By Tariq Rizwan
GEO is a popular channel and seen across the country. It is providing employment to thousands of Pakistanis but its characterless owner Mir Shakil ur Rehman is bent upon closing the channel to deprive these employees of their bread and butter. The game started when a senior anchor person of ARY Channel Mr Mubashir Lucman has recently revealed that he has received life threat from MSR, five months ago.
MSR is a Pakistani media mogul and philanthropist. As a businessman, he is known as founder 24-hour news cycle network, Geo TV, as well as its executive. In addition, he is the owner of the Jang Group, that was started by his father Mir Khalil ur Rehman and part owner of the Independent Media Corporation. This media group publishes a number of Newspapers and Magazines in Urdu and English. IMC also owns the Geo TV network.
In late 1990s, during Nawaz Sharif second term as Prime Minister, MSR was found involved in tax evasion and cases were framed against his news group amounting to 40 million US dollars, followed by freezing of bank accounts and seizure of their assets. The government withdrew after some controversial phone conversations between government’s aides and MSR, which the later made public to blackmail the government and succeeded.
MSR established a Television channel network by the name of Geo TV in 2002. Achievements Business Week magazine, in a report published in the issue of 11 July 2005, selected MR in its list of 25 Stars of Asia, for their role in bringing change in their respective field in Asia. They wrote that Geo TV launched by MSR has become one of the most popular TV channels in Pakistan. The GEO TV network has quickly evolved into Pakistan’s biggest network of channels.
It is an open secret now, who were the killers of Wali Khan Babar; everybody knows about the group behind it. May be the same group behind Hamid Mir firing and MSR’s kidnapping. MSR (Owner of Geo and Jang) was kidnapped, sodomized and photographed in the past as revealed by PPP stalwart Dr Zulfiqar Mirza(the former Provincial Home Minister) in Sindh Assembly.
The video clip is a startling disclosure of the kidnapping of MSR by a gangster (Aman Dalmia) in Karachi. He was repeatedly sodomized and photographed for a number of years until he was rescued by Mr. Asif Ali Zardari , Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza, and Mr. Agha Siraj Durrani (now Speaker of the Sindh Assembly). Dr. Mirza has the damaging photographs in his possession as stated by him in the video. MSR was so scared that he neither challenged the video and the group involved nor took any legal notice against Dr. Mirza or to the Speaker of the Sindh Assembly. The video remains part of the records of the Assembly.
This event of abuse and repeated sexual assaults, humiliation and degradation has left lasting psychological effects on MSR making him bipolar. This has led to psychotic symptoms such as hearing voices, paranoia (of perceived threats) visual hallucinations and false beliefs of special powers or identity (Like he can no more change governments). He has taken it personal and became disappointed from the state authorities.
To pursue his wild imaginations of being a power player, he started interacting and befriending enemy intelligence agencies, taking funding from foreign governments to disseminate their agenda in Pakistan. Programs and editorial content that are contrary to the beliefs and principles of our nation and religion are propagated in Jang and Geo.
Subsequently, the financial and business sector of Pakistan continued its blackmailing game led by MSR and the Jang Group and involves a name of Jahangir Siddiqui in the scheme of things. MSR is mostly rallying on his confidants in the team like Hamid Mir, Saleem Safi and Ansar Abassi to forward the assigned agenda from abroad.
For the purpose of record, MSR’s daughter is married to Jahangir Siddiqui’s son Ali. MSR has been seen exerting his media power to support JS Group’s various fights with regulators in Pakistan like SBP and SECP and other business groups. The SECP has moved against the JS Group in the instances of a criminal case against the group in the Azgard Nine Scandal, inquiries against the group in the illegal transfer of shares of PICT to Switzerland causing a loss to mutual fund holders of the group and a huge bonus to Ali Jahangir Siddiqui are considered as frontline reasons which did not allow for the deal to go through. JS Bank has had a role to play in each of the above transactions. There are also indications that the group is being investigated for money laundering.
Recently, a story was leaked which is nothing but an egg in the face for MSR’s Jang Group and Jahangir Siddiqui. A report was published in Hindustan Times on September 29, 2013 that claimed that Dawood Ibraahim was behind the launch of an upcoming TV network in Pakistan and it was being fronted by Aqeel Karim Dhedhi. BOL TV network was also alleged to being set up by ISI in order to bring down the popular Geo TV. Hindustan Times did an internal inquiry and found out that the report was published by Hindustan Times at the insistence of MSR with Jahangir Siddiqui in their Mumbai office. Pakistan’s Express Tribune has shown some courage and placed the report as “Indian campaign on ISI exposed”
The ARY anchor person, Mubashar Lucman has done two programs on 25th and 26th October which have featured Aqeel Karim Dhedhi, the Pakistani businessmen who have laid bare the blackmailing by Mir Shakil ur Rehman and Jahangir Siddiqui and how that has affected his business interests. May be that firing on Hamid Mir has been shot by foreign enemies to ignite the flames in the country’s economic hub, Karachi.
The writer is a freelance journalist based at London, UK