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Hamid Mir (Urdu: حامد مير) (born 23 July 1966) is a Pakistani journalist, columnist and an author. Born in Lahore to a journalistic family, Mir initially worked as a journalist with Pakistani newspapers. Later, through the help of several political figures, most importantly PML-N gained popularity. He currently hosts the political talk show Capital Talk on Geo News. He writes columns for Urdu as well as English newspapers, both national and international.
|Born||23 July 1966|
|Alma mater||University of Lahore|
Government College University Government College of Science
|Interviewed Osama bin Laden three times|
|Children||1 son, 1 daughter|
|Relatives||Amir Mir (brother)|
Mir interviewed Osama bin Laden after the September 11 attacks. During his career, Mir also interviewed various world leaders such as John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, Colin Powell, Nelson Mandela and Shimon Peres. He has also interviewed celebrities such as Shah Rukh Khan.
He was awarded with the civil award Hilal-i-Imtiaz for this work from Pakistan. In 2016, he was awarded Free Press Award in the "Most Resilient Journalist Award" category. In 2017, he was awarded the lifetime achievement award by former Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali for his work as a news anchor.
Amir Mir and Imran Mir. Mir's wife worked with Pakistan television and for a private television channel for many years. The couple has two children. His two children and wife spent sometime outside of the country because of security issues.
Mir joined the Daily Jang (Lahore) in 1987 and worked there as sub-editor, reporter, feature writer and edition in charge. In 1990, Mir was abducted, beaten and driven to a house where his captors demanded to know his source for the critical story he wrote when then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan was planning to dismiss the Bhutto government. In 1994, he broke the submarines purchase scandal. Some close friends of Asif Zardari (husband of then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto) were involved in that scandal, along with some Navy officials. Mir lost his job from daily Jang the day his article was published.
In 1996, Mir became the editor of the Daily Pakistan in Islamabad, making him the youngest editor of any national Urdu newspaper in the history of Pakistani journalism. He lost his job again in 1997, when he wrote an article in the Daily Pakistan about the alleged corruption of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Also on 25 December 1997, he launched Daily Ausaf (Islamabad) as founding editor.
Mir was the first Pakistani journalist to interview Osama bin Laden. He first interviewed Bin Laden for the Daily Pakistan in March 1997, in a cave of Tora Bora mountains in eastern Afghanistan. Mir interviewed Bin Laden for the second time for Ausaf in May 1998, in a hideout near the Kandahar International Airport. Mir was the first and the last journalist to interview Bin Laden after the September 11 attacks. He interviewed Bin Laden for the third time for Dawn and Ausaf on 8 November 2001, at an undisclosed location near Kabul.
Mir went to eastern Afghanistan, where he investigated the escape of Osama bin Laden from Tora Bora mountains in December 2001. Mir visited the caves of bin Laden, during the American bombing. Mir also alleged that it was U.S.-backed Northern Alliance leader Hazrat Ali who provided safe passage to bin Laden after getting a huge bribe.
He is also writing a biography of Osama bin Laden, as well as a weekly column in Daily Jang.
In 2002, Mir joined GEO TV where he begin hosting a political talk show Capital Talk. His popularity increased as Geo became one of the popular TV channel in Pakistan where Pakistani politicians, both from the ruling and oppositions parties appeared to debate on current events and controversial topics.
Mir also interviewed various world leaders such as John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Nelson Mandela, L K Advani and Shimon Peres. Mir has also interviewed celebrities such as Shah Rukh Khan.
Mir was arrested by Hezbollah in Beirut during Israel-Lebanon war in July 2006 while trying to cover the scenes of Israeli jets bombing on Beirut, but was later set free after Hezbollah was assured that he was not an Israeli spy, just few seconds of his escaped the place was bombed by Israeli forces making him barely escape the scenario.
On 16 March 2007, during live coverage of the lawyers' protest against the suspension of the Chief Justice of Supreme Court Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Mir was attacked by police at his Islamabad office. Later, then President, Pervez Musharraf apologised to Mir in his show after few hours of the attack. Mir was banned by PEMRA in November 2007 for four months to appear on TV. Mir came on roads after the ban and organised street shows. The Washington Post published an article on his show on the roads. He was again banned by the government of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in June 2008 for a few days on Geo News. His did investigative documentary on the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto aired on Geo TV on 23 December 2008.
