Viewer's Opinion
Comments about "Press under siege"

Polling Results
Do you condemn the threat to the freedom of public expression
 which is clearly reflected in the poster "Press Under Siege" at the right?
Yes 82.11%
No 17.88%

Why don't Jang and The News publish the e-mail addresses or the regular addresses of the people who are trying to suppress the freedom of expression? At least the people who care for freedom of expression and who like to speak against the fascism should be able to send an e-mail
message or a letter regarding heinous crimes committed against the press. If you send me a well-written case on the freedom of press and expose the dirty tricks to muzzle the press, I will try to raise your voice here in the US. I will send that to all concerned and will try to get it published in US press.

Concerned in San Diego.

You are setting another example for the freedom of press in this country. Truth is always bitter. We supported you in the past and we’ll continue to support you against such regimes. Don’t worry about ad revenues, as there are other ways also. Who cares about government. In this era of web newspaper you can get yours ads from the web where Saif-ur-Rahman type of people have no control.

A. H. Ansari
Somerset New Jersey


This morning I read your question addressed to Mushahid Hussain, minister of corrupt and racist government Nawaz Sharif. This is the time for you to take a bold action. There is no doubt journalists and newspapers are being targeted by the present government; what would happen to the general public? All innocent Pakistanis are in danger. They are not safe. If he stays in power, he will corrupt the whole country. He is trying to hold the power in one hand. He tried hard to introduce his Islam. There are so many examples. Mushahid Hussain is vociferating too much along with Halim Siddiqui and Ghous Ali Shah. All these looters are enjoying power one way or other. The press has to unite to make a firm decision against the Government of Pakistan and. Let them know that the press is free and has the support of the world. If the government does not stop threatening, let’s contact UNO and World Press. Let the people know the real faces of these culprits. Trust me the government, police, and army all are spoiling the whole country. The security of Pakistan is at risk. We all support to the press in forcing the government to bow down. Your name will be written with honour. If not, the people will throw all the newspapers in the garbage and no one will trust the press any more. Good luck!

Nusrat Iqbal


Salaam to you brave souls. I must say sitting cosily in London, one can get quite blaze about Pakistanis and make sweeping generalisations about how selfish and corrupt you all are. And then this happens. I must say I am pleasantly surprised at the courageous stance you have all adopted. If there are people like you around there is still some hope for Pakistan. May I at the same time urge you to please not stoop to the level of the government and their cronies? You must maintain a high moral ground and your professional outlook on matters. Do not be tempted to lower your standards as can happen at moments of fervour. Your reporting MUST for the sake of journalism in Pakistan and for freedom of speech generally be objective, truthful and focused on the relevant issues. Although I to some extent enjoyed your article on the not-so-safe Mr Saif, it came quite close to the point where the article moved away from the realm of serious investigative reporting to gossip of a nature not appropriate for a newspaper of your standing. My prayers are with you and I urge you to NEVER compromise on matters of principle.

Asker Husain,




Main akaila he chala tha janib-e manzil, magar log aate gaie aur
kafillah banta gaya



I have been reading your newspapers (Jang and The News) for a long time. I also read Dawn, Business Recorder and Frontier Post almost every day. It looks like that you are not publishing impartial and true news any more. Today (January 27, 1999) your newspaper is full of propaganda against senator Saif with very little real news. You are organising seminars to project your one sided stories of injustice and feed the same to your reader. You tend to forget your shortcomings. We as group here in Abu Dhabi UAE have noticed that during May and June 1998 your reporting was totally against the national interests. Half of your reports are denied the next day. Sensationalism and wrong reporting is the hallmark of your newspapers (Urdu and English). I am always reading your investigative journalism reports from Kamran Khan and others in "News Intelligence Bureau". Unfortunately almost all of them turn out to be false and mere allegations. I have other specific examples of your editorial and other articles that were proved wrong. You always depict Karachi situation to be worse than it really is. You are also afraid of MQM and can not say clearly and openly who is responsible for the bloodshed in Karachi. I sometimes wonder what your motives are? I am an ordinary Pakistani with a habit of reading and investigating myself. I have nothing to do with the government. These observations are independent conclusions of mine and many friends of mine living in the same area. We are not siding with the government but we want to request you: Please put Pakistan before your personal gains. Do not mislead the people in the name of so-called "Freedom of Press". This freedom must not be absolute and must take care of the feelings of fellow human beings. Absolute freedom of press is not even practised in the West. Your reporting needs to be objective, true and impartial. Expose and investigate the wrong doings of the rulers but do not forget that wrong and false accusations are prohibited in our great religion of Islam.

