Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Accountability of Pakistani Print & Electronic Media - Part - 1.

[zamir.jpg]Zamir Niazi (1932-2004) was a renowned Pakistani journalist, famous for his commitment to the freedom of the press in Pakistan. Noted books by Late. Zamir Niazi are The Press in Chains in 1986 and The Press Under Siege (1992) and the Web of Censorship (1994). Zamir Niazi's services for freedom of expression eulogized By Jonaid Iqbal 30 June 2004 Wednesday 11 Jamadi-ul-Awwal 1425 http://www.dawn.com/2004/06/30/nat28.htm , THE HISTORY MAN: Zamir Niazi’s torch —Ihsan Aslam Wednesday, June 16, 2004 http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_16-6-2004_pg3_5 , Zamir Niazi passes away By Our Staff Reporter 12 June 2004 Saturday 23 Rabi-us-Saani 1425 http://www.dawn.com/2004/06/12/top11.htm , The nuclear explosions of 1998 pushed him into editing ‘Zameen ka Nauha’ (Elegy for the Earth), an Urdu anthology of anti-nuclear poems and essays, published on the second anniversary of Pakistan’s tests (Scherezade, Karachi, 2000). Our ’Zamir’ Beena Sarwar June 14, 2004 http://www.chowk.com/articles/7626

Accountability of Pakistani Media - Part - 1 (Apna Gareban Matiullah Jan DAWNNEWS)

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1-anGoF5MQ

https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEhsWx2sL-xJ0rx9eKeURQ2_zprVj8w0nPUvZWuvAWW9zDrBMSwOf-XD_RF7SoE34eaAgoHLiwCXDT7AEvI9076IOe0Q6DxFT8Ez-1DuUwu9UcAxnVl8LfQbzscyP3jdTIPbd3hrDBd79U27/s400/anjum1.jpgPakistan's icon of press freedom, Zamir Niazi, whose book The Web of Censorship is a prescribed read for students at Ivy League universities, is today, flying solo against the poseurs in Pakistani press. Anticipating another labour of love, I shoot off an e-mail to him. "It's more a labour of anger and frustration!" he archly relies. "For the last three decades, I have fought for freedom of thought and expression. The press is really free to a great extent," reminding me that while the newspapers of today are "better printed and better produced," with more pay to its workers, "but look at the content...believe me, with a few honourable exceptions, the majority of reporters are on the payroll of one or another agency." A scholar of international acclaim, who has dedicated his life researching, analyzing and writing on Pakistani press, he now feels let down by his own ilk. "Most journalists/reporters/writers shun reading books or absorbing themselves in serious study," he laments. "You will not believe that even senior persons, including some editors, do not read their own newspapers." He has contempt for journalists who enjoy all kinds of "perks and privileges" and when their demands are denied, "they cry foul." As a crusader for this very class of people who wield the pen, Niazi, who wrote his famous book, The Press in Chains, is a bundle of angst who now wants the title changed to The Books in Chains - Libraries in Flames. What a sad reflection of our times. [Courtesy: Daily Dawn There's deception to every rule by By Anjum Niaz - Dawn Magazine (LINK IS DEAD)

Accountability of Pakistani Media - Part - 2 (Apna Gareban Matiullah Jan DAWNNEWS)

