Threat-PerceptionWhat do you do if you think you are being threatened? You have to be clear on the exact nature of the threat and how it has been delivered. Did you get a call? Was it given in a one on one meeting? Were there witnesses? Have you received something in writing or via email? Was it through a third person and if so how reliable is that person? These are vitally important questions to establish the credibility of the threat. The threatened person has to make sure that he does not become a subject of ridicule by being labeled paranoid or a seeker of publicity to enhance his or her importance. After all if the alleged threat is to a media personality and is being attributed to a government agency then one has to consider if that agency can be so moronic and blatant knowing that it will be exposed. Far more likely that someone is doing this to defame that agency and if that is the case then the threatened has to make sure that he does not become an unwitting tool of the ‘threatener’. Unless the one threatened happens to have the same agenda!!

Having established that the threat is real and credible and will hold up under scrutiny what do you do? Tell your family and friends or employer or if you have access to an audience make the threat public hoping it will deter the person making the threat? What after that? You lie low waiting to be shot or killed so that all those you have briefed come out and start pointing fingers without any real tangible proof except for what you have told them. Or do you go to a court of law and to the police and to the person or institution that is supposed to have made the threat so that it is on record, is investigated and action taken. Do you at least insist on being provided security by your employer if you have convinced them that the threat is real? If you do none of these things then your utterances will be misused by others to further their agendas and many copy-cat threatened people will suddenly surface taking advantage of the opening that you have given them.

The recent shooting attack on a journalist has raised many questions. The almost immediate reaction of the channel employing the journalist was to blame the ISI using statements attributed to the journalist earlier. His brother was trotted out to emotionally back up this allegation. Anchors and media persons were rounded up to ‘analyze’ the incident but all ended up targeting the ISI—absolutely without any credible proof. This is much like the standard operating procedure in our neighboring country where anything and everything is attributed immediately to the ISI and the Pakistan military because for them undermining these institutions is a must in pursuit of their own national interest. To see a segment of our own media doing this was shameful. One can hope that reason will kick in and the country will take priority over personal agendas. One also hopes that the government will show spine and stand up for the institutions that serve it and the nation with their lives.