Hamid Mir Conversation Part 1
Hamid Mir Conversation Part 2
Nawaz Sharif Osama Bin Laden Khalid Khwaja Connections 1
Nawaz Sharif Osama Bin Laden Khalid Khwaja Connections 2
Nawaz Sharif Osama Bin Laden Khalid Khwaja Connections 3
Jang Group/GEO TV is indulged in the same to put some heat off which is generated after Hamid Mir/Khalid Khawaja Controversy. Hamid Mir and other Jang/GEO Stalwarts says that the tape was manufactured and a software is used to concoct Hamid Mir's Voice whereas as per an Expert Mr. H Amin [REFERENCE: Hamid Mir stop hoodwinking the public – by Ali Munsif May 24th, 2010 http://criticalppp.org/lubp/archives/11370
JANG/GEO/THE NEWS INTERNATIONAL'S CORRESPONDENTS HAVE THEMSELVES USED WIRETAPPING [REMEMBER NAZIR NAJI AND SHAHEEN STORY ON PRESIDENT HOUSE]: Using wiretaps in Reporting [A LA NAZIR NAJI] Mr. Ansar Abbasi, The News, GEO TV and Plots. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/07/mr-ansar-abbasi-news-geo-tv-and-plots.html Using wiretaps in Reporting [A LA SHAHEEN SEHBAI] Similarities between Shaheen Sehbai & Asghar Khan Letters. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/11/similarities-between-shaheen-sehbai.html
The software pointed to by Mr Hamid Mir is simply a ‘text to speech converter’ (http://www.naturalvoices.att.com/), used to generate automated voice response on telephone by reading an input text file word by word. Even this is not flawless and is easily discernible, since the software reads word to word and fails to reveal any emotion of the speaker, and we all know that Mr. Mir’s caught conversation is full of venomous emotions. Moreover, as far as I know, there is no software with the ability to convert urdu language text into a flawless natural conversation, like the one of Mr. Hamid Mir. Mr. Hamid Mir thinks that everyone around can be easily doped. In fact, instead of acknowledging his self-incriminating conversation he is only making a fool of himself by offering such senseless and lame arguments.
"The software, called Natural Voices, is not flawless — its utterances still contain a few robotic tones and unnatural inflections………………. scientists say the technology is not yet good enough to perpetrate fraud, could the synthesized voices eventually be capable of tricking people into thinking that they were getting phone calls or digital audio recordings from people they know? For now, technical limitations may temper any worries that a person’s voice could be lifted without permission. To build the software that recreates unique voices — which AT&T Labs is calling its ”custom voice” product — a person must first go to a studio where engineers record 10 to 40 hours of readings. Texts range from business news reports to nonsense babble.” REFERENCE: Software Is Called Capable of Copying Any Human Voice By LISA GUERNSEY Published: July 31, 2001 http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/31/business/software-is-called-capable-of-copying-any-human-voice.html?pagewanted=1 http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/31/business/software-is-called-capable-of-copying-any-human-voice.html?pagewanted=2
Out of a sudden The Jang Group of Newspapers raised a new bogey i.e. in their own words the funniest joke is this that Mohammad Malik [The News Correspondent] has filed this news in Jang but in English Version his name is "Missing". This time the Jang Group is even quoting Indian News Channel on Hamid Mir.
ISLAMABAD: According to highly informed sources, the government has decided to defame and discredit a select group of senior Jang Group journalists in the coming weeks. According to the highly reliable sources, the ongoing controversy regarding popular TV anchor Hamid Mir’s alleged conversation with an unidentified Taliban leader was ‘just the first in the series’. Besides other dirty tricks, it was also learnt that landline and cell phones of the marked journalists were being tapped, and it was also planned that original phrases and words of a marked journalist would be taken from his various telephone conversations and then patched together to create a phoney conversation to discredit the journalist. The sources said an attempt shall also be made to paint some of these journalists as being ‘Nawaz Sharif lackeys’ and that their criticism of the PPP-led coalition government was actually sponsored by the Sharif camp. The purpose of such practice, as the past shows, has always been to give message to other media outlets by targeting the most popular and influential media. The Jang Group had become victim of this offensive strategy many times in the past also. Surprisingly, however, in a departure from the past practice the smear campaign shall not be carried out by the Interior Ministry, but actually is being overseen by a group of intelligence functionaries considered very close to the bosses of the Law Ministry. The hit list comprises (so far): Hamid Mir (Host, Capital Talk), Shaheen Sehbai (Group Editor, The News), Ansar Abbassi (Editor Investigations, The News) Mohammad Malick (Resident Editor, The News Islamabad-Rawalpindi), Kamran Khan (Host, Aaj Kamran Khan Kay Saath) and Dr Shahid Masood (Host, Meray Mutabiq). REFERENCE: More fake tapes to come out soon Monday, May 24, 2010 Jang Group journalists on the hit-list By our correspondent http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=29047&Cat=13&dt=5/24/2010 Tuesday, May 25, 2010, Jamadi-ul-Sani 10, 1431 A.H http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/may2010-daily/25-05-2010/main4.htm
