Hamid Mir claims Pakistan tells media to “build narrative of friendship with India”

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Senior Pakistan journalist Hamid Mir has hit out at the country’s establishment claiming that the latter wants media to run a pro-friendship narrative with rival India.

“You [establishment] say that your tanks have rusted and that you want friendship with India, when we don’t help you build the new narrative of friendship with India, you call out media for not helping you,” the high profile journalist can be heard saying in a video which is viral on social media.

His statement comes after three unidentified men assaulted a prominent Pakistani journalist, Asad Ali Toor, after breaking into his apartment, according to the journalist, his lawyer and police.

Toor told Al-Jazeera that the attackers identified themselves as belonging to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, Pakistan’s military intelligence service, which has been accused by rights groups of involvement in enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in the past.

Toor said he was questioned on the sources of his income and “funding”, and was forced to shout out slogans praising Pakistan, its military, and the ISI, as well as denouncing Pakistan’s eastern neighbour India, northwestern neighbour Afghanistan and Israel.

Mir who is flanked by Toor and other media personnel can be heard taking a dig at what sounds to be Pakistan’s army in the video, “We will expose your internal matters, we can’t enter your home, but we will tell everyone why did your wife shoot at you,” he says.

Talking about the harassment of Toor, he says, “You made him raise anti-Israel slogans because you are thieves. You want us to create a pro-Israel narrative, and when we don’t comply you shoot at journalists.”

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