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July 18, 2014 Special Dispatch No. 5803

On Twitter, Pakistani Journalist Kahar Zalmay Challenges Dominant Public Opinion In Pakistan: 'Granted BBC Is Biased [On Gaza]: What About Paki Media? Isn't It Biased Against #Baloch And #Pashtuns?'

July 18, 2014
Special Dispatch No. 5803

Senior Pakistani journalist Kahar Zalmay recently wrote a series of tweets that questioned the prevailing Pakistani public opinion with regards to a number of issues, especially the Pakistan Army's anti-Taliban operation in North Waziristan (NW), one of the seven districts of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATAs) situated along the Afghan border.

The tweets probe the double-standards of Pakistani religious leaders who protest against America, Israel and India on all major issues but go silent on China, notably the recent Chinese clampdown on Ramadan fasting in Xinjiang province. Zalmay's tweets also question why the Pakistan Army launched the Zarb-e-Azb operation in North Waziristan with short notice to local residents, but gave months to the terrorists to flee from the region.

He also questions the silence of Pakistani media in reporting on the abductions and killings of Baluchis and Pashtuns by the Pakistan intelligence agencies, and on the Pakistan Army creating and harboring terrorists over the years. In one of the tweets he warns that the Taliban would not be frightened by the Zarb-e-Azb operation, but will be happy that many people would be rendered homeless, and who could be recruited by them. Following are some of his tweets written in July.

July 13: "Why Should I Waste My Energies Even Tweets On Condemning #Gaza Attacks When My Own People Are Bombed And Made Homeless?"

July 14: "If Pashtuns and Baloch want sympathy from Punjab, they should invite Israel to attack"

July 14: "Why military give short notice to civilians to leave [North Waziristan] but weeks and months to terrorists to look for new shelters?"

July 13: "When told FATA is bombed=well why were they sheltering terrorists, comes the reply. #Gaza is bombed, for growing bananas?"

July 13: "Why should I waste my energies even tweets on condemning #Gaza attacks when my own people are bombed and made homeless?"

July 13: "If Paki media had the courage to show what the military is doing in #NW [North Waziristan], we would be receiving sympathetic messages from Israelis"

July 13: "Granted BBC is biased [on reporting Gaza]: What about Paki media? Isn't it biased against #Baloch and #Pashtuns?"

July 13: [On celebration of Ramadan fasting by kids] "I hate these Paki [television] channels promoting hunger and thirst of kids in the name of roza [fasting]"

July 12 [retweeted tweet by @hinabaloch]: "Pakistanis 2 NWistanis [people of North Waziristan], 'Like a virus, we will quarantine u in camps'; to Gazans, 'Our homes n hearts r open for u' #PakistanisSelectiveActivism"

July 12 [retweeted tweet by @hinabaloch]: "Pakistanis to the Baloch, 'We Can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years’, to Gaza 'We will Save You' #PakistanisSelectiveActivism"

July 8: [On allegations that Imran Khan had fathered a child from Sita White] "I know it's naive of me but can an anchor [on television] ask IK [Imran Khan] what Islam says about a man giving birth to an illegitimate child?"

July 8: "Pakis congratulating Afghans on Presidential elections which is welcoming but I wish they also call on the ISI to stop colonizing Afghanistan"

July 8: "In Pakistan Islam and Military get defamed so easily like a school girl"

July 6: [On Pakistan's founder MA Jinnah and Prime Minister ZA Bhutto whose politics engendered Islamism in Pakistan] "Jinnah's religiosity was like Bhutto's socialism"

July 4: "Pak Will Protest Over Some Cartoons But Not When China Bans Muslims From Fasting"; "Pakistan Has To Apologize To Bangladesh; Someday It Will Have To Apologize To #Baluchistan Too"

July 4: [On M.A. Jinnah's movement creating Pakistan] "Folks what do you think Jinnah's answer will be when God ask him on judgment day why he played the agent role in making Pak?"

July 4: "If Jinnah got resurrected today and condemned GHQ [General Headquarters of Pakistan Army] for running terror factories, Paki media will declare him traitor to please khakis [army]"

July 4: [On Pakistan Army's dubious claims it killed hundreds of militants in Waziristan] "How Paki liberals believe in fairy tales when it comes to military and its bogus success claims. They indulge in intellectual fraud"

July 4: "Pak will protest over some cartoons [of Prophet Muhammad] but not when China bans Muslims from fasting. In fact Pak is a country run by cartoons"

July 4: [On refugees from North Waziristan] "Don't use the word 'displaced' please. Call them homeless as when they go back, their houses will be bombed and looted. It's no displacement"

July 4: "You think they are celebrating that militants will be defeated? Nay sir they are celebrating that half a million innocents got homeless"

July 4: "Pakistan has to apologize to Bangladesh. Someday it will have to apologize to #Baluchistan too"

July 2: [On double-standards of Pakistani religious leaders who will never protest against Beijing] "China bans fasting in Sinkiang province. Any protest from Mullahs [clerics] in Pak?"

Source: Twitter.com/KZalmay, accessed July 15, 2014. The tweets are originally in English and are lightly edited for clarity and standardization.

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