Media blackout of Pashtun sit-in condemned. Activists claim state following ‘racist’ policy against Pashtun community.
ISLAMABAD: A sit-in by the Pashtun community in front of Islamabad Press Club against the murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud and alleged state oppression has entered its third day. Despite electronic media’s blackout of the protest, social media is abuzz with posts expressing solidarity with the protesters. Twitter users have condemned the mainstream media for ignoring what they called a ‘peaceful resistance’.
Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, also complained about media blackout of the protest and tweeted, “?1st time in the past 3 decades thousands of Pushtoons are out to demand #JusticeforNaqib and peace for their terror torn homeland. Media gave 24 hrs to cover the 500 ppl sit in of Khadim Rizvi & here thousands of people are blackout from TV screens. #PushtoonLongmarch”.
Activist Sangeen Khan said, “Speaking to the #JusticeForNaqib Sit in in Islamabad today. Anger of Pashtun youth particularly wazir & mehsuds sufferings due to State policies has reached new heights. Deplorable that instead of taking course correction the powers that be has opted a media blackout of protest”.
Journalist Ihtisham ul Haq? tweeted, “Thousands of Protesters are on the streets of Islamabad from Pashtun community chanting #JusticeForNaqib No media is covering this protest or showing it Live, But good to see the whole community is on the same page & won’t step back until get Justice, Find #RaoAnwar .”
Activist Khadim Hussain said, “The so called mainstream media of Pakistan has completely ignored a non-violent resistance to oppression, target killing, Pashtun genocide and rights movement. #PashtunLongMarch”.
Twitter user Ahmad Ali Khan? tweeted, “No rights for Pashtun, no safety, no justice, and now the list includes no coverage in the so called mainstream media? Why are these Pashtun cornered and pushed to the wall though they ask for democratic/constitutional/basic human rights as citizens of Pakistan #PashtunLongMarch”.
Activist Palwasha Abbas? said, “A huge gathering of Pashtuns at Capital totally washedout from mainstream media ,and this is not for the first time we have faced such discrimination from media #JusticeForNaqeeb #PashtunLongMarch”.
Twitter user Tariq Afghan? tweeted, “This is the part of racial profiling when your voice is censored by the state institutions. No coverage of media to #PashtunLongMarch is the part of this policy #PashtunRejectStateTerrorism”.
Twitter user Naseer? said, “It shouldn’t only be the #PashtunLongMarch all communities across Pakistan should join and protest for justice. All media need to play positive rule and give coverage”.
Activist Abdul Waheed Afridi? tweeted, “Since 2003, Pashtuns been sacrificed everything include their Future, Generations, Happiness, education. Witnessed the devastation of infrastructure, Schools, Colleges. What we have Got? Still fingering on our nationality! SAD… #PashtunLongMarch”.
Twitter user Shafiq Mehsud? tweeted, “In 2008 when displaced #Pashtuns women/children from #FATA sought entry into Punjab/Sindh, they were refused entry and were declared a threat; this racist policy was put in action again during the 2014 operations too. #NaqeebMehsud #PashtunLongMarch #PashtunRejectStateTerrorism”.
Activist Gulalai Ismail? tweeted, “Demands of Pashtun Long March 1. Punishment for Rao Anwar & his team 2. Stop extra judicial killings in Karachi & Pakistan 3. Remove land mines in FATA 4. Recovery of missing persons, presenting them in courts & freeing innocent #PashtunLongMarch”.
Journalist Abdur Rauf Yousafzai? said, “Killer Rao exposed the very weak roots of this state; “Might is Right” is The living formula in #Pakistan #PashtunRejectStateTerrorism #PashtunLongMarch”.
Journalist Malik Achakzai tweeted, “Islamabad: majority of the speakers at #PashtunLongMarch narrates the accounts of victims of terrorism how they are framed as “terrorists” through Pakistani media this is the double edge sword that leads peaceful people like #NaqeebMehsud being killed in fake encounters”.
Journalist Nazrana Ghaffar? said, “Naqib killing has become a turning point. No more extra judicial killing will be tolerated- Protesters told VOA #PashtunLongMarch”.
By Ailia Zehra, DT, Islamabad