by Ejaz Ahmed Khan Advocate
Press Freedom Coordinator, RMNP
Rural Media Network Pakistan (RMNP) has strongly condemned the attack on the resident editor of daily Jang Multan Zafar Aheer, alleging the government has miserably failed to curb the spiralling wave of crimes across the country.
In a statement issued here, President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar condemned the assault by unknown persons on Zafar Aheer Resident Editor Daily Jang Multan and said the programmes aired by rival TV Channels against GEO TV have angered conservatives and religious elements. This alarming situation has put the lives of journalists working for Jang-GEO group in danger. He urged Pakistan Broadcasters Association and All Pakistan Newspapers Society to intervene without further delay and resolve this issue amicably by taking Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on board.
President RMNP suggested that there is a dire need for steps to be taken to improve the safety of journalists in Pakistan, and to address the issue of impunity, which
continues to threaten media freedom. Journalists working in Pakistan are still hopeful that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ‘s recent public commitment to improving the situation comes to fruition, and that they can play their role in informing their nation’s people and contributing towards building a peaceful democratic future.
It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan is one of the deadliest nations for journalists. According to the monitoring of the Rural Media Network Pakistan, five Pakistani journalists and four media workers have been killed up to 1st June this year.
The recent controversy and violence has driven the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists into three factions.
In Karachi, the President of the PJUJ Rana Muhamad Azeem and Secretary General Amin Yousuf strongly condemned the attack on Daily Jang Multan Resident Editor Zafar Aheer and termed it part of the continued series of attack on the freedom of journalists and media.
“Media groups and media men have already been under threat and faced a number of incidents while the current row against Jang group has added fuel on the fire,” the statement elaborated.
The PFUJ says the uncertain situation has been badly hurting working journalists, and once again demanded that the Prime Minister of Pakistan take notice and ensure the security of the journalists and freedom of the media “for the sake of democracy in the country”.
Photo: Zafar Aheer, courtesy of GEO TV