ISLAMABAD: National Press Club Islamabad, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists organized the Round Table Conference at National Press Club, in connection with the World Press Freedom Day.
The topic of the RTC was Independence, “Life and economic threats confronted by journalists and manifesto of political parties”. The journalists presented suggestions and recommendations regarding the freedom of journalism and protection of journalists in the politics of political parties.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah visited the National Press Club, laid flowers on the Yadgar-e-Shuhada along with the PFUJ, RIUJ and NPC leadership and senior journalists gathered there to participate in the RTC.
Later, addressing the RTC, Khursheed Shah said that the PFUJ’s role is a history of journalism. He promised to support the bill from the media regarding electronic media in the Parliament. He said that the media always struggled for press freedom and confronted dictators and semi-dictators in their just struggle. He said journalists working in the media should get their salaries and dues in time.
Talking about the current political situation in the country, he said that elections are expected to be held while in time. He said Imran Khan is aspiring for the office of the Prime Minister in his dream. Nawaz Sharif remains in jail or outside, it makes no difference, he added.
PFUJ President Afzal Butt, NPC President Tariq Mehmood Chaudhary, NPC Secretary NPC Shakeel Anjam, RIUJ President Mubarak Zeb Khan, ARY’s senior Anchor Arshad Sharif, Aamir Waseem Daily Dawn Bureau Chief, Zamir Haider, Prince, Shafiuddin, Secretary RIUJ Ali Raza Alvi, RIUJ Finance Secretary Asghar Chaudhary and many others attended the RTC.
PFUJ President Afzal Butt, in his address, said that after the approval of the 8th Wage Board Award followed by a 16-year long struggle, the first meeting of the Wage Board was held today. He said that the approval of the Wage Board is a welcome step for the entire journalism community. According to the United Nations report, he said Pakistan is counted among 10 those countries where the lives and economic situation of the journalists is in danger.
RIUJ President Mubarak Zeb Khan while presenting a report, said that most of the journalists killed in the Sindh province. The second number is that of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is at number three and the Punjab at number four. He disclosed that journalists were subjected to violence even in the peaceful city of the Federal Capital.
Mubarak Zeb Khan also invited suggestions from the participating journalists so as to get the same included in the manifestoes of political parties.
Arshad Sharif said that the role of PFUJ and RIUJ is very important. He called upon the journalist organizations to display unity instead of promoting hatred in the office.
He said reports should be published against the violations of Press Freedom and against those who create hurdles in exercising Press Freedom.
Zamir Haider said that independent journalism is slipping out of our hands. There are rules regarding journalists’ rights but we need to be united, he added.
Shafiuddin said that the case of a religious party’s newspaper came to him in which the employees hired for more than 18 years were not given recruitment orders. Journalists work in media, but the owners take decisions about the news stories.
Secretary NPC Shakeel Anjum said that journalism is a sacred profession and they will continue raising their voice for journalists from the platform of National Press Club.
He disclosed that they had applied for radio licence for the Press Club but it could not be given owing to government and opposition conspiracies.
Giving good news to journalist, he said the National Press Club is going to launch its own Web TV, through which the voice of journalists will be disseminated to the authorities without any hindrance.