Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Jugnu Mohsin

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Nationality  Pakistani
Spouse  Najam Sethi
Occupation  publisher, satirist
Organization  The Friday Times

Name  Jugnu Mohsin
Role  Newspaper publisher
Children  Mira Sethi, Ali Sethi
Jugnu Mohsin Pakistan 200809 Network 2020

Relatives  Moni Mohsin (sister)Mira Sethi (daughter)
Awards  CPJ International Press Freedom Award (1999)
Similar People  Najam Sethi, Mir Ibrahim Rahman, Ishrat Hussain Usmani, Moni Mohsin, Asad Qureshi

Education  University of Cambridge

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Orya Replies to Jugnu Mohsin on Defaming Bano Qudsia & Ashfaq Ahmed


Jugnu Mohsin (born Syeda Memnat Hussain in 1958) is a Pakistani progressive commentator who is the co-founder and editor of The Friday Times and from 2016, hosts a weekly talkshow Jugnu on Geo News. Born into a wealthy Punjabi family, Mohsin studied law at University of Cambridge, where she met and married journalist Najam Sethi.

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In 1999, her husband, Friday Times editor-in-chief Najam Sethi, was kidnapped by the Nawaz Sharif government for his work as a journalist and held for a month without charge, causing Mohsin to launch an international campaign for his release. That year, she and Sethi were awarded the International Press Freedom Award of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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Founding of The Friday Times

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In 1984, Sethi was imprisoned on a charge of copyright but no Pakistani newspaper had protested the arrest. This led to Mohsin and Sethi wishing to commence their own independent newspaper. Sethi's name carried some infamy and so they applied for a publishing licence under Mohsin's name.

Called into Nawaz Sharif's office to discuss the application, Jugnu Mohsin told him that she intended to publish "a social chit chat thing, you know, with lots of pictures of parties and weddings". It was finally approved in 1987, but Mohsin requested a one-year delay to avoid the first issue coming out during the dictatorship of General Zia ul Haq. The paper's first issue appeared in May 1989.

1999 kidnapping incident

In early 1999, Sethi gave an interview to a journalist from the BBC television program, Correspondent. The program planned to expose corruption in the Pakistani government. At the beginning of May 1999, Sethi was warned that his arrest was imminent. On 8 May 1999, Sethi was taken from his home by government agents.

Mohsin said at least eight armed officers broke into their house; the family's security guards were assaulted; and no warrant was shown. Sethi was threatened and she was tied up and left locked in another room. Sethi was held for almost a month without charge. He was kept in the custody of the army intelligence group, Inter-Services Intelligence in Lahore.

Mohsin publically campaigned for his release and continued to publish the Friday Times. Amnesty International stated that Sethi's arrest was connected with his investigations into government corruption, and designated him a prisoner of conscience. The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists sent a letter of protest letter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, noting the organisation's dismay "that the state (Pakistan) continues its persecution of independent journalists". The World Bank president, James Wolfensohn called Sharif to urge for Sethi's release.

On 1 June 1999, the Pakistan government charged Sethi with "condemnation of the creation of the State and advocacy of the abolition of its sovereignty" and "promoting enmity between different groups". Sethi was transferred to the custody of the police. However, the following day, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled that the government had not provided sufficient evidence to justify Sethi's detention. Sethi was released, and the charges against him were dropped. Mohsin and Sethi received the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

My Feudal Lord book controversy

In June 1991, Mohsin and Sethi's publishing company, Vanguard Books, released Tehmina Durrani's My Feudal Lord. The book relates her marriage with the politician and Punjab landlord, Mustafa Khar. In the book, Durrani alleges that Khar mistreated and abused her. Durrani signed a contract with Mohsin giving Mohsin foreign rights and fifty percent of foreign royalties.

On 19 May 1999, however, during Sethi's detention, Durrani said at a press conference that Sethi had stolen all of her earnings from the book. She said his actions were "an even bigger case of hypocrisy than my experience with the feudal system". Durrani sued Sethi for mental torture, and he counter sued for defamation. An earlier dispute over the foreign rights had been settled out of court in 1992. A review of the contracts by the UK newspaper The Independent described Sethi as having acted in good faith and described him and Mohsin as "the injured party".

Newspaper satire

During the rule of President Pervez Musharraf, Mohsin wrote a monthly humour column titled "Mush and Bush" featuring fictional conversations between the Pakistani President and US President George W. Bush. She had previously targeted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with a column for his "dim and authoritarian personality" and "his intolerance of dissent". Mohsin's sister, Moni Mohsin, satirises the country's social elites with another column for the paper, "Diary of a Social Butterfly".

Political views

Mohsin advocates for a liberal Pakistan and opposes religious fundamentalism. In January 2006, she argued for the right of women to participate in a marathon wearing shorts instead the shalwar kameez. Mohsin is a member of the Women's Action Forum of Pakistan organization. She later became a major critic of Imran Khan's entry into politics.

References

Jugnu Mohsin Wikipedia