Serious allegations reported at highest forum against former DG ISI Faiz Hameed

Serious allegations reported at highest forum against former DG ISI Faiz Hameed

Former Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Chairman Absar Alam has made serious allegations regarding pressure he faced during the 2017 Faizabad sit-in. He claimed that PEMRA officials were under pressure from serving officers, including then DG(C) Major General Faiz Hamid, and their requests were not being accommodated by him.

Alam further asserted that the former ISI chief had asked him to take action against journalist Najam Sethi and completely blackout Hussain Haqqani from TV channels. However, he did not comply with these demands.

On February 6, 2019, the Supreme Court concluded a suo motu case related to the Faizabad sit-in, instructing various government agencies to operate within their mandates.

Alam's statements follow the federal government's announcement that a fact-finding committee had been established to investigate the Faizabad sit-in. The Supreme Court had also given all parties the opportunity to disclose pertinent facts regarding the case.

Absar Alam alleged that the ex-spymaster and his subordinates had controlled TV channel policies through "illegal/unlawful" means by manipulating their channel numbers to reduce their visibility. He claimed to have approached the-then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, and former Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa to inform them of threats his team received for not following instructions.

Alam maintained that it was "unsafe" for PEMRA officials to work during the sit-in. He also mentioned that when Channel 92 was suspended on November 25, 2017, both the interior ministry and Lt-Gen (retd) had contacted him to inquire about the reasons for the suspension and requested the channel's restoration.