March 30, 2014
ISLAMABAD: Journalists from the twin cities held a protest in the federal capital on Saturday against the attack on Express News anchor Raza Rumi and demanded that the Punjab government constitute a special probe team.
On March 28, Rumi, the anchor of “Khabar Se Agay”, was targeted by unknown men in Lahore. His driver, Mustafa, was fatally wounded in the attack, while Rumi and his guard were injured.
On the call of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) and the National Press Club (NPC), hundreds of journalists assembled in front of NPC to show solidarity with Rumi and employees of Express Media Group while demanding that the government immediately begin a probe into the attack.
The journalists condemned the attack as failure of the provincial government to protect journalists.
RIUJ Secretary General Bilal Dar said journalists have been protesting over security for months, but the government did not take them seriously. “This is enough. The government should take action against the culprits, otherwise we have no option to collect outside Parliament,’’ he added. The protesters said journalists would not be silenced by such attacks.
NPC President Shahryar Khan said it seems the provincial government is not serious about protecting journalists. He demanded that the Punjab government announce compensation for the heirs of Mustafa and for the injured guard.
Separately, British High Commissioner Philip Barton also condemned the attack and expressed his support to all journalists. “We condemn this attack on freedom of expression and send our support to Rumi, and to all journalists across the country, who continue to do a very important job in very difficult circumstances,” he said in a statement issued by the High Commission.
Barton said Rumihad been speaking for democracy. “In a democratic society, it is everyone’s right to speak for what they believe in without fear of attack,” he added. He also expressed grief at the death of Mustafa and said his thoughts were with Express Media Group at this difficult time.