Not unlike Nazi Germany's silence on holocaust, there is a culture of collective silence on Shia killings in Pakistan.
The present post is the first in LUBP’s series of Name and Remind articles aimed at encouraging and reminding progressive media persons to pay attention to the ongoing, silent genocide of Shia Muslims in Pakistan.
Realistically, we do not expect columnists and anchors to cover each incident of attack on Shia Muslims. However, we suggest they should think about covering this topic in a column or talk-show after every 10 Shias killed. We hope we are not asking for too much.
Of course, we expect progressive authors to cover all major massacres (e.g., Khanpur attack on 14 January 2012 killing 34 Shias, or the Parachinar massacre on 17 February in which at least 46 Shias were killed), which is not only their ethical duty but also professional responsibility.
We will publish a glaringly detailed article on each progressive columnist/ anchor who is silent on Shia genocide. Let history be witness.
Nasim Zehra is a senior Pakistani journalist who is currently working as Director Current Affairs of Pakistan’s News TV Channel Dunya TV. She writes articles for Pakistani newspapers eg, Express Tribune, Daily Times etc. She also hosts Current Affairs program on Dunya TV with the name of “Policy Matters”.
During the 14 months between November 16, 2010 and January 24, 2012, Nasim Zehra wrote 10 articles for the Express Tribune.
Below is a catalogue of the issues she discussed in her articles:
January 24, 2010: Nasim Zehra writes about blasphemy laws, Aasia Bibi Case. She even speaks for minorities. Take a bow!
February 5, 2011: Nasim Zehra writes about Salmaan Taseer’s assassination, blames PPP for much of what happened.
February 14, 2011: Raymond Davis everywhere!
July 26, 2011: Nasim Zehra writes about Pak-India relations.
October 24, 2011: Nasim Zehra pens an obituary on Lady Nusrat Bhutto.
November 28, 2011: NATO attack on Pakistan Army check post.
December 01, 2011: Another article on the NATO border attack.
January 12, 2012: Nasim Zehra eulogizes the ‘free media’, understandably so!
January 19, 2012: Nasim Zehra feels the country is heading towards constitutional rule because the Supreme Court made sure it dragged the PM to the court.
January 24, 2012: Nasim Zehra writes about the petition pre-empting PM’s assumed sacking of Army and ISI Chiefs.
(Nasim Zehra also wrote two articles in Daily Times in September 2011. They were written in defense of Sherry Rehman and Moeed Yousuf, justifying the disgraceful Jinnah Institute report)
During the same period, hundreds of Shias were killed in Pakistan. They were targeted on the streets; their processions were bombed; common men, students, professionals, scholars, all were targeted; individually and in groups. On several occasions, they dragged out of buses, made to stand in queues and shot. None seemed to have bothered Nasim Zehra.
During the same period, Balochistan continued to receive gifts of mutilated bodies, but Nasim Zehra seems unaffected. She doesn’t care about the genocide of Shias, Pashtuns and Balochs. She might be a security analyst, but her approach seems to have been restricted to a tunnel. May be she too, like the self-professed (and obsessed) Ejaz Haider, is a realist. Although in case of the latter, we are sure that it is all pomp and no substance: or chicly packaged dung!
Nasim Zehra, we might not be omnipresent and omnipotent as you people consider the ISI to be, but remember still, we are watching you!
Kia tum bhool gaye? Pakistani media’s silence on Shia genocide