ISLAMABAD: The protest against discriminatory steps towards news channels, including Geo and ARY Television, continued for the second day in front of all press clubs across Pakistan in which journalists called for immediate steps by the government to ensure that all news channels are shown on the cable without any discrimination.
The journalists raised slogans in favour of freedom of press and against illegal actions of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and cable operators who are depriving the viewers of their favourite news channels.
It is pertinent to mention here that the journalist associations have set up permanent protest camps in front of all press clubs in various cities, including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Quetta, Peshawar and Muzaffarabad.
While addressing the protesting journalists at the protest camp in front of the National Press Club Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), President Afzal Butt said the government should not test their determination because come what may they would not make any compromise over freedom of press.
“There are still no-go areas for Geo Television in various cities and we demand of the government to take notice of it that if this leading news channel has completed its sentence of 15 days, then why cable operators or other elements are trying to block its transmission,” he said.
PFUJ Secretary General Khursheed Abbasi said the history of journalists has been stuffed with sacrifices and if it is guide then every one should come to know that media organisations faced hard times but refused to bow down before any kind of dictatorship. He also regretted that Geo News was not fully restored and all the channels of Geo family are pushed back and not being aired on their original numbers on the cable.
Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) President Ali Raza Alvi said the journalists have a firm resolve that they would oppose any move made against the freedom of press that has been earned after rendering great sacrifices.
“Pemra is not following rules and procedures so it is responsibility of the government to ensure it follows the law and avoids making any illegal steps,” he said.Karachi Press Club (KPC) President Imtiaz Faran and Secretary General Amir Lateef while addressing at the protest camp in front of KPC vowed to continue raising voice against discrimination against news channels and stated the government should avoid doing illegal steps against media organisations.
In Quetta, President of Balochistan Union of Journalists Irfan Saeed while speaking at the protest camp said they would not stop their protest unless the government ensures that all news channels are available on cable on their original numbers and all newspapers are properly distributed across the country.
Similarly, President of Faisalabad Union of Journalists Shamsul Islam Naz and President of Punjab Union of Journalists Waseem Farooq also addressed the protesting journalists and condemned the measures being taken by some quarters to block transmission of news channels and circulation of newspapers like Jang and The News.