Editors Guild Ridicules Attempts Of The State To Ensure National Security

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Let Editors Guild Give Personal Guarantee For Spin Doctors In Kashmir

After the Pulwama encounter, the police summoned some local journalists for incorrect reporting on the incident. These included TV commentator Majid Hyderi, Kamran Yusuf of NewsClick, Vikar Syed of Free Press Kashmir and Fahad Shah, editor of the Kashmir Walla magazine. According to the police, these journalists were arrested for “glorifying terrorist activities, spreading fake news & inciting general public for creating [law and order] situation”. On February 6, Editors Guild tweeted: Editors Guild of India strongly condemns the arrest of Fahad Shah, editor of the Kashmir Walla. Demands his immediate release and urges state authorities to ensure that FIRS, intimidatory questioning, and wrongful detainment are not used as tools for suppressing press freedom.

In a press release accompanying the tweet, Editors Guild wrote: He (Fahad Shah) has been summoned and detained multiple times for his writing over the past few years. This arrest is part of a larger trend in Kashmir of security forces calling journalists for questioning and often detaining them, because of their critical reporting of the establishment. In a separate incident, journalist Gowhar Geelani has also been summoned… for “acting in a manner prejudicial to public interest”. Those manning Editors Guild of India need to be reminded that the situation in Kashmir is not so simplistic that journalists are detained for “their critical reporting of the establishment”. In Kashmir, the enemy nation continues to indoctrinate and radicalize the vulnerable youth to pick up arms against the state in the name of jihad. Poor Kashmiris continue to lose their sons to the radical ideologies embedded by Pakistan.

 Fahad Shah, Gowhar Geealni And Co Glorify Terrorism and Militancy

 Give It Fancy Labels Like “The Resistance Of Our Boys” and Armed Rebels”

These so-called journalists continue to glorify terrorism and militancy, giving it fancy labels like “the resistance of our boys” and armed rebels”. Ultimately, the Kashmir society suffers because its blossoming youth are lost to militancy and to narco-terrorism. Fahad Shah is part of the same clique that is pushing the local vulnerable youth into the folds of militancy in his role as a terror glorifier and terror apologist. Editors Guild seems completely oblivious of the cost that militancy is inflicting upon the conflict-weary people of Kashmir. Those manning Editors Guild are hanging on to the convenient trope that “the space for media freedom has progressively eroded in Kashmir.”

In its press release on February 6, Editors Guild stated: “The Guild urges the state administration to respect democratic values and stop the harassment of journalists in the name of national security.”

The Blinkered Stand Of Editors Guild

Note the blinkered stand of Editors Guild. “…in the name of national security.” Editors Guild seems to consider national security as some mohalla politics happening in Kashmir. President of Editors Guild Seema Mustafa, general secretary Sanjay Kapoor and treasurer Anant Nath need to wake up to the ramifications of national security before they issue more statements on journalism in Kashmir. Let them take personal guarantee for Fahad Shah and his journalism before they speak up for him. Through his magazine The Kashmir Walla, Fahad Shah has consistently distorted news. There has been a concerted attempt to discredit the efforts of the state to give a safe and secure environment to the people of Kashmir. It needs to be noted that in a conflict region, deliberate distortion of news is not without agenda. This is part of the ISI strategy for Kashmir, which is carried forward by this clique of spin doctors in the Valley. The effort is to create a cloud of suspicion against every effort to dismantle the terror network in Kashmir. There is a constant attempt to discredit such efforts. This is the strategy constantly adopted by so-called journalists like Fahad Shah and Gauhar Geelani. Such disinformation was largely ignored before August 5, 2019. Thereafter, the state became cognizant of the dangers of disinformation. The state took serious note of now disinformation is milked by Pakistan for pushing its agenda on Kashmir. Through his magazine The Kashmir Walla, Fahad Shah is playing the same barely concealed, insidious role in Kashmir.

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