September 02, 2016
ISLAMABAD: Prominent columnist Ayaz Amir (pictured) has taken a swipe at a Dawn editorial, accusing the newspaper of toeing Indian and American line on the recent uprising in held Kashmir by equating it with terrorism.
For more than two decades Ayaz wrote a weekly column in Dawn on Sundays.
Though Ayaz’s column - Dangerous times and national disunity - in The News is mainly on the Indian visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry, it criticizes the silence of the government on the issue of Kashmir. Maintaining that the recent uprising in held Kashmir after the death of Burhan Wani is indigenous, Ayaz says India and the US are falsely portraying it as an outcome of terrorism. He regrets that the US has completely ignored human rights violations in held Kashmir as he also berates the federal government for keeping mum over the press conference of Kerry and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Towards the end of the column, Ayaz quotes Dawn editorial - US-India ties - in which the paper says lack of action against anti-Afghan and anti-India groups in Pakistan “is problematic because these groups predate and post a bigger challenge to regional stability than anti-Pakistan militants…”
Ayaz, who has served as PMLN legislator from 2008-2013 in National Assembly, accuses Dawn of taking “the exact line taken by Sushma Swaraj and John Kerry in their press conference”. Praising the army and the Rangers’ role in Karachi and in the fight against terrorism, Ayaz bemoans “sections of the Pakistani liberati are still living in the mujahideen and jihad-infested past”….which ensures that nothing can be ‘liberal’ or ‘enlightened’ unless a swipe is taken at the army.”
Ayaz was asked to leave Dawn after he decided to contest the National Assembly election from Chakwal in 2008. Writing his ‘last’ column in Dawn on December 21, 2007 – Goodbye to some of this - Ayaz had hoped the separation would temporary. It was not to be. “Contesting these elections, I am informed, spells the end of my long association with this newspaper. If it is to continue it will have to be in some other form. A harsh price to pay and, as I said, my heart is torn.”
He said for most of “adult life I have been associated with this newspaper, starting when the full glory of General Ziaul Haq’s benign rule was upon this unfortunate land.” Then he had described himself as “not a politician who has come to journalism but a journalist who has occasionally dabbled in politics.”
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