Condemnation: Punjab, Sindh assemblies slam attack on Express Media offices
KARACHI/LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on Monday condemning the attack on the Express Media office in Karachi and demanded that the Sindh government arrest the culprits in no time.
Two staff members were injured in the firing by four unknown armed men on August 16. One of the injured is still in a serious condition.
Condemning the attack, Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Iqbal said that journalists should be provided protection and the perpetrators of the attack arrested. He suspended the clauses of Rules and Procedures of Punjab Assembly 1997 and allowed the house to present the resolution, which was moved by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member Mian Aslam Iqbal.
Earlier, the Press Gallery Committee boycotted the proceedings of the house and staged a protest in front of the assembly against the incident. The presidents of the Lahore Press Club, Punjab Union of Journalists and Press Gallery Committee organised the protest and demanded the arrest of the perpetrators, upon which a four-member committee was formed to assure them of the Punjab Assembly’s support.
Punjab Health Minister Tahir Khalil Sindho told reporters that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has already taken a notice and the federal government will compile its report on the incident soon. Firing at the Express Media office is an attempt to silence an independent voice, he added.
Similarly, the Sindh Assembly also unanimously adopted joint resolutions condemning the attack on the Express Media office and demanded that the government arrest all the culprits and provide adequate security to media professionals and offices.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) MPA Khawaja Izharul Hassan requested Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani to move the resolution. All the leaders of the opposition and treasury benches endorsed it.
Khawaja Izharul Hasan said that before the attack, there were threats to the media group, but no efforts were made to provide security.
Disputing with Khawaja’s remarks, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said, “I have visited the office and held meetings with the management of the media group. No one had threatened them,” he said, adding that the Sindh chief minister had taken notice of the issue by forming a team to probe the incident.
“The Express media group has played an important role in promoting democratic values. I, on behalf of the government, assure full support to the group,” he said.