The media is once again under fire. The use of arm-twisting tactics is on the rise against it. People in the helm of affairs are bitterly accusing the media, especially the news channels for spreading disinformation among the masses. The anti-free media forces are actively busy in proving that the media is working against national interest; in some cases it is helping those elements who want to destabilise Pakistan. Here the question arises: is it a genuine criticism? Presently, the television anchors are mostly hated by the government, politicians and especially by those elements of our society who want to hide the truth from the public since it may harm their political, economic, financial and personal interests. They are undoubtedly the most critical of the independent media since it has managed to - boldly - expose their wrong policies. No government, whether military or civilian, has ever tolerated a free and vibrant media. General Ayub Khan's era introduced the notorious Press and Publication Ordinance to chain the free press, followed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 70s, General Zia ul Haq in late 70s and 80s. Even in the 90s the media was not as free as it should have been. Former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, who claimed that he had allowed private TV channels to operate for the first time in the country, closed them, when they started exposing his wrong and self-serving policies. When Musharraf imposed Emergency in the country on November 3, 2007, he banned the news channels on the pretext that they had been working against supreme national interest and misleading the masses. On the other hand, Pakistan Peoples' Party which used to stand with the media before February 18, 2008 is today, unfortunately, acting against it just because once again the media has dared to criticise the policies and decisions of the government that was democratically elected. The most senior ministers and officials accuse the media, especially the electronic media, either for creating or fuelling the issues. There are three main challenges the country is facing at the moment - economic crisis, political instability and terrorism. Let us throw some light on each one of them and see how they are being handled by the government and is the media responsible for any one of the issues. Terrorism: General Musharraf never consulted the media before he decided to follow the Yankees' War On Terror policy blindly. He acted according to their wishes, made secret deals with his so-called friend Mr Bush just to prolong his illegitimate and unconstitutional rule. Moreover, the present government has proved itself to be even worse in this regard. The US drones keep violating our territorial integrity on a daily basis. However, the president, prime minister and ministers fail to explain to the nation why is it happening. When the news regarding US attack, terrorists' attacks or security force operations in FATA, Bajaur or any other part of the country are reported as they happen the government directly blames the media. Is it the media's fault? Political crisis: On the political front, the president promised PML-N and the nation that he will restore all the judges including deposed CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to the pre-November 3, 2007 position after coming to power. Then why did the president back out? Moreover the result of this unfulfilled promise was that PML-N ministers resigned from the Federal Cabinet creating a political vacuum? Was the media responsible for it? Besides this, Governor Punjab Salman Taseer and the PML-N provincial ministers are regularly exchanging harsh words against each other. Did the media ask them to do so? If the Q league, after the departure of General (retd) Musharraf, is divided and their leaders are accusing each other for their failure in elections, is it the media's fault? Economic crisis: On the economic front, the government has failed to bring any economic policy in the past nine months that could provide any relief to the masses. The masses have received nothing except power fluctuations, price hikes, etc. As a result many parents are selling their children like a commodity, while others have committed suicide out of sheer poverty. Is it the media's fault? Criticising the media shows the frustration of all those elements who do not want the public to know what games are being played. They want to keep the masses in the dark about their actions, policies and decisions. Infact the media persons also belong to the same country that the rulers do. Doubting their loyalty or for that matter their love for the country is really unfortunate. If the government feels that there are some shortcomings in the media, it should hold discussion with the media organisations and working journalists so that a better understanding can be established that should satisfy both parties. Using PEMRA or it senior officials, as a tool for threatening the media organisations and journalists will not serve the cause rather it would be counterproductive. We hope that the use of arm-twisting tactics against the media will stop immediately.