I asked Jang to appoint responsible people to important posts: Saif

News Desk

LONDON: The Ehtesab Bureau Chief Senator Saif-ur-Rahman denied that he had initiated any endeavour to resolve the tax cases against the Jang Group. He told the BBC that the Group had expressed a desire to settle the matter and had requested him to take back the income tax notices and clear all the claims against it. Saif-ur-Rahman said that he had told the Group that he could not take back the claims as these were legal claims. However, he said that he had offered to request the income tax authorities not to file immediate demands for cash recovery. He also offered to arrange for a postponement of due dates and for installments so that the Group could easily pay its taxes.

Saif-ur-Rahman claimed that he was not interested in any quid pro quo for these actions. 'There was no question of any deal', he added,. 'They were interested in a deal. We had only one desire. And that was to see the press playing a constructive role, especially on the Karachi situation. We wanted more positive reporting on Karachi not the negative variety that had become a norm. Negative reporting causes unease'.

In reply to a question Saif-ur-Rahman said that a constructive role did not mean that the press should only support the government. 'This is totally wrong. We said that the press was free to criticise government policies. We do not need your support on this. All we want is that if 4 people are murdered in Karachi it should be reported as 4 not shown as 8. This type of reporting had taken place many times. If 20 cars were stolen it was reported that 40 had been lifted. We requested them not to publish such stories. If a terrorist act takes place try and play it down rather than sensationalise it.'

Saif-ur-Rahman said that he had never asked Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman to sack any employee. However, he conceded that in a meeting in which Hameed Haroon and Mujib-ur-Rehman were present and could be witnesses, the matter was raised. 'I told him (Mir Shakil) that his staff was involved in printing wrong stories and that he, personally, did not have a role in it. I said that such people who poured oil on raging flames should be replaced by more responsible people especially in sensitive positions so that they could perform a positive role'.

The News International Pakistan