Ironically, this has come to light on Mir's own programme, Capital Talk, when PMLN's Ishaq Dar brought up what Hamid Mir had said in his speech just before Sharif's. The following is a transcription of the interaction between Dar and Mir about the issue...
Dar: Basically yeh jo aap ki taqreer thi, aap ki apni taqreer thi jis mein aap...Mir: Haan, main bhi tha wahaan par, main ne..Dar: Let's link now to that.. your viewers must know. [Mir laughs] Aap ne kaha, 'Main ne aik saal pehlay Sharif..' Main ne uss ke woh liye hain, woh pieces mangwaye hain, keh aap ne kya farmaya wahaan.Aap ne kaha ke 'Main ne aik saal pehlay Sharif biradraan ko yeh kaha tha ke aap ne Musharraf ko nikala hai, jo ke Amreeka ka chaela tha, aap ki policiyan uss ke khilaaf hain, aap dictation bhi nahin le rahe, androoni aur bayrooni quwwatein aap ke khilaaf mutaharik ho chuki hain, aap aur aap ki party aghiaar ke muqaablay mein deewar ban chukay hain...' Yeh aap ko quote kiya hai jo wahaan maujood thhe..'Lahore khoon mein naha jaaye ga.' Now, is hawalay se Mian Shahbaz Sharif yeh keh rahe hain, agar uss ko hum bhool jaayein tau totally woh... shukar hai unhon ne, main ne abhi ghaur kiya, 'agar' ka lafz unhon ne use kiya, kiya unhon ne..Mir: 'Agar'Dar: Agar! Tau matlab yeh hai, ke yeh saari cheez jo hai, iss ko agar accept kar liya jaaye, jo theory aap ne wahaan pesh ki...
English Translation of the interaction quoted above:
Dar: Basically, your speech, your own speech which you made there...Mir: Yes, I was there too, I...Dar: Let's link now to that, your viewers must know. [Mir laughs] You said, 'One year ago I said to Sharif...' I have got them, I got the pieces [of your speech], what you said there. You said that 'One year ago I told the Sharif brothers that you have ousted Musharraf who was America's puppet, your policies are against his, you are not taking dictation either, internal and external powers have become active against you, you and your party have become a wall against the foreigners' [designs]...' This is what you have been quoted as saying by those who were present there...'Lahore will be bathed in blood.' Now, with reference to this, Mian Shahbaz Sharif is saying..if we forget [what you said in your speech] it would sound totally... Thankfully he said 'if', I just noticed, he used the word 'if'...Mir: 'If'...Dar: If! Meaning that this whole thing, if we accept the theory that you presented there...
You can watch this bit of the programme in the clip below. Ishaq Dar's portion begins around 5:22 and continues for a couple of minutes.
Now, I'm not going to go into the merits of what Shahbaz Sharif actually said or didn't say - and Dawn, among many others have taken him to task for it - though for the record I agree with those who believe the Sharifs do have a soft corner for religious extremists or that they at least bend over backwards not to alienate what they believe is part of a solid vote bank for them. What interests me right now is MrImpartialJournalistHimself.
After watching / reading the portion quoted above, do we, the viewers, have a right to ask the following questions?
1. Was Hamid Mir being an impartial and analytical journalist with respect to the PMLN?
2. Is it his position as a journalist that allows him to provide security advice to the Sharifs and be on the roster of speakers at a madrassah at least two years in a row?
3. With respect to the security advice Mir admits himself to have tendered the previous year to the Sharifs and the (later assassinated) head of the Jamia Naeemia, does Mir know something he is not telling his viewers or the government, and if so, how?
4. Was it fair of the media to attack what Shahbaz Sharif said without providing the full context of what he was responding to, particularly when it involved one of its own?
Stuff to think about.