Sunday, January 30, 2011
Baloch Human Rights Council (Canada) has released an urgent appeal today expressing serious concern over the Pakistani paramilitary’s attempted abduction of Qazi Dad Mohammad Rehan, 27 in the coastal town of Gwadar, Balochistan.
Director General UNESCO
Baloch Human Rights Council (Canada) has released an urgent appeal today expressing serious concern over the Pakistani paramilitary’s attempted abduction of Qazi Dad Mohammad Rehan, 27 in the coastal town of Gwadar, Balochistan. Thirty soldiers of the Frontier Corps (FC) in three vehicles with the intent to abduct him raided Mr. Rehan’s house on December 13, 2010 under the direct orders of Colonel Mahboob Ali, Commander FC, Gwadar. Military Intelligence (MI) officers and uniformed soldiers of the paramilitary arrived in vehicles with Frontier Corps licence plates and surrounded the house in the early hours between 2 am – 3 am. Luckily, Mr. Rehan escaped prior to the raid and the soldiers severely beat up his brothers and questioned them about his whereabouts.
Ironically, this happens to be the same town from where Abdul (Lala) Hameed Hayatan, 25, a Baloch journalist went missing on October 25, 2010 whose bullet-riddled body was discovered on November 18, 2010 outside the city of Turbat. His friends and family reportedly believe that Pakistani security agents are responsible for his disappearance and in-custody killing. Abdul Hameed Hayatan was a colleague of Mr. Rehan and both were involved in activism and members of the Baloch National Movement.
Mr. Rehan’s life is in extreme danger and once the Pakistani security forces take him away, he will never live to see the light of the day.
Mr. Rehan is the Secretary General of Gwadar Press Club, a journalist, poet, and the former Information Secretary of Baloch National Movement (BNM). He also is the bureau chief of Daily Tawar, editor of Murwarid, a Balochi literary magazine, and publisher of a blog. He is the voice behind the enforced disappearances of Baloch youth and journalists in Balochistan today, struggling against the complete media blackout in the Pakistani newspapers on the issues of gross human rights violations committed by the Pakistani intelligence agencies in the province.
According to Reporters without Borders (RWB), out of twelve journalists killed in the line of duty in Pakistan this year, four belong to Balochistan including the recent target killing of Muhammad Khan Sasoli in Khuzdar, Balochistan.
The Pakistani paramilitary and intelligence services have devised a policy of blocking all information to media by harassing, illegally abducting, and target killing of Baloch journalists. Several Balochistan-based newspapers, online daily papers, and websites have been banned or shutdown. Enforced disappearances in Balochistan have exceeded the number of people gone missing in the Pinochet era Chile in the 1970s and equals the 13000 mark during the ‘Dirty war’ in Argentina (1976-1983). In the last six months alone, the Pakistani security forces abducted and tortured to death 72 Baloch activists including students and journalists and dumped their disfigured bodies in the open fields.
Mutilated bodies of Mr. Qambar Chakar and Mr. Ilyas Nazar were found near Turbat on January 5, 2011. Both the bodies clearly showed signs of severe torture with several bullets shot in the head. The Pakistani security forces abducted Mr. Chakar, 24, a student of Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS) on November 26, 2010 for the second time. Mr. Ilyas Nazar, 26, a journalist was whisked away by the Pakistani paramilitary on December 22, 2010. Enforced disappearances, illegal detention, torture, extra judicial and in-custody killings have become rampant in Balochistan with a complete media blackout on the gruesome incidents.
Mr. Rehan has sent out an S.O.S. message to the international community, human rights bodies, and organizations for the protection of journalists to save his life. The message indicated that the paramilitary forces have surrounded the coastal town of Gwadar, controlling all the points of entry and exit. He desperately said in the message, “There is nowhere to hide or escape, the circle of death is closing upon me and the Pakistani security hounds are after my blood.”
BHRC (Canada) appeals to the international community, leaders of the western democracies, human rights groups, and the world journalist community to save the life of Qazi Dad Mohammad Rehan. We should not wait for his bullet-riddled body dumped and found in a field.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Massacre of journalistic values by Mr. Abbas Nasir, Editor Daily “DAWN”.
Massacre of journalistic values by Mr. Abbas Nasir, Editor Daily “DAWN”.
