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‘Too long for our broadcast slot’: BBC explains removal of Jadhav’s name from Asad Umar interview

After receiving a severe backlash from Pakistani Twitterati, the BBC on Thursday gave a clarification, which it termed as a “simple technical explanation” for removing Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadav’s mention from the interview of Finance Minister Asad Umar.

During a TV interview for BBC’s renowned show HARDtalk, the host, Stephen Sackur, posed a range of questions of national importance to the Pakistani finance minister. Nevertheless, the TV version of the interview did not contain the part related to the Indian spy, who was sentenced to death in 2017 by a Pakistani military court for his involvement in espionage.

“The reason Kulbhushan Jadhav’s name was deleted from the TV version of the HARDtalk interview with Asad Umar has a simple technical explanation,” said a tweet from the program’s Twitter handle. “The recorded interview was too long for our broadcast slot and so had to be edited,” it added.

The channel further tried to clarify that Jadhav’s name had been only omitted from the TV version of the interview and not the radio version, and the act was not to be mistaken as “censorship.”

The broadcaster wrote, “clearly confusion has been caused” and further said that it would restore the omitted “short section” of the program and air the new TV version again tonight as well as tomorrow morning.

Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari responded to BBC’s explanation, describing it as “pathetic” and saying that the organisation’s “bias has always been there”.

The part “Pakistan arrested a senior operative from India, his name is Kulbhushan Jadhav; he is in the custody of Pakistan and he gave details of how the Indian intervention in Balochistan and others parts of Pakistan is taking place” was omitted from the TV version of the interview by the BBC.

 

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