Hamid Mir responds

Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir, who has been linked by several Pakistani websites to the killing of a former intelligence official by the Taliban, refutes the accusations in this e-mail sent to The Washington Times in response to an article that appeared in Tuesday’s editions:

Dear Sir,

The Washington Times has published a story today “Terrorist Hit Puts Pakistani Reporter Under Fire” (by Eli Lake - Reporter - The Washington Times - 25 May 2010)

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/25/terrorist-hit-puts-pakistani-reporter-under-fire/pri

WT said that Hamid Mir has old links with extremists because he interviewed Osama bin Laden. What about my interviews with Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, General Richard B Myers, Richard Armitage and Hilary Rodham Clinton? First of all, I am not the only one who interviewed Osama bin Laden. Robert Fisk interviewed him before me. Peter Bergen and Rahimullah Yousafzai are other examples. Now there are contradictions to be noted. Daily Times claiming that intelligence agencies have presented a report against me to the [Pakistani] Prime Minister.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010%5C05%5C20%5Cstory_20-5-2010_pg1_6

Initially a government senator was also attacking me on different TV channels but Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira clearly said on May 25 that Hamid Mir is a target of a conspiracy and government have nothing against him. President Zardari has also cleared it to me personally that nobody from [the Pakistan People’s Party] is involved in this conspiracy. Family of Khalid Kahwaja openly declared me a CIA agent and also accepted that one son of Kahwaja works for al Qaeda. Come and see that banners are hanging on Murree Road and other areas of Rawalpindi in my support. These banners have been placed by traders, students and other sections of life. Common Pakistanis are with me but a section of ruling elite is against me. I am forced to believe that some elements in the intelligence used my media colleagues against me because I was not in control of any intelligence outfit. One of my crimes was that I wrote an article against a serving general of the Pakistan Army.

I am still not sure that who is my actual enemy because nobody have come out openly against me yet. There is no FIR (police complaint), no official inquiry and nobody contacted me for any investigation. According to my information, this whole drama was organized after one of my articles against a serving Army General, Nadeem Ejaz, was published in The News on April 26.This General was involved in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. U.N. report pointed fingers towards him but President Asif Ali Zardari government failed to nab him.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=28496

This conspiracy was hatched by some elements in the intelligence outfits with the help of a newspaper published from Lahore.This newspaper Daily Times was the first to publish this scandal against me on May 16. DT published a one-sided story with a one-sided analysis on the front page. DT tried to establish that I am a Taliban collaborator and I am responsible for the killing of Khalid Khawaja. In fact I received threatening e-mails from the same group which killed Khalid Khawaja and I mentioned these e-mails in my column of Daily Jang on May 6. I will produce many other facts in front of inquiry committees of (Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists). This column is in Urdu, but I mentioned that Asian Tigers is threatening media.

http://jang.com.pk/jang/may2010-daily/06-05-2010/col6.htm

Secondly, I can send you dozens of columns written in English and Urdu in which I criticized both Taliban and security forces but I am the one who visited Swat when it was a no-go area and I wrote columns about the atrocities of Taliban against innocent women. Read these two articles in English.)

http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=156813

I predicted victory of security forces against Taliban.

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