PTI defames Pakistan by attacking women journalists | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

PTI defames Pakistan by attacking women journalists

Pakistan Press Foundation

LAHORE: While Imran Khan and his loyalists did not let traders in Lahore’s 161 notable markets do any business on Monday by blocking over 40 key roads and hence the movement of prospective customers, the agitating 18-year old political entity also brought ignominy for Pakistan as a country unsafe for female working journalists.

A few unruly and rowdy Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf die-hard supporters had physically attacked a female Geo News staffer Sana Mirza in her fearless quest to cover Imran Khan’s much-publicised strike call.

The unfortunate incident was captured in real time by television cameras. While Sana again became a victim of PTI’s unexplainable wrath against Jang Group and Geo Television Network for the second time in less than a week’s time, two of her seasoned male colleagues Ahmed Faraz and Ameen Hafeez also had to bear the brunt of Imran Khan’s unending hate speech against Geo and Jang Group.

Just a few days ago, two prominent Pakistani women Malala Yousafzai and Asma Jahangir had made the country stand tall and shine brightly among the comity of nations by winning prestigious international awards for their valour and bravery—-something that did not perhaps please the attackers of Geo and Jang Group——who then made concerted efforts to earn the country a bad name.

Verbal attacks, slurs and abusive language against critical female journalists is not a new phenomenon in the world, but Pakistan now features among media-repressive countries like Iran, Russia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Azerbaijan and Afghanistan etc, where brutal intimidation of the symbols of feminine journalism is quite common.

Here follow a few recent examples where international female journalists were either fatally targeted or subjected to various forms of violence:Russian Journalist Anna Politkovskaya was assassinated in 2006 for her opposition to the Chechan War and President Vladimir Putin, Iran was globally slated for arresting many media women and bloggers; the Egyptian military police was vehemently criticised in November 2011 for breaking the arms of a local woman journalist Mona Eltahawy at Cairo’s Al-Tahrir Square. Further a British journalist Natasha Smith and a CBS News correspondent Lara Logan were sexually assaulted by a mob at Al-Tahrir Square. Reeyot Alemu of an Ethiopian newspaper was sentenced to 14 years in prison in September 2011 on charges of planning anti-government terrorist acts, Khadija Ismayilova of Azerbaijan was harassed/black-mailed with photographs from surveillance cameras installed in her apartment, A Reuters news agency photojournalist Nour Kelze was shot at and hospitalised twice for wounds she had sustained while covering the Syrian story. Najiba Ayubi of Afghanistan was threatened on numerous occasions and Cambodia’s Bopha Phorn had narrowly survived an orchestrated accident in April 2012.

It is noteworthy that following a heavy global condemnation, five of murdered Russian journalist Politkovskaya’s killers were convicted in 2014. Two of the five killers were awarded life sentences.

(References: UNESCO, CNN and the International Women’s Media Foundation)In all the above cases, efforts were made to identify the culprits, but from the look of things, it seems highly unlikely that Imran Khan would bring anyone to justice by either expelling the guilty elements from his rank and file or make them tender apologies to the targeted Jang Group/Geo News journalists.It is out of question that PTI would hand over any of its guilty workers to the police though!

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