Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sensationalizing Kamra Militant Attack

On the morning of 16th August, a bunch of militants tried to storm the Kamra base of Pakistan Airforce, located an hour's drive from Islamabad. The attackers tried to enter the base firing sophistticated weapons, but the attack was beaten by by swift action from the base, killing all nine militants, of which one blew himself wearing a suicide jacket. The backup militants from outside the base fired a rocket propelled grenade, which damaged a parked a aircraft.

A soldier from Pakistan Army, one of the guards at the base was martyred, while the base commander himself alongwith other 12 pesonnel were injured.

Although, the attack was alarming, but the ingress of the militants was halted before they could damage costly aircraft as in case of PNS Mehran, due to timely and swift action by the base security organization. The bravery was seen at its peak as even the base commanded, an officer of the rank of brigadier general or the air commodore himself was present on the scene of gun battle between his security elements and the militants and got a bullet in his arm.

But within hours, the world media published headlines, as sown above, highlighting the word 'nuclear' to give an impression as if the militants had reached the nuclear arsenal of Pakistan. 

In fact the Kamara attack was sensationalized as the attack on "Pakistan's nuclear facilities in Kamara" that made headlines the world over - whereas everyone knows, with a little intelligence, that air force bases are never nuclear, it is the aircraft which are nuclear capable, and become armed with nuclear weapons when a nuclear strike is desired, just like the Enola Gay was armed with little boy on 6 August 1945 for strike on Hiroshima. No fool would keep the nuclear bombs on aircraft and leave these in the open in the peacetime. Even in wartime, nuclear weapons are flown from the storage facilities at the eleventh hour under extreme security and fitted on aircraft minutes before their take off.

Now this is not the simple case of sensationalism - it has been done with the ultimate ail of creating an environment the world overt that the Pak nuke stockpiles is unsafe and thus it should be placed under an international body, ostensibly the USA under the ambit of USA.

The Sensationalizing by media is not confined to the foreign media - even our media and writers are in the habit of sensationalizing too and distorting the facts to suit to their theme. While reading a recent post in a leading newspaper by an 'eminent journalist' I was amazed to find writer's assertion that' as per a survey, "nearly half the Sunni population of Pakistan thinks that Shias are not Muslim."

Being a Sunni myself, this was the first such thing I have come across in years. In fact the link to the survey given in the news report gives altogether a different opinion: It says "Conversely, in predominantly Sunni Pakistan, 41% of Muslims believe Shias are not true Muslims." So this how we distort facts, and those who do not trace back the links, would take the writer's words to be true. There is a difference between not being a Muslim and not being a true Muslim.

But those who read the post above by an eminent scholar would take it for true and the hardliners would make it a basis for taking radical stance and view the killing of Shias in Gilgit Baltistan in this backdrop - whereas to my reckoning, the unrest in Gilgit Baltistan has altogether a different ball games. I will write about it in days to come.

Now here is another way of sensationalizing the news: I read this news item at the  Australian Islamist Monitor  with the caption "The First Islamic Terrorist Attack on Australian Soil." The report is as read as herein under:
On January 1, 1915 two Broken Hill men, both former camel drivers, armed themselves with rifles, an homemade flag bearing Islamic insignia and a large supply of ammunition and launched a surprise attack on the Picnic Train about 3 kilometres outside Broken Hill. 
The train carried about 1200 Broken Hill residents to Silverton where a picnic to celebrate the new year was to take place.
The two Muslim men, Gool Mohamed originally a Pashtun tribesman from Afghanistan and Mullah Abdullah from what is known today as Pakistan, decided to wage jihad against Australian infidels after Australia and the Ottoman Empire officially joined the opposite sides in the WWI.
Now just imagine that in 1915, there was no Pakistan as it surfaced on world map in 1947. But instead of writing India, the area from where this ' Islamic Terrorist' originated, the country is shown as Pakistan. Since everyone now a days is made to believe that all terrorist activities originate from Pakistan, many readers of this news items not knowing whether Pakistan existed in 1915 or not, would get the wrong message and thus a feeling will very conveniently get drilled in their minds that there was a terrorist from Pakistan who attacked a train in 1915.

This has been deliberately done as writing India would not have attracted the readers to this news - therefore using Pakistan, the news item has not only been sensationalized, but it has also maligned Pakistan in the eyes of its readers.

I am writing this post to only clarify and put the records right - though the damage has already been done. No one reads the clarifications. It is the headlines that make the first and last 'lasting' impressions.


That is how they earn and make their clout. Who cares what happens to Pakistan.

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