Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Smoking Gun - Updated

This story was posted earlier but some inexplicable issues with how the blog was viewable in Internet Explorer and Google Chrome has forced us to repost. Apologies to those who had commented earlier.
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As explosive stories go, there could be few to match this.

The Let Us Build Pakistan (LUBP) blog, which advertises itself as "a project of Critical Supporters of Pakistan People's Party" has posted an alleged phone conversation between Geo TV's Hamid Mir and an unnamed person, said to be a member of the 'Punjabi Taliban' a.k.a. the Sipahe Sahaba lot. The conversation seems to have taken place a few days before Khalid Khwaja, the former ISI operative who had been abducted in March in the tribal area of Waziristan by a group calling itself 'Asian Tigers', was found killed, accused of being an American spy.


Hamid Mir: channeling his inner self?


In the apparently secretly recorded phone conversation, the voice identified as Mir's, coaxes the person he is talking to - variously identified by others as someone close to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan leader Hakeemullah Mehsud - to get Khwaja's abductors to interrogate him about his connections with the Americans, with the CIA and with Qadianis, who according to him, "are worse than even kaafirs (infidels)." In addition, he provides the person at the other end of the line with his assessment of Khwaja's (and Khwaja's wife's) betrayal of the Lal Masjid militants (about Mullah Ghazi he prays "Khuda unn ko jannat naseeb karay" ['May God admit him into paradise'], and even implies Khwaja's indirect connection with Israel.

You can download a copy of the conversation here. It is in a .AMR (mobile phone) format playable on Quicktime or RealPlayer.

Update: Thanks to Anon1112, here are the easily playable audio clips (one phone conversation, but line gets disconnected in the middle):







Since a transcript of the conversation is not yet available, you really will have to listen to the audio to draw your own conclusions. (I will try and post some translations later.) Update: Thanks to Codename Hijazi, here is the fairly professionally done transcript and translation of the conversation. Obviously one cannot verify the authenticity of this recording, but knowing Mir and the way he talks, I am, personally, quite convinced this is actually his voice. He also mentions certain bits of his personal history (such as his being the editor of daily Ausaf at one point and being sacked from it) that reinforce the credibility of this recording.

The question of how this conversation was recorded is perhaps more intriguing. Some commentators on the LUBP blog have claimed it was the unknown militant who himself recorded the conversation and later on took it to Mehsud, who used Mir's claims and questions to 'sentence' Khwaja. There is, of course, no way of knowing if this is true, but even if it is, it does not explain how LUBP got a hold of the recording. In fact, it could well be one of our intelligence agencies that recorded the conversation and have now leaked it. My guess would be the latter. Update: As Codename Hijazi has pointed out, the recording first made its appearance on a Facebook fan page titled 'Inter-Services Intelligence.' Given the professional transcript also provided, it becomes fairly obvious what the source of the recording is.

The LUBP blog post draws readers' attention to the following:


1. Hamid Mir’s views on terrorists of Lal Masjid (Ghazi brothers);
2. Hamid Mir’s worldview of Islam, Jihad and CIA;
3. His views on Khalid Khwaja;
4. His views on Qadianis
5. His views on Pakistan’s intelligence agencies
6. His views on Javed Ibrahim Paracha, a notorious terrorist of Sipah-e-Sahaba in Kohat (also a leader of PML-N – does that ring a bell?)
7. What was Hamid Mir’s message to Khalid Khwaja’s kidnappers? Did that message lead to Khwaja’s murder?
8. What are Hamid Mir’s links with Hakimullah Mehsud and the Punjabi Taliban (Sipah-e-Sahaba)?
9. Why does Hamid Mir insist that Khalid Khwaja is not an ISI operative but a CIA operative?
10. Who are the real sponsors, protectors and promoters of Hamid Mir?
11. Is Hamid Mir a friend of Pakistan? or a friend of terrorists?


Now, the other question one may ask is whether it's possible that Mir was simply cultivating his contacts with sources. We all know that journalists have sometimes to ingratiate themselves with dubious people who can provide them information. But you may want to ask yourself, how much information is Mir's 'source' actually sharing and how much of the conversation is the 'reporter' informing his 'source.' Certainly the reference to Qadianis is completely unprovoked, as is the insistence by Mir of what Khwaja should be interrogated about.

