Swat flogging video: Who will answer the questions?
And after seven years, Supreme Court has declared that the flogging video that initiated the media campaign to mould public opinion in the favor of Swat Operation is not real.
For starters, it’s not a Zaid Ali T or Karachi Vines video which you don’t take seriously regardless whether you like the content or not. Neither was it some social media buff that thrills you even if it makes no sense. This video was the cornerstone of a state-led-media-campaign to justify military operation in Swat. I still remember that this media campaign was so well organized and forcefully pushed that people like me who were not in favor of an operation for a number of reasons were dangerously placed close to agents of RAW. It looked like if you are not shouting at the top of your lungs to support military operation, you either work for TTP directly or you are helping them indirectly by criticizing the civil and military elite. It was ‘with us or against us’; plain, simple and straight.
SC’s declaration has actually opened a pandora box of unanswered questions. Who directed that video? Who produced it? Who selected the costumes of actors? Who decided when to launch ‘premiere’ of the video? How did it fit into the state’s plan of Swat Operation like a missing piece of a puzzle? These questions may not put the whole Swat Operation in doubt but they definitely put a big question mark; big enough to raise serious concerns.
It was ensured that regardless of when, where and who the viewers are; they see how barbaric, cruel and brutal this thing is and we actually have no choice but to consider military operation. Now, they don’t feel any responsibility on their part that they have to make up for all the havoc they created out of a fake video.
Those who lost their homes and are forced to live in sub-human conditions in IDP camps in connection with Swat Operation deserve to know the reality. May be that will help in consoling their sufferings.