BACKGROUND OF CONSPIRACY AGAINST JANG/GEO/THE NEWS INTERNATIONALS' ANCHORS/JOURNALISTS/CORRESPONDENTS/EDITORS IS AS: Jang Group VS Dr. Shahid Masood & ARY ONE World. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/11/jang-group-vs-dr-shahid-masood-ary-one.html GEO TV/JANG GROUP: Lies of Kamran Khan. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/12/geo-tvjang-group-lies-of-kamran-khan.html
Last night 25 May 2010 GEO TV “Kehnay Mein Kiya Harj Hai”, Hamid Mir did it again without naming Sheikh Rasheed, he named Sheikh Rasheed in Tape Controversy. Mohammad Malik, Mr. Masood Sharif, Mazhar Abbas also participated and Mohammad Malik [Senior Correspondent] was again being Sanctimonious [Malik filed a report in Jang and News on Govt Plans against Media]. When Hamid Mir’s Damage Suit is pending in the Court of Law then why this Open Contempt of Court? Background of Mr. Mohammad Malick [Senior Correspondent The News International/Jang Group of Newspapers and GEO TV. Introduction of Mohammad Malik: Kamran Khan, Mohammad Malick, The News, GEO TV & Corruption in Print Media. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/08/kamran-khan-mohammad-malick-news-geo-tv.html Journalist Corruption Scandal – Mohammad Malick
The other day i watched a show on a television channel wherein the journalists from 5 media organizations were discussing this matter. It was interesting to see that they were all saying that a cautious attitude is required and one should not jump to conclusions in haste. I wonder if any tape like this was related to any politician about his/her wrong doing how hastily they would have drawn conclusions. Everyday, we watch them accusing government of wrong doings but they seldom wait to get their facts right. Before the 18th amendment was passed most of the anchors and columnists were convinced that Zardari won’t let it happen. To their dismay it happened. I believe that most of them (media personnel) are supporting the army operation because their mentors in agencies wanted them to build the public opinion in their favor. And I’m afraid that change of mind by the military leadership will trigger them to convince their audiences that how pious they are, and that their purpose is to enforce sharia. The establishment has the real power in this country. And who else can dare to record this audio? May be Mir`s mentors wanted to teach him some lesson. It is interesting to see how struggle between different groups within agencies is revealing the truth.
Question is that if the “Tapes” are fake then why the Jang Group is conducting Investigation???? If the tapes are fake then why this committee?
ISLAMABAD: A conversation purportedly between Hamid Mir, the host of Geo programme ‘Capital Talk’ and columnist of daily Jang, has been uploaded on different websites, says a statement issued by the spokesman of Geo/Jang Group. A committee has been constituted by the Group to get detailed information in this connection. Members of the committee have held preliminary talks with Hamid Mir in which he has disowned the voice (said to be his) and termed the audiotape fabricated. For credible investigation, the committee has called upon professional journalist organisations to come forward to uncover the truth. Hamid Mir has assured that he would fully cooperate in the investigation so that the truth is unearthed. He also said that some people want to ostracise him from the profession and they are defaming him as part of a conspiracy. REFERENCE: Committee to probe charges against Hamid Mir Thursday, May 20, 2010 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=28969&Cat=13&dt=5/20/2010
Live With Talat - Part 1 (20th May 2010)
Live With Talat - Part 2 (20th May 2010)
Live With Talat - Part 3 (20th May 2010)
Live With Talat - Part 4 (20th May 2010)
- PFUJ’S DEFINITION AND SAD STORY OF PAKISTANI JOURNALISM [Deteriorating not day by day but by hour] - First it was Let Us Build Pakistan!! NO NO NO Jews are behind it, NO NO Zionists are behind it, NO NO NO Zardari is behind it [Mariana Baabar says so Anchor Cast Adrift What’s behind the tapes of TV host Hamid Mir’s chat with a Taliban man? MARIANA BAABAR MAGAZINE MAY 31, 2010 http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?265494 ], NO NO Zardari is not behind it but RAW is behind it, NO NO Quadiyanis are behind it but NO NO NO Hussain Haqqani behind it, NO NO some serving Generals behind it, God damn my Journalist Colleagues who are actually behind it. [Hamid Mir's View] - Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, the top body of media and custodian of ‘freedom of speech and civil liberties. Conspiracy against Hamid Mir by an aggrieved person i.e. Osama Khalid s/o Khalid Khawaja [but MARIANA BAABAR says Lollywood film directors searching for a script to produce a thriller are best advised to read Let Us Build Pakistan (LUBP http://criticalppp.org/lubp/) on the website criticalppp.org, which is advertised as a project of critical supporters of the Pakistan People’s Party.
