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Bhoja Air crash: media’s role

ANOTHER plane crashed while approaching Islamabad airport, resulting in tragic deaths of 127 people on board. The news of this tragic air crash saddened and depressed the whole nation, but once again our electronic media disappointed us by telecasting the news of the tragedy in such a manner as if reporting some recreational event.

Almost all the media teams reached the crash site within no time and started telecasting the scenes live. One sentence which was repeated again and again was so disgusting, offensive and sickening that I was left with no option but to switch off my TV set.

Almost all the reporters had only one thing to report that the dead bodies and human parts are scattered all over the area, without even thinking or giving seconds thought to the sentiments of the families of passengers and the crew of the ill-fated aircraft.

Being human beings, I am sure our reporters can well imagine the impact and mental torture through which the loved ones of those who were on board the crashed aircraft must have been going through on repeatedly hearing that the ‘human parts are scattered all over the crash site.’

As if that was not enough, the body parts were shown along with the belongings of the passengers. Even the bangles of a lady who lost her life were shown with close ups as if it was a fashion parade or a fashion show. I wonder, did the reporters ever think of the relatives of that lady whose bangles they were showing? Is this called journalism? Is this what we call independence of media? Can this by any definition be called impartial reporting?

In every civilised society sentiments of fellow human beings are the most important and considerable aspect and journalists all over the world always give this factor top priority. But, unfortunately, for our media gurus the only objective is to report and telecast sensational news keeping aside the feelings of fellow human beings, forgetting the psychological impact of their reporting on the viewers.

Though the clear picture of the air crash had not yet emerged, a few TV channels started adding fuel to fire by speculating rather than reporting that the ill-fated aircraft was not fit for flying, the licence of the pilot had been suspended in the past, etc., thus inferring that the airline got permission through the influence of some high-ups without having any concrete evidence.

It must have been definitely painful for the relatives of those on board the plane which resulted in unwanted incidents at the Karachi airport.

Through these lines I request the media to please have some mercy on us and think of the feelings and sentiments of others, especially when reporting some unfortunate and tragic happening in the country.


Grounded aircraft
THIS refers to Bhoja Air crash. I am shocked to know that the aircraft was grounded by Shaheen Air International before it was acquired by Bhoja Air in March 2012.

Or maybe I should say I am not at all surprised as this is a usual thing in Pakistan; those considered humans are only businessmen, bureaucrats, politicians and gentry. The rest of the people are just toys for the above-mentioned and it is their choice how to play with their fates and lives.

The kith and kin of those who died in the crash must be angry with Bhoja Air, but indeed the wrongdoers make a triangle of Bhoja Air, Shaheen Air International and the government/CAA which gave Bhoja Air a licence to fly despite its obsolete fleet.

I have no hope in the government, courts and law-enforcement agencies. I request the media to probe this matter and expose those that are responsible.


Age factor
I WOULD like to bring to the notice of the CAA that irrespective of any other reason behind the air crash in Islamabad, one thing in Bhoja Air and Airblue crash is common, that is the age and experience of the pilot.

May we expect from the CAA that in view of these incidents, it will take care of the following facts while permitting pilots to fly passenger aircraft:

1. The age limit should be reviewed in consultation with honest medical and technical experts. 2. Medical check-up of pilots should be done more frequently to ensure they are fit to take responsibility of hundreds of lives without any risk.

Salalah, Oman

THIS refers to the chronology of air crashes in Pakistan (April 21). It is not complete as it starts with the Cairo air crash while there have been some crashes before that incident.

One is the tragic Jhangshahi crash in which a Dakota of Orient Airways was involved and Pakistan lost generals Iftikhar and Sher Khan. They were on their way to Karachi to join the Pakistani delegation to the UN Security Council that was scheduled to take up the Kashmir issue. Before that shortly after independence a plane of the Pak Airways crashed near Vehari (Multan) in which Captain Ismail Qazi, an uncle of the present Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court, Qazi Faez Isa, died. He was then the Deputy Director General of Civil Aviation.

Then there was the air crash near Khewra in Jhelum in which Sahebzada Aitzazuddin and some other officials died. Aitzazuddin was investigating the assassination of prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan.

These are the major omissions that I remember. Except for the last one, the others were commercial aircraft.

Toronto, Canada

Lame excuses
AIR crashes in Pakistan are relentless and frequent. The recklessness of officials put at stake the lives of 127 people on the grounded 737. Bhoja Air crash was after the Margalla Hills crash about two years ago in which 152 people were killed.

Both air crashes occurred due to inclement weather. Bhoja Air crash took lives of all those who were on board, including five children and one newly-wed couple. The event has terrified the nation.

What grieves us more is that, like the Airblue crash, no measures will be taken after this incident to stop the repeat of such tragedies. After three or four days of media hype and CAA authorities and ministers’ lip-service, the tragedy would be forgotten.

The developing nations are spending millions of dollars on research to stop such air accidents but we are probably making a history of more crashes by throwing all faults on weather.