Jang Group stands firm against orchestrated campaign, baseless allegations #GeoPakistan

November 03, 2013 - Updated 221 PKT
From Web Edition

KARACHI: Jang/Geo Group continues to stand firm against an orchestrated campaign launched against the group on television, print and social media. Unfounded allegations were recently made against the group by a TV anchor on a private news channel.

Jang/Geo Group had been accused by the anchor of having ties with an Indian intelligence agency and using these links to plant a story against an upcoming channel in the Hindustan Times. The basis for this was a report which is alleged to be an internal inquiry of the Hindustan Times.

The Hindustan Times has denied that any internal inquiry was conducted on the story which stated that Indian citizen Dawood Ibrahim is launching a project with the help of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. The false report was also published by another media group.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has also since then barred the anchor, Zaid Hamid and senior journalist Mehmood Sham from publishing or broadcasting any defamatory material against Jang Group. The order was issued after Independent Media Corporation (IMC) had filed a case against the three respondents.

After the anchor conducted the show and the false report was printed, a campaign was launched on social media website Twitter against Jang/Geo Group. Multiple accounts were used to target Jang Group and Geo. Hashtags such as #BanGeo, #GeoIndianDog, #TraitorGeo and #JayHindKaDoosraNaamGeo were created to attack the group.

Most of the accounts tweeting using the above mentioned hashtags were found to be aligned to a political party and are also followed by sympathizers, supporters and officials of the party.

Pictures were circulated on social media websites and party supporters changed their display pictures in an attempt to “take a jab at” and give a “tough time” to the group. The image of a crying baby with the Geo logo showed a level of immaturity from these users who have had no proof of the allegations leveled against the group and continue to target it.

A report by BBC Trending also questioned why the group was being targeted online. The report said:

“Some Twitter accounts using these hashtags have tweeted hundreds of times in a short space of time, and mostly about this issue - suggesting there is organised campaigning against Geo TV, alongside the genuine tweets”

After the social media campaign, a report was published on online news websites claiming that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had issued a whitepaper against Jang/Geo Group. The said whitepaper was posted on various social media sites earlier on Friday allegedly by the PTICyberForce (PTICF).

PTI had later denied that any of its official social media wings had posted defamatory material against Jang/Geo Group online, stating that the whitepaper appeared to be a conspiracy by “hidden hands” to pitch the party against the country’s largest media group.

Continued attempts have been made to force the group to change the independent policy and have failed repeatedly. The group has been accused of tax evasion, defaulting on bank loans and siphoning newsprint quota for profit.

Jang/Geo Group has not defaulted on any loans and pays taxes. Those leveling allegations have been asked to bring forward proof and have been challenged in the courts of law.

Allegations made against the Zara Sochiye campaign are also false. Audits of the campaign are conducted by independent and reputed firms.

All those, such as the Jang/Geo Group, working for change in Pakistan have always been accused of being agents of other countries and working against Islam and Pakistan. But the group will continue to fight against those who make such allegations.

The Aman ki Asha project was launched after incorporating feedback from the highest members of the security establishment and is 100% funded by the Jang/Geo Group.

None of the allegations made against the group are new and yet those who have been making these allegations have not brought any evidence to court.

Jang/Geo Group strongly believes in equality and will continue to campaign for fundamental rights.


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