By Omar Khattab in Lahore
Last week Brigadier Hussain Abbas was killed by the Taliban in the Waziristan area. The newspapers wrote as usual about the “martyrdom” of an army officer at the hands of the “militants” and not the Taliban. But the electronic media was even more curt. The news anchors vaguely spoke about the martyrdom of Brigadier Hussain Abbas, which was very unusual given that death of a high-level officer is discussed ad nauseum in the media as a part of the ideological-nationalist myth about the role of the Army in Pakistan’s “nation building”.
Last Saturday Brigadier Hussain Abbas’ dead body was brought to his native village near Gujranwala for burial. The media as usual descended on the area interviewing people and relatives of the brigadier. Some journalists even forced his little kids to speak about their father and made them cry by asking sensitive qurestions (“Will you miss your father?”) which was an extremely heartless thing to do. But then this is common in Pakistan.
What was interesting to know that not a single channel showed the actual burial and/or the funeral prayer of the brigadier, which was unprecedented because the media always shows these two events only to prove the Islamic side of martyrdom. But Brigadier Hussain Abbas was not given this honor. And the reason is not hard to find: He was a Shia Muslim.
Since the Talibanic journalists, backed by Saudi and Al-Qaeda money and facilitated by the ISI, took over Pakistan post 9/11 (though they were in the field before 9/11, but not in command), the Shia suffering in Pakistan has been ignored. Everyone knows that the Taliban consider Shias kafir/inidel and routinely carry out acts of Shia carnage. But the media has never condemned the Taliban. This carnage is backed by the Deobandi-Wahabi fatwas that those who kill the Shias will go to paradise straightaway. Corrupted by petrodollars of the Wahabi Saudis and the drug money of the Al-Qaeda, the Pakistani Urdu media has turned complicit in the Shia persecution. Although the Saudi royal family and the Al-Qaeda are enemies, they are one when it comes to the hatred of the Shias. Both are Wahabi.
The Urdu media’s boycott of the funeral of Brigadier Hussain Abbas was not an isolated incident. In 2008-9 the Taliban captured hundreds of Pakistan army soldiers in Swat. They separated Shia soldiers from Sunni soldiers. They gave every Sunni soldiers one thousand rupees each and asked them to go home. But they lined up every Shia soldier and slaughtered him. This is why, even today the place where the beheadings of the Shias were carried out is knows as “Khooni Chawk” or Bloody Square. At that time the media completely blacked out the beheadings. It was only a few Sunni soldiers who narrated this to people and it became known, but later they were asked to shut up by their superiors.
In complicity with Saudi Wahabis and the Al Qaeda-Taliban axis of Islamofascism, the Urdu media does not want the people of Pakistan, the majority of whom want to live in peace, that the Shias have anything “Islamic” in them. The Shias are portrayed as a deviant sect of Islam which should be wiped out of existence. (This is what has been happening in Saudi Arabia for decades.) You will never read in any newspaper or find out on a TV channel that the creator of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a Shia Muslim.