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Islam and the Media (07 Apr 2010 NewAgeIslam.Com)

The Bankruptcy of Pakistani Media

An editorial in the Sahafat, New Delhi

(Translated from Urdu by Sohail Arshad)

April 5, 2010

You probably think that currently the Pakistani journalists are busy discussing and analysing the proposed amendments to the Constitution, or reporting on the first big conference of the landless farmers of Pakistan in which the intellectuals and experts expressed their opinions on the plight of farmers and their apprehensions and suggested solutions. Right? Wrong!

For Pakistani media, these affairs are less important than the Shoaib-Sania wedding. Like the Indian media, its Pakistani counterpart, particularly the Urdu and Punjabi media also considers the debates raging on the wedding more important than any other issue.

It seems that the Pakistani electronic media does not have any other topic since the day the Shoaib-Sania marriage was announced. A renowned Urdu journalist of India who regularly writes for Pakistani newspapers, recently sent a detailed report of the 9-hour long grilling of the chief minister of Gujarat by the SIT but to his surprise, he got a message which said,: "What have you sent? Please send something about the controversy involving Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza. That is the most interesting news here." It shows that the Pakistani media has no interest in the fact that for the first time in the history of democratic countries, after the Gujarat riots of 2002 the struggles of an NGO and a wronged widow bore fruit and the chief minister of a state had to be present before an investigative team appointed by the Supreme Court and face questioning for nine long hours.

To the Pakistanis, the news was not 'interesting'. I also got a phone call from a Pakistani TV channel asking if we had a correspondent in Hyderabad and if so, his phone number should be provided to them. On telling them that we did not have a special correspondent in Hyderabad, he asked for the telephone numbers of the Urdu dailies published from there. We helped them with whatever numbers we had but at the same time, out of curiosity, we asked them why they needed the numbers? Was it because they wanted to know about the communal riots which had engulfed the city where the last Friday prayers were offered under police protection.?

The reply was, "No, sir, forget that. Shoaib Malik has arrived at Sania Mirza's house in Hyderabad and we want to show a live telecast of the developments there?" I thought that the Pakistani media had become so bankrupt. We agree that the wedding of Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik is news of public interest because both are star players of their respective countries and sports-lovers are familiar with their names.

But is this marriage more important than the amendments to the Pakistani Constitution under which the entire President's powers are going to be transferred to the Prime Minister.? Is this marriage more important than the problems of the poor landless farmers of Pakistan? Are the wedding celebrations of Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik more important than the massacre of thousands of men and the rape of dozens of women?

It seems that the journalists have forgotten their professional and moral duties altogether. Wisdom has surrendered before moolah. The state of the Indian media is no different. Though people do not want to watch and read only news but want all kind of spicy stuff but that does not mean that the journalists should forget that their first duty is to keep the readers and the viewers abreast of the life and the happenings scattered around them. But regretfully all this has become a thing of the past.

Source: The Sahafat, New Delhi

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-the-media/the-bankruptcy-of-pakistani-media/d/2666


  • Media ethics Dawn Editorial Friday, 09 Apr, 2010The Shoaib-Sania is not headline news in a country that is struggling to make ends meet. –Photo by Aphttp://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/media-ethics-940

    Sections of Pakistan’s electronic media need to take a close hard look at their priorities and the frivolous manner in which they sometimes operate.

    Take, for instance, the tone and tenor of the coverage given to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik’s impending marriage to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza. When the story was first confirmed by the two families it was flashed over and over again as ‘breaking news’.

    Later, it was Ms Mirza’s successful attempt to secure a Pakistani visa that dominated the headlines on some television channels. And then came the field days — or appalling lows, depending on your viewpoint — when Mr Malik’s alleged previous marriage to another Indian woman became the news du jour. Coverage of the eventual out-of-court settlement ostensibly involving a divorce was just as sensational and an equally poor advertisement for Pakistani journalism.

    In the race for ratings, media ethics, contextual significance and perhaps even common sense were thrown out the window. What we saw on our screens was tabloid journalism of the sort usually purveyed by the dregs of the profession. Media organisations are businesses of course but the ethos of journalism demands that ethics must not be sacrificed at the altar of the bottom line. Good taste also comes into it, though that is a more subjective issue. But consider this: in a country racked by militancy and terrorism, should a celebrity marriage dominate the news on a day when dozens are killed in suicide attacks? Should gossip about what is at best a footnote in the day’s events be deemed more important than the serious socio-political problems facing the country? News involves information, not sordid entertainment, and the line differentiating the two must be redrawn if the industry is to retain its integrity. It is not a news network’s job to titillate its audience or provide the kind of catharsis offered by film or channels dedicated to entertainment.

    Yes, the Shoaib-Sania story is news, especially in the context of the strained relations between Pakistan and India. By no stretch of the imagination, however, is it headline news in a country that is struggling to make ends meet.

    By Aamir Mughal -

  • GEO TV Bullys Bloggers, Offers No Factshttp://pakistanmediawatch.com/2009/11/06/geo-tv-bullys-bloggers-offers-no-facts/Hamid Mir: Media Bully

    Hamid Mir: Media Bully

    Commercial media giant GEO TV has launched an attack on a small blog in a disturbing case of media bullying as popular TV Host Hamid Mir and investigative editor for The News Ansar Abbasi lashed out against the blog “Let Us Build Pakistan,” a blog of PPP supporters that was started in 2008 and is run on the free service “Blogger.com“.

    Unlike Hamid Mir and GEO TV, “Let Us Build Pakistan” bloggers Abdul, Sarah, Abbas Zaidi and Socrates, are quite transparent about their political affiliation and agenda and do not misrepresent their beliefs. Despite the transparency of the bloggers, these commercial media giants have bashed them for being propaganda.

    Unfortunately, the commercial media journalists embarrassed themselves when they accused the bloggers at different times during the show of being both puppets of the President and CIA and Mossad. Of course, the so-called journalists present no evidence of these preposterous claims. The journalists also accuse the bloggers of causing a rift between media and military as if “media” were the government. Note to Mr. Mir and Mr. Abbasi: despite your face being on TV, you are not elected by anyone to any office.

    Furthermore, while Mr. Mir and Mr. Abbasi make accusations against these bloggers, they fail to report that it is the commercial media giants that are causing a rift between military and civilian government and threatening to destabilize Pakistan during wartime.

    In addition to presenting no facts or evidence for their accusations, Hamid Mir and Ansar Abbasi have engaged in the sort of media bullying that can create a “chilling effect” that results in citizens being afraid to speak their opinions freely. This is a direct assault on the Fundamental Rights of free speech provided in the Constitution.

    Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, and there shall be freedom of the press, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, [commission of] or incitement to an offence.

    Other Pakistani bloggers have begun coming to the defense of “Lets Build Pakistan,” in particular the “Views on Pakistan News”blog by Umair Wasi.

    At last media has attacked the websites with all their so called “fair journalism” weapons, last night in capital talk that is hosted by Mr. Hamid Mir on “Geo News” with his 3 guests including Nisar Abbasi a “The News” journalist and Mr. Javaid Hashmi of PML(N) and Sumsam Ali Bukhari of PPP, Hamid Mir has exclusively shown the blog Let Us Build Pakistan maintained by my fellow bloggers Abdul Nishapuri, Socrates, Abbas Zaidi & Sarah, Mr. Hamid Mir and Mr. Nisar Abbasi criticized the blog through out the program with all their white journalism’s’ words, Mr. Hamid Mir highlight the program with the tag of “PPP members criticized army and media” and Mr. Nisar Abbasi added the statement that Let Us Build Pakistan is operated from the presidency.

    This is not the first time that media is raising fingers on bloggers and webmasters, but the bloggers are ready to face the situation and will not sit quite at this time it will be dealt accordingly.

    GEO TV and The News should immediately reprimand their two employees, Hamid Mir and Ansar Abbasi, for their irresponsible acts and poor journalistic ethics. Additionally, GEO TV and The Newsshould require Hamid Mir and Ansar Abbasi to publicly apologize for their unfounded accusations and promise to never again accuse others without presenting any facts.

    By Aamir Mughal -

  • I see no reason blaming Pak media on this issue....obviously they have to show what has more public rating...better market.....there's a competition among them to be first to get the  'breaking news' .....Shoaib and Sania issue is in fact very important...it depicts increase in people to people contacts between the two group of people....this shows that despite all the hostilities on various other front....people of both the countries are interested in matters relating to the lives of their stars...heroes and heroines....and feel related to each other....

    I am an avid watcher of serious political and progressive religious programs on TV....but during the last few days, whenever at home I am glued to this episode..and while away my daughter keeps me informed thru text messages about the latest......and as a matter of fact I feel sorry for not having time to get Indian visa...otherwise there is no reason i would not have join the marriage party....i know a few people who could get me a formal invitation from bridegroom side.........

    And please why the Urdu press in India wants Paki press and media to continue discussing the distasteful Gujarat episode and the sectarian and religious riots in India.....we are self sufficient for these in Pakistan......we don’t need more gory details of what happened in India..and even to Indian Muslims....they have enough power and clout to have their voice heard by all concerned in India...why Pak media should be used for Hindu bashing....???
    By Soulat Pasha -

  • Ansar Abbasi Out LBW (Learn Before Writing!)http://pakistanmediawatch.com/2010/04/05/ansar-abbasi-out-lbw-learn-before-writing/

    Ansar Abbasi Out LBW - Learn Before Writing!Poor Mr. Ansar Abbasi – he does not know how to quit while he is ahead. After his very poor showing on Friday, Mr. Abbasi has decided to have another go at writing his “news analysis” about the NRO. The column, “After Sindh card, Zardari uses Benazir,” is Ansar’s attempt at playing judge against President Zardari. Of course, he did not do his homework and is therefore out “LBW” –Learn Before Writing!

