Samaa TV anchor Ali Arif was found to be involved in a blackmail scandal with a university student. The incident occurred in Karachi’s Defence Area, when student Junaid Kakar, driving the wrong way, was caught in a verbal abuse exchange. The heated interaction saw Junaid Kakar threaten Ali Arif and break his phone, with Junaid Kakar being put behind bars a few days later.
However, the facts of the case became much clearer when an audio clip of a conversation between Ali Arif and Junaid Kakar’s relative surfaced. In the audio clip, Ali Arif demanded two phones as compensation for his broken cellphone. ARY anchorperson Iqrar ul Hassan confirmed the authenticity of the audio clip and Ali Arif’s voice in the clip, on account of knowing the Samaa TV anchor personally.
While Junaid Kakar announced his apology on national television during a show, the matter was supposed to be resolved the next day, according to the audio clip. However, no response has yet been received from Ali Arif’s end.
A strong culture and strong mechanism for accountability must be put in place at major media houses in order to avoid such incidents occurring regularly. All broadcasters must ensure that a formal response is provided from their end and a proper investigation is conducted, with strict being taken against the responsible party, if necessary.