I am an old target of Mr Khaled Ahmed. He often misquotes me and I don’t know the reason why. May be he was angry with me in 2002 when I stopped writing for The Friday Times and started writing for the Weekly Independent edited by my brother Amir Mir. He has been making allegations against me for many years and every year he changes the style of his allegations. This time he has misquoted me in his column of February 6 titled “Desperately seeking liberal-fascist”. He started by saying: According to Hamid Mir in Jang (Jan 20, 2011) a ‘liberal fascist is he who supports US drone attacks on Pakistani territory, opposes the Islamic articles of the 1973 Constitution, supports Musharraf in his rule and is now supporting Zardari and is in the habit of designating his opponents as friends of the Taliban. The extremists and liberals are in the same category because they both don’t accept the constitution of Pakistan.’
First of all, I had actually written that January 20 column after my conversation with some people who were asking me why I condemned Salmaan Taseer’s assassination and why I support Asma Jahangir. One can clearly understand that I always supported liberals like Asma Jahangir, but I could not tolerate the liberal fascism of Musharraf and his cronies. I am also proud of my writings against a religious extremist dictator like General Ziaul Haq.
I had actually quoted a doctor from Houston in my column and it was him who had said that liberal fascists had supported Musharraf in the past and were now supporting Zardari. For the record, I had never said these things on my own. Also, I think that President Zardari is a liberal but not a liberal fascist. I have always criticised religious extremists and liberal-fascists in my columns. But I have never condemned liberals because I think both Jinnah and Dr Muhammad Iqbal were also liberals and am proud to be their follower.
I don’t know why Khaled Ahmed missed all of this in my column. I would like to invite his attention towards the book Liberal Fascism written by American Journalist Jonah Goldberg, published in 2008. Mr Goldberg wrote the history of liberal fascism from Mussolini to the American Left and declared Hillary Clinton as a liberal fascist. If an American journalist can use the term liberal fascism then the Pakistani media can also make comparisons between religious extremists and liberal-fascists.
Mr Ahmed also mentioned the name of former ISI official Khalid Khawaja in his column in a very vague way. He lacked courage to make an allegation openly because he knew that I served a legal notice last year on his former newspaper when it published a one-sided and baseless story against me. Some secret hands used Khawaja’s son against me and a newspaper claimed, after three weeks of his assassination, that I was involved in his murder. A complaint was lodged with the Islamabad police, and then an application against me in the courts, but nothing was proved. Many TV channels ran shows against me on the behest of those who were not happy with me for my columns and shows on missing persons. It was amazing that, on the one hand, a religious extremist like Zaid Hamid was declaring me to be an American CIA agent while on the other some were trying to establish my links with the Taliban. Some jealous colleagues said that I am a double agent because I have interviewed both Osama bin Laden and Colin Powell. My question is why do religious extremists and liberal fascists make allegations without any logic?
A special inquiry committee of the Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) and another inquiry committee set up by the Jang Group and Geo investigated all allegations against me. Geo President Imran Aslam declared me innocent. The RIUJ said I was a victim of a conspiracy and also pointed fingers at some secret hands who were trying to blackmail me. Unfortunately, now it seems, Khaled Ahmed is, by his allegations, doing the same thing as these ‘secret hands’, and without providing a shred of evidence.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2011.
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