On Saleem Shahzad’s killing.
The killing of Syed Saleem Shahzad near Islamabad is but another example of the perils journalists face in Pakistan today for challenging the conspiracy-riddled narratives of the military-jihadi complex. Through his articles in Asia Times, Mr. Shahzad gave us perspective on the inner workings of the MJC and its internal competitive dynamics. Lesser journalists in Pakistan who tow the line of the MJC by putting forth conspiracy theories of underhand foreign agencies working in concert to dismember Pakistan are lionized and rewarded. Little wonder then, that Pakistan ranks as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists (Freedom House, 2011).
Voice of America Urdu’s Waseem A. Siddiqui catalogs the history of violence (اردو) :
Readers of this blog are no doubt familiar with the conspiracy theory-ridden narratives in Pakistan’s vernacular press. Almost every tragedy in Pakistan is attributable to the machinations of the CIA, R&AW, Blackwater or Mossad. Their ultimate quest being Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. It should come as no surprise then that the recent attacks against a Pakistan Navy base in Karachi were immediately attributed to India. Because that’s easy. And convenient.
In her recent visit to Pakistan, following the raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton urged Pakistanis to understand that conspiracy theories “will not make their problems disappear.” But with journalists like these, I wouldn’t hold my breath.