I had been hearing for last many months about Capital TV that its employees are not getting the salaries. Then I read on Facebook and social media that one of their employees Benazir Mehdi tried to commit suicide due to economic hardships he is facing due to lack of salary payment.
Yesterday I decided to visit the Capital TV and to meet the employees in person to know the actual situation.
When I reached Capital TV headquarters, same time a huge sized black BMW entered in the gate and a man in glasses wearing a very expensive branded dress came out of the car. He was Hasham Riaz Shaik, the owner of Capital TV.
Any way I met quite a few employees of Capital TV and heard horrible things. They have not received salaries since May 2013, and if somebody insists for his rights, he is asked to leave the job. Many employees have lost their rented houses, their kids’ names have been removed from their schools. The employees do not have money even to buy medicine for their wives or kids if they are sick.
Some employees working in Lahore office are receiving only half of their full salary. They are angry, furstrated and helpless.
The worst side of this picture is that the MD Basit Riaz Shaikh gives a cold response and gets angry if somebody demands salary.
I am unable to understand why PEMRA does not take notice of this situation and cancel Capital TV’s license? There is a clear law of PEMRA that the channel must have sufficient funds for their routine operations and maintenance.
Why does Chief Justice of Pakistan not take an action against Capital TV and its unscrupulous owners and managers?
Why is Raza Rumi, a simultaneious paid employee of Najam Sethi, Sherry Rehman and Basit Riaz Sheikh, allowed to harass and blackmail people inside and outside Capital TV?
Are all media persons, unionists, human rights activists who who can help the exploited employees of Capital TV waiting for some major accident? Are we waiting if someone’s suicide to play politics on his or her dead body?
Please do not let the people reach to a point of frustration.
Let’s hope that human rights champions such as Sharmeela Farooqui, Nafeesa Shah and Ali Dayan Hasan will pay urgent attention to this matter.
Tweet lands Capital TV staffer in trouble
September 17, 2013
The managers at Capital Television have reporteldy started issuing show cause notices to some staff members for using the social media to highlight problems they face within the organization, particularly salary delays.
Insiders say many employees have not been paid their salaries for more than two months. “There are however, some to whom pay is disbursed on time,” a source in the know tells JournalismPakistan.com.
One letter issued to a staffer (name/designation purposely withheld) by the Human Resource Manager states:
“It has been noticed that your performance with regard to general professional corporate behavior leaves a lot to be desired.
“You must acknowledge that an employee is a representative of his/her organization and his/her act off/on the field is always noticeable, especially when he/she is on social media,” says the letter.
“You tweeted on September….regarding Capital TV from your persona account which spread the wrong representation of an organization where you are working.
“Though we recognize that every employee had the right to do his/her activities but when it comes to maligning the organization publicly, that is inappropriate and unacceptable.”
Later in show cause notice, the Human Resource Manager seeks written explanation from the staffer “within 2 days” as to why disciplinary action should not be taken against him/her.
He says “the management has taken serious notice of such an act of misconduct on your part.”
Capital TV, launched in April, is headed by Basit Sheikh. It has not been all smooth sailing though. The channel was shut down by the authorities soon after its launch after a guest on one of their live shows insulted the army chief.
However, they were allowed to resume programing days later reportedly after high-level negotiations and a written apology submitted by the television management with the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority.
In July, a First Information Report (FIR) was filed against the channel after it broke a story on mega corruption in the EOBI. Capital TV suspected the many wrong doers and influential people in the scandal had a hand in registration of FIR.
However, there was another angle to the story. It was said that reporter Huzaifa Rehman who broke the news was allegedly manhandled and threatened by Captial managers. Reports say an FIR was registered against the channel on the directives of the Interior Minister.
Journalists unions stood by the reporter and held protests.
More recently, Fahd Hussain, one of the key team members who helped launch the channel quit to join Express News, which some say is somewhat of setback while for some others at the channel it is good riddance.