Friday Mar 13, 2020
Before he was elected prime minister, Imran Khan made it known publicly twice that he would file a petition in NAB against Jang Group/Geo Network Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.
NAB on Thursday arrested the Editor-in-Chief of the Jang and Geo Media Group in connection with property allegedly bought illegally from a government entity more than 34 years ago.
On January 23, 2018, while responding to a Geo News report, then-opposition leader Imran Khan had said, "We have prepared a great petition on Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman for NAB. We will take it to NAB because, you see, a media house owner is seeking funds from abroad and setting Pakistan's media agenda. It's a crime," he had said.
The prime minister had then said,"Inshallah, then Geo will start asking me the right questions. They won't ask me the wrong questions."
A few days later, on January 27, 2018, when another reporter asked the PTI chief about his thoughts on the murder of a four-year-old girl and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police's inability to bring the killer to book, this is how he responded:
"Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman should start preparing. I'm bringing a case [against him] which I will forward to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and NAB as well. We have gotten hold of a lot of evidence of their [Jang Group, Geo TV] foreign funding."
Regarding the case against the Jang Group CEO, the property was in fact bought from a private party 34 years ago and all evidence of this was given to NAB and legal requirements fulfilled, such as payment of duty and taxes.
According to the Group's spokesperson, today's appearance before NAB was in relation to a call-up notice for the verification of the complaint, yet an arrest was made. Islamabad High Court's recent judgment against NAB's violation of the country’s law and a violation of NAB's own rules has been committed.
"In the past 18 months, NAB has sent our reporters, producers, and editors — directly and indirectly — over a dozen notices, threatening a shutdown of our channels (via PEMRA) due to our reporting and our programmes on NAB," said the spokesperson.
"In its defense, NAB has in writing said it is a constitutionally protected institution that cannot be criticised. NAB has also, through several means, tried to persuade the group to step back, to stop stories, among other measures in its favor at the expense of the full truth.
"The Group will not stop any reporters, producers or anchors from any story that is on merit and at the same time will include NAB’s version. In this case, NAB denies all allegations above and claims they are independently pursuing all cases and have not been asked to do by the democratically elected government in Islamabad," the spokesperson added.