Hamid Mir Saga Continues

May 20th, 2010 | By | Category: Geo TV, Jang

The Hamid Mir conspiracy saga continues with more news organizations speaking up about the charges.

Today, Dawn adds their voice to the debate in the following editorial:

Geo TV's Hamid Mir Accused of Conspiracy

If the person on the line is indeed Mr Mir, an explanation is in order about his possible ties with militant organisations. He must also answer allegations that the information he ostensibly provided may have contributed to the killing of Khalid Khawaja, a former ISI official belonging to the air force who had been abducted by the Taliban. Mr Khawaja, believed by many to be a Taliban sympathiser, is repeatedly described as a CIA agent by the man who sounds uncannily like Hamid Mir.

Mr Khawaja and his wife are also held responsible in part for the bloodbath at Islamabad’s Lal Masjid. The person on the phone also spews venom of the vilest kind on the Ahmadi community. Slain Taliban leaders are referred to as martyrs.

Mr Mir denies most of the conversation and has served legal notice on the paper that broke the story. He claims that he and the organisation that employs him are being victimised for their consistent criticism of the PPP government and President Zardari in particular. Hamid Mir, who is not short of detractors even within the media, also maintains that the audio ‘recording’ is the work of the Intelligence Bureau which took a voice sample and then produced an entire conversation with the help of a “special gadget.”

Mr Mir has every right to proclaim his innocence but that alone will not suffice. In this digital age it is child’s play for independent experts to confirm whether or not the voice on the tape is Mr Mir’s. It is just as simple to distinguish a doctored recording from an unedited conversation. The credibility of the media is at stake here. What is needed is an investigation that is carried out with an open mind and whose outcome is accepted and acted upon by all parties. This is imperative if allegations of unethical conduct by the media and charges of dirty tricks by the government are to be laid to rest.

Hamid Mir has responded to the original story by sending legal notices claiming defamation and demanding a written apology and Rs 250 Million.

GEO News Islamabad Executive Editor Hamid Mir has sent legal notices to the publisher, editor and staff reporter of Daily Times, as well as the chief executive of TV channel Business Plus for publishing and telecasting “defamatory material against him”.

Mir claimed that the story carried and telecast by the newspaper and the channel, respectively, was “based on malafide intentions and had lowered him in the estimation of general public as the enemy of the state”.

Mir has demanded a written apology within 14 days and its publication in the newspaper and has asked the respondents to pay damages worth Rs 250 million in compensation, else legal action would be taken.

But Hamid Mir is not the only person sending legal notices, it seems. Reports today indicate that Khalid Khwaja’s son Osama Khalid has told reporters at Dawn that his family will be registering a case against Hamid Mir for being instrumental in his father’s murder.

On Wednesday, the family of Khalid Khwaja, the ISI official who was kidnapped by a militant group in the Tribal Areas in late March and subsequently killed, declared their intentions of getting a case registered against the television anchor, Hamid Mir.

“We will be first going to the police and also to the Supreme Court in a few days’ time to get a case registered against Mir for being instrumental in the murder of my father by Punjabi Taliban,” Osama Khalid, son of Khalid Khwaja, told Dawn by telephone on Wednesday.

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