Ansar Abbasi has almost indicted Hamid Mir in the case of Khalid Khawaja: Live with Talat – 20 May 2010 MAY 20, 2010 . in Live with Talat Naseem Zehra (Anchor), Zafar Abbas (Residen Editor Dawn), Kashif abbassi (Anchor) and Ansar abbasi (Analyst) in Today’s episode of Live with Talat with Talat Hussain – http://pkpolitics.com/2010/05/20/live-with-talat-20-may-2010/ Ansar Abbasi and Talat Hussain’s statement telecast above which has almost indicted Hamid Mir, Ms. Nasim Zehra [Former Key Member of General Musharraf's Think Tank] has also raised doubts on Hamid Mir’s confusing and constantly changing statements. Ansar Abbasi did the same in Jasmeen's Program Ansar Abbasi says in Jasmin Manzoor Program that, he talked with Hamid Mir and Hamid said that its not his voice and then Ansar deny himself that Hamid also said that as per Hamid Mir “some of his old calls were mixed and rejoined!!! What a Tragedy. Is this what you call Colleague or Professional Courtesy. Tonight with Jasmeen – 23 May 2010 MAY 23, 2010 . NO COMMENTS in Tonight with Jasmeen Jasmeed discusses the issue of Hamid Mir’s audio tape in today’s episode. http://pkpolitics.com/2010/05/23/tonight-with-jasmeen-23-may-2010/
LAHORE: Osama Khalid, son of Khalid Khawaja, on Tuesday submitted an application in the Shalimar Police Station for registration of an FIR against TV talk show host Hamid Mir and suspected terrorist Osman Punjabi for the murder of his father, a private TV channel reported. Khalid Khawaja, a former Inter-Services Intelligence official, was murdered by a relatively less-known Asian Tigers militant group on April 23. Osama alleged that the talk show host had instigated the terrorists to murder his father. He said the application was based on the audiotape of Mir’s conversation with a member of the Taliban, and he was ready to prove in court that the audio clip was original. Khalid Khawaja, a former Inter-Services Intelligence official, was murdered by a relatively less-known Asian Tigers militant group on April 23. Osama alleged that the talk show host had instigated the terrorists to murder his father. He said the application was based on the audiotape of Mir’s conversation with a member of the Taliban, and he was ready to prove in court that the audio clip was original. REFERENCE: Osama seeks FIR against Hamid Mir, Osman Punjabi Daily Times Monitor Wednesday, May 26, 2010 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20105\26\story_26-5-2010_pg1_7
The Washington Times has published a story today "Terrorist Hit Puts Pakistani Reporter Under Fire" (by Eli Lake - Reporter - The Washington Times - 25 May 2010) http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/25/terrorist-hit-puts-pakistani-reporter-under-fire/pri WT said that Hamid Mir has old links with extremists because he interviewed Osama bin Laden. What about my interviews with Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, General Richard B Myers, Richard Armitage and Hilary Rodham Clinton? First of all, I am not the only one who interviewed Osama bin Laden. Robert Fisk interviewed him before me. Peter Bergen and Rahimullah Yousafzai are other examples. Now there are contradictions to be noted. Daily Times claiming that intelligence agencies have presented a report against me to the [Pakistani] Prime Minister. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010%5C05%5C20%5Cstory_20-5-2010_pg1_6 Initially a government senator was also attacking me on different TV channels but Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira clearly said on May 25 that Hamid Mir is a target of a conspiracy and government have nothing against him. President Zardari has also cleared it to me personally that nobody from [the Pakistan People's Party] is involved in this conspiracy. Family of Khalid Kahwaja openly declared me a CIA agent and also accepted that one son of Kahwaja works for al Qaeda. Come and see that banners are hanging on Murree Road and other areas of Rawalpindi in my support. These banners have been placed by traders, students and other sections of life. Common Pakistanis are with me but a section of ruling elite is against me. I am forced to believe that some elements in the intelligence used my media colleagues against me because I was not in control of any intelligence outfit. One of my crimes was that I wrote an article against a serving general of the Pakistan Army. I am still not sure that who is my actual enemy because nobody have come out openly against me yet. There is no FIR (police complaint), no official inquiry and nobody contacted me for any investigation. According to my information, this whole drama was organized after one of my articles against a serving Army General, Nadeem Ejaz, was published in The News on April 26.This General was involved in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. U.N. report pointed fingers towards him but President Asif Ali Zardari government failed to nab him. http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=28496 REFERENCE: Hamid Mir responds By Hamid MirUpdated: 5:59 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/25/hamid-mir-responds/?page=4 http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/25/hamid-mir-responds/?page=3
When all the above lies were not enough, the Jang Group/GEO TV concocted another Lie.
KARACHI: The Sindh National Party (SNP) leaders and workers marched towards the main building of the Jang Group from the Karachi Press Club on Sunday evening and staged a sit-in outside the building. Some of the activists attacked the offices of the Jang Group and Geo Television and snatched weapons from security guards and resorted to aerial firing. The police fired bullets in the air, hurled teargas shells and resorted to baton charge to disperse the activists. The police arrested 85 people but the arrested persons were released later on. The violent tactics of the political activists harassed the journalists and staff of the Jang newspaper and Geo television and forced them to barricade themselves inside the building. Hundreds of SNP activists, led by its Chairman Ameer Bhambhro, staged a violent protest in front of the offices of the Jang Group and Geo Television at I I Chundrigar Road. Meanwhile, some activists tried to break away the protective fences at the Muhammad bin Qasim Road adjacent to the I I Chundrigar Road but police officials and security guards tried to stop them. Resultantly, a scuffle took place between the activists and policemen in which some police officials sustained injuries. Afterwards, the violent SNP workers tortured some of the security guards and resorted to aerial firing after snatching weapons from the security guards. REFERENCE: Jang Group, Geo offices under attack Monday, May 24, 2010 Attackers try to enter through main gate; 85 held, released; siege ends late at night By our correspondent http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=29040&Cat=13&dt=5/24/2010 Siege meant to stop Jang, Geo from Monday, May 24, 2010 SC cases coverage: Kamran Khan News Desk http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=29045&Cat=13&dt=5/24/2010
The reality is as under:
KARACHI: A clash took place between demonstrators and police on II Chandrigar Road and police arrested 10 protestors on Sunday. Sindh National Party (SNP) took out a protest rally from press club against rising corruption but clogged into clash with police when rally reached II Chandrigar Road because police tried to stop the march of protestors. Protestorsturned violent and subjected DSP of police to torture which incited police to fire shells of tear gas to disperse the demonstrators and fired in the air. The demonstrators began to flee but police could arrest at least 10 protestors and shifted them to unknown location. The leader of SNP Ameer Bhambhro said despite state torture they will continue their protest. REFERENCE: SNP protestors clash with police in Karachi. Geo files a contradicting story Written by Monitering Desk Sunday, 23 May 2010 14:09 http://www.sindhtelegraph.com/index.php/sindh/46-sindh/720--snp-protestors-clash-with-police-in-karachi-geo-files-a-contradicting-story
The Geo reports a contradicting story
The workers of little known Sindh National Party (SNP) have surrounded the offices of Geo and, Jang at the behest of government, Sunday. According to Geo, the provincial government has not taken any serious step to end the siege continuing for the last eight to 10 hours. Geo further reports that, they (SNP workers) barged into the Geo office and went on rampage. They also subjected a policeman to torture when he tried to stop the protestors from entering Geo office, Geo continues contradicting report. Police baton charged the protestors and tried to disperse them by using teargas. However, they staged a sit-in instead of leaving the office, Geo reported According to Geo, Chairman Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party (STPP) Qadir Magsi said it seems the group has the support of government. The Sindh Telegraph tried to contacted Dr. Magsi, late Sunday night to confirm his comment, but it could not reach him. It is not clear though, if Dr. Magsi's statement was reported out of context. REFERENCE: REFERENCE: SNP protestors clash with police in Karachi. Geo files a contradicting story Written by Monitering Desk Sunday, 23 May 2010 14:09 http://www.sindhtelegraph.com/index.php/sindh/46-sindh/720--snp-protestors-clash-with-police-in-karachi-geo-files-a-contradicting-story
DIRTY PAST RECROD OF THE SAME JANG GROUP AGAINST THEIR VERY OWN SHAHEEN SEHBAI.
