Toxic influence of senior columnists on young writers in The Friday Times – by Irfan Qadri

The Friday Times, edited by Najam Sethi (the 80-20 mix fame) and Raza Rumi (who is also a Director of ISI-backed Jinnah Institute), continues to misrepresent State-sponsored Shia genocide as Sunni vs Shia sectarian violence.

Latest issue of The Friday Times offers an example of toxic influences of Najam Sethi and Raza Rumi (who misrepresent ISI-sponsored Shia Genocide as Sunni vs Shia sectarian violence) on young writers.

The author “All hail my sectarian God”, an urban young writer (namely Kiran Nazish), does not at all know about Shia genocide in 1988 in Gilgit under the patronage of Pakistan army, nor is she aware of the Deep State dimensions of Shia genocide in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

For Kiran and other young writers, here is a summary of Shia massacre in 1988:

Reference to Shia genocide in 1988 is not aimed at hurting anyone, but it is being made to prevent one brother from cutting the throat of the other by getting trapped in the intrigue of the common enemy. The 1988 genocide started apparently from an simple incident happening but the then military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq had made full preparations for it. On one hand General Zia had entrusted his minister Qasim Shah with the task of giving temptation and provoking anti-Shia hatred in the people of Diamer, while on the other, he misled the U.S. and other influential European countries by saying that Shias of Gilgit-Baltistan are Iranian stooges who are and anti-US and anti-Europe. As instructed by the military dictator, Qasim Shah started anti-Shia hate propaganda, that Sunnis are being massacred and women were being dishonoured in Gilgit etc. Such accusations had nothing to do with the reality. The Pakistan government (in fact Pakistan army) succeeded in giving practical shape to its conspiracy at the time, when General Zia instigated Afghan Muhjahideen and brainwashed Jihadi Pashtuns, working under the supervision of Pakistan army, by giving them the temptation of Jihad (Crusade) booty and rewards, for attacking Balawaristan (Gilgit Baltistan). When these invaders entered Diamer under the protection of Pakistan army and F.C., it took along some local people also, who forced local Shias taking shelter in Bonji cantonments to change their sect. The village of Jalalabad near Gilgit was rendered to ashes by setting ablaze it alongwith the live stock and trees. People of Bonji, Darot and other several villagers were displaced. There was heavy loss of life on both sides. Finally the assailants were sent back by the army on their arrival close to Gilgit city, in view of the threat of Indian interference to save local Shias of Gilgit Baltistan from further massacre. Later, local Shias were given a meagre compensation, but nothing was paid to Sunni kins. Once again, the military state wanted to keep the artificial sectarian issue alive. Pakistan’s mainstream media, both Urdu and English press, kept a complete mum on the 1988 Shia massacre. This included numerous foreign correspondents in Islamabad writing for BBC, The New York Times, Guardian, Time etc.

The writer (Kiran Nazish) claims that in Pakistan “some of the worst and the most real and physical crimes that people commit against each other in this country are based on religion” but fails to explain why such sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shias does not exist in India and Bangladesh among other countries. She does not at all address the issue of state patronage and protection available to Jihadi-sectarian militants (Ahle Sunnat Wala Jamaat, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Taliban etc) by Pakistan army and its proxies in judiciary and media.

As a context, here is an example of numerous pieces published by the Jinnah Institute and The Friday Times which serve to misrepresent Shia genocide in Pakistan and mislead young writers and activists.

Here is another example of how Najam Sethi uses 80-20 mix to dilute Shia genocide in Pakistan

Sethi used Sunni-Shia sectarianism terminology to hide the fact that ASWJ-SSP terrorist represent their mentors in Pakistan army, not Sunni Muslims.

Blaming Sunnis for target killing of Shias and blaming Shias for persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims is a disservice to not not only persecuted and target killed communities (Shias, Ahmadis) but also to the peaceful majority community (Sunnis). Lumping all Sunnis into one group, presenting ISI-backed Jihadi-sectarian criminals (ASWJ-LeJ-Taliban) as Sunnnis, is an agenda which is commonly shared by ISI, Najam Sethi, Raza Rumi and other dubious persons in Pakistani media.

Recently Omar Waraich mentioned on Twitter how “Meher Bokhari takes a swing at Fawzia Wahab in death-recalls how she got angry at 1 of her questions”

In essence this is not much different from Marvi Sirmed (an affiliate of Raza Rumi, Najam Sethi and Ejaz Haider) who took a swing at Shias (“The Shia Community”) in the midst of their ongoing massacres holding the Shia community responsible for legislation against Ahmadis:

My advice to young writers. Think twice before accepting and recycling the lies and propaganda published by pseudo-liberal writers. Their analyses are no less biased and toxic than their right wing partners.



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