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Monday, January 26, 2015

Vulgar Journalism;

In an article published on 26th of January 2015 in print edition of daily Urdu, Jang, a "senior" journalist by the name Mazhar Abbas claims that Hafiz Saeed and his party JuD does not represent a terrorist threat to US. He bases his logic on the following two premises
1- That JuD believes that Jihad can only be declared by the State and it has nothing to do with the dirty business of groups like Al Qaeda etc.
2- Secondly it engages in welfare activities and religious preaching so banning it would actually strengthen the terrorists narrative that Muslims are being purposely victimized by the West and its client States.

Its important to analyze this article because its such writing that shapes people opinion about terrorist threat, and due to their biases, selective writing of the facts, or for whatever reason, are one of the main reasons that in this country, even after over 50,000 killed in a just decade, people are still confused about who is the threat, where it comes from, who actually is the enemy? Some facts i have summarized below which, i am not sure, whether the "senior" journalist deliberately missed or whatever, but its too hard to be believe that he never had access to them.

- Author claims that JuD has nothing to do with the likes of Al Qeada
         This is absolutely false. After the fall of Taliban, Al Qaeda main leaders moved inside Pakistan and many of them were provided shelter by Hafiz Saeed followers. Abu Zubaidah was arrested in 2002 from one of Hafiz Saeed's party safe house. Saleem Shahzad even claims that Abu Jabran who was the body guard of Abu Zubaidah, ended up being personal advisor later to Zaki Ur Rahman Lakhvi. The logical conclusion is that after providing safe houses to Al Qaeda leadership, they even ditched them once Pakistan's starting cracking down, at least on some of Al Qaeda elements. However, one thing that can clearly be inferred is that Hafiz Saeed party has maintained connections with such groups and if not then why did he offer funeral prayer for Usama Bin Laden?

-Author claims that JuD has no ideological affinity with the likes of Al Qaeda
      This i can claim with confidence that its an absolute lie. JuD has been organizing conferences titled "Ghaza Hind" conference in which it is claimed that end times are approaching, and according to heavenly ordained chain of events, Pakistan will fight battle with India. This is exactly in conformity with Al Qaeda view, the only difference is that Al Qaeda does not use the word Pakistan as one of the principal protagonist. The kind of ideology that JuD propagates is what essentially required to charge and motivate people towards militant violence.

Author claims that JuD does not engages in terrorism.
    Then what is the whole infrastructure set up in Muridke for? It would be suffice to provide a link to a report leaked by Wikileaks  which shows how Hafiz Saeed and his party been recruiting young kids for indoctrination in South Punjab using funds provided by the donors in Saudia Arabia and UAE. In yet another instance,  son of JuD party man, who also happen to be the speaker in Mosque down town Okara, died fighting in Kashmir.

The author claims that JuD can not be prosecuted in the court, but does that exonerate the party from the kind of stuff it is known to commit? Thats the weakness of the prosecution.

Its the parties like JuD which are responsible for propagating the kind of militant mentality which can easily end up in kind of religious chauvanism that we see around.

The kind of journalism that takes place in Pakistan, although through their at times vociferous criticism of political personalities, they may try to pretend to be relatively politically dispassionate. However, its these 'scribes" who are the guardians of the framework which sustain the current power relations in the society. It is in the interest of Pakistan ruling class to keep the population charged with religious chauvanism, which means irrational hatred towards the neighbor, lots of space and legitimacy for the groups like JuD who serves as States junior partner among other things. Its the job of these journalist to keep creating the consent for the dominant ideology in the society,  The article that i have talked about above is one such attempt to keep the legitimacy for  a man and a party known to promote the militant ideology and known to have run training camps alive for he serves the interests of the dominant class and help perpetuating the dominant ideology.


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