Prominent Pakistani Anchorperson Asma Shirazi was targeted subject by Punjab chief minister’s spokesman Dr. Shahbaz Gill when she appeared on Nasim Zehra’s talk show on 24 News HD.
After being welcomed into the panel, Shahbaz said, “I think Asma Shirazi is a hardcore PML-N supporter and I respect it and she has an association with them.”
Program Host Nasim immediately responded cutting him off despite his insistence to let him continue, and said, “No. Shahbaz, hold on a second, I need to say this. She (Asma) criticizes everyone (all parties). Let’s stay with the facts. I needed to say this. I’m sorry. But you need to respond to her (Asma’s) criticism [not her work].”
Asma Shirazi later shared the clip from the show on Twitter and wrote, “Quite disappointing that CM Punjab Spokesman @ShabazGil instead of arguing with logic and performance attacked me professionally during @NasimZehra program on @24NewsHD and then launched a barrage of abuses on social media trough planted trolls. This is how they are dealing media”.
Quite disappointing that CM Punjab Spokesman @ShabazGil instead of arguing with logic and performance attacked me professionally during @NasimZehra program on @24NewsHD and then launched a barrage of abuses on social media trough planted trolls. This is how they are dealing media pic.twitter.com/O6OYtqfrN6
— Asma Shirazi (@asmashirazi) February 4, 2019
Later, Shahbaz Gill also responded to Asma’s tweet. He wrote, “I [have] always respected you and will never pass any bad comment or encourage anyone for [any] such thing. Although you passed personal comments on me like ‘chaplusi day job, sharam, taat ki soch’ but it is okay. It must be out of anger. No hard feelings.”
I respectfully disagree @asmashirazi Sahiba. I always respect u & will never pass any bad comment or encourage anyone for such thing. Although you passed Persoanl comments on me like (chaplusi day job, sharam, taat ki soch) But it’s ok. must be out of anger. No hard feelings https://t.co/iNTVOujU1O
— Dr. Shahbaz GiLL (@SHABAZGIL) February 4, 2019
Following this debacle from the live talk show, many of the famed journalists, political figures and other celebrities came forward to lend their support for Asma Shirazi. Here is a selection of few messages being shared on Twitter.
Absolutely wrong of govt spokesperson @shahbazGil 2 accuse professional journalist @asmashirazi of being indifferent towards ModelTown tragedy.Asma infact she was v critical of the ModelTown killings.4 purposeful discussion best 2 argue on real facts/logic, law & avoid labelling pic.twitter.com/3XqUXY88W0
— Nasim Zehra (@NasimZehra) February 4, 2019
Asma Shirazi is hard working journalist. She started her career at a time when it was not easy for a women journalist to go out in the field. In any journey there are ups and down, praise and hate and above all professional jealousy. She has come out from all this with courage.
— Mazhar Abbas (@MazharAbbasGEO) February 5, 2019
You dealt with this very appropriately. There should be zero tolerance for bullying. https://t.co/6JHmYV6P0M
— Maria Memon (@Maria_Memon) February 4, 2019
Well done, Asma. So pleased you stood up amd forcefully rebutted these uncalled for remarks.
— Abbas Nasir (@abbasnasir59) February 4, 2019
.@asmashirazi is a fearless journalist, speaks her mind & reports facts. Her fault is that she is a democrat &does not pander to forces of authoritarianism. Journalists have to question and uphold constitutional rights for there can be no #freepress w/t that.
Stop harassing her. https://t.co/HPr5GENgy7
— Raza Ahmad Rumi (@Razarumi) February 4, 2019
— Murtaza Solangi (@murtazasolangi) February 4, 2019
— Owais Tohid (@OwaisTohid) February 4, 2019
It’s the first time that Govt spokesmen (actually a PR job) have been tasked to target professional journalists on tv and social media who do not toe line. Asma is not the first and neither will be the last, but well done @asmashirazi for taking such bullies head on. https://t.co/a6PYT72c1r
— Atif Mateen (@AtifMateen2) February 4, 2019
Shame on those trolling journalists..
More Power to Asma Shirazi.. she is one brave journalist. https://t.co/3cXwF0cyQr
— Wajih Sani (@wajih_sani) February 4, 2019
.@asmashirazi is one of the finest journalists; a person of impeccable integrity. Those attacking her are only exposing their mindset. Fighting fascists back is the only way forward.
— Umar Cheema (@UmarCheema1) February 4, 2019
This man exposed himself that how little he knows about u and journalism in Pakistan. @asmashirazi you always make us proud ur reaction is superb. Many prayers and best wishes. https://t.co/1p9YmuWz8Q
— Azaz Syed (@AzazSyed) February 6, 2019
Mind-boggling to see important government positions occupied by people who have no sense of responsibility, accountability or an understanding of history. A well measured response by @asmashirazi https://t.co/PROYgOHjKh
— Rana Jawad (@ranajawad) February 5, 2019
Uncalled for. Asma please stay strong. https://t.co/hnVTilUo3g
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) February 5, 2019
No need for any explanation or justification sis. You are a truly graceful, professional, intelligent, competent and caring journalist and anchorperson -my favourite as well. Just ignore as not worth it. Stay blessed.
— Raza Haroon رضا ہارون (@mrazaharoon) February 4, 2019
— Shafaat Ali (@iamshafaatali) February 5, 2019
She inspired us as a woman of substance, an upright journalist, a loving mother and a fighter. Her work and conduct is exemplary. I am proudly supporting @asmashirazi .#AsmaShirazi pic.twitter.com/xbzhTlEMIU
— Iffat Hasan Rizvi (@IffatHasanRizvi) February 6, 2019