“The blaming the victim brigade” and Shahbaz Bhatti’s murder

Shahbaz Bhatti showing threatening letter received earlier

Related posts: Three musketeers and the “PPP abandoned Salmaan Taseer” narrative

An open letter to President Zardari — by Shahid Saeed

“Civil” Society must stop blaming the PPP: A rebuttal to Naveen Naqvi and the ‘Twitter Opportunists Club’

Here are some recent examples from foreign and Pakistani media which represent a typical fake civil society (FCS) mindset which blames Shahbaz Bhatti’s own party (PPP) and leaders (Zardari and Gilani) while conveniently ignoring the Military-Mullah-Media trio responsible for Bhatti’s murder. Their articles and narratives usually characterise one ounce of truth in one ton of lies.

Declan Walsh writes in The Guardian:

Sherry Rehman next on Pakistan militants’ hitlist, friends fear
With the killing of Shahbaz Bhatti, the liberal parliamentarian has lost her second ally in opposing Pakistan’s blasphemy laws

In 1997, militants in Lahore gunned down a high court judge in his chambers as reprisal for having acquitted a Christian man on blasphemy charges three years earlier.

Now is the turn of the politicians, who are running for cover. Since the Bibi furore erupted, the ruling Pakistan Peoples party has strenuously avoided the issue, politically abandoning politicians who dare support reform.

Taseer, who found himself isolated in the last weeks of his life, has not been accorded the normal honours in the country’s parliament; even allies who privately support his stand remain silent in public.

Critics say Rehman was rash in proposing legal reforms, that she attacked a sensitive issue too bluntly. “There’s never a right time,” she retorted in January. “Blasphemy cases are continually popping up, more horror stories from the ground. How do you ignore them?”

Now, friends say, Rehman is likely to face a deluge of fresh advice to shun the limelight. Less clear is how long she can remain out of sight. As history has shown, and Wednesday’s events underline, Pakistan’s flourishing forces of extremism can wait as long as it takes.


However, he does not acknowledge that the brave judge killed in 1997 was a PPP jiyala. He does not recognize the military-mullah-media trio as killers of Shahbaz Bhaatti and Taseer. Also he does not contemplate why it is only PPP whose leaders are being killed!

He also does not recognize that it is the PPP, not Sherry Rehman, which has lost its leader and a committed loyalist of the party and the party chairman!


In another article in The Guardian, Walsh writes:

Christian member of government warned he would be a Taliban target after speaking out against blasphemy laws.


Really, Mr Walsh, was Bhatti simply killed because of his faith? or was it also because of his loyalty to the PPP and to the President!

Walsh writes:

Bhatti was alone; his police guard was due to meet him at his office, officials said.

Bhatti had requested a bulletproof vehicle and a house in the heavily protected ministers’ enclave, a government official said in a TV interview . But other ministers also reported threats and Bhatti’s request was not met, he admitted.

The gunmen fired at least 25 bullets, eight of which struck Bhatti, according to medics at the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. As they left they scattered pamphlets spelling out their motive. Bhatti was an “infidel Christian” who deserved death for challenging Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws, it said.

Those following his example would meet a similar fate. “With the blessing of Allah, the mujahideen will send each of you to hell,” it read, signed: “Taliban al-Qaida Punjab”.

Did Mr Walsh consider the fact that it is is his Fake Civil Society (FCS) friends from Pakistan who always blame the PPP government for the VIP culture, expensive bullet proof cars etc. Will he also consider the fact that security detail was as conveniently absent as it was useless when Taseer was murdered. Why such coincidences for PPP leaders only?

In the end, Mr Walsh resorts to his usual, FCS style hobby, i.e. blaming the victim while ignoring the military-mullah killers and their media supporters:

The government’s greatest failing, however, was the lack of political protection for liberals like Bhatti

Keep blaming the victim, Ali Dayan Hasan

. Politically embattled, the Zardari administration has ruled out any changes to the controversial law – isolating any reformists in its own party. Critics warn this appeasement policy could backfire disastrously. The government must “replace the political cowardice and institutional myopia that encourages such appeasement,” said Ali Dayan Hasan of Human Rights Watch.

Mr. Walsh, who is this protection from?

Could it be the various Jihadi Sectarian organizations that have been allowed to infiltrate every pillar of the Pakistani State by its backers. You know, the very Jihadi sectarian organizations like Laskhar Jhangvi, Jaish Mohammad and Lashkar Tayaba whom you so diligently avoid naming in your article when you assign the blame for the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti!

Declan’s  dishonest portrayal of Shahbaz Bhatti being “politically abandoned” is exposed in the leaflets that were at the scene of the crime.  It was a direct threat to those who appointed Shaheed Shahbaz Bhatti to his post; it was a direct threat to President Zardari and Prime Minister Gillani; you know those gentleman who have been incarcerated for being part of the PPP and whom Declan and his FCS buddies have nothing but disdain for!

