Monday, March 21, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) on Monday demanded Prime Minister Imran Khan to apologise for “leveling allegations against media and journalists' for receiving funds to campaign against the incumbent government in a rally in Malakand.
In a joint statement President PFUJ Shahzada Zulfiqar, Vice President Lala Asad Pathan, and Secretary-General Nasir Zaidi, while showing astonishment and anger on prime minister's baseless remarks, said: “It is surprising that the head of the government, under whom all the agencies are working instead ordering a probe is using a public forum for spreading unfounded allegations against media.”
The union urged the premier to order a probe via the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) or through a high-level judicial commission, instead of spreading “fake news” just for electioneering or defusing pressure of “no-trust motion filed by Opposition against him”.
“Fabricated concocted baseless allegations against media and journalists will not help the country’s prime minister which is a top slot and responsible position, requires dissemination of utmost credible information and reasonable and responsible behaviour,” said the PFUJ.
The union was of the view that said these are crucial times for Pakistan’s “respect and credibility among the comity of nations and such a behaviour will further ruin the image of the country”.
They warned that Pakistan cannot afford such statements “at this juncture of history”.
Later, the Joint Action Committee of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), and Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) in a statement also took “serious note of the false allegations” made by PM Imran Khan.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan alleged that media houses have been bought by political parties and some are also being funded from foreign sources. In effect, this amounts to accusing the media of corruption,” said the JAC.
The journalist associations challenged PM Imran to prove the “scandalous allegations”, adding that he has the “resources to Investigate and prove it” since he is in power.
JAC asked PM Imran Khan to “understand that false and baseless statements about media houses will not serve any purpose”.
“Media and journalists are performing their professional responsibilities guaranteed by the constitution. We request Imran Khan not to make such statements for political point scoring,” said the statement.
“If proof cannot be provided for these allegations within a reasonable time, JAC reserves its right to approach the honourable judiciary for relief against these scandalous, false and defamatory allegations,” said the statement.
Addressing a jalsa in the Dargai tehsil of the Malakand district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, PM Imran had said Sunday that as a watchdog of the society, media has a big role to play in strengthening democracy, adding that it is the job of the media is to create awareness among the masses.
At the same time, he said the media has to adopt ethical practices and stand against evil.
"Unfortunately, a lot of media houses work solely for money, and some even accept foreign funding. I leave it to the public to find out which media houses are standing with the thieves [the Opposition]," he said.
"The nation is observing the media and it can see which media house is working in favour of Pakistan and which one is a sell-out," he said.