Lahore, May 19 (ANI): Noted Pakistan television journalist Hamid Mir has sent legal notices to the Daily Times and Business Plus television channel for running a report claiming that he had a telephonic interaction with a Taliban spokesman which actually led to the killing of kidnapped former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) official Khalid Khwaja.
Mir, Executive Editor of the Geo News, has termed the story being published and aired on the newspaper and the television channel respectively, as ‘defamatory’, which was ‘based on malafide intentions’.
In his notice, Mir has demanded an official apology from both the media houses within 14 days and also payment of 250 million rupees as compensation for damages done to his reputation failing which legal action would be initiated.
“The points of interest mentioned at the end of column were also aimed to cause hatred and dislike for Mr Mir in specific sections of the society. Further, the publication of editorial titled Shocking revelations in Daily Times on 17 May 2010, which wrongly propagated Mr Mir’s indiscretion in Khalid Khawaja’s murder…” Mir’s notice to The Daily Times states.
“The said column and transcript was published in the Daily Times in breach of professional conduct and without verifying the accuracy and authenticity of the source of information,” it added.
Both Mir and the Taliban have denied having any conversation with each other concerning kidnapped ISI officials.
Earlier, Mir had said that the leaked audiotape was an attempt to malign his image by his ‘enemies in the government.’
“I never said these things to these people. This is a concocted tape. They took my voice, sampled it and manufactured this conspiracy against me,” Mir had said.
On the other hand, Khwaja’s son Osama Khalid has claimed that one of the voices in the tape was certainly that of Usman, a Taliban militant with whom his family had several talks for his father’s release.
Speaking during a television programme, Osama said the Asian Tigers, the group which had claimed to kidnapped Khwaja along with his former colleague Colonel Imam and a British filmmaker, was actually a group working for the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
“Because no Muslim can do it (murder another Muslim),” Osama said.
“This audiotape is enough proof to show Hamid Mir’s role in my father’s murder,” he added.
Osama also claimed that Mir had hatched a conspiracy to murder his father and received a hefty sum for it from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).