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our correspondent
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
From Print Edition
 
 

 

KARACHI: Additional Sessions Judge, Karachi South, Abdul Quddus Memon has ordered registration of a case against Zaid Hamid and Mubashir Lucman for unleashing fabricated and misleading propaganda against Geo News/Jang Group’s — ‘Aman Ki Asha’ and MKRF programme ‘Zara Sochiye’ — and issued their arrest warrants.

 

The judge adjudicated that the evidence (CDs and DVDs etc) presented before the court had proved that Zaid Hamid and Mubashir Lucman had levelled serious allegations against Jang/Geo Group; therefore, a case be registered against them for damaging reputation and leveling baseless allegations against the petitioners. Issuing arrest warrants for both, the judge summoned them on September 27.

 

The judgment also referred to other cases including those in the Lahore High Court.According to details, while impleading Zaid Zaman Hamid and Mubashir Lucman in their petition, the Independent Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd and Independent Newspapers Corporation (Pvt) Ltd pleaded that they were the owners of Geo News, Geo Entertainment, Geo Kahani, and Daily Jang which were known by the name Jang/Geo Group which providesinformation to millions of citizens of Pakistan who rely on them for presenting unbiased and transparent information.

 

In their complaint, Jang/Geo Group submitted that Zaid Hamid was a security consultant and defence analyst and was known as a non-serious and unstable person, whereas Mubashir Luqman anchored a TV show.

 

It was further submitted that on Jan. 1, 2010, Jang/Geo Group launched their movement ‘Aman Ki Asha’ in association with ‘The Times of India’ with a view to bringing the people and institutions of both countries closer and creating a congenial atmosphere for the resolution of outstanding issues between the two countries. This joint venture was appreciated not only by the people of both countries, but also it was encouraged the world over.

 

The bodies under the control of the petitioners launched another movement — ‘Zara Sochiye’ — for the noble cause. The purpose here is to highlight the importance of education in the society so that the standard of education could be raised through educational reforms.

 

The further aim is to attract all segments of the society towards education. However, Zaid Hamid unleashed a bogus and unfounded propaganda against the petitioners in order to malign their goodwill.

 

Zaid Hamid is using improper words against Geo and Jang and trying to target ‘Aman Ki Asha’ and Zara Sochiye’. But that is not all, as he is levelling baseless allegations not only on the TV, but also on social media like the facebook, Twitter and other platforms for which he has no justification. This act of Zaid Hamid is a crime and action should be taken against him, the Group pleaded with the court.

 

The Jang/Geo Group took the plea that Zaid Hamid and Mubashir Luqman had levelled fabricated allegations without any evidence against them and its sole purpose was to dent the image of the organisations; therefore, both should be tried under sections 500 and 501 CrPC.

 

The court issued warrants for Zaid Hamid and Mubashir Luqman and summoned them on September 27. It may be recalled that Jang Group has already sued Zaid Hamid for defamation in the Islamabad High Court. The court has restrained him from levelling baseless allegations against Jang/Geo Group.

 

It may be mentioned here that some elements, some TV channels and some persons on the social media, have been targeting the movement perceiving that Jang/Geo Group receives funds from India to run their shows ‘Aman Ki Asha’ and Zara Sochiye’. No one has so far bothered to present any proof to these allegations.

 

The only basis said by Zaid Hamid of the allegations against Jang/Geo Group is that the Media Commission had said so in its report. In the same breath, he said that the Chief Justice of Pakistan was in favour of Jang Group and that he was concealing the report of the Media Commission.When the Supreme Court posted the Media Commission Report on its website, it transpired that nothing supported Zaid Hamid’s standpoint.

 

When the SC attention was drawn towards the episode, it summoned Pemra chairman and other officials and demanded proof against Geo/Jang Group of receiving money from India. Upon this, the Pemra chairman and other officials failed to give any proof. They rather said they had not levelled such an allegation. On this, the apex court observed that they had no right to smear the good name of others and level baseless allegations.

 

The apex court ordered the Pemra officials to file a written reply supported by proof. In response, the Pemra chairman and other officials filed a reply in which they denied having ever levelled any allegation, by word of mouth or in writing, in the Media Commission against ‘Aman Ki Asha’ and ‘Zara Sochiye’.