Rallies staged in KP against arrest of MSR

PESHAWAR: The journalists on Friday staged rallies across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to condemn arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, the Editor-in-Chief of Jang, Geo and The News.

Speaking at a protest meeting, Peshawar Press Club President Syed Bukhar Shah termed the arrest a bid to gag the press. “The government is using all possible means to intimidate the press,” he said, adding, Prime Minister Imran Khan used to talk high of media as an opposition leader but he is using the state apparatus to silence the independent press after coming into power,” he added.

Bacha urged the media houses to shun differences and work for an independent media, which was sine qua non for democracy in the country. Shah said a big rally would be staged on Saturday to condemn the arrest.

The Swabi Electronic Media Association members condemned the arrest of Jang Group Editor-in-Chief and demanded his release. Muhammad Farooq, president of the association and Azmat Ali, general secretary, said that the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman by NAB in the 34-year-old property case was aimed at keeping the media under control. Muhammad Farooq said that an independence press was the need of the hour for a democratic order.

He said the entire journalist community stood by the Jang Group and opposed the pressure tactics of the government. In Charsadda, the journalists staged a protest to condemn the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

Speaking on the occasion, Sabaz Ali Tareen and others said the government was harassing journalists to hide its own failure. At the Bannu Press Club President Muhammad Alam Khan termed the arrest an attack on media freedom. He said the action was meant to silence the Jang Group, which was following an independent media policy. Protest rallies were also staged in Chitral, Dir, Swat, Mardan and other districts of the province.