‘Pak media not free to report reality’

Islamabad: Experts and political analysts on Monday censured Pakistan for crushing dissent and sheltering terrorists in the country, including Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit Baltistan.

While speaking to ANI on the sidelines of the 37th Session of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Session in Geneva, Pakistani journalist Arif Tauqeer, who now lives in exile in Germany, said that media in Pakistan is not free to report reality.

“The national security in Pakistan is defined by the military itself. Some of the minorities are facing persecution, killings, and abductions in Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa , and PoK. The human rights violations in Pakistan are not reported in mainstream media and that is very disturbing,” he said.

The journalist said that Pakistani authorities have been threatening the family members of the dissidents to muzzle their voice.

“We are human beings and we too have weaknesses. Our weaknesses are easily being exploited by security forces. Our personal messages are being checked. It’s very hard. When you receive messages from your family that ‘we are not safe because of you’, I don’t think it is very easy to speak about human rights violations,” Atif said.

The event was attended by political activists from Sindh, Balochistan, and PoK.

Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, Chairman of United Kashmir People’s National Party, said “We don’t have freedom of expression for the past 70 years. This has been forced on us constitutionally. The interim constitution of PoK says that a political party is not allowed to speak against Pakistan, whereas, constitutionally, we are not part of Pakistan. This area is part of the erstwhile state of Jammu of Kashmir. We are forced to be a part of Pakistan and loyal to it. However, Pakistan is using our territory for terror activities”.

“As per UN resolution, we have a right not to be answerable to Pakistan” added Kashmiri.

Other speakers highlighted the apathy of media in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan where there is no freedom for newspapers to report against Pakistan and its military.

Another Pakistani journalist, Taha Siddiqui, who now lives in exile in France, said, “Pakistani media looks vibrant, but if you scratch the surface, they don’t speak against military and religious fundamentalist. There are no-go areas in Pakistan like Balochistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir.” (ANI)