Islamabad – As many as four committees have been set up to make effective contacts with political parties, civil society organisations, trade unions and journalist organisations to ensure all out participation in protest sit-ins of the journalists in front of national and all provincial assemblies on December 8 against non-provision of security to the media houses by the incumbent government.
The committees were formed in a joint meeting of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), National Press Club (NPC) and Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ). Under the chairmanship of PFUJ president Afzal Butt, the meeting was held to review arrangements for the protest sit-in that would continue till the government takes measures to provide foolproof security to all media houses in the country.
The members of the committee would personally contact and meet the politicians, members of the civil society organisations and representatives of the trade unions and would invite them to the protest sit-ins aiming at pushing the government to honor its pledges to provide security to journalists working across the country.
The participants of the meeting were of the view that if the government failed to show its seriousness, journalists would be forced to extend the circle of their protest in each and every nook of the country.
They opined that journalists and the media houses were being targeted and it was responsibility of the government to provide peace and protection to every person of the country, including journalists.
Speaking on the occasion, PFUJ President Afzal Butt said that the journalists would stage sit-in in front of the national and provincial assemblies on December 8 against increased attacks on the media houses across the country.
“The government had promised foolproof security to the media houses after the launch of National Action Plan (NAP) because the media has been playing a vital role in the ongoing war on terror,” he said.
He said, “The journalists are pursuing their professional duties in the face of threats by the terrorists and other anti-state elements but the government never ever bothered to think about their security.”
The PFUJ president said that it was quite unfortunate that the terrorists targeted the journalists and the media houses and were often not arrested due to weaknesses in the police system.
“We will not end our protest sit-in unless the government will take effective measures to honour its pledge to provide foolproof security to media houses.”
RIUJ President Ali Raza Alvi said that the irresponsible behaviour of the government had forced the journalists to raise voice for their protection, adding, “The journalists have been rendering sacrifices especially in the war on terror and they are still on the frontline.” RIUJ General Secretary Bilal Dar said that the committees formed in the meeting would make contacts with political parties and representatives of the civil society organisations and trade unions for a peaceful protest in front of the national and provincial assemblies.