When he was working as a producer of the most popular talk show of a mainstream channel back in 2018, Ammanullah used to talk about his plan for shows in coming weeks or months.
He would read eight newspapers a day besides browsing endless data to prepare the talk show contents. He would search the profiles of hosts to be invited for the show that evening.
“In fact, he would make sure that every single question asked in the show had a complete background,” says Abdul Manan, a former journalist.
His colleagues used to make fun of his extra work.
“They think Im crazy,” smiles Aman, while talking to Surkhiyan Special from a foreign country.
“Job was the most important thing to me. My rozi, roti, everything. Besides, I loved journalism, not as a profession, but it was my passion, my blood, my soul, my faith.”
I loved journalism?
“Have you left it?”
“Sir, Im in hiding. Ive my home, job, family, friends. And this is happening due to my independent thinking.”
Amanullah made his place in the media industry with his work and determination. “I felt pride being a self-made man. But life is unpredictable like the ocean, its waves, like the flow of the ocean, one moment it is streamlined the other moment it becomes turbulent. It is the man who confronts these waves aptly.”
On October 12, 1999 the day General Musharaf imposed martial law in Pakistan, the same day chose Amnaullah to begin his career in with Pakistan television. “I remained in PTV for six years till 2005 where I worked with the renowned journalist of the time, Nadeem Malik, Kashif Abbasi, Talat Hussain and that is also one of my achievements to work with such honorable and dutiful personalities.” Later, he joined a private news channel in Abu Dhabi (UAE) where he worked as a producer. He also worked with the channel’s representative for South Asia, Jamal Ismael.
“We jointly worked on different projects. We made documentaries, news assignments, did work on camera, editing, lighting and many other things we made together. Both PTV and this channel proved to be my tech.”
In 2007, Amanullah got an offer to join EXPRESS NEWS, newly launched at that time, as producer for Javed Chaudhry’s show “Kal Tak” and he accepted the offer.
“At that time, I had two other choices of SAMAA TV and DUNYA TV as well the package they were offering was also alluring, so much so that I got the appointment letters too but I preferred EXPRESS NEWS over both because it had the latest technology of the time and I had the urge to learn more about my field and it could only be possible by joining express as it was armed with state of the art equipments. It had the latest technology of cameras and the highest number of DSNGs. The second reason of joining express was the host of the show himself as it was an honor for me to work with this prestigious name of the media world.”
Soon, the program became an instant hit, and behind its success stood Amanullah’s work. And of course, Javed Chaudhry’s popularity, with and hard work too.
“There is a perception, rather misconception that every channel is following a specific policy or line I wholly disagree to this as there is a great difference between policy line and agenda, in twenty year of my career I have never seen any administration that has imposed any agenda on its team but we do have a policy to be followed, we must and we do follow the editorial line of the channel. The policy regarding banned organizations is the same for all channels that anything against national interest cannot be aired at any cost and it is not something new, it happens worldwide. For example we can’t talk against the armed forces and the judiciary of the country; we can’t endorse sectarianism, extremism and banned organizations.”
Everything was going smooth until the day, when Amanullah got published his blogs on political and religious developments in the country.
“A few years back terrorists started pressurizing private channels to air their point of view for the masses. The same incident happened to me at the time when, in Karachi, three journalists were viciously killed and the bereaved families of the martyred were seeking justice from the state. EHSAN ULLAH EHSAN, the chief of TEHREEK E TALIBAN called me and complained about not airing his voice on our channel I explained him that it is not in my capacity but he threatened me and told me that he wanted to affirm the murder of express’ journalists. I informed Mr.Javed as to this through IFB during the show and he asked me to bring my mobile on the stage. There EHSAN ULLAH EHSAN took responsibility of the assassination and threatened on-air that he would kill every journalist who would talk against him. This really gets dreadful. Itis not a piece of cake, sometimes your life gets at stake too.”
Within weeks, several developments happened.
“Undefined people started chasing me. My children at school being hounded.
Since 2019, Amanullah has been in hiding. In some foreign country. He should be provided with justice.