Journalists vow to defend freedom
KARACHI, May 04 2006: Journalists and other newspapers employees held rallies in major cities and towns in the country to mark the World Press Freedom Day. They vowed to defend freedom of expression and demanded recovery of Hayatullah Khan, a tribal area journalist missing for months, withdrawal of cases against newsmen and implementation of the Seventh Wage Board Award.
According to a press release of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), hundreds of media men took part in the rallies in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Hyderabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Abbottabad. In Rawalpindi, a procession was brought out from the press club which marched towards the President’s Camp Office.
Federal Minister of State for Information Tariq Azeem met the protesting journalists and assured them that their problems would be solved. Earlier, journalists covering the National Assembly walked out of the house to press their demands. Legislators of the combined opposition also staged a walkout to support the cause of press freedom and journalists’ demands.
In Lahore, journalists brought out a procession from the office of the Punjab Union of Journalists and held a demonstration outside the Punjab Assembly. In Karachi, newspaper employees and trade union leaders took part in a rally from the Karachi Press Club to the Governor’s House. In Hyderabad, newspaper employees, leaders of various political parties and trade union activists brought out a rally and held a protest meeting.
In Quetta, Chief Secretary K. B. Rind said the media policy of the government would ensure protection of the rights of working journalists. He said the government would not reduce the advertising budget of the province. Wednesday’s rallies completed the first phase of a protest campaign launched by the PFUJ and APNEC on March 21.
Source: B. Recorder