Following a day-long protest by journalists, the Abbottabad Press Club was sealed on Saturday evening.
Earlier, as many as 40 journalists had blocked the Karakoram Highway (KKH) to protest against ANP Senior Minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour, who had come to Abbottabad to inaugurate a media colony.
The colony was to be inaugurated at 11am. However, the journalists did not allow the minister to enter the press club till 5:30pm.
A heavy contingent of police was deployed outside the press club on the occasion.
The protesters were of the view that the ANP government was driving a wedge between journalists since they had filed a lawsuit against the press club’s sitting cabinet, which they claimed was ineligible to hold office under the press club’s constitution.
The protesters dispersed when Abbottabad District Coordination Officer (DCO) Syed Imtiaz Shah assured them that the minister had changed his programme and would not visit the press club.
However, despite the assurance, Bilour reportedly inaugurated the colony.
Infuriated, journalists gathered again at Shuhada Chowk on KKH to continue their protest.
They chanted slogans against the ANP government, the DCO and Hazara commissioner.
After the incident, the DCO announced that the press club would remain sealed until differences between journalists are resolved.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2012.
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