April 21, 2022
ISLAMABAD—President of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Shahzada Zulfiqar and Secretary-General Nasir Zaidi have expressed grave concern about allegations by former Prime Minister Imran Khan against some journalists receiving foreign funding and conspiring against Pakistan without naming anyone of them.
In a joint statement, they said if the PTI had evidence that any journalist had conspired to topple the government of Imran Khan by taking money from the foreign powers, then it should inform the PFUJ leadership about such journalists. The PFUJ itself would take action against them. But if Imran Khan has made allegations against journalists without any evidence, he should withdraw these and apologize to the journalist community.
Zulfiqar and Zaidi further said that the journalists covering the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and embassies had to stay in touch with the diplomatic staff of different countries to fulfill their professional duties.
Similarly, Pakistan's ambassadors in various countries have to liaise with the journalists of those nations. Their meetings with the journalists of those countries do not mean they are aimed at overthrowing their governments.
The PFUJ leaders said that Khan's allegations were an attempt to cast doubt on the role of all journalists.
In the past also, Khan made similar and repeated allegations of election rigging (35 punctures) against a journalist, which later on he claimed were mere "political statements."
Previously other severe allegations against media have been proven wrong in courts, including international courts. Khan should be wary of his advisors who have created conflicts with the journalist community.
PFUJ said that if the PECA ordinance were in place, thousands of PTI people would be in jail right now. Recently we have seen journalists being abused and physically threatened in PTI rallies. Hate speech against journalists can endanger their lives and prevent them from performing their duties. PTI is strongly encouraged to follow its original manifesto on journalism and media.
Daily Times, January 30, 2018
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