He appears on CNN, BBC and Indian channels as an analyst on issues related to Pakistan. Mir claimed in an interview with independent online news source Canada Free Press that al-Qaeda had acquired three so called 'suitcase nukes' from Russia, and had successfully smuggled them to Europe. Mir alleges these weapons have been in the possession of al-Qaeda since long before the September 11 attacks, and that they were originally intended to be targeted against London, Paris and California. Mir also claims that al-Qaeda has 23 sleeper agents inside the United States (minus the 19 who died carrying out the 9/11 attacks) and that these terrorists already have enough radioactive material for six 'dirty bombs'.
In May 2010, an audio tape of a conversation between Mir and Usman Punjabi who was allegedly the 2nd in command of Hakimullah Mehsud surfaced. In the tape they discussed then-kidnapped Khalid Khawaja with Mir urging that he be further interrogated by his Taliban-linked captors. Khawaja was killed in April 2010 by his captors. Rashed Rahman, editor of the English-language Daily Times newspaper said "If this tape turns out to be genuine, it suggests a journalist instigated the murder of a kidnapee. A line must be drawn somewhere.". Mir has denied the authenticity of the tape. Later on Usman Punjabi was killed by Taliban. According to Der Spiegel Mir is popular journalist in Pakistan. In 2015, Washington Post called Mir as "Pakistan's most famous TV journalist who lives like a fugitive".
In December 2011, Mir received death threats after he hosted a TV show on Influence of ISI in Pakistani politics. He reportedly left Geo TV on 10 August 2018 and joined GNN News as a president.
- Mir visited Bajour tribal area in January 2006 after a US missile attack in Damadola village. He claimed that the US missiles killed only innocent children and women, not Al Qaeda militants.
- Musharraf declared Hamid Mir a Taliban sympathiser after the emergency rule of 2007 and banned him from Geo TV for more than four months. In an interview with Monthly Newsline Karachi (December 2008 issue), Mir explained his differences with Musharraf. Mir received threats from some militant groups when he wrote investigative stories on Taliban.
- In 2016, Islamabad High Court dismissed a plea for including blasphemy charge brought against Mir.
Awards and recognitionEdit
- Awarded Hilal-e-Imtiaz on 14 August 2012 for his services in Journalism by the PPP government under President Zardari.
- On 26 March 2010, The foundation of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Writers and Literature have nominated Mir for the SAARC Lifetime Achievement Award 2010.
- Hamid Mir received The People’s Choice category award for the most favourite current affairs anchor and news channel in March 2012.
- On 13 April 2013, a video surfaced on social media showing Hamid Mir receiving "Friends of Liberation War Honour" award by Sheikh Hasina. The video created a minor controversy in Pakistan.
Views on HamasEdit
In 2009, Mir compared the Hamas and the Taliban. According to Mir, "Hamas probably have more suicide bombers than Taliban, but they are different from each other". In an article titled "Hamas builds while Taliban bomb schools", Mir wrote that both Hamas and Taliban were born in refugee camps, and both were initially encouraged by the West. Mir claimed that some of the Hamas leaders were educated in Pakistani universities, and that many of them were part of the Afghan Jihad against the former Soviet Union, and close to Abdullah Azzam who was also a mentor of Osama bin Laden in early 1980s.
Mir has been repeatedly accused of being pro-Taliban. Taliban sympathizers accuse him of being a CIA agent under CIA Agent Farhan Dhadwal The Taliban allegedly planted a bomb under his car which was later defused due to his coverage of Malala Yousufzai assassination attempt. He was labeled Indian agent after he invited Pervez Hoodbhoy in his program. There was an outcry next day in certain sections of Urdu press that two Indian agents were sitting on Geo TV.
The US Ambassador in Pakistan wrote a letter to the Geo TV management in September 2009 complaining about Mir on incorrect reporting.
He was also the subject of an attempt on his life in November 2012, when half a kilogram of explosives was placed in his car, which was successfully defused by the bomb squad. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility.
