Portrayal of National Action Plan in Pakistani Newspapers

A Content Analysis of the coverage in the "Daily Dawn" and the "Daily Jang"

Research Paper (postgraduate), 2016

26 Pages, Grade: A


Table of Contents

Introduction & Background:

20-Points of NAP:

Role of Media:

Objectives of the study:

Statement of Problem:

Significance of the Study:

Literature Review:

Research questions:


Theoretical Framework:


National Action Plan: Pakistan in fresh push to choke terror funding

Military courts part of National Action Plan: PM Nawaz

Data Analyses and Findings

Discussion and Conclusion:




The research study aims to measure the portrayal of National Action Plan in the leading Pakistani newspapers Daily Dawn and Daily Jang. National Action Plan is an action plan that was established by the Government of Pakistan to counter the terrorism. The study is based on framing theory but the social responsibility theory and agenda setting theory also correlate with this study. For this study the researcher adopted content analysis as quantitative methodology. The duration of news coverage has been selected from Dec 16,2014 to Feb 16,2015.For this purpose content analysis of Front Page news stories about National Action Plan published in Daily Dawn and Daily Jang has been undertaken. The data was collected through coding sheet from Dec 16, 2014 to Feb 16,2015. Through Content analysis positive, negative and neutral coverage of both leading newspapers were analyzed. The data was analyzed through descriptive statistics. Two hypothesis related to the topic were formulated and then tested, where all hypothesis were accepted. The result confirmed that both the newspapers portrayed the National Action Plan as whole. The findings of the study verified that the selected newspapers gave positive and neutral coverage pertaining to National Action Plan rather than negative press coverage. The findings of the study accepted the hypothesis that both the newspapers portrayed the national action plan as positive. However, the findings also accepted the hypothesis of the study that was assumed as Daily Jang portrays the National Action Plan more positively as compared to Daily Dawn.

Introduction & Background:

After attack on Army Public School (APS) Peshawar, the govt, political leadership and Pakistan armed forces have decided a national action plan to counter-terrorism called The National Action Plan (2014). Media play vital role for the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism. All the Pakistan newspapers gave special space to the issue in their front and editorial pages. “The media should put aside business and its ratings for two years and fully support the govt and parliament for implementation of National Action Plan, so that the country gets rid of the prevailing issues.,” the prime minister Nawaz Sharif said while addressing a meeting of the senior Newspaper editors in Feb 14 2015 Lahore(Dawn ,2015).

National Action Plan is considered as a main coordinated country retaliation following the deadly APS Peshawar attack. On 16 December 2014, terrorist of the Banned Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) conducted a terrorist attack on the Army Public School Peshawar. Terrorist entered the school and opened fire on students and school staff, killing 149 people, including 132 school children’s and 17 staff members. Pak Army’s SSG Commandos launched a rescue operation. Special Forces of Pak Army killed all terrorist and rescued 960 people. (Bajwa, 2014)

PM Nawaz (2014) declaring the APS Peshawar attacks as national tragedy ,announced a 3 days mourning and summoned All Parties’ Conference in Peshawar. Before the APC Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (2014) lifted the moratorium on death penalty in terrorism related cases. COAS, General Raheel Sharif signed the execution of 6 terrorists (Dawn, 2014). The PM Nawaz (2014) announced that there will be no difference between good and bad Taliban and announced to continue Operation Zarb-e-Azab against terrorist. The decisions made during the All Parties Conference were presented in the joint session of the parliament that includes countrywide campaign against extremism and terrorism, and bills regarding 20 points national security policy. (Dawn, 2014)

All parties conference (APC) chaired by PM Muhammad Nawaz Sharif reached consensus over the issue of setting up military courts for tackling sectarianism and terrorism cases in the Pakistan, along with a wider Action plan to control terrorism. PM Nawaz (2014) said “We have to act fast and whatever is decided, we have to implement it without delay...this agreement is a important moment for Pakistan and we will eradicate terrorism from this country.

Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan said that National Action Plan was prepared in the light of the decisions taken by All Political Parties Conference. For this purpose the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif established the National Action Committee consisting of the all political parties members and decision were taken in the light of the recommendations of this committee. (Dawn, 2015) Majority of Political parties support the national action committee recommendations and support the country action plan against terrorism. The Opposition Party Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf called off the Dharna and participated in the all parties’ conference that chaired by the prime minister Nawaz Sharif. (Dawn, 2014) Some political parties and religious groups made objection on some of the recommendations. Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and JUI(F) abstained from voting. Jamat e Islami proposed that the word religion should be removed from the text of the action plan bill. JUI(F) insisted that the word sect should be omitted from the bill (2015). Awami National Party (ANP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) voted in favor of the bill and amendment.(Dawn, 2015) The 21st Amendment to the Constitution has given us the 20 points National Action Plan to eradicate terrorism from Pakistan.

20-Points of NAP:

The 20-point National Action Plan was announced by PM Nawaz Sharif (2014) in a television address to the nation.

