LAHORE: Mr Mohammad Haneef Ramay, the Punjab Chief Minister today [May 22] announced that all journalists apprehended yesterday for allegedly violating Section 144 had been released unconditionally. Speaking on an adjournment motion … the Chief Minister said the Government had taken a lenient view by giving the journalists the benefit of doubt as to whether they were actually violating Section 144 or walking in twos. Mr Haneef Ramay said the Government would never treat any single community as a privilege class and the law would be equally enforced on all. This did not mean that the Government was … against the journalists. In fact the Government and the Pakistan People’s Party greatly respected journalists, many of whom had fought valiantly for the restoration of democracy. …

He said the Government had … found that some journalists services had been terminated from daily Mussawat. … The step … had been sharply criticised by the journalists union. A public meeting was organised in front of Mussawat office … and a few journalists were arrested. … However, he had ordered their release considering that the place where the meeting was held was not exactly a public thoroughfare.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2024

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