Indo-Pak Relations and Role of Media

By Obaid ur Rehman

Pakistan and India unfortunately could not have friendly ties since the freedom from British rule back in Aug 1947. Relations between India and Pakistan have been complex due to a number of historical and political events. Kashmir conflict and military conflicts led the armies of both the nations into the battle zone for several time in which thousands of soldiers lost their lives. Since the independence, Pakistan and India kept on coming face to face with each other and have fought three major wars, one undeclared war and have been involved in numerous armed skirmishes and military standoffs. The valley of Kashmir ultimately remained the central focal point due to which India and Pakistan could not maintain healthy relations with each other.

Several attempts were also made to improve the relationship including the Shimla Summit, the Agra Summit and the Lahore Summit. Since the early 1980s, relations between the two states soured particularly after the Siachen conflict, the intensification of Kashmir insurgency in 1989, Indian and Pakistani Nuclear Tests in 1998 and the 1999 Kargil War. But then few efforts were made again to promote peace and harmony between the two nations such as 2003 LoC Ceasefire Agreement and Delhi-Lahore Bus Service practically got successful in lessening the tensions but all these efforts went useless after periodic terrorist attacks and related incidents.

Recently raised Indo Pak clashes, after martyrdom of Kashmiri freedom fighter Burhan Muzaffar Wani and then Uri Attacks, have now brought Indo-Pak Armed Forces on borders again and there was a time when India and Pakistan were just a fire away from ignition of war. The matter got calmed down and Modi-establishment’s balloon exploded when India didn’t get successful in isolating Pakistan internationally over Uri Attacks and then when plan of claiming Surgical Strikes got badly sabotaged in front of whole world. Instead of isolating Pakistan on International level, Modi establishment, nowadays, is giving justifications of so called Surgical Strikes to their own people when the opposition parties demanded proofs.

In all the above mentioned scenarios, Media has played an extremely crucial role in building up public perception on both the sides. Media being as one of the principal tools for the development of public opinion plays a crucial role in society. Talking about Social Media in particular, then it is one of the strongest medium of news nowadays as well. Role of Pakistani and Indian media has been very crucial since the introduction of electronic media in particular. Media of both the sides has played a key role in building general public perception.

Since the electronic media became powerful, Indian media has always bashed Pakistan without any authentic evidences and Indian media reports are always based upon false and baseless allegations. International community has even accepted this fact that Indian media always creates hype and even reports false news. Through this strategy, Indian people now possess hatred feelings towards Pakistan’s government and nation as well.

Whenever the tensions between Pakistan and India have escalated, Indian media, that is considered to be stronger than Pakistan’s one, has always created an extra hype to bring that issue into limelight. On the other end, Pakistani media remained calm and focused only on publishing or broadcasting reality based news. Indian media goes way too long to bring Pakistan down in front of their nation, but it is unfortunate that Indian media does not show their people of what their armed forces do to Kashmiri people.

The incident of Uri Attack was all the way planted, because Indian government and military yet haven’t provided any proofs to Pakistan or to their own people as well. Indian government also did not allow international media to cover Uri incident. False and childish claim of Surgical Strikes was also for influencing Indian nation that their Army is capable of doing so and their nation believed it as well for a while. India knew that on one-to-one basis, they won’t ever be able to challenge Pakistan. International reports also claim that India does not even possess the capabilities to engage in a military standoff with Pakistan.

India only wanted to use media as a tool to convince their public, but after creating hype only, the plans got failed when they realized that they are ultimately out of proofs to do so. Now India media is busy in convincing their own people that it is not justified demanding proofs from your own army who serve for your protection on borders.

This is what India always does. Indian Armed Forces kill innocent people including unarmed civilians, women and children but they claim that they have killed terrorists. Whenever international media wanted to cover different stories within Indian occupied Kashmir, India has never allowed doing so. India has even not allowed UN Human Rights Commission to visit IOK to observe the situation in detail. That clearly reflects that it is India that hides the reality, run away from table talks on Kashmir and always blames Pakistan, be it any diplomatic issue or any kind of conflict at Line of Control (LoC).

Pakistani media on the other end has also bashed Indian government and Indian media, but the reports of Pakistani media are based upon facts and figures. In contrary to India, Pakistan Army and Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) have always given factual information regarding to any particular scenario. This is the reason why the general perception of Pakistani people is that only state and politicians should be criticized for their aggressive policies and there is no need to hate Indian nation and a common Indian man as he has nothing to do with Indo-Pak clashes.


The writer is Islamabad based Journalist / Research Analyst and writes on Politics, Current Affairs, Social Issues and Sports.

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