Black flag hoisted at NPC to mark black day
ISLAMABAD:(APS)Feb 14,2017- NPC President Shakeel Anjum said that now we have to take care even in our gatherings. He said we would continue to fulfill our duties but the government has failed to fulfill theirs. He said we have many a time contacted the government about security matters and even had pointed out some vintage points but not a single policeman was seen at these points.
Former NPC President Tariq Chaudhry said we are here to pay homage to those journalists who lost their lives. He said it has now become clear that media is particularly on the target of terrorists. He said it is not only the job of government but the media owners should also come up with consolidating security for journalists.
Senators Nihal Hashmi (PML-N), Shahi Syed (ANP), Mian Ateeq (MQM), Ali Muhammad (PTI), Saeedul Hassan Mandokhail (PML) and Raja Shakeel Abbasi Advocate (PPP), express solidarity with journalists, visited the National Press Club’s black flag hoisting ceremony, addressed a large number of journalists and media workers gathered there and also hoisted the black flag along with RIJU President/former PFUJ President Quaid-i-Sahafat Afzal Butt, RIUJ General Secretary Ali Raza Alvi, NPC President Shakeel Anjum, and other senior journalists present on the occasion.
The Senator assured the journalists to take up their proposals for the Special Tribunal and about their demands in the Parliament.
RIUJ General Secretary Ali Raza Alvi told the gathering that the black day is being observed to mark the martyrdom of Samaa TV channel cameraman Taimoor in Karachi Sunday, Lahore carnage in which suicide bomber blasted himself taking the cover of Aaj TV channel DSNG, and Quetta incident in which law enforcing personnel were martyred. These incidents are being condemned as national tragedies also.
He said unfortunately the break between the one blast and the next is called peace. The Federal government and provincial government authorities issue mere condemnations every time but nothing constructive is being done to stop such incidents. Now, these incidents are happening with regular intervals under a well-planned conspiracy.
Senator Nihal Hashmi of PML-N, who was the last speaker of the day promised to take care of the Bill regarding security of journalists that according to RIUJ President Afzal Butt is lost somewhere between the Prime Minister and his advisers/staff. He said the issues related with journalists will be taken up in the Parliament. He said a new bill should be introduced for the protection of journalists and to take care of the bereaved families. He assured Afzal Butt that the government will try to give full support to his demands.
He said he is happy that he is today standing with live, conscious and brave people. He said he thought that incidents in Karachi, Quetta and Lahore and Islamabad would be in peace but the brave Islamabad journalists are out for the cause of their community.
Nihal Hashmi said the government would restructure the National Action Plan till its logical conclusion. He said National Action Plan does not belong to any particular person or institution; it belongs to army, rangers, law enforcing agencies, government, political parties and all.
He supported the insurance and protective measures for journalists and media workers and stressed the need of making all DSNGs bullet-proof besides providing bullet-proof jackets to the journalists covering such events.
Earlier, RIUJ President Afzal Butt while condemning the incidents of terrorism in Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and elsewhere stressed the need that all Pakistan institutions should give up leg-pulling and make a joint strategy to tackle with such incidents. He said everyone should keep in mind that where army, rangers, law enforcing agencies and police check-posts end, we begin our work from there.
Afzal Butt put up four demands relating to safety of journalists and compensation of the bereaved families on top of all. These are: (1) Cameras are ensures but not the men behind these. PEMRA should be made responsible to ensure that all journalists and media workers on an institution before renewing their licences; (2) Out of more than 120 journalists/media workers who lost their lives in line with their duties, the culprits in only two cases were punished. The Prime Minister about three years ago had promised before the local and foreign journalists that a Special Tribunal will be set up for efficient probe of these incidents but it seems that his advisers and staff members are not putting up that file before him for a decision. If the Special Tribunal is made then the cases of terrorism would reduce; (3) Over 120 journalists/media workers who lost their lives had no property or family dispute and they fell victim to terrorism. Therefore all cases of journalists/media workers who lose their lives in line of their duties should be treated under the similar provisions of Anti-Terrorist Act that are implemented in case of army men, rangers, law enforcing agencies and police and the Special Courts may hear those cases in the similar fashion; (4) There is no insurance/SOP for those media workers who lost their lives and we are forced to start begging for the bereaved families or if the government is kind enough to announce any compensation. The bereaved families of journalists/media workers should be compensated under the same SOPs as the bereaved families of army men, rangers, law enforcing agencies and police are treated with.
NPC Senior Vice-President Asif Bhatti and a senior journalist Dastar Ali Shah also addressed the gathering.