Remove curbs on media, stop sacking of journalists: Altaf Shakoor

Karachi, November 02, 2019 (PPI-OT): Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor expressing a complete solidarity with the journalist community on the international day to end impunity for crimes against journalists has demanded from government and other stakeholders to immediately remove curbs on Pakistani media and stop sacking of media persons.

In a statement here Saturday, he said though media persons are facing a tough time in whole world, but in Pakistan they are facing violent crimes on one hand and government curbs and forced sackings on the other. He said during last one year thousands of working journalists have been rendered jobless. He said a large number of journalists in different media houses are facing delay in salary payment and they are afraid that soon they might be rendered jobless without any prior notice or compensation.

Altaf Shakoor said the economic slowdown in Pakistan has hit hard all sectors, but the media sector is among the most affected sectors of them. He said dozens of newspapers and TV channels have closed their businesses, making a large number of staffers including journalists and reporters jobless. He said there is no ray of hope, as the government is not showing any sympathy with media but instead putting more bans and curbs on it. He said a free media has become a nightmare for rulers, because it exposes their corruption and misdeeds.

Quoting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, he said: “When journalists are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price. Without the ability to protect journalists, our ability to remain informed and contribute to decision-making is severely hampered. Without journalists able to do their jobs in safety, we face the prospect of a world of confusion and disinformation.”

According to a UN report in the past twelve years more than 1,000 journalists have been killed for reporting the news and bringing information to the public. In nine out of ten cases the killers go unpunished. Impunity leads to more killings and is often a symptom of worsening conflict and the breakdown of law and judicial systems. UNESCO is concerned that impunity damages whole societies by covering up serious human rights abuses, corruption, and crime.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2 November as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ in General Assembly Resolution A/RES/68/163. The Resolution urged Member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity. The date was chosen in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2 November 2013.

This landmark resolution condemns all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers. It also urges Member States to do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists and media workers, to ensure accountability, bring to justice perpetrators of crimes against journalists and media workers, and ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies. It further calls upon States to promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform their work independently and without undue interference.

For more information, contact:
Press Secretary,
Pasban Democratic Party (PDP)
Pasban Central Secretariat
Office # 9, Five Star Center,
Block 11, University Road, Opp. Ibne Sina Hospital,
Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi
Tel: +92-21-34024480-81
Cell: +92-322-2212434