In response to Marvi Sirmed’s plea of innocence

by admin

Pakistan’s self acclaimed liberal, columnist and rights activist Marvi Sirmed has written an article in Express Tribune (18 June 2012) to prove that the alleged list of Malik Riaz’s beneficiaries is fake, and that along with other “credible journalists”, her name too does not deserve to be in that notorious list.

While I have no means to confirm or challenge the authenticity of the Riaz Malik’s beneficiaries list, in this post, I seek to offer some quick comments on Marvi’s article which is reproduced in full in comments section for your quick review.

Notwithstanding the authenticity or otherwise of the list, it is possible to identify some glaring flaws in Marvi’s reasoning and position.

Half of Marvi’s article is about how the account number does not belong to her.

 The list showed that I accepted Rs1 million through a bank transfer from “NIBC [SIC] Bank Limited (Bahria Town Branch)”. An account number was also given against this transaction — #8283982-5. However, no one bothered to confirm whether the account belonged to me. And no one asked why a real estate tycoon would invest his money in a human rights campaigner. In fact, the account number mentioned above does not belong to me, nor have I ever had an account in NIB Bank.

This is how Marvi’s name is mentioned in the list of alleged beneficiaries of Malik Riaz:

Marvi Sirmed
– Received 10 Lakh Rupees
Money Transferred From: NIBC Bank Limited (Bahria Town Branch) Account# 8284059

Did she not read the “Money Transferred From” in the alleged list? Plain English, no?

Strawman or lazy comprehension?

Marvi then argues that she is neither an anchor nor a journalist, therefore, her name is odd in that list.

This extraordinary list bore some very credible names of the electronic and print media. Even more shocking was the fact that it had another odd name. Mine.

Is she not a regular columnist for Daily Times? Doesn’t the fact (that she is not a regular journo or anchor) per se explain why she was given a meagre amount (10 lac Rs only) compared to tens of millions and land given to other more regular journos/anchors?

Marvi then claims she takes a clear stand on rights of persecuted minorities.

Who could target a person who always takes a clear stand on controversial issues, be it the rights of persecuted minorities, Ahmadis, Hazara Shia Muslims, Hindus, Christians, the Baloch missing persons and their bullet-riddled bodies

This is the most interesting bit: “Hazara Shia Muslims”!

Did you notice Marvi supports (all) Ahmadis, Hindus, Christians etc but only “Hazara” Shia Muslims? Did you notice the ethnic colour she is giving to Shia genocide which is affecting Shias of all ethnicities, from Parachinar to Gilgit and from Karachi to Quetta?

Marvi should also explain why she routinely tends to give ethnic colour to Shia Genocide? eg see her picture in this post: http://worldshiaforum.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/is-it-hazara-genocide-or-shia-genocide-by-musa-changezi/

April 2012: Islamabad – Noted liberal activist Marvi Sirmed speaks to four or five activists of ISI-sponsored HDP in Islamabad who are protesting against “Hazara genocide”

Marvi should also explain since when are Shia Muslims considered a minority group in Pakistan? Does she know the meaning of minority in Pakistani context (ie., non-Muslim)? Why is she using the same language which is used and demanded by militants and mullahs of Sipah-e-Sahaba to describe Shia Muslims?

Instead of condemning Shia genocide across Pakistan, confining their persecution to a specific ethnic group is hardly a clear stand!

On Twitter, Marvi alleged that PTI officials and activists were behind the creation and circulation of “the fake list”. However, she fails to explain why would PTI embarass their own assets, ie, pro-PTI and pro-ISI journalists (e.g., Mubashir Lucman, Meher Bokhari, several others). [Mubasher Lucman speaking at #PTI membership drive Rawalpindi (May 20, 2012)]

Clearly, those journalists who are allegedly exposed in the Bahria Gate list are blaming “PTI trolls” as a convenient cover up. This is like give a dog a bad name and hang it. Instead of confronting the content, they want to shoot the messenger!

Marvi then boasts of her “umpteen writings against policies of Pakistan’s military establishment”. Is that what she does at Jinnah Institute which routinely publishes and promotes pro-establishment documents and analyses?

Marvi should explain: isn’t Jinnah Institute a pro-establishment think tank? Isn’t she a part of JI’s activities and promotion?

For transparency, will Marvi publish any payments or perks she has received from Jinnah Institute, and in what capacity?

Marvi should also explain why she is usually seen flattering and promoting most compromised journos eg Najam Sethi, Ejaz Haider, Raza Rumi, Hamid Mir and others on Twitter and also in everyday life?