It is quite surprising to note the surprise expressed by few after I broke
my three-year silence to unmask the non professional and anti-worker role
of Mr. Abbas Nasir, Editor “Dawn.”
The “objection” to my letter was made that why did I keep sitting on this
expose for three years?
Well, ladies and gentlemen, this very fact is the proof of my commitment
to professional ethics and decency which kept me away from publishing or
making public injustices done to me by the Editor Dawn unless he crossed
all boundaries of decencies and stooped so low by issuing an ad against me
which was unprecedented in Dawn’s laudable history.
The publication of a “Public Notice”, through Manager (H.R.) by Mr. Abbas
Nasir Editor Dawn was aimed at damaging my prestige and honour before the
public in general and professional fraternity in particular. This was the
reason which forced me to unmask Abbas Nasir’s true face which has been
hiding for a long time.
It is unfortunate that Mr Abbas Nasir held a professional and
innocent journalist guilty of “misconduct” without any cause,
occasion, proof, or reason. Hence it was time to call a spade a
Dear friends, on 11-07-2006 I went to Karachi, on my own
initiative, to have meeting with Mr. Abbas Nasir. During the
meeting I offered Mr Abbas Nasir to resign if there was any
complaint against me about my performance, my professional or
Trying to play smart in response to my offer, Mr. Abbas Nasir shifted the
blame to Haroon-Sehgal family. He told me “off the record” that the actual
reason was that the Haroon–Segal Family was not pleased to see me in the
Daily Dawn. In the very next breath he enquired about my relations with
the Haroon–Segal Family on which I apprised him in detail. He got a
promise from me not to make public the details narrated to him by me. He
also promised that he would also keep the matter secret. I kept the word
but Mr. Abbas Nasir failed to keep the promise. Therefore, now I also
have the moral right to make my point of view public.
After listening to my comments on the reservations the
Haroon–Segal family had about me, Mr. Abbas Nasir scornfully
reiterated before me that these capitalists, whether in Mills or
in the Dawn, exercise the same anti-worker seth mentality. He
then asked me not to disclose the said remarks.
Moreover, he said that my personal file was not available to him
at that time and therefore asked me to see him again at 5.00 P.M.
the next day (12-0706) at his Dawn Office, Karachi. But when I
went to see him as per schedule, he conveyed a false message
through his Office Secretary, Sh. Latif, that he could not see me
because he was not feeling well, although he was present in his
office. He passed on further instructions to me to go back to
Faisalabad and carry on my job. He also promised that he would
call me again to Karachi whenever required.
The following detailed letter was sent to him by me;
July 28, 2006
REVIEW OF TRANSFER ORDER DATED 27-6-2006
Most respectfully submitted that the undersigned visited your Office on
11th July, 2006 with a request to review the Transfer Order’s dated 27th
June 2006 issued by the Management whereby I have been posted at Karachi
vide Memorandum No. M (HR)/PHPL/06/4472.
You were kind enough to give me patient hearing and listen to my
viewpoint sympathetically wherein it was transpired that my transfer was
an outcome of a “series of complaints” moved by various persons. But the
complaints or name of complainants were not disclosed to me.
With respect to this disclosure the following humble submission are made: -
i. No verbal or written complaint had ever been intimated to me. No
explanation was called from me.
ii. My conscience as well as my service record was clean and clear. I had
always tried my utmost to serve the institution faithfully and honestly.
iii. Dictates of justice and fair play demand that I should have been
afforded an opportunity of self-defence and called upon for explanation of
my position in case there was any complaint or charge against me.
iv. I also humbly informed you that some Police quarters feeling perplexed
had been after me to “fix me up” to satisfy their hurt ego due to my
fearless and honest reporting exposing their inefficiency and corruption.
v. I also appraised your honour that some powerful police officers who
were proceeded against by the Government and concerned agencies due to my
reporting were constantly threatening myself and my family and “some
handpicked journalists who are always readily available for playing in the
hands of police officers for sake of paltry gains had been given the
assignment of launching a vilification campaign against me.
vi. I also submitted that a particular journalist Mafia accustomed to
cheap and corrupt practices, wanted to tarnish the clean image of DAWN and
myself and to bring it under their umbrella, desperately wanted to get rid
of me by all means.
vii. I also submit that I have credible, substantial and corroborative
evidence and facts to prove the facts stated above.
