Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday took strict notice of forceful entry by armed men into private news channel anchorperson Shiffa Yousafzai's residence in the federal capital.
Former minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Ali Haider Zaidi had tweeted about the news yesterday, saying Yousafzai had "just called to inform that two armed men broke into her house, beat up her servants, asked about the family, searched the house and left"
This is now very disturbing!@Shiffa_ZY just called to inform me that two armed men just broke in her house, beat up her servants, asked about the family, searched the house and left!— Ali Haider Zaidi (@AliHZaidiPTI) December 20, 2022
This is a very alarming situation.
Expressing deep concern over the incident, Zaidi had said "it is a very alarming situation."
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Another PTI leader, Asad Qaiser had also condemned the incident "in very strict terms", saying "no matter how hard the imported government tries, it cannot silence the truth."
اینکر پرسن شفاء یوسفزئی کے گھر پر نامعلوم مسلح افراد کا حملہ، ملازمین کو مارنا پیٹنا اور دھمکانا میں اس بزدلانہ فعل کی شدید الفاظ میں مذمت کرتا ہوں امپورٹڈ حکومت جتنی بھی کوشیشں کر لیں سچ کی آواز کو دبا نہیں سکتی۔ @Shiffa_ZY— Asad Qaiser (@AsadQaiserPTI) December 21, 2022
Journalist Moeed Pirzada had tweeted saying "a female journalist, television anchor, prominent critic of the [Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz] PML-N and [Pakistan Democratic Movement] PDM government living with her parents in the centre of Islamabad not far from PM House being intimidated in this way means [it is the] 'Age of Fascism'".
A female journalist,TV Anchor, prominent critic of PMLN/PDM Govt living with her parents in centre of Islamabad not far from PM House being intimidated in this way means "Age of Fascism" - UN should stop lecturing Taliban and worry for criminal politics of Pakistan! @RSF_en @hrw https://t.co/fXylMvtKjr— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) December 20, 2022
President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) also condemned the "harassment, abuse and character assassination" of the journalist by PML-N workers.
پی ایف یو جے کے صدر افضل بٹ و سیکرٹری جنرل کی جانب سے ہم نیوز ٹی وی کے مارننگ شو کی خاتون میزبان شفا یوسفزئی کیخلاف مسلم لیگ ن کے کارکنوں کی طرف سے گالم گلوچ اور اخلاق بافتہ کردار کشی مہم کی شدید مذمت۔ @Shiffa_ZY pic.twitter.com/AQRZ46ZWAY— Afzal Butt (@Afzalbutt01) December 19, 2022
Meanwhile, the capital police (ICT) issued a statement saying that the police officials were present on the scene and provided "appropriate security" to the journalist yesterday.
اینکر پرسن شفاء یوسفزئی کے گھر مسلح افراد کے داخلے کا معاملہ۔— Islamabad Police (@ICT_Police) December 20, 2022
اسلام آباد کیپیٹل پولیس کے افسران شفاء یوسفزئی کے گھر موجود ہیں۔
تا حکم ثانی شفاء یوسفزئی کی سکیورٹی کا مناسب بندوبست کردیا گیا ہے۔⬇️
Later, the ICT had updated that Yousafzai was "safe and well" and that an investigation was underway.
شفاء یوسفزئی بخیروعافیت ہیں۔— Islamabad Police (@ICT_Police) December 20, 2022
پولیس وقوعہ کی تمام پہلوؤں سے جائزہ لے رہی ہے۔
وقوعہ کی تہہ تک پہنچنے کے لئے تمام ذرائع سے تحقیقات کی جائیں گی۔
The Prime Minister's office (PMO) today issued a statement stating "we strongly condemn the incident" and added that "protection of people's lives and property is our first and foremost responsibility".
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The PM expressed solidarity with Yousafzai and her parents while directing the accused to be traced and punished according to the law.
The PMO has directed IG Islamabad to submit a report of the incident.
Earlier this month, Shehbaz had said media freedom and democracy reinforced each other and expressed his government’s resolve to support an environment for journalists free of intimidation and harassment.
“My government believes that no journalist or human rights activist should be called out in the line of duty,” he had said, expressing his firm resolve to proactively facilitate the implementation of the Journalists Safety Law.
Addressing at an event to mark 10 years of the United Nations’ Plan of Action organised by the Journalist Safety Forum (JSF), the premier termed free media and freedom of expression the important pillars of a State.
At the event, Chairperson JSF Hamid Mir had also called for taking journalists out of the purview of online expression through laws, such as, the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) or other regulations and emphasised support by the federal and provincial governments against attacks, intimidation and harassment of female journalists.
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