Is media involved in a coverup in CJ’s son case?

Jun 8th, 2012 | By | Category: Uncategorized

The case against Arslan Chaudhry was brought to attention by the media according to a press release from the Supreme Court. As we noted earlier this week, this raises some questions about the behaviour of certain journalists in their use of social media. Today, though, new and troubling questions have begun to arise about media’s role in the case – not because of what is being said, but what isn’t.

Following an exclusive conversation with one of the men at the center of the case, Ansar Abbasi reports that Malik Riaz was warned not to take his story to the British media.

At one stage, Malik disclosed that he had entered into a written agreement with a British journalist, Christina Lamb, to break the story in the British media but when he was warned of serious consequences for Pakistan of such a move, he decided not to do it and hinted that the evidence might be handed over to The News.

This raises troubling questions about freedom of information and manipulation of the press. Why would it create “serious consequences for Pakistan” if Malik Riaz turned over his evidence to a British journalist, but not The News (Jang Group)? Surely any responsible journalist would publish all the relevant information and not hide certain embarrassing or inconvenient facts to cover up wrongdoing by any interested parties, so wouldn’t the reports be quite similar whether it was published in Sunday Times or The News?

Secondly, who issued this warning to Malik Riaz not to reveal all to the journalist Christina Lamb? What was their reasoning behind issuing such a warning, and did they threaten any consequences? What was their authority to warn a private citizen which journalists he should speak to?

These are questions that deserve investigation not only by real journalists but by the respected Court as well. As journalists, we deserve to practice our trade without fear of “warnings” or interference by interested parties, and those who try to interfere with the freedom of information which is a fundamental right in the Constitution deserve to be exposed. Furthermore, if the case is based on media reports as the Supreme Court’s press release explains, surely it is vital to the case to know if these media reports have been the subject of any manipulation or part of any cover up.

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