Slain Tribal Journalist Malik Mumtaz Khan ‘son receives RMNP Sadiq Press Freedom Award 2014

(RMNP-September 15,2015) – Slain tribal journalist Malik Mumtaz Khan’s son Malik Suleman Khan received RMNP Sadiq Press Freedom Award 2014 and prize money of Rs 60,000 in an event organized by the Rural Media Network Pakistan (RMNP) here at Punjab College AhmedpurEast on Sunday evening..
The ceremony was co-chaired by President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar and intellectual Hassan Askar Sheikh while Ex-PPP MNA Arif Aziz Sheikh, was the chief guest. Deputy Director Information Bahawalpur Division Nasir Hameed,Bahawalpur National Awami Party (BNAP) Central President Mian Ilyas Ayaz ,District President PML(QA) Syed Salahuddin Ahmed Jeelani,District General Secretary PPP Bahawalpur Muhammad Ali Ahsan, Chairman Market Committee & President Markazi Anjuman Mian Mohd Younas,PML(N) leader Mehar Abdul Rehman Anjum,Professor Shehzad Ahmed Khan, besides presidents of Press clubs of Tehsil Sadar Bahawalpur,Tranda Muhammad Panah,Chanigoth,Mubarakpur ,Khanqah Sharif,AhmedpurEast, Samasatta along with women contributors attended the ceremony.
President Bahawalpur Union of Journalists Majeed Gill presented RMNP shield to Malik Suleman Khan acknowledging his slain father Malik Mumtaz Khan courage and dedication with the profession while Hassan Askari Sheikh gave him PKR 60 000 sponsored by World Association of Newspapers & News publishers (WAN-IFRA).
The speakers President BUJ Majeed Gill, Ex-PPP MNA Arif Aziz Sheikh,Deputy Director Information Bahawalpr Nasir Hameed,PPP leader Mohd Ali Ahsan,PML(N) leaders Mian Mohd Younas, Mehar Abdul Rehman ,PML(QA) leader Salahuddin Jeelani,Ex-Chairman Municipal Committee Mian Ilyas Ayaz,journalists Zafar Iqbal Minhas,Iftikhar Alvi and Ahmed Khan Babar paid rich tribute to former President Press Club Miranshah, North Waziristan Malik Mumtaz Khan , who was shot dead by unidentified armed persons on February 27,2013 while he was on his way to home. They offered their condolences to Khan’s family, friends and colleagues and demanded of government to arrest the killers of Malik Mumtaz Khan without further delay and give compensation to his heirs. President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Khan Sehar said that Pakistan is ranked 158 out of 180 countries in this year’s World Press Freedom Index and has one of the highest murder rates for journalists. He stated that there was almost no space for freedom of expression in the country which provides a free playing field for law enforcement authorities and extremist religious forces particularly the militant groups – to act as they please. President RMNP said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced the appointment of a Commission for the protection of journalists in a meeting with CPJ delegation in Islamabad but it has remained as only an announcement and no further action has been taken so far. He informed the audience that still no mechanisms have been developed to stop the attacks on the media houses. The political parties, the pressure groups and religious militant groups in an effort to dictate their policies continuously attack media houses and journalists, he added. President RMNP revealed a report that of 250 journalists from all the seven agencies and six frontier regions, one third have already moved to areas and quit journalism. He said that journalist in FATA are working for multiple organization—– most working as correspondents, freelancers and stringers. Sadly, not all have the luxury of being employed under a formal contract. President RMNP announced to give another press freedom award on May 3, 2015 on the eve of World Press Freedom Day.
Slain tribal journalist Malik Mumtaz Khan’s son Malik Suleman Khan thanked RMNP for selecting his slain father for the WAN-IFRA sponsored award. He complained that despite the PKR one million announcement made by former Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari as a compensation to his slain father family, not a single penny was given to us. Similarly his slain father employer Jang-Geo group neither accommodated us nor I am provided job in GEO TV channel despite having required qualification. He hoped that the RMNP would expand its activities in near future to encourage victimized media persons in both rural and urban areas.

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