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Wednesday June 12, 2024

Journalist bodies protest against police failure to arrest Jan Mahar’s murderers

By Our Correspondent
November 21, 2023
This screengrab shows Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) President Afzal Butt speaking at a protest rally held at the CM House on Nov 20, 2023. — Facebook/jan Ali Laghari
This screengrab shows Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) President Afzal Butt speaking at a protest rally held at the CM House on Nov 20, 2023. — Facebook/jan Ali Laghari

On an appeal of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists’ (PFUJ) Sindh Action Committee, journalists from across province protested in Karachi on Monday against the police failure to arrest the killers of slain senior journalist Jan Mohammad Mahar.

After marching from the Karachi Press Club, they staged a sit-in outside the Chief Minister House. To block the march, the police had placed containers and closed the routes leading to the CM House. However, the journalists crossed all obstacles and reached the CM House to stage the sit-in.

The protesters included representatives of various journalist organisations, bar associations, civil society and labour unions. Holding banners and placards, the participants shouted slogans for the immediate arrest of the killers.

Addressing the crowd during the march, PFUJ President Afzal Butt said that we do not want assurances, but the arrest of the killers. The protest will continue until the arrest of the culprits, he said and added that the murder of Jan Mohammad Mahar is a test case for us, and protests are going on across the country.

In his address, PFUJ Secretary-General Arshad Ansari warned the government and administration that journalists will not sit idle until the Mahar’s killers are arrested. Despite having a budget of billions, the failure of the Sindh police to arrest the killers of the slain journalist raises questions about the police’s performance, he remarked.

Mazhar Abbas, the convener of the Sindh Action Committee, said that we want the arrest of the killers rather than assurances from the government.

Senior journalist Hafeez Tariq said that even if we want, we cannot follow the rulers’ dictates. We, the journalists, will combat injustice through the pen, and after today’s demonstration, it is evident that the struggle of journalists has not weakened.

Former Karachi Bar Association president Naeem Qureshi, Executive Member Sindh Bar Council Ghulam Rasool, Amer Mahmood, and labour leader Liaquat Sahi also demanded the immediate arrest of Mahar’s killers. They said that despite tall claims, there is no peace anywhere in the province. In the rally, PBA President Shakeel Masood, CPNE Secretary-General Ijazul Haq, AEMEND President Azhar Abbas and people from different walks of life participated.

After the sit-in, a meeting of the Sindh Action Committee regarding the future course of action took place at the Karachi Press Club.