Sane Voice from Across the Border - Editorial in Dawn Pakistan
In the current super charged atmosphere where the links with the hard hitting coverage of Mumbai Terror Attacks going round with headings such as Pakistan Army Taunts Indian Army, it is necessary to listen to sane and balanced voices from inside Pakistan.
For the uninitiated Dawn is one of the most respected English newspapers in Pakistan and can be found at www.dawn.com and is pretty balanced in its coverage of happenings inside Pakistan. Again for the uninitiated the Press in Pakistan is largly free and does report on the political happenings in the country.
Media Literacy is very essential to the understanding of media text, understanding biases / slants and vested interests. As media are supposed to show a mirror to the society and world in this case, it is my firm belief that consuming news / information from multiple sources makes us a more informed global citizens. It is important to understand where the NEWS is coming form as what we read largly shapes who we become.
One might or might now accept any or all that we get from these sources but we will shape our views, opinions and beliefs in a mature manner!! Read on..
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s unscheduled dash to the subcontinent appears to have quelled talk of a conflict, at least for now. In her remarks to the media Ms Rice appeared relatively relaxed and spoke of the “reasonable and responsible” discussions she had in New Delhi and Islamabad. As Ms Rice’s jet flew off into the skies, it looked as if American crisis diplomacy had chalked up another success. But much will depend on the days ahead. Specifically two issues will determine the level of tension between India and Pakistan: one, the evidence India can present to prove a Pakistani link to the Mumbai attacks; and, two, the demands India makes on the basis of that evidence. There is clearly deep anger in India over the Mumbai attacks and that anger may yet shatter the carefully crafted détente that Ms Rice has been able to achieve.
Here in Pakistan the government must carefully map out its options and possible next moves. Ms Rice would not have left Islamabad in the mood she did had she not gotten some assurance from the civilian government and military leadership that Pakistan will act against any individuals or groups that India may show are linked to the Mumbai attacks. The government must prepare for this possibility. Cracking down on militant groups that have deep roots in Pakistani society and have fanned out across the country will be a tough task that will require substantial groundwork. The government must also prepare for the possibility of a backlash from militants, with a new round of violence possibly engulfing Pakistan’s cities if the government goes after militants in earnest. Similarly, the civilian government and military leadership must speak with one voice against the scourge of terrorism. Any signs of a rift in that relationship will further complicate matters and hamper Pakistan’s efforts to credibly respond to India.
If Pakistan is under a great deal of international pressure then it is because of the toxic brew of militancy present in the country for a long time. However, the government must make the point that the various jihadi, militant, terrorist, sectarian and criminal groups here have morphed and overlapped since 9/11 in such a way that isolating one group is no longer easy. Pakistan is already actively fighting militants in at least two tribal agencies and the northern region. There are links between the militants there and the so-called Punjabi Taliban, many of whom believe India is the original enemy because of its acts in Kashmir. All these linkages, spreading across the length and breadth of the country, have potentially grave ramifications that the outside world must be made to understand. Simply asking Pakistan to bag militants or else deal with India’s anger will get neither India nor Pakistan anywhere closer to where they want to be. Pakistan must be in a position to win the battles it is already fighting before it opens new fronts.