QUETTA: The Balochistan Union of Journalists and Quetta Press Club (QPC) on Sunday decided to launch a country-wide protest campaign against the locking of press club by the district administration and police.

Police and local administration locked the gates of QPC on Saturday to stop Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYC) members from holding a seminar.

The BYC members in protest laid siege to the press club for hours and entered the building after breaking the locks and held their seminar in Hall 1 of the press club which was booked for the event.

A joint meeting of the executive committees of Balochistan Union of Journalists and QPC, presided over by their presidents, Khalil Ahmed and Abdul Khaliq Rind, respectively, was held on Sunday evening.

Plan to stage walkout from Balochistan Assembly today

The meeting, also attended by senior journalists, discussed the situation developed on Saturday.

It condemned the action of local administration and police terming it a gross violation of Article 19 of the Constitution which ensures the right of expression for every citizen and freedom of press.

The meeting expressed serious concern and anger over the locking of QPC and decided to launch protests in all press clubs of the country to condemn the unconstitutional steps of the local administration and police.

The meeting decided that Quetta journalists would walk out of the Balochistan Assembly proceedings on Monday in protest against the Saturday’s incident and would hand over a four-point demands to the government.

“If the government failed to accept and implement the four-point demands, a black day will be observed on May 21 and protests would launched across the country,” the two presidents announced.

They said that black flags would be hoisted on all press clubs of the country.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2024

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