Shahzaib Khanzada failed to copy Kamran Khan style during his show on GEO News:
Shahzaib Khanzada failed to copy Kamran Khan style during his show on GEO News:
“What do you expect when you are cohorting with a venomous snake? It will make others abandon you and one day it will bite you in your own a**!” said my friend who used to work as a stylist at Geo Entertainment while talking about the infamous Shaista Lodhi-blasphemy fiasco.
Shaista Lodhi (previously known as Shaista Wahidi) became a household name for being the exuberant host of the morning shows, more recently at Geo TV Network. However, the same stint at Geo that brought her fame almost destroyed her personal and onscreen life inconsolably.
With the recently surfaced EMAIL Conversation, Mir Shakeel has left Shaista Lodhi alone in the line of fire facing the consequences of the backlash of doing a show that construed anti-Islamic and blasphemous sentiments – but also has added insult to injury by GEO suing Shaista Lodhi itself singling her out to be the responsible person for getting the blasphemous content on air.
Email of Shaista wahidi authenticated by Mir Shakeel himself by submitting it in Suit No. 1425/2014 filed in Sindh High Court!!!
It is no hidden truth that the show was totally orchestrated and planned by Mir Shakeel, who has Veena Malik on his Dubai payroll since the time she let the Indian Media published her nude photos with “ISI” tattooed on her arms. Mir Shakeel was equally responsible for that stint at that time as he is now for this one except for the fact that this time he is totally exposed!
The recent email of Shaista from August 2014 makes startling revelation about how GEO treats rather mistreats its employees no matter what they have delivered in the past for the GEO Mafia. Employees at GEO/Jang group and their family members are questioning that if this treatment is given to the top celebrity like Shaista then how they would deal with employees who do not have celebrity status and are place at middle or junior layers in the organization??
In the email to Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman, Shaista insisted that she has been “abandoned” and faced “insulting, callous and degrading” response from her previous employer, even leading to her landlord sending her notice of eviction due to non-payment by her employer as per the contract. She also goes on to reveal that she will not hold back any information regarding the incident (allegedly the involvement of Mir Shakeel in blasphemy fiasco in her show) even claiming to go “all out” if denied her contractual rights and warned of the “consequences which [she] will still want to avoid”.
However, Mir Shakeel ur Rehman – being the master manipulator and blackmailer of his own legion, inversely sued Shaista Lodhi in Sindh High Court! Under the Suit No. 1425/2014 Independent Media Corporation Vs. Shaista Lodhi, the applicant (Independent Media Corporation) goes to blame the defendant, Shaista Lodhi as the one to blame as the host of the show due to which “religious feelings of many Muslims got hurt.” Thus accepting in the court on oath that the feelings of many Muslims got hurt by that program.
My friend quipped, “Shaista got bit badly by the Baray Mir Sahab! She knew what she was doing while doing that Veena Malik controversial show. She was reluctant to pursue it but she was assured thoroughly by Mir Shakeel not to worry. Look, who is the biggest of her worry now – Mir Shakil himself! Oh the irony!”
Being criminally sued in Pakistan is not a new thing for Geo/Jang Group owner Mir Shakeel Ur Rahman where he can take the advantage of our weak judiciary and flaws in our legal system and his affair with Nawaz Government. Not only has this ease at avoiding the litigations and their consequence had elevated his sense of recklessness and confidence of running a blackmailing mafia under the cover of a media organization. But seemingly Mir Shakeel’s fate has thrown him into rather “unchartered territory” for him – the ‘not-so-easy-to-hoodwink” foreign courts!
Mir Shakeel ur Rahman has been known to sabotage any competitor that seeks to get in the way of his own profit maximizing schemes – whether in print or electronic media. He has been successful in manipulating the situations to bring down competitors including famous publication like Pakistan Times in the 70’s. Last year he tried to the same strategy when a competitor named BOL Network surfaced with job offers significantly more lucrative than that offered by Jang and Geo Group. In result, hundreds of Jang/Geo Employees applied in the new media house seeking better career opportunity. Mir Shakeel started a slanderous campaign against BOL, which resulted in BOL filing a lawsuit against Mir Shakeel and his Independent Media Corporation (IMC PVT Ltd). But Mir Shakeel has left no stone unturned to keep the cases pending in the courts by using every hook and crook at his dispense.
