TV Driver Killed, Eight Journalists Injured in Quetta Blast -
ISLAMABAD, Sept 3: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has condemned the suicide attack, followed by indiscriminate firing on an Al-Quds day rally, organized by the Imamia Students Organisation (ISO), at Meezan Chowk Quetta in which more than 60 people were killed and over 150 injured.
At least eight people from different media outlets sustained injuries and a driver of a private news channel was killed in this incident. The media persons who were injured include
min Mengal (Cameraman ARY TV), Imran Mukhtar (Cameraman Geo TV), Fateh Shakir (Cameraman Dawn TV), Hakim (Cameraman Aaj TV), Shahid (Cameraman Samaa TV), Mustafa Tareen (Bureau Chief ARY), Irshad Mastoi (Reporter Express TV), & Noor Elahi Bugti (Acting Bureau Chief Samaa TV), while a driver of Aaj TV Mohammad Sarwar succumbed to his injuries and died in Civil Hospital Quetta.
The injured media persons were rushed to the Civil Hospital and later few of them were shifted to Combine Military Hospital (CMH) where they are said now to be out of danger.
Earlier, reacting violently to the blast the infuriated people resorted to the firing at a DSNG of a private TV channel parked near the blast site, making hostage the staffer of the channel present in the vehicle.
Expressing concern over such sorrow state of affairs prevailing in Balochistan, the PFUJ said the incident had again proved that media men are working in hostile conditions without any security or protection, and they easily fall pray to such incidents.
The PFUJ said that incidents of blasts, firings have become order of the day in various parts of the country, especially in Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa, Punjab and in tribal areas in which a number of journalists have seriously been injured while about 8 have already lost their lives while 14 reporters and cameramen have suffered injuries while performing their professional assignments after the 9/11 incident in Pakistan.
It may be noted that "on April 16, of this year Samaa TV cameraman Malik Arif lost his life in a the suicide bombing at the Quetta hospital while five other journalists, Noor Elahi Bugti of Samaa TV, Salman Ashraf of Geo TV, Fareed Ahmed of Dunya TV, Khalil Ahmed of Express TV and Malik Sohail of Aaj TV injured.”
The PFUJ further contended that neither the media owners were careful about their legal obligation, nor the government was taking any notice of such types of incidents, in which lives of media persons are at stake.
The PFUJ pointed out that media persons were neither trained, nor any protective material given to them despite demands made by the PFUJ.
The PFUJ urged the government to take notice of the Quetta incident and provide compensation to the family of the deceased cameraman and injured journalists.
Moreover, selfishness, bias and unprofessional coverage of the incident had once again exposed the true face of electronic media owners which can be judged from the fact that almost all channels mentioned only names of their dead / injured cameramen, reporters, driver, or employee and refrained form mentioning the names of the reporters or cameramen of other channels who were all equal human beings and had suffered serious injuries and died during coverage of the procession being a member of teem.
Commenting on this unprofessional approach of the media owners, the PFUJ said how can these channels claims themselves to be fair in reporting when they have different yardsticks for various sections of human beings.
They are running the channels to inform the citizens of factual events, who just for jealously or due to commercial interests were reluctant to refer the name of the other channels despite the fact that was most important part of the incident.
This act is highly deplorable and regrettable, the PFUJ said.
The PFUJ termed the incident a shameful act of terrorism which reflected inhuman and callous nature of perpetrators. The journalist community is taking the incident as an attack on media, the PFUJ said.
The PFUJ cautioned that if media owners did not provide security to media persons, the PFUJ would be compelled to seek registration of criminal cases against them for ignoring their responsibilities towards their employees.
Shamsul Islam Naz
PAKISTAN FEDERAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS
12-Nazimuddin Road, F-6/1
Phone Office +92(0)51 2870220-1
Facsimile +92(0)51 2870223
Cellular +92(0)300 8665523