Mass Media in Pakistan (MCM304) Project # 01 Project Title: Analyze and compare the state of Freedom of Mass media

during President Zardari’s and Musharraf’s regime. Prepared by: Student name: Irfan Ramzan Student Id: bc080200113

Prepared for: Prof: Syed Mohammad mehdi Submitted Date: 6/11/2009

Project Title: Analyze and compare the state of Freedom of Mass media during President Zardari’s and Musharraf’s regime. Introduction
As we are living in the age of information explosion, where the world has shrunk into the global village. Today the vital role of mass media in the society is that, it is the thinking mode of any society. The most important role of the mass media is to provide the public with accurate, comprehensive and unbiased information on government politics and current events. In Pakistan mass media has come a long way. Today Pakistani media has started to exert itself and is well on its way to achieve a more meaningful and its status. A great writer Steffen Cohen in his book “The idea of Pakistan” has acknowledge the fact that “The media in today Pakistan is perhaps the freest in the region and many other parts of the world.” The media in our country having such an influence on our lives, it has both harmful and beneficial effects. Beneficial because it provides us all the information we need from all

over the world, it entertain us and at the same time it help us to find the more about the topic we are interested in. From 2002, under General Musharraf, media faced a decisive development that would lead to a boom in Pakistani electronic media and paved the way to it gaining political influence New liberal media laws broke the state’s monopoly on electronic media. TV broadcasting and FM radio licenses issued to private media outlets.

Freedom of Mass Media
The term and the concept of “mass media” appeared at the beginning of the 20th century as a consequence of the rapid increase of industry and the development of the nation state. The mass media appeared as a solution to the Requirement that people be more quickly and effectively informed of major Changes occurring throughout the world. Mass media refers specifically to that section of the media focused on reaching a Very large audience such as the population of a nation state. Among the mass Media we include radio, TV, newspapers, and today, the Internet, as means to Reach a large group of people. The mass media has played an important role and has held enormous power to change society. The media can contribute to changing peoples’ mindsets and lives, and it can affect their interactions with and within society and the environment. If we talk about the freedom of mass media in Pakistan so today in Pakistan the media have a completely free hand to discuss any issue and to extent without any official interference, censorship, and restriction. Therefore, the media is very critical these days and openly discusses those issues which could not be touched upon the past. The level of freedom in Pakistan is now very high. Even sacred cows in Pakistan are being criticized. For Example: Armed force would never be discussed in media in the past. If we look back in the Musharraf regime so the media was deregularized and about 80 new channel and many newspaper were allowed to open and operate. Today the media is thriving with new media channels and newspaper coming up. There is no Government restriction over any kind of reporting.

Mass Media in Pakistan
The importance of media today is immense. Mass communicated media saturate the industrialized world. The television in the living room, the newspaper at the doorstep, the radio in the car. If Pakistan is going to make a successful transition to democracy, the media must be able to perform its role as a watchdog -holding politicians, the state apparatus and army accountable and keeping the public well informed. Mass Media has become a major sector of economy over the last ten years. The electronic media has overwhelmingly shifted from the hands of pubic sector to private sector. Investment, innovation and competition characterize the growth of the sector. Medium Term Development Framework (MTDF) 2005-10 envisaged an investment of Rs 5 billion over five years in the Mass Media sector.

Comparative Analysis

Musharraf Regime
The evolution of Pakistan during Musharraf tunture in power deserves particular attention. Although born out of a military takeover in Oct 1999. It was the first time after the death of Gen. Zia ul Haq, the legislator complete his entire mandate. A largely civilians government and a devolution plan, which was supposed to be an additional steps toward the true democratization of Pakistan. Musharraf regime did not reinforce democracy but the role and the presence of army in almost every sector of public life in Pakistan. The army not only controlled key post of the economy but also establish its grip on administration, training and promotion. In the era of Musharraf many new TV channels and newspaper were allowed to open and operate. But where as the news channels were privatized, on the other hand also faces many restrictions. The transmissions of many news channels were stopped. After it many journalist and media persons were started campaign against the Musharraf and his party. In the bad days of media, media also did not stop to give the news and also tried to give the awareness of every story of the world. The major issues which media is covered in the Musharraf regime is 2002 election in which Musharraf take again oath as the President of Pakistan. In this election Musharraf won by the heavy votes. And majority of Pakistan politician’s party supported him. Another issue which was in the era of Muharraf is denunciation of extremism. On 1/Jan/2002 Musharraf gave a landmark speech against Islamic extremism, a few months after 11 September. He unequivocally condemned all acts of terrorism and pledged to combat Islamic extremism and lawlessness within Pakistan itself. Where as many wrong decision Musharraf took in his regime. On the other hand some great decision he also takes. In which some are: Under Musharraf's tenure, Pakistan saw exceptional setup of 47 universities, including Virtual University, under the supervision of Higher Education Commission. Most of the universities were of international standards. Pakistan now has a total of 245,682 educational institutions in all categories, including 164,579 (i.e. 67 percent) in the public sector and 81,103 (i.e. 100 percent) in the private sector, reports the National Education Census (NEC-2005). The National Assembly voted in favor of the “Protection of Women bill” on 15 Nov 2006 and the Senate approved it on 23 Nov 2006. President General Pervez Musharraf signed into law the “Protection of Women Bill”, on 1 December 2006. The bill places rape laws under the penal code and does away with harsh conditions that previously required victims to produce four male witnesses and exposed them to prosecution for adultery if they were unable to prove the crime. According to the transparency international, Pakistan has improved its rating under Musharraf regime. From being 11th most corrupt country to fall down 41st. a survey by Transparency international, Pakistan rating improved 11th most corrupt country in 2001 to 24th. Another issue in the Musharraf regime is that when the situation of a country is more serious so, on 3/Nov/2007 Musharraf declared emergency in Pakistan. He suspended the constitution, imposed state of emergency, and fired the Chief justice of Supreme Court. Impeachment movement and resignation is also an issue which is covered in the Musharraf regime that PPP and PML (N) agreed to force Musharraf to step down and begin his impeachment. Zardari and Nawaz announced sending a formal request or joint

