LAHORE: Journalists, members of civil society, officials of the media union and the Jang Group trade union continue to protest against the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, Editor-in-Chief of the country’s largest media group, Jang Group and Geo TV, on Sunday on the 19th day. 211 in a row. Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman has been detained for the past 233 days under NAB custody for 35 years on property swaps without providing evidence of indictment or making progress in an investigation.
Staging a demonstration outside Jang’s office, protesters criticized Prime Minister Imran Khan for rejecting his 20-year claim to turn Pakistan into a country like Medina, alleging that he used the slogan only to deceive the masses and win elections via the media. support. Imran Khan, they said, had victimized Mir Shakil-ur Rehman for exposing the corruption and poor governance of the PTI regime, lamenting that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was detained despite no progress in either an investigation into the alleged corruption 35 year property swap case or any formal case is registered.
Participants called it a blatant assault on media freedom and a conspiracy to shut down the country’s largest media group. They shouted slogans against the fascist PTI regime and condemned it for using the NAB to distort the media.
They demanded the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to take suo motu action against this grave injustice, which is a direct attack on freedom of expression and media freedom. They demanded the immediate release of Mir Shakil-ur Rehman and threatened to launch an anti-government movement across the country if he was not released.
Protesters included Secretary General Jang Malik Farooq Awan trade union, Pakistan Times News Editor, Zaheer Anjum, civil society leader Abdullah Malik, senior journalist Awais Qarni, Shafiq Ahmad, Munawwar Hussain, Ms Ayesha Akram, Romeo Jalib, Aziz Sheikh, Shahid Aziz. , Muhammad Ali, Akmal Bhatti, Afzal Abbas, Zahid Mehmood, Shahzad Rauf, and others.
Zaheer Anjum called the PTI government the worst kind of fascist and authoritarian regime that tends to shut down media voices to prevent corruption and bad governance from being exposed. He warned other media house owners were the next target after Mir Shakilur Rehman became the first victim in a media policy to choke the PTI government. He said choking all the media would be easy targets after top-ranking media houses would be closed down or badly scaled down. He said media owners must realize that if they don’t empower workers and professional journalists, their own power will be severely limited, and they will fall easy prey to rulers and rulers.
Abdullah Malik said the media cannot work for truth without freedom, because the media play the role of watchdog of the state. He said such victimization was imposed by military dictators such as General Ayub Khan, General Ziaul Haq and General Pervez Musharraf in the past, and that now media workers are victims of Imran Khan who the world knows he was selected in a sham election to take. issued a special policy and now proved that he was not a representative of the masses.
Syafiq Ahmad said that the persecution of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman had to end and he had to be released because his arrest was a symbolic move to seize media freedom. The arrests have already led to the collapse of other media houses and the recent closure of major news outlets and newspapers, and a recent reduction of workers elsewhere. He said the government was instead of providing assistance to the public from the economic crisis, but was busy curbing media voices and victimizing media owners. He said Jang Group always reports the truth.
Malik Farooq Awan said Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman is a symbol of freedom of expression and this struggle is not only for his release but also for future media freedom. He said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s arrest was not only a conspiracy against Geo and Jang Group, but also a first step to silence all independent media voices.