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July 1, 2017

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False accusations against Jang Group: Legal process begins to declare Zaid Hamid ‘wanted’

False accusations against Jang Group: Legal process begins to declare Zaid Hamid ‘wanted’

KARACHI: Self-proclaimed defence analyst Zaid Hamid is on the run from the court after levelling false and baseless allegations against the Jang/Geo Group. Hamid is continuously ignoring court notices and is not ready to face the court. He is not ready to appear before the court to defend the false allegations, which he levelled against the Jang/Geo Group.

As a result, the local court has started legal proceedings to declare Zaid Hamid a ‘wanted’ person. The court has already issued advertisements against Zaid Hamid in newspapers. If Zaid Hamid would not appear before the court, even after reading those advertisements, then the court would declare him a ‘wanted’ person and confiscate his property under Section 87 of CrPC.

As per the details, Zaid Hamid and Mubasher Lucman had levelled false and baseless allegations against Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief Jang Group of Newspapers Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. In this regard, an application was filed in the sessions court for legal proceedings against Zaid Hamid. The application adopted the stance that Zaid Hamid called himself a so-called ‘defence analyst’, while he was an extremely non-serious and non-reliable person.

In this application, the court was told that on January 1, 2010, Geo and Jang Group started a campaign, ‘Aman Ki Asha’, in collaboration with the Times of India. The aim of this campaign was to bring both countries (Pakistan and India) and its people closer, create a path for flourishing peace and make mutual efforts to uphold peace in the region. This campaign got national and international acclaim. The Geo and Jang Group also started a campaign, ‘Zara Sochiye’, to curb social injustices from Pakistan. This campaign was started to bring a positive change in the Pakistani society because social injustices had compartmentalised the entire society into various groups.

It was also mentioned in the application that these campaigns were completely non-profit and non-commercial, targeting to bring social reforms and making efforts to uphold peace. For ‘Aman Ki Asha’, no country—not even India—had provided financial support to the Geo and Jang Group. However, the positive endeavours of Geo and Jang Group were targeted by negative groups to do propaganda against these campaigns.

‘Self-proclaimed’ defence analyst Zaid Hamid levelled false and baseless allegations against the Geo and Jang Group and started a campaign against them. Hamid not only used the conventional media to fan the flames of negativity against the Geo and Jang Group, but he also used Facebook and other social media avenues to accuse the group of obtaining funds from India to do these campaigns.

On July 15, 2013, Zaid Hamid, on Mubasher Lucman’s programme on a private TV channel, accused that the plaintiff had taken funds from Indian organisation Doordarshan and a private NGO to run ‘Aman Ki Asha’ and ‘Zara Sochiye’. Zaid Hamid also misrepresented the report of the Supreme Court’s Media Commission by altering the facts in the report. He went on to falsely claim that there were proof of Indian funding present in the report. Hamid had hidden the real facts of the Media Commission’s report and presented the distorted facts. The then chairperson of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) had declared all allegations against the Media Commission’s report completely baseless.

The above-mentioned accusations against the plaintiff were part of the propaganda campaign. The motive of levelling such grave allegations against the Geo and Jang Group was to hurt their credibility and popularity.

For levelling groundless allegations, Zaid Hamid was also sent a legal notice but to no avail. Zaid Hamid was also given a chance to seek an unconditional apology from the plaintiff for those fake accusations.

In the application, the stance was adopted that crimes of such extreme nature fall under the law; therefore, the plaintiff prayed to the court that legal proceeding should be started against Zaid Hamid and Mubasher Lucman under sections 500 and 501 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). 

It must be clear that the sessions court had sent legal notices to Zaid Hamid several times. However, Zaid Hamid failed to present himself before the court. Therefore, the plaintiff had filed an application before the court to declare Zaid Hamid a ‘wanted’ person for his continuous absence from the court even after legal notices were sent to him. The court has begun its legal course of action with respect to this application.

It is worth-mentioning here that an application has also been filed in the Islamabad High Court against Zaid Hamid for dishonouring the Geo and Jang Group. In this application, the court was informed that Zaid Hamid had levelled baseless accusations against the Geo and Jang Group.

In ARY’s programme ‘Khara Sach’ on October 25, 2013, Mubasher Lucman had wrongly accused Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief Jang Group of Newspapers Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman for having a connection with India’s intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

Zaid Hamid was also present on this show. He also wrongly accused the Geo and Jang Group of treason. He also said that in this regard, the relations of Geo Group and RAW and Indian intelligence agencies will come to the forefront, adding that this will become even a bigger scandal than the Memo scandal, highlighting how a media group’s journalism turned into rebellion.

Hamid also levelled these erroneous charges on the plaintiff using social media simultaneously. On the other hand, Hamid was not able to produce any evidence before the Islamabad High Court in this case. As per the current situation, advertisements against Zaid Hamid have been given in national newspapers. If Zaid Hamid would fail to appear before the court now, he will be declared a ‘wanted’ person and his property will also be confiscated.

It is important to note that Mubasher Lucman is facing the trial in Karachi’s local court in this case. He is appearing before the court. It is also worth-mentioning here that ARY has already lost the legal battle in a UK court in this regard and a heavy fine was also imposed on ARY. In the UK court, ARY had accepted that it had no evidence for the allegations levelled against the Geo and Jang Group in its programmes.

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