Raid on newspaper offices condemned

By our correspondent

KARACHI: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) raid on the offices of the Jang and The News, Rawalpindi, were widely condemned on the third consecutive day as leaders of various political and religious parties, human rights activists and other social welfare organisations termed the government act as an attack on the freedom of press and violation of the freedom of expression.

Strongly condemning the act, the Secretary General of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Zohra Yousuf, termed it as intimidatory tactics used by the FIA at the behest of the federal government against the Jang group of newspapers.

She stated that it was clear from the sequence of events that the intention was not to investigate tax evasion, but to harass the newspaper group for defying official advice. Zohra Yousuf said the allegations leveled by the government against the newspapers group could surely have been investigated by the CBR or the Audit Bureau of Circulation. Such methods of intimidation, earlier attempted against Newsline, are contrary to all principles of democracy and freedom of the press, she added.

The deputy leader of opposition in Senate Senator Raza Rabbani, in his letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mrs Mary Rohinann, stated that the Pakistan's largest newspaper establishment, the Jang group, was subjected to attack for writing articles critical to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and exposing the corruption of Nawaz Sharif's family.

Other PPP leaders Sardar Nabil Gabol, former deputy speaker of Sindh Assembly; PPP Karachi leaders Senator Taj Haider and Muzafar Shijra, and PDP Sindh chief Mushtaq Mirza also condemned the raid on the offices of Jang group.

These leaders termed the act a well planned conspiracy of the rulers against the fourth pillar of the state. Sindh chief of Tehrike-e-Jaferia Pakistan, Allama Hasan Turabi, said that the action was an anti-Islamic act. The Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer, District Central, Syed Sheraz and President Anjuman Nojawanan-e-All Kathiawar Allah Rakha also condemned the raid.

The News International Pakistan