JournalismPakistan.com May 14, 2015
ISLAMABAD: The recently launched 92News Television revoked the contract of senior economic journalist Amer Sial on May 9 after he refused to accept the channel management’s diktat to apologize with the Privatization Commission authorities over his questions.
At a news conference, Sial had asked the Chairman Privatization Commission (PC) Zubair Umar, how much truth there was in his claims of autonomy after accepting $20 million loan from the Asian Development Bank that imposed stringent conditions over the privatization program. The commission had to submit all the details about the intended privatization to the bank and without their approval could not proceed further.
In reply, the Chairman PC gave a detailed account of his international work experience as an executive in IBM, corporate practices worldwide and claimed that the files (official documents) moved very slowly in Pakistan, which resulted in an off the cuff remark from the said journalist that in such a situation speed money could be very helpful.
Chairman and Secretary PC replied that they were not under any pressure on the privatization program. All the process was being done transparently and as per the law. They would resign instead of acceding to any pressure or doing some illegal work. Their remarks were flashed by all television channels.
The PC authorities were quick in approaching the 92News management, which pressured the reporter to apologize, which he flatly refused, saying it was his right, as a journalist, to ask questions and their (PC officials) duty to reply. His stance was vehemently supported by the channel’s editorial team but the management overruled them.
Prior to joining 92News, Amer Sial worked at Daily Dunya, Pakistan Today, CNBC Pakistan, The Frontier Post and Business Recorder. He covers finance, energy and trade issues.
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