KARACHI – After it was reported that Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir were using pellet guns in occupied Kashmir to disperse protesting crowds, a civil society group called ‘Never Forget Pakistan’, managed by civil society activist Muhammad Jibran Nasir, has posted some hard-hitting images of celebrities on Facebook, which have been photoshopped to look like they have pellet gun injuries.
According to Nasir, the campaign was launched to bring attention to the use of pellet guns against protesters by security forces in Kashmir. The campaign shows a number of Indian celebrities blinded, and with facial injuries, to highlight their silence on the ongoing state-ordered brutalities in Kashmir.
“You know these faces. Does that make the tragedies more important? The stories in the letters are real. The names signed under the letter are real. Just the victim you see in the picture is not real. But do you care what is the profile of the victim for you to sympathize and empathize with them? For you to speak for them? Why do we need to glamorize a tragedy in order for people to pay attention. Have we all become that numb,” Jibran wrote on Facebook.
“This campaign is designed to highlight the atrocities and abuses carried out by the Indian Armed forces and Police who enjoy complete immunity under the Armed Forced Special Powers Act which has made a mockery of India’s claim to be a secular democracy.” Jibran wrote.
He added: “Scores have been blinded, several killed and hundreds injured by what India describes as a “non-lethal” weapon i.e. the pellet gun. We condemn and lament the criminal silence and inaction of the Indian Government and Cultural icons of India.”
A majority of the personalities featured in the campaign are Indian, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Sonia Gandhi, Virat Kohli, Alia Bhat, Saif Ali Khan, Kajol, Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan.
The only non-Indian person featured is Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. He was featured after it was reported that Facebook was deleting posts and blocking profiles of users condemning the violence in Kashmir. Most notable among those blocked by the social media giant was Pakistani actor Hamza Ali Abbasi.