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Hamid Mir stop hoodwinking the public – by Ahmed Iqbalabadi

Hamid Mir has been doing his best to divert attention of the public and journalists against his audio tapes that have been circulating on the Internet. In his column in 24th May’s Jang, titled “Dushman ka khel”, he has given the analogy of a “crank” call to President Zardari in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks where Indian External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, threatened  to carry attacks on Pakistani soil against the Lashkar-e-Taiba if Hafiz Saeed wasn’t arrested within 24 hours. When the US Secretary of State was involved, apparently Mukherjee denied making the call even though the number could be traced back to Indian External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi.

He then gives an analogy of the authenticity of Osama Bin Ladin’s tapes that come out and it is blamed that Osama is in Pakistan. He then talks about a software called “Natural Voices” which has the capability of making voices sound very natural. He also uses the claims of Hisb-e-Haal comedian, Sohail Ahmed, that there is a person called Nisar Butt in Pakistan who does all this.

He is acting in a way as if he is a victim of a conspiracy and advises all journalists and politicians to be careful.

Happy reading. Make your own analysis!

Hamid Mir's column "Dushman ka khel"

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Ahmed Iqbalabadi

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  • Committee to probe charges against Hamid Mir
    Thursday, May 20, 2010
    ISLAMABAD: A conversation purportedly between Hamid Mir, the host of Geo programme ‘Capital Talk’ and columnist of daily Jang, has been uploaded on different websites, says a statement issued by the spokesman of Geo/Jang Group.

    A committee has been constituted by the Group to get detailed information in this connection. Members of the committee have held preliminary talks with Hamid Mir in which he has disowned the voice (said to be his) and termed the audiotape fabricated. For credible investigation, the committee has called upon professional journalist organisations to come forward to uncover the truth.

    Hamid Mir has assured that he would fully cooperate in the investigation so that the truth is unearthed. He also said that some people want to ostracise him from the profession and they are defaming him as part of a conspiracy.

    http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=28969

  • More fake tapes to come out soon Monday, May 24, 2010 Jang Group journalists on the hit-list By our correspondent http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=29047

    ISLAMABAD: According to highly informed sources, the government has decided to defame and discredit a select group of senior Jang Group journalists in the coming weeks.

    According to the highly reliable sources, the ongoing controversy regarding popular TV anchor Hamid Mir’s alleged conversation with an unidentified Taliban leader was ‘just the first in the

    series’. Besides other dirty tricks, it was also learnt that landline and cell phones of the marked journalists were being tapped, and it was also planned that original phrases and words of a marked journalist would be taken from his various telephone conversations and then patched together to create a phoney conversation to discredit the journalist. The sources said an attempt shall also be made to paint some of these journalists as being ‘Nawaz Sharif lackeys’ and that their criticism of the PPP-led coalition government was actually sponsored by the Sharif camp.

    The purpose of such practice, as the past shows, has always been to give message to other media outlets by targeting the most popular and influential media. The Jang Group had become victim of this offensive strategy many times in the past also.

    Surprisingly, however, in a departure from the past practice the smear campaign shall not be carried out by the Interior Ministry, but actually is being overseen by a group of intelligence functionaries considered very close to the bosses of the Law Ministry.

    The hit list comprises (so far): Hamid Mir (Host, Capital Talk), Shaheen Sehbai (Group Editor, The News), Ansar Abbassi (Editor Investigations, The News) Mohammad Malick (Resident Editor, The News Islamabad-Rawalpindi), Kamran Khan (Host, Aaj Kamran Khan Kay Saath) and Dr Shahid Masood (Host, Meray Mutabiq).

