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October 17, 2020

Protests held countrywide: Illegal detention of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman slammed

Top Story

October 17, 2020

RAWALPINDI/ LAHORE/KARACHI/ PESHAWAR: Journalists and workers of the Geo-Jang Group, while protesting against the illegal and unjustified detention of Editor-in-Chief of the Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, on Friday said that all the journalists and human rights organizations stood with the narrative of Editor-in-Chief of the Group for the freedom of media in the country.

The countrywide protest of journalists and workers of the Geo-Jang Group against the illegal and unjustified arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman has continued for the last 217 days. At the protest camp outside the offices of Jang and The News in Rawalpindi, the protesters chanted slogans for Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman's release.

Addressing the protest camp, Chairman Joint Action Committee of workers of Geo-Jang Group Islamabad and Jang Workers Union Rawalpindi Nasir Chisti said Editor-in-Chief of Geo-Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman knew that all workers of the Group stood united with him on his narrative of freedom of media in the country. He said all the workers of Geo-Jang Group resolved to continue with their struggle till the release of Editor-in-Chief.

Resident Editor Jang Rawalpindi Hanif Khalid said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was fighting for the cause of freedom of media in the country. A worker of the Jang Group Kamal Shah said the illegal arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Geo-Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was only meant for victimization.

Among others who were present in the protest camp were Amjad Abbassi, Naseerul Haq, Azhar Sultan, Aslam Butt, Athar Naqvi and other social and political workers besides the workers of Jang and The News.

LAHORE: Journalists, civil society members, office bearers of media unions and trade union of the Jang Group continued protests against the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, the Editor-in-Chief of the country’s largest media group, on Friday for the 195th consecutive day. Mir Shakil has been detained for the last 217 days in the NAB custody over a 35-year-old property exchange matter without giving any proof of charges or making any progress in the investigations.

Staging a demonstration outside the Jang offices, the workers criticized Prime Minister Imran Khan for taking U-turns on his tall claims of 20 years to turn Pakistan into a Madina-like state, alleging that he used the slogan only to woo media support to win the elections. But Imran Khan had been victimizing Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman for exposing the corruption and bad governance of PTI regime, they said, lamenting that Mir Shakil was detained despite no progress being made either in investigations into the corruption charges of old property exchange case nor any formal case being registered. The participants termed it a blatant attack on media freedom and a conspiracy to close down the country’s largest media group. They chanted slogans against the fascist PTI regime and condemned its using NAB for arm-twisting of the media.

The participants of the protest included Secretary General of Jang Workers Union Malik Farooq Awan, News Editor of Pakistan Times Zaheer Anjum, PUJ President Qamar Zaman Bhatti, senior journalists Awais Qarni, Muhammad Shafiq, Sher Ali Khalti, Gujranwala correspondent of The News, Muhammad Sultan, Munawwar Hussain, Ms Ayesha Akram, Aziz Sheikh, Muhammad Ali, Akmal Bhatti, Afzal Abbas and others.

KARACHI: Speaking to the protest for the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman on Friday, Sindh-Balochistan social activist Sardar Manzoor Ahmed Kakar warned the government from stopping the truth from reaching the public.

Kakar demanded immediate release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman from prison and remarked the government’s vengeful campaign against the Group will backfire. He added that the government wanted to control the publications and broadcast of this group to advance its propaganda.

Others who spoke at the demonstration included All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation’s secretary general Shakil Yamin Kanga, The News Employees Union’s general secretary Dara Zafar, Javed Press Employees Union’s general secretary Rana Yusuf, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Iqbal Khaksar and Syed Irshad Bukhari.

The speakers condemned the government’s vendetta against the Jang-Geo Group and commented that the prime minister was acting worse than the dictators. They said that the Group always promoted the truth and that was why it was being punished.

PESHAWAR: The members of the journalist community on Friday staged a protest against the arrest of Jang Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and called for his release. The protesters gathered outside the offices of Daily Jang, The News and Geo TV to voice anger at the detention of the head of the largest media group of the country on cooked-up charges. They were carrying banners and placards.

Those who spoke on the occasion were Yousaf Ali, Arshad Aziz Malik, Shakeel Farman Ali, Farmanullah Jan, Salim Kashmiri, Gohar Ali, Ehtesham Toru, Amjad Safi, Qaiser Khan and others. The speakers criticized the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government for targeting the Jang Media Group and its chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman to force them to fall in line. The speakers were critical of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for going after the opposition political parties and the independent media and looking the other way when it came to the ruling party members.