Islamabad, June 26: People across Gilgit – Baltistan have condemned the registration of cases against two journalists, Abdul Rehman Bukhari and Jahangir Naji. The two journalists had briefly been detained by the Gilgit police yesterday on the orders of GB Law Secretary.
The journalists had reported stories in which they had quoted the GB Law Secretary as saying that he is not bound to follow orders of illiterate ministers. He had also been quoted as saying that he will not release funds to pay for the outstanding dues of different newspapers on the orders of GB Law Minister.
The Law Secretary had denied the reports and threatened the journalists with legal action. The arrests led to protests in Gilgit as members of the Gilgit Press Club reached the police station and demanded immediate release of the journalists. Abdul Rehman Baukhari and Jahangir Naji maintain that the Law Secretary has changed his statement and was trying to use his powers unfairly despite of making a statement.
The journalist fraternity has demanded action against the police and GB Law Secretary for ‘harassing’ their fellow reporters.
Labour Party leader Advocate Ehsan Ali has said that the Law Secretary should have gone to the Court if he had reservations about the reports and filed a defamation case instead of asking the police to arrest the journalists. He has called it an action equal to curbing of press freedom in the GB region.