Little did he know that he has bitten off more than what he could chew from BOL networkwhomoved the international courts of law to get Mir Shakeel to face his crimes without using his devious ways to keep out of harm’s way.Not only Bol Network managed to launch multiple lawsuits in USA, UK and elsewhere but also get their case registered at Dubai Police. Mir Shakeel-ur-Rahman and his son Mir Ibrahim were arrested by Dubai Police for questioning. This might serve as a shock for Mir Shakeel who considered Dubai to be his ironclad safe harbor from where he controlled his business away from the hands of Pakistani law enforcement agencies.Keeping in view the extent of international exposure and influence of BOL’s parent group being a global IT Enterprise and having many years of experience and partners and legal associates all over the world, it comes as no surprise when they come after him reportedly in USA, UK and also Dubai. Seemingly Mir Shakeel ur Rahman is now in a big fix all across the globe including UAE where he is facing criminal defamation charges and possibly looking at time behind bars and nowhere to run.
In a shocking television transmission that stunned the Pakistani viewers all around the world, distinguished Geo TV anchor, Kamran Khan announced that he is parting ways with Geo/Jang Group, effectively severing a 32-year old bond. Kamran Khan bade goodbye to his now-ex employer media group with much respect and integrity. However, if we delve deeper behind the scenes, there might be more to this shocking move by Kamran Khan.
It may seem that it was an amicable separation, but to the media experts and analysts share a completely different perspective. Geo/Jang Group and its owners have been finding themsleves involved in quite a few controversies over the course of the last year. Kamran Khan was reportedly uncomfortable with Geo News’ stance as dictated by its owner Mir Shakil Ur Rahman; so much so that 30+ years of working in the same organization seemed difficult for Kamran Khan to last any longer.
Reportedly, Kamran Khan voiced his concern regarding all these anti-Pakistani agenda to the owner of Geo/Jang Group and even spoke out about it on air that if Geo News found involved in receiving foreign funding for airing programming found to be biased and selling a paid-for agenda, he will distance himself from this organization. However, Mir Shakil Ur Rehman and company were hell-bent upon following their agenda and since Kamran Khan could not fix this, he decided it would be better to leave with his integrity intact rather than be a part of something he believed to be against Pakistan or the journalistic ethics he believes in.
The recent move by Kamran Khan quitting Jang/Geo network resonates his firm stance at no-toleration policy at being a ethically sold-out journalist for the price of money and his patriotism. For that, Kamran Khan will always be a respected individual in Pakistan. Likewise, his last words on Geo were,” Let the decisions in media enterprises be made in the newsroom and not by the owners. Pakistan will never be truly democratic unless the media is run freely.”
The humid yet cloudy weather at dusk looks like an omen for a storm stirring up in the gulf, but apparently it is not the only storm that is going to have a ripple effect all across the gulf to the Arabian Sea in Pakistan. As what information my friend, who also happens to be a journalist working in a reputable local publication in UAE unraveled to me is no short of a whirlwind shaking up the Pakistani media scene as we know it!
As per his source in Dubai Police, a criminal investigation case (Case No. 1108/2014) against the owners of Jang/Geo Group, Mir Shakil ur Rehman and his son, Mir Ibrahim is being processed at the request by an upcoming Pakistani media group, BOL Network, on the basis of “Criminal Defamation.” Apparently, after initial investigation, Dubai Police has found the claim sound and registered the case and called Mir Shakil and Mir Ibrahim to the Police station. When they didn’t show up after being called twice, the police officials went to their residence at Emirates Hill area. After that, a rather shaky Mir Shakil was seen appearing in the Dubai Police station at Jebel Ali for the related police inquiry roughly around July 10 or so. He was drilled for 3 hours by police official equivalent to an ASI in Pakistan.Imagine what will be the feelings of the person whose one call in Pakistan a few months ago can bring the IG of any province down to his knees.
If proven guilty, Mir Shakil ur Rehman and Mir Ibrahim look at about 5 to 10 years of imprisonment with damages as per the UAE laws against defamation subsequent deportation to land in Pakistan where already around 100 criminal cases are pending against them; This doesn’t seem farfetched considering similar cases resulting in severe actions against the guilty in UAE.