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezaSg2H-Yr8&feature=related

Federal information secretary Lt. Gen. Mujibur Rehman (the first army officer to be appointed to this post in the history of Pakistan) under General Zia In his book "Press in Chains", senior journalist Zamir Niazi said «.,that between 1948 and 1985, a total of 183 newspapers and periodicalswere the victims of punitive action taken in the form of totalclosure, demand for security deposit, issuance of show cause notices, curtailment or total withdrawal of government advertisementand newsprint quota or officially sponsored mob attack on their offices. Zamir Niazi in his book Press in Chains (1986) wrote: “May 13th was the blackest day in the history of journalism in the subcontinent, when four newsmen were ordered to be flogged by summary military courts. Those ordered to be whipped were, Masudullah Khan (Pakistan Times, Rawalpindi), Iqbal Ahmed Jafri (Sun), Khawar Naeem Hashmi (Musawat, Lahore), and Nisar Zaidi (Nawa-I-Waqt). Their offence included: ‘organizing meetings at open public places, raising slogans, displaying banners and starting hunger strike.’” REFERENCE: Communication Development & Human Rights By Sa'adat Rizvi http://dr.ntu.edu.sg/bitstream/handle/10220/466/AMIC_1988_05_10.pdf?sequence=1

Accountability of Pakistani Media - Part - 3 (Apna Gareban Matiullah Jan DAWNNEWS)

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLvIJhheqIE&feature=related

Gen. Zia’s anti-press regime.

Perhaps the worst the press suffered was during the Martial Law administration of General Zia-ul-Haq legitimised under a Supreme Court judgment in the name of the so-called ” Law of Necessity.” But while this period may be remembered for its oppressive measures including long spell of censorship banning of independent and dissenting newspapers, arrest of editors and journalists , sentencing them to rigorous imprisonment under Martial Law regulationsand even whipping them, it was also marked by memorable resistance put by the journalists and press workers led by the PFUJ and APNEC. This great struggle unprecedented in the annals of the Fourth Estate the world over began towards the end of November 1977 in Karachi only about five months following the advent of Gen. Zia’s Martial Law. The PFUJ’s struggle was triggered by the government’s ban on publication of Daily ” Musawaat”, Karachi. After the failure of efforts to convince the Martial Law authorities to lift the ban , the PFUJ and APNEC launched a campaign of hunger strike in Karachi from first of December 1977 o And within eight days of the struggle in which journalists and press workers from all over the country participated the government surrender and lifted the ban.

Egged on by its oppressive nature, the government again took recourse coercive methods against the dissenting press and banned the daily ” Musawat”, Lahore , and weeklies like ” Al-Fatah” and ” Meyar” and others, critical of the Martial Law regime. After the failure of protracted negotiations with the Government the national executives of PFUJ and APNEC decided to launch countrywide hunger strike movement from Lahore commencing from 30th April, 1978. The charter of demands included restoration of banned newspapers, release of “Musawat” editors, Messers Badaruddin and Zahir Kashmiri, and the paper’ s printer, Mir Jamilur Rahman, and reinstatement of dismissed journalists including office-bearers of PFUJ and APNEC employed in the government controlled NPT newspapers.

The historic movement was spread over two stages: one beginning in Lahore from April 30 and ending on May 30 and, the second beginning in Karachi from July 18 and ending on October 10, 1978. The two had their own distinct and memorable features marked by common inspiring spirit and enthusiasm. In the first phase’ in Lahore, the journalist and press workers who joined the hunger strike were arrested and sentenced under Martial Law Regulations from six months to one year rigorous imprisonment including three who were ordered to be flogged (Nasir Zaidi, Khawar Naeem Hashimi and Iqbal Jaferi were in fact flogged. The fourth, Masoodullah Khan was spared on the intervention of the doctor in view of Mr. Masood’s disability. It was during this stage that after having failed to suppress the movement for press freedom the military regime picked up the four renegades from the PFUJ and APNEC to create parallel PFUJ and APNEC pocket organisations known as ” Rashid Siddiqui Group”.These renegades who were given full publicity on official media supported the government and condemned the PFUJ’s struggle for press freedom exposing their true colours. As a result of the movement the government was forced to lift the ban on ” Musawat ” Lahore and release the arrested Journalists and Press workers by May 3oth but refused to reinstate the dismissed newsman from NPT papers. In addition, the government again banned ” Musawat ” Karachi. The PFUJ then at its meeting on June 12 at Karachi decided to resume the struggle from July 18, 1978.

