ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has strongly condemned attacks on the media, particularly Geo News offices, and violence against the media persons during the PTI march on Wednesday.
In a statement issued on Thursday, PFUJ President Shahzada Zulfiqar and Secretary General Nasir Zaidi said the media persons were attacked while performing their duties in Karachi and other places while the PTI activists also pelted the Geo building with stones in Islamabad.
"Some camera-persons and photographers were also tortured when they were performing their professional duties. Such an attitude would not be tolerated and journalists would protest this intimidation and harassment," warns the journalists body.
They demanded Imran Khan take strict action against those who attacked the Geo building and media persons. “We also ask the government to identify the culprits through CCTV footage and take action against them,” the two journalist leaders demanded, warning that the culture of impunity would not be tolerated at any cost.
Separately, the Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (Aemend) Thursday strongly condemned the violence against media persons, damage caused to the media vans and attacks on media offices in different cities of the country during the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) long march.
In a statement, Aemend said journalists performed their duty responsibly during a difficult situation and violent incidents on Wednesday. The media persons kept the people abreast of information and the bilateral stance. It regretted that the PTI workers tortured reporters, cameramen and photographers and stopped them from performing their duty in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and at other places. The DSNGs of several TV channels were damaged including that of Dunya TV, 24 News, Samaa News and Aaj TV. The offices of Geo News in Islamabad were attacked by the PTI workers, causing damage to the property, Aemend said.
Expressing grave concern over the violent incidents, Aemend asked all political parties, including the PTI, to direct their workers in clear terms not to cause any harm to the media workers and damage to the media houses. Aemend also asked the political parties to stop their workers from giving provocative remarks about the media and targeting it over political matters and for own interests. “Provide such an environment where the media can cover political programmes in a better way,” the statement said.
Aemend also asked the government to take legal action against people who attacked the media houses and subjected journalists to torture. Media in Pakistan would continue to work for access to information despite unfavourable conditions, it said.
Earlier, the PTI activists Thursday pelted the Jang/Geo building with stones in Islamabad and broke a glass of the newsroom during their protest against the government.
Sources said the PTI activists took aim of the Jang/Geo building with a catapult, due to which the glass of a newsroom was broken, adding that no security personnel had been deployed to protect the buildings adjoining the Red Zone. Sources said the media workers were injured and vehicles were damaged due to stone throwing at the Jang/Geo building.
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