Thursday, July 26, 2012

Nusrat hits back at PFUJ

ISLAMABAD: Senior journalist, analyst and television talk show host Nusrat Javeed has responded strongly to a four-member special committee of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) following allegations of corruption leveled against him. Addressing Muhammad Amin Yousaf, chairman of the committee and the secretary general of the PFUJ, Nusrat said he did not feel too good with the tone of the chairman’s letter. “In your letter I have been projected as if belonging to a dirty group of journalists who are found habitually involved in financial scams/blames/charges." The PFUJ had constituted a committee to probe allegations of corruption against 19 journalists who allegedly took plots of land, cash and other favors from property magnate Malik Riaz. Nusrat’s name was also on that list.

“While issuing a visibly strong-worded 'show cause notice' to me, you have invoked Article XXII and Rule 3 of the PFUJ's constitution. Doing this, you simply ignored a fundamental principle of justice which clearly suggests that allegations only attain some worth if appropriately put before an appropriate forum,” wrote Nusrat who works for Aaj TV.

“My inclusion in a list of media persons allegedly getting money from Bharia Town owner was generated through social media. No one owned it, but in my specific case it was widely spread by Dr Awab Alwi, the son of a PTI leader in Karachi and his supporters who are found diligently engaged in spreading the revolutionary message of Imran Khan. “Through my writings and talk show, I have been consistently challenging the 'revolutionary credentials' of this group. Yet, none of them ever dared to approach an appropriate forum, including the PFUJ, with any evidence of corrupt practices by me.

“All of them rather continuously 'disown' issuing the said list. Yet, you and the PFUJ considered the same list worth probing. While putting questions to me on the basis of it, please also make some effort to locate those who are spreading stories to malign your colleagues like me.”

Nusrat said he was not a novice to journalism. “Since 1975, I did nothing but full-time journalism and most of my community members should have been knowing all about me. I feel hurt when instead of relying on your empirical and anecdotal exposure to my person and living style, my comrades and colleagues have asked me to defend myself against a set of allegations, which no one is willing to own before any court or any other appropriate forum. I rather anticipated and perhaps deserved fierce defense from my comrades and colleagues instead of getting a visibly strong-worded 'show cause notice' from you.”

He then goes on to give details of his two bank accounts in Pakistan and says except for those two, he does not have any other account, both within and outside Pakistan.

“During the second government of Ms Bhutto, after thorough probe by all the intelligence agencies, a list of Islamabad-based journalists was furnished. Since they were found living on rent for years, they were to be allotted modest apartments in a complex at G-8. I agreed to get my name included in this list after much pleading by friends and well-wishers from my community.

“But eventually the government was packed and the whole project was abandoned. Twice, I was warned to pay outstanding dues to an unfinished apartment in an abandoned complex to retain its possession. Via forensic analysis of my late mother-in-law's account, you can find out that she, not me had paid those dues from her savings with the idea of providing a roof to her only daughter.

“My wife completed construction of the said flat with her own savings and income. Since no one is willing to live in that flat on sufficient rent, I am now in the process of selling it off.

“With the money that I may get for selling the said flat, I plan to at least start construction on a plot of land that I got along with 1200-plus colleagues of mine in Media Town of Loi Bher.

Nusrat said many years ago, he had distributed his share in his inherited property in Lahore to his brother and five sisters. “Except the above-mentioned properties, I have no immovable assets anywhere, both within and outside Pakistan.”

“Currently, I live in House 22, Street 20, F-8/2, Islamabad. This is a house that my father-in-law had constructed; he retired as a grade 22 officer. His pension from the UN and some money inherited by his wife helped construction of this house. My wife and her two brothers are now the owners of it. But both my brothers in law are in no haste to dispose of the said house; primarily considering the fact that their only sister is married to a so-called "star anchor and celebrity journalist," who you have now found among the company of media persons with reputation of being corrupt. In the same context, my wife also owns a 10-canal piece of land in Shah Allah Ditta, a water deficient village beyond Golra Sharif in Islamabad.

“In the meantime, please try to establish a welfare fund as well that I can approach to meet everyday expenses of my living in those months, when I do not get any penny from any of the organizations that I work and write for. After forcing me to expose my real financial worth, please also work hard to locate persons who have been spreading stories to malign your comrades and colleagues like me.” REFERENCE: Nusrat hits back at PFUJ July 24, 2012

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