To Pakistani journalists
To all of you anonymous, known, yet to be known harbringers of truth.
India Pakistan anything is not easy. Be it praise, care or even blame. So here I am, an Indian, telling you in this moment at least that I care.
Not my place to recommend anything. Not qualified. Not as journalist, neither as someone who has seen so much danger. Never seen blast or touched gun. I almost feel guilty writing this. So take with salt. But I thought of it, so sharing.
Beginning with saying how much I admire you for still having the guts to question things, break stories, risk life and limb in pursuit of truth. In a time when we are losing belief in the credibility of journalists in my country, where we wonder about bribes and lobbies and what nots, it is a stark contrast to see the extents to which you go to, in full knowledge of possible danger to your life. Perhaps danger also brings out the best in each of us.
I think you guys should have some kind of strategy. Each of you has been scarred by these deaths. You know the pain. Perhaps the ones doing really risky work can protect identities somehow? Fake or protected author info on some articles, or possibly breaking difficult stories in many places at same time?
I don’t know, but I have come to read your words and I care.
Saleem Shahzad died today. I had read his words and admired the kinds of inside information he was leveraging. Today he is dead. I feel sad. I see your sorrow in the torrent of tweets (on Twitter) and other places. I have no words to offer. That is my frustration.
I think you guys are pretty much the only hope Pakistan has left. The only ones with the reach to people and objectives of changing society for the better. You owe it not only to yourself, but to your country, and this region to be strong and safe. I don’t think careful is working anymore. SS was picked from a supposedly safe area.
This candles in the dark thing is not working. Too easy to puff out. You need to be a wildfire. To have back ups, possibly Julian Assange style information bombs if something happens? Perhaps the answer is in being bold and being bold in unstoppable quantities? I don’t wish to see you in danger and courting risks, but increasingly it appears as though only the bold have been able to make any dent in anything or even be relatively safe.
I don’t know. Thinking aloud mostly.
I want you to know I care.