IFJ Welcomes Historic Victory in Pakistan Wage Board Case

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of

Journalists (PFUJ) in welcoming a decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan,

upholding the validity of the country’s Seventh Wage Board Award.


In a joint

statement, PFUJ President Pervaiz Shaukat and Secretary General Amin Yousuf

said: “After a painful decade-long struggle, journalists and newspaper workers

welcome the passing of this milestone, and hope for no further delays to the

long-overdue payment of their salaries and benefits. The PFUJ wishes no ill

will against any individual or media organisation and rightly hopes that the

judgment of the Supreme Court will be implemented in letter and spirit by these

publishing houses.”


The Supreme Court’s

decision on October 19 upholds the Sindh High Court decision of May

31, which dismissed identical

petitions filed by the All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS) – the peak body

representing the industry – and the Herald Media group, which sought to quash

the Seventh Wage Award for journalists and newspaper workers, announced in



The decision,

announced by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, caused a

wave of joy among journalists in Pakistan. The PFUJ has directed its district

unions to organise events at press clubs around the country to celebrate the

historic victory.


“This is a momentous

victory for journalists in Pakistan, and vindication of a long and arduous

campaign fought by the PFUJ and its district unions,” IFJ

Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.


“However, it is

regrettable that journalists in Pakistan have had to stage a ten-year campaign

just to receive what is owed to them by law.


“While the

significance of this decision cannot be understated, this is only one victory

in a struggle for press freedom that has many fronts,” Park said.


The Seventh Wage Board decision came one day after Pakistan’s Attorney

General Maulvi Anwarul Haq said on October 18 that journalists are bound to

disclose secret or confidential sources if summoned to appear before a court,

at a hearing of the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) Inquiry



Journalists at the hearing contested Haq’s statements by citing the PFUJ Code of Conduct and IFJ Declaration of Principles on

the Conduct of Journalists, which promote the protection of journalists’ confidential






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