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PFUJ concerned over political, economic turmoil in country

May 16, 2022

KARACHI: Federal Executive Council (FEC) of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has expressed serious concerns on continued political and economic turmoil in the country which may lead to denial of human rights and freedom of press and expression in the country, says a press release.

After the conclusion of three day meeting of the FEC which took heavy agenda, concerning freedom of press and expression, issues pertaining to media industry, problems being faced by journalists and media workers across the country particularly implementation of 8th Wage Board Award, restoration of pay cuts imposed during financial crisis in 2019 and COVID-19 in 2020, besides brain storming on black media law for Pakistan Media Development Authority and amendments in prevention of electronic crime act (PECA) 2016.

FEC meeting urged and called upon the newly installed government to pay immediate attention on resolving political and economic issues as if not addressed seriously and urgently by all the stakeholders could threaten the democratic process in the country and freedom of the press would be its first casualty.

At the end of meeting, FEC adopted three resolutions relating to the to (1) government-media relationship, (2) violence against journalists and (3) worst working conditions in the media due to non-implementation of labour laws and lawful acts like 8th Wage Board Award.

While adopting resolution on government-media relations, the prime media body of the country FEC of PFUJ was of the opinion that since long all the successive governments has designed and implemented two dozens of black laws for media gagging in general and to suppress journalists in particular, however PFUJ remained determinant and will remain in forefront to resist such laws to ensure freedom of press and expression in the country.

However government media relations worsened during previous regime led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan, therefore current coalition government has to ensure fulfillment of promises and commitments made at the outset.

PFUJ's Federal Council demanded immediate repeal of all black laws independence of Pemra and demands meaningful dialogue of all the stakeholders and government.

In another adopted resolution FEC was alarmed over rising trends of violence against journalists which is not only confined to attacks and killing of journalists and media workers across the world including Pakistan but also there is a sharp rise of harassment incidences, particularly the women journalists and their families. The PFUJ took strong exception to the continued accusation of former prime minister in his public speeches and urged him to prove his allegations, otherwise withdraw fabricated and concocted accusations and tender public apology. PFUJ’s FEC also expressed concern over journalists impunity as despite its years old demand previous government have not appointed special public prosecutors for speedy trial of journalists murder cases.

In last adopted resolution Executive Council of PFUJ was astonished over worst working conditions in media houses, which is a serious violation of the 1973 Constitution of the Islamic Republic, labour laws, international conventions, and demanded independent audit of the media industry special Labour Inspection of Media House to find out working conditions, retrenchment of thousands of employees in violation of law and even without clearing their dues.

The PFUJ reminded government that government advertisements should be linked to working conditions and implementation of wage award as per recommendations of Chairman 6th Wage Board.

Federal Executive Council of PFUJ decided to hold its biannual delegation Meeting (BDM) on 22nd to 24th of July in Lahore to elect its new body.