SUKKUR/ HYDERABAD/ KARACHI: The attack on the offices of the Express Media Group in Karachi was slammed across Sindh by journalists on Tuesday.
Members of various journalist unions, such as the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Hyderabad Press Club, Sukkur Union of Journalists (Indus) and others staged protests. Representatives of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, trade unions and nationalist parties also joined the protesters.
They demanded the government immediately arrest the culprits and provide security to journalists, who are the real voice of the masses. Shouting slogans for freedom of expression and the arrest of the culprits, hundreds of journalists working with various media groups across Sindh denounced security measures taken by the government outside the media group’s Karachi office.
A large group had gathered outside Karachi Press Club on Tuesday afternoon, where the speakers said the real voice of the people couldn’t be suppressed through such cowardly tactics. The journalists who strive for the democracy, justice and good governance cannot be stopped through these attacks.
“Our voice is united and no one can suppress it,” said Amin Yousuf, the general secretary of the PFUJ. He was of the view that some institutions want to control the freedom of expression but he promised their hidden agenda won’t materialise.
Addressing the gathering, KUJ president GM Jamali said that protests across the country were not against the attack but they were against the government who had failed to provide security to journalists. “We have been striving hard for democratic forces in the country and are being attacked,” he added.
“We won’t tolerate such attacks anymore,” announced CPNE’s Aamir Mehmood. “Over hundred journalists have been targeted in the last 10 years. Have anyone stopped us from writing the truth?”
Jabbar Khattak of the CPNE also condemned the government’s security measures for journalists. “Media persons are committed to their work and will continue their struggle for the freedom of expression.”
PPP’s Abdul Qadir Patel shared the journalists’ sentiments. “We can understand the pain of journalists as thousands of our workers, including leaders of the PPP, have been martyred in the war against terrorism. We have same way to go and we won’t leave you alone.”
Condemning the attacks, Saleem Zia of the PML-N and Syed Hafeezuddin of the PTI, Ateeq Mir and Jamil Paracha of the business community, Waqas Laghari of the nationalist party, Ahmed Shah of the Karachi Arts Council, President Peoples Students Federation Faisal Sheikh and others demanded the government immediately arrest the culprits.
Meanwhile, Imran Sahil, Perwez Khan, Rasheed Raza and others of Sukkur, Ishaque Mangrio of the Hyderabad Press Club and prominent media persons in different cities staged protests outside their press clubs. They demanded the government unmask the men involved in these attacks. They warned the government of further protests if such attacks continue.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2013.
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