Then, Mr Walsh writes:

On TV Zaid Hamid, a rightwing commentator, said Bhatti’s killing was part of a CIA plot to divert attention from the Davis affair.

How conveniently Mr Walsh forgot that Zaid Hamid appears on Nasim Zehra’s Duniya TV channel, who is herself an FCS, a bold supporter of Sherry Rehman and a smug  critic of Zardari.  Hypocrisy unlimited!   Declan does not question the dubious media tactics of those like Nasim whom he has recently relied upon for his one-sided reports.


Omar Warraich ridicules the Jiyalas by not considering Bhatti as a PPP martyr

Then we have Omar Waraich writing in Time who reduced Bhatti’s martyrdom to Another Christian Martyred in Pakistan. Of course, he finds it hard to state that Bhatti was killed because of his affiliation with the PPP and his loyalty to President Zardari.

Now comes the apolitical, decontexualised blaming the victim narrative (of the FCS style):

In the weeks since Taseer’s slaying, Pakistan’s government has rushed to distance itself from the more tolerant advocacy associated with the slain governor and with Bhatti. A parade of ministers has repeatedly insisted that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) — to which both Taseer and Bhatti belonged — would not touch the blasphemy laws. The government had hoped the controversy over the controversial laws would die down. “Clearly the government was wrong,” says Ali Dayan Hasan of Human Rights Watch.

“The government has chosen to pursue a policy of appeasement in order to keep itself in power,” laments Hasan of Human Rights Watch. “This policy is misguided and self-defeating. If the last three months are any indication, President Asif Ali Zardari may be the last man standing. The problem is that he wont be standing for very long. If one by one, the people who are supposed to uphold the politics of tolerance remain silent, they will have no viable prospects left.” Bhatti’s assassins warn in their pamphlet that they will “pick out” others from Zardari’s “infidel government” and dispatch them “to hell” in the same manner.

Read more: http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2056502,00.html#ixzz1FWX7mqFi


Then we have Huma Imtiaz writing in Foreign Policy

The Cost of Cowardice: And even as Bhatti’s body awaits burial, the PPP has yet to announce that it will take any decisive action on the core issue that led to Bhatti’s untimely death. Every time the PPP buries its head in the sand, it shows clearly its moral cowardice and abandons those who raise a voice against injustice.

Bhatti’s death is not the death of reason, or liberalism, or freedom of expression — that was buried when Taseer was laid to rest in Lahore in January.


The crux of Cyril Almeida’s article in Dawn: Zardari must offer his blood to prove his boldness; the PPP govt needs not to complete its 5 years (i.e., it should vacate the government for the PML-N, MMA and other right wing allies of the military establishment). Almeida is hardly trying to hide his venom against Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari in the following lines:

Dawn: The politics of appeasement By Cyril Almeida
March 4th, 2011

THE fire the PPP tried to fight by starving it of the oxygen of publicity and public debate has just consumed another one of its own. In three years, the party has lost its iconic leader, a provincial governor and a federal minister. And still, nothing… The problem is that the PPP has collectively lost its way. It is fighting yesterday’s battles. This government’s raison d’être has come down to the narrowest of interpretations of government: completing its term.

The blinding pace of events since her assassination — elections, insurgencies, terrorism in cities, Afghanistan, Mumbai, judicial crises, the list goes on — has obscured the fact that the party is still in a state of paralysis, ruled by a regent, waiting for its boy king, unsure of what the future holds.

For this, part of the blame must fall on BB. Like most leaders in politically unstable countries, hers was a one-person show. BB had minions around her, not a genuine second-tier leadership with political capital and standing of its own.

So when she was brutally struck down, gone with her was the vision for the party, what it stood for, how it could evolve to meet new challenges. There was no, in corporate parlance, ‘business continuity plan’; there was just a Bhutto continuity plan.

Paralysed, frozen, frightened and paranoid, the group that has coalesced around Asif Zardari has searched for answers to their predicament — but by looking backwards to what they think BB would have done.

Complete a term. That’s probably what BB was thinking. And that’s probably where Zardari got the idea from.

But there was a fifth period which also shaped BB’s thinking, a period that was tragically too brief and came too late to filter through to the leaders running the PPP today.

It was the period between Oct 18 and Dec 27 in 2007. Between the two devastating attacks, the bombing in Karachiwhich was meant to kill her and the attack in Pindi which did.

By all accounts, BB was a changed woman in those 10 weeks. She seemed to have understood that the game had moved on, that it was no longer just about elections and completing terms and politics of survival.

Now, today, with Shahbaz Bhatti dead, with Salman Taseer buried, with BB herself gone, perhaps Asif Zardari and his lieutenants need to focus on the last weeks of BB’s life.

Yes, a full term for a government would be unprecedented. Yes, it would help the democratic project. Yes,Pakistan’s democracy needs strengthening.

But that alone is no longer adequate. BB understood that in her last weeks. Retreat, withdrawal, appeasement, they are no longer options.

