Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dr Noor ul Islam selected Director General Ayub Agricultural Research Institute Faisalabad

Dr Noor ul Islam selected Director General Ayub Agricultural Research Institute Faisalabad

Pakistan announces new
Director General of Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad. Dr. Noor-ul-Islam has been appointed as DirectorGeneral of the Ayub Agricultural Research Institute in Faisalabad, which is the seat of green revolution in Pakistan. During his service career, he has contributed to the genetic improvement of different crop varieties and has published his research in more than 100 scientific papers in abstracted journals. He has also presented papers in several national and international seminars.

Dr. Noor-ul-Islam received his M. Sc. from the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. He was sent to CIMMYT, Mexico, to broaden his vision in researchmanagement and to enrich his breeding skills. During his training, he selected 403 wheat lines that were studied in Punjab. Two of these were released as Punjab-85 and Faisalabad-85. The life of both varieties was more than ten years. He also contributed in the testing and development of several wheat varieties such as Indus-79, Punjab-81, Pak-81, Faisalabad-83, Kohinoor-83 and Inqlab-91.

He received his Ph. D. from Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA and returned to Pakistan after more than three years. On his return, Dr. Noor-ul-Islam started wheat breeding and developed useful F4 lines, which were sent to the Arid Zone Research Institute, Bhakkar. One of those lines has been released as Bhakkar 2002, which remained the most popular variety after Inqlab-91 in Punjab.

UNESCO Director-General expresses alarm over information clampdown and virulent attacks against the media in Libya

UNESCO Director-General expresses alarm over information clampdown and virulent attacks against the media in Libya

Irina Bokova,
Director General of UNESCO
© UNESCO/Andrew Wheeler

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova expressed her alarm over the worsening situation in Libya and continuing clampdown on media and vital information services.

“I am alarmed and distressed by reports coming out of Libya, which indicate terrible loss of lives and an escalation of violence, including virulent attacks against the media” Irina Bokova said. “I call on the Libyan authorities to exercise maximum restraint. I also call on them to respect the right of people to access information, to be able to communicate with one another and for the media to be able to do its job.

“Attempting to silence people by repression, by denying them access to vital information services is a violation of basic human rights that can only fuel anger and frustration.”

Iraq cracks down on media; violations in Yemen, Libya

Iraq cracks down on media; violations in Yemen, Libya

Military forces rounded up journalists in Baghdad's Tahrir Square, seen here today. (AP/Karim Kadim)
Military forces rounded up journalists in Baghdad's Tahrir Square, seen here today. (AP/Karim Kadim)
New York, February 25, 2011--The Committee to protect Journalists documented additional attacks today in Iraq, Yemen, and Libya as journalists tried to cover anti-government protests. Iraqi authorities cracked down on media: Security forces stormed a satellite TV office, detained dozens of journalists, and confiscated equipment, according to local journalists and news reports. In Yemen, at least four journalists were detained today, according to local journalists, and Al-Jazeera reported that its crew was prevented from covering demonstrations in Sana'a. Libyan border patrols confiscated cameras and SIM cards of journalists entering Libya from Tunisia, according to news reports.

"The media in the Middle East have long been under pressure from authoritarian governments but what we are witnessing now is a marked escalation in repression," said Robert Mahoney, CPJ's deputy director. "We are particularly disturbed that a democratically elected government such as that of Iraq would attempt to quash coverage of political protests. We call on Baghdad to honor its commitments to respect media freedom."

Security forces prohibited cameras from entering Baghdad's Tahrir Square, where there were thousands of people protesting, according to news reports and local journalists. Police confiscated tapes that reporters managed to shoot in the square, according to Al-Jazeera.

Al-Jazeera reported that dozens of journalists were detained in central Baghdad today. Four journalists for Iraqi news outlets, Husam Serail, a reporter for Al-Sabah newspaper, Ali Abdul Sada, a reporter for Al-Mada newspaper, Hadi al-Mahdi, an anchor for Radio Demozy, and Ali Sumerian, an editor for Al-Sabah, were arrested, according to news reports. They were taken to an unknown location, local journalists told Al-Sumaria Newswebsite. The journalists said "a military force raided Al-Taraf restaurant in downtown Baghdad and arrested the four journalists after beating them."

Military and security forces detained Al-Sumaria News photographers Ali Jasem and Safa Hatim, and correspondents Sinan Adan and Idriss Jawad while they were covering demonstrations in Baghdad, according to Al-Sumaria News. Anti-riot forces also raided the offices of Al-Diyar satellite TV station in Baghdad and detained 10 of its staff members for three hours, according to Al-Diyar's website. In the afternoon, anti-riot police stormed the office for a second time, prohibited the staff from entering the building, and detained at least three more employees.