Human Memory is weak so let me revive it!
Judge not lest ye be judged [Dated March 10, 2002 Sunday Zilhaj 25, 1422 Courtesy: Daily Dawn URL: http://archives.dawn.com/2002/03/10/fea.htm#2 ]
JOURNALIST Shaheen Sehbai, resigned as editor of The News on March 1 after serving the paper for about 14 moths.
In a letter addressed to colleagues, Mr Sehbai, who earlier had a very distinguished career with Dawn, implied that the publisher had charged him with policy violations and professional misconduct to sack him under pressure from the military government. He enclosed a memorandum from the publisher alleging publication of libellous matter, alienating advertisers, failing to consult him on important matters, printing a story recently that was ‘perceived to be damaging to our national interest’ and elicited a severe reaction from the government, failing to contact ‘relevant government functionaries’ to discuss the issue, and being generally inaccessible to senior government officials as well his own staff.
The memo also complained of a lack of improvement in the paper.
Mr Sehbai said he had answered by recalling that the publisher had informed him of the government demand to sack four The News staffers, including the editor, and regretted that “you have decided to get in line.” He said he was aware that the government had stopped carrying advertisements in not only The News but also other papers of the group and that the publisher had been told that only the dismissals would result in their restoration.
He claimed that he had been asked to contact the Inter-Services Intelligence officials but had refused on principal to call, or meet, any government official in a ‘hostage’ situation.
On the other hand, he said, he had conveyed to the government the evidence that the paper’s policy had, in fact, been tilted in its favour. At least 50 editorials and over 100 articles published in about six weeks were cited to prove the point. The paper, he said, had at times gone out of its way to accommodate the government.
But, Mr Sehbai said, he could not allow a newspaper he edited to become the voice of any government for monetary considerations.
Dismissing “whatever other issues you have raised” as “childish and frivolous,” he said there was no point in discussing them.
Recounting management problems, Mr Sehbai also mentioned the “legal jugglery” employed to deprive contract workers of salary increases and the refusal to renew their contracts.
The episode was described in foreign media as a blow to claims of freedom of press in Pakistan. A spokesman for the government was said to have denied Mr Sehbai’s allegations.
At The News, no replacement has since been named.
LATE. MR. KHALID HASAN - IN MEMORIAM 1934-2009 – A MESSAGE FROM HIS SON - http://www.khalidhasan.net/news/
In Washington we had formed a small group and regularly met at a restaurant that sort of replicated “Pak Tea House” of yesteryears of Lahore. Khalid was always at the centre stage of lively discussions on wide range of subjects there. In his dispatches to Pakistan, he called it “Kabab Masal” group after the name of the restaurant. We rotated chairmanship with every meeting. Several years ago when Shah Mahmood Qureshi came to Washington, it was Khalid’s turn to preside. He recalled his first meeting with him in Vienna while Qureshi was finance minister Punjab. “I had my gut reaction that he is a prime ministerial stuff”, Khalid said. Shaheen Sehbai mixed up this remark and attributed it to Qureshi himself in his report to Dawn. Qureshi was very upset and a clarification was made next day. I told Shaheen: “You have perhaps permanently destroyed Qureshi’s career in the PPP.’ When Ms.Bhutto named him as ARD’s candidate to the office in 2002, I recounted this episode to him in the presence of Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan. He was again in the reckoning when PPP won elections last year.
The Washington Post – Sunday, March 10, 2002; Page B01 Section: Outlook – Missing Links : There’s Much More To Daniel Pearl’s Murder Than Meets the Eye By Nafisa Hoodbhoy [INTERNET LINK IS DEAD - http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A64435-2002Mar9¬Found=true - Complete Text http://www.indianet.nl/indpak40.html#20020310a - http://s3.amazonaws.com/911timeline/2002/wpost031002.html] – Crackdown on Pakistani Press : A radio interview with Shaheen Sehbai.[Courtesy: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/act/message/1299]
AMHERST, Mass.–Nine days ago there was an alarming indication of upheaval in Pakistan — a crackdown on the press. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the government pressured the owner of an influential English language newspaper, the News, to fire four journalists. One of them, the paper’s editor, Shaheen Sehbai, said the trouble started after his newspaper reported a link between the prime suspect in the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, and recent attacks on the Indian parliament in Delhi and in the Kashmiri capital, Srinagar.