Keep in mind also that Hamid Mir published the following lengthy piece in The News, titled "What Was the Last Mission of Khalid Khwaja?", on May 2, two days after Khwaja's bullet-riddled body was found. In it he says:


"The spokesman for the Punjabi Taliban said that both Mr and Mrs Khalid Khwaja played an active role in Lal Masjid tragedy in July 2007. They forced late Abdul Rashid Ghazi not to surrender but disappeared when the operation started. Some friends of Khalid Khwaja, however, tell a different story. They say that Khwaja was arrested just a few days before the operation in Lal Masjid but they also admit that Khwaja was not supporting the surrender.

It is also learnt that Khalid Khwaja was investigated by a three-member committee of the militants for more than four weeks. Initially, Khwaja claimed that he had moved a petition in the Lahore High Court against the drone attacks along with former PML-N MNA Javed Ibrahim Paracha and he came to North Waziristan for recording the statements of drone victims to be produced in the court on April 6.

The militants confronted him as to why on the one hand he was opposing the drone attacks but on the other hand he was trying to establish contacts between the USA and the Taliban. The militants claimed that he arranged a meeting between US Under Secretary of State Karen Hughes and a religious cleric Javed Ibrahim Paracha in 2005 in Serena Hotel, Islamabad. They also produced some articles downloaded from the Internet and asked about his links with former CIA officials, James Woolsey and William Casey."


Listen to the audio again. Almost all the points mentioned in the article are things Mir tells his source! It's nice to be able to quote yourself, isn't it?

At the very least, this is a very serious accusation against Mir that needs to be looked into by the authorities. If the recording is genuine, was Mir complicit in Khwaja's murder? Read LUBP's points / questions again. Hamid Mir and his employers (and there are obviously more than one) need to answer some very tough questions.


*** UPDATE ***

Hamid Mir and his acolytes have come out swinging against this damaging accusation, particularly after the Daily Times ran a front page story - that seems to have been based almost entirely on our post - with the transcript of the conversation included on the inside pages as well. He first posted his opinion on a journalists' mailing list and finally has given his side of the story publicly today in a piece in The News.

In his email response he writes:


"Dear All,
Thank you very much for your support. Today publisher of Daily Times and Governor Punjab Salman Taseer created a new record in the history of yellow journalism by publishing a one sided tape drama scandle against me.I would like to remind my journalist colleagues that Salman Taseer published many dirty articles against me in the past when i was banned by Musharraf regime on tv.Today he published the transcript of a concocted tape with some comments on the front page of his newspaper.Yes he tried to kill many birds with one bullet.
This is a conspiracy against me.Khalid Khawaja was assassinated in the month of April and this tape surfaced in the middle of May just few days before some important political and leagal events.I am consulting with my lawyers and i will go into court against Salman Taseer for publishing a one sided concocted story against me.My hands are clear and i have no fear except Allah who have provided me a new opportunity to unmask some more realities in the court of law.
This fabricated tape is part of a bigger drama against journalist community.Some elements want to silence the voice of media on certain national issues by blackmailing journalists like me.These people are very unhappy on those journalists who are raising voice for missing people,who are opposing government stand NRO and who criticized the fake degree holder members of the parliament.Many journalists are disliked by the government and some parts of the establishment.These journalists may become a target one by one.Some government ministers warned me on May 13th that some elements are trying to use the family of Khalid Khawaja against me and journalists like Ansar Abbasi,Kamran Khan and Shahid Masood will also face some new cases.I am sure we will face these kind of fabricated cases with unity.Thanks again for showing solidarity with me.
Hamid Mir"


Note that he does not answer any of the substantive issues regarding the recording, other than to off-handedly claim the recording as "fabricated." His claim that the recording is suspect because it has only surfaced two weeks after Khwaja was killed, is bizarre for a journalist to make.