  • Shaheen Sehbai VS Mir Shakil ur Rahman on Daniel Pearl.
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/11/shaheen-sehbai-vs-mir-shakil-ur-rehman.html

    Mr. Shaheen Sehbai, Group Editor, The News International – Jang Group of Newspapers is very fond of quoting Foreign Press particularly when Foreign Press [Pro Zionist] is negative on President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari and PPP. Shaheen Sehbai while quoting The New York Times: “The problems in Afghanistan have only been compounded by the fragility of Mr. Obama’s partner in Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari, who is so weak that his government seems near collapse.” The Washington Post in a report by two correspondents said: “Zardari’s political weakness is an additional hazard for a new bilateral relationship…The administration expects Zardari’s position to continue to weaken, leaving him as a largely ceremonial president even if he manages to survive in office.” The report in The New York Times was filed by journalists Peter Baker, Eric Schmitt, David E Sanger, Elisabeth Bumiller and Sabrina Tavernise from Islamabad, Washington and New York while in the Washington Post Karen DeYoung from Washington and Pamela Constable from Islamabad contributed to its report. Both newspapers referred to President Zardari’s increasing weakness in the context of the new Afghan policy being prepared by President Obama, which will be announced on Dec 1. REFERENCE: Obama administration fears Zardari collapse WASHINGTON (Shaheen Sehbai)Updated at: 1525 PST, Monday, November 30, 2009 http://thenews.jang.com.pk/updates.asp?id=92494

    Seven years ago Mr Shaheen Sehbai was also quoted in The New York Times as well his Editor in Chief i.e. Mir Shakil ur Rehman, and do note what Mir Shakil ur Rehman had to say about the Patriotism and Loyalty of Shaheen Sehbai with Pakistan.

    “QUOTE”

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 1 (Reuters) — The editor of a leading English-language daily said today that he had resigned, citing pressure from the government after the newspaper reported a link between the prime suspect in the killing of Daniel Pearl and an attack on India’s Parliament in December. India blamed Pakistan-based militant groups for the attack, but the Pakistani government denied any link. The editor who resigned, Shaheen Sehbai, said that after publication of the article in his paper, The News, the owner and editor in chief, Mir Shakeel ur-Rahman, was pressed by the government to dismiss him and three other journalists. ”I was told by my editor in chief that he had been asked to sack four journalists — myself, Kamran Khan, Amir Mateen and Rauf Klasra,” Mr. Sehabai said in an online interview. ”He did not name who had said that, but he told me to go and see the I.S.I.,” Pakistan’s intelligence service. REFERENCES: A NATION CHALLENGED: SUSPECTS; Kidnapping Suspect Bears Sign of Militancy Elsewhere By DOUGLAS JEHL Published: Saturday, March 2, 2002 Editor Forced to Resign http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/02/world/nation-challenged-suspects-kidnapping-suspect-bears-sign-militancy-elsewhere.html

    The article, Mr. Rahman wrote in the letter dismissing Mr. Sehbai, ”was perceived to be damaging to our national interest and elicited severe reaction of the government.” He also accused Mr. Sehbai of violating standard procedures. Mr. Rahman and government officials were not immediately available for comment. Mr. Sehbai and one of the reporters, Mr. Klasra, have recently complained of harassment by intelligence agencies, a colleague said. While Pakistan’s news media enjoy relative freedom, some newspapers have been forced to remove staff members after complaints from the government or intelligence agencies. REFERENCES: A NATION CHALLENGED: SUSPECTS; Kidnapping Suspect Bears Sign of Militancy Elsewhere By DOUGLAS JEHL Published: Saturday, March 2, 2002 Editor Forced to Resign http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/02/world/nation-challenged-suspects-kidnapping-suspect-bears-sign-militancy-elsewhere.html

    “UNQUOTE”

    SHAHEEN SEHBAI’S DOUBTFUL LOYALTY WITH PAKISTAN AND READ WHAT HE HAD SAID TO “The Times of India” ABOUT PAKISTAN ARMY AND ISI.

