ISLAMABAD: A seminar titled Freedom of Speech & Expression for Democracy in the Country was held at Hotel Marriott here under the banners of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on Saturday (16th of July, 2022).
Speakers, while praising the PFUJ leadership for holding such a seminar in an era when Pakistani Media Workers were going through a tough time due to sacking, non-payment of salaried, registration of FIRs, abduction, torture and assassination.Conspicuous among others there were Imran Khan (former PM/Chairman PTI), Senator Farhat Ullah Babar (Secretary General PPP), former minister Shireen Mazari, Shoaib Shaheen (Senior advocate & member Islamabad Bar Council) , Anchors Hamid Mir, Sami Ibrahim, Sabir Shakir, Wasim Badami and Ch. Ghulam Hussain.
Host Rana Muhammad Azeem, while welcoming the participants, reiterated that the PFUJ had been fighting for the freedom of speech and expression.
Holding that PFUJ had never asked for any government support, Rana Muhammad Azeem said it was expected that wages and other rights would be ensured. He said Media Houses’ advertisements bill should only be footed on the condition that they pay the Media Workers their dues.
Former PM Imran Khan said that he supported Freedom of Speech and believed that democracy could not flourish without it.
Maintaining that Media could not be harnessed, Imran Khan said there must be some rules to control the Fake News aimed at personal defamation. Imran Khan promised to continue his support for the Media Rights and recover the missing persons.
Imran Khan said if he managed to form government he would implement the Media Protection Bill.
Farhat Ullah Babar, maintaining that his party took criticism positively as it believed in democracy, said it had always been a great supporter of the Media Rights and Freedom of Speech.
Senior advocate Supreme Court M. Shoaib Shaheen deciphered Act & Laws for the Rights of the Media in Pakistan and assured his legal support to the journalists. Senior anchorperson Hamid Mir noted that PFUJ had been a major stake holder to ensure the Media Persons’ Rights. He endorsed that PFUJ that never demanded any support from the government and always raised voice for journalists facing assault, intimidation or arrest.
He said that the PFUJ had succeeded to get the PECA act amendments overruled filing a petition in the Islamabad High Court but still every case filed against journalists was being registered under PECA act which was alarming.
Hamid Mir condemned filing of cases against journalists for running pieces against the ruling party or establishment.Sami Ibrahim and Sabir Shakir condemning registration of FIR against journalists lauded the role of the PFUJ for raising voice against any it.Trade Unionists Jamil Mirza, Sidiq Anzar and Ashraf Majeed said that Media fraternity should manifest unity and figure out a Charter for Media Rights. Newspakistan.tv | YouTube Channel