In her article, Marvi claims that the Bahria Gate list bears “some very credible names of the electronic and print media.” Credible names such as Najam Sethi (who conspired with ISI to get Benazir Bhutto government dismisssed), Hamid Mir (the Punjabi Taliban audio-tape fame), Mubashir Lucman (the Riaz Malik video leak fame) etc?

No, Marvi, no. You and your companions Rumi, Mir, Sethi, Ejaz, Beena, Jinnah Institute are no friends of persecuted communities Shias, Balochs, Ahmadis, Pashtuns etc. You guys use our names in order to promote and project your rights activist and liberal credentials but in reality you have little understanding of or/and commitment to the cause of the persecuted communities.

Marvi, did not you, Beena Sarwar and other urban elite liberals choose to remain silent and in some cases defended Ejaz Haider and others when they justified and rationalized the persecution and massacre of Shia Muslims, Balochs and Pashtuns? Did you not promote and appreciate the Jinnah Institute’s report (written by your friend Raza Rumi) that blatantly misrepresented the suffering of Ahmadiyya Muslims and Shia Muslims in Pakistan?

Did not you and your companions promote Hamid Mir as a hero in clear view of his anti-Shia, anti-Ahmadi and pro-Taliban inclinations?

Some links

Let’s defend Ejaz Haider, the defender of Pakistan army! https://pakistanblogzine.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/lets-justify-the-hazara-genocide-on-ejazhaiders-lies-and-marvisirmeds-go-to-hell/

How can anyone stand with Ejaz Haider and Najam Sethi and proclaim themselves to be liberal? – by Mustafa Junejo http://criticalppp.com/archives/77261

Raza Rumi and Marvi Sirmed join notorious Jinnah Institute http://criticalppp.com/archives/77725

Hamid Mir – the new champion of Pakistan’s “liberals”? – by Anwar Changezi http://criticalppp.com/archives/77301

Jinnah Institute: Is LUBP’s criticism valid? – by Ismail Effendi
http://criticalppp.com/archives/78130

You support Ejaz Haider, Raza Rumi and Hamid Mir and then express concern for Shias, Ahmadis, Balochs etc?

Ajeeb teri siasat, ajeeb tera nizam
Yazid say bhi marasim, Hussain ko bhi salam?

Marvi, probably you may not have received a single penny from Riaz Malik but the circumstantial evidence suggests that your discourse and actions on important issues (discussed above) are as compromised as those of several known sell outs. Mind your company, your discourse will surely improve. Try!

10 Comments to “In response to Marvi Sirmed’s plea of innocence”

  1. Amin

    Uh… i dont know what level of research you do in your work… but the list clearly says the money was deposited [SIC]FROM[SIC] NIBC [SIC] Bank Limited (Bahria Town Branch)”account number #8283982-5.. so of course it would belong to Bahria Town!
    And why would he bribe you? I think youre being slightly humble when you say youre not a journalist. As an activist, you are as much an opinion former as any journalist or tv anchor.
    Not to say that any of this is true, but your defence is hardly watertight.

    Tch tch

    From Day 1 everyone has been saying the list is fake. Apart from you and NJ no one is throwing a hissy fit. Part and parcel of Public life…the lady doth protest too much though.
    If not MR then maybe some State Dept, USAID scam run CIA front for “Capacity Building” or what not, I dont really think you want your accounts scrutinised. Neither do you have the courage to declare your assets which is the logical response of anyone credibility being questioned, Hence your Melodrama….Understandable….. You routinely name call and slander your opponents in print and on TV btw.

  2. Marvi Sirmed ‏@marvisirmed
    Trolls’ favourite sentence for Bio: “Pakistan is the blood that flows through my body”.

    Imaan Hazir Mazari ‏@ImaanHMazari
    Marvi Sirmed needs to stop targetting my twitter bio.At least mine is honest;hers should be “Malik Riaz’s money flows thru my bank accnt.”

  3. Very well argued rebuttal. Marvi has lost it completely.

  4. Discrediting an activist
    By Marvi Sirmed
    Published: June 18, 2012

    The writer works with UNDP and is a human rights campaigner. She also writes for the Daily Times. The views expressed in this article are strictly her own

    Our collective disregard for the due process of justice has made things easier for the forces of oppression in Pakistan. Now, they don’t have to kill the people with loud voices of dissent. They just have to humiliate them through cyber bullies and discredit them through one word: corrupt. All they have to do is give a random figure, an account number with the name of a bank and publicly accuse any person of integrity of taking bribes. Nothing at all would be demanded to substantiate the claim, not even basic reasoning.

