- PFUJ says if PTI has evidence regarding any journalist then the party should inform the union about the names.
- “The PFUJ itself would take action against them,” the PFUJ assures.
- The union advises Imran Khan to remain careful of advisers who have created conflicts with the journalist community.
Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) President Shahzada Zulfiqar and Secretary-General Nasir Zaidi on Thursday expressed serious concern about the allegations levelled by former prime minister Imran Khan against some journalists — without naming them — of receiving foreign funding and conspiring against Pakistan.
In a joint statement issued in this regard, the PFUJ office-bearers said if the PTI had evidence that any journalist had conspired to topple Imran Khan’s government by taking money from the foreign powers, the party should inform the PFUJ leadership about the names of such journalists.
“The PFUJ itself would take action against them but if Imran Khan has levelled allegations against journalists without any evidence, then he should withdraw these and apologise to the journalist community,” the leadership said.
Both the leaders clarified that the journalists covering the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and embassies had to stay in touch with the diplomatic staff of different countries to fulfil their professional duties.
“Similarly, Pakistan’s ambassadors in different countries have to liaise with the journalists of those countries. And their meetings with the journalists of those countries do not mean that they are aimed at overthrowing their governments,” the senior members of the union said.
The PFUJ president and secretary-general said that Imran Khan’s allegations against journalists without naming anyone “was an attempt to cast doubt on the role of all journalists.”
They mentioned that in the past also Imran Khan has made similar and repeated allegations of election rigging “35 punctures” against a journalist which later on he claimed were mere “political statements”. Previously other severe allegations against media have been proven wrong in courts including international courts.
“Imran Khan should be careful of advisers who have created conflicts with the journalist community,” they suggested.
If the PECA ordinance was in place, thousands of PTI people would be in jail right now. “Recently we have seen journalists being abused and physically threatened in PTI rallies and jalsas as well.
Hate speech against journalists can threaten their lives and prevent them from their duty. PTI is strongly encouraged to follow its original manifesto on journalism and media,” they concluded.