Raymond Davis case: How Pakistan’s right-wing media resulted in Shumaila’s death

The widow of the Faheem Shamshad who was killed by Raymond Davis committed suicide because in her words she had no hope of justice as the Punjab police had kept Raymond Davis as an official guest. Shumaila’s family believes that Raymond Davis is responsible for Shumaila’s death. They have threatened they too will do the same if justice is not dispensed to them.

Now, the question arises who made Shumaila believe that Raymond would be freed without due trial?

The answer is simple, off course, our right wing media brainwashed her and made her believe that Raymond Davis would be granted diplomatic immunity and not face trial over her husband’s death.

Although the Lahore High Court has placed Raymond’s name on the Exit Control List and the federal government has already declared that the decision will be made by the courts, yet the right wing media and their US-phobe partners of the civil society are making things worse. They convinced Shumaila that her husband’s suspected killer will probably be freed without trial.

In the final analysis, it is the negative and biased reporting, the conspiracy theories against the civilian government, the spontaneous and habitual anti Americanism that made Shumaila believe that justice would never be served in her case.

“I do not expect any justice from this government,” said Shumaila Kanwal in a statement recorded by the doctor before she died. “That is why I want to kill myself.”

It was the media who made these speculations, rumors and conspiracy theories that ‘the PPP Government is set to release a CIA Terrorist and that the country has been sold to America’. References that Davis might be a part of a mercenary force, Blackwater or XE Services only fed Shumaila’s doubt.

The media’s sensationalism in their reporting and selective coverage of certain issues work to worsen problems in society and create unrest. A lot of the mass media produce very one sided, sensationalist often right wing views on terrorism, extremism Pakistan’s foreign policy especially it’s relationship with US and India, and civilian govt’s democratic liberal positions. It also have a long record of inciting violence against Non Muslims.

Print and electronic media play up certain facts to scaremonger or exaggerate issues just to make a story juicier. A balanced argument is not often presented and in extreme cases this often leads to misguided actions, such as murder and suicide.

This is highly unfortunate that the commercially oriented media today just tends to focus on more of sensational issues, because they’re more likely to gain the most attention of people watching. And media is very much responsible for extremist reactions and behaviors which is increasing day by day.

Dr. Mehdi Hassan, author and journalist Imtiaz Gul, Secretary General, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, (PFUJ) Shamsul Islam Naz and religious scholar Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) Chairman Allama Tahir Ashrafi held media responsible for the death of Shumaila.

Here are related videos :


Secretary General, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, (PFUJ) Shamsul Islam Naz’s point of view:




The anti democratic media and its screeching anchors take no time in sensationalizing any issue as it suits them and especially media owners and their real mentors/establishment.

For example, prominent right wing columnist and anchor Javed Chaudhary writes that Shamila had saved herself from agony by committing suicide. By writing this article he has demonstrated support for suicide, expressed his distrust in state’s institution especially in country’s legal and judicial system and encouraged suicidal thoughts.

The media’s job is to provide information to the public, not to mislead them or incite violence and extreme measures.

Free after decades of censorship and press controls, the media in Pakistan seems to have swung to the other extreme of irresponsible coverage. There is no professional code of conduct for electronic media. In their race to win the greatest number of advertisements and rating, our corporate media has thrown discretion and journalistic caution to the winds.

The media is responsible to address the issue related to citizens but too much  hysterical and negative reporting was paid to these sorts of diplomatic and judicial issues and the media must remember that irresponsibly boosts fear, not awareness.



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