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PFUJ expresses concern over CEO Jang’s arrest

KARACHI: Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and all its affiliated UJs have expressed profound concern over the arrest of CEO Jang Group Mir Shakeel-ur-Rahman by NAB. 

President PFUJ, G. M. Jamali and Secretary General Rana Mohammad Azeem maintained historically it was evident that PFUJ and its affiliated UJs had fought on the front lines for the Rights of Media Workers and Right to Expression.

NAB on Thursday (12th of March, 2020) arrested the Editor-in-Chief of the Jang and Geo Media Group in connection with some property allegedly bought illegally over 34 years ago.

They said PFUJ had concerns that arrest of Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman could be used to harm Jang, Geo, The News and Group. PFUJ reiterated that it would not leave the Journalists and Media Workers alone in any crisis.

President PFUJ G. M. Jamali and Secretary General Rana Mohammad Azeem noted that Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman was arrested in quite a dubious manner.

They pointed out that earlier Islamabad High Court had noted that arresting any person at the inquiry stage was not right and NAB should provide evidence against the accused before arresting him.

They said that despite having strong reservations due to sackings, non-payment of salaries etc, PFUJ and its affiliated UJs’ stand vis-à-vis the case of Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman was very clear, ‘we don’t want to create any hurdle but all legal requirements should be fulfilled.

If proven guilty than the culprit should be punished as nobody is above the law.’PFUJ maintained that Press Release issued by NAB was extremely vague. They demanded that NAB should inform about all the facts.

President PFUJ, G. M. Jamali and Secretary General have made it clear to the Govt. and NAB that no attempt to harm Jang, Geo, The News or other entities using this case as an excuse would be tolerated.

They asserted that as law-abiding organization PFUJ respected the law of the land: “We would resist attempt to damage any institution with full might”. PFUJ has assured all the workers of Jang Group that they would not be left alone at any difficult moment.

PFUJ holds that it is also very clear that if Media Owners like Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman had not economically massacred the Media Workers they would have stood for them.

Relevant piece published earlier: 

Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman, CEO Jang Group, arrested by NAB

12th of March, 2020

LAHORE: Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman, Editor-in-Chief of Geo/Jang Group has been taken into custody here today in a case pertaining to the purchase of a property.

It may be recalled that he appeared before the NAB on 5th of March, 2020 to clarify that he had purchased the said 54-kanal piece of terrain from a private owner and happened to harbor evidence of the transaction.

Nevertheless, NAB alleged that deposed PM Nawaz Sharif had leased the said land to him in 1986 illegally.

Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman was arrested when he did not manage to satisfy the NAB during interrogation when he visited the bureau’s office here for the second time. He will be produced by NAB for physical remand n front of an accountability court tomorrow (Friday 13th of March, 2020).

NAB letterNotice issued on 28th of February, 2020 states that Mir-Shakeel-ur-Rahman had been called to appear before NAB on 5th of March, 2020 to record his statement regarding the land allotted to him in 1986 in Block H, Johar Town Phase 2 “by then chief minister Punjab Mian Nawaz Sharif in violation of the relevant laws and rules”.

Jang Group has stated that the said was bought from a private party 34 years ago and all evidence of this was given to NAB.

Jang Group in its statement, while insinuating that NAB harbored animosity  contre the publication, lamented though today’s appearance was for the verification of the complaint, Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman was arrested: “During the past 18 months, NAB has sent our reporters, producers, and editors over a dozen notices threatening to shut down our channels due to our reporting, and programs about the anti-corruption watchdog.” | YouTube Channel


M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.