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Joint statement of solidarity by senior Pakistani journalists against censorship, urging media unity against threats and attacks

Dozens of senior Pakistani journalists have signed a statement expressing unity and solidarity with each other in today’s divisive times. Many of us have associations with different companies, and we will not let ourselves be used against each other. Note: More endorsements are expected, but until they come in, given that it’s World Press Freedom Day, we thought it appropriate to share this now, and add more names later as they come in.

Joint statement of solidarity by senior Pakistani journalists against censorship, urging media unity against threats and attacks

To:  The owners of all media companies, Pakistan:

From: Senior journalists associated with various Pakistani media companies

Through this joint statement, we the undersigned, express solidarity with the Pakistani media and working journalists, and stand against any proposed ban on any television or radio channel or newspaper.

We also urge the media owners to rise above their corporate interests and rivalries and work together against threats to and attacks upon journalists in Pakistan.

The shameful divisions in the Pakistani media are not only making journalists more vulnerable to attack and weakening our fight for justice, truth and democracy but also making us a spectacle for the world to see.

We urge the media owners/ companies to:

●      Support written policies / codes of ethics for the journalism work of their companies incorporating best practices on ethical journalism.

●      Promote policies and mechanisms that reduce the expanding margins of risks to the safety of journalists and discourage unnecessary risk taking that endanger lives in the absence of written guidelines

●      Support efforts for appointment of special prosecutor(s), at the federal and provincial levels, along with necessary resources, dedicated to investigating and prosecuting cases of threats against media houses and attacks against journalists

●      Unite in support of any journalist who is attacked or threatened, as if he or she is one of their own, even if associated with a rival company.


Endorsed (alphabetically):

1.     Abbas Nasir, former editor Dawn; formerly with The News, BBC London

2.     Absar Alam, Anchor Aaj News; formerly Director News Dunya News; Islamabad Bureau Chief Geo News, Resident Editor The Nation, Islamabad; Nieman Fellow 2005

3.     Adnan Farooq,co-editor, Viewpoint Online

4.     Adnan Rehmat, Civic Action Resources

5.     Afia Salam, freelance journalist; formerly with Star, The Cricketer

6.     Ahfaz ur Rahman, Magazine Editor, daily Express, former President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ)

7.     Ahmad Waleed, Controller News, Samaa TV

8.     Amir Ghauri, journalist, broadcaster; formerly with BBC, Geo, Dunya

9.     Anwer Sen Roy, BBC World Service (Urdu) London

10.   Asma Shirazi, senior anchor, analyst Dawn News Islamabad, formerly with Geo, Samaa, ARY

11.   Alefia T. Hussain, Consulting Editor, The News on Sunday

12.   Amar Sindhu, freelance writer, columnist, Kawish

13.   Asad Hashim, Web Correspondent, Al Jazeera English

14.   Asha’ar Rehman, Resident Editor Lahore, Dawn

15.   Ayesha Siddiqa, freelance columnist, analyst

16.   Babar Ayaz, Journalist and Author

17.   Babar Sattar, Columnist, Dawn (formerly at The News); Co-host Siasat Aur Qanoon, Express TV

18.   Badar Alam, Editor, The Herald, Dawn group

19.   Bahzad Alam Khan, Editor, Metro & South, Dawn

20.   Beena Sarwar, Editor Aman ki Asha, Jang Group, formerly with Star, The Frontier Post; Nieman Fellow 2006

21.   Bina Shah, writer and columnist

22.   Farah Zia, Editor, The News on Sunday

23.   Farooq Sulehria, co-editor, Viewpoint Online

24.   Farrukh Khan Pitafi, PTV anchor, columnist for Express Tribune, Rozanama Dunya

25.   Hamraz Ahsan, columnist daily Waqt; formerly European Desk Editor, Daily Jang London

26.   Husain Naqi, former editor The News Lahore, Sajjan (Punjabi)

27.   I. A. Rehman, freelance contributor, former editor Pakistan Times

28.   Javed Soomro, Senior Broadcast Journalist BBC Urdu TV, formerly with The News, Friday Times

29.   Jugnu Mohsin, Publisher & Managing Editor, The Friday Times

30.   Kamran Rehmat, Columnist; former Editor, The News; Res. Editor, Express Tribune; News Editor, Dawn News; Political Analyst Al Jazeera Online

31.   Kamran Shafi, columnist, Express Tribune, formerly Dawn, News

32.   Khalid Chaudhry, freelance journalist; formerly Editor Daily Aajkal, Chief editor Daily Musawaat, editor daily Nia Akhbar

33.   Khurram Husain, freelance journalist, columnist, Dawn, formerly Express Tribune

34.   Kiran Nazish, Journalist, currently at The New York Times

35.   M. Ismail Khan, former Columnist, presently media and communication specialist with ADB

36.   Malik Siraj Akbar, Editor-in-chief The Baloch Hal; former Bureau Chief Balochistan, Daily Times

37.   Marvi Sirmed, columnist, The Nation

38.   Masood Ashar  writer, columnist  Daily Jang; Editor Mashal Books, former Editor Daily Imroze

39.   Mazhar Abbas, former secretary general, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ)

40.   Mehmal Sarfraz, Deputy Secretary General, SAFMA

41.   Mohammad Taqi, columnist, Daily Times

42.   Mosharraf Zaidi, Columnist, The News

43.   Muneeb Farooq, Senior Anchor, Geo

44.   Murtaza Solangi, journalist, former Director General, Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation

45.   Najam Sethi, Editor, The Friday Times

46.   Nasim Zehra, Anchor/Columnist, Capital TV; formerly with Dunya TV, News, Nation

47.   Nasir Jamal, Chief Reporter, Dawn Newspaper

48.   Naziha Syed Ali, assistant editor, Dawn, former assistant editor, Newsline

49.   Omar R. Qureshi, Op-ed Editor Express Tribune; formerly with Dawn, The News

50.   Owais Aslam Ali, Secretary General, Pakistan Press Foundation; Nieman Fellow 2002

51.   Owais Tohid, freelancer, former: Exec. Director Dunya, Dir. News Geo English, Sr Exec. Director ARY

52.   Qurratulain Zaman, author/contributor Global Voices

53.   Raza Rumi, Consulting Editor, The Friday Times

54.   Sabir Nazar, Editorial cartoonist, The Friday Times, Express Tribune

55.   Sahar Ali, blogger, columnist, formerly with Panos South Asia

56.   Sahar Habib Ghazi, Deputy Editor Global Voices

57.   Sana Saleem, blogger, Director, Bolo Bhi

58.   Shaheen Qureshi, Group Editor Coordination, Jang Group

59.   Sirmed Manzoor, Gen. Sec. SAFMA – Pakistan; freelance columnist;  formerly with The News and The Frontier Post

60.   Tariq Munir Butt, President Press Club Gujranwala

61.   Talat Aslam, Senior Editor, The News, formerly with The Herald

62.   Wahab Tariq Butt, Bureau chief PTV News HK, Blogger ARY News, Express Tribune

63.   Zahid Gishkori, Correspondent, The Express Tribune, (partner of New York Times); Alfred Friendly/D. Pearl Fellow 2014

64.   Zaman Khan, columnist, Mashriq, former bureau chief Faisalabad, The Frontier Post

65.   Zarrar Khuhro, Assistant Editor (magazines), Dawn Media Group

66.   Zubeida Mustafa, Columnist, Pakistan Herald Publications Ltd

*This joint statement was originally published by Beena Sarwar in her blog. 

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