KARACHI: Journalist community on Friday staged the sit-in outside Governor’s House to protest against the intrusion of security men in plain clothes in the Karachi Press Club (KPC) and demanded of the authorities to bring the culprits to book.
It is pertinent to mention here that number of gunmen in plainclothes reached the KPC in various expensive vehicles and barged into club late on Thursday. Witnesses said that the gunmen created harassment and panic among the journalists present at the time of raid.
Witnesses said that armed men roaming in different parts of club and examined different portions of the club including kitchen, upper floor of the building and sports hall. The gunmen were also captured the videos of club and also taken the pictures of club. When the journalists asked the gunmen about their identities and cause behind such action but personnel in plainclothes remains tide lips and failed to justify action.
They said that gunmen completed their operation and managed to flee without giving any reason behind such the raid. Witnesses said that gunmen apparently associated with some security agency used highly expensive vehicles and also a police mobile. The KPC administration immediately informed to the concern authorities and demanded an immediate inquiry.
On Friday, a condemnation reference was also held at the Karachi Press Club before the rally in which the KPC President Ahmed Malik and General Secretary Maqsood Yousufi demanded of the provincial and federal authorities to bring those involved in the incident to book.
They said that it was unprecedented in the history of the press club that armed security men would enter its premises and harass the journalist community. “Such acts undermine the government claims of independent media and should be thoroughly investigated,” they demanded.
Later, a rally was taken out from the Karachi Press Club and a sit-in was staged at the Governor’s House.
Meanwhile, a delegation of the KPC led by KPC President Ahmed Malik and General Secretary Maqsood Yousufi met with Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, who assured of his full cooperation to bring those involved in the incident to book.
The governor said that he would take up the issue with Prime Minister Imran Khan and action would be taken against anyone involved in the incident. The KPC office bearers announced to end their sit-in after the assurances and said that they would not tolerate any attack on the media.
“We are ending our sit-in after assurances from the governor and a progress report of the incident will be conveyed to us soon, they said.
Furthermore, the provincial government has termed the incident a misunderstanding. Initial investigation has revealed that the action on KPC was conducted due to the confusion as the GSM locator traced incorrect location said that Adviser to Chief Minister Murtaza Wahab adding that provincial rulers were standing by journalist and always ready to the address the matters of journalists.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has strongly condemned the entry of armed people into the premises of the press club and demanded of the provincial government of Sindh to set up a high level inquiry to investigate the incident.“The trespassing of the press club by armed people who apparently belonged to some security agency appears to be an attempt to harass the media a joint statement issued by PFUJ President Afzal Butt and Secretary General Ayub Jan Sarhandi said on Friday.
“Let the PFUJ make it very clear to such elements that journalists cannot and will not be cowed down by such tactics aimed at controlling the media,” the statement said.
The PFUJ leaders said that the successive governments in Pakistan have tried to control media through one way or the other but the journalists have successfully thwarted all such efforts.
“If such elements or any institution considers that the journalists will back out from their struggle for a free media and right to expression, they are sadly mistaken,” the statement said. “Let it be very clear to all that journalists will not be brow beaten and continue to resist all such actions aimed at curbing the freedom of expression in the country.