Hamid Mir, a senior journalist and columnist, has been banned from hosting the popular news show Capital Talk on Geo News.
Mir gave explosive remarks against state institutions at a protest rally organized against the attack on journalist Asad Toor, last week.
Nothing new for me.I was banned twice in the past.Lost jobs twice.Survived assassination attempts but cannot stop raising voice for the rights given in the constitution.This time I m ready for any consequences and ready to go at any extent because they are threatening my family. https://t.co/82y1WdrP5S
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) May 31, 2021
After his statement, Mir took to Twitter and stated that on one hand, bills for the protection of journalists are being signed into law while special tribunals are being set up to try journalists on the other, which will be authorized to impose fines up to millions and sentenced three years imprisonment.
Mir also called for a parliamentary debate on the matter and stated that decisions of special tribunals will not be challenged in High Courts and will only be challenged in the Supreme Court. He also recalled that the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) declared Pakistan as the fifth most dangerous country for journalists, while 148 attacks on journalist have been reported in the country in the last 12 months, with most attacks happening in Islamabad.
Pakistan has slipped from 139 to 145 on the World Press Freedom Index in the last year due to incidents like these, noted Mir. Hamid Mir and Capital Talk have been banned twice in nearly 19 years.
In 2007, due to constant criticism of the government, President at the time General Pervez Musharraf banned the program. The show resumed in January 2008 but Hamid Mir was replaced by Muhammad Malik instead. The journalist returned after the 2008 General Elections.