The South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) has condemned as “lies” an accusation made on television by Zaid Hamid that it has links to Indian agency the Research and Analysis Wing.
In its statement, SAFMA said leading media personalities had taken serious exception to the unfounded accusations made by Hamid against a media body of credible journalists of the South Asian region in a talk show hosted by Mehr Bukhari that violated all ethics of professional journalism. If Hamid, the press release said, has committed extreme defamation to incite public sentiment against SAFMA and its thousands of members, Bukhari, the Crossfire team, and the TV management had intentionally tried to malign the media body and its leaders by allowing such a provocative and damaging statement.
The media representatives, the press release said, expressed their serious concern over Crossfire’s slanderous programme anchored by Bukhari while taking exception to the dangerous trend in the electronic media of maligning various personalities and credible organisations. What is quite despicable, the press release further said, is that Hamid, Bukhari and her team, and the owner of the TV channel did not have the decency to invite a SAFMA representative to rebut the allegations aired by the TV channel.
The press release said senior journalists had endorsed SAFMA’s decision to sue the so-called analyst, anchor, her team, and the management of the TV channel. SAFMA office bearers have decided to issue libel notices to the concerned accusers and make them pay for their conduct, the press release added. PRESS RELEASE
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2011.