APNS, CPNE slam raid on Jang offices

KARACHI: The APNS office-bearers have strongly flayed the raid of FIA at the Rawalpindi offices of the Jang Group of Publications and termed it as a vindictive act to browbeat the newspapers of the Jang Group in particular and threaten the press freedom in general, stated a press release of the APNS.

Vice-President Jamil Athar, Secretary-General Mir Javed Rahman, Joint Secretary Dr Jabbar Khattak and Finance Secretary Syed Shahid Hashmi of the APNS in a joint statement have condemned the raid conducted by a team of the FIA against the offices of the Jang Group of Publications at Rawalpindi, "which appears to be an act of retaliation against the publication of the Observer story."

The office-bearers termed the raid on Jang as an act against the newspaper industry and stated that it was unfortunate that the federal government had now embarked upon the policy to intimidate the press, which would tantamount to damage the democratic dispensation and in turn weaken the democratic institutions in the country.

They further stated that such attacks on the freedom of press would be foiled by the Fourth Estate unitedly. The office-bearers of the APNS recalled that on November 13, 1998, the Executive Committee of the APNS and the standing committee of the CPNE in a joint session had expressed their grave concern over the 'undemocratic policies' of the federal government to curb the freedom of press and had urged upon the prime minister to intervene in the matter and advise the concerned departments to refrain from the anti-press tactics, but the recent incident suggests that sanctity had not yet prevailed upon the concerned authorities.

The APNS office-bearers have again appealed to the prime minister to look into the matter and investigate that certain quarters were trying to pitch the government against the press to achieve their petty interests at the cost of government-press relations. Meanwhile, CPNE President Fasih Iqbal and Secretary General Mujibur Rehman Shami have also condemned the FIA raid at the Jang offices. They said that such an action was against the spirit of democracy. They also urged the government to ensure the freedom of the press.

The News International Pakistan