Punishment For Telling The Truth

A Tale of Vendetta and Intimidation


What we published: Government’s reaction:
1. Deteriorating law and order situation (July 1998).

2. Irshad Haqqani’s column on the political situation (July 13, 1998).

3. Traders refuse to pay GST (July 15, 1998).

4. People’s reaction to the freezing of foreign currency accounts (July 1998).

5. Oil prices increased by 25 percent (July 25, 1998).

6. Protest against price hike (Aug. 4, 1998).

7. Flour mills increase Atta prices (Aug. 4, 1998).

8. Sugar mills owned by the Sharif family have to pay Rs. 700 million to farmers (Aug. 13, 1998).

9. A survey on the Independence Day criticizing the government (Aug. 14, 1998).

10. Reports about US missile falling inside Pakistan during the US missile-raids on Afghanistan.

11. Ittefaq Group and Redco are defaulters: Qazi Hussain Ahmed (Aug. 24, 1998).

12. A close relative of Kulsoom Nawaz inducted in the FIA as an assistant director (Aug. 27, 1998).

13. A joint APNS-CPNE meeting expresses concern over government policies (Aug. 27, 1998).

14. Mir Shakilur Rehman addresses a press conference, speaks of the government’s actions against the Jang group (Aug. 27, 1998).

15. Mir Shakilur Rehman meets the Prime Minister (Aug. 28, 1998).

16. Stories about CTBT (Sept. 1998).

17. Pakistan agrees to sign CTBT unconditionally (Sept. 24, 1998).

18. US appreciates Pakistan’s assurance to sign CTBT (Sept. 25, 1998).

19. IMF-government talks produce no results (Sept. 26, 1998).

20. The London Observer publishes a story about the Sharif family. Jang was asked not to publish it. The News reproduced the story (Sept. 18, 1998).

21. Kamran Khan’s story saying the government spending foreign exchange on the Prime Minister’s favourite projects (Oct. 4, 1998).

22. General Jehangir Karamat proposes National Security Council, reactions (Oct. 5, 1998).

23. Corps commanders express concern over the prevailing situation (Oct. 7, 1998).

24. General Jehangir Karamat resigns, national and international reactions on his resignation (Oct. 8, 1998).

25. The economic situation worsens (Oct. 12, 1998).

26. Protest outside Nawaz Sharif’s flats in London (Oct. 12, 1998).

27. UBL sacks 8,000 employees (Oct. 14, 1998).

28. Jang and The News reproduce a story published in the Independent, London about the Sharif family (Oct. 21, 1998).

29. Court asks for official record in the plot case against Nawaz Sharif (Oct. 22, 1998).

30. PML and the MQM split (Oct. 30, 1990).

31. 18 people including PML legislators convicted in the contempt case (Oct. 30, 1998).

32. Kamran Khan’s story saying that all the accused arrested in the Hakim Saeed case were fake (Nov. 5, 1998).

33. APNS, CPNE meet in Lahore, ask the government to end its victimization campaign against the Jang group (Nov 14 1998).

34. Stories about the deteriorating law and order and the economic situation (November, 1998).

35. Income Tax Appellate Tribunal upholds the plea of the Jang group and unfreezes its accounts (Nov. 19, 1998).

36. Half of the newspapers are with me and the rest are with them: Prime Minister (Nov. 25, 1998).

37. My first preference is to make the press change its directions: President Tarar (Nov. 29, 1998).

38. The government is not victimizing the Jang group: Nawaz Sharif (Dec. 4, 1998).

39. No relief to the Jang: Official spokesman (Dec. 16, 1998).

40. Official actions against the press has hurt me: Waseem Sajjad (Dec. 17, 1998).

41. Nawaz Sharif, his mother and wife did not disclose their plots in Murree: PPP (Dec. 18, 1998).

42. Tax dues against Nawaz Sharif rescheduled in Jang: Mushahid Hussain (Dec. 18, 1998).

43. Government preparing another case against the Jang group: Saifur Rehman (Dec. 18, 1998).

44. Nawaz Sharif Spends three days shopping in London: Sunday Telegraph (Dec. 21, 1998).

45. Jang and The News publish details of the government’s actions against the group.

46. Mir Shakilur Rehman plays cassettes of a conversation with Senator Saifur Rahman at the Karachi press club (Jan. 28, 1999).

