Shocking revelations

An audiotape doing the rounds in the cyber world has taken the country by storm. One of the country’s top anchors and a prominent journalist, Hamid Mir, while talking to an alleged Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) member, made shocking comments about various things. A transcript of the conversation was published in Daily Times yesterday. The conversation took place a few days before Khalid Khawaja, a former ISI official, was killed last month by a militant group going by the name of the ‘Asian Tigers’. Some are speculating if Mir’s indiscretions played a role in Khawaja’s murder.

There should be a thorough investigation into the matter by the security agencies. It should first be ascertained whether it was actually Hamid Mir or an impersonator on the audiotape. If it is indeed a genuine transcript, Mir’s credentials should come under the scanner. Considering the fact that Mir is a very influential TV anchor, it comes as a surprise that he seems to be involved in murky areas where most journalists fear to tread. Being an investigative journalist does make one come in contact with militant groups so as to get exclusive scoops, but it does not give a journalist the right to incite violence and hatred. If these charges are proved against Mr Mir, he could attract the mischief of the Army Act and Pakistan Penal Code for aiding and abetting terrorists who have declared war on the state of Pakistan and against whom our forces are fighting and dying. These are serious charges and should be dealt with accordingly.

When asked by the unidentified man who Khawaja was working for, Mir opined that he was working for the CIA and not the ISI. He then went on to strengthen his allegation by citing incidents from the past and how close Khawaja was to former CIA chief William Casey and a character called Mansoor Ijaz. Mir alleges that Ijaz could have been an Israeli agent since he tried to persuade Benazir Bhutto to recognise Israel when she was in power. Mir is already on record as having written that Khawaja led a “highly complex underworld life, as a mediator, sometimes on behalf of the Americans, a power-broker, a mover and shaker”. In the audiotape, Mir discloses that Khawaja wanted him to arrange a meeting with Kashmiri mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin, but he did not because of Khawaja’s links with the Indian government. Mir also implicates Khawaja in the Laal Masjid case and hints that the reason Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi opted for death was to wipe out the humiliation of his brother fleeing the mosque wearing a burqa. Mir talks about his friendship with PML-N member Javed Ibrahim Paracha, who is alleged to have spread sectarian terrorism in Kohat and has links to al Qaeda and other terrorist outfits.

Apart from Mir’s conspiracy theories about Khawaja being an agent of the CIA, India and Israel, the most horrifying aspect was to hear Mir spewing venom against the Ahmedis in the audiotape. He alleged that Khawaja was a “Qadiyani agent” and said, “I personally believe that Qadiyanis are worse than the kuffar (infidels)”. The Ahmedis are already a persecuted community in Pakistan and such views by a prominent journalist would put them in further danger. There is already a lot of intolerance because of the extremist mindset that prevails in our society. When such a prominent television commentator and anchor makes such comments, his journalistic ethics must be questioned. These days many anchors and journalists are challenging the credibility of the government, but one must now interrogate their own credibility. It is hoped that the media group Hamid Mir works for would, in its wisdom, distance itself from Mir. Not only has Mir acted in a criminal manner, he has violated all professional ethics as well. Mir must be taken to task so that the people of Pakistan are not misled by his ilk in the future.

(my editorial in Daily Times)

Comments

Ammar said…
The comments regarding Ahmedi’s are perhaps the most disturbing, when an elected representative is accused of taking bribes it is a Qadiani conspiracy, they are dragged in every god forsaken conspiracy theory and nexus of Qadinani, CIA ,Mossad raw is behind all that goes wrong in Pakistan!
This case needs serious introspection as many media personal have cordial relations with militant organizations which is beyond their journalistic mandate

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