Thu. Oct 22nd, 2020

Harrasment of journalists on the rise

GILGIT, Nov 18: Human rights and journalist organizations have expressed concern over increasing incidents aimed at harassing journalists to stop them from performing their professional duties.

In a statement, Gilgit Union of Journalists said government officials were using state powers as well as resources to pressure mediapersons in order to conceal their own wrongdoings.

It said notices were being served on journalists in order to pressure them.

A local journalist, Zulfiqar Ali, was served with a notice by district council member Raja Shehbaz after he tried to expose some deals he had allegedly made under the table. Coordinator Human Rights Organisation Israruddin condemned the move, adding elements who wanted to pressure journalists would not succeed in their mission.

The statement demanded that the federal government should order a probe into the matter and protect the mediapersons.

The journalists union also said that despite non-bailable warrant issued by the apex court of Northern Areas the police had not produced an ex-SSP Gilgit, Pervez Ahmed Chandio, before the court in a journalist torture case. Orignal at DAWN & Daily Asia Media

——————–

Editor’s note: Further adding to the story, Zulfiqar Ali Khan, coordinator and moderator of PT a correspondent of prestigious English daily newspaper for Hunza region, received a legal notice, sent on behalf of Shehbaz Khan, MDC Gilgit, which demanded a sum of PKR five million (50 Lacs) for ‘damaging’ the reputation of the said member.

The notice is based on a news published on Pamir News Blog in the month of February 2008, which reported the high handedness of the police officials, in the wake of an alleged break-in at the house of Shehbaz Khan. The news reported common sentiments held by residents of the the region, with regards to the said elected member. It also condemned the alleged break-in. Police interrogation brought nothing out and the accused who had been arrested on the order of Shehbaz were released within a couple of days, after mounting public pressure. 

Innocent young men of the village were arrested on suspicion by the police and tortured in the police station for a couple of days. A large number of the residents of the village termed this as a ‘tactic’ to pressurize the youth and force them into silence against mismanagement of funds, corruption and nepotism. Pamir News reported the public sentiments, as they were, and still are!!

The legal notice says that Shehbaz has faced ‘mental and physical torture’ because of words like ‘controversial political figure’.

Zulfiqar has been asked to either pay rupees five million or apologize, unconditionally, in three  consecutive posts on Pamir News Blog.

We consider this to be yet another tactic aimed at creating hindrances for  efforts of Pamir Times for creating an informed and vibrant civil society in Gojal and Hunza Valley, in particular, and Gilgit-Baltistan, in general. We appreciate the comments by Human Rights Coordinator Israr Udin Israr.

The hundreds of comments of appreciation from our readers are a testimony of our devotion, objectivity and determination to appreciate good steps, expose flaws in the society and help the government and the state in creation of an environment where plurality of views are appreciated and solutions are generated.

We completely support the efforts of Zulfiqar Ali Khan and would request other young professionals to similarly devote their time and energy for reforming our imperfect society, in the face of old systems of oppression.  

Team Pamir Times

13 thoughts on “Harrasment of journalists on the rise

  1. میرے ہاتھ میں قلم ہے میرے ذہن میں اجالا
    مجھے کیا دبا سکے گا کوی طاقتوں کا پالا
    مجھے فکر امن عالم تجھے اپنی ذات کا غم
    توغروب ہو رہا ہے میں طلوع ہونے والا

    جالب

  2. It is very saddening to know about the harassment of one of the most revered and growing Journalist commending respect and appreciation from across the globe, wherever people from Gilgit-Baltistan are living. The pressure tactics of harassment through various means of violence either physical or psychological by any means either state or private in highly condemnable. It has remained an unfair tradition of exploitation of state resources and power by the people who gain or retain power in our part of the world in particular through the use of police force and institution of justice. This is again an example of these heinous tactics used by the said Member Union Council. The said MUC is supposed to serve the people who have elected him and fight for the people’s rights not to snatch the rights which they already have and suppress their voice of free speech.

    In the past people like the said MUC had been successful to deprive people of their due rights and oppress public because of the lake of awareness regarding the civic rights on behalf of public. However, now it would be impossible and must be made impossible for the people of our area to be exploited by any one. The efforts of Zulfiqar Ali are tremendously appreciated in this regard.

    Abbas Ali

  3. Dear Zulfiqar and Team,

    Tell him or let him read this verse;

    Hamere nam se larzan hain gardish-e dawran
    Hamara azm jawan hain hamarain sath chlo

    and

    Main akela hi chala tha janib-e manzil magar
    Log sath athein gaye aur karwan banta gaya

    Don’t worry and keep up your stuggle. All the youth from Gojal are with you. Dark will soon be started for them.

