ISLAMABAD: Instead of playing a constructive role in bringing peoples of Pakistan and Afghanistan closer, media was creating differences between the two nations.
Journalists from Pakistan and Afghanistan castigated the counterproductive role of a certain segment of media at an interactive session arranged at the National Press Club on Wednesday.
A delegation of Afghan journalists is currently visiting Pakistan under the auspices of Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies (PIPS).
They were of the view that media should act positively in the fast changing geo-political scenario by highlighting the sufferings of the masses on both the sides of the border.
Speakers at the session stressed the need for bridging gaps in media reports calling upon major media houses to depute their correspondents in each other’s countries as media was currently relying on secondary information which was usually biased and incorrect.
It has been observed that misunderstandings and misperceptions are on the rise within governments and the peoples of both countries.
The participants pointed out that most of the time, media spread rumours and misunderstandings due to lack of access to information and mostly toeing the policies of their respective countries instead of describing the true picture on the ground.
At the session, journalist Cyril Almeida highlighted that the situation in Afghanistan was very serious and all groups, armed to the teeth, were waiting for an opportunity to grab power and at this juncture, the role of media had to be above the official versions and the line of establishment.
Pakistani writer and scholar Ishfaq Saleem Mirza, who was the moderator at the session, said there should be exchange of delegations of media, civil society, think-tanks, policymakers, artists, traders and other people to overcome such misperceptions across the borders.
“Both the countries have been destabilised due to the two interventions of international powers in Afghanistan and peoples in both the countries are victims of these incursions,” he elaborated.
Expressing his views, Afghan journalist Habibullah Rafi said the revolutions in the current century were being triggered through media including social media.
In view of this fact, he said, media should have a positive role instead of being the mouthpiece of their states.
He said the stories depicting the sufferings of common Afghan people were mostly missing in Pakistani press.—A Reporter