Attack on Hamid Mir: Journalists say Geo TV bent upon maligning army

The allegations by Geo TV are akin to a charge sheet, says Talat Hussain.

News Desk April 20, 2014
A policeman shows the media a bullet hole in the door of a car which belongs to journalist Hamid Mir, at a local hospital in Karachi April 19, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

Senior journalists, columnists and anchorpersons have expressed concern over the ‘organised campaign’ against the security agencies by a section of the media in the name of the attack on Geo TV anchor Hamid Mir, saying this is a clear violation of journalistic values and code of conduct.

“The attack should be investigated but the adventurism we are seeing should have been avoided and responsibility should have been shown,” said columnist Ayaz Amir.

Another columnist, Talat Hussain, said the allegations by Geo TV are akin to a charge sheet, wherein ISI chief Lt Gen Zaheer-ul-Islam has been blamed. “He [Lt Gen Zaheer-ul-Islam] has been charge-sheeted and the focus is on this one point, ignoring the other aspects,” Talat said.

He added that the television channel and Mir’s colleagues seem to have registered an FIR and issued a judgement in the case. “This is against journalistic rules and, in my opinion, unfair to Hamid Mir himself,” he added.

Express News anchor Shazeb Khanzada said that accusations were leveled against the security agencies as Mir’s brother was very vocal about his emotions at the time of the attack. “We are journalists and our job is to bring the truth forth and struggle for the rule of law and the Constitution,” Khanzada said. “We are not supposed to fight against the federal and state organisations. Unfortunately, yesterday an atmosphere was created to press the DG ISI to resign and I think this resignation should not have been demanded at all,” he added. Khanzada claimed “Indian channels took full advantage of the situation”.

Senior columnist and journalist Haroon Rashid said that Geo TV seems determined to ‘defame the army’ and criticised the television channel’s decision to air photographs of the ISI chief while leveling accusations against him of involvement in the attack on Mir.

“There is something called patriotism [which should be taken into account]. Love of the country is part of one’s faith but Geo people do not care for the country. Do they want to turn Pakistan into an Indian state?” Rashid said.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2014.


gp65 | 7 years ago | Reply @Maryam: "Mr. Mir, get well soon and but try to speak reasonable too. My question still remains how could you predict even before the attack that ISI or Army would be behind it?" HE used to get threats. He noted the numbers tat the threats were coming from and passed on the information to police who did nothing. Perhaps the nature of the threat and the issue that he was being asked to stop reporting on - gave him an idea about the source of the threat. In any case, as an Indian I have no idea how true his accusation against ISI is - but if sveral people e.g. Asma Jahangir, Najam Sethi, Hamid Mir and Salim Shehzad (before he was killed) point their fingers to the same people - some investigation is surely due as to why this happens? Secondly, people say that such a big deal should not have been made about this. Well a big deal was NOT made about Raza Rumi being shot. Did anyone take any action? Was any committee appointed to investigate why Express News had been attacked 6 times?
Shah | 7 years ago | Reply

The behavior of Geo and Jung Group was unprofessional, but at the same time we can't close our eyes on Army or ISI. The fact is that both the organizations, whether its media or Army have failed miserably in their jobs. What was the Army doing during that whole OBL episode? Shouldn't the top Generals have stepped down after that abysmal event? Government as a middle man has failed too, that sums up the story of Pakistan as a whole. Media houses do not let go any opportunity to defame each other, Army considers themselves as sacred and unaccountable whereas the government has no authority on any of them because their job is complete their tenure.

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