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June 21, 2017
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Jang Group lost billions of rupees on account of freedom of press

National

June 21, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s largest media house — Jang Group — has always stood steadfast against the mounting pressures exerted on it by the ruling elite, the establishment and powerful opposition outfits.

The Group maintained its principled position and sustained all kinds of pressures despite huge losses and threats hurled at the senior members of its management for decades. And it did it in the interest of professional journalism to keep the public informed about what has been happening in the power corridors and those playing power games.

The powerful elite, the establishment and opposition power houses often complained that the Group played games at the behest of their detractors without forwarding any solid proof to that extent. 

These powerful elites, establishment and opposition outfits when failed to keep Jang Group under pressure for getting published their self-proclaimed favourable stories, went to the extent of declaring the Jang Group as American, RAW, Indian and British agent and what not. Even some powerful lobbies did not hesitate to declare the Jang Group and its senior management as spokesperson for the Pakistan People’s Party, PML-N, Jamaat-e-Islami or dubbing it pro-Taliban, anti-Pakistan, secular and anti-Islam in fit of their unwarranted anger and rage, though they failed to prove their allegations when these were challenged at appropriate forums.

So much so, many hurled allegations of tax evasion, bank default and taking money from abroad from time to time at the Jang Group. The accusers said whatever suited them though contrary to such imaginative baseless allegations the Jang Group suffered hugely both in financial terms as well as personally by members of its senior management over a period of decades.

The Jang Group and its senior management have not been spared by these people from threats of assassination and financial losses around Rs15 billion with serious consequences. The Group has not only contradicted the allegations, but also termed them victimization through such nefarious designs to harm and hurt the Group.

People may not have forgotten that the Group faced complete closure and forced shutdown as a result of a minor incident in the past. The Group is being harassed in the last three years when around 800 domestic and international programmes/talkshows etc with their repeats were run against it, though the promos and every-hour news bulletin were also littered as a harassing campaign against the country’s biggest publishing house – Jang Group. These programmes and talk shows were designed to harm the group perpetually.

Adopting and pursuing a cause to get justice, the Jang Group filed a case against the ARY in the United Kingdom and as a result of 15-month proceedings the channel not only conceded the allegations, but also failed to provide any counter evidence before to prove its innocence.

The court handed down closures of all the four channels of ARY in the UK with revocation of their licenses. It may be appropriate to recall that the Jang Group takes pride in breaking unique stories whether it has good or worst relations with the successive sitting governments. 

The Group never thinks of compromising on professional journalism by keeping quality and authenticity of the news. There are thousands of stories which demonstrated the Group’s pursuit of professional journalism, including but not limited to meeting of President Ayub Khan with Jawaher lal Nehru in Tashkent, hanging of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (despite the competition it had with local and international media), President Ziaul Haq’s covert decision of holding a referendum to prolong his rule, big-time scandals during the times of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif’s rules and their deposing before the expiry of their tenures, imposition of emergency-plus by Pervez Musharraf and all other big breaking stories in the greater interest of the public.

Despite the normal relations during last three years, it was this Group which broke the story of General Raheel Sharif’s decision of becoming commander of Islamic Military Unity Alliance (IMUA) and his appointment as such.

There are no two opinions that the Jang Group remained under attack and suffered a great deal because of its news, editorial policy, comments and write-ups by top journalists and columnists and faced highly hyper reaction from the powerful people.

 

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