Jang-Geo Group reporters, anchors termed agents of Israel, Russia, India -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Jang-Geo Group reporters, anchors termed agents of Israel, Russia, India

GILGIT: The ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Monday came under severe attack in the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly from the opposition benches for unleashing a relentless assault on the Jang Media Group for “attempting to dislodge the government”.

Wazir Hassan, a PPP lawmaker from Rondu, speaking on a point of order, asked the government to put a ban on the Jang group for launching an anti-government media campaign for quite sometime.

This proved the tip of the iceberg as an independent lawmaker Raziuddin, who is also the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, unleashed a relentless assault on the group, terming it anti-state and its senior staff reporters and anchors agents of Israel, Russia and India. He said that they were undermining the basis of the country on the directives of others.

The outburst was rebuffed by the opposition benches immediately as a number of lawmakers rose to their feet and took the PPP to task for being unable to deliver in the past three years. “The assault on the media is meant to cover-up their own scandals of corruption and bad governance,” said Haji Janbaz Khan, a lawmaker representing the PML-N.

Mirza Hussain, a PML-Q lawmaker, and Raja Azam, a MQM lawmaker, were among others who reacted swiftly to the remarks of the PPP lawmaker and asked the government to put its house in order first. They termed the act as an attempt to curb the freedom of expression.

The journalists sitting in the press gallery also reacted to the comments against the media and staged a walkout from the assembly. On the intervention of Ali Madad Sher, who is also the Minister for Information, journalists returned to their seats. The minister termed the comments of Wazir Hassan against the Jang Group his personal comments that had nothing to do with the government.

In the session, the Law Minister, Wazir Shakil, presented a bill concerning iodised salt in the assembly. If the bill is approved, sale of salt other than the iodised will be treated as an offence. The deputy speaker handed the bill over to a committee for evaluation.

In the beginning of the session, a lawmaker, Wazir Hassan, moved a motion about an incident in which Aqeel, a resident of Hospital Colony, had aimed a gun at him, warning that he would kill the minister. Wazir said that the man had also admitted killing the former deputy speaker. He requested that the man be arrested and investigated for the murder of former deputy speaker.

Lawmakers, including Mirza Hussain, Maulana Sarwar, Raziuddin, and Nasir Khan, supported the motion and demanded an inquiry. The deputy speaker asked the government to ensure safety of the lawmakers and also order an in-depth inquiry into the matter.
Source: The News
Date:11/9/2010