By Bureau report
PESHAWAR: The journalists renewed the demand for the release of the Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman as they continued the protest against his arrest on Sunday.
Peshawar Press Club (PPC) President Syed Bukhar Shah led the protest staged outside the offices of the Daily Jang, The News and Geo TV. The protesters raised slogans against the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and in support of press freedom. Those who spoke on the occasion included Syed Bukhar Shah, Arshad Aziz Malik, Shakeel Farman Ali, Ehtesham Toru, Sabz Ali Shah, Gohar Ali, Qaiser Khan and others. The speakers were critical of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for targeting the Jang Media Group and Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.
They lamented that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman had been behind bars for the last 235 days in a case, which was based on false charges. The speakers slammed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for pressuring the opposition political parties and independent media.
They said NAB had failed to take action over the huge graft scams such as wheat flour, sugar, Malam Jabba land, Billion Tree Tsunami and Bus Rapid Transit Project because the PTI members were allegedly involved in these tainted practices. The protesters appealed to the highest court of the land to take notice of the case and provide justice to Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.
HANGU: Provincial chief of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), Senator Attaur Rahman, former lawmaker Attiqur Rahman and other leaders, Sunday condemned the arrest of The News and Jang Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and demanded his immediate release. Talking to reporters at Karbogha Sharif in Thall tehsil in Hangu district here, they said that the incumbent government was making tall claims of free media but the facts were otherwise. “The government is using every tactic and tool to muzzle the largest media group of the country,” Senator Attaur Rahman said, adding that the government was targeting the Jang Media Group and its chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman to force them into submission.
The JUI leaders said that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman had been behind bars for the last so many days on cooked-up charges and denied a bail which, otherwise, was his right. They praised the services of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman for journalism and independent media. They also flayed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for pressurising the opposition parties and the independent media. They alleged that NAB had become a political entity, which was involved in the victimization of opposition parties and free media so they could be forced to toe the government’s line.