Niyaz Abdulla, a correspondent for Radio Nawa and a volunteer for Metro Center, a local press freedom group, was assaulted today while covering demonstrations in Erbil. "I was on the air when a plainclothes security officer came and started threatening me," she told CPJ. The officer threatened to call over men to attack her, alluding to a potential sexual assault. "I stayed calm but it was very disturbing," Abdulla said. She added that two of her colleagues had their cameras confiscated while they were covering the demonstration.

In Karbala, anti-riot forces attacked Afaq and Al-Salam satellite channels crews, according to news reports. "They were beaten and cursed at while they were covering the march in Karbala," Jihad Jaafar, a correspondent for Afaq channel told Noun news website. He added that the tapes of the crews were confiscated.

In Yemen, security forces attacked an unidentified cameraman for Suhail opposition TV channel and detained at least four journalists while they were covering demonstrations in Al-Mansoura in Aden Governorate, local journalists told CPJ. Security forces detained freelance journalists Marzouq Yasin, Abdel Rahman Anis, Bassim al-Shaabi, and Fares al-Jalal, while they were covering protests in Mansoura for various websites. Security forces also prevented an Al-Jazeera crew from reaching the demonstrations near Sana'a University, the Qatar-based station reported.

In Libya, foreign journalists entering the country from Tunisia tweeted that their cameras, hard drives, and SIM cards were confiscated by border patrol guards. Paul Danahar, a BBC journalist reporting from Tunisia-Libya border, said that Suresh Kothia, "an Indian who just arrived from Libya," told him that "at the last checkpoint the Libyan army took everyone's phone SIM cards and computer hard drives to stop images of the uprising getting out." Kothia told Danahar that equipment was broken and thrown to the ground.

Friday, February 25, 2011

News of deadly protests emerges in face of information blackout


Protesters hold up placards thanking Al Jazeera as they celebrate in the streets of Tobruk on 22 February. Residents say the eastern port city is now in their control

News of deadly protests emerges in face of information blackout

As violent protests against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi spread to the capital, Tripoli, and Qaddafi and his son this week vowed to fight until the "last man standing", the number of those killed in the unrest now tops 300, reports Human Rights Watch. With the situation difficult to assess because of a government-imposed news blackout, IFEX members are at the very least calling for an independent investigation and a special UN Human Rights Council session to respond to the crisis.



Sunday, 29 August 2010


ISLAMABAD, Aug. 29 :- The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), which is a representative body of print and electronic media persons of Pakistan, has lodged a strong protest with the government against its decision of awarding Hilal-i-Pakistan award to Mr Hameed Haroon of Dawn and Mr Fasih Iqbal of Balochistan Times and demanded withdrawal of award confronting decisions.

In a memorandum sent to the President of Pakistan, Mr Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani, the

PFUJ reminded that Mr. Hameed Haroon and Mr Fasih Iqbal are known perpetual violators of legitimate rights of workers and have been a stumbling block in enforcement of labour laws, have formed cartel of newspaper owners against workers, and are offenders viz a viz enforcement of relevant laws, including the Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) Act.

While they have been trampling legitimate rights of workers and usurping their due benefits, they are extending inhuman and callous treatment to workers, evading government taxes and levies, and securing undue benefits from the government, the PFUJ asserted.

The PFUJ regretted that we feel that the government has betrayed media persons by awarding this prestigious award to these two persons and it is a regrettable ignorance of vital facts on the part of the government in bestowing such a prestigious award to perpetual violators of law and constitution.

"We are also of the opinion that with this decision, the government has disgraced even the sanctity of the award by granting it to non deserving persons, like Hameed Haroon and Fasih Iqbal", the PFUJ added.

The PFUJ pointed out that those who could not do justice to their workers and institutions, and who could not fulfill Huqooqul Ibad, and were known tax evaders and law breakers, could not be held to have rendered meritorious services to humanity and their field.

In our considered opinion, it is the duty of the state to maintain sanctity of awards, which should have been awarded very judiciously and honestly to really deserving persons, the PFUJ asserted.

PFUJ urged the President of Pakistan Mr Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani to reconsider the decision of awarding Hilal-i-Pakistan to Mr. Hameed Haroon and Mr Fasih Iqbal and withdraw the same.