In his response in The News he writes:


Grand Plot Against Media
Monday, May 17, 2010
By Hamid Mir
"ISLAMABAD: Some elements in the federal government have hatched a grand conspiracy to malign and blackmail the Pakistani media and top of the list is the Jang Group of Newspapers and Geo TV. This grand conspiracy was noticed last Friday when a federal minister made allegations in the National Assembly and said that they have not paid huge amounts of sales tax. Most of the figures presented in the National Assembly were not correct.
The same afternoon, a top government minister told this scribe that “enough is enough” and now they can teach a lesson to Jang Group any time. He claimed that it was only President Asif Ali Zardari who never allowed any “action” against you people otherwise the action would have started long ago. The minister was angry with Ansar Abbasi and Dr Shahid Masood. He claimed that the government had collected a lot of material against these two. Another minister told this scribe the same evening that President Zardari had given a green signal to launch a campaign against some journalists of the Jang Group, including Shaheen Sehbai, Ansar Abbasi, Dr Shahid Masood, Kamran Khan, Hamid Mir and some others. He said that Dr Shahid might be implicated in some forgery case.
Another minister revealed that some people within the establishment suggested to the government to use the family of late Khalid Khawaja against Hamid Mir on the basis of a tape. A top official of the interior ministry rejected this idea and said that these types of concocted tapes cannot be proven in a court of law but the same night some pro-PPP websites launched a campaign against me. The next day, a section of the media belonging to a close friend of President Zardari published a one-sided story with baseless allegations. A newspaper and a TV channel tried to involve me in the murder of Khalid Khwaja.
I will take legal action against all those who started this campaign but one thing must be clear. It is a conspiracy not only against me. The ultimate goal is to silence the voice of Pakistani media on certain issues. Was it a coincidence that PPP Secretary Information Fauzia Wahab addressed a press conference on Saturday against Ansar Abbasi and the next day a full-fledged campaign was launched against me in a section of the media belonging to Governor Punjab?
Many observers have noticed the timing of the campaign against the media men. Khalid Khwaja was assassinated at least two weeks ago but no tape about his murder surfaced anywhere. Fauzia Wahab had exchanged hot words with Ansar Abbasi many times in different talk shows but she issued him a notice only when some important political and legal events are going to take place in coming few weeks. The main objective is very clear. The PPP leadership wants to give a message to the whole media that if they do not behave, then this government will treat them like Pervez Musharraf did.
For some time, the government has been taking many actions to financially damage the Geo-Jang Group because this Group has refused to toe the official line. Similar tactics were used by the previous regime of dictator Musharraf. The democratic government was supposed to tolerate press freedom but this could not happen."


Of course, once again, it is termed a conspiracy to silence the media and in particular the Jang Group without going into the real accusations against himself. But some points from Hamid Mir's article need a comment.

1. It is interesting that Hamid Mir has laid this "conspiracy" at the door of the Pakistan Peoples Party, rather than where it seems to originate: the intelligence agencies. A few people have also pointed out the intelligence source as a reason to discount it. No doubt, one must take intel leaks with a pinch of salt. But whether PPP or the intelligence agencies are the source, the allegations need to be refuted, and if they are not in substantive terms, they would have to be accepted as fact. Indeed, the reasons for the intelligence operatives having turned against Mir - who has long been considered one of their men - may be complex but that does not affect the substance of the allegations against him as evidenced by this recording.

2. His claims that "these types of concocted tapes cannot be proven in a court of law" seem a bit premature and certainly not a little reminiscent of an earlier apoplectic commentator on this blog who said:

"...this stupid piece of evidence will not stand in any court of law anywhere in the world."
Let's leave that to the courts to decide, if it comes to that, but it does indicate a bit of panic. The ISI fanboy's claims, also on this blog, that "they" are in touch with Mrs. Khalid Khwaja is, however, probably the reason for the panic. I would expect her to soon move the court with a petition to implicate Mir in her husband's murder. For Mr Mir's benefit, however, it is fairly easy for experts to judge whether a recording is tampered with or not.

3. Hamid Mir is at pains to point out the "timing" of the accusation against him coinciding with the government's bringing up the tax issue against the Jang Group (among other media groups) and Fauzia Wahab's (albeit flimsy) legal notice of defamation to Ansar Abbasi. He (and his fellow journos) should know about media timing. And he may well be right to a certain extent. However, as pointed out before, this does not mean that the tax issues and the seriousness of the accusations against him are negated. He (and the Jang Group) still have to answer. By using the bogey of a 'conspiracy against the media', how are they different from Asif Zardari who claims the allegations of corruption against him are simply a 'conspiracy against democracy'? Sometimes the shoe is on the other foot, is it not Mr Mir? And of course, both are not necessarily mutually exclusive points of view: you can have a conspiracy to undermine democracy at the same time as the allegations of corruption being true. Similarly, you can have a government campaign to make the media more compliant at the same time as serious allegations against the media being true.

