End use of language of hate, say Pak journalists
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Urging journalists in India and Pakistan to end their use of the "language of hate" while reporting on relations between the neighbours, the first media delegation to visit Mumbai since the 26/11 terror attack said on Tuesday that it was the responsibility of the media in both countries to tone down their animosity and encourage the recent thaw in ties.
The 14-member delegation from Karachi and Hyderabad in Pakistan arrived in Mumbai on Monday for a week-long visit to the city and Pune. A group of journalists from Mumbai had made a similar visit to Pakistan last year.
Fazil Jamili, Editor (Internet) for Jang Group of Newspapers and a poet, said there were some encouraging signs as over the years, the hate-spewing discourse had moved out of Pakistan's mainstream media reports and is today limited to the editorials in the right-wing media.
"The bloodshed that followed the post-Partition migration generated a lot of bitterness on both sides and this was reflected in the media, which for a long time continued to used headlines such as "Jahannum base" (went to hell) while reporting on the death of Indian soldiers. This kind of biased language was also evident in school textbooks. The same is true of the Indian media and textbooks, but today the situation is changing," said Jamili.
Karamat Ali, Executive Director of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, emphasised on the need to refrain from using vitriolic language in the Indian and Pakistani media while reporting about each other. "Even today, certain newspapers refer to India as the "traditional rival", "asli dushman" (eternal enemy) or "dushman mulk" (enemy state) while reporting on India-Pakistan cricket matches or other events. It is the responsibility of media to tone down this language of enmity," said Ali, who is also a well-known peace activist.
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