KARACHI: Geo and Jang Media Group headquarters here were attacked on Sunday by protesters.
The crowd broke down the entrance gate installed at the building’s entrance and the main entrance of the building. Staff inside the building were also violently attacked and pushed, according to Geo News.
According to Geo Karachi Bureau chief Faheem Siddiqui, the protesters attacked the building “under a complicated plot”. He said the protests had been announced beforehand but “no law enforcement officers were present”.
Protesters were reportedly outraged by a video from the Geo News program on social media, an edited version of which has gone viral, said Siddiqui. “What you see on social media is not what is said at the event,” he said, adding that Geo News had also aired clarifications and apologies at the same event. “What remains to be known is who these protesters are,” he added.
Announcer Irshad Bhatti of the television show “Khabarnaak” clarified that his show is one of comedy and satire and “Sindh and Sindhi are as part of his identity as any other province.” Ladies and gentleman, welcome. I want to state here, that in the last one or two performances, our brothers from Sindh, who on the one hand showed us a lot of appreciation and gave us a lot of love, on the other hand, raised objections to a sentence or two.
“I want to tell everyone that this is a satire and comedy program, and the way Punjab, KP, Balochistan, GB, Azad Kashmir is loved by me, Sindh and Sindhis is part of my identity. My life is dedicated to Sindh and Sindhis, ”he said.
Sindh Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah arrived at the scene and proceeded to resolve the issue by speaking to the protesters. He has previously also appeared on the air to express solidarity with media groups.
When asked why the police did not act immediately, Shah said he strongly condemns such violence. “I spoke to the SSP and I was told the protest was going from the Shaheen Complex to the Press Club, but they are coming here.”
He says everyone has the right to protest but no one has the right to harm anyone. “Action will be taken against whoever takes over the law.”
The Information Minister said Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah had also ordered “firm action” to be taken against all those found involved.
Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz, speaking to Geo News, said violence was unacceptable under any circumstances. “If someone has a complaint or objection, they always have the option of making a formal protest […] I’ve found that the issue relates to shows where some light humor is shown.
“The direct responsibility is the Sindh government […] why aren’t there any security forces available? “He asked.
Karachi Press Club (KPC) President Fazil Jamili expressed his grief at the attack and condemned the move. “Every opinion expressed by an analyst is his own and does not constitute an opinion of the media. And if any announcer’s words hurt someone […] I see Geo News has aired an apology too. After that, this problem must be resolved.
“But to create trouble and use it to drive a campaign against Geo, bring mobs to offices and destroy buildings, attack staff, is completely unacceptable. “The Press Club strongly condemns this incident and we are investigating ourselves which elements were behind the attack, which targeted such major media,” he said.
Jamili said the Sindh government had to ensure a transparent investigation and regretted that the police were unable to prevent such an increase in violence. “The crowd is still outside the office. I would say the police have to come and arrest them, ”he added.
Sindh governor Imran Ismail said it was an unfortunate incident that had occurred and expressed his sympathy. “We have to understand people’s sensitivity when broadcasting something on our channel. Something happened that hurt people’s sentiment. To my knowledge, Geo apologized and clarified so that this matter should just be left alone.
“They can protest peacefully with banners, but violence can never be supported. So to all those protesting outside, I ask: Please accept Geo’s apologies and clarifications. I’m sorry no matter what. This is completely at odds with the hospitality and love for people who are an integral part of Sindh values and culture, ”said Imran.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed condemned the attack on the Geo News building and called it an “act of cowardice”.
“The government completely believes in freedom of the press,” said Rasheed, adding: “I hope the Sindh government will ensure the safety of Jang Geo’s office.” He said his ministry would provide all possible support.
Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry also condemned the attack and demanded that the police take action against those responsible. “Fighting doesn’t mean you round up 200-400 people and attack somewhere,” he said.
PML-N spokesman Marriyum Aurangzeb, condemned the incident, saying that it had to be investigated in a transparent and impartial manner. “We express our solidarity with Geo News,” he said.
PPP MPA Awais Qadir Shah said that the attack was carried out under the pretext of protest. “This is a very unfortunate incident that can no longer be condemned,” he said. Shah said that the Peoples Party supports freedom of expression and a fair investigation into the incident.