December 19, 2011

Anthony Mascarenhas - Pakistan's forgotten star reporter

The Terrorland Report

"THOSE people, who currently lead journalistic bodies in Pakistan, are mostly corrupt and hardcore criminals, who are involved in bribery, extortion, illegal real-estate business and human trafficking to Europe and the Americas. This is an open secret rather a universal truth now.

"Instead of any help, these journalist leaders can make plots to kill or humiliate their own colleagues whenever their masters in the uniform declare a truthful journalist ‘traitor’ or ‘foreign agent’ or working against ‘national interest’, which is actually Generals’ interest."  

This is what a previous post – When ISI caught top journalist dancing naked in Islamabad – of The Terrorland blogs had painted the current journalistic scene in the country as many journalists and leading journalistic bodies of Pakistan have become a part of the military junta, secret agencies, and militarized political mafias.

However, in the past, Pakistan has seen some very brilliant journalists. Among them is Anthony Mascarenhas (1928-1986). Mr. Mascarenhas is, unfortunately, a forgotten name in his militarized country, but the world still remembers him as a professional-to-the-core and truthful journalist. He wrote the eyewitness account of atrocities in the erstwhile West Pakistan, Bengal while his colleagues concealed the truth according to the orders of the military junta.

Today, those Pakistani journalists, who worked during the 1960s and ‘70s, feel sorry for not being brave enough to tell the truth to the people of the country—as a result the country disintegrated during the 1971 war with India! Pakistan could have been saved if free flow of information was made possible by the military regime of General Yahya Khan.

According to the BBC, Mr. Mascarenhas' article changed history. During the war, the military regime took him along with seven other journalists to a violence-hit area in Bengal. When returned home, he wrote the truth instead of the military-told propaganda, and a British newspaper published it. As a result he lost his country!

His wife, Yvonne Mascarenhas, told the BBC: "I'd never seen my husband looking in such a state. He was absolutely shocked, stressed, upset and terribly emotional. He told me that if he couldn't write the story of what he'd seen he'd never be able to write another word again."

Pakistani generals have never learned from the past! Today, they are repeating the same criminal strategy in Balochistan as journalists from other parts of the country can’t go in that province for reporting. The local media-persons, writers, intellectuals and political workers are either harassed by the military or militants. Many journalists were killed for telling the truth. Dead bodies are found from parts of the province regularly.

Generals! Stop the murder-strategy—not you, free flow of information can save our Pakistan, which you have made a terrorized land on earth. God! Save our country from these criminal generals!

Pakistani reporter Anthony Mascarenhas talks to a western TV during the 1971 Pak-India War.

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