From a Journo to GEO
By Sohail Parwaz
One wonders if it is noticed that the blame game started with an attempt on Hamid Mir’s life, for which ISI and the army was impugned spontaneously, has gradually changed its course. After a retreat from its original stance the Media House (Pvt) Ltd aka GEO is desperately throwing everything in, to emerge as a victim of aggression by the armed forces. However, their maiden game is severely sticking to their tail. Astoundingly my friend Hamid Mir is also inaudible on the issue after making the initial testimonial. The strangest thing is that he did make some passing comments about ISI but never mentioned it categorically in his written statement which has raised many eyebrows.
The weirdest thing which could happen was reaching the findings of a case even before any detailed investigation or interrogation. No investigation can be impartial and genuine if it starts with a fixed mind. In criminal investigation the job starts with doubts and Mir had the right to doubt Army since no one can stop him from doing so, but its rule of the game that always ponder all the possibilities. As per Hamid Mir’s saying he had the threat from the armed forces quarters. Fine, agreed, nevertheless, that’s not the only quarter. After all Mir had the genuine threats from many other quarters, too? Why those are ignored or overlooked? Renowned intellectual Dr. Ajmal Niazi very rightly questioned in a talk show that after all what blunder Hamid Mir committed which makes him afraid of the armed forces? Interestingly doctor sahib is still waiting for the answer.
Another mysterious and eerie fact is that during the very initial hour of the incident it was found that who attacked Hamid Mir? As we all know that Hamid Mir was immediately hospitalized. It was probably only on the fourth or fifth day that he could talk and make some statement. So what was the hurry which forced the GEO management to bring his brother Amir Mir and Ansar Abbasi in and that too within the first 20 minutes of the incident? May be very few people know that the Mir brothers are having strained relations since long, hence it’s not understood that how come Hamid Mir trusted his chucked sibling with a sensitive and confidential information? And why so quickly this allegation by Hamid Mir suddenly popped up from different quarters giving impression as if the information is being purposely leaked?
Another important factor is that Khawaja Khalid’s murder case is still in the air. A very lethal audio conversation recording still exists on the internet. That recording not only caused an initial embarrassment for the journo but it’s still a hanging sword for him especially when Mir’s sympathizer justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is no more in the chair and Khalid Khawaja’s son has again raised a voice for justice and registering the murder case against Hamid Mir. The Taliban also felt that Hamid Mir tried to hit two birds with one stone by using their shoulder to get his old rival eliminated. Hamid Mir was very much under strict observation by many. There is a rumor in the air that he was threatened by Taliban also. A couple of years back Hamid Mir went to Bangladesh to receive an award on his late father’s behalf. There he openly provoked the Bangladesh government to make attempts to try Pakistan army in the international courts. His receiving the award from anti-Pakistan Bangladesh government and baselessly criticizing Pakistan army openly in Bangladesh electronic media where Indian guests were also present was widely ostracized and shunned by the Pakistanis. So the question comes to one’s mind that while having so many foes around, how could Mir was so certain about the assailants’ identity?
There is yet another angle which raises many doubts and questions. Some very reliable sources revealed that Hamid Mir was to go to Quetta on 19th April but just a day before the GEO management asked him to report to Head Office at Karachi. Despite his resistance he was clearly asked to reach Karachi. Has some investigation been made on it that why did he made that change in his program at the last moments and went to Karachi and on whose desire? Another thing is that if he was called by his seniors to Karachi, then knowing about the ‘threats’ to his life what efforts were made? Did people sitting at the head office who had Aladdin’s lamp to find out his attackers within one hour were not expecting any jeopardy or hazard by calling him to the city of target killers? If so, then what security did they plan? No one would believe that sending an odd ill-equipped security guard and a routine 1300 cc drive could be the classic planning of any concerned employer. Having a couple of bulletproof vehicles available in the parking, at least one could have been sent for this daring and significant anchorperson.
Will anyone believe that when such an important person is called then his itinerary is not kept confidential? How come killer knew about his arrival in Karachi? That means that some insider like in Wali Babar case was acting as informer? Any person whose life is threatened will ensure to have all emergency telephone numbers including the police’s, hence Hamid Mir should have had that list and as I am certain that a careful person like him surely had that, then why instead of those who could reach the scene to rescue him, he started calling his friends and telling them that he was shot? Let leave alone other things how about finding an answer to one crucial fact that why the FIR was not launched in very first opportunity, as it was supposed to be? Why it was refused on the plea that Hamid Mir himself would get it registered? Were so many sane people at a news channel office not aware about the sensitivity of it? I am sure everyone knew that a delay in FIR weakens the case? If Hamid Mir had to mention something important he could always ask for an additional FIR which was his basic right as a Pakistani citizen.
There are dozens of other unresolved mysteries like not handing over of the driver and the gunman to police for basic interrogation? Was that deliberately done and were GEO authorities not aware that the more the delay would be the less the chance would be of remembering the details of the incident by the both? Then there is a scaring dispute about the number of the bullets that hit him. According to the initial reports Hamid Mir had 3 bullets but a postmortem report issued few weeks later, declares that he actually got six slugs. The question is that why the number of bullets increased with the passage of time?
As it is mentioned in the very beginning that the planned blame game started with an attempt on Hamid Mir’s life, for which ISI and the army was doubted spontaneously, however, the same has gradually changed its course, after a retreat from its original stance. The Media House (Pvt) Ltd aka GEO is desperately chipping everything in to emerge as a victim of aggression by the armed forces. One should never forget that a ‘double game’ is always dicey. As it appears that despite the government’s silent support when GEO is apparently retreating, their mentors and management has changed the strategy after coming under pressure from the public. On one hand they are presenting themselves in the public as the victim of the aggression while on the other hand, making under the table offers to fire its four top anchors and journalists; Najam Sethi, Hamid Mir, Ansar Abbasi and Umar Cheema provided the armed forces do not chase the case in PEMRA and courts?
One wonders that how this drama is finally going to end up but a startling reality is that where the poor Hamid Mir, who was the main reason for this big game, has gone? Was he just a ragdoll or an up sleeve trick to be played when circumstances seem favorable?
A question that only the GEO can answer who are right now facing the wrath of the public.