Marriyum offers help to KPK government to investigate into journalist’s Murder

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ISLAMABAD, June 12 (APP): Minister of State for Information Marriyum
Aurangzeb on Monday offered full cooperation and help to the provincial government of KhyberPakhtunkhwa for investigations into the murder of Bakhshish Elahi, the daily K2 Times, Haripur Bureau Chief.
Though after the 18th Amendment, the law and order has become provincial domain, the federal government is ready to provide full support to KPK government if it feels it does not have the required expertise and resources to investigate into the killing of the journalist, she told the National Assembly after meeting with representatives of Parliamentary Reporters Association (PRA), who had earlier announced a token boycott of the proceedings of the House to protest against murder of Bakshish as well as in favour of their other demands.
The minister stated that in the past investigations in such incidents
remained incomplete due to the scarcity of resources adding, If the
provincial government writes to the federal government for help, then it
can utilize all the resources to jointly investigate into the killing of
the journalist.
She said the federal government’s cooperation could take the
investigations to their logical end adding this would also help restore the confidence of the journalist community.
She said that the heinous murder of Bakshish was highly condemnable
as he embraced Shahadat in the line of duty and I being the
representative of the journalists would also demand the formation of a JIT,
The minister of state pointed out that along with country’s Armed Forces and other law enforcement agencies, journalists remained on the frontline in the war against terrorism. and Bakshish’s sacrifice should not go in vain.
His killers must be arrested immediately, she said.
The minister said that the PRA also wanted an immediate
announcement of support to the heirs of Bakhshish Elahi from KPK’s
endowment fund for the journalists. She said that she had already announced to financial help for the heirs of Bakhshis from a package announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the year 2013 for the families of martyred journalists.
She informed the House that the second demand of the
journalists was about wage board award, which she added had been lingering on since 2002. She informed the House that she had been working on this demand for the last two months and had already taken input from the law ministry.
According to the expert opinion of the law ministry after the
18th amendment it is the responsibility of provinces now to do legislation in this regard, while the federal government can only do legislation for that purpose at the ICT level, she said.
She further told the Assembl that she had again written a
letter to the law ministry, contending that the law of the federal
government would prevail in such matters till the time the provinces did
their own legislation. She said that she had again asked them to give an
immediate expert view on the matter. She held out the assurance that the required assistance would announced at the ICT level.
Regarding the issue of exclusion of APP journalists from the
federal government’s housing scheme, she informed the House that she had told the PRA representatives that the issue should have a sustainable solution as to how they (APP journalists) could be included in the quota in accordance with the law.
Besides APP, she said Pakistani journalist associated with
foreign media had also been excluded from the quota list and assured that they would again be included in it.
Marriyum informed the House that she had also assured the
journalists that she would take up the issue of reduction of their quota in the housing schemes from two per cent to one per cent with the housing ministry and try her best to accommodate them.