PTI attacks on journalists a result of what Imran says on stage | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

PTI attacks on journalists a result of what Imran says on stage

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD: What Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf workers shamelessly did to Geo TV’s journalists including a female anchor Sana Mirza in Lahore on Monday is in fact the same that is preached to them by Imran Khan from the stage.

Every time Imran bashes the owners of the Jang Group, he says at the same time that the workers of the group are hardworking and professional and that he has problems with the owners only. Perhaps Imran does not know that the reporters are the face of the Jang Group and only they are the ones who directly interact with the public. In political gatherings, it is the reporting and technical support staff that receives the brunt of fuming PTI supporters.

The same happened with the Geo team in Lahore on Monday. And to the dismay of all, Imran Khan gave a statement that Geo has become PML-N’s media cell and what was happening to the journalists and technical staff was a result of public reaction against the Jang Group. The PTI chief did not bother to condemn the violent incidents against the Jang Group journalists and did not even stop his workers from doing the same.

In his speech in the evening, Imran instead of condemning and issuing instructions to his workers, once again opened his tirade against Jang Group’s editor-in-chief which could ultimately result in another untoward event with the professional journalists of the group doing their duty of keeping the public informed.

Those who were manhandled in Lahore were not unknown faces. Senior journalist Sohail Warraich was manhandled by PTI supporters, the lively Amin Hafeez, Ahmad Faraz and others were pelted with stones and the female anchor Sana Mirza was harassed and hit with water-filled bottles. It is not the first time that female journalists have been manhandled or harassed by PTI workers, as in Faisalabad Maria Memon of Geo and in Islamabad female journalist Gharida Farooqi were also subjected to torture and harassment by Insafians. The PTI workers can stoop to any low when they see a female among them. Even Imaan Mazari, daughter of PTI secretary Information Dr Shireen Mazari, was harassed and pelted with stones in a procession in Liaquat Bagh Rawalpindi which then resulted in Imaan’s resignation from PTI.

Dr Arif Alvi, a senior PTI leader, on Monday had to issue a statement that it would be better for women in the PTI Dharna in Lahore to return to their homes. This statement was issued vis-a-vis complaints of women being harassed reported at the PTI rally.

Imran’s supporters ought to know that those journalists who were manhandled in Lahore had not rigged the 2013 general elections for which PTI is staging rallies and is closing down the major cities to record its protest. Sana Mirza and Amin Hafeez have neither stopped the Election Tribunals from deciding any election petition nor have they caused the delay in dispensation of “justice” to Imran Khan, Jahangir Khan Tareen and others from PTI.

It is just a humble reminder to Imran Khan that it was only the Jang Group that published a number of stories against its own members including the much-talked-about ‘35 Punctures’ story that was published in The News and nowhere else.

The Jang Group has published stories against its own columnists, anchors, editors and journalists on a number of occasions in the recent past which was never the agenda of the editor-in-chief. The journalists of Jang Group newspapers and Geo are independent in filing reports. Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman has nothing to do with the filing of these reports. He is rarely approached for guidance. It is an insult to independent journalists to say that their reports are influenced by anyone else. Imran in fact wants to pressurise the owners to get those reports stopped that are against him or his party.

The News