ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, (PFUJ) has demanded access for journalists and human rights organization in the “drones hit” areas as any hindrance in free flow of information, often resulted in mere propaganda and not the factual picture.
Thus, the government, security agencies and militant outfits must respect “freedom of the Press,” and allow media, national and International human rights bodies to visit arreas hit by “drones,” since 9/11, to meet the aggrieved families.
PFUJ, the apex body of the journalists, adopted number of resolutions pertaining to safety of journalists, Wage Board, Media Commission, Right to Information. Today, it has released three of them on situation in FATA, Baluchistan and Wage Board.These resolutions were adopted in its three days meeting held in Karachi.

Resolutions released from its Central Secretariat, Islamabad on “drones” PFUJ vows to make Pakistan the most “safest place” for journalists, from the three most dangerous countries for reporting in world.
“Had the organisations like Amnesty International, human rights bodies and journalist’s Fact Find Missions, were allowed access to the tribal areas including South and North Wazirstan, the issue of “drone strikes,” could have been highlighted in a more forceful manner,” it said.
Drones and suicide bombing are lethal weapons for humanity and must be stopped, it said.

Pakistani journalists have given great sacrifices and lost over 100 of their colleagues while performing their professional duties in the line of duty. We are ready to give more lives, if that is the price to defend Freedom of the Press, in the country, but would never bow down, either before the State, security agencies or non-state actors.

In another resolution, PFUJ while expressing its deepest concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in Baluchistan, resolved that the kind of threats posed to journalists and media outlets has made profession of journalism, a suicidal job in the province and held government, outlawed groups and Judiciary responsible.

In the last two years, some nine journalists in Baluchistan had been killed but their cases were never proceed nor assailants were arrested.

Hundreds of journalists of print and electronic media, working in the field or in the newsroom/bureaus, receieved death threats almost every second day. “Militant groups have practically taken over the editorial control as they dictate how the news be placed and on which page, that too unedited at times. Missing of the news item of these groups are unacceptable for them and concerned staff faced dire consequences,” resolution said.

It also demanded withdrawal of Anti-Terrorism, cases against nine newspapers. .

PFUJ also believe that the Baluchistan High Court, judgment on the publication of the statements of outlawed organisations had added to the agony of journalists in the Province, as it did not properly address the safety aspect. Thus, the verdict must be review, failing which may result increase in threats to journalists and their lives will be more unsafe.

PFUJ also appealed to the journalists not to become tool of any group or keep any political affiliation as it can be used against them, both by the State and militant groups.

It also demand from all the Media Houses, which has bureaus in Baluchistan or print from Quetta and other cities, to give regularly employment, increase their pay scale to some respect and adopt safety measures.

In another resolution PFUJ, demanded immediate interim relief under the 8th Wage Board, keeping the rising price hike and poor wage structure of thousand of newspaper workers and journalists. ”

“Journalists and other newspaper workers had already suffered a lot in view of the delay of almost 12 years, on the implementation of the 7th Wage Award, due to long legal battle ultimately won by the workers like the past awards. Therefore, the time frame of the 8th Wage Board must be fix, which should not exceed to 90 days.” it said.

” Wage Award is the legal and lawful right of the workers. Its the law of the land, which we will never surrender. Infect, it should be expanded and implemented,” it added.

PFUJ also demanded early disposal of cases in the Implementation tribunals and the Chairman of ITNE, must end the backlog of case within three to six months.

It also urged the Chairman of the Board, to visit the newspapers centers and meet both employees and employers to find out the true picture about the existing working conditions.

Khursheed Abbasi,
Secretary General, PFUJ

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