Stay in the news business long enough, and you become hardened to brutality. But the reports from Pakistan overnight hit me hard on Tuesday morning. How to comprehend such evil? One hundred forty-five dead at the Taliban’s hands, more […]
A Tidings conversation about hospitality, friendship and loyalty with Raza Rumi, a Pakistani journalist, blogger, author of Delhi by Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani traveller and follower of Sufi thought. The subject of hospitality holds a certain irony for Raza who is now in […]
Recently I talked with ” ABC news” (Australia) and explained how Journalism is under siege in Pakistan. Here is the audio-link. The transcript of my conversation – an edited version – is also posted below
MARK COLVIN: Journalists in Pakistan say they’re under increasing threat both from terror groups and the country’s security agencies….
South Asia correspondent Michael Edwards reports.
MICHAEL EDWARDS: Journalists are supposed to be on the sidelines, be there to report when bad things happen to people.
RAZA RUMI: Six weeks ago I was attacked in Lahore.
MICHAEL EDWARDS: That’s Raza Rumi, the associate editor of the Friday Times, a man who is one of Pakistan’s influential and high profile journalists.
Pakistan’s blasphemy law is used to fuel violence and death.
The recent murder of a brave human rights lawyer Rashid Rehman reminds us of the society we have shaped. It is now an unregulated space where even defending the rights of an accused is a crime. Rehman had made all the threats, including those in the courtroom, public. The local state authorities did next to nothing to protect him or rein in the individuals and groups preaching violence. It seems when it comes to religiously motivated violence the might of the state disappears. Victims of blasphemy law are no longer fit for due process. They need to be punished directly. A few days after the murder of Rehman, another accused of blasphemy was shot dead by a teenager in a police station near Lahore.
Since the brutal murder of Salmaan Taseer in January 2011, debates on the colonial blasphemy law have disappeared from the public domain. Those who advocated against its misuse were also silenced through litigation in courts by the right-wing lobbies that no longer constitute the lunatic fringe. In fact, the idea of blasphemy as a threat to Pakistan’s carefully constructed “Islamic” identity mixes passion, politics and power. A state that quietly smiles at the success of its project is now complicit in mob justice and even brutal killings such as the one that took Rashid Rehman’s life. […]
I was recently interviewed by Al Jazeera TV – here is a video clip:
Raza Rumi describes the state of the media in Pakistan, where 34 journalists were reportedly killed since 2008
Journalist Raza Rumi narrowly escaped an assassination attempt by members of the Taliban network in Pakistan on March 28, 2014.
He joins Aljazeera host Antonio Mora […]
I spoke at the New America Foundation with Kati Marton, Peter Bergen and Joel Simon on the dangers of reporting freely in Pakistan. It was a robust discussion and I tried my best to add some nuance to the discussion. Horrible to be the ‘news’ yourself!
Here is a clipped version of the entire discussion. For full discussion please visit this link.