Journalists up in arms against so-called democratic govt
ISLAMABAD: The journalist community across the country protested against the burning of copies of The News and Daily Jang, and blocking of Geo TV transmission in the so-called democratic era.
Various press clubs held emergency meetings to discuss the acts against media freedom. Journalists vowed that curbs on the media would not be tolerated at any cost. The Punjab Union of Journalists (PUJ) and the Lahore Press Club (LPC) on Sunday announced that a protest demonstration would be staged today (Monday) against the burning of copies of newspapers of the Jang group by miscreants in Karachi.
In a joint statement, PUJ President Rai Hasnain Tahir, General Secretary Rana Mohammed Azim, LPC President Sarmad Bashir, Secretary Ziaullah Khan Niazi and members of its governing body condemned the burning of the copies of The News and the daily Jang. Terming the incident an attack on freedom of expression, they said the media would continue to write truth.
In a meeting the two elected bodies of journalists decided to stage a demonstration at Faisal Chowk at 6pm today (Monday). They appealed to journalists, civil society, trade unions, lawyers and other segments of the society to participate in the protest to show their solidarity with the media.
Journalists in Mardan on Sunday condemned the coercive measures against the Jang group of newspapers and closure of Geo TV transmission in different areas. The condemnation came at an emergency meeting that termed the incidents an attack on the freedom of expression. The meeting was attended by senior journalists Musarrat Khan Asi, Shoaib Abbasi, Riaz Muhammad, Parvez Shaheen, Yousaf Khan, Hidayatur Rehman, Arif Jan, Ashraf Khan, Abdul Sattar and others with former vice president of Mardan Press Club Muhammad Riaz Mayar in the chair.
Journalists of Chakwal district also condemned the blocking of Geo TV’s transmission and burning of the copies of the daily Jang and The News. A black flag was hoisted atop the building of the Chakwal Press Club. An emergency meeting was also chaired by Chakwal Press Club chairman Khawaja Babar Saleem. A unanimous resolution was adopted against the actions against Geo TV, and newspapers of the Jang group. They said the journalist community in Chakwal would set up a hunger strike camp, if such acts were not stopped.
The journalist community of Bahawalpur under the umbrella of the Bahawalpur Union of Journalists (BhUJ) has severely condemned the burning of copies of the daily Jang and The News, and blocking of Geo News transmission in different areas of the country. A meeting of the BhUJ was convened under the chair of BhUJ president Muhammad Ameen Abbasi to condemn the act.
The Association of Television Journalists Pakistan has condemned the government efforts to suppress electric and print media by force and declared it an ambush on the independent journalism. An emergency meeting of the association was held which was presided over by its President Javed Saba in Karachi on Sunday.
According to the General Secretary of the association Faheem Saddiqui, a decision has been taken to launch a campaign against the steps taken against the electric and print media and in this regard a protest rally will be held today (Monday) at 3pm from Karachi Press Club to Chief Minister’s House.
He appealed to the activists, who belong to electric media, to prove through their unity that they could not be repressed by means of such nefarious designs neither in the past nor in the future. He said that the task of media is to carry out reporting of the events and in such way if the rulers mind anything then its reaction will tantamount to represent their characters.
Pakistan News Agencies Council (PNAC) Vice President Rana Tahir Mehmood and Secretary General Shakeel Turabi, strongly condemning the blocking of Geo News and another private TV channel, and torching of the copies of the daily Jang and The News, said on Sunday that the media could not be suppressed through such tactics.
In a joint statement issued here on Sunday, they urged the government to mend its ways, instead of taking dictatorial action against the freedom of the media. They demanded strict action against the people involved in this crime and asked the government to avoid creating hurdles in the transmission of Geo News.
Meanwhile, Geo News workers have decided to register a protest against the government in reaction to blockage of Geo News transmission and burning of the copies of the Jang Group publication.
The journalist community and the civil society have resolved to stage a massive string of demonstrations against stoppage of Geo TV transmission and burning of copies of The News and the daily Jang, sources said.
The demonstrations will be staged outside President House, Prime Minister House, in front of Oman Embassy in Islamabad, outside Chief Minister’s houses, Governor houses, press clubs and offices of cable operators all over country. A meeting of journalists and Geo News employees has been convened to decide further course of action over the issue, journalists told Geo News.
Source: The News