- Amir says his brother’s fight is for sovereignty and security of Pakistan, restoration of peace, eradication of terrorism, rule of law and freedom of speech
- Information minister directs restoration of Geo News transmission after cable operators take it off air at the behest of “those who must not be named” in Cantonment areas
Senior journalist Hamid Mir, who was wounded after being targeted in Karachi, still holds the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) responsible for orchestrating the attack.
This was conveyed by his brother Amir Mir while speaking to the journalists outside Aga Khan Hospital on Thursday.
Amir Mir also struck a defiant tone stating that Geo TV Network and his brother had faced similar circumstances when former military ruler Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf had imposed an emergency in the country and shut down TV channels in 2007.
The journalist is defiant in countering all efforts of suspending Geo TV’s transmission, he said.
Amir said that the senior anchorperson had informed some visiting intelligence officials about the threat he was facing from the ISI. He said that his brother was aware of the agency’s method of threatening journalists and media houses for “biased reporting” of certain national issues.
He said the ISI officials were apparently “unhappy” about his brother’s famous talk show, Capital Talk, being broadcasted on Mama Qadir’s long march over missing Baloch persons. Mir said the agency was also “unhappy” of Hamid Mir’s criticism aimed at the ISI in different Capital Talk shows.
The senior journalist was concerned on the government’s failure to hand over written proof of ISI’s threat to his life, said his brother, adding that he was also concerned about the probe of a planted bomb underneath his car in November 2012.
Amir said that Hamir Mir has vowed to foil all these conspiracies being orchestrated against him and his family members at an appropriate time. His fight is for sovereignty and security of Pakistan, restoration of peace, eradication of terrorism, rule of law and freedom of speech which cannot be suppressed, said Hamid Mir’s brother.
Hamid deems no individual or Institution above the law, he said, adding that covering up armed forces and its agencies’ role in politics was “criminal silence”. Hamid Mir condemns the government and other state institution’s efforts for suspending Geo TV’s transmissions, he said.
TAKING GEO OFF AIR:
Geo TV was taken off air in some parts of the country, cable operators said Thursday. They said they had blocked transmission of Geo in some residential areas managed by the military.
Pakistan’s armed forces run cantonment areas in many cities and towns and have a property arm, the Defence Housing Authority, which provides upmarket housing for serving and retired personnel.
“I have received information that Geo is not being shown in the Defence and cantonment areas of Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Kohat, Hasan Abdal and Peshawar,” Cable Operators Association of Pakistan Secretary General Sheikh Ijaz said.
However, he said that there had been no general order from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to interrupt the channel’s transmission.
“PEMRA has not issued any instructions to shut down Geo TV. We will not advise our members to shut down any channel until PEMRA sends us a written instruction to do so,” Ijaz said.
An operator in the south western city of Quetta said security officials told him not to show Geo in their areas, affecting 35 percent of the city.
“The Frontier Corps and pro-military tribal elders are putting pressure on us to not show Geo at least in the military areas,” Babrak Khan, Quetta’s leading cable operator, told a foreign news agency.
In the north western city of Peshawar, a resident in the upmarket Hayatabad locality said Geo had been off air in his area since Wednesday.
No cable operator confirmed a blockade in the country’s largest city Karachi, where Mir was attacked.
The Defence Ministry on Tuesday urged the national media regulator to cancel Geo TV’s broadcasting licence after it aired allegations that the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency was behind an attempt to kill Hamid Mir.
The Defence Ministry’s letter accused Geo of a “vicious campaign, libellous and scandalous in nature” and said the channel was trying to undermine the integrity of an important state institution.
Furthermore, taking notice of unofficial blockade of the channel, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid Thursday directed for restoration of Geo News Transmission, which has been suspended in some areas.
According to official media, the minister regretted the suspension of transmission of Geo News channel in some areas.
The minister called PEMRA chairman and asked him to restore the broadband and cable position of Geo News.
Mir has in the past criticised the Taliban and also Pakistan’s armed forces. Media campaign group Reporters Without Borders said he had told it on April 7 that the ISI was “conspiring… to cause me harm.”