Journalists continue protest in front of NWFP Assembly
PESHAWAR: Journalists demonstrated in front of the NWFP Assembly for the second day on Tuesday to protest the non-implementation of the 7th Wage Board Award.
They shouted slogans in favour of Federal Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, who they said had taken a bold stand on the award’s implementation. Sharif Mohmand, president of the All Pakistan Newspaper Employees Confederation (APNEC), criticised the owners of newspapers for giving the wrong figures for the salaries of their staff in the press.
Mr Mohmand said that qualified journalists were being paid meagre salaries. He said they would continue their struggle unless they achieved their rights, including the wage board award. Peshawar Press Club President Muhammad Riaz accused newspaper owners of spreading propaganda against their workers.
If, as newspaper owners claimed, they were not rich enough to implement the wage board, “how come they are applying for TV channel licences worth billions of rupees?” he asked. Sajjad Haider, president of the Khyber Union of Journalists, praised the federal information minister for taking an interest in the wage board issue. Pakistan People’s Party MPA Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MPA Zafarullah Khan joined the protesting journalists and assured them of their cooperation.
Mr Khan condemned newspaper owners for their attitude towards their workers and demanded wage board implementation, which he said was the right of all journalists. He demanded the chief minister deduct the money the newspapers owed to their staff from advertising and pay it to them.
Mr Sherpao assured journalists of his party’s full cooperation. He demanded the government initiate talks with the owners to resolve the issue. He said newspaper owners should know that the profit they made was due to the efforts of their workers and so they deserved the wage board. Iqbal Khattak, general secretary of the press club, thanked the MPAs for their support. staff report