The first of the 20 points in the National Action Plan was Implementation of death penalty of those convicted in cases of terrorism (NACTA, 2014). As the end of June Pakistan have been executed 176 people since this decision. After the decision Pakistan has joined countries that give most no. of executions. Pakistan moratorium the executions during Ramadan, but now the executions are resuming after this point (Times, 2015).

According to 2nd Point of National Action Plan were Special military trial courts under the control of Army (NACTA, 2014). The duration of these military courts would be two years. These military courts were formed within two weeks of the National Action Plan implementation. On Jan. 5, 2015, Army Act Amendment and the 21st Constitutional Amendment were passed, providing the constitutional and legal cover for military courts to act against terrorists. (Dawn, 2015) 3rd Point of National Action Plan deal with banned outfits, According to 3rd Point Banned outfits and armed wings of political parties will not be allowed to operate in the Pakistan (NACTA, 2014). Points 6, 7,13and 14 are related to banned outfits and, their communication networks, operations and financial sources (Ali Babakhel, 2015).. According to 6th Point of NAP, All funding sources of Banned outfits and terrorists and will be frozen. According to the 7th Point of NAP, the proscribed organizations will not be allowed to operate under new name. According to 13th Point Of National Action Plan, Communication network of terrorists groups will be dismantled completely.14th Point Of NAP related to action against sectarian groups and extremist elements spreading sectarianism (NACTA 2014).

According to National Action Plan, 60 outfits were banned and they cannot work openly (Dawn, 2015). Another important step taken by the government is to register all Cell phone SIM cards in circulation and register them against the CINC number, thereby digitally tracking Cell phone SIM usage. At the end of the March,(57,335,550) Mobile Phone SIM cards have been registered(Dawn, 2015).

According to 4th Point of National Action Plan strengthening the anti-terrorism institution National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA).Point 8th related to counter terrorism that says .Govt establishing a counter-terrorism force. Point15th of NAP for eliminating terrorism like Zarb-e-Azab operation in FATA. (NACTA,2014) Operation Zarb-e-Azab launched on June 15, 2014. In the one year of after the start of the Zarb-e-Azab operation, 2,763 terrorists of TTP had been killed, 837 hideouts of terrorists destroyed, and 253 tonnes of explosive recovered. In one year of operation Zarb-e-Azab 347 soldiers and Army officers had martyred. (Bajwa,2015)

In March, 10,2015,a report submitted to PM Nawaz Sharif that states Police and Law enforcement agencies arrested 25,896 people across Pakistan on different charges. 2,237intelligence-based operations were conducted across the country and 303 actionable complain were received on the terror hotline (Dawn, 2015).

5th Point of NAP states that strict action against the hate literature, magazines newspapers and promoting, intolerance hatred, extremism, decapitation and sectarianism.(NACTA 2014) Point 9th and Point 18th are related to 5th Point. The loudspeaker is used in Pakistan at mosques to deliver sermons. Sometimes its negative used to incite violence and hatred against other Sect. Some laws exist to limit the use of the loudspeaker, such as the Sound System Regulation Punjab 2015, which allows only one speaker in mosque for Azan (Ali Babakhel, 2015). According to NAP Police have arrested a total 3,906 people, including 2,874 in Punjab, 169 in Sindh, 322 in KPK, 3 in Baluchistan, and 90 in the Islamabad For violating the loudspeaker law. (Dawn, 2015)

12th Point states that development and administrative reforms in FATA .16th Point Of NAP related to Karachi operation against armed wings of political parties. (NACTA, 2014) Karachi is the largest city of Pakistan .The security of the city is jointly managed by the Rangers and local police. In recent months, the Rangers have targeted operation the headquarters of MQM, Sunni Tehreek and others political and religious parties that involved in target killing, urban terrorism, and kidnappings.

According to 17th Point of NAP is Baluchistan govt will be fully empowered for political settlement with complete ownership by all stakeholders.18th Point related to the issue of Afghan refugees. According to the report submitted to PM Nawaz Sharif on March 10, around 6,408 Afghan refugees have been deported, whereas 328,034 have been registered. The last point of the NAP list is about to reforming and improving the criminal justice system in Pakistan.

Role of Media:

In this modern era of technology media has a vital role. Media became mirror of the society and it is considered the fourth pillar of the state.

The universal functions of media are public education. Public participation in counter terrorism initiatives cannot be achieved without active media persuasion. Media needs to educate its audience about the importance of de-weaponisation, public volunteerism, andde-radicalization (Ali Babakhel,2015).

