APP95-30 ISLAMABAD: March 30 - Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State for IB & NH addressing a rally of PFUJ. APP

ISLAMABAD, Mar 30 (APP): The government has an abiding
commitment to safeguard the rights of the journalists and
ensuring freedom of the media as per the instructions of
the Prime Minister.
This was stated by Minister of State for Information,
Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb while
addressing Freedom of Press rally outside the Parliament House,
which was organized by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists to
protest against closure of some newspapers in Gilgit-Baltistan
(GB) and institution of a case against a journalist.
She said that the government was taking all possible
measures to ensure safety of the journalists as well as security
of the media houses across the country and she would not allow any
curbs to be put on the rights of the journalists.
Marriyum Aurangzeb also vehemently condemned the insulting
treatment meted out to a journalist after the press conference by
Imran Khan.
The minister expressing solidarity with the journalist
community emphatically declared that she would stand with the
journalists with respect to their legitimate and just demands.
Responding to the four demands of the PFUJ, she extended
categorical assurance to them that the closed newspapers would be
allowed to restart their publication immediately and all the
related issues would also be resolved amicably.
In regards to the dues of the newspapers of GB she informed
the participants of the rally that first installment has already
been released and rest of the payments would also be cleared soon
after the return of GB Chief Minister from abroad.
Marriyum said she has already discussed the matter with
Secretary GB who has given a commitment in this regard.
The minister said that the government would ensure secure
working environment for the journalists in GB and a case
instituted against a journalist would also be resolved according
to the law.
Principal Information Officer PID has already been
instructed to play a role in settling the matter and also address the
reservations of the media community in regards to cases
registered against journalists in other parts of the country, she added.
After the assurances given by the minister, President PFUJ
Afzal Butt advised the newspapers of GB to start publishing their
papers from Friday.
Butt severely criticized the mistreatment of a journalist at
Banigala and demanded an apology from the PTI leadership within
24 hours, failing which he threatened to organize a protest rally
outside the central office of PTI and also give a call for
country-wide protest.
The rally was attended by President National Press Club
Islamabad Anjum Shakeel, representatives of media organizations
and a great number of journalists.