Treason trial for Pakistani Journalist

By Maemuna Sadaf

The international media has been observed over a past few days propagating the arrest of Cyril Almeida and court hearing against him. Before discussing regarding international media’s pressure on Pakistani media and government, one should know who Cyril Almeida is? He has been convicted for which reason. Cyril Almeida is a Pakistani Journalist well educated and serving as the assistant editor and columnist for Daily Dawn. He became a conflicted journalist after writing a news article in 2016. The said column was regarding “Pakistan-India military confrontation”.  His name was enlisted in Exit Control List (ECL).  Later, his name was removed from ECL over international media pressure.

Cyril Almeida interviewed Former PM Nawaz Sharif and published it without exempting anything. The said interview was the most controversial interview in which Nawaz Sharif betrayed the Nation. He accepted the responsibility of Mumbai attacks whereas India itself remained unable to proof Pakistan’s involvement. Pakistan Press Council issued a notice to Dawn stating that the published information may bring into contempt Pakistan. The publishing of news and interviews against national interests are still continued.

Cyril Almeida remained a linchpin. He became a tool for anti-Pakistan forces by publishing the news against security agencies. “The Dawn leaks” is one such case. On the other hand, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi violated the oath and allegedly disclosed the information of the National Security Council Committee’s meeting to his Party leader Nawaz Sharif and the details were published.  Circumstantially, this was not the first time he has committed this crime. The country’s image has been spoiled due to this type of publications.

Discussing more! Almeida was asked to appear in the court. He failed to appear in the court even after 3 sittings. The arrest warrants were issued after the misconduct of the Almeida. He was held accountable for “Defaming the country by publishing a controversial interview.”

Writing more! The point raises here that why Cyril Almeida used to publish such news which is against Pakistani interests and its security agencies. Either he was supporting someone else’s agenda? He always used to publish fabricated news related to security matters. Hence, international attention was brought in. This type of news, articles, and publications can be used against the country in International court of Law.

No one even journalist is not above the law and accused personality should be bound to appear in the court. The said trail shows the Pakistani courts are working for the betterment of the country. If a person is held accountable for any obligation, he has right to fight in his favor. Not appearing in the court shows that the said person has no respect for the Law.

Moreover, a very positive change has been observed in the recent era. Now, media is completely free to bring about the true news and publish them.  The recent examples of changes in the selection of officials have been reversed after the attention which media brought. It is the immense responsibility of media to work for bringing in positivity in society.

Concluding more! “Freedom of speech” does not allow anyone to play with national interests. If freedom of speech hits national interests then this is a question mark on one’s patriotism. Almeida was not accused of the freedom of speech, rather he was accused of the crime he did. His writings and publications are becoming a potential risk for the country. No country allows its citizens or journalists to act against national security. International media is blaming Pakistan Government for low index of freedom of speech. A few negative Pakistani media houses are also following the suit by propagating the same. They are also alleging that the new Government is favored by the military and using tactics against the media. The low index of “freedom of speech” in the country is a myth created by foes. Pakistani security agencies and Government of Pakistan are performing their duties within their jurisdiction without impelling others.

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