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February 23, 2017

Minister’s row with journalists ends

Top Story

February 23, 2017

ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb played a focal role in solving an untoward incident which happened between a journalist and State Minister for IT Anusha Rehman on making video in Supreme Court premises on Wednesday. The incident spread a wave of resentment among journalists who lodged protest against her action of snatching mobile from the journalist. The journalist bodies filed application against her. The Journalist bodies on Wednesday agreed to withdraw application against Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman after a successful meeting with the ministers.

A journalist delegation, led by Afzal Butt, met here with Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb over the issue, while State Minister Anusha Rehman was also present in the meeting. They discussed the untoward incident occurred in the Supreme Court with the reporter of a private news channel.

Discussing the issue, Anusha Rehman said she did not know that Azam Gill was a reporter of private channel and her aim was not to defame him as it was a natural response. Expressing grief and sorrow over the unfortunate incident Anusha Rehman said Azam Gill was like her brother. "I always keen to have good relations with the journalist community", she added. She said Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb played a pivotal role to resolve the matter.

Expressing her views, Marriyum Aurangzeb said journalists were part of her team irrespective of the fact whether they belonged to official or private media. She said Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) had always struggled for independence of media and basic rights of people, adding media and democracy were interlinked. 

Islamabad/Rawalpindi Press Club in a statement appreciated stance of ministers Marriyum Aurangzeb and Anusha Rehman that led to the resolution of the issue. 

Earlier, a dramatic scene was witnessed outside the Supreme Court after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Anusha Rehman allegedly snatched mobile phone of a journalist Azam Gill working for a private TV channel.

Reportedly Azam Gill snapped the IT minister while she was talking to Railways Minister Saad Rafiq in the lobby of the Supreme Court. Anusha Rehman allegedly snatched the phone and deleted the video. Reports also claimed that she threatened the reporter with 14-year imprisonment.

Journalists lodged protest against IT minister’s action and raised slogans during media talk of PML-N’s leaders. The protesting journalists refused to let Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique address the government’s daily press conference on the Panamagate case.

The phone was later returned to the journalist. Earlier, Talking to media persons after a contract signing ceremony of broadband facility for sustainable development in Kohistan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, minister Anusha Rehman said making some one's video without his/her knowledge or consent was not only illegal but also against all social norms. She said it should be kept in mind that our traditions and norms did not allow anyone to indulge in others' private matters.


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