Terrorists’ attacks on journalists
Mohammad Jamil


Saturday, December 01, 2012 - Terrorism stalks the entire land, and thousands of innocent people and members of law enforcing agencies have been killed. Terrorists have not spared any strata of society, and have attacked journalists and anchorpersons as well. Recent attempt by some non-state actors/terrorists to hit a senior journalist and anchorperson Hamid Mir - a known media figure - has created commotion journalist fraternity as well as in the minds of peace loving public of Pakistan. Unfortunately, some commentators/analysts started pointing fingers at the agencies, and in this regard Hamid Mir himself and Najam Sethi openly named the state actors for having planned such an attack. Such insinuations have serious implications; therefore nobody should blame agencies without any concrete evidence. In fact Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan has already accepted the responsibility for fixing an explosive device under the chassis of his car, and its spokespersons has vowed to hit him again. Government should make laws to enable the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to provide protection to all segments of society including media men.

So far as Hamid Mir is concerned, he has become a controversial figure and is known for his vituperations against military and the ISI, and on the other hand mollycoddling traitors. He, in his program ‘Capital talk’, in the past bragged about his close contacts and affinity with the Taliban and claimed to have interviewed Osama bin Laden. But seeing the public mood, he in his program regarding attack on Malala Yousufzai criticized the TTP. Of course, he often criticized military and agencies especially the ISI on the basis of some events in the distant past. Journalist Shahzad Salim was killed arguably by the terrorists because in his articles he had stated that Osama bin Laden has lost control over Al Qaeda; He also mentioned about groupings in the Taliban and Tehreek-i-Taliban. He was also fond of criticising military and agencies. The problem is that when the terrorists hit them some media men start blaming the ISI. Some journalists to cover up their fear or cowardice try to show off that they are not scared of anybody.

In ‘The News’ of 24th November, Hamid Mir reproduced the contents of the paper he read in the launching ceremony of The Unfinished Memoirs held in Islamabad on November 21. He stated: “Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is a villain for many Pakistanis. One-sided history books tell us that Mujib was a traitor who broke up Pakistan with the help of India. We read in our history books that All-India Muslim League was formed in Dhaka in 1906 but we don’t know why the Pakistan Army surrendered to the Indian Army on December 16, 1971, in Dhaka”. Admitted that once Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was an active worker of Pakistan movement; admitted that civil and military governments from 1947 to 1970 had taken some flawed decisions that created sense of deprivation in the people of former East Pakistan. But many countries in the world had developed contradictions and conflicts that were resolved through dialogue. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, some palmed off media men and Mir Jafars try to stir conflicts between the federating units to advance the agenda of their backers.

Mujib’s contacts with Indian leadership and training of Mukti Bahini by Indian military are the facts that no one can deny. The fact remains that in November 1965 Sh. Mujib had worked out a six-point program, what he said, to secure political and economic justice in a federal system. The scheme involved setting up a system in which the power of the central government was to be dramatically curtailed; only foreign affairs and defense were to be left as central subjects. The provinces were to have jurisdiction over currencies and fiscal policy, with the stipulation that the federal government was to be provided with requisite revenues for meeting only the requirements of defense and foreign affairs. Mujib’s six-point program also demanded that a constitutional provision was to be made providing that separate accounts for foreign exchange earnings and foreign trade could be maintained under the provincial governments. A last point he emphasized was that a separate military for East Pakistan was to be raised and maintained in order to contribute to national security.

Hamid Mir went on to state: “The fact is that it was not Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who wanted to break Pakistan. He only demanded provincial autonomy in 50s and 60s, but our military regime tried to silence his voice by throwing him in jail. He never abandoned the political struggle and participated in the first general elections of Pakistan in 1970. Awami League emerged as a majority party but the military regime of General Yahya Khan refused the transfer of power to Awami League. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was arrested and a military operation was started. I can quote more books by other Pakistani writers who accepted that our soldiers not only massacred Bengali Muslims in big number, but they also followed the orders of General Niazi and raped women. I will stop here. I just want to say that the Unfinished Memoirs of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the historical evidence that Bengalis never broke Pakistan but they actually created Pakistan”.

Hamid Mir should remember that the government had constituted Hamood-ur-Rehman Commission to identify underlying causes for the tragedy. The Commission criticized the then military and political leadership for their ineptness, but at the same time debunked the propaganda by India that two to three million Bengalis had been killed by the Pakistan army. The Commission put the total figure of casualties at twenty six thousands including the killings of West Pakistanis, members of Pakistan’s security personnel and Biharis that were butchered by Mukti Bahini guerillas. A major part of what is written in Mujib’s Memoirs is also one sided, as the role India played in creating disaffection by funding the detractors of Pakistan was not even mentioned. While concluding his article Hamid Mir wrote: “Remember that only brave people accept their mistakes. It is time to show some bravery by accepting our mistakes and apologizing to Bangladeshis”. The question is why he has become spokesman of Bangladesh?