Iftikhar Ahmad (journalist)

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Iftikhar Ahmad
Hamaz Sharif and others.jpg
Iftikhar Ahmad, the second person from right
Born
Iftikhar Ahmad

(1950-11-04) 4 November 1950 (age 68)
NationalityPakistan
Other namesIftikhar Ahmed
OccupationBroadcaster, journalist, and anchor
Years active1974 – Present
Notable credit(s)
Has headed the Election Cell for Jang Group 1988–97
Geo News 2002 - 2014
BOL News 2014 - 2015
Dunya News 2015 -2016
Geo news Feb 2016-present

Agha Iftikhar Ahmad (Urdu: افتخار احمد‎; born 4 November 1950) is a Pakistani research journalist and a political activist. Ahmad started his career in 1980, after his release from jail and joined Jang Media Network and held a senior position in the Network. Ahmad is currently serving as Director of Elections, Investigations, Special Projects, and Research (EISPAR) for the Geo News Network (GNN). Iftikhar Ahmad also hosted interview show Jawab Deyh (or in English "Answerable!") on Geo News TV channel for over 10 years.

Ahmad joined BOL Network as Senior Executive Vice President and Senior Anchorperson in BOL News on 18 October 2014.[1] On 23 May 2015, Kamran Khan, Asma Shirazi and Iftikhar Ahmad left BOL Network due to corruption allegations on Axact company which was the parent company of Bol News TV channel.[2] He then joined Dunya News but soon left. As of 2019, he is affiliated with 24 News HD.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in 1950, Ahmad was educated in Lahore, West-Pakistan. He obtained his early education from Multan. He attended Central Model High School and MAO College, Lahore.

Political activity[edit]

Iftikhar Ahmad
Media Adviser to the Prime minister Secretariat
In office
22 October 1974 – 5 July 1977
PresidentFazal Ilahi Chaudhry
Prime MinisterZulfikar Ali Bhutto
Succeeded byBGen Siddique Salik
ConstituencyLahore-VII
Personal details
Political partyPakistan Peoples Party
OccupationJournalist
CabinetCabinet of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

Since 1967, Iftikhar Ahmad has been a political activist as well. He participated in the movement against military dictator Field Marshal Ayub Khan.

His political philosophy was very much in line with the socialist ideas and he was mesmerised by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He wrote his undergraduate thesis advocating the socialist ideas and its role in modern societies. In 1973, Ahmad wrote his thesis supporting Bhutto's socialist economics policies and advocating for the need of socialism in the country. Ahmad served multiple jail terms under the martial law governments for various violations of Legal Framework Order, 1970. He was sent to the Sibi Central Jail, Shahpur Central Jail, Camp Jail, Lahore and the Lahore Fort detention center. Ahmad has also served as adviser to two Chief Ministers and one Governor of Punjab. His political philosophy is that the real political divide is always between the poor and the rich. He argues that Pakistan may never see a leader better than Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and a political slogan better than "Roti, Kapra aur Makan". With over 30 years of experience and very extensive research, journalist Iftikhar Ahmad is known for his incisive and aggressive style of journalism.[3]

Career[edit]

Ahmad started his journalism career in 1982 from newspaper Subh-o Khair and worked for various publications including Daily Aftab and Daily Pakistan. He has been working for Daily Jang since 1986. In the 1980s Ahmad introduced personal interviews of politicians; these were different in the way that for the first time politicians divulged private information as well. Ahmad through his interviews for Daily Jang set a new trend in Pakistani journalism.[4]

Ahmad started Jang Group's Election Cell in 1988, and had covered more than five political elections and also Geo Election Cell in the General Elections of 2002, 2008 and 2013 in Pakistan.

Ahmad also worked closely with the Geo News Administration and a fellow friend and journalist Hamid Mir on the Zarra Sochiye social awareness campaign on Geo News TV channel. A campaign which aimed to start a debate on issues that divide the Pakistani nation, after the broadcast of the debate on Hudood Ordinance, the National Assembly of Pakistan had to ratify the Hudood Ordinance.

