Kabul: The Pakistani media's move to blackout Pashtun Long March has invited massive backlash from its own people, including scholars and journalists as well.
Pashtun Long March is a protest movement led by young Pashtuns from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where they have long been the targets of military operations, internal displacement, ethnic stereotyping and abductions by the security forces.
Over 1,00,000 Pashtuns held a rally in Peshawar on Sunday against the Pakistani state-sponsored terrorism in Pashtunistan and demanded public hanging of retired Pakistan Army General and former president Pervez Musharraf, reported IANS.
People have taken to Twitter to condemn the media blackout.
"In modern Pakistan the media & academia - 2 sources critical 4 building narratives - are almost totally captured by the establishment. Most journalists and scholars have turned willing partners of the military which is critical for personal development and progress (Military Inc)," Ayesha Siddiqa, a noted author tweeted.
Senior Pakistani journalist came to fore and expressed its support for the Pashtun rights movement and urged people to participate, saying, " Today I feel ashamed as a journalist for the media blackout of #PashtunLongMarch2Peshawar I support this march and urge all to be part of it."
"Pakistani media blackout and the propaganda of Pakistan army supported 'Gul Khans' show how fearful Pakistan is of a peaceful march that is demanding for right of Pashtuns to protected according to constitution of Pakistan," Faiz M Baluch, another journalist tweeted.
"Media blackout is a scar on the face of fundamental right's of Pakistanis citizens," read a tweet.
A lawyer and a human rights activist Hamayoun Kaasai remained unperturbed with the blackout, while saying that the people could reach the masses themselves.
"We damn care about paki media blackout. We can reach the masses ourselves. So Pakistani media deserves this [Middle Finger] from whole Pashtun National," he tweeted
However, Malik Achakzai, a journalist who covers conflict, tweeted, "After the Pakistani media blackout the @bbcpashto reporter confirms that there are technical issues that disrupt live coverage of the #PashtunLongMarch2Quetta as he was going to broad cast the gathering live through @bbcworldservice web-page."