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Three other channels aired controversial Qawali a number of times, before and after Geo did it once, but they were neither charged nor they apologised
 
 
Usman Manzoor
Monday, June 02, 2014
From Print Edition
 
 

 

ISLAMABAD: In the wake of relentless attacks on the Jang Group journalists and burning of vehicles carrying newspapers, though all and sundry know how hidden hands work and this cannot be done without their backing, a few stooges of the establishment have turned no stone unturned to fan hatred among the general public against the Jang Group for allegedly disrespecting the Ahl-e-Bait — an unintentional mistake for which Geo has already apologized.

 

Besides their unconstitutional role in suppressing the freedom of expression, the hidden hands are busy inciting religious hatred against the Jang Group — their last and most lethal weapon after failing on all other accounts.

 

Jang Group has been subjected to such victimization that in the past few days its editor was attacked in Multan and its vans carrying bundles of newspapers in Lahore, Lodhran and Rawalpindi were burnt after a sustained campaign launched by the hidden hands through the rival media groups, the politicians who love to remain in their pockets and the religious clergy whom they have been feeding since long.

 

The rival media groups, ARY, Express and Saama TV, which have been in the forefront of hurling the allegations of blasphemy at Geo TV for airing the Qawali, had themselves committed blasphemy for airing the same (Qawali) on a number of occasions with dances of girls and other stuff and have never apologized for the blasphemous act. They did this before Geo aired the Qawali once, and afterwards also aired it dozens of time to instigate people. Geo had admitted its mistake, tendered an apology under the Shariah but is still subjected to violence and suppression only because the hidden hands are not happy with Geo, not because of the Qawali issue but on Hamid Mir’s statement.

 

Among the stooges of establishment, who tried to make their presence felt at Aabpara, is Imran Khan who is the only politician and head of a party who conducted a press conference on the blasphemy issue and only accused Geo of committing it while paying a blind eye to the ARY, Express and Saama TV?

 

Again, to get noticed before the hidden hands, PTI is the only political party in the country to have moved a resolution against Geo TV in the Punjab Assembly over the blasphemy. Such an attitude of a politician who claims to have gathered eight million votes, has put the lives of thousands of employees of Jang Group in danger, but for Imran getting noticed before hidden hands is important than thousands of lives.

 

The paid stooges of the establishment who aired the Qawali showed by Geo, dozens of times only to incite religious hatred among the public, also contributed to bring a few people to such a level that they started burning the properties of Jang Group and beating its employees. However, the recent incidents show that all such things were done by trained and professional people. The role of most of religious parties remained exceptionally well in toning down the sentiments of people aroused by the rival media group against Geo. However, a few so-called religious scholars who have known links with the establishment, in a bid to get noticed before hidden hands like Imran Khan, did come forward and issued decrees against the Jang Group.

 

They did not have the following of more than a few hundred people across the country but they played a dirty role against the Jang Group and their representatives and followers also remained present in front of Pemra offices to close down Geo. They organized protests against Geo despite knowing the fact Geo has tendered apology while other channels did not.

 

On the other hand, the journalist community stands by the Jang Group as huge rallies were organized in support of Hamid Mir and Jang Group last Friday.

 

President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Afzal Butt said there were names of Allah Almighty, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and Ahl-e-Bait written on the newspapers burnt in Rawalpindi and asked if it was not blasphemy.

 

He asked if those Ulema who proactively issued decrees against the Jang Group over the Qawali will issue a decree against those who had burnt the names of Allah, Prophet (SAW) and Ahl-e-Bait. “If not, then it will be clear that decrees against Geo were issued at the behest of hidden forces,” Butt maintained.