Mir Shakil ur Rehman, not new to the lawsuits in Pakistan, is already facing numerous lawsuits in Pakistani courts brought up by BOL Network after he started spreading organized rumors and tried publishing false news against the upcoming media network in his publications, Daily Jang and The News. But as the judicial process in Pakistan takes ages for cases to be addressed, the legally savvy strategists of BOL stripped him in Dubai as Mir Shakil is known to have permanent residence with large wealth in Dubai
“The Mir family is trying really hard to contain this news from spreading in Pakistani media industry, but this news is already circling among the top media officials with 1-2 members of Geo/Jang’s top management already looking for options to make the move away from being further associated with the Jang group and the Mirs,” said the journalist lighting his cigarette, “Mir Shakil is trying hard to get out of this fix by making their Indian allies put pressure on Dubai prosecutors to kill the case but the case is still alive so far. It’s not easy to shush Dubai Police once they catch the whiff of something suspicious. It’s not Pakistan! This actually can turn out to be Mir Shakil’s worst nightmare. He considered Dubai a safe haven, now the hands of law have clasped him here as well!”
Last year, the Ramadan television ratings in Pakistan were totally dominated by Geo TV, primarily because of Amir Liaquat’s Ramadan transmissions. However, since then the highly polarizing television host left the Geo Network along with Geo TV’s latest debacles with PEMRA and ISI bringing bad name to the channel has cost both the parties heavily. As a result, this year Geo or Amir Liaquat are able to score the top spot in the television ratings war.
The consequent gap left in the market has been filled by ARY Digital who took full advantage of the situation by getting a head start. In the first half of this year’s Ramadan, ARY digital tops the rankings. Apparently, the TV programme, “Jeeto Pakistan” surfaced as the new favorite TV show of Pakistani audience, particularly females. With 1285 GRPs, ARY digital became the most watched channel in the first 15 days of Ramadan.
ARY digital’s closest competitor has been Express Entertainment with 1230 GRPs. Apparently, the reason for this has been former Geo TV’s anchor Amir Liaquat Hussain’s show, “Pakistan Ramadan” which has retained a chunk of the audience for Express Entertainment. However, none of the old charm remains in his transmissions and Express Entertainment might find it very difficult to attain the top spot. However, the good news for the 2 aforementioned Tv channels is that it is a two-horse race as the third ranked channel, HUM Tv is well behind with 585 GRPs.
What remains to be seen is how long this sustainability shown by ARY is going to last. Next year Ramzan battle does not seem to simmer down with the rumors of Geo coming up with strategies to regain its spot while highly expected tough competition from upcoming BOL TV is also expected.
Pakistani Media Scenario is no less than a warzone since last few months, with Media mafias being exposed like Mir Shakil ur Rahman (Geo and Jang Group) with their underlying agendas against Pakistan Army and ISI under the cover of a media house uncovered. Geo Group further faced a major backlash regarding an alleged attempt of blasphemy on a morning show, which resulted in further backlash from public and PEMRA alike resulting in a 15 days nationwide ban on Geo News and severe hatred for the GEO and Jang group among the masses.
This provided competitors like Express News, ARY News and Dunya the golden opportunity to capture the market. But somehow,these channels failed to do so, mainly the reason being the lack of resources and quality programming that could not get the attention of the audience in that way to watch their channel.
All the media pundits who have observed Mir Shakil ur Rahman’s longstanding use of media as a mafia have predicted that he will not rest until he get his vendetta in motion against Army and ISI once again after Operation Zarb-e-Azb settles. Who knows what may be next in Geo agenda after Army and PTI – PEMRA? Supreme Court? Government of Pakistan and PML(N)?
The current situation in Pakistani media all the more calls for a player that can stand against Geo TV’s incessant revengenda against those who have ousted them for what they really are – blackmailers under the cover of media moguls! There is a gap to be filled by a voice that will not only supersede Geo in terms of financial muscle but also the quality of programming and neutrality of its agenda. None of the present players in the market has risen up to the occasion.Most of them falling short due to their comparatively limited resources and low professionalism. Geo still thrives on the prowess of its widespread reach.However, the newcomer Bol TV network, with its claim to be “Pakistan’s imminent Number 1 media enterprise” and the market abuzz with big names in Pakistani media making the move to Bol, seems to be someone who will take on Geo TV’s tyranny by coming with a plan, HR driven policies, robust systems, state of the art infrastructure and a claim to have an independent editorial board. BOL claims to bring a technological and professional revolution in Pakistani media, which is expected to throttle the reach on its launch beyond the level attained by Geo even after decades in business. With the launch of BOL it cannot be business as usual for GEO. One thing we can be sure of is that the upcoming few months will be the one to decide the fate of Pakistani media in coming years!