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ISLAMABAD: Journalists staged a token walkout of the National Assembly’s press gallery on Friday in protest of the sacking of nine reporters by BBC Pakistan earlier this year.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) had called the forcible layoffs by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) “autocratic, arbitrary, unfair, without any justification and based on prejudice.”

However, following the walkout, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervez Rashid on Friday assured the journalist community that the issue would be raised with the concerned authorities.

Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, Rashid said: “We will discuss the issue with the concerned department and regulatory authority and would also convey them the feelings and sentiments of the journalist community.”

Pervez Rashid said the sacking of nine reporters by BBC-Pakistan without any reason was totally unjustified. The layoffs without any justification by the BBC means “depriving reporters from livelihood whose years of hard work has played a significant role in making BBC one of the most credible news sources in Pakistan,” a statement issued earlier by the PFUJ had said.

Rashid said the laws of Pakistan and the country of the broadcasting organisation do not allow such practices.

“The whole journalist community in Pakistan is in sorrow, grief and anger over the actions of the BBC-Pakistan management,” said the minister.

He was of the view that the journalist community should be given job security to help them perform their duties without any fear.

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Comments (3) Closed

Jun 28, 2013 08:08pm

I am not sure if this has anything to do with NA proceedings. People get laid off every day in thousands. I guess for Pakistanis it is unheard of people letting go from a power, must be a rude shock. BUT this is definitely NOT a government job to discuss, since they have no power to resolve the situation and it is None of their concern.

Jun 28, 2013 08:18pm

BBC is funded by British tax payers. There are 154,000 jobs cut planned for in UK public sector in coming years. BBC is no exception. That's the justification. At least they provide a good service, and i am sure they will continue to do so within the available resources. This phenomenon is called 'living within your means'. PIA, Railways, WAPDA and every other gov run money bleeding enterprise in Pakistan has a thing or two to learn here.

Jun 29, 2013 02:28am

you mean to say that employers have no right to hire or fire any body when their services are not needed. Strange!