Pakistani Prime minister causes uproar

 The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned statements recently attributed to Pakistani Prime Minister Shoukat Aziz, in which he claimed there was ”disunity” amongst newspaper workers in regards to the implementation of wage awards.

IFJ Asia Pacific Director Jacqueline Park expressed her disapproval of the Prime Minister’s statements and urged the Government to implement better wage awards immediately.

‘’Workers’ rights are imperative in any organisation and the installation of better wage awards, particularly the Seventh Wage Award, is crucial,’’ Park said.

‘’Shifting the blame onto the heads of employees is simply another stalling tactic by the Government to deter the implementation of the awards.’’

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation (APNEC) also took strong exception to the statements, and claimed that such ‘divide and rule’ tactics would not work on newspaper employees.

The Prime Minister’s comments were made in response to the President of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Press Club, Mushtaq Minhas, who demanded the immediate implementation of the Seventh Wage Award during a speech he made on Friday September 7.

A spokesman for both the PFUJ and APNEC rejected the Premier's remarks and wished to remind Mr Aziz that it is the responsibility of the government to establish the awards.

The current Pakistani Government has continually stalled the implementation of the new Seventh Wage Award, despite the recommendation of the National Assembly, Senate and all four Provincial Assemblies.

The IFJ has urged the Pakistani Government to implement the Seventh Wage Award on numerous occasions, but so far results have been minor.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 114 countries