LAHORE - The journalists lodged protest against Special Assistant to Punjab Chief Minister Rana Maqbool Ahmad for putting a sudden ban on media coverage for a ceremony held here on Friday for distributing certificates among the public prosecutors in Anti-Terrorism Courts.

The Punjab Prosecution Department had on Thursday evening last formally invited the all media (print and electronic) for coverage of ceremony held in a local hotel by sending invitations. The ceremony was arranged at the eve of completion of the first national training course for the public prosecutors, 17 from Punjab, three from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two from Balochistan. When the cameramen started making footages of the ceremony for the respective news channels, the officials of the prosecution department suddenly stopped them from doing so. The officials misbehaved with the media men when they refused obey the ‘royal decree’ by showing the invitations sent to them by the DGPR for media coverage of the said ceremony.

Rana Maqbool asked all the reporters to vacate the hall by claiming that a delegation of foreign trainers and prosecutors seem the media coverage as security risk for them.

At this, the reporters boycotted the ceremony and lodged protest against Rana Maqbool and prosecution officials over the misbehaviour.

Abdul Rehman, Vice President of Court Reporters Association, Lahore, demanded from Punjab Chief Minister to take notice to take action against the officials involved in the incident.

However, a prosecution spokesman said the media coverage was stopped due to a security threat.

According to a handout issued by the DGPR, besides Rana Maqbool Ahmed, Minister for Environmental Protection Col. Retd. Shuja Khanzada, Minister for Law, Prosecution and Parliamentary Affairs of Balochistan Abdul Rahim Ziarat, Secretary Prosecution Nadeem Arshad Kiyani, prosecutors and their families attended the ceremony.

Addressing the ceremony Rana Maqbool Ahmed appreciated the efforts of prosecutors in bringing to justice such elements which are engaged in terrorist activities.

Shuja Khanzada said that government was making serious efforts for improving law and order situation in Balochistan. He said that cooperation between police and prosecutors would help in bringing the criminals to their logical end.

Certificates were awarded to the prosecutors at the conclusion of the ceremony.