Pakistan’s Journalists Demand a Fair Deal



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.”


According to

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