Defiant Hamid Mir Challenges The Powers-That-Be To Get Him Arrested For Sedition
Senior journalist and anchor Hamid Mir, whose primetime show on Geo News was recently taken off air following a strong speech made at a rally in Islamabad, appeared on BBC World Services’s show HardTalk.
Talking to Stephen Sackur, Mir said journalists in Pakistan were witnessing a ‘climate of fear’. Talking about the threats media faces from the powers that be, he said that he was the ‘living example’ of censorship in Pakistan. “There is democracy in Pakistan but there is no democracy. There is a constitution in Pakistan but there is no constitution,” he said.
At the beginning of the show, Sackur said that his guest was a high profile journalist who had been facing threats and attacks. He said that Mir’s show and his column for Jang Group was banned by his employers following his speech about intimidation and attacks against journalists.
Stephen Sackur asked Mir about the ‘shadowy forces’ who the latter thinks have suppressed media in Pakistan. However, Hamid Mir stopped short of naming names the forces silencing journalists.
When the host reminded Hamid Mir that a six sedition cases had been lodged against him and that he would have to serve life in prison if he is convicted, he said he was ready to face prison, adding that the whole world would come to know what is going in Pakistan if he is convicted. He added that journalists in Pakistan are seeking restoration of rule of law in the country. “If a journalist is asking questions, don’t try to silence his voice,” he said.