Journalists protest ‘attempts’ to gag press freedom



GILGIT: Journalists protested on Monday against issuance of notices to various local newspapers by Gilgit-Baltistan bureaucracy for publishing stories ‘critical’ of the regional government.

Journalists in Gilgit took to the streets and staged a protest sit-in outside the Chief Secretary House. About two dozen journalists took part in the protest. They said issuance of notices to newspapers was akin to attack on the freedom of press.

The protest call was given by Gilgit Press Club, GB newspapers society and GB editors forum.

The protesting journalists were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans condemning the attempts to curb freedom of press. They also chanted against the GB government and the bureaucracy for trying to gag the media outlets.

It is to mention here that the assistant commissioner of Gilgit had recently, exercising his powers as sub-divisional magistrate, issued notices to the people in-charge of two dailies and a monthly magazine for allegedly publishing news stories against the government of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Similarly, deputy commissioner Ghanche issued a show-cause notice to a daily for publishing a scandalous item against members of GBLA. And, deputy commissioner Gilgit also issued a notice to a daily for publishing a news story criticising him.

The protesters alleged that the local administration was attempting to curtail media freedom on the directives of the GB government. They demanded protection to journalists and freedom of press granted in the constitution of Pakistan.