PFUJ demands safety of Khuzdar journalists
ISLAMABAD, April 10, 2010 (Balochistan Times): The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has expressed concern over the constant threats to Khuzdar Press Club by a militant group incensed by coverage given to nationalist parties and groups in Balochistan and demanded of the Federal Government as well Chief Minister, Balochistan, to ensure safety of working journalists of Khuzdar and across Balochistan. Reports reaching in the PFUJ suggested that the threat has come from Baloch Musallah Difah Tanzeem (BMDT), an outfit which also publicly claimed responsibility for a hand-grenade attack a month ago at the Balochistan University of Engineering and Technology during an event celebrating Baloch culture. It was further reported that the BDMT is also hurling threats to journalists and pressuring them to keep away them from giving coverage of all those events related to, or organized by, nationalist parties and groups. The PFUJ pointed out that all democracy lovers, media, human rights, lawyers organizations and civil society should take a united and firm stand against all those militant forces who are active to suppress the right of information, freedom of press and independence of the media. The indifference of keeping mum over such a sensitive and alarming issue would surely encourage such militants to indulge in violence, which is a very dangerous trend. Under the Constitution and law both the Provincial and Federal governments are also under obligation to protect life and priority of each and every ordinary people. But here the government responsibilities become more imperative as it is question of not an individual safety but on the gun and mussels powers some individuals were bent upon suppressing the rights of the freedom of press and threatening media persons with impunity. The PFUJ also regretted to observe that the journalists under threat are mostly district correspondents whose life is not exactly a bed of roses even in ordinary circumstances. The media persons of the Balochistan especially working in the remote areas of this beigest province of the Pakistan need full support from all forces especially those from all those who are believers of the democracy, rule of law, freedom of press, expression and care about human rights, the PFUJ added. The PFUJ made it clear that threats and oppression in the past have failed to deter brave journalists and those who think that from the reign of terror, threats they canbow down journalists would not succeed in their nefarious designs. The PFUJ, however, believed that such incidents should be taken very seriously, and it is imperative that all political, democratic forces should forge unity for defeating all those forces who believe in achieving their nefarious designs by resorting to threats and terror. The Federal and Balochistan government should also realise their responsibilities for protection of life and property of the citizens and to ensure conducive working environment for media persons and to protect the freedom of expression and press, the PFUJ added.