|Speakers pay rich tributes to Minhaj Barna|
PESHAWAR (APP): Speakers here in reference held in memory of Minhaj Barna, icon of news papers industry trade union paid tributes to his struggle for the rights of the newspapers workers and other oppressed section of society. The reference was organized under the auspices of Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ) at Peshawar Press Club (PPC). Those who addressed the reference were included president, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Pervez Shaukat, general secretary, Shams-ul-Islam Naz, president, KhUJ, Arshad Aziz Malik, general sectary, Yusuf Ali and senior journalist, Shamim Shahid. Addressing the reference, Pervez Shaukat said that Minhaj Barna had waged a hard and long movement for the rights of the journalists and workers of the newspapers industry saying that the present leadership of the union is also following the footprints of their leadership. He expressed proud to be a successor to such great trade unionist, saying that he had learnt a lot through working with Minhaj Barna, Nisar Usmani, Abdul Hameed Chapra and Ahfaz-ur-Rehman. He said that they had always considered Minhaj Barna as their de-jure leader and will always remember him. The president, PFUJ said that a national level reference would also be organized in which all companions of late Minhaj Barna, political leaders and other leaders of the civil society organizations will be invited to the exemplary event. Referring to the personality of Minhaj Barna, he said that even after relieving from the presidentship of the PFUJ, he attended each and every meeting and given guidance through useful advices. He pledged that following the principles of the late Minhaj Barna, he will not compromise on the issue of the freedom of press, which would be proved as bacon of light for them. He said that the journalists community of Pakistan is struggling for the implementation of the Seventh Wage Award and gave the credit of it to Minhaj Barna who established All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation (APNEC), which are still struggling along the working journalists. Pervez Shaukat said that 63 journalists have been killed in the struggle for the freedom of press in bomb blasts and target killings. He lamented that very nominal compensation is paid to the families of the victim journalists. The PFUJ chief was also critical of the treatment of political governments with it give to it after coming into power. He said that the journalists have played important role in the restoration of judiciary. He urged the political parties to honour the sacrifices of the journalist community. The secretary general PFUJ, Shams-ul-Islam Naz said that the struggle of the Minhaj Barna was not limited to only journalists, but also for labourers, peasants, haris and other oppressed sections of the society. He attributed the inclusion of the Newspapers Employees Service Act in the Constitution of 1973 to the struggle of the Minhaj Barna headed leadership of the journalists community. He said that Minhaj Barna not only raised voice for the rights of the working journalists, but also waged a struggle for rights of the workers of the industry. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information, Mian Iftikhar Hussein paid tributes to the struggle of late Minhaj Barna for progressive and social justice system in the country. He said that the struggle of the late leader of PFUJ reflects collective approach, but today the people are becoming followers of personalities. He said that Barna waged struggle for the rights of the working journalists and battled a long movement for it. He said that such kinds of personalities were always considered compulsory for bringing change in the society. He dispelled the impression that political parties forget the sacrifices of the journalists in the restoration of democracy. He said that the role of each and every segment of society is must in the strengthening of the democracy so they could remember each other on that bases. Mian Iftikhar Hussein attributed the present democratic system to the martyrdom of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, saying that if she could not have come and sacrificed here life then there would have no democracy in Pakistan. Similarly, he said that the leadership of ANP has also rendered sacrifices as its top leadership including Asfandyar Wali Khan, Afrasiab Khattak and Bashir Ahmad Bilour has survived suicide attacks. He said that beside two members of the provincial assembly more than 500 workers of the party have been killed in the struggle for the democracy. However, he said that they are not claiming any credit as it was the demand of the land.