Why Is Media Not Covering The Shameful Agreement Between Lal Masjid And Govt?

Why Is Media Not Covering The Shameful Agreement Between Lal Masjid And Govt?
The state of Pakistan once again surrendered before religious extremists. On Tuesday, the government signed an agreement with the administration of Laal Masjid in Islamabad. Leader of the banned sectarian organisation Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) Ahmad Ludhianvi facilitated the agreement between the two parties.

This is not the first time Lal Masjid administration has been given this special treatment. We seem to have forgotten their crimes in 2007 and how they killed 5 soldiers of the Pakistan Army during the Lal Masjid operation. ASWJ, a sectarian outfit, that facilitated the agreement also comprises criminals who have the blood of countless innocent citizens at their hands. The hate speech practiced by SSP-ASWJ led to the killing of several members of the Shia community. The ASWJ had openly celebrated those attacks and proudly said that they would continue to do so.

Maulana Abdul Aziz's views about terrorists and how he justified the APS attack in 2015 are also well-known. But this controversial cleric and the admin of Lal Masjid remain untouchable despite their resistance to police and the Islamabad administration. While coronavirus-related news has occupied most of the airtime on news channels (and rightly so), it is surprising as to why the media is not covering this shameful agreement. Surely if they have the time to cover Shehbaz Sharif's issues with NAB and the fallout of the sugar crisis report, they can spare a few minutes to cover this important development as well.

The media must raise the issue and analyse as to why the state is so weak when it comes to Lal Masjid. Giving legitimacy to extremist quarters is a dangerous policy and by signing an agreement with them, the government has done exactly that. 

PTI government enjoys the military's support and remains on the same page with the establishment. It is therefore surprising why, despite all the support it enjoys, the government capitulates before extremist elements.

The writer is a Lahore-based journalist.