Centreline: The year 2014 in review

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Analysis: Imran Khan’s U-turn or a new game plan!!

Centreline, by the grace of God, has successfully completed five years of its publication and this is the second issue of its sixth year, which is now in your hands. Let me avail this opportunity to share with you certain facts about Centreline, especially the origin of the title as many of our readers have time and again asked us about the origin of title ”. To begin with, the idea was to bring out a magazine fully dedicated to game of hockey, which is our national sport. Apart from that my own association with this game dates back to my childhood when I started playing hockey in school probably in the age of 10 or 12, it was in this background and my love for this game that initially I decided to bring out a hockey magazine because still there is no magazine in Pakistan that deals with this sport.

Anyhow, to cut the story short, the title Centreline is basically named after “the Centreline” – a line that divides the hockey pitch in two equal parts. The idea of bringing out a hockey magazine somehow could not work due to a variety of reasons, therefore I decided to make it a current affairs and a diplomatic magazine. Some diplomatic magazines were already in this business before we entered this arena, but in very short span of time we have outdone all those publications primarily because of two main reasons, first that these publications are not run by professional journalists and secondly we focused much on quality of our content. Now, Centreline happens to be the leading and largest circulated diplomatic magazine recognized by all relevant government departments and representative bodies of the newspapers and periodicals. Centreline is a member of all such newspaper organizations.

To run a newspaper or a magazine is not an easy job, especially in Pakistan where there is almost no rule of law nor any protection available to the media people. The only option then left with media people is to tread very carefully the path they choose to earn their bread and butter. 2014, as we know, proved fatal for journalist as about a dozen of media men were killed while performing their duties. We can partially blame the existing system for these killings and partially the journalists themselves for in pursuit of breaking news and scoops they often forget about their limits. Even sometimes national interest is compromised in the process of outdoing others. And that is where the shoe actually pinches.

 When national interest is compromised then the institutions that are supposed to guard the national interest of the country come forward and thus a tussle kick starts between the media and these security institutions. The bad thing with our media houses is that they are not answerable to anybody nor is there any mechanism in place, which could define the national interest or guide the media houses about the red lines that they should not cross.

Since laws of the land are hardly in practice here therefore ‘might is right” mantra seems to have ruled supreme over the years. The original text of our 1973 Constitution is ostensibly a wonderful document that provides panacea for all our problems. Unfortunately those clauses that suit the so-called ruling class the best, are operative while those, which deal with the welfare of people and the state, are non-operative. Instead of putting such clauses into an operational mode, more and more amendments are introduced to the original text. So far we have 21 amendments in the Constitution including the latest one that seeks to establish military courts. And interestingly even after so many amendments, there appears no let up in woes of ordinary folks – the reason being obvious that there is no, in letter and spirit, implementation of the Constitution.

No single political party or military regime is responsible for the predicament that we are faced with. In fact each and every political party and military regime played its due role to take things to such a pass. Then the question arises, who can put things in order. The answer is very simple – all these stakeholders can do it because they are the ones who have ruled this country and who would rule this country even in the coming days. No body from outside will come to do all this. Therefore a greater onus lies on the shoulders of these stakeholders that they realize the gravity of the situation and join hands for the sake this country and its people.