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BBC Lambasted For ‘Shutting Down’ Senior Scholar Mid-Afghanistan Interview

Who is Christine Fair
Who is Christine Fair: Renowned political scientist and American professor Carol Christine Fair amassed much support online over the weekend after a BBC anchor was accused of cutting her off during an interview discussing Pakistan and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Fair has expertise in counter-terrorism and Asia-based research.

Clips from the BBC interview going viral show British journalist Philippa Thomas allegedly “shutting” Fair off mid-claim of Pakistan harbouring “petting zoos of terrorists.” Pakistan would “firmly deny” Fair’s arguments, Thomas said interrupting her, saying, “We have given you space to put your point of view, but we are going to leave it now.”

Fair rebuts, “You are doing their propagandist work,” before the camera cuts to Thomas in the studio.

Watch here:

The episode has faced severe criticism world over from journalists slamming the BBC for alleged “bias” on grounds of impartiality.

Fair on Twitter tagged Thomas, writing, “I have reems of primary data backing up my claims. What do you have? Pakistan has sought to render Afghanistan a vassal since the late 50s. Do YOUR job…not that of Pakistan-hired obbyist.”

Know Who Is Christine Fair And Why She Is In News

Educated in the United States, Christine Fair is a senior researcher and scholar who has worked with the United Nations on their Assistance Mission to Afghanistan and with think tank RAND as a political scientist.

Fair made headlines in 2018 after her luggage was picked out for “additional security screening” at Frankfurt airport, according to The Washington Post, following which she was accused of calling security officers “Nazi police” and was sued for the same. Fair, in a HuffPost piece, denied the accusations, saying instead she was “framed, arrested and robbed” by German police and Frankfurt airport.

Her work and research around Asia offer a point of contention in academic circles, particularly her commentary about the effectiveness of drone strikes in Pakistan, contained famously in an article she co-authored for The Atlantic in 2015. The article at the time prominently prompted several rebuttals, such as by journalist Conor Friedersdorf who criticised its “interventionist worldview” and historian Sarah Waheed who dubbed it “propagandistic writing.”

Among Fair’s most popular works are Pakistan’s Enduring Challenges, Political Islam and Governance in Bangladesh, and The Madrassah Challenge: Militancy and Religious Education in Pakistan. She has appeared as a speaker on platforms Al Jazeera, CNN, Reuters and CBS. 

Image: YouTube / World Affairs


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