PAKISTAN: Journalists to boycott official functions

Peshawar journalists will boycott press conferences to protest government's inability to find editor of daily Express

Dawn
Friday, February 16, 2007

Peshawar --- The journalist community in the province has decided to boycott official press conferences in protest against the government's failure to recover Sohail Qalandar, Resident Editor of daily Express, and his friend Niaz Mohammad, missing since January 2.

An announcement to this effect was made here on Friday after a meeting of the joint action committee of the Khyber Union of Journalists and the Peshawar Press Club.

The committee asked the journalists to boycott, from Saturday, the press conferences and briefings arranged by federal and provincial ministers, secretaries, police and other government officials.

The committee said that it would continue its peaceful protest till February 22. If there was no progress on the issue till then, they would be compelled to change their strategy.

It thanked various political, social and religious organisations for the support they extended to the journalist community on a humanitarian issue.

On Thursday, journalists boycotted the press conference organised by provincial Information Minister Asif Iqbal Daudzai at the media centre here.

Office-bearers of the Media Marketing Association observed a hunger strike on the 11th consecutive day on Friday and vowed to continue their protest till the recovery of the kidnapped persons.

The Sarhad Sports Writers Association (SSWA) marched up to the Governor's House to press the authorities to take action for the recovery of Mr Qalandar and his friend.