After attack on APS Peshawar media united the whole nation and provide a platform to citizen and Civil society members to struggle against terrorism with Govt and Armed forces of Pakistan. Media covered 20 points of the NAP in news sections and maximum space on opinion pages and talk shows. Media convince the nation to support the NAP 20 Points. Some political parties and religious groups made objection on some of the points. JUI (F) and JI objected to words “sect and religion” used in the Army Amendment. According to Army Amendment “any person who is known to belong to any terrorist organization or group using the name of sect or religion, commits an offense, mention in National Action Plan Points. if these words were not remove, JUI(F) will not vote on the constitutional amendment (Maulana Fazal,2014). JI’s also demanded omitted of words “religion and sect” from the list. if war on terror is directed only against religious groups , this law will become controversial (Maulana Fazal,2014).

Media opposed their objection and give a message that now a time to unite against terrorist groups. Media Start campaign for implementation of national action plan on daily basis through news content maximum space, political talk shows and newspapers editorials. Media convinced the govt on these issues. Leading Urdu and English newspapers create campaign to support these 20 points. Media eradicate the sectarianism, Religious hate content and they did not publish or broadcast the statement and threads of terrorist groups. Leading English newspaper Daily Dawn massive campaign his opinion and editorial pages .Urdu Newspaper Daily Jang also give space in their Front page headlines.

Media should explain the public regarding the essence of the National Action Plan , success and hurdles attained in its implementation. From 20 points of the NAP, media may have developed countless news stories (Ali Babakhel, 2015).. In implementation of the NAP, the role of the PEMRA shall be confident. The PEMRA (2015) should regulate the TV channels regarding the expected social responsibilities to be performed by the media. PEMRA (2015) banned the media coverage of Proscribed Organization and its entities. PEMRA Banned the Sectarian discussion on TV shows.

The impact of the counter terrorism initiatives cannot be felt without inclusiveness of media. Regarding achievements and hurdles being confronted in the implementation of the National Action Plan, media briefings are to be regularly ensured. To share broader perspective of the National Action Plan, govt should have close cooperation with owners and editors of electronic and print media (Ali Babakhel,2015)..

Objectives of the study:

1- To investigate the news coverage about National Action Plan in Daily Jang and Daily Dawn.
2- To identify both the newspaper portrayed the National Action Plan
3- To identify which newspaper gives more positive coverage to National Action Plan

Statement of Problem:

This research study focus on the role of media in crises and conflict situation. The Study aims to find out the coverage of newspapers, The Jang (leading Urdu Newspaper) and The Dawn on National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism.. In other words, the study will focus to measure the portrayal of National Action Plan in both newspapers. The two newspapers Daily Dawn and Daily Jang were selected for the study as they both have large circulations. The time period of the study was 2 months during Dec 16,2014 to Feb 16, 2015. The study was based on content analysis of Front Page news stories of both newspapers about National Action Plan.

Significance of the Study:

Media play vital role in this modern era. Media became mirror of the society and basic role of media is public education. Media play different roles in conflict situation all over the world. The current study identifies that how leading Pakistani newspapers portrayed the national action plan. National Action Plan is country action plan to counter-terrorism. The Study will provide focus on the role of media in crises and conflict situation. This study will provide the brief information about implementation of national action plan and role of Pakistani newspapers to presented national action plan. The study will also provide the flow of the news in the crises situation. The study will analyze how the media give more coverage to the issue. Study will show why the media stand with govt in the crises and conflict situation.

Literature Review:

The purpose of this chapter is to state the relevant literature . But as we know that study no such kind of literature which conducted on NAP.I have study many literature which is related to such kind of actions, and war conflict plan against terrorism the entire world. This research essay will further analyze this role of media against terrorism, world conflicts and wars.

In Country policy making process, media involves at the every stage. Govt and Politicians take media as a serious tool in the process of making Country policy. Previously it was considered that media is only for delivering messages in Country policy making process now it is very cleared that press itself a great part of this process. Govt sets the policies according to the policies of the state communication’s general pattern.

Media at a time performs double functions, input and output. The policy making is taken in the environment set by the media. Media influence the policy makers by framing and setting agendas the factors and compelled them towards their own policies (Navel, 2002).

Media is the spokesman of common people and pressurizes govt on their action to make policy about country related issues. Media involved the country political, economic, social, cultural, informational and military policy making Processes. These are directly related to the press issues as well (Halme, 1996).

After change in the nature of the war to the conflicts it also changed the role of the media and politics. The media become the channel for the politics, the media have a large affects not only on the audiences but on all the factors whose involve with the conflicts and media ,the war on Terrorism is the main example of media Politics (Brown 2003)

To change the behavior of the target audience it could be terror campaigns, religious, economic, policies, advertisement or propaganda media has great role in it. To mobilized, informed or persuaded the people are the main part of fighting the war today.(McLuhan 1964),


Excerpt out of 26 pages


Portrayal of National Action Plan in Pakistani Newspapers
A Content Analysis of the coverage in the "Daily Dawn" and the "Daily Jang"
2 years
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ISBN (Book)
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portrayal, national, action, plan, pakistani, newspapers, content, analysis, daily, dawn, jang
Quote paper
Ejaz Ul Haq (Author), 2016, Portrayal of National Action Plan in Pakistani Newspapers, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/338743


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