Journalists to observe hunger strike from 8th
By our correspondent

KARACHI: The Action Committee of the Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) has condemned the high-handed and arbitrary stance of the government towards the Jang Group and other newspapers and decided to observe a token hunger strike from Feb 8. A meeting of the committee was held under the chairmanship of Ahfazur Rehman at the Karachi Press Club on Friday.

The meeting said the government was creating insurmountable obstacles in the path of dispensation of democratic values. It was pointed out that on one hand the government had total control over the electronic media and on the other the Ministry of Information was hellbent on making the newspapers subservient to it.

In its vindictiveness, the government has clamped Maintenance of Public Ordinance, Sedition Law, Sea Customs Act of 1878, Official Secrets Act and a host of other black laws to muzzle the press. The government was under no circumstances ready to perform its duty of promulgating the Freedom of Press Act.

The meeting was of the view that it was high time that legitimate and effective action was taken by the journalist fraternity to counter the coercive apparatus of the state. It was decided that the hunger strike camp would be set up at the Karachi Press Club and that four staffers from different newspapers would man it daily from Feb 8. This will be preceded by a protest meeting at 2:30 pm.

Meanwhile, in a statement Haq Parast MNA Farrukh Naeem Siddiqui condemned the FIA and police raid at the office of 'Ausaf' and termed it as a part of the government's operation against the press. In another statement, KUJ president and general secretary, Wirasat Hussain Rizvi and Afzal Baluch, strongly condemned the threats issued in writing by Sindh Police Department against chief reporter Mazhar Abbas. They appealed to the governor to bring the delinquent officers to book.

February 07, 1999
The News International Pakistan