While the Takifiri terrorists have been killing the Pakistani Shia relentlessly many in the media, and even human rights organizations, have not been able to keep pace with the nomenclature describing the ongoing crime against humanity. Some of the hesitation is understandable as those bearing witness grapple with the complexity of the Shia killings, actors involved in the crime and role of the Pakistani security agencies in either tacitly condoning the atrocities or at the very least looking the other way. But then there are sections of media that willfully misrepresent and under-report the Shia killings. They show a particular allergy to the term Shia Genocide to describe the Shia killings, which range from wholesale slaughter, execution-style murders and targeted assassinations.
BBC Urdu is one such media outlet that has been consistently remiss in reporting the persecution of the Pakistani Shia in a timely manner, providing the appropriate context and identifying the victims for they are and the naming the perpetrators. The BBC Urdu, with the honorable exceptions of its opinion writers Muhammad Hanif and Wasatullah Khan, is becoming notorious to gloss over the Shia Genocide even to the extent of suppressing the identity of the victims as Shia. When the BBC reported on the recent Hazara Town, Quetta bombing it did not use the word Shia for the victims in its initial report. When seasoned writers confronted the BBC Urdu producers in mainstream and social media the story was updated with the word Shia.
It seems that BBC Urdu has serious issues on the news gathering, reporting and publishing side of its operation when it comes to reporting the atrocities against the Shia from Kurram to Karachi and Peshawar to Quetta. One on the BBC Urdu producers Tahir Imran Mian had a spat on Twitter with the Daily Times, Pakistan’s lead columnist Dr. Mohammad Taqi, which we produce in full here. It is for the readership to see the shoddy work done by the BBC Urdu news section, their rude behavior when faced with criticism and resorting to tasteless hissing when the flaws and frank obfuscation of the Shia Genocide in their work is pointed out. It BBC Urdu service chief Amir Ahmed Khan to take note of what is becoming an unsightly blemish on an organization that was once synonymous with fearless and unbiased reporting. Stopping the Shia Genocide is perhaps not within the realm of journalism but bearing an honest witness most certainly is.