Wednesday Sep 15, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Rejecting the proposed Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA), the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) President Shahzada Zulfiqar Tuesday said their struggle against the “anti-media body” wo;; continue, The News reported.
Addressing a press conference along with other PFUJ leaders at the National Press Club, Shahzada Zulfiqar demanded the government to take notice against the PMDA if it was not backing the idea to establish the authority.
“A three-day meeting of the PFUJ is being held in Lahore from Wednesday [today], which will take important decisions regarding the movement against the proposed PMDA and the media restrictions in the country,” he said.
The PFUJ leader said that the successful sit-in of Monday was the result of the selfless work and dedication of the leadership and workers of the PFUJ and the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ).
The sit-in, where journalists from across the country were present, showed the government that the journalist community stands united against the proposed PMDA.
Taking shots at Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who he said believed that the Pakistan's media will be driven by the PTV, APP and "salaried YouTubers", he said that the sit-in protest organised by journalists outside the Parliament House had rejected the PMDA outright.
He said the Urdu translation of the bill had been completed and it would now be shared with the labour organisations and civil society to tell them that the real motive of the government behind the proposed bill is to suppress the voice for the freedom of media.
“We will end the impression which was being given by the government that the bill is in favour of media workers,” he added.
He said the PFUJ would continue its struggle against the PMDA, adding that the movement will encounter more difficult stages in the days to come. He journalists to get prepared for even arrests and dismissals from service.
Replying to a question, he said, “We don't think any of the owners' organisations will reach a compromise with the government. It may be the government's wish, but to this day, everyone is on the same page.
“Even if someone compromises, we are not bound by it," he added. The PFUJ president said the PMDA does not concern only journalists, it concerned the entire nation, country and its democracy. “We are fighting for society, In-sha-Allah we will be successful,” he added.
PFUJ Secretary General Nasir Zaidi said the Federal Union of Journalists had rejected the PMDA, and it would not allow the imposition of a media martial law through the black law. He said the PFUJ would not accept it under any circumstances and it would continue the struggle for freedom of the press.
He said it was for the first time that all political parties and stakeholders were standing united with the PFUJ against the proposed PMDA, and the Union would not let anyone damage that unity.