Newspapers to observe Protest Day
PESHAWAR- The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) at its meeting held with its President Arif Nizami in the chair at Peshawar decided to observe a Protest Day to condemn the bomb explosion in the Karachi office of daily Nawa-e-Waqt as well as to denounce the bomb scare reports in the offices of daily Jang and Dawn. However, final date in this respect will be announced after consultation with the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS).
The meeting declared that bomb explosion in the office of daily Nawa-i-Waqt could not be considered as an incident but it should be treated as a virus, which is rapidly spreading. In this connection, reaction from the government was very poor and the Press community comprising CPNE, APNS, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and Press Clubs from all over the country would effectively demonstrate its stand through a movement. A message would be conveyed through this protest that the whole Press community was feeling insecure.
The meeting observed that human losses due to bomb explosion in the offices of daily Nawa-i-Waqt were irreparable, and it was deplorable that the government had failed to arrest the culprits. It was decided that on the eve of proposed Protest Day, Press community will observe one-hour pen down strike in the offices of all newspapers. Likewise, in connection with increasing threats to the newspapers, an advertisement campaign will be launched in the Press and on that day all the newspapers will be published with black borders. Protest demonstrations and meetings will also be arranged in all the four provincial capitals and Islamabad on that day.
It was also decided to constitute a joint committee of the CPNE and APNS to monitor increasing threats to the newspapers and take timely action.
The meeting praised services of former Information Minister Mr Javed Jabbar for maintaining cordial relations between the government and the Press. However, the meeting expressed dissatisfaction over the attitude of the present media managers and asked the government with whom should the Press community hold talks in the absence of an Information Minister.
The CPNE meeting demanded the government to take immediate steps for the protection and security of newspapers and Press community and establish security gate, at the reception offices of all the newspapers.
The meeting observed that sometime threats by lingual, religious and political forces to the newspapers result in unrest and harassment making it difficult for the newspapers and Press community to fulfil their responsibilities in a free atmosphere. It further observed that terrorism had increased and law and order situation further deteriorated. In this respect, it appealed to all lingual, religious and political forces to exercise tolerance with a democratic spirit. It asked such organisations to cooperate with the newspapers in the eradication of terrorism. It was further decided that final decision and an announcement in this respect will be made in consultation with APNS.
The meeting was chaired by CPNE President Arif Nizami and was attended by Mir Shakeel-ur Rehman, Zia Shahid, Khushnood Ali Khan, Jamil Athar, Syed Fasih lqbal, Khalid Mehmood Shah, Sharif Farooq, Pir Sufaid Shah, Mohammad Aslam Qazi, Abdul Rashid Ghazi, Mustafa Sadiq, Qazi Asad Abid, Javed Mehr Shamsi, Aamir Mehmood and Jabbar Khattak.
Source: The Nation