    Today’s column by Ansar Abbasi is, once again, published as “news analysis.” Even though it is a rather incendiary opinion piece, The News (Jang) has not seen fit to put it properly on the opinion page. This is an unfortunate habit of the The News as it is quite misleading to readers.

    But perhaps more unfortunate is the fact that Mr. Ansar Abbasi continues to believe that insulting rants are a proper substitute for research and reason.

    Take, for example, his suggestion that, “Legally and constitutionally speaking, there is no way out for the government but to implement the Supreme Court’s order in letter and spirit. But practically if the government does this, it would mean political death of the PPP’s co-chairman against whom the corruption cases are too serious.”

    Actually, this is not quite true. The constitution states in Article 248 that certain officials may not be tried while they are in office. Any cases against them will have to be heard once their term is complete.

    248. Protection to President, Governor, Minister, etc.
    (1) The President, a Governor, the Prime Minister, a Federal Minister, a Minister of State, the Chief Minister and a Provincial Minister shall not he answerable to any court for the exercise of powers and performance of functions of their respective offices or for any act done or purported to be done in the exercise of those powers and performance of those functions:

    Provided that nothing in this clause shall be construed as restricting the right of any person to bring appropriate proceedings against the Federation or a Province.

    (2) No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President or a Governor in any court during his term of office.

    (3) No process for the arrest or imprisonment of the President or a Governor shall issue from any court during his term of office.

    (4) No civil proceedings in which relief is claimed against the President or a Governor shall be instituted during his term of office in respect of anything done by or not done by him in his personal capacity whether before or after he enters upon his office unless, at least sixty days before the proceedings are instituted, notice in writing has been delivered to him, or sent to him in the manner prescribed by law, stating the nature of the proceedings, the cause of action, the name, description and place of residence of the party by whom the proceedings are to be instituted and the relief which the party claims.

    This is no secret. In fact, it has been stated quite clearly by the government that this is their position. And it is not an unreasonable position, even if it is inconvenient to Ansar Abbasi’s political tirade.The Swiss prosecutor has been adamant about his refusal to reopen a case against Zardari until his term expires.

    [Geneva prosecutor Daniel Zappelli] said he can’t reopen the case against Zardari, who was elected president in 2008 after years of battling corruption allegations, because he enjoys “absolute immunity” as a head of state.

    “We could go further only if the competent authorities in Pakistan decide to lift the immunity of the head of state, which I do not know whether it is possible according to their constitution,” said Zappelli, speaking in English. “If not, we can’t. Absolutely not. Period.”

    Ansar Abbasi then goes on to peddle outrageous rumours including that a major political party was planning to attack the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

    After the NRO decision, the unnerved PPP was alleged to be even planning physical attacks on the Chief Justice of Pakistan to embarrass Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Money was also reportedly distributed amongst some student leaders of the PSF to organise demonstrations against the judiciary.

    If this is true, it is a serious charge that should be taken up with the proper authorities immediately. I ask that Ansar Abbasi immediately file a grievance and reveal his evidence. Otherwise, what are we to think except that he has made the whole thing up?

    Also, wasn’t it only three days earlier that this same Ansar Abbasi was condemning a foreign newspaper for quoting an unnamed source? But notice that now Abbasi does not even pretend to have heard his rumour from some “anonymous source.” Rather, he simply says it is “alleged.” Alleged by whom? Surely Ansar Abbasi does not want to be a hypocrite. Please, sir, tell us who your source is for these serious accusations.

    Ansar Abbasi’s entire column is actually a poor attempt for him to play judge, jury, and executioner of Asif Zardari. Abbasi says the Supreme Court “is serious to ensure a fair trial of past corruption cases.” Perhaps they are, but Ansar Abbasi sees no need for a fair trial. Instead, he says “Allowing a fair trial to prove his innocence would be a risky gamble that everyone in the party knows is bound to be lost…”

    What is the point of bothering with a trial, when Ansar Abbasi has already judged the outcome? This blog takes no position on the issue of Asif Zardari’s guilt or innocence. There is very important legal discussion about Presidential immunity, and even if the President did not enjoy this immunity, surely the courts are the proper place to hold a trial, not the last issue of The News. Perhaps Mr. Abbasi is challenging Shahid Masood to be “Chief Justice of the Media”?

    Ansar Abbasi: Challenging Shahid Massod to be Chief Justice of Media?

    Ansar Abbasi: Challenging Shahid Massod to be Chief Justice of Media?

    Ansar closes his opinion by saying that, “Instead of being befooled by political slogans, the people of Pakistan deserve to know if there is any truth in the NAB’s claim…” Perhaps Mr. Abbasi would do us all the favour of ceasing his foolish political sloganeering, then, so that proper journalists can do their work. At the very least, sir, we beg of you…Learn Before Writing!

    By Aamir Mughal -

  • Ansar Abbasi’s “Truth” ProblemApril 3rd, 2010 http://pakistanmediawatch.com/2010/04/03/ansar-abbasis-truth-problem/

    Just this week I posted about Jang Group’s problem with facts. Now, as if to prove my point, Ansar Abbasi writes an article filled with so many problems and errors that it’s hard to keep them all straight. The article in question appeared in Friday’s issue of The News titled, “SC’s resolve unnerves Presidency; US.”

    Immediately from reading the title I began to laugh out loud. Why would the Supreme Court’s ‘resolve’ unnerve the USA? Only recentlywe were being told that the USA had abandoned Zardari, now the US is trying to protect him from the judiciary? Which is it?

    Of course, it is no surprise that Ansar gets this confused. He also confuses quite a bit about the Americans. Let’s examine what he writes in his article:

    Contrary to what the US media writes about the Pakistani rulers and the widely respected judiciary, the US takes pride in the independence of its judiciary that has not only refused to accept the question of immunity in the case of President Clinton but also did the same in the case of President Nixon.

    It was primarily the US media that forced Nixon to resign without being tried or impeached. The US media also ignores the role of Washington and London in the introduction of the widely condemned NRO, which was promulgated to close down corruption cases against a select class of politicians, bureaucrats and past rulers including the incumbent president of Pakistan.

    Where to begin? First, Nixon was not forced to resign by the American Supreme Court or the American media. Rather, he chose to resign when he understood that the parliament was going to impeach him.When Nixon knew that he did not have the political support to withstand a vote of impeachment in parliament, he resigned.

    Mr. Nixon said he decided he must resign when he concluded that he no longer had “a strong enough political base in the Congress” to make it possible for him to complete his term of office.

    Compare this to Clinton, who actually was impeached. But even though he was impeached, he was not removed from office. Again, too, this was a decision by the parliament, not the judiciary or the media.

    The first vote was 228 to 206 in favour of impeaching President Clinton for perjury in front of a grand jury. Congressmen also passed another charge on obstruction of justice by 221 to 212.

    However, he will not yet be removed from office.

    So, we have shown that Ansar is wrong about the US impeachment of Nixon and Clinton. What else is he wrong about?

    Interestingly, he is wrong about the NRO and the US. Mr. Abbasi says, “One wonders if the US media would allow the introduction of an NRO-like legislation in its own country.” Actually, the USA did just this after its civil war. The “Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction,” gave the President the “power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”

    Mr. Abbasi, you must wonder no longer. I have done your research for you and answered your question. You may thank me at a later time.

    Not only was Mr. Abbasi wrong about this, but in his own newspaper yesterday, Mr. Shafqat Mahmood remembered history a little bit differently than Ansar might want to admit: “The media welcomed the NRO…” Perhaps Ansar just had a bad memory that day.

    Ansar goes on and on with a conspiracy theory about how the US media is being dictated to from Pakistan’s Embassy in Washington. This is ridiculous fantasy. Look at some of the many stories about Pakistan in the American media. Pakistan: A Mounting Problem for ObamaPakistan attorney general quits amid graft dispute.  Was thisdictated by the Embassy also?

    Even the Time article that Ansar takes great pains to point out quotes an unnamed PPP leader also quotes an unnamed source from the Supreme Court that supports the Chief Justice.

    On the contrary, says a legal expert at the Supreme Court and Chaudhry associate speaking on condition of anonymity, the conflict is caused by the “government [wanting] a chief justice and court which is compliant, not independent.”

    Mr. Abbasi does not tell his readers this, though, instead leading many unsuspecting people to believe that the Time article is biased when it is clearly not. Why the dishonesty and hypocrisy?

    Now let’s look at Mr. Abbasi’s own newspaper, which on the same day published an article by Shafqat Mahmood that points out that the judiciary has become controversial because of its actions.

    There is no better example of this than the perceptions regarding Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and the judiciary. On March 9, 2007, Mr Chaudhry became a media and public hero. This happened because of the perception that Musharraf dismissed him illegally and then mistreated him and his family.

    Thus began the lawyers’ and people’s campaign for an independent judiciary. This was not individual adulation, although it seemed so. The chief justice symbolised society’s protest against a wrong done. And the lawyers who were in the forefront of the struggle were champions of liberty and freedom.

    Fast-forward to 2010. There are increasing voices in the media that the superior judiciary is transgressing its mandate and at times behaving like a political institution. By frequently visiting the bars, it seems to be cultivating lawyers and often senior advocates and bar officeholders speak on its behalf.

