The National Press Club (NPC) in Islamabad on Tuesday placed a temporary ban on the entry and coverage of Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid in its premises after he allegedly used "insulting" language for a journalist who is undergoing treatment for cancer.
The decision was taken after NPC President Shakeel Qarar met Geo TV video journalist Nasir, who is receiving treatment for cancer at Benazir Bhutto Hospital in Rawalpindi, a press release issued by the press club said.
It said Nasir had informed Qarar that during a recent visit to the hospital by Rashid, a local journalist had directed the minister's attention towards Nasir's illness. At this, the railways minister "uttered insulting sentences which deeply hurt Nasir's sentiments", the press release added.
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It was thus decided to place a ban on Rashid's coverage in Rawalpindi and Islamabad and on his entry in NPC Islamabad and the Rawalpindi Camp Office for a week, according to the statement.
While the NPC did not reveal Rashid's exact words, it condemned what it termed the minister's use of "insulting remarks for a video journalist fighting the battle for survival".
The press club appealed to reporters, video and photojournalists to follow the prohibition and also requested press clubs across the country to ban Rashid's entry for seven days.