Journalists angry as no FIR against FIA officials
ISLAMABAD: Journalists protested that an FIR has not yet been registered against Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials accused of manhandling journalists, in response to a call to protest by the Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) and the National Press Club (NPC).
FIA officials on July 21 manhandled Channel 24 reporters Saba Bajeer and Irfan Malik, cameraman Imran Iqbal and Dawn News reporter Aitzaz Hassan as well as others while they were trying to record footage of FIA officials with Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Zafar Hijazi.
A number of government offices and the administration of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), where the incident took place, have taken notice of the issue, but the police have not registered an FIR.
Journalists, civil society activists and political workers – including PPP Punjab women’s wing secretary Nargis Faiz Malik and Islamabad city president Iftikhar Shazada – participated in the protest at the NPC.
Journalists panel chairman Farooq Faisal Khan, addressing the protesters, said the journalist community has never compromised and would never compromise on press freedom.
He said: “We will continue our protest as long as the FIR is not registered against the FIA officials who were involved in the incident.”
NPC Secretary Imran Yaqoob said that although Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar speaks about merit and transparency, he becomes quiet when such incidents take place.
Journalists also staged a protest at PID where State Minister Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and Daniyal Aziz were about to hold a press conference.
Sources said Mr Hijazi’s condition has improved somewhat and he walked in his room and had a proper breakfast, but he will remain at Pims for another day because doctor’s feel he may need an angioplasty after an angiography.
Mr Hijazi’s pre-arrest bail was rejected on Friday in a case related to the tampering of records of a sugar mill owned by the Sharif family, after which he was taken to Pims for a medical check-up.
A team has been constituted by the hospital’s management, headed by cardiologist Dr Naeem Malik, which includes urologist Dr Sajid Qazi, nephrologist Dr Sohail Tanveer, general physician Dr Shajee Ahmed Siddiqui and Dr Faisal Kakar from the administration wing.
Pims Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Akram told Dawn that it will be decided if it is possible for Mr Hijazi to undergo an angiography on Monday morning, after which it will be decided if an angioplasty is needed. “The patient is continuously having chest pain and is also diabetic with a number of other problems so it may take time to get fully recovered and handed over to the police for investigation,” he said.