Nasima Zehra Awan laments the media romances with sectarian Islamists while the country drowns
The August 21st editorial by DAWN is a good example of what is wrong with the media in Pakistan. “Hardliners and Flood Relief” is precisely the kind of vacillating apologia for extremists that is the bane of the local media.A media that has anointed itself as “Independent” for hounding out elected politicians at the behest of a powerful establishment, has failed in informing the public about the various Islamist militant groups and their agendas. In this regard, it is baffling that DAWN’s editorial prefers to maintain an Ostrich-like approach to the exponentially growing existential threat from these sectarian bigots.
President Zardari is absolutely correct in pointing out this threat. The exclusive bashing of elected PPP leaders is the national sport in our elite drawing rooms and reflects our impotent rage that can never be directed at the actual source of our problems but at those who cannot strike back. It is therefore sad that DAWN follows suit and completely disregards the warning of Pakistan’s elected president and chooses to maintain the establishment-led status quo in protecting its Jihadi assets.
In covering the hundreds of targeted killings of minority sects and religious groups like the Ahmadis, Shias and Christians, DAWN studiously maintains a policy of obfuscating the issue via the use of euphemisms. In doing so, it dishonestly creates a false symmetry between the victims (Ahmadis, Shias and Christians) and their killers, the vast nexus of sectarian Salafist Jihadi groups like Sipah Sahaba, its militant wing, Lashkar Jhangvi, Lashkar Tayabba, Jaish Mohammad and Harkat ul Mujahideen amongst a host of other related subsidiaries. For a newspaper that allies itself with Jinnah, the irony that the country’s Shiite Muslim founder would have been a fair game for these sectarian groups is completely lost on DAWN!
Since the beginning of the flood crisis, Pakistan’s media has preferred to lynch the elected government as opposed to galvanizing the public and the International community towards relief efforts. In trying to divert attention away from banned groups who are using the tragedy of these floods to increase their hold on Pakistan, DAWN has allied itself with the same reactionary and bigoted class that prefers an authoritarian future for Pakistan under an Continue reading
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
How many more Pakistanis have to die before this godforsaken war comes to an end? The blast in Pipal Mandi has already claimed a death toll of 87 people and this is before they’ve started to clear the rubble. Frankly I am not going to guess who did it. I am sick of people smelling a foreign hand and declaring “No Muslim could have done this”. The hand that placed the bomb and the hand that drove the car to Pipal Mandi and the hand that detonated the bomb were all local hands! And they were most likely Muslims. Continue reading
Brigadier (r) Samson Simon Sharaf
The end of World War I was disastrous for the victors. The Treaty of Versailles hurt German national pride. Hitler came to power followed by World War II. The over heated US economy that had grown during the Great War had nowhere to flow. The crash of 30s was an opportunity for the German juggernaut. When history repeated itself in World War II, the lesson for victors was clear. War and Economics had to be inter-related. Post World War II world had to be handled in a manner that created and sustained international equilibrium. Continue reading
By JANE PERLEZ
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A wave of attacks against top security installations over the last several days demonstrated that the Taliban, Al Qaeda and militant groups once nurtured by the government are tightening an alliance aimed at bringing down the Pakistani state, government officials and analysts said. Continue reading
“Dating back to Jinnah, Pakistan has a history of overcoming difficulties” : President Obama to Dawn News.
From The Dawn
WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama, in an exclusive interview to Dawn, has said that he believes the Pakistani state is strong enough to win the military offensive against the extremists.
In this first-ever one-on-one interview by any US president to the Pakistani media, Mr Obama assured the Pakistani nation that he has no desire to seize Pakistan’s nuclear weapons or send US troops inside the country.
The US president also emphasised the need for resuming the dialogue process between India and Pakistan, which was stalled after the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November last year. Continue reading
Haris Gazdar (Economic and Political Weekly)
The Pakistani military finally appears to have embraced the war against jihadi militancy as its own. If so, an important shift in perception and policy has taken place. Past experience, however, demands caution before coming to any hasty conclusions. Things are chaotic enough in any case, for there to be sufficient material evidence to support optimists and sceptics alike. It is possible, nevertheless, to post milestones that will need to be crossed if we are to decisively move in the right direction. Continue reading
By ROHAN SULLIVAN –
ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Taliban have fled the Pakistani army’s advance on the main town in the Swat Valley, delivering the military a strategic prize in its offensive against militants in the country’s northwest, commanders said Saturday.
Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said an unknown number of militant fighters were able to escape Mingora town despite the military having it surrounded, raising the prospect that they could return to the fight elsewhere.
The military launched a major offensive about one month ago in the Swat Valley and neighboring areas to oust Taliban militants who had been extending their control over the northwestern region near the border with Afghanistan. Continue reading