By Justice Markandey Katju
Hamid Mir, the prominent Pakistani journalist and senior anchor in Geo TV, forgot one golden rule : if you wish to live safely and with a comfortable job in Pakistan you must never, never, never speak against the Pakistani army or its intelligence wing, the ISI.
By blaming the ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, though by insinuation, of masterminding the housebreak and physical attack on journalist Asad Ali Toor, in a speech in the National Press Club, in which he said if the ISI can break into the houses of journalists, the latter can also expose the scandals of army generals, Hamid Mir violated that golden rule, and had to pay the penalty. He has been sacked from Geo TV, and is unlikely to get employment anywhere now, and may also not be allowed to do freelance journalism or starting his own YouTube channel.
Gen Faiz Hameed, the ISI chief, was recently shot at in his residence, and Hamid Mir in his inflammatory speech insinuated that Gen Hameed’s wife had shot at him. Hamid Mir’s use of the words ‘ Gen Rani ‘ must have particularly incensed the senior brass in the Pakistan army as the lady known as ‘Gen Rani’ was widely reputed to be the mistress of former army chief Gen Yahya Khan
A campaign has started in Pakistan against Hamid Mir, and it is alleged that even the Indian Prime Minister Modi has not used such vile and derogatory language against the Pakistan army as Hamid Mir has done
It is being alleged that Hamid Mir is a traitor, and should be arrested
Hamid Mir has had a long career as a journalist and had got a lot of acclaim for his objectivity and truthfulness. But perhaps this went to his head, and he forgot who is the real ruler in Pakistan. He should have reminded himself of the dictum of a well known Asian leader ” Power grows out of the barrel of a gun “. This rule squarely applies to Pakistan. By forgetting it, he has probably signed his own death warrant as a journalist.