4. Hamid Mir claims that part of the reason for the government's ire is his bringing up the issue of the fake degrees of Jamshed Dasti et al. We've done a number of stories harshly criticising Dasti et al and the government, but I can tell you one thing: in terms of seriousness, fake degrees are piddling compared to instigation to murder.




40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Quite apart from all the other despicable things this recording proves Hamid Mir to be, it also provides pretty damning evidence that he is an accomplice to and instigator of Khalid Khwaja's murder. If Geo can persist with this man on air after this revelation, they have even less shame than one already (dis)credited them for.

ansar said...

Hamid Mir is an enemy of Pakistan and peace. haramzada

Anonymous said...

Here are youtube links to Hamid Mir's conversation with a terrorist

Part-I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3_b5ZVRz8Q

Part-II
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCQh5XgJ67o

Magnum said...

Someone or something has to got to get rid of all these so called TV personalites from Mir, to Ansar Abbasi all the way to Amir Liaqat and Zaid Hamid.

This is getting insane. As if Pakistanis here and abroad dont already have so many problems to face regarding jihad and all that, these bastards and their bosses in big TV channels HAVE to be raigned in already!

Snowless in Srinagar said...

So,finally you have managed to sink to the same stinking depths that you have been despising for so long. This post is straight from Conspiracy Blockbusters that somehow run to full houses perineally in Pakistan. You have perfected this art of innuedo now. Welcome to the club. Ironically you have great company there ; likes of Hamid Mir, Dr. Shahid Masood, Zaid Hamid,etc.

By the way, this stupid piece of evidence will not stand in any court of law anywhere in the world.

This at least proves one thing: you are all stupid dumb asses. English speaking Liberals or the so called Islamists.Hardly any difference. God save Pakistan.

sahafi_braadri said...

I won't be as acerbic as snowless in Sri Nagar above but I have certain issues.

I hope that when you guys say that you are all journalists, that at least some of you have been a field reporter. And by that I mean "beat" reporting.
It is a dreadfully, dreadfully difficult thing to do. There is always the other guy trying to get ahead of you.

To cultivate contacts with sources within the Taliban, one has to talk in a certain manner, say a couple of things one really doesn't mean.

I personally know some very good journalists from Fata who despise the Taliban with an intensity that the chattering classes cannot quite muster but when they are on the phone with a source, its only sympathy that they show.

Working journalists should know this. The standards that you expect of Mir would make it difficult for any reporter to cultivate contacts with anyone.

I appreciate your work otherwise. And I'm not saying that what you are saying about Mir it is absolutely beyond the realm of possibility. But cut him some slack.

Anonymous said...

Oh, boy, here come the "let's save our non-hairy jihadis on TV" brigade.
They will pick up the flimsiest and most useless 'evidence' against Zaradi and run away with it, but suddenly become oh-so-objective whenever evidence comes along against the jihadis. Tsk, tsk.

Anonymous said...

one clarification, this audio was not excluvisely published by lubp, this has been making the rounds on the internet since may 13 and seems to have been originally uploaded by the "ISI fan page" on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/isifanpage?v=app_2347471856

so please do consider the original source of this recording while assessing it. Which is not to say that Hamid Mir's views are not shocking, but this is obviously part of a larger internal conflict within the establishment.

Ruby said...

Supreme Court should take suo motto notice of this. This is a very serious issue. If Hamid Mir is not guilty then he should clear himself. Sp far no contradictory statement from him.

Anonymous said...

@sahaafi_braadri above... as a journalist who routinely works on stories related to the taliban and their assorted permutations in our midst, i'd like to weigh in against this suggestion of yours that hamid mir's conversation is intended to flatter and sooth the talib on the other end into providing information. if anything it sounds completely the other way around. yes, one often does have to "haan may haan milao-fy" with the nutters to keep them chatty, but mir is the one venting in this conversation, and the talib looking for information. we have all read his anti-establishment piece. sadly, it's not the exception that proves the rule as far as hamid mir is concerned.

Anonymous said...

George Fulton has started writing for The Express Tribune. George also mentions Hamid Mir. Why not? This is George ka Pakistan.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/12457/holding-out-for-a-hero/

sahafi_braadri said...

