From an interview that I conducted:

There is, of course, a nationalist discourse, as shrill as it is bogus, centered on US-bashing and lionizing dubious characters such as Afia Siddiqui. The US and Pakistani role in the strange tale of Ms. Siddiqui is murky but she herself has suspiciously failed to provide a credible account and evidently her family’s narrative is full of untruths. Siddiqui’s media deification is mind-boggling in the face of a country-wide security and human rights crisis.

The media needs to shed its ambiguity about the Taliban and other Al-Qaeda proxies and to acknowledge that they represent a real threat to the basic rights of citizens and to the state itself. It needs to engage in an honest debate on the necessity to combat and overcome these actors in a rights-respecting manner. This requires holding both the Taliban and the army accountable for their abuses which stand verified and documented. Sadly, this is not happening.

Read the full interview here or in this week’s The Friday Times