Arrest of Jang/Geo Editor-in-Chief: Countrywide protest gains momentum

July 04, 2020

RAWALPINDI: The countrywide protest of the workers of Geo and Jang Group on the call of Joint Action Committee against the illegal arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir...

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RAWALPINDI: The countrywide protest of the workers of Geo and Jang Group on the call of Joint Action Committee against the illegal arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman continued on Friday while demanding for his release.

Workers said that the civil society, Human Rights activists and political workers were also demanding justice for editor-in-chief of Geo and Jang Group.

The protest camp of workers of Geo and Jang Group along with journalist organizations, labour organizations and political workers continued on the 113th day against the illegal arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. The workers chanted slogans and raised placards against the illegal arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group and the ongoing conspiracies against the Geo and Jang Group.

The demonstrators thanked President Dr Arif Alvi for supporting justice to Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

Secretary General Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Nasir Zaidi said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is the torch bearer of freedom of media in the country and the days are not far when not only he will be released but also the freedom of media would also be achieved. He said the journalists along with civil society and political workers had launched the movement for the freedom of the media in the country at this difficult time.

Chairman Joint Action Committee of workers of Geo and Jang Group Nasir Chisti said all the political parties had consensus that Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was arrested illegally without any case.

He said the morale of workers of Geo and Jang Group was high despite the scorching heat and will continue the protest till the release of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group.

Chief Reporter Jang Rawalpindi Rana Gulam Qadir thanked President Dr Arif Alvi for seeking justice for Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. He said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was emerging as the national voice for the freedom of media in the country. Secretary General RIUJ Asif Ali Bhatti said the people were asking now why Mir Shakil was arrested. He said the days are coming when Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman will be released. PML-N cultural wing President Rawalpindi Riffat Abbassi said the Jang Group has contributed to Pakistan since its independence. Media workers of the Jang Group Munir Shah, Amjad Abbassi, Malik Nusrat and others called for the release of Mir Shakil. They vowed to continue the protest till the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

Our correspondent adds from Karachi: Renowned businessman Arif Habib on Friday condemned the detention of Jang Geo Editor-in-chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and demanded his immediate release. Habib remarked that the Mir family had rendered exemplary services in establishing the media industry in the country and Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman should be treated as a businessman.

He expressed his apprehensions over the way the federal government is dealing with Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in a bogus 34-year-old private transaction matter and said that it reeked of ulterior motives. He said that business community was concerned over the long and unjust incarceration of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman as he was already cooperating with the National Accountability Bureau yet he was taken into custody. He demanded that the Jang Geo editor-in-chief should be released on bail and given a fair trial. He said that Mir Shakil had a business empire here and he was not about to run from the country.

Muhammad Ejaz Khan adds from Quetta: The Geo and Jang Group workers on Friday rejected false and fabricated allegations against its Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and vowed to foil conspiracies against Pakistan’s largest media house.

The protesters carried placards and banners inscribed with slogans in favour of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman's immediate release. They chanted slogans and vowed to continue the protest movement till the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

The Geo/Jang Group workers, along with the office bearers of Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ), representatives of the civil society and labour organisations, while protesting against the illegal arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman outside the Jang Building in Quetta, said that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman had refused to make any compromise on his ideology of freedom of media in the country.

Speaking on the occasion, the representatives of BUJ said that Mir Shakil was struggling for the supremacy of constitution in the country. They lauded Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman for challenging those powerful who negated the freedom of media. Office-bearer National Party (NP) Dr Ishaque Baloch said the government, since coming into power, had invested all the resources in its vengeful campaign against political rivals and independent media.

Maulana Hamadullah of Jang called for the release of Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief and said that the purpose of his arrest was only to bring the media under pressure. He said that the government was conspiring to control the media through censorship to hide the truth before the people. Leader of NP and former provincial minister Rehmat Baloch said that the government should immediately release Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, as it had failed to prove anything against him. He added that Mir Shakil has always struggled for the freedom of media.

Our correspondent adds from Peshawar: The workers of Jang-Geo Group on Friday continued protest against the arrest of their Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. Carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans, the protesters demanded immediate release of Mir Shakil and withdrawal of cases against him.

They chanted slogans against the government and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for implicating Mir Shakil in a 34-year-old property case for not following the government line while Awami National Party (ANP) leader Farid Toofan visited the protest camp to extend solidarity to the Jang Group workers and pledged support to them.

Paying rich tributes to Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and his family for highlighting the problems of the common people, he said the government would not be able to pressurize the major media of the country through such tactics.

Farid Toofan said that his party stood by the Jang Group and would continue to support it until the release of Mir Shakil. He added that the detention of Mir Shakil was unjust, saying he had committed no wrong. Coming down hard on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government for trying to keep the media and journalists in chains, he said it would ruin the system and that was not acceptable to them.

By raising his voice against the injustices of the government, he said Mir Shakil had an established history, saying the government could not pressurise the Jang Group. He added that the government was trying to suppress the voice of the independent media to hide its corruption scandals. He appealed to the chief justice Supreme Court to take suo motu notice of the injustice being meted out to Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and the Jang Group.



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