@ Anon 3:26
If that was meant for me, then you're preaching to the choir as far as Zardari is concerned. In fact, my sympathies for Hamid Mir were reinforced the day I read an extremely sympathetic piece of his about the President.

If you want to lump Hamid Mir in with Ansar Abbasi, Dr Shahid Masoud and Kamran Khan, that's your own choice, but it's unfair in my opinion. I think I'm entitled to air it.

Since there are many in the blogosphere that would fit the bill of the sort you instinctively thought I was, I don't mind. Not to imply you care whether I mind or not. :)

@Anon 8:42.

As I mentioned, it is not beyond the realm of possibilities but in this particular conversation, for instance, how do we know the nature of their relationship? How do we know at what stage this transpired? How do we know it wasn't followed by another conversation where the talib was forthcoming? I would concede I have done things similar to what Mir did. I'll say this without shame. It has to be done.

I wish my comrades in the newsroom would lighten up once in a while.

insider-outsider said...

One thing is clear that the other person on the telephone line is one of the top operatives from among the so-called Punjabi Taliban. And it is not only that a reporter is trying to be chummy with his 'source, he's rather informing him (source).

He's blatantly instigating the other person to take Khalid Khawaja as a CIA agent and on top of it an aide of "Qadiani and Israeli lobby". As a media crook he knew Qadiani label for Lashkar-i-Jhangvi people aka Punjabi Taliban is same as a red rag to a bull. "Mey Qadianio ko kafiro sey bhi bura samjhta hun," this is what if he isn't hell bent to see KK's dead body.

But the most appaling is his casual way of asking "barrey dhamakey shamkey ho rahey hain". And the other person replies " ... abhi kutch aur bhi hongey, kutch line mey lagey huwey thay". He was saying there were more [bomb blasts] in the line.

And one has gone off under the Capital Talk's hot seat with this audio clip becoming public.

Anonymous said...

@sahaafi braadri... seems to me that you have an anti-ahmedi opinion too, the way you're very willing to forgive hamid all for his (improbable) information-gathering attempt... but by the way, for those of us in the business, the person on the other end is well known as a spokesperson for the punjabi talibs. hamid's "relationship" is beyond doubt one of ease with him. and the "conversation" is so blatantly one-sided as to leave little doubt who is prompting whom. spare us the lesson in journalistic ethics or whatever it is you're willing to give mir the benefit of the doubt for. if you've done similarly, shame on you too.

Codename Hijazi said...

This audio and note were released by our page:
http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=436501210648

Here is the mp3 link:
http://www.mediafire.com/?n5ntmuzjftt

And we also made a transcript/translation of it:
http://www.mediafire.com/?z0uzhzdnxtq

LUBP bozos are ball-less goons who cannot possibly obtain this audio. We got it out and we're in correspondence with Mrs. KK over this.

You can email me for further details:

codenamehijazi[at]yahoo.com

Have a good day.

~H

Anonymous said...

@ codenamehijazi: you seem a brasstackia, at least this is what your FB page http://www.facebook.com/isifanpage says loud and clear. For us, it's a good news that intelligence operatives and shady characters like your guru in media (new and conventional) are exposing each other

Hamza said...

It seems like the Daily Times is the only major newspaper that has picked up on this story. They have published a complete transcript of the Hamid Mir-Punjabi Taliban interview.

http://tinyurl.com/33xw6ws

Considering Hamid Mir's affiliations with the Jang group, The News will never publish this, unless they give Mir the opportunity to respond. Dawn probably considers this kind of story beneath them. I was hoping the Express Tribune covers this, but I haven't seen something so far.

sahafi_braadri said...

@anon 2:00
But I'm NOT anti-Ahmedi. Don't project on to me. If you think I'm endorsing what he says in his conversation, then you haven't been following what I'm writing.

As far as the journalistic ethics thing is concerned, how do we know the sayaq-o-sabaq? This conversation was one-sided, how does one know it was followed by another one? Remember the Tehelka guy who spent some time with the BJP fanatics in Gujarat. If someone were to record what he said and show it around.
As far as the shame is concerned, well I refuse to feel it. That got the job done. Got us to know more about these barbarians than would have been possible by pontificating from afar.

