HAMID MIR A Pearl of Pakistani Media

Wajahat Ali Khan:-

There are many adorable journalists working in Pakistan, but the truth is that Hamid Mir is a versatile journalist in all of them. I have done journalism about four year with him in, Dily Jang Lahore, the same year when he started in 1987 and we have been friend since then, but I can say loudly that he was ahead from all of us. Hamid has been tireless and dedicated in the line of his work and duty ever since. Although his father, Professor Waris Mir was a big name and well-known figure in journalistic field but according to my view and close observation what Hamid’s career as a journalist today is includes his personal talent, hard work and dedication. Moreover, he has a good knowledge of national and international politics and journalism, he also excellent skills of Urdu, Pujabi and English languages, which makes him standout of the crowd.

The basis of journalism as the fourth estate and a watchdog for corruption and injustice brings an unequivocal responsibility for journalists to be equally skilled and hard-working as they are virtuous and ethical. However, it could be argued that the digital world we live in today, with its instantaneous access to information, click-bait culture and citizen journalism, has seriously impeded the prevalence of quality journalists and I am so much sure Hamid Mir is the only one journalist who showcase outstanding work and is considered as highly influential risk-takers in today’s media still exist. He is also a well-known journalist outside Pakistan including in Europe, England US, and rest of the world.

Hamid got a rich journalistic CV in print & electronic journalism and hosting most popular/trusted television talk show, Capital Talk, on Geo tv. Personally, he is a curious, hardworking, passionate, impartial, and attentive person in his journalistic history, he has conducted countless interviews with Osma bin Ladin, Pakistani and foreign heads of government, given many special reports for newspapers and television which no one else could. Numerous international journalistic and human rights organisations have also given their highest awards to him, I think Hamid deserves this praise. Hamid Mir is a kind of journalist/anchor who can push himself to dig deeper and ask tough questions with due people’s respect and put personal feelings aside to boldly unearth the truth to newsworthy people along with impeccable. He is always willing to dig, to call people, to show up to check out the facts and poke about in musty archives. In this Age of Google, a real journalist would not just cast about online, but would wander off into the real world to talk one-on-one when necessary. A real journalist cultivates sources not just at the top, but at other levels from where the top can be seen with a different sort of clarity. Including at the bottom, where the fallout from the rest can inevitably be found, and Hamid has all these qualities which makes him most resilient Journalist.

He is the only journalist who is trend setter in Pakistani media. I can say with full responsibility that Hamid Mir never come under any pressure from any institution, because he didn’t do any corruption, maybe that’s why any government and the institutions who hold discretion power are angry or upset with him most of the time. He was attacked several times; latest he was deadly attacked in 2016 in Karachi when he was seriously injured.
Hamid is often accused being a traitor/agent etc, but ,wise peoples, understand that such accusations are made in, crime, of speaking or writing the truth, and i am fully convinced that hamid is a true and patriotic Pakistani. So, for me, Hamid Mir is more than brilliant, sharp, and intelligent from Larry King, Lester Holt, Christiana Amanpour, Robert Fisk or Stephen Seckur etc, because Mir is always raising the voice of truth in unfavourable conditions and a suffocated frighten society. But these western journalists are free from any restrictions said above. So, I am right to saying that Hamid Mir is a pearl of Pakistani media.

Most Resilient Journalist of Pakistan

By Murtaza Baloch
Hamid Mir Graduated from GCU Lahore and did his maste’s in mass communication from University of Punjab, Lahore. He started writing in Ravi Magazine when he was student at Government College University Lahore in 1984-85. Hamid Mir is now a famous Pakistani media star who is well known in all international media circles. He started his career from Daily Jang Lahore in 1987 as Sub-Editor and Reporter. He is hosting a most popular television show “Capital Talk” on Geo News since 2002. His talk show is being considered as the trend setter in Pakistani electronic media. He started open debates not only between govt and opposition on TV screen but also started talk shows in conflict zones. His real strength is his columns. He is writing not only for Pakistani but also for Indian and Bangladeshi newspapers.

