Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is set to return to Pakistan after nearly four years of self-imposed exile in the United Kingdom. He initially left during the tenure of Prime Minister Imran Khan, citing medical reasons, but remained actively involved in political activities during his stay in London.
Numerous reports suggest that Nawaz Sharif, in collaboration with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), orchestrated a no-confidence movement against then-Prime Minister Imran Khan, allegedly with the support of former General (R) Bajwa.
The media landscape in Pakistan reflects a stark divide between supporters of Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif. Some anchors and journalists openly endorse Khan’s policies and politics, while others are ardent supporters of Nawaz Sharif, openly expressing their allegiance on television.
This polarization has driven many people in Pakistan to shift away from news channels and turn to entertainment, sports, and streaming platforms. Journalism in Pakistan appears to have moved away from research-based, investigative, and ethical reporting and has transformed into partisan advocacy, with journalists vehemently defending their favorite leaders and political parties.
I recently spoke to a final-year Mass Communication student who expressed a desire to transition to software development, as they no longer perceive “pure journalism” in Pakistan.
Furthermore, a list of journalists accompanying Nawaz Sharif from Dubai to Pakistan, funded by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has circulated on social media.
This list comprises 194 individuals, including journalists, PML-N leaders, and activists. Notable names in this entourage include Fahd Hussain (Dawn), Nasrullah Malik (Neo TV), Amir Ilyas Rana (Express TV), Saaleh Zafir Khan (Daily Jang), Muzamal Suharwardy, Farrukh Shehbaz Warraich, Amir Naseer (Samaa TV), and Mazhar Iqbal Chaudhry.
Today, the PML-N is preparing for a significant political rally at Minar-e-Pakistan to welcome Mian Nawaz Sharif back to Pakistan. The PML-N leadership in Pakistan has made substantial investments in mobilizing people for the event, and according to reports, the most effective crowd-pullers will receive a Honda CG 125 as a reward. Additionally, a massive media campaign has been observed across television, newspapers, and digital platforms.