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RIUJ concerned at Imran’s bid to malign journalists

By News Desk
November 08, 2022

RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists has expressed grave concern over an attempt by PTI Chairman Imran Khan to implicate three journalists in an assassination bid on him.

In a statement, the union said Imran Khan had named three senior journalists, Hamid Mir, Murtaza Solangi and Waqar Satti, in the incident, which put their lives in danger. “It also aims at influencing their professional duties,” it said, adding that media organisations would not allow any institution, political party or leader to suppress freedom of expression.

It said the PFUJ had condemned the attack on Imran Khan vehemently and called for lodging a case and arresting the accused, while it also rejected a Pemra ban on live coverage of his speeches and called it an attack on press freedom. “Imran Khan should not level such charges against journalists, which are an attack on freedom of the press,” it added.

In a joint statement, RIUJ President Abid Abbasi and General Secretary Tariq Virk said reporters and channels had carried the statement of the accused as they received it and Imran Khan’s objection was unjustified. “If they had carried the statement of a fake accused or his remarks had been twisted, then Imran Khan was justified to criticize them. However, if the allegations continue, the union has the right to initiate legal action to protect its members,” they added.

Meanwhile, senior journalist Asma Shirazi has said that Imran Khan had crossed the media red line. In a video post, she said he had directly attacked journalists and institutions and asked the journalist community to file a defamation case against him. “He is trying to discredit the senior journalists through the allegations that they were fanning religious fanaticism. He also discredits the police. He attempted to malign journalists so that only his version is carried and accepted. He threatened the chief justice over the formation of a full court to hear the case and attempted to malign the army and ISI. He is also trying to weaken the state. It is time for journalists to stand up and speak the truth, though they will be targeted for it,” she added.