The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Sunday termed a report by the BBC Urdu fake that claimed an unpleasant meeting between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa took place at the Prime Minister’s Office hours before Imran’s ouster through a no-trust vote.
In its report, the BBC claimed that the former premier had removed Gen Bajwa as the army chief and was not expecting his visit to the PM’s Office along with an “extraordinary security routine”.
“BBC Urdu story published today is totally baseless and a pack of lies. The typical propaganda story lacks any credible, authentic and relevant source and violates basic journalistic ethos,” the ISPR said, adding, “there is no truth in the fake story whatsoever and clearly seems part of an organised disinformation campaign. The matter is being taken up with BBC authorities.”
In June 2019, the BBC story titled ‘Uncovering Pakistan’s secret human rights abuses’ alleged the Pakistani security forces of perpetrating widespread violence against the residents of the erstwhile FATA during its anti-terror operations.
In response to a “defamatory and malicious story” published by a foreign news outlet against the Pakistani security forces, the government of Pakistan filed a complaint to demand an apology to which till date no apology was issued by BBC.
As per sources, BBC has been propagating a “pack of lies” not only with regard to Pakistan but internationally as well. “In the past, there are so many incidents when BBC’s so-called ethical journalism proved to be fake, fabricated and without an ethos of journalism,” they added. Following are a few cases when BBC’s editorial policies and journalism proved to be fake.
The Hutton Inquiry was a 2003 judicial inquiry in the UK chaired by Lord Hutton, who was appointed by the Labour government to investigate the controversial circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly, a biological warfare expert and former UN weapons inspector in Iraq.
On 18 July 2003, Kelly, an employee of the Ministry of Defence, was found dead after he had been named as the source of quotations used by BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan. These quotations had formed the basis of media reports claiming that the government had knowingly “sexed up” the “September Dossier”, a report on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction.
The Hutton report cleared the government of wrongdoing, while the BBC was strongly criticised, leading to the resignation of the BBC’s chairman Gavyn Davies and director-general Greg Dyke.
The government denounced the reports and accused the BBC of poor journalism. The then British prime minister Tony Blair apologised to the public for taking actions based on wrong intelligence.
The publication wrongly claimed that then Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko had been involved in making a secret $400,000 payment to Donald Trump’s lawyer in return for access to the US president.
However, after a judge at the high court in London sided with the Ukrainian president’s interpretation of the article, the BBC decided it could no longer defend its reporting. As a result, the broadcaster agreed to pay damages and issue a correction; it must also pay the Ukrainian’s legal costs.
BBC later issued an apology “In our ‘News at Ten’ bulletin and in an online article published on May 23, 2018 we incorrectly reported that Petro Poroshenko, the president of Ukraine, had procured or authorised a corrupt payment of $400,000 to be made to Michael Cohen, the personal lawyer of Donald Trump, to extend a brief meeting between Mr Poroshenko and President Trump, that had already been agreed, into wider talks.
“We are happy to accept that this allegation was untrue. We apologise to Mr Poroshenko for any distress caused and have agreed to pay him damages, legal costs and have participated in a joint statement in open court.” TLTP