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The Emergence of Social Media & the Political Crisis in Pakistan
Unformatted Document Text:  Social media & political crisis in Pakistan 4 emergence of the Muslim press in British India has a long history of resistance against the British rule: The subcontinent’s Muslim press, which marks the origin of the Pakistani press, emerged in 1836, with the publication of Maulvi Muhammed Baqar’s Urdu Akhbar. It began as a literary paper in Delhi, but as relations between the local population and the British deteriorated, it became political and highly critical of British rule (Ali & Gunaratne, 2000, p. 157). Soon after gaining independence from the British in 1947, Pakistan inherited a number of internal and external conflicts. Constitutional crisis, unequal distribution of resources among the four provinces, military interventions, and Indo-Pak tension over the Kashmir issue (Paul, 2005) paved the way for all the consecutive military and so-called democratic regimes in Pakistan to hamper the freedom of the press (Freedom House, 2010). In Pakistan, media freedom has always remained a dream, and almost every government (democratic or military) has tried to suppress the media by introducing new laws and regulations. According to a global survey of media independence, Pakistan is ranked 139 on the table of global press freedom rankings of 195 countries (Freedom House, 2010; Marchant, 2008). Up until 2001, a state-run television (Pakistan Television Corporation) and the Radio Pakistan were the only electronic sources of news for Pakistani audiences (Khalid, 2008). However, after the 9/11 attacks in the United States and the subsequent war on terror in the northern areas of Pakistan, the whole environment changed dramatically. The state-run media could no longer satiate the increasing demand of national and international audiences who wanted to know more about the war on terror alongside the borders of Pakistan and in Afghanistan.

Authors: Arif, Rauf.
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Social media & political crisis in Pakistan 4
emergence of the Muslim press in British India has a long history of resistance against the British 
rule: 
The subcontinent’s Muslim press, which marks the origin of the Pakistani press, 
emerged   in   1836,   with   the   publication   of   Maulvi   Muhammed   Baqar’s  Urdu 
Akhbar.
 It began as a literary paper in Delhi, but as relations between the local 
population and the British deteriorated, it became political and highly critical of 
British rule (Ali & Gunaratne, 2000, p. 157).
Soon   after   gaining   independence   from   the   British   in   1947,   Pakistan   inherited   a   number   of 
internal and external conflicts. Constitutional crisis, unequal distribution of resources among the 
four provinces, military interventions, and Indo-Pak tension over the Kashmir issue (Paul, 2005) 
paved the way for all the consecutive military and so-called democratic regimes in Pakistan to 
hamper the freedom of the press (Freedom House, 2010).
In Pakistan, media freedom has always remained a dream, and almost every government 
(democratic or military) has tried to suppress the media by introducing new laws and regulations. 
According to a global survey of media independence, Pakistan is ranked 139 on the table of 
global press freedom rankings of 195 countries (Freedom House, 2010; Marchant, 2008).
Up until 2001, a state-run television (Pakistan Television Corporation) and the Radio 
Pakistan   were   the   only   electronic   sources   of   news   for   Pakistani   audiences   (Khalid,   2008). 
However, after the 9/11 attacks in the United States and the subsequent war on terror in the 
northern areas of Pakistan, the whole environment changed dramatically. The state-run media 
could   no   longer   satiate   the   increasing   demand   of   national   and   international   audiences   who 
wanted   to   know   more   about   the   war   on   terror   alongside   the   borders   of   Pakistan   and   in 
Afghanistan. 


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