A war of words broke out between Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and journalists outside the Supreme Court as media men lodged a protest against ‘harassment’ of their colleague at the hands of a state minister.
Reporters threatened to boycott the coverage of government’s daily press briefing outside the apex court regarding the proceedings of the continuing Panama Papers case.
State Minister of Information Technology Anusha Rahman, sources said, snatched a mobile phone from a TV journalist who was reportedly recording a video inside the courtroom.
Rahman, reports suggested, 'threatened' journalist Azam Gill with 14 years in prison, saying she would ask the Federal Investigation Agency to book him under the Cyber Crime Act.
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When the sloganeering increased, Railways Minister Khawaja Saeed Rafique tried to appease the protesting reporters by condemning the act of snatching the cellphone. He, however, said the laws do not allow anyone, including media, to take mobile phones in the courtroom.
Yet, the reporters were displeased and insisted Rahman to publicly apologise to the reporter. “Boycott until Anusha Rahman offers public apology,” they kept shouting.
At this moment, State Minister for Information Maryam Aurangzeb offered mediation, suggesting a separate meeting of journalists in her office but it was declined by the reporters.
Rafique, ignoring the protest, tried to continue with his press talk but most channels took him off air.