Home / Editorial / Editorial: Fears to press freedom

Editorial: Fears to press freedom

Overwhelming majority in Afghanistan have been made fed up by prolonged wars and hostilities, therefore, they are in favour of reconciliation and patch up with the opposition Taliban. But at the same time, media personnel and politically aware people who believe in human rights are fearing threats to press freedom which remain remarkable since November 2001. At the moment when the United States through its special envoy Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad are engaged in dialogues with Doha Qatar based Taliban leaders, future of media-especially freedom is the main topic whenever mediamen, human and political rightists are meeting each other’s. Unfortunately, whenever someone talking about peace and reconciliation with Taliban, they memorizing the days when there was a complete “blackout” for media in all over Afghanistan during September 1996-November 2001. Almost newspaper halted its publications whereas the state run television and radio’s confined to religious speeches and Naat’s. But after November 2001, not only war affected countrymen but the world has witnessed unprecedented freedom for media. During this period, on one hand scores of private televisions, radio’s, newspapers and magazines appeared on media lists throughout Afghanistan but the media remain focus of attentions for youths from both the genders. During this period the media personnel have experienced unprecedented freedom. Even they charged some of the former Jihadi leaders for inflicting destructions and losses to precious human lives just for power and perks, didn’t by former USSR. Some of these leaders were named as “butcher’s” by media personnel and some of them accused as “foreign puppets”, “looters by plundering antiques and selling out precious minerals at hands of their foreign masters. But now the situation is turning hostile for media. As the Taliban and other extremist groups have been charged for killing over 120 media personnel. These martyred media personnel have rendered sacrifices for getting the rights of expression, which is now at stake. A foreign wire services reported the dramatic moment during a recent televised news debate highlights how far media freedom has come in Afghanistan, where—for now —traumatised civilians can stand and at least try to hold powerful men to account, live on camera. Years ago, these kind of questions could get you killed, but now people can challenge the most dangerous people in mainstream and social media. But today, even as hundreds of media outlets proliferate across Afghanistan, consumers and journalists alike worry a potential peace deal between the Taliban and the US could sound the death knell fior a golden age of press freedom. While in power, the Taliban insurgents raged against traditional forms of mass communication and entertainment, banning television, movies and allowing only Islamist programming or propaganda to be broadcast on the only radio stations, Voice of Sharia. Anyone watched TV faced punishment and risked having their television set smashed and then displayed from lamppost. Almost all electronic products were outlawed as Un-Islamic. During Taliban regime, almost media personnel migrated abroad and around nine were killed. Now the US and leaderships in Kabul must keep in mind the worries about freedom of expression and freedom of press in any sort of peace truce or agreement with Taliban. 

About admin

Check Also

MPs call on war parties to agree on ceasefire, dialogues

AT News Report KABUL: The members of parliament in their Monday session called on the …