Journalists under attack in Pakistan

Developing Just Leadership

Crescent International

Dhu al-Hijjah 06, 1443 2022-07-05

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

Pakistan is descending into fascism.

A leading journalist and vlogger, Imran Riaz Khan was arrested earlier today by the Attock police.

This is the most bizarre situation in Pakistan’s journalistic history.

Imran Riaz Khan was granted bail before arrest by the Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court, Justice Athar Minallah, several weeks ago.

The honourable justice had further ordered Islamabad Inspector General of Police not to arrest the journalist without his prior written permission.

Thus, his arrest constitutes a clear case of contempt of court.

Prior to his arrest, the licenses for his legal weapon as well as his bullet-proof car were cancelled by the Punjab government.

Earlier today, a court in Lahore restored his licenses and Imran Riaz Khan was heading towards the Islamabad High Court when he was arrested by the Attock police.

His defence lawyer, Mian Ashfaq lodged an appeal in the Islamabad High Court which was accepted and according to Bol TV, the court opened its doors to hear the petition late in the evening.

Why Imran Riaz Khan was arrested?

He was outspoken in his criticism of the ouster of Imran Khan as prime minister.

Further, he has questioned the powers that be—essentially the army—that appears determined to stifle any questioning of its heavy-handed tactics by ousting an elected prime minister (Imran Khan) and replacing him with an assortment of criminals, thieves, murderers and money-launderers.

The outspoken journalist has not only received death threats but Pakistan’s intelligence agencies have also deployed intimidating tactics by shooting someone near Imran Riaz Khan’s house.

The victim’s screams were meant to instill fear in the journalist.

In a recent Vlog, he openly questioned army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa as to why he was being targeted when he (the journalist) had never spoken ill of the army or used abusive language against Bajwa.

Others, especially those in power today, installed courtesy of the army, were the ones that used extremely abusive language against Bajwa himself without incurring the army’s wrath.

It is clear that Bajwa has lost his mind.

He is abusing his power and acting as if he is god.

He is not. He has done nothing but brought disgrace to the army that was hitherto held in high esteem by the people.

Other journalists, like the senior analyst Ayaz Amir was physically assaulted in Lahore by masked men a few days ago.

He was dragged out of his car and punched and kicked.

What was Ayaz Amir’s crime? At a seminar a day earlier organized by the Islamabad Bar Association, he had asked former prime minister Imran Khan as to what motivated him to give extension to Bajwa’s tenure as army chief.

This seems to have sent Bajwa into a rage.

Ayaz Amir had to be taught a “lesson”.

Such terror tactics have disgraced Bajwa and his henchmen even more.

They are destroying Pakistan by such fascist tactics.

It is for the courts and the people to confront and bring an end to such tactics.

There are grave fears for Imran Riaz Khan’s life as well.

He must not be left alone.

Other journalists that have shown integrity, including Moeed Pirzada, Arshad Sharif, Sami Abraham, Jameel Farooqui and Sabir Shakir, are also being threatened.

There are reports that plans have been made to “fix them” up as well.

It is not difficult to surmise who plans to fix people up. There is only one power that indulges in such tactics: the army.

Far from performing their role as defenders of the country, they have turned (at least the top brass) into gangsters and want to silence all voices that dare to question, however politely, their illegal activities.

It is important for the journalistic fraternity in Pakistan to speak out with one voice against such fascist tactics.

It will be interesting to see who will stand for media freedom and protection of journalists.

There is a long list of paid agents in the media that worship every rising sun and are prepared to drum-beat on behalf of those that pay them.

This list of lifafa journalists (paid touts of the army) include Saleem Safi and Hamid Mir, among others.

So far they have not uttered a word of condemnation against one of their colleagues, even if he takes positions that are at variance with what they preach.

Pakistan has entered a dangerous phase of its history.

May Allah help the people of Pakistan!

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