Attacks on journalists: The National Assembly (NA) body to summon interior minister, secretary, Nadra head, DG Federal Investigation Authority in next meeting

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting Monday decided to summon Interior Minister, Interior Secretary, Nadra chairman, DG FIA and IG Islamabad in its next meeting with regards to targeting of journalists.

The committee, which met here with Mian Javed Latif in the chair, took a number of issues, including PTV and PBC integration, updates on slain journalists and recent incidents of threats and attacks on some media persons.

Chairman Committee Mian Javed Latif said if the attack on journalists was a conspiracy of international organisations, it should be exposed and if mistakes are made by the institutions then there is no problem in independent investigation.

PTI’s Kanwal Shauzab said that the lives of journalists are dear to everyone and then asked why are only a few journalists from Islamabad offered political asylum? “I don’t know why Aziz Memon’s family and journalists like Ajay Ladwani don’t know why political asylum is not offered to them,” she remarked.

Marriyum Aurangzeb of PMLN noted that there are 31 cases of attacks on journalists in a year in Islamabad and insisted that the committee also needs to be a little more dynamic. “July 05 is the breath day of Pakistan’s history.

This is the day to weaken the state. To avoid such days, we have to follow the path of Constitution and law. The consequences of which the nation is still suffering. I thank the committee members and government figures for speaking out on my arrest,” said Javed Latif.

Maryam Aurangzeb paid tribute to Javed Latif and said he fought for freedom of expression. The forum was briefed on journalist Aziz Memon’s murder by Additional IG Sindh Dr Jamil and said they had tested the DNA of 88 people while six persons have been challenged. Authorities have been asked to block their identity cards and bank accounts

DIG Irfan Baloch of Benazirabad said, “We are going to set the head money of accused, whereas two more suspects involved will be arrested while six have already been arrested, two have escaped”.

PPP MNA Naz Baloch from Sindh maintained that the case was seen in a political context. To this, Javed Latif said that the committee members should not say anything that would offend anyone and added such incidents are a national issue and emphasized what are the motives for this incident: The details should be revealed.

The committee was told that Aziz Memon and the named accused knew each other while Aziz Memon was coming to Islamabad. The women complained that the women who came for Bilawal Bhutto’s train rally were given Rs200 instead of promised Rs2000. He was receiving death threats after the video and local PPP workers were threatening him when Aziz Memon came to Islamabad, he had four servants with him.

Aftab Jahangir of PTI said the police should listen to the concerns of the family members and investigate and that the police should make it clear that they will investigate without any pressure.

Maryam Aurangzeb said this case should be made a test case. Javed Latif said what a pity that even after two years the case has not come to an end. The committee recommended re-investigation of Aziz Memon’s case through JIT and it also recommended the appointment of one member each from the federation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh.

The committee recommended full protection to the plaintiff and his family till the case reaches to a logical conclusion. The committee considered case of attack on former Pemra chairman Absar Alam while briefing was given by SSP Operations Attaullah, who said Absar Alam was shot while walking in the park in front of his house and that he was shot once, but was rescued by onlookers: CCTV footage has been sent to Nadra for facial recognition. The case has been registered but the culprits have not been identified yet.

Source: The News