ISLAMABAD: On Dec 2nd, around 2 dozen protesters gathered outside DAWN’s Islamabad bureau, claiming that DAWN was pushing an “anti-Islam” and “anti-state” narrative. HRCP in a tweet said that the demonstrators were chanting pro-army slogans as well. Protesters blockaded the building for 3 hours, dispersing after negotiations with a senior employee.
A DAWN article on the Nov 29th London bridge terrorist attack claimed that the terrorist, Usman Khan was of Pakistani descent in the headline. The article was met with immense criticism – 3 sitting PTI ministers denounced DAWN, saying the article was an attempt to ruin Pakistan’s international image as Usman Khan was a UK-born British citizen.
The protests were in response to this article.
Usman Khan was born to Pakistani parents in the UK. He was previously arrested in 2010 on the charge of conspiring to bomb the London Stock Exchange. Khan had admitted to going to the western tribal belt in Pakistan to establish a terrorist training facility on his family-owned plot in the region. He was later released in 2018, although with an electronic tag. On Nov 29th, Usman Khan stabbed and killed 2 people and injured 3 others near London Bridge. He was held down by locals before police arrived and executed him on spot.
Many denounced the picketing outside DAWN’s building and PTI ministers’ remarks that may have sparked the protests.