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Geo News Anchor Felt ‘Threatened’

by AFP and Newsweek Pakistan
Farooq Naeem—AFP

Farooq Naeem—AFP

Statement issued by Hamid Mir alleges ‘state and nonstate’ elements were targeting him in days leading up to his shooting.

Hamid Mir, who hosts Capital Talk on Geo News, and was shot at least three times in Karachi last week, said on Thursday he “felt threatened” by state and nonstate actors in the days leading up to the attack.

The shooting of Mir, and his network’s insistence that Pakistan’s intelligence agency and its director-general were to blame, has led to a bitter row between the broadcaster and the military. The defense ministry has demanded Geo be taken off the air for broadcasting claims by Mir’s brother that the Inter-Services Intelligence agency was behind Saturday’s attack.

Mir is still recovering in hospital but his brother Amir Mir read a statement from him on Thursday evening saying intelligence officials had visited him a few days before the shooting to tell him his name was on an unspecified “hit list.”

“I insisted that they should let me know about the people who had prepared this hit list, but they did not reveal that,” Mir’s statement said. “I told the intelligence officials who came to my house that in present conditions I feel threatened by the ISI,” it added, without providing any proof of his claims.

No one has claimed responsibility for shooting Mir, who escaped another assassination bid in 2012 when a bomb was found attached to his car. The Pakistani Taliban said they were behind that attempt and vowed to target Mir again.

Inter-Services Public Relations, the media wing of the armed forces, denied the allegations against the ISI at the weekend, saying they were baseless, and condemned the attack on Mir.

Mir said he told Geo management about threats against him. He said the threats came from “state and nonstate elements.”

The media campaign group Reporters Without Borders said Mir had told it on April 7 that the ISI was “conspiring … to cause me harm.”

According to Mir’s statement, the intelligence agency is “annoyed” at him “because of a program of Capital Talk during the long march of Baloch missing persons leader Mama Qadeer Baloch. I am also aware that ISI is annoyed because of my criticism on secret agencies role in politics.”

The defense ministry’s complaint about Geo accused the channel of a “vicious campaign, libelous and scandalous in nature,” saying they were trying to undermine an important state institution.

On Thursday Sheikh Ijaz, secretary-general of the Cable Operators Association of Pakistan, said that transmission of Geo had been blocked in some residential areas managed by the military. But he said there had been no general order from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to interrupt the channel’s transmission.

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4 comments

Javaid Bashir April 25, 2014 - 5:10 pm

It is a ridiculous statement by the Victim. what state and non state actors are after him. He should name them. And let the Commission appointed by the P. M take care of them. No one is above law and he should make submission before the Court, not for the media consumption. He is trying to challenge the authority of the ISI and wrongly blaming the State agency for its supposed hand in attack on him. He had not provided any kind of evidence. He has been playing in the hands of the enemies of the state.

The Geo has handed the matter carelessly. I personally condemn all such efforts to malign the reputation of the Chief of ISI. Lt General Zaheer ul Islam is a competent and professional soldier and great asset to the country. Persons like Hamid Mir must tone down the accusations and talk sense. It is just unbelievable that he is doing this to take revenge. Geo group is notorious for its anti state activities.

We condemn such organization’s assault on the State institution. ISI is a prime agency targeted by the Geo ‘s relentless campaign against it. It has assisted India in bringing the Agency in ill repute. All concerned authorities should regulate the conduct of this T.V Channel and decide its fate bearing in mind the national interest being supreme.

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Haseeb April 26, 2014 - 7:57 am

My sympathies with you Javiad Bashir but just ISI not been killing prominent journalists because they are doing their job, you’d have not been required to write full novels explaining how innocent ISI really is.

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Assad April 26, 2014 - 12:44 am

Totally agree with Javaid Bashir here. These are all unsubstantiated claims maligning the ISI. Hamid Mir says “Intelligence officials”, well which intelligence? There is the FIA, the IB and then the much maligned ISI. How does he know the person who contacted him was indeed an operative of ISI? How does he know that non-state actors like the TTP did not target him? Omar Khorasani, one of the key militant leaders of TTP, clearly said that Mir got what was coming to him and while he did not own up to the attack, there is precedence where TTP carry out attacks and then deny responsibility if they feel this could be a sticky situation for them. This episode has been a showcase for how unprofessional the Pakistani media, specially Geo News, is and how it works to the detriment of Pakistan. According to them, the hell with Pakistan and its security…

In this entire episode, the behavior of Geo has been that of a selfish money making business putting Pakistan’s security on the line for its own corporate interests. Hamid Mir, although a victim, should have realized that there is a process to bring his accusations to the courts and should have stuck to that. To this day, there is no FIR. How can he blame the ISI for all of this?

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Javaid Bashir April 26, 2014 - 11:26 am

It must have hit some raw nerve. If a few sentences appear like a novel to you then good for you. At least you can enjoy the novel. You seem to be Geo sympathizer, and have been taken in by their propaganda. I hold Geo -Jang group responsible for their anti – state stance. They must be punished for treason

If they have any problem then they should go to the Court and get redress for their grievances . This media circus must end . We had enough of this non-sense. They are Indian agents and their activities must be monitored. their Indian masters are pulling their strings.

People like Aamar Liaquat Husain the self styled Mr. Popularity and don of Geo should stop barking. He has shown his true colors, defending indefensible Geo – Jang Group.

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