    “QUOTE”

    Exposing the Pakistani establishment’s links with terrorists can be a hazardous job. It cost Daniel Pearl his life, and Shaheen Sehbai, former editor of ‘The News’, a widely-read English daily in Pakistan his job. Fearing for his life, Sehbai is now in the US He speaks to Shobha John about the pressure on journalists from the powers-that-be in Pakistan:

    Q. Is it true you had to quit because a news report angered the government?

    A. On February 16, our Karachi reporter, Kamran Khan, filed a story quoting Omar Sheikh as saying that he was behind the attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13, the Kashmir assembly attack and other terrorist acts in India. Shortly after I am, I got a call on my cellphone from Ashfaq Gondal, the principal information officer of the government, telling me that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had intercepted the story and I should stop its publication. I told him I was not prepared to do so. He then called my newspaper group owner/editor-in-chief, Mir Shakil ur Rehman in London and asked him to stop the story. Rehman stopped it in the Jang, the sister newspaper in Urdu but could not do so in The News as I was unavailable. The next day, all editions of The News carried the story. It was also carried by The Washington Post and The International Herald Tribune the same day, as Kamran also reports for The Post. On February 18, all government advertising for the entire group was stopped. On February 22, Rehman rushed to Karachi and called a meeting at 10 p m. He told me the government was very angry at the story. He said he had been told to sack four journalists, including myself, if the ads were to be restored. He asked me to proceed to Islamabad to pacify the officials. Sham informed us that he had contacted the officials and was told by Anwar Mahmood, the information secretary that the matter was now beyond his capacity and we will have to see the ISI high-ups to resolve it. I was told to go and see the ISI chief in Islamabad and also to call Anwar Mahmood on Eid and improve my ‘public relations’ with him.

    I left the meeting with the firm resolve that I would neither call nor meet anyone, even at gunpoint. Sham, however, left for Islamabad to meet the officials. His meetings were unsuccessful. From my sources, I learned that the ISI and the government were not prepared to lift the ban unless I gave them specific assurances. If I refused, there may be trouble for me as the owner was already under pressure to fire me and the other three journalists. On February 27, I took a flight out of Karachi to New York. On February 28, I received a memo from my owner accusing me of policy violations. In reply, on March 1, I sent in my resignation.

    Q. Is the ISI still keeping a close watch on journalists after Daniel Pearl’s killing?

    A. The ISI has been a major player in domestic politics and continues to be so. That means it has to control the media and right now, it is actively involved in doing so. Pearl’s murder has given them more reasons to activate the national interest excuse.

    Q. Is there a sense of desperation within the Pakistan government that it should not be linked in any way to events in India?

    A. Yes. That’s why when our story quoted Omar Sheikh claiming such links, the government came down hard on us.

    Q. Has there been any pressure on the staff of ‘The News’ to ‘conform’?

    A. Yes. The News was under constant pressure to stop its aggressive reporting on the corruption of the present government. A few months back, Pakistan International Airlines stopped all ads to The News as we ran a couple of exposes. A major story on the government owned United Bank was blocked when we sought the official version. Intelligence agencies were deputed to tail our reporters in Islamabad.

    Q. This is not the first time you and your family have been under pressure, is it?

    A. I have been the target of physical attacks in the past too for stories against the government. The first was in August 1990 when I was arrested and detained for 36 hours and falsely charged for drinking, before a judge gave bail. The second time, in December 1991, three masked men broke into my house in Islamabad, ransacked it, pulled guns on my two sons, beat them up and told them, Tell your father to write against the government again and see what happens. In 1995, I was threatened once again and I had to take my entire family away. My newspaper then, Dawn, decided to post me to Washington as their correspondent. This time, I feared that I could be physically targeted again. So I decided to leave the country.

    Q. Is the present regime in Pakistan any different from earlier ones with regard to freedom of the press?

    A. It has tolerated some freedom under foreign pressure, but the situation is basically the same. Now Musharraf appears to be under pressure to manage the media more effectively in order to manage the October elections and get his supporters elected in the polls. He needs to legitimise his military rule through a political process, which essentially is being rigged from the beginning.

