On Wednesday the 17th of August, a video clip made went viral in our mainstream TV channels where a member of the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) – who was defusing off a land mine which had Improvised explosives in Sohbat Pur area of Naseerabad District in the Province of Baluchistan. The actual news came in around 12:15pm at first with being flashed on our TV screens which said, one BDS official was killed while trying to defuse some found land mines in the area and with the news being flashed our daily lives just moved on while how it is while you’re at work and it’s a busy day on the political upfront with harsh statements without being least bothered that our country had actually lost a hero – yes, a hero as I would say it. A hero who was brave enough to do this task, who was daring enough to do it. A hero who opted to defuse mines with explosives so that people like you or me could travel on that route without any fear, A hero who opted for doing this job to save the lives of the children, teens, adults and above all humans regardless of caste creed and religion but as I said, one man giving his life away in a faraway locality which wouldn’t even be known to many is no news, I mean people die every day and life moves on and so do we as Humans.
Realistically speaking, nobody would have even known during the span of 4 hours until the Extremely graphic Footage of the incident came, shot by an amateur videographer, who I’m pretty sure would had not even imagined that his video will be the next big thing in Pakistani media ext few hours. The Footage coincidentally showed Muhammad Punhal Khan, the BDS officer going in at the spot to defuse the mine, things were going pretty smooth until there goes a BOOM and the viewers are left in awestruck to the fact that what in the world was that, NO-body I repeat NOBODY had seen that coming in the video.
That Boom is what exactly some media outlets needed in the race for breaking news and exclusive content, while claiming to be the pioneers of electronic media, claiming to be the number one TV channel, giving out lectures of morality and ethics. Morals and ethics were locked down and thrown in the dustbin, and then the that dustbin was perhaps thrown down from the news channels building’s highest floor – so that when it falls, it spills away leaving no moral impact to the people around who would obviously their employers.
The insensitivity was to the extent that not just once but the footage was incorporated in headlines by 2 TV channels, but the producers at that hour saw more ratings being pulled by a dead man so why not play with the emotions and let the insensitivity be there. I mean who would care? We would just put a PG sign there and show the guy being blown up by the explosion, obviously our audience is so mature and knows how to differentiate between PG material, and will immediately stop their kids from watching – wish what I wrote just now was too good to be true but the reality lies the other way around.
The graphic footage was played on and on, nobody questioned why wasn’t Punhal wearing safety clothes, why weren’t the precautions taken at first, who would be held responsible and above all what next. Would the government do something about it to prevent any further cases of some more Punhal Khan’s happening in near future, no such questions were raised by these 2 very credible media outlets(spot sarcasm), all that was raised and played on and on was the boom which showed Punhal flying away. To be very honest I’d ask this question from the Director news of GEO and Samaa both, IF BDS Member Muhammad Punhal Khan was your kid or brother or family member, would you had played this footage in the same manner? – Think of the pain the agony what the families had to go through the time when your channel shamelessly played the footage over and over with exclusive tags on it, there was nothing exclusive in this – the Footage raised a lot of alarm bells but all of that was kept aside.
Pakistan lost a hero, the government and BDS is the one who should be criminally held responsible but instead these channels would romanticize in their newsrooms the next day on the Ratings this footage pulled without shedding a single word of honor for Punhal Khan, the unsung hero.
Its moment like these I’d be proud to say I may not be at the number One TV channel as claimed, but I’m surely at the number one TV channels when It comes to ethics and morals, ARY news did not air that specific moment of the blast footage – the credit goes to ARY’s producers and news managers at backend – to the others all I would say is to feel the pain, you never know when can it be the turn of your loved one, I’m sure you wouldn’t want them to romanticize on your misery.
In any other country, people like Muhammad Punhal Khan would have been given a heroes departure but sadly in ours, the Prime Minister only issues a statement hours after the tragedy passes, while some sections of the claimed responsible media outlets, media which is considered to be the 4th important pillar of the society, romanticize on Punhal’s misery on the basis of the footage – Surely we have sunk very low – Muhammad Punhal Khan, I Salute You!