On May 20, 2012, CRSS hosted a dialogue between representatives of German and Pakistani media at Serena Hotel, Islamabad. The German media delegation flew into Pakistan after a visit to Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif in Northern Afghanistan. Prominent Pakistani journalists Mariana Babar (The News), Dr. Moeed Peerzada (Director/Anchor PTV), Shaukat Paracha, and Sultan Hali (Analyst) briefed the German media representatives on the socio-political developments in and around Pakistan. Pakistani journalists explained the dynamics of the current security crisis facing Pakistan.
German delegates, representing the mainstream media were keen to know as to whether Pakistan has turned the corner as far as civil-military relations were concerned. They also wondered as to whether the Pakistani security establishment was undergoing a reform as demanded by the regional geo-political circumstances. German journalists were also surprised to know about the extent to which the India-Pakistani relations impact the course of events and politics in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Pakistani media persons were almost unanimous in conveying the message that particularly with the departure of former military ruler General (Retd.) Pervez Musharraf in August 2008, and after the restoration of senior judges in March 2009, a new Pakistan was emerging in which the balance of power has gradually shifted away from the armed forces in favour of the civilian government. Pakistan was also witnessing the emergence of a new and parallel power structure i.e. the superior judiciary which is redefining the limits of arbitrariness of the army and the civilian government. The private media, at the same time, is supporting this democratic transition and also serving as the monitor and the mirror to what all state institutions are doing.
German visitors, who are on the regional tour with the support of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ) conceded that never before did they take a such a close look at the complexities surrounding Pakistan, which seemed to be fighting many wars at the same time. They were told that many of the conflicts within Pakistan, and its sour relations with the United States, India and other lead countries are also partly because of the short-sighted policies of the
military establishment. But with the Parliament at the centre-stage of domestic and foreign policy at the moment, Pakistan was poised to a greater civilian-led political dispensation.
In the end, Imtiaz Gul, Executive Director, CRSS thanked the BMZ, the German Embassy and all Pakistani journalists for contributing to the inter-active session which German journalists described as very useful and eye-opening for them.