Daniel Pearl - South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, was an American Jewish journalist who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in Karachi, Pakistan in 2002.
When Sehbai asked the paper’s owner to identify who wanted to sack them, Sehbai said he was told to see officials at the ISI, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency. Instead he resigned and left for the United States.
Three weeks ago, I resigned as editor of Pakistan's most influential English daily, the News. My proprietor had directed me to apologize to the chiefs of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for my decision to publish details of a confessional statement by Omar Saeed Sheikh, the prime suspect in the abduction and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. I was the first local journalist Danny contacted last year when he arrived in Karachi to cover Pakistan, and America's war against terror, the latest dimension of which was seen in Sunday's attack on a church in Islamabad.
Never lacking for audacity, the ISI first broke into our newsroom on Feb. 17 to detect our story on Sheikh, in which he linked the ISI directly to his involvement in last December's terrorist attacks on India's Parliament. With such embarrassing information coming from one of their own kind -- Sheikh had, after all, turned himself in for interrogation to his former ISI handler on Feb. 5, a week before Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, visited Washington -- the regime's principal information officer called me at 1 a.m. and demanded I pull the piece.
When his coercion failed, my proprietor in London was called. He tried to stop publication, but failed, and the next day the government pulled all its advertising -- accounting for over half our income -- in an effort to silence my paper completely. Then they asked the owner to sack me, as well as three other senior journalists.
I resigned rather than be part of a conspiracy to mislead Pakistan's people. Fearing for my safety -- and with the Pearl case fresh in mind -- I chose to join my family in Virginia and live to fight another day.
And fight we must. This media management is the first sign of where Gen. Musharraf's newly tactful ISI is headed. "Managing" politics and rigging October's elections are next on the agenda. There are signs that a political party is being put together to legitimize Gen. Musharraf as an all-powerful president, to stay in office well beyond any reasonable time-frame.
Games we have seen so many times are underway in Pakistan again. I'm not talking about cricket with India, but about an effort to manipulate the press, to usurp the right to fair elections, and to hide Islamists under a presentable wrap. (Only last week, Gen. Musharraf released most of the arrested Taliban activists and their fanatic leaders.)
The primary instrument of change in achieving this devil's pact is Gen. Musharraf's recasting of the ISI as a more docile institution, ostensibly purged of Islamist hard-liners and Taliban sympathizers. But buyers beware.
Another intelligence disaster now looms. Its similarities to the Zia days are remarkable. Gen. Musharraf, the military dictator of the day, is the new darling of the West fighting the new enemy in Afghanistan. Billions of American taxpayer dollars are again set to flow. A beautiful facade has been crafted for external consumption, on everything from press freedoms and elections to a corruption-free economy and an Islamist-free state. The reality is harshly different.
The ISI has been assigned the task of recruiting representatives for this effort. They are to cajole and coerce the press and politicians. Key leaders from the political parties of both former prime ministers -- Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif -- are being lined up for pre-approval. The Islamist role will be safeguarded by fundamentalist generals.
A full dress rehearsal of this methodology was carried out during the recently concluded countrywide polls for mayors and deputy mayors. Every city, big or small, had a pre-selected mayor. In Pakistan's military stronghold, Rawalpindi, ISI interference in seating a pre-approved candidate was so blatant that the non-political but highly compliant chamber of commerce president was "elected" mayor against better-known political stalwarts.
Pakistan has played crucial roles in two of the main victories of our era -- those over communism and terrorism. The first time, the West looked away while evil forces were born in our midst, destroying our culture and society. The moderate majority was silenced into submission until the world woke up on Sept. 11.
The warning signs are there again. America must invest its political and financial capital in institutions, not individuals. The American people and their elected representatives must not look the other way again. Freedom of the press is under siege. The promised return of democracy is being systematically compromised. American aid is being used to achieve dubious objectives. And the poor people of Pakistan, in defense of whom the ISI and Gen. Musharraf have made their last stand, may once again lose whatever is left of a country that can still be great. (By SHAHEEN SEHBAI )Courtesy: Pakistan Punch http://pakistanpunch.pk/punch11.html
Should we believe Mr Shaheen Sehbai or his Editor in Chief Mir Shakil ur Rahman's Letter Addressed to Mr Shaheen Sehbai asking for his resign on filing Concocted Stories in The News International
SHAHEEN SEHBAI RESIGNS AS EDITOR OF `THE NEWS`
Date: Fri, 01 Mar 2002 07:42:48 -0500
Dear Colleagues and Friends:
It is with great sorrow that I have to convey this bad news to you all today. I have resigned today as the Editor.
I am enclosing enclosing the correspondence with MSR which is self explanatory. I wish to thank you all for all the cooperation and respect that you extended to me during these 14 months as Editor. I will be available to each one of you as a friend at all times. Wishing you the best of luck and a great future. Shaheen Sehbai
Pl read on:
To: Mir Shakil ur Rehman, Editor-in-Chief, The News
From: Shaheen Sehbai, Editor, The News
Date: March 1, 2002
Subject: Reply to Memo dated Feb 28, 2002
With reference to your Memo dated Feb 28, I have been accused of policy violations starting from March 2001 until the publication on Feb 17 this year of the Kamran Khan story on Daniel Pearl case. I can obviously understand that these so-called �policy violations?are nothing but an excuse to comply with the Government demand to sack me, and three other senior journalists, as you told me in our meeting in your office on Feb 22. I feel sorry that you have to make such excuses. You could have given one hint that you wanted me to go and I would have quit immediately.
