Renown journalist from Pakistan discusses media and politics at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn.
“The assassination was a perfectly-planned terrorist attack," said the Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir about the bombings at the Danish embassy in Islamabad on June 2. At the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, Mir stressed the responsibility of the media. He alluded to the reports from Pakistani media about the Islam-critical film from the Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Mir, who is host of a daily political talkshow on GEO TV in Pakistan, pointed out in his report that only a minority of Dutch people shared Wilders’ opinion. This had a deescalating effect.
The renowned journalist said that media are one of the “main targets in Pakistan”. He further explained that threats come from the government as well as from terrorists. Mir said that in 2007, 14 journalists were murdered and around 300 arrested. There were also 40 radio and TV stations that were closed down. He explained that a renewal of operation was only possible with new restrictions and after those responsible had signed an official apology. Mir also noted that five well-known hosts, including himself, had been banned from going on screen.
While recalling the latest elections in Pakistan this year, Mir was optimistic about the future of his country. He said that the election results proved to be a “major indication” that Pakistan won’t become an “extremist country” and that Pakistani people support democracy and free government.
June 3, 2008