A Villain in a Journalist’s Casing
By: Kashmala Khan
There is a very famous saying that ‘a good dog deserves a good bone’ but quite often one comes across such dogs that aren’t good but they manage a milieu where one doesn’t have a choice other than taking them as good dogs, hence they ensure a good bone or bounty. The dogs, one comes across, in every walk of life. There was a ‘Holy Cows’ time once. Long gone those cows and now is the time of a ‘Bull’ and that bull is none other than Pakistani Media, currently ruining everything in the ‘China Shop’ and when the bull ruins a china shop, the dogs certainly cash their value and importance and insist upon a good piece of a bone to scare the bull away.
There are dogs and bitches in the profession who whip a storm in a tea cup and then expect from the people to take it as a revolution but how about talking of the gods instead today? Although gods don’t ask for bones but no one stops them from looking for rewards. The Pakistani media has one such ‘god’ who started his career as a stringer of a daily on a motorbike and within two decades he has ensured his place at the helm of the affair. He is at a place from where he first creates misunderstandings between the personalities and then comes like Bronson, as a Salvatore to play an angel’s role. He used his profession media as a ‘Kamaan’ (Bow) and his pen as a ‘Teer’ (Arrow) in literal sense while selecting the good targets who were expected to throw ‘good bones’ to him, but cautioned them before releasing the arrows from his bow because only that’s how he could get good bone.
The gentleman’s name is Hamid Mir who has remained controversial ever since coming into the profession. He has always been a focal point of one dispute or the other. Hamid Mir started his journalistic career soon after the death of his late father professor Waris Mir in 1987 and within years he acclaimed a prominent place in media however it always remained mystery that how an honest journalist could be a millionaire within few years? Soon this mystery was resolved when it was discovered that Mir like other blackmailer journalists, first gathers negative material and evidences against some individual and later exploit it. The only difference between him and the other yellow journalists is that they directly ask for the bribe or reward from the distressed party while Mir jumps into some issue as a third person, apparently a well wisher for them. He slowly leaks the gathered information to them, pretending to be a sincere who would like to rescue them out of muddy waters. His targets would not be common people rather high profile politicians, industrialists, business tycoons and the establishment elite. The sources claim that in the early days of his career he remained for a short time on the payroll of IB. However his desire to excel didn’t let him halt at one stop. If one looks back at his career, will observe an interesting fact that his enemies of yester years were his friends for the coming time. If he faced the wrath of Nawaz Sharif and Benazir at one time then he was their blue eyed at other occasions too as he can be seen in the government’s corner today.
The game this dubious journo would play while the editor of an Urdu newspaper in the past is now being played by him as the moderator of a talk show ‘Capital Talk’ from a private TV channel. No doubt his show was a great success in the beginning, nevertheless, with the passage of time, lacking novelty the show with the same old political faces, typical cross talking became a pathetic presentation. At that juncture Mir thought of calling the guests and embarrassing them through mysterious callers, rival politicians and the recordings from the past. His negative tactics brought the rating of the show further down and the guests started refusing to come on his show. Now it was something very destructive for an ambitious and greedy person like him. Suddenly he started talking of human rights, Baloch rights, so called intelligence agencies high handedness. His dicey and harmful behaviour fetched him nothing but the enemies. As a cunning and clever man he wanted to ensure his safety and security hence started talking about his likely murder by the intelligence agencies, knowing fully that it will keep the army, ISI and the IB on toes and they will make their best efforts to protect him, as in the recent past through a planned campaign the blame of Saleem Shahzad’s murder was also thrown on ISI.
