Journalists from Pakistan’s print and electronic
media rallied nation-wide on Monday under the banner of the Pakistan Federal
Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an affiliate of the International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ), to call attention to the continuing crises of livelihoods,
job security and physical safety in their profession.
Protests were held in all the major cities of
Pakistan, including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Bahawalpur.
The PFUJ condemned the continuing failure of
media owners to implement the Seventh Wage Award, despite the lapse of seven
years since it was notified. With the tenure of the wage award having expired, the
PFUJ is also demanding constitution of the overdue Eighth Wage Board.
Other demands include abolishing the contract
system of employment in journalism, the enforcement of labour laws, and
amendments to the applicable law to bring it in line with international labour
The PFUJ also demands a high-level inquiry
into recent activities of a senior official of the Pakistan Federal
Government’s Information Department, for alleged abuse of power.
“The IFJ fully
endorses the PFUJ’s demands,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan
White said. “These are challenging times for journalism in Pakistan,
with job losses mounting and professional morale taking a severe hit.
organisations need to invest more rather than less in quality journalism, since
the public demand for information is mounting in a context of growing internal
conflict and economic crisis.”
the PFUJ, the protests were joined in virtually all cities by the local press
demonstrators were unanimous in demanding that media organisations should
retract their arbitrary recent actions and reinstate all journalists who had
been unfairly dismissed from employment.
“The IFJ calls
upon media organisations to meet their obligations toward the professional
community of journalists since, as the PFUJ says, the last few years have been
a period of unprecedented profitability for the industry,” White said.
“If a fair
deal for journalists remained an unrealised hope through the years of the boom,
the current economic downturn makes it an absolute imperative.”
further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents
over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries