A tribute to Barna’s untiring struggle
PESHAWAR, Feb 21: Speakers at a reference here on Monday paid rich tribute to Minhaj Barna, the founder of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), for his struggle for the rights of newspapers workers and other oppressed sections of society.
The reference, organised by Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ), was addressed by PFUJ president Pervez Shaukat, general secretary, Shamsul Islam Naz, KhUJ president Arshad Aziz Malik, general sectary Yusuf Ali and senior journalist Shamim Shahid.
Pervez Shaukat said that Minhaj Barna had waged a hard and long movement for the rights of the journalists and workers of newspapers industry. “The present office-bearers of the union are also following into the footprints of their leadership,” he said.
He said that he had learnt a lot through working with Minhaj Barna, Nisar Usmani, Abdul Hameed Chapra and Ahfazur Rehman. He said that they
had always considered Minhaj Barna as their de-jure leader and would always remember him.
The PFUJ president said that a national reference would also be organised in which all companions of late Minhaj Barna, political leaders and representatives of civil society would be invited.
Mr Shaukat said that even after relieving from the responsibilities of PFUJ, Mr Barna attended each and every meeting to guide office-bearers of the union and working journalists.
He said that 63 journalists had been killed in bomb blasts and target killings. He said that journalists played important role in restoration of judiciary. He urged the political parties to honour the sacrifices of the journalists.
Addressing on the occasion, Mr Naz said that the struggle of Minhaj Barna was not limited to only journalists. He also struggled for the rights of labourers, peasants and other oppressed sections of the society, he added.
Provincial Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain also paid tribute to the struggle of Minhaj Barna. He said that the struggle of the late leader of PFUJ reflected collective approach. He said that Barna waged struggle for the rights of the working journalists and fought a long battle for it. He said that such personalities were always considered compulsory for bringing change in the society.
He dispelled the impression that political parties forgot the sacrifices of journalists in the restoration of democracy. He said that the role of each and every segment of society was must in strengthening of democracy.
The minister also paid tribute late chairperson of Pakistan People’s Party Benazir Bhutto, saying that if she did not come and sacrificed her life there would have been no democracy in Pakistan.
Similarly, he said, the leadership of Awami National Party also rendered sacrifices as its top leaders including Asfandyar Wali Khan, Afrasiab Khattak and Bashir Ahmad Bilour survived suicide attacks. He said that besides two members of the provincial assembly, more than 500 workers
of the party had been killed in the struggle for democracy. — APP