Artist Yasir Akhtar alleges maltreatment by PTV, urges action

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    The multitalented icon and mastermind behind numerous trendsetting songs and productions, Yasir Akhtar, has recently filed petitions against certain officials of PTV Network. He began his journey in the media industry as a child artist, and his family has always represented Pakistan in a positive light. Akhtar is also the nephew of former Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Senator Javed Jabbar. Recently, he successfully released three feature-length films on television: Azaad, Rung Dorangi, and MujhKoPata Hai, all shot in the United Kingdom.

    In a letter sent to the Minute Mirre, Yasir Akhtar has requested that the authorities enforce the law against the multiple illegal activities of the “black sheep” within PTV Network. In a letter sent to Minute Mirror, he expressed his concern that PTV officials are utilizing their influence at various organizations such as the Senate, Wafaqi Mohtaseb, ISPR, FOSPAH, NAB, SECP, FIA, Citizen Portal, High Commission of London, and other authorities to hinder investigations and conceal evidence of harassment and various illegal acts. These acts include supervising private companies for illegal contracts, demanding bribes to release his outstanding payments as an artist and producer, coercing Akhtar to sign an illegal addendum under duress in October 2021, pressuring him to accept false accounting statements and manipulated emails, attempting to sabotage his career and his project signed on 28/11/19 involving 12 ‘Multinational Films’ promoting community cohesion and a positive image of Pakistan in the UK, US, and more. PTV officials held his project for 18 months and prioritized illegal projects of favored channels, ISPR, vendors, and producers, which included broadcasting repeat programs from other channels. Additionally, they committed perjury, withheld talent fees for his multiple shows, discriminated against him, submitted deceptive statements to government authorities, and abused the law.

    Recently, Yasir Akhtar received a letter from the SECP of PTV confirming an ex-parte hearing that took place on 09/01/23 at the Federal Ombudsman’s office, favoring PTV, without informing Yasir Akhtar (the petitioner). Despite Yasir sending reminders since July 2022 to FOSPAH Islamabad and WafaqiMuhtaseb in Karachi, no one from the Ombudsman’s office contacted him for almost 8-9 months, and they secretly organized an ex-parte hearing on 09/01/23, knowing that the petitioner had initiated the petition from the UK.

    To date, the SECP and the Federal Ombudsman are attempting to conceal the statement submitted by PTV on 09/01/23. Whenever Yasir requests the authorities to arrange a video call for a hearing on his petition, the authorities respond ambiguously, organize ex-parte hearings, or hastily close the matter with feeble excuses.

    One piece of evidence submitted to the authorities is a voice note from PTV’s senior producer, who acts on behalf of the direct programs and allies within PTV that are involved in the illegal supervision of private companies for programs and marketing deals, demanding bribes through illegal contracts. The corrupt producer and his PTV allies have strong connections with the former Federal Ombudsman and government authorities and have been arranging interviews and programs for FOSPAH.

    The senior producer sent Yasir Akhtar a voice note, proposing an illegal contract and demanding bribes to release Akhtar’s outstanding payments for multiple shows on PTV Network, both as an artist and as a producer for his “Multinational Films” project consisting of 12 films aimed at promoting a positive image of Pakistan in the UK, USA, and other countries. Additionally, the PTV producer offered Akhtar an illegal deal, suggesting he could make deals with other channels, and warned him to keep everything “Off the Record” due to a lobby against Yasir Akhtar within PTV. As soon as Akhtar reported and submitted the voice note of the corrupt officer to the authorities, the officer began sending harassing voice notes to Yasir’s WhatsApp.

    PTV signed a revenue-sharing contract with Yasir Akhtar on November 28, 2019, for a project involving 12 “Multinational Films” aimed at promoting a positive image of Pakistan in the UK, USA, UAE, and Pakistan. Yasir Akhtar is the investor and producer of these films, and PTV is responsible for providing airing slots, with revenue from sponsorships being divided equally.

    However, after two months of signing the contract, PTV officials deliberately delayed scheduling the slots for almost 18 months. These corrupt officials at the national network of Pakistan created obstacles to demand bribes and persistently pressured Akhtar to sign an addendum that deviated from the original contract signed on 28/11/19. When Yasir Akhtar refused to sign the illegal addendum, PTV officials resorted to psychological harassment in various forms to coerce him into signing.

    PTV forcefully held Yasir Akhtar’s project of 12 films, signed on 28/11/19, for 18 months, while favoring illegal contracts and payments for other channels, programs, and vendors, in violation of rules and laws. They also allocated his slots to ISPR’s “Ehd e Wafa” and other projects that were signed after his contracts. Furthermore, PTV officials pressured the producer of the Morning Show in Karachi PTV to remove Yasir Akhtar from the show at the last minute, despite confirming his participation. They also deliberately misplaced the full copy of Yasir Akhtar’s unreleased first film of the series, which he provided to the PTV headquarters for censorship purposes.

