MNA threatens to sue journalist -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

MNA threatens to sue journalist

ISLAMABAD: Mumtaz Alam Gillani, member national assembly (PPP) on Monday strongly contradicted a news item appearing in a section of the press on September 21 that he was witness to a US embassy white truck carrying steel boxes, which were unloaded and shifted inside the Marriott hotel.

Mumtaz Alam Gillani told APP that this was just a conversation in a light mood with the reporter when he along with his friends was coming out of the hotel and some foreigners were going inside the hotel. “I had just roadside chit-chat in a friendly manner with the newsman and told him that Pakistan is a victim of terrorism”, Gillani clarified.

He further said he would be issuing a legal notice to the reporter of the newspaper whose story is based on “pack of lies” and contrary to all professional ethics.

“I have asked the reporter to contradict the news item and tender unconditional apology as he tried to belittle my image as member of parliament in the eyes of the people, particularly of my constituency”, Mumtaz Alam Gillani said.

The MNA further said that on expiry of 10-day notice if the apology is not tendered and contradiction not issued, he will sue the reporter and the newspapers in a Court of law.–APP

Ansar Abbasi replies: The PPP MNA Mumtaz Alam Gillani has the right to go to the court of law but he needs to be corrected on the fact that I never spoke to him whether in a light mood or seriously. Rather we never had any interaction either on the night of September 16 or before; nor even after that, though I tried to contact him on the night of September 16 but his mobile phone did not respond.

The story in question was based on the eyewitness account of a source, which narrated the whole episode of what many witnessed that night. The source also quoted the PPP MNA objecting and protesting to the Marines’ activity. He was also shouting thus attracting the attention of several others.

The PPP MNA is also not mentioning the fact when he claims of talking to “reporter” and seeking contradiction of the story and unconditional apology. Nowhere in story the image of the MNA was belittled rather he was reported to have objected to the lapse of security that he witnessed when the Marines were shifting the steel cases inside the hotel. Mr Gillani talks of “facts”, which are neither relevant to my story nor true. While Gillani “strongly contradicted” the story, one of his friends, accompanying him on the night of September 16 to Marriott, confirmed the facts as stated in The News story.

Meanwhile, the US embassy spokesman on Monday when asked about the September 16 activity did not deny this and said, “A team of support personnel often and routinely precede and/or accompany certain US government officials. They often carry communications and office equipment required to support large delegations, such as high-level administration officials and members of the US Congress. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would travel with communications equipment. It is quite possible that some saw this communications equipment moved into the hotel. This equipment would leave with the CJCS. If the equipment was transported in full public view then obviously there was no attempt made to conceal its movement.” The News stands by the story.
Source: The News
Date:9/23/2008