Related post: While General Kayani looked the other way: Quran-o-Ahlebait Conference in Karachi
After failing in the moral duty of highlighting Shia genocide, Pakistan’s media particularly the champions of liberalism and progressive ideology in English press are once again up to their usual tactics of misrepresenting and obfuscating the peaceful Shia protest attended by hundreds of thousands in Karachi yesterday (26 March 2012).
If this was a PTI or an MQM rally, our media would be tripping over itself in presenting an inflated and exaggerated accouts of how successful the rally was – such dishonest sycophancy is a great career path to align oneself with ISPR – the birthplace of both parties.
The misrepresentation of this massive Shia rally is present in both the right-wing Urdu media press and even more so in the pseudo-liberal English media. The former is represented by the Ansar Abbasi and Shaheen Sehbai types and the latter is exemplified by the chauvinist Najam Sethi, Zaffar Abbas and Ejaz Haider types.
The biggest omission in “The News” (Jang Group) token representation of this event is the clear condemnation of the ISI-sponsored Difa-e-Pakistan Council by the Shia representatives speaking at the Quran-o-AhleBait Conference. This condemnation places the Shia community at greater risk – a fact that the media and the jejune liberals could care less about. Instead, amongst the jejune liberals who take each biased rambling of Najam Sethi as the absolute truth, this rally was Difa-e-Pakistan lite.
While we have our clear reservations with the compromised discourse and political positions of select ISI-IRI Shia clerics (for example, see this post: MWM must not act as a Shia version of Difa-e-Pakistan Council), it would be blatantly dishonest to conflate the entire event as being a Difa-e-Pakistan lite rally. Besides condemning the Difa-e-Pakistan, the Shia rally made itself distinct in many other crucial areas:
1. It reached out to the Sunni Muslim, Christian and other victims of Pakistan’s Jihado-sectarian enterprise
2. It took a bold and clear stand against the Pro-Jihadi judiciary and its blatant biases
3. It emphasized and lauded Sindh’s tolerant, mystic culture and its protection for the family of the Holy Prophet from the Ummayyad tyrannical caliphs. It emphasized how Sindh had provided Shias protection and succour.
4. It reminded Pakistani media and human rights groups of their ethical and professional duties towards Shia Muslims and other persecuted communities.
However, for the media which has consistently ignored Shia genocide, it is in their interest to both misrepresent and falsely conflate the Shia rally. Based on feedback received from Shia activists, the rally was far bigger than was reported in the mainstream press. Not only was Nishtar/Patel Park filled to capacity, the adjoining streets and roads were chock a block. Attendees stretched from Nishtar Park to Numaish and significant sections of Britto Road and the entrance to Bunder Road were filled with conference attendees.
This in spite of the fact that the MQM did its level best to curb and curtail the Shia rally and its publicity. As per reports, MQM first differentiated and then specifically warned its Shia members to not attend this rally. They also defaced and covered publicity posters for this rally – in stark contrast to MQM support for Al Qaeda activist, Aafia Siddiqui! Once a Jamaati, always Jamaati.
While Pakistan’s Shias are extremely disappointed with the PPP government whom they view as both spineless and helpess in standing up to the Jihadi-sectarian lobbies, they view MQM as complicit in the Shia genocide and there is informal discussion of Sipah-e-Sahaba lobbies deep within the MQM.
Let’s obfuscate the central message of Shia Muslims’ rally in Karachi: An ISI-media production
This is how pseudo-progressives in Pakistan’s English media are misrepresenting the Shia Muslims rally in Karachi:
In this conference, which was completely blacked out by Express Tribune and misrepresented by The News, Dawn and several other so called progressive media outlets, one speaker spoke the typical ISI-line and deflected the blame of Shia genocide by pandering to the Jamaat-e-Islami lobby (e.g. stop the NATO supply line, US and Israel are killing Shias of Pakistan). However, this speaker was not the only one and as shown, most other speakers highlighted the real issue of who is killing Shias, who has failed them (army, intelligence agencies judiciary, PPP, ANP, MQM) and how the intelligensia, civil society, liberal secularist lobbies and human rights activists have stayed mostly silent on this burning issue. This last group should have been at the forefront of highlighting Shia genocide but it seems they are more interested in nit-picking and misrepresenting the work of activists who are highlighting Shia genocide in Pakistan.
We provide below some examples of how affiliates and proxies of ISPR in Pakistani media tried to misrepresent and suppress the central message of the conference. The conference was focused on one point agenda: the systematic and ongoing target killing or genocide of Shia Muslims in Pakistan at the hands of Pakistan army-backed Jihadi-sectarian terrorists.
However, Pakistan army’s proxies in the media are working very hard to misrepresent the conference by deflecting attention from its central message and are instead providing largely fabricated or out of context accounts of the conference.
Looking at the reports published in The News (Jang group), Dawn, Business Recorder etc, it seems that these newspapers have copy-pasted an account of the Difa-e-Pakistan Conference in the name of the Shia Muslims anti-DPC rally.
Najam Sethi & Shaheedn Sehbai lobby in The News (Jang Group) obfuscates and misreports the conference:
‘US, Israel threat to Pakistan’
Monday, March 26, 2012
Business Recorder, an ISI rag, thinks the conference was focused on NATO supplies and corrupt politicians. It was not a Difa-e-Pakistan Conference!!!
MWM urges government not to reopen Nato supply routes
MARCH 26, 2012
Dawn, the oldest bastion of obfuscation on Shia genocide, as usual misrepresented Shia Muslims protest against Shia genocide as a call for unity against ‘sectarianism’. The word sectarianism is used by civil society elites (fake liberal proxies of the ISPR) to misrepresent Shia genocide (e.g., recent issues of The Friday Times and Dawn). Influenced by army loyalist such as Zaffar Abbas, Irfan Hussain and Cyril Almeida, Dawn misreported the conference to be focused on ‘sectarianism’ and ‘US imperialist influence on Pakistan’.
People urged to unite against sectarianism
Our Staff Reporter | Metropolitan > Karachi | From the Newspaper
26th March, 2012