ISLAMABAD - Going a step forward from his previous position, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Friday called for ending 'one sided media trial' of Pakistan's armed forces and defence institutions in the ‘national interest’.
Commenting on the situation arising out of attack on TV anchor Hamid Mir, the minister told a select group of journalists at his Parliament House chamber that the government stood behind the armed forces and its intelligence institutions.
He condemned statement of Hamid Mir, given to media through his brother Amir Mir, saying this should have been given to judicial commission or police. He also rejected some claims of Mir regarding Islamabad Police, saying some contents of his statement were contrary to facts and it compelled him to talk with the media.
"No one should be in any misunderstanding about government position on protection of respect and honour of defence institutions... Not only law but also constitution binds them (government) to fulfil this responsibility (to protect defence institutions).”
Nisar however clarified that he was not at all a spokesman of defence institutions. He said he never took dictation from any quarters and it was his conscience that compelled him to what he thought was ‘exactly right’ thing to do.
"I want to repeat that we have heartiest sympathies with Hamid Mir and his family and as interior minister, it’s my responsibility to get this matter fully investigated and bring culprits to book." But, he said, as a Pakistani and a federal minister it was his responsibility to ensure constitutional and legal protection of defence institutions.
The minister said Sindh Police was investigating the incident while federal government has also constituted three member commission comprising apex court judges which would give its report within 21 days.
"With this background, it should have happened that all proofs should either be presented before commission or police..., but unfortunately one-sided media trial has been started." This media trial should come to an end as it would create misunderstandings, as is evident from yesterday's statement of Hamid Mir. He said if there were any reservations about police or commission, there was a proper way to get them addressed.
He said enemy countries would take advantage of the situation. "This could be seen from the press coverage of India and US the next day to the incident." He said country needed independent media but respectful defence institutions as well.
Nisar said after getting through information from Islamabad Police, it transpired that neither any untoward incident happened with Mir in the capital during this governments’ period nor he registered any complaint with police. He said police contacted Mir and his brother and they told them that one of the incidents mentioned in the Mir’s statement occurred in 2012 and the other five years ago.
To a question, he said he had seen a commitment from armed forces and ISI to expose the culprits of attack on Mir. “But we have no right to become judge, jury and prosecutors.” He said he had protested with Taliban peace committee on TTP’s criticising defence institutions in connection with attack on Mir.