Assault on Dawn Reporter condemned
ISLAMABAD- Major political parties and unions of journalists and newspaper employees have condemned the incident in which an army officer attacked the senior Dawn journalist, Faraz Hashmi.
Chief of Muttehida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain while condemning the attack on the journalist by the serving army officer, Major Fawad Hafiz, demanded immediate registration of first information report (FIR) of the incident.
In a letter to the newspaper editor, the MQM chief said: “It is sickening to hear that Mr. Faraz Hashmi was brutalized by an officer of law enforcement agency. All sane elements of the country would condemn such an insane and disgraceful act committed against a journalist.”
Major Fawad Hafiz physically assaulted Faraz Hashmi near the newspaper offices following a minor collision of their cars.
Altaf Hussain said, “when FIR could be registered against the highest elected office on more than one occasion, then it is not excusable to protect someone,” the MQM chief said.
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has also condemned the attack on Mr. Hashmi and demanded a probe and registration of FIR against the officer.
A spokesman for the PPP said if an inquiry was not held and the complaint of the aggrieved not redressed, it would send a negative signal to the people.
He urged the human rights bodies and newspaper organizations to pursue the matter and ensure that the relevant provisions, of law were applied to all without any discrimination.
The information secretary of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML), Siddiqul Farooque, said the attack on Faraz Hashmi indicated that the officer considered himself above the law and had no respect for the civilians. He hoped the senior military command would take disciplinary action immediately against the officer,
He said such officers were responsible for tarnishing the image of the armed forces and therefore deserved deterrent punishment so as to check reoccurrence of such incidents in future.
The journalist community of Rawalpindi and Islamabad has strongly condemned the attack on Faraz Hashmi.
Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalist (Barna), Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists (Dastoor) and All Pakistan Newspaper Employees Confederation (Apnec), taking strong exception to the incident, have demanded of the government, to ensure a case is registered against the military officer.
The PFUJ president, I H. Rashid, the PFUJ secretary-general, Fauzia Shahid, the PFUJ Vice-president, C.R Shamsi, the Apnec chairman, Abdul Hamid Chappra, the general secretary, Pervez Shaukat, and the president Rawalpindi Press Club, Nawaz Raza, has expressed their anger and resentment over the incident.
They said the unprovoked attack on the senior journalist by Major Fawad of the General Head Quarters (GHQ) had sent a wave of shock among the journalists all over the country.
They said it was disgusting that the police did not register the case against the army officer and took any action against him.
The PFUJ warned that it would give a call for countrywide protests, if action not taken against the army major.