Journalists hold protest meeting, start hunger-strike

By our correspondent

KARACHI: Journalists voiced their protest against government's policy towards Jang Group of Newspapers at Karachi Press Club before going on a token hunger strike outside the club on Monday. The protest was organised by the Action Committee of Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ).
Newsmen, workers, teachers, lawyers, politicians, representatives of NGOs, students and others jampacked the club's courtyard in the backdrop of banners saying 'Stop gangsterism against the press', 'Pen would rule and cane would not', etc.

Speaking on the occasion, Convener Action Committee Afazur Rehman, KUJ President Wirasat Hasnain Rizvi, President Pakistan Herald Workers Union Khurshid Tanweer and former president KUJ Shabbar Azmi recounted the history of the rulers' attempts to mold the press according to their wishes and the resistance put up by the journalists.

The speakers demanded of the government to change its unjust stance towards the press and stop blackmailing the Jang Group. Chairman All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation (APNEC) Shafiuddin Ashraf said the journalists support Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman because he defended the journalists. He also called for full implementation of the 6th Wage Board Award.

A resolution presented by Khurshid Tanweer, which was carried unanimously, called for immediate regularisation of all contractual employees. Candles were lit and placed all over the club to depict freedom of the press.

Later, the first group comprising Afazur Rehman, Shafiuddin Ashraf, Wirasat Hasnain and Shabbar Azmi launched the token hunger strike. They would be replaced by another group of four after 24 hours.

The News International Pakistan