Most of the Pakistani English-language newspapers were silent on the terror attack on pilgrims returning from the Amarnath shrine in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday. While some news websites carried Reuters and AFP copies, the newspapers themselves did not find space for the story.
Seven pilgrims, including five women, were killed when militants attacked a bus carrying 56 passengers at Botengo village near Anantnag on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. The bus, that had a Gujarat registration plate, was going from Baltal to Jammu.
“The yatris were esteemed guests of Kashmir and the perpetrators have dealt a death blow to the ethos and culture of the state,” said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. “It is a gruesome attack, not only on unsuspecting guests, but a brazen attack on Kashmir and Kashmiriyat… All of us shall have to rise against this scourge of violence, the sooner the better,” she said.
Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist Mohammed Ismail alias Abu Ismail is the alleged mastermind behind the attack and is being hunted by the security agencies. Police said the suspect is a mid-level Lashkar operative who is known to have been active in south Kashmir over the last one year. They also said the Amarnath attack could be a revenge taken by the terrorist group after the arrest of LeT operative Sandeep Kumar Sharma last week.
While the website of Dawn carried an AFP story on the Amarnath attack, the newspaper itself was unusually silent on the same.
The Nation was the only newspaper that carried a small snippet on the attack on page 12 alongside other news from Jammu and Kashmir.
Both The News International and The Express Tribune, two prominent newspapers in Pakistan, did not have any reports on the Kashmir attack in its Tuesday editions. However, the story did find a place on the websites of both newspapers. While the Kashmir attack did not find a place in these newspapers, there were stories on Indian man opening a plane door mid-air and alleged beef-testing kits being used in Mumbai.
The newspapers also did not have any editorials or opinion articles on the attack.