    Serious transgressions by lawyers are also ignored. For a lawyer to slap a judge and for the superior judiciary to arrange a rapprochement is just not right. This man should have been behind bars.

    But congratulatory sounds emanating from all levels of the judiciary indicate as if a great conclusion to the crisis has been arrived at. Earlier, too, the judiciary had ignored lawyers beating up policemen and media representatives.

    This is not about the NRO or Asif Zardari. The media welcomed the NRO, and Asif Zardari does not pass the bar of morality as far as society is concerned. The problem is that the PPP’s charge of one-sided accountability is beginning to get resonance. And the language and attitude being shown in open court by the judges is creating a backlash.

    Was The News under the influence of some vast conspiracy when they published this article? Obviously not this is silly. But notice that Mr. Shafqat Mahmood’s article appears on the opinion page, while Mr. Ansar Abbasi’s column appears as “news analysis.” Now who is showing some bias?

    Mr. Abbasi has the cheek to criticize Time for quoting an unnamed PPP leader, but even in his same article Ansar Abbasi quotes an unnamed, “credible source in the Pakistan embassy in Washington.” Why the hypocrisy Mr. Abbasi?

    Here is the point: There are articles in the international press – not only in the USA, but around the entire world, that are critical of the judiciary. There are also some that are praising the judiciary. This is also true at home. Why? Because different people have different opinions.

    It is silly to suggest that there is some PPP ability to dictate to the international media. If this were the case, why can’t they even control the media at home? It is sad to see a journalist of Mr. Abbasi’s career level making such ridiculous claims.

    Mr. Abbasi, I beg of you, please learn to check your facts. Learn to tell the truth. Learn to present an unbiased analysis. At a minimum, learn to put your opinion on the opinion page. You must learn to learn. Otherwise, you will continue to write pieces that are “flawed, based on half-truths, highly biased and far from the facts.” And we all know how much you hate that!

    By Aamir Mughal -

  • NRO/Jang Group: Ansar Abbasi & Accountability Bureau.http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2010/01/nrojang-group-ansar-abbasi.htmlSometimes Intellectual Dishonesty is more fatal than the Financial or Moral Corruption. Financial/Moral Corruption is mostly related with a few and destroys a few [Of course I condone neither] but Intellectual dishonesty destroys nations e.g. Sharifuddin Pirzada, A K Brohi and many many more. In this article, I will restrict myself to the swinging pendulum of Mr. Ansar Abbasi’s pen and journalism and will quote news/columns/opinions filed by him in all these years and every article is contradicting the earlier one. Remember one thing that Ansar Abbasi had demanded Treason Trial of Musharraf for violating article 6 of 1973 Constitution whereas shamelessly Mr. Ansar Abbasi is in favour of retaining National Accountability Bureau to hound politicians [the NAB was founded by Martial Law Regime! Where is the validity? Violation is Violation and cannot be condoned through Law of Necessity.]
    To Proceed

    Mr Ansar Abbasi as a Musharraf supporter while working for Daily Dawn:


    During 1999 Mr. Ansar Abbasi was Praising General Musharraf Martial Law regime’s “Alleged Reforms” when Ansar Abbasi used to be a Correspondent in Daily Dawn, he never mentioned even a single time that Impsoing Martial Law is Treason and Violation of Article 6 of 1973 Constitution of Pakistan. Read the news reports which Ansar Abbasi filed in the Daily Dawn in 1999. Not a single time Ansar adress Musharraf as CMLA but Ansar was very respectful towards “Alleged Chief Executive” Musharraf. You may not find a single personal observation by Ansar Abbasi on Constitutional Tampering by Military Regime. Musharraf was given mandate by the Judiciary to tamper with the Constitution. Everybody knows who was a part of that Supreme Court Bench. REFERENCES: Special courts to try cases of accountability Ansar Abbasi 06 November 1999 Issue : 05/45 [Courtesy Daily Dawn Wire Service]
    Musharraf approves pre-1973 authority for FPSC by Ansar Abbasi Week Ending : 29 January 2000 Issue : 06/05 [Courtesy Daily Dawn Wire Service] 
    http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsia/SAserials/Dawn/2000/29jan00.html Sharifs lose 80pc of assets, says Qureshi by Ansar Abbasi Week Ending : 16 December 2000 Issue : 06/48

    Ansar Abbasi Praising General Musharraf’s Martial Law Regime’s “Alleged Reforms” when Ansar Abbasi used to be a Correspondent in Daily Dawn, he never mentioned even a single time that Impsoing Martial Law is Treason and Violation of Article 6 of 1973Constitution of Pakistan

    As per 1973 Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan


    PART I

    6. (1) Any person who abrogates or attempts or conspires to abrogate, subverts or attempts or conspires to subvert the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.

    (2) Any person aiding or abetting the acts mentioned in clause (1) shall likewise be guilty of high treason.

    (3) [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] shall by law provide for the punishment of persons found guilty of high treason.


    Definition of Accomplice: An accomplice is a person who actively participates in the commission of a crime, even though they take no part in the actual criminal offense.

    Swinging Pendulum of Mr. Ansar Abbasi’s pen and journalism, read it attentively and you may find that every article/column/research by Mr. Ansar Abbasi is full of contradiction and extreme prejudice.

    ISLAMABAD: Action to seize the assets of President Asif Ali Zardari began on Wednesday when NAB asked the Islamabad capital territory (ICT) administration to freeze his assets and restore the pre-Oct 5, 2007 position. A similar letter was ready to be sent on Friday to chief secretary Sindh. The major development came when NAB issued the letter to the Islamabad administration to freeze all assets under its jurisdiction. Besides other properties, NAB’s latest order would immediately hit the 2,460 kanals of Sangjani land, which was a frozen asset before the NRO but was unfrozen in early 2009 and transferred in the name of a private company owned by President Zardari, his son Bilawal Zardari and others. The NAB spokesman Ghazni Khan when approached did not deny or confirm this major development. He, however, said that NAB is acting strictly in accordance with the law and the Supreme Court’s decision and weekly progress reports is regularly being submitted to the Supreme Court. A credible source in NAB told The News here on Thursday that NAB’s latest order has been dispatched to the Islamabad administration. The NAB letter while giving reference to its post-2008 unfreezing order issued in the case of the President Zardari’s assets in Islamabad directed the ICT administration to proceed in line with the Supreme Court’s order dated December 16, 2009. Copy of the SC’s short order on NRO was also attachedwith the NAB letter. The source said that a similar letter would be issued to the Sindh Government on Friday.REFERENCE: NAB orders seizure of Zardari’s assets in Islamabad By Ansar Abbasi Friday, January 22, 2010http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=26808

    Now read the same Jang Group 2 months back on the same issue:

    ISLAMABAD: Faisal Sakhi Butt, who had been named as a key player in the Zardari-Bilawal 300-acre land purchase deal, on Friday broke his silence and issued a clarification calling the purchase of the land by the president’s company as a “neat and clean and professional business transaction.” Butt issued a press statement in which he made no reference to the president and made a clear distinction of his deal having nothing to do with the CDA, where he is also a member of the Islamabad Development Steering Committee. Faisal Butt stressed that in the deal, all the legal requirements were met as had duly been acknowledged in the original story of The News. “I am not obliged to respond as the said transaction does not involve public property or public funds and is purely a private deal between private citizens, however, I am constrained to respond as I feel unfairly maligned and would like your newspaper to set the record straight,” Faisal Butt said in his clarification.

    “It is relevant to mention that I am an established business man from an established business family of Islamabad, having a blotless record over the past four decades and have never been involved in any illegal business transactions. “It is further clarified that details given in the story by Ansar Abbasi about me in a neat, clean and professional business transaction from my lawful resources well within the framework of law of the land have been twisted by Ansar Abbasi for the satisfaction of his own motives best known to him.” He stated, what he called the ground realities as under: (i) The land subject matter of the news item is neither acquired nor owned by CDA. (ii) The entire land is located in Zone-III of the Master Plan for Islamabad, its use is restricted strictly to set up recreational facilities. No housing society can be established in this zone and thus its price cannot be compared with adjoining areas meant for residential purposes particularly when the entire land is also still in the occupation of original owners of the area. (iii) In the news item, a reference has also been made to me being a member of the Islamabad Development Steering Committee, which is patently irrelevant and has clearly been made to confuse the readers into believing as if the mentioned deal had something to do with CDA, which is not the case at all. I am no doubt member of the said Committee but it has no nexus whatsoever with the purchase and sale of the land, which is owned by private owners not the CDA and which is subject matter of the news item designed to damage my reputation. The business deal commented upon in hostile terms is purely between private parties settled and concluded in accordance with law.” REFERENCE: Zardari land deal called neat, clean transaction Saturday, November 07, 2009 News Deskhttp://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=207259

    Contradiction of Mr Ansar Abbai. Once Again!

    ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has admitted that the pre-NRO situation vis-a-vis President Asif Ali Zardari has not been restored and his cases remained closed while there are no freezing orders issued regarding his bank accounts and the moveable and immovable assets. This is apparently a glaring violation of the Supreme Court order but NAB insists that in its legal view the president under Article 248 of the Constitution enjoys immunity that bars NAB to restore the pre-NRO position in case of Asif Ali Zardari. The Constitution envisages that no criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the president or a governor in any court during his term of office, NAB has gone an extra mile in favour of the president as it has simply refused to act in any manner. Practically, owing to the NAB’s interpretation of the Constitution, the president continues to be an NRO beneficiary despite the condemnation of the law by the apex court. NAB spokesman Ghazni Khan, when approached, confirmed to The News that the NAB cases against President Zardari have not been reopened. He also disclosed that the Bureau did not issue any orders to freeze the assets and bank accounts of the president. The NAB spokesman said the Bureau, in its letter addressed to the accountability courts, had sought the reopening of the NAB cases against all NRO beneficiaries to the Oct 4, 2007 position. However, in case of President Zardari the exemption was sought citing Article 248 of the Constitution.REFERENCE: NAB acts on its own despite SC verdict By Ansar Abbasi Tuesday, January 05, 2010http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=26487


    Monday, January 04, 2010, Muharram 17, 1431 A.H


    ISLAMABAD: The post-1996 probe into the Agosta submarine deal, which led to the removal of the then-Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Mansurul Haq and a corruption reference against Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari, was an alleged cover-up to save many key officials of the Pakistan Navy, besides turning a blind eye to a controversial $550 million deal of minehunters signed in 1992 during Nawaz Sharif’s first tenure. Documents available with The News show grey areas that remained untraced, while a key naval officer of that time told The News the cover-up in the submarine deal was meant to save the skin of many in the Pakistan Navy and was done by Senator Saifur Rehman, who was only interested in fixing Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari. The most interesting aspect of the whole affair was the statement of the then-director general Naval Intelligence (DGNI), who was instantly turned into an example for others when he was recalled from an overseas course, retired prematurely, court martialed and harassed to keep his mouth shut. REFERENCE: The submarine kickbacks Pandora’s box reopened By Ansar Abbasi Saturday, January 02, 2010

    Saturday, January 02, 2010, Muharram 15, 1431 A.Hhttp://www.jang.com.pk/jang/jan2010-daily/02-01-2010/main.htm


    ISLAMABAD: A surgical operation has been launched in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as the government has forced its chairman to remove its most important officials, including the DG operations, who has been targeted for issuing the order for the immediate implementation of the Supreme Court order on the NRO. Sources said some key provincial officials of the NAB, including its provincial director generals, were also on the hit list and expected to be changed and replaced by those loyal to the government. The Law Ministry, these sources said, had also sought details of the vacant posts from the NAB chairman, who under the NAB law is the competent authority for all internal appointments and postings. The sources said that the NAB chairman Navid Ahsan had been pressurised to remove its DG operation Lt Col (retd)) Shahzad Bhatti, who on December 17, the very next day of the Supreme Court short order on the NRO, had issued a letter to all concerned to immediately implement the apex court’s order. Bhatti was also the person who was the custodian of the precious evidence presently secured in the NAB’s strong room but feared to be destroyed or stolen. Bhatti, now reverted as director finance, the post that he was holding two years back, earned the wrath of the powerful and mighty in the government after he sought immediate re-opening of the cases of the NRO beneficiaries; passed on a direction to the police to arrest those who were proclaimed offenders as on Oct 4, 2007; asked for freezing of assets of all the NRO beneficiaries as was the situation before the promulgation of the NRO; required the revision of the ECL as was its status on Oct 4, 2007; and ordered for the re-opening of all the inquiries and investigations, which were closed down because of the emergence of the NRO.REFERENCE: Operation ‘minus-many’ launched in NAB Friday, January 01, 2010 By Ansar Abbasihttp://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=216300


    ISLAMABAD: The Swiss-carton scandal has raised in-house fears in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) about the safety and security of the bulk of original evidence concerning high profile cases, settled under the controversial NRO, and presently protected in the bureau’s headquarter in Islamabad. Already, the NAB was warned by a leading intelligence agency of the country of the possible sabotage effort to destroy such evidence. A credible NAB source said that some months back, the Bureau’s director general HR had received a verbal warning from an official of the Interior Ministry, conveying that the highly critical original evidence about the high profile corruption cases settled under the NRO could be destroyed by saboteur’s fire, which could be later described as a mere accident. The Interior Ministry official also shared the name and telephone number of the intelligence officer, a serving brigadier, who contacted the Interior Ministry to pass on a proper warning to the NAB. After receiving the Interior Ministry’s verbal warning, the NAB official also contacted the intelligence brigadier, who confirmed the report and recommended the Bureau to take all possible steps to ensure the protection of the valuable documentary evidence. Following this warning, the NAB improved its record room through renovation and turned it into a strong room by removing all its windows, tiling the walls and disconnecting electricity connection, to pre-empt any chance of saboteur fire. The record room has also been secured through multiple lock system and not many know in the Bureau as to who has got the keys to get access to the record room. When contacted, NAB spokesman Ghazni Khan though confirmed that foolproof arrangement were recently made to protect the NAB record, he denied to be in knowledge of any intelligence warning issued to the Bureau about a possible sabotage effort to destroy the crucial evidence. “It is well protected now,” the spokesman said. However, a source in the NAB said that Wajid Shamsul Hasan-led sneaky operation, which was caught red-handed by Geo News, to secure 12 cartons of evidence relating to the Swiss money laundering and kickback cases against President Asif Ali Zardari and others, has raised fears within the NAB about the safety of its available record. The source said a lady consultant and a joint secretary of a ministry, which was headed by a powerful minister, who later reached an elevated position, had also made an effort to take away certain original files but a retired colonel, serving in the Bureau, retrieved these files from the lady consultant’s car before she could take them away. A newspaper report had also recently confirmed that the lady consultant had spent over two months in the NAB headquarters to supervise scrutiny of classified documents and during her stay she was authorised to check record of any case, including those of top leaders President Asif Ali Zardari, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and others.REFERENCE: Is evidence with NAB safe from saboteurs? By Ansar Abbasi Sunday, December 06, 2009http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=25932


    Mr. Ansar Abbasi’s somersault i.e. demanding Musharraf’s Trial – REFERENCES: Why Musharraf should be prosecuted By Ansar Abbasi Monday, August 10, 2009

    Mr Ansar Abbasi condemns Zardari and NRO – REFERENCE: Beneficiaries of NRO cannot get bail: NAB By Ansar Abbasi Friday, November 13, 2009http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=25545

    100 corruption cases to reopen in 25 days – By Ansar Abbasi Wednesday, November 04, 2009http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=25370

    Mr Ansar Abbasi praised same “Corrupt Zardari” because he signed the SWAT NIZAM-E-ADL BILL, a treaty with the Taliban – REFERENCE: Zardari makes his mark By Ansar Abbasi Comment Tuesday, April 14, 2009http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=21502

    After setbacks, Zardari is an improved, chastised man By Ansar Abbasi Wednesday, April 29, 2009http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?id=21800

    Mr. Ansar Abbasi quotes Senatior Saif ur Rehman on Zardari –

    REFERENCE: Zardari, Bilawal buy 300 acres of Islamabad land for peanuts By Ansar Abbasi, Tuesday, November 03, 2009http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=25353

    but JANG GROUP CONDEMN SAIF UR REHMAN – Conspiracy: Kamran Khan, Farooq Laghari, Sajjad Mir, Saifur Rehman & Media Trial of PPP.http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/11/conspiracy-kamran-khan-farooq-laghari.html

    ANSAR ABBASI PRAISES AND INTRODUCES BRIGADIER IMTIAZ [NROed] REFERENCE: Brig Imtiaz reveals CIA plots Tuesday, September 01, 2009 By Ansar Abbasi


    REFERENCE: Who is behind the ‘get Nawaz’ campaign? By Ansar Abbasi Wednesday, August 26, 2009http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=24096


    REFERENCE: The return of the Daylight Jackals By Shaheen Sehbai with reporting from Mazhar Tufail and Ahmed Noorani Friday, September 04, 2009http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=24299

    An Open Letter to Rauf Klasra SEPTEMBER 2, 2009 by notahttp://pkpolitics.com/2009/09/02/an-open-letter-to-rauf-klasra/#comment-251585

    Mr Ansar Abbasi support and condemn Nawaz Sharif at the same time!


    REFERENCE: Who is behind the ‘get Nawaz’ campaign? By Ansar Abbasi Wednesday, August 26, 2009http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=24096


    REFERENCE: Senior journalist returns plot to government By our correspondent Saturday, April 18, 2009http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=21596

    RIUJ resents Ansar Abbasi’s move of ‘surrendering’ his plot DATED Friday 24th April, 2009http://www.onlinenews.com.pk/details.php?id=144302

    Ansar Abbasi backing Qabza group in Murree: affectees DATED Friday 24th April, 2009

    CJ IHC strongly refutes all allegations against himself

    ISLAMABAD: The CJ of IHC (Islamabad High Court), Muhammad Bilal Khan has strongly refuted all allegations against himself regarding having any connections with notorious criminal Nannu Gawaria.


    - REFERENCE Earlier it was suggested as per news filed by the born again Mufti and Islamist Mr Ansar Abbasi that Sufi, Taliban must be fenced in after edicts By Ansar Abbasi Wednesday, April 22, 2009 http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=21667 filed by Mr Ansar Abbasi, The Editor Investigation – The News International, Jang Group of Newspapers and GEO TV that


    Maulana Sufi Muhammad’s demands for an Islamic justice system have been met but his latest edicts against the country’s judicial, parliamentary and constitutional system may deprive him of the fruit of his life-time achievement. What Maulana Sufi Muhammad has uttered were his already known views but by expressing them in a public gathering at this crucial juncture of the Swat peace process the Tanzim Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) chief has acted as a spoiler. His decades long struggle for Islamic justice system in Swat and Malakand Division is in sight but now he himself has threatened the achievement of his life’s goal. Now many fear that after the implementation of the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation in Swat and the Malakand region, he would possibly try to extend his struggle to other parts of the country. Maulana Sufi Muhammad’s statement that Pakistan’ democracy, its laws and judicial structure all are un-Islamic was rarely welcomed by any political leader, including even those belonging to religious political parties. While the ANP, the PPP and the PML-N deliberately did not show any strong reaction to Sufi’s declaration perhaps to save the peace process from being ruined, it was the Jamaat-e-Islami chief Syed Munnawar Hasan and JUI-F’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman who clearly rejected the TNSM chiefís interpretation of Islam vis-‡-vis Pakistan’s democracy and judicial system. Several Ulema from different schools of thought also argued against Sufi’s remarks.


