Original Articles

An open letter to Hamid Mir from a common citizen – by Marvi Sirmed

Islamabad

May 17, 2010

Dear Mr. Hamid Mir,

Much has been said and written about your audio tape since last two days. I have also read your rebuttal, below email and another one that got “leaked” – as is claimed by one of the blogs, in which you’re (claimed to be) clarifying your position and Asian Tigers’ position.

I do understand how this whole business of terror-network is run in Pakistan, how many state or non-state actors and inter-locutors are involved in umpteenth levels of negotiations and contact building, but still this is matter of grave concern for an ordinary citizen of Pakistan.

As a citizen of Pakistan, I’m the primary stakeholder of terror business. It is me (as in the citizen) who has greatest threat from the terrorist attacks at personal level, as well as at a collective level, who has to face embarrassment and humiliation in foreign lands as green passport holder, when it comes to Pakistan’s terror-craft. My country, its h eroding onor, its international credibility and life of millions of its citizens are under direct threat. It is, thus, a matter of gravest concern for us to see into details of who is responsible and / or is accomplice in all this business, and who is benefitting from killing my country’s people and its honor among the nations of the world. I hope you do understand and appreciate this point.

It makes me, moreover, absolutely shocked at and skeptical of the role of entire media or at least a section of media, when I see you – the man who does not mince his words while telling us how bad and corrupt is the government, how immoral it is on the part of Jamshed Dasti to present fake (although unproven by any court of law) educational degrees, and how incompetent it is on the part of Interior Ministry for not having been able to control terrorism.

This loud voice against the ills of the society and the government brokering with the terror network, is definitely not a pleasant episode for most of the people of Pakistan, who trust all of the TVenngelists (you inclusive) for identifying weaknesses of politicians (it is understandable why you do not touch upon the corruption of many other institutions which are holy cow in our country).

Hamid sahib, we know each other at least as acquaintance, we keep meeting and exchanging greetings in Islamabad’s drawing rooms and parties. Based on your apparent verbal frequent assurances of being committed to democracy, citizens’ rights and upholding of journalistic standards, we supported you throughout the movement for citizens’ right to information and freedom of speech, in the wake of a ban on your program during Musharraf’s regime.

Although that ban won you and many other TVengelists much of the credibility as “principled” journalists who “did not bow before a dictator”. We also knew you have very close contacts with most of the terrorist outfits, not that you ever tried to hide it. Interviewing Osama Ben Laden is not an evidence against you, but being Taliban apologist throughout and promoting their agenda subtly in your program definitely is. We knew you are a journalist, quite active so, and quite in the limelight so, and that by the token of being a “frontline” journalist, you need to keep contact with everybody especially those who can make news. But we never knew the extent to which you are / have been part of these networks. I’m still ready to give you concession of being an ambitious “investigative” reporter, if you kindly clarify yourself of all the charges – too heinous, grave and ugly to be kept yourself stuck with. Here go my questions Mir sahib:

1. You have been telling us ever since this tape was released, that Daily Times has done a damage to you by unilaterally publishing a story about it. Then you said that the tape is concocted and President Zardari’s PPP is behind it. Then you said its ISI doing it with you. Then you said you’ve met with the President and all doubts have been cleared and that PPP is not behind this tape. And then you said that the voice on the tape is not yours, it is machine produced. Well, if it is produced / manufactured by the machine, then there exists machines that can be used to detect if the voice is original or not. I don’t think you need to worry about it much. And then you started a silence because the case is “sub judice”. Well, there have been many other issues that have been sub judice but we kept on having the privilege of hearing you on all those issues. But still, respecting your decision not to speak on the tape issue, we wouldn’t ask about it. But what we’d like to ask is, whether you spoke to a Punjabi Talib ever?

2. Did you ever share the information about the upcoming military operation against North Wazirastan with one of these networks?

3. Didn’t you propagate religiosity among masses through your program?

4. What do you think of Ahmadis / Qadiyanis? Do you really think they are worse than “Kaafirs”? And what do you mean by this? Are they, who’re worse than kaafirs, liable to be killed?

5. What do you now say, was Khalid Khwaja a CIA agent? How do you think a CIA agent should be dealt with? Should s/he be killed?

6. Do you support the kind of jehad Taliban and other militant groups are waging? If no, why do you eel obliged to respect them like a revered soldier should be?