    Q. Is your case the first instance of a crackdown on the media by this government?

    A. This was the first case of a major financial squeeze on the country’s largest media group. It was followed by demands to sack me and other senior journalists and then to change the policy.

    Q. How independent will the forthcoming polls be now?

    A. They will be as independent as the recently-concluded local bodies polls in which candidates were named by the army and no one else was allowed to win. Candidates for state and national assemblies are now being pre-selected and influential politicians are being pressured, lured or coerced to join Musharrafs supporters.

    Q. What is the mood within the Pakistani media?

    A. The media is generally quiet and has fallen in line because Musharraf is getting strong support from the US and the West. But elements in the media are very resolute and they will fight back as soon as they see Musharraf losing his grip. The October polls will determine the role of the media as well because if Musharraf fails to ‘manage’ the elections, his control over the media will be finished.

    Q. What do you propose to do now?

    A. I will be writing out of Washington for some time and will return to Pakistan around the October polls. My days in Pakistan were very exciting as I maintained a completely independent editorial policy and pursued it to the last day. In the memos written by the owner, he repeatedly complains that I was not consulting him on policies. I had no need to, as he watches his own commercial interests. REFERENCE: The Daily Noose (Interview with Shaheen Sehbai) Publication: The Times of India Date: March 18, 2002 http://www.hvk.org/articles/0302/206.html

    “UNQUOTE”

  • Having worked on voice processing applications, audio codecs during my undergraduate studies, I can assert with total certainty that to date, no software is capable of flawlessly replicating an entire conversation. Any expert in the field of Digital Signal Processing, Voice Processing can attest to this fact.

    The software pointed to by Mr Hamid Mir is simply a ‘text to speech converter’ (http://www.naturalvoices.att.com/ ), used to generate automated voice response on telephone by reading an input text file word by word. Even this is not flawless and is easily discernible, since the software reads word to word and fails to reveal any emotion of the speaker, and we all know that Mr. Mir’s caught conversation is full of venomous emotions.

    Moreover, as far as I know, there is no software with the ability to convert urdu language text into a flawless natural conversation, like the one of Mr. Hamid Mir.

    Mr. Hamid Mir thinks that everyone around can be easily doped. In fact, instead of acknowledging his self-incriminating conversation he is only making a fool of himself by offering such senseless and lame arguments.

  • “http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/31/business/software-is-called-capable-of-copying-any-human-voice.html?pagewanted=2
    The software, called Natural Voices, is not flawless — its utterances still contain a few robotic tones and unnatural inflections……………….

    scientists say the technology is not yet good enough to perpetrate fraud, could the synthesized voices eventually be capable of tricking people into thinking that they were getting phone calls or digital audio recordings from people they know?

    For now, technical limitations may temper any worries that a person’s voice could be lifted without permission. To build the software that recreates unique voices — which AT&T Labs is calling its ”custom voice” product — a person must first go to a studio where engineers record 10 to 40 hours of readings. Texts range from business news reports to nonsense babble.”

  • Hamid Mir/Jang Group’s Mess & Credibility of JANG/GEO TV.
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2010/05/hamid-mirjang-groups-mess-credibility.html

    As per Merriam Webster Dictionary “Diversion” Pronunciation: \də-ˈvər-zhən, dī-, -shən\ Function: noun 1 : the act or an instance of diverting from a course, activity, or use : deviation 2 : something that diverts or amuses : pastime, 3 : an attack or feint that draws the attention and force of an enemy from the point of the principal operation, 4 British : a temporary traffic detour.

  • Hamid Mir may really be meaning (the senior brother of) packages like this:
    http://www.brothersoft.com/av-voice-changer-software-diamond-28257.html

    Basically, the software changes the pitch and timbre of your recorded voice to match the characteristics of any celebrity that you have recorded. Unlike a synthesized voice this is a reconstituted voice.

