How does it feel to be a journalist in Pakistan?
In Pakistan, it is easy to be a dacoit than to be a journalist. Because being a journalist not only your own life is at stake in fact life of your dear ones too. Moreover, in extreme cases you have to take refuge in some other country as a wanted criminal or suspect.
To unveil facts to the masses is a dangerous and a risky job in Pakistan presently, considering the current deteriorating political instability. According to recent surveys and statistics, Pakistan ranked top among most dangerous places for journalists. The ongoing brawl between political parties are further adding fuel to the pathetic condition and making things worst for the journalists to report the events with honesty.
To recall few names Wali Khan Babr, Saleem Shahzad, both died, Omer Cheema tortured and injured; Hamid Mir, and Sana Bucha threatened, because they all preferred to stand with the truth. We live in a democratic country, where everyone has a right to express. However, our freedom of expression is limited to the personal interests and motives of the influential and the people in power.
All these things and the ruthless behavior of our society at times make me alien to my own people. I feel like living in a jungle where no rule of law exists. We pose we live in a democratic state, I honestly doubt it, rather we live in a state where honesty is not the best policy any more. Where truth is truth only if it is in favor of everyone. You are threatened for dire consequences if you speak against establishment in Pakistan. Everywhere we quote and make comparison with our neighbor India, but when it comes to freedom of speech and expression we dare not, because we know India is a democratic state in real sense.
We as a nation do not value the differences. Therefore, it is extremely tough to be a journalist in country like Pakistan, where people are deprive from the basic right i.e. “freedom of speech and expression”. I salute to all (journalists) who have the guts and courage to reveal the truth to the public without any fear.