ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday suspended the party membership of Masroor Ali Siyal, an office-bearer in Karachi, for assaulting a journalist during a TV talk show and issued a show-cause notice to him.
In a video, which went viral on social media, Siyal, PTI’s Malir president, can be seen pushing Karachi Press Club (KPC) President Imtiaz Khan Faran to the ground after a heated discussion and hitting him. The show’s crew had to step in to break up the brawl.
In the show-cause notice issued by PTI General Secretary Arshad Dad, Siyal has been told to explain his position within 14 days.
“You (Masroor Ali Siyal) have badly damaged the image of the party and created uproar in the journalist community,” the notice read.
“You are hereby given a show-cause notice to explain your position within 14 days of the issuance of this letter, as to why action should not be taken against you in line with the party constitution.”
Earlier, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Political Affairs Naeemul Haque condemned Siyal’s aggressive behaviour against the Karachi Press Club president.
“This kind of behaviour is unacceptable in the PTI and is totally unworthy of a PTI leader. Strict disciplinary action will be taken against Masroor [Siyal],” he tweeted.
The National Assembly's Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage also condemned the recent incidents of violence and abusive behaviour against media persons by ministers and other members of the ruling party.
The PTI’s action against its office-bearer comes after press clubs in Karachi and Lahore placed a temporary ban on the entry of party leaders.
On Tuesday, journalists covering the Sindh Assembly session also protested the manhandling of the senior journalist.
Reporters shouted slogans against Siyal and demanded strict action against him.
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 by the provincial assembly condemning the incident and demanding that the prime minister should take disciplinary action against the PTI leader.
The governing body of the KPC had convened a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the incident. The members noted that repeated assaults on journalists by PTI leaders reflected a particular mindset.
They decided to ban the entry of PTI members to the KPC for three days and asked the party to revoke Siyal’s party membership and tender an apology.
They warned that the KPC would reach out to other journalist bodies across the country and plan a course of action if their demands were not met.
The Lahore Press Club also banned the entry to PTI members of three days and issued a statement that attacks on journalists by Fayyaz Chohan, Fawad Chaudhry and Masroor Siyal reflected the PTI’s desire to start a new history of fascism in the country
“It has become a norm to threaten every force that becomes the voice of the people," the statement read.