Saif declines to comment on tapes

By Shakil Shaikh

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Ehtesab Bureau Senator Saifur Rehman declined midnight Friday to give reaction on the audio tapes Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman, owner of Jang Group of Newspapers, released as a proof of the government's interference in the freedom of press and his remarks about the judiciary.

"I don't want to say anything on tapes," Saif told The News. So much so, in a 9-page press release issued by Prime Minister's Office (Ehtesab Bureau), Saif said nothing on the tapes which established that he committed contempt of the judiciary when he said "not even the father of the judge would have dared give a verdict in favour of the Jang Group of newspapers."

When contacted on telephone seeking his comments on the tapes, Senator Saif replied, "You always twist the facts, and moreover you people are not sincere to us."

He said, "Your behaviour is not appropriate and you better phone me in office."

However, when The News insisted for his comments, he said a 9-page press release has been issued on "what has been printed in Jang/The News on Friday."

Before banging the phone, Saif said, "Look Shakil! you print everything I talk to you. Don't call me at home."

The conversation was terminated with a voice of "smash" on the other end.

The News International Pakistan