    PTV’s General Manager and Chief Commercial Officer in Karachi committed perjury in August 2021 during the hearing at the Wafaqi Mohtaseb in Karachi. They claimed that they never received a full copy of the first film of the series of 12 “Multinational Films” from the censor department for approval at PTV headquarters. However, Yasir Akhtar vehemently contested this statement by providing counter-evidence in the form of relevant communications with the controller of programs, which proved that the censored copy was indeed received by PTV and deliberately misplaced to harass him and coerce him into signing the illegal addendum.

    The matter was hastily closed down incompletely and diverted to the Senate of Pakistan, even though the Ombudsman has the authority and jurisdiction to take action. In July 2021, Yasir filed a petition (No. 3788) in the Senate on the same matter, and the Senate’s Standing Committee directed PTV and the authorities to resolve the dispute amicably without causing any undue delay or unfairness to the petitioner. However, PTV has not honored these directions to this day.

    Feeling aggrieved by PTV’s statement before the Wafaqi Mohtaseb, Yasir Akhtar took preventive action by filing a complaint at the Secretariat Police Station in Islamabad regarding breach of trust and criminal misappropriation of property concerning the aforementioned film. There were concerns about leakage, piracy, and copyright infringement if the film got misplaced.

    The officers at Wafaqi Mohtaseb also concealed his appeal and change of official letter from the online case history on their website. During one of the hearings, an officer at the Mohtaseb in Karachi forcefully and rudely took Yasir Akhtar’s and his colleague’s phones and passwords and handed them over to the PTV officials for inspection. Additionally, he wrote on the attendance sheet of the Wafaqi Mohtaseb hearing in August 2021 that “I did not get justice.”

    After facing all these injustices, Yasir Akhtar lodged a petition at FOSPAH (Federal Ombudsman Secretariat for Protection against Harassment) in 2001. Instead of inviting the culprits to the FOSPAH offices and taking action against harassment and multiple illegal acts, the former Ombudsman favored PTV officials and convinced Yasir Akhtar to meet the former Managing Director at PTV offices.

    Yasir Akhtar visited PTV headquarters in October 2001, where the security guard forcibly took his cell phone upon arrival. During the meeting in the boardroom with the Managing Director, Director of Programs, Controller, PTV lawyer, and the team, they were using their cell phones while denying Yasir the same privilege. They forced him, with an attitude, to sign the addendum, threatening to sabotage the project and cancel the contract, even though there was no clause allowing for additional clauses to be added to the agreement. Akhtar never wanted to sign the addendum, so he did not have a witness present at the meeting, but the PTV officials continued to pressure him to say that the witness could sign the next day.

    All the aforementioned incidents put immense pressure on Yasir, leaving him with no choice but to sign the addendum on 04/10/21 under duress. He temporarily withdrew his complaints, clearly stating in the letter that it was only for the time being and assured the authorities that he would provide updates in the future. However, PTV continued engaging in illegal acts up to the present day.

    PTV’s Sales and Marketing department is responsible for offering and selling commercial time slots for advertisements and promoting the first film of the series. It is evident that since Yasir is not bribing PTV’s officers or making any illegal deals with their private companies, they deliberately did not make efforts to achieve targets and avoided attending meetings with major advertising and media companies. Instead, they allocated prime slots committed to Yasir’s “Multinational Films” project to ISPR and other favored channels and parties, forcing him to accept less-viewed slots for his project. This caused significant losses for him and the national exchequer.

    PTV officials aired the first movie of Yasir Akhtar’s film series in November 2021, but they concealed the actual accounts and have been pressuring him to accept false accounts and tampered emails related to advertisements from Ufone, the government, and social authorities. They are still withholding his due payments for multiple shows as an artist, including Morning Shows, Junior Stars, Eid Show, Celebrity Lounge, Ramazan Transmission, and as a producer of the first film “MujhKoPata Hai” of the 12-film series since February 2022, which aims to promote a positive image of Pakistan.

    Yasir Akhtar also filed petitions on Pakistan’s Citizen Portal, but PTV’s response was misleading, falsely declaring that the matter was sub-judice and providing lame excuses, which was not the case. After repeated requests, the complaint was reopened, but he is still awaiting strict and prompt action from the portal. PTV’s corrupt mafia is delaying the inquiries against the corrupt officials by submitting deceiving and weak excuses.

    Yasir Akhtar’s upcoming approved films for the project of 12 “Multinational Films” are on hold because PTV is withholding his due share and attempting to sabotage his project through harassment and illegal acts. On the other hand, PTV has received all payments from the sponsors, but Yasir Akhtar, the pride of Pakistan, is being deprived of his rightful share. Furthermore, senior officials have started harassing and pressuring him to accept false statements of accounts and tampered emails from the sponsors.

    Yasir Akhtar, the pride of Pakistan, has requested the honorable President of Pakistan, DGISPR, and government authorities to enforce the law regarding the multiple illegal acts committed by PTV’s corrupt officials.

    The Minute Mirror tweeted this letter to PTV officials and they are welcome to give their response, which the paper will published.