The smart stringer considered it an apt incident to qualify his allegation. Hence he filed an application with CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists) http://www.cpj.org/blog/2011/12/pakistans-hamid-mir-publicizes-a-death-threat.php fearing that he may be killed. Some innocents who didn’t know well about him showed sympathies and solidarity to him, however a large number of sensible readers and surfers literally took him up and showed him his true worth. Prior to that Mir faced an embarrassment and also a legal battle by the next of kin of Khalid Khawaja and Colonel Imam for abetting in murdering them. Mir tried his best to justify his position and claimed it to be a conspiracy hatched against him, but it was difficult for the public to digest his mumbling in the presence of the audio recording available on the cyber domains and confirmed by the experts as Hamid Mir’s voice http://changepk.com/2010/05/14/hamid-mir-talibans-most-favorite-informer/ .
Interestingly the journalist tried his best to get it removed from many sites but it didn’t help him much. One should keep that thing in mind that the threat to his life by the relatives and well wishers of those two innocents who were murdered on the behest and tip of this cunning journalist is yet not over. So why not to suppose it that a smart man like him when found a threat to his life inevitable, decided to use in his favour?
Currently, Hamid Mir is very active on human rights violations and Adiyala missing persons’ case. He is frequently doing the programs on the issue. The fact is that no sane person would think of endorsing the killing of even murderers as a just act but the irony is that Hamid Mir who has to settle some old scores with the Army and ISI has emerged as a flag bearer of this case and presenting just one side of the picture which cannot be termed as fair media. What Hamid Mir & Co is not telling the public is that these 11 terrorists including the four killed were taken to the safest places by their collaborators under the guise of intelligence agencies on the day of their release from jail. As a part of the script to cover up this, the families of these people submitted a writ petition to the SC of Pakistan declaring them as missing persons. When the SC gave strict directions, the intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies apprehended 20 suspects including these eleven who fell sick during their stay in FATA. Although despite the best Medicare in CMH and LRH Peshawar, four of them died on different dates in the LRH Peshawar. Hospital officials issued the death certificates and handed over their bodies to the families with full respect according to Islamic rites and despite the fact that each family’s permission was sought for autopsy, all the four families bluntly refused to permit. Hamid Mir, Asma Jehangir, Ali Dayan and others deliberately skipping this part of the story presented the case in a way that any enemy agency would dream about doing.
Besides this, there is yet another angle of this ‘millionaire journalist’. The sources not known but he is known for maintaining multiple bank accounts. Why he keeps the public involved in the controversial issues is one reason for not letting them have a wind about his heavy bank accounts. He is maintaining huge bank accounts in his own, wife’s and children’s names and may be few with the fake names as well. In 2007 a huge transaction of about 5 million rupees was made to one of his highly confidential accounts in a foreign bank’s Blue Area Islamabad branch. But that was not the only incident. The practice was repeated many a times afterwards also, nevertheless, the classic is a very recent incident where for promoting someone as a political hero and taking him out of the crisis, he struck a deal with ‘someone’. It was decided that he would be paid rupees 30 million. While the payer was a known real-estate tycoon of the capital, the payee was none other than our ‘crusader’ Mr. Hamid Mir, who was paid the amount, for a change not through a bank transaction this time but through a middle man, who on the condition of anonymity has revealed the details, however willing to come in the public with the facts and figures, whenever the need shall arise.
It should be understood that what is bugging and upsetting this so-called straight forward journo? Hamid Mir’s true face is exposed to everyone except those who have no excess to modern media means like internet, social media and they are bound to form their opinion basing on his newspaper columns and stereotype talk show. But soon the party will be over when his indecent and unethical non professional doings will be unearthed. As it is an old saying that every dog has a day hence so would be in the case of Hamid Mir. There is a group within GEO TV who doesn’t like Hamid Mir for his anti state activities and are closely monitoring and collecting data about him. The leader of the group has personal differences with Hamid Mir that developed a couple of years back when Mir insulted and humiliated him in front of GEO team Islamabad, publicly. The gentleman claims to have solid proofs about Hamid Mir’s undeclared assets he made due to his close collaboration with CIA and Al Qaida at the same time and he is determined to show HM’s ugly face to the world soon as the greedy journalist in the lust of money has opened too many fronts at one time. Finally, its time for him to face the music since he has asked for it.