Mubashir Lucman, news anchor at private channel Dunya TV, has been suspended for the comments he made 'off-air' while interviewing business tycoon Malik Riaz, reported Pakistan Today.
Behind the scenes footage showing Lucman and his co-anchor Meher Bokhari talking to Riaz during their show surfaced on YouTube under the title "Malik Riaz Planted Interview with Mehar Bokhari and Mubashir Lukman on dunya tv" on Thursday. The show aired on the TV channel on Wednesday.
Sources told Pakistan Today that an inquiry has been ordered against those who leaked the video.
Bokhari is heard saying a question is planted towards the end of the video.
“Say what you want… what question should we ask. It will appear as though it is planted… it is, but it shouldn’t appear it is.”
The footage shows conversations between Lucman, Bokhari and Riaz focused on the kind of questions they will be asking. Both anchors are also instructed against interrupting Riaz during the interview.
The video begins with general conversation and is followed by Riaz questioning the anchors on why they are not asking why he is part of “deals”.
In between Lucman’s smoke break, Bokhari turns to Riaz to discuss what they will ask next. A brief discussion and a “khul kay poochain”, Meher says that they will discuss journalists at the end of the show, so as to “clear her name” at least.
Lucman tells Riaz, “Today I will ask you to give me in front of everyone. Give me a villa like you gave Hamid”. “No, no,” is Riaz’s response once again, followed by a “why not” from Lucman.
Riaz is seen occasionally choosing topics of his choice, focusing on the chief justice as well. He is also visibly upset during one part of the video, where he says that most of his questions are left and the work isn’t done.
The second part also sees both anchors getting into a little tiff over camera time. Bokhari calls Lucman childish, who takes his mic off and leaves.
Riaz appears desperate when Lucman walks off, asking him to come back, saying it will be unfair for him.
An angry Lucman returns and tells Riaz that he will say live on air that he was pressurised into doing the show by him and Mian Amir.