Prominent Pakistani journalist Amir Mir refuses to accept award from President Musharref
The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) declared Amir Mir the best reporter of the year for his investigative report in the Herald magazine. Mir has written extensively on extremist organizations in Pakistan and their connections with intelligence agency for the Herald and several foreign newspapers. He was supposed to receive the award at a function on Friday, May 26, in Islamabad from General Pervez Musharraf. But before the ceremony he wrote in a letter to the APNS president: “In principle, I am unable to receive the award at the hands of a military dictator, who has on several occasions violated the constitution and has no respect for the country’s highest laws…. Being a dictator he neither believes in freedom of expression nor tolerates difference of opinion. It will be a stain on my APNS award to receive it from a military dictator at an APNS function.”
Amir Mir handed his refusal letter to the APNS president before the start of the award ceremony saying he would prefer to receive his award from some senior journalist instead of the General. He was told not to create a fuss. Eventually, the stage secretary had to make an announcement in General Musharraf’s presence that Amir Mir can’t be given his award at the ceremony because of some unavoidable circumstances and that he would receive the award later from the APNS president.