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.