The Roiling Point

Rafia Zakaria in The Baffler:

BEING A TRUTH-TELLING journalist has always been a liability in Pakistan. If one manages to evade the bullying of this or that political party, there is the omniscient Pakistani military and its long shadow. The powerful in Pakistan believe that truth is something that can be molded; they expect journalists to do the molding to their liking. It follows, therefore, that independent investigative journalism is a dangerous, sometimes fatal, pursuit.

Arshad Sharif was a renegade journalist, and in the past several months he had been playing with fire while walking a tightrope. Since April of this year, when a no-confidence motion in Parliament led to the removal of then-prime minister Imran Khan, he had been digging to expose the truths behind this regime change. At issue was the allegation that Khan, a right-of-center populist leader, had been removed because of disagreements with General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the head of Pakistan’s bloated military. Sharif was chasing this story.

In the last video that he posted on YouTube, he remained committed to exposing how collusion between the Pakistani military and the opposition political parties had led to the no-confidence motion in Parliament. Khan’s government, the legitimately elected one, had thus been wrongly removed from power. This summer, the new government slapped Sharif with sedition charges, allegedly for criticizing state institutions and “abetting mutiny” within the military.

More here.