ISLAMABAD - Journalists representative bodies and top media persons on Wednesday strongly denounced the statement by Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan alleging that anchorpersons were bribed by the government for pre-poll rigging and asked him to come up with names and evidence.

“We demand Chaudhry Nisar to disclose the names of individuals and organisations involved in such practice. He should not malign the journalist community on the whole,” said President National Press Club Farooq Faisal.

He said that the Opposition Leader should not level allegations against the media without any proof rather he should disclose the identity of those indulging in this unethical practice.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has strongly reacted to the accusations levelled by Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan against President Asif Ali Zardari for bribing the journalists to launch a campaign against the judiciary.

In a joint statement, PFUJ President Parvez Shaukat and General Secretary Amin Yousaf said that Chaudhry Nisar should not have accused the entire journalists community rather he should have exposed the names of those journalists who according to him had been allegedly bribed.

“Journalism is a sacred profession and generally the journalists have been found honest and persons of integrity. The journalists over the years have fought against tyrants and dictators for revival of democratic order in the country and we have also resisted against media gags.”

The PFUJ leaders urged Nisar to share evidence with the PFUJ against any journalist for accepting bribes for a nefarious campaign against the judiciary.

The PFUJ advised politicians not to drag the journalists for political motives and added that if evidence is shared, the PFUJ would take action against such elements in the media.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said that allegations levelled by Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan of bribing some media persons was a conspiracy to defame the entire journalistic community.

He said that by levelling such baseless allegations, Nisar has also tried to malign the President of Pakistan which was deplorable.

Kaira said that if the Opposition leader had any proofs, he should make them public and disclose the names of those who distributed the money and those who received it.

He said that Chaudhry Nisar is a senior politician and currently the Opposition Leader in National Assembly and such an attitude does not suit his stature.

Kaira said that journalism is a noble profession and the media community has always raised voice against tyranny, injustice and dictatorship and remained in the forefront of movements launched for this purpose.

He said that levelling corruption allegation amounting to billions of rupees against the people of such a noble profession was a conspiracy. The Minister said that office of the President is the highest office in the country which enjoys respect and dignity, but the Opposition leader did not even care about the dignity of that office.

Kaira said that the PPP has always respected the judiciary and implemented its verdicts.

He categorically stated that the PPP has nothing to do with any campaign to defame the superior judiciary but the PML-N has the history of attacking the courts during its govt.