Controversy: Pleading the case for Bhutto[edit]

Ahmad, through his program, Jawabdeh has questioned several key power players of the coup d'état staged by General Zia-ul-Haq and the subsequent hanging of the then elected Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (see Operation Fair Play).

In these interviews, some of these people, closely worked with General Zia-ul-Haq, spilled the beans about General Zia's real political intentions. In his programme, former Justice Naseem Hassan Shah, who was a member of the bench of Pakistan Supreme Court which upheld Bhutto's death sentence, admitted that he should have voted against the hanging and felt bad for not doing so. Justice Shah also admitted that there was not enough evidence to put Bhutto on death row. It was the political pressure by General Zia-ul-Haq that manipulated the decision. Those who voted against the decision, such as Justice Fakh-ruddin Ebrahim and Justice Dourab Framroze Patel, General Zia-ul-Haq insulted them, and forcefully retired them from their services.

His Interview of Naseem Hassan Shah led to the PPP to make the decision to file for the reopening of the case of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The interview also served as the basis of a lawsuit against Justice Naseem Hassan Shah in which the claimant claimed that after Justice Naseem Hassan Shah's admission in the interview that the decision to hang "Bhutto Sahib" had been forced upon them by Zia-ul-Haq.[5]

Resignation in protest[edit]

It was reported on 17 November 2008 that he resigned from Geo TV in protest over its refusal to broadcast his interview with Shahid Masood. He alleged that he was earlier pressured to censor certain portions of the said interview, which he declined.

The Geo TV administration retracted from their position and the complete interview was broadcast the following week. After the program went on the air, Ahmad took back his resignation. [6]He resigned from Dunya News on 14 October 2015 when Dunya News top men were putting pressure on him to announce fabricated results about NA-122 contest (an election district) while he took a stance that he would only announce figures of votes that were coming from reporters, instead of engineering a high figure of difference between two major candidates. [7] According to sources, Ahmad was of the view that 'manipulation-of-election-results' difference between two major contestants before the actual results come in, was unprofessional and unethical.

Quotes[edit]

  • Ahmad stated in Hamid Mir's Capital Talk show on Geo TV: "Pakistan may never see a leader better than Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and a political slogan better than "Roti, Kapra aur Makan (Food, Clothes, and Home)".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.voiceofjournalists.com/iftikhar-ahmad-leaves-geo-to-join-bol-network/, Iftikhar Ahmad leaves Geo News to join Bol Network, voiceofjournalists.com website, Published 20 Oct 2014, Retrieved 23 Feb 2016
  2. ^ http://tribune.com.pk/story/891189/senior-journalist-kamran-khan-resigns-from-bol-over-axact-scandal/, Iftikhar Ahmad resigns from Bol News Network, The Express Tribune newspaper, Published 23 May 2015, Retrieved 23 Feb 2016
  3. ^ http://www.pakistanherald.com/profile/iftikhar-ahmed-1477, Iftikhar Ahmad 'Biography' on Pakistan Herald newspaper, Retrieved 23 Feb 2016
  4. ^ http://www.pakistantimes.com/topics/iftikhar-ahmad/, Biography of Iftikhar Ahmad on Pakistan Times newspaper, Retrieved 23 Feb 2016
  5. ^ [1] Iftikhar Ahmad's interview with Justice Naseem Hassan Shah, Pakistan Times newspaper, Retrieved 23 Feb 2016
  6. ^ http://archives.dailytimes.com.pk/national/17-Nov-2008/geo-jawabdeh-host-iftikhar-ahmed-resigns-in-protest, Iftikhar Ahmad resigns in protest from Geo TV, Daily Times newspaper, Published 17 Nov 2008, Retrieved 23 Feb 2016
  7. ^ http://www.dnd.com.pk/why-anchorperson-iftikhar-ahmad-resigned-from-dunya-news/99069