Dawn Blackmailer

Chapter 44. Dawn Blackmailer

The Editor, Dawn

Dear Sir,

After correspondence with your lawyer, hero of the lawyer’s movement, I did not think this would happen again.

However, when I came back recently from our work in the villages I was shown a report in Dawn by your correspondent with a headline stating, ‘huge bamboo structure at Makli necropolis collapses’. It said that a huge bamboo structure being erected close to the mausoleum of Abdullah Shah Ashabi, within the boundaries of the world heritage site of Makli necropolis collapsed on Sunday.

How can Dawn keep on publishing such falsehoods when the bamboo structure being built by our villagers is neither near the mausoleum of Abdullah Shah Ashabi, nor within the boundaries of the world heritage site of Makli necropolis. You could have looked at the Google map to see that after Ashabi Mausoleum there are two sprawling monuments of the Tarkhan rulers Isa I and Baqi on the ridge. These are followed by about ten to twenty feet of fall at various places, a road containing shops and beyond it a village with an open space where we were helping to build a huge pavilion, where villagers could be taught various skills to earn their living instead of begging at Makli.

They were so happy at their achievement that they started dancing on it in our absence, without stabilizing the structure, resulting in its partial collapse. You can’t imagine how happy villagers are at even a little bit of work accomplished, and how they start dancing at the completion of every structure they build with their own hands, as they feel that they have become engineers with each completed work.

Along with the false news reports that your correspondent churns out about our work, he has a list of people who act as his witnesses, in every report you publish just as the police have touts in every case they register.  In this report he mentions as usual the names of five persons who according to your correspondent, have expressed their concern. I wonder if he had the permission to use their names, or whether they are like police touts in the service of your correspondent?

Your correspondent also always uses in support of his falsehoods the name of the former archaeology officer, Qasim Ali Qasim, who is in pay of concerns of your chief executive and his soul mate, the twin Hamids, Akhund and Haroon, and is always inventing lies for them.

You must be aware that UNESCO did not place Makli, which is the largest Muslim necropolis in the world, on the endangered list, because for the first time the Heritage Foundation carried out an inventory of monuments and a map of the Buffer Zone and the Core Zone of WHS Makli. Therefore how did you ever think that we would breach the parameters, which we have ourselves laid out for WHS Makli.

We are not prepared to spend our time and money on robber lawyers. Otherwise, our case against you is vey simple and clear-cut, as you contravene your own code of media ethics which states among others;

‘A journalist:

  • Must uphold the highest professional and ethical standards and ensure that the information/editorial content being provided by him/her is fair, unbiased, and accurate.
  • Shall avoid falsification by distortion, selection or misrepresentation.
  • Shall do his/her utmost to correct inaccuracies.’

I wonder whether we should spend our time and money on filing a case against you or on caring for the hundreds of thousands of families who are still without shelter, and we are the only ones who have been building for them earthquake, flood and rain resistant structures at low carbon emission without denuding the country of decades of forest cover.

I also attach a copy of our so-called collapsed bamboo pavilion taken by one of our workers, to show that not only your correspondent but your photographer are helpless before your policy of blackmailing us into withdrawing our human rights case.

Yours faithfully,

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