All-party rally in favour of press freedom

By Javed Jaidi

ISLAMABAD: In a phenomenal display of unity, all political parties set aside their mutual differences and staged a joint rally to express solidarity with the national press in its struggle for protection of freedom of expression.

The rally, held on the call of all-party freedom of press committee, was attended by all political parties minus the ruling PML(N). For the first time in the political history of Pakistan, workers and leaders of Jamaat-e- Islami marched along with Awami National Party and PPP to raise voice for the freedom of the press. Emotionally charged workers of Pakistan Awami Tehrik, Tehrik-e-Insaf, Millat Party, PML(Q), PML(Jinnah) and Pakistan National Council condemned government's actions against the press with one voice.

Workers of these parties raised slogans against Chief of Ehtesab Bureau and the government while condemning acts of vendetta against leading newspapers and their owners. The protesters were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against government's assault on Jang Group of Newspapers.

Senator Ajmal Khan Khattak, Rao Sikandar Iqbal, Professor Ghafoor Ahmad, Manzoor Watoo, Dr. Afzal Aizaz, Ameerul Azeem, Haji Nawaz Khokhar, Malik Hakmeen Khan, Jahangir Badar, Javed Jabbar, Raja Shoaib Aadil, Major (retd) Aftab Lodhi, Rashid Hameed and Mansoor Ahmad waved to thousands of supporters while marching towards Committee Chowk.

The procession was also attended by members of All Pakistan Federation of Trade Unions. Senator Ajmal Khatak in his address to the rally said that the rulers seemed bent upon destroying all institutions including national press.

The News International Pakistan