KARACHI, May 25: The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) has urged the president and prime minister to take notice of recent statements of Mohajir Rabita Council (MRC) and MQM Rabita Committee against journalists and said that such deliberations may generate hatred against the press.
In a statement signed by APNS secretary-general Mohammad Aslam Kazi, it was said that the society was concerned over the statements of the MRC and the Rabita Committee “denouncing journalists and analysts in the print and electronic media as being anti-Mohajir and biased chauvinists”.
In the statement of the MRC, which was issued by four high ranking office-bearers, 13 leading journalists from the print and electronic media were named in a publicly announced hit list as ‘Mohajir dushman’ (enemies of Mohajirs), the APNS statement said, adding that the president of the MRC, Syed Safwanullah, a Muttahida Qaumi Movement minister in the federal government, upon contact had expressed his ignorance about the statement and promised a contradiction, which remained unrealised so far.
According to the APNS, another statement issued in the names of two members of the MQM Rabita Committee, Mohammad Ashfaque and Javed Kazmi, had used almost the same expressions as the MRC and hurled similar charges.
The APNS believed that the statements of both the MRC and the Rabita Committee against journalists “are likely to provoke hatred against the press in general and incite supporters of the two parties to the possible commission of an offence against those journalists named in the statements,” it said.
It urged the MQM committee to formally denounce the inclusion of a hit list in the Rabita Council’s statement and to persuade them to withdraw the inflammatory declaration and also re-examine the statements issued by two of its members, and withdraw it as well in the interest of better relations between political parties and the press.