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    Pak media lament lost opportunity

    Pak media lament lost opportunity

    Pakistani journalists envy the performance of the Indian
    media during the Kargil crisis while regretting that their own
    media failed because of the government's policy to keep it in
    the dark.

    At a seminar in Karachi on ''Media in crisis: international and cross-border
    dimensions'' participating journalists said the press as a whole remained
    ignorant because the information ministry and other concerned agencies
    either misled them or refused to guide them at all.

    On the other hand, they said, India had realised the significance of using the
    media to project the crisis in such a way that the world public opinion went
    in favour of India. The Indian government had taken the media and the
    people into confidence.

    But in Pakistan, they said, the Sharief government had totally failed to
    anticipate the media requirements in such a situation. Suffering from the
    hangover of military rule, civilian governments continued to gag the press.

    It is significant to note that the preparations for the invasion of Kargil late
    last year coincided with a crackdown on the press and the arrest and
    humiliation of journalists by the Sharief government. The press was totally
    confused about the government's objectives.

    While the government claimed that its army was not involved in the
    infiltration of Kargil, the press wrote proudly that Pakistani troops had
    captured Indian posts in Kargil. Similarly, while the Pakistan government
    was telling the world that the militants involved were Kashmiris, the press
    was carrying interviews with militant leaders who boasted that the intruders
    comprised men ''from Morocco to Indonesia.''
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