Renowned anchorperson Dr Shahid Masood on Monday revealed that he had been facing a ‘campaign of incentives and abuses’ from the most important personalities of the country for quite some time. But recently he was conveyed death threat in obvious words.
Talking in Geo TV programme ‘Meray Mutabiq’, he said he had conveyed the names of these important personalities to the Geo network and Jang Group management and owners. He said the people must have understood who are the personalities, as he did not want to discuss their names at present. However, he said he had told his organisation to let the people know these names if something happened to him.
Dr Shahid said he was advised by his friends and well-wishers several times to be diplomatic while commenting on different incidents of huge importance. He recalled that Pervez Musharraf had closed down his and Hamid Mir’s programmes and later shut down Geo TV.
Similar tactics are being used by the democratic government, he said, adding that he does not know what pressure is being endured by the Jang Group and his other colleagues in performance of their duties. He said he does not know what decision Geo TV and Jang Group management would take after such an intense pressure. He said it was being alleged that only one media group was hatching conspiracies at the behest of undemocratic powers.
“Sometimes it is alleged that it is working on American agenda and receiving billions of rupees to destabilise the country. Sometimes it is blamed as pro-Taliban.”
He said similar allegations were levelled during the last days of Pervez Musharraf when ‘we talked about an independent judiciary’. “After his ouster, Musharraf himself admitted that his biggest mistake was to remove Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. What was wrong in what we had said?” he asked.
He said: “Neither we have written or said anything about Musharraf’s personal life nor we are writing or saying anything about Zardari’s personal life though it is people’s right to know everything about their leaders.”
He said: “We are just reminding the people that Rs165 billion of their money has been looted whereas you are forced to stand in queues to buy flour and sugar, despite being subjected to terrorism.”
He said he was missing Benazir Bhutto and wondered that what would have been her reaction had she been alive. She left this world with the promise to hoist the national flag on the residence of Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. “Had she been alive, today’s rulers would not have been in their current positions.”
Expressing his sorrow and shock over the closure of ‘Meray Mutabiq’, senior analyst Shaheen Sehbai said this undemocratic act in a democratic government had reminded of the regime of Pervez Musharraf. He said nobody could strengthen his rule by threatening and harassing journalists and anchorpersons, rather the rulers who do so lose the power soon. This is very dangerous for the country, he said, wondering as to what type of these popular and elected public representatives are if a journalist could shake them.
Supporting Dr Shahid Masood’s viewpoint, Sehbai said Pakistani laws are not applicable in Switzerland and if the cases against the president are opened in Swiss and Spanish courts after the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) lapses, those courts could penalise the PPP co-chairman and could also get red warrant issued by the Interpol.
Talking to Dr Shahid Masood, senior journalist Ansar Abbasi said the media plays the role of ears and eyes if the government sees it in its true perspective. He said if the media people talk of corruption, they are in fact helping the government. He said ridiculous things that take place in Pakistan do not occur in the world.
He said the Agosta Submarines issue has not been revived by the Pakistani media but was highlighted abroad. He said is it a matter of pride for Pakistan whatever appeared in the French media. He said there could be no indemnity abroad and according to a legal expert the Swiss court was proceeding with the cases.
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