viii. I humbly prayed before you and also submitted a written
representation mainly agitating that if my transfer had been ordered on
some complaint, action on the same may kindly be deferred till holding and
finalization of inquiry.
ix. I also prayed that in case of any complaint against me, open inquiry
may kindly be conducted.
x. Your goodself was apprised that once when I was present in the Press
Club, situated near DAWN Office, alongwith Mr. Muhammad Shafique, Reporter of “AAJ Television”, and Mr. Ajmal Malik, Reporter of Daily EXPRESS, when
Messrs. Imran Akram, Chief News Desk Lahore Dawn Office and Murtaza Razvi,
whom I had not known or met before, visited me without prior information
and without any file or folio, telling me that they came on some friends
invitation for lunch in the Serena Hotel Faisalabad and thought of paying
a casual visit to the DAWN Office. I also told that I warmly welcomed both
of them and apprised both the gentlemen of the project of the Press Club
by asking them to take a round of the under construction Press Club
Project. A model of the FPC was also shown to them along with a brief out
the feature of the buildings. They were invited by me to have a cup of tea
by in the DAWN Office where they stayed for about 20 minutes and took just
soft drinks instead of tea.
xi. During brief gossip the following question were put by Murtaza Razvi
in a causal manner:-
a) What was the connection between DAWN News Office and the Press Club
b) Whether I had any other source of Income other than DAWN?
c) Whether I had any connection with the PPP?
Obviously, I was not confronted with any complaint or allegation.
Therefore, I look that said questions were just a part of an informal
chat only. However, I took a pain to inform him that: -
a) The DAWN office had been acquired by me from the City District
Government in an open auction. A rent deed to that effect was also shown
b) The PC building was also under the administrative control of the CDG on
rent basis at the rate of Rs. 5/- per month. I also told him that the rent
of the Press Club building was paid by me for the last 20 years as the
same had never been paid in the past. I also shown him the notices issued
by the CDG for vacation of the PC building for non-payment of the rent
owing to which I paid the rent for said period.
c) My wife had been running two schools, which she established in 1977 and
in 1980 in two separate buildings, which were duly recognized and
registered by the Education Department before her marriage. Presently, she
is running an academy in 130-C Peoples Colony building, which she got on
rent in March 1980 and the rent deed is also in her name. The income of
the academy is purely of my wife and I have directly or indirectly nothing
to do with the affairs of the academy.
d) My source of earning was only through DAWN and contribution in the
e) I had no connection with the PPP or any other political party. Neither
I am beneficiary in any manner in the past or present with courtesy of the
PPP or any political party.
Both the gentlemen expressed their satisfaction and told that there was
no specific purpose of their questions except informal chat and left the
DAWN office Faisalabad.
It was prayed by me before your honour that a loyal and consciences
worker like me may not be allowed to be disgraced as a result of false
conspiracy by a few jealous journalists.
You are kind enough to inquire about my welfare and told me that my
personal file at the moment was not with you and directed me to see you
on 12th July, 2006 to discuss what type of the allegations were on the
As per your direction, I turned up in the office of the Secretary to
Editor, at 3:45 PM, who told me that “you are not feeling well and could
not meet me. He also informed me that you had ordered to me to go back
with a message that you would find time to call me again. I was just
leaving the office of the Secretary to Editor, when all of sudden you
opened the door and finding me there repeated the message which you had
left with the Secretary for me. You were kind enough to assure me that I
would be provided a fare opportunity of self-defence in case of any
allegation against me. You were also kind enough to assure me that I
would not be subjected to public disgrace and given me a word of honour
that if my innocence was proved, the transfer orders would be revoked and
I would not be humiliated in any manner.
In the end, I would beg once again that I may kindly not be condemned
unheard and provided an opportunity of self-defence in case of any
complaint against me. It is also prayed in the name of justice and fair
play that if my transfer orders have been issued on the basis of some
complaint, the same may very kindly be deferred till formal inquiry,
which I am prepared to face.
With profoundest regards.
The contents of the letter above are not part of “off the
record” discussion. Very politely and courteously it was
alluded to by me that Mr. Abbas Nasir had failed to see me
inspite of prior appointment, and despite his presence in the
office he made an excuse.
However, Mr. Abbas Nasir was not gracious enough to reply to,
or contradict the contents of the said letter till todate.