Accusation against Senator Saif on your web page is a nuisance and creates opposite impression. It looks like that you are really evading tax and he is trying to catch you and you are crying wolves in the name of freedom of press. Please stop this one-sided web-page attacks on senator Saif. If he is doing injustice, seek justice from the courts. If you really are tax defaulter, please pay the tax-a national duty for all of us. May God give you and me the vision, honesty and sincerity

Dr. Mohammad Ali Khan

Abu Dhabi



First of all, who is going to decide on whether is it a threat to freedom of public expression or a threat to government? Because until the Jang Group does not prove in the court that it did not have any thing to pay in taxes, how can we decide precociously? We don't know who is right. For us both are the same till the scenario is clear.


Dear Shakil ur Rehman

I have read with dismay about the raiding of Jang's premises by the income tax
department and the shameless manner in which the prime minister of Pakistan
has abused his powers. He has done so by attempting to restrict, in fact, extinguish the freedom of the press to report impartially and fairly on all matters. Saif-ur-Rehman' s threats and the demand of submission before the house of Sharif display the swagger with which the current government advertises its dictatorial pretensions.
It is a sad and sorry state of affairs and like other acts of corruption and excess, whether in the past or the present and whether perpetrated by former governments or the current coterie of thugs that rules us, it leaves behind its foul smell forever in the air.
I am writing to say that in this hour of your struggle to uphold free speech and fair reporting to stand up for the principles of justice and democracy, to claim and fight for your rights and to withstand the unethical pressure that has been and continues to be exercised against you, I support and applaud your efforts. May God bless you and vindicate your position.

Waqas Khwaja
Department of English
Agnes Scott College

Saifur Rehman, Nawaz Sharif and Bhutto of Pakistan: See if you can cast the first stone. Do you know the meaning of your names? To do what you are doing, shouldn't you at least adopt a name befitting your actions? In almost all instances where your names are mentioned there is a shadow. This life is just an illusion according to the Quran, if you believe in it, that is. When we all die we will have to answer to God Almighty. What will you say? If you want to continue with personal interest and the interest of those you know in mind, shouldn't you become Christians and believe in Jesus as your saviour. Because, according to the Christians, whosoever takes Jesus as his saviour shall go straight to heaven for Jesus died on the cross to wash away the sins of his followers. In the name of God Almighty bring JUSTICE to Pakistan. Let there be no such thing as Punjabi, Pathan, Sindhi, Baluch or Mojahir. Stop persecuting those who are not a part of your clique. We are all Pakistanis. We are all Muslims. Let us learn to live in peace, be fair, be honourable, be just, be kind, give from the bounty that God has loaned to you or that which you may have acquired illegally in the eyes of God. Read the Quran and follow it if your jinns allow you to.

Jehangir Shah
Phoenix, AZ

It is highly disgraceful for Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman to give all those threats to your newspaper group. I think your campaign should be an eye-opener to the present regime as well as all others to follow. The people are with you, both in Pakistan and abroad. Victory will be yours. Shame
on you Mr. Saif.

JehanaAra Kishwar

We are all with Mr. Shakil-ur-Rehman and his members. We wish that you all stay firm on the issue with the Government of Pakistan. Let them bow down and please do not negotiate with them. They are all corrupt. Please contact with all international journalist unions and newspapers to seek help and let them know the fact. Nawaz Sharif, army, rangers, police are all corrupt and trying to threaten you. Newspapers are free. Freedom of speech and freedom of rights are
given under the constitution. There is no way that all the newspapers will take dictation from the Government of Pakistan. Let people know the fact. However that is a matter of courage whatever you bring to the notice of the world community. We wish you all the success and defeat to the Government of Pakistan.

Nusrat Iqbal

The Government policy to suppress the voice of the people is not new. It has been going on since the creation of Pakistan. All the previous government tried to stop the news media from disseminating truth. And most of the time they succeeded. But please, this time don't let
them succeed. No matter how hard it may be. The struggle of the Jang Group will bear fruit inshallah. Please don't give up. I believe in you.

Syed Towheed

What the government is doing against the Jang Group is really shameful; murder of the press in the so-called "Mian's democracy", baap, beta and bhai's politics is being played all over Pakistan


The press under siege is the murder of democracy and nothing else. I feel that being a Pakistani it is the worst ever brutality that nation has ever encountered after martial law. Especially Jang is the only newspaper that can represent Pakistan and Pakistani nation on the international platform. JANG is our identity; I feel that we are ashamed of having such steps taken against our
true representatives. I would also like to convey my feelings about the steps, taken by the so-called Ehtesab Bureau. We heard much that this Bureau has trapped and gathered many evidences against corruption and all cases had been forwarded to X & Y & Z. But surprisingly it has been over 2 years now but none of the corrupt persons has been punished. This means that either the so-called Ehtesab Bureau is totally meaningless and showing self-created issues to the public to make them entangled in purposeless discussions or that they have bargained with the culprits and taken commissions to safeguard them. I believe none of the politicians is
sincere with the nation and trying to loot our lovely Pakistan as much as possible. At last I would like to thank Jang for providing me the opportunity to convey my thoughts via this mode.

A Well-Wisher & Patriotic Pakistani

I am a Pakistani and feel that there should be freedom of expression, provided that the press is doing an honest job, regarding Jang group, I always read this news paper but I feel that this paper has pressurised the past governments into getting personal benefits; income tax stealing is a crime done by any body from Nawaz Sharif to Mir family of Jang Group. In a society where a criminal has to be punished, so has the media for printing false news. We want to make our country worth living not hell made by politicians, generals and press media.


All the civilised people of the society should raise their voice against this. Nawaz Sharif first captured the first pillar of the state, the Judiciary. Then he captured the second pillar, the Army, Now he wants to capture the third pillar, the Press. Everyone knows that the Chief Justice is his
man, Army chief is also his man, the president is just a puppet who has been given a lollypop. Now Nawaz Sharif wants to become "KHALIFA". But he does not know, that these powers will soon grab him. He should know that the Supreme power is the only One.
Saifur Rehaman, the most corrupt person, has done nothing for Ehtesab. Somebody well said that
"Shah say Barh Kar Shah ki Wafadari is a very dangerous game." Nawaz Sharif is playing with fire, and if the situation deteriorates, he will see the results.
Please create a forum, a platform for civilised persons who can raise their voice throughout the nation. This is yet another great achievement. May Allah help you win the fight against the one-man show government.

Because in the present world of fast communication no press can be under
the siege at all. Moreover the press does not always tell the truth. In the name of press freedom they spread Pessimism, Falsehood, Hypocricy, publish the statements of infidels, manipulate the news. The press is instead of under siege is extremely free and taking the undue advantage of the freedom of press. What is the guarantee that whatever you are mentioning in your advertisement is true? Why other newspapers are not complaining about the siege, even though they too are critical about the government? Can Jang answer how it made this fortune? Can Mr. Shakil tell why his brother and mother filed a petition against him in the court? The income tax is to be
paid; Jang is not special at all. Actually you all are Mohajirs and have sworn allegiance to the MQM and so you are trying to blackmail the government under the garb of Press Freedom.
Otherwise a simple advice from Saif could have been overlooked and rejected. To make a mountain out of a molehill amounts to some sinister designs behind the propaganda.


I strongly condemn the threats being given by the Muslim league government.
It's a shameful act and Pakistani courts should take immediate action against all those who are involved directly or indirectly in this issue.


The whole campaign being run by the Jang is reflecting the worst picture of yellow Journalism.



This is from an acquaintance of Mir Khalil's grandson, hope Jang newspaper pulls through this one, and defeats Nawaz.



The role of the press in Pakistan has always been that of a black mailer. They steal taxes and duties 100%. And these posters are again an attempt to get away from Income Tax and prosecution.



I'm with you, these insane leaders think that everybody will sell just like them.
Go for the right thing; you'll win at last I'm sure.



It is true that Press was threatened in the reign of most of the Pakistani rulers. But the threat Pakistani Press is facing these days is greater than before. The government which is responsible for the bread and butter for everyone in the country, is now trying her best and using her energies to punish and kick out those who speak the truth. This government is nothing but a one-man show rather one-family show. Press is another name of truth. It should not be put in chains. I am proud that though the head of press is bloody but unbowed.

Bashir Ahmed Awan


I do not agree with you because Jang is itself involved in corruption (not paying taxes) and doing yellow journalism (disgracing Pakistan and her officials). Don't you have the manners to solve problems in a civilised way? Don't you have courts to solve the problem? You the newspaper is the trouble-maker. Don't you love your country? Of course not, that is why you are disgracing her every where. A country is like the mother; would you rather publish the differences between you and your mother in the front pages of the newspaper? Would you?


