Pakistan is facing one of its worst political instabilities and unfortunately, it has gained the attention of international media.
Since former Prime Minister Imran Khan is one of the world’s most influential leaders, the terror charges leveled against him are being actively covered by international media. Pertinent to mention that the Western world has often accused Pakistan of facilitating terrorism.
To clarify, Imran Khan was booked under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (punishment for acts of terrorism) regarding his comments at his Islamabad rally on Saturday. According to the First Information Report (FIR), he threatened Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry and police officers at a rally in F-9 Park to “terrorise” police officials and the judiciary.
Needless to say, this news has garnered international attention. Various publications from the US, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Australia are reporting on the terror charges leveled against former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
International Media on Imran Khan, under anti-terror laws.
— 𝔘𝔰𝔞𝔪𝔞 ✪ (@TheCornerTiger) August 22, 2022
US, Europe, MiddleEast, Asia, Australia … @ImranKhanPTI was all over the World News!
Thankyou for another mistake! pic.twitter.com/vCUrkG3Am3
— Asher Bajwa 📌 (@asherbajwa) August 23, 2022
— ANADOLU AGENCY (@anadoluagency) August 22, 2022
Imran Khan has been charged with breaking anti-terrorism laws, leaving dozens of supporters gathered outside his home to prevent his arrest. pic.twitter.com/CMzE1sNNkn
— South China Morning Post (@SCMPNews) August 23, 2022
If I’m not wrong this is a third segment by BBC in a day on Imran khan. Fawad Chaudary appeared in one, Ayaz Ameer appear in another and now this Ex Military General Talat Masood. Though he was a bit bias but accepted IK is the most popular leader with no match. pic.twitter.com/VpOkXOYvt5
— Jhanzaib (@Jhanzaib_S) August 22, 2022
The media outlets have reported on terror charges against Imran Khan, the crackdown on ARY News, journalists getting arrested, and the alleged assault on ex-PM Imran Khan’s close aide Shahbaz Gill.
Int’l media covering Pakistan’s political crisis: Good or bad?
Interestingly, Pakistanis remain divided on the international media’s coverage of Imran Khan’s terror charges. Some netizens believe that the international media coverage will benefit PTI as their narrative will get more attention. It will also “expose” the human rights violations ongoing in Pakistan by the government authorities, for instance, torture claims by Shahbaz Gill and journalist Jameel Farooqui. Both were arrested by the police recently.
Pertinent to mention, ever since Imran Khan’s ouster, his popularity has racked up among the masses and a majority of the public has thrown its support behind Imran Khan’s party PTI. As a result, the public is charged against the incumbent government.
Interestingly, human rights bodies are also taking note of the violations and condemning arrests of citizens.
“We see how several countries pass unjust laws, drafted to treat as terrorists innocent people who maintain legitimate disagreements to the government’s interests. This is a clear violation of Human Rights. Arbitrarily arrested citizens must be released,” International Human Rights Foundation said while retweeting a New York Times article on terrorism charges against Imran Khan.
We see how several countries pass unjust laws, drafted to treat as terrorists innocent people who maintain legitimate disagreements to the government's interests. This is a clear violation of #HumanRights. Arbitrarily arrested citizens must be released. #ImranKhanArrest #Pakistan https://t.co/r9nS8vVSee
— International Human Rights Foundation (@Declaracion) August 22, 2022
On the other hand, netizens also believe that such media coverage is damaging to Pakistan’s reputation. Being a nuclear state, it is alarming that Pakistan has always been a victim of political instability.