Declan Walsh, the New York Times Pakistan Bureau Chief, is shaping a new discourse: How the disappearance of a ‘popular’ Twitter satirist/humorist (@majorlyprofound) may rupture Pakistan’s social fabric.
Pakistan’s alternative media (LUBP) has in the past archived Walsh’s dubious reports on Pakistan in his previous role as Pakistan correspondent for The Guardian (the same newspaper which is currently busy in exporting US-Saudi-Al Qaeda sponsored democracy to Syria), which can be read here: https://lubpak.com/archives/tag/declan-walsh
On Thursday, August 23, Walsh wrote a lengthy piece in New York Times on @majorlyprofound, and the increasing concomitant concern about his ‘safety’.
I am sure a lot will follow in the wake of this report in ‘NY Times’ (we’re not talking about The News (Jang Group) or Ummat here but NEW YORK TIMES); however, a few points to seriously consider that will be mentioned below.
- Was a piece on an anonymous Twitter account more important than the hundreds of disappeared Baloch, desecrated Ahmadi graves, routine massacre of Shias, and murder of anti-Taliban Pashtuns?
- Was his life in as much danger as those of Baloch activists?
- Did writing a piece on @majorlyprofound require a field work?
- Do we exactly know the percentage of internet penetration in the country?
- Of the thousands of users on Twitter, how many followed him (you said he had around 10,000 followers; doesn’t Mubasher Lucman have more than a 100,000?), and how influential he was?
- If he was so important, how many ordinary Twitter users (the laymen, not the likes of Ejaz Haider, Feisal Naqvi and other members of ISI-friendly Najam Sethi lobby that you heavily quote in almost every piece) did you interview, and their reaction?
- Were all his tweets on the minorities’ sufferance? Of the thousands of tweets he tweeted, did he strictly keep his focus on minorities?
- Any comment on his tendency to expand his social circles in and around the country with ‘wimmens’ and important people with frequent humorous comments on them?
- Given how important NY Times is in academic, intellectual, social and political circles of the world, how regularly does Declan write on the ethnic and religious persecution of minorities in Pakistan other than @majorlyprofound, Sherry Rehman and Veena Malik?
- Any piece on Balochistan in NY Times?
- A major incident of Shia massacre (25 killed) took place at Babusar (Naran) only a few day ago. Perhaps Walsh never heard of that?
It is with concern that one must note the falling standards of international journalism too, when it comes to Pakistan. We previously thought it was a phenomenon that had affected Pakistani journalists only, but it comes across as something contagious now.
The New York Times must seriously review the performance of its ‘Bureau Chief’ whose sole concern centres around the happenings on Twitter.
Such a piece potentially belittles the more serious problems. Pakistan’s problems are far more complex and disturbing than a alleged satirist’s coming and going from Twitter. According to some sources, the so called Satirist is none other than a camouflaged member of Najam Sethi Club (of which Walsh himself is a member). The issues plaguing the country force the world leaders to worry for the future, and NY Times, a very important newspaper of the world, concerns itself with a so called satirist with 10,000 followers on twitter. That is dishonest as well as insensitive.
Should we now expect a series of five-articles on BBC and BBC Urdu regarding the Twitter satirist’s disappearance?
Will not then everyone wonder and ask what ’embedded journalist’ and ’embedded journalism’ mean?