Awami Workers Party concerned over crackdown on Geo, Jang Group
LAHORE: Awami Workers Party (AWP) General Secretary Farooq Tariq on Wednesday condemned anti-Geo and Jang Group protests in the country and said any ban on Geo TV is unacceptable.
In a press statement issued he said the extent to which people are supporting the ‘angels’ in their crackdown on Geo and Jang Group is worrying.
Tariq said peoples’ constitutional right to free speech should be protected and safeguarded by law enforcement agencies in all circumstances.He also condemned the petition filed by analyst Zaid Hamid in the Supreme Court, saying Hamid embodies madness and poisonous religious extremism.
Tariq said the AWP strongly condemned the plea filed by Hamid in the SC targeting prominent personalities, including Asma Jehangir, Nusrat Javed, Najam Sethi, Imtiaz Alam, Marvi Sirmed, Hassan Nisar, and attacked senior anchorperson Hamid Mir for being so-called ‘traitors’ and indulging in subversive activities violating Pakistan’s national interests.
Tariq said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) were also being targeted by crazy Hamid and condemned these attempts to malign both institutions. He said Zaid Hamid opposes the welfare and rights of Pakistan’s hardworking journalists, women, and forward-thinking progressive individuals.
The AWP leader said Hamid is the perfect epitome of male chauvinism and under his sway no equality between genders and people can prevail in Pakistan. He said Hamid’s petition is an affront to independent-thinking journalists and civil society activists since he considers them to be traitors and is ignoring their service to the nation.
Tariq said Pakistan’s various political parties need to be united on the issue of press freedom and journalists must be provided ample security to practise their craft. Dismissing allegations of treason, Tariq said former SC Bar Association President and human rights lawyer Asma Jehangir has fought for the rights of journalists, marginalized women, and minorities throughout her historic career.
Tariq said senior journalists Hamid Mir, Najam Sethi, Hassan Nisar, Marvi Sirmed, Imtiaz Alam, and Nusrat Javed are Pakistan’s pride and have played a positive role in progressive movements in the country. He said it was only Zaid Hamid’s irrational mindset that has led him to accuse them of treason. He said the country’s progressive civil society groups and people also condemn the move by Hamid and hope for its failure.