Senior Pakistani TV journalist Hamid Mir, who escaped an assassination attempt, has blamed the "ISI within the ISI" for orchestrating the attack on him alleging that he is receiving messages which "advise" him to leave the country.
Mir, who is currently being treated after being shot six times in Karachi, said his attackers were "those who track the movement of Pakistani journalists, tap their phones". The 47-year-old Mir said he has been told to leave Karachi and Pakistan as "it will be a long fight". "People visit me in guise of friends but leave after conveying threatening messages of the foes," said the senior journalist in his first interview yesterday after the attack.
A high voltage controversy erupted in the wake of the gun attack on Mir with his brother accusing "certain elements" in the ISI and its chief of orchestrating the attack. Mir said it was the "ISI within the ISI" with ties to jihadi groups which was behind the April 19 gun attack. "I am pointing towards the 'ISI within the ISI'. I have informed my organisation in writing on numerous occasions," he told BBC Urdu. "The most worrying thing is that outfits that have been banned by the government have been staging rallies in the support of ISI," he stressed.
The anchor added that he had had a history of receiving threats from all quarters, and that even after being attacked he was being passed on messages through interlocutors which "advised" him to leave the country. "There are some people who pose as friends but bring me messages from the enemy. They bring messages that there will be another attack on you, leave Pakistan. Just yesterday, someone very responsible visited me and told me that I will be attacked again. People pose as my well-wishers and say that I should leave."
Asked who were the enemies, Mir said they were the ones who were tracking his movements. "My attackers are those who track the movement of Pakistani journalists, tap their phones. Only they could know from which flight, at what time Hamid Mir will reach Karachi, and which car will go to pick him, when he exits the airport and where to attack him where CCTV cameras are not working.
Even the Karachi police chief is now admitting CCTV cameras there were not working at the time," he said. A judicial commission comprising three Supreme Court judges was formed last week to probe the attack on Mir. The commission has three weeks to submit its report. A reward of Rs 1 crore has been announced for those who will help identify the attackers.