Dawn Magazines editor Hasan Zaidi has termed Arshad Sharif’s death “no great loss to journalism and truth”. Zaidi made the comments in a Twitter thread posted on Monday.
The Dawn Magazines editor said he was witness to Sharif’s “fall as a journalist”. This, he said, left him “uncomfortable” with “uncritical eulogies” being penned for the slain journalist. “The unexpected death of anyone is tragic, and esp(ecially) in circumstances as murky as the ones in which @arsched has died and they should be fully probed. I did not know him personally so cannot comment on his qualities as a son, husband, father or friend. But I was witness to his…public fall as a journalist, so I find myself uncomfortable with the uncritical eulogies coming out for him. I know the usual tradition is that one should not speak ill of the dead and I don’t mean to cause hurt to his near and dear ones in their time of grief. But I think …” Sharif, Zaidi went on to comment how Sharif had used a popular platform to target the marginalised, defame people using concocted “facts” and terming peers “traitors”. “…it’s also unfit not to recall that, as someone with a powerful media platform, Arshad Sharif often had no qualms in targeting marginalised communities, vilifying people with made up ‘facts’, labelling colleagues as traitors, and generally serving as a tool in the hands of…”
The Dawn Magazines editor also said Sharif had served forces that aspire to stifle “truthful journalism” and “dissent”. “…those whose interests were simply to suppress truthful journalism and dissent. So while his death — which we still need to find the truth about — is tragic on a human level, it is no “great loss to journalism and truth.” May he rest in peace.” Sharif was killed in Kenya on Sunday. Local police billed the incident as a case of ‘mistaken identity’ while social media was rife with accusations. His wife Javeria, separately, reiterated calls for the family’s right to privacy be respected. Kenya media, separately, has not been buying the police version (of events).
Political commentator and anchor Syed Muzammil Shah also expressed shock at the gruesome murder of the journalist. He however made it clear that ‘my condemnation of his murd[e]r doesn’t mean the endorsement of his journalism.’