7. Do you think those who wage war against the federation / state of Pakistan are punishable with treason? If yes, why do you support Maulvi Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid? Why do you call Rasheed Ghazi a shaheed knowingly that he was killed during his war with Pakistan army? Do you consider Pakistan Army, which is fighting these criminals terrorists, as “Baatil force” against which jehad is normally waged?

8. You were among those TVangelists who pressurized the then government to start operation on Lal Masjid / Jamia Hafsa duo, but immediately after the operation, you started molding people’s opinion against that action, in favour of the criminals who challenged the writ of the state. What do you say to explain it?

9. You recorded a program immediately after the Lal Masjid operation was completed. You arranged the whole drama of a girl crying and ranting out emotional speech to emotionally charge the people against military operation on Jamia Hafsa, who in the beginning wanted the operation. Do you really think this kind of journalistic dishonesty is allowed when it comes to your cause?

10. What exactly is your cause? Does it sync with the ’cause’ of those militants you keep talking to?

11. After months of this first program, you recorded another program with around a dozen more students of different Madrassas. During the recording you kept on influencing the participating students to get as angry as they can, against the operation on Jamia Hafsa / Lal Masjid. On whose orders / suggestions did you do so? If you did it on your own, what was your inspiration? Do you think the culprits of public violence were actually crusaders of Islam? And that they are / were worthy of respect?

12. We heard you saying on the tape (for us – the citizens of Pakistan – the voice was yours unless proven otherwise) that Taliban could explode as many NATO trucks as they can. What is your personal belief? Should the terrorists explode / bombard NATO trucks to push them out of Afghanistan? Are you with terrorists for human killings whether or not they are of Pakistanis?

13. We heard you listening on tape from that TTP representative that there would be more of suicide blasts in the country. You were neither shocked nor agitated. Do you think they’re doing a right thing by bombing innocent Pakistanis to death? If not, why didn’t you inform the authorities responsible for security? If you did, whole did you talk / write?

14. Why do you think ISI is you enemy? What exactly have you done to invite ISI’s wrath?

There are many such questions that emerge after hearing your tape. Can you please address them for the sake of record and reference so that your audience could not be led astray by those who want to malign you? Since you have an image at South Asia level, and keep portraying yourself as ‘Amn ki Fakhta’ when you’re in India and in SAARC countries generally (unlike obviously your stance on Indo-Pak relations which you keep reiterating for local audience), I’m copying this email to senior journalists, columnists as well as prominent civil society activists, media houses and senior Communists from the region.

Awaiting your reply,

Marvi Sirmed

Islamabad.

EMAIL OF HAMID MIR:

—– Original Message —–

From: hamdi mir

To: presspakistan

Sent: Sunday, May 16, 2010 1:31 PM

Subject: Re: A new web war against Hamid Mir-warning for journalist community

Dear All,Thank you very much for your support.Today publisher of Daily Times and Governor Punjab Salman Taseer created a new record in the history of yellow journalism by publishing a one sided tape drama scandle against me.I would like to remind my journalist colleagues that Salman Taseer published many dirty articles against me in the past when i was banned by Musharraf regime on tv.Today he published the transcript of a concocted tape with some comments on the front page of his newspaper.Yes he tried to kill many birds with one bullet.

This is a conspiracy against me.Khalid Khawaja was assassinated in the month of April and this tape surfaced in the middle of May just few days before some important political and leagal events.I am consulting with my lawyers and i will go into court against Salman Taseer for publishing a one sided concocted story against me.My hands are clear and i have no fear except Allah who have provided me a new opportunity to unmask some more realities in the court of law.

This fabricated tape is part of a bigger drama against journalist community.Some elements want to silence the voice of media on certain national issues by blackmailing journalists like me.These people are very unhappy on those journalists who are raising voice for missing people,who are opposing government stand NRO and who criticized the fake degree holder members of the parliament.Many journalists are disliked by the government and some parts of the establishment.These journalists may become a target one by one.Some government ministers warned me on May 13th that some elements are trying to use the family of Khalid Khawaja against me and journalists like Ansar Abbasi,Kamran Khan and Shahid Masood will also face some new cases.I am sure we will face these kind of fabricated cases with unity.Thanks again for showing solidarity with me.

Hamid Mir

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Farhad Jarral

6 Comments

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  • Excellent letter, Marvi.

