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KP Assembly condemns sacking of mediapersons, non-payment of salaries

By Bureau report
October 26, 2018

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a joint resolution calling for an immediate halt to retrenchment of workers from the media houses, payment of salaries to them and protection to journalists.

The resolution tabled by opposition leader Akram Khan Durrani and Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai said this august house condemns sacking of media workers and non-payment of salaries to some of the media workers and also recommends to the federal government to take notice of the media houses’ cruel action of the sacking of workers.

“Journalists are the eyes and ears of the society and they perform duty in extremely unfavourable conditions to pass on information to the public. They even risk their lives. Dozens of working journalists have embraced Shahadat while performing professional duty but neither the media owners nor the government provided proper compensation to their families and children,” read the resolution.

It said the government should ensure life and job protection to the media persons. The resolution demanded implementation of the decisions made during a meeting with the chief justice of Pakistan the other day. The provincial government was asked to link the payment of dues of advertisements to the media houses with payment of salaries to the staff.

Speaking on the resolution, Akram Durrani said journalists were an integral part of the society and improvement without their guidance was impossible.

He said most of the media persons were underpaid and leading life with difficulties due to the injustices by the media owners. He added that the journalists performed duty in hard and unfavourable conditions but were not properly rewarded.The Awami National Party leader Sardar Hussain Babak said downsizing of media workers was a cruel decision on the part of owners as it were the workers who are running the organisations.

Many journalists have been martyred in the war on terror in Pakistan, he added. Advocating passage of the Journalists Safety Bill, he said they should be provided life and job protection.He said an undeclared martial law had been imposed and the worst media censorship was in place in the country which is not only a violation of the constitution but human rights as well.Sardar Hussain Babak demanded constitution of the new wage award and its early implementation keeping in view the years-long gap.

Inayatullah Khan of the Jamaat-e-Islami demanded job and life protection to journalists and said Pakistan was among the countries declared dangerous for journalists. The society cannot be reformed without the role of journalists, he said, adding that proper legislation was needed for the protection of media persons.

Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai assured full support to the journalists and said implementation of wage award could not be made after disposal of the newspapers being run under National Press Trust.