    And now same born again Mufti and Islamist Mr Ansar Abbasi [Editor Investigation, The News International/Jang Group of Newspapers/GEO TV] is shamelessly suggesting:


    The sources admitted that Maulana Sufi Muhammad had issued some irresponsible statements but had been asked to show restraint and avoid giving remarks that might derail the peace process. Amnesty, disarming of Taliban being discussed By Ansar Abbasi Dated: Sunday, April 26, 2009http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=21738


    MR ANSAR ABBASI DOES NOT LIKE NGO LADY/SAMAR MINALLAH but supported by the same NGO LADIES – REFERENCE: Journalists protest threats to Ansar Abbasi Wednesday, January 07, 2009 Our correspondent Islamabadhttp://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=156056 - Zardari to sign deal despite flogging: Hoti By Ansar Abbasi Monday, April 06, 2009

    Swat video is genuine, claim activists By Usman Manzoor Sunday, April 05, 2009

    By Aamir Mughal -

  • Mahmood Sham & Shaheen Sehbai on ISI.http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/11/mahmood-sham-shaheen-sehbai-on-isi.htmlSo much moral pressure has been exerted on the presidency of Zardari through the media, judiciary and the coalition partners of the PPP that these forces believe there would no serious reaction in a few circles in Sindh in case he is removed from the office and there would be calm after a few days. These forces claim US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, after reviewing the situation herself, has signalled from Washington that they would issue statement saying that it is internal matter of Pakistan. These quarters do not think that Zardari has some trump card to stop any such development. It is being stated that Eid of many may be spoiled as the month of sacrifice demands sacrifices. The efforts to address the problem of political unrest and sense of deprivation in Balochistan and stance of a standing committee about non-construction of cantonments are also a source of conflict whereas the military circles describe the notification to give the control of the ISI under the Ministry of Interior as the beginning of the differences. Asif Zardari was not president at that time though he has been held responsible for that. The notification was issued when the prime minister embarking upon his maiden trip to the US, and we too were accompanying him, directed for issuing an explanation in this regard. But when a condition was attached with the Kerry-Lugar Bill to vest the power of appointments and promotions in the military in the civil administration, it was linked to the notification of July 2008. Some ministers talked about the military irresponsibly. Holding of the party leadership and the party meetings in the presidency has also been disliked by the establishment. It is ironic that the president, who is head of the establishment, and establishment are pitched against each other, and at a time when the armed forces are fighting the militants in various parts of the country, this might be extremely harmful for the country. The concerns of the establishment are right, but its solution lies in collective leadership and mutual consultation.REFERENCES: Zardari at a crossroads by Mahmood Sham Monday, November 16, 2009http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=25589URDU TEXT [AT THE END]OF THE SAME ARTICLE FILED IN DAILY JANG http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/nov2009-daily/16-11-2009/main.htm Mahmood Shaam Group Editor Daily “Jang”http://www.mahmoodsham.com/
    Mr Mahmood Sham while defending the Establishment and his colleague [without naming Shaheen Sehbai - The Group Editor The News International]'s cock and bull stories which he has been filing since months, is forgetting one thing that Mr. Shaheen Sehbai in one of his interview to an Indian Newspapers had ruined the reputation of Pakistan Army & ISI in 2002. Mr Mahmood Sham was also mentioned in The Times of India dated March 18, 2002.


    The Daily Noose (Interview with Shaheen Sehbai) - Author: Publication: The Times of India Date: March 18, 2002- Exposing the Pakistani establishment's links with terrorists can be a hazardous job. It cost Daniel Pearl his life, and Shaheen Sehbai, former editor of 'The News', a widely-read English daily in Pakistan his job. Fearing for his life, Sehbai is now in the US He speaks to Shobha John about the pressure on journalists from the powers-that-be in Pakistan:

    Q. Is it true you had to quit because a news report angered the government?

    A. On February 16, our Karachi reporter, Kamran Khan, filed a story quoting Omar Sheikh as saying that he was behind the attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13, the Kashmir assembly attack and other terrorist acts in India. Shortly after I am, I got a call on my cellphone from Ashfaq Gondal, the principal information officer of the government, telling me that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had intercepted the story and I should stop its publication.

    I told him I was not prepared to do so. He then called my newspaper group owner/editor-in-chief, Mir Shakil ur Rehman in London and asked him to stop the story. Rehman stopped it in the Jang, the sister newspaper in Urdu but could not do so in The News as I was unavailable.

    The next day, all editions of The News carried the story. It was also carried by The Washington Post and The International Herald Tribune the same day, as Kamran also reports for The Post. On February 18, all government advertising for the entire group was stopped.

    On February 22, Rehman rushed to Karachi and called a meeting at 10 p m. He told me the government was ?very angry? at the story. He said he had been told to sack four journalists, including myself, if the ads were to be restored. He asked me to proceed to Islamabad to pacify the officials. Sham informed us that he had contacted the officials and was told by Anwar Mahmood, the information secretary that ?the matter was now beyond his capacity and we will have to see the ISI high-ups to resolve it?. I was told to go and see the ISI chief in Islamabad and also to call Anwar Mahmood on Eid and improve my 'public relations' with him.

    I left the meeting with the firm resolve that I would neither call nor meet anyone, even at gunpoint. Sham, however, left for Islamabad to meet the officials. His meetings were unsuccessful. From my sources, I learned that the ISI and the government were not prepared to lift the ban unless I gave them specific assurances. If I refused, there may be trouble for me as the owner was already under pressure to fire me and the other three journalists.

    On February 27, I took a flight out of Karachi to New York. On February 28, I received a memo from my owner accusing me of policy violations. In reply, on March 1, I sent in my resignation.

    Q. Is the ISI still keeping a close watch on journalists after Daniel Pearl's killing?

    A. The ISI has been a major player in domestic politics and continues to be so. That means it has to control the media and right now, it is actively involved in doing so. Pearl's murder has given them more reasons to activate the national interest excuse.

    Q. Is there a sense of desperation within the Pakistan government that it should not be linked in any way to events in India?

    A. Yes. That's why when our story quoted Omar Sheikh claiming such links, the government came down hard on us.

    Q. Has there been any pressure on the staff of 'The News' to 'conform'?

    A. Yes. The News was under constant pressure to stop its aggressive reporting on the corruption of the present government. A few months back, Pakistan International Airlines stopped all ads to The News as we ran a couple of exposes. A major story on the government owned United Bank was blocked when we sought the official version. Intelligence agencies were deputed to tail our reporters in Islamabad.

    Q. This is not the first time you and your family have been under pressure, is it?

    A. I have been the target of physical attacks in the past too for stories against the government. The first was in August 1990 when I was arrested and detained for 36 hours and falsely charged for drinking, before a judge gave bail. The second time, in December 1991, three masked men broke into my house in Islamabad, ransacked it, pulled guns on my two sons, beat them up and told them, ?Tell your father to write against the government again and see what happens?. In 1995, I was threatened once again and I had to take my entire family away. My newspaper then, Dawn, decided to post me to Washington as their correspondent. This time, I feared that I could be physically targeted again. So I decided to leave the country.

    Q. Is the present regime in Pakistan any different from earlier ones with regard to freedom of the press?

    A. It has tolerated some freedom under foreign pressure, but the situation is basically the same. Now Musharraf appears to be under pressure to manage the media more effectively in order to manage the October elections and get his supporters elected in the polls. He needs to legitimise his military rule through a political process, which essentially is being rigged from the beginning.

    Q. Is your case the first instance of a crackdown on the media by this government?

    A. This was the first case of a major financial squeeze on the country's largest media group. It was followed by demands to sack me and other senior journalists and then to change the policy.

    Q. How independent will the forthcoming polls be now?

    A. They will be as independent as the recently-concluded local bodies polls in which candidates were named by the army and no one else was allowed to win. Candidates for state and national assemblies are now being pre-selected and influential politicians are being pressured, lured or coerced to join Musharrafs supporters.

    Q. What is the mood within the Pakistani media?

    A. The media is generally quiet and has fallen in line because Musharraf is getting strong support from the US and the West. But elements in the media are very resolute and they will fight back as soon as they see Musharraf losing his grip. The October polls will determine the role of the media as well because if Musharraf fails to 'manage' the elections, his control over the media will be finished.