    With regards to point # 4, here is a relevant piece from today’s newspaper:

    “All hardline religious organisations in Pakistan are against us and are spreading venomous propaganda against us,” JAP spokesman Qamar Suleman told PTI.
    “We are told that the Punjabi Taliban and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen had carried out the attack. Tell me which religious party here does not endorse the idea of killing Ahmedis?
    “The government has never come down hard on elements that instigate people against us, and that is why it is equally responsible for what happened yesterday,” Suleman said.
    He complained that a section of the media had incited people against Ahmedis.
    “Take the example of prominent anchors like Hamid Mir, Mubashar Luqman and Amir Liaquat Hussain – they openly target Ahmedis.
    “Hussain, in a recent show, got an edict from hardline religious leaders that it is Islamic to kill Ahmedis,” he said.
    Suleman said that unless the federal and Punjab governments acted “seriously and sincerely” to condemn and eliminate such elements, incidents like yesterday’s attacks would not stop.
    “Pakistani clerics want us to leave Pakistan. They are giving us this message through such attacks,” Suleman said.
    Over 1.5 million Ahmedis live in Pakistan.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/Toll-in-terror-attacks-on-Lahore-s-Ahmedi-mosques-touches-95/Article1-550779.aspx

  • According to Jinnah Institute’s Raza Rumi (an employee of Najam Sethi), Hamid Mir continues his great father’s legacy in journalism:

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/76188

    ………..

    For a list of Al Qaeda’s most favoured journalists (MFJs), refer to this article: http://dawn.com/2012/05/04/al-qaedas-relations-with-pakistan-were-fraught-with-difficulties/ via @ravezjunejo

    Hamid Mir, Saleem Safi, Rahimullah Yusufzai and Jamal Ismail are Al Qaeda’s most trusted journalists. Are we surprised?

    …….

    Marvi Sirmed discovers a new friend in Hamid Mir (patent hater of Shias and Ahmadis, an ally of Taliban and Al Qaeda):

    Marvi Sirmed ‏@marvisirmed
    @Watandost I am noticing some really welcome changes in @HamidMirGEO lately. His and @Najamsethi’s programs keep their Group’s sanity intact

    Hamid Mir ‏@HamidMirGEO
    @marvisirmed @Watandost @Najamsethi I never said anything new i m saying these things since very long ta least from 1990 so i m not changed

    Marvi Sirmed ‏@marvisirmed
    @HamidMirGEO Then I’m glad to discover you janaab. Have been reading you otherwise since long. Welcome to the club 🙂 @Watandost @Najamsethi

    Hamid Mir ‏@HamidMirGEO
    @marvisirmed @Watandost @Najamsethi I never said anything new i m saying these things since very long ta least from 1990 so i m not changed

    Hamid Mir ‏@HamidMirGEO
    @Watandost Many people called me and said dont speak too much truth i told them we can save Pakistan only by truth not by lies.Save Pakistan

    Hamid Mir ‏@HamidMirGEO
    @MohsinHijazee Thanks.I never said anything new to Shehzad Roy.Its great that he tried to understand the problems of Balochistan.

    (Comments: Above tweet reminds us of LeJ-ASWJ’s terrorist Malik Ishaq’s comment when he was released by Pakistan’s Supreme Court: jo pehlay kartay aaie hain, aaindah bhi kartay rahain ga. I will keep doing what I have done in the past.)

    Hamid Mir ‏@HamidMirGEO
    @iam_mudassar Govtof Pakistan never gave freedom actually media people risking their lives and paying price of freedom http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-29192-Pakistan,-most-dangerous-for-media:-RSF
    View conversation

    Hamid Mir ‏@HamidMirGEO
    @zishee You are mistaken.I m not fighting with any indvidual.I m fighting for a cause.They have launched a person who was a minister by Mush

    Hamid Mir ‏@HamidMirGEO
    @iam_mudassar They attacked my kids in Islamabad when they were going to school and this is the biggest black mailing for anyone

    Hamid Mir ‏@HamidMirGEO
    @zishee Everybody knows that whenever i raise the issue of missing persons intelligence agencies try to pressurize through their paid agents

    Hassan Abbas ‏@Watandost
    But Hamid you are more articulate and effective now RT:“@HamidMirGEO: @marvisirmed @Watandost @Najamsethi I never said anything new…”

    Marvi Sirmed ‏@marvisirmed
    @Watandost Am still grateful tohim for responding to my letter in a very graceful manner. @HamidMirGEO @Najamsethi

    Marvi Sirmed ‏@marvisirmed
    @Watandost I also reacted very aggressively when that infamous audio was planted. Even wrote an open letter to him @HamidMirGEO @Najamsethi

