Disagreeing with the labelling of Pakistani media as right- leaning, veteran journalist Talat Hussain says that local media is almost entirely “supra-liberal”.
“The mention of a conservative opinion in a TV show or a column doesn’t mean the whole media is conservative. It is exaggeration,” he said.
Hussain stated that a glance at the top newspapers and broadcasters in Pakistan reveals that not a single outlet has a right-wing slant.
The senior journalist explained that there may be individuals in the media that have right-wing, extremist views but they are just a small fraction as compared to the majority.
Differentiating between extremist views which he condemned, and the conservative standpoint, Hussain said that conservative arguments are compelling.
“Conservative arguments have won elections in Egypt and in certain African countries,” he said, adding that the same right-wing, conservative view is also playing a major role in Europe and the United States.
He said that these opinions exist and they need to be heard.
“In a society where conservative groups are present, you cannot lock them out,” Hussain said.
Speaking about extremist groups, Hussain said they should be banned regardless of their religious affiliation but he said critics should also admit that most of the groups that did well politically in the Middle East were banned groups with militant wings.
“[Turkish Prime Minster Recep] Erdogan is very conservative, very right-wing but look what he has done for his country,” Talat said.