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Tuesday June 18, 2024

Protest against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s illegal arrest continues

By our correspondents
July 20, 2020

LAHORE: A protest demonstration against the illegal arrest of Jang/Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman continued Sunday on Davis Road and even rain did not stop people from protesting.

The participants included Jang’s Group Editor Shaheen Qureshi, senior journalists Munawar Hasan and Shahab Ansari, Zaheer Anjum, Shafiq Ahmed, Awais Qarni, Jang Workers’ Union Secretary Muhammad Farooq, Muhammad Ali, Wahab Khanzada, Hafiz Muhammad Hassaan, Afsar, Munawwar and Mushtaq besides people from various walks of life.

Shaheen Qureshi called the premier coward. “Those who are instrumental in keeping Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman behind bars are not all powerful. It’s only Allah who is all powerful. We don’t want a certificate of patriotism from anyone,” he added. “The premier has destroyed the economy and if 220 million people of Pakistan come out to demand their rights, those who back the prime minister will not find a place to hide,” he further added.

Anchorperson Jawwad Faizi also joined the protest and demanded release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. He said all those who are upholding truth and are fighting for it are facing the dark hour.

Speakers said, “The premier should know that efforts to pull down media; a pillar of democracy, heralds his own downfall.” They said media freedom could not be surrendered the way a fascist group ruling the country wished for. They said the PTI government was trying to gag the voice of democracy. Detention of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman represented an attack on the freedom of expression. He had always stood for the freedoms and rights of the people of Pakistan and had always upheld the truth, they said.

They said the battle lines were drawn today not between the Jang, The News and Geo and the State but between the 220 million people of Pakistan and a fascist government led by Imran Khan. The NAB-Niazi nexus would never prevail. They said the struggle for Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s will continue till his release.

In Karachi, the Jang-Geo Joint Action Committee announced to resume their protest against the illegal arrest of the Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman from today (Monday) and said that the owner of the biggest media group of the country had been detained for more than four months in a 34- year-old baseless property case.

It was decided in a meeting which was attended by the All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation's Secretary-General Shakil Yamin Kanga, The News Employees Union's president Syed Mahiuddin Pasha and general secretary Dara Zafar, Javed Press Union's general secretary Rana Yusuf, Geo News Karachi Bureau chief and Karachi Union of Journalists’ former secretary-general Fahim Siddiqui.

The meeting’s participants said that trade union leaders Zafar and Kanga have recovered from Covid-19. “It is the reason that we are resuming our protest and renewing our demand to release Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman immediately.

“By adopting precautionary measures, the employees, media trade union leaders, civil society and political leaders will attend the protest camp that would be set up outside the Jang Building in Azadi Street,” Dara said.

Kanga said that the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was reflective of the government’s victimization policy and to suppress independent media. Instead of providing relief to the public during this difficult time, the government was more interested in satisfying its ego by suppressing the voices it didn't like, he said.

Siddiqui announced to resume the protest camp tomorrow and congratulated Dara and Kanga for their recovery for Covid-19.