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Manzoor Pashteen on Pakistani media


Asim Rafiqui: Those we often consider ‘illiterate’ or ‘un-modern’ or ‘in need of education’ or ‘unaware of how the world works’ or any number of denigrating, racist, and reductive generalisations that are often used against anyone Pashtun, are often the most lucid, clear and theoretically strong about understanding the operations of power, and its allies.

To crudely paraphrase Manzoor Pashteen’s statement:

“This is a media that chases Taliban commanders through mountains to offer them their microphones and their cameras. This is a media that has always-whether for the authorities or for violent men–acted as an enabler of war and a promoter of war. I pray that this media some day be free. This is a media that did not even bother to cover the torn, dismembered bodies of our children. But it ran to cover the story of a cat in Karachi.”

This state, this society, our privileged elite, our numbed middle class, cannot fathom this language. It cannot hear these truths. It cannot bear to face its complicity in false wars, in real deaths and mass slaughter.

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