Indian photo-journalist Danish Siddiqui is dead. He died while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters near a border crossing with Pakistan.
The truth is Islamic terror killed the Reuters journalist. Taliban is one of the faces of Islamic terror. Siddiqui and a senior Afghan officer were killed in what Afghan forces described as Taliban crossfire.
According to Reuters, Siddiqui had been embedded as a journalist since earlier this week with Afghan special forces based in the southern province of Kandahar and had been reporting on fighting between Afghan commandos and Taliban fighters.
Siddiqui had been talking to shopkeepers in the market of Spin Boldak when the Taliban attacked.
Mourning the death of Danish Siddiqui without condemning the terror act of the Taliban is to mock the death of the journalist
Last week the Taliban co-founder and deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar told certain sections of global media that the Taliban believed in peace. He further asserted that the Taliban believes that the genuine Islamic system is the best means for the solution of all issues in Afghanistan. Baradar also assured that the rights of all Afghans including women will be accommodated in that system according to “the glorious religion of Islam” and Afghan traditions.
Taliban talks about bringing about a genuine Islamic system in Afghanistan. The Islamic system that the Taliban had propagated from 1996 to 2001 has been Islamic terror. Just as a leopard does not shed its spots, the Taliban continues to push its Islamic terror agenda ahead.
Public executions, conservative traditional dress codes, and restrictions on the personal liberties of women were commonplace during the Taliban rule in the past and it will be so in the future too.
In media reports over the death of an Indian journalist, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the Taliban had not been aware there was a journalist reporting from the site of what he described as a “fierce battle” and that it was not clear how Siddiqui had been killed. We are sorry for Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui’s death. We regret that journalists are entering war zone without intimation to us.”
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in a statement on Twitter that he was deeply saddened by the shocking reports of Siddiqui’s death and extended condolences to his family
Siddiqui was part of the Reuters photography team to win the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis, a series described by the judging committee as “shocking photographs that exposed the world to the violence Rohingya refugees faced in fleeing Myanmar”.
Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla speaking at an event of the United Nations Security Council expressed that India strongly condemns the killing of the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui in Afghanistan.
Reportedly thirty-three journalists were killed in Afghanistan between 2018 and 2021, the United Nations said in a report this year. Before Danish Siddiqui, Reuters journalists Harry Burton from Australia and Afghan-born Azizullah Haidari were also killed by gunmen who stopped their convoy on the road to Kabul from the Pakistani border on November 19, 2001. They were traveling to Kabul to cover the fall of the Taliban regime.
Taliban is Islamic terror. No journalist is safe in Afghanistan. The mere dictate to media that journalists must intimate the Taliban of their presence when entering the war zone is preposterous.
It is no surprise to me that no journalist or political leader in India or globally mourning the death of Danish Siddiqui is finding the courage to call out the Islamic terror act of the Taliban.
Reportedly, the Taliban has handed the body of Danish Siddiqui to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). India has been informed about the handing over of the body by the Taliban to ICRC and Indian authorities are working on bringing the body back.
I do not agree with the photographs of Danish Siddiqui portraying the burning funeral pyres in India during the COVID-19 pandemic but as a journalist, I will stand up for the truth behind his unfortunate death and that truth is that the genuine Islamic system that the Taliban professes took his life. That system is terror. Islamic Terror!
The stark reality of Islamic terror is that it takes the lives of Muslims too in their hatred and propagation of genuine Islamic systems. This is Islamic terror!