The resumed struggle which started in Karachi with the arrest of PFUJ and APNEC President continued until 10th of October (almost two months and 25 days) had its own memorable features. For besides the journalists and press workers who came from all over the country to court arrest, scores of trade union workers, students and militant haris from interior of Sindh joined the movement and filled almost all the jails of Sindh. (During the Lahore struggle the arrested journalists and press workers were disbursed to almost all the jails of the province of Punjab). The Sindh phase of movement would also be remembered for the mass hunger strike unto death inside the jails. The hunger strike culminated in the acceptance of most of the APNEC-PFUJ demands by the Government. As a result “Musawaat” Karachi resumed its publication, arrested persons were released, and most of the 30 dismissed journalists of the NPT papers (Pakistan Times and Imroze) were reinstated (only four including the President of the PFUJ and APNEC were not taken back).

It was also during Gen: Zia-ul-Haq’s regime that ten senior journalists and office-bearers of the PFUJ belonging to the NPT papers – the Pakistan Times, Imroze and Mashriq – were similarly dismissed from service because they signed an appeal for ” Peace in Sindh ” when the government repressed and persecuted the people indiscriminately during the 1983 MRD Movement. The signatories to the appeal also included some 50 writers and poets on whom the doors of Radio and Television were closed as punishment. The journalists who were punished included Masood Ashar , Shafqat Tanvir Mirza , Azhar Javed , Mrs. Rakhshinda Hasan , Badarul Islam Butt, Aziz Mazhar , Aurangzeb, Mumtaz Ahmad , I.H. Rashid and Riaz Malik(late).This clearly proved that the Zia Government was callous and insensitive to the basic human rights of the people notwithstanding with its claim for Islamic justice . It was during this period that a most abominable version of the press censorship was imposed on newspapers wherein even Quranic verses and Prophet’s hadiths used to be censored if they reflected in any way on the person of Gen. Zia-ul-Haq regime or his policies. REFERENCE: MOVEMENT CALLED PFUJ BY MINHAJ BARNA http://pfuj.pk/history-of-pfuj/

Accountability of Pakistani Media - Part - 4 (Apna Gareban Matiullah Jan DAWNNEWS)

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIT5RHm5dJo&feature=related

‘Zamir’ in Urdu means ‘conscience’, and that is what Zamir Niazi, that great chronicler of media freedoms and censorships, was to so many of us – our conscience. It seems that Dawn Media Group, Hameed Haroon and its Management and some of the members of the Editorial Staff lack Zamir i.e. conscience in English.

Zubeida Mustafa, Senior Correspondent Daily Dawn - Karachi
Shamelessly the Senior most Correspondent/Cloumnist Ms. Zubeida Mustafa [Remembering Zamir Niazi By Zubeida Mustafa Wednesday, 24 Jun, 2009 http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/remembering-zamir-niazi-469] has written while eulogizing Late. Zamir Niazi


ZAMIR Niazi, that indomitable champion of press freedom and honesty in journalism, died five years ago in June. His deep interest in the print media — its performance, its role as the disseminator of news, its relationship with the powers that be and the treatment it received from the rulers — prompted him to keep a close eye on the press. The theme of Mr Minto’s talk was ‘The space for civil rights between the state and the terrorists’. He spoke what we expected him to say — a full-blast critique from the left of the political and economic system in Pakistan. He lamented the absence of democracy in the country that had robbed the people of their fundamental rights. There was the traditional denunciation of feudalism, the establishment, the military and the religious extremists. In the debate on socialism, Michael Albert, co-editor of ZNet, has a point when he suggests that movements should foreshadow a future that is self-managing, classless and polycultural. “Seeking transformed economic institutions requires that we begin to create such institutions in the present but also that we fight for. [Remembering Zamir Niazi By Zubeida Mustafa Wednesday, 24 Jun, 2009 http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/remembering-zamir-niazi-469]


One is amazed at the hypocrisy of this English Speaking Class of Pakistan and they also think that they are Secular and Liberal too! The only word which is appropriate is hypocrite and that too of highest degree because for those who belonged to the Perverted Jamat-e-Islami and other Deviant Mullah Clans of Pakistan at least we know about them as to from where they are coming but about this Club of Hameed Haroon and Co. you cannot predict.