    Q. What do you propose to do now?

    A. I will be writing out of Washington for some time and will return to Pakistan around the October polls. My days in Pakistan were very exciting as I maintained a completely independent editorial policy and pursued it to the last day. In the memos written by the owner, he repeatedly complains that I was not consulting him on policies. I had no need to, as he watches his own commercial interests. REFERENCE: The Daily Noose (Interview with Shaheen Sehbai) Author: Publication: The Times of India Date: March 18, 2002http://www.hvk.org/articles/0302/206.html


    Crusaders in guise of Journalists of the Jang Group instead of lecturing should read what they themselves have filed on the political use of Intelligence Agencies in 1999

    Cassette exposes govt's assault on press

    KARACHI: Editor-in-Chief of Jang Group of Newspapers Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman on Thursday said that after victimising his group by freezing its accounts, seizing newsprint and serving income tax notices, the government was now preparing anti-state cases against him. Addressing a crowded press conference at the Karachi Press Club, Mir Shakil said that there would not be any problem for the Jang Group if he bowed before the PML government, instead of publishing the truth. The editor-in-chief said that the PML government had attempted to create an impression that the action against the Jang Group of Newspapers was an administrative affair because of income tax issues and misuse of newsprint quota. But every government action taken against his group was to stop printing of those news items, which would go against the interest of the prime minister, his business concerns and his family, he added.

    Flanked by senior journalists Z A Sulehri, Irshad Ahmad Haqqani, Maleeha Lodhi and Kamila Hayat, Mir Shakil said that he was under tremendous pressure from Ehtesab Bureau chief Saifur Rahman, who was out to victimise the Jang Group of Newspapers for not bowing before his whims.During the press conference, Mir Shakil also played an audio cassette on which some of his talks with Senator Saifur Rahman, Information Minister Mushahid Hussain and senior journalist Mujeeb-ur-Rahman Shami, who played the mediator's role, were recorded. The cassette also included the following dialogue between Mir Shakil and Senator Saifur Rahman: "Mir Shakil: The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal has given verdict in our favour. "Saif: This was because of our leniency. We did not give him (chairman of the tribunal) the instructions. If we had given him the instructions, even his father could not have given that decision." Regarding the character of IT Tribunal Chairman Mujibullah Siddiqui, Mir Shakil said that he was an honest officer and had enjoyed enviable reputation for his integrity. This was a fact endorsed by senior lawyers, who had come to hear Mir Shakil's press conference.

    During the recorded meetings, Senator Saif and Information Minister Mushahid Hussain were heard demanding favours from the Jang Group on policies regarding the governor's rule in Sindh, the Shariah Bill and the economic policies. The government functionaries were heard as saying that 14 people on senior positions both in the Jang and The News should be removed. The journalists included Maleeha Lodhi, Kamila Hayat, Irshad Ahmad Haqqani, Mahmood Sham, Kamran Khan, Abid Tahami, Marghoob, Khawar, Aftab Iqbal and others. The government also demanded that such journalists should be replaced by people who could favour the government's policies. The government had divided the unfavourable journalists into 'A' and 'B' categories. Raising objections on the reports of investigative reporter Kamran Khan, Saif said during the meetings the government had secured assurances from the ISI about him and he should be controlled by Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

    The government team also accused the Jang Group of spreading hatred among the masses against the ruling party. They demanded that telephonic surveys on national issues should not be conducted by newspapers. Mir Shakil said that because of restrictions on newsprint supply, the Jang Group was facing hardships in bringing out its daily newspapers. "Despite clearance from the Customs authorities, 2,000 reels of paper have not been released todate. Because of this problem, from Saturday, daily Jang will print only six pages and The News will bring out 10 pages," he added. Mir Shakil said: "All our bank accounts have been seized. The personal accounts of mine and my mother have also been seized. Yesterday (Wednesday) when my brother gave statement in our favour, his account in the United Bank Ltd, Al-Rahman Branch, was also seized."

    The editor-in-chief said that the Supreme Court was moved against the injustices meted out by the PML government. "It was a remarkable thing that this step was taken by us in the country," he added. Mir Shakil said reports were received that anti-state cases were being prepared against him. He said: "The government is making all out attempts that the issue should not be construed as one of 'press freedom' and 'freedom of expression'. I am afraid that something terrible is in the making. I also fear for my life." He said he would prove whatever published in the Jang Group of Publications was the truth. "Whatever we published was also covered by other newspapers, but only our group was being targeted. I don't care whatever they will do with me. I will prove each and everything on the basis of logic and facts. Whatever we published, it is our job to prove it. And what the government said, it is their responsibility to prove it," Mir Shakil remarked.

    The editor-in-chief said that the government's actions were based on malicious intentions and were taken with 'unfair mind'. According to the tape-recorded message, Senator Saifur Rahman said that the income tax and other legal notices would be withdrawn and government advertisements would be released, if the Jang Group supported the government's policies. Mir Shakil said: "There was a time when I got confused. I thought about my life, my family, my organisation and about my 4,000 workers and their families. It is very difficult to stand before the state power. Some people advised me to bow down and accept the government's conditions to save the institutions. But there were also people who advised me to stand for the truth."

    Regarding a story which was published in daily Observer of London and reproduced in Pakistan by a number of newspapers but could not be covered by the Jang because of pressure from the government, the editor-in-chief said: "I felt sorry for it. In the market economy, it is very difficult to survive, if one is not in the competition." Mir Shakil said: "The government did too much against us and is still doing a lot. The organisation of newspaper owners -- the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) -- and the association of editors -- the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) -- also intervened into the matter. But under the given circumstances, the Jang Group had to take decisions which were not recommended by the APNS and the CPNE. But they are with us. There is also a resolution from them in our favour." The editor-in-chief said that the situation was in the Jang Group's favour. "We were not involved in selling imported newsprint quota in the market. We did not avoid payment of income tax. We did not publish stories which were incorrect," he added. Without giving names of other newspaper organisations involved in selling newsprint quota, Mir Shakil said the government was not taking any action against them.
    The editor-in-chief said that when he addressed a press conference in August 1998, some newspapers played a nasty role. "They propagated that there was a deal between the government and the Jang Group. But that was not true. If there was any deal and if that was any administrative matter, then why the ban was imposed on releasing public sector advertisements to us," he added.

    Mir Shakil said: "I did not leave any stone unturned to resolve the issue. I went from pillar to post. I wrote a letter to Abbaji, the father of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, but to no avail. The government's action against the Jang Group began in August 1998, when income and wealth tax cases of the group's various companies and directors, previously being dealt by different Income Tax (IT) circles, were pooled in one circle. This circle is renowned as a branch of the Ehtesab Bureau in the IT Department where cases of those politicians are dealt, against whom the government has decided to take any action." Referring to a television programme telecast the previous night on the PTV, Mir Shakil said that it was a one-sided propaganda. "If there is democracy, then versions of both the sides should be presented and then experts will decide what is right and what is wrong. This is the policy of the Jang Group to give views of all concerned parties. We have printed complete view of the government's side also in our newspapers," he remarked. REFERENCE: Mir Shakil says govt preparing anti-state cases against him; fears for his life; 'our organisation is being destroyed'; audio cassette of talks with Saif, Mushahid played during crowded press conference; journalists flabbergastedhttp://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/spedition/waronjang/news/jan99/jan99-29-1.htm
    URDU TEXT [AT THE END]OF MAHMOOD SHAM ARTICLE FILED IN DAILY JANG http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/nov2009-daily/16-11-2009/main.

    By Aamir Mughal -

  • Credibility of Shaheen Sehbai, Mir Shakil ur Rahman and Jang Group of Newspapers.http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/11/credibility-of-shaheen-sehbai-mir.htmlMr. Shaheen Sehbai, Group Editor, The News International - Jang Group of Newspapers is very fond of quoting Foreign Press particularly when Foreign Press [Pro Zionist] is negative on President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari and PPP. Shaheen Sehbai while quoting The New York Times: “The problems in Afghanistan have only been compounded by the fragility of Mr. Obama’s partner in Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari, who is so weak that his government seems near collapse.” The Washington Post in a report by two correspondents said: “Zardari's political weakness is an additional hazard for a new bilateral relationship...The administration expects Zardari's position to continue to weaken, leaving him as a largely ceremonial president even if he manages to survive in office.” REFERENCE: Obama administration fears Zardari collapse WASHINGTON (Shaheen Sehbai)Updated at: 1525 PST, Monday, November 30, 2009http://thenews.jang.com.pk/updates.asp?id=92494 Obama administration fears Zardari collapse Updated at: 1525 PST, Monday,November 30, 2009 http://www.geo.tv/11-30-2009/53849.htm

    Should we believe Mr Shaheen Sehbai or his Editor in Chief Mir Shakil ur Rahman's Letter Addressed to Mr Shaheen Sehbai asking for his resign on filing Concocted Stories in The News International


    Date: Fri, 01 Mar 2002 07:42:48 -0500

    Dear Colleagues and Friends:

    It is with great sorrow that I have to convey this bad news to you all today. I have resigned today as the Editor.

    I am enclosing enclosing the correspondence with MSR which is self explanatory. I wish to thank you all for all the cooperation and respect that you extended to me during these 14 months as Editor. I will be available to each one of you as a friend at all times. Wishing you the best of luck and a great future. Shaheen Sehbai

    Pl read on:


    To: Mir Shakil ur Rehman, Editor-in-Chief, The News
    From: Shaheen Sehbai, Editor, The News
    Date: March 1, 2002
    Subject: Reply to Memo dated Feb 28, 2002

    With reference to your Memo dated Feb 28, I have been accused of policy violations starting from March 2001 until the publication on Feb 17 this year of the Kamran Khan story on Daniel Pearl case. I can obviously understand that these so-called ?policy violations?are nothing but an excuse to comply with the Government demand to sack me, and three other senior journalists, as you told me in our meeting in your office on Feb 22. I feel sorry that you have to make such excuses. You could have given one hint that you wanted me to go and I would have quit immediately.

