MQM denies role in journalist’s sacking
By: Asim Yasin
ISLAMABAD: The MQM on Monday denied it exerted pressure on the management of a private TV channel to sack anchorperson Nusrat Javed.
Clarifying the position in the National Assembly, MQM’s deputy parliamentary leader Haider Abbass Rizvi rejected the accusations made against his party and asked the media to avoid airing reports without confirmation. “It is astonishing that the MQM was maligned on this issue without checking facts,” he said, adding that Nusrat Javed had himself told him on the phone that the MQM had no role to play in his sacking.
Rejecting the allegation of having maneuvered the sacking of Nusrat Javed he said, on the contrary, the MQM through negotiations with the management of the TV channel had managed Nusrat Javed’s restoration.
Journalists boycotted the proceedings of the National Assembly and the Senate to register their protest on the beating up of a Pushto language TV channel’s reporter in Peshawar by ANP workers as well as the sacking of anchorperson Nusrat Javed and threats to journalists.
After negotiations with information minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan in her chamber journalists ended their boycott on the assurance that the government would take these issues seriously and that the MQM and ANP would explain their position in the National Assembly.
Haider Abbass Rizvi expressed his party’s complete support to the media and said the MQM had always stood with journalists and would continue to do so as it believed in the freedom of the press. Rizvi said on hearing the report of the sacking of the senior journalist he immediately talked to the administration of the TV channel, who told him clearly that there was no pressure from any quarter and it was purely their decision.
Haider Rizvi also referred to his talk with Geo anchorperson Hamid Mir who also agreed that the MQM had no hand in it. “Both have promised to appear on TV to tell the truth but we are still waiting for them to fulfill their promise,” he said.
He also protested that the media had not taken up the manhandling of journalists by Dr Zulfiqar Mirza in Hyderbad. “The Geo reporter Shoaib Burney was kidnapped by the goons of Dr Zulfiqar Mirza and was tortured and the Geo administration had registered an FIR against the incident,” he added.
On the issue of Wali Khan Babar, Haider Abbass Rizvi said the MQM has always condemned the killing of Wali Khan Babar. He said the interior minister had promised to arrest the killers of Walk Khan Babar and their cases are in the court of law. “We want the killers to be brought to justice even if they have any links with the MQM,” he added.
He said he had good relations with Wali Khan Babar and he was like his younger brother. Earlier, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Monday assured the National Assembly that the government was taking steps to resolve the issues confronting the journalists’ community. She said journalists would be provided adequate protection.
Source: The News