ISI’s fake news ops get push back: Jang Geo group gets apology over false Cambridge Analytica allegations


It seems that the business of fake news is becoming less easy even though it has not come to an end. Just last month we at NP exposed Global Village Space as a fake news website (Why is a fauji propaganda site registered to Moeed Pirzada?)  Umer Ali, a Pakistani investigative reporter, exposed Eurasia Futures as a fake news website (Has Fake News in Pakistan Found Russian Allies?)

In 2017 we spoke about how the World was Cracking Down On Fake News but that Pakistan’s Media was At Serious Risk and on Pakistan’s addiction to Fake news

Both these websites and Global Village Space have now been taken to the cleaners. and its website director Adam Garrie who alleged that Geo and Jang Group Editor in Chief, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman had links with Cambridge Analytica have now issued apologies, retracted their allegations and issued an undertaking that they will not repeat any false allegations ever again.

In their articles these fake news websites had alleged “that Jang/Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, in connivance with Nawaz Sharif, built a narrative for Greater Punjab. Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was accused of stepping up Pashtun movement and also put, through fake news, blame of Mumabi attacks on Pakistan. According to these articles, patriotic circles as well as some quarters of the Pak army accuse Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and Jang/Geo group of being foreign agents and promoting Western agenda in Pakistan. Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was termed “media godfather” in these articles. It was also alleged that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman had admitted to having campaigned against the judiciary and institutions. It was also alleged that the government advertisements are distributed through Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA). Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was also accused of openly conspiring against Axact channels with the help of Nawaz Sharif. It was alleged that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman used his influence on the government machinery to block the pro-state narrative of Axact channels. Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was also accused of spreading false narrative against Axact channels. It was further alleged that Nawaz Sharif had given Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman media publicity contract, and the latter was behind every political success of the former.”

In his apology Adam Garrie stated: “I requested the author of the Articles Mr Tayyab Baloch to provide any evidence to substantiate the serious and defamatory allegations made in the Articles against Mr Mir Shakil ur Rahman and/or Jang Group. Mr Tayyab Baloch refused and therefore could not and did not provide any such proof and so I have concluded that there was and is no evidence and that each the allegations made in the Articles against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and/or the Jang Group were wholly false, fabricated, malicious and highly defamatory of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and/or Jang Group. I have also investigated each of the allegations made in the Articles and found them to be completely false, malicious and fabricated. By way of example only and to illustrate this, I found no evidence whatsoever to connect Cambridge Analytica with Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, Jang Group or his media conglomerate, nor is there any link of international funding of his media outlets to support any international political propaganda. Given the above I therefore consider it appropriate to make this retraction and unreserved apology to Mr Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, Geo TV and the Jang Group. I hereby irrevocably, completely and unreservedly retract and revoke each and every allegation made against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and/or Geo TV and/or the Jang Group in the Articles as such allegations were and are wholly false, malicious, fabricated and highly defamatory.”

Further this apology by director will remain on the website for three months to “explain my feelings as how I felt betrayed and how I betrayed the trust of my readers which of course I regret deeply. I have written to others who lifted the same defamatory articles from my website and published them on their pages, it’s in no one’s interest to repeat these lies.”