Revoke the black laws: journalists union to Pak govt.

Islamabad, Pakistan:

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) on Sunday called upon the government to ensure the complete freedom of the Pakistan electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and taking back the black laws which are against media freedom.

These demands by Federal Executive Council (FEC) of the PFUJ in three resolutions were adopted at the concluding session of its three-day meeting, Dawn newspaper reported.

These resolutions were related to the government-media relationship, violence against the journalists and deteriorating working conditions in the media due to the non-implementation of labour laws and the 8th Wage Award.

In the meeting, they discussed the problems that were being faced by the journalists and media workers across the country due to the non-implementation of the eighth wage award. The meeting demanded the government immediately reverse the pay cuts adopted by several media organisations during the financial crisis in 2019 and Covid-19 in 2020, reported Dawn newspaper.

The meeting pointed out that all the successive governments had prepared and implemented around two dozen ‘black laws’ to gag media and suppress the journalist community. The meeting also noted that the relationship between government and media deteriorated during the regime of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran khan.

It urged the present coalition government to ensure the fulfilment of the promises and commitments they made about freedom of electronic and print media at the time of taking charge of the government.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has been ranked the fifth most dangerous place for the practice of journalism, according to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), as reported by Dawn.

According to the media reports, 138 media persons in the country had lost their lives in the line of duty between 1990 and 2020.

Pakistan remains among the top 10 countries where predators of attacks on journalists and media go unpunished.

Besides fatal attacks, journalists face other categories of threats such as physical attacks, kidnappings, enforced disappearances, imprisonment, and torture.

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