QUETTA: Traditionally, the media had very cordial relations with the successive Governments in Balochistan and the highly responsible media had never come into conflict with the elected Government in any phase of the modern history.
Barring isolated incidents in which corrupt officials picked up quarrels with the responsible Press and in very brief time, those issues were settled by the Chief Minister resulting in unceremonious removal of officials, both dishonest and corrupt.
The sitting DGPR had a meeting with an editor and senior staff member of the Daily Azadi and Daily Balochistan Express the other day during which the official hurled threat and used highly questionable language when they protested against the arbitrary action against our local newspapers, including Daily Intikhab, Hub and Quetta.
It may be recalled that the Government advertisements of these newspapers were slashed by 80 per cent during the past seven months and during the past two weeks, it were stopped completely.
The DGPR picked up the quarrel following candid orders from the Chief Minister, through the Principal Secretary, to retain cordial relations with the local and highly responsible newspapers that always projected the image of the chosen representatives. It was the local and credible media that projected the image of local leaders while the corporate media was involved in minting millions giving secondary importance to the views of local leadership.
The corrupt and dishonest officials opened the war front against the highly professional and credible media as finding no match to their professional skills in handling of news and offering comments on most serious issues the people of Balochistan are facing.
Most of the officials were found incompetent, blank and were unable to develop professional skill in publicizing the issues of Balochistan and building the image of the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues all over Pakistan.
First of all the corrupt officials lacked the understanding the issues of Balochistan as most of them time they were found in sycophancy receiving and seeing off the Ministers and senior officials visiting the Chief Minister Secretariat. The full time job at the Directorate-General is left for the junior officials while the DGPR comes on a visit for an hour or so and that is too before mid-night. He was selected by erstwhile DGPR who was demoted unceremoniously by the superior court for his promotions were illegal, unfair and unjust. He found a shelter at the CM Secretariat as his juniors hated him the most in his parent department.
In order to defend his illegal interests in the Department, he proposed name of his close friend to cover up all corruption cases.
In one of the very serious criminal cases, erstwhile Chief Secretary suggested his instant dismissal from services. The Chief Secretary was furious against for his being corrupt to the core. Some friends went to his rescue and prevailed on the former Chief Minister not to dismiss him from service. Thus his neck was saved to this date.
The team of two corrupt officials had developed a Mafia ruling certain matters of the CM Secretariat. They are occupying the posts for the past two long decades developing their illegitimate interests. They should have been transferred after completing a single constitutional tenure of posting.
They are not so brave or bold enough defying the candid orders of the Chief Minister who wanted to retain his good relations with the most popular Press for the past many decades. They must have drawn strength from the parallel Government in Balochistan or Government in disguise, making them bold suddenly to use questionable language against the editor of the most popular newspaper in Balochistan.
In the Balochistan conflict, the highly responsible newspapers had never undermined the interests of the elected Government and always defended the interests of the chosen representatives. There was no complaint against all the newspapers from the Pakistani establishment barring a press release of some ‘unwanted’ people published at insignificant place.
About 99 per cent space of the newspapers were devoted to Government news. Now some fault finders had found a couple of news items published all the leading newspapers were released from the news agencies. Highly professional journalists never touched that topic which irritates a circle in the Pakistani establishment as they knew the sensitivity of the matter.
At the end we hope that all right minded people, including democratic forces, human right activists and supporters of freedom of Expression and Press will come forward in defending the serious attack on the press freedom using the lethal weapon of economic strangulation.