Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dunya TV Now In A Proper Court

I had been wondering recently whatever happened to that Maheen Usmani case against Yousuf Baig Mirza (YBM) over at Dunya TV. Things had been awfully quiet for a long time. And lo and behold, here comes some tangential news.

It seems that former Director News Absar Alam has filed a case in court against Dunya TV Chairman Mian Aamir Mahmood (who just happens to be the city nazim of Lahore as well) and Dunya TV Managing Director YBM to recover allegedly unpaid "salary and other dues" of some Rs. 77 lakhs. At a court hearing today, local civil judge Khizar Hayat Minhas has ordered the respondents to file written statements at the next hearing on February 3. It'll be in the papers in the morning I suppose.


Absar Alam (Photo: Tim Johnson / McClatchy Newspapers)

Now, Absar Alam (who used to work for Geo previously) was the Director News, after whose resignation, the whole Maheen Usmani case - in which she accused YBM of sexual harassment - came to light. In fact, Ms. Usmani alleged that the first instance of such harassment occurred while Mr. Alam was still the Director News and that after she reported the matter to him, he had helped assuage her concerns and shielded her from YBM. It was Alam's departure that had led to, she claimed, YBM exacting revenge on her and making life unbearable for her at Dunya TV. Part of the sleazy undertones of that case were that YBM and his minions had been accused of spreading innuendo about the professional relationship between Alam and Usmani. Could Absar Alam's grievances against Dunya TV stem from the fallout of the same case?

Obviously, we still don't know the truth of the matter since no independent inquiry was ever conducted (an internal inquiry did absolve YBM of any wrong-doing, though its results were never accepted by Usmani) and subsequently Usmani moved abroad with her husband, apparently to get away from it all. In any case, the case by Absar Alam is likely to re-ignite interest in the dormant case.

On a side-note, just how does one have pending dues of 77 lakhs? Was Absar Alam not paid his salary for a really long time? Or did his contract specify the payment of X months of salary in case he resigned? I mean, that's like more than 12 months of salary if his salary was 600,000 or more than six months of salary if his salary was 12 lakhs a month. I really should do that story about salaries in the electronic media one of these days.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

PLEASE do the salary in the electronic media. For maximum impact, include what editors in the print media make.

Anonymous said...

Please file the salaries blog.

HH said...

I would also love to read a blog post on salaries in the electronic media, particularly as it compares to the much lower pay grades in the print media.

Mohsin Meer said...

This entry pinches me more of Harassment of Female workers in Pakistan than gossip about Hefty salaries of media personnel. Let them make money and not starve like their "ancestors in this field".

Hala said...

I have worked with Maheen and know YBM by reputation. I believe her 100 percent. Mr Alam's claim boggles the mind. Seventy seven lakhs! Media groups pay their management ridiculous sums of money while lower level empoyees in both tv and print like non-linear editors, page makers, pcr technicians, camera men stuggle to make ends meet.

Bolshevik said...

Mohsin, what ancestors? Compare CURRENT salaries in the electronic media with those in the print media, and you'll feel sorry for print journalists. Merey dil sey sard aah nikalti hai. :-P

2 Tok said...

Bolshevik - I thought you people are also highly paid like your peers in electronic media. You are doing a great job and your owners are making lot of money out of their papers so they should some portion by increasing your salary and bring it in par with your "cousins" on "channels". Your job is no less or otherwise, you should join them.

Herry said...

I will read time to time that i like In Session Asma Chaudhry Dunya TV program

Anonymous said...

dear all I believe in Maheen as such sexual harrassmnets are common in dunya tv.Islamabad Bureau chief Fasih Khan does this to the women collegaues.Pakistani media is rife with such incidents.Dunya tv higher management seems to be chill about it......

alex said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
alex said...

pakistani TV channels are the best TV channels in the world. peoples of the world like
Pakistani channels the most because all these channels have variety of dramas and shows and also for news .