    I understand that you, as owner of the Jang Group of Newspapers have been so intensely pressurized in the last about two weeks that you are no longer ready, or able, to withstand it. All government advertising of the Group has been unjustifiably suspended by the Government starting Monday, February 18, 2002, following the investigative story done in The News by our reporter, Kamran Khan. This story, as it appears now, was just an excuse to twist the neck of the Group because the same story appeared simultaneously in the Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune and not one point contained in it was denied or clarified by the Government. Instead they tightened the screw on the Jang Group, as it appeared to be the most vulnerable and within their reach. This has a very obvious, and sinister message, for the free Press in Pakistan: Get in line, or be ready for the stick.?I feel sorry that you have decided to get in line, but I cannot be a party to this decision.

    You had informed me officially at a meeting in your office on Feb 22, 2002, at 10.15 p.m. that you have been given names of four journalists of The News? myself, Kamran Khan, Amir Mateen and a staffer in our Islamabad Bureau (probably Rauf Klasra as you did not name the 4th person), to be immediately sacked before the government advertisements could be restored. You also informed me that officials of the Information Ministry wanted me to improve my PR with them as they had been complaining that I was not available to them, which is basically not true. You told me to directly contact these officials and talk to them about restoring the advertisements of the Group. Mr Mahmud Sham, who later joined our meeting, had informed us that the Secretary Information had clearly stated that matters were beyond his capacity to resolve and that we have now to meet the ISI high ups.

    As a matter of principle I refused to call, or meet, any of these government officials in a situation when the entire Group was being held hostage with a gun pointed at its head. I, however, conveyed to the Government, through Mr Sham, all the evidence that the policy of The News?was very balanced, in fact tilted, in favour of General Pervez Musharraf's government, not under any government pressure, but because some of the things he was doing were right and The News never hesitated to support any right step taken by the Government. At least 50 editorials and over 100 Op-Ed articles published in about 6 weeks were cited to show that The News had no bias against the government. Proof was also provided of how ?The News? at times, went out of its way to accommodate government requests.

    Apparently these argument have not satisfied the government and the pressure is continuing on you, as your Memo indicates. Whatever other issues you have raised are childish and frivolous and I would not waste my time discussing them. But one message that emerges is very clear --- I ran the newspaper as a very independent Editor, according to whatever I thought was objective, true and professionally sound journalism. I made the best use of the latest available computer technology to create a working environment in which the entire editorial staff was integrated in such a network that almost everyone was available to each other at all times. I interacted with all my staff on a personal, round the clock basis, no matter where I was located or traveling, even outside Pakistan. So the charge that I was not available to my staff is laughable as it shows how far removed you are from the ground situation.

    Your complaint of lack of general improvement in The News?is also obviously an excuse to build some case against me under Government pressure. You never once complained of that before. In fact the ground reality is just the opposite. I successfully built a great team of reporters, editors and writers during the 14 months I have been the Editor. We achieved a lot in breaking major stories, including assumption of the office of the President by General Musharraf and corruption in various government departments including Social Action Programme (SAP) and Employees Old-age Benefit Institution (EOBI). The overwhelming impression that any newspaper of the Jang Group could not publish anything against its advertisers and commercial sponsors was removed by the investigative stories we did on PIA and other corporate organizations. The News became the most quoted newspaper abroad, not only for its stories but its editorial comments and opinions. The latest such quote was in the prestigious New York Times just three days ago. The Washington Post interviewed me last week as Editor of The News.

    The real reasons for failure to bring about a real visible change in Karachi are known to you. For over a year now you have been sitting on all the plans, proposals and schemes, including a Vision Document prepared after months of hard work. The scheme to revamp all the magazines has been lying on your table for months. The designs and site plans to renovate the entire newspaper office on 4th and 5th floors has been gaining dust for months and the staff is forced to work with hundreds of cockroaches creeping on papers, computers, inside telephone sets and faxmachines. In fact I have been bogged down in these totally useless exercises for most of my time, hoping that you would find time and money to start implementing any of these detailed proposals for change and improvement. You have always been promising to launch these scheme within weeks, but that time never came. I am appalled at your audacity to accuse me of being responsible for not bringing any change while the fact is that you have always been complaining of the financial crunch?in the newspaper. You have stopped increments of all the staff and played legal jugglery with all the contract employees by refusing to renew their contracts or giving them salary increases.

    Even despite that I continued to work 20 hours a day to improve the editorial content of the newspaper which has been appreciated and recognized by every one, including your senior Directors and Editors of sister publications in letters written to me. The readers, however, are the best judge.

    Why you never raised any objection before, and why you are doing it now, is obvious --- the Government pressure is unbearable. This is not a happy omen.

    Therefore, I have to convey this sad message to you, though I feel very content and satisfied that I have taken the right decision on the basis of principles. I have decided to resign from the Editorship of The News with immediate effect, rather than to submit to Government pressure and change the policy of the newspaper. Under my editorship, I will not allow the newspaper to become the voice of any government for monetary considerations. I had given my name, credibility and reputation to The News?and I prefer to protect these precious assets, rather than my job. But I will earnestly request you not to take any action against the other colleagues you have been asked to sack, as the ultimate responsibility of whatever appeared in the newspaper was mine, as Editor, and not theirs. They should be allowed to continue with their jobs. I wish, you, the newspaper and all of my colleagues a great future.

    I hereby, resign from the editorship. Please accept my resignation today and remove my name from the print line of the newspaper as of tomorrow, Saturday, March 2, 2002. I would not be responsible for the contents of the newspaper as of tomorrow.

    Best Regards

    Shaheen Sehbai


    To: Shaheen Sehbai, Editor, The News
    From: MSR, Editor-in-Chief
    Date: 2/28/02
    Re: Violation of policy

    I am constrained to bring to your notice several, and repeated, violation of editorial policies clearly understood between us. Infact, these policies have also been agreed in writing. On 26th March, 2001, you had published a one sided, incorrect and libelous article against Mr. Aittiazaz Bob Din, a well known businessman residing in the United States. Although Mr. Bob Din had cited person differences between the two of you, dating back to your stay in the United States, as the motive behind the unfounded allegations against him, I had disregarded this suggestion at that time and had judged the matter purely on merit. As you will recall, you were unable to substantiate the serious charges you had leveled against him. It was only through my personal apologies and the intervention of mutual acquaintances that we were able to dissuade Mr. Din from suing the News for defamation and libel.

    On two different occasions, you published unfavourable articles about PIA, which were of uncertain veracity and did not contain their point of view, as a result of which they denounced these articles in a press conference, threatened to take legal action, suspended our advertisements and also stopped putting our papers on PIA flights. Needless to say, these measures hurt us financially, damaged our reputation and took a great deal of pacification to undo.

    I would also refer to the written terms of our agreement at the time of your appointment under which you are required to discuss the top stories of the day and other important editorial matters with me and seek the Editor-in-chiefs point of view and verdict on contentious issues? To my recollection, you have never deemed it fit to consult me on any matter. In this connection, I would further like to refer to our meeting on the eve of Eid in which group Editor Daily Jang was also present and we discussed the fallout of the story printed a few days earlier in the News ( again without consulting me, I might add ) which was perceived to be damaging to our national interest and elicited severe reaction by the Government. It had been agreed that we would contact relevant Government functionaries and arrange to meet with them to discuss the issue and also convey our point of view. Regrettably, you chose not to go to Islamabad and attend the meeting even though this had been clearly agreed. You even rebuffed senior Government officials who contacted you on the phone by hanging up on them. Sham Sahib and I left several messages with your assistant but again, you chose not to take or return our calls.

    I would also like to take this opportunity to point out again, that it is a frequent complaint that you do not interact with people. Not only have senior Government officials protested that you are inaccessible to them, but even your own staff complains that you are hardly available for meetings, guidance and discussions.

    I must convey my disappointment to you at all these issues, as I must convey my disappointment with the lack of general progress in the improvement of the News. The number of mistakes and blunders being committed, failure to follow agreed journalistic ethics - as pointed out to you from time to time by EMD have all resulted in financial set backs as well as loss of credibility for the News. I have only recounted some of the problems besetting the Jang group. It is quite evident that matters are not proceeding as we had agreed. However, before I make up my mind, I would like to hear your point of view.

    I look forward to hearing from you about the serious issues that I have raised above and any solutions that you may propose.

    Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman


    REFERENCE: Why Are We Killing Ourselves? Anas Malik March 2, 2002 http://www.chowk.com/interacts/5252/1/0/a
    By Aamir Mughal -

  • Unprofessional and substandard reporting by the News International

    By Yousuf Nazar Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 at 10:03 am


    I hate to name people but I strongly feel that the media people should be held accountable too and should not be above criticism. I hope this will be taken in the same spirit. I can’t be accused of being pro-Zardari or pro-PPP given that I wrote (both in DAWN and the NEWS on 4th September 2008) that Zardari was his own worst enemy.

    Now, please read this report by the News [Feb. 17, 2010] titled, “PM’s ‘last chance’ to mend ways with SC”, by Ansar Abbasi.

    Now a quote from this report:

    “analysts say the PM will not have many more chances for correcting his blunders. It is expected that Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry would press for the approval of his recommendations for the appointment of judges in the Supreme Court and the high courts as they were in line with the law, Constitution, established conventions and principles laid down in Supreme Court judgments.

