FIA, IB attack Ausaf van for helping Jang

By Mariana Baabar

ISLAMABAD: Continuing with its assault on the freedom of press at the behest of Chief of Ehtesab Bureau, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in the wee hours of Wednesday took on the workers of daily Ausaf for selling newsprint to the Jang Group.

Taking the vindictive step, plainclothed FIA and IB officials intercepted the van of daily Ausaf, carrying newspapers for Attock, at Zero point and beat the staffers. Editor Ausaf Hamid Mir told The News that he left his offices at 2:30 am, but at 3:15 am he was informed that the officials of government agencies had stopped the van going to Attock, beaten the van staff and took away the copies of Ausaf.

"The IB and FIA were in plainclothes and in the scuffle, a van of Nawai Waqt was also stopped, but later freed. The police on duty when asked for help said they could not interfere in the affairs of the FIA and the IB", Mir said.

"We are being punished for helping Jang. We have already said that this is not an issue of customs and income tax, but of the freedom of press. We knew that after Jang we would be the next target," said Mir.

Hamid Mir, Editor Ausaf said, "Shakil-ur-Rehman got in touch with me yesterday with a request for newsprint as he was unable to get it from the open market. When I contacted a dealer, he told me that before selling newsprint to any party, they has to give in writing to the

FIA that the consignment will not go to the Jang Group any way. This sort of directive to the newsprint dealers indicates that the only motive behind is to close down the publication of Jang, thus rendering thousands of workers jobless. Keeping this in view, I decided to arrange four rolls of newsprint for Jang."

Hamid Mir further said at 11 pm on Tuesday, he got a telephone call from Saifur Rehman asking him whether the Jang was being printed at his newspaper's printing press. "I denied these allegations saying that this was impossible because my press cannot take this load. But he (Saif) threatened me, saying that even though I (Hamid Mir) had met Mir Shakil, he would see to it that my paper too cannot get into print", Mir added.

Meanwhile, Mushahid Sayed who has been busy continuously apologising this whole week for different acts of fascism of his government, personally apologised to Hamid Mir for the attack on the Ausaf van.

The News International Pakistan