By: Shoaib Ahmed
[The writer is a graduate with Bachelor of Science in Media and Communication. He is also an SEO and a content writer, a freelance writer and had written couples of ghost-writing pieces for his clients]
Peace journalism can be described as journalism that offers a more balanced perspective of war and conflict than that provided by the dominant mainstream media. For instance, peace journalism aims to construct realities from all sides and to reveal less visible causes and effects of war and violence, such as their cost in terms of the dead and disabled, and of the destruction of social order and institutions, while refraining from dehumanizing the enemy. Rather than emphasizing what divides opposed parties, as is common in mainstream media war coverage, peace journalism seeks to uncover any possible areas of agreement between them.
Indian occupied Kashmir formerly occupied by the Indian state from 1954 to 2020. Indian occupied Kashmir constitute the southern and south-eastern portion of the larger Kashmir region. Which has a dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since the mid-20th century.
After all the years of independence, the conflict over this region is still not settled by the United Nations. This, as the only reason, people of Kashmir daily witness deadly conflicts between the Indian and Pakistan army.
Every day, news about violence and deadly conflicts are seen and heard through different news organization’s digital and electrical media platforms. This violence at borders and Line of control (LOC) have not only hurt the Kashmiri people but also destroyed the peace of the people of Pakistan and Indian occupied Kashmir.
To maintain peace in the society, Pakistan’s media including every media person from news organizations and citizen journalists advocate and practice Peace Journalism to raise voice over the cruelty and violence (Physical and Psychological) for international assistance and media coverage.
Example of Peace journalism: 2019 India-Pakistan border skirmishes
One recent event on which Pakistani Media stand shoulder to shoulder with the Pakistani army and government. On the 14thFebruary 2019, an attack on an Indian convoy carried out by a young rebel Kashmiri from Pulwama.
India blamed Pakistan for Backing the Kashmiri guy, who killed 40 Indian soldiers in that suicide attack. The tension between both nuclear-armed countries escalated. The situation was so tough that the people were ready for another war, but the media swiftly brought the situation under control and continued to report every news in a peaceful manner that helped people to hold their nerves.
On 26th February 2019, Following the Pulwama Attack, the Indian Air Force (IAF) illegally intrude Pakistan airspace from the de facto border and bombarded the Balakot, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Pakistan. Pakistani Media reported this event and later Indian state and Indian state media also made a claim of air striking and killing of militants at their camps which they blamed with the Pulwama attack [Pakistan’s involvement is still not proved].
Pakistan’s government and the army denied the false claim made by the Indian state and openly invited national and international media organizations and international communities to visit the bombarded area of Balakot.
Analysis of open sources satellite imagery by Atlantic councils’ digital forensics laboratory San Francisco- based planet labs, European space imaging, and the Australian strategic policy institute has also concluded that India did not hit any targets of significance on the Jaba Hilltop site in the of Balakot.
With all the immediately taken steps by Pakistan and state media, everyone blamed India for the violence, even their public, and famous Bollywood actors started asking for the proofs about the Balakot airstrike.
Indian inhumane acts did not stop. On 27thFebruary 2019, the very next day after to Balakot airstrike, two Indian pilots again tried to intrude the de facto border and drop payloads, and this time they failed at achieving their goal and became targets of Pakistani jets in an aerial Dogfight. One MiG 21 was shot down in Indian occupied Kashmir while one was struck by a missile in Pakistan territory. The pilot ejected and safely descended into the village of Horran in Azad Kashmir (Pakistan Administered Kashmir). The villagers captured and manhandled Pilot Abhinandan before he was rescued by the Pakistan army. The captured pilot Abhinandan was then returned to India as a peace gesture from Pakistan.
Pakistan Media reported all those events in a way that turned the world’s eyes towards Pakistan’s next step. The reporting that was made during all those events did not only relaxed the tensed public of Pakistan but also turned their stress into energy and enthusiasm. Pakistan’s media has gained a lot of credibility in the ways that certain images and documents had been uploaded through social media that show what they said with the level of certainty that is asserted”.
Journalism is not just about reporting facts and figures. It’s about what to report and how to report. With all the high standards of ethics and principles, especially when reporting in such cases where a single wrong and misleading report can ruin a state’s reputation and credibility and can also spread panic in public. A peace advocating journalist has a great responsibility of maintaining peace in his society. Pakistan’s media every day’s reporting shows the real cruelty and in-humane acts of Indian state and Indian army in Kashmir valley to the world and keep reminding them to assist the people of Kashmir for their peaceful tomorrow.