By Raza Ruman
Islamabad, Oct 29 (Pak Destiny) The BOL and GEO media groups fight has intensified as the ARY and Express media groups have jumped into it putting their weight behind the BOL.
BOL has given a befitting response to Jang group by leaking Hindustan Times inquiry report for running a controversial story that ‘underworld king Dawood Ibrahim is behind the BOL media group venture’.
Earlier, Jang, The News had published this kind of stories based on a writ petition.
Sources said the management of the rival media groups – ARY and Express – after long deliberation had decided to publish the Hindustan Times inquiry report and take on Geo without any fear.
ARY tasked Mubashir to take on Geo on his Oct 25 show on the issue and Express published a story on Oct 28 on front page narrating how a local media is being played at the hands of Indian intelligence agency to target the ISI.
The way BOL is getting its sympathizers in the media it seems it is going to unnerve the Jang group when it launches its operation in Pakistan shortly. Jang group is going to give its official response to the inquiry on Oct 30. It will be nothing but denial that it had nothing to do with HT Dawood story and may take on ARY and Express as well.
HERE IS THE REPORTED lEAKED HT DAWOOD REPORT: ” GEO/Jang Owner Mir Shakeel ur Rahman, Businessman Jahangir Siddiqui and their rendezvous with Indian Intelligence & Hindustan Times Senior official unraveled.
The story mentioned below might not win an Oscar for best screenplay for a motion picture but it sure does consist of all elements for an exciting Hollywood Noir Thriller- an international conspiracy, a mafia lord, meetings in the dark of the night and a toe-curling investigation. For the sake of amusement, let’s call it the grand script for “Geo Network’s Indian Misadventure with Hindustan Times – A tale of conspiracy gone haywire!” The story is told by the leaked internal investigation report carried out by Hindustan Times after publishing an article based on nothing but thin air, that resulted in facing litigation from the offended parties. The article, that was published on Sunday – 29 September 2013, claimed that internationally renowned underworld don Dawood ibrahim is the actual owner of the upcoming Pakistani media enterprise, BOL Network.
The article was taken down within a few days after publication from Hindustan Times Website and a clarification has also been made regarding the authenticity of the claims made. It all happened when a high level internal inquiry was ordered by the chairpersons office of Hindustan times upon receiving a legal notice. The Chairperson and Editorial Director, Hindustan Times initiated an internal inquiry with the help of the Foreign editor of Hindustan Times, Pramit Pal Chaudhuri and their legal consultants Karanjawala & Co. regarding the source of this published news article and the internal source behind making this non-story a front page article. The HT enquiry team uncovered involvement of Pakistan’s Jang/Geo Media Group owner, Mir Shakeel ur Rahman, whose allegiance with an Indian intelligence official made it possible for a senior Hindustan Times Editor to get a source-less story on the front page of a nationwide newspaper as well as a headlining story on their web edition. The chairpersons office was shocked to find out that HT published a story that was already published by Jang/Geo group on their newspapers and website 90 days ago out of fear of competition that BOL has unleashed. The HT editor has no explanation for publishing that story against BOL without even referring to the rivalry and the originally published story. The story also linked Aqeel Karim Dedhi (AKD) a Pakistani businessman with Dawood Ibrahim for no reason other than the fact that there is a fierce rivalry between AKD and Mir Shakeel-ur-Rahman of Jang/Geo group along with Shakeel’s Samdhi (daughter’s father-in-law) Mr Jehangir Siddiqui. Mr AKD has filed several cases against Mir Shakeel and Jehangir Siddiqui and there is an intense fight going on between them.
This fact alone was enough for the HT enquiry team to believe that Jang/geo group is behind this publication. The following are the findings of the leaked internal investigation report of Hindustan times:
It can be safely assumed that Mir Shakeel ur Rahman sought for a way out that would tarnish the reputation of 2 of its biggest rivals (Upcoming media group BOL Media and AKD) who have already gone into defamation lawsuits against him. For this purpose, Mir Shakeel ur Rahman, using his contacts in Indian Intelligence, took a senior official of Hindustan Times, C.N. (Only Initials of the HT employee mentioned in the leaked report) into the fold and scheduled a meeting.
On Friday 27th September 2013, the scheduled meeting was held at Grand Hyatt Hotel, Mumbai at 8:30 PM IST. The meeting was a hushed private affair booked under aliases to avoid trace, in a pure Hollywood Noir fashion. The said meeting was attended by the senior official of Hindustan Times (C.N.), the representative of Indian Intelligence serving the liaison role and Mr. Jahangir Siddiqui, representing Jang/Geo Group and who being a stock broker is in direct competition with Aqeel Karim Dhedi (AKD) who himself owns several stock broking firms and is his biggest business rival for many years. Mr. Jahangir Siddiqui’s visit to India was kept under wraps even from his own office staff although the source warrants his presence claiming that Mr. Siddiqui’s passport can be used as an evidence of his presence in Mumbai during the time meeting was held. Mir Shakeel ur Rahman, who was in London at that time, participated in the meeting through telephone.
It was decided that associating the underworld element of Dawood Ibrahim with the competitors of Jang/Geo and Jahangir Siddiqui, right at the time when the Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers are about to meet will make a desirable impact for all the parties involved in this scheme. The material for this story came from the previous defamatory activities including the anti-BOL article once published (and taken down) by The News International and Daily jang of Jang/Geo group, three months ago.
With limited time in hand given the scheduled meeting of the premiers of both countries, the prepared article was given OK to be published as front-page news with absolutely no source quoted and no background check made in the evening of 28th September 2013. Such a hasty action was only possible through the persuading power of C.N. and overbearing pressure from intelligence given the foreseen discussions to be made in the scheduled meeting of both countries’ delegates the next day.
The news article was published in all editions of Sunday’s Hindustan Times nationwide on 29 September 2013. Catching up on the published story, few electronic media groups also broadcasted news reports regarding this story.
On 4th October 2013, the Chairperson was presented the outcome of internally conducted inspection regarding the faux pass committed by Hindustan Times. As per the inspection report, the involvement of C.N. being the lead conspirator of the news came into light, which brought him into circle of interrogation. Upon being assured job security as well as indemnification of any action, C.N. revealed that he forwarded the story for publication because of excessive pressure from intelligence, which was working in allegiance with the Pakistani Geo/Jang Media Group. Upon receiving this information, the Chairperson decided to take down the published news report from the Hindustan Times website.
When asked to comment on this removal of the story and the involvement of the Jang/Geo group, the representatives of BOL Network and Axact denied to make a comment regarding the story. Later they communicated their official response through an update posted on the “Response” page of their official website; confirming that after initiating litigation against Hindustan Times for publishing the slanderous article, Hindustan times has removed the article “realizing the fallacy of the article and maintaining high journalistic ethics.”
Mubashir Lucman’s Khara Sach, 25 October 2013 –