Reconciliation process and Afghan media

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It is about four decades that Afghanistan and its people are facing uncertainty, insecurity and extreme lack of basic civic facilities apparently due to none of their fault. Decades of rift and bloodshed have passed. No doubt Afghan people took all this with tremendous passion, dignity and resolve but now they rightly deserve peace, prosperity and happy secure living with at least basic civic facilities.

The world, particularly the US, regional and neighbouring countries now seem convinced in this regard and a sincere effort is currently underway to ensure such an opportunity to the Afghan people. The recently held Moscow Conference and US Special Envoy on Afghan Reconciliation Ambassador Zamlay Khalilzad’ shectic engagements are a proof to this fact. Beside this international effort, the Afghan media is also expected to positively contribute to this cause. It is an established fact that social, electronic and print media has unlimited capacity and capability to shape the environment and influence the masses. With such a power, the responsibility also increases, as one cannot separate power and responsibility since both move in tandem.

Lately, as the peace efforts picked up momentum, an all-out negative media campaign was also unleashed. The primary and sole target of the campaign seemed to be Pakistan. A perception is being built that Pakistan is totally responsible for everything bad happing in Afghanistan, be it severe drought or aggravated lack of basic facilities in the war-torn country. The Durand Line is being unnecessarily discussed these days in media, not realizing that Pakistan was not even on the world map when the agreement was signed in 1883. Afghanistan has to abide by the international laws, since most of the countries on the world map are result of such agreements. Wasting time and effort on such irrelevant issues is neither appreciable not positive at all for the ongoing peace process.

In this conflict, Pakistan is the most affected country in the world after Afghanistan. Pakistan sacrificed heavily in men and material in the so-called war against terrorism as it never turned the face from Afghans even it the cost of its own stability and economic growth. Whenever they needed help, Pakistan was right at their back and shoulder to shoulder. It hosted the largest number of Afghan refugees for more than four decades and still is doing so. It is the highest number and the longest stay in the world history.

It will be very fair to expect that Afghanistan will never lend its shoulder to anyone against Pakistan. It needs to be understood that both countries are not only neighbours but also share the religion, culture, traditions and social values. If the border is being fenced, it’s only under dire compulsion. It’s being done after 71 years of open borders, just to strengthen the fact that Pakistan was never interested nor is keen in cross-border infiltration by unwanted elements. Moreover, gates and doors are kept open for civilized people, which Pakistan never closed for Afghans. Return of peace, stability and prosperity is not only beneficial for Afghanistan but is also in favour of international community, particularly the regional countries.

Afghanistan and its people have heavily suffered and so is the case with Pakistan. They deserve peace and prosperity more than anyone else in the world. When efforts are underway for peace and reconciliation, it is the collective responsibility of all that they sincerely contribute towards this goal. Afghan media also has to meet the expectations of the Afghan masses and stand to the rare moment by playing a very positive role and making the environment conducive for peace process. Promotion of positivity should be the call of the day to give a new hope and confidence to the Afghan people. Nobody should fall prey to the opportunists who have already devastated Afghanistan and instead work to identify the ground realities and extend a strong helping hand for a sustainable peace, a long awaited dream of the Afghans.

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