The news of the death of NAB investigation officer Kamran Faisal shocked many. Obviously his involvement in the investigation of high profile corruption cases including top politicians means that his death must be investigated by the proper authorities, but a second tragedy has taken place in the way Kamran’s case has been dragged through the mud by the media, spreading rumours instead of reporting facts and exposing every private detail of the man’s life.
Even though the initial post-mortem report by a medical board termed Kamran Faisal’s death a suicide, media groups were quick to create a conspiracy by describing the circumstances as “mysterious” and give the statement of Kamran’s father that his deceased son “was a man of strong nerves and he could never commit suicide”. Later, media broadcast Kamran’s brother-in-law stating that he is 100 per cent certain that Kamran was murdered.
Kamran’s relative had no hard evidence to share, though, only his gut feeling. And what relative could say otherwise under such tragic circumstances? Before broadcasting such remarks, the media should ask if they are adding to the public’s understanding of the case or if they are only exploiting the pain of a grieving family?
After a few days, The News (Jang Group) reported that Dr Najma Aziz, a psychologist at the Federal Government Services Hospital who had previously been described as the victim’s psychologist, stated that Kamran Faisal had never received psychological treatment or anti-depressants at the hospital.
But in their report, The News put words in the mouth of Dr Najma by claiming that the doctor said “Kamran Faisal was not depressed”. The News report, however, provides no quotations from the doctor to back up that claim, only that Kamran was not Dr Najma’s patient.
A few days later, The News (Jang Group) published a contradictory report that Geo News (also Jang Group) had acquired medical records of Kamran Faisal that confirmed that he had suffered tremendously from severe psychological illness and was taking medication since the past 13 years to treat his condition. These private medical records were reported with no care for the deceased or his family.
Would these same reporters agree to have their own medical records published on the front page of newspapers? Would they agree to have the intimate details of their marital lives discussed on TV talk shows? It is a shameful act that media is dragging Kamran’s body through the mud with no sensitivities for the feelings of his family and friends during this painful time of grieving.
Earlier this week a murder case was registered over Kamran’s death, but not based on any facts or evidence. Actually, according to NAB Additional Director (Coordination), Noman Aslam, who registered the case, it was done “on account of the widespread rumours and suspicions” only.
Kamran Faisal’s official position and the importance of his work at NAB requires that the circumstances surrounding his death receive a full investigation so that all questions are answered and suspicions put to rest. Such an investigation is the responsibility of the properly trained authorities who can gather the evidence, evaluate it professionally, and report their findings – not a shameful media trial of his grave. If it is determined that his death was not the result of getting killed, that can be reported without making public all of the man’s personal affairs. After a life dedicated to public service, Kamran deserves that much at least.