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Nida Yasir defends controversial rape interview tactics

People called for a ban on her show last year

SAMAA | - Posted: May 24, 2021 | Last Updated: 8 months ago
Posted: May 24, 2021 | Last Updated: 8 months ago

Photo: YouTube/ARY

Morning show host Nida Yasir has defended the way in which she interviewed the parents of a six-year-old rape and murder victim in 2020.

“It was my mistake,” Nida told BBC Urdu last week. “But why was I inquiring? I had forgotten that I was a host and that there were so many cameras around. I was being a mother.”

She asked for details because she wanted to help mothers watching her show to prevent such crimes. “They [parents] were telling me about everything that happened to the girl so I kept asking them.” Everyone makes mistakes but people don’t forgive easily, she added.

In September 2020, Nida invited the parents and asked them repeatedly about what exactly happened to the victim. The parents looked visibly uncomfortable and struggled to answer her questions. The segment was widely shared on social media and #BanNidaYasir started to trend on Twitter as condemnations poured in. People called for an action to be taken against the show by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority.

In an interview with the BBC later, Nida said that she felt like she was the “rapist herself”. 

“When such cases get media support, institutions work faster,” she said in a video, adding that she did not do the show for ratings and that the rapist was caught just two days after her show aired. “Because of our programme, this family received financial help.”

The six-year-old girl’s body with visible torture marks was found in a trash can in the park on September 6. An autopsy at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre confirmed rape.

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