MANDI BAHAUDDIN

The ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ was observed here while speakers of a seminar flayed the government over its failure to provid security for journalists.

The seminar was held by Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society at its district office. Advocate Rahila Chaudhry said that during the last 10 years, 700 journalists were killed in the world while more than 130 in Pakistan.

“There is constant threat to the life of journalists in our country. That is why, Pakistan is declared the most dangerous country for journalists,” she said. She added that the journalist community was mourning the killing of their colleagues and another mediaman namely Zaman Masud of Tank had been murdered by some unknown culprits when he was en route from his home to Tank.

The situation was horrifying and very dangerous for journalists’ community, she said. She called upon the media houses and government to take immediate measure to provide security to journalists.

Shahzad Chaudhry, editor of a local daily, criticised the government for implicating journalists in false cases just to take revenge on them. Quoting his own example, he said police arrested and tortured him for pointing out their unlawful actions. He said he was admitted to a local hospital where he was medically examined. According to medicolegal certificate, the police caused 18 injuries on different parts of his body with burning cigarettes and hot iron rods. On refusal of police, he filed a writ petition for registering a case against the police accused that was accepted and the court ordered police to register a case. Police in compliance of the orders registered an FIR and without investigation cancelled it, he said.

He then filed a writ petition with Lahore High Court where the case was fixed for hearing. Now, he said police were pressuring him for compromise.

The other speakers included Advocate Manzoor Tarar, ex-sessions judge M Hussain Maken and Qaiser Abbas.

They said that in the country, law and order situation was very poor.

Not to speak of journalists, even the common public was passing the life under fear, they said.

They called upon the government for maintaining law and order in the country and punishing the killers of journalists to meet the end of justice. The seminar participants ended the seminar with prayers for peace and prosperity in the country.