Why do some protests get reported in Pakistan and others not? M Ilyas Khan examines a story of human rights abuses the media is reluctant to cover and the authorities do not want to be told.
Pakistan’s vibrant, at times almost cacophonic media, is struggling to report a fundamental contradiction in state policy.
This was at its most visible this week outside Islamabad’s National Press Club.
An open ground outside the club premises – which some call Pakistan’s Hyde Park because it is used for gatherings and protests – was occupied by a few hundred students from religious seminaries linked to a banned militant group.
They were holding an event to mark Kashmir Day, an official holiday in Pakistan which is observed to highlight human rights violations by Indian security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir.
But on the periphery of the Kashmir rally, police were busy spotting and arresting young men they suspected had come to attend another rally due to be held at the same venue.
Far from being militants, they were members or supporters of a rights movement that has been…