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Thursday Mar 05 2020
Web Desk

Geo Entertainment suspends Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar's contract

Web Desk
Writer Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar (L) and activist Marvi Sirmed (R)

Geo Entertainment and 7th Sky Entertainment on Thursday announced that they had suspended their contract with writer Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar after he swore at a rights activist two days ago on live television.

A statement from Geo Entertainment issued Thursday said the contract would remain suspended until Qamar apologised, clarifying that the company had entered into a non-exclusive agreement with the writer, similar to the ones he has with other TV channels.

Qamar, who is working with other TV channels as well, is also involved in a movie project that features renowned actors Mehwish Hayat and Humayun Saeed and is being shot these days. 

"Geo believes in exchange of ideas and promoting the culture of Live and Let live (Geo our Jeenay do) we believe that everyone has the right to express their opinions and the culture of healthy debate should be encouraged," a statement from the channel read.

The statement further said such debates should be held in the norms of decency and with respect. "He [Qamar] not only used abusive language against a woman but also refused to accept his mistake and apologise for it," read the statement.

"GEO has always aimed to create an enabling environment for thought and debate even if that includes criticism on the organization itself. GEO Aur Geenay Do."

The writer appeared on a television show alongside activist Marvi Sirmed to share his thoughts on Aurat March 2020 on Tuesday night. However, tempers flared soon after the two got into an argument about one of the slogans — "mera jism, meri marzi," or my body, my choice — championed by those who are organising the event.

Qamar had said the slogan in question was "vile and filthy" and he felt "hurt" that the Lahore High Court had thrown out a petition seeking to ban it.

As he was making his argument, Sirmed interrupted to offer an explanation as to why the line of thought Qamar was diving into was problematic.

However, at this, Qamar lost his patience and directed some highly inappropriate insults at Sirmed for the interruption.

Soon after, politicians, celebrities, and others took to social media to call out the television writer for his profanity-filled response.