Journalists protest against minister’s inappropriate tone, demeanour
ISLAMABAD: Journalists covering the joint session of Parliament on Monday staged a walkout from the press gallery to protest against Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh’s inappropriate tone and demeanour to Islamabad Resident Editor of Business Recorder Anjum Ibrahim as well as non-payment of salaries to their colleagues by some media organisations.
As soon as the joint session of the parliament resumed its sitting after a break of six days, journalists left the press gallery in protest against the Finance Minister and the non-payment of salaries to fellow journalists in some electronic as well as print media organisations.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Law Minister Moula Bakhsh Chandio talked to the protesting journalists and assured them that their grievances would be addressed by a committee comprising representatives of the Parliament, Information Ministry and journalists.
The Information Minister while referring to the Finance Minister, apologised on behalf of the government and the PPP, saying that it was not the party policy.
“I will talk to the minister concerned,” she further said.
Later, the Information Minister personally conveyed her commitment to senior woman journalist.
The Minister also assured journalists that the issue of non-payment of salaries to journalists would be taken up with the APNS.
She also held out an assurance that the issue of suspension of grant of two news agencies would also be taken up with the concerned authorities and hoped that it would be resolved.
Later, the journalists ended their protest after the Information Minister gave an assurance on the floor of the house, saying that all the reservations of the media persons would be taken up with the Prime Minister on his return from abroad.
She also offered all possible co-operation to National Assembly Secretariat for setting up a media cabin to facilitate journalists at the main gate of the Parliament House.
Earlier, leader of the opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan while speaking on a point of order, invited attention of the House about concerns of the media persons.