Accountability of Pakistani Media - Part - 5 (Apna Gareban Matiullah Jan DAWNNEWS)

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwGvGsL5Sl8&feature=related

Now read as to how this Dawn Media Group and Hameed Haroon violate the so-called Cherished Prinicples which were upheld by Late. Zamir Niazi and praised by the very Senior Editorial Staff/Management of Dawn Media Group under the very nose of Mr Hameed Haroon.

NOTE: Please keep in mind the Services of Late. Zamir Niazi for the Press Freedom and article by Ms. Zuebida Mustafa above while reading the text below that the launching ceremony of the DAWN NEWS TV http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/home/ channel was presided by a Military Dictator General Pervez Musharraf. The same Daily Dawn in September, 2000 and in 2001 raised hell against General Pervez Musharraf's Martial Law Regime. [Read More in the text below]

* November 16, 2001

Army officer in Islamabad assaulted Dawn reporter Faraz Hashmi after their cars bumped on the road. The police refused to register a case on Hashmi's request and the attack, which left him injured, came just days after he put an uncomfortable question to President Pervez Musharraf in a press conference, which visibly infuriated the president.

Daily Dawn was allegedly founded by the Founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Hameed Haroon is Chief Executive Officer of The Dawn Media Group (DMG), Pakistan’s leading media conglomerate. The Group comprises Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt.) Limited, the printers and publishers of DAWN newspaper and three leading magazines, Herald (current affairs) Spider (Information Technology) and Aurora (marketing and advertising); DawnNews Pakistan’s first and to-date only English language news channel; City FM89 radio and DAWN.COM-arguably Pakistan’s most visited news web portal. [Couurtesy: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hameed_Haroon]

As per News update 25 May 2007 [AAJ NEWS 2100 HOURS].
General Pervez Musharraf [1999 - 2008]
On 25 May 2007 the DAWN NEWS CHANNEL's test transmission was commenced and guess what the opening ceremony was addressed by Generalissimo Generalissimus Il Presidente Mr Parvez Musharraf. Whereas the so-called Beacon of the Press Freedom i.e. Pakistan Herald Publication Limited or to be precise Daily Dawn [DATED 25 MAY 2007] says:

"“In our endeavour to establish DawnNews we are enormously helped by our legacy – The legacy of DAWN, that was founded by the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah on 14th August 1947 in Karachi, the same day our nation was born. We believe that by facilitating access to information of the highest quality and with a defined commitment to clarity and accuracy, we can enable Pakistan’s young generations to assume their place as informed citizens of the world.”

But Jinnah had never dreamt of Controlled and Guided Democracy by Military Dictator as well as he never dreamt of that a Military Dictator would be addressing a forum founded by a Lawyer of Impeccable Character i.e. Mohammad Ali Jinnah

The most amazing thing is this that after all these years of boastful claims of Freedom of Press and leaseholding of Basic Human Rights, on 27 March, 2009, Mr Hameed Haroon at the behest of Editor Dawn Mr Abbas Nasir and Part TIME EXECUTIVE RATHER Hatchet Man of DAWN NEWS CHANNEL, sacked more than 70 employees in the name of reorganizing [Read Retrenchments and Iron Kick] the Dawn News Channel and this step is itself tantamount to Financial Murder and this is the step for which Hameed Haroon and Pseudo Leftists of Saadat-e-Amroha in Dawn Editorial Board hounded the several Civilian Government of 90s. Following is the list and names of Working Journalists/Technicians who have been summarily dismissed:

