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Showing posts with label Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ). Show all posts

Monday, December 28, 2009

PFUJ concerned over media-government tussle

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has urged the government, the media owners, the political parties and other democratic forces to shun their differences and unite to save the country from those elements who have waged an open war on the country and wanted to push it to the stone age.

Taking serious notice of the on-going tussle between the government and the free media, the PFUJ has appealed to the government and the media giants to take into account the prevailing situation in the country where all state organs, including the press, are under attack by terrorists.

The current state of affairs demands that all institutions in the country help calm down the situation and work jointly to strengthen democracy, and save the country from the wrath of non-state actors. It also said that efforts be made to put the country to the path of progress and prosperity.

The PFUJ took serious notice of on-going tussles between the government and the Geo / Jang group, adding that it was high time that such a tense situation is resolved with prudence in view of the precarious situation of the country.

Moreover, the PFUJ made it clear that any attempt to victimise the group would be taken very seriously.

The PFUJ also welcomed the prime minister’s assurance to media that “the government resects and values freedom of the press in Pakistan.”

During a discussion with media-persons on Thursday, the prime minister had apologized for the statements made by a few PPP leaders against a leading TV channel and an English language daily.

The PFUJ noted that the statements issued by such PPP leaders had vitiated the atmosphere and PM’s apology would help diffuse tension between government circles and Pakistan’s free media.

However, the PFUJ noted with concern that attempts are afoot to financially cripple Pakistan’s largest media conglomerate, the Jang Group.

The PFUJ observed that such tactics have never worked in the past and would not only damage government’s credibility, but would also jeopardize the livelihood of hundreds and thousands of workers associated with the Jang Group, directly or indirectly. Any attempt to snatch someone’s source of income and rendering people jobless is against PPP’s manifesto and its previous record, the PFUJ said.

The PFUJ also noted that certain elements were making attempts to create differences between the media and the democratic forces for their ulterior motives.

The PFUJ, which has a long history of struggle and had rendered sacrifices to safeguard the freedom of the media during successive military dictatorships, would continue its fight to protect the press freedom and democracy in Pakistan, it said.

To pursue these twin objectives, the PFUJ has asked the government to accept free media’s criticism with open heart which would help improve governance, accountability, transparency and socio-economic situation in the country. The PPP government has a good record to face the media with open heart and it should maintain such a tract record it would enhance its image within the country and abroad.

The PFUJ is optimistic that the PPP government, which has a history of sacrifices for a democratic Pakistan, would continue to follow the golden principles envisioned by its assassinated leadership, for the cause of democracy, rule of law, betterment of the oppressed and depressed classes.

“By facing media criticism boldly and by giving a mature response, it can improve governance. It would not only help democracy to flourish, but would also strengthen media-government relations in a democratic Pakistan”, the PFUJ added.

It was shocking for the PFUJ to observe that at this difficult time, the APNS and CPNE, the two representative bodies of the media conglomerates, have kept a mysterious silence, while the Jang Group has been singled out.

It is high time, that APNS, CPNE and media owners should also respect the rule of law, extend all the lawful benefits to their employees, ensure safety and protection of the media persons, life insurance and capacity building, the PFUJ said.

The PFUJ believes that the APNS and CPNE have failed to show their commitment to a free media and democracy by turning their back once again on this issue for their vested interest.

This is the same apathy and callousness which the APNS and CPNE have been displaying for years by denying financial rights in the shape of 7th Wage Award to newspaper employees while they were themselves building their huge empires, the PFUJ regretted.

The PFUJ urged the country’s largest and most credible media conglomerate to identify its real rivals, which are its own competitors in the industry, and not the working journalists.

These “friends in arms” are playing the role of a Trojan horse who want to pitch the government against the media to discredit the country’s largest media group by loudly propagating the “violations of code of conduct.”

The PFUJ believes that the Jang Group, which also has a glorious history of fighting for press freedom, must set its record straight by snapping ties with these tiny media groups who live as parasite on Jang Group’s standing and credibility.

The Jang Group can sink these industrial liabilities by extending the newspaper employees their rights. The PFUJ added.