Saturday 4 September 2021

Who are the militants in Afghanistan [and India]?

BBC World News, broadcast overnight on BBC One, looks to be recognising the new Taliban regime, even if the UK government hasn't yet.

Here BBC newsreader Karin Giannone describes the people opposing the Taliban as 'militants':
Now there are reports of from Afghanistan of heavy fighting between Taliban forces and militants who oppose the Islamist takeover around the Panjshir Valley.

The Daily Express today has it the other way round, with the Taliban remaining ''the militants'' and the forces of former vice-president Amrullah Saleh and Ahmad Massoud in the Panjshir Valley being ''resistance fighters'':

The Taliban have clashed with a group of resistance fighters in Afghanistan's Panjshir province as the final stronghold against the militants hangs in the balance. 


On a possibly related theme, this glowing headline following the death of a leading pro-Pakistan, Islamist Kashmiri separatist hasn't gone down well in India, where he's a highly controversial figure - understandably so given his pronouncements about Osama bin Laden and the Mumbai attackers:

The introductory paragraph goes on to say: 

Kashmir's top separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who spearheaded the resistance movement against Indian rule, has died, aged 92. 

This is the language of approval. 

Here's a flavour of the reaction:

  • As expected, the BBC turns Syed Ali Shah Geelani into a freedom fighter when even Al Jazeera refers to him as "separatist". Is the BBC completely tone deaf when it comes to reporting? What's the reason behind this sustained anti-India stance? What kind of biased journalism is this?
  • Geelani fought to make Kashmir a totalitarian Islamist hellhole. He was partially responsible for massacres and ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus. He was an enemy of freedom. BBC's headline is unbelievable but reflects their anti-India and anti-Hindu bias.
  • If Geelani was a Hindu, the tone of the article would have been very different. 
  • Interesting. BBC News calls a Talibani-style terrorist Geelani a freedom fighter. The way it is BBC will stitch a burqa for the British queen. 

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