Hamid Mir - Journalistic Career

Journalistic Career

Mir joined the Daily Jang (Lahore) in 1987 and worked there as sub-editor, reporter, feature writer and edition in charge. In 1994, he broke the submarines purchase scandal in Daily Jang. Some close friends of Asif Zardari (husband of then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto) were involved in that scandal, along with some Navy officials. Mir lost his job the day his article was published.

In 1996, Mir became the editor of the Daily Pakistan in Islamabad, making him the youngest editor of any national Urdu newspaper in the history of Pakistani journalism. He lost his job again in 1997, when he wrote an article in the Daily Pakistan about the alleged corruption of prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Also on 25 December 1997, he launched Daily Ausaf (Islamabad) as founding editor.

Mir went eastern Afghanistan, where he investigated the escape of Osama bin Ladin from Tora Bora mountains in December 2001. Mir visited the caves of bin Ladin, during the US bombing. Mir also disclosed that it was US-backed Northern Alliance leader Hazrat Ali who provided safe passage to bin Ladin after getting a huge bribe.

In 2002, Mir joined GEO TV as the Northern Region editor. Since November 2002, he has hosted GEO TV's Capital Talk, a political talk show in which top Pakistani politicians from the government and opposition have appeared. He is also writing a biography of Osama bin Ladin, as well as a weekly column in Daily Jang.

He has interviewed Condoleezza Rice, Tony Blair and L K Advani. Mir was arrested by Hezbullah in Beirut during Israel-Lebanon war in July 2006 while trying to cover the scenes of Israeli jets bombing on Beirut, but was later set free after Hezbullah was assured that he was not an Israeli spy.

On 16 March 2007, during live coverage of the lawyers' protest against the suspension of the Chief Justice of Supreme Court Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Mir was attacked by police at his Islamabad office. Later the then President, Pervez Musharraf apologised to Mir in his live TV show Capital Talk within few hours of the attack. Mir was banned by General Pervez Musharraf in November 2007 for four months on Geo News network. Mir came on roads after the ban and organised street shows. He became famous after staging shows on the roads, gathering huge crowds. The Washington Post published a front-page article on his show on the roads. He was again banned by the government of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in June 2008 for a few days on Geo News. His investigative documentary on the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto aired on Geo TV on 23 December 2008, and created considerable controversy in Pakistan.

Mir worked as a voice of peace and objective journalism during the India–Pakistan tension created after the Mumbai attacks in November 2008. Der Spiegel declared him the most popular journalist in Pakistan.

Mir has participated in many international seminars and conferences on terrorism. He appears often on CNN, BBC and many Indian channels as a security analyst. Mir claimed in an interview with independent online news source Canadian FreePress.com—that Al-Qaeda had acquired three so called 'suitcase nukes' from Russia, and had successfully smuggled them to Europe. Mir alleges these weapons have been in the possession of Al-Qaeda since long before the 9/11 terror attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., and that they were originally intended to be targeted against London, Paris and Los Angeles.

Mir also claims that Al-Qaeda has 23 sleeper agents inside the United States (minus the 19 who died carrying out the 9/11 attacks) and that these terrorists already have enough radioactive material for six 'dirty bombs'.

In May 2010, an audio tape of a conversation between Mir and one Usman Punjabi who was allegedly the 2nd in command of Hakimullah Mehsud surfaced. In the tape they discussed then-kidnapped Khalid Khawaja with Mir urging that he be further interrogated by his Taliban-linked captors. Khawaja was killed in April 2010 by his captors. Rashed Rahman, editor of the English-language Daily Times newspaper said "If this tape turns out to be genuine, it suggests a journalist instigated the murder of a kidnapee. A line must be drawn somewhere.". Mir has denied the authenticity of the tape "I never said these things to these people. This is a concocted tape, They took my voice, sampled it and manufactured this conspiracy against me." Nothing was proved against Mir in any court. Later on Usman Punjabi was killed by Taliban.

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