Shamsul Islam Naz

Secretary General
12-Nazimuddin Road, F-6/1
Islamabad, Pakistan
Phone Office +92(0)51 2870220-1
Facsimile +92(0)51 2870223
Cellular +92(0)300 8665523

DRAFT 24 Steps to Safety

DRAFT 24 Steps to Safety

Before you go:

1. Know all you can about where you are going and what to expect. Plan escape routes.

2. Identify your vehicle as “media”. Travel with other journalists.

3. Travel with someone who has first-aid training.

4. Ensure you have reliable local contacts in the area, or at least travel with someone who is familiar with the location.

5. Ensure you have insurance.

6. Dress appropriately. Do not carry anything that may look like a weapon.

7. Keep editors, colleagues, family and friends informed about your journey. Make sure colleagues are aware of plans, set times for phoning or texting to confirm safety.

8. Consider how to report on violent areas from a safe distance.

What to take:

9. Additional water, food and fuel for emergencies.

10. Maps, emergency first-aid kit, batteries, contact numbers, reliable fully charged phones. Program an “ICE” number into your phone: the person to call “In Case of Emergency”.

11. Papers that identify you as a journalist and who you work for.

12. Extra cash, a short-wave radio to keep in touch with events, and a white flag.

On location:

13. No story is worth your life. Do not endanger yourself or others. Safety is YOUR responsibility.

14. Be polite. Treat people with respect. Do not argue. If threatened, get out – fast.

15. Entering a battle zone or civil disturbance is highly dangerous.

16. Do not move into an area where a bomb has exploded – beware of follow-up blasts.

17. Do not leave your vehicle unattended.

18. Avoid bias – operate as a professional journalist. You are not a participant.

19. Seek permission before you bring out a notebook, camera or recorder.

20. Learn who is in authority. Ask when and where to expect trouble.

21. Balance risks against benefits before going anywhere dangerous. Relocate to a safer place.

If you get into trouble:

22. Contact your district union and the PFUJ hotline and alert colleagues, editors, friends and family.

23. If detained, explain your role as a civilian journalist.

24. Never resist if you are kept hostage or someone holds you at gunpoint.

Do you have suggestions to improve these? if so please let me know.......

Shamsul Islam Naz
Secretary General
Cellular +92(0)300 8665523

+92(0)321 8665523

No end in sight for plight of district correspondents

No end in sight for plight of district


By Urooj Zia (Pakistan Today)

KARACHI: Not only are district correspondents from rural areas discriminated by many employers who either refuse to pay them at all or give them extremely meagre wages, they are also excluded from the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), which does not recognise them as ‘journalists’.

According to Rule 5 of the PFUJ Constitution, working journalists are defined as ‘members of journalistic staffs and freelance journalists who depend on journalism as their only professional means of living’. Many district correspondents who spoke to Pakistan Today said, meanwhile, that they were forced to take up additional jobs in order to make ends meet, and were, as such, excluded from membership from the PFUJ, and the protection of the biggest union of journalists in the country.

PFUJ Secretary General Shamsul Islam Naz disagreed with this. “We stand for the right of every journalist, regardless of whether they are members of the PFUJ,” he said. “As for the definition of working journalists in our constitution, it is the same as defined in the labour laws of Pakistan.”

District correspondents and their representatives, however, would like the PFUJ to take a more proactive role in the process. “Half of the 12 journalists killed in Pakistan in 2010 belonged to Balochistan; most of them were district correspondents,” The Baloch Hal Editor-in-chief Malik Siraj Akbar told Pakistan Today. “But every time I bring these issues to the notice of PFUJ office-bearers, they pretend not to have ever received my email. I have been trying endlessly to convince them that two journalists in Balochistan are currently missing – they have been kidnapped and their lives are in danger. The PFUJ should not wait to merely issue the ‘PFUJ strongly condemns’ type of email. I don’t understand why they refuse to play an active role when it comes to the plight of journalists, particularly those in Balochistan.”

Naz, however, laid the blame squarely and solely at the doorstep of media organisation owners and employees. “According to the law, organisations are required to hire full-time employees for vacancies which require full-time work,” he said. “Even if they hire people part-time, they are supposed to become permanent employees after 91 days, according to the law. Hardly any media organisation in this country follows labour laws. People, meanwhile, are either not aware of their rights, or refuse to fight for them. We can’t take a stand on behalf of people who are not willing to take a stand for their own rights. We can only support people in fights that they choose to be a part of

Call for Protection for Front-Line Journalists in Pakistan

Call for Protection for Front-Line Journalists in Pakistan

Brussels, - Journalists and camera operators in Pakistan's hot spots including Baluchistan, North-West Frontier Province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas must be provided with training and protection to deal with the extreme conditions in which they are working, said national and international journalists' organisations at the completion yesterday of a safety training program for media personnel in Pakistan.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the International News Safety Institute (INSI) and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) jointly called on Pakistan's media owners to take immediate and serious action to ensure their staff and freelance personnel are adequately prepared for reporting on civil unrest and conflict zones.

