Days after Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir was taken off air for his critical remarks against the ISI and the military establishment, he has tendered an apology. The journalist issued a statement offering his apology on Tuesday (June 8). He had made the controversial comments on March 28 after a fellow journalist named Asad Ali Toor was brutally assaulted.
In a joint statement issued by Hamid Mir, the Rawalpindi Union of journalists (RIUJ) and the National Press Club, it said that the veteran journalist did not intend to defame the army and held the institution and its ‘sacrifices’ in high regard. Mir had emphasised covering army operations from LoC (Line of Control) to Siachen. In his apology note, he talked about being ‘carried away’ after hearing stories about attacks on other journalists.
The veteran journalist apologised if his speech hurt the feelings of any individual. Mir said that he neither named any person in his contentious speech nor had any differences with the Pakistani army. On Wednesday (June 9), he clarified in a tweet, “Statement was given to a joint committee of 3 journalists bodies defending me everywhere. I never gave this statement to Geo management because I never used their platform. Still demanding to arrest culprits involved in attacks against journalists.”
Thanks for the understanding. Statement was given to a joint committee of 3 journalists bodies defending me everywhere. I never gave this statement to Geo management because I never used their platform. Still demanding to arrest culprits involved in attacks against journalists. https://t.co/aFSkPcl1DM— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) June 9, 2021
It must be mentioned that on June 4, a committee was formed to end the ‘confusion’ created after Mir’s fiery speech on May 28. It comprised of ex-PFUJ president Afzal Butt, NPC president Shakeel Anjum and RIUJ president Amir Sajjad Syed.
Sacked from Geo News, petition seeking sedition charges filed against Hamid Mir
On May 28, the former Geo News journalist had attended a gathering of Pakistani journalists for showing solidarity with fellow journalist Asad Ali Toor. The latter was attacked at his residence in Islamabad by three unidentified assailants on May 25 at 11 o’clock in the morning. Toor was then reportedly dragged to his bedroom and then brutally assaulted and gagged. According to the journalist, the assailants identified themselves as members of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
An agitated Hamid Mir had condemned the attack on Asad Ali Toor and threatened to reveal the secrets of the military establishment. “If you are a man of courage, then, publicly acknowledge that you ambushed the house of Asad Ali Toor. But you are such shameless and cowardly that you cannot accept it. Instead, you claim that he was beaten by the brother of one girl. We are up against a cowardly enemy which believes that we don’t know them. We know who you’re,” he emphasised. Hamid Mir further stated that the establishment is miffed at the media for not giving in to their demands of establishing diplomatic relations with Israel and India.
Following his comments, he was taken off air by Geo News. The channel had said that the veteran journalist has been sent on leave for some time and that he will not be hosting his popular program. On June 4, a petition was filed before the Lahore High Court, seeking sedition charges against him, by one Sardar Farrukh Mushtaq. The petitioner alleged that the statement made by Hamid Mir on May 28 contained ‘serious derogatory remarks’ and allegations against the ‘discipline institution of Pakistan.’ Furthermore, he alleged that Mir’s behaviour amounted to contempt of society and the institutions.