    An open letter to Hamid Mir from a common citizen – by Marvi Sirmed
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/11866

    Hamid Mir’s reply to Marvi Sirmed’s open letter
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/11896

    Marvi Sirmed ‏@marvisirmed
    @Watandost Sharp difference of opinion sometimes begets communication block. I had stopped reading his Qalam Kamaan @HamidMirGEO @Najamsethi

    Marvi Sirmed ‏@marvisirmed
    @Watandost Yes that’s true. Also, I had thought he is in favour of Afghan Taliban between 1996 – 2001. I was not @HamidMirGEO @Najamsethi

    Hassan Abbas ‏@Watandost
    Excellent comments of @HamidMirGEO on Geo TV’s ‘Wasu aur Main’ – Shahzad Roy’s great effort focusing in Baluchistan

    Mosharraf Zaidi ‏@mosharrafzaidi
    amen. “@HamidMirGEO: @Watandost …we can save Pakistan only by truth not by lies.Save Pakistan”

    Marvi Sirmed ‏@marvisirmed
    @Watandost I am noticing some really welcome changes in @HamidMirGEO lately. His and @Najamsethi’s programs keep their Group’s sanity intact

    Hassan Abbas ‏@Watandost
    Best wishes “@HamidMirGEO: Many people called me and said dont speak too much truth i told them we can save Pakistan only by truth..”
    Expand

    Hassan Abbas ‏@Watandost
    But Hamid you are more articulate and effective now RT:“@HamidMirGEO: @marvisirmed @Watandost @Najamsethi I never said anything new…”

    Hassan Abbas ‏@Watandost
    Excellent comments of @HamidMirGEO on Geo TV’s ‘Wasu aur Main’ – Shahzad Roy’s great effort focusing in Baluchistan

    Hamid Mir ‏@HamidMirGEO
    @Watandost Yes i believe in Sufis will definitely meet your Baba ji again

    Hamid Mir ‏@HamidMirGEO
    @Watandost @marvisirmed @Najamsethi Hasan you know me since very long when u were a police officer once you took me to a baba ji for dua

    ………..

    Hamid Mir (an operative of Military Intelligence) praises Sherry Rehman, founder of Pakistan army’s Jinnah Institute:

    Good to see Mosharraf Zaidi, Hamid Mir & some others praising Sherry Rehman. Helps in connecting the dots. #PseudoLiberalRightWingAlliance

    Hamid Mir ‏@HamidMirGEO
    @shahzadgillani @AajKamranKhan @TalatHussain12 Twitter restored in Pakistan.This is the difference between democracy and dictatorship.

    Hamid Mir ‏@HamidMirGEO
    @mosharrafzaidi @SherryRehman @UsamaKhilji Sherry Rehman played important role for the restoration of twitter in Pakistan.

    Hamid Mir ‏@HamidMirGEO
    @farhadjarral @SherryRehman @SenRehmanMalik Sir may be you have more information than me but i know Sherry spoke to the boss of RM sahib

    Mosharraf Zaidi ‏@mosharrafzaidi
    Ambassador @SherryRehman’s excellent Op-Ed on Pak-US relations in the Chicago Tribune – http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct-oped-0520-pakistannato-20120520,0,2761699.story

    sherryrehman ‏@sherryrehman
    @balalhaidermy commitment to minorities, women is reflected in every major public statement. Will never stop. MNA’s job diff from Ambassado

    Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
    Ambassador Sherry Rehman on CNN’s Situation Room http://bit.ly/KtJTkf #pakistan v @USAforPAK

    Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
    @CMShehbaz made v impt remarks on militancy in South Punjab. Good that he is cognizant of the challenge.Urgent reform/state-building reqd!

    ……….

    Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
    President Zardari has asked U.S. to help the Gov of Pak reach closure on the Salala episode “by following path indicated by Pak Parliament.”

    beena sarwar ‏@beenasarwar
    RT @Razarumi: US should apologise,respect our parliament/settle the issue.We can then open supplies so that the US leaves Afg as planned.

    Tarek Fatah ‏@TarekFatah
    Guys, u do realize it is an act of war to impose a blockade on a landlocked country like Afghanistan. @beenasarwar @razarumi Wake up.

    Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
    @TarekFatah Understand what you are saying but as a democrat, I back the parliamentary decisions. Hope this is settled @beenasarwar

    ImSoomro @ImSoomro
    LOL at I Back the Parliamentary Decisions when such decisions are enforced by Pakistan army. Shame on Raza Rumi
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/77192