Bit more than they could chew? Jang Group Owner Mir Shakeel-ur-Rahman In Major Legal Fix internationally!

  • Amid multiple legal threats, BOL group currently poses the biggest legal threat to the Mir empire internationally

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.

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The REAL Story behind Kamran Khan’s departure from Geo/Jang Group

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.”

 

 

GEO/JANG Group Owner Mir Shakil ur Rehman faces Criminal charges by Dubai Police at BOL Network’s application

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!”

Who is the new Ramzan Transmission Top Eyeballs Scorer in Pakistan?

  • Recent events in Pakistani media reflect in the ratings received in the first half of Ramzan
  • ARY, Express and Geo fight neck to neck for the maximum TRP!

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.

Will Apple remove ‘Geo’,’ Jang’ and ‘The News International’ iOS apps from iTunes Store?

As per CNN iReport, Apple’s motion to dismiss the case rejected by U.S Federal Court.

Apple to either remove the trademark infringing apps by Independent Media Corporation from iTunes store or face the legal proceedings

Just when you think Geo Network would not dare to create another embarrassing scene on an international level for Pakistani Media after the infamous faux pas with their rendezvous with Hindustan Times back in 2013, Geo Network proves to top their earlier mistake off by again making Pakistan’s name hit the news for all the wrong reasons. International Technological circles are abuzz with the latest Trademark Infringement suit being faced by Apple Inc for offering Geo Network’s apps: “Geo News”, “Jang” and “The News International” on iTunes store.

As per the news report on CNN iReport, Apple Inc.  is facing a legal suit (No. 1:13-CV-13130-RWZ), filed by a person named Naeem Ahmed, who claims to own the copyright and trademark usage of the terms “JANG” “GEO” and “THE NEWS INTERNATIONAL”, which happen to be the names of the applications being offered by Independent Media Corporation (Pvt) Limited (Parent company of Geo Network and Daily Jang) through the Apple’s iTunes Store.

apple Geo News iphone app trademark

Previously, Facebook also restricted access to ‘Daily Jang’ and ‘The News International’ official facebook pages in USA, UK and Canada based on the trademark infringement. Google Play, the android app market, has already removed the trademark infringing android apps from being offered in the Play Store to android users based on the trademark infringement claim. Apple, however, opted to serve a ‘Motion to Dismiss’ the trademark infringement notice, in response to which District Justice, of United States Federal Court for District of Massachusetts, has denied Apple’s “Motion to Dismiss” the complaint.

Trademark Infringement seems to merely add a “feather in the cap” for Mir Shakeel ur Rahman, owner of Geo News and Daily Jang, who is no stranger to controversy and lawsuits. Be it tax evasions and financial misrepresentation amounting to millions of Rupees or using his media enterprise for blackmailing, manipulation and promoting paid foreign agendas, the grimy history of Mir Shakeel ur Rahman’s career offers a wide array of utter disregard to laws and ethical boundaries. Despite all the evidences available and even broadcasted on online media, talk shows as well as the “Khara Sach” book published by Mubasher Lucman, the legal and regulatory authority are continuing their act of obliviousness.

Whether Apple decides to fight the legal battle or look for an out-of-settlement after the backlash by removing the controversial infringing apps of Jang, Geo and The News International from its iTunes store, the damage done to Pakistani Media Industry’s reputation and its morality has been done irrevocably by this disregard to intellectual property practiced by Geo Network on an international scale. The Government of Pakistan as well as the concerned regulatory body, PEMRA, should also take notice of the disciplinary violence of international laws at the part of Jang and Geo Network.

Geo Network’s Indian Debacle with Hindustan Times – A tale of conspiracy gone haywire!

  • Internal Investigation Report of Hindustan Times after publishing the false Dawood Ibrahim – BOL story LEAKED! 
  • GEO/Jang Owner Mir Shakeel ur Rahman, Businessman Jahangir Siddiqui and their rendezvous with Indian Intelligence & Hindustan Times Senior official unraveled.

The story mentioned below might not win an Oscar for best screenplay for a motion picture but it sure does consist of all elements for an exciting Hollywood Noir Thriller- an international conspiracy, a mafia lord, meetings in the dark of the night and a toe-curling investigation. For the sake of amusement, let’s call it the grand script for “Geo Network’s Indian Misadventure with Hindustan Times – A tale of conspiracy gone haywire!” The story is told by the leaked internal investigation report carried out by Hindustan Times after publishing an article based on nothing but thin air, that resulted in facing litigation from the offended parties. The article, that was published on Sunday – 29 September 2013, claimed that internationally renowned underworld don Dawood Ibrahim is the actual owner of the upcoming Pakistani media enterprise, BOL Network.

BOL Pakistan vs Geo India

The article was taken down within a few days after publication from Hindustan Times Website and a clarification has also been made regarding the authenticity of the claims made. It all happened when a high level internal inquiry was ordered by the chairpersons office of Hindustan times upon receiving a legal notice. The Chairperson and Editorial Director, Hindustan Times initiated an internal inquiry with the help of the Foreign editor of Hindustan Times, Pramit Pal Chaudhuri and their legal consultants Karanjawala & Co. regarding the source of this published news article and the internal source behind making this non-story a front page article. The HT enquiry team uncovered involvement of Pakistan’s Jang/Geo Media Group owner, Mir Shakeel ur Rahman, whose allegiance with an Indian intelligence official made it possible for a senior Hindustan Times Editor to get a source-less story on the front page of a nationwide newspaper as well as a headlining story on their web edition. The chairpersons office was shocked to find out that HT published a story that was already published by Jang/Geo group on their newspapers and website 90 days ago out of fear of competition that BOL has unleashed. The HT editor has no explanation for publishing that story against BOL without even referring to the rivalry and the originally published story. The story also linked Aqeel Karim Dedhi (AKD) a Pakistani businessman with Dawood Ibrahim for no reason other than the fact that there is a fierce rivalry between AKD and Mir Shakeel-ur-Rahman of Jang/Geo group along with Shakeel’s Samdhi (daughter’s father-in-law) Mr Jahangir Siddiqui. Mr AKD has filed several cases against Mir Shakeel and Jehangir Siddiqui and there is an intense fight going on between them.