Media groups are owned by tycoons and seths and the journalistic ethic they most value is how to make money. Since the industry is small and shrinking, journalists are vulnerable and unable to speak against wrongs done to them. Since nobody highlights the ills within the industry, it is often ruthless and persistently so. Geo’s downsizing was a shock to the industry; Geo English was shelved and the first major wave of downsizing started. And of course, once something starts, it usually continues. Other channels got rid of entire teams. Dawn, ARY, Express News and Aaj have all been guilty of axing employees without warning. I protest – not just against the administration that did this to me, but also against a system that allows journalists to be exploited like this time and time again. I protest against this system that cares only for legal obligations and says nothing about moral responsibility. I protest against the mentality that makes senior journalists think that they should be allowed to play God and wreck everyone’s careers just so they can cater to their own whims. Yesterday, I realised that it is possible to get fired without a reason. And if you are in the media, nobody but the media fraternity will know about it. REFERENCE: The day I got fired from Dunya News by Sadaf Khan http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/3603/the-day-i-got-fired-from-dunya-news/ A broadcast journalist based in Islamabad who was formerly associated with Geo News and Dunya News. She blogs at http://ibteda.wordpress.com/ MORE IN: Unethical Behavior of Express News TV Pakistan. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/09/unethical-behavior-of-express-news-tv.html
Pakistani TV Channels SACKED 350 Journalists (Courtesy BBC)

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9k3arGaqN1I

پاکستانی میڈیا میں چھانٹیاں
آخری وقت اشاعت: منگل 7 دسمبر 2010 , 11:36 GMT 16:36 PST
پاکستان میں ٹی وی چینلز میں وقتاً فوقتاً صحافیوں کو نکالا جاتا رہا ہے۔ حالیہ دنوں میں بھی اسی قسم کے ایک فیصلے میں مختلف چینلز سے ساڑھے تین سو ملازمین برطرف کیے گئے ہیں۔ لیکن اتنی بڑی پیش رفت پر میڈیا خود بھی بات نہیں کر رہا ہے۔ آصف فاروقی کی رپورٹ

Once again the journalists’ community in Pakistan, like in other parts of the globe, observed the International Press Freedom, but working conditions for them are still poor and pathetic. There is still no visible improvement in working conditions for journalists and media persons in the electronic and print media, they are still working on dismal wage structure, they have no professional liberty and growth, and there is no protection to their lives, Overall working environment is discernable. As usual the Pakistani journalists appear to be compelled to work under deep stress due to widespread unemployment, lock-outs, retrenchments, killings during their performance of professional assignments as an environment of fear and terror is not let lose by pressure groups, mostly ethnic parties, terrorists and the Taliban.


Year 2009-2010 was the worst in the history of Pakistani journalism during which as many as 21 journalists lost their lives and more than 45 were wounded at the hands of terrorists and suicide bombers. An overwhelming majority of journalists had to face severe economic stress during that period. There were sporadic incidents of violence against journalists in Balochistan and some other parts of the country, no major act of ban, censorship, suppression or prejudice by the government came to light. Although there was no major act of ban, censorship, suppression or prejudice by the government, there were sporadic incidents of violence, atrocity or harassment against journalists in Balochistan, and some other parts of the country, at the hands of pressure groups or agencies. A marked increased was noted in the occurrence of incidents of torture and altercations, implication in criminal cases and hindrance in discharge of professional duties by terrorist groups and ethnic organisations. A marked increase was also noted in incidents of attacks on media persons by members of various professional organizations, especially doctors and lawyers who have traditionally been very close to the journalists as they belong to an educated class.


Despite a proactive and highly inspired judiciary in Pakistan, it is yet to pay attention to problems faced by journalists, and safeguard their economic rights. On the other hand, ignoring the plight of newspapermen, implementation of the 7th Wage Award, which has already been notified in the official gazette and is a part of law itself, has been kept under suspension and the tribunal constituted for implementation of the wage award, namely, Implementation Tribunal for Newspaper Employees, constituted under the Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) Act 1973 (NECOSA) has been restrained from taking any coercive action against newspaper owners on their failure to implement the wage award.


