GEO - Going for a Settlement?
By Dr Ishaal Zehra
Although the Hamid Mir dramatic event is dying down its own death because of inability of people in charge of this act to prove their accusations, but they should not be given an easy escape because this incident has shook all the nook and corners of Pakistan, hurting the feelings of a large number of the Pakistani community not only in cantonment areas of Pakistan but throughout the Pakistani community around the globe. Question must be asked who or what gave confidence to a mere private TV channel, one of the dozens in Pakistan, to launch such a damaging campaign against a premier intelligence agency of the country — the ISI.
Hamid Mir, whose earlier plan was to go to Quetta, changed his plans at the last couple hours and instead came to Karachi. Even Karachi police wasn’t aware of his new plans. Only a couple people in GEO Karachi office in admin were aware, or, the people who forced him to come to Karachi instead Quetta knew that. Instead of blindly accusing Gen Zaheerul Islam, Geo should have done an internal investigation first, if Geo or Mir Shakeel ur Rehman themselves were not involved in this drama.
Agha Iqrar Haroon has been working with national and international media houses for the last 24 years. His tenure as journalists includes 8 years in print media and 16 years in electronic media. He writes: Who knew change of Hamid Mir plan to go to Karachi instead of Quetta? Hamid Mir had a plan to go to Quetta from Islamabad. He changed his plan and travelled to Karachi and from where he was supposed to travel to Quetta. Change of his travel plan was known only by his close circle—mostly Islamabad and Karachi office of Geo Television. This is one the lead for initial investigation in the case of attack on Hamid Mir.It may be mentioned that involvement of Geo staffers also came on surface on the face of Wali Khan Babar case.
A friend of mine opined: if victim (Hamid Mir) has a solid proof, then he has every right to name the culprit no matter if he or she is a President, Prime Minister or a General. Now, it’s up to him to present proof or get punishment for maligning a national institution. No criminal should be allowed to take refuge under sanctity of any institution.
Practically all the senior Pakistani journalists/ columnists and anchorpersons, leaving a few who are already well known for their “Foreign Agendas”, have expressed concern over the organized campaign against the security agencies by a section of the media in the name of the attack, saying this is a clear violation of journalistic values and code of conduct.
Human Rights activist Asma Jahangir and prominent media persons like Ayaz Amir, Talat Hussain, Shazeb Khanzada, Haroon Rashid, Mubashir Luqman and all others condemned the GEO channel for its non-serious handling of the issue. None of them said that inquiry should not be done but there are journalistic ethics to report any incident and verification of news with supporting proof should be there before establishing a fact. Interestingly, political parties are also against the way GEO has handled this episode. PMLN, though, apparently joined hands with PTI against GEO’s adventurism but the fact remains that they have not done anything credible to reprimand the doers.
Voice of Journalists say, new revelation in the GEO-ISI saga has come into light and it is alleged that Ansar Abbasi, a reporter of Jang/Geo news, secretly visited PEMRA office to draft the PEMRA notice against Geo. It is the same notice which was sent out to Geo after the Ministry of Defense sent a complaint against the said media house for bringing disrepute to state agencies.
It is alleged that Mr. Abbasi went to PEMRA office on 23rd April night around 2:18 AM and prepared the draft and or helped in drafting the show cause notice which was then sent to Geo. It is alleged that different versions of the drafts were discarded for being strong worded. The final draft version was then approved and sent out to Jang/Geo media house.
If matters are really moving the way they are being reflected then things are fishy inside the government machinery. PMLN government must check the status and take serious notice before the seriousness of the matter checks them instead. Rest assured, Pakistan really knows how to tackle its problems.