Politicians back journalists’ call for security
PESHAWAR: Political parties of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday joined hands with Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in their demand for the provision of protection to media men and payment of the compensation equal to that paid to the families of the personnel of the law-enforcement and security agencies killed in the terrorism incident.
The representatives of the political parties included ANP, PPP-Sherpao, JUI-F, JI, PML-N and PML-Q respectively attended the dialogue on ‘Keeping Journalists Safe Makes democracy Stronger: Reporting in the Times of Conflict organised under the auspices of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in collaboration with Inter-media here at Peshawar Press Club (PPC).
Those who represented their political parties concerned were included Senior Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour (ANP), Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao (PPP-Sherpao), Senator Professor Ibrahim Khan (JI), former provincial minister for information and secretary information JUI-F, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Asif Iqbal Daudzai, Shazia Aurangzeb (PML-N) and Intikhab Alam advocate of PML-Q.
Addressing the participants of the dialogue, Senior Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour assured full support to the demands of the journalists regarding the provision of security and payment of equal compensation to the journalists’ victim of the terrorism incident as provided to the families of the law-enforcement and security agencies in the country.
He said that journalists highlight the true picture of the situation, saying that before the establishment of the coalition government militants have had established their writ in Swat, who were punishing people with whip and no one was daring to challenge them.
He said that the provincial government is thankful to the media for presenting true picture of the situation enabling the government to take measures for arresting the insurgency.
He said that the revival of the tourism sector in Swat has been achieved with the active support of the media. Bashir Bilour said that the provincial government had taken a number of steps for the welfare of the journalists’ community including start work on the Durrani Media Colony to provide residential facilities to the media men of the provincial metropolis.
Provincial amir, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Senator Professor Ibrahim Khan fully supported the demand of the PFUJ for payment of compensation to the victims’ journalists of the militancy at par with law-enforcement and security agencies of the country. He said that media play important in the restoration of peace and judiciary provided it sustainability.
Shazia Aurangzeb, a leader and provincial legislator of PML-N called for the acceptance of the role of the media as fourth pillar of the state, saying that they should also be given the same honour and respect as given to the personnel of police and military. She said that during operation in Swat and recent flash floods media has boosted the image of military and has highlighted the true picture before not only the people of Pakistan, but also at international level.
Asif Iqbal Daudzai, former provincial minister for information and secretary information JUI-F, Khyber Pakhunkhwa said that in the country in general and in the province in particular during the so-proclaimed war on terror, journalists are risking their lives in reaching the venues of the bomb blasts.
He demanded of both the government as well as the management of the media organisations for granting all constitutional rights to journalists. He said that the journalists should be extended the same incentives as given to the personnel of law enforcement agencies and security agencies. Central senior vice president PML-Q, Intikhab Alam advocate said that the journalists should be given the rights enshrined in the constitution.
Provincial president, PPP-Sherpao Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao said that the journalists of the Khyber Pakhunkhwa and Fata had played appreciable role against terrorism. On this occasion, all participants particularly political leaders signed a declaration for safety of media persons in Pakistan. The function was also addressed by President, PFUJ, Pervez Shaukat, general secretary, Shams-ul-Islam Naz, president, Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ), Syed Bukhar Shah and president, Peshawar Press Club (PPC), Shamim Shahid
Source: Business Recorder