When all eyes are on one political event, on a handful of people, on a tiny area, as a journalist, one is sure, that this is not where the cameras need to be. Noam Chomsky said that the US War on Terror was a distraction from more sinister domestic political and economics issues in the country. The government was distracting them and the media was following suit. Pakistani media in typical fashion, out of sheer laziness has been all over the Azadi March like flies on rotting mangoes. While the ongoing war and millions of displaced people have faded into vague numbers. This makes sense because the power center in Pakistan is not the government, it is the military. And right now it does not want any eyes on itself.

Only in Pakistan, can numbers be vague… 18 militants killed today, 4 yesterday, 16 the day before, all numbers by the ISPR, that we are unable to verify. As if it’s a convenient game for the Army, like smashing tiny militant ants. The Ministry of Finance on Monday ordered the Accountant General Pakistan Revenue (AGPR) to release Rs8 billion to the Ministry of Defence for the operation Zarb-e-Azb. The sanction letter in this regard was issued by the ministry on the special directive of Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar, who had already approved an amount of Rs15 billion for the operation. Money is flowing in and the statements coming out are like something from a grade six Pakistan Studies textbook. The Peshawar Corps Commander Lieutenant General Khalid Rabbani said last week that complete peace would be restored in North Waziristan, and militants “eliminated once and for all”.

How is it that an operation by the US, be it drones, always killed civilians and our own army always hits terrorists? Are we actually naïve enough to believe that everyone has been evacuated? How many houses have been reduced to rubble? What is the plan of the army to disarm militants? How will militants be debriefed and rehabilitated? Or are we killing all of them? How many people need rehabilitation? What is the resettlement plan? Or will Bannu become a constant home now? We have a history of being a nation that goes the extra mile for people in crisis; the 2005 earthquake and 2010 floods were examples of mass individual generosity. Why is there no such philanthropy now? Tharparkar is still going through a famine, three children died of starvation last week. Have Imran Khan and Tahir ul Qadri monopolized our faculties to such an extent? The media is in the wrong place asking the wrong questions.