APNS condemns burning of Jang copies -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

APNS condemns burning of Jang copies

KARACHI- All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) has strongly condemned attack by as yet unidentified political group on distributors and copies of daily Jang in several areas of Karachi, in early hours of Sunday morning.

The society urged the Sindh government and the federal government to take meaningful action against those elements, political or otherwise, who are engaged in acts of violence and arson against newspaper establishments and their distribution networks in Karachi.

In a statement on Monday, President APNS Hameed Haroon warned the Sindh government that under the guise of legitimate political expression, several political groups are taking “undue advantage of their street power” to target newspapers on the premise that adequate coverage was not being accorded to their activities. The intent of extremists in such parties is to intimidate the editors, publishers, journalists and distributors of newspapers.

“If the Sindh government fails to take a firm stand against proliferation of these disruptive acts of violence against newspaper establishments, it will be a matter of barely a few weeks before Karachi press becomes hostage to the unethical aspirations of those political elements who believe in persuasion through use of force.

Last time this happened in Karachi a decade ago, it took years to dismantle the strange-hold of political party coercion against the independent press. Let not the Sindh government says that we have not cautioned them on the new situation, Haroon added.

The APNS president also appealed to the federal government to institute requisite counter measures against these proponents of media targeted terrorism and “stamp out the poisonous added aimed at the heart of press freedom”.

He lamented the absence of a rapid mobilisation force in the police in cities, such as Karachi, to deal with issues of violence and terrorism against newspapers. “Every time a regrettable incident takes place, counter measures are instituted in the process of postmortem. The time to act is now before it is too late. Otherwise repeated incidents aimed at silencing an independent press will continue to met without apprehending of a single suspect”, he stated.

Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) press release adds: Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors’ Lahore President Mujeebur Rahman Shami said that the bundles of Jang Karachi were torched and an attempt to stop the distribution of newspapers had been made which showed that terrorists were lining up again. “The act to stop the newspapers to work independently is aimed at demolishing the electoral process, as the time of general election is coming closer,” he said.

“Harassing newspapers or newsmen with a view to influencing the policies is the worst type of terrorism. If the miscreants groups are given a license to pressurise newspapers, the electoral process will become a silly joke,” he said.

“It is incumbent upon the federal and Sindh governments to fulfil their responsibilities. If the concerned authorities fails to do so, the CPNE will launch a countrywide protest and not hesitate to adopt any requisite measure,” he warned.

Source: The News
Date:2/5/2002