Election Committee declares Rana Azeem as PFUJ president
KARACHI: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Election Committee has announced Rana Azeem and Amin Yousaf as president and general secretary of the body after elections.
The Afzal Butt group has refused to accept the results when the election committee chairman Sajid Ali Sajid announced the results in front of the delegates who had come here from across the country.
Afzal Butt said more votes were cast than those registered and the election results were changed at gunpoint. The Election Committee spokesman said 240 out of 252 votes were cast and elections were held in a peaceful environment. He said both groups signed documents of election proceedings till the time of announcement of results, when they exchanged harsh words, followed by scuffles and throwing of chairs.
He said both the groups accused each other of brandishing weapons and held separate sessions. The PFUJ Executive Council later met with Rana Azeem in the chair and decided that the next session will be held in Bahawalpur. However, the FEC will hold its session in Islamabad.
The Executive Council was asked to take action against those who brought disrepute to the PFUJ through their actions. Amin Yousaf said his group had clinched victory in transparent elections and they believe in democracy and tolerance. He alleged that TV anchor Mushtaq Minhas and his colleagues made an attempt on former PFUJ Secretary Hassan Abbas’s life, pointing a gun on him. He said the Union has decided to stay united against the conspiracies to tarnish its image.
On the other hand, the FEC which met under the chairmanship of the newly-elected President, Afzal Butt, noted with concern that for the first time in the history of the PFUJ, against all the norms of decency and in violation of the PFUJ constitution and tradition, the outgoing FEC members with the support and patronage of armed persons belonging to an ethnic group took over the election proceedings and took away the election material at gunpoint.
He alleged Hasan Abbas even took a pistol and pointed it towards Mushtaq Minhas in the presence of dozens of journalists and the senior PFUJ members. The journalists present there intervened and stopped the situation from becoming worse.
The FEC decided to proceed against all those who had disgraced the PFUJ, attacked its senior members, made an attempt to manipulate the results and announced themselves to be elected office bearers.
It also demanded of the Sindh government to bring to justice all those involved in taking arms and law in their hands and removing the election material, including ballot papers. His group has proclaimed Butt the newly-elected PFUJ president and Khurshid Abbasi general secretary. Butt warned all such elements who are trying to use armed tactics to change the results by taking away the ballot papers and election material will be dealt with firmly.
The FEC also decided to observe Nov 3 as a ‘Black Day’ in the country when a military dictator imposed emergency in the country and banned TV channels. Protest meetings will be held throughout Pakistan.
It also decided to announce various committees for formulating strategy and line of action against the retrenchments, dismissal and removal of media persons, interim relief for journalists in the Eighth Wage Board and other issues.
The FEC regretted that the outgoing body without the mandate of any FEC meeting unilaterally constituted an election committee, which was partisan and in league with the outgoing body and the attackers.
The FEC was attended by all the newly-elected office bearers of the PFUJ, including Punjab Union of Journalists President Waseem Farooq; Balochistan Union of Journalists President Irfan Saeed; Khyber Union of Journalists Nisar Mahmood; Multan Union of Journalist President Rauf Maan; Faisalabad Union of Journalists President Shamsul Islam Naz; Abbottabad Union of Journalists President Sardar Naveed Ahmad; Rahimyar Khan Union of Journalists President Rana Mohammad Afzal; Gujranwala Union of Journalists General Secretary Yasir Ali Jutt; RIUJ General Secretary Bilal Dar and others.
Meanwhile, Shakeel Yamin Kanga, Jamil Ahmed, President and General Secretary, Jang Publications Employees Union, Karachi; Jamil Badayoni, Rana Mohammed Yousuf, President and General Secretary Javed Press and Modren Graphics services, Jang Karachi; M Shakeel Khan and Dara Zafar, President and General Secretary, The News Employees Union, Karachi; Babar Waseem General Secretary Jang Workers Union, Lahore; Munir Khokhar, Muhammad Fayyaz, President and General Secretary, Jang Press Workers Union, Lahore; Abdul Samad, Muhammad Siddique, President and General Secretary, Jang Employees Union Quetta congratulated Afzal Butt and his team.