December 04, 2019
ISLAMABAD — Journalists have condemned the besieging of Dawn office in Islamabad by hundred-odd protesters not happy with the paper over a headline about a terrorist attack in London.
Hamid Mir accepted the right to protest but wondered these protestors remain nameless. “Very simple question. Everyone have the right to criticise or condemn the headline of any newspaper but why these “patriots” who staged a protest against Dawn newspaper never disclosed their names and identity? Who rented these “unknown” protesters?”
Muhammad Ziauddin, a former resident editor of Dawn in Islamabad, demanded probe into the incident. “I think police should investigate the incident and unearth the real culprit who mobilized the gang and had it seize the entry/exit gates of Dawn Islamabad offices and also the antecedents of the bearded maulvi with the megaphone.”
Dawn, through a tweet clarified that “A few dozen unidentified people on Monday staged a protest outside Dawn offices over publication of a news report regarding the ethnicity of the London Bridge attacker who stabbed two persons to death last week.”
Another former editor of Dawn, Abbas Nasir, posted a video of the incident, saying the protestors are raising slogans in favour of ISI. “Dawn besieged by mob raising ISI Zindabad slogans.”
Murtaza Solangi thought the responsibility of stopping such incidents lies with the government. “It doesn’t matter who have sent them and what their motives are. It is the responsibility of @ImranKhanPTI administration to keep the hooligans away from the offices of #DAWN. Allowing them to harass media houses only means allowing fascist takeover.”
Jahanzeb Hussain, former editor of PRISM at Dawn.com, maintained that such an incident was on the cards given the animosity of the government and the ISPR against Dawn. “A few days ago two sitting ministers were tweeting against Dawn. Today, Dawn's Islamabad office is under attack. The DG ISI openly picks on Dawn journalists on here. Public discourse matters and this government is irresponsible.”
PPP leader Farhatullah Babar defended the headline of Dawn. “Dawn was attacked today because of its 3 column front page headline Sunday admitting that London bridge attacker Usman Khan, a UK national, was of Pak origin. Taking pride in a UK boxer of Pak origin but attacking Dawn for identifying Pak origin of a militant is hypocrisy.”
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