Journalists take out rallies against govt's high-handedness

By our correspondent

NAWABSHAH: A protest rally was taken out by the Union of Journalists, Nawabshah, and the hawkers' association against the government's high-handedness towards the Jang Group of Newspapers.

The rally turned into a procession which marched through the streets of the city, demanding an end to the victimisation of the press. The procession arrived at the Nawabshah Press Club, where the rally was addressed by senior journalists and office-bearers of the journalist union.

Addressing the rally, the speakers said that the government was bent upon depriving the press of its right to work freely. They said the journalists could not be intimidated through pressure tactics and the government had failed in imposing its will on the Jang Group. They said that unity amongst the journalists was a proof that they all supported the principled stand adopted by the Jang Group.

The speakers said even though it was not new for the press to face hardships from the governments, the present government had gone much farther than any of its predecessors in crushing the freedom of the press.

They said after damaging the honour of judiciary and the armed forces, the government had turned its guns towards the press. They said the journalists were committed to their cause and they would not give in to the government's pressure tactics.

Those who addressed the rally included President Press Club Nawabshah Jamaluddin Bhatti, General Secretary Arshad Munir, President Union of Journalist M. Anwar Shaikh, President of Awam-e-Sahafat Ahmed Zia, senior journalists Ali Jamali, Mohammad Salah Bilu, reporter Daily Jang Faiz Mohammad, Mohammed Ismail Domki, Fayyaz Kalyai and President of Jamat-e-Islami, Nawabshah, Mohammad Aslam Shaikh.

Our Kotri correspondent adds: The journalists of the Kotri Press Club (KPC) in collaboration with the bureau offices of The News and Jang Kotri on Saturday took out a big rally to protest against the victimisation of the Jang Group by the government. The protest rally, led by President KPC Shahabuddin Junejo, was attended by the journalists, hawkers, press photographers and people from all walks of life.

The protesters, carrying banners and placards, chanted anti-government slogans. They appealed to the government to end the victimisation campaign launched by it against the largest group of publications in the country.

Addressing the participants of the rally, TJP central leader Altaf Hussain-al-Hussaini, PPP organiser Raja Sikandar Ali, Millat Party leader Malang Ali Leghari and ANP organiser Usman Ghani strongly condemned the government's actions against the Jang Group. They said the government was now targeting the press after bulldozing three state organs. They said the Jang Group was being punished for exposing corruption of government functionaries.

Organiser Sindh Journalists Alliance Dildar Janwari, Editor weekly Ehtesab Younus Memon, Editor monthly Kotri Time, Abdul Rasheed Arain and local correspondent daily Jang Syed Qaiser Ahmed said the government had no right to dictate to the newspapers. They demanded of the government to release the newsprint and defreeze the bank accounts of the group. They also demanded the withdrawal of false and baseless sedition cases registered against the newspapers and also for an end to the campaign launched by it against the Jang Group on the PTV.

The News International Pakistan