While journalists lack resources to fight cases in courts or protect their members from being illegally sacked or pressured by owners in media organizations, the owners cartel, the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), whose prime object is to protect economic interests of media tycoons, and which gets subscriptions from owners in millions, has filed cases in various courts, challenging the law itself, its vires, or the operation of tribunal. Under such circumstances, the Implementation Tribunal for Newspaper Employees constituted under the Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1973, failed to prove effective under the circumstances. The Sindh High Court is hearing newspaper owners’ petitions for the last nine years without any judgment in any case and has held the implementation of the 7th Wage Award in abeyance, although journalists believe that justice delayed is justice denied. Due to machinations of the powerful and influential group of newspapers owners, which is known to be the mightiest pressure mafia of Pakistan, journalists are appearing in court cases although they have lost hope for justice. They have not enough resources to challenge owners’ maneuvers in courts of law with same force, although the PFUJ and the concerned UJs are doing their level best and appearing in courts regularly.

The owners’ cartel, the APNS, has succeeded in thwarting and defeating pronouncements of Chief Justice of Pakistan, and succeeded in keeping the implementation of the 7th Wage Board Award in abeyance by maneuvering to get a restraint order from the Singh High Court through clever tactics. The owners’ mafia is so strong that no person or agency can dare probe, check, or inspect working conditions prevailing in media houses, as per prevailing laws. The owners’ mafia is the most privileged class of Pakistan as they enjoy exceptional and preferential concessions in terms of taxes, duties, levies and sanctions, by virtue of the media power commanded by them.

As a consequence to these circumstances, the media persons are forced to work on the 14-year-old wages and fringe benefits fixed under the 6th Wage Award as on July 1, 1996, whereas there has been tremendous increase in the salaries and allowances of employees of other departments since then, but poor press workers and journalists have been deprived of these benefits. Some major newspaper groups who had earlier increased salaries of journalists under the head of ex gratia as per market dynamics on the recommendations of their editors (because most of journalists were leaving those organizations in search of better pay packages), are bent up to deduct that amount being paid under ex gratia as soon as decision of the seventh wage award is announced. They are seeking undertakings from journalists that the amount would be adjusted, and recently the Dawn Media Group adjusted an amount of Rs. 67,000 against the payment made in the salary of each worker on the head of ex gratia after a petty agreement with the Dawn Union. The management had to pay this amount as it was payable since 1994 at the rate of Rs.300 per month in view of judgment of Faisalabad Compensation Court in the case of Shamsul Islam Naz vs Dawn Group of Newspapers.


On the other hand, journalists and workers in newspaper organizations are working in great stress and are being denied promotions, move-overs, and their other lawful dues by the managements. Some major organizations, including Dawn, Jang, Nawa-i-Waqt, Daily Times, have introduced contract system of hiring and have been indulging in recruitment on contract for six moths to two years or they have re-hired some senior journalists after their retirement, but are not extending any other benefits including medical, leaves, overtime, night allowance, five per cent, cost of living allowance, etc., but have mentioned their posts as “Consultant”. Although they are doing journalistic work, they are not being mentioned as editors, assistance editors etc. They are being denied medical facilities, unlike other regular employees.


At least 600 media workers have been sacked from various channels and newspapers during the period under review, only to save their salaries while their share of responsibilities is shifted on the remaining employees who are subjected to over-work on the same wages, because no institution in Pakistan is strong enough to curb the activities of the said mafia. REFERENCE: PFUJ termed the 2009-2010 as a worst period for Pakistani Media persons December 19th, 2010 suhail123 http://pfuj.pk/2010/12/pfuj-termed-the-2009-2010-as-a-worst-period-for-pakistani-media-persons/

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