Eight Jang Group workers unions issue rejoinder to Imran Khan
RAWALPINDI: After Imran Khan’s undemocratic and unlawful act of inciting his workers to boycott and attack the Geo/Jang Group through provocative and inflammatory speeches, the workers’ unions of the Jang Group of Newspapers have rejected the latest statement of the PTI chief against the attacks on the Geo offices.
They said: “How can this statement be deemed correct when Imran Khan says that his real quarrel or difference is with the management?”In a joint statement, leaders of all the unions have declared that the announcement of a boycott of the Jang and Geo and charges of treason are in fact a grave conspiracy which has created the apprehension of the economic massacre of around 5,000 journalists and workers and Imran Khan is behind-the-scene chief manipulator of this act which has inflicted a loss of a whopping Rs4 billion on the Geo/Jang Group. The fact today is that the organisation faces the horrendous threat of bankruptcy. So much so that it has become almost impossible to pay salaries to Geo journalists and media workers. This in fact is a journalistic matter and all journalists and workers believe that there has neither been any financial transaction between Imran Khan and the Jang Group management nor is there any personal matter involved.
The statement has been jointly issued by presidents, secretary generals, other office-bearers of the unions, members of the executive bodies and journalists and workers of the Daily Jang and Press Workers Union Rawalpindi, Workers Union daily The News Rawalpindi, Jang Publications Employees Union Karachi, Javed Press and Modern Graphics Workers Union Karachi, The News Workers Union Karachi, Jang Workers Union Lahore, Jang Printing Press Workers Union Lahore, and Jang Workers Union, Quetta.
The joint statement says a delegation led by President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Afzal Butt and comprising Secretary National Press Club Islamabad Tariq Chaudhry, General Secretary Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists Bilal Dar and Finance Secretary National Press Club Islamabad Waqar Satti had met Imran Khan in his container where he had said that he was extremely pained at the attacks on the offices of Geo/Jang Group and that he condemned them. On the other hand, at his ‘dharna’ near the Geo/Jang building, highly inflammatory speeches are made and the audience is provoked against the Group. Many appeals for the boycott of the Group have been made from that forum against the Group. The largest media group of Pakistan has been accused of committing treason and no proof is offered.
“It is also true that no serious attention was ever paid to all the facts presented by the Geo/Jang Group. This made the Group suffer a loss of billions. This huge loss is irrecoverable. However, the people of Pakistan, who recognise the decades-old services of the organisation, enthusiastically supported the newspapers and channel and continued to support it even in difficult circumstances. Nevertheless, the person who founded a party in the name of justice and also christened it ‘Insaf’ has committed a painful injustice.”
The statement continues: ”The sober journalists of Geo/Jang Group fail to understand whether Imran has had any business partnership or any other animosity with the Jang Group management. Geo/Jang Group media persons know fully well that these are old tactics and the Group has seen many such tactics many a time in its 67-years life. We have seen many things. Imran Khan has thrown aside all previous precedents and experiences and has crossed all rules and codes. You did not bother to display any respect for any established legal, moral or national entity. You forgot even common courtesy. No politician has stooped as low in Pakistan nor is there any precedent to be quoted from the world over. All media persons know fully well that you are not pleased with the entire journalistic material, news, reviews, comments etc produced, printed or aired by the Group and this is easy to understand. Our writings and programmes are the root cause of all the ill feelings. If not please tell us what personal problem do you have with the management. The way the workers of your political party defend you, similarly it is our binding duty to stand by our institution as well as the management. The people belonging to the largest media group are pained to note that they have been dubbed traitors. The 5,000 families of the employees of the Group are sick at heart, mainly because we earn our bread and butter from here.”
The statement further says: “You have levelled dirty allegations against other journalists too and this has become your nature. “The statement goes on to say: “The Journalists’ community or writers who hold independent opinion and those who, in your opinion, are not supporting you or are not dancing to your tunes, are at the receiving end in the shape of your thunderous speeches and threats and they fall victim to the wrath of your workers. We and our companions sit in the offices and buildings and vehicles where you order attacks. We again are there in the buildings and DCNG TV vehicles. It is again the journalists and media workers who have to face the attacks of your workers. All our unions, their journalists, and their media workers liken your fake sympathy with hypocrisy and double standards and they are all pained at this. Our journalists and workers are in a state of shock and they are all terror-stricken. Still in this hour of acute pressure we stand by the management, lock, stock and barrel. We will be with the management as your workers are with you.”
The statement says: “Your denunciation of the attacks on the Geo/Jang Group offices is in fact admission of a crime. You have conceded that the Geo/Jang Group is attacked merely because you have some quarrel or problem with the management.”
According to the statement it is not only the Geo/Jang Group on which Imran Khan is spitting fire, he has abused the entire journalistic community by naming them ‘lifafa journalists’ and this is in the same fashion as he has levelled baseless charges against the judiciary, parliament, police, bureaucracy, and politicians without any proof, of course. This does not end here. He not only threatens them but uses uncivilised and vulgar language about them”.
The statement says: “In our resolution we have noted that some of our colleagues have been your supporters, but your misbehaviour and foul language has dismayed them and they are disappointed with you and they have openly expressed their thoughts. The journalistic community and media workers painfully believe that there had been a number of ills in our society. Your foul language is misleading the youth of the nation whereas our religion enjoins on us to talk with love and justice. But here the boot is on the other leg. There is a visible increase in levelling spurious allegations. Our colleagues who had soft corner for you are now absolutely disappointed with your frivolous and baseless allegations such as treason. Thus you have indirectly dubbed thousands of our colleagues traitors. This is unbecoming of a national leader of your stature”.
The statement further says: ”If you have proof of corruption against the management, what stops you from making them public? You prefer to remain silent on the answers to bogus allegations against the Geo/Jang Group which we have flashed on the website.”
The statement says: “We believe that you are opposed to our journalistic policies. The irony is that they are at the receiving end who are not following you blindly. We have the same policy with everyone. We accommodate people on the basis of equality and truth. This is something known to everybody.“
The union leaders who issued the statement include Nasir Chishti, President and Khalid Mehmood, General Secretary of Jang Union Rawalpindi.Khalid Feroz, President and Ziaul Qamar, General Secretary of The News Union Rawalpindi, Rukhsana Nazli, President and General Secretary S Babar Waseem of Jang Workers Union Lahore, Muhammad Munir, President and General Secretary Mushtaq Ahmad of Jang Press Workers Union Lahore, Shakeel Yamin Kangah, President and Muhammad Jamil, General Secretary Jang Employees Union Karachi, Haji Muhammad Iqbal, President and Rana Muhammad Yousaf, General Secretary of Javed Press Workers Union Karachi, Shehr Bano, President and Naqeebur Rehman, General Secretary of The News Workers Union Karachi, Abdul Samad Mengal, President and Mian Muhammad Sadeeque, General Secretary Jang Employees Union Quetta.