ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has expressed concern over attempts to gag the print and electronic media through physical intimidation, citing disruption to the distribution of Dawn newspaper and blocking of some news channels on cable network.

The PFUJ appealed to caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk and Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar to look into the situation.

Take a look: Disruption to Dawn’s distribution continues across country

In a joint statement PFUJ President Afzal Butt and Secretary General Ayub Jan Sarhandi said: “The distribution of Dawn is witnessing daily disruption in cities and towns across the country, particularly in cantonment areas, while hawkers and sales agents are being subjected to harassment, threats, and physical coercion.”

The PFUJ leaders said these actions were against Article 19 of the constitution which guaranteed there “shall be freedom of press”.

“Such actions are denial of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19A, the right of every citizen to have access to information in all matters of public interest.”

They also expressed alarm over reports that an advertising agency which owed large sums of money to certain media firms had been telephonically directed to withhold payment in order to create difficulties.

The PFUJ appealed to the prime minister and the chief justice to direct the authorities concerned to stop coercive steps against Dawn and other media houses.

“We are showing great restraint over these illegal and unconstitutional steps being taken by the authorities to gag the free press in Pakistan,” the statement said.

“If no remedial measures are taken, the PFUJ will be forced to take to the streets.”

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2018



Updated 20 May, 2022

TTP peace talks

ANOTHER attempt to sue for peace with the outlawed TTP is being made, again facilitated by the Afghan Taliban that...
20 May, 2022

Beyond the law

THE senior judiciary should take care not to overreach in its zeal to ‘fix’ issues it ideally need not worry...
20 May, 2022

Political musical chairs

YET another political crisis is brewing in Balochistan, where old rivals Jam Kamal Khan Alyani and Sardar Yar...
Updated 19 May, 2022

To be or not to be

The same decision taken weeks or months from now will have far more devastating consequences.
19 May, 2022

Impact on Punjab

THE Supreme Court judgement interpreting the issue of disqualification of parliamentarians under Article 63A of the...
19 May, 2022

Forest fires

THOUGH spot and forest fires have become a perennial phenomenon especially in peak summer, the recent blazes —...