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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Daily Times, the latest pen-killer of Shia Hazaras of Quetta – by Ali Muntaziri





Pakistan media usually promotes the agenda and discourse of military establishment.

Update/Editor’s note: Op-ed editor of Daily Times has now apologized and assured to be extra careful in the future. We appreciate this gesture and hope the mainstream media will publish factual and sympathetic articles on Shia Hazaras, one of the most persecuted and target killed community of Pakistan. The exchange on Twitter is reproduced in the comments section below.

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Daily Jang’s long held stature as the military establishment’s top media ally has been thrown into jeopardy all of a sudden. There is a new candidate for the throne in town, albeit, new only in butchering facts and replacing them with outright fallacies. The victims are not new, however, it’s the Shia Hazaras of Quetta who find themselves on the receiving end of misrepresentation again.

But this is no minute propaganda, mind you, the article published in Daily Times today (written by Surat Khan Marri)is so replete with factual lies that it would have made Joseph Goebbels a very proud man.

A community besieged and terrorized at the hands of religious fanatics should normally expect some sort of solace from the educated elite of the mainstream press. I, for one though, have long let go such hollow expectations because the more one believes in the transparency of Pakistan’s electronic and press media (both Urdu and English press), the more likely are the chances for the person to end up in sheer bewilderment as to how such an insulting written piece finds its way into one of the leading newspapers in the country.


Surat Khan Marri, an ISI mole or an LeJ-Taliban operative?

What adds to my utter inconvenience is the fact that the writer of this outrageously unrealistic article claims to be a Baloch, whose community has always found an able supportive friend in Hazaras during the entire course of their struggle against the injustices that they have been targeted with. Read Mr. Surat Khan Marri’s written piece, then reread and then reread again, still, the search for a single instance of truth would prove futile. Quite contrary to the claims that Hazaras are the beneficiaries of the Balochs’ miseries is the reality that both communities continue to be the subjects of genocide at the hands of a ‘common enemy’.

Let me be blunt, the military establishment kills and abducts the Balochs and the military establishment kills Shia Hazaras, of course with the use of its strategic assets-LeJ- in this case. The Balochs and Shias (both Hazara and non-Hazara Shias) should counter this collective genocide together, any such notion that tries to create animosity between the two should be quashed left, right and center, be it one from a Hazara or a Baloch.

Let us start from today and from this piece of trash published by Daily Times. Whatever economical, educational and social progress the Hazaras have made while being in Pakistan is a testament to their hard work, dedication, patriotism, determination and willingness to move forward as a developing community unlike some others who have a sense of pride in sticking to their cave houses and guns and illiteracy. Anyone who puts pen to paper in order to repaint history with lies should be ashamed of oneself. While such attempts fail audaciously in tainting the glorious reputations of Shia Hazaras, they serve only to unveil the hatred and bias that exists within some people.

I don’t normally dwell into conspiracy theories, but the notion that the Military-Mullah-Media alliance is fully bent on pitting the local communities of Balochistan against one another is as legit as they come. On the one hand is the exceedingly naive assertion that majority of the terrorists of LeJ/SSP, killers of Shia Muslims (including Shia Hazaras), are local Balochs. While on the other hand are the nonsense claims linking innocent Shia Hazara youth with the assassination attempts on Sunni scholars. Most people might not discern the grave consequences of reactions once people of Balochistan start believing in these lies but allow me to state that disaster will ensue. As yet, though, sanity has prevailed and any such propaganda has been met with strong negative response on all fronts. May the truth seekers continue to emerge victorious from every battlefield.

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