Arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman: Journalists continue country-wide protest

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Arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman: Journalists continue country-wide protest

ISLAMABAD: Protests by journalists continued in different parts of the country against the arrest of Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and demanded his immediate release.

Former Senator and former federal minister for information and broadcasting Javed Jabbar strongly condemned the arbitrary, unlawful arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman by NAB and requested the Lahore High Court and the Supreme Court to swiftly take suo motu notice of this blatant injustice against the head of one of Pakistan’s major media group.

“Far from discouraging or preventing media in Pakistan from candidly reporting on the conduct of state institutions, government departments or ostensibly independent bodies such as NAB, this arrest is a self-defeating action. Both internal national public opinion and media as well as global overseas media and opinion-makers have already categorically rejected the credibility of the claimed grounds for Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s arrest,” he said in a statement.

Javed Jabbar, who is founder of Citizens’ Media Commission of Pakistan, said the onus to undo this grave wrong is on the superior courts because the NAB’s contemptuous disregard for its own governing law and for recent court judgments prohibiting arrests before completion of prescribed procedures warrants immediate intervention.

“While rendering deserved relief to a particular individual, a volitional superior court initiative at this stage will ensure that other citizens and organisations are not victimised without due process,” he said.

Sindhi nationalists and journalists strongly condemned the arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

Journalists throughout Sindh from the platform of Sindh Journalists Council (SJC) by strongly condemning the arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Jang Group protested throughout Sindh.

On the call of SJC, journalists along with the social activists, writers and intellectuals protested in Sukkur, Naushero Feroze, Khairpur, Jacobabad, Sehwan, Pano Aqil, Shikarpur and Dadu.

Protestors termed the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman as attack on the freedom of expression. Addressing at Sukkur, the SJC leader Sahil Jogi said that arrest of editor-in-chief of the country’s biggest media group in 34 years old case which did not fall in the domain of NAB at the stage of compliant verification is nothing but just a punishment for the principled stance of Jang Group.

AK Chohan, leader of SJC Khiarpur chapter, said that NAB’s action is an attack on freedom of expression. He said media institutions in Pakistan were going through a very difficult time because democracy and freedom of expression were both in danger.

Central President of SJC Ghazi Jhandir addressing a protest rally in Sehwan said that journalists did not accept pressure in dictatorships of General Ayub, General Zia and General Musharraf then how can it would accept the pressure of present government’s injustice.

Journalists of Sehwan, Dadu and Jacobabad observed black-day and hoisted a black flags on the buildings of press clubs.

On the other hand, Sindhi nationalists parties Sindh Tarqi Pasand Party and Quomi Awami Tehreek also condemned the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

Central leader of Quomi Awami Tehrik Ayaz Lateef Palijo said that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s arrest at early stage of complaint verification is an inappropriate and autocratic step. Palijo added that people of Sindh condemn this step and demand of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s immediate release.

Gulzar Soomro, central Secretary General of Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party, said that arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is highly condemnable and most reprehensible act. Soomro said the NAB’s action is attack on freedom of press.

Members of Faisalabad Press Club and Faisalabad Union of Journalists Sunday staged a protest rally against the arrest of Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and demanded his unconditional release forthwith. Journalists Naeem Dastgir, Irfan Manan, Shahid Ali, Ali Ashfaq, GA Tanveer, MPA Khalida Mansoor, and other political and social leaders attended the rally and urged the government to withdraw the case against Mir Shakil.

In Kasur, journalists and members of civil society condemned strongly the arrest of Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief. Journalists, lawyers, traders, students and people from various walks of life took out a protest rally from Chandni Chowk upto Railway Station and raised slogans in favour of Mir Shakil and against the government. They urged the relevant authorities to release Mir Shakil unconditionally forthwith.

Nankana Press Club members took out a protest rally against the arrest of Jang/Geo Media Group Editor-in-Chief. The rally started from Beeriwala Chowk and ended at Railway Road. The participants raised slogans in favour of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and against the government.

Nankana Press Club president Chaudhry Afzal Haq Khan, former Municipal Committee Nankana chairman Chaudhry Naeem Ahmad, Nankana Electronic Media Reporters Association president Shaheen Iqbal Ghayyur and a large number of journalists attended the rally.

Earlier, in a meeting at the press club, journalists strongly condemned the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and demanded his immediate release.

In Pakpattan, former PML-N MNA Sardar Masib Ali Dogar and others strongly condemned the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. The MNA urged the relevant authorities to release Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman forthwith.