RMNP demands Election Commission to include safety of media persons in Electoral Code of Ethics for political parties

MUBARAKPUR : Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should include the security and safety of the media persons in its “Electoral Code of Ethics” for political parties for forthcoming general elections. This was demanded in round table entitled”Safety of Journalists in General Elections 2018 organised by the Rural Media Network Pakistan (RMNP) in press club Mubarakpur on the eve of World Press Press Freedom Day (May 3,2018).It was attended by presidents of seven press clubs of Bahawalpur Sadar,Khanqa Sharif,MusafirkhanaNoorpur,AhmedpurEast,Mubarakpur and Dera Nawab Sahib along with press freedom advocates and journalists..World Press Freedom Day round table was chaired by President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar while President Press Club Mubarakpur Mazhar Rasheed Misson acted as moderator.

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Mubarakpur:President RMNP Ehan Ahmed Sehar addressing World Press Freedom Day round table in press club on May 3,2018.Moderator Mazhar Rasheed Missan is also seen in the picture.

President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar contended that it is universal practice all over the world that journalists are being facilitated in discharge of their professional duties, but it is very unfortunate that instead of providing them assistance the Journalists are targeted, assaulted and tortured. Such uncalled practice is very dangerous and indicates menace of incidents of scuffling the media persons especially being witnessed frequently in mainstream political parties rallies and public meetings. He said that to arrest such condemnable act the political parties should ponder and seriously provide training and abreast to their hardcore deputed for organizing the public meetings or demonstrations. Such organisations should also have full awareness of providing “conducive environment” for the coverage and safety of the journalists.

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Mubarakpur: A view of the participants of RMNP-WPFD round table entitled”Safety of Journalists in General Elecrions 2018″held in the premises of Press Club on May 3, 2018.

The complex of the reporting with the advent of the electronic media and new emerging trend for the coverage has altogether been changed and there is need that all those stake holders who frequently interact with the Journalists – hold demonstrations, meetings, protest, and other activities should also formulate SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for the Journalists keeping in view of their security and coverage without any interruption, the President RMNP argued

World Press Freedom Day round table expressed its grave concern in the delay of the passage on the the new draft law on journalists safety which was developed in collaboration with stake holders and government through a subcommittee of Senate’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting in January 2018 has not yet tabled despite the completion of three-yearly Senate elections. It demanded the immediate tabling of long -awaited legislative draft and its adoption by both Senate and National assembly.

Participants Shahid Bashir Anjum,Syed Sarfraz Hussein Zaidi,Muhammad Rizwan Ahmed,Abdul Hafeez Anjum,Asif Mehmood Chaudhry,Faraz Haider Baloch,Syed TanveerulHassan Bukhari,Rao Muhammad Farooq,Nizmuddin,Zafar Iqbal Minhas,Rafiq Safdar Rajput,Mubashar Hussein Syed,Muhammad Akbar Langha,Muhammad Suleman Farooqi,Rao Muhammad Sabar Aziz ,Abdul Hameed Saqib and others presented their ideas and urged media houses to organize “Covering the Elections” training sessions at all district head quarters for their respective correspondents. They highlighted the hurdles being faced by rural journalists in their routine work and urged to give protection during forthcoming general elections 2018.They informed that rural journalists face physical attacks and threats in the case of the publication of news against feudals and religious parties candidates .If they file complaints against them police authorities usually ignore complainant journalists. They demanded of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to direct the District Returning Officers for the issuance of cards for visiting polling stations of their respective constituencies. Some participants asked their colleagues to remain neutral in upcoming elections and not become a tool of any political party or candidate. They also criticised those journalists who are running the media cells of politicians in their localities Participants also demanded media houses to take necessary steps for the improvement of working conditions of district correspondents. World Press Freedom Day round table demanded of Punjab government to provide Rs 2 million each to the heirs of journalists Munir Anjum Raja and Zeshan Butt who were shot dead in March 2018 in Rawalpindi and Sambrial of Silakot district of Punjab respectively.

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Mubarakpur:Participants of the RMNP World Press Freedom Day round table offering Fateha for the departed souls of all Pakistani Shaheed journalists in Press Club Mubarakpur on May 3,2018.

It also demanded the appointment  of public prosecutors in federal capital Islamabad and all four provincial capitals. RMNP annual press freedom was  presented in this round table and Urdu translation of Director-General UNESCO Ms Audrey Azoulay ‘s message was also read in this occasion.Participants offered Fateha for the departed souls of all killed journalists including Qamar Rasheed Misson of Mubarakpur town.They  observed one minute silence to pay homage to all journalists who were killed in the line of duty through out the globe.

Source: Press Club Mubarakpur


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