Islamabad: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday ordered the arrest of the owner and editor-in-chief of Pakistan’s largest independent group of newspapers and TV stations in a decades-old case related to allegations of tax evasion in a real estate purchase.
Mir Shakilur Rehman’s Jang Group of Newspapers, which includes Geo TV, has been critical of the government. He was arrested in Lahore, the National Accountability Bureau said, without giving additional details.
Rehman’s arrest drew condemnation from the country’s journalistic community, with Geo News calling the arrest a “political victimisation”.
“This is an attack on the freedom of expression,” said Rana Jawad, Geo News’ news director.
Rehman, whose media house has been critical of the government, had been facing questions from the anti-graft body for the past several months.
Jawad accused NAB of abusing its authority, saying no valid reason was given to Rehman for being taken into custody.
The Geo TV station said Rehman was arrested in a 34-year-old case pertaining to the purchase of land for construction of a house in Lahore.