UK journalist’s apology to SAMAA reporter over Indian agent Tweet

By Saima Khan

KARACHI: A UK based journalist Suhaib Saqib has apologised to SAMAA TV’s Bureau Chief in UK Syed Kousar Kazmi after falsely accusing the latter of being an Indian Military Attache and Indian agent.

Saqib, who writes on his profile that he works for UK English media, had stirred controversy after he had falsely claimed that a picture of Kousar Kazmi with former Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif proved that Mian Nawaz Sharif had met Indian diplomats. He wrote falsely that he had proofs that Nawaz Sharif had met Indian agents in London and linked Kazmi with Indian military. The picture was taken in Hyde Park which showed Kousar Kazmi walking with the three times former Pakistan premier.

Kousar Kazmi (left), Mian Nawaz Sharif (right).

Suhaib Saqib alleged that Kazmi was Indian military attaché who operated from Indian High Commission in London and was secretly meeting Nawaz Sharif in London’s Hyde Park. His tweet went viral and dozens of pro-government anchors and activists in Pakistan Retweeted and further alleged that the picture was a proof that Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) were being funded by India, UK and Israel – a claim made by the government spokespersons on TV.

After being served with a defamation notice and a chance to substantiate his claims, Saqib found it wise to retract his statement and offer an unconditional apology to Syed Kousar Kazmi.

According to a video posted on social media showing both Kazmi and Saqib sitting together, Saqib said: “A tweet got posted from my Twitter account, targetting the senior journalist from Samaa TV Kousar Kazmi, along with three time elected Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif. The tweet wrongfully portrayed Kousar Kazmi as an Indian Military Attache and incorrectly claimed that Nawaz Sharif had met with Indian officials.

“I realise that this news was completely fake and incorrect, wrongfully implicating a highly respected journalist for one of Pakistan’s leading media houses,” Saqib said.

Saqib condemned the anchors who and media personnel who used his tweet as propaganda to claim that Nawaz Sharif met Indian officials. Seeking forgiveness for his irresponsible behaviour, Saqib pledged never to tweet anything before verifying it first.

Saqib claimed that his actions had “damaged Pakistan’s reputation in the international realm”.

He added: “I’d like to thank Kousar Kazmi for meeting me on my request. He is like my elder brother and an extremely kind gentleman. I would like to once again apologise to Mr Kousar Kazmi from the core of my heart.”

Kousar Kazmi confirmed on his twitter account that he had accepted the apology and would not take any further legal action against Suhaib Saqib.
Kazmi advised journalists to first verify the news before breaking it and said that it was becoming a trend in Pakistani media to blame anyone without any evidence.

Suhaib Saqib’s Twitter account is verified. Kousar Kazmi has nearly 25,000 followers on Twitter.

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