By Sarmad Ali
(Pakdestiny.com) Will Geo anchor Hamid Mir and Jang media group owner Mir Shakilur Rehman apologize from ISI after the judicial commission ruled out its involvement in the attack on Hamid Mir two years ago? A million-dollar question. Isn’t it.
Three members judicial commission led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali said allegations the country’s premier intelligence agency’s possible involvement in the attack were based on ‘suspicions, assumptions or apprehensions’.
Hamid Mir was attacked on April 19, 2014, when unknown suspects opened fire on his car along Shara-e-Faisal in Karachi. GeoNews had launched scathing propaganda against the ISI then chief Zaheerul Islam.
The commission there was a tug of war among some journalists and the ISI, because some media persons had told the commission the spy agency was unhappy with their reporting.
Express Tribune published the commission’s findings saying there was a complete failure on the part of law enforcement agencies to investigate the attack. It mentioned that CCTV footage viewed during in-camera proceedings of the commission clearly showed two individuals at the Karachi airport behaving in a suspicious manner at the time of Mir’s arrival. Despite this, law enforcement agencies were unable to catch the actual culprits, it added.
The report said that even though officials of the ISI and Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) completely dissociated the spy agency from the incident, some members of the print and electronic media fraternity still pointed their fingers towards it. “We cannot lose sight of an important aspect of the matter – the interaction of media persons with agencies in the course of their professional duties. In the process, there are concerns raised on behalf of the agencies vis-à-vis reporting on sensitive issues of national security. Such concerns have their genesis in various articles of the Constitution, including articles 5 and 10(7),” the report stated.
“The mad race for breaking news and getting a lead makes things from bad to worse. Falsehood is propagated brazen-facedly and truth obliterated or, worse, confounded.”
The commission observed that the apparent conflict between media persons and agencies calls for a rational resolution so as to bring reconciliation, harmony and balance in the working of both sides.
Hamid Mir before attack on him was allegedly running campaign against ISI on Geo News while Ansar Abbasi on Jang and The News.
The report also directed attention at the recommendations of the commission probing the death of late journalist Saleem Shehzad. “We have gone through those recommendations and would reiterate the same. In this behalf, the recommendations made by a Special Working Group of the Pakistan Coalition on Media Safety to investigate the attacks against the media persons, namely provision for the appointment of a special prosecutor, legal aid unit, family counseling unit and primary case investigation unit, are also worth consideration at the appropriate level,” it said.
The million dollar question arises after the commission’s report whether Hamid and MSR apologise from the ISI or Gen Zaheer for what they had done to them after the attack on Mir? In case they don’t it will be difficult for Mir and MSR to wash the label of “pro-India”. Pak Destiny