Mir Shakil seeks SC help for return of 'stolen' newsprint

By our correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Editor-in-Chief of Jang Group of Newspapers Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman on Monday requested Justice Sheikh Ijaz Nisar, one of the three judges of the Supreme Court bench hearing the Jang Groups' petition for freedom of press, to issue necessary orders for return of the newsprint the FIA officials had stolen.

In an express message to the learned judge, Mir Shakil said: "First, On February 1st, the Supreme Court's bench in a constitutional petition of the Jang Group has ordered to release the newsprint, which was detained at Karachi Port for which customs duty had already been paid;

"Two, following the February 1st order of the Supreme Court, several police and FIA officials at around 5.00 pm had forcibly driven away the truck loaded with 10 reels of the newsprint which was coming from the godown of the Jang/The News.

"This newsprint was put in the godown after paying customs duty (photo copies of the bills of entry and invoices of the newsprint attached). The FIA officials were shown the order of the apex court that the court had ordered to release the newsprint, and you (FIA) people are forcibly taking away the already stored newsprint. This is an illegal action;

"Three, surprisingly the FIA continued to send people till January 31st last year to harass the staff during shifting of the newsprint from godown to the press. But after just 6 hours of the order of the Supreme Court, the FIA through an illegal action tried to stop publication of the Jang and The News, Rawalpindi;

"Four, if the FIA is not stopped from doing it, the publication of the Jang and The News Rawalpindi will be impossible for February 3. We are facing a similar situation in Lahore and Karachi, where the FIA and police have established pickets;

"Five, I request you to issue necessary orders to stop the government officials from taking illegal, unconstitutional and immoral action against the Jang Group of Publications. The newsprint, which had been taken away, should be returned to us forthwith so that we should publish the newspapers. Moreover, the FIA and police officials should be stopped to do anything like this in the future, except with prior permission of the court."

The News International Pakistan