Arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman: Protest by Jang-Geo Group workers continues

June 03, 2020

RAWALPINDI: The workers of Geo and Jang Group along with journalist organisations, civil society and political workers continued their protest on Tuesday against the illegal arrest of...

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RAWALPINDI: The workers of Geo and Jang Group along with journalist organisations, civil society and political workers continued their protest on Tuesday against the illegal arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and vowed to continue the struggle till the release of the Editor-in-Chief and achieving the goal of freedom of media.

The countrywide protest of workers of Geo and Jang Group continued on 81st day on Tuesday during which the journalists chanted slogans with placards in their hands for the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and condemnation on curbs on freedom of media.

Addressing the protest outside the offices of Jang and The News on Murree Road in Rawalpindi, speakers called for release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and vowed to continue their protest till the release of the Editor-in-Chief.

Senior leader of the JUIF Multan Maulana Ayazul Haq Qasmi said the JUI-F stands with the workers of Geo and Jang Group and journalist community for the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

He said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was arrested in fake and fabricated case and was in illegal detention without any charge for the last 81 days. He said the JUI-F always stood with the journalists for their demand of freedom of media. “The puppet and selected government was imposing restrictions on the media so that no one can raise voice against the rulers,” he said.

Leader of the PML-N Rawalpindi Imtiaz Taji said the nexus of NAB with the rulers has been exposed with the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in a fabricated case. He said the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is illegal.

Secretary General Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Nasir Zaidi said the struggle of journalists will continue for the freedom of media. “Our struggle is not only for the freedom of media but also to protect the institutions of the country,” he said. He said the Jang Group always believed in the Constitution and law of the land and struggle for upholding the Constitution and freedom of expression.

Secretary General Multan Union of Journalists Shafqat Bhutta said the journalist community is united and demanded the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

Finance Secretary Multan Union of Journalists Rana Irfan Islam said the curbs on the media were imposed by the rulers. He said journalists and all the segments of the society were calling for release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

Chief Reporter Jang Rawalpindi Rana Ghulam Qadir said the Editor-in-Chief is a professional journalist and if he acted like owners then he could get advertisements for his paper but instead of it he stood firm as a professional journalist.

Magazine Editor of Jang Rawalpindi Farooq Aqdas said the NAB’s act of arresting the Editor-in-Chief in a fake case will be written as black chapter in the history.

Former president PFUJ Afzal Butt said the efforts of putting pressure on Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman were continuing from the tenure of the ex-president General (R) Pervez Musharraf. He said the Editor-in-Chief stood firm on the principles for the freedom of media in the country.

Chairman Joint Action Committee and President Jang Workers Union Rawalpindi Nasir Chishti said the struggle of the workers of the Geo and Jang Group will continue till the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. “The dream of rulers to put the media into chains will never materialise,” he said.

Media workers of the Jang Group Munir Shah and Amjad Ali Abbasi said that the workers of the Geo and Jang Group stood united with the Editor-in-Chief and will continue their struggle for achieving the goal of freedom of media.

In Lahore, the workers of Jang/Geo Group continued protest against the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman on Tuesday.

Carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans in favour of their demands, the protesters urged the government to release Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and withdraw cases against him. Those who joined the protest camp included Jang’s Group Editor Shaheen Qureshi, Jang Workers Union Secretary General Farooq Malik, civil society leader Abdullah Malik, Zaheer Anjum, Maqsood Butt, Sher Ali Khalti, Awais Qarni, Aziz Sheikh, Muhammad Saleem, Saleem Azhar, Shahid Aziz, Munawwar Hussain and others.

Muhammad Saleem of advertising booking centre demanded dues from the government while talking to protesters on Davis Road. He asked the government to release Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and withdraw cases against him.

Abdullah Malik, member of civil society, said the rulers wants to deprive people of press freedom by detaining MSR. Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is the custodian of media freedom as he will never compromise on his duty of raising voice for truth, said Jang’s chief reporter Maqsood Butt. He said media cannot work for the truth without freedom, as it played the role of watchdog of the society.

Shaheen Qureshi said democracy could not survive without free media. George Flyod is a symbol of resistance in the US and Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is symbol of resistance in Pakistan, he added. Strong democracy is conditioned with freedom of media. He demanded the government release the withheld Rs6 billion arrears of media houses immediately so that media workers could be paid their salaries and dues under tough times. He said the journalists would continue their struggle for justice and make efforts for getting release Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, adding that when the journalists wage struggle for freedom of expression they always succeeded and many dictators were defeated by the torch-bearers of freedom of expression.

In Peshawar, workers of Jang/Geo Group continued protest against the arrest of their Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman here on Tuesday.

Carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans in favor of their demands, the protesters urged the government to release Mir Shakil and withdraw cases against him. The protesters chanted slogans against the government and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for victimizing opponents and suppressing voice of the independent media.

Speaking on the occasion, Resident Editor Jang Peshawar Arshad Aziz Malik, senior journalists, Gohar Ali and Qaisar Khan criticized the government for detaining Mir Shakil in a 34 years old property case to pressure him but the rulers would not succeed in their mission. They asked the government to release Mir Shakil and withdraw cases against him. The illegal detention of Mir Shakil had created problems for thousands of workers, the protesters said, adding that the media would continue highlighting truth and they could not be pressured through such tactics. They said the rulers and NAB had adopted silence over the mega corruption scandals and tried to divert attention of the people from real issues confronting the nation. They said they would expand their protest movement if their genuine demands were not accepted.



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