This fact alone was enough for the HT enquiry team to believe that Jang/geo group is behind this publication. The following are the findings of the leaked internal investigation report of Hindustan times:

It can be safely assumed that Mir Shakeel ur Rahman sought for a way out that would tarnish the reputation of 2 of its biggest rivals (Upcoming media group BOL Media and AKD) who have already gone into defamation lawsuits against him. For this purpose, Mir Shakeel ur Rahman, using his contacts in Indian Intelligence, took a senior official of Hindustan Times, C.N. (Only Initials of the HT employee mentioned in the leaked report) into the fold and scheduled a meeting.

On Friday 27th September 2013, the scheduled meeting was held at Grand Hyatt Hotel, Mumbai at 8:30 PM IST. The meeting was a hushed private affair booked under aliases to avoid trace, in a pure Hollywood Noir fashion. The said meeting was attended by the senior official of Hindustan Times (C.N.), the representative of Indian Intelligence serving the liaison role and Mr. Jahangir Siddiqui, representing Jang/Geo Group and who being a stock broker is in direct competition with Aqeel Karim Dhedi (AKD) who himself owns several stock broking firms and is his biggest business rival for many years. Mr. Jahangir Siddiqui’s visit to India was kept under wraps even from his own office staff although the source warrants his presence claiming that Mr. Siddiqui’s passport can be used as an evidence of his presence in Mumbai during the time meeting was held. Mir Shakeel ur Rahman, who was in London at that time, participated in the meeting through telephone.

It was decided that associating the underworld element of Dawood Ibrahim with the competitors of Jang/Geo and Jahangir Siddiqui, right at the time when the Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers are about to meet will make a desirable impact for all the parties involved in this scheme. The material for this story came from the previous defamatory activities including the anti-BOL article once published (and taken down) by The News International and Daily jang of Jang/Geo group, three months ago.

With limited time in hand given the scheduled meeting of the premiers of both countries, the prepared article was given OK to be published as front-page news with absolutely no source quoted and no background check made in the evening of 28th September 2013. Such a hasty action was only possible through the persuading power of C.N. and overbearing pressure from intelligence given the foreseen discussions to be made in the scheduled meeting of both countries’ delegates the next day.

The news article was published in all editions of Sunday’s Hindustan Times nationwide on 29 September 2013. Catching up on the published story, few electronic media groups also broadcasted news reports regarding this story.

On 4th October 2013, the Chairperson was presented the outcome of internally conducted inspection regarding the faux pass committed by Hindustan Times. As per the inspection report, the involvement of C.N. being the lead conspirator of the news came into light, which brought him into circle of interrogation. Upon being assured job security as well as indemnification of any action, C.N. revealed that he forwarded the story for publication because of excessive pressure from intelligence, which was working in allegiance with the Pakistani Geo/Jang Media Group. Upon receiving this information, the Chairperson decided to take down the published news report from the Hindustan Times website.

When asked to comment on this removal of the story and the involvement of the Jang/Geo group, the representatives of BOL Network and Axact denied to make a comment regarding the story. Later they communicated their official response through an update posted on the “Response” page of their official website; confirming that after initiating litigation against Hindustan Times for publishing the slanderous article, Hindustan times has removed the article “realizing the fallacy of the article and maintaining high journalistic ethics.

Big Names in Pakistani Media Making the Move to BOL TV

  • Kamran Khan, Talat Hussain, Shahzeb Khanzada, Jasmine Manzoor among the names billed to be the part of BOL Network.

  • Top Management and Technical Staff of other Media Houses also rumoured to make the move.

Summer is not over yet in Pakistan but the Big Birds of Pakistani Media have already started the migration to warmer and greener pastures. With the advent of Bol Network in the Pakistani Media, a shock wave has been created, ripple effects of which can be seen throughout the media scene in Pakistan. From Newscasters & leading Anchorpersons to the top management of all leading media groups of Pakistan have allegedly signed on to become the part of , what Bol TV terms as, “The Media Revolution” in Pakistan.

As per the latest buzz in the media circles, many big names in Pakistani Television and Print industry, including Geo Network’s pioneer anchorperson Kamran Khan as well as previously associated anchorperson Sana Bucha, Express News’ Shahzeb Khanzada, Director (News) Dawn News Zahid Mazhar and Samaa TV’s previously headlining anchor Jasmine Manzoor, are billed to be the part of the upcoming Bol Network. The resignation by Express News’ senior anchorperson Talat Hussain is also reported to be a step towards joining the same group. Many renowned newscasters such as Ayesha Bukhsh and Junaid Ahmed have also been approached reportedly.

Other than the on-camera professionals, the top management and technical staff are also said to be making the move to BOL; with MD Geo Network, Azhar Abbas resigning from GEO network already rumored to already have joined BOL TV.

While few consider this pool of powerful media personalities at one platform a red flag for all other media houses who would have to face a tough competition from a newcomer in the race for ratings and ultimately, advertisement revenue; many journalists and media personalities consider the start of BOL TV a change, that will provide good working conditions and employment opportunities for the present and upcoming media professionals. Along with it, a new media house with a pool of experienced  media professionals might put an end to the tyranny created by a few media houses and will prove to be a step towards developing a more mature and responsible Pakistani media. Only the time will unfold if the claimed media revolution will do its bidding or not.