ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), which has completed 70 years of its existence, will celebrate 2020 as the “Year of Press Freedom and Protection of Economic Rights” of workers of the media industry, the newly-elected PFUJ president, Zulfikar Shahzada, and secretary general Nasir Zaidi said in a joint statement on Sunday.

They said the union would hold seminars in Islamabad and all the four provincial capitals to highlight the PFUJ’s long struggle for press freedom and economic rights of workers.

“The PFUJ has played a leading role for restoration of freedom of expression, economic rights of workers as well as civil liberties throughout the 70 years of its existence,” the statement said.

It said the media industry and its workers were once again facing the worst kind of restrictions on freedom of expression as well as denial of economic rights. As such, PFUJ has decided to reignite the spirit of resistance among workers to stand up for the protection of their economic rights and freedom of expression. The statement said the union leadership had decided to constitute a committee, to be headed by PFUJ’s former secretary general, Mazhar Abbas, to formulate programmes and organise events in 2020.

Seminars and conferences, in collaboration with civil rights organisations, will be held across the country where senior journalists will highlight the PFUJ’s struggle as well as reiterate their commitment to fight against all those who are trying to impose restrictions on the freedom of expression. “Journalists have stood against repressive laws in the past and they won’t allow anyone to restrict freedom of press under any pretext.”

Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2019