  4. HAI ZULFI BAI
    LET THE STUPIDED GUYES DO WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO DO AGAINST U AND UR TEAM; THEIR TIME IS OVER THEY ARE FINISHED WOH PAGAL HO GAYE HA UN KO KUCH SAMAJ NAI AH RAHA HA KI WOH KIYA KARE ,WE ARE ALWAYS WITH U AND NOT BEHIND U WE ARE BESIDE U AND OPENLY WITH U, HE IS NO MORE SAY TA TA TO HIM HIS FUTURE IS VERY DARK
    GREAT WORK BY UR TEAM I AM PROUD TO BE THE PART OF UR TEAM

  5. ZULFI (LEADER OF FUTURE) MOVE ON. I SUPPORT YOUR EFFORTS TO KEEP US INFORMED OF MATTERS CONCERNING OUR SUPPOSED ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE. THIS IS THE BASIC RIGHTS OF JOURNALISTS AROUND THE WORLD & PEOPLE LIVING LOCALLY SHOULD ACT AS ONE TO PROTEST THE WRONG ACTIONS OF THE ‘SYSTEM’. THE MORE WE KEEP QUIET, THE MORE THESE WRONGDOINGS WILL KEEP ON HAPPENING.

    SHAHBAZ KHAN SHOULD STOP CORRUPTING OUR AREA. WE HAVE BEEN LIVING IN PEACE UNLIKE THE REST OF THE COUNTRY & WE WANT THAT PEACE TO CONTINUE. HE SHOULD STOP HARRASSING OF OUR FUTURE LEADERS & ALLOW VOICES TO BE HEARD.

    GHULAM AHMED

  6. Dear Zulfi!

    I will just say one sentence i.e Truth always prevails in the long run. we all commend your efforts.

  7. The media persons are the true representatives of the common people. It’s their professional responsibility to identify and highlight the issues.

  8. Dear Zulfiqar & Whole PT team!

    As we belong from the same team of PT, i would like to share some experiences of my self with all those PT readers that this is not only happend with you, it was been faced my self many times from such type of crimnial peoples.you don’t need to be worried or frightned from them,the whole community and media related organizations are with you.
    I my self condemed that what District Councilor of our ward has done by using his own Personal relation and by help of some currept law and inforce ment agancies officals trying to create problems for you and your team.
    I would say one more thing that this is first step for you to be strong and bring the truth and convey the reality to whole nation and community.keep your hard work up!

    Best wishes
    Rahmat Karim Nizari
    ICD, Dubai

  9. Zulfiqar!!!
    I was thinking to write the same poetry in urdu but couldn’t.
    Thanks Aafiyat you made it easy for me!!! coud you allow me to copy it again.

    tundi bad e mukhalif se na ghabra ay uqab
    ye to chalti he tujhe uncha urane keliye

  10. The effort of PT team is commendable. I would say
    If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you. But be honest anyways

  11. A stong PTs team is with our chief, evreryone is condoming this action, never accptable for youth of Gojal.

    Musofer
    Darwin, Australia

  12. Intellectual freedom and the right to speech is the bedrock upon which our modern human civilisation is built. It is through critical discussion, dialogue and intelligent reflection on events, ideas and processes of society that we can transform ourselves into a community of higher ideals, goals and standards. If repression, terror, threat, force and power is allowed a free reign then the idea of a civilised human being would be torn apart into pieces and the only rule that will reign high will be that of the jungle, in which might determines all else. Hunza as a society has evolved peacefully into a culture that is plural, tolerant, open, and democratic. Voices of the people are now increasingly matter in all walks of life. There is no place for uncivilised and ruthless people.

    I think, the people of Hunza should not allow allow the environment of threat and danger to free speech in our area and we are not interested to go back to the old ages when likes of Shabaz used their wealth, power and influence to establish hierarchical system in our society. Today Hunza is inhabited by a new breed of creative and critical people who are not afraid of petty lords and others. I think Shabaz and is still living in an age of closed borders, unsuspecting, poor and powerless people. He should forget all the pretensions of the past and come to terms to the realities of the brave new world of Hunza. If he wants to engage with the people and serve them he should demonstrate his leadership not his warlord-ship. Threatening budding journalists is no way forward. If Shabaz is using threatening tactics to safeguard his selfish interests then it is likely he may have used bribery as a tool in his arsenal. I imagine that he has already failed on the softer option and now he is trying to show his ugly face.
    Raja Shahbaz complaints about ‘mental’ conditions caused by Pamir Times coverage of some incident in which he was described as ‘controversial’. This is totally ridiculous and it is basically a mockery of his own intelligence and lack of political acumen and sagacity. Shahabaz suggest that he is not a controversial figure but he forgets his own involvement in systematic corruption in Sost Dry Port and other illegal activities in Sino-Pak trade. I personally condemn Shahbaz for his outrageous attitude towards volunteer journalists of Pamir Times and I express my unstinting moral support to the members of the PT team. Hold high the blaze of light, because you are the trail-blazers of Hunzukutz.

Comments are closed.

Instagram did not return a 200.
%d bloggers like this: