Journalists boycott parliament sessions
* Reporters demand security for their colleagues covering Rangers’ shooting and Kharotabad massacre
ISLAMABAD – Journalists on Friday staged a token walkout from the press galleries of the both houses of the parliament to protest against threats being given to media persons who gave media coverage to Karachi and Kharotabad incidents.
The angry journalists demanded of the government to trace those people who were making threatening phone calls.
They stressed that the security must be provided to cameraman Abdul Salaam Soomro and anchorperson Zahid Khokhar from Karachi who covered the Ranger’s shooting in Karachi the other day that killed a youth.
They said that Quetta based journalist, Jamal Tarakai, who took footage of Kharotabad massacre was also receiving threats.
On the directions of Senate chairman and National Assembly deputy speaker, Senator Jahangir Badar from the upper house and Imtiaz Safdar Wariach, Riaz Hussain Pirzada and Syed Khurshid Shah from lower house met the protesting journalist and assured them of their cooperation in this regard. On their assurance, the reporters ended their protest.
Later, the Chief Whip of Pakistan Peoples Party Syed Khursheed Shah assured the parliament that the government would provide full protection to media persons who were receiving threats.
He went on to say that concerned Rangers personnel would be held responsible if any harm befell those journalists. He said that the prime minister had also taken notice of the incident.
Meanwhile, Senate Chairman Farooq H Naek also directed the interior minister and home ministers of Sindh and Balochistan ensure security of the journalists.
“Those issuing threats must be apprehended and case be registered and report be submitted in the house before 17th of this month,” he issued the ruling. He also directed Leader of the House Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari to ask interior minister to update the house on Monday about the Karachi incident.
Naek expressed his dissatisfaction over the absence of Interior Minister Rehman Malik from the house.
Raza Rabbani observed that it was a grave issue but the interior minister did not bother to take the house into confidence. Babar Awan also requested the chair to issue ruling regarding security of journalists and common man.
Source: Pakistan Today