President of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Shahzada Zulfiqar and Secretary General Nasir Zaidi have expressed serious concern on the allegations levelled by former Prime Minister Imran Khan against some journalists of receiving foreign funding and conspiring against Pakistan without naming anyone of them.
In a joint statement, they said if the PTI had evidence that any journalist had conspired to topple the government of Imran Khan by taking money from the foreign powers then it should inform the PFUJ leadership about the names of such journalists. The PFUJ itself would take action against them. But if Imran Khan has made allegations against journalists without any evidence, then he should withdraw these and apologize to the journalist community.
Shahzada Zulfiqar and Nasir Zaidi further said that the journalists covering the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and embassies had to stay in touch with the diplomatic staff of different countries to fulfill their professional duties.
Similarly, Pakistan’s ambassadors in different countries have to liaise with the journalists of those countries. And their meetings with the journalists of those countries do not mean that they are aimed at overthrowing their governments.
The PFUJ President and Secretary General said that Imran Khan’s allegations on journalists without naming anyone was an attempt to cast doubt on the role of all journalists.
In past also Imran Imran Khan has made similar and repeated allegations of election rigging “35 punctures” against a journalist which later on he claimed were mere “political statements”. Previously other severe allegations against media have been proven wrong in courts including international courts. Imran Khan should be careful of advisors who have created conflicts with journalist community. If PECA ordinance was in place, thousands of PTI people would be in jail right now. Recently we have seen journalists being abused and physically threatened as well in PTI rallies and jalsas. Hate speech against journalists can threaten their lives and prevent them from their duty. PTI is strongly encouraged to follow its original Manifesto on journalism and media.