April 15, 2016
ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Unification Committee which met here Friday with M. Ziauddin in chair decided to hold elections for the various tiers of the union in accordance with Clause 6 of Settlement/ Agreement that was counter-signed on March 16, 2016 by the leadership of the now defunct factions of the trade body in dispute over the 2013 elections.
The schedule for the elections will be finalized and announced by the Unification Committee on Monday April 18, 2016 and circulated through a press release issued to the media and would also be posted on social media.
Clause 6 of the Settlement/Agreement stipulates "That the said committee led by Mr M. Ziauddin shall arrange to hold/conduct the PFUJ Elections for 2016 as well as the Elections for the UJs (Union of Journalists) across the country."
For the elections of the UJs the committee will go by the 2013 voters’ lists that were used in the elections and as the clause 7 stipulates ‘"The committee is authorized to appoint neutral Election Commissioners/Election Tribunals in consultation with the out-going office-bearers of the UJs in order to hold free and fair elections."
Meanwhile, the Unification Committee reiterated its determination to carry out a thorough investigation into the alleged irregularities in the conduct and the subsequent differences that emerged within the body on the results of the elections.
This will be done in accordance with Clause 1 of the Settlement/Agreement which stipulates that the Committee is mandated "To investigate the irregularities or illegalities committed in election process of PFUJ for the year 2013 and give its findings, fix the responsibility within a period of 120 days. If the Committee due to any reason is unable to complete its work within given time frame, the same may be enhanced by the consent of the parties. The findings of the investigation will be presented to the next Biennial Delegates Meeting (BDM).
At the conclusion of the meeting the Unification Committee expressed serious concern over the current plight of the working media persons, especially with regard to their employment terms and conditions, delays in payment of salaries and termination of their services with complete impunity and disregard to the relevant employment laws of the land.
The Committee also sought the attention of the Pakistan Press Council, PEMRA and the Newspapers’ Employees Tribunals to the plight of media persons whose services were terminated recently by the Dunya Media Group.
The Committee authorized the chairman to visit Karachi in the first week of May to take into confidence the mega city’s senior media persons and former office-bearers of PFUJ and KUJ with regard to the Committee’s efforts since its formation to revive the PFUJ into one single effective bargaining agent for the working media persons.
Shahidur Rehman, one of the members of the committee, authorized by the UC, represented the PFUJ at a meeting with the UNESCO officials on Wednesday, April 13 to discuss a two-point agenda for commemorating Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2016. The two-point agenda comprised discussions on Right to Information law and a proposed draft law concerning protection of media persons.
On Friday Mr Rehman, again authorized by the Unification Committee, represented the PFUJ at a meeting with the Information Ministry officials to discuss a draft bill mooted by the Senate for the protection of journalists.
The meeting was attended by M. Ziauddin, Shahidur Rehman, and Nasir Malick. Other members of the Committee were consulted over telephone on all matters discussed and their approval obtained on the decisions taken.
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