I agree with you and fully support the right to freedom of speech and freedom
of the press everywhere in the world including Pakistan. I am really sorry to hear that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government is not encouraging freedom of the press instead it is doing things that are detrimental. The government should understand that by avoiding criticism they create a ditch for themselves in which they eventually fall. Opposition and criticism are crucial for the development of a country. It is painful and may slower the pace of changes sometimes, but it is a proven method to steer towards success and avoid pitfalls. But in a country where majority of civil servants are not highly qualified (which happened during the last few decades) what else can you expect. Anyway, I support you and am with you all along the struggle to get and keep the freedom of speech for everyone.

Syed M. Hoda

Freedom of expression is the keystone for democracy. Would Nawaz take Saif to military court?



Who are these people who voted No? They must be the PML supporters.


No country, or organisation or even a family has ever survived in the history of mankind irrespective of race, religion or creed without first guaranteeing equal justice for all. It's an essential part of human rights to practice free speech. It's the hypocrisy of the present regime to assault on the very basic right for which the people of Pakistan have given them mandate. Well they may think for the time being that they are above reproach, they should not forget that Pharoah was tamed by a tiny insect. This fact is not some fable or story but part of our religion. May God give the present "kings" enough sense before it's too late for them




I think any one who avoids taxes should pay the dues; the only thing that Jang is doing by attacking Senator Saif is making the case of Zardari and BB more stronger and this is in no way going to help our county Pakistan.



I think that freedom of speech would lead to vulgarism; that good manners will be demolished. You can see the bad effects of freedom of speech in America yourself. They call out names on street. Freedom of speech is actually beneficial for revealing government's true situation and activities. But people use it to say practically--everything. I really think it should not be



Leaders that are afraid of the Press have a weak faith.


I have one comment to make about this whole issue. Please tell Mr. Saif the
following: "mend your ways"


What we are reading in the newspapers is dismaying. People cannot imagine
that a party to whom they trusted can go so much wrong. We trusted Nawaz
Sharif to be the saviour of our country and instead he is turning into a malignant
bent on destroying the very body that nourished him from the cradle. His crony Saif-ur-Rahman is bent on destroying the very foundations of a country, one of the pillars of which is a Free Press. We strongly condemn the blackmailing strategy of Nawaz government, and are
with you in upholding the banner of Free Press.

Faiyaz Siddiqui

I think what this government of huge mandate is doing for the past two
years has nothing to do with the relief of common man. When the government has nothing
to give to the people they often try to activate some thorny issues like the people of Pakistan have seen for the last one year so that they can blame the others that they want to give good goverance but others were producing hurdles for them. This government has totally failed in every respect to give good governance. I do not think they have something in the agenda to do
in their remaining period.


Pakistan no longer remains free but still one thing that was free was the press and if this type of things keep happening then it's clear danger. The government should investigate Mr.Saif over all this.

This is an Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan:
I wish you would publish this letter in your columns for others to read especially the government functionaries. Through this letter I am addressing PM Nawaz Sharif who came to power on a landslide vote and received a mandate unprecedented by his predecessors. He bears extra responsibility to do good to his people. He must remember that a society is judged by the care and protection it provides to its weakest link. If the powerful and resourceful people begin to intimidate others, hurt or eliminate those they are supposed to protect, they usually face the same fate Mr. Bhutto, Mr. Zia and many other, the so-called leaders of Pakistan faced. He is old enough to know that not too many heads of state in Pakistan have left their chair honourably. And when you begin to try to muffle the voice of people, you actually shorten your stay in power and you ensure with your own deeds that you will meet the same fate others did. For God sake Mr. Prime Minister, wise up and behave like a head of a state and not indulge in petty vendettas. It is distasteful and it does not behove you to go after the press. Not only should you let the press be free but should also guarantee their safety and security from your bullies. In a recent visit to Pakistan I was dismayed to see that the PTV starts every news item with your "Farman" and ends with your Farmans. This is the way nations used to behave in the fifties and sixties. PTV is the main TV station most people watch. It belongs to the people and it needs to talk about people's problems and not about what you said twenty different places in a day. Please make PTV free from government control. I wrote a similar letter to BB a few years ago as she was doing the same thing that you are doing now. Look where she is now and remember soon you will be there too unless you change yourself. Call off your gang and let Jang do its job whether you like it or not. I hope that you will read this letter with thoughtfulness.

Mohammad Shafiq