Zaid Hamid hates Hamid Mir. The ISI fans on the internet hate Hamid Mir. The liberals hates Hamid Mir. Everyone hates Hamid Mir. Let's lynch him. Where's that pitch-fork?

I think I'll stop weighing in on the issue. The puerile one-upmanship reminds me of

http://xkcd.com/386/

Anonymous said...

Hamid Mir replies;

http://mehmal.blogspot.com/

Natasha said...

Don't find anything unreal about it. Shocking stuff.

Anonymous said...

having seen mir's "replies" both on the blog and in this morning's News, i'm left in even less doubt about the recording. what a cretin he is, claiming conspiracies against "media" and calling the tape "concocted". the last refuge of the rascal...

Anonymous said...

What's sadder though is the relative silence, both here and from every other news organisation. You people will spend hours bitching about each other back and forth over the flimsiest of real and perceived shortcomings. And this elicits barely a handful of comments? This is why Hamid Mir types thrive, you all deserve his ilk.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Anon 8:26.

This guy sure is a barastappis, I mean brasstrackia.

Let these reactionary dicks battle it out with one another. Where's my popcorn ...

Anonymous said...

Fellow journalists knew his shady character very well and now he's been unmasked before public at large, thanks to new media and blogsphere where "sub kutch dikhta hai". Neither he nor anyone else who breached people's trust can now throw dust in their eyes.

Perhaps in his column in Jang today he tried to give impression that how he can term someone a CIA agent while his son is in Alqaeda ... Mir sahid you can't make us fool.

Actual position is that when the alleged TTP man tells you that KK's son is in Alqaeda, you sarcastically said "wo bhi jasoos hoga" meaning he would also be an [CIA] agent.

I am not a conspiracy theorist at all but for the sake of argument keeping in mind the murky behind the scene tussle between Pakistani and American establishments (military and intelligence) over romancing with so-called moderate Taliban, KK's, let me say, engineered murder might be a tit for tat act against arrest of Mullah Baradar by the Pakistani security agencies.

There's now no secret that Baradar was trying to forge a peace deal between (Afghan) Taliban and America, which our intelligence establishment forestalled before going anywhere.

To be focused to gain the so called strategic depth, military needs harmony with Pakistani Taliban who are now holed up in North Waziristan. KK was said to be trying to negotiate a deal between Pakistani Taliban and Army but with his death these efforts have also been evaporated like the peace efforts between Afgan Taliban and America have gone in vain with the arrest of Mullah Baradar.

Country's estbalishment felt betrayed and has decided to deflate one of its creations.

Anonymous said...

am no fan of hamid mir, but not sure why a dubious audio tape confirms his guilt...saying it sounds like him isn't definite proof

Waris said...

@anon 220
What is dubious about the audiotape? Even he isn't denying it completely. Contents of the audiotape corroborate by Hamid Mir's articles he wrote for The News and Jang

Anonymous said...

sorry the reply is for anon 226, error is regreted.

Anon 248

Anonymous said...

Hamid Mir's audiotape issue in Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/17/pakistan-taliban-hostage-murder-tape

Jang with Jang said...

Fantastic post. Yes the first thing one notes that in his retort he does not answer any of the substantive issues regarding the recording. Typical Mir.

Now, I think time has come to expose others of his ilk, the lackys of ISI and the Taliban: Ansar Abbasi and Shahid Masood. But most of all, the Jang Group!

Well done Pyala and LUBP.

Anonymous said...

@sahaafi_braadri... i'm curious now. given that your favorite liberal commentator has labeled the whole tape a concoction and a conspiracy, when you were defending that "style" of "information-gathering" while acknowledging its authenticity, do you think he still gets the benefit of doubt?

sahafi_braadri said...

@anon 2:30

I suppose he doesn't then. Specially when he did exactly what I told you all not to do i.e lump him with idiots like Dr Shahid, Ansar Abbasi and Kamran Khan.

I'm not privy to what happened and what didn't. I was only defending what feet-on-the-ground journalists have to go through at times. My argument would appeal to some (only some, it appears from the comments) who've had to actually report and get things out of these people. And I mean report, not "work" on the story. And then cultivate carefully trust with them. This was the leeway I wanted to give him before we were to hear what he had to say.

I found Ayesha Siddiqa's analysis of the whole situation pretty good. She was critical of him but zeroed in on the important aspect of the whole situation.

