LAHORE: Ignoring instructions of their leadership, activists of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf misbehaved with the team of a media house during coverage of PTI’s shutter-down call for the provincial metropolis.
They tossed bottles and gravel on known anchorperson Sana Mirza, Sohail Warraich and reporters Jawad Malik, Ameen Hafeez and Ahmed Fraz of GeoNews besides using slingshots to hurl bricks at them.
They also made indecent gestures to Ms Mirza, making her to cry during live coverage of the strike at Charing Cross on The Mall.
The misbehaviour earned ire of PTI chief Imran Khan, spokesperson Shirin Mazari and leaders of rival parties as well as various journalist bodies
“We denounce harassment of journalists,” Ms Mazari said in a statement after footage of the incidents was aired by various TV channels.
The ARY News also reported that some people attacked its DSNG van with rotten eggs near Ferozwala when its team was covering the Shahdara road blockade.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif condemned the incidents of misbehaviour with journalists and said such tragic incidents were a stigma on the face of PTI leadership.
He said the entire nation had seen the footage of violent attitude of PTI leadership and workers which had exposed the negative approach of this party.
The chief minister said the PML-N believed in the freedom of expression and sympathised with the journalists who faced misbehaviour of PTI workers.
The Federal, Punjab and Karachi Union of Journalists as well as Lahore Press Club have condemned the continuous attacks on journalists by PTI activists during their demonstrations in various parts of the country.
In a statement, KUJ President GM Jamali, Secretary-General Wajid Raza Isfahani, Vice-President Zaheer Ahmed Khan and other office-bearers condemned the attack on KUJ Joint Secretary Sana Mirza and Geo reporter Amin Hafeez during the coverage of a demonstration in Lahore.
They asked the PTI to advise its workers to refrain from indulging in violence against journalists.
The KUJ will resist any sort of aggression against journalists in future and may advise its members to boycott proceedings of PTI activities if its leadership doesn’t offer an unconditional apology.
Published in Dawn December 16th , 2014