The day after the fall of the Musharraf dynasty, Shahid Masood goes on record to write a detailed Urdu column in Jang sharing his experiences with Musharraf in the Presidential House while the dictator bid a tearful adieu to his nation nation. For the record we should recall that Musharraf and Shahid Masood were not exactly chums due to some very confrontational talk show that the spin doctor of Geo has frequently spun out attacks against Musharraf. The newly appointed PTV Chairman was brought in by the newly elected democratic leadership to replace the old PTV boss Yousuf Baig Mirza who has been rumored to have had one too many scandals unto his name [Note: Access to this website is blocked from Pakistan you can use this alternative URL]. Yousuf Baig Mirza, much to disliking of Musharraf was replaced by the host of a highly confrontational show at GEO.tv
In the column titled ‘Rukhsati‘ he so elaborately explained his rendezvous with the President on the fourth floor of the Presidency on the 18th of August to the extent that he quotes Musharraf to have even said ‘Thanks Shahid‘. In all honesty I would not have questioned this editorial and shrugged it off more in the line of just another reactionary column. Had it not been for an email sent to the CEO of jang Group yesterday by a senior producer of Samaa TV who also claims to have been at the Presidency during his address and actually refutes all of Shahid Masood’s editorial we would not have known better.
Granted this could just be another spoof media rivalry between two media houses but one must take a step back and realize the complexity of the issue, Musharraf most definitely did not like Shahid Masood and then to trust the PTV boss with his all important presidential address, I too would have looked at alternative telecasting options – let me not speculate any further, I leave you to decide whats right or whats wrong
After you digest both the Urdu and English essays I let you be the judge to the all important question Is Shahid Masood a Journalist or a Pack of Lies?
This is with reference to my telephonic conversation with this afternoon, in the wake of Dr. Shahind Masood article in Daily Jang on 19 August in the wake of resignation of the President Pervez Musharraf.
In his article, Dr. Shahid Masood adopted the version that he was present in the president house during the President’s speech and he was the person who organized the entire show.
I would like to clear that Dr. Shahid Masood’s article is based on nothing but sheer lies and concocted facts. The fact is that he was not at all present at the fourth floor of the President House where President delivered his last address to the nation.
I am the eyewitness of the entire series of events; I remained in President House from 10 am to 7 pm on 18th August. And as a Senior Producer of Samaa Television I was invited to cover President’s address to nation, and entire technical and production team of Samaa Television was present there.
According to sources in President House, Dr. Shahid was first not allowed to get in to the president house and when he manages to enter the presidency along with PTV staff, he was not allowed to go to the fourth floor from where President will be addressing the nation in short time. Dr. Shahid remained confined to the office of Maj. Gen. (R) Rashid Qureshi’s office at the third floor.
The reason why the president house invited a private TV channel to telecast Presidential address live is that The Presidency could not trust the PTV authorities as PTV did not run President’s speech live on the eve of Independence Day celebrations. On that day (13th August) it was only Samaa TV who broadcast President’s speech live, whereas PTV adopted time delay method due to which other channels who were depending on PTV feed were telecasting President’s speech 15 minutes late, while Samaa was broadcasting President’s speech live. On that occasion Dr. Shahid was present inside the banquet hall but he could not do anything to make sure that President’s speech telecast live on PTV.
The fact is that there were only three camera inside the President’s office. The Samaa TV had its own camera inside and we installed our camera at 11 am. The PTV Camera was installed about 12:30 pm and almost at the same time Eastern Television News , The PTV one camera belongs to Samaa TV, one camera
In his article Dr. Shahid falsely wrote that he was an eye witness to the entire episode, I would like to clear certain facts that he wrongly stated in his article.
He said he was the only journalist present there. Wrong, Dr. Shahid was not there at all, I was there along with my host Uzma Alkarim who later give live video beeper from the gallery of President house on Samaa with me, and my Producer Adeel Ahmed was also there.
The address was telecast from President’s office not from the committee room; if Dr. Shahid was there he should have known from where the speech is going to be telecast.
His comments about the body language of President are baseless as he was not there to see. The Present was smiling before the address and he was looking very calm and peaceful.
He said President was reading points from one paper. Wrong, President had few cards in his hands from which he was reading salient points.
He said that he recorded recitation of Holy Quran and announcement was recorded earlier. Wrong again, the recitation of Holy Quran, was broadcast live not recorded, even the announcement was broadcast live not recorded from the gallery of President House just outside the President’s office.
He said that flag was provided by PTV. Wrong, the flag was there as it always remains there; the flag was there when I first entered the President’s office at about 10 am 2 hours before the PTV crew arrived.
Soon after the address was over, I went into the office along with my colleagues, the President was looking gloomy, however he did try to smile when he saw me. The President first shook with my colleague Uzma Alkarim, than with my Producers Adeel Ahmed and Moeen Khan and said Khuda Hafiz to everyone one by one. Than he moved towards me and said “Khuda hafiz and Thank You Sir”. He tried to give a smile but failed to hide his gloomy face. At that time Uzma Alkarim said “Sir, please don’t worry lots of people are with you”. “I Know” the President replied in a gloomy voice. After that he immediately left the room as Mr. Rashid Qureshi told him that Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar is waiting to meet him.
There was no tea served in his office at all at that particular time.
I don’t know how why Dr. Shahid Masood wrote this article which contains sheer lies. Dr. Shahid Masood was not present there at all; he never met the outgoing President before or after the address. I am the eyewitness to entire event and my technical and production teams are witness to the event that Dr. Shahid Masood was not there.
I wish the Jang group should have at least confirmed from the other sources that whatever that Doctor turned host turn MD PTV has written contains truth or not.
I remember once he said to me in Dubai while having a cup of coffee in Dubai Media City in fact one of the senior Jang Group’s correspondent was there that he is actually an intruder in the field of journalism and today he has once again proved that he is not a journalist but an intruder in the journalistic community.
So whats your analysis
DISCLAIMER: The contents of the email by the Samaa TV producer are the views expressed by Hassan Kazmi alone