Hawaldar Media Response to Charsadda Attack Plays Into Terrorists Hands

Before the tears even had a chance to fall into the dust, hawaldar media officers were busily spinning to establish the accepted narrative about the deadly terrorist attack on Bacha Khan University. There are no surprises as it is once again the standard conspiracy theory that blames ‘foreign hand’ for every incident.

Should we bother noting the sheer hypocrisy of these anchors? Are they not the same who condemned Indian media for blaming Pakistan for Pathankot before any evidence could be found?

There is not point in showing this as it assumes that these anchors have some shame left. Instead, let us ask what is the point of this behaviour?

On one hand, blaming India provides a defence of Army’s reputation. After years of declaring that terrorists have been defeated, the continued attacks are embarrassing. How can these militants who have had their back broken continue planning and carrying out such attacks? This raises difficult questions that many would prefer not to hear. If it is actually Indian RAW behind these attacks, though, Pakistan Army is facing a much larger and more sophisticated enemy.

On the other hand it is easy point scoring after the embarrassment of Pathankot attack. Some might say it is wishful thinking that India is involved in the Charsadda attack because it makes us feel better about ourselves if we can believe that India is involved in terrorism. The problem is that this narrative actually helps terrorists because it supports their own narrative. If India is behind attacks inside Pakistan, “pro-Pakistan” militants like LeT and JeM are seen as defenders of the nation. It is the same ‘good Taliban’ and ‘bad Taliban’ narrative that has brought us where we are today because “pro-Pakistan” jihadi ideology easily becomes “anti-state” jihadi ideology as we have seen over and over again.

Much noise is made about uniting the nation in order to defeat extremism and terrorism. However it is not enough to merely be united if we are not united against the real enemy. Using India as a bogey is easy, but it gets us nowhere. If we are going to see the day when terrorists are studied in history classes instead of attacking classes, we have to face the reality. Media’s anti-India spinning only makes that day further away.

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