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December 11, 2019

Media bodies, HRCP, PBC discuss freedom of press

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December 11, 2019

ISLAMABAD: A joint meeting of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) and Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) was held in Islamabad with veteran journalist M Ziauddin in the chair, says a press release on Tuesday.

The meeting discussed the issues of media gagging and pressurising tactics against media houses, press and media advices, uncalled-for censorship and threats to journalists and media workers in the country. The meeting discussed the situation in detail and expressed grave concern on the growing incidents of such unlawful and unconstitutional acts.

The meeting termed the situation alarming and dangerous for press freedom, expression of speech, which is guaranteed in under Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan. It urged the government and authorities concerned to take appropriate steps and measures to deal with the situation and find out the unknown groups, who are using pressurising tactics against the press without any reason.

The meeting recalled that such acts may harm and tarnish the country’s image abroad. As the country is already under FATF scrutiny, therefore urgent and immediate measures are needed to deal and control the aggravating situation.

The meeting unanimously agreed that a foundation document on press freedom be prepared within 10 days and tasked veteran journalists – IA Rehman, M Ziauddin and Zohra Yousaf to prepare the basic draft.

Among others the meeting was attended by President APNS Hameed Haroon, Asif A. Zubairi, Secretary General PBA Duraid Qureshi, CPNE’s Sardar Khan Niazi, Yahah Khan Sadozai and Shakeel Turabi, Vice President PBC Syed Amjad Shah, HRCP’s Khursheed Khan and Sadia Bukhari, PFUJ’s former president Afzal Butt, PFUJ President Shehzada Zulfikar and Secretary General PFUJ Nasir Zaidi.