His publications include:
- "Hamid Mir". Cricinfo. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
- Shimon Rosenberg (September 2012). Astor, Yaakov (ed.). "The King of Terror: Bin Laden's biographer speaks to Zman" (PDF). Zman (32): 124–125. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
- "Living like a fugitive". Washington Post. 25 July 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- "Civilian awards". Tribune.com. 13 August 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- "Hamid Mir wins 'most resilient journalist award'". geo.tv. Geo. 7 November 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
- "Free Press: Geo's Hamid Mir wins 'Most Resilient Journalist Award'". thenews.com.pk. The News. 7 November 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
- "Hamid Mir given lifetime achievement award". thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
- "Seasoned journalist Hamid Mir given lifetime achievement award by alma mater" (Pakistan Today). 16 April 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
- "The News, July 2007". Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- Gall, Carlotta (7 June 2007). "NY Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- "Musharraf's Monster". Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- Mir, Hamid (3 May 2011). "The Osama bin Laden I knew". The News International. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
- Ali, Syed Hamad (9 March 2009). "The man who interviewed Osama bin Laden... 3 times". The Independent. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
- Mohamed Shaheeb, Ahmed Zahir (20 April 2002). "Hamid Mir — the last journalist to interview Osama bin Laden". Huvaas. Maldives Culture. Archived from the original on 23 December 2008. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
- "Osama claims he has nukes: If US uses N-arms it will get same response". Dawn. 10 November 2001. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
- "How Osama has survived for six years". Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- "Al Qaeda and the Iranian Connection". Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- "Jang Editorial". Archived from the original on 1 February 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- "Hamid Mir undergoes successful operation after being shot - thenews.com.pk". The News. 23 April 2014. Archived from the original on 23 April 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
- "The Rediff Interview/L K Advani". Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- "When death stared me in the face". Archived from the original on 3 May 2007. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- "Pakistani police storm TV channel". CNN. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- Oshea, Chiade (17 March 2007). "Musharraf calls to say sorry after police storm TV studio". The Times. London. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- Constable, Pamela (25 November 2007). "Political Talk Defies Ban in Pakistan". The Washington Post. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- "'Capital Talk' enthralls protesters on road". Archived from the original on 23 December 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- "Who assassinated Benazir Bhutto?". Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- "CNN LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER". 5 December 2004. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- "Al-Qaeda's Hidden Arsenal and Sponsors: Interview with Hamid Mir". Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- "Hamid Mir: Taliban's most favorite informer".
- Walsh, Declan (17 May 2010). "Pakistani news presenter accused of link to Taliban hostage's murder". The Guardian. London.
- Usman Punjabi killed in infighting. Dawn.Com (30 August 2010). Retrieved on 3 August 2013.
- "Pakistan's Deal with the Devil". Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- "Pakistan's Hamid Mir publicizes a death threat - Committee to Protect Journalists". cpj.org. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
- "Hamid Mir's Jang is over, joins GNN as president". Pakistan Today. 10 August 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Hamid Mir's Jang is over, joins GNN as president". www.pakistantoday.com.pk. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
- "No al-Qaeda or Taliban leader was killed in recent US strikes". 15 September 2008. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- "8,000 foreign fighters in Fata ring alarm bells in Islamabad". 21 July 2008. Archived from the original on 31 July 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- "Pak court rejects blasphemy plea against journo Hamid Mir". The Daily Star. 19 October 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
- Hamid Mir to get SAARC Lifetime Achievement Award 2010 20 March 2010
- Apology Day for Pakistanis The Daily Star, 26 March 2010
- Khalid, Saadia (29 March 2012). "Geo wins People' s Choice category award". The News International. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- Bangladeshi Awards on Liberation War: Asma Jahangir, Hamid Mir and Salima Hashmi Under Attack
- Hanif Khalid (9 March 2013). "BD govt to confer highest civil award on Prof Waris Mir". The News. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
- Hamas builds while Taliban bomb schools, Hamid Mir. The Daily Star, 2009-01-31
- "Sharief, Benazir 'Raped' Democracy: Najam Sethi". Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- "Risk is the beauty of journalism". Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir is target of car bomb | World news. theguardian.com. Retrieved on 3 August 2013.
- "This Pakistani nailed Pak Govt's lie on Kasab". HisdustanTimes.com. 22 December 2008. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2009.
- Juan Cole (27 March 2009). "Predator Strikes Stir anti-US "Hatred"". IndyBay.org. Retrieved 27 April 2009.
- "Ugly American redux: U.S. in Pakistan". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. 23 August 2012.
- Amnesty Report 2013 - Pakistan. Amnesty International. 2014.
- Boone, Jon (26 November 2012). "Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir is target of to car bomb". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- "Hamid Mir escapes car bomb plot". The News International. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- admin. "Capital Talk ( Khawaja Asif exclusive ) – 28th January 2015 -". Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- Hamid Mir's profile on WorldCat