IN Pakistan neither the life of the people is safe nor their religious freedom is protected. The collective thought process of the masses is shadowed by rampant poverty and backwardness. Whatever a semblance of independence existed in the media it is also seen steadily eroding way. Now the media is neither free nor independent in this country. For the last over 60 years the country is being ruled by a specific group of people. When there is a military rule, these people also remain in power in one way or the other. The only difference is that during military dictatorship the military rulers select people from among the same group of people to rule the country without going through the hassle of holding elections. Even when there is no military rule, dictatorship does not fade away. The whole affairs of governance revolve around the chief of the ruling party and the elected representatives are not supposed to utter a word against the party chief. The dictatorship of Musharraf has been replaced by the dictatorship of Asif Ali Zardari now. Is there anyone who can differ with this notion?
It is ironic that some parts of the country since its inception have specially been targeted while the influential families of Punjab, NWFP and somehow Sindh have ruled the country. These families `own’ both the military and civilian bureaucracy, diplomats and most of the media organizations.
Unfortunately, Balochistan has been an eyesore for the rulers since day one only because of the natural resources and survival of the population-wise biggest province. For the last over six decades, the province of Balochistan has been in a state of war. Ayub Khan, ZulfikarAli Bhutto, Ziaul Haq, Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto and Musharraf all snatched the rights from the people of Balochistan and bombed them when they demanded their due rights. As a result, today every Baloch has taken up arms and the situation is no more under the control of the rulers.
The second target of the Pakistani rulers has been the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. These innocent and simple minded people have been so blind in their love with Pakistan that they presented their sons as sacrifice for the defence of the country but in return they were given poverty, illiteracy and injustices in all walks of life. Most ironically, they were deprived of their identity. But like the people of Balochistan, the rulers never took mercy on the people of Gilgit-Blatistan. However, gradullay the sense of deprivation increased and the people started to realize that they were not free but treated like salves. In such a situation, lack of leadership made the situation worse for the masses of this region. This was the time when the local media came to the rescue of the people and guided them towards their actual destination. Today, the fruits of the 10 years’ media efforts have started coming to the fore in the shape of people’s unity and readiness to start a struggle for their rights. The forbearer of this struggle in the area has been Bang-e-Sahar, which has given its readers a vision and hope for the future. But the Pakistan rulers were not ready to digest the fact. The newspaper office was looted on September 22 without realizing, however, that the torch-bearer of a movement can never be alone but is backed by thousands of people. Computers and other equipment used for the publication of the weekly in its operational office in Rawalpindi were stolen. The aim to narrate this incident is that the rulers have themselves brought the country to such a point where no one is safe. Till quite recently, daylight robberies in media offices were unimaginable but in a country where even worship places are not safe from destruction and sacrilege, the question of a newspaper office remaining safe becomes a farce.
We do not hope any action on FIR No 569 registered with Rawalpindi’s Sadiqabad police. The rulers have become so callous that they never think it their moral duty to say a few words for the sympathy of a victim. We, however, once again resole that with the support of the masses Bang-e-Sahar will continue its mission despite all odds.