By Irum Saleem
While the Committee to Protect Journalists demands action against those involved in torture of ARY anchor Iqrar ul Hassan and his team for allegedly trying to bring Intelligence Bureau (IB) into disrepute questions are being asked who has given the authority to go after the country’s intelligence agencies in the name of freedom of press.
This is a bad example Hassan type journalists tried to set. There may be corrupt officials in IB but tell in which profession such stuff isn’t. Even Pakistani media is full of corrupt journalists…isn’t it. But making an effort to bring such an institute in disrepute can never be a good idea.
“Pakistan authorities must investigate the recent abuse of an ARY News crew by intelligence officials and ensure those responsible are held to account,” the CJP which is based in New York says.
Last Tuesday, at the Karachi office of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) the country’s civilian domestic intelligence body, reportedly it’s some officers held Iqrarul Hassan and his reporting team at gunpoint, forced them to strip naked, and beat and electrocuted them, according to Hassan’s account of the incident given to ARY News, a video interview with the journalist at a hospital posted to Twitter by ARY TV host Waseem Badami, and news reports.
The news crew was at the Intelligence Bureau to report on an official who allegedly accepted a bribe, when a group of agents detained the team for about three hours, during which they beat them and electrocuted some of the journalists on “sensitive” parts of their bodies, according to those reports.
Following the incident, Intelligence Bureau Deputy Director-General Iftikhar Nabi Tunio ordered the suspension of five IB officials “for mistreatment of ARY News Team and mishandling the situation,” according to those reports and a copy of the order posted to Twitter.
“Pakistan’s Intelligence Bureau took a useful first step by suspending the officials allegedly responsible for beating and abusing ARY News host Syed Igrarul Hassan and his crew,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “The next, and more important step is for the agency to break Pakistan’s terrible record of impunity in crimes against journalists by investigating and punishing those responsible for this attack. Pakistani officials need to know that crimes against journalists will no longer be tolerated.”
Hassan required multiple stiches to his head and suffered a dislocated shoulder, he told his employer. CPJ was unable to immediately identify the other members of Hassan’s ARY News team. CPJ called and texted Hassan, but he did not immediately respond.
Hassan hosts the Sar-e-Aam show, an investigative crime program that conducts sting operations, according to those news reports.
“CPJ was unable to find contact information for the Intelligence Bureau, which reports to the prime minister’s office. CPJ emailed the prime minister’s office seeking comment, but did not immediately receive any reply,” it said.
دنیا میں کے کسی بھی ملک میں کوئ صحافی اپنے ملک کے اداروں کے خلاف (سرکا ری دفتر) ایسا اسٹنگ آپریشن کر سکتا ہے ۔؟— naveed shahbaz (@shahbazibrahem) February 16, 2022
Journalist needs to learn how to do sting operation if it was an sting operation! Where did iqrar made crores of money to build multiple houses? Was sting operation or ransom. Tell your journalist friend to act as cameraman not CIA official.— Peer Khan (@PeeraK) February 16, 2022
کامیاب فلمی ڈرامہ؟— Nasim Pervez (@nasim_pervez) February 16, 2022
What a filmi scene? pic.twitter.com/aqH0ppJzCx
بھٹی صاحب لوگوں کے کمنٹس سے اندازہ تو لگا لیا ہوگا کہ صحافیوں اور میڈیا کی کتنی عزت ہے اقرار جیسے دو ٹکے کے ڈرامے باز کے لیے آپ اتنا پریشان نہ ہوں جب ٹی وی پر بیٹھ کر دوسروں کی پگڑیاں اچھالتے ہیں تو کبھی کبھار گارڈ آف آنر تو مل جاتا ہے سوفٹ وٸیر اپ ڈیٹ ہوجاتا ہے— Firasat yousafzai (@MuhammadFirasat) February 15, 2022
Strongly condemn the brutal attack on Iqrar ul hassan and on 9 other journalists. Where is law in this? We are journalists not terrorist. #iqrarulhassan pic.twitter.com/rbxnz3ubQd— Arif Hameed Bhatti (@arifhameed15) February 15, 2022
اس ٹویٹ کے وڈیو کلپ کو دیکھنے کے بعد میں سوچ میں پڑ گیا ہوں کہ اقرار الحسن کی مزید حمایت کیسے کروں جب کہ وہ خود بھی لوگوں کو مائیک پکڑ کر تھپڑ مارتا پھر رہا ہے۔ افسوس ہے کہ ہم اُن پر تشدد کی مذمت کر رہے ہیں اور وہ خود بھی ٹی وی چینل کے رعب میں تشدد کر رہے ہیں 🙏#iqrarulhassan https://t.co/VqHlQ1qP5n— Absar Alam (@AbsarAlamHaider) February 15, 2022
All sympathies with #iqrarulhassan but this statement reminds of Hamid Mir 🙂 pic.twitter.com/1XLvlV1Zyo#amirliaquat #bollywoodactress— Sultan Altamash Farooq 🇵🇰 (@altamashfarooq) February 16, 2022
درندگی کے ساتھ مارنا اور برہنہ کرکے نازک اعضاء پر الیکٹرک شاک لگانا۔۔۔— Shama Junejo (@ShamaJunejo) February 15, 2022
اور یہ سب ایک بڑے چینل کے بڑے اینکر @iqrarulhassan کے ساتھ ہُوا ہے تو اندازہ کریں کہ ایک عام آدمی یا ایک مِسنگ پرسن کے ساتھ کیا کیا نہیں ہوتا ہوگا؟
On is wondering that ARY is pro government and agencies media house why it felt need to target IB. Lets see if we get an answer. PAK DESTINY
Somebody who has written this article must be really shameless. The press team were subjected to the most inhumane and brutal torture, yet a “mental retard” thinks it was a bad example set by Iqrar because these institutions are born corrupt and we should accept their brutal corruption. What a shame. Every Pakistani should have the right to hold these idiots accountable who think they are above the law. According to justice, these officials should be brought shackled and handcuffed and Iqrar should give them the same degree of torture which was given to his team. But don’t worry. Allah takes the best revenge. You will see Insha Allah these officers, their families and their children will get punishment from Allah in this world and the world after!