Journalists and representatives of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), South Asia Media Commission (SAMC) and South Asian Women in Media (SAWM), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ), Punjab Union of Journalists (PUJ), Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ), the National Press Club, the Lahore Press Club, the Karachi Press Club, the Peshawar Press Club, and the Quetta Press Club express their deepest concern at the reports of death threats given to Imtiaz Alam, editor of quarterly South Asian Journal and secretary general of South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA).
In the resolution passed on Friday, journalists and other media representatives said that intolerance for diverse points of views had a bearing on media freedom and quality journalism. They said that edicts and threats continue to be hurled at the media and media persons, among them Alam, who also anchors a talk show on a private news channel.
“The targeted attacks and death threats are meant to create fear among the democratic intelligentsia and the media persons. It is more disturbing that the state is failing in its responsibility to protect citizens and its writ.”
Despite UN Security Council Resolution 1738 on the safety of journalists and several international resolutions on the protection of journalists, lives continue to have been lost in Pakistan in the course of journalists doing their jobs, they said in a statement.
“Last year, 10 journalists have been killed in connection with their work in Pakistan. Courtesy these killings, Pakistan has made it to the shameful club of the world’s five deadliest countries for the media,” the statement read.
“We urge the media associations to take joint stand on acts of violation of and threats to media rights and freedom of expression. Attack on one should be taken as an attack on all. It’s time that the state and the government of Pakistan fulfilled their responsibility to their citizens protecting their fundamental rights of freedom of information and freedom of expression guaranteed in the constitution.”
From: Sarmad Ali, Dr Jabbar Khattak, Arif Nizami, Imtiaz Faran, Irfan Saeed, Irshad Mastoi, Raza Rehman, Afzal Butt, Shehryar Khan, Tariq Chaudhary, Ali Raza Alvi, Arshad Ansari, Shahbaz Mian, Anjum Rashid, Khalid Chaudhary, Shafqat Mahmood, Dr Akmal Hussain, I A Rehman, M. Ziauddin, Zahid Hussain, Nazir Leghari, Husain Naqi, Aamir Mahmood, Tahir Rathore, Khalid Farooqi, Ayaz Khan, Shahzada Zulfiqar, Nusrat Javeed, Agha Nasir, Iftikhar Ahmed, Babar Ayaz, Shamim Shahid, Saleem Shahid, Ghazi Salahuddin, Mujahid Barelvi, Irfana Mallah, Jehangeer Aslam, Ghulam Nabi Chandio, Syed Mumtaz Shah, Lala Asad, Khalid Khokhar, Fayyaz Naich, Amer Sindhu, Shoaib Adil, Saida Fazal, Munnoo Bhai, Ibrahim Shirwani, Asma Shirazi, Afzal Khan, Mustansar Javed, Rana Qaisar, Shamsul Islam Naz, Khushnood Ali Khan, Mehmal Sarfaraz, Khaled Ahmed, Allama Sidddiq Azhar, Dr Fauzia Naeem Khan, Waqar Mustafa, Ahmad Waleed, Tayyeba Bukhari, Sirmed Manzoor, Aaliya Shah, Kahkashan Farooq, Agha Iqrar Haroon, Qasim, Shahbaz Anwar Khan, Mushtaq Soofi, Afaq Syed, Abbas Rashid, Husain Naqi, Saida Fazal, Sami Abrahim, Farah Warraich, Arif Waqar, Khalid Qayyum, Latif Chaudhary, Shahzada Zulfiqar, Ahmad Shafiq, Imran Umar, Naeem Qaisar, Eijaz Bajwa, Farrukh Asef, Mahmood Iqbal, Qasim Saeed, Waseem Niaz, Imtiazul Haq.
(Daily Times endorses the above statement and fully stands in solidarity with all our media colleagues under threat – Rashed Rahman, Editor.)