    Secondly, more than 10-40 hours of Hamid Mir recordings must exist.

    I’m not saying that is what was done, just talking about the feasibility.

  • @Arun 1. Almost entire conversation recorded in the audiotape was himself reported by Hamid Mir in his previous news reports.
    2. Hamid Mir’s views on Qadianis are also well known.
    3. Several independent experts as well as professional agencies have confirmed that this is Hamid Mir’s voice in the recorded clip.
    4. Distractors and conspiracy theorists, however, have a different agenda.

  • Seems to me Hamid Mir’s TV persona and print persona are divergent. I’ve been watching him for almost six months now via Geo TV on satellite; and I wouldn’t have known him to be a anti-Qadiani bigot from anything there. I suppose his views also percolate from his print columns. And now he seems to have a third personality, which also contradicts his TV personality.

  • When Hamid Mir’s Damage Suit is pending in the Court of Law then why this Open Contempt of Court? Last night 25 May 2010 GEO TV “Kehnay Mein Kiya Harj Hai”, Hamid Mir did it again without naming Sheikh Rasheed, he named Sheikh Rasheed in Tape Controversy. Mohammad Malik, Mr. Masood Sharif, Mazhar Abbas also participated and Mohammad Malik [Senior Correspondent] was again being Sanctimonious [Malik filed a report in Jang and News on Govt Plans against Media.
    Introduction of Mohammad Malik: Kamran Khan, Mohammad Malick, The News, GEO TV & Corruption in Print Media. Journalist Corruption Scandal – Mohammad Malick
    http://pkpolitics.com/2009/06/03/journalist-corruption-scandal-mohammad-malick/

  • It was LUBP! NO NO NO Jews are behind it, NO NO Zionists are behind it, NO NO NO Zardari is behind it [Mariana Baabar says so], NO NO Zardari is not behind it but RAW is behind it, NO NO Quadiyanis are behind it but NO NO NO Hussain Haqqani behind it, NO NO some serving Generals behind it, God damn my Journalist Colleagues who are actually behind it. [Hamid Mir’s View]

    Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, the top body of media and custodian of ‘freedom of speech and civil liberties’,
    ==================================
    I am forced to believe that some elements in the intelligence used my media colleagues against me because I was not in control of any intelligence outfit. One of my crimes was that I wrote an article against a serving general of the Pakistan Army. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/25/hamid-mir-responds/
    Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir, who has been linked by several Pakistani websites to the killing of a former intelligence official by the Taliban, refutes the accusations in this e-mail sent to The Washington Times in response to an article that appeared in Tuesday’s editions:
    Dear Sir,
    The Washington Times has published a story today “Terrorist Hit Puts Pakistani Reporter Under Fire” (by Eli Lake – Reporter – The Washington Times – 25 May 2010)

  • Osama seeks FIR against Hamid Mir, Osman Punjabi Daily Times Monitor Wednesday, May 26, 2010 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20105\26\story_26-5-2010_pg1_7

    LAHORE: Osama Khalid, son of Khalid Khawaja, on Tuesday submitted an application in the Shalimar Police Station for registration of an FIR against TV talk show host Hamid Mir and suspected terrorist Osman Punjabi for the murder of his father, a private TV channel reported.
    Khalid Khawaja, a former Inter-Services Intelligence official, was murdered by a relatively less-known Asian Tigers militant group on April 23.
    Osama alleged that the talk show host had instigated the terrorists to murder his father. He said the application was based on the audiotape of Mir’s conversation with a member of the Taliban, and he was ready to prove in court that the audio clip was original.
    Khalid Khawaja, a former Inter-Services Intelligence official, was murdered by a relatively less-known Asian Tigers militant group on April 23.
    Osama alleged that the talk show host had instigated the terrorists to murder his father. He said the application was based on the audiotape of Mir’s conversation with a member of the Taliban, and he was ready to prove in court that the audio clip was original.