File Photo: Participants of the seminar organized by the BUJ about the World Press Freedom Day

News Desk: 

Quetta, May 18, 2024 — A joint emergency meeting of senior journalists, including executive members of the Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) and Quetta Press Club, was held yesterday at the Quetta Press Club. The meeting, chaired by President Press Club Abdul Khaliq Rand and BUJ President Khalil Ahmad, expressed grave concern over a recent raid on the Quetta Press Club by the district administration and police, resulting in the club being locked.

Participants of the meeting voiced their extreme anger at the provincial government’s indifference and the curtailment of press freedom. They described the closure of the Quetta Press Club as a direct attack on freedom of expression under Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan, aimed at preventing journalists from performing their duties.

The assembly emphasized that the closure not only disappoints the journalist community but also impacts all sections of society. They warned that without a robust protest, society would be deprived of its voice.

In unanimous agreement, the senior members condemned the lockout and decided to initiate a nationwide protest movement. The first phase involves a walkout from the Balochistan Assembly meeting scheduled for today, followed by a protest demonstration outside the assembly. They plan to present a four-point demand to the provincial government.

If these demands are not met, the second phase will commence with a nationwide “Black Day” on May 21. The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists will call for protests in all press clubs across Pakistan. Black flags will be hoisted outside press clubs nationwide, symbolizing solidarity and resistance.

This decisive action underscores the journalists’ commitment to protecting press freedom and ensuring the public’s right to information is upheld.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.