Nehal Hashmi: Controversial speech and Media

(Maemuna Sadaf, Rawalpindi)

Former PML (N) Senator Nehal Hashmi again criticized national institution in a speech. Previously, he had faced imprisonment for his controversial remarks against the judiciary. Nehal Hashmi is not the only leader who is habitual of giving this type of statement. PML (N)’s former chairman, former Prime Minister Pakistan has also blamed the prestigious and well-known institution of Pakistan for terrorists’ attacks in India.
This is the history of PML (N) leaders to give conflicting statements in public first then disown it. The same has happened in this case. Nehal Hashmi criticized Pakistan army by saying “the Armed Forces could not occupy a single inch of land and that the weapons acquired for defense are merely showpieces.” Some movements after his statement, PML (N) disowned his membership in PML (N). His comment about Pakistan Army’s owned a weapon is also a try to create unrest in the minds of masses. Pakistani arms and ammunition are far better and equivalent to the quality of weapons held by arms of the world.

Former Law Minister Punjab Rana Sanaullah said: “Nehal Hashmi is no more a party member, so the party cannot take disciplinary action against him.” Giving statements and then disowning or launching apologies cannot reverse the statement or effect of the statement. The said speech was a direct effort to denigrate the military in public eyes. It is also a try to create confrontation between politicians and army showing the world that both of the institutions are not on one page.

Some of the media houses kept running the news package throughout the day. Airing these speeches or publishing them in News Papers is an indirect support to the opinion. Hence should also be held accountable. An amendment regarding Freedom of expression and speech was included in Pakistan’s constitution in 1973. Later on, to regulate national electronic media Pakistan Electronic Regulatory Management Authority (PEMRA) was made. Although PEMRA took immediate action against the channels that aired the said news package, the punishment is still awaited. Show cause notice is already issued to 14 media houses for violation of “Code of Conduct”. Airing the conflicting speech and making news package of it, is a sheer violation of PEMRA laws section 20 (b) (C) (d) (f). The CEO’s of 5 media houses are called to PEMRA on 26th Oct 2018. PEMRA chairman said either these channels should be fined or a ban should be imposed on them.

Writing more! It has become the sneaky practice of attacking state institutions by PML (N) leaders. They give a statement and then disown it which cannot work every time. Masses are well aware of the performance of Political leaders which they have shown in decades. This act of cursing Pakistan Army or Judiciary is actually unveiling the feeling of patriotism.

Discussing more! Nowadays, our foes are busy in defaming Pakistan internationally. These politicians are supporting the enemy’s agenda directly or indirectly. Some of the media houses are also supporting them by airing or publishing these conflicting interviews and speeches. Hence, both politicians and media houses are fulfilling the enemy’s agenda by hitting national interests. It is need of the time to avoid conflicting news from airing or publishing. Politicians should also be careful in this regard as their statements can be used as proof later.

Concluding more! The world has now become a global village. Any words which are said now echoed all over the world. So the responsibilities of “media and politicians” have increased. On the other hand, Defamation constitutes is a criminal act under the ordinance No LVI of 2002. Defaming and throwing garbage on National Security Institution should be considered and accounted for as betrayal towards the nation. The Act of defaming state’s institution is punishable in Law. The term “Freedom of Speech” should be well explained. A section of Law should be included, explaining the term “Freedom of Speech”. To avoid this type of recurrence in future Supreme Court as well as lawmaking authorities should take strict action against Nehal Hashmi.

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