Zarb-e-Azb on Tanqeed

Jun 2015


After escaping from Waziristan, in line for food | Photographer: Mahvish Ahmad/TQ

On the one year anniversary of Operation Zarb-e-Azb, a joint military offensive in North Waziristan that aimed to clear the area of militant groups, civilian politicians and several national news outlets are following in the footsteps of the ISPR in painting the operation as an overwhelming success.

The ISPR has claimed that 2,763 militants have been killed, and that the Pakistan Army has lost 347 officers and soldiers “to shahadat.” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that the operation plays a key role in “eliminating terrorism” and helping the country head “towards progress.” And Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has declared 2015 as a “year of victory” in the fight against terrorism.

Meanwhile, most national news outlets have been more concerned with Indian Prime Minister Modi’s recent comments on 1971 and the Mukti Bahini during his visit to Bangladesh. In fact, not a single one of the main English- and Urdu-language national newspapers (Dawn, The News, Express Tribune, Daily Times, Jang, Nawa-i-Waqt, Express Roznama) have written an editorial on the one year anniversary of the operation. Evening news anchors have cut to ISPR-funded music videos celebrating the success of the operation, and if the newspapers have given it any space at all, it has usually been a celebratory and laudatory blurb on the front page. Rather than push back on unverifiable numbers and dubious claims of success, newspapers have quoted the main leaders of the armed forces and the civilian government and called it a day.

In the immediate aftermath of Operation Zarb-e-Azb, Tanqeed launched a Media Watch and a Voices from Waziristan video testimonial series. We also brought critical reporting and analysis on Zarb-e-Azb–documenting civilian deaths or casualties in at least three cases. Below, we reproduce our coverage one year after the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azb.

TQ Media Watch

Army Attacks North Waziristan | TQ | June 16 2014

When Ideologies Shape the Facts | TQ | June 17 2014

Jingoism in the Media | Zehra Hussain | July 1 2014

Pak Press Covers Civilian Govt Unlike Foreign Press | TQ | July 2 2014

سرکار کی آنکھ سے | سلمان حیدر

#BadNewsBears: A Media Fail List | July 2014 | TQ

TQ Essays + Comment

The Road to Bannu | Asad Hashim

The Myth of Civilian Failure | Ayesha Siddiqa

The Practice of International Solidarity | Zehra Husain

The Politics of Naming | Aasim Sajjad Akhtar

Zarb-e-Azb and the Left: On Imperialism’s Materiality | Syed Azeem and Noaman G. Ali

Selective Mourning After Peshawar | Shehzad Akbar

Pakistani Military: Feminist or Not? | Feministaniat | Blog | Hadia Akhtar

The Peshawar Tragedy: A Tanqeed Statement | TQ Editors

سانحہ پشاور: تنقید کا بیانمدیران تنقید

Why Peshawar Must Not Be Our 9/11 | Junaid S. Ahmad and Sania Sufi


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