He is a strong voice for human rights and media freedom. He is author of many books. He lost jobs many times due to writing against the corruption of political governments. He lost his job first time in 1994 when Benazir Bhutto was Prime Minister. He lost his job second time in 1997 when Nawaz Sharif was Prime Minister. He was banned by a military dictator General Pervez Musharraf for many months in 2007.He started road shows during lawyer?s movement. CNN and Washington Post covered those road shows in 2007.
He survived many assassinations attempts on his life due to his brave journalism. He is still carrying two bullets in his body. Terrorist Taliban accepted the responsibility of planting a bomb under his car because he openly challenged their extremist ideology, but Hamid Mir survived that attack in 2012.He was again attacked in 2014 in Karachi. He got 6 bullets, but he survived. He refused to leave Pakistan and continued raising voice against enforced disappearances and spoke against enemies of media freedom with more courage. His problems were not over after 2014.He faced blasphemy charges, murder and kidnapping charges and even spying for India charges after 2014 as blackmailing tactics but nothing was proved against him in any court of law. He won all legal battles.

Hamid Mir received the “Most Resilient Journalist Award” in 2016 in The Hague, Netherlands by Free Press Unlimited. He received 15,000 Euros as award money, but he distributed his award money among the families of some deserving Pakistani journalists who were killed in the line of their duty. Hamid Mir is also running a Journalist Support Fund for the welfare of needy media workers through National Press Club Islamabad and PFUJ.
He is the only Pakistani journalist who was appreciated for his courageous journalism by many international media outlets. Washington Post published a front-page story about his life on 25th July 2015 and declared him the most popular journalist in Pakistan who interviewed Osama bin Laden three times and discovered Noble Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai from the mountain valley of Swat which was under the occupation of Taliban in 2009. Hamid Mir created many records in Pakistani journalism. He became youngest editor of a Pakistani newspaper at the age of 36 in 1996.
He got the best Urdu Columnist Award of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) in 1998 at the age of 38.He received SAARC Life Time Achievement Award from SAARC Writers in New Delhi in 2010.He received Hilal-e-Imtiaz (a civilian award) from Government of Pakistan in 2013 for his services for
journalism. A Paris based Media body, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) declared him an Information Hero in 2014. RSF and AFP (News Agency) included Hamid Mir in 100 all-time heroes of press freedom in 2015. A book was published from Paris about all 100 all times press freedom heroes
which included Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Che Guevara, Malala Yousafzai, Hamid Mir and some other personalities. Hamid Mir won many legal battles for press freedom and media ethics in Pakistani courts. He filed a constitutional petition in Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2012 against bribing journalists through a secret fund used by Information Ministry. Hamid Mir demanded to abolish the secret fund and highlighted the need for a media code of ethics. Superior Court abolished the secret fund of Information Ministry and formed a media commission to make a code of ethics and ultimately a code of ethics was enforced by Supreme Court through Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority. This is the credit of a working journalist that he raised voice against a secret fund and introduced a code of ethics for electronic media through Supreme Court.
Hamid Mir was included in the International Jury of UNESCO World Press Freedom Award in 2019. He was also included in the International Jury of RSF in 2020 for RSF Press Freedom Award. He is the only Pakistani journalist who is part of two international juries for media freedom awards. Hamid Mir interviewed many world leaders like Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, John Kerry, Colin Powel, Iranian President Ahmadi Nijad, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, British PM Tony Blair, and Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Senha, BJP leader L K Advani, Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan. He is the only Pakistani journalist who has the unique experience of covering wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Chechnya, Bosnia and many other conflict zones. He also organized interfaith dialogue of Muslims, Christians and Jews in New York.
We Ravians are proud of old Ravians like Allama Iqbal, Faiz Ahmad, Khushwant Singh, Dr Abdul Salam and Hamid Mir.

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