    It so happened amid the hubbub of the recent scandal involving the son of the chief justice of Pakistan and the real estate tycoon Malik Riaz — just when we should have been asking important questions about how Malik Riaz went scot-free in the land of the pure for nearly 20 years. Instead, we landed in a debate about the corruption of media persons.

    Last week, a list with names of several journalists appeared in the media, with its originator remaining unidentified. Along with the names of the journalists, it also gave the value of the money or assets alleged to have been used by Malik Riaz to bribe them. The list attracted some reaction from the media fraternity but soon everyone rubbished it as being fake. Following this, Imran Khan demanded an inquiry into the media people, who have been bribed by Malik Riaz. The next day, two things appeared on the social media which created quite a volcanic effect. One was a leaked video of two TV anchors and Malik Riaz, during an interview allegedly staged by the latter. The other was a YouTube video displaying a list — updated this time — of 19 journalists and TV anchors on a supposed Bahria Town letterhead.

    This extraordinary list bore some very credible names of the electronic and print media. Even more shocking was the fact that it had another odd name. Mine. Not a journalist by profession, I was shocked to see myself in that league. A professional in the field of democratic governance and an activist for human rights in a voluntary capacity, I could not understand why I was put under the rubric of ‘journalists and anchors’. The list showed that I accepted Rs1 million through a bank transfer from “NIBC [SIC] Bank Limited (Bahria Town Branch)”. An account number was also given against this transaction — #8283982-5. However, no one bothered to confirm whether the account belonged to me. And no one asked why a real estate tycoon would invest his money in a human rights campaigner.

    In fact, the account number mentioned above does not belong to me, nor have I ever had an account in NIB Bank. Also, in fact, the account number, according to the website of Bahria Orchard, belongs to Bahria Town itself — that too, for transactions in US dollars. On my inquiry from the Bahria Town management, a person who introduced herself as Malik Riaz’s personal secretary categorically told me that neither the letterhead nor the list belonged to them.

    As a salaried person, I have a regular salary account in a bank, which is certainly not NIB. All my financial details will be available for judicial scrutiny if and whenever that might happen. But since we believe only in the rhetoric of supremacy of judiciary, with no respect for the court and its procedure, we might not require any judicial procedure before forming our judgments.

    The important question remains: why would someone include my name in a list that is clearly fake and made only to target certain kinds of people. Who could target a person who always takes a clear stand on controversial issues, be it the rights of persecuted minorities, Ahmadis, Hazara Shia Muslims, Hindus, Christians, the Baloch missing persons and their bullet-riddled bodies, against discriminatory laws, especially the blasphemy laws, rights of women, children and labourers, rights of transvestites and eunuchs and even the most controversial, LGBT rights. Not to forget, my umpteen writings against the policies of Pakistan’s military establishment, against extremists, against terrorists, against a blind and sickening hatred towards neighboring India.

    Attacking my integrity has killed my enthusiasm to change society for the better. You should have pumped bullets in me like you did with Shaheed Salmaan Taseer, instead of doing this. Little hope could be attached to a society that disparages voices of dissent like this. Maybe, history will judge me better.

    Published In The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2012.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/395463/discrediting-an-activist/

  5. Comments on Twitter

    beena sarwar ‏@beenasarwar
    Fake list RT @AliDayan: Activist @MarviSirmed explains the shock of being “outed” as a corrupt “journalist”! http://bit.ly/N0mlEq #Pakistan

    Naeem Shamim ‏@naeemshamim
    @Laibaah1 Jinnah Institute is the Septic Tank run by stooges like Ejaz haider & Janab-e-Rumi !

    Laibaah ‏@Laibaah1
    @naeemshamim Janab-e-Rumi, Janab-e-Haider and their Jinnah Institute are the epitome of liberalism for Pakistani urban middle class.

    Anwar Changezi ‏@AnwarChangezi
    @Laibaah1 lol. egotists when shocked are more vulnerable to psychosis.

    Laibaah ‏@Laibaah1
    @AnwarChangezi Egotist she is but given her closeness to powerful people (Ejaz Haider, Sethi, Haqqani, Sherry), she is more an opportunist.

  6. The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.

  7. All I would like to say is, “Be honest in your criticism. There are too many objectionable observations and an obvious attempt to bring a negative picture of Marvi even if you have nothing substantial to prove your case.”

  8. @Mohammad Nafees

    For transparency, will Marvi publish any payments or perks she has received from Jinnah Institute, and in what capacity?

  9. It is this independent analytical approach of Pakistan Blogzine that makes it such a thorn in the side of so-called liberal bloggers and human rights mafia of Pakistan. Marvi Sirmed clearly comes across as a rank opportunist who exploits human rights issues only to gain publicity for herself.

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