Our country has suffered a great deal due to the old narrative, based on bigotry, narrow-mindedness and obscurantism. After the death of over 50,000 thousand at the hands of extremists, mainly due to last month’s horrendous terrorist attack on a school in Peshawar, has finally managed to shake large sections of the Pakistani public and the military and political establishment, to at least begin to question ideas that so openly encourage such carnages. When the narrative – ‘that today is increasingly being seen as a beast of sorts’ – was first constructed, it did not foresee the fact that one day it will radically transfigure and begin to actually retard the country’s political, administrative and social evolution.

Eventually such a narratives also became a weapon in the hands of influential clerics and radical outfits, that believe that they alone are worthy and willing to turn Pakistan into the country to be ‘A bastion of faith’. Our collective failure lies in not fully understanding how the state’s experiments in the context of seeding a non-organic ideology has contributed the most to violence and the ever increasing episodes of bigotry. This must stop. We are in dire need of a new narrative. In this regard I think independent media has a vital role to play. I believe that no such programs, interviews or news content should be aired or published which weakens the resolve of Pakistani nation or is detrimental to its interest. Programming and content should be such as to follow the national narrative. Self censorship in this regard should be exercised by the Media.

NAUSHERWAN SHAHZAIB,

Lahore, January 28.