I wish to lay before you the subsequent evens and facts
relating to this issue.
True colours of Hameed Haroon (Daily DAWN) on display!
True colours of Hameed Haroon
(Daily DAWN) on display!
There is a general impression all over the country, especially among journalists, that Dawn is the only newspaper in Pakistan where self respect of workers is not injured, and where they are not subjected to forced labour. However, the ground reality is very different.
For over 30 years, the arrogant perennial bachelor and Chief Executive of Dawn, Mr. Hameed Haroon, has been in the forefront in the exploitation of workers. Time and again, he has violated the rights of workers and, in fact, publicly claims to be the biggest litigant who excels in playing tricks to defy and deter court orders for long and indefinite periods, in order to deprive newspaper workers of their legitimate rights.
The dilemma is that his evil genius has succeeded in defying orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan, resolutions adopted by all the four Provincial Assemblies, the National Assembly, the Senate and even the Federal Cabinet. By non-implementing the 7th Wage Award, he is depriving newspaper employees of their legitimate rights since July I, 2000, by securing a restraint order from the Sindh High Court, and is cleverly managing through misrepresentations to avoid notices to the other party, and its consequent appearance in court.
Similarly, a masked forced labour camp has been set up by Mr Hameed Haroon where workers are made to work at much lesser wages than those laid down by the Wage Board Awards, and he also flouts labour laws.
A majority of workers are shown as employees of fake companies to escape from payment of lawful wages and income taxes.
Here I would like to mention my case, which is a glaring example of this brutality. I was employed in Dawn at Faisalabad on March 1, 1983, and was designated as Correspondent, whereas, as per functional duties assigned and performed by me, I should have been designated as a Special Correspondent. This was intentionally done to deprive me of my legitimate grade and allowances which were restored by the Implementation Tribunal for Newspaper Employees, after a long drawn litigation on 10-09-2009.
The true colours of the unscrupulous Mr. Hameed Haroon have been displayed for the world to see and ponder upon. Unfortunately, Mr. Abbas Nasir (Editor DAWN) has chosen to blindly follow his instructions, thereby becoming a tool to propagate his savagery.
Shamsul Islam Naz
Cellular +92(0)300 8665523
Saturday, 29 January 2011 | By Cyril Washbrook (contact the writer)
Journalists covering the anti-government protests in Cairo have been targeted by Egyptian security forces, with watchdogs and media organisations reporting that several media workers have been assaulted or detained this week.
Both local and international outlets have been targeted as part of Egypt's efforts to stop the flow of information through new and traditional media. President Hosni Mubarak has also ordered the shutdown of most internet and mobile phone services in the country.
One of the casualties of the violence was the BBC Arabicreporter Assad Sawey, who was beaten repeatedly by plainclothes police while watching the popular protests unfold in the capital. Sawey subsequently appeared on-air - covered with blood and his head bandaged - to give an account of what happened.
"Secret police, plainclothes police obviously were targeting journalists," Sawey told BBC News before being transported to hospital.
"They kind of surrounded us, from the back... and when they came they arrested me. I said: 'I'm BBC.' [But] they didn't care about BBC or any other organisation. They were targeting journalists deliberately."
The BBC's global news director, Peter Horrocks, condemned the assault and said that the corporation would be pursuing the matter with Egyptian officials.
"The BBC condemns this assault on one of our correspondents by the authorities. We shall be forcefully protesting this brutal action directly to the Egyptian authorities," he said.
Several other incidents involving the intimidation of journalists have been documented over the past five days. The Guardian's Jack Shenker was assaulted by police on Tuesday, while a CNN crew was threatened and had its equipment confiscated while attempting to report on yesterday's events.
Meanwhile, France's foreign ministry said on Friday that four detained French journalists had been released by Egyptian authorities. The journalists are employed by Le Figaro, Journal du Dimanche, Paris Match and the Sipa Press photographic agency.
Mubarak has declared that he intends to remain in power, despite calls from tens of thousands of protesters for his resignation after three decades at the helm. Troops and tanks were ordered into the streets on Friday night as part of his ongoing efforts to end the riots forcefully.
Television coverage by Al Jazeera and its international partner Al Jazeera English has been credited with giving greater prominence to the events in Egypt, as well as the uprising in Tunisia that began in December.
Media Spy discussion: International Journalism and Media