KARACHI: Journalists covering the Sindh Assembly session on Tuesday protested the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Masroor Siyal's manhandling and assault of senior journalist and Karachi Press Club President Imtiaz Faran. Reporters shouted slogans against Siyal and demanded for strict action to be taken against him.
Amidst the protest, a group of lawmakers from the treasury and the opposition reached the press gallery and assured the journalists that a condemnation resolution would be passed against Siyal.
Later, four different resolutions, moved by Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) Saeed Ghani, Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan's (MQM-P) Muhammad Hussain, Grand Democratic Alliance's (GDA) Nand Kumar Goklani and PTI's Jamal Siddiqui, were passed condemning the incident and demanding the prime minister to take disciplinary action against the PTI leader.
Siyal, the president of PTI's Malir chapter, assaulted KPC President Faran during a talk show aired on a private TV channel.
Meanwhile, the governing body of the KPC convened a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the incident. All members of the governing body attended the meeting and wore black armbands in protest of the incident.
The members noted that repeated incidents of assault on journalists by PTI leaders reflected a particular mindset. They decided to ban the entry of PTI members to KPC for three days and asked the party to revoke Siyal's party membership and tender an apology.
If the PTI fails to do so, the KPC will reach out to other journalist bodies across the country and plan a course of action.
Speaking to the media at Sindh Assembly Building, Adviser to Chief Minister on Information, Law and Anti-corruption Barrister Murtaza Wahab condemned the assault. Claiming that his party, the PPP, had always respected the rights of journalists, Wahab said that the PTI had shown similar behaviour in the past. Such incidents and abusive language were a trend among the PTI leadership, he alleged.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2019.