Farhan Afandi is the President of Hyderabad Union of Journalist and Press Club Hyderabad. He is the Bureau chief of Hyderabad ARY News. He expresses his views with Danish Reyaz
What are the differences between India and Pakistan in Journalism?
In India, journalism needs more freedom. Indian journalists are not working in open atmosphere. In Pakistan, journalists are boldly facing all the threats and doing their job without any hesitation. When I was Bureau Chief of Daily Parcham, a largest publication that supports MQM, On 13 September 1995 ISI picked up me and sent to the Jail for two years, they alleged that I have kept Klanshankof (Fire Arms). But the real story was that I was writing against government policies and Home Minister Mr. Nasrullah Babar was on my target. After the decades no one knows about Nasrullah and their corrupt Government, but people know me and my attachments with MQM. In latest incident when my story about Peoples Party’s Zulfiqar Mirza went on Air, his guards targeted and brutally beaten me, I lost my teeth in this incident. A Pakistani Journalist who is living in Pakistan or in abroad always keeps talking about truth. But I don’t have any story from India.
What is the role of Paid Journalism in Pakistan?
People are not supporting paid journalism. Those journalists who practice it they have no good reputation in this field. Hamid Mir, Kashif Abbasi’s programs are liked because they are fair journalist and had good journalistic career. In Pakistan news are not paid but views are paid. Many columnists who are writing daily newspapers, or participating in any talk show, Political parties and religious organizations are hiring them, and paying handsome amount. So, I can say the news is not paid but views are paid.
What is the future of Journalism in Pakistan, in which line this profession is going on?
Journalism is a profession, when the professional journalist will act no one can harm this profession. But those persons who has writes occasionally or businessman who is writing for promoting his business, will write or report then they can harm this profession. I also want to mention that our President Mr. Asif Ali Zardari is giving more freedom for media persons, now no agency is troubling or threatening media persons. It is the achievement of Mr Zardari that he has been maintaining democracy in our country. Now judiciary has also become free. Unfortunately, after Benazir Bhutto’s incident it was very difficult to save our nation. No doubt Pervez Musharraf was our popular leader but after Akber Batti killing and Lal Masjid attack incident he had lost their faith. That time Zardari pronounced a slogan “Pakistan Khape”.We want Pakistan, this slogan also gives freedom and now we can write against ISI and other agencies.Really Pakistan is now witnessing changes, and gradually we are achieving our goal.
What lesson Pakistan wants to learn from India?
Discipline and respect. India is a multi cultural and multi lingual country. But the discipline is so good, everyone doing their job with manners. It is also notable that with many differences each person is respecting others. These lessons have really encouraged me and my fellows.
And what lesson should be necessary for India, which we can learn from Pakistan?
Freedom. How can we fight for our rights? We are still fighting for our democracy. Different political parties been fall down because people of Pakistan rejected them. Anna Hazare is very famous in Pakistan because he is fighting against corruption and people’s rights, like Anna people are supporting Imran Khan in Pakistan.