Hamid Mir – victim of media infighting


Hamid Mir – victim of media infighting

Pervez Mushharraf is leaving his Islamabad residence amid tight security. His plane has taxied from runway from where he will fly to Karachi. Awesome news for the nation, isn’t it?

 

You have a bad news sense if you are not interested in this latest development. But wait. If you have instead tuned in to Geo News to keep yourself updated on the armed attack on Hamid Mir, your taste of news really sucks, dare I say.

 

“Allah be praised” is an expression often used in a derogatory way by Ayaz Amir—the old guy from Chakwal who was recently at loggerheads with this wounded journo over an ideological issue in a style that is both literary and sweet. Amir uses this expression just before highlighting the sorry affairs of the state.

 

Allow me to repeat his words before describing you as being ‘out-of-your-mind’ if you have an interest in an armed attack on Hamid Mir. In fact it’s not me but some Pakistani media outlets that think you are. They are convinced that the journey of ‘very famous’ Musharraf with a ‘heart disease’ holds much more importance for viewers than very ‘little known’ Hamid Mir lying in hospital bed with ‘only six’ bullets lodged into his body.

 

What follows is a series of talk shows in connection with Hamid Mir, not out of sympathy but because of Bugz-e-Muaavia. Why? Because they had got hold of a controversy emerging from the statement of Hamid Mir’s brother.

 

The media outlets in general showed almost no interest in the shooting of a senior journalist but opened all their guns at one media group.

 

I will not go into details about Amir Mir’s remarks but what an irony of fate Mir didn’t get as much coverage by TV channels as he deserved.

 

You must have witnessed that the poor Kashmiri chap had always raised his strong voice whenever a Pakistani journalist, no matter which channel he belonged to, fell in the line of duty somewhere in the mountains of Waziristan, the land of five rivers or the city of lights.

 

This journalist cum anchorperson never harbored any prejudice. He never discriminated. He always spoke for the members of his fraternity. He always spoke for the oppressed.

 

From the attacks on Raza Rumi and Hamid Mir, we can safely conclude that it is no longer the juniors as even the veteran journalists and anchor persons have now started to face the heat. Let the PEMRA decide what it decides but the kind of reaction shown by other media organizations is not going to be even in their own favour in the long run.

 

Due to their apathetic approach, the assassination attempt took a backseat and their viewers only came to know about the assault when the channels began capitalizing on the controversy to lambaste one outlet.

 

Perhaps, these channels forgot they work in a country which has yet to eliminate the insurgency that killed almost 50,000 people, and they are as much vulnerable to the prevailing threats as Hamid Mir. I have no doubt in my mind that a bonafide journalist like Hamid Mir would have stood by anyone who would have been in his place.

 

Much will be said about the attack. Condemnations will continue to pour in. But, this is high time our seasoned journalists sat together to chalk out a future line of action which could force all the media organizations to treat all the journos equally when it comes to the excesses meted out to them in the line of duty.

 

If the media organizations refuse to accept their demands they should no longer stand by their employers in this coup-prone country.

 

And no need to worry too much viz a viz the livelihood, because Rozi Roti Allah Kay Hath main Hai.

 

Abdul Hafeez can be followed on Twitter @hafeezazad



Abdul Hafeez

A sub-editor on the Online Editorial desk of The News/Geo and an avid reader on local and international politics


  • Anonymous

    Catch 22 for all……but the hypocricy of some so called journalists is one glaring example of the reasons for failure – narrow and personal interests above human solidarity with another human being going through paces to survive. Sadly, Ayaz Amir’s stance was a but too self- righteous, Geo’s editorial error notwithstanding.

    One does not have to agree with Hamid Mir or his views but a transgression did occur (against Hamid Mir’s life and by Geo’s editorial position subsequently regarding ISI). But all decent humans must acknowledge that it merits a full investigation – and that no institution is so sacred as to be above suspicion. Cyril Almeida’s column today at least tries to address our hypocricies and contradictions.

    If the most forceful and powerful institutions are so sensitive to criticism (justified or unjustified) then they are not fit for purpose and a big question mark arises about their utility!

    Pakistanis are a peculiar lot – they are content watching Indian movies and hum the melodies (persumably for the sheer entertainment value) but raise their sleeves, ready to fight and pass fatwas of trechery – and that too for the ones who do not need the masses protection. Hamid Mir has been bold enough to bring the differing narrative of what happened in East Pakistan and what is happening in Balochistan, to the public’s attention….Is he a traitor for doing that? Do the institutions existing for the protection of Pakistanis, need protection from him or should they be defending and protecting him?! If Hamid Mir has to prove who shot him lets close down all law enforcement agencies.

    Lets leave Geo’s and other channels’ commercial interests out of this. Whoever shot Hamid Mir is a disgusting coward and all trying to demonise him because he holds a different view should remember that the shoe can easily go on the other foot if tolerance is not there!

  • Anonymous

    Generally, the ex or current uniformed men tend to support each other as obvious from the various talks shows – various air marshalls and generals advocating and lobbying on behalf of Mr Musharaff – proposing some deal or another to let him escape any trial. Any individual criticism is always (and wrongly) portrayed as criticism of the whole institution.

    It is rarely pointed out that he chose to be a head of a political party and in recent months has done more damage to the military’s image than anything Khawaja Asif may have said 8 years ago.

    Unfortunately, most tv journalists appear not to have that camradrie and seem to act on behalf of their commercial institutes’ interests as obvious from the recent events about Hamid Mir.

  • Anonymous

    Not sure whether its the lack of interest in what happened to Hamid Mir or Geo’s lack of interest in maintaining this blog has put off people from making comments!