Thursday May 20 2021

BBC says wrongly referred to EU election report during Ishaq Dar interview

LONDON: The BBC has conceded that it should have made clear during the former finance minister of Pakistan Ishaq Dar’s interview on HARDtalk with Stephen Sackur that the European Union report on the 2018 general elections didn’t refer to the elections as “credible” as the comments were made at a press conference by Chief Observer of the EU Monitors Michael Gahler but not part of the report.

The BBC has now published on it’s website a clarification after Ishaq Dar launched a complaint against the show, dated 1st December 2020, featuring Dar on the show conducted by Stephen Sackur.

During the interview Ishaq Dar had alleged that the 2018 elections were rigged and manipulated but the BBC presenter had insisted that the elections were “credible” and stated that the EU observers report had said so. Following the interview, Ishaq Dar had complained to the BBC that in the 91-pages report by the EU, not once the word “credible” has been used about the 2018 general elections.

The BBC has now accepted that in exchanges about the Pakistani elections of July 2018 the BBC referred to a report by EU election monitors and told viewers that while the monitors reported some grave concerns about abuses in specific places involving different parties “the final and ultimate conclusion was that they believed the result was credible”.

Originally published in The News