Photo gallery (click to enlarge)

Safety Training Pakistan :: Copyright Asif Hassan  Safety Training Pakistan :: Copyright Asif Hassan  Safety Training Pakistan :: Copyright Asif Hassan

Pakistan is among the top 10 most dangerous countries for journalists in the world. Eight journalists and media workers were murdered or killed in the country in 2007. Five have been murdered or killed so far in 2008.

The three training courses in Karachi and Islamabad from October 20 to 27 provided journalists and camera operators from Quetta and Baluchistan, Peshawar and the tribal areas, and Karachi and interior Sindh with skills to manage and avoid risks while working.

The training, led by a security expert from Hart Security, prepared 50 journalists and camera operators for reporting in war zones and other violent environments, covering bomb blasts and civil disorder, dealing with kidnapping and hostage situations, and administering improvised first-aid.

All the journalists in the program work regularly in dangerous locations and had experienced extreme levels of violence and intimidation as a result of their work, ranging from serious gunshot wounds to regular threats intended to silence their reporting.

The three organisations welcomed an announcement by ARY One television to establish a safety training program and an annual award for camera operators in honour of Arif Khan, an ARY One camera man killed in the bomb blasts in Karachi on October 18, 2007 directed against Benazir Bhutto.

However, the IFJ, INSI and the PFUJ, an IFJ affiliate, called on all media owners across Pakistan to fund and implement safety training programs for their personnel.

They also called on Pakistan's national government to recognise and act on its responsibilities in accordance with the 2006 United Nations Security Council Resolution 1738, which obliges all national governments to protect journalists reporting on conflicts.

"Journalists and camera operators gave powerful testimonies during the training about the grave risks they face on a daily basis. They are concerned not only for their personal welfare but for the safety of their families," the IFJ, INSI and the PFUJ said in a joint statement.

"Media owners and government authorities in Pakistan must act immediately to protect journalists and media personnel. Media owners must provide their personnel with training and equipment, while government at all levels must provide support and an assurance that all acts of violence against journalists, ranging from murder to threats, are fully investigated and the perpetrators brought to

PEMRA issues notices to TV channels for violating SC orders

PEMRA issues notices to TV channels for violating SC orders

ISLAMABAD, Feb 20 (APP): Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) took serious notice of airing of ICC World Cup cricket matches through un-authorized and some illegal channels in the country and issued notices to them. In its continuous drive these days, PEMRA had not only served adequate warnings to all TV channels/cable TV operators to abide by the legitimate rights conferred to telecast ICC Cricket World Cup in Pakistan territory but also raided number of CTV operators disobeying PEMRA and the Court orders.
In a press release issued by PEMRA, it was added that the Authority has also issued show-cause notices to nearly 16 TV channels found airing illegitimate live opening ceremony of cricket world cup.
Authority is fully committed to safeguard legitimate rights of broadcast of cricket matches conferred to the channels in Pakistan and would not tolerate any violation in the regard.
On the first day of ICC World Cup event, PEMRA enforcement teams cracked down against number of cable TV networks across the country, reportedly, violating orders of Supreme Court and impounded gadgets of nearly 100 CTV networks involved in distributing illegal sports and other channels.
Besides, some cable networks were completely seized on account of deliberate and gross violations such as three in Balochistan, two in Kyhber Pakhtunkhwa and about half a dozen in AJK.
During similar course of action in Punjab, ten cable TV networks were completely shutdown, five each in Multan and Lahore.
In addition to physical raid, 36 cable TV networks in Lahore, Okara, Sheikhupura, Lalamusa, Faisalabad, Gujrat, Kamoki, Mandi Bahauddin, Pasroor and Pindi Phattian were served warnings.
PEMRA enforcement teams in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Sargodha raided 30 cable TV networks.
Of these, three cable TV networks in twin cities were partially seized and equipment was confiscated.
PEMRA resolved to continue its drive against all odds of electronic media apparatuses till the time sanity prevails and every stakeholder realizes their responsibility towards healthy and objective growth of electronic media.