JournalismPakistan.com July 15, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Interior Affairs, Rehman Malik, has apologized to Waqt TV reporter Qazi Asif for grabbing him by the collar on July 10 at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi.
The advisor had got angry with Qazi after the reporter asked him a string of difficult questions. He had lurched forward and grabbed Qazi by the collar, while supposedly demonstrating a point of view.
Photographs and videos of the incident went viral on Facebook and blogs resulting in bad publicity for Malik. It was conduct unbecoming of a man with a minister’s rank.
Today Malik, tweeted his apology to Qazi:
Rehman Malik @SenRehmanMalik
Dear Asif Qazi sb, read urtweet and u know i never meant to undermine U. it was (an) instant expression in good faith. Still sorry if (you) disliked it'.
Speaking about the incident earlier with JournalismPakistan.com, Qazi had said: “More than 15 TV channels were covering Rehman live. It was not possible for him to express his anger at me openly. But still he managed to find a way to do so ‘technically’.
“While giving an example, he suddenly grabbed my collar. I was busy with live coverage for my channel, my prime duty. But I remained calm and did not struggle. Eventually he let go,” Qazi said.
“My only question is, if Rehman Malik wanted to give an example of how he felt when reporters suddenly asked him questions why did he not grab his own collar… why my collar?,” asked Qazi.
In an online column detailing the incident Qazi has gone to great pains to explain that the questions he asked Rehman were genuine ones that needed to be answered and were not motivated by any personal dislike or hatred for the advisor.
When questioned about why he didn’t react when the advisor had grabbed him by the collar, Qazi says, “He was already angry and I did not want to create a scene. Furthermore, as a professional journalist my work came first. Even while he was holding on to me by the collar I was writing on pad.”
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