    ….the country’s top legal and constitutional experts are unanimous that the government’s last week notifications for the appointment of CJ LHC Justice Khawaja Sharif as judge of the Supreme Court and that of Justice Saqib Nisar as acting CJ LHC were invalid and unconstitutional. To save his government from any further embarrassment, the prime minister would act wise if he announces to undo last Saturday’s unconstitutional notifications and rectify the situation by advising the president to approve the recommendations of the chief justice for the appointment of judges in the Supreme Court as well as high courts, including the LHC and the SHC.” It will also promote the image of the prime minister and even the president, who has hardly any credibility left, to sideline their top legal advisers like Babar Awan and Latif Khosa and get them replaced with the likes of Aitzaz Ahsan and Fakhruddin G Ebrahim. All the eyes are again set on the prime minister. Now he will have to show whether he would disappoint the already disappointed nation or would give them good news.”

    Now is this reporting or analysis? Neither.

    This report has few highly unprofessional points that are against all norms of journalism:

    (a) The report warns the PM that this maybe his last chance. Now last chance for what? If the Prime Minister did not agree with the recommendations, it is within his rights to do so? Is he a grade 22 officer that he must follow the ‘recommendations’ of CJ. Is the reporter forgetting that the PM is the chief executive of Pakistan and it is he who advises the President to appoint the CJ and the judges.

    (b) It is a gross distortion of facts to state that “the country’s top legal and constitutional experts are unanimous that the government’s last week notifications for the appointment of CJ LHC Justice Khawaja Sharif as judge of the Supreme Court and that of Justice Saqib Nisar as acting CJ LHC were invalid and unconstitutional.” 

    Justice (rtd) F.G. Ebrahim has clearly said there was nothing wrong with appointing the senior most judge of LHC to the Supreme Court. The former President of SCBA and a hero of the lawyers movement, Ali Ahmed Kurd has visibly distanced himself from the judgements of Iftikhar Chaudhry’s court.

    (c) The report goes on to tell the PM which particular judge to appoint to the Supreme Court. What is the difference? Both Kh. Sharif and Saqib are judges? What is the fuss about? Is President or PM appointing his favorite cricketer as a SC judge?

    (d) It does not stop there, it goes on to tell the PM who he should appoint as his legal advisers.

    Do these journalists even know the meaning of objective reporting and analysis or Mir Shakil ur Rehman has been too busy making money to give them any training? 

    It has become a plague in Pakistan for reporters and columnists to not only get involved in partisan politics but also fancy themselves as astute and “ghak” political advisers with no regard to the responsibility they owe to the readers and viewers who have a right to expect unbiased and professional reporting and analyses. Little do they know, they are merely little and disposable pawns in the overall scheme of things and great games that are played.

    It is true that all journalists have their leanings (be it in the developed world or in the developing world) but it is one thing to spin and completely another matter to become a mouth piece of a particular ‘party line’ and yet unashamedly profess to be a champion of all sorts of democratic principles and values.

    By Aamir Mughal -

  • The politics of media baronsMonday, February 15th, 2010 at 6:18 amhttp://www.yousufnazar.com/?p=865

    First let me reproduce part of story published by The News International on February 15, 2010.  The reporter is Rauf Klasra.

    ISLAMABAD: Striking down his entire lot of nominees for appointment as judges of the Lahore High Court, the federal government has formally informed the Chief Justice, Justice Khwaja Sharif, that his list contained serious “flaws” and did not meet the set constitutional criteria. The government has also sent back a similar list, forwarded by the Sindh governor for his own province, it was reliably learnt. Though Punjab Governor Salman Taseer had recommended 19 of the original 28 nominees of the Chief Justice Lahore High Court, Justice Khwaja Mohammad Sharif, the federal government has, nevertheless, rejected all while citing different reasons.A source close to the Supreme Court, when contacted, said the matter of judges’ appointment is in court and soon everything will get crystal clear. He said whatever information about the nominees of judges was required under the Constitution was provided by the Lahore High Court chief justice. The criterion for selection of nominees for judges was also strictly followed. Whatever qualification the constitution provided for judges, such as competency, experience and good reputation, was ensured while finalising the list of nominees for judges.

    SO far so good. But then the story goes on to quote the “SOURCE IN THE SUPREME COURT” to publish this highly political statement. This source should either come out openly and join politics. Or is it that the News publishes whatever it feels like and attributes it to sources. Now please read carefully the following part of the story.

    He said in fact the government attitude towards judiciary was altogether changed after the announcement of Supreme Court verdict on NRO. Before this verdict, the government accepted all recommendations in a hope that the Supreme Court would feel obliged and show leniency on NRO. He said the Supreme Court, however, made the decision strictly according to law and constitution shattering the government hopes. Afterwards, he said, the government adopted attitude of non-cooperation and started objecting on every recommendation by the judiciary. He said the judiciary was offered by the government to induct 50 per cent of Jiala judges and 50 per cent of their own choice. “Be happy and make us happy” was what the government wanted from judiciary. He said whenever these objections were sent by the government, today, yesterday or some days before why it did not wait for the response from the chief justice. He said the government made the announcement before consultation, while it is not authorised under the constitution to act in this way.He said the PPP government wanted to induct Jiala judges in the judiciary and turn Pakistan’s justice system into topsy-turvy so that it could loot the national wealth with both hands. He said, according to his information, the agencies were pressurised to make false reports about the nominees for judges. He said the main problem is of one man that is President Zardari. And of Zardari’s corruption, he said, the main issue is of Swiss court cases. Attempts are being made to save Zardari from persecution in Swiss courts so that the looted money is not brought back and culprit is also not apprehended.

    Who is this source? Is it in accordance with constitutional and legal norms that Supreme Court sources make political speeches and comments to newspapers? What business is it of a Chief Justice to go around the country (even after he had been restored) and address bars and meet delegations. Is there a limit to the nonsense that is being thrust upon the hapless people of Pakistan in the name of “independent judiciary”.

    One former Chief Justice (Munir) killed the constitution of Pakistan. Another Chief Justice (Anwar ul Haq) was responsible for the murder of an elected Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and gave legal cover to Zia, the curse of Pakistan. Another Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry    

     Writing of history or triumph of amnesia?
    Islamabad diary Friday, August 07, 2009 Ayaz Amir 

    sold out his soul to Musharraf by becoming his chief justice only to later conspire against him with the help of the intelligence agencies. Why then we are expected to blindly follow and respect these lordships?

    If they really care about justice, then why don’t they order all the generals, admirals and chaudhris of Punjab to disclose their wealth and return all loans that were written off? Why don’t they order Musharraf and all his collaborators to appear in the court and face trial under Article 6? That is the most serious crime that can be committed under the law of the land but Zardari hunting is the only job these Lordships have been assigned by their real masters in Pindi, and toady journalists are too happy to oblige!

    Yousuf Nazar

    By Aamir Mughal -

  • An Open Letter to all Journalists: Would GEO/Jang Group publish the names?An Open Letter to all Journalists  (courtesy pkpolitics.com)Sunday, February 21st, 2010 at 11:38 amhttp://www.yousufnazar.com/?p=869

    An Open Letter to all Journalists

    This is an open letter to journalists written in good faith and it is based on the questions and comments from large number of citizens about the recent news related to plots and residential schemes for journalists.

    Other than plots, several stories were revealed in past few months regarding the Secret Funds of Information Ministry and IB (Intelligence Bureau) for journalists and media entities.

    The media has always highlighted and talked about the assets of politicians. Wouldn’t it make more sense that the Journalist Community openly provide the account of their own assets before publishing the assets of others?

    Several other questions are raised by the community – like:

    - Who are the pseudo journalists that have been unwillingly inducted in different media organizations/entities on someone else’s demand? Who will dare to name those?

    - Who is bearing expenses of meetings/dinners/gathering of journalists with political leaders? The employers of journalists or the politicians?

    - Why media is silent over Nazi Naji abuse issue? Is it just because he is in the same profession?

    - Is there any process of accountability within the journalists community?

    - Who are the journalists who had been rewarded with plots in Bahria Town through Malik Riaz, who has always been a close partner of our elite ruling class, whether it be Military dictator Musharraf and his cronies, or President Zardari or the Sharif family? Isn’t it ironic that in all the lists of rich people of Pakistan, the name of richest person, Malik Riaz had always been missing?

    Similar to any politician, judge or civil/military bureaucrat, every journalist should also make himself/herself morally accountable to the general public before exposing others.

    A rough Performa like the following should be declared by all journalists along the following lines:


    1- How many plots/properties you have been allotted as a Journalist in Government/Semi-Government/Journalists colonies? If yes, provide details.

    2- How many plots you have been allotted in any other private scheme (like Bahria Town) in return of your Services? If yes, provide details.

    3- Have you ever received any gifts from politicians, businessmen or from any other person who is not a personal friend of yours? If yes, provide details.

    4- Have you ever received any money/benefits from secret or any other special fund of Government? If yes, provide details.

    5- Do you or any of your family members own any marketing or advertising company? If yes, provide details.

    6- Are you defaulter of any bills/payments etc. to any Government/Semi-Government Organization/Corporation? If yes, provide details.

    7- Have you ever asked any politician/businessman for favor in terms of providing employment or promotion for any of your family members/relatives or friends? If yes, provide details.

    8- How many times you have accompanied Prime Minister/President or other Government officials during their International visits? Provide details.

    9- How many times you have accompanied Prime Minister/President or other Government officials during their visits within Pakistan? Provide details.

    10 - Can you declare your current assets, as well as your assets before starting your career as a journalist? A form used by members of parliaments for this purpose will be

    By Aamir Mughal -

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