Slamabad, Pakistan: Pakistan journalists and Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) members have been chasedby random people and vehicles. The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has strongly condemned the “third-grade” tactics.
PFUJ President Shahzada Zulfiqar and Secretary-General Nasir Zaidi, while condemning the incident, said journalists working with different media houses do visit organisations for the purpose of gathering information.
“Harassment and chasing on the street are unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” they said.
They further stated that the cabinet ministers have twisted the press conference of the expelled staffer of FAFEN for suppressing media professionals and staff of FAFEN.
“How could the press conference of a person be taken seriously who had been expelled due to misconduct?” they said. The PFUJ leadership called for immediately stopping of “third grade” tactics adopted by the government ministers and officials for harassment of journalists.
Earlier on Saturday, PFUJ said some clauses of the Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Act 2021 could be used to frame a media person in a false case and that should have been avoided.
The bill was approved by the National Assembly on November 8 and the Senate on Friday.
According to the Pakistani publication, the treasury side approved the bill without forwarding it to the relevant standing committee.
Meanwhile, PFUJ secretary general Nasir Zaidi said Clause 6 (3) of the Act could be used by any government to frame journalists and it should have been amended.
“These are thin lines that are always placed in such laws that could be used against any individual or organisation,” Zaidi said.
Clause 6 of the Act states: “All journalists and media professionals must respect the rights and reputation of others and not produce material that advocates national, racial, ethnical, religious, sectarian, linguistic, cultural or gender-based hatred which may constitute an incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence,”.