Amir Mir, brother of senior journalist Hamid Mir, talks to the media during a press conference held in Karachi on Thursday. – PPI Photo
Hamid Mir. – File Photo
KARACHI: 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 on Thursday by his brother while speaking to the media outside the Aga Khan Hospital, where the wounded journalist is being treated for his injuries.
Amir Mir also stuck a further defiant tone stating that Geo TV network and his brother had faced the similar circumstances when former military ruler Gen (retd) 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 broadcast 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.
He 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.
No individual or Institution is above the law to Hamid, 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.
Geo TV off-air in some army areas
The Geo TV station has been taken off-air in some parts of the country, cable operators said Thursday.
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 top anchor Hamid Mir.
On Thursday cable operators 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,” Sheikh Ijaz, the secretary general of Cable Operators Association of Pakistan, told AFP.
But he said 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 southwestern city of Quetta said security officials told him not to show Geo in their areas, affecting 35 per cent 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 AFP.
In the northwestern 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'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.
Mir has in the past criticised the Taliban and also Pakistan's armed forces, and media campaign group Reporters Without Borders said he had told it on April 7 that the ISI was “conspiring... to cause me harm.”
Pakistan's freewheeling private media has increasingly shown itself willing to challenge the military, once considered off-limits to criticism.
Last month another high-profile presenter, Raza Rumi, survived a murder bid by gunmen in the eastern city of Lahore, in which his driver was killed– AFP