Minister reveals media-bashing plans of government, says Dr Shahid -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Minister reveals media-bashing plans of government, says Dr Shahid

ISLAMABAD: Senior anchor person and former MD PTV Dr Shahid Masood has said that he has been told by a federal minister that Ansar Abbasi, Editor Investigations, The News, was on the government hit list and once he is “dismantled” the next target will be Shaheen Sehbai, the Group Editor of the newspaper.

Dr Shahid explained that he was clearly told by a PPP government federal minister that he (Dr Shahid) has already been ‘dismantled.’ “Ansar Abbasi is being dismantled right now while Shaheen Sehbai will be dismantled in the near future,” he said.

Dr Shahid Masood told The News that the message was conveyed to him in the last 48 hours through a federal minister. Shahid said that the minister was not threatening him directly but was conveying a message. “The establishment has decided to do this dismantling of senior journalists of the country (all incidentally belonging to the Jang Group of newspapers),” Dr Shahid quoted the federal minister as saying. Dr Shahid said that everything was being done by the government but the minister used the word “establishment”. It is important to mention here that the term establishment is generally used for the military authorities and intelligence agencies.

According to Dr Shahid Masood, the minister told him that first he (Dr Shahid) had been ‘dismantled’ successfully. “Now a character assassination campaign against the Editor Investigations, The News Ansar Abbasi is under way, and after completely dismantling him (Ansar) a similar campaign will be launched against Group Editor, The News, Shaheen Sehbai.

Dr Shahid, who hosts the Geo News programme “Meray Mutabiq,” which is recorded in Dubai, recently resigned as the chairman/MD PTV and as special assistant to the prime minister. Dr Shahid told this scribe that he responded to the minister by saying that it was unfortunate that the secret funds of the information ministry are being misused by bribing some mercenary journalists.

Dr Shahid said that he told the minister that during his stay in a government department and later in government the use of this secret fund was confirmed. “However, it is very unfortunate that the secret fund of the information ministry, which was first used to bribe journalists to get support for government policies, is now being used to tarnish the image of some leading and independent journalists for the first time in the country’s history.”

Dr Shahid said that he made it clear to the federal minister that government’s policy to tarnish the image of independent journalists by bribing other journalists through secret funds of the information ministry is going to fail and it will ultimately tarnish the image of politicians, democracy and the country.
Source: The News
Date:12/31/2008