• Government reacts strongly, demands to stop the news.

• Objects to the column, sends seven articles, which were published on July 19, 20, 21, 23, 26, 28 and 30, 1998.

• Discussion on PTV, the Jang criticized by name, July 16, 1998.
• Government suspends advertisements to the Jang group, July 21, 1998.

• Government objects to the display of the news.

• Government objects.

• Government asks not to publish stories about the re-price hike.

• Don‘t publish stories about the Sharif family, says the government.

• Newspapers have had their fun, now it is our turn: PM (Aug. 16, 1998). MSF criticizes the Jang (Aug. 15 & 17, 1998).

• Government gets very upset, begins sending income tax notices (Aug. 18, 1998). All tax cases against the Jang group sent to a cell headed be Senator Saifur Rahman (Aug. 19, 1998). PM delivers a speech against the Jang group, PML workers chant slogans against the Jang (Aug. 23, 1998).
• A magistrate, accompanied by the police, serves notices on Mir Shakilur Rehman. Four tax notices served on Aug. 24, 1998 after midnight. Six more notices sent (Aug 25, 1998).
• Nine tax notices sent on Aug. 27, 1998.

• Some newspapers are talking about martial law, we should take them to the court: PM (Aug. 28, 1998).

• Government restores its advertisements. Promises to withdraw the tax notices. No notices served throughout the month.
• Government objects. Serves another tax notice on Sept. 23, 1998.
• Government objects.

• Government sends a strong warning. Urges the group not to criticize economic policies.

• Government gets very upset and conveys its anger.

• Government objects.

• Government objects to the coverage of the Jang.

• Government objects.

• Government says the group is publishing too many stories about the armed forces.

• Government objects to stories about its economic policies.

• Government again suspends advertisements to the Jang (Oct. 13, 1998).

• Objects to publishing stories about unemployment. Sends three income tax notices (Oct. 14, 1998). Freezes Jang’s accounts, stops supply of newsprint to the Jang group although the custom authorities had already released it. Six more income tax notices served (Oct 15, 1998).
• Government shows its contempt.

• Six more tax notices served. (Oct. 27, 1998).

• Objects to the coverage.

• Objects to the coverage. Sends four fresh tax notices on Nov. 2 and five new notices on Nov. 5.

• A barrage of tax notices. Nine notices served on Nov. 5 and four on Nov. 6.

• Government objects to the Jang’s decision to take the dispute to newspaper associations.

• Government reacts strongly against the story.

• Government increase its victimization after the Tribunal’s decision. Sends a tax notice on Nov. 23.

• Sends six tax notices on Nov. 26. Another on Nov. 27. Ten notices served on Nov. 30. Customs officials stop newsprint. Another tax notice served on Dec. 3.

• A tax notice served on Dec. 10 Five notices served on Dec. 12. On Dec. 15 FIA raids the offices of The News and the Jang in Rawalpindi.
• Government intensifies the campaign against the Jang group and starts sending threatening messages. Agencies put listening devices to the telephones at the offices and homes of the editorial staff of the Jang group. Intelligence agencies increase their vigilance of the editorial staff of the Jang and The News. Another raid on Rehan Paper Mart. Agencies try to collect evidence against the Jang. APP spreads a story falsely implicating the Jang group in a case. Notices serves on Mir Shakilur Rehman to appear before a special Judge of the customs (Dec. 19, 1998).

• Expresses strong objection to the story and sends five tax notices on Dec. 22. Two income tax notices served on December 23 & 26. Five more notices on Jan. 12, 14, 15 & 21, 1999.
• FIA cordons off offices of the Jang and The News in Karachi and Lahore.

• Threat to try Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman in a military court under sedition charges. A case is registered the same day (Jan. 28, 1999).