ISLAMABAD – The chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan has revealed that after Umar Cheema’s tweet that he was being involved with a twenty-one year old girl, he decided to stand against Mir Shakeelur Rehman.
Imran Khan held a press conference on Saturday at his Banigala’s residence in which he said that raising questions against Geo’s agenda setting policies, Mir Shakeelur Rehman tried to shun and blackmail me through his reporter.
Terming the owner of Jang and Geo group a ‘Pharaoh’, Khan said “When I raised questions that Firoun got personal with me and spread rumors against my personality. He tried to do my character assassination. For God’s sake my sons are of 16, 17 years of age and his journalist said a rubbish against me. Because they had nothing else to bash me so they did this. That day I decided not to give up and remain silence fearing their blackmailing. Since then we have gathered many evidence against Geo News.”
Below is the tweet which Umar Cheema, investigative journalist of Jang group’s English daily, sent on Aril 29:
Pregnancy of 21-year girl is causing sleepless nights to a leader.His political future is in her hands…the most powerful lady these days.
— Umar Cheema (@UmarCheema1) April 29, 2014
It is pertinent to mention here that Umar Cheema had denied any link of this tweet with Imran Khan.
Khan made it clear that their objection and fight was only against one man who drives the millions rupee car, lives in the billions rupee house in Dubai and tried to influence policies of Pakistan using his media house.
Khan also talked about some ‘concrete’ evidence stating that he had registered a not for profit organization with the name Mir Khalilur Rehman Foundation (MKRF) through which they receive money from abroad and with that money they fund Geo.
“We have figures. They get money from US State Department. They got money from Voice of America (VoA). They gave them a proposal on what they could do for them. Aman ki Asha got money from abroad. Million and billions of rupees came from abroad,” he added.
Khan went on and asked “Question is that which country allow a big media group to get money from abroad and set the agenda of country? They take money from others and propagate that War on Terror is Pakistan’s war. This is conspiracy against Pakistan.”
Khan also alleged that Mir Shakeelur Rehman protects his financial interest through media house.
“180 crore (Rs 1,800 million) was yet to be paid to Sindh Revenue Board. Pakistan Indepenedent Media, the company which owns Geo Network is the defaulter of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA),” he gave details to the journalists.
Khan also revealed that former PEMRA chief Chaufhry Rashid met his yesterday and gave some evidence against Geo. “Former PEMRA chief said that Mir Shakeelur Rehman pressurized Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) led government to oust me from office. His crime was that he revealed to a Senate’s committee that Mir Shakeelur Rehman was a defaulter of Rs 7.75 million.”
Khan also said that former PEMRA chief denied to give a fifth licence to Geo citing it against the existing law.
“Why Geo became PML-N’s media cell? Because they have mutual interests. After election Najam Sethi became the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman. After that PTV held back to participate in bidding of cricket matches’ broadcasting rights,” Khan said.
He also accused Najam Sethi that he was fined of Rs 20 million for not revealing the ownership of one apartment in New York. However, Khan said, in January 2014 the fine was removed perhaps to award him for his services of 35 punctures.
Khan also maintained firmly that after attack on Hamir Mir in Karachi, ISI chief was bashed on the direct orders of Mir Shakeelur Rehman. “A time will come when someone would reveal it in the court,” Khan added.
Speaking against the Mir Shakeelur Rehman, Khan further said that “He lives in Emirates Hill apartment of worth 5 billion rupees. How much tax he pays? If someone would ask then freedom of speech would be under attack.”
Khan put forward the following demands in his press conference:
- Financial irregularities of Geo/Jang group must be investigated.
- How did the former Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaufhry give them fifth licence? It must be looked at.
- Geo must be brought under PEMRA’s rules and regulations.
- All foriegn fundings must be audited and thorough investigations must be carried out that how it affected their editorial.
- Mir Shakeelur Rehman’s personal assets and Independent Group’s assets must be made public, audited and investigated.
- Geo must apologize from PTI’s chairman for hurting his family.
- Geo should apologize from nation for hurting their religious sentiments. They are going against Pakistan’s culture.
In the end, Imran Khan also appealed from the nation to boycott Geo. However, he also maintained that they do not want Geo to be banned.
“Every pharaoh has an end. Mir Shakeelur Rehman attacked me. I ask nation to boycot Geo. Because they do not care about law. and the biggest problem is that PML-N is their ally. PEMRA should have stopped them but they did not,” Khan said in the end.