The entire episode has re-exposed the uncritical nature and selective morality of Pakistan's urban elites.
Who is Shakeel Anjum?
Javid Naseer Rind, another Baloch journalist kidnapped and silenced by the Deep State
In the last two days, Pakistan’s liberal elites and rights activists on social media (Twitter in particular) were seen extremely worried about the daughter of an ex-army soldier Shamsul Anwar, a resident of Rawalpindi. He had a great story to tell us all that what he did for the nation and what is being done with him. Well, this is a HEART BREAKING NEWS that: Shamsul Anwar is a BIG FRAUD.
His daughter (Madina Anwar) was NOT AT ALL KIDNAPPED but left home on her own. She got married and was living not very far from her parents house, this was disclosed by the DSP in a press conference today.
While we really appreciate all those who after reading his story tried to help him, a few things are worth noting:
- The quality of reporting in Pakistan’s English media is as poor as it is in Urdu press. The story was published in one of Pakistan’s most circulated English newspapers, The News (of the Jang Group), filed by Shakeel Anjum (who is known for dubious journalism not unlike Ejaz Haider and Ansar Abbasi). It is the same newspaper which is supervised by Najam Sethi who is a political advisor to the Owner-Chief Editor.
- The same story was uncritically published by other English newspapers e.g., Pakistan Today and Express Tribune etc in a copycat manner.
- Pakistan’s urban elites on Twitter used this story to further furnish and promote their (shallow) philanthropic credentials while conveniently ignoring the fact that MOST of them routinely ignore, deny or obfuscate authentic stories of the Baloch, Pashtun and Shia target killings by army and its Jihadi-sectarian proxies. For example, none of them campaigned for the safe release of Javid Naseer Rind, a Baloch journalist kidnapped and subsequently killed by the ISI.
- The episode effectively exposes and undermines the urban legend that Pakistan’s English press is more progressive and responsible than the Urdu press. Both are two sides of the same coin. Similarly, “liberal” bloggers such as Dr. Awab (Teeth Maestro) and “conservative” bloggers such as Dr. Aisha Aijaz (My Bit for Change) seemed to converge on this issue (not unlike their converged silence on target killings of Balochs, Pashtuns and Shias by Pakistan army and proxies) thus demonstrating the falsehood of the liberal-conservative binary.
- In a nutshell, the entire episode has re-exposed the uncritical nature (sheep character) and selective morality of Pakistan’s urban elites.
Here is a comment by Sherish who is a writer at Tribune:
“I also did a story on him last year and supported him a lot. Every day he used to come to my office with new story, and sometimes he used to come with his wife and children and i never sent him back empty hand..i also collected money to get food items for him….i never shared this with anyone but now this man made me to disclose all this…..as he instead of being thankful to me tried to defame me….He also approached me to do a story on his daughter but i refused. This person has really made me to stop helping needy people through writing.”
Another relevant comment:
“He sold her daughter last year to a tribe in Peshawar, they took her away. he talked to them to send her back and he will pay them but they said okay pay us, he raised money via this drama and then achanak hee hype mach gai, the whole social media knew about it and ansaar bruney got involved, and then today they got to know its a drama. police arrested him and they went to Peshawar for negotiation and a jirga took place and they said to marry the girl and send her back with her husband, she was married and sent back now police will be looking to help get the money back to donors.”
It’s a moment to cry perhaps, but more importantly to critically reflect! We were so worried then got happy but what that man, the media and so called activists have done to the whole nation is clearly disappointing and disturbing.
This was a shameful act by that man, he wasted our trust. However, our trust was also hurt by the selective morality of those who showed hyper-activity to help an ex-soldier, a resident of Rawalpindi, the very people who fail to show similar concern about hundreds of Balochs, Pashtuns and Shias who are routinely kidnapped or/and killed by the Deep State and its various proxies and agencies. (Adapted from beats24x7)