After partially waking up from the deep denial of the extremists, Pakistan’s educated elites (commonly known as FCS, i.e., Fake Civil Society) and their English-speaking media counterparts are once again falling back on narratives that are full of omissions, falsehoods and half-truths.
In the aftermath of the tragic murder of Governor Taseer, the FCS did what they do best which is finding solace in false narratives, an exaggerated sense of self-importance and venting their impotent rage at the PPP lead government and NOT the security establishment that is the primary cause of the State being subsumed by violent Jihadis.
Last weekend, a video clip of Pakistan television star, Veena Malik castigating a mullah became viral on the internet and she was held up as an example of how to take on the mullahs. To a large extant, it was gratifying to see someone take on the powerful Islamist lobby. However, what was disappointing was the over-glorification of this act and the omission and ignoring of far more significant ones.
A few examples would be:
1) Benazir Bhutto’s last speech to the PPP jiyalas in Rawalpindi before she was assassinated by the State
2) The scores of suicide bomb attacks on the PPP rallies in the period from July 2007 to February 2008.
3) The continual massacre of the ANP leaders and activists
4) The suicide attacks on all the tribal leaders and jirgahs that are fighting the Taliban. The attacks on tribal jirgahs and their leaders is often done in collusion with the State and sometimes directly by the State itself (refer to Alizai and Adezai and Google Dr. Farhat Taj and Dr. Muhammad Taqi.
5) The brave stance of the ANP and PPP leaders in denouncing the Taliban unambiguously
6) Specific instances of Senator Faisal Raza Abidi and Sharmila Farooqi taking on the Jamaat-e-Islami, the mother of all extremism in Pakistan
7) The martyrdom of Safwat Ghayur (a diehard Buttoist, a true patriot)
8) The example of Maulana Afzal Chishti who led the funeral prayer of Governor Taseer despite all threats and fatwas
9) The bold programs of Abbas Ather and his clear stance against extremism.
These are not given the same weightage and coverage, both by our educated rich upper class elites and our English media, both of whom posture themselves as the “Liberal Left”.
Even foreign journalists like Declan Walsh are guilty of this sloppy, prejudiced and ill-informed journalism.
When he writes:
[Amid the gloom there is some hope, from unlikely quarters. On a popular talk show last Friday night Veena Malik, an actress who faced conservative censure for appearing on the Indian version of Big Brother, gave an unforgettable tongue-lashing to a cleric who had been criticising her. “You are attacking me because I am a soft target,” she railed into the camera, wagging her finger.] (Source: Guardian)
Here, Declan is also guilty of the same act of omission and over exaggeration of one instance at the cost of ignoring others. His journalism is so sloppy that he does not even bother to name that the judge (shaheed Justice Arif Bhatti) who was assassinated for standing up for Christians was a PPP jiyala just like all those who have stood up against extremism are either from the PPP or ANP.
In many of his articles, Declan sounds just like all the big shot heavyweights of Pakistan’s English medium press (the FCS lot). He is as derisive of the PPP and is very gentle and guarded in his criticism (if any at all) of the military establishment and its continued dominance of the State and the jihad policy of strategic depth.
One feels that Declan would be better off doing his research independently instead of relying on the biased analysis of the FCS who posture themselves as politically neutral but are anything but that. Were he to distance himself from these dishonest people, he would realize that Veena Malik is not just a ray of hope but part of a blast of sunshine that needs to be appreciated and highlighted instead of being ignored just because it flows from PPP and ANP.
LUBP Archive on Declan Walsh
Some gems from Declan Walsh’s article promoting Sherry Rehman