Editor’s Note and update on 7 May 2013: LUBP wishes Imran Khan a quick recovery so that he can re-enter the political arena after his accident earlier today (May 7th, 2013). This was an unfortunate accident as opposed to the deliberate acts of terrorism being faced daily by Imran Khan’s opponents – for which Imran callously blames the victims instead of condemning the perpetrators. This blaming-the-victim tactic is nothing new for Imran Khan. When Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and her million plus PPP rally was attacked in Karachi, Imran Khan blamed her instead of the Taliban who had publicly threatened her. He wrote “Benazir has only herself to blame” – an insensitive act that LUBP critiqued in 2008. After his accident today, President Asif Zardari, whom Imran Khan compares as being worse than dog, sent him flowers. We look forward to his recovery so that we can combat his medieval mindset in the political arena.
It is also important to highlight glaring inconsistencies by the media in giving disproportionate coverage to this event. While providing uneven time to Imran Khan’s unfortunate accident and subsequent injuries, the media continued to play its pathetic role in diluting the sufferings of the victims of the Taliban and Sipah Sahaba (ASWJ). On the same day (7 May 2013), the TTP-ASWJ killed 6 people in their attack on a PPP rally in Lower Dir district of Pakistan. The victims included former District Dir Nazim, Zahir Shah, the brother of PPP MPA candidate Zamin Shah (PK-96). There was hardly any coverage given by the media on this.
For the media and its two favourite parties, the PML N and PTI, the only Pakistan that seems to matter is upper and central Punjab. The Pro-Taliban media, judiciary and its two favoured parties PMLN and PTI have distinguished themselves with their disgusting insensitivity towards the victims of TTP-ASWJ terrorism. A disturbing tendency of blaming the victim has emerged within this group. While Nawaz Sharif has postponed his ground campaign for Imran Khan’s injuries, he has remained strangely quiet on the daily terrorist attacks on ANP, MQM and PPP. The Judiciary and Election Commission have limited their hyperactivism for lynching PPP, protecting the massive corruption of PML N and Chaudhary Iftikhar’s son and freeing the terrorists of SSP-ASWJ-Taliban. Just two days ago, they even freed Sufi Mohammad, the godfather of the Taliban and Sipah Sahaba in Swat and wider Malakand Division.
In recent past, Imran Khan’s and his PTI activists have gone one step further and accompanied their vague, meaningless condemnations of terrorism with specific blaming-the-victim tactics against the ANP. As per Imran Khan’s warped rationale, parties like the ANP, PPP and MQM somehow deserve losing thousands to the Taliban. As per Imran Khan, they are American agents just because they oppose the Taliban. The real fault of the ANP is that its leaders and workers continue to bravely take a stand against the Taliban – in stark contrasts to cowards like Imran Khan.
Summary: Daily Ummat, 22 October 2007. Chairman of PTI Imran Khan has said that Benazir Bhutto is herself responsible for suicide attacks on her in Karachi on 18 October 2007. He wrote:
“I’m sorry to say this, but the bombing of Benazir Bhutto’s cavalcade as she paraded through Karachi on Thursday night was a tragedy almost waiting to happen. You could argue it was inevitable.
Everyone here knew there was going to be a huge crowd turning up to see her return after eight years in self-imposed exile. Everyone also knows that there has been a spate of suicide bombings in Pakistan lately, especially in the frontier region where I am campaigning at the moment. How was it ever going to be possible to monitor such a large crowd and guarantee that no suicide bombers would infiltrate it?
This may sound equally harsh, but she has only herself to blame. By making a deal with Musharraf’s government — a deal brokered by the British as well as the Americans, by the way — she was hoping to get herself off the corruption charges that have been levelled against her.
What she hadn’t taken into account was Musharraf’s unpopularity. He is regarded in Pakistan as an American stooge. And the US war on terror, which he supports, is now perceived as a war against Islam. That is why there is no shortage of recruits for the fundamentalist cause here. By siding with him, Benazir was making herself a target for assassination.Worse, by publicly siding with a dictator, she has deliberately sabotaged the democratic process. Given the way that she has undermined democracy by siding with Musharraf, I don’t know how Benazir has the nerve to say that the 130 people killed in those bomb blasts sacrificed their lives for the sake of democracy in Pakistan. Benazir has made enemies for herself in this respect also. She alone among Pakistan’s political party leaders has given public support to the massacre of women and children that Musharraf caused when he ordered his troops to attack the Red Mosque in Islamabad.
The British do not have clean hands in this latest suicide bombing outrage. Britain is providing a safe haven for Altaf Hussain, the Musharraf-supporting MQM political party leader who currently lives in London.
He’s been living in London for 15 years and from there he controls Karachi with an iron will through his mafia-like party. It was this political gangster who persuaded Benazir that he could ensure her safety if she returned. The tribesman’s culture is a revenge culture. When one is killed another takes his place. That is where the war on terror has been so misguided. It has benefited the people who caused 9/11. And it has made Musharraf — and now his ally Benazir Bhutto — look even more like puppets of America.”
On the recent blast on PPP rally in Karsaz, Karachi (October 2007) Imran Khan did not condemn this act of terrorism. Instead he is blaming the victim by saying that Benazir Bhutto herself is responsible of the blast. I must say one day these Taliban and their Takfiri Deobandi sympathisers in the JUI-F and ASWJ will be against Imran Khan too because of their intolerant, violent ideology.