All parties freedom of press rally today

By our correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Awami Ittehad (PAI) on Sunday lambasted the government measures to muzzle press and decided full participation in the procession being taken out today (Monday) under the aegis of All Parties Freedom of Press Committee .

A meeting of the alliance was held at the residence of Syed Kabir Ali Wasti which was attended by Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, Hamid Nasir Chattha, Malik Hakmin Khan, Syed Muneer Hussain Gillani, Naveed Malik and Allama Zubair Ahmad Zaheer. The participants discussed the government's row with the press. They were of the view that the government was set to destroy the national press by snatching away the freedom of expression. The recent siege of the Jang building by the state machinery was vehemently condemned in the meeting.

Syed Kabir Ali Wasti said that freedom of press was mandatory but shockingly the government was set to snatch this right. He pledged that the government would not be allowed to deprive the press of free expression. He said that the government should apologise for keeping the Jang building under siege for over a week and baton-charging its peaceful workers.

The meeting, meanwhile, decided that most of the PAI leaders would join the procession at the starting point -- the Liaquat Bagh -- but later they would join freedom of press rally at Aabpara. All the workers of the PAI parties have been directed by their leadership to show full participation in the freedom of press procession.

In a related development, all member parties of Pakistan National Council also decided to participate in the freedom of press rally. This was announced by Air Martial (retd) Asghar Khan. He said National Council stands for freedom of press and will extend any possible support in this regard.

The News International Pakistan