The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is
concerned at the sacking of staff at the Islamabad edition of the Daily Aaj Kal and the lock-out of
employees at ROHI TV, which has seen more than 100 journalists and media workers
lose their jobs.
The cuts come as the
latest shock to Pakistan’s media industry, as a
rising number of newspapers, journals and broadcasting organisations have
reduced wages, cut jobs or locked out staff in recent times.
More than 600 journalists
and other newspaper employees have lost their jobs in the past two and a half
years, according to IFJ affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists
(PFUJ). Many have been dismissed without receiving entitlements as required
under Pakistan’s labour laws.
The dismissals come as
newspaper owners continue to strenuously resist implementing the Seventh Wage
Award for newspaper employees, which came into force on July 1,
“The IFJ calls on
Pakistan’s Government to investigate
and act immediately on all breaches of labour laws and ensure that journalists
who lose their jobs are treated with fairness and compassion,” IFJ General
Secretary Aidan White
More than two dozen media
personnel were sacked from the Islamabad edition of Daily Aaj Kal, published by the Media
Times, owned by Punjab Governor Salman Taseer.
When the edition was
launched in February 2009, Taseer promised the paper would be the voice of
moderation and a beacon for those opposing religious extremism, adding that it
would be the first truly independent Urdu newspaper in the capital, according to
The sacked staff said the
paper may continue to publish from Lahore, while
news reports from Islamabad and Rawalpindi would be
collected from local news agencies.
Earlier this month, the
of Aaj Kal cut its staff of more
than 50 media personnel to just three journalists. The organisation’s Quetta bureau has also lost
six people, according to the PFUJ.
In a separate event, ROHI
TV management sacked and locked out more than 90 journalists and other staff,
despite the channel’s good performance and assurances from management that their
jobs would be permanent and secure, according to the
“The loss of more than
100 media jobs this month alone is a blow to Pakistan’s media community. At the
very least, media companies are legally obliged to pay staff fair wages and
For further information contact IFJ
Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries