JournalismPakistan.com January 11, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Islamabad and Rawalpindi journalists Friday gathered in front of the National Press Club to condemn the killing of their colleagues in a bomb blast in Quetta Thursday.
Federal Information Minister Qamar uz Zaman Kaira joined the protesters in condemning the cowardly act in which a reporter and a cameraperson of Samaa TV and a photojournalist working with NNI lost their lives.
The minister praised the media for their frontline role in the war on terror and said the families of those killed would not be ignored. He promised the government would bear the education expenses of their children.
Reports said media persons had gathered at the scene of a suicide bomb attack in a snooker club when a second explosion took place outside - a bomb planted in a car.
Reporter Saif ur Rehman, cameraperson Imran Shaikh, both of Samaa and NNI photojournalist Muhammad Iqbal were killed while some other media persons sustained injuries. The blasts killed 93 people, injuring 121 others.
The Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) organized Friday’s protest. Waqar Satti, the union’s president called upon the government to announce similar compensation package for families of deceased media persons as is given to personnel of security forces killed in the line of duty.
Farooq Faisal Khan, the Press club president said the government should take immediate steps to help grieving families and make sure their children got the best education possible.
The head of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Pervez Shaukat said his union had always stressed the importance of safety yet the media organizations had done little to keep their staffers safe.
Reports say similar protests were also held in several other cities.
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Three progressive periodicals - Savera (edited by Zaheer Kashmiri), Naqoosh (edited by Ahmed Nadim Qasmi) and Adab-i-Latif (edited by Mirza Adeeb) - were proscribed by the Muslim League government of Punjab for six months in 1948. This was the first attack on the freedom of press in the country (The Press in Chains - Zamir Jafri).
The Orient Press of India, a news agency, was founded by Syed Mohammad in 1942. It was closed down in 1948.