Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) demands judicial probe in Business Recorder burning -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) demands judicial probe in Business Recorder burning

KARACHI- The Karachi Union of journalists (KUJ) demanded of the government to set up a judicial commission to inquire into the burning of the Business Recorder Building and harassment of its staff by an unruly mob.

The KUJ meeting held at the Karachi Press Club to condemn hooliganism against the newspaper and its staff was largely attended by the members of the Karachi Union of Journalists, and Karachi Press Club.

A resolution of the KUJ, which was unanimously adopted, condemned the attack on the Recorder House, setting it on fire, entrapping the staff inside the burning building, attack on journalists and burning a large number of vehicles. The resolution demanded that the inquiry commission should probe into the factors loading to the destruction of the daily Business Recorder an expose those who had masterminded the attack.

The KUJ resolution further demanded exemplary punishment of the culprits, compensation to the owners of the newspapers and to those journalists who have lost their vehicles. The resolution said that the administration did not come to the help of the Recorder staff kept hostage for more than three hours and demanded an inquiry against the officials responsible for gross negligence.

Through another resolution, the meeting condemned the murder of a Thar-based journalist of a local daily, Sufi Khan Mohammad, and demanded punishment to all those involved in his murder.

Earlier, M.A. Zuberi, Editor, Business Recorder, while addressing the meeting said it was strange that despite knowing the Recorder House was under seige since after, the law-enforcement agencies did not take any action.

He said they let the Newspaper house burn and its staff suffer the agony from noon till about 11:30 p.m. Zuberi said it was a targetted act of terrorism against the newspaper and its staff.

Abul Akhiyar, Senior Executive Editor, Business Recorder, naratted the ordeal he went through on May 18, night. He said that he was under the trauma for more than six hours and still feel its effects. He said he could not understand the motive behind the act of terrorism.

Minhaj Barna, former president of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) condemned the attack on Business Recorder and called for joint action by the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE), All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) , and All Pakistan Newspaper Employees Confederation (APNEC) to safeguard against any act of terrorism.

He said such acts are usually state-sponsored. Abdul Hamed Chapra, President of the APNEC, said the owners of all the newspapers, editors, working journalists and newspaper workers should assemble at one stage and adopt a common strategy to face such acts of terrorism in future.

Sabihuddin Ghouri, former president of the Karachi Press Club (KPC), said there should be no complacency on the part of other newspaper and their staff. He said the attack on the Business Recorder is the beginning of a well planned series of attacks newspapers and working journalist.

He said all the newspaper organisations should now be on guard against such attacks.

Sarfraz Ahmad, president of the Karachi Union of Journalists, said that the KUJ and its members would not yield to any pressure from the government. The working journalists would continue to resist all fundamentalists bent upon taming newspapers. He called upon the journalist to remain united and be prepared to state as well as religions organisation’s terrorism.

Wirasat Hussnain, former president of the KUJ, Khurshed Tanveer, president of the Karachi Press Club (KPC), Ahfaz-ur-Rahman and Tahir Najmi, general secretary of the KUJ also addressed the meeting.

Source: Business Recorder
Date:5/25/2000