Some sanity is however visible in at least some parts of Mosharraf Zaidi’s article though he does not explicitly identify the military-mullah alliance as the State he is referring to.

The one question that was almost entirely left unanswered and unexplored after the Salmaan Taseer assassination however, will also be left unanswered and unexplored in the aftermath of Bhatti’s assassination.

What kind of government structures allow their governors and ministers to be slaughtered in broad daylight by extremists whose world view is neither religious nor sane? Where were the security measures to protect Taseer, and where were the measures to protect Bhatti?

These questions will be left unanswered because a truthful response to them is terrifying. For the Pakistani elite, the idea that the vaunted and much-hyped Pakistani state is perhaps not capable of protecting even the most powerful among them has to be heart stoppingly scary.

The fear is well-founded. It hardly matters what terrorist group this latest assassination was conducted by.

An unmitigated outrage

Mosharraf Zaidi

Copied below is a record of the tweets that  highlight that there is a growing chorus of those who will not let the type of irresponsible and biased journalism go unanswered!

AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
Tribute to Shaheed Shahbaz Bhatti: ay puttar hatan te nain vikde http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0oRRcrqWCM

Anyone who doesn’t recognize the Military-Mullah-Media trio as killers of #SalmaanTaseer and #ShahbazBhatti is an accomplice in murder

Analysts/journalists who R blaming the victim (PPP) for #ShahbazBhatti murder while ignoring Military-Mullah-Media killers R part of ‘them’

@OmarWaraich I hope U realize that he wasn’t killed 4 his faith; not unlike Taseer, he was killed bcoz of his affiliation with PPP & Zardari

@OmarWaraich Your article in Time describes #ShahbazBhatti as a Christian instead of #PPP leader. U use his martyrdm to blame his own party!

@declanwalsh In your article in #Guardian U describe killing of #ShahbazBhatti as a loss for Sherry Rehman. But not for PPP?

TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
RT @declanwalsh: “Those who stand up get shot down” @andrewbuncombe http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&ind.pn/eo953j Delcan W, stop shedding croc tears; we know u well

AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
bravo, Javed Hashmi RT @IALalika @Razarumi Golian Shahbaz Bhatti k jism pe nahi Pakistan k chehre pe mari gai hae #JavedHashmi

#PPP workers will monitor statements & articles of #FCS proxies and boldly confront their dirty tactics of blaming the victim

#FCS proxies who are stinking from their hatred of #PPP & #Zardari shedding crocodile tears on PPP leaders’ martyrdom by the jihadi proxies.

AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
You want to get him killed too, don’t you? RT @OmarWaraich Is Mr Pres going to attend the funeral of his minorities minister? @shahidsaeed

#FCS asking if Pres Zardari will attend #shahbazbhatti funeral should first ask should he also risk his life & how’d that advance our cause

Razarumi Raza Rumi
Are you suggesting that #Zardari should be killed given how security establishment calls the shots @shahidsaeed: Is Pres attending funeral

AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
The pseudo-liberals will never admit the fact that #ShahbazBhatti and #SalmaanTaseer represent #PPP not #FCS

One kind of proxies (right wing) kill PPP leaders, other kind (pseudo-liberal #FCS ) blame the victim by terming PPP leaders as cowards.

YusraSAskari:#Pakistan :[All] parliamentarians alike walk out of the NA 2 register their protest against #ShahbazBhatti ‘s assassination

AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri

#FCS criticizing government of which #shahbazbhatti was part instead of building outrage against jihad sponsors, PML & right wing forces

Their head: Nasim Zehra, #FCS supporter of Sherry Rehman RT @NadeemGehla New media team of #Pindiwalas Meher Bukhari & Zaid Hamid at Dunya TV

NadeemGehla nadeemgehla
Each such murder carries a sinister message for the democratic process. Asama Jahangir #Shahbazbhatti

AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
If anyone wants to see the true face of pseudo-liberals #FCS of Pakistan, they must look at the Nasim Zehra-Meher Bukhari duo.

excellent article by @GeorgePakistan In addition to being the largest landowner in Pak, Pakistan Army is the world’s largest mercenary army.

George ka khuda hafiz — II by @GeorgePakistan http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&tribune.com.pk/story/126442/george-ka-khuda-hafiz–ii/
liberal elite believe all Pakistan’s woes belong to others. put the blame on mullahs, masses, uneducated & unwashed, anyone but themselves

the military/religious right in Pakistan use their proxies in the media to blame the Hindus, Americans and Jews for all our sins

Pseudo-liberals of Fake Civil Society must refrain from misappropriating Shahbaz Bhatti’s martyrdom to promote ‘their own agenda’. Instead of blaming the victim i.e the PPP and the government, question all those who are keeping quiet about the assassination. If Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan are the alternative leadership of our country, how come they have not openly come up with condemnation? Are they afraid to be martyred? Trust us, they will never be because martyrdom is the fate of only those who belong to the PPP.




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