Pakistan

A Pakistani journalist ‘left’ after a military explosion

Kalulushi, Zambia – Prominent Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir has been removed from the air a few days after speaking out against the country’s military during a protest rally against another journalist.

Mir told Al Jazeera that he had been told he had not had a “Capital Talk” on Geo News since Monday evening.

“I’ve just been told by Geo’s supervisors that I won’t be with them,” Mir said.

“He said there are a lot of challenges [after the statements at the protest last week]. He did not say where he came from. ”

Explaining the reason for the move, Geo News officials confirmed to Al Jazeera that Mir had been fired and would not take part in the protests.

Experts told Al Jazeera that Geo News “was forced to burn [Mir]”.

Last week, Pakistani independent journalist Asad Ali Toor, best known for informing the government and military in the country, was arrested at his home in Islamabad by three unidentified men, who beat him and warned him of his work.

Speaking at a protest rally in Islamabad on Friday, Mir threatened to identify those responsible for the Pakistani media. He used a number of words to describe the participation of the Pakistani military and called the Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

“If you are breaking into our homes to attack us, well, we will not enter your houses because you have tanks and guns, but we can explain to the people, the inside of you,” said Mir at the protest, referring to his participation in the war.

In 2014, Mir survived an attack by unknown individuals shortly after completing his program, which focuses on military abuses in southwestern Balochistan.

“Space is running low. Instead, I would rather finish it. You are not even allowed to explain why you are not working, “said Iqbal Khattak, a representative of Reporters Without Border (RSF) in Pakistan and head of the Freedom Network business group, in response to Mir’s dismissal.

“I think we have been reassured that the government and the government are pushing for more independence in the media.”

Khattak said the threats posed by journalists mainly affected those who predicted the government and the military.

“Journalists who oppose state law are under pressure, and those who say ‘everything is fine’, have nothing to say about their safety and security.”

Participation in ISI

Toor, who attacked him on Wednesday, said a police report said one of his victims identified himself as an Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the country’s largest law firm.

On Saturday, the Pakistani government described the case as “a well-thought-out conspiracy”.

Pakistani troops have ruled the country directly for half of its 74-year history, with critics claiming it continues to dominate many parts of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government.

In 2019, an Al Jazeera survey found that journalists, editors and managers in media outlets across the country claim that their work is being monitored by the government and the military based on their financial institutions.

In July 2020, TV personality Matiullah Jan was arrested outside a school in Islamabad. Jan said he was blindfolded, gagged, arrested and beaten by unknown individuals for 12 hours.

In April, senior journalist Absar Alam was shot in the abdomen during a pilgrimage to Islamabad. Alam survived the attack, and the only attacker was seen on security photos fleeing.

No one was arrested in connection with the incident.

In January, the BBC was forced to stop broadcasting a daily Urdu article due to “interference” in its content.

“Pakistani journalists, who have lived a healthier lifestyle, have become a major target in this country” deeply “, the praise of the military and the ISI… and the great improvements they are making in the care of civilians,” said journalists’ rights activists. RSF.

“The power of the military, which cannot stand alone in the media, has increased significantly since Imran Khan became prime minister in July 2018.”

Pakistan ranks ninth on the Global Impunity Index Committee, with at least 15 journalists killed.

In 2021, the country was named 145 out of 180 countries on the RSF’s World Press Freedom Index.

The government refuses to take part in attacks on journalists or the media, with Prime Minister Khan repeating claims that journalists in Pakistan are independent.

Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment, but last week denied the existence of a media ban on the country while accusing journalists of embezzling “migration” threats.

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