over the extrajudicial killings of the Baloch.

Pakistan earned itself one of the top positions in the list of ‘the most dangerous countries’ for journalists in 2010. Many incidents of media harassment have been reported. Whose fault is it really for the marginalisation of the Baloch? Is the media really to be blamed?

MAHAM RAHMAN KHAN

Lahore