The humid yet cloudy weather at dusk looks like an omen for a storm stirring up in the gulf, but apparently it is not the only storm that is going to have a ripple effect all across the gulf to the Arabian Sea in Pakistan. As what information my friend, who also happens to be a journalist working in a reputable local publication in UAE unraveled to me is no short of a whirlwind shaking up the Pakistani media scene as we know it!
As per his source in Dubai Police, a criminal investigation case (Case No. 1108/2014) against the owners of Jang/Geo Group, Mir Shakil ur Rehman and his son, Mir Ibrahim is being processed at the request by an upcoming Pakistani media group, BOL Network, on the basis of “Criminal Defamation.” Apparently, after initial investigation, Dubai Police has found the claim sound and registered the case and called Mir Shakil and Mir Ibrahim to the Police station. When they didn’t show up after being called twice, the police officials went to their residence at Emirates Hill area. After that, a rather shaky Mir Shakil was seen appearing in the Dubai Police station at Jebel Ali for the related police inquiry roughly around July 10 or so. He was drilled for 3 hours by police official equivalent to an ASI in Pakistan.Imagine what will be the feelings of the person whose one call in Pakistan a few months ago can bring the IG of any province down to his knees.
If proven guilty, Mir Shakil ur Rehman and Mir Ibrahim look at about 5 to 10 years of imprisonment with damages as per the UAE laws against defamation subsequent deportation to land in Pakistan where already around 100 criminal cases are pending against them; This doesn’t seem farfetched considering similar cases resulting in severe actions against the guilty in UAE.
Mir Shakil ur Rehman, not new to the lawsuits in Pakistan, is already facing numerous lawsuits in Pakistani courts brought up by BOL Network after he started spreading organized rumors and tried publishing false news against the upcoming media network in his publications, Daily Jang and The News. But as the judicial process in Pakistan takes ages for cases to be addressed, the legally savvy strategists of BOL stripped him in Dubai as Mir Shakil is known to have permanent residence with large wealth in Dubai.
“The Mir family is trying really hard to contain this news from spreading in Pakistani media industry, but this news is already circling among the top media officials with 1-2 members of Geo/Jang’s top management already looking for options to make the move away from being further associated with the Jang group and the Mirs,” said the journalist lighting his cigarette, “Mir Shakil is trying hard to get out of this fix by making their Indian allies put pressure on Dubai prosecutors to kill the case but the case is still alive so far. It’s not easy to shush Dubai Police once they catch the whiff of something suspicious. It’s not Pakistan! This actually can turn out to be Mir Shakil’s worst nightmare. He considered Dubai a safe haven, now the hands of law have clasped him here as well!”