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Pakistan: Letter by Citizens for Free and Responsible Media re Hateful comments by Abdul Qadeer Khan on Geo TV

by CFRM, 17 August 2012

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[Text of letter to Geo TV, Aamir Liaqat by Citizens for Free and Responsible Media]

To Geo TV, Aamir Liaqat:

We condemn the statement of Abdul Qadeer Khan in the talk show hosted by Amir Liaquat on 14th August 2012, in which he equated Ahmedis (whom he called `Qadianis’) with traitors. It is equally deplorable that the talk show host Aamir Liaquat neither challenged him nor countered his bigoted statement nor any action taken were by the channel to correct this practice.

Dr. Khan would do well to remember the services rendered to Pakistan by the Ahmedia community, including Sir Zafarullah Khan who was one of the movers of the Pakistan Resolution along side of all Ulemas who supported it, and Dr Abdus Salam, the country’s only Nobel Prize winner who attended the Nobel ceremony wearing a sherwani rather than a suit to represent country not faith.

Tying ethnicity and religious sentiments together with national pride and running down Ahmedis has become a cheap way to gain attention in media in Pakistan and this only strengthens hardline attitude and inflames religious intolerance. Sowing the seeds of hatred based on ethnicity and faith leads to more hatred and ultimately violence. Pakistan is already greatly suffering from intolerant ambitions of religious zealots. Geo, A. Q. Khan and Aamir Liaqat should consider the potentially diabolical consequences of such shows on people.

In a country where Shias, Sunnis, Christians, Hindus and Ahmedis are being hunted down and target-killed such a statement is all the more irresponsible and only contributes to the atmosphere being built up that condones such violence. AQ Khan should have used this opportunity to give a message which unite Pakistanis and not divide them. Geo TV and their anchor Amir Liaquat by staying quiescent have failed to the job which nation expect from them and it gives a completely wrong message to masses about Geo TV that in this channel it is completely permissive to make speech which incite hatred and perhaps violence.

We would also like to ask the management of Geo TV what happens to "Geo Usool" when their talk show hosts approvingly allow such statements to be made on their shows and do nothing about it.