Dozens of journalists in Lahore, provincial metropolis of Pakistan’s Punjab province, staged a sit-in on Friday to protest against the Punjab government for patronizing land grabbers and registering a fake police case against more than 12 journalists.
The protesting journalists while chanting slogans condemned the increasing incidents of land grabbing at the Journalist Housing Society, Lahore and observed that the Punjab government was patronizing these land grabbers. A couple of days ago, local police registered an FIR against the journalists in a fake case of robbery and kidnapping.
It is worth mentioning here that the Lahore Press Club (LPC) looks after affairs of the Journalist Housing Society and all those implicated in the fake case were members of the LPC including the club’s president and general secretary.
Earlier, the journalists had staged a demonstration on July 13 as well and had offered collective arrests but the police did not make any arrest.
The Friday sit-in was staged in front of the Punjab Assembly near the Chief Minister’s Secretariat on the call of Pakistan Federal Unions of Journalists (PFUJ). Pervaiz Shaukat, president of the PFUJ arrived in Lahore from Islamabad and joined the protesting journalists while senior office bearers of Punjab Union of Journalists (PUJ), All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation (APNEC) and the Lahore Press Club were also present on the occasion.
The PFUJ president warned that if the Punjab government did not take initiative to eliminate land grabbers from the journalists’ housing society within 15 days, a country-wide protest campaign would be launched against the government. He made it clear that journalists were not following an agenda of any political party but were raising their voice for their own rights. He said it was unfortunate that the government, instead of providing security to journalists, was implicating them in fake cases.
The other speakers also criticized the Punjab government and said that the latest move of registering fake cases was aimed to harass the journalists.