Media persons boycott assembly session
ISLAMABAD: Media persons staged a walkout from the Press gallery of the National Assembly on Monday in protest against the killing of three Express News staffers in Karachi. The boycott was jointly announced by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), National Press Club (NPC) and Parliamentary Reporters Association.
NPC President Shehyar Khan, while pointing to fresh threats to the media, asked for the government’s response over the killing of three Express News staffers.
Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid told the protesting journalists that the government shared their grief and concerns. He added that the prime minister has constituted a committee to look into the matter. The committee would meet on January 31, he added. Representatives of the journalist community would also be invited to the meeting.
However, the minister said there was no quick fix to the problem. “Journalists will remain unsafe even if every single one is provided with a bullet-proof vehicle. This issue cannot be addressed unless all of Pakistan is safe,” he said.
He said there should be consensus on some issues and those in opposition should be labelled ‘from other side’. Rashid said Taliban did not acknowledge democracy and considered it un-Islamic and those who have soft corner for them should be addressed.
“We have to overcome the divide within us as Pakistan is being attacked from within,” he added, ‘we all, including politicians, army and law enforcement agencies were unsafe’.