ISLAMABAD: Former ministers and leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf became involved in an altercation with a media person over a question related to corruption allegations outside the Supreme Court building on Wednesday.
The ugly incident took place during a media talk by ex-ministers Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar after court proceedings.
After leaving the courtroom, both PTI leaders held a media talk. As soon as Mr Umar completed his talk, senior journalist and social media journalist Matiullah Jan questioned him about the allegations being hurled against Farah Khan.
However, instead of allowing Mr Umar to respond to the query, former minister Fawad Chaudhry intervened and asserted that he would speak first and explain the developments in the courtroom.
Mr Jan then repeated his question, while other reporters present on the occasion supported him, stating that the PTI leaders usually did not take questions after their media talk.
Irked by the argument, Mr Chaudhry pointed a finger at Mr Jan and called the media persons “rented journalists”.
His words ignited an already tense situation, leading to a noisy altercation between Mr Chaudhry and Mr Jan. However, Mr Umar and other senior leaders of the PTI stayed away from the spate.
The PTI team then left the spot amid slogans by journalists.
In its reaction on the incident, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) condemned the ‘insulting attitude’ of former minister Chaudhry outside the apex court, terming it “shameful” and demanding an apology from the ex-minister.
In a statement, PFUJ president Shahzada Zulfiqar and secretary general Nasir Zaidi said the minister used “derogatory” words against Mr Jan and hurled ridiculous allegations against him “which is highly condemnable”.
The PFUJ said every journalist had the right to ask questions and “the minister or anybody else has every right to decline the answer, but nobody has the right to ridicule journalists”.
They demanded that Mr Chaudhry tender an apology, warning him that failure to do so would trigger protests across the country.
They also asked the PTI chairman to take action against Mr Chaudhry.
The Press Association of the Supreme Court strongly condemned the insulting behaviour of the PTI leader and asked him to apologise for making “ridiculous accusations” against journalists.
Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2022