I understand that you, as owner of the Jang Group of Newspapers have been so intensely pressurized in the last about two weeks that you are no longer ready, or able, to withstand it. All government advertising of the Group has been unjustifiably suspended by the Government starting Monday, February 18, 2002, following the investigative story done in The News by our reporter, Kamran Khan. This story, as it appears now, was just an excuse to twist the neck of the Group because the same story appeared simultaneously in the Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune and not one point contained in it was denied or clarified by the Government. Instead they tightened the screw on the Jang Group, as it appeared to be the most vulnerable and within their reach. This has a very obvious, and sinister message, for the free Press in Pakistan: Get in line, or be ready for the stick.?I feel sorry that you have decided to get in line, but I cannot be a party to this decision.
You had informed me officially at a meeting in your office on Feb 22, 2002, at 10.15 p.m. that you have been given names of four journalists of The News? myself, Kamran Khan, Amir Mateen and a staffer in our Islamabad Bureau (probably Rauf Klasra as you did not name the 4th person), to be immediately sacked before the government advertisements could be restored. You also informed me that officials of the Information Ministry wanted me to improve my PR with them as they had been complaining that I was not available to them, which is basically not true. You told me to directly contact these officials and talk to them about restoring the advertisements of the Group. Mr Mahmud Sham, who later joined our meeting, had informed us that the Secretary Information had clearly stated that matters were beyond his capacity to resolve and that we have now to meet the ISI high ups.
As a matter of principle I refused to call, or meet, any of these government officials in a situation when the entire Group was being held hostage with a gun pointed at its head. I, however, conveyed to the Government, through Mr Sham, all the evidence that the policy of The News?was very balanced, in fact tilted, in favour of General Pervez Musharraf's government, not under any government pressure, but because some of the things he was doing were right and The News never hesitated to support any right step taken by the Government. At least 50 editorials and over 100 Op-Ed articles published in about 6 weeks were cited to show that The News had no bias against the government. Proof was also provided of how �The News? at times, went out of its way to accommodate government requests.
Apparently these argument have not satisfied the government and the pressure is continuing on you, as your Memo indicates. Whatever other issues you have raised are childish and frivolous and I would not waste my time discussing them. But one message that emerges is very clear --- I ran the newspaper as a very independent Editor, according to whatever I thought was objective, true and professionally sound journalism. I made the best use of the latest available computer technology to create a working environment in which the entire editorial staff was integrated in such a network that almost everyone was available to each other at all times. I interacted with all my staff on a personal, round the clock basis, no matter where I was located or traveling, even outside Pakistan. So the charge that I was not available to my staff is laughable as it shows how far removed you are from the ground situation.
Your complaint of lack of general improvement in The News?is also obviously an excuse to build some case against me under Government pressure. You never once complained of that before. In fact the ground reality is just the opposite. I successfully built a great team of reporters, editors and writers during the 14 months I have been the Editor. We achieved a lot in breaking major stories, including assumption of the office of the President by General Musharraf and corruption in various government departments including Social Action Programme (SAP) and Employees Old-age Benefit Institution (EOBI). The overwhelming impression that any newspaper of the Jang Group could not publish anything against its advertisers and commercial sponsors was removed by the investigative stories we did on PIA and other corporate organizations. The News became the most quoted newspaper abroad, not only for its stories but its editorial comments and opinions. The latest such quote was in the prestigious New York Times just three days ago. The Washington Post interviewed me last week as Editor of The News.
The real reasons for failure to bring about a real visible change in Karachi are known to you. For over a year now you have been sitting on all the plans, proposals and schemes, including a Vision Document prepared after months of hard work. The scheme to revamp all the magazines has been lying on your table for months. The designs and site plans to renovate the entire newspaper office on 4th and 5th floors has been gaining dust for months and the staff is forced to work with hundreds of cockroaches creeping on papers, computers, inside telephone sets and faxmachines. In fact I have been bogged down in these totally useless exercises for most of my time, hoping that you would find time and money to start implementing any of these detailed proposals for change and improvement. You have always been promising to launch these scheme within weeks, but that time never came. I am appalled at your audacity to accuse me of being responsible for not bringing any change while the fact is that you have always been complaining of the financial crunch?in the newspaper. You have stopped increments of all the staff and played legal jugglery with all the contract employees by refusing to renew their contracts or giving them salary increases.
Even despite that I continued to work 20 hours a day to improve the editorial content of the newspaper which has been appreciated and recognized by every one, including your senior Directors and Editors of sister publications in letters written to me. The readers, however, are the best judge.
Why you never raised any objection before, and why you are doing it now, is obvious --- the Government pressure is unbearable. This is not a happy omen.
Therefore, I have to convey this sad message to you, though I feel very content and satisfied that I have taken the right decision on the basis of principles. I have decided to resign from the Editorship of The News with immediate effect, rather than to submit to Government pressure and change the policy of the newspaper. Under my editorship, I will not allow the newspaper to become the voice of any government for monetary considerations. I had given my name, credibility and reputation to The News?and I prefer to protect these precious assets, rather than my job. But I will earnestly request you not to take any action against the other colleagues you have been asked to sack, as the ultimate responsibility of whatever appeared in the newspaper was mine, as Editor, and not theirs. They should be allowed to continue with their jobs. I wish, you, the newspaper and all of my colleagues a great future.