charge sheet that he step down, and impeach him through parliament process upon refusal however Musharraf said; “I will defeat those who will try to push me to the wall. If they use their rights to oust me, I have the right to defend myself”. So after sometime on 18/Aug/2008 in his speech, Musharraf announced that he resigned. The Musharraf regime ended on the date of 18/Aug/2008. In his regime he took much decision in which some are the good for the public interest and some are not. Like in his era he establishes 47 new universities and women protection bill for the women. And many others. But also in his regime he took many wrong decisions like stopped the transmission of many news channels, and suspended the Chief justice of Pakistan.

Zardari Regime
Asif Ali Zardari is the 11th and current President of Pakistan and the co-chairmen of Pakistan peoples party (PPP). In election Zardari secured 281 votes out of 426 valid votes polled in the parliament. Zardari was sworn in by Chief justice Abdul Hamid Dogar in a ceremony at presidential place on sep/9/2008. After being president Zardari first picked China as the first state visit after being elected in September 2008 elections. As Zardari take oath on 2008 he is not cover his long political path at this time. But some measure issues which he faces in his political career or in his regime are as: A few weeks ago, a top diplomat flew into Dubai and then Islamabad for intensive consultations with the PPP leadership on how to divert the national media and political focus from the so-called Minus-one and Minus-Zardari formulas based on the NRO cases pending in the Supreme Court, the demand for a trial of General Musharraf and the pressure to scrap the 17th Amendment. A major part of the media groups backed by the PML-N which was said to be using this campaign to build pressure on Zardari for conceding the changes in the 17th Amendment. Another issue is that in his era Zardari was forced to restore the Chief justice of Pakistan. President Asif Ali Zardari and his party also started Benazir income support scheme for the poor peoples. This scheme support to those peoples who are free and have nothing to do to earn money. Much like Musharraf, Zardari offers words of concern for places like Swat but few actions. Actions are reserved for political opponents like the Sharif brothers and their PML, which was doing an administratively decent job of ruling the Punjab until it was derailed a few days ago, and for civil society activists like those involved in the lawyers’ movement, who are once again threatening a long march if the real Chief Justice is not restored. The mere thought of the long march has led Zardari to topple the democratically-elected government in Punjab, from where the long march would have commenced. President Zardari visits China every three months to acknowledge that friendship and tell the great Chinese people of the special love and relationship Pakistanis have for their Chinese friends.

Media nowadays is considered a window for learning and is also considered to be our main window to the world. Media has evolved to simple text in papers, to voices in radios, to voices with pictures in television and movies, and off course now to an internet. After the comparative study we analysis that many times media faces many

problems when media tries and give awareness about the condition and the government program to the people. If we look briefly in the era of Musharraf so media faces many problems and many many days the transmission of some channels are stopped. Like Geo and Ary News channel and faces many lose. And in the Zardari era as he came in 2008 and not spend much in politics. But in his small era some channel also face problems. I think it 2 or 3 times or may be many times transmission of news channel was stopped to broadcast. Due to this Zardari party member Sherry Rehman who was the minister of information give resigned due to stopping the transmission.

If any country wants to develop and want to make his identity he needs to self-determine the media. Media is not only for give the news and provide the information to the general public. But it also helps the government to take the suggestion from the peoples about his campaign. From the first day and today media is facing many problems. Here some for the media that media should not have cross the limit. Media tries to work under the ethics and code of conduct. Today it is on the hand of media to send the bad impression on the international level about the nation or save the nation. If media and government work individually it will good for both of them as well as for the nation. Reference: Internet E-books:
Free press vs. fair trials: examining publicity's role in trial

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