ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday once again resorted to hurling baseless allegations against the Geo/Jang Group and accused the Daily Jang and The News editor-in-chief of everything that came to his mind.
Speaking to the media after chairing a meeting of the PTI Core Committee here, Imran mentioned Geo/Jang Group Chief Executive Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s name many times and demanded an audit of his assets through an independent commission.
When asked if he would approach the court with regard to the allegations he had levelled against the Jang Group, he declined to do so. He called on the nation to boycott Geo TV for airing highly objectionable content in one of its shows.
He also asked the Geo management to apologise to the nation for this.
Imran repeated the allegations that the Geo/Jang Group had received foreign funds for agenda-setting.
He again alleged that there was a nexus between the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Geo.
Imran justified launching a campaign against rigging after exhausting all other options, including approaching the Supreme Court, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), parliament and the election tribunals. He reiterated his demand for verification of thumbprints of voters in four constituencies.
The PTI chief criticised Pemra for overlooking violations of its rules.
Imran yet again charged that Geo had indulged in a media trial of the ISI chief on a baseless theory. He alleged the someone who had managed ‘35 punctures’ during the general elections was made PCB chief as a reward by the government.
He went on to allege that the Geo/Jang Group chief executive resorted to a cheap campaign against his person and other members of his family. He charged that the Jang Group chief executive safeguarded his interests by using the platform of the Jang Group and harassed those who spoke against him.
The PTI chairman alleged that the Jang Group owner controlled Pemra through the ruling PML-N and was behind the bowing out of the authority’s chairman recently.
He contended no nation could allow a media group to receive foreign funds and alleged that the Geo/Jang chief executive had become a kingmaker.
However, he said that he never called for the shutting down of Geo TV but he called on the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory (Pemra) to take action with regard to what the channel had been broadcasting.
Online adds: Terming the Jang Group owner a ‘Pharaoh’, Imran Khan challenged him to an open debate.
The PTI chief said Geo has become the B-team of the Nawaz government and the Geo/Jang chief executive was controlling the government through his powerful media house.
He alleged that the Jang Group owner made efforts to remove the Pemra chairman because he had told the Senate’s body about Geo’s financial irregularities.
He said the Jang Group owner is the biggest blackmailer who is working to set an anti-national agenda in the country.
“Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is an anti-state figure, who has maligned the ISI chief on the dictates of anti-Pakistan forces,” he said. “Rahman has become a pharaoh, who thinks that he can seat and unseat governments.”
He alleged that the Geo/Jang group was a tax and Pemra defaulter.
Geo and PML-N’s interests are interlinked, Najam Sethi was made the PCB chief to have the rights of cricket series. The nexus of the PML-N and Geo was further exposed after the Pemra chief was fired by the government on Geo/ Jang Group’s desire.
Under the rules, Pemra can allow a licence of only four channels, but Jang/Geo was seeking a fifth licence, he stated.
“If our regulatory body would have been functional, I would not have addressed this press conference,” he added.
INP adds: Addressing a press conference at his Bani Gala residence, Imran Khan also demanded of the Geo group to apologise to him for launching a propaganda campaign against him (Imran).
Imran Khan also quoted a report of the UK’s House of Lords report which according to him said that Geo received one billion rupees from Britain while the US State Department gave it millions of dollars to run its editorial policy according to their directions. He said in return, the Geo Group assured to promote the US and UK agenda. He said ‘Aman ki Asha’ was run through US funds. He said while his party is in favour of a peaceful eastern border but pointed out that this media group named him ‘Taliban Khan’ for talking of peace on the western borders.
The PTI chief said no country can allow a private TV channel to run the agenda of foreign countries and try to influence the country’s policies.
He also alleged that the group is a defaulter of Pemra, the National Bank and other state institutions. According to Imran Khan, the Pakistan Independent Media owes Rs3.75 billion to state institutions.
NNI adds: Imran alleged that Geo TV has no editorial policy, adding that campaigns are run without any checks. He said that the Geo/Jang chief executive is maligning the country for his personal gains.