I'm not above admitting I was wrong.

know it all said...

Dawn's report on this:
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/anchor-claims-damning-tape-doctored-950

Sadia said...

While it is important for investigative journalists to maintain a contact with terrorist cells but they must not become their mouth piece. Media personal are in need for a breaking story while the terrorists need a good PR agent to articulate their demands and in the middle of all this objectivity suffers. Perhaps Robert Fisk offer a good set of values for investigative journalism. Freedom of expression should not be exploited so the benefit terrorists.

Anonymous said...

@sahaafi braadri... gracious of you to admit you were wrong about him in this respect. but as someone who *does* work on stories on the ground involving close contact with many of these nutters, i must re-emphasize my disagreement with your suggestion that it involves completely subsuming one's own beliefs to the point of agreeing with theirs. I know plenty of other journalists who have close contact with these chaps who don't indulge their wild ideas beyond more than a simple acknowledgment of their entitlement to a point of view. And as mad as many of them may seem, I have to confess I've been at the least impressed at many of theirs' ability to understand that they *cannot* expect a journalist to be in agreement with them, and that quite often they are content enough to be represented honestly. Hamid Mir's tirade against KK was in any event beyond even the dubious ethic you subscribe to, but it strikes me that your argument is similar to that put forward by Mary Bowers in defence of her ridiculous portrayal of fashion week in Karachi -- i.e. that one must dress up stories about Pakistan in stereotyped and grossly exaggerated cliches to be able to attract commissioning editors in the west. So call me an idealist, but I do believe that a good journalist need not indulge the extreme prejudices of either his subject or his publisher, to do credit to the story. And that's from experience.

sahafi_braadri said...

@anon 6:56

I myself have come across one or two who have the capacity to understand. Many don't. Lal Masjid insiders are an example. At least the ones I interacted with.
Perhaps my sort would be weeded out of the profession when the industry is regulated a bit better and clearer laws of dos and don'ts are laid out (or at least agreed upon amongst ourselves.)

I think we could agree to disagree on this one.

That bit about Mary Bowers, however, was below the belt. Spit on my grave, anything, but that.

Anonymous said...

@sahafi_braadri... yeah well KK was a lal masjid "insider". and look where that got him :-/

Sakib Ahmad said...

I am dismayed to see yet another blog being used for base political propaganda.

Some PPP websites have given wide publicity to this dubious story but they also refuse to publish comments in Mr Hamid Mir's defence. For example, PPP's supporter, Pak Tea House, refused to allow my comment to be published in the post relating to the disgraceful attack on Mr Mir. It eventually made a feeble gesture of allowing my comment to appear in its 'Contact' section which is frequented by very few people. My banned comment was as follows:

"What worries me is that a story publicised by the PPP fanatics is being given credence and respectability here. The accusations are serious enough for the accusers to take legal action against the accused. If they are not willing to do that, and are only engaged in settling old scores or whatever, they should shut up.

Those who have kicked up this fuss are the very people who are attacking our honourable Judiciary just so they can save the skin of convicts, criminals and fraudsters in the gang that passes for the government of Pakistan today. These people will stop at nothing to defend their tribe, the PPP, even if it means sacrificing the cherished interests of Pakistan. Democracy, to them, is merely a means to an end: to gain power and keep it. Honesty, Integrity, Truth, Justice, Fair play are meaningless concepts for these people given to blind tribal loyalty.

As for Hamid Mir, he has written very critical articles about the Taliban, and about the ISI in connection with Pakistan’s thousands of missing persons. He is also a thorn in the flesh of our dysfunctional government. I wouldn’t be surprised if the ISI and the PPP government have ganged up against him.

Here are two articles by Hamid Mir – judge for yourself.

http://jang.com.pk/jang/jan2010-daily/25-01-2010/col2.htm

http://jang.com.pk/jang/may2010-daily/06-05-2010/col6.htm "

Anonymous said...

Honesty, Integrity, Truth, Justice, Fair play.... Hamid Mir???? AHAHAHHHAHHAHHHAHA!!!

this is almost as funny as the Geo anchor's off-air comment about Amir Liaqat...

Anonymous said...

I bet Hamid Haramzada Mir is jumping for joy today.

Lost Diploma said...
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