PFUJ slam firing on media persons in Malakand by security forces -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PFUJ slam firing on media persons in Malakand by security forces

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has expressed great concern and dismay over the excess of the security forces against the media persons at Malakand Top and injuring a Cameraman, Driver of a TV Channel and a Photographer of national daily and demanded high level inquiry into this incident and action against those who are responsible for firing on the media team without any provocation and warning.

According to the PFUJ, its affiliated Khyber Union of Journalists have reported that “reporting team of AVT Khyber along with a photographer of a national daily was on their way to the volatile region of Dir Lower for coverage and all of sudden the security forces without giving any warning fired at Malakand top, causing bullet injuries to cameraman of AVT Khyber Malik Irfan and driver Mushtaq.

A reporter of Khyber TV Lihaz Ali and photographer Abdul Majeed Goraya were also part of the team, who narrowly escaped. The injured were rushed to Civil Hospital Dargai wherefrom they were referred to Peshawar for treatment. “We got registered with the authorities at Dargai and were allowed by the security forces deployed at Malakand Top after thoroughly checking to move ahead. No sooner did we leave the security forces, they opened firing at us,” said Lihaz Ali.

The PFUJ taking serious notice of the security forces accesses and high headiness pointed out that such incidents become the order of the day in conflict areas.

In a statement here on Tuesday the PFUJ Secretary General Shamsul Islam Naz, pointed out that the media persons are already in a constant threat and literally forced to give up their professional duties in the Swat, Deer, Malakand, Bonair and other areas of the NWFP where the armed forces are launching operations. Since the beginning of the operations in these areas the reporting and the real picture of the plights of the affectees of the operations and actual damage are not coming in a lime light because of the extra ordinary security measures adopted by the armed forces in these areas and keeping away the media persons from the spot reporting.

“Since several weeks not a single media person was allowed to enter into the areas where the security forces are claimed to active in eliminating the terrorist and the only source of the operational activities depends upon the statements being released by a department of the Inter Service Public Relation (ISPR). This is nothing but direct impediments for independent reporting for the media persons and suppressing the right of the freedom of press and expression” the PFUJ asserted.

The PFUJ severely criticized the government strategy of keeping away the media persons from the conflict areas and urge upon the government that instead of keeping the entire entire nation in the dark to provide access to media persons to the restive areas and ensure foolproof steps for the security of the journalists.

The PFUJ also stressed upon the Federal Government and the Army Chief to take notice of such ugly incident in which the media persons were injured owing to the firing of the security forces.
Source: PFUJ Press Release
Date:6/10/2009