Television anchors get caught in Malik Riaz storm

Published: June 15, 2012
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Malik Riaz, surrounded by supporters, leaves after appearing before the Supreme Court. PHOTO: REUTERS

Malik Riaz, surrounded by supporters, leaves after appearing before the Supreme Court. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: 

The Malik Riaz tornado seems to have hit everyone in the country. Even our TV anchors have been swept into its spiralling winds.

The real estate tycoon, who is now involved in a controversy over ‘unlawful’ deals with Dr Arsalan, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, has become the talk of the town.

Talk show hosts can’t help but talk about the newest scandal to hit town but some have also been dragged into the scandal, with a recent row between Najam Sethi and Talat Hussain surfacing a couple of days ago.

It all began on June 6, when Hussain said Riaz had informed him that certain anchors who referred to their sources as ‘churiya’ (birdie) and other such birds, in their respective shows, were in fact referring to him (Riaz).

However, Hussain did not take any names, perhaps, because it is well known in news circles that Sethi often refers to his sources as ‘churiya’.

On the very same day Sethi had an outburst during his show when his co-host Muneeb Farooq repeated the allegations hurled by Hussain. Sethi, however, went on to explain how another anchor, Mubashir Lucman, had levelled false allegations against him, such as holding a foreign passport and that his daughter was working in the US for Richard Holbrooke (former US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan).

According to Sethi, Lucman had levelled such allegations at least four times before Sethi sent him a legal notice, a copy of which is now available on Sethi’s website. He went on to add that the court had issued a restraining order against Lucman and he would now have to go to the courts to explain his false allegations.

After giving this backgrounder, Sethi came back to Muneeb’s question and said he would be sending a notice to Hussain too, without taking his name. But Sethi wouldn’t stop there: he had a few accusations of his own to hurl towards Hussain.

Sethi accused Talat, without taking his name, of reporting for Stratfor, a global intelligence company which Sethi said was a front for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), sourcing WikiLeaks.

Be that as it may, close aides of the popular newsmen claim that up till now legal actions have not been taken by either of them.

When Sethi was contacted, he refused to divulge into his actions against Talat.

Lucman and Hussain were not available to comment on the story, although Raza Muhmood Agha, who is the producer for Hussain’s talk show told The Express Tribune that it was unlikely that Sethi would send them a legal notice since Hussain had already clarified all accusations levelled by Sethi, the very next day on his talk show.

Published In The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • sheda_Rambo
    Jun 15, 2012 - 10:03AM

    speechless things going on in our country … Musharraf , DR Shahkeel .. people in our very own GOP …Pakistan is proving to be birth place of traitors

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  • Jun 15, 2012 - 10:08AM

    Only few clean figures are left but the thirst for money has broken many Idols to ground. Trust is now hard to build and easy to break. Pakistani media particularly news channels are standing on the tip of a volcano now.

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  • Jun 15, 2012 - 10:26AM

    all these media persons are big big culprits. all of them have their own interests no one is even bother that how their actions and false reporting would effect the National integrity and respect in outer world. they have nothing to do with patriotism and National interest. as they have been played in the hands of their particular masters and they will. when you listen their shows it seems like no one is more honourable and patriotic Pakistani in the country but just then switch to other channel and the some else is telling you the story of patriotism of that particular journalist while forgetting his/her own deeds at the time. this is really unfortunately for the Pakistani Nation that how we are playing in the hands of all these foolish and selfish people.

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  • M@ni
    Jun 15, 2012 - 11:52AM

    Love Talat, he and ansar abbassi are the most cleanest persons of media

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  • Rana
    Jun 15, 2012 - 12:13PM

    Corrupt media at its worst!! Perhaps the off camera recording was preplanned and covered from different angles.

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  • Akbar Hussain
    Jun 15, 2012 - 12:19PM

    I do not think that these are the only persons in the media involved in this sort of activities. Now, the people will have take this matter very seriously that what sort of people have been diverting their opinions as per their own interest and this has been taking for decades. That is the most important reason why the nation looks to be so confused about finding and following a true and honest leader!. This is just the beginning! Lets see what else comes up before us after Memogate, Judiciarygate, Mediagate…

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  • adeel
    Jun 15, 2012 - 1:33PM

    Talat is fair person

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  • Pakistani
    Jun 15, 2012 - 1:46PM

    Talat, Ansar Abbasi, Saleem Safi & Ifthkar Ahmed are the only honest journalists…

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  • Ahmed
    Jun 15, 2012 - 3:31PM

    This is happen when the Head of States themselves are corrupt and it leads to motivate every single person who can take part in share of corruption… Shameful act by all.

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  • Chopper
    Jun 15, 2012 - 3:41PM

    Najam Sethi is corrupt, thanks to Talat for exposing him

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  • Muddassir
    Jun 15, 2012 - 5:52PM

    And ET continues its biased reporting. Did not Talat cleared the “conspiracy” of Startfort?? He spent almot 10 minutes explaining the stupid Startfort allegations leveled by Mr. Sethi. Why did not ET include that as part of this story?????

    Pls report fairly and objectively.

    Current drama should be an eye-opener for you, and I am sure ET’s web reporters will learn from this incident before ET also loses its credibility among its readers.

    Chao!

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  • Faraz
    Jun 15, 2012 - 5:59PM

    Well, the only way to stop this madness is by not watching the talk shows since its useless to waste time on conspiracy theories that are often presented in such shows. The MEMOGATE and RIAZGATE cases are diverting our attention from real issues facing the nation such as energy crisis.

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  • joy
    Jun 15, 2012 - 6:45PM

    with talk shows like that..do Pakistanis really need bollywood movies ?

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  • H.A. Khan
    Jun 15, 2012 - 7:53PM

    Why do the Journalist not do their own accountability.If they do not do it,all media will loose credibility and trust of the people

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  • Jun 15, 2012 - 11:16PM

    Only Talat is the honest person in the media

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  • A Chaudhry
    Jun 16, 2012 - 2:43AM

    Najam Sethi, Mahr, Luckman, and all the 19 anchor who’s name has appeared in the list issued by Bahria town should provide justification . He is a very in decent person

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  • Hasan Bin Hamza
    Jun 16, 2012 - 3:15PM

    What I can gather from the comments on this page is that basically Najam Sethi’s guilt is based on Talat’s satements. Is that enough? More importantly guilt of what? I saw the programme on which Talat made some very derogatory and personal attacks on the person of Najam Sethi. His exact point was that there are some people who call themselves analysts, sitting behind glasses, the hair plasted to the head and wearing this and that tie. They (i.e. Najam Sethi) quote their sources as ‘chiryas’ and in this case the chirya is a ‘baaz’ which is Malik Riaz. Is that journalism? What part of this is ‘analysis’, which Talat Sb assumes he is doing …

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