ISLAMABAD: Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) on Wednesday took out a rally to condemn killing of a Swat-based journalist, Qari Shoaib, who represented a national daily.
Hundreds of journalists from the twin cities participated in the rally that started from Rawalpindi-Islamabad Press Club camp office and culminated at the same point after marching on Municipal Road. A heavy contingent of police was around to avoid any untoward situation.
The protestors were carrying placards inscribed with slogans, seeking arrest of Shoaib’s killer(s) and security and freedom for journalists. They also condemned killing of other journalists.
Addressing the rally, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Secretary General Mazhar Abbas said the union would stage countrywide protests from November 26 to ‘expose’ the government’s alleged plan to gag the media.
He appealed to the journalist community to join their hands for the protection and freedom of the media. “This is our sole responsibility for fighting against those who want to pressurise journalists,” he said.
RIUJ President Afzal Butt said that Shoaib of Daily Azadi, Abdur Razzaq of Royal News and Azeem Lughari of Dharti TV were shot dead by ‘elements’, which wished imposition of curbs on the media. He took a parliamentarian to task for lashing at a local news channel for no reason. Butt said that two anchorpersons of local television channels were also receiving life threats.