Looking for the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman: hunger strike from today in Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi
KARACHI: The joint Jang-Geo action committee on Thursday decided to step up the fight against the illegitimate and unjust detention of the group’s Chief Editor Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and to seek his release by holding a hunger strike camp in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi.
Following the meeting at the union office, News Union President Saeed Mohiuddin Pasha expressed his serious concern over the continued unlawful and unjust detention of the group’s editor-in-chief by Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman by NAB and said this would further impact on his poor health. . . The meeting decided to step up the struggle for the liberation of Jang-Geo Group Chief Editor Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. It was decided to start the hunger strike camp from Friday (today). Considering the Sindh government’s decision to impose lockdowns throughout the province, it was decided that in Karachi the camp would be set up outside the Jang building on Jalan I I Chundrigar. The same thing will happen in Lahore and Rawalpindi which will be followed by Jang-Geo-The News group media workers, Javed press members, and other staff members.
In Peshawar, media workers Jang, Geo and The News continued a protest camp against the arrest of their Editor in Chief, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. Senior Awami National Party (ANP) leader Ghulam Ahmad Bilour visited the camp and condemned the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, who, he said, was arrested for pursuing honest journalism.
He regretted that the owner of the largest media group had been arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a case of private ownership that was sold for 34 years. The ANP leader said the government wanted to suppress the voice of the press and independent opposition. Expanding solidarity with media workers, he said hundreds of them served in this largest media group but the government had withheld billions of rupees from the group. He demanded the immediate release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and the withdrawal of false cases against him.
President of the Peshawar Press Club, Syed Bukhar Shah, said Mir Shakil was convicted of publishing the truth, but the authorities would not be able to pressure him and other journalists. He demanded the release of the editor in chief of Jang Group and the release of arrears, which greatly affected their workers. Senior Vice President of Pakistan’s Federal Journalists Union, Shamim Shahid, condemned the arrest of Mir Shakil and called on the government to release him immediately. He said Mir Shakil and media workers were being punished by the government but they would not succeed in their mission.
Former President of the Journalists Union Khyber Arshad Aziz Malik in his speech deplored the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman but added that such tactics of pressure by the government would not succeed. PML-N Secretary of Information Marriyum Aurangzeb temporarily strongly condemned the arrest of Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman who kept saying that he was a victim of the petty, arrogant and dictatorial mentality of Imran Khan.
In a statement, Marriyum said that Imran Khan, in his revenge, used all his strength to conjure up a false case against Mir Shakeel, based purely on prejudice and victimization. He said Imran wanted to permanently silence the opposition, the media and all others who spoke the truth. He said the arrest of Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman was a violation of fundamental human rights and all appropriate laws.
In Lahore, a hunger strike against illegal and unfair arrests Jang / Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman continues for the second day here. Arshad Ansari, president of the Lahore Press Club, Muhammad Farooq, secretary general of the Jang Workers Union, Shaheen Qureshi, Raees Ansari, Pervaiz Bashir, Butt Maqsood, Gondola Khizar Hayat, Zahid Ali Khan and others participated in the strike. Speakers said the National Accountability Bureau’s revenge against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was tantamount to suppressing independent media and stressed that now was the time to collectively raise a voice against this injustice. They said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was placed behind bars at the stage of verifying complaints in a 34-year case. They demanded the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.
They also demanded that PM Imran Khan release six billion rupees in arrears from the media. Imran should not suppress media freedom, but rather improve the performance of his government. He could not get the desired results by pressing the media, they said.
In Rawalpindi, the meeting of the daily CBA general body Jang and the Workers’ Press was the president by his president Nasir Chisti. Criticizing the arrest of Mir Shakilur Rahman, they demanded his release earlier. Secretary General Khalid Mahmood Bhatti criticized the government’s move to arrest MSR as a step to undermine the Group’s independent editorial policy. The resolution passed unanimously demands the initial release of Mir Shakilur Rahman. It was also decided to continue the protest. The meeting was also handled by Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman, Laiq Shaukat, Aslam Butt, Athar Taqi, Imran Butt who strongly criticized Rahman’s continued detention, saying the tradition of upholding the truth would not be compromised.
Meanwhile, the Independent MPA Assembly of the Punjab Assembly Jugno Mohsin meanwhile condemned the NAB shooting of Mir Shakilur Rahman in a 34-year-old private civil case reflecting the government’s portrayal of independent media. He said Rahman’s persecution brought a bad name to the country, where international human rights, media and journalist organizations questioned the policies of the PTI government. He said the Mir family were the bearers of independent journalism standards. Mohsin said when her husband Najm Sethi was arrested by the government because of his independent editorial policy, MSR stood by his side. He said MSR without invitation joined my struggle to defend and seek Sethi’s release as part of his commitment to media freedom. He said that he had to repeatedly appear before high and high courts and that during that period I was fully supported by my brother Mir Shaiklur Rahman and the late senior columnist Ardeshir Cowasjee. He called the arrest of MSR, continued detention as unfair and denounced justice. Mohsin said efforts were being made to file more false claims against him, who were completely innocent. He will eventually be released, but it is clear that it will bring the country in a bad light at the government’s policy to suppress the press, he added.
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