For those of you who may not be aware of what’s happening in the country, let me fill you in real quick:
Numerous protestors from religious parties launched a dharna recently. They were given a deadline to call it off. Upon failing to do so, the government took strict action against them. Police, FC, and Rangers personnel were directed to crack down on the Faizabad Dharna participants. During these clashes, several people have been injured on both sides.
Protests have begun all around the country, with major roads being blocked as well.
Protests erupt across #Punjab cities after #Islamabad crackdown
Read more: https://t.co/MIyMZfS6yh pic.twitter.com/DtC8997dJC
— ARY News (@ARYNEWSOFFICIAL) November 25, 2017
People are saddened to their core after hearing about this.
Our Beloved Prophet(pbuh)who gave a smile and didnt say a word to the people who threw stones at him. But these maulvis? #FaizabadDharna
— Zahra Sajid (@ZahraSajid4) November 25, 2017
Moreover, people are pointing out flaws in the operation against the Faizabad Dharna.
If operation against #FaizabadDharna was planned, it could have carried out with proper preparations. This half cooked Op will glorify protestors n create nationwide crisis as religious parties will cash the issue for next elections.
— Dr Saif (@Me_Saifii) November 25, 2017
In fact, some are angry that a group of protestors has taken an entire country hostage.
Nuclear Power Pakistan and bunch of morons can anytime take Capital hostage ! Its shocking unbelievable! Speechless #faizabaddharna #Islamabadcrackdown
— Fizza Haideri (@Fizzahaideri) November 25, 2017
Some called these happenings clear signs of a failed state.
Protests, road blocks, bomb blasts, law inforcing org failure, Corrrupt F.minister!
What else are signs of a failed state?#FaizAbadDharna
— Wahab Saba (@WahabSaba9) November 25, 2017
However, the real outrage arose after PEMRA shared the following message:
News channels were prohibited to cover the operation, thereby leaving Pakistanis in a state of confusion and rage.
MEDIA COVERAGE OF SIT-IN AT FAIZ-E-ABAD, ISLAMABAD pic.twitter.com/YqEGTWpFIR
— Report PEMRA (@reportpemra) November 25, 2017
Though some thought it was a good move…
Good move PEMRA ?#FaizabadDharna
— Myra Zafar (@MyraZafar) November 25, 2017
…many others pointed out how this move wouldn’t help at all.
I don't agree with ban on media channels as now Govt will not have any voice to aware people but protestors shall still have loud speakers from every mosque #FaizabadDharna
— Tauseef Maqbool (@Tauseefmaqbool) November 25, 2017
Some people even asked whether doing so would magically fix the issue at hand.
Will closure of all Media Channels fix #FaizabadDharna issue? Will banning media help govt to arrest all protesters? Overall media covering issue with full Responsibility except one or two. Govt panicked, thrown nation into crisis after crisis.
— AaDiL Jillani (@Aadil_Jillani) November 25, 2017
Others said it was a pity that the government had to make this decision…
What a pity that Govt has to #BlackOut all the media to control #FaizabadDharna.
Such a huge failure of Civil Admin.
— NiSa (@NisaChudhary) November 25, 2017
…clearly stating that situation was becoming more chaotic.
All news channels are getting off Air by PEMRA to avoid live coverage #FaizabadDharna
Situation arising to Chaos in Pakistan
— NiSa (@NisaChudhary) November 25, 2017
However, people were pretty blunt when stating how it was a wrong move.
Forcing channels to shut down is a wrong move of #PEMRA, will help rumours which can create further chaos and unrest on the streets.. Wish PEMRA had directed all channels to stop coverage of #FaizabadCrackDown #FaizabadDharna #IslamabadDharna
— Asad Ali Toor (@AsadAToor) November 25, 2017
And some pointed out that this “ostrich mentality” would not work anymore.
Tehrik Labbayk does NOT rely on mainstream media to advocate or mobilize. Media should be used to calm the situation. Blanket ban NEVER helps. Ostrich mentality does not work in 2017. #FaizabadDharna
— Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi (@Ali_Abbas_Zaidi) November 25, 2017
There seems to be a huge question mark over the current situation and the progression of events. However, let us hope that things are contained soon and people remain safe at all times.
Cover image: Express Tribune/AFP