Foreign Analyst Urges Govt Of Pakistan To Launch An English Language News Channel
By News Desk
Recently Pakistan’s only English news channel, (other than the state-run PTV World) the Indus News was shut down without a moment’s notice to its employees. It was not only shocking for its employees but also bad news for those Pakistanis who already bemoan the lack of representation of Pakistani voices in the international arena. Sadly Pakistan is yet to have a reputable English language news channel that is at par with international news channels.
Some Pakistanis who are active on social media keep on reminding the concerned authorities to rectify this problem. When the Editor of Voice of East, Syeda Qudsiya Mashhadi, tagged Fawad Chaudhry, the Federal Minister for information & Broadcasting in the Government of Pakistan, in a tweet and urged him to launch an English-language news channel, the Russian analyst, Andrew Korybko, who is an expert on geopolitics and also regularly contributes for Voice of East, had some very sensible advice to give.
In reply to her tweet, he gave very good suggestions and urged the government of Pakistan to take this matter very seriously as it affected their national security:
This should be an issue of urgent national security importance because infowars are part of hybrid war and a country can’t defend against the latter without defending against the former through a reputable means of getting its message out.
When the world wants to know what Pakistani officials are saying or what its expert community thinks about something, they can always go to government sites or online news portals, but they’re not the same as having a reputable English-language TV station that they can turn to.
In times of crisis such as last month’s one in Afghanistan, there should be a convenient means for the world to see what Pakistan is doing/saying, hence the need for this proposed TV channel.
Imagine how much Pakistan’s soft power/image would have instantly improved if such a means existed and the world saw diplomats, NGOs, etc. evacuating from Afghanistan to the safety of Pakistan?
Sadly, this was an amazing opportunity that was lost for whatever reason, and many more will be lost in the future if this issue isn’t urgently addressed. I have no idea why this hasn’t happened already. It’s very frustrating!
Pakistan’s “Democratic Security” (counter-Hybrid War tactics and strategies) are excellent at the intel and anti-terrorist levels, but regrettably lag very far behind its peers when it comes to the informational (soft power/image) dimension. This mismatch must be corrected.
Pakistan’s unofficial CPEC+ strategy of using this megaproject’s branch corridors to expand its influence throughout Afro-Eurasia necessitates a solid international informational policy that can only be effectively practiced through these proposed means.
Right now, Pakistan’s messages to the world go through intermediaries, not all of whom are friendly. Most are hostile and manipulative. Therefore, half of its “Democratic Security” (the informational aspect) is literally beyond its control. This is very problematic.
Take a look at the New Zealand cricket scandal for instance. Pakistan has no way of convincing the world that it was wronged and is actually a very safe country. The international audience is unable to reliably and accurately hear Pakistan’s part of the story.
Now let’s look ahead some — sooner or later, India is going to accuse Pakistan of “supporting terrorism” again, it’s only a matter of time considering the Kashmiris’ growing resistance to Delhi. And what will happen then? India will control the narrative once again!
This cycle will keep repeating itself ad infinitum until Pakistan establishes its own credible international media platform to defend itself. The more India’s narrative goes unchallenged, the more economic pressure Pakistan might come under, which worsens its people’s lives.
Because of this connection between the two, there shouldn’t be any problem in principle will allocating public funds for this project. It’s directly relevant to improving its economy by defending from hostile narratives that are exploited to put pertinent pressure on it.
I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to interact with such impressive experts from Pakistan, but sadly most of the world will never know who they are since it’s difficult for them to get a slot on other country’s platforms and their own country hasn’t established an alternative
So what are Pakistanis left with? Mostly unfriendly if not outright hostile “experts” from other countries telling the world what to think about Pakistan, especially during times of crisis, and they largely go unchallenged. This results in poor international perceptions.
This cycle will only break once Pakistan decides to break it, and now’s the time to do so! I’d humbly suggest that its expert and media community unite by drafting a petition calling on the government to please finally take this urgent national security matter seriously!
Although I’m not Pakistani, I’d very proudly put my name on that petition if asked to do so and I’m sure all of your other foreign friends would too! I sincerely hope that someone of influence finally takes this matter seriously and makes up for lost time!
We hope that the government of Pakistan pays attention to the urgent pleas of a sincere friend of Pakistan. If not for the sake of Pakistanis, at least do it for the sake of non-Pakistanis who wish Pakistan well and want to see proper representation of Pakistan in the international media.