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Hamid Mir nails Pakistan Government’s lie on Ajmal Kasab ….

This Pakistani nailed Pak Government’s lie on Kasab

Renuka Narayanan, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, December 22, 2008

The Pakistani who had a court case filed against his TV news channel on December 19 for publicly establishing Ajmal Amir Kasab’s Pakistani origin says he is optimistic about a solution to terror simply because he is still alive.

“The students asked me to explain the difference between ‘patriotic journalism’ and ‘real journalism’,” he said. “I said whoever is killing innocent people, whether in India or in Pakistan, has to be exposed. That is real journalism.” Hamid Mir, Islamabad-based editor of Geo Channel, who telecast Kasab’s father from Faridkot village in Okara district of Pakistan identifying his son as the captured terrorist of 26/11, told Hindustan Times: “The mood of the Pakistani people is overall pessimistic. But I am optimistic that there will be a positive outcome because I am still alive.”

“I am being observed with great attention and no one has killed me yet,” he said. Mir was invited to address journalism students at Panjab University, Lahore, on Saturday. “The students asked me to explain the difference between ‘patriotic journalism’ and ‘real journalism’,” he said. “I said whoever is killing innocent people, whether in India or in Pakistan, has to be exposed. That is real journalism.”

Mir squarely blames several Indian TV channels for whipping up public hysteria on both sides of the border.

“Between November 27 and December 4, every bad word said against Pakistan on these channels was taped by Pakistani news channels and then shown to the public here,” he said. “There was general disbelief about the allegation that the Pakistani navy transported the terrorists to Indian waters, because even the common man here knows that the navy are gentlemen and apolitical, they are not like our army.”

“Also there was some fictional Pakistani character called ‘Rehman Chacha’, shown on an Indian channel as the trainer of terrorists. I showed such clips to an Indian journalist here. She said if Indian media was behaving irresponsibly, then we should behave responsibly,” Mir added.

Mir then hosted a discussion on his show Capital Talk on December 4 between Pervez Hoodbhoy, professor of Nuclear Physics, Qaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, and Lt. Gen. (retired) Hamid Nawaz, former federal minister for interior, who said that the Mumbai massacre was the work of Hindu extremists, to discredit Pakistan.

But when Professor Hoodbhoy challenged that theory, supported by Mir, “There was an outcry next day in sections of Pakistan’s Urdu press that two Indian agents were sitting on Geo TV,” said Mir.

So why did he air the findings on Kasab’s Pakistani identity, knowing what the fallout would be? “I am not doing this for India. I am doing it for Pakistan,” said Mir. “I have been telling people here that both India and Pakistan have extreme elements. Maulana Masood Azhar’s counterparts are Praveen Togadia and Babu Bajrangi. We have to tell the truth about these people or we are just benefiting those who want Pakistani civil society, media and justice to be suppressed.”

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  • Ajmal Kasab: School drop-out to gunman

    Friday, 30 Apr, 2010

    Kasab has reportedly said he joined the LT to get weapons training after deciding to embark on a life of crime but there have also been claims that his father duped him into doing it for money. — Photo by AP
    WORLD
    Gilani, Singh hold ‘very positive’ talks
    Gilani, Singh hold ‘very positive’ talks
    MUMBAI: Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, on trial in India for taking part in the devastating attacks on Mumbai in 2008, is a school dropout said to have taken part in the bloodiest episode of the siege.

    The 22-year-old Pakistani national is accused of being one of two heavily armed gunmen who opened fire and threw hand grenades at the city’s main railway station on November 26, 2008, killing 52 people and wounding more than 100.

    Biographical details are sketchy but those that have come to light show that Kasab was born and brought up in Faridkot, in the Punjab region of Pakistan.

    His father, Mohammed Amir Iman, ran a food stall in the village and his mother was called Noor, according to the local electoral roll.

    Kasab dropped out of school in 2000 and worked as a labourer in the eastern city of Lahore until 2005, according to his initial confession to police, which was widely published in India.

    He first pleaded not guilty last April but in July made a shock confession, admitting being one of the 10 gunmen trained, equipped and financed by the banned, Pakistan-based group, Lashkar-i-Taiba (LT).

    He then reverted to his initial denial in December and said he had been framed by police after coming to Mumbai — home to India’s popular Hindi-language film industry, Bollywood — “to see cinema”.

    Kasab appeared relaxed in the trial’s early stages, dressed in either a T-shirt and tracksuit bottoms or a traditional kurta-pyjama, joking in the dock with his two Indian co-defendants or smiling at lawyers and reporters.

    But he seemed increasingly sullen, withdrawn and even asleep as the trial progressed, prompting fears for his mental state.

    He has claimed several times that his prison food has been laced with drugs and asked to be allowed out of the solitary confinement in which he has been held since his arrest nearly 18 months ago.

    Kasab has reportedly said he joined the LT to get weapons training after deciding to embark on a life of crime but there have also been claims that his father duped him into doing it for money.

    The prosecution has characterised Kasab as a shrewd and calculating operative while security experts said his poor, rural background and lack of education made him more susceptible to grooming by extremists.

    His former lawyer suggested he may even have been brainwashed into carrying out the attacks.

    One Faridkot farmer reportedly said that Kasab used to return to the village and talk of “freeing Kashmir” — the Himalayan region controlled partly by India but claimed in full by Pakistan. — AFP

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/04-kasab-profile-qs-03