International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) fully endorses the stand taken by
its affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), in opposing a demand
apex organisation of newspaper owners for the repeal of the Newspaper
Employees’ (Conditions of Service) Act.
is an important safeguard for workers’ rights and journalism as a profession,
and the IFJ is concerned at moves by the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS)
to repeal it,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
record of implementation leaves much to be desired, the Act is a fallback
guarantee of the dignity of journalism and, by implication, the freedom of the
The IFJ calls
on the APNS and its president, Hameed Haroon, to honour the law rather than
seek its repeal or “substantial amendment”.
disagrees with the APNS assertion that “the fundamental rights guaranteed to
the newspaper establishments under the Constitution are being contravened under
the present law”.
to information made available by the PFUJ, the constitutional validity of the Act
has already been dealt with by Pakistan’s
Supreme Court. Judicial bodies in other countries with similar laws have also
determined that there is nothing in the laws that infringes on press freedom
with its position that there can be no press freedom where journalists live in
conditions of poverty, corruption or fear, the IFJ calls on the APNS to suspend
its effort to seek the repeal of a law that was passed virtually unanimously by
newspaper owners’ refusal to honour the law and to implement successive wage awards
made under its stipulations are the main impediments to growth and quality
improvement in the print media in Pakistan,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
urges the APNS to enter into a constructive dialogue with the PFUJ and other
unions of newspaper workers to address practical ways to implement the
statutory wage awards for journalists and newspaper employees.
“The IFJ recalls
the role played by the PFUJ in the recent campaign for press freedom in Pakistan
and appreciates the spirit of cooperation that was displayed then by the APNS,”
IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
spirit of cooperation needs to be carried forward to ensure a fair deal for
journalists in Pakistan
and a new beginning for press freedom in the country.”
further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 122 countries