I hereby, resign from the editorship. Please accept my resignation today and remove my name from the print line of the newspaper as of tomorrow, Saturday, March 2, 2002. I would not be responsible for the contents of the newspaper as of tomorrow.
To: Shaheen Sehbai, Editor, The News
From: MSR, Editor-in-Chief
Re: Violation of policy
I am constrained to bring to your notice several, and repeated, violation of editorial policies clearly understood between us. Infact, these policies have also been agreed in writing. On 26th March, 2001, you had published a one sided, incorrect and libelous article against Mr. Aittiazaz Bob Din, a well known businessman residing in the United States. Although Mr. Bob Din had cited person differences between the two of you, dating back to your stay in the United States, as the motive behind the unfounded allegations against him, I had disregarded this suggestion at that time and had judged the matter purely on merit. As you will recall, you were unable to substantiate the serious charges you had leveled against him. It was only through my personal apologies and the intervention of mutual acquaintances that we were able to dissuade Mr. Din from suing the News for defamation and libel.
On two different occasions, you published unfavourable articles about PIA, which were of uncertain veracity and did not contain their point of view, as a result of which they denounced these articles in a press conference, threatened to take legal action, suspended our advertisements and also stopped putting our papers on PIA flights. Needless to say, these measures hurt us financially, damaged our reputation and took a great deal of pacification to undo.
I would also refer to the written terms of our agreement at the time of your appointment under which you are required to discuss the top stories of the day and other important editorial matters with me and seek the Editor-in-chiefs point of view and verdict on contentious issues? To my recollection, you have never deemed it fit to consult me on any matter. In this connection, I would further like to refer to our meeting on the eve of Eid in which group Editor Daily Jang was also present and we discussed the fallout of the story printed a few days earlier in the News ( again without consulting me, I might add ) which was perceived to be damaging to our national interest and elicited severe reaction by the Government. It had been agreed that we would contact relevant Government functionaries and arrange to meet with them to discuss the issue and also convey our point of view. Regrettably, you chose not to go to Islamabad and attend the meeting even though this had been clearly agreed. You even rebuffed senior Government officials who contacted you on the phone by hanging up on them. Sham Sahib and I left several messages with your assistant but again, you chose not to take or return our calls.
I would also like to take this opportunity to point out again, that it is a frequent complaint that you do not interact with people. Not only have senior Government officials protested that you are inaccessible to them, but even your own staff complains that you are hardly available for meetings, guidance and discussions.
I must convey my disappointment to you at all these issues, as I must convey my disappointment with the lack of general progress in the improvement of the News. The number of mistakes and blunders being committed, failure to follow agreed journalistic ethics - as pointed out to you from time to time by EMD have all resulted in financial set backs as well as loss of credibility for the News. I have only recounted some of the problems besetting the Jang group. It is quite evident that matters are not proceeding as we had agreed. However, before I make up my mind, I would like to hear your point of view.
I look forward to hearing from you about the serious issues that I have raised above and any solutions that you may propose.
REFERENCE: Why Are We Killing Ourselves? Anas Malik March 2, 2002 http://www.chowk.com/interacts/5252/1/0/a
Seven years ago Mr Shaheen Sehbai was also quoted in The New York Times as well his Editor in Chief i.e. Mir Shakil ur Rehman, and do note what Mir Shakil ur Rehman had to say about the Patriotism and Loyalty of Shaheen Sehbai with Pakistan.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 1 (Reuters) -- The editor of a leading English-language daily said today that he had resigned, citing pressure from the government after the newspaper reported a link between the prime suspect in the killing of Daniel Pearl and an attack on India's Parliament in December. India blamed Pakistan-based militant groups for the attack, but the Pakistani government denied any link. The editor who resigned, Shaheen Sehbai, said that after publication of the article in his paper, The News, the owner and editor in chief, Mir Shakeel ur-Rahman, was pressed by the government to dismiss him and three other journalists. ''I was told by my editor in chief that he had been asked to sack four journalists -- myself, Kamran Khan, Amir Mateen and Rauf Klasra,'' Mr. Sehabai said in an online interview. ''He did not name who had said that, but he told me to go and see the I.S.I.,'' Pakistan's intelligence service. REFERENCES: A NATION CHALLENGED: SUSPECTS; Kidnapping Suspect Bears Sign of Militancy Elsewhere By DOUGLAS JEHL Published: Saturday, March 2, 2002 Editor Forced to Resign http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/02/world/nation-challenged-suspects-kidnapping-suspect-bears-sign-militancy-elsewhere.html
The article, Mr. Rahman wrote in the letter dismissing Mr. Sehbai, ''was perceived to be damaging to our national interest and elicited severe reaction of the government.'' He also accused Mr. Sehbai of violating standard procedures. Mr. Rahman and government officials were not immediately available for comment. Mr. Sehbai and one of the reporters, Mr. Klasra, have recently complained of harassment by intelligence agencies, a colleague said. While Pakistan's news media enjoy relative freedom, some newspapers have been forced to remove staff members after complaints from the government or intelligence agencies. REFERENCES: A NATION CHALLENGED: SUSPECTS; Kidnapping Suspect Bears Sign of Militancy Elsewhere By DOUGLAS JEHL Published: Saturday, March 2, 2002 Editor Forced to Resign http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/02/world/nation-challenged-suspects-kidnapping-suspect-bears-sign-militancy-elsewhere.html
SHAHEEN SEHBAI'S DOUBTFUL LOYALTY WITH PAKISTAN AND READ WHAT HE HAD SAID TO "The Times of India" ABOUT PAKISTAN ARMY AND ISI.
Exposing the Pakistani establishment's links with terrorists can be a hazardous job. It cost Daniel Pearl his life, and Shaheen Sehbai, former editor of 'The News', a widely-read English daily in Pakistan his job. Fearing for his life, Sehbai is now in the US He speaks to Shobha John about the pressure on journalists from the powers-that-be in Pakistan:
Q. Is it true you had to quit because a news report angered the government?
A. On February 16, our Karachi reporter, Kamran Khan, filed a story quoting Omar Sheikh as saying that he was behind the attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13, the Kashmir assembly attack and other terrorist acts in India. Shortly after I am, I got a call on my cellphone from Ashfaq Gondal, the principal information officer of the government, telling me that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had intercepted the story and I should stop its publication. I told him I was not prepared to do so. He then called my newspaper group owner/editor-in-chief, Mir Shakil ur Rehman in London and asked him to stop the story. Rehman stopped it in the Jang, the sister newspaper in Urdu but could not do so in The News as I was unavailable. The next day, all editions of The News carried the story. It was also carried by The Washington Post and The International Herald Tribune the same day, as Kamran also reports for The Post. On February 18, all government advertising for the entire group was stopped. On February 22, Rehman rushed to Karachi and called a meeting at 10 p m. He told me the government was very angry at the story. He said he had been told to sack four journalists, including myself, if the ads were to be restored. He asked me to proceed to Islamabad to pacify the officials. Sham informed us that he had contacted the officials and was told by Anwar Mahmood, the information secretary that the matter was now beyond his capacity and we will have to see the ISI high-ups to resolve it. I was told to go and see the ISI chief in Islamabad and also to call Anwar Mahmood on Eid and improve my 'public relations' with him.
I left the meeting with the firm resolve that I would neither call nor meet anyone, even at gunpoint. Sham, however, left for Islamabad to meet the officials. His meetings were unsuccessful. From my sources, I learned that the ISI and the government were not prepared to lift the ban unless I gave them specific assurances. If I refused, there may be trouble for me as the owner was already under pressure to fire me and the other three journalists. On February 27, I took a flight out of Karachi to New York. On February 28, I received a memo from my owner accusing me of policy violations. In reply, on March 1, I sent in my resignation.
Q. Is the ISI still keeping a close watch on journalists after Daniel Pearl's killing?
A. The ISI has been a major player in domestic politics and continues to be so. That means it has to control the media and right now, it is actively involved in doing so. Pearl's murder has given them more reasons to activate the national interest excuse.
Q. Is there a sense of desperation within the Pakistan government that it should not be linked in any way to events in India?
A. Yes. That's why when our story quoted Omar Sheikh claiming such links, the government came down hard on us.
Q. Has there been any pressure on the staff of 'The News' to 'conform'?
A. Yes. The News was under constant pressure to stop its aggressive reporting on the corruption of the present government. A few months back, Pakistan International Airlines stopped all ads to The News as we ran a couple of exposes. A major story on the government owned United Bank was blocked when we sought the official version. Intelligence agencies were deputed to tail our reporters in Islamabad.
Q. This is not the first time you and your family have been under pressure, is it?
A. I have been the target of physical attacks in the past too for stories against the government. The first was in August 1990 when I was arrested and detained for 36 hours and falsely charged for drinking, before a judge gave bail. The second time, in December 1991, three masked men broke into my house in Islamabad, ransacked it, pulled guns on my two sons, beat them up and told them, Tell your father to write against the government again and see what happens. In 1995, I was threatened once again and I had to take my entire family away. My newspaper then, Dawn, decided to post me to Washington as their correspondent. This time, I feared that I could be physically targeted again. So I decided to leave the country.
Q. Is the present regime in Pakistan any different from earlier ones with regard to freedom of the press?
A. It has tolerated some freedom under foreign pressure, but the situation is basically the same. Now Musharraf appears to be under pressure to manage the media more effectively in order to manage the October elections and get his supporters elected in the polls. He needs to legitimise his military rule through a political process, which essentially is being rigged from the beginning.
Q. Is your case the first instance of a crackdown on the media by this government?
A. This was the first case of a major financial squeeze on the country's largest media group. It was followed by demands to sack me and other senior journalists and then to change the policy.
Q. How independent will the forthcoming polls be now?
A. They will be as independent as the recently-concluded local bodies polls in which candidates were named by the army and no one else was allowed to win. Candidates for state and national assemblies are now being pre-selected and influential politicians are being pressured, lured or coerced to join Musharrafs supporters.
Q. What is the mood within the Pakistani media?
A. The media is generally quiet and has fallen in line because Musharraf is getting strong support from the US and the West. But elements in the media are very resolute and they will fight back as soon as they see Musharraf losing his grip. The October polls will determine the role of the media as well because if Musharraf fails to 'manage' the elections, his control over the media will be finished.
Q. What do you propose to do now?
A. I will be writing out of Washington for some time and will return to Pakistan around the October polls. My days in Pakistan were very exciting as I maintained a completely independent editorial policy and pursued it to the last day. In the memos written by the owner, he repeatedly complains that I was not consulting him on policies. I had no need to, as he watches his own commercial interests. REFERENCE: The Daily Noose (Interview with Shaheen Sehbai) Publication: The Times of India Date: March 18, 2002 http://www.hvk.org/articles/0302/206.html