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August 11, 2020

Jang-Geo Group workers’ protest: Jang Group has never yielded to pressures

Top Story

August 11, 2020

KARACHI/LAHORE/PESHAWAR: The Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has jailed Jang-Geo Group Editor-In-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman to pressurize the Group to subscribe to the government’s propaganda, oblivious to the history that even the dictatorial regimes could not subdue the group to give up its independent editorial policies.

This was stated by the Jang-Geo Group workers, trade unionists and social and political activists near the offices of the Jang and The News on Monday. They strongly condemned the witchhunting of the free media, especially Jang-Geo Group and the harassment of its Editor-in-Chief. The Chairperson Ulema Mashaikh Federation, Sahibzada Imran Naqshbandi, had joined the demonstrating workers as a show of solidarity. Naqshbandi reiterated the pledge on behalf of Ulema Mashaikh Federation to continue protests till the government backed down from its vengeful campaign against the independent media. In recognition of Rahman’s resilience in the face of extreme adversity and government’s constant harassment, he announced Azm-o-Istaqlal Journalism Award for the detained Editor-in-Chief. The All Pakistan Newspaper Employees Confederation secretary general Shakil Yamin Kanga said that Imran Khan will never succeed in his nefarious designs to bring the media under control. Others who spoke at the demonstration included Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz leader Iqbal Khaksar, The News Employees Union general secretary Dara Zafar and Javed Press Employees Union general secretary Rana Yusuf.

In Peshawar, members of the journalist community demanded the government to release the Jang-Geo Media Group Editor-in-Chief, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in their protests. The Jang-Geo workers staged a walk and later gathered at the offices of the Daily Jang, The News and Geo TV. They were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans that condemned the pressure tactics against the free media and sought Mir Shakil’s release without any delay.

Among the speakers who addressed the protesters were Daily Jang Resident Editor Arshad Aziz Malik, Shakeel Farman Ali, Shah Zaman, Qaisar Khan, Gulzar Khan, Imdad Ali Qazalbash and others. The speakers said legal experts have declared Rahman’s arrest as illegal, unconstitutional and an attack on the free media.

They said there was a nexus between the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government and the National Accountability Bureau to target the governmental opponents and the independent media.

In Lahore, journalists, civil society leaders, office-bearers of media unions and trade union of the Jang Group strongly condemned the PTI government for keeping the Editor-in-Chief of the country’s largest media group in a politically-motivated case for the last 150 days without any proof of charges.

They demanded the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motu action against the gross injustice against Rahman’s illegal arrest, which was a direct attack on the freedom of expression and liberty of media. They vowed to continue their struggle till his freedom and warned the PTI government to refrain from further victimization of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

News Editor of Pakistan Times, Zaheer Anjum, slammed the PTI government as the worst kind of fascist and authoritarian regime that was bent upon gagging the voice of independent media to prevent the exposure of its own corruption and bad governance. Sher Ali warned that if he was not released the protest would increase creating more problems for the government.