Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s arrest widely condemned

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ISLAMABAD: Former senator Enver Baig on Friday said the diplomatic corps in the federal capital had serious concerns and reservations on the unlawful arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and every diplomatic mission is sending a negative report on the situation of media freedom in Pakistan.

“The diplomatic missions and international community in Pakistan had serious reservations on the arrest of the editor-in-chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman,” he said while addressing a protest camp of workers of Geo and Jang Group against the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman outside the Geo office in Islamabad.

The protest camp on the call of the Joint Action Committee of workers of Geo and Jang Group against the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman continued on Friday. Addressing the protest camp on Friday, Enver Baig said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman should be released as his arrest was illegal as so far no case was registered against him. “The arrest of the editor-in-chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is a black spot on the government of the PTI and it was giving a poor image of the PTI government,” he said.

He said Imran Khan’s image was hurting within the international community. “I think that he should intervene and sort out as this issue as it will create difficulties for the government in the coming days, so this matter should be sorted out as early as possible and

Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman released,” he said. Senator Enver Baig said the NAB has been now turned into the National Harassment Bureau.

He said Geo and Jang Group is a leading media group of the country and when its editor-in-chief was arrested, then the message was conveyed to the world that there was no freedom of media in Pakistan. He demanded the release of the Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

Deputy Mayor Islamabad Zeshan Shah said that he condemned the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman as his arrest was only an attack on the freedom of media. He said the government seems to be confused and no one knows what the government wanted. “The government is blackmailing the media by arresting Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman,” he said.

He said if any channel shows the truth to the people, then the government always sends it to the last numbers, so that the truth could not come up before the people of Pakistan.

Secretary General PML-N Federal Capital Sajid Abbassi said that those who exposed the NAB-Niazi nexus were sent to jail. He said Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman was an example of truth. “The NAB is still confused on how to proceed with the fake and fabricated case against Shakil-ur-Rehman,” he said.

Ex-Adviser to Prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Murtaza Durrani said not only the people of Pakistan but also the people of Kashmir stood with the workers of Geo and Jang for the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

Secretary General RIUJ and and senior correspondent of Geo News Asif Ali Bhatti said Mir Shakil was only victimized for raising the voice for the freedom of media. He said the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman proved that the government’s real aim was to bring the media under the control of the government.

Senior correspondent Jang Atif Sheerazi said the government may think that it may silence the voices of journalists with such kinds of tactics but lives in fools paradise as journalists never compromise on principles.

Secretary General PFUJ Nasir Zaidi said the people of the country wanted that the country should be governed on the ideology of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah but unfortunately rulers only wanted that people look the country through their eyes.

He said the media in the country always struggled against the dictators but never compromised. He said the media will get the freedom due to the struggle of journalists and Mir Shakil will also be released.

Ex-President PFUJ Afzal Butt said Mir Shakil gave courage to the journalists to raise their voice on the injustices of the NAB. Chairman Joint Action Committee and President Jang Workers Union Nasir Chishti said every segment of the society was condemning the arrest.

Karachi: Nizam-e-Mustafa Party chief Haji Hanif Tayyab on Friday said that any kind of ban on Jang-Geo Group will not be accepted and he and his party will stand beside the journalists in their struggle for an independent media in the country.

Tayyab was speaking to the protest outside the Jang Geo offices in Karachi, demanding the release of Jang Geo Group editor-in-chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman from the unjust detention in the NAB custody. While condemning the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, he urged the federal government to immediately release him. He said that the Jang-Geo Group was the leading torch bearers of fair and independent journalism. He said that the attack on the group was tantamount to attacking the livelihoods of thousands of journalists who are associated with it.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Dost Muhammad Faizi said that he was an avid reader of the Daily Jang and in appreciation of its independent journalism, he was present in the protest camp. He said that the Jang Geo Group was educating the masses about their rights and perhaps it is why it has been on the target of the mighty and powerful who don’t wish to see the populace well informed.

Awami Workers Party leader Yusuf Masti Khan warned the government against persecuting Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and demanded his release. Others who spoke at the protest camp include Peace International’s Javed Yusuf, Pakistan People’s Party’s Sadia Javed, PML-N’s Saleem Anjum, Qaumi Watan Party Sindh’s Abdul Qayyum Khan, Akhbar-e-Jahan’s senior editor Khalid Farshori, Geo News Karachi bureau chief Fahim Siddiqui, The News Employees Union’s general secretary Dara Zafar, Javed Press Union’s general secretary Rana Yusuf and All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation’s secretary general Shakil Yamin Kanga.

In Lahore, prominent personalities from all walks of life continued to condemn the illegal arrest of Jang-Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman on Friday and termed it the most heinous attempt to gag journalists and the freedom of expression.

At a hunger strike camp set up by the workers the Jang-Geo Group, Shaheen Qureshi, Group Editor, Baidar Bakht Butt, Chairman of Editorial Committee Jang Lahore, LPC President Arshad Ansari, PPP leader Aslam Gill, Geo News Bureau Chief Rais Ansari, SAMA Bureau Chief Ahmad Waleed, civil society leader Abdullah Malik, Editor Reporting Jang Lahore Pervaiz Bashir, General Secretary Jang Workers Union Mohammed Farooq, President PUJ Qamar-uz-Zaman Bhatti, Maqsood Awan, Khizar Hayat Gondal, Jawad Malik, Adnan Malik, Ali Mir, Zahid Ali Khan, Naseem Qureshi, Yaseen Mughal, Sajjad Anwer and many others criticised the illegal and undemocratic tactics being used by the NAB to curb the media.

Condemning Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s illegal arrest, they warned the government and its watchdog that this reign of injustice of Imran and NAB will not last long since no dictator could ever gag the truth. They said Benazir Bhutto had been raising voice against every dictator and tyrant and following her glowing footsteps, her son Bilawal Bhutto is following her as he has also condemned the illegal arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. They said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman has been arrested in a case which has no ground. They pointed out that the Imran government has already waged a war against the media and Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s arrest is a fascist act to gag the media. They demanded that the chief justice of Pakistan take a suo motu notice in this regard. They demanded immediate release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and repeated their principled stand of a continuous struggle till his release.

MULTAN: Awami Raj Party chief and former MNA Jamshed Dasti has condemned the arrest of Jang-Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. Jamshed Dasti paid a solidarity visit to the hunger strike camp set up by the Jang-Geo staffers against the arrest of their Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman here on Friday. He said that the NAB had lost its credibility. He alleged that the NAB was playing into the hands of the government. He said that the government was working on a policy to squeeze the freedom of press in the country. He said that the global journalists’ bodies were protesting in different countries for the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. He demanded immediate release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

Meanwhile, a number of intellectuals, writers, senior lawyers and Seraiki nationalists also visited the hunger strike camp and condemned the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

Historian and writer Kamran Magsi also visited the hunger strike camp and expressed solidarity with the Jang-Geo Group workers. Dozens of civil society activists also visited the camp and expressed solidarity with the Jang/Geo Group workers.

NANKANA SAHIB: A meeting of the press club was held here. Press club president Chaudhry Afzal Haq Khan chaired the meeting. The participants condemned the arrest of Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. They said that the Jang/Geo Group was being punished for speaking the truth.

Newspaper: The News