PFUJ condemns thrashing of journalist in Gujranwala -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PFUJ condemns thrashing of journalist in Gujranwala

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has taken strong exception to the inhumanly treatment meted out to the Gujranwala-based Correspondent of Express T.V channel Hafiz Shahid Muneer and his family members over exposing of the misdeeds and high headiness of the Police with the public.

In a strongly-worded statement issued here on Friday by the Secretary General PFUJ, Mr. Shamsul Islam Naz said that the T.V reporter family was harassed, terrified by dozens of police officials entered in to his house without any warrant, rim and reason. Family members including ladies and kids were disgraced, maltreated, abused and the entire belongings damaged. The police action was reported out come of a fair reporting by Hafiz Shahid Muneer who had exposed the police torture and abuse of powers in various criminal cases with the public on T.V channels.

Police come in to the action in highly objectionable manners at behest of the Deputy Inspector General of Police who is also holding the charge of regional police officer of Gujranwala, Zulifqar Cheema. Mr. Cheema is known as blue eye police officers of Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Shahbaz Sharif. Iftikhar Cheema, the real brother of Zulifqar Cheema is also a member of National Assembly from Gujranwala and belongs to PML-N.

It may be added DIG Zulifqar Ahmed Cheema is holding charge of three posts simultaneously including DIG Admin, Operation and RPO. The Gujranwala is his home town and according to the rules and regulations (ESTACODE), no officer of such status can be posted in a home district. Not only this Mr. Cheema reportedly holds daily open Katchehries at the Dera of his brother MNA Iftikhar Ahmed Cheema and makes postings and issues orders to the police for allegedly implicating the political opponent of Iftikhar Cheema. The DIG is known in whole Gujranwala as a symbol of terror who believes in physical torturing is the only method of investigation and to create hegemony of the Police in all sorts of cases.

The PFUJ Secretary General said that the Express reporter also covered a story about inhuman treatment of an alleged accused of theft who was dragged on road, kicked and punched and afterwards put on a donkey and smashed his face with shoes in an inhumanly manner which was witnessed millions of viewers in the country. It was also bone of contention of DIG for teaching a lesson to Hafiz Shahid Muneer.

He further said that the DIG and his brother are in habit of torturing, thrashing and insulting their opponents in broad daylight with impunity and this was first incident which involves a journalist of a professional integrity. The DIG win over the Sharif Brothers hearts after killing Nannho Goraya in a managed encounter in Gujranwala and plotting a scandal of the Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court.

The PFUJ expressed his anguish over the mysterious silence of the Punjab chief minister who immediately swings into action by taking notice of petty issues throughout province and was mum over this incident involving the respect of thorough professional journalist and added that constitution of enquiry committee through chief minister inspection team is nothing but eye wash. .

He also expressed his concern over the discreet silence of the Supreme Court Chief Justice Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry for ignoring this incident and demanded of him to take suo moto notice of the incident and open trial of DIG and his crony police officials responsible for maltreating and harassing the Express TV reporter. .

PFUJ also demanded of the Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif to immediately suspend the RPO Gujranwala due to whose presence the PML-N MNA as they become uncontrolled creatures and have crossed all norms of decency by punishing a journalist by employing unethical methods and abusing powers.

The PFUJ secretary general demanded the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), International human rights organizations, Civil Society as well as the United Nations to protect journalists and force the Government of Pakistan to create a conducive environment for ensuring fair reporting as per UNO charter.
Source: PFUJ Press Release
Date:6/8/2009