On 27 Oct 2017, a journalist Mr. Ansar Abbasi associated with ‘Jang group’ tweeted that three motorcyclists intercepted Mr. Ahmed Noorani near Zero Point, Islamabad and beat him up with iron fists and steel rods. The Journalist got injured and taken to the nearby hospital. From then on, the journalist got full media attention and his minor activities in the hospital were covered as a celebrity.
The Identity of attackers and the actual cause of scuffle are still not known. However, an impression has been created that journalist has been beaten by security agencies and the incidence is a blatant attack on freedom of speech and expression. The occurrence is getting wide attention on domestic and international media due to various interest groups.
Ahmed Noorani is an investigative journalist of Jang Group. He particularly writes for English daily ‘The News’. He hails from Bahawalpur and studied there in the Government school, college and the University of Bahawalpur. The journalist has mediocre command over English language and never produced well written and objective reports. However, he is an attention seeker and highly ambitious. He is known for writing fake stories and quite often writes for various interest groups for ulterior motives. It is also said that certain political parties offer him financial favours to defame their opponents. In the year 2000, he was even inciting sectarian violence in Bahawalpur University and Police registered FIR against him.
The Journalist’s ambition touched its peak during Panama Scandal when few hours before submission of JIT report to Supreme Court; he claimed that his inside sources had told him that Nawaz Sharif was not found guilty. It was totally false and fabricated story. Ahmed Noorani even tried to contact one of the Supreme Court top Judges on a telephone to get the details of the case. In a process, willingly/unwillingly he raised questions about the credibility of top Judges of Supreme Court. The Supreme Court took notice and he was summoned to the court where he apologized and promised not to write fake stories in future.
The incidence could be better understood in the context that Pakistan on foreign policy front has followed a policy which is in the best interest of the country but not fully aligned with India and some other Western countries. Resultantly, certain influential nations are not happy with Pakistan particularly Pak armed forces and its premier intelligence agency ISI. Such forces knowing the vibrant nature of Pakistani media are constantly looking for someone who could support them in defaming Pak institutions and create a crisis of credibility. Unfortunately, journalists like Ahmed Noorani, Taha Siddiqui, along with few others saleable are readily available to defame their own armed forces and national leadership for petty benefits. Therefore, the recent minor incidence is being blown up to a national happening.
Group of journalists and other interest groups are trying to create an impression that Mr. Ahmed Noorani, “an ambassador of truth and freedom of speech” has been beaten up by ISI officials. Blaming own institutions without investigations or inquiries is a highly dangerous and extremist trend. The impression is otherwise highly ill-logical and unconvincing. It will be totally unprofessional for any intelligence agency if it beats a journalist just a km away from its main headquarters. As per realists’ school of thought, institutions which are ranked high in the world cannot be an irrational actor.
ISI is a premier Intelligence agency of Pakistan and for the last thirty years is exposing well-orchestrated conspiracies against the state of Pakistan and combating high profile hostile agencies. We all know that 95% crimes are linked to the money and ISI like all other intelligence agencies of the world must have full access to the money trails of every citizen of Pakistan. ISI must also be knowing that how ‘black sheep’ in the media get fat. Therefore, it is not difficult for ISI to get a person punished through the court of law for working against the state. ISI cannot give an ambitious Ahmed Noorani what he desires the most; wide publicity and attention.
PM has ordered an inquiry to unearth the culprits guilty of attacking the journalist. Hopefully, the attackers will be identified soon. However, I being the veteran and PhD scholar of International Relations call upon ISI Chief Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar to trace the attackers and if any ISI official found involved be